Monday, June 2, 2014

19 May 2014

Clarification: my new companion is Sister Kirk and she is wonderful! And I am now in Ala 1 Leste (as opposed to Ala 1 Oeste) and if you want to see where it is or what it is like, go to googe maps and put in Moinhos de Vento, Porto Alegre, Brasil to see the rich part and put in Avenida Farrapos, Porto Alegre, Brasil to see the scary part. It´s a great area. (I think in all the confusion last email I messed up some of the information)

So this week we basically started from scratch. Sister Kirk had been sick for the entirety of last transfer so we had to start from 0 finding investigators and keeping up with ones that had been left and basically it was an adventure. The good part is I already know a lot about the area since is is the same ward as before and with only a few misadventures we were able to find everything well and have a good week. 

Karen is one of our investigators who is set to get baptized at the end of the month and she came to church, but has been struggling to quit smoking for many years and has been wanting to get baptised for a while. We have been setting goals with her and she has really diminished her usage! When she didn´t come to the first hours of church, we got kind of worried, but she showed up for sacrament meeting and said that before church she had been fighting with the urge to smoke but had kept within the goal and thought to herself "I just have to get out of here and get to church" and she and her husband Ângelo (less active) came! It was a great testimony to us that our constant prayers for her are helping. The other day as we were leaving their apartment after a lesson, she looked us in the eyes and said "Thank you for not giving up hope on me." I know she is capable, with God´s help, to quit smoking and we were so happy this week to see her looking healthier and happier. 

This week, as a natural result of our situation, we have gotten to know our map a little better. We discovered that in our ward we have a road named "coelho neto" and one named "salgado filho." Translated, those roads become "bunny grandson" and "salty son." The people who named these streets had interesting aspirations for their posterity. 

We also met a bunch of cool people this week because we were trying hard to talk to everyone. We were walking in a park and passed a man sitting on a bench with his back to us. We decided to turn and talk to him and he was actually really cool! His name is Márcio and he is one of those people that when you talk to him, everything is exciting. I don´t know if that makes sense, but we all know people like that. Anyway, we marked a visit with him for Friday, and when we went to visit him, we found the address he gave us, but there was a gate with a patio and then apartments in the back. And there was only one doorbell. We rang the doorbell. An old man on the patio who was painting something red turn and looked at us but went back to his painting. We called out to him, asking if he knew Márcio and that he marked a visit with us. He kind of glared at us and then said it wasn´t his responsibility to keep track of all the people in the building. We didn´t know what to do because the gate was locked and there wasn´t anyone else around. I said a prayer and then we decided to wait for a bit. We tried communicating again with the grumpy man, but...nothing. Suddenly, a smiling, happy figure came bounding out from behind the apartments. It was Márcio! I don´t know how he knew to come out (because after he said he had forgotton our appointment) but it was definitely a tender mercy of the Lord. He asked us if we could meet in the park and we went and had a wonderful lesson. TIME OUT..... people. The phone just rang (like right now) and guess who it was.... Márcio! Do you know how rare that is? He actually called. He apologized for not being able to make it to church and we marked a visit for this week. So yeah, that´s Márcio, the miracle of the week. 

Anyway, D&C 46:30 says "He that asketh in the Spirit asketh according to the will of God; wherefore it is done even as he asketh." If you have asked for something from Heavenly Father and you aren´t quite sure if He gave you what you wanted, maybe look again. Perhaps he has answered your prayer in a way you didn´t think of, but truly gave you what you wanted/needed. We think we know best, but usually we don´t. God always knows best. 

Love you!

Sister Smith

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