Hey, another quick week down!
Well, not much happened this week. It was super busy, but with stuff in the office. Buying tickets for missionaries going home, doing health stuff, planning for the last week of the transfer, etc. I stayed busy but just with stuff that isn't super interesting to you guys.
But, I did have a pretty interesting experience this week. There is a Sister, from São Paulo, that's here in our mission serving as a temporary missionary waiting for her visa. She was called to the Fort Lauderdale mission. A few weeks ago, she was able to get it, and so this week she had to travel to São Paulo to do an interview at the American Consulate. The church sent us her flight plans and she was leavingat , so that means we had to get a taxi to get to the airport at . President was traveling doing interviews and the assistents we doing splits, so it was my responsibility to get everything sorted out for her. I set my alarm on my watch and phone for so I'd have lots of time to get ready. Then morning, I woke up with a start. I looked at my watch... and it was !! Both my companions and I had slept through the alarms! We through on our clothes as fast as we could and called the taxi. The Sister's apartment is only 2 roads down from ours, and we were out in front of it waiting for the taxi at . I've never gotten ready that fast before! The sisters were ready to go as well. So it was Elder Dantas, Sister Abdo (the one who was going to São Paulo), Sister Behner (her comp), and me heading to the airport. Once we got there we rushed inside and went to talk to the people at the counter. It was by this time, and as you can probably imagine I was pretty stressed out and nervous. But as Sister Abdo was talking to the people, one of the workers shook his head... it was too late. It was at that moment that I thought that my life was finished.... We tried to get him to let her on, but he wouldn't, and the next flight wasn't until . I wasn't quite sure what to do, but the only option we had was to head back to the center of the city where the office/apartments are and then go back to the airport to trade her ticket in for the flight. The only thing I could think during that drive back was "Man... I'm dead!" Honestly I don't know if I've been as stressed as I was during my mission! So Elder Dantas and I went back to the mission office and the first thing I did was get ahold of the church in São Paulo to let them know what happened. The guy that works for the church travel office was pretty stressed out as well, but he said that we should just send her on the next flight and he'll see what he can do. Then I called President to let him know. But, he wasn't too worried as I had already talked with São Paulo and had a backup plan to get Sister Abdo there. So we went back, got the ticket traded (without a fee!) and got her on the plane. Phew! In the end, it all worked out, but I learned a valueable lesson to never let myself sleep in again, because wow that was a stressful experience!
As far as work in the field goes, to be honest it's been a bit tough recently... It seems like we find someone really good, but then something ends up happening and we can't find the person at home anymore, they lose the desire to learn, etc. There certainly are benefits of being in the mission office, but field work is for sure a lot more complicated with the limited time we have! But, if there is one thing that I've learned until now on the mission, it's that the Lord will always provide a way for us to do the things we are expected to do. I'm sure that all my companions and I need is patience and to continue serving and being obedient and He will provide us with success. Sometimes, in my experience, the hardest things that we have to do and deal with aren't necessarily physical or emotional trials, but continuing to be firm and endure to the end in every moment. Lots of times when we have appointments and lessons that fall through, we're left with nothing planned for the next hour and a half. After being rejected and not having a lot of success, lots of times the last thing you want to do is keep working! It's always so much easier to just go home a bit earlier, or sit down on a bench to take a break, but I believe that the Lord gives us these moments at times to test our faith. Can we really keep going, even when it seems like nothing is going our way? Do we really have the desire, willpower, and faith to keep pushing forward and endure to the end? For me, this is hard. But I know that it's in these times that the Lord really does bless us. He knows our hearts and our struggles, and he will be there to bless us and give us the strength necessary to keep going. It's after we keep pushing though with faith in these hard times that we will see the miracles in our lives. Everyday, I focus on trying to work a little bit more and continue and, as President Monson says, always "pick the harder right instead of the easier wrong."
I'm grateful for the chance I have to be a missionary and serve the Lord. I know that even though it isn't easy, serving a mission is the best choice I've ever made. Thank you Mom and Dad for all the support that I have gotten from you, both before the mission in order to be here and now as a missionary in the field! I have a great support system at home and I can't thank everyone enough!
Sorry for the short email! This next week should be really busy and there is lots to do, so let's hope everything goes smoothly. later!