This has been one of the most fun weeks of my mission! Possibly my life! I love Sister M to death. TO DEATH. But I've realized that I am completely and utterly powerless against her. Obviously she's gorgeous so her "good looking bubble" is fully functional. All she needs is a smile and anyone will do anything for her. Then on top of that she's got the beautiful Brazilian accent. No one can say no to her. I can't say no to her. I won't.
She truly is the most interesting person. I've never been more intrigued by another human being. She's a second generation Mormon; her mom converted to the gospel. She just woke up one day, left little five-year-old Sister M at home with her dad and said: "I'm going to find a church." This is in São Paulo, Brazil mind you, so she looked at a lot of churches. She happens upon the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sees the elders outside, asks if they charge to park, and was baptized a month later.
Sister M is very much that way too. She's determined and hard working. She's also absolutely hilarious. She reminds me a lot of my mom. She makes the same outrageous exaggerations and when she's hungry and she sees delicious food she makes slurping sounds. I feel like I'm back home.
She's also way tough. She's hypoglycemic, which makes for some pretty scary fast Sunday's. Nothing has happened yet, I'm determined to always have a snack on me. She's also allergic to fish. Like really bad. She breaks out in hives. Before her mission, the only bike she's ever ridden had training wheels on it. She learned how to ride a bike on her mission family! She's amazing.
We speak mostly in English because she was an English teacher before her mission. But during the day, from 14:00-15:00 we speak Portuguese and from 16:00-18:00 we speak Japanese. My Portuguese right now is a lot of guessing and essentially speaking Spanish with a prayer in my heart that the word is the same in Portuguese.
That's another thing! In the Tokyo Mission, there is a Portuguese branch. It's infamous. Sister M served the first six months of her mission in this branch. Imagine: Studying Japanese for nine weeks just to get sent to the Portuguese branch and speak nothing but Portuguese for six months. She said she forgot everything by the end. So now, even though she's an older missionary than me, it's almost as if she's still a new missionary when it comes to Japanese. Is is the first time that my personal Japanese skills have been relied on. It's way weird to be the translating from Japanese into English. I'm so grateful for every minute I've spent so far studying this language. Every minute has helped. I am especially grateful for my companion before Sister G. I never knew how much Japanese I knew until I was only speaking Japanese all day every day. I was stretched. But now I feel like my Japanese muscles are loose, the lactic acids are flowing, and I'm ready to run.
N----- came to church for the first time yesterday! That was a miracle. A long time investigator stepped up to the plate and taught her about Sacrament. That was beautiful. I discovered D&C 123:17 and decided that I want to become this scripture this transfer.
"Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."
I like it a lot because even though it reminds us to do all we can, we still have to "stand still" and "see the salvation of God." Even if I did all things that lie in my power, I'd still be a lousy missionary. I need God's help every day. Even then, at the end of the day I fall short. But I know I have the grace of Jesus Christ to be the difference. Really, we all only have one weakness, as an Elder pointed out in a recent meeting, and that weakness is our unwillingness to rely on the Atonement of Christ. Once we really believe in the Atonement of Christ, once we really believe that we can be clean again from our sins and shortcomings,
God will make that weakness, strong. I testify that this is true.
I know that no matter what we can be forgiven of God and feelings of guilt and humiliation can become relief. The closer I get to God, the more clearly K see my imperfections but I have all the faith in the world that I can improve upon them. I know God sent His Son to die for us. I know that three days later the Savior of the World was resurrected. I know that Joseph Smith saw the resurrected Christ. I know that I am a representative of this living Savior of the world.
See you soon,