Before you all start reading Sister Ball's newest email I wanted to share a bit of another sisters email talking about the sisters first day of proselyting in Sao Paulo. The missionaries aren't allowed to take pictures when they have free time in Sao Paulo for fear of them seeming like tourists. Apparently a camera would not be the first indicator that Brianna is not a local!
"Before we left our instructor told us not to speak any English because people would look at us funny. And sure enough right when we got off the bus a very flamboyant man looks at us and yells "Hey how's it going?!" In English. So we continute to have a full conversation with him in English because he wanted to practice with us haha. He said that he knew that we were Americans because of Sister Ball (who is very tall and very blonde), he said that he saw her and knew that she was from another planet! It was so funny, our instructor was totally shaking his head but it was funny."
Ola todo mundo!
Como vai? This week has definitely strengthened my faith in multiple ways. Lots of friends left, but a lot came too and I've been able to make new friendships and strengthen my testimony of the gospel. This last Thursday, a lot of Brazilians reported to the CTM. My district and I were all sitting in class, practicing for proselyting the following Friday when all of the sudden, we heard these explosions. Of course, we all began to freak out, but then we looked out the window and saw a family setting off fireworks as they dropped their son off at the CTM. It was so cute! No idea if that was allowed, but it made us all happy, nonetheless.
One way my faith has been strengthened this week has been through my health. I've been sick for over a week now, with nothing serious at all, but just enough to bug me a little. Last week, I lost my voice for a couple of days, one of those days being our proselyting day in downtown Sao Paulo. Everyone in my district was each given two copies of The Book of Mormon to meaningfully give to people we came in contact with. Even though I couldn't speak, Sister Barker, my companion, was awesome enough to hand out all of our copies. What a miracle! The previous night, I had received a priesthood blessing from the Elders in our district and after proselyting, the one who gave the blessing, Elder Draper, brought to my remembrance that even though I couldn't talk that day, in my blessing, I was told that the people we came in contact with would be able to see and feel my love for them and the gospel. What a comfort that was to me. He also gave me a scripture to read--Alma 29, verse 1. It described how I felt perfectly!
Along with all the new Brazilians who arrived, my companion and I got new Brazilian roommates. They were Sister McKenzie and Sister Sowers, our dear friends, but now it's Sister Almeida and Sister R. Santos. They don't speak any Ingles but I love them so much! Sister Almeida and I are both on the top bunks and we pillow talk every night. Somehow, we're able to understand each other and learn so much about each other. It's going to be hard to say goodbye to them.
Today, I was also able to teach my Australian friend, Sister Cameron, what quesadillas and tacos are. Apparently the most Mexican food-thing she's ever heard of are enchiladas and burritos. Who knew?! So that was very entertaining. She leaves next week for Joao Pessoa!
Also, thank you so much Mom and Grand Dad for your letters. They made me so so happy and I also loved getting some pictures. I love you all so much and think of you often. I hope life is good up North and that the Lord is blessing your lives. I can see His hand in my life every day and I love it. I'm praying for you all and love you dearly!!