This has been a crazy week with a lot of unexpected things! One of which is that I finally was able to finish my visa application this week!! As far as I know, I probably won't get it for another month or two still, but it's getting there! As I look back on the past 6 weeks or so in North Carolina, I know that I needed to come here first. There have been so many experiences and things I have learned here that I know the Lord needed me to learn. I have been able to help teach amazing people and have learned a lot about the importance of this work. It is truly helping people to change their lives and come closer to their Savior, Jesus Christ. No matter where that is done or what language you speak, it is important and necessary. I am so privileged to be a missionary and to share this message with others.
A funny experience we had this week...we tried to contact a less-active man. When we went to the address, a man was taking the trash out. He said that that family had moved a few months ago and he had just moved in. We talked to him a little and set up a time to teach him more. We were so excited, a new investigator! When we get to talking to him later at the appointment, he tells us he had a confession to make. We were a little nervous, but come to find out that he actually was the less-active man! He was scared when he saw us and immediately made up a fake name and story. But, he said he knew there was a reason God put us in his life. We're excited to meet with him again tomorrow. We also taught a lesson at a member's home around the campfire, that was pretty fun!
On Saturday, we had a special mission conference in Fayetteville. Two members of the Seventy (part of the leadership of the Church) came to speak to all the missionaries in our mission. It was great! One of them just came to America from Argentina and so he gave his talk in Spanish, with an elder interpreting to English for him. I understood a lot of it though! Even more importantly, I learned so much from what they said. The biggest take-away message I got is that we often limit ourselves far too much. They told us "don't limit yourself. Instead, allow God to expand your capacities, because He will." I know as we are optimistic, hopeful, and trust in God, He can make our lives much better than we could on our own. Part of this includes ALLOWING yourself to be happy and to enjoy life, even when it is hard. The bad things in life are inevitable, so we might as well enjoy life anyways! An analogy I really like is that we shouldn't be like the people in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, always stressing out about searching for that mysterious golden ticket, which may never even come. Instead, enjoy all the chocolate you get to eat along the way! I know that life has a purpose, and it is to be happy and to learn from our experiences. Never let discouragement last, it eats your faith faster than anything else. Fique firme na fe!