Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 8: My spirit is full, my natural man is full, life is good

Hello family! Many much things happened this week in good ole Brockton! Let's see if I can remember them all....

After Pday we tried to have an appointment, but it fell through. So I don't remember what we did... probably try to see a bunch of people who weren't home. 

Okay Tuesday was great. In the morning, we had a WebEx with President, so he basically connects to everyone on a computer and talks to us. It was pretty neat, and I think we have another one tomorrow. He talked about how to use members and be involved in the ward and stuff. So, all you back home, GO OUT WITH THE MISSIONARIES! We need it. Trust me. And having a member in a lesson makes a bigger difference than you can ever know. Give us dinners, support us when we plan an activity... the work will go much faster if we all work together, for sure. On Tuesdays we do service at a Catholic Charity, so that's interesting, but pretty cool. We help in the food line for those who don't have the money to buy food themselves. There are some interesting people in Brockton, for sure, but there are so many people ready to hear the gospel. It's awesome.
And. Oh yes. We had some great lessons that day. One was with a guy named Joaquin. Right as we started to begin the lesson, his wife came in the room yelling something in creole about them being catholic... so that marks a first: being yelled at for being a missionary. But he still stayed and listened to the Restoration, which was way nice of him. I think we're gonna try to see him again this week. One thing about Brockton is that there are so many investigators and people to teach that we see investigators at most 2 times a week! But that night we went to go see a new investigator, Karen. And she is so prepared and SO awesome. I can't even believe it. Basically she's ready to be baptized. She's gone to church her whole life, pretty much by her self. When we asked her about being baptized, she explained that she had been asked by the other church to be baptized, and she wanted to, but didn't feel like that other church was the right one to be baptized in. If that doesn't scream prepared, I don't know what does. Our lessons with her are in English, so I can actually talk, but she does speak Portuguese and thus counts as our "territory" haha. She was going to come to church yesterday, but got stuck in Boston with no ride home. But we get to see her tonight, and I'm way pumped! She is absolutely amazing, and for sure a blessing to me already. (I had a little breakdown in the car right before her lesson since I'll miss Elizabeth's wedding.... I cried for a while to Sister Melo. But things are okay now. And our lesson with Karen was so amazing, it reminded me just why I am on my mission--to help these people who need and want the gospel so bad!!) I love Karen.

This was an interesting day, because Sister Lowenthal was sick, so she and Sister Belchior stayed home. All 4 of us are Portuguese speaking and we live together, so Sister Melo and I picked up the lessons the others couldn't do. It went pretty well. Most were in Portuguese, so it was a little hard to understand what the people say, but I'm participating more in lessons now, so that's good. And I really thought a lot about the need for silence and inspired questions in lessons, because the times we don't talk are the times when the Spirit can talk. 

Weekly planning takes HOURS. It's way important, because we plan individually for our investigators, but it just takes so long. It's hard, and I ate way too much food, but it's still way good. Sister Melo and I definitely received revelation for one of our investigators, so that was really neat. 
After a whole day of planning, we went to see Celia again. I don't remember if I told you about her last week, but she's also way awesome. She's nervous that her dad won't like that she wants to be baptized, so she hasn't talked to him about it yet. We fasted for her yesterday that she could have the courage and strength to talk to him, and that his heart would be softened. We haven't talked to her yet, but keep her in your prayers. She has a super strong testimony, and it's amazing. Her best friend, Beizinha, is a really strong member, so she's been helping her a lot. When we asked Celia about her testimony about Joseph Smith, she said she believes he saw God and Jesus Christ and that he's a prophet. She said she really trusts the Lord, and needs to keep trusting Him. Celia is so amazing. I hope her dad will be okay with her being baptized, because she is ready. 
And we had another lesson with Eugenia! It went well. We're gonna teach her the law of chastity next, so that will be really interesting... that's one thing a lot of people here struggle with.

Ah yes, Friday. When we played soccer with the elders in the morning, I rolled my ankle. Through the rest of the day, and mostly the next day, it became HUGE. I'm sending a picture from Friday I think. But don't worry, I don't think there's anything seriously wrong. It feels way better now, and only hurts if I move my foot a really funny way. So that was exciting. It's swollen just a little bit still, but not too bad. I bet it'll be just fine the end of this week. 
Most of our lessons fell through this day, so we tried contacting all our investigators and kind of ended up driving around everywhere with no luck. But some days are like that, and we gotta have slow days to have really good fast ones!

All day long we helped set up for a wedding of a girl in the branch. All. Day. Long. Man, we were all so stressed. But at the end, it looked so pretty. We didn't stay long at the wedding because it started late, so we didn't really get to enjoy it all, but it felt like a pretty productive day, even if we didn't teach like anyone... Saturdays are actually pretty hard to get a hold of people for some reason. One thing I learned about Cape Verdeans is they LOVE. TO. PARTY. Everyone goes to every wedding. And the food? There was so. darn. much. I'm gonna try to send a picture, it's crazy. And there were a lot of Brazilian desserts, that someone MADE AT HOME, and they are so delicious. We have leftovers, thank goodness. You would love those, Dad.

Church was great! Sundays are definitely the least restful day for missionaries, though. That's why we have Pdays :) After church, we met with a member and talked a lot about Alma 36, conversion, and sharing the gospel. Go look up verse 24, then ACT! Share the gospel with someone. It doesn't have to be scary, just something little. Think of the gospel as a really important and expensive present that means so much to you--then share it like that! It's really amazing. 
We helped out with the English class they have--teaching a lady to read, good practice for me haha--and tried to teach Eugenia again, but things were crazy and we really weren't able to teach her anything. That's okay though, because we didn't have a member and I think it's way better to teach the Law of Chastity with a member present... hopefully that'll all go better in our next lesson!

Today, Monday!
We went to the Boston temple again! It is so beautiful, and I'm so glad we got to go. It was also the recent convert baptisms day, so we had a few people go and do baptisms too! Way neat. And guess who I saw!! Sister Asay!! :D We didn't get a picture, because we were in the temple and she was about to go do a session and I just barely got out. But we'll get one soon. After the temple, we took some district pictures and went to Olive Garden, so it's been a good day :) 

Well family, I love ya, and hope all of you have fun starting school this week! Good luck! Alyssa, I know you'll make a lot of friends. It will be all okay, and you'll love it. Everyone else, well, you already have friends at school haha. But have fun eating frozen custard tonight! I miss you and love you all a lot. Good luck with seminary, too, Mom!

Some random things:
Giant, the grocery store? Called Stop & Shop here. Bizarre.
For Ingrid: I saw a Swedish Shop and thought of you. I love you.
Look up my mission president on reallifeanswers.org --look up Daniel P. He narrates a few videos, and maybe then you'll understand what it's like to hear him talk :) he's super awesome. 

Sisters at the wedding

At the Boston temple

Puffy ankle

In the apartment

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