first things first - -
SARA WHITACRE YOU ARE KILLING ME OVER HERE with all of your beauty in your wedding dress/engagement photos!!! i may never forgive you for doing all this without me there....(; jokes. So happy for you two! and still waiting on a wedding invite so i can show you off to all my brazillian friends! (;
RUTH ASTRID DOWLING. i am dying over here with the cute vids you sent me of dustin because THE SOUND IN THIS LAN HAUS DOES NOT WORK and its the only one i´ve got in this city! SEND ME WHAT HE IS SAYING ASAP. im dying. lol!
and of course...
HAPPY STINKIN BITHDAY SISTER HIRZ + MISS MICAELA ANDERSON! i love you both too much that i have no words to express...!! mostly because i am already out of time from the time i spent looking at the photos everyone sent me this week lol. FORGIVE ME. but i love you both!!! happy day! (:
OKAY. yes. this morning i was washing our lettuce we bought at the store for salad for lunch with all us 6 sisters i live with (yes, SIX SISTERS. its a festa!). and as i was washing the leaves of lettuce...i just about THROW UP because theres obviously all kinds of dirt and things in the lettuce (normal...its organic! just about as natural as it gets here in brazil, lol!)...but when i find a dead baby SCORPION....yeah that´s about it for my appetite. hahaha. ah man. the stories i´ll have to tell my grandkids one day about serving a mission in brazil. here´s one of them.
a good hour-long bath in agua sanitária + water later...i finally felt okay eating the lettuce anyway. and it was delish. daddy I was thinking of you always washing your lettuce each night before work for your salads...i sure hope you never find a scorpion in yours! (; hahaha.
okay! So this week was wonderful! I am in Carmelo 2 which is actually in Camaragibe. We live with 6 sisters total - the other 4 Sisters all work in the Camaragibe ward (the same church building as us). One american (me!), 2 brasillians (my companion is from minas gerais and the other sister is also training and shes from são paulo), and three hispanics (one from CHILE!!! (: one from honduras and i think the other is from venezuela). its a party everyday and i love them all! its so neat that we are all from SUCH different parts of the world, which such different habits and life stories and families....but the gospel is the same and we´re all here for the same reason - because we love and want to serve as representatives of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I love that. (:
Carmelo 2 is FULLLLLLLLLLL of hills and i didnt take any photos this week because since it was an elders area before....i wanted to make sure it was an area safe to take photos first, haha. But it is GORGEOUS, just you wait! we just about die every day walking up and down these MONSTER hills and stair cases (that NEVER ever ever ever ever ever...EVER end) and its great!....as a leg workout. haha. (;
The work is great too! the ward is AWESOME and so so crazy involved in missionary work its not even funny. I feel really blessed to be here. Since the day we showed up, we have been SHOWERED with love and excitement and enthusiasm. They have apparently been DYING to have sister missionaries in their ward (its been over 20 years at least since they´ve had them) and so they´re just crazy happy. it´s a nice surprise! (: we have members asking US when they can go out and be part of lessons with us - - fancy that! I´m loving it here! (:
As for my companion - SISTER POLYANE RODRIGUES LIMA is from MINAS GERAIS (Brasillian! my 4th brasillian comp in a row! so so lucky :), she´s from Sete Lagoas (7 lakes)...and she says there aren´t 7 lakes there...there´s 13. haha. (: Everyone just about died laughing at training meeeting when President paired us up with our new companions - - we are the two shortest Sister missionaries in the entire mission. so we hugged and everyone burst out laughing because we fit just perfectly together. haha! it´s adorable (: She comes from a really strong LDS family (her daddy´s stake president right now), with parents active in the church, and an older sister (recently married, active) + a younger brother (putting in his mission papers in JANUARY!!! :). she loves to eat....eek! and cook....double eek! and RUN...WAHOOOOOO! (: (: (: so we get along well, to say the least. (: she´s an INCREDIBLE missionary, i keep saying i feel like she was sent here pre-trained, haha. we´ve been seeing miracles already this week and are loving exploring our area and working with everyone here!! (:
really neat experiences this week - -
we´re helping a less active family come back to church so they can get prepared to be sealed together for time + all eternity in the temple - adriana + elias (with their son, schweinsteiger. LOL named after a german soccer player...its a funny story haha). we had a HUGE FHE at their house, by surprise, with another less active family that lives next door (elias´s brothers (also inactive) family) and the old bishop (active...obviously haha) + his family. they all have kids the same age and it was an incredible lesson about the importance of having our family together in the gospel and how the fathers need to be the example for their children so they can be a forever family. the spirit was so strong and most of us were in tears as we went around and one by one shared our testimony/thoughts/feelings about the importance of our families and the gospel. elias (less active for a good while now) got emotional sharing his conversion story and talking about how he knows the gospel is true...and how he knows he wants to come back and help his son schweinsteiger serve a mission in germany some day. it was so cute!! (: his brother got emotional too....he´s had a really rocky life in + out of the gospel...and his situation is a bit more complicated. but he got really emotional too, saying he knows he needs to come back, that its going to be difficult...but that there´s nothing more important. that he knows he wants to be with his family forever and he needs to work towards making things right in his life again so that that´s possible. the lesson ended with us inviting them both to come to church the next day (sunday) and the best part? the brother´s 5-year-old son, daniel, looking at his dad and saying ´´daddy, come to chuch tomorrow. come to church with me and mommy!´´. ah. i love little children. they are so so close to the spirit and they so know how to help their families.
daniel´s daddy hasn´t come back to church yet, but we made the goal for him to come back for general conference - - just two weeks away!! and he accepted (:
and - - elias was at church with his wife + german child yesterday!!!! with huge smiles on their faces and happiness all around. sigh. i love this gospel and how it brings out the best in all of us. it really changes us...if we let it.
and thats my last little thought to share with you all today. i was reading in my personal study this morning in jacob 5, especially Jacob 5 verse 74.
And thus they labored, with all diligence, according to the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard, even until the bad had been cast away out of the vineyard, and the Lord had preserved unto himself that the trees had become again the natural fruit; and they became like unto one body; and the fruits were equal; and the Lord of the vineyard had preserved unto himself the natural fruit, which was most precious unto him from the beginning.
i treated it as though it was talking about our own lives. how these are the last days, and like elias + his brother, we ALL have a little bit of ´´bad´´ in us...when we sin, when we aren´t being totally obedient or doing what the Lord commands of us. but our purpose here on earth is to work with all dilligence to be obedient to what the Lord has commanded us...until we become ´´like unto one body´´ - - or in other words, become as our perfect example, become CHRISTLIKE. this is why we´re here on earth. this is what is most precious to our Heavenly Father. that we become like His son, clean again so we can return to His presence one day, after this life.
ah! i love the gospel. (: it is so so SO true, i can´t even handle it. study the gospel. search + study the scriptures. they are SO so true and so totally written for us + our day!
love you so much! thank you for all your prayers! and sorry again...no personal emails this week ): first thing next week, promise! (: have an awesome week!
Sister Kron (: