Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Laughing in the Rain



I have marvelous news!! This week I was asked to say a prayer in English, because people think I'm super cool when I speak English. So I started to pray and completely tripped over all my words. I was SO EXCITED! I am fluent in Portuguese prayers! No, I can't carry on a conversation about much of anything, but ask me to pray and you better believe I'll show off. 

This week some crazy man on the street passed a huge group of people waiting for the bus. My companion and I were in this group, waiting to take the bus to Centro for a district meeting. He was walking fast and saying ``Bom dia`` and ``Tudo Bem`` to absolutely everyone. He saw me and approached me nearly running, starting a conversation loud enough for everyone to hear as if we were best friends who hadn't seen each other in a year and a half. He had a lisp. I can't understand people without lisps half the time, so in this situation I was toasty toast. He was practically yelling at me, completely animated, and I was just nodding and saying ``Ohhhh, sim!`` and ``Nao acredito!!`` My companion stepped back and let me have a conversation with my new best friend for probably 10 minutes, and it was maybe the strangest thing that has ever happened to me. The good news is that now me and the man on the street are buddy buddies.  

This week every investigator we had left dropped us. Every single person with a baptismal date now wants nothing to do with us and we walked and walked and walked yesterday to get people to church and no one wanted to come. We probably taught 25 first lessons to people this week, knocking on doors and talking with everyone we saw, and everyone agrees with what we say but doesn't want to change. (This is a picture of me with a perfect family we found. Totally on board until they discovered church started at 9 AM. Really?) I prayed last night: For heavens sake, tell me what I'm doing wrong and I'll fix it!! I decided I need more faith. This is a work of faith and perserverance, and this week I'm absolutely determined that we will find people prepared:) We're also getting a new companion tomorrow to train because of transfers, and currently are trying to figure out where the little one will sleep. Every day an adventure. 

It started pouring rain yesterday and naturally I forgot my coat. There I am, waddling around, looking for anyone to teach, and suddenly every person in Brazil is busy making eggs and toast. (People here don't even eat eggs and toast, I KNOW YOU'RE LYING!) Soaking wet, no one to teach, middle of a dirt road and I just started laughing. OH MY GOSH WHAT AM I DOING?!?!?! (This picture is me very wet when somebody finally let us in.) 

We've been getting a lot of pressure to perform and our area honestly is super struggling right now. One night my companion and I sat down and she said something that has stuck with me all week: ``Sister Brooks, the Lord wants souls. Some people may want numbers, but the Lord wants souls.`` Well my goodness, yes He does!! I keep thinking of the scripture in Ether that AFTER the trial of our faith we see miracles. I'm pretty thrilled for the moment after the trial of my faith. The Lord values patience a lot. I have no patience. What a stinky opportunity to learn. 

How grateful I am for prayer. At the end of a difficult day, how grateful I am that I can kneel down and say. ``Well. I worked a lot today and have absolutely nothing to show for it. Help me feel like I'm an alright person.`` I'm learning a lot about what the Lord expects from us, and it is often a lot different from what people expect from us. 

I so wish I had exciting stories of people we found this week to tell!! WE had two baptisms this week and were informed by them yesterday that they weren't interested anymore. We talked to so many wonderful people this week and I am obsessed with them all. I think one change I want to make is really help the first lesson be focused on Jesus Christ. People always feel the Spirit when you focus on the Savior:)

I am in love with Portuguese. I LOVE IT! I WILL SPEAK IT FOREVER!!! I love to study it, because it's a technical language with many rules. It's like a really hard math problem that always has a solution, or like a complex puzzle. The interesting thing is that no one hear speaks correctly, all the rules I read so much about. 

I would tell you that you're speaking your language wrong, but I don't know how to say that. 

This week we had a conference with the mission president and his wife, and I learned so many things I want to do better. A mission is like a college of learning about your own personal weaknesses. Super awesome. But really, we watched this video of Christ coming to the Americas, and a picture popped up of Christ with this old, broken woman on His lap. They were both crying, and for crying out loud, I wanted to join in too. (I'm becoming Gus from Psych. The sympathetic cryer.) But how many times has the broken person been me? Haha how many times THIS WEEK has the broken person been me? How grateful I am that the Lord is always there with mercy and love.

We also had a women's conference with the sisters in my area. We learned the importance of putting on make-up and being a classy and elegant woman. Worst part of my mission so far, no exceptions. Except that they did feed us chocolate afterwards. 

The Lord wants souls. I'm pretty confident that there are souls here He needs, and I get to learn a little bit about patience right now:) And I get to learn about laughing in the rain, and apparently about how to put on make-up, oh heaven help me.

One thing is for certain. I love the Lord. He listens to us when we pray, and He loves us always, and what I am trying so very hard to teach people is truly the gospel of Jesus Christ. What a priviledge :)

Com amor!!!!!:)
Sister Brooks

ps. this is me at the girly conference. 

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