Monday, November 19, 2012

Hello from Ibiporã!

Happy Belated Birthday to Hannah!! I can´t believe she is 1 year old!!!

This is a beautiful city and its been great so far! We have a branch here in our city.  Sister Gomes and I live with Sister Marques (from Riviera) and Sister Gee (from the CTM).  So it´s been really good to see these sisters again.  Us four cover the whole city and a little outlying area.  So our area is huge and we´ve only seen a little bit of it.  I don´t know exactly what the population is, but it appears bigger by far than Fairbanks.  The work is slower here.  It's been a branch for the last 18 years, so we´re excited to help this area grow.

I didn´t realize I missed seeing `wilderness´so much, but its been great to see forests and hills in the distance.  This area (I'm learning its not just areas, but Brazil in general) has lots of hills.  I heard there´s an area with Elders where the hills are so steep their ties are touching the ground as they walk uphill....

It´s weird seeing Christmas trees and decorations for sale here when its been 99-100 degrees this week.  I´m not quite sure if it will sink in for me.  But we had our first Christmas invitation from a family very special.  We found this family by knocking on doors (actually they were the first ones that invited us in).  They are amazing, they have a son who has a mental disability and three daughters who are triplets.  We discovered the secret in how to tell Evelin, Emily, and Ebony apart - and they´re great.

This week we studied a talk by Neal A. Maxwell about the Atonement that was really good.  The part I liked a lot from his talk, was about how sometimes we react better for the problems in our life that are big, but for the problems that are small and inconsistent we forget to have patience.  He gave examples, of how with a big trial sometimes we remember to try and have patience and learn something, but we can be short tempered with a spouse or family member.  He talked about how we talk about needing all of the saving ordinances of the Gospel, but we forget to develop all of the Christ-like attributes that are essential too.  It was a really good talk.  I love having a talk about the atonement each week to study. It´s such a basic part of our Gospel that we need to study. The fact that our Savior suffered and died for us. Because of this we can become better people and return to live with him someday.

I can´t believe Thanksgiving is this week. Since Sister Gee and I are both here, we might make a little dinner, but I don´t know if we´ll have time to make much...  So we´ll see what happens.
But in the Spirit of Thanksgiving.. I am so thankful for my Family. For the love, support, and prayers that they do for me, my companions, and for this work.  I know that we are inviting people to know the true, restored Gospel of Christ. I love each and everyone of my family.  I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve here.  I know its a privledge and an opportunity more special then I thought could happen.  I am so grateful for this Gospel and the blessings I have because of it.  My eternal family.  I am grateful for so many parts of the Gospel.  But first, I am grateful to know that my Heavenly Father loves me and knows me by name.  And second, I am grateful for Jesus Christ, my Savior, who suffered for me.

I love you all and hope you have a great week and happy Thanksgiving!

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