Oh, I love you! Reading your emails this week I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the great blessing and privilege it is to be in your family. You are so good, light-filled, lovely. I feel like Heavenly Father is just constantly surrounding me with amazing examples of love and kindness and generosity and gratitude. He is so full of grace and goodness. Glory to Him!
Fatima's baptism was amazing. All three members of the bishopric were present and there was lots of ward support. She's so happy, even bore her testimony after.
Charles was there and exclaimed, "Next week that's me!!" Yes! (His baptism is on Satuday). Charles is funny. He says Amen after anything he agrees with, and says stuff like "Sou fan de Jesus" (I am a fan of Jesus!). These two baptisms were seriously just GIVEN to us. Such miracles. There are prepared people out there.
Elder Da Veiga-ism of the week. He randomly starts dishing food onto your plate at Sunday lunch if you're not careful. He also randomly says simple sentences in English. For example, "I am a child", "Thank you, teacher," and "Let's go, boys". So good. I love him so stinking much.
On our division this week in Maia I was wearing the dress I got at DI that just happens to be a maternity dress and kind of poofs out at the waist and TWO SEPARATE PEOPLE asked me if I was pregnant! HAHAHAHA. What the heck, people, I'm a MISSIONARY. How could I possibly be pregnant!? Just when I thought my little Evora baby-bump was diminishing, too....
I was reflecting this week about the amazing things the Lord did in Evora while I was there, and I wrote this in my journal, "It's interesting -- I'm sure the amazing growth I saw in Evora had at least something to do with hard work, diligence, obedience, and faith, but all it ever really felt like to me was love. God-given love is the most powerful thing in the universe. Love is the most motivating, uplifting, empowering force. I am so Grateful that Heavenly Father has let me see that so clearly."On these hang all the law and the prophets" Everything else only points to this. Loving God and His children. Showing that love through who we become -- repentant, humble, willing children. Charity NEVER faileth. It is always the answer.
Another idea bumping around my brain lately is how kind of sad it is that after a year in the mission the inicial splendor wears off and the thousands of little miracles each week just become almost normal. Bread and butter. I guess maybe that is kind of cool, too. But I want to more consciously notice them and thank God for them. It reminds me of a poem Mom sent me in the MTC. "Welcome Morning" by Anne Sexton. I am only going to include the 2nd and 3rd strophe, but the whole thing is wonderful.
All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.
So while I think of it,
le me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.
I too mean to faint down in a prayer of rejoicing and give thanks. I so often forget or overlook or think I have more important things to worry about. What is more important than this!?
Oh, family, how I love you. Will you pray for me and Sister Giberson? We are giving a training tomorrow at Mission Council in front of ALL the mission leadership on teaching repentance to investigators with addictions. YIKES. We're excited. But your prayers would be appreciated. :)
I am realizing I haven't told you that much about Sister Giberson. She's really amazing. We get along great and I am learning so much from her. She's such a great missionary, and is just nerdy enough for us to have some really great nerdy jokes. Love it.
Okay have to jet. Cuidem-se ta bem?
Love you INFINITY.