Monday, November 26, 2012

A Brazilian Thanksgiving!!

With the Petries in Sousa our Thanksgiving dinner (lunch) was pretty darn close to the real deal!  I was going to make home made rolls, but President and Sister Hall ended up coming to Sousa to do some training on Thanksgiving day, so I didn't have any time...darn, but Sister Petrie made some bomb mashed potatoes and gravy, a roast, pumpkin bars with cream cheese  frosting, AND real box brownies from the US!!  I've made some brownies while I've been here in Brazil, and I thought they were delicious, but when I put a bite of real brownies in my mouth I thought for sure I'd die of pure brownie goodness!  Since we had training with the Halls, our whole zone was together for our Thanksgiving meal, which made it all the more fun.  While we were washing dishes after the meal, all of the American missionaries started singing Christmas songs!  We're all feeling the holiday spirit, even if there isn't frost or snow.

Saturday was filled with craziness.  At 2:00 we had some men from the Branch show up to help us move apartments!  We just moved across the street, so it wasn't too complicated...but then again our new apartment is on the third floor, so those men got a good work out!  Sister East and I helped where we could, and stepped out of the way when our help didn't appear to be very helpful (heehee).  The difference between our old apartment and our new apartment is like the difference between a bitter carrot and a sweet carrot.  They're both the same thing, a missionary apartment, but one fills you with disappointment and disgust, and the other fills you with happiness and energy.  Even climbing the extra 3 flights of stairs is a bonus - more exercise!  No longer will Sister East and I return home at night to a dark, stuffy, apartment.  It's amazing how your environment truly effects how you feel.  These past few mornings I've woken up with a grin on my face and a ray of sun in my heart! 

We finished the move in two hours, and then Sister East and I headed to the Chapel to set up for our activity with the members.  We are doing a month long activity where each member will earn points for their organization when they do something to help missionary work.  For example, they earn points if they: bring a friend to church, bring a friend to an activity, give a reference to the missionaries, sit beside one of our investigators, go on splits with the missionaries, have FHE in their home and share a message, etc.  Our activity on Saturday was to get them excited about this competition.  We played a variety of games, and whoever won earned points for their organization.  I didn't know how this activity would work out, but Brazilians like a competition!  On Sunday we had a couple investigators at church, and I don't think a single meeting went by that a member wasn't sitting beside our investigators!  Then, in the morning as we were out passing by people's houses to take them to church, we passed by three of the young men from our Branch out trying to get their friends to come to church too!  haha!  I love it!!

I've been thinking a lot this week about our potential.  Often, we set limits for ourselves whether conciously or unconciously.  We look at other people and say that they are different, or the circumstances were different, and we can't accomplish the same things now.  However, that is not true.  Why can't we be as spiritually  powerful as Nephi or Moroni.  Why can't we be missionaries as effective as Alma and Ammon?  Why can't we raise children as firm as the Sons of Helaman?  Why can't we have wards and families as unified as the people of Enoch?  The only barrier we have is ourselves!  We can accomplish great things, we just need to believe - AND most importantly, trust in the Lord!!

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