**Some of Bri's letters are a bit choppy thanks to me editing out certain parts that are meant for my eyes only, or would just be plain boring for you all to read because she answers my hundreds of mom questions! **
Christmas gifts from Sis. Barker's dad!
Being missionaries in the Best Mission Ever!
At the CTM
At the CTM
The Sergipe River
With Sis. de Souza at the CTM
My health is great! Tell the Meyers ladies congrats for me! Nossa! The lessons are going well. There are still times when I don´t understand everything our investigators say, but I´m able to teach and the Spirit is always there for them if nothing else. My conversation is doing well too. I have so much to improve and sometimes, it´s still frustrating, but I´ve realized how much better I´m doing compared to when I first got here. Sister Custódio´s english is great! We study every day and hopefully she´ll be able to remember everything once we part ways :).
This week went really well! Well, there was one downfall--Sister Custódio was pretty sick the entire week, but somehow we managed to meet all our goals and had really good experiences. For our training, I played the role of senior companion, teaching all the lessons (Sister Custódio said she would only testify), being in charge of planning, making phone calls... at first, it was a bit intimidating, but it went really well! The best part... we had a baptism!!! This week, we baptized V. We met him a couple weeks ago and he was really interesting. He accepted to be baptized but I don´t think he expected us to actually follow through. But between then and now, we saw him progress more and more. He became more open and sincerely interested in our discussions. He began asking genuine questions and listening for the answer. And when Saturday came around and we met up with him at the church for his baptism, he was glowing and so excited! The spirit during his baptism was so special and it was great seeing another wonderful person take the first step towards their salvation!
Earlier in the week, we also had interviews with Presidente Gonzaga. It was so good getting to spend time with him and Sister Gonzaga. I´m going to really miss them when they end their mission later this year... they showed us a picture of our new president and his wife--soon-to-be Presidente e Sister Gomes. They look really nice! The morning of our interviews, Sister Custódio and I met up with Presidente and Sister at the chapel to open it for them and help them get organized. As Presidente was trying to unlock the building, he removed the key from the lock and simply stated, "Quebrou." "It broke." We all laughed, not knowing what to do! So Sister Custódio and I were sent off on a quest to find someone who could help us. We ran to the nearest locksmith we could find and had success with the second one we found. He followed us back to the church and 60 reais and half an hour later, the building was opened. Our interviews went really well and it was fun getting to bond with Sister Gonzaga while waiting and then with Presidente during the interview. We had lots of laughs! Presidente said that he could tell I was sincerely happy which meant that I was also obedient and doing my part as a missionary. Woohoo! The best part is, I really am happy here. Being a missionary is such a blessing! Another great part about our interviews was... we got letters! I was so happy to see letters from the Geddes´, the Priebes, Howards, Thompsons, Kelly family, Nana and Pops, Nana and Pops Smidt, KateLyn!, Sister Ropke, Sister Conceição, Grand Dad and the family. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Once again, I can´t tell you the magic that comes with receiving letters as a missionaries. It´s so great!
So that was pretty much my week. Sister Custódio and I worked hard at finding new people to teach and had some success. We´re excited to re-visit some new investigators this week and are hoping for more baptisms this Saturday. I know we´ll have some! On Wednesday, we also had a zone meeting where we had a great mini lesson about the Brother of Jared and his faith. Our zone leaders talked about how with each stone that the Lord touched, the Brother´s of Jared faith grew stronger and stronger. In order for the Lord to give light to the next stone, his faith HAD to be stronger. They compared this to our baptisms and I can really feel my faith increasing as the Lord touches the hearts of our investigators one by one--as we have baptisms one by one. My faith here in the mission has increased so much! And I still have so much more to gain which I look forward too! Thank you for your continuous love and support. As always, I´m praying for you! Have a beautiful week!