Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hello Friends and Family!

So Sister Wegener was totally wrong! I am not companions with Sister Grant and I am not in a place called Campus Norte. My companion is named Sister Freitas. She is from Rio de Janeiro. I am serving in an area called Canoas Centro. Haha this transfer is going to be pretty crazy. This area is really Presidente Pavan sent two companionships here. (It is usually only covered by one companionship of sisters). So....there are 4 sisters serving in one ward. I am also living with the other companionship as well, Sister Pereira dos Santos and Sister Fernandes. I am living with three other Brazilians......haha I am learning a lot of Portuguese now!! They have been helping me a lot. Our apartment is teeny. When I say teeny, I mean teeny. One small bedroom with two bunkbeds and two wardrobes jammed inside.'s ok. All of the other sisters are way cool, so it is working out just fine.

I know President Pavan knew that this arrangement would be good for me. I am living with 3 other Brazilians, so the Portuguese is coming. Not to mention, my companion is really shy and quiet. Really shy and quiet. So.............I have had to step up my game a little bit. With Sister Wegener, she was always really talkative and loved to take charge. Sister Freitas is really timid. I am usually not that timid to share the gospel, but I have been pretty self-conscious about talking to people in my broken Portuguese. Right now, I have had to put some of that fear behind me and just go.....just talk. It is hard.....but it is good for me. Also, Sister Freitas has a really strong accent and talks really quiet and mumbled. She is hard to understand at times. BUT, if I can understand her.....then I can understand anyone!!!

ELDER HOLLAND!! It was amazing. Guess where I sat? Front row directly in front of the pulpit. Literally 4 feet from Elder Holland!!!! And.....I got to shake his hand. And.......he spit on me. Yeah. You know how he gets really excited, talks loud and powerfully, and spits? Yeah.....he sprayed me. Was I disgusted? No. I was honored. That man truly is an Apostle of the Lord. He is so dang powerful! Some of the things he said:
1. The greatest compliment the Lord can give us is to call us his representatives, his witnesses. (I am so honored to be a representative of Jesus Christ right now!)
2. He said, "I think nothing that I have would be mine if I had not served a mission." He included his Apostleship, marriage, children, career in this.
3. He said that we as missionaries are the closest things you can get to an Apostle. The word Apostle means "one who is sent."
4. He also said that a mission is not a childish thing because Gethsamane was not a childish thing.

I will write in more detail when I have more time. But, let's just say that the spirit was so powerful there, and I pretty much bawled throughout the entire thing. This work is so important! I don't even fully understand its importance. This work affects eternities!

Two of the people that I taught in Novo Hamburgo were baptized Sunday! Sad I couldn't be there.......but so happy for them!

Canoas is much closer to Porto Alegre than Novo Hamburgo, so I will likely get to go to the temple sometime this transfer. Super excited for that!

My P-Day is still on Tuesday if you were wondering why I didn't email yesterday. Brazil had a holiday, and the whole city shuts no access to computers!

I love you all! Hope to have more time next week to write!

Sister Autumn Barnes

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