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Thursday, July 10, 2014

4th of July 2014

It sounds like everyone had a great time up in Montana. I really missed you guys on the 4th and 5th. Happy birthday B-boy. I cannot believe that you are 12 years old!! Hugs and kisses for everyone.
OUr week was pretty dang crazy. Last P-day we started the long, horrible trip to Piracicaba. I got a little car sick on one of the 6 busses we  took, so that wasn´t my favorite. But i didn´t mind it too much because it´s always fun to travel with Sister Sargent. I will for real cry when one of us gets transfered. 
Our meeting went well. I had to give a talk/training on Elder Bednar´s last conference talk. I was just a lot a bit scared to talk for 10 minutes, in front of President and everyone, and in Portugues. I am pretty fluent now, but when I have to talk in front of a big group it gets a little hard. Luckily it went well and it seemed like everyone understood. The actual meeting was great. We have a new rule now that we have to walk with a Book of Mormon in our hands at all times. I love this rule. It has made me realize how much I love the Book of Mormon and how special it is to me. How cool is it that we have actual proof that the Church of Jesus Cristo was restored? I know that the Book of Mormon is true and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to share this knowledge with everyone. Yay!!!
We got home from Piracicaba on wednesday and because of the World Cup we had like 3 and a half days to work in our area. I didn´t mind that too much because we had a great lesson with Vanessa. She told us that the Chruch of Jesus Cristo is different from all the other churches she has visited and she believes that everything we teach is true. We invited her to baptism, but she said that she needs to study and prepare more. But I am very hopeful that she will be baptized soon. It is so awesome teaching people prepared by the Lord.
Sunday was my next favorite day. It was fast and testimony meeting and our ward gives the best testimonies. Also, I made 5 months serving in Poços de Caldas. That was pretty cool. Anyways, since I first got here in Poços, I have been teaching a recent convert named Rose. She and her two sons were baptized in January and then her nephew, Bruno, was baptized last month. She is so amazing and seriously the reason all missionaries love their missions so much. Well, she and Bruno were able to go to the Temple for the first time on Saturday and do baptisms for the dead. Then on Sunday they shared their testimonies in Sacrament meeting. 
Rose talked about how she knows the church is true and that she wished she could have been baptized way sooner because the gospel has done so much good in her life. Bruno said that he wants his whole family to learn about the chruch because this is the happiest he has ever been in his life. Sister Sargent and I were in the back row, sobbing, because we were so happy. In the month that Bruno has been baptized, he has received the Priesthood, gone to the temple, and shared his testimony at church. I am SO grateful that I was able to be a part of his journey with the gospel. IF nothing else happy happens in my entire life, I will still have so much happiness in my heart because of this. 
I know that this Church is true. I am an imperfect teacher, I don´t speak portugues perfectly, and still people listen to what we have to say and decide to come unto Cristo. I know that our Savior lives that that He loves us. This IS His gospel and the Book of Mormon IS proof of that. I am so grateful, everyday, for this gospel. THE CHURCH IS TRUE. IF you don´t know this for yourself, read the Book of Mormon, specifically Moroni 10 and then pray about it. I promise you that you will recieve and answer and then you will know too:)
I love you all and i am so grateful for your examples in my life. Have a wonderful week!!!!!
Sister Whitney
After our meeting in Piracicaba. The elder is our old district leader

We saw Sister Padilla on our way back to Poços. We are holding up a rubber lobster that mom sent me in the MTC. We named him Jantar. That means dinner in Portuguese.

(I am going to include Lauren's companion's letter here as well. Her name is Sister Sergent and her Mother and I had lunch together a couple of weeks ago and exchanged e-mail addresses so we can get as much info from our daughters as possible.)

Bom Dia!!!
Todo mundo está bem?? Espero que TODOS vocês estejam super bem! So our week was a little weird, to be honest. We lose SO MUCH TIME in our area as leaders. We went to Piracicaba Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. It is such an affair to get there and is DEFINITELY my least favorite! But we had a great Leadership Meeting there with President. I spoke French with him...what the heck?! Who knew President spoke French! That was cool. He is so awesome, and so is Sister Canuto. I really love them both so much. I also really love the meetings because I get to see a lot of my friends. Sister Davis, another sister from my MTC district, arrived to Piracicaba on Monday from the states! YEAH, 10 months in the mission and just now arriving to Brazil. Man, we all felt so bad for her. But it was really fun to see her, she seemed to be understanding everything just fine. 
The rest of the week was pretty normal, nothing special to report. We tried to mark a baptism with Vanessa, but she doesn't feel ready yet. Also, FINALLY were able to meet with Fábio again, he is still awesome, yay for that! And he is doing better on the Word of Wisdom. I haven't lost all hope yet. None of our other investigators have anything special to report at the moment.
My boys made it to the semi-finals on Friday, WHOO!! Oh yeah, Happy 4th of July on Friday, everyone. But I was feeling pretty patriotic for Brazil that day. The ref was TERRIBLE and Colombia plays dirty, did anyone watch that?? Neymar got taken out by a guy so bad that it broke his vertebrae. He can't even participate in the rest of the cup, he got injured so badly (which hurts, he is Brazil's best player probably). And the judge didn't even throw a card! Nothing! Que RAIVA! I think we will have a struggle against Alemanha tomorrow, but I think Brazil can do it. Man, I love this country. Have I mentioned that? 

The absolute best part of my week, though, was church meeting on Sunday. It was fast and testimony meeting and Bruno, our recent convert, went up to the front. Sister Whitney and I about fell over dead we were so surprised, he is EXTREMELY shy. But oh my gosh, he is so cute...he went up there and for the first time, I heard him talk about how he knows this church is true. How he was completely lost before finding the church, but how it has completely changed his life and he is grateful for all the changes God is making for him. That he wants to bring all of his family to the church because he knows it is true and he knows the happiness the gospel brings. Sister Whitney and I were on the very back row and it is a good thing, because we started bawling like babies. After the meeting we went up to him to tell him how well he did and he just thanked us profusely for being a part of his finding the church. Gente, missionary work is the BEST! There are no words to express the joy you feel when you have been an instrument in God's hands to help bring people unto Christ. Seriously, no words. Bruno is such an elect. He really turned his life completely around. Stopped drinking and smoking, dropped his friends who were bad, etc. Went to the temple for the first time on Saturday!!!! Also got the Priesthood last week! His aunt says he takes a Book of Mormon with him to work every day to study :) Melted my little heart. He is so pure and good, I am so grateful to have been a part of his story. 
This week will be another weird one. We have a Multizona tomorrow in Pirassununga (where I will see Sister Padilla and Elder Nixon!!! Yayyyyy!) and after that we head to São João to do a THREE DAY DIVISION. Ugh! President specifically called us to ask if we could do a 3 day division with these Sisters. Hmm...something must not be right here, guess we will find out, huh? So basically this means NO TIME in our area again this coming week. Great. Pois é!
I love all of you SO MUCH! I hope you know that. Thank you for your examples. I love the gospel so much. I LOVE IT! It is the thing that means the most to me in this life and it is the thing that brings me the most happiness. And there is definitely nothing greater than bringing it into the life of someone who really needs it and appreciates how valuable and wonderful it is.
Much love,
Sister Sargent

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