Yeah! Ana and Jilson will marry and Ana will be baptized!! A miracle, now we just have to wait 30 days for processing and paper work...Satan was really smart when he created lousy government employees and long processing lines. Seriously, what´s so hard about two people saying YES to an eternal commitment, two witnesses, and a member of the government that says, "sign here, here, and here"? Well, a 30 day wait, and paperwork...gosh, I´m rolling my eyes. Seriously?!
This week was good. We pretty much have the coolest district ever, our zone leaders are totally awesome! Yesterday in District meeting, they pulled us into a room and said, "Congragulations" for our work, that we have the best numbers in the zone...and so, they want us to find a good man, teach him the gospel (especially the law of tithing) and baptise him. Good luck, and tchu... So we´re going to do our best. We had an great day of cooking (Elder Rhodes made us American cookies, Sister Monteiro and I made tapioka for the elders), of studying, and of learning about the new lessons. Yesterday was all about Teaching our Investigators how to properly pray, many elders had great ideas on how to help.
Right now, our whole district and our zone leaders are with us in Bragança, we´re going to have a festa and play football americana, football, and a whole lot of other stuff...oh and they are buying us lunch! YEAH!!!
Monday was the first ever SISTER CONFERENCE!!! YEAH, we went to Campinas and had a meeting with just the Sisters, all 19 of us...pictures are on the way. It was great to get to talk to Sister Poast and Sister Ririe, they are doing well and working really hard. It´s great to see how we are all progressing, though my Portuguese is still by far the worst. We talked about problems we have as sisters, of the beauty and joy of American Medicine-Ibuprofin and other things, as well as the problems we are having in our areas. A ton of areas have problems with the members, people not helping, and not trusting us very much. We discussed how to build trust with our wards and branches, especially with the leaders of the church. We also had lunch, and we had cinnimon rolls...I was in heaven. As well, all of the sisters are a bit larger, and I am still the skinniest, but I too have gained weight and need to go on "a week before a show opens" diet soon (meaning no eating and working really really hard and stressing out...)
Thursday night was not an easy night for us. We were sleeping and the people who live above us, Sister Jama and Brother Alfonso got a phone call that their son who lives in Bihia had died...and Sister Jama is pretty old and very weak, she cried and had to go to the hospital.
We´re working with two people to get baptised this Saturday, Ilda and Kayla. Kalya is one of my ``little women,`` she´s Julia´s older Sister, and Karol and Inara´s cousin. She´s been to church a few times, and we´ve been teaching her. Today we´re going to teach her about the Atonement and usually that finalizes about the baptism, so have faith and hope that her mother autoritizes it.
Ilda is a dear older lady who has had much suffering in her life. She lives in one of the poorest homes I have ever visited, with her daughter Camilla, and Camilla´s two children, Lucas and Joao, her two Granddaughters, Rosaria and Tyna and their children, Bebe and Tiago...yeah. Camilla is a dear, she works and helps Ilda pay for the house, but Rosaria and Tyna do not work and go out and party every night and Ilda is left to take care of the four children...yeah, I would like to have some words with Rosaria and Tyna. Ilda loves us and she says she knows that the Book of Mormon is true but that she needs to think about it some more...hope for a great lesson on faith tonight.
I´ve been studying a lot more on the subject of dillegence and obedience. I have been studying the words of Alma to his two missionary sons, Shiblon and Corianton. Shiblon had a difficult mission, but he worked and was dillagent and paitent. Corianton on the other hand, well, not so much...one of the most powerful verses is when Alma says that because of Corianton´s example, people did not believe or listen to him when he taught...ouch. This is the thing as missionaries, as members of the one true church must remember, that we have a duty to this Gospel, and that our examples, for better or for worse, are part of the church´s image. Do well thy part, and someone is always watching (Megan- if you can guess those two movie quotes you´ll have a jersy in the mail for your birthday.)
Anyway, I love you guys and hope all is well. Take care of yourselves and I´ll write you guys in a week. I pray for you guys every night and morning and every day am eternally grateful to have such an amazing family. All the best, Shan