Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Wow. What a week. What a day ALREADY haha we left for Ribeirão Preto at midnight last night, and arrived at 5 am, then waited at the bus station for 4 hours before arriving in my new area! Im serving in an area called Independencia, with Elder Kimura. He´s only got 6 weeks on the mission, so I will be able to successfully escape any trunky thoughts for at least the next 6 weeks haha yes!
But in truth yesterday was the best and the worst day. Leaving Birigui was the hardest thing Ive had to do since leaving NY. There were laughs, there were tears, there were teddy bears given, and there were suitcases packed. We visited quite a few people yesterday to say goodbye. It was amazing to really realize how many people have had an effect on my life in my time here in Birigui. I will always remember Birigui because it was where I started my mission in Brazil, without much ability to communicate, without people I know very well, and without culutural similarities that Ive been used to my whole life. But I left Birigui with an ability to talk to people in Portuguese, lots of friends, and so many important experiences that Ill cherish for the rest of my life.
Yesterday was the best day because we finally saw almost all of the fruits of our labors in church. We had about 20 people who we have been working with and visiting, come to church. We usually have a frequency of 60-70 people at church each week, and yesterday we had 90. It was so great to see the Lord blessing us by helping others get up in the morning and get to church. Our principles of the gospel class was jam packed, and when me and Elder Oelkers came here 4 months ago, the class didnt exist. But it´s not just due to our efforts of visiting people and inviting them to church. I know the Lord is blessing the area of Troncoso with a lot of success because the members are willing to STEP up and help take care of each other.
Saturday we had the baptism of Kleber, and another 18 year old from a neighboring ward. Usually we have the service in the primary room, but there were so many people there that we had to move upstairs into the chapel to do the service. It was a really great experience- one that Ill never forget. THANK you for the prayers that definitely helped Kleber and his family CONTINUE to progress in the gospel.
Another great thing yesterday was our fast and testimnony meeting. Cicera, who is so ready to get baptized, but just needs to quit the smoking, bore her testimony. Also, Kleber´s mom, who was inactive for 15 years, also bore her testimony in front of everyone. Theres not anything much better than people youre working to help com closer to Christ expressing their own testimonies in front of a congregation. When you bear you testimony, YOUR testimony will automatically become stronger.
Needless to say, my last week in Troncoso was a week never to be forgotten. Im a little nervous to only have 11 weeks in my last area, but Im praying that we´ll be able to see just as many miracles in this area as we did in Troncoso.
Thank you all for everything! Love you and have a great week!