What an awesome week it has been. I feel like each week here gets better and better. I love my companion she is the best and we are learning so much together I can't believe we only have two more weeks left of training, It has flown by. But I'm really feeling good about the language, teaching and finding my way around I mostly worry about missing Sister Oliveira she is my other half I can’t imagine St. Antonio De Jesus without her. But I'm really grateful for the time I've had with her, she is truly an angel in my life. I thank Heavenly Father every day for her.
Exciting news! One of my favorite girls got baptized this week! Her name is Veronica; I think I told you about her before but just in case I didn't... She is the girlfriend of a super strong church member. She has been going to church for the past six months and last week she decided she was ready to get baptized. It was one of the most beautiful baptisms I've ever seen. You could just see the joy she had and the desire to follow Christ. Her Boyfriend gave such a sweet testimony. It was all so perfect! I wish you could've been there to see it. I am excited to see what happens with them! He is sending in his papers in the next few weeks and she is preparing to serve a mission as well. They are such an awesome couple! It is so good to see how their relationship is strengthened by the gospel and how they are learning and growing together.
Another exciting thing that happened on Saturday is one of our investigators Jonas accepted our invitation to be baptized we met him where we do emails and we have been teaching him the last few weeks. He's been coming to church, reading the book of Mormon and praying He says he's feeling good about all that we talked about. We will keep helping him prepare this week.
Our New Year celebration was wonderful we were at the same family's house that we went to for Christmas we had a big churrasco (BBQ). With a bunch of different types of meats and salad, it was amazing! Then we got authorization from the president to watch Princess and the Frog. It was such a good night. When we got home we watched the fireworks from our balcony and listened to the Mormon Tabernacle choir it was quite the party. It's getting hotter and hotter every day, summertime In Bahia! Luckily there is always a good wind so we don't get too too hot.
I'm so grateful for my ugly shoes they save me every day! We walk so much! I wish you guys could see this city it's so beautiful. Even more I wish you could meet the people they are so kind and willing to help at any time. I really feel at home here. I love the sisters I live with they are so funny and sweet. Sister Grundvig and I laugh so much together. Mostly about the things we say wrong in Portuguese. She is so awesome and has such an amazing spirit. We said we would go visit President Hart together after the mission because he lives in Salt Lake. I can tell they were going to be friends for a long time she is wonderful! It is such a blessing to meet people from so many backgrounds.
I've come to realize how universal the gospel message is. It is truly a message of joy, peace and comfort. Every day is a testimony of its truthfulness. I see the difference it makes and those we teach. Yesterday, Railam(The young man that was baptized my first week) bore his testimony in sacrament meeting. He said that because of the gospel he now has peace and he knows that he is a son of a loving father in heaven. He has grown so much in such a short time and it's been such a testimony to me of the converting power of the gospel.
I pray that you will all take this new year to set goals and take action in attaining these goals. It's not too late to become who you might have been. Don't be scared to try new things. Take every opportunity to learn and serve. Our time here is short and it goes fast. Choose joy today. Never wait until tomorrow Our Father's plan for us is the plan for happiness. He wants nothing more than our eternal joy. Certainly we will pass through trials, We will have hard times, but the Lord has promised for those who are built upon the rock of salvation, even Jesus Christ, that these trials will not will not have the power to bring us down. The Father has great things in store for us. I know 2014 it's going to be one of the best years of my life so far. I'm so excited to see what it will be like! I know will truly be unforgettable. If we let him he will shape this year. 2014 is going to be awesome! I can feel it! I love all of you so much! You are in my thoughts and prayers
Love Sister McKenzie
PS one of my New Year's goals is to learn to cook Brazilian food and yesterday I made lunch for us! Black beans, rice, fried bananas and Salad.
|The whole group!! The best sisters out there!|
|Sister Oliveria,Veronica and I before her baptism :) She is such an amazing young woman!|
|Veronica and Andre, they are are so cute!|
|5. 3..2..1..HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! (with sparkling strawberry cider)|
|walking and smiling, our two favorite activities|
|Our baby pear! Sister Grundvig loves fruit as much as I do which is so great because we always buy a bunch for our house.|