so this week was a roller coaster! so on thursday was the first game that brasil was playing in the world cup. seriously, everything closes down. its a holiday for the brasillian people. and it gets wild. and so our mission president sent out a list of rules and times we have to be home during the jogos (games). when brasil is playing, we have to go home and stay home after lunch for the rest of the day because its basically a party in the street. so we had our own party at home and sister oliveira made brownies and we bought ice cream and had a blast. everytime brasil made a goal, we just heard a great roar or screams and voovoozaylas (i dont know how to spell this). really it just sounded like a high school band practice was going on in front of our house with 50 out of tune oboes and clarinets. and a civil war going on in the background. it was really cool 🙂
so neuza didnt get baptised on saturday. so all week we were working with her, quelling (i think thats a word) any fears or questions, preparing her. and friday she had her interview with our district leader. i was praying all day and all during the interview. she passed with flying colors and was super excited. she even showed her little travel bag that she packed with her clothes and towel for the baptism the next day. so the next day (day of the baptism), we got all ready to go, tried calling neuza a few times just to make sure everything was all ready to go. she didnt answer (not strange because its her sons phone and no one usually answers). right as we were heading to pick her up, we called again and her son said that she wasnt home. weird. but maybe she took the bus to be early. so we got all loaded in the our ward mission leaders car, super excited. when we got there, our members were all waiting, font filled, everything perfect. but we were missing a neuza. so then us 4 sisters got down on our knees and prayed. and then we drove back to see if she was home. no. the house was all closed up. thenwe tried talking to her sister who is her neighbor and she said she thought neuzas son picked her up to go to the beach at around 11 am. what the heck, what do you mean she up and went to the beach. shes getting baptised today!!! (i thought in my head). and so we tried calling several other times that day and we passed by later and nothing. sister oliveira said it felt like getting stood up at the altar or something. we even bought a really pretty cake for her. so ya, we pretty much got stood up at the altar. we went home and i just got on my knees by my bed and just asked god, what more do you want me to do. because i gave my all. and i was at the end of my rope and needing guidance.
so this transfer has been full of tests of faith. full of them. full of prayers and tears and forks in the road where i could have decided to just say nope, im done, god, i cant get up again from this one. but there is another path- the path that im learning to navigate. this path is filled with light and hope and acceptance and forgiveness, patience, pure christlike love and trust.
i was asked to give the message at a family home evening and i thought about the video of stephanie nielson, that touched my heart so many years ago and still moves me today. i decided to show this video and share d&c 122:7-9 7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
9 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remainwith thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever. . i know that god loves us, and that every trial is an opportunity to trust Him and become more like Him. Neuza will get baptised. Tudo vai dar certo (everything will work out right…i say this about 60 times a day, its my favorite phrase). christ is our captain.
i love you and hope you have a marvelous week! like joseph b. wirthlins mama said once upon a time, come what may and love it!
ps thank you for every email and every photo/video, everything!!!! i love you!!!!!!