Well this week has been FULL of new places, people, and experiences! First of all, like I wrote in my letter, my mission presidents are so so amazing. We spent 2 days with them, learning about our mission, the rules, goals, etc. We got to eat at a huge buffet resturante which was amazinggggg. So much good food, especially desserts. Like I wrote in my hand written letter, my companion is Sister Rodriguez from Argentina and has been on the mission for 3 months. She is extremely helpful and patient with me. Her parents are separated, and sadly do not write her. (serisouly breaks my heart). But her 3 siblings write her! I dont understand enough portuguese to know why her parents dont write her, but she is a very very strong individual for sure.
Anyways, the night we arrived in Gramado, The Elders (Americans from Cali) picked us up, gave us a tour around, and drove us to our apartment! It is on the 4th floor (with no elevator ha) so we dragged all 5 of out bags up. It is small, but definatly more than enough room for us two. The Elders told us that at one point there were 5 missionaries who lived in our apartment which BLOWS my mind. wow. I am very very greatful to just live only with my companion.
Gramado is serisouly unreal. Looks like no other part of Brazil that I have seen before. It is like I have moved from Brazil to Europe over night! It is so clean, and has so many stores including 21 chocolate shops, shoe stores, clothing stores, and TONS of resturants. The decorations here are like nothing I have everseen before....im talking ginormeous bunnies in the middle of round abouts, christmas trees, statues, fountains, and Feliz Páscoa is everywhere. outstanding.
So basically Portuguese has been extremely difficult. A lot of times I feel pretty pathetic because all I do is stand there while my companion talks away. And you know me, I love to talk, so being mute really has taken a toll on me. Pretty sure i'm known as the mute sister who just smiles, nodes, but doesnt understand a single thing. But each and everyday I understand a little bit more, and I know that patience is a viture that I must aquire.
So we have 9 investigators who are interested in the church! I feel bad because my companion basically does all the talking, and I just say a few sentances here and there. We have a few baptisms marked, and I hope hope hope they follow though (fingers crossed!!)
Throughout this harder week for me, I have had to remember the WHY. Why I am here, why it is important to press on, why it is important to have faith, why I need to learn portuguese, WHY i am here on a mission. My mind deffinently wanders and doubts, but I know that I am here on a mission for a reason. I am here to bring others to the knowlege and truth of the gospel. Especially with Easter, my testimony has been strengthed immensuly of my savior. I know that repentance is a gift, and an opportunity for us to make corrections for our errors. I know that that the attonement of Jesus Crist is happiness, and that in Christ we have the capacity to do all. I rely on my Savior always, and trust in him now more than ever in my entire life. These experiences I am facing are difficult, but the lord gives us experiences so that we can learn, grow, and become humble. And even when we fail, we are blessed for trying. I know that missionary work isn't easy, because it isnt supposed to be easy. But I know that I am here because the lord kows I am strong enough, and he trusts in me.
So much to tell, but no time! I wish I could write all day to tell you guys all about my investigators, blisters, the food I eat, etc. but ahhh cant now!