this week was MARVELOUS. aka - I LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE! ah. best day ever ever ever when you get to hear the words of a living prophet here on the earth today! and other leaders of Jesus Christ´s true church here on the earth today - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! wahoooo! (:
I promise I´ll get to Brazillian/missionary things, but first things first I just wanna talk about conference. And I wanna hear from you guys the things that stood out most to you, too!!
You know....when you email/write me and I see it next Monday (;
okay! basically i felt like the main themes this conference were:
-be careful who you follow
-love God + love one another
-stand up for your beliefs (stay true to the faith!)
love it! conference was so great (: ah! and the work of being a missionary continues!
first things first, before i forget...
1 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANNABELLE!! I know you´re only turning one and you can´t read this and might not even remember who i am....but i hope its a crazy awesome day for you! (: here in brazil the first year (primeiro aninho) is THE BIGGEST BIRTHDAY PARTY EVER for a kid, next to the 15th birthday. oh my gosh, you guys have no idea. we´re going to one next week and i´ll take photos to prove it (: haha. LOVE YOU ANNABELLYYY YOU LITTLE CHUBSTER YOU (:
2 - GOOD LUCK ON YOUR LICENSURE EXAM SARA BESTIE WHITACRE!!!! you are going to the best stinkin social worker this world has ever seen!!! ROCK IT OUT and stop growing up so fast without me! (; love you!!!
3 - TODAY WAS TRANSFER DAY. and for the first time EVER, I AM STAYING WITH MY COMPANION MORE THAN ONE TRANSFER!!! (: (: (: (: wheeeeeee!! and here in Recife, still, too! DOUBLE awesome! Sister Louriero is going HOME at the end of this transfer. and its only 5 weeks long instead of 6 weeks (mission-wide). and her mama + sister are comin to pick her up on may 7th...so basically we only have til may 7th to DO. WORK. lol this transfer is just going to FLY RIGHT ON BY. and when its over - - not only Sister L is going home, but bff MICAE IS GOING HOME TOO. AHHHHHH. triple also - i´ll be passing my halfway (9 month!) mark! WHERE IS TIME GOING i don´t even know!
4 - I was showing my companion photos of our family and she asked for my niece + nephew´s names. When I said `dustin´ her first response was ´´dustin!? you mean like....dustin BIEBER!?´´ LOL. just about died. love language barriers!!
OKAY. so this is already the world´s longest email and i´ve hardly said anything about my week! just rest assurred that this week was the bomb.com and i am happier than happy. highlights real quick up in here:
-MARCEL CAME BACK INTO THE PICTURE. aka we haven´t seen him for like, two weeks. remember how he kinda had a blow-out with his mama? :/ yeah not so great. but....!!! JUST WAIT. (: i´ve been praying for him, even though we haven´t seen him. to stop drinking and to accept the Gospel and all that jazz. well...Tuesday rolls around and we´re visiting Irmã Leda (his mama) and who´s inside the kitchen making dinner....!? None other than Marcel! He smiles this HUGE, lovely smile at us and asks how we´re doing. Literally, tears just about came to my eyes because there was something so totally changed within him, like his spirit was just so sweet and strong. we started talking and I asked him what had changed because he seemed so different. He just looked at me and was like ´´well, i´ve been doing some reflections the past coupla days...and I realized that drinking and smoking and all that - - it´s just not worth it. I´m done experimenting and trying to see what the world has to offer. I want something more.´´
...WHAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT. #bestdayever!!! (:
the best part is yet to come though!! we keep on talking and we end up teaching him the word of wisdom (no drinking or smoking allowed) + law of chastity. after teaching we decide to make goals for him. i asked him when he thought it was realistic for him to work towards stopping smoking and drinking and he simply replied ´´tomorrow! i´ll quit for sure by tomorrow.´´
!!! holy cannoli! he´s incredible! (: he said he already stopped drinking a coupla days ago and he used to smoke 3 packs of cigarrettes in a DAY, and he told us he had only smoked 3 that day and wouldn´t smoke any more, ever. AHHH. (: (: (: (:
the spirit was so crazy strong and there were tears in all of our eyes by the end of a spur-of-the-moment testimony meeting we had in that little apartment with him, sister L + i, his mama, and his brother (Junior, recently re-activated as well). oh my goodness. Moral of the story - the Lord SO answers prayers! I have no doubt in my mind about it!! The best of the best part?? Sister L + I both felt at the same time to invite him to be baptized - and he accepted!!! (: we´ve gotta work a little more on the law of chastity (we asked him about goals for this after the word of wisdom and his response was ´´NOT TOMORROW....but i´ll pray about it and we´ll make goals next time we meet. deal?´´ (: hahaha. love him!!)
i love this Gospel. I know its true and real and really does bring miracles in our lives!! This week had lots of ups + downs, really, in between another funeral for the mother of a member of our ward, walking 7 miles in one day (the most i have in a day on my mission), giving prayers of faith and seeing blessings given by the elders that have literally HEALED people who were sick or suffering from something serious...ah. it was fabulous. and all rounded out by the best division of my life - getting permission from president to watch conference in english with a roomful of my american elders from my zone + ward. (: it was so great to get to listen to the Prophet´s VOICE and the other words of our inspired leaders. I received so so much personal revelation (and SO many answers to the questions I wrote down beforehand!!!) and I hope you all experienced the same!
to finish up with this happy missionary email sandwich, i´m gonna end with a few of my favorite quotes from conference (: wheeeee!
´´Christlike love is the greatest need on this planet´´ -Elder Holland
´´As the world slips away from the law of chastity, WE do NOT.´´ - Elder Anderson
´´God´s law = OUR standard.´´ - Elder Ballard
´´Trust that, given the opportunity, [God´s] children will choose the right plan again [Christ´s!].´´ - Elder Scott
´´Be careful who you follow.´´ - Elder Hales
´´And the prisoner shall now go free.´´ - Elder Cook - importance of temple/family history work!!!
´´Before asking for a rainbow, give thanks for the rain´´ +
´´In the Gospel of Jesus Christ there are no true endings...only everlasting beginnings!´´ - President Uchtdorf
´´Consistent + persistent follow-up´´ - Elder M. Russel Ballard (be member missionaries!!!)
+ my personal favorite (best for last!)...
´´May we ever be found doing the work of the Lord.´´ - President Thomas S. Monson, Prophet (:
I love you all so so much!!!! have an AMAZING week and remember the words of our leaders. Remember the warnings they gave, the invitations they extended, and the blessings they´ve promised. I add my testimony to theirs that I KNOW that this is the true church of Jesus Christ here on the earth today - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I KNOW that Jesus Christ lives, that He loves us, and that this is His Gospel. Eu sei que vive meu Senhor! Quão maravilhosa tudo isso é!! (:
AMO VOCÊS!! (:
and don´t forget to tell me your favorite talks/etc! i love hearing what you´ve learned, too! (:
Sister Sarah Banara Carrera Kron!