March 10, 2015
Here in Irajá it blows my mind how filthy rich the members are. Everyone lives in these huge gated neighborhoods in grand mansions and then the other half of the ward lives in poverty pretty much.
We always have a lot more success as missionaries with the people who have little or nothing wordly wise but are rich in spirit. Just this last week we found about a dozen new people to teach! It's hard to get baptisms in this area though because in order to be baptized the people have to be actively going to church and everyone works really hard just to live, and don't make time on Sundays to go to church. BUT we had a miracle this week as we called for members to pick up investigators. Only one, Vera, showed up but she loved it! What's really special as a missionary is when you see people you've grown to love progressing spiritually. Its almost like you can literally see the spiritual growth in a person as they take all the lessons and share their testimonies not only with you but with their family and neighbors and all the stray dogs and the bus drivers... :) That's the best part of being a missionary: the people. People are so wonderful and different and special and valued by our Father in Heaven. As we teach people who have little to nothing in worldly possessions and people who are wealthy beyond belief, we still get to come to know beloved sons and daughters of God who are willing to humble themselves to repentance. More than a few times this week I felt prompted to share Words of Mormon 1:7, that says that only the Lord knows all that will happen and the necessity to put our faith in our Father and in our Savior and then to ACT on that faith!
I'm really happy with my new companion Sister Andersen and we have a lot of fun introducing ourselves to people here and explaining that we are not sisters nor in any way related! hahaha
Missions are hard but for all the hard times we see daily miracles and we still get to laugh and enjoy the everyday little beauties that the Lord constantly blesses us with!
Food for our 1st district meeting here in Ribeirão Preto!! Sister Soares
Ward baptism :)
This cool Greek looking house in the middle of normal houses haha