Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 2 in Formosa

Dearest family & friends,

Hope you all had a happy Mother´s Day yesterday! I was happy as can be talking with my family last night. I went to bed with a huge smile and a happy heart! :) The internet connection wasn´t the best and there was a dog that would not stop barking, but even so I loved being able to see them and hear their voices. I think I really needed that phone call to make me a little more excited to go home here in a few weeks.
Hooray for being able to talk with you guys yesterday!! Sorry for the bad internet, but at least we got to talk for a little bit.

This past week was very tiring but rewarding. My companion is Sister Alves from São Paulo, and she is great! She is super shy but has already opened up a lot. It´s kind of hard to be shy in the mission when we have to talk with everybody all day long haha. I am getting along really well with her. It´s funny because everybody here in Formosa asks how much time each of us has in the mission...she is in her first transfer and I am in my last! She has to be reminded of that everyday. I don´t think I am trunky and I try not to talk about home too much because that would really suck for her. She is such a champ, though. We ended up walking a ton this past week because our area is huge and we still don´t know the shortcuts and whatnot through the town to get from one side to the other, but she didn´t complain once. We walked a ton in Formosa and in Cabeceiras.

Sister Alves!!
Cabeceiras is a small town that is about an hour away by bus from Formosa. (Everything is an hour away from Formosa! Our district leader, our zone leaders, the nearest cities, etc). A lot of the members who live there work on the Church´s farm in Unaí, Minas Gerais. Apparently the farm is huge!! I really want to visit there but doubt I will have time. Anyway, we go to Cabeceiras once a week to help the group that is forming there. A few years ago they had a branch but it shut down and everybody fell away. Some members stayed active and drove each week to Formosa but they are trying to start a group and eventually form a branch in Cabeceiras. I am amazed by the faith of the members there and everything they are doing to reactivate members and really "lift where they stand." Here in Formosa and Cabeceiras I have seen great examples of strong members who are willing to do whatever it takes to build the Lord´s kingdom where they are. They could easily decide to move to a different town where the church is stronger or fall away, but instead they are dedicating themselves to a righteous cause.  It is a good lesson to learn, especially as my mission comes to an end. 

I think the Lord has put me in this area for a few reasons. One being I need to learn the importance of puttng the gospel first. It will always be easier to come up with an excuse and find a way out of fulfilling our duty and magnifying our calling, but it is exactly during these moments that we need to find the strength and motivation to do what is right. It may appear that we are alone or that we don´t have support, but the Lord is always by our side. I am also learning the importance of truly trusting in His guidance. Opening Formosa and having to train has been a good opportunity for me to learn to be humble and ask for His help. Not that I relied on the Lord less in my other areas, but it became something more natural the more time I was there. I have been reminded that we need to call upon His help daily so that we are led by the Spirit. 

I am excited for these next 5 weeks and for being able to discover the miracles the Lord has waiting for us. We had a miracle yesterday with Gabriel, but in a couple of weeks I will write about it. It will be better to tell the story after it unfolds :) 

Other good news from the mission: I finally know what people say when they talk about the "interior" of Brasil, in other words the towns that aren´t as developed. I have always wanted to know what the interior is like and now I know! Formosa is interior and Cabeceiras is even more interior! There are cows walking in the streets, horses walking around too, and the roosters wake us up in the morning. It´s not totally farm town because there are nice buildings, but there are plenty of dirt roads and open fields. The best part is the view....I continue to be amazed by how beautiful this earth is!

Welcome to Cabeceiras
View from our apartment balcony. To the left you can see the church building :)
Hope you are happy & healthy!! Keep me in your prayers, please! 

Sister Kerr

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