It has been quite the week.
We have two new investigators and so far things are going great! We got W-- to pray for us and read a lot of the Book of Mormon. We challenged him to be baptized and he promised to prepare, but he didn't want to set a date. Our other investigator has been more of a struggle, but my companion and I are learning how to better plan our lessons in order to meet the needs of our investigators.
I have been getting headaches a lot because of all the knowledge that I am trying to cram into my head. I have to keep telling myself that I need to first learn the language of the Spirit and the Gospel and then I can better learn Portuguese. Hopefully it will start to work. Haha.
Saturday was a lot of fun. For service, instead of cleaning floors in the CTM or dusting, we got to go out onto the street and pick up trash. It was a neat experience. People kept talking about "the Americans" who were serving them and we were able to share with some of the people around us about why we are in Brazil. I already love the Brazilian people and I haven't even been around them very much. It is an amazing culture centered around family and Christ, just like our church! My message is perfect for them.
For example, we were able to bus over to the Campinas temple this morning. The CTM instructor was in our mini bus, van thing. He kept telling the Elders that they should talk to the bus driver about the church. They eventually were able to start up a conversation with the man and the CTM instructor began to tell him all about the church, how we believe that families can be together forever and the man seemed really touched. He came and picked us up after the session and we game him a The Family: A Proclamation to the World, a picture of Jesus, O Livro de Mormon, and a picture of the First Presidency. He seemed very touched and I truly hope that he will look into the church. Even though this man may never get baptized, we have planted a seed that might lead to something greater. Another wonderful thing about this experience is that as the instructor told him about the church I was able to understand nearly every word that he said. If that is not the gift of tongues, I don't know what is. The CTM is a wonderful place. One thing I didn't realize is that this building was dedicated as a temple would be, it is more than just another church building.
Last night for devotional, we were able to watch an address that Elder Bednar gave in the Provo MTC on Christmas Day in 2011. He said a few things that really changed the way I am thinking about my mission. He hammered home the idea that we are not here for ourselves. We are here because we are truly "representatives of Jesus Christ." He also said that we need to develop in ourselves the "character of Christ." Which he explained is turning outward and helping others when the "natural man" would want us to turn inward and think only of ourselves. I am so grateful to be here in Brazil, preparing to serve the people here with all of my heart. I hope to learn to see everyone around me as Christ would see them and becoming more and more like Him every day. As I wear my nametag, it doesn't just say "Sister Phelps," it also bears the name of Jesus Cristo. Eu sei que Jesus Cristo es meu Salvador, e todos pessoas Salvador. Ele e Pai Celestial amo nos. I am honored to represent them as I strive to serve and as Elder Bednar said, "Missionaries are visual testimonies of the love of Jesus Christ."
Thank you for all of your love and support.