Hello Family and Friends!
This is the last week in the CTM!!!! I definitely have mixed feelings at this point! I am so excited to get out and be among the people. It has been hard to concentrate and study hard these past couple of days. I have a little bit of cabin fever after being in the same place and doing the exact same thing for two months. However, the fact that the Portuguese is a little rough worries me a tad. Next time you hear from me, I will be in the mission field!
Yesterday I went out onto the streets to proscelyte (I have no idea how to spell that). That was an interesting experience. We had four copies of the Book of Mormon. I was a little nervous to go out there, but the minute I stepped out of the gate, I walked right over to a lady sitting at a table and starting talking to her. She knew about the Book of Mormon, but didn't have one, so we gave one to her. The second Book of Mormon we gave away about 20 minutes later. We gave it to an old man sitting on a bench. He only had a couple of teeth, but he was so nice.......well at least I think he was........he was SUPER hard to understand. However, after that, I psyched myself out and got a little more nervous. The rest of the time was kind of a challenge to talk to people. It didnt help that it started POURING AND HAILING SO HARD!!! Anyway, although we didn't place all four, it was a good feeling to know that at least two more people in this world have a Book of Mormon.
GUESS WHAT???? Elder Ballard and Elder Anderson are both in Brazil right now! And guess what? They are both coming to the CTM tomorrow!!! One of the cool things about this MTC is that there aren't many missionaries here, so chances are I will get to meet them. I am really excited! Also, Sister Missionaries have to sit on the front row here at the CTM....I won't even have to fight for front row seats!!!
Sister Compton showed up this week! It was so good to see a friendly face from home. We just got back from running some errands in the area around the CTM. She is going to be a great missionary! I am glad my time at the CTM was able to overlap with hers for a few weeks at least.
I can't remember if I said this already or not, but I found out that my mission has the lowest baptismal rate in all of Brazil. (I really do think I already said this). Anyway, it is because of the heavy European influence down south. I am ready for the challenge!!
I will be leaving to go out to the field on Tuesday. The flight will be about an hour and a half to two hours long. This week I will be having a bunch of in-field orientation meetings and stuff like that! Yikes.....I am so excited and scared!
This truly is Gods work. One thing I have noticed is how God truly gives his missionaries great power and authority. I am around a ton of Elders everyday, and a lot of them are SO immature! Complete goofballs for sure!!! But then, when they teach............you can feel their great power! It is sometimes so surprising! I know that I have that I have that same power and authority.....it is just sometimes really hard to see that in myself. I have gained a greater testimony of the Atonement out here. Oftentimes we just think of the saving power when we hear about the Atonement. But the Atonement also includes enabling power. Through the power of the Atonement, the Lord gives us strength and abilities beyond our own. That is one thing I always try to remember. I am weak, but the Lord can make me strong!
Love you all!!
Sister Autumn Barnes