It was so good to hear from you all. Oh, thank you for the letters...they carried me through the week. I can't BELIEVE the amazing support I've received. Oh dad, I miss poetry. Keep it coming:) I know as well that the Lord qualifies who He calls....keep me updated with Helaman's Camp and I surely miss you. Mom, oh goodness, I love you. I've been realizing how much I want to be like you when I grow up. You are the most selfless person I know and I am eternally grateful for your support and thoughts! Please keep making yummy treats and watching girly movies:):) BRIT! BEN! TAYLOR! How are my babies?! I love you all SO much out here, thank you for telling me everything!!
WOW WHAT A WEEK!! I'll be honest, the first few days I wanted to run away and hide in the temple for the rest of my life. But after a lot of prayers and a lot of the Lord directing me, I realized something that I think probably is very important. This mission has absolutely nothing to do with me. From the things I say to the things I want to the things I hate; why, it doesn't matter!! I've never been asked to lose myself like this, and it is a bit of a scary thing! But I gained a strong conviction this week that perhaps the Lord finds us when we lose ourselves in His service. So, I am currently in the process of getting absolutely lost:) I realized that I needed to do this one night and decided to say a prayer to find people to serve. The next day 2 people in my district fell apart and I was able to build them up. It's an eternal principle that when something is hard, do something for someone else. MOM AND DAD! You're the best ever at that:)
Portuguese. Let me tell you, the gift of tongues is a real thing! I went in the day after arriving at the MTC to teach my first lesson in Portuguese, knowing absolutely nothing. My companion and I started to teach and suddenly I had asked her a question and we were off of the lesson plan. I ended up bearing my testimony in Portuguese, and the Spirit and love for the person I was teaching entered the room. What miracles are here! I left the room not exactly sure what I had said. Portuguese will be hard, I have no doubt! But I think that if I do absolutely everything that I can to first and foremost learn the language of the Spirit, the Lord will let me say whatever it is I need to say to bring His Spirit. It has little to do with words anyhow:) I do love the language. Some of my favorite parts of the day are in our classroom where we just get talked to in portuguese because I love to learn! I've been so grateful for the work ethic I learned in school. Otherwise I think I would be overwhelmed times one trillion. I can't sleep at night because I'm conjugating Portuguese words, and trying to form lessons in Portuguese. I have not had a problem trusting that the Lord will help me with that if I do everything I can to be close to Him:) I can pray and teach in Pourtuguese at this point. When my companion doesn't know what to say, she says an English word with a Portuguese accent. I lose it every time.
I do love my companion! Her name is Sister H. and she is simply a doll. We do fun activities together, such as study the scriptures:) She is down to earth and easy to communicate with, and not happy in the mornings. (The Lord knows what I can't handle...) The other Sisters in my district are WONDERFUL! We like to do Abs together at night. The other night I whipped out about 50 pushups and Sister B. looks at me in awe and says, "Sister Brooks, you are just a STRONG HUMAN!" I've never received that compliment. She is the queen of saying quirky things, and I do adore her:)
My knees are callussed from prayer. There is not enough time, ever ever ever, to talk to God. On the bathroom floor was a personal favorite place of mine this week to pray. It's amazing how quickly you realize "OH MY GOSH I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT ANYTHING AND LORD, I NEED YOU!!!" A mission will WA-BAM, bring you to your knees in absolute humility. It is just a very crazy thing, this mission deal. I have learned so much!!
I read the Book of Mormon for about 2 hours a day. No other book is as beautiful as that book. I love it with all my heart.
Easter is in a few days and a General Authority is coming, maybs the Prophet. Uh, am I singing in the choir in Easter?! You bet your little booty!
The food here has a lot of fiber. Or something. Interpret as you may.
The Sisters here and I take turns deciding whose turn it is to break down. Someone calls the day and then that Sister cries all day, and the rest of us try to help her. It's a rotation sort-of thing. We're thinking about making a chart.
I miss my family, oh I miss my family. If I didn't believe that God loves all His children so very much and He needs me to help them, I could never leave! I believe in a Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Ultimos Dias with my whole little heart! I know Heavely Father listens to our prayers. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!! I cry about 15 times a day about it:) But it's a very homesick/happy sort of cry:) BE HAPPY FOR ME!!! I pray for you all every prayer, Portuguese and English. It's always the first thing I pray for...each of you one by one.
Oh, all my love:)