What a week! Last week I think I mentioned how I was starting to hit my stride but wasn't quite there. This week I really feel like I've hit it. I have absolutely loved being a missionary this week!
Happy News #1:
I've found the joy in missionary work. It turns out that it was there all along and that all I needed to do was stop thinking about myself.
"Forget yourself and go to work."
It works! I've never felt this kind of happy before. It's an amazing principle really. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but, somehow it works. When we focus on the needs of others we can truly find happiness and peace that is unlike anything else. This week I have just felt full- full of joy, full of love, full of confidence, full of confidence and full of peace.
I have also gained SUCH a testimony of members and missionaries working together! This week was amazing and powerful largely because we had members at almost every single one of our lessons and got some solid referrals from members. This ward is phenomenal!
Happy News #2:
Our little 11 year old investigator, Aunika, committed to a baptism date this week! (she's the one who was deciding between a baptism date and being a witch). We had an incredible lesson with her on Friday! I have had a lot but it was one of the most incredibly spiritual experience I have ever had.
Whenever we walk in their home the girls are so excited to see us and we get attacked with love and hugs and they're so excited to sow us their latest dance they've made up. This night was no different except that Aunkia had a school friend over. Her friend was so excited to meet us! She said "Oh! You're HER missionaries!! She's told me all about you!".
That night we taught about the Plan of Salvation. I got to testify to my sweet little Aunika that she was a princess and that God loves and knows her. The whole lesson was so beautiful. It was truly one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed to see these innocent little girls leaning forward, hanging onto every word. Light just poured into their eyes. Their countenances completely changed as we talked of their divine destiny and how they can live with their families forever. They recognized truth. They remembered.
Happy News #3:
We talked to Aunika about how many blessing come with baptism and how Heavenly Father loves her and wants her to be happy. Ever since then she has been just beaming with excitement. It was such a beautiful experience and we were blessed to teach so powerfully. I know that HF loves those little girls and that we were merely vessels for his love. I love knowing that we will always be "HER missionaries". What a beautiful gift.
What's even more amazing about the story is that we finally met her very Anti-Mormon-witchcraft-doing Mom (we've been teaching at her dad's) and she loved us! She asked us to come by anytime we need something, requested that we start teaching lessons at her house also and told us she wants to come to church. Holy MIRACLE.
Happy News #4:
In other great news, we have been listening to Rob Gardner's "Lamb of God" literally on repeat all week long. It's so beautiful and teaches of the Atonement so incredibly. We've had several moments where we'll be driving somewhere and have to take a couple minutes to stop weeping and compose ourselves before talking to people. It's great. We also love singing along to the songs we sang together in LDV. I don't even know what I did to deserve having Sister Hunter as my companion. We just get each other. Also (this is not even an exaggeration) we match or coordinate every single day without realizing it. Everyone gets us confused because we have like exactly the same style. It's almost a daily occurrence for someone to ask us if we are REAL sisters. It's adorable.
Apologies for another long email. BUT here's the big finish for those of you still reading .
Happy News #5:
I GOT MY VISA!!!
It's supposed to be happy news but I'm mostly really sad. I deeply love so, so many people here and it's going to be really, really hard to leave! I honestly never felt like this day would come.Thankfully, I have almost 2 weeks before I get shipped off and I leave the morning after our big fireside. So many little miracles. I think it's so funny and typical of life in general that the very week, almost to the day, that I started feeling really comfortable and confident, I find out I'm being sent to another continent where I will barley be able to communicate with anyone. I'm going to miss these dog-obsessed, Obama-loving, Coloradoans and their huge skies and manicured lawns!
"Nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted" and I know that I'm going to adore Brazil.
I love you all so much!
Thank you for the prayers and letters and packages (Shout out to the Hickens! Loves!!)
from beautiful Aurora, Colorado