Oi Familia! Tudo bem?
We had zone conference this week. It was a four hour bus ride, so we got up at 3 a.m. I slept a bit on the bus, but it had air conditioning so it was REALLY cold! I think I've adjusted to the hot weather so any form of "cold" or even "cool" is FREEZING! I brought a sweater but it didn't help too much. But, in the end one of the Elders was kind enough to lend me his suit jacket, so that helped a lot.
Zone conference was great. I always love zone and district conferences because they refresh my love for the work and my motivation to be a better representative of the lord. During conference, Sister Soares talked about how we should be careful around dogs (ok), scorpions (huh?), and vampire bats (what?!?!). There are dog packs on every street in our area, so that is understandable. I haven't seen a scorpion yet, but I think I'll be excited when I finally have the opportunity to do so. I actually have seen one vampire bat. It was flying in the air above me but didn't do anything, so tudo bem! Don't worry about me.
Our mission supposedly is one of the missions, if not the mission, with the most baptisms in the world. In July 2013, we had 112, August 125, September 130, October 148, November 164, December 179, January 130, February 187, and we're shooting for 200 this month. We have 138 missionaries and need 2.9 baptisms per companionship to reach this goal. Sister Acosta and I have had 2 this month and our investigator Edison, who is the fiancée of a member and has been going to church for 5 years and never committed to be baptized, will be baptized on Saturday! Uma milagre!
During conference, Presidente Soares was talking about the vision of our mission and he shared a quote by President Monson: "Só o desejo nâo faz as coisas acontecerem. O Senhor espera que pensemos. Espera nossa açâo. Espera que trabalhemos. Espera nossa dedicaçâo." My translation: "[Having] only a desire does not make things happen. The Lord hopes that we think. He hopes for our action. He hopes that we work. He hopes for our dedication."
Something interesting that I noticed as I read this quote was that in Portuguese the word "esperar" means both "to hope" and "to wait" so I was thinking about how the Lord not only hopes for these things for us, but he is also waiting for us to do these things. "Only a desire does not make things happen. The Lord waits for us to think. He waits for our action. He waits for us to work. He waits for our dedication." The Lord hopes that we all do our part to invite others to come unto Christ. He knows that we can do these things and is merely waiting for us to enter and work in His vineyard.
I am so grateful for all of you as my family members, for the Gospel in our lives, and for the Spirit that we have in our home. It breaks my heart to see so many families here who have so much pain in their lives because they do not have a knowledge of the Gospel and have family members who commit crimes and break many commandments and think nothing of it. Thank you so much Mom, Dad, Jacob, and Kari for being the amazing individuals and family you are. I know our family will be together forever.
Funny/awkward moment of the week: Sister Acosta and I were standing in front of the church and there was a car parked in front. The window was rolled down and there was a little boy sitting in the back seat (5 or 6 years-old). I smiled and waved at him and he responded by holding up his hand like a telephone, pointing at me, and then saying "Me ligue!" ("Call me!"). I got asked out by a kindergartner this week.