Oi família e amigos!
Well here I am, having survived my fist week in the mission! My preparation day is on Monday, but because yesterday was a holiday we are emailing today. Just got back from a zone conference that was amazing and testimony building and exactly what I needed to hear. One big message that I´ve been hearing lately is what is found in the beginning of Ether 12, that we don´t receive a witness until AFTER the trial of our faith. That´s how we learn and grow and gain more faith and trust in the Lord. But I know that He definitely helps us in so so so so many ways!
I´ve learned LOTS of important lessons here in my first week of the mission:
1. Bugs are not my favorite. There´s a family of vampire mosquitoes in my closet, cockroaches and ants, a rat that ran out from under my bed the other day, and lots of moths and butterflies (and it´s pretty common knowledge how I'm terrified of those...)
2. My Portuguese is not very good.
3.Its super hot
BUT I´ve learned more important things to go along with those:
1. Cristina might be afraid of all those creepy bugs, but Sister Knapp isn´t afraid of vampire mosquitoes or giant moths or rats. Because I´m a missionary and my work here is too important to waste time being scared!
2. I can´t speak Portuguese on my own, but prayer and fasting and the gift of tongues are REAL! So when the people I'm teaching don't understand what I just told them and I have to apologize and have my companion translate, THAT'S OKAY! Because one day I´ll be able to speak well but until then I will do my best and just remember that with God all things (even speaking Portuguese) are possible!
3. Its really hot. But my awesome umbrella shields me from the sun and Heavenly Father answers my prayers for strength to keep walking and smiling and teaching!
My area, Cidade Jardim in Teresina, is awesome! The people are so amazing and there are so many great people to teach the life changing message of the gospel! My companion, Sister Maeno, is an angel (and shes from Japan so that's super cool) and super patient with me. Basically its awesome every day even though its hard hard hard work. But prayer is real and I KNOW that the message of the Restored Gospel is worth any sacrifice I have to make to share!
Muito amor para vocês!