Monday, April 7, 2014

Playing catch up!

Since I, Heather, was a bum and didn't post two weeks of letters from Bri, here they are!  It's so funny to see her English suffering the longer she is speaking Portuguese!  I know she'd hate it if I said anything, so I don't dare, but it just shows me that she's doing really well with her Portuguese!

March 24, 2014

Hey Mãe! Sister Silva is wonderful. She reminds me a lot of Janet Shirts, to tell you the truth. And being with her is one of the biggest blessings yet here in the mission. Being her companion and in the same house as Sister Araújo and Sister Taylane is what´s helping me be myself more. I was enjoying the mission before and the people, but I wasn´t exactly myself during these past few months in the field. Sister Silva has a way of helping me stay relaxed and not worry about nothing though. And at the same time, we work hard. I´m learning to work hard and enjoy doing it even more! The ward here is nothing like Gragerú. The members are kind, but I don´t think anything will ever be like Gragerú 1. They were so incredible and familiar! The youth are cool though. They´re a wee bit on the rebellious side but talk with everyone about the church which is neat and gets us quality references. We´re about 40 minutes from the coast and I don´t think we´ll be visiting it any time soon. The bus ride is pretty crazy. But I think next week we´ll be visiting downtown Maceió... stay tuned ;).
Cam too said that Noelle gave an incredible talk. Wish I could have been there to be proud with you guys! Glad to hear that Steven´s still the stud he was when I left... maybe even a bit more than before. And David--gotta love him :). And I´m so proud of Cambrie. Through her e-mails and yours, she sounds like she´s growing up so fast but in such a good way. Her spirituality and maturity amaze me. I hope Dad feels better! I´m with a little cold too. Don´t know if it´s allergies or what but it´s nothing too big. And I´ve already written Grand Dad and will write Uncle Dan. I´m still trying to catch up on letters from January haha. What makes it a bit more tough too is that we don´t have a post office in our area and the post offices here in Brasil are on strike. But we´ll see what happens. Happy Birthday to Bradley and Britt!!! Hope they enjoyed their special days and are livin´ the good life.

As for me and this week, it was good! I´ve kind of come to a blank on experiences we had this week... one day, we found a strange fruit growing on a tree that is like an oval, dark brown coconut. So we carried this fruit around and used it as a conversation starter to make contacts and meet knew people to teach. It worked pretty well! This week we also met up with all the missionaries in our zone in one area and proselyted there. It was so neat to see missionaries leading strangers on tours inside the church and talking with everyone in the streets, inviting them to visit the open house we were having. On Wednesday, we also went on splits with our sister trainers. I stayed in the area, partially-lost, with Sister Smith who reminds me so much of TeAnn... how´s TeAnn by the way? Been thinking of her! We taught a great lesson to our recent convert and dear friend, Aparecida. She has such a sweet spirit and inspires me with her desire to learn as much possible about the gospel. We´re also teaching a theologist who is luckily open to what we have to say. We just need to get him to pray about the gospel and the church and make a visit! And that´s about all I have for this week. I´m so grateful for this gospel and this work! I know that this is a work of God! I love you and hope you have a beautiful week!
Com amor,
Sister Ball

March 31, 2014
April Fools!

That title has nothing to do with this e-mail. I just decided that I needed to acknowledge the fact that April Fool´s is tomorrow, yet I still have nothing in mind. At least I have 24 hours :). This week was very productive. Dad, I completely agree with what you said and what you said about faith and miracles happening every day has been my motto for the past few weeks... just in Sister Ball´s words. Miracles really are happening all around us. We just need to open our eyes, exercise our faith and look. And that´s exactly what we did this week. We decided that with every single person we talked to, we wouldn´t leave their presence until we successfully shared a gospel principle and felt the Spirit. From this, the results were great. We gained the beginning of a new teaching pool and met some incredible people. This week I also was reminded that when an appointment falls through, the Lord always places someone in our path. When we tried to visit a woman who´s never home, we ran into her neighbor across the pathway who was sincerely interested in what we had to share. She recognized the Spirit that was present as we shared a message of the restauration. When we were visiting an investigator who ended up not progressing, her daughter just ended up being there. We later visited the daughter in her own home where she was there along with her sister. And they accepted to hear a message and were at church this last Sunday! And when we were visiting another investigator who we ended up having to abandon (she wasn´t progressing at all), her sister-in-law walked in and accepted our visit for another day. We went there a few days later and she and her children accepted to pray to know the truthfulness of the restoration and baptism! The Lord is always placing miracles in our path. Some other neat things from this week: our recem-converso, Aparecida, is such a faithful woman. She soaks up everything and reads everything we give her. She´s a living example of what the gospel can do for a person--the blessings and joy that it brings. Yesterday, we had a lesson with some Lamanites. We visited two natives who´s family still lives in their tribe. They are some really neat people! The other night, we also got to come across a procession of Catholics who were lighting candles and worshipping in the streets in honor of Easter, I´m assuming. And this week, Sister Silva and I decided to start working out with all those wonderful exercises from cross country. It feels great! So this week was wonderful. I hope all is well back home. I love you and pray for you always! Hurrah for Israel!

Com amor,
Sister Ball

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