Friday, August 19, 2016

August 15, 2016 Arrived In Curitiba and First Baptism

I don´t even know where to start! On Tuesday I said goodbye to the CTM, my awesome Companion Sister Gimm, my district and the two best teachers in the entire CTM. We woke up at 4 in the morning and flew to Curitiba where we met our new mission president: President and Sister Hart. 

There were 14 missionaries that are new to the mission (2 Americans). Our new mission president and his wife are incredible! They are so full of love and their purpose is about truly helping to convert people and not just baptizing. We spent the morning with them and ate the best Brazilian food ever for lunch! In the afternoon we met our new companions! The whole mission was having a transfer because the new mission president is changing everything around. There were so many missionaries and I had no idea what was happening! Then we drove to my new area Pinhais, the ward is called Autodromo.

My new companion/trainer is Sister Ferreira and she is awesome! She speaks English but doesn't ever speak it with me. She speaks really fast and half the time I have no idea what she is saying. In fact I have no idea what is happening about 75% of the time. The people speak really fast and all have accents. I will understand them someday and for now I will just try to be patient with myself! 

We walk A LOT!!! Probably about 4-6 miles a day. All the houses have gates in front of them so to knock on doors you have to clap your hands and then wait for someone to look out a window or come outside. Almost everyone has a dog or 3 and so that makes it difficult to hear each other. There are dogs all over the streets and sidewalks but the city is pretty clean. 

The food is great and I am going to gain so much weight! The last day at the CTM someone said to always ``eat and repeat``. If you don´t eat a second time the people will think you did not like their food. I have been sticking to this eat and ``repeat`´ and it is great. The food is always rice, beans, some kind of meat and maybe a pasta. 

The people are awesome here! I only wish I could understand what they were saying to me! The ward here in this area is really strong already and we are working to make it even stronger! We have a few investigators that are progressing towards baptism and they are all incredible. 

Our investigator Antonio was baptized this past Saturday!!! He is 56 and a few weeks ago when other missionaries were walking by he said ``Hey I want to go to your church!`` so of course they were like ``great here is some more information...`` The first day I got to my mission we taught him (he had already been to church 2 times and had been taught a few lessons). We taught the commandments (mostly my companion was the one teaching). He was a little reluctant and was wanting to ´´argue about things. On Friday when we went back he had completely changed. He shaved his beard, and you could see light in his eyes and he looked so happy! We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and invited him to be baptized and he was a little reluctant at first but he was ready and he knew it. I asked again and he accepted!!! He was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday! It was the best birthday present I could have asked for! He was so happy and the Spirit was so strong!!! 

The rest of my Birthday was pretty good. At night we had a meeting and then went to meet with a less active member family. When we got there we talked and then they said they had made dinner for us! So we walked back to the kitchen and then they all started singing Happy Birthday in Portuguese and brought out a cake! We ate dinner and cake with them and it was so great. It made me super happy! :)

Alma 26:12 ``Yea I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in His strength i can do all things.``

God has the power and can do all things. I know that I am weak but the gospel is meant to be taught through the weak and the simple. I know you can do all things through the help of God and his son Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ and His atonement, all things are possible! 


-Sister Hancock

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