So, to answer the questions... Sisters are allowed to wear sandals during the summers in Santa Maria (but only closed toes shoes are allowed at the CTM.) I am not sure about the mosquito repellent, but deodorant is a yes, bring it and no, they do have peanut butter here! I'm not sure exactly what the other questions were. Send me a list and I will get back to you next week, (my last Wednesday in the CTM.)
Okay, it has been an eventful week.
Last Wednesday we got 5 new members of our district, so now there are four of us going to Santa Maria at the CTM instead of only two, which I am super pumped about.
Last Friday we were able to bus into the center of Sao Paulo and go proselyting instead of walking around by the CTM, which is what usually happens. My companion and I were able to place six O Livro de Mormons, it was an amazing and humbling experience. You don't realize what the real world is like until you experience it. People want to hear about Jesus Cristo, and would love to get their hands on a Book of Mormon, but they don't know it exists. Let them know! The first woman I talked to was sitting next to me on the bus. She was a Catholic and had been all of her life. When I told her about the Book of Mormon and offered her a copy she was so touched, she said that I was able to touch her heart, and truly, that is the whole reason why I have left my family, school, friends, and everything else back in the States. I love the people of Brazil, they are so full of love and the light of Christ, now all they need is A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos do Ultimos Dias.
I have the funniest Peruvian roommates. They are hilarious and it is never a dull moment in our apartment. One of them is super funny and love talking about American movies, songs, and culture. We help her with her English and she knows the most random sayings in English and says them all the time, like "hasta la vista baby!" Unfortunately we are moving up a floor tonight because we are getting Brazilian roommates, which should help our Portuguese. I am excited, but sad that we are leaving our little Peruvians behind.
On Saturday night Sister S lost her voice. She wasn't able to talk normally until yesterday so I had to teach most of the lessons myself, but it was a good learning experience. I just felt bad for her because she felt like her Portuguese was fading because she wasn't able to practice it that much.
On Saturday we ate lunch and none of us were very hungry and we were saving room for the dinner before Fast Sunday. Little did we know that in South America they fast from Almoco to Almoco (lunch to lunch) instead of Jantar to Jantar (dinner to dinner). Right after our small lunch we were told this. Talk about a bummer, but we learned that fasting is truly a sacrifice and that we can do hard things. It wasn't really that bad, haha, just a little confusing.
Okay, I cannot believe that it is already September. Wasn't I just about to leave for my mission, this is insane! I am loving how fast time is flying, but am also sad to leave the CTM in only two more weeks. Wow, it is all becoming very real now. During our meeting on Sunday one of the counselors of the CTM presidency said something that really changed the way I have been looking at missionary work lately. He said, "You all have already decided to become missionaries, but now you must decide what kind of missionary you want to become."
WE GOT OUR FIRST BAPTISMAL DATE! Our investigator W (who is actually our instructor Irmao V) now has fully committed to live the law of chastity and be baptized on October 5th. I am so excited. It is an amazing feeling to see someone be interested in what we are teaching (in broken Portuguese) and absorb the message of the restoration with enthusiasm and be willing to change his life in order to come unto Christ. Things aren't going as smoothly with our other investigator, but we are going to try new tactics this week to get her more interested.
Patience is my theme this week. Having a companion can be very hard at times and is the thing that I am struggling with most right now, but tudo bem, all is well. I never realized how hard and even painful patience can be, but as I practice having Christlike charity and compassion towards everyone it is becoming easier.
This morning we were able to go to the Sao Paulo temple. We had two hours before our session started so we had the opportunity to help in the laundry room. I also did the session in Portuguese. That was quite the experience as well.
I wish you the best with this upcoming week!
I love you all and hope you are having a fantastic week. You all are wonderful!