This past week has been simply amazing! I am so happy! You know Catia? The one I just love to pieces??? She has a smoking problem. And she already had been wanting to quit. But we had the word of wisdom lesson with her. And we asked relatively around how many cigarettes she would smoke each day. She said between 20 and 30. So we then asked her how many she thinks she could cute down to. And she responded "10" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ha. Isn't she so great!? We were going to say 15. But 10 is even better. And what is even better is she was able to achieve that goal the very first next day!!!! When we called to check up on her, she told us she was still under 10. And that was in the evening some time. I don't remember. But she is going to be baptized. She just has to because she is perfect and I just love her. We would be best friends! Ha. You may or may not be getting a Facebook friend request from her. :) And our plan is to make those cute little ccigarrette paper roll things with the scriptures on them that missionaries love to make. :) It will be perfect and super cute. Oh! And I love the picutures with Steffy!!!! She is just so cute! I miss her tons! And Cassy and Meg!!!!! Oh, I have sister deprivation. :P When does corbin leave on his mission again? I am sooo excited for him! Oh, I forgot. I am going to be sending a package home! I am not sure how much it will cost.... But just so you know and can expect it! :) So João, one of our investigator's-I don't know if I mentioned him to you guys or not. But he is the one that kept asking us to come with him to his church to watch his priests cast out evil spirits from people. They do this every friday at his church. But he really is super cool and he has a lot of faith. He told us he will pray about our church and our message. And if he gets an answer, he will come to church and continue and be baptized. But if not, then we won't talk anymore. So that is perfect! Because we know that if he sincerely prays, he WILL get an answer and it WILL be a yes! :) So we are excited. So we are praying that he gets one and that he recognizes the answer. Oh! I almost forgot! Did the government really collapse!?? That is insane! How is Dad's work doing? Oh, I guess he is hunting. ha. But Judy is still working right now right? How is she? You should tell her I say hi! And that I hope all is great with her and her family! So you know how we have english classes once of week for free for those who are interrested? Well this past week, we taught how to give directions. Then as the last thing we played a game. We put obstacles all around the room (it is held at the church in the bigger room where the baptismal fonte is), which consisted of chairs, the table, and our backpacks and a flower pot with fake flowers that we always have as decorations in our church's. Ha. Then one person is blind folded as another person gives them directions to get around all the obstacles and the goal is our friend the red trash can. :) Ha. So of course, everyone says that I just have to go first. So.... basically I just made everyone laugh. And one of the Irmã's held out their hand and I ran right into it. It actually quite scared me. But it was super fun. then Elder Later was blind folded and Bruno (A Brazilian) gave him directions. Basically we learned to never let a Brazilian give you directions. Hahahaha. It was hilarious! We'll just say he took a very long detour and went around many rotundas, oh I mean round abouts. :) It was great! I also realized lately that when I come home I am probably going to have a problem of speaking in Portugles. English and Portuguese mixed. ha. And I will just assume that you guys can understand me. So you know that cute red road that we discovered that I told you guys about? Well, we went there again and this time we called it the "Red Road Challenge." The challenge was to talk to every single person that we pass on it. So..... the end result was a little harder than we had planned. Ha. We just have to improve our skills when it comes to talking to people who are riding on bikes or running with ear phones. It is just hard because I just feel bad because it is so inconvenient for them. But we had a meeting about how when we stop people even when they are doing something or when it isn't the easiest contact, it shows them the importance of our message. So our goal is to get better at that one. Ha. But it was fun! Oh! Something I was quite embarrassed about. On the way to the red road, we walk across a parking lot and down and mini grass hill. When we came to the mini grass hill we go to walk down it and I go first. And our dog friend is there! (He is so cute and he has the stripes in his fur, he is really pretty) But I am petting the dog, and I go to take a step forward down the grass hill, and my foot slips from under me and it is a very dramatic fall where my foot flies up as the rest of my body falls down and I slide all the way down the mini hill. Ha. The grass was wet! And my shoes just slipped. I was laughing so hard. My companion was laughing too. Then I said. Well, at least we didn't go at the same time. We would have both gone down. Haha. So she took the dirt path way and avoided the fall. Yesterday right after church, we went to a members house for lunch. We got there and went in, and they have such a nice little home! Like they have expensive nice furniture and I loved it so much! It has been a while since I have been in a home that nice! I loved it! Cause usually it is an apartment or a shared home thing. I don't know how to explain that. But the food was super good! And afterwards Irmã Monica showed us her band studio room. And Elder Later played the guitar! He is actually really good! He played both the acoustic and the electric. And she had plugged them into her amplifyer so it sounded amazing. And she played the drums along with it. It was loud and so great! It sounded so good! Then when Elder later was playing a tune Elder Wilson went up to the mic and made up a song with lyrics about missionaries, missionary work, and the Book of Mormon! It was actually super good! Ha. It was so fun and funny. Then at night (yesterday) we decided to go to the little red road and see if it was lit up. We got to it and there were lights on either side of the bridge. But the bridge itself wasn't lit up. But the light extended a little so we decided it was fine. I got a little nervous feeling, but it was just a little one and I ignored it and kept walking. Then right about at the same time, Sister Warburton got a feeling, and my feeling came back even stronger. Then Sis. Warburton turned to me and said we should turn back. So as we walked back and got back under the light I started pondering about what had just happened and the creepy feelings I had just had. Then my thoughts just started putting pieces together and it was so cool the connections I made. I thought about how most people get weary feelings in the dark. And how whenever we are in the light, we just feel so much happier and safer. Then I started thinking about how evil is always sided with darkness and how good is always found in the light. Then I thought about spirits on the other side, and how we know that there are evil spirits. And then, how it is most likely that they like to reside in the darkness. And then I thought about the light of Christ and how one of my religion teacher's taught us some of his ideas. Like "doctrine according to him" So it isn't doctrine stated officially by the church. But the connection between the Light of Christ and light in general. And the power that makes it exist. And how we don't know everything about light. We can make light by harnessing that power, but we can't just control it completely, only harness it. And how light, and it's power comes from the light of Christ. And the fact that light dispells darkness, and so then maybe literally when we are in the light, evil spirits don't like it and so they avoid those areas and that is why we feel more at peace in the light than in darkness. And how as missionaries, that is a rule. To stay in well lit areas at night. So maybe there truly is something more behind that than we think. So it was just a really cool experience. Anyways, I love you guys so much!!! I hope all is well and you are enjoying life to the fullest! But being smart and doing good things at all times! Like, praying and reading the scriptures! There really truly is a power that comes from doing these things every day. So I hope you do them! Love you!
Sister Amanda Stokes