Monday, April 7, 2014

Conferencia General.

Olá gente! Another sunshine week here in St. Antonio, Na cidade (In the City), it rained 10 million gallons (e näo sei quantos litros) this week.  Every morning it’s a life decision between sunscreen or an umbrella, usually pack and use lotion, oh Bahia! Your weather is so random.  But I love you!  Another random but loveable story, this week I met two Canadian psychologist in the praca (square)  I saw them from across the road; Birkenstocks, bermudas and blond…definitely not Bahian. I introduced myself like normal, “oi eu sou Sister McKenzie posso faxer um convite bem rapidino para voces?” deer in the headlights.  Let’s try, “Hi I’m Sister McKenzie” Yup they were so happy to find and English speaker ha ha. The best part was then their student came who they were waiting for showed up, I hugged her and kissed her on the cheek (how to greet anyone (female) here) and one said, “Is that normal to say hello for the first time?” (kissing that is) So normal I forgot we don’t do that at home, that is going to be such a weird habit to break plus speaking only in English…I will just apologize in advance if I hug everyone and speak Portuglish when I’m back. We’re teaching such amazing people! I love them all so much. I really cannot imagine leaving now…done imagining I’ll just pretend I’m going to stay here forever. You guys can come visit in a year, beleza? Certo.

Saturday was the baptism of Itilo, ah so amazing! The other sisters have been teaching him for the past few months. Such a spiritually strong young man! The best part was that his brother, Yiago (who is also a recent convert) got to baptize him! They both really want to serve missions. They will be such awesome elders. I love working with the youth here. Many of them come from difficult family situations and are truly looking for a place they can feel at home. The gospel provides them with the sense of who they truly are, sons and daughters of our heavenly father. They are so full of hope for the future and faith in the father and I have been inspired and strengthened by their stories I wish you could all meet Isdora, Agnoldo Bruna,  Irenildo, Fabio, Wagner,  the  bishop here; everyone is so wonderful! It’s amazing to see how thousands of miles away from California and BYU, the gospel and the church are truly the same. When I walk into the chapel, I feel the same spirit that I feel at home. It’s so good to know that truly anywhere we go in the world, we have a family.

Everyone here is getting geared up for Conference, Super feliz somana! I shall begin at my favorite part…Conferencia General. Can you be any more amazing?? I think not. And so wonderful in Portuguese! Props to the translators, that would be a tough job, but they do so well! With inflection and emotion I really felt like I got the spirit of the messages and not just the words. A few things that were said (just kidding everything that was said but especially these) really got me…

1.      What legacy will you leave? (Sister Burton, President Eyring Elder Walker)
2.      God’s truths are never changing and we must stand for those truths no matter the popular view (Elder Holland, Sister Reeves, Elder Anderson, Elder Nelson, Elder Hales, Elder Stevenson)
3.      There is safety and solace in keeping our covenants (Sister Wilson Elder Eyring, Elder Holland, Sister Reeves, Elder Anderson, Elder Perry)
4.      Bear with patience and happiness every burden. 
5.      Only obedience in all things brings eternal happiness and peace. (Sister Burton,  Elder Anderson, President  Eyring, Elder Perry)
6.      We must be the hands of the lord and lift the burdens of others (Sister Oscarson, Elder Rasband, Elder Amado, Elder Scott, Elder Zwick. Elder Ballard, President Monson)
7.      Maintain your focus on eternal goals
8.      Our time here is incredibly short and we must use it with wisdom
9.      The family is the central unit of eternity and thus must be the center of our lives. We must love and serve our family. (President  Monson, Sister Burton, Sister Reeves, President Eyring)

And so many more! But these were some themes. Such a blessing to have General Conference! And I’m so excited for when the Liahona comes! I pray that you all will study and ponder the words of the lord given through his special witnesses. Continue in faith, love and service with an eternal perspective of the legacy you will leave and with a heart full of hope and gratitude. You only have four minutes! And an eternity to reflect upon it. J How wonderful! Well I could talk about General Conference Segunda feira anthra BUT I trust that you all are already doing so. Other highlights of this week include a collection of vintage Beatles albums (See Photo) encountered in Bahia…what! Tis true, the world loves you Beatles. One year birthday for Sister Grundvig! ONE YEAR!! Made a secret cake early morning elf (euJ) decorated the kitchen. Happy birthday tambien to the best mom in the world! 30 years old! Woohoo! The sun was shining for you! Which is actually miraculous because a chuva chegava, essa semana entire quase. Sol onde hore esta?? (it rained all week) But it’s still hot when it rains..that’s goodish. But the streets are empty when it rains as well. They have real fear…of rain. They make me scarred of rain too. My companion is maravil besa! Such an amazing sister! I LOVE EVERYHING HERE! Almost everything…menos bacatas but they usually keep to themselves. Wonderful work as usual!  

Love you!
Sister McKenzie