I´m still collecting recipes for you! I´ve got three really good ones, and I´m looking to get the recipe for Brazilian lasagna (MUITO GOSTOSO!) again.
It´s sooooo hot here! So sweaty all the time!
Today, the whole zone had a churrasco (barbeque) with the stake president. It was great! We all sang to him and the rest of the presidency and their families ("Chamado a Servir" and "I Believe in Christ" (In Portuguese)). Transfers are coming up and I´m hoping I can stay in Mirna. I love it here! And I don´t want to move AGAIN. Can you give me an update on Ben (cousin)?
How´s everything back home? Lots of fun, I hope!
The work is pretty hard here (no one wants to keep commitments or come to church or pray or read or anything) but we are surviving. Last night, I had a really special moment. Yesterday was rough. Surprise testimony in sacrament meeting. We taught a surprise lesson (it was for me) in Sunday School, all of our appointments either fell through or didn´t keep commitments. And a very special investigator, super dear to my heart, said that she didn´t want to be baptized and that she didn´t want any more lessons or prayers. That was really hard. So we were super discouraged. After planning, around 9:30ish, I was really discouraged and I listened to "Does The Journey Seem Long?" It was so beautiful. It was the one where it was a guy singing a solo in General Conference. Then, "The Atonement", a talk by Boyd K Packer, played. It was just what I needed (it even started with "this is addressed to the discouraged and downtrodden"). It was awesome! You gotta listen to it! And in the end, Pres. Packer reads the lyrics to "Does The Journey Seem Long?" (WHOA), which was written by President Joseph Fielding Smith (whose teachings are in the brand spanking new manual we just got (WHOA)). It was super powerful. Then, I listened to an Eyring talk that was really good! Heavenly Father is so awesome! So many tender mercies.
A sad note: Elder Pina, a missionary in my district from Cape Verdi (Africa), got a call from President Pinho on Saturday. His dad died. Really really sad! He´s the only member in his family, which is poor and doesn´t have a computer (so no skype for Christmas), and he has had no money, even from the mission (I can´t remember the reason), and he wasn´t adjusting to the climate well at all (it´s super cold compared to Cape Verdi). Poor guy! We are all waiting to see what he´ll do, but I think he´ll stay. I hope he stays.
I want you all to know that I will stay in the mission until the end. I know that as I do this, our Father will bless me and will bless you more than we can imagine. I really struggled in the first three weeks (first transfer), and Elder Baisden told me this, which really struck me: "If my dad died while I was on my mission, I wouldn´t even think about leaving the mission." And he loves his dad a lot! But that´s the kind of persevering faith that you develop out here. I know that no matter what happens, I can trust the Lord. This mission is so awesome! The Church is true!
I love you so much and have a great week!