December 30, 2013Mom,
Tathy´s family looovvveeddd you guys! They thought it was hilarious how loud and burpy Michaella and Elena were. They love the fact that they have American friends. That´s apparently a pretty cool thing here.
It was so good talking with you. It totally recharged my batteries. Knowing that you all had a great Christmas and that everyone is happy made my year. It also makes me want to work harder so other families can have that happiness too:)
I wanted to tell/ask a million things too, but I don´t mind at all that I forgot. It was just like old times, talking with my family about random things while Michaella plays the recorder. Oh, how presh:)
I love you so much! Have a great week!
Love, Sister Whitney
This week was probably the best of my mission!!!!!!!!!!
First off, it was a good Christmas. We got to sleep in until 8:20. Oh my gosh was that heaven. I almost cried I was so happy when I found out we could sleep in on Christmas. After blissfully waking up well rested, I opened my Christmas presents from mom and the fam. Can I just say that it wouldn´t have been Christmas without the AWESOME cat shirt mom gave me. Seriously, best Christmas morning ever :)
For Christmas lunch (which is like Christmas dinner here) we went to a member´s house. It was a super fun atmosphere with a boatload of people, together for the holiday. Also, they had my favorite dessert, Puddin (pronounced "poo dee n"). So, I was in heaven.
After lunch I got to talk with my Family! It was so great to see and hear everybody. I almost cried, but I wanted to talk more so I didn´t :) It was a recharging of my batteries, talking with my family. I feel all fresh and ready to get back to missionary work :)
And speaking of which.... WE HAD OUR FIRST BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so amazing and probably one of the coolest moments in my life. We’ve been working with David, our investigator, for about 6 weeks. He was a referral from a member and the elders before us taught him for about 2 weeks before we arrived here. It has been the best experience ever teaching David. He loves learning about the gospel and has really great questions too. I know without a doubt that the Lord prepared David to hear the message of the Restored Gospel.
These past 2 weeks, we´ve been working a ton with him. He was afraid of baptism, because he knows that he´s going to make mistakes after. We ended up having a really great lesson on repentance with him. The Lord with ALWAYS forgive us. Always. I shared my favorite scripture on repentance, Moroni 6:8. I don´t know it in English anymore, but it essentially says that if you truly seek forgiveness, the Lord with give it. (Moroni 6:8 But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.) After that lesson, David firmly committed to baptism.
The actual baptism was so amazing. Our zone leader, Elder Castro baptized David. I could tell that David was a little nervous, but he walked into that font like a champ. It was so amazing seeing someone I had the opportunity to share the gospel with, accept the happiness of the gospel and be baptized. There is nothing like it. I had the same feeling when David was confirmed and received the Holy Ghost the following Sunday. Looking back, I can see the difference the gospel has made in David´s life just by looking at his eyes. I wish I could express better how amazing it is to see that change. It´s definitely a testimony to me that this is a gospel of happiness and truth.
I am so grateful that I had the chance to teach David. Seeing the happiness he has makes me want to work extra hard. Missionary work is the greatest!
I love this gospel and I know that it is true. It makes sense in English and it makes sense in Portuguese. This church is true and I am so grateful that I get to share the happy message of the restored gospel!
Christmas eve. We´re sitting in "santa´s chair" . Brasilians really like tacky things, but I love it :)(Sister Whitney and her companion were standing on the sidewalk passing out card earlier that day and because it was cloudy, she mistakenly thought she didn't need sunscreen. I talked to one her of ward members about it and she was so cute. She told me that Sister Whitney's skin was like a baby's bottom and that she is the sunscreen police helping her to not get burned.. haha)
A lizard, sadly free. (Sister Whitney has been trying to catch one since she arrived in Brazil. Apparently they are super fast. I'm still holding out hope she'll get one!)