I hope ya´ll did not eat too many latkes! I bet having the whole family together was very fun. I have always appreciated how strong and connected our family is. Especially since we have strong traditions on Dad’s side and everyone lives close on Mom’s. Thanks for buying me an ornament this year; I will never forget the year I was in the Amazon Forest. I know you are wondering about my package…I still haven’t received it but I still have hope that it will come before Christmas. A lot of Americans are only starting to receive their packages this last week. I will be able to check two times this week since we have District Meeting and the Temple this week. Which is really exciting this week, as I will be able to go to the temple here in Manaus! I am very excited since it almost the exact floor plan as Oquirrh Mountain temple, so it will be just like home! We then have interviews with President Klein and lunch with all the zones here in Manaus.
I thought it funny when I saw the picture of Sarah with the shovel, my first thought was dang I am glad I did not have to do that growing up. So imagine my surprise when Dad said Sarah wanted to shovel snow! Keep that attitude Sarah because you will have to do it a lot! 🙂 Laura thanks for the message, I do have to say I do miss the snow a little bit…but we are starting the rain season this coming week so I will have warm snow until July. lol
The two pictures I included are of my companion and I before going to Stake Conference and the other is our neighbor who made a room for their porch out of soda bottles. I thought it was pretty funny; people here are so creative. The day after I took the photo we had a lot wind so it all came crashing down. I hope they build it up again.
This week was actually pretty productive with Project Rescue and our investigators.
Daisy-She is a mother of two inactive members that has a testimony about the Book of Mormon and has attended church with her daughter and son for a long time but because she was living with her boyfriend she could not get baptized. She is now separated and is willing to be baptized. We just have to work on a baptismal date as she thinks she needs to have a lot of church clothes before being baptized. I really like her a lot and she wants to meet ya´ll at the end of my mission.
Jessica (without Andreia)-As we were walking past the alley where Jessica lives, I felt that we should visit. Jessica and Andreia were home but it was very clear that only Jessica is interested. We taught the first lesson and found out that Jessica already finished the Book of Mormon and is almost half way through again! I am really praying hard that her mom will see us more as good examples and let us baptize her.
We discovered this week why we have had such a hard time getting our investigators to progress by reading and coming church. Almost all of our investigators here are members of Assembly of God. They have been told that they can listen to us but not read or go to our church because it might cause confusion. We went through 11 investigators in two weeks because of this. I have been working and studying and listening hard to the spirit during lessons to overcome this challenge. It has helped this past week to know who really to teach and how to touch the hearts of our investigators.
One thing that I realized is that there are always opposites. As we were knocking doors for the project, we ran into an investigator or inactive member (we are not really sure because her life story about the church is really conflicted). She got really excited and said me and my husband were just talking about your church right now and want ya´ll to talk to us, but another day. We then scheduled an appointment. When we returned we were very surprised how different the conversation was. She turned out to just want to bible bash and try and convert us. We bore our testimonies many times and I felt like there was a block there. We are going to try one more time to teach because most of her doubts are in the first lesson and every investigator should have two chances in my opinion. So to contrast, the next day we taught Daisy. The humility and sincerity to know the truth is so contrasting.
I have learned so much about choices and the things we choose to influence and direct our lives. Our choices to be happy and follow Christ can shed so much happiness and love in our lives. When making choices, always think what will it be like in a week, month, year after I choose this path. Keep an eternal prospective.
As for eternal prospective…Have a great wedding Derek and Rebecca! I hope everything goes well and is one of the best moments in your lives! Rebecca I am so excited to have you in our family. 🙂
Have a great week! Enjoy the snow!
P.S. As a reminder, this is the last public post of Sister Janis’ letters. I have received several emails from those who are getting the RSS feed and would like to be on the email distribution list for her future letters. If you haven’t already, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. If you are already receiving these letters by email from the blog, I have your email addresses and will add them to the new email distribution list.