Well, I miss the MTC!! Of course, that was expected... but why does change have to be so hard?? It is really weird to not be teaching and praying in Portuguese! I am still staying by personal prayers in Portuguese but I always want to plan in Portuguese and am a little sad when I have to switch to English. At first I almost felt like I didn't know how to teach these things in English and it made me laugh... but no need to worry, I am spiritual in two languages :) haha. Virginia is good! I'm in Virginia Beach and about 10 minutes from the coast! This morning we went to watch the sunrise on the beach and that was so sweet!! It's still warm and humid luckily so that's good! I am in a trio and my trainer was my freshman mentor at BYU so that was super weird at first... especially since I never met with my mentor haha. We are serving in the Tidewater YSA branch and it is really interesting. There used to only be 20 active members a couple months ago but since the sisters moved it the number has gone up to about 60! The hard part is that we have to give any family investigators to the family ward missionaries so we are mostly working with inactives. My companions names are Sister Jasperson and Sister Gale. We have a really nice apartment but I've never been so poor in my life!! I own ritz, peanut butter, 1/2 gallon of milk, a box of granola, 2 apples and 2 boxes of mac n' cheese... yum. The stress, raveling and no food or sleep made me really sick when we first got here but luckily I've had enough experience, I knew what to and not to do. and two of the Brazil Elders (from sister Lewis's district) that I traveled over here with gave me a blessing which was super awesome.
On Friday we walked over to the Zone leaders apartment (they're in the same complex as us) to get medicine and on our way back a young mom stopped us to ask if we belonged to a church. She had ehr mom and 2 little boys with her but she just kept asking us questions and we taught her the restoration right there! It was so great. She was so excited to know that we can recieve personal revelation and talk to God on our own. She said she has seen the missionaries around the complex a lot and was happy to have us walk by while they were outside. it was such a testament to me that God prepares people to hear the gospel and situations so that those people who are seeking might be able to find it! her name was Catalina and we gave her number to the family ward missionaries so I look forward to hearing more! One of our investigators, Scott, came to all 5 sessions of conference! He even read previous conference talks and took notes. He is a friend of the Relief Society president in the YSA branch and is so awesome. We have our first lesson with him on Thursday. Isiah and Stephanie are brother and sister and they have been meeting with the missionaries for a little while. Stephanie is 19 and is living with her boyfriend. She had a baptismal date but then because of childhood experiences isn't so willing to move out because of the protection and love that she feels she has in her relationship. From what I know, the relationship isn't so healthy and her boyfriend doesn't like her taking the discussions so we are praying that she will be able to recognize the strength and comfort God gives us when we follow what he has asked us to do. Isiah is 16 and is so awesome but is afraid to tell his parents that he wants to get baptized. He has such a strong testimony and comes up with such profound thoughts but his dad doesn't approve of his kids meeting with us. So we are also praying that their fathers heart will be softened and that Isiah and Stephanie will have courage!
I didn't realize how anxious I would be to get to Brazil when I got here. I know I am supposed to be here now (if for no other reason that to get healthy!) but I feel like I'm in limbo, not knowing how long I will be here. I am so humbled by all of the missionaries who are doing so well with their reassignments! I started to recognize some of my anxious tendencies were coming out and that made me really nervous the first few days but just in time... General Conference was JUST what I needed!! President Monson's talk spoke directly to me! I loved when he said "We often forget that the Heavenly virtue of patience is required." I felt so much better after listening to the talks and I have been praying and studying patience so that I will be able to work through my reassignment with patience and take advantage of every moment I am here. On the front of one of my journals it says "Everything we are learning now is preparing us for something greater" and how true is that! I know that God needs me here to prepare me for Brazil and for what is to come.
I have a testimony that God knows what He is doing! I know that we hve trials so we will grow and learn to realy more on God. I'm so thankful for the atonement of our Savior and that I can strive to overcome my weaknesses and become a better person each day! I love you all and am so thankful for you! Praying for you :)
com muito amor,
Sister Brittany Westover
4813 Crystalline Place
Virginia Beach, VA
With Sister Sara Carlile before leaving MTC
With Sister Hardester