Oi from Brasil!!
I hope you are all doing well! Thank you for all of the sweet emails! I read everyone one of them and I will try to respond to as many of them as possible. I am going to try to get better at this whole read all these emails and then write back what happened your entire week in 45 minutes... I will try my best and hopefully I will get better at it as the weeks go by. If you ever have any questions about anything in particular, feel free to ask! I get lost in everything that happens in the week, but I am happy to answer any questions.
So last Friday and today I got to go to the temple which was amazing! I didn't write much about it last week, so I thought I would share more thoughts today. It is absolutely beautiful inside and out (of course- it's a temple). It looks so different from our little Palmyra Temple, but there Spirit here in Sao Paulo is the same. Everyone is so nice and there is such a peace that you can't find anywhere else. Everyone speaks in Portuguese so that's fun, but because I worked in the temple those few weeks I can remember the words, which is so nice! Last week I was really missing not being able to go to the temple because I had gone every week before I came here, and being able to go was so special. I will probably go every week that I am here, but once I get to Maceio, I probably wont be able to go the rest of my mission, but that's okay. I will enjoy it while I can.
Last Friday we also went out on the street of Sao Paulo and shopped around with my district. We went to a couple different stores and I order a leather scripture case from my Portugues triple combinations. It was only 70 realis which is about $35 and I could choose what picture and scripture I wanted on the outside, so I think it is a pretty good deal. I will make sure to take a picture of it once I get it and show it to all of you.
The weekend we did pretty much the same as always (it is funny because Sunday doesn't really feel different from any other day besides that we take the sacrament). I forget to mention last week- I did fast, but here in Brasil they fast from lunch to lunch, because lunch is their biggest meal here, and it sounds really hard, but it was way easier than fasting from dinner to dinner. I may just have to keep that tradition after I get home.
Monday was a rough day for me overall. I woke up feeling okay, but as the day went on I started feeling sick and had a headache and I took medicine which always helps, but for some reason this time it didn't. I counldn't concentrate on Portuguese or teaching. I was just physically, mentally, spiritually, exhausted so when lanche (snack) came around at 9PM Monday night it was no wonder the elders in my district asked if I was okay. I started explaining to them, but then I was like I don't want to complain to you. They were super sweet and said that was what there are here for, but I still felt bad. Then one of the elders in my district asked if I wanted a blessing, which was echoed by the other elders in my district saying they would be happy to give me one. I thought about it and decided that I wanted a blessing. So after planejar, we went to our classroom, I chose and elder to do the annointing and then I had my district leader, Elder Freeman, give me the blessing with the rest of my elders in my district standing in for he blessing. All I have to say is that the power of the priesthood is amazing. It wasn't instant, but I went to sleep and the next morning I still felt a little sick, but it didn't bother me. I could consentrate to much better on learning and my mind was so much clearer. The only blessings I have recieved in the past have been from my dad or from other priesthood holders who were close to me and knew me. It is so amazing to me that, Elder Freeman, and 18 year old who has know me less than two weeks could give me a beautiful blessing that was exactly what I needed and blessed my life so completly. The power of the priesthood is real and my testimony of the priesthood has grown so much. I am so grateful to those wonderful elders in my district who are worthy to use the priesthood power they hold and willing to use it.
After Monday, I had an amazing week. I was filled with the Spirit and although the lanuguage is not coming very fast for me, I am patient and know that Heavenly Father will help me in time- His time. I am so blessed though to have such a loving district. I would read people's emails before my mission and they talked about how they were so close to their district and I never really understood why, but now I do. I love my district! They are like my family here. We laugh together, eat together, learn together, pray together... pretty much we do everything together except the elders sleep in the elders floor and the sisters sleep on the sisters floor. I don't know if I told you about my district last week, but there is me and my companion, Sister Pew, another set of sisters, Sisters Peterson and Dalton and two sets of Elders, Elders Freeman and Bulher (E. Freeman is the DL) and Elders Johnson and Cornando. They are all so amazing and supportive. I love my district and am so glad we have 4 more week together!
I should probably finished this email up. I love you all so much!! I pray for you every day and think abou New York all the time. My companion and I were studying faith this week and working on strengthening our faith in each other, ourselves and the Lord and we read some amazing scriptures that I thought I would share with all of you. Hebrews 11 and Ether 12. They are amazing chapters and you should definately read them. One of my favorite verses is verse 25 in Hebrews and the last verse in Heb 11.
I love this gospel and am so blessed. I was watching out the window as we drove to the temple this morning and I was wondering how I was so blessed with this amazing life. I was a little diappointed when I found out I wasn't going to Europe on my mission, but not I can't imagine not coming to Brasil. I love the people- they are so happy!! I love this city and am so excited to see where this journey takes me. I know that Heavenly Father loves each on of us and knows each of us by name. If you reach out to Him, He is right there waiting for you- I can promise you that. I have felt His hand in my life and the tender mercies He blesses me with and I am so grateful for each one of them. I love this gospel wih all my heart and I love each of you.