I got my birthday package!! Dad, really....you sent me music to Edward Grieg and the Great Escape?! Only you!
So, another wonderful week in Lago Silvera! We had a baptism Friday and it was amazing. His name is Carlos and he came to church on his own. When we taught him, he accepted everything. We had a branch activity and the whole branch came and then we had the baptism. It was TOTALLY AWESOME!!! The members here are helping us so much. His heart is so pure, it's great to see how the gospel is blessing his life. When we first talked to him, he said he wanted peace and the spirit to help him stay away from the bad things in the world. When he was confirmed on Sunday, the Branch President said that the spirit would guide him and protect him from the evil things in the world...yep, it rocked!
We´re working with others and it's so obvious how much the people need the peace and joy that the gospel brings. My DL yesterday in DC gave us the doctrine on how because of our testimonies, we don´t need to fear when we testify and invite others to keep the commandments of God. We know, and oh, how I know, that without the gospel in our lives we would literally have nothing.
Another reason why we truly live in a small small world...at this activity a young man came up to me and asked, "Do you know an Elder Stapley who is a missionary in Manaus?" I replied that yes, he was my brother. Well, he served a mission in Manaus and knows Eric... only in this church could two siblings who serve in a different country know the same people...
Oh and a funny story, on Thursday, our DL and companion (Elder Adam and Elder Luciano, who live in Jau as well) were with us to interview Carlos and as we were walking we saw a cat...only this cat had a bird in it´s mouth. Sister Carvalho started screaming at the cat and the cat ran into the house. So she started clapping and when the lady of the house came out, Sister Carvalho started talking really fast about the cat and the bird, and started yelling at the elders to do something (they were too busy laughing) and then the bird died...yeah, I´m gonna remember that one for a while...
It´s great to have a missionary couple living in the city with us! They give us food and helped us fix our oven (HALLELUJAH)! And after 7 hours, I know everything about fixing ovens! So now, along with my pen making abilities, shoe creating abilities and horrible Portuguese abilities, I can add oven fixing to my list of skills acquired here in Brasil!
Here's my Thanksgiving List:
Things that I am grateful for here in Jau:
1. A wonderful Companion
2. Trees and rivers and flowers
3. Sunscreen (yes, you can laugh)
4. A good DL and his companion
5. Members who help us fix our ovens and give us food
6. The wind
7. A great apartment
Things that I am grateful for in the mission:
2. President and Sister Tanner
3. My recent converts
4. Patience and love
5. Sister Monterio
6. Christmas and Birthday Gifts (The Elders cooked the brownies you sent because our oven didn´t work, and the goldfish were perfect!)
Things that I am thankful for;
1. A mom and a dad who never yelled at me
2. A mom and a dad who have a practically perfect marriage
3. A bunch of sisters who have never given me a reason to be ashamed, and of who I have so much pride in
4. A brother who is serving with his whole heart, might, mind and strength
5. Examples of wonderful leaders and friends who taught by example and by the spirit
6. Of older boys and girls who showed me that it´s okay to be different
7. Of always having food on the table
8. Of the opportunity I have to receive an education
9. Of living 5 mins from the temple
10. Of knowing what things are most important
11. Of friends and of dancing in the rain
12. Of culture and knowledge
13. Of living in a home where the principles of the gospel were taught by example and with love...truly an amazing gift.
Of these things I am thankful, but I must speak of one more...my Savior Jesus Christ. He is my brother, my Lord and my friend. He has always been near to me, he was there in sad and in happy moments. He is my comforter, my King. He suffered for me in the Garden, I do not know how many drops of blood were shed for me. Afterwards, he died for me that one day I might live again with him, with my Heavenly Father and with my family. He is my perfect example. It is now, during my mission, that I have come to know Him so much stronger than before. Dad-it´s like you said, this is the 'spirit quest' of the indians...it is here where we truly come to know ourselves and to know our God. I have so much more to learn, so much more to do, but my heart is filled with gladness. Thank you all, you're amazing. I have been so blessed because of my family.
Meg have a great birthday!
Thank you all!