This week I have so much to say. Prepare yourselves because it´s going to be a long email! :) Last week was an amazing week and I hope this one continues to be as well. There were a million good things leading up to my birthday but I will start with my birthday and go on from there.
Honestly, I couldn´t have asked for a better birthday in the mission. My day started with Sister Bezerra singing "Parabéns" to me with candles and bolo de mandioca (my favorite). We had our studies as usual and after lunch we went out with a member from a different ward. Amanda is 18 but wants to serve a mission next year. I love when members are willing to go out with us! It changes the routine for us and for our investigators.
One of the lessons we taught was with Fernanda, an elect we found last week! She is perfect. At night we had already marked a family home evening in the chapel but Elder Pedroso called to say that at 8pm there would be a going away party for Elder Bay, who was going home, and Elder Cottrell, another elder in our zone who had passed through Taguatina 1. We told him that was fine because we would be there anyway.
The family home evening was perfect! We had 4 investigators there and had invited some members to come as well. Little by little more members started showing up for the going away party. The activity we planned was about the plan of salvation and everybody was participating. Fernanda even taught some parts! She had learned the plan of salvation only an hour earlier and already understood everything.
By the end of the family home evening there was at least a third of the ward there with cakes, brownies, soda, and salgados. Everybody gathered together and they started singing happy birthday to me ("Parabéns para você" in Portuguese). Sister Bezerra told me the ward had planned the party as a going away party but it was mostly for my birthday :) Some members gave me little presents like earrings and sweets. I felt super special that everybody had driven to the chapel to celebrate my birthday and the elders going away. Most of the members live in Vicente Pires which isn´t exactly close to the church building.
If I had to sum up my birthday in one word it would have to be "perfect." :)
To be honest my birthday has continued until today haha. Every day since my birthday I have received a little present from a member or missionary. Today at the transfer meeting Sister Muniz gave me a little present and when I opened my emails I had even more birthday emails. I don´t know what I did to deserve such great family and friends but I am truly grateful.
Onto transfers...I stayed in Taguatinga 1! Hooray!! Even though the last transfer was really difficult in the beginning I learned so much. The fruits of our labors will be realized this transfer! I would send a picture of my companion but I don´t know who it is yet. I will find out tomorrow because I am training! I knew this day would come but I didn´t think it would be this transfer. Everybody had already been telling me for some time that I would most likely train when the next group of sisters came in.
Since I got to Brasil in March only four sisters have arrived - two in April and two in July. We will be getting four more sisters tomorrow and one of them will be my companion. Two Americans have been serving in the states since July waiting for their visas and they finally got them. I am nervous to train so all of you have to pray extra for me! haha.
I have a million more things to say but I have written enough. Just know that I am extremely happy in the mission. This past week was awesome even though it was kind of rough to miss Bren & Carlie´s wedding. I laughed/cried so hard when I saw all the pictures today haha. I have a sister-in-law now!!
PS This computer isn´t letting me send pics so I will send some next week.