What a week! I don't think I've ever spent so much time on a bus....but it's been GREAT! Right now I'm in Samambia, but after emails, we're getting on a bus to go to Parque dos Bandeiras. wahoo!
Also, I got to go back to Itanhaém which was definitely a tender mercy of the Lord. I LOVE it there! I got to see A and M again :) I cannot even describe how much I LOVE them! It's sad for me that M holds them back. A wants to get baptized so bad, but he does not want to get married. It's so dumb. But before I left I had a real meaningful conversation with M and basically told him that once he reads the Book of Mormon, he's going to feel the Spirit testify to him that it is true and he's going to WANT to get baptized, but he's going to discover that in order to get baptized you have to be living the commandments, one of which is the law of chastity and he's going to WANT to get married so that he can be baptized and become a member of God's only true church. I think it's the boldest I've ever been with him and he felt the reality of my words because he didn't make a joke about it afterwards.
Divisions have been interesting....we've been asked to evaluate how the sisters teach, the technique, and well...it could be worse, but mostly it could be a lot better.
BUT one thing that has become more real to me is the power of testifying of God's promises. We are always inviting people to repent, but hardly anybody wants to change because they know it will be hard. aka: they don't trust that God has something better waiting for them. But we as member of the Church know. We KNOW that when we live the gospel we stop eating dog food and start eating the steak dinner. But it's scary because we have to believe in something we can't see (or in other words have faith). But when we ponder our own lives and recognize the blessings that have come to us from keeping the commandments, we can testify with power and others who haven't yet experienced the sweetness of the gospel will be able to taste it through our testimony and our boldness in promissing that God will actually bless them. It's not just a fairytale and they are not the exception. The blessings and promises are real, we just have to have the faith to grab God's hand and walk with Him. We have to testify of these things because we know it's real, others may not know yet, but we do so it's our responsibility to share it.
I don't know what else to say...I love the sisters, sure they give me a bit of a headache but really they are AMAZING. Many of the Brasileiras and Hispanicos are recent converts themselves and only members of their family and I am just amazed at their faith and courage to serve. What great examples they are to me.
I love ya'll. Have a great week. Be good and make good choices. And always remember that "it's easy to forget that everyone's hurting just as much, we all have our problems, we've got our own imperfections. It's easy to remember that we're all in this together, and our Heavenly Father loves us all the same."