Wow everyone, I always plan exactly what I want to say the next week after I see what I didn’t get to or explain but then so much more happens during the week! Lemme get started.
I wanted to explain some of the great people that I spend my time with here in Ferreira. The first one is Aparecido: a recent convert who is 63 and very lively. He can fix basically anything and loves to chat and give us what he has. He always makes us tea and shares fruit or avocados that grow from his garden. It’s always a great Sunday cause his calling is the greeter. Love it! We have been helping him a lot with praying and studying the scriptures. He calls us his angels and sometimes I’m the "Italiano" or "Alemanha" (Italian or German) haha basically cause of my light skin. He said he would go around smiling everywhere if he had my smile. I love him to death :)
The next person is Paola: a recent convert who is about 30 and has a little 2 year old girl Alice. She has such a strong testimony and is progressing so well. We have been able to help her with this transition and see her immense progress! She loves to listen to the hymns on her way to work (a kid’s nurse) but our joke is that it’s only an instrumental when it’s on the Portuguese setting but they have a singing option when in English. I guess they don’t have time to have Portuguese singers. She also found a hot chocolate mix that she can take to work to make because they took away the tea option and only had coffee. Then this is the big news; she had suggested to her boss to move her to another wing or area so she could work the Monday to Friday shift (cause right now she works one Sunday then not) but her boss returned to her a couple weeks later asking "don’t you think you could just stay with us here and work Monday to Friday?" she said "Of course!" She testified to us that the Lord was helping her do what’s right and stay where she absolutely loves to work. I was so happy when I heard that!
Now with the new president change I would like to share a bit about them - President Thomas W. Thomas and Sister Ellen Thomas. They got here a couple of weeks ago very excited to get working and loving the missionaries. President Thomas left being a surgeon at his highest success but accepted to come serve us. He is very humble and so is Sister Thomas. They have 6 children, and brought their youngest daughter who is 17 with them. I have been blessed to really see behind the scenes in how the switch goes and what is must be like to start taking care of a mission. I’ve been able to guide them a few times in their car to get where they need to go and actually had a chance to help sister Thomas make a few leis for the outgoing missionaries and incoming ones as well (she actually decided afterwards that 40 leis was not going to happen haha so she is going to think of how to do it in the future when she has more time but it was still fun wrapping all the goodies and reminiscing about Hawaii days :)
We had a special opportunity to have Sister Thomas come to a family night with us where we taught a recent convert and his mom who’s a member. We tried talking slower and the mom knew most English so it was a great experience for us all to remember that the spirit speaks stronger than fluent Portuguese. Sister Thomas always bears the strongest but simplest testimonies. I was so blessed to be there!
So those were a few people that I have been spending my days with this week but now I want to explain this week! During a division we did I got to stay with Sister Gomes, the sweetest sister ever! We weren’t having much success in finding anyone and we stopped in the church to get some water. I really wanted to teach someone with her so I felt we needed to pray. I needed to rely on the Lord. So I prayed that one of our investigators would be at home and that we could teach her. She wasn’t there when we passed by but I said, "We prayed for her to be here so we are coming back around 7!" We tried more people with no luck and made our way back, happy to find the car in the garage. They were home! The Lord really blessed us with a wonderful lesson with S. and E. We read a part of the BoM and talked of many things. I was so happy that He answered our prayer and could end our day with a lesson :) I am really understanding that prayer helps us see the will of the Lord. We pray for guidance and inspiration, that’s the Lord allowing himself to show the path He wants us to take. Without our prayers, He can’t answer them and show us what He desires us to do. Boy am I grateful for prayer and how it connects us to our Heavenly Father.
Friday was pretty funny cause sister Harris had to go renew her Visa, so four of us stayed behind while our four companions went to the police station. While we stayed, we got to do some contacts near the temple and I got to meet 3 sisters who will be coming to our mission tomorrow! Super excited for them! So then we get a call that the Elder forgot a document they needed so they were going to get back late.....long story short, I called our Irmã who was going to give us lunch and she was more than happy to let us four come and eat! So off we went to eat lunch and it was very special cause Irmã said that as she was preparing lunch she felt the impression that "more will come to lunch, prepare extra" so she did :) I was so inspired by her spiritual sensitivity even when it involved making lunch. The loaves and fishes is what we referred to haha so that was a fun happening on my year mark!
Anyway, I will get to the fun part of transfers!!! Sunday I was saying my goodbyes cause I had been here 3 transfers already but it was confirmed to me I was being transferred when I got a call from the Assistant thanking for my service as an STL but that I was being released. Now that’s not what I was expecting but I felt calm about it. Then president called me and I’m thinking, huh? He sweetly called to explain that I wasn’t being released out of "displeasure" but that he was wanting to make a few changes and that something they repeatedly said in the MTC was the importance of the first companion of the missionary and not the District leader or Sister Training Leader and that he needed me to train a new sister. I was very touched by his reassurance and know that we are going to do great in Caucaia do Alto! I will pick up my daughter tomorrow :) Sooo excited but wondering how opening up an area will be like. Any ideas?
Thanks for everything! I am doing well. Wondering what it will be like leaving all these great people and skyscrapers to an area where there are more cows than people. Only God knows exactly why but I have a bit of time to find out :) A work that comes to an end only means another is about to begin!
Sister Oldroyd-Who’s expecting a girl! But is she Brasilian? American? Likes sports? We will see :)