Monday, October 8, 2012

As my dear sister Lisa likes to say, "OH MY HECKFORD!!!" I did not see the prophet's announcement coming! Boys can now serve at 18 and girls at 19! That announcement would have been really convenient 3 years ago!!! Haha but I know that the Lord's timing is everything, and I am supposed to be serving right now. I am serving in a country where boys were authorized to serve missions at age 18 because of military requirements and such, so I have seen how the 18 year old missionaries serve. I feel like they are just as capable as any 19 year old missionary. I was shocked when President Monson announced that 18 year old boys from every country would be able to serve. My head was still reeling when he announced that girls can serve at freakin 19 YEARS OLD!!!! My hands literally flew to my mouth to keep me from letting out a huge gasp. My first thought was my little sister who would make an awesome missionary, but didn't know if a mission would fit into her plans if she had to wait two years. My second thought was actually a confirmation that we are truly living in the last days. The Lord is building up his missionary army. The gospel is going to go much farther than it has ever gone before. We will be receiving reinforcements of willing and prepared 18 year old boys and 19 year old girls here in our missions. I am sure that this announcement was an answer to many prayers.....prayers of youth wondering if they should serve a mission and the prayers of the people that will be found, taught, and baptized by these younger missionaries. I still can't believe it. I am proud to say that I was serving a mission when this monumental announcement was made.

As for other news, yes I was transferred. I am now in the area Fernandes which is a neighborhood in Canoas. I already served in downtown Canoas, so I returned to the city. My companion is Sister Matiaco, the first American companion I have had since I was made Senior. This is her 3rd transfer, so she is still pretty fresh from the MTC. Her Portuguese is really good already. To tell you the truth, I was really nervous to have an American companion. I feel even more pressure to speak Portuguese better now. I don't have a Brazilian companion to lean on if I need help. Things are going ok. I am learning about patience and charity and reliance on the lord right now.....but that is what a mission is all about. There are always things to learn from each companion we have. Sister Matiaco is very in tune with the spirit and very obedient. 

Conference was awesome. I loved it. It talked so much about being disciples of Christ. We all need to be better disciples of Jesus Christ. We had an investigator there at conference that said a worry and pain that she has had since she was much younger was lifted off of her shoulders. I know that the prophet and his apostles are called of God and are very inspired! 

I don't have much time, but as always, will write more next week! I love you all! 
Sister Autumn Barnes

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