On to the important stuff...I think I forgot to tell you all. But transfers are today. This transfer was just a transfer of 5 weeks so all the missionaries who would have gotten home the day after Christmas if it were a normal 6 week transfer can be home for Christmas. I am staying here in Fernandes, but Sister Matiaco will be transferred. Everyone keeps saying that I will be training this transfer, but I haven't received the news yet! Pray for me that it is not true!!! Just kidding...if the Lord wants to give me this responsibility, I will gladly assume it.
We had our Mission Christmas Conference this week. It was sweeettt. All of the districts had to present a skit or a song or something. My district's performance was one of the best if I do say so myself. We sang "So This is Christmas" a third in English, a third in English, and a third "mission style." Then we sang "Feliz Navidad' (yeah I know that is Spanish) complete with ayayayayayyyy's (hahaha yeah. no other way to describe it). Todo mundo adorou! And we received a little gift from President and Sister Wright.....the little mini Preach My Gospel's in Portuguese. It really is such a cool gift, because they are impossible to get here!!!!!! One of the Assistant's (American) is from the same stake as the guy who owns the Brazilian Airline "Azul." The owner was born here in Brazil, was raised in the US, served his mission in Brazil, and started this American/Brazilian airline. Anyway, the AP called the owner of this airline from his stake and made arrangements to have these mini Preach My Gospels flown into Porto Alegre before Christmas. It really was a miracle that we got them!
We found some really good investigators this week. It has been really hard to find people that actually progress. However, we are teaching various member referals right now, and I believe that they will progress all the way to baptism. We are teaching a girl named Bruna right now. She is 15 years old and has told us that she has tried to kill herself about 5 times. She is super intellectual and understands everything that we have been teaching. I was really able to open up to her and show her how the gospel has made me happy, how it has given me confidence and purpose. I am convinced that the youth nowadays are naturally way more intelligent than passed generations! It is so much easier for me to teach younger people, because they have this amazing intellect! But......the youth these days have SOOOO many temptations! Especially here in Brazil, I think! The Lord armed these youth before he let them come to this filthy world in these last days! I am here to protect them from wasting away their potential or help them realize their true potential! This protection and realization comes through the gospel!
Last night we went carolling with members of the ward to investigators' and less active members' houses! Amei!
I hope you are all having a great Christmas season. It is really hard to be away from home and loved ones during this time, but it is not every Christmas that I will have the chance to testify of the Lord's birth, life, and Atonement like I have here and how. I know that he lives, and because of his sinless life, we too can gain eternal life!
Amo vocês! Tenham um Natal maravilhoso! Até mais!
Sister Autumn Barnes
A family in the Ward