Monday, May 5, 2014

Strong Week

What a week! Started off strong with a visit from Sister Oliveira (my mom) and Sister Felartigus (my second mom) who are both now Sister Trainers. They are wonderful! I´m getting more used to the city now, which is god because transfers are NEXT WEEK whattttttt. 4 week transfers are great. Just kidding. Especially since I love love love my companion. She is such a sweet girl! I don´t want her to leave :( maybe she will stay :) but probably not because she´s already been here for three transfers and this is her first area. In one week we shall know.
Well winter has arrived in Bahia. I never thought I would need my sweater, oh how wrong I was! My companion got a little sick with the weather change :( lentils+blankets+tylonol sinus and we were back to work! And what wonderful work! Rute and Jaer= most prepared couple in Bonfim. They are amazing! We went there Thursday, our second lesson with them. She has so many good questions and such a special light. Jaer is less active but is starting to come back. His testimony is really strong and he helps so much with teaching Rute. They want to get married in the temple!!!!!!!! Ahhhh I´m so excited for the progress  ther are making. They are truly growing together in the Lord and it´s the happiest thing to be a part of.
Our branch here is the best! President is always so willing to help with everything. And the irmas and irmaos truly make us feel at home. And the youth are so strong! They go with us proselyting and bring friends with them to church and activities. Saturday we had ``Arvore da Vida`` activity at the chapel with all the youth. Based on Lehi´s dream, we did a mini iron rod and tree of life. They had to hold to ``iron rod`` (a rope that went through the whole church) and make it to the tree of life without taking either of their hands off the iron rod. They got in groups of four and we blindfolded them and had them start walking. They started outside walking on a bunch of stuff (without shoes): leaves, plastic bags, popcorn etc. There are also 10 million frogs here, poor kids had frogs jumping all over their feet with blindfolds on. I felt especially bad for the one kid who seriously has a phobia of frogs. He started screaming let go of the iron rod :( but we let him repent :) They had a series of ``temptations``(chocolate, baladas, etc). About half made it to the tree of life (my twinkle lights and candles came in handy, it was a beautiful tree:)). We had everyone come in together and talk about the symbolism of the activity. They had such amazing insight and testimonies! They are truly so strong.
I´m loving it here! Bonfim is an elect city and the people are so prepared for the gospel. I´m so grateful for my opportunity to serve here. I know that this exactly where I need to be right now. I am learning so much about working with love, about myself, and about my Savior. He is truly with us through every challenge and every triump. We need only to look to Him, keep His commandments, and trust. Have faith that everything will be wonderful, because it will. He is the Author, and He can write a life story far more beautiful than anything we can author alone. Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. He has made Himself known, and He renews that knowledge each day in our hearts when we seek Him. He is with you. As are my prayers. I love you!!
-Sister McKenzie