Saturday, January 4, 2014

Week 17: December 30, 2013

Hey again!

Wow! So much going on!  I forgot my camera cord again this week (oops) so no pictures but probably next week I´ll be able to send some!  Skyping home for Christmas was so so fun!!  The time just flew by way to quickly, as I knew it would, but we got back to work right afterwards and I was able to focus on the language and the people again.  The past 2 weeks have been HARD but GOOD.  Trials are just so dang hard when you are in the midst of them but then they are such a blessing when you see how much you have grown because of them!  Luckily, I have learned A LOT and know that by doing God´s will I am much happier than I would be otherwise!  This work is hard, tiring, frustrating but the blessings are worth every ounce of effort that I give.  I feel like for every little bit more I give I get ten times more.  God knows how difficult it is and He knows exactly how it is going to help me and He never fails to let me know that He is carrying me every step of the way!

I can finally understand the majority of what people are saying! woop woop!  This is like giant leaps and bounds of progress!  It is so weird sometimes how I can just turn my brain off (because translating 24/7 is exhausting) and all I hear is background noise and then when I have collected all of my energy to start paying attention again I just turn that little Portuguese switch back on and all the background noise turns into words! who would have known!?  Every day the mornings are pretty hard but then we get outside and start talking to people and it gets easier and easier and I get more excited as the day goes on.  And very excited for my head to hit the pillow at night (I think I now have record time falling asleep).  Brazil is for sure an adventure!  The culture, the food, the people, the music, the climate, the language! It sure is a lot to take in but way exciting and I`m starting to love it a little more every day :).
So Sunday morning (yesterday) I was having a really hard time and just woke up feeling slow and anxious so I prayed with all of my heart to just be able to make it through the day and be happy!  Well we walk through our little town and pick up all of our investigators for church and drop them off and then go pick up more investigators etc. When we got to church we went on splits with members to save time for picking our investigators.  I was so nervous to just be with a ward member who spoke no English and probably didn´t understand my Portuguese limits but we left and started walking around and what do you know! I understood her! MIRACLE! Mostly my responses consist of noises haha like uh huh (yes) m m (no) and lots of pointing and head shaking to get my point across haha but I could actually speak words to her and I was sooo glad!!  When we were walking back to the church there was an old man in the street and he was just like staring at me and when we got closer I just smiled and said ´´Bom Dia!´´ (everyone here talks to everyone in the rua (street))  and he got the biggest smile on his face and then just kissed the air in front of him! HA! I seriously just started cracking up!!  It was so random and funny but I felt like it was a little tender mercy to brighten my day.  We got to church and randomly President and Sister Fusco were there and just sat with our ward during sacrament meeting and afterwards President Fusco came up to me and said to tell my parents that they (the Fuscos) are very very happy to have me here and that I better tell my parents that or he would call to tell you.  It was super nice of him.  He reminded me to not stress and just enjoy the time!  Later that day we went on splits again and I just went contacting in the street with a Member who served her mission in Argentina.  It was so fun!  The people are all so sweet!
I don´t really even know what to say because it is all so different but every day gets a little better and I am happy!  We are working hard hard hard and teaching lots of lessons but that´s the best thing!  I get to talk to these people, in their language, about Christ and why I´m so far from home during this special time of year.  I love being able to tell them that I´m just leaving me family for a little bit while I get to help other people live with their families for eternity!  I´m so so grateful for this opportunity that I have and for all of the things that I am learning while I´m here!  I can´t believe that I get a whole year (2014) to just serve the people here and give them something that will bring lasting happiness into their lives!  I´m thankful for the time that we have to reflect on our Savior and what he has done for us and this next year I hope to be able to reflect on and apply this into my life more often. 
Everyone think of something that you can do to improve this next year and the person that you are becoming :)
Com muito muito amor
Sister Weste

Christmas day skyping with Sister Westover
(or as the Brazilians call her "Sister Weste")

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