Oi minha Familia! Feliz Pascoa!
Easter this year didn't involve a lot of eggs and bunnies but was still great. The center of Easter here is Jesus Christ, which is good. However, the way that people demonstrate their love for our Savior is a bit strange. Easter weekend there were many parades of people following mannequins of Jesus Christ and Mary that they made. Sister Acosta said that one of the mannequins of Christ looked exactly like "Edward Mãos de Tesoura" (Edward Scissor Hands), which wasn't all that pretty. There were also many mannequins of Judas Iscariot hanging from trees, which wasn't all that pretty either. Everyone was drinking wine that week. It was interesting.
On Easter, Sister Acosta and I went with the Mossas (Young Women) to visit an orphanage and give the children chocolate eggs. Sister Acosta shared a message about Jesus Christ with the children and then we gave them their eggs which they liked a lot. The orphanage reminded me of Starfish Foster Home in Xi’an. There were children of all ages, some of whom were brothers and sisters. There was also a four month old baby there. HIs mother had given birth to him and they left the hospital after telling the staff that she didn't want the baby. Que triste!
This week, I found out that suco de maracuja (passion fruit juice) makes you sleepy. After drinking four cups at lunch on Tuesday, I am really sorry to say that I had a really hard time staying awake during lessons (I was with Sister Souza and Sister Mercileno after Sister Acosta left, so it was nice to have both of them there to teach their investigators). My eyes were literally watering because I was so tired. Passion fruit juice is awesome, but I will have to be careful next time we have it during lunch.
It was really hard to say goodbye to Sister Acosta (minha Mainha) this week, but she is now training minha irmainha Sister Young, my first companion at the MTC. I hope to see her soon! We talked on the phone the other day, which was really exciting!
My new companion, Sister Adriane arrived on Wednesday. I already love her. She is from Santa Katarina in Southern Brazil, near Argentina, and is a convert who was baptized in 2008. She has been serving in our mission for 11 months. We have taught many awesome lessons together already and we both love to laugh. She has already trained and been companions with many Americans and her English has really improved since then. She also loves Japanese anime and wants me to teach her Chinese. I think that we will both help each other become fluent in multiple languages.
My companionship (Sister Acosta/Sister Adriane and I) hasn't been able to help anyone enter the waters of baptism for 4 weeks, if I remember correctly, which isn't so great (in fact it's really bad). But Sister Adriane and I found two awesome families to teach this week as well as some other great investigators so we hope to feel the joy of watching some of the people we teach make a covenant with our Heavenly Father soon. This week, one of the Elder's investigators was baptized. We brought one of our investigators to watch and I felt the Spirit so strongly. It was wonderful feeling that sensation of peace and comfort and was just what I needed, seeing that I have been feeling kind of down seeing that we have not been able to see any of our investigators be baptized in a while. As we waited for the batizador and person who was baptized to get changed, we had a testimony meeting. I was really excited for the opportunity to go up and bear my testimony as my heart was filled with the warm sensation of the Spirit testifying to me that the baptism I had just seen was true.
I miss and love y’all a bunch!