Monday, August 19, 2013

When it "clicks"

Me and my pantry
I’m going to be very honest for a hot second here. I hated my life for the first few weeks in Brazil, and I'll admit that there have been a few pity parties I have thrown for myself. I speak like a 3 year old, I feel like a burden to my companion, I just want some warm water, and I don’t like fried food and beef on everything I eat. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but for the first two or three weeks, I really wanted to come home. I mean, not really, but kinda;) Last Tuesday I had the wonderful opportunity to run for 20 minutes and made some decisions while running in circles around my companion. I prayed very, very hard and told the Lord that today was the first day that I was going to truly unpack my bags here and give the day everything in me. I told Him that I was very sorry because let’s get real, I’ve been a little selfish, and I told Him that I love Brazil, but that I’m super lonely and I need His help a lot, a lot. I gritted my teeth and ran as hard as possible in a 10 inch radius and just made up my mind to really, really, really really serve Him. That day, my companion and I went from 2 baptismal dates to 9. We had 11 investigators at church yesterday. We have 6 baptisms this Sunday that we didn’t have a week ago.

I got to the end of the day and was so overwhelmed with the mercy and
kindness of the Lord. I tried my best to give a little bit more and I
had no doubt that day that we would see miracles, and this week was
one huge miracle. I am a psycho journal-writer, but Tuesday night I
could only write a few sentences because I was so incredibly grateful,
more than I think I ever have been in my life, for the goodness and
kindness of the Lord. He takes every opportunity we give Him to show
His love for us:) Wow, what a week.

Tonya and Luis Fernando and their family will be baptized this Sunday
if she can stop smoking. She will:) They are the MOST INCREDIBLE
family, and I love them so much. Luis Fernando got in a gang fight 2
months ago, and lost almost all of his vision. So Tonya reads the Book
of Mormon to him:) We gave their family a picture of the temple, and
I’ll never forget Luis Fernando trying to see whatever he could of it,
and asking us to describe all the details he wasn’t able to see. Tonya
hung it up on their wall the second we gave it to them:) Oh, joy!!

Every Friday our ward throws a mini little party with food and games
and lots of new people:) This week Sister Lopez and I hosted games for
the teenagers and kids. We played this game where you have to remember
the names of fruits, and I have never focused so hard in my life. It came
down to the wire with me and a 5 year old. I was at a disadvantage
because I dontt know Portuguese, and they don’t teach you fruit names
in the MTC. But I conquered and ended up winning, and I’ll be honest,
I was thrilled! It’s not every day you beat a 5 year old at a fruit
game in Portuguese you know.

I gave a full talk in church yesterday. That was an adventure!! The
language is coming, slowly slowly slowly. I got a little bit excited
yesterday because in a lesson, I suddenly realized that I understood
what was going on! This was the first time in 4 weeks!

We are planning a wedding, it is for real!! If there is one thing I
know how to do, it’s plan parties. This will be the wedding of all
weddings in Brazil:):)

I am the blonde one:)
I love Brazilian culture. I think every American should come down here and learn to chill out a little bit. I’m trying;) Everyone is just
happy to be alive and happy to talk to everyone, and everyone wants to talk my ear off about American music:) I really think this week I
started to love the work. It is hard, no doubt.  We walked 4 miles before 9 in the morning yesterday to pick up investigators for church. (It was uphill both ways in the wind and the snow.) But I can’t really sufficiently describe the feeling of when it ``clicks`` with someone
you love an incredible amount; when they realize that they have divinity in them, regardless of money or race, and when they realize that change is possible and that they can be clean every day as they try, and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I saw the Atonement change hearts this week, and I am so indescribably grateful for the eternal principle that when we help others, the Lord takes care of us.

I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. I started my talk
yesterday by saying that I may not speak well or understand the
culture, food, or people. But there is one thing that I do know, and
that one thing is big enough to overshadow the things I don’t know. I
have a testimony of this church, and I know that Jesus Christ lives.

      All my lovey lovey love!
Study time in my freezing
cold apartment

                           Sister Brooks

Making new friends wherever I go

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