I haven't gotten any terrible news from anyone, so i assume everything is fine with all of you! I realized that it's been a little while since I've sent another big letter, so prepare yourself because here it comes!!!!!!!
Let's see... so incredibly much has happened from the last time I wrote, but my head is going crazy and I can't remember when anything happens, so this is in so specific order! A little bit after the transfer, Presidente called Elder Venâncio and I into his office to talk with us. He explained that he would be doing an emergency transfer and that he was going to put an Elder with us for a while... I'm not gonna lie... we didn't enjoy this idea very much! Usually when this happens it's because someone is going home and we immediately got sad and worried. We spent that night conversing about what might have happened and how we could help the Elder, but neither of us knew him very well. We got the Elder the next day and he was normal! He was acting normal as if it was just another area with another companion. I learned a lot that week. About the atonement, about this Elder (even some things that I really didn't want to ever know..), but also a lot about myself. I won't go into any details, but the Elder went home 4 days later. I learned some very valuable lessons that I hope to carry with me throughout my life. I learned how important it is to feel grief and sorrow and sometimes even humility for the things that we do wrong. It is through these feelings that we know the Spirit has left us because of something we, not He, has done wrong. It is through these feelings that we grow. It is when these feelings leave us that we can start to feel the Spirit of the Lord fall upon us again. If we never feel these things, we never had the Spirit in the first place...
So after that experience I felt more mature and now I'm even a little more informed on how the church works and how every consequence is for our own good. I'm so grateful for that. I know that I already told dad this, but I think one of the best feelings here on the mission is when you see people you baptize progress and keep firm in the faith. You watch them as their Spirit grows and gets strengthened. It is an absolute blessing to be here and for me to be able to witness and be a part of the things I'm seeing happen in the world. My faith gets strengthened every day that miracles are real and all we need to do is open our eyes if we want to see them.
I learned something the other day that I had never really thought about before. We, as members of the Church, all know that we have free agency and that it is the only thing that is really ours. Our Heavenly Father has this earth and everything on it, but we have our free agency. That is something He gave us that no one can take from us without our will, right? So with this law being that Heavenly Father cannot make us do things, but rather has to wait for us to choose the right, the same applies for blessings. WE have to choose the right. We have to know what's right. But also, we have to ask for the blessings that we need. We need to ask so that Heavenly Father knows that we are inviting Him to step in and help us out a little bit. The same principle that applies when we are looking for an answer for if something is true or not. We always have to ask. I use the following example a lot here:
You go into a supermarket to buy 3 things: bread, ice cream, and flour. You look for about 10 minutes but realize that in this huge supermarket you're never going to find it by yourself. You decide that you need help. So you find someone who works at the store and start to talk to them. You say, "I came here for 3 things, where are they?" But this will not help at all. You will be in the same spot that you were when you walked into the store. The worker will need to know what 3 things you are looking for before he can help you. The same applies with the principle of prayer and asking for answers/blessings. We need to ask specifically for the things that we are in need of, or else we run the risk of not allowing our Heavenly Father to give us the blessings that He is so willing and ready to give. There are many ways to branch this parable out into other sections of the gospel, but I'll leave it at that for now. :)
So just remember that lesson for this week and know that if we really are in need, and we ask specifically, He will not leave us alone. There is always a way to accomplish the things which He commandeth us.
This past P-Day (Saturday for me) was pretty cool! We were walking around trying to think of where would have the coolest stuff for the cheapest price, and we ran into Fernando Leite! He is a buddy of mine from my 2nd area (Torreão)! He started talking to us and asked if we had eaten yet. I didn't want to lie, so I told him we were going to go eat right then. He replyed saying Oh good! That means I can pay for you! I miss you eating at our house, so I'll give you lunch right now! We were right by the mall, so he took us to the food court and bought us lunch! I really miss him and his family a lot. They are such wonderful people with such good standards! We talked a ton that day about missions, life, after the mission, and everything in between. It was really nice to see him again and I'm greatful for the hand of the Lord in my life. It seems as if He always puts people there right when i need them.