Thursday, March 15, 2012

Week Twenty Three.

Hello There everyone,

Another week has passed by, can you believe it? Sometimes the days here are very long and very tiring, but the weeks always seem to fly by. This week was another hard week. With the hot sun beating down on us and having to walk to what seemed like the end of Gravatá with no water, we were just barely putting one foot in front of the other and sometimes did not find people in their houses to give anyone their scheduled lesson. Our weeks seem hard at times, but this week has been a week of miracles also.

Yesterday we were out walking trying to find a reference after lunch that was way at the end of town. We didn’t really know where we were going, and we were just talking and kept walking. We finally stopped in front of a restaurant, which by the way was way past the person we were trying to find, and realized that we had been trying to find this restaurant for the past two weeks.  We had made a contact with someone who said they lived by the restaurant. Well the addresses here, are super great sometimes, you don’t know what street is what and people just tell you “I’m just across from this place and you go a little ways down and I live on the first floor.” Well.... I’m sure you can imagine how easy it is to find houses here sometimes. So we were at the restaurant, and now all we had was the number of the house. So I happened to pick a street and we started walking. We saw that the numbers were close (and oh sometimes the numbers here jump twenty and then go back down and then repeat, which I don’t understand) and then the houses didn’t have any numbers. So we picked one of the houses that didn’t have a number, clapped our hands (you don’t ring door bells, you clap your hands loud and shout the persons name), and the lady we had made the contact with answered the door, and was very happy to see us! During the lesson she was crying, she didn’t tell us why, and we didn’t want to pry too much, so we asked if we could visit her again, she said “Of course, please!”  We then left and knew that the spirit there was with her, to testify of our message. We will see what happens... but we were led by the spirit to bring her a message in a time of need.

We also started teaching another family, a set of grandparents, a mother, father, and son. They are an amazing family! The grandpa says the funniest random things though, Everyone starts laughing when he talks. The father is recovering from a really bad surgery, and can barely walk. Just in this last week we have seen so much improvement in his ability to walk, and we all know it is a miracle. We gave them a Book of Mormon, then we returned later that week, and the father was already in Jacob! It is crazy to see how fast these people embrace the true word of God.

Another person that we visit, she is so very strong and wants to get baptized so bad, but the man she lives with doesn’t want to get married. But wow, she has such a strong testimony. When she talks and bears her testimony it strengthens mine.

Some of you have been asking me about my language... well it’s hard for me to judge, because I tend to be a perfectionist at things.  I have come to find a mission is far from perfection, you are always stumbling along learning new ways to do new things with the help of the Lord. I don’t know if I’ll ever really say that I am fluent, but... almost. As far as my understanding, it depends on who I talk to. but that goes for my Brazilian companions too (sometimes they don’t understand the accents here). For the most part I understand everything that my companions and other missionaries here say.  For the people here, I usually understand most everything. But for my speaking I can express everything and I am just talking without having to translate things in my head. Just talking, my thoughts are transitioning over to Portuguese too. My problem when I got here was that I spoke very slowly, but because I naturally speak a bit fast and I am now completely comfortable speaking people.  Sometimes they say that I speak a bit fast at times. I also think sometimes I am just excited to talk to the people and want to share my message, so I talk faster, but I do feel I am almost fluent. I of course don’t know all the words, so sometimes when people talk about food or other categories where I don’t know a lot of words I am sometimes lost. Usually when people are talking, and I don't know the word, I can usually understand the significance from the context, but I find I need to hear the word a lot more before I start using it in my own vocabulary. My companion is helping me a lot. I tell her that when ever I say something wrong correct me. So some of my conjugations where I have become lazy she helps me, and she has also has been helping me with my accent too. I want to really learn this language inside and out. The problem I sometimes have is with reading, especially reading the scriptures and writing. So we have been working on that these past weeks, and it has gotten a lot better.

But this is my life in Brazil on my mission, and even though times are hard, I live to see the miracles that happen here and the way our message changes the hearts of the people.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

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