December 4, 2012
Oi, minha familia e meu amigos!
How is everyone? I love and miss you and am always praying for you. Wow! A lot has happened this past week. I don't even know where to start.
Well, Sister Correia left for Recife this morning. I miss her, but I know she will be great. Heavenly Father never wanted two people to be missionary companions more than He wanted us to be companions. I love her and am grateful we were able to learn a lot from each other. The reunion will be glorious and wonderful.
I am now in a trio with two sisters who came from the Provo MTC this week. Sister Campbell from Washington and Sister Bruno from South Carolina. They're nice. We've already taught together and it seems to be going well.
Yesterday was awesome! Why? We went proseliting! FOR REALS! At the CTM, the Americans go proseliting twice. This time we stayed within the CTM boundaries they give us for our P-days and next Monday we will go somewhere else into the city. We each had two Books of Mormon to place, so between my companions and I, we had 6 to place in three hours. It was seriously so amazing! I loved it! We talked to a lot of people in Portuguese! What?! And we placed all 6 livros (books). Before we started, I was super nervous but excited. Once I opened my mouth it was so much easier and all my nerves went away.
One thing I learned is that you need to greet everyone you can and when the Spirit puts an individual in your sight, and you think you should talk to them, then you talk to them! The first one we placed a book with was a woman walking with her two little boys. Initially, she said she didn't really have time. But we took the time to get to know her and her sons. One son was wearing a Santa hat and the other was carrying a bag of pet goldfish. Cute! The woman was really nice. We explained to her a little about it and commited her to reading it with her sons. When we showed her the pictures in the front of the book, she was excited to share with her sons. Then the son in the hat who was maybe 3 or 4, came over and took the book from his mom and walked away looking at the picture of Christ visiting the Americas. It was so precious to watch his little fingers point at the Savior.
I was actually super comfortable initiating contact with everyone. And believe it or not, the first person I actually physically placed a Book of Mormon in their hands was a Jehovah's Witness. We had a really good conversation after he told us he was having a bad day. He committed to reading it and said he knows what it's like to be a missionary. I don't know if these people really will read, but it's just awesome to do the Lord's work. The second person I placed a book with was a Catholic but she didn't own a Bible. She was very grateful and also said she would read it. Another lady we talked to already had one but was a little confused about it. I was able to tell her that Joseph Smith didn't write it, but he translated it from ancient prophet's records. She was excited and grateful when we showed her the page that also listed the books in the Bible and she learned that we use both. She was also confused about the scripture references at the tops of the pages. She didn't understand that those were the names of the prophets. She had talked to many missionaries but nobody had taken the time to explain it to her. She was grateful.
Another lady we talked to also already had one and had also talked to many missionaries. But she still talked to us. Good thing because we were able to clear up that she IS welcome in our church. She lives right next to one too. We committed her to going to church on Sunday and gave her the number to call to find out what time it starts. So many people thanked us for our work. It seriously was so great!
Well, one more week until my CTM experience is over and I will be in Salvador! I can't believe I have been here this long. Time has flown, and I am amazed at the learning that has taken place here with me and with Sister C and with the other elders in my district. I leave December 11 for the field. Today was my last time at the Sao Paulo temple. Sad. But it was wonderful. Because there is no temple in my mission, I won't get to go until I get back home. That means you all have to go as often as you can to help me make up for all that time! :) I don't know when my P-day will be so I'm not sure when I will get to write again. (Dad, I will be able to email.) But know that I am OK because the Lord is with me and I am doing His work -- in PORTUGUESE!
I love you all! Thanks for everything!
Sister Lauren Olivia Villaroman