You know that feeling when you experience a moment in your life that is so wonderful that you wish time would stop so that you could experience it longer?? That is what I feel every day on my mission- That is what a mission is. I am experiencing some of the greatest joys and satisfactions that I've ever experienced, and lucky for me I can put my life on pause and enjoy this for not just one moment more, but a year and a half. Before the mission, I had thoughts like, There must be something good about serving a mission because returned missionaries are always so happy and talk about their mission with as much enthusiasm as when people talk about the latest hunger games movie. Well now I understand it. Oh, there is something good about serving a mission! As President Pinho said with respect to returning home: "Saudades, sim; remorso, JAMAIS." Translation- "We will miss it/longings, yes; regret, never." I could go on about how happy I am and try to express my happiness, but let me share with you why I am so happy- a few of the experiences I had this week..
Earlier this week we visited a young woman in the ward, 12 years old, Eduarda. She adores church but is less active because her mom is completely inactive and oftentimes doesn't allow her to go to church. Can you imagine how horrible this would be? Well it gets worse. My heart broke as she shared with us about how her mom has been beating her, for no reason at all (what reason could there ever be for physically abusing any child of God). I sat her beside me and put my arms tightly around her, and I cried with her. I felt the Savior's perfect love for us both in that moment. I had this overwhelming peaceful feeling, and I just knew that we are daughters of a heavenly father. My companion and I bore testimony to her of this reality and of the reality that angels are watching over her. We promised her that if she would continue in faith, reading the scriptures and praying daily and serving her family, one day she would marry in the temple and have an eternal family. This trial will pass- the Lord has already prepared the way. We then knelt with her on the cold, hard floor in that tiny home and offered up a heartfelt pleading prayer to the Lord. I felt the presence of angels there- I felt the Lord there.
Another, more positive experience happened just yesterday. As my companion and I were walking home, we stopped to talk to a member in our ward who is preparing to serve a mission, Anderson. He introduced us to a friend of his who he was talking to, Michel and told us to baptize him haha. He said to us, "Batize este rapaz!" (that means baptize this young man haha) Michel is huge, a body builder. We got to know him a bit and then handed a restoration pamplet to Anderson, inviting him to explain about the message a little bit. It was funny because Anderson was so suave and smooth about it- "Okay man, this talks about how the church of Jesus Christ was restored to bless us today, with prophets, apostolos, and the authority of God. I would like you to read it, man, reflect on it, dude." it was awesome. We set a return appointment and... vamos batizar. :)
Members and missionaries working together = Many souls saved!!!
We also had our last meeting with President and Sister Pinho last week. It was so great- we even watched a movie, Ephraim's Rescue. I invite you all to watch this movie if you haven't already! Loved it. I love this phrase from it- "The gospel of Jesus Christ is another way to say "opportunity." The greatest opportunities available and imaginable to us are those that come as a result of living the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love you all and wish you the greatest of weeks, full of opportunities! :)
Sister Katie Thornhill
P.S. Yes World Cup begins, quinta-feira, woo! Go Brasil!