Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hello! Now where to start?

Last Tuesday, Sister Quiara and I went to Porto Alegre for her doctor's appointment. I was a little worried about finding our way to this doctor's appointment, but I found it just fine. Haha I was reminded of my trip to New York City. I remembered our taxi ride from the airport to Amber's house. We almost died. A thousand times. Yeah. That was nothing. The only thing worse than riding in a taxi in New York City......riding in a taxi in a metropolitan city in BRASIL!!!! Almost died. Two thousand times. Hahaha but I was laughing and having a good old time. 

So about Sister Quiara and her doctor's appointment: We got a phone call from President Wright on Thursday saying that he was going to come to our apartment to talk to me and Sister Quiara. (After frantically cleaning the apartment a little bit......shhhhh), President and Sister Wright arrived. President wanted to talk with Sister Quiara in private, so Sister Wright and I went into the bedroom to talk. The first thing that she said when the door was closed is, "She has to go home." I don't know what all of her health concerns are.....but they are serious. She has to be treated at home and will not return to the mission. I can't say that I got along super well with Sister Quiara, but when I heard this news, my heart was broken. I hurt for Sister Quiara because I know how hard this news would be for her. I talked with Sister Wright for a little while longer, and let me tell you, she is amazing. She reminds me SO MUCH of my mom!! Her presence and words are so comforting! A few minutes later, President entered the room and said, "Your companion has to go home to receive treatment. Help her pack her bags. We will pick her up tomorrow at noon. You will now be in a trio with the other companionship that lives here with you. Coordinate your visits." I have never been very good at giving comfort, being a good, strong shoulder to cry on.........but I had to do my best. President and Sister Wright left, and I was left with a Sister Missionary that was just informed that her mission would be over the next day. Sister Quiara cried for awhile, but soon she was filled with a spirit of peace. Mom, don't kill me.....but I gave her one of my luggage bags. She entered the mission field with barely anything.....only one bag. She accumulated a few things here, so she didn't have a bag to fit all of her stuff.....and she didn't have money to buy one. I'll have to buy another bag, but I have conditions...she didn't. The next morning, President and Sister Wright picked her up and took her away. Now I am with Sister Castro and Sister Holladay in a trio until the next transfer. We are working in two areas. Oh boy it is a lot of work. But.....we are hanging in there, and only have 2 weeks until the next transfer. This has been the craziest transfer ever! I have had four companions in four weeks.....Sister Machado, Sister Quiara, and now Sister Castro and Sister Holladay.

The work is moving along here. We are working with a couple of people that have baptismal dates coming up. One is having a hard time with coffee, but everything will turn out. The other's name is Wanderlei. He is the boyfriend of a member. We taught him the first lesson, invited him to be baptized, and he accepted. He has already been to church various times, and I always catch him taking notes and even crying. We also taught a 22 year old boy this week. He said that he always walks past the chapel and always feels the strongest desire to enter. The 2nd counselor in the Bishopric found him standing outside the chapel, talked to him, and set up a visit with us in the chapel that day. When he entered the chapel, he said "Wow. I had a dream one night and I was walking through these halls." There are people out there prepared to accept the gospel and change their lives. Sure, as missionaries, we have to sift through a bunch of people that aren't interested before we find God's elect, but they exist! We have to be fishers of men to find these special Children of God! 

Things are going well! I am getting along with the sisters in this trio really well. I already knew them because I have been living with them. I have learned however, that old habits die hard. Remember how Lisa and I would always laugh during prayers? Well, the other day......my stomach growled REALLLLLLLLLY loud during a prayer........and I couldn't help it......neither could my companions. As they say here when you do something wrong or stupid, "Que feio." How ugly! I blame Lisa. 

I know this church is the true church of Jesus Christ and the only path back to the presence of our Heavenly Father. 
Love you all!
Sister Autumn Barnes

Me and Sister Quiara
Sister Castro said that she would give me five reais if I crossed this bridge. Sure it was only hanging on by a thread, but it was only like a four foot drop to the ground. Of course I would cross it for 5 bucks! 
Sister Holladay and Sister Castro
The night before Sister Machado was transferred.

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