Time runs by so quickly and I don't write and then all of a sudden something like tonight happens and I realize that I need to save and share it.
We have lots of opportunities to see the struggles and frailties of the ward, branches and stakes here and sometimes it gets discouraging and I wonder what we're doing here.
Today was Leadership Council where the area seventy meets with Howard and all of the stake presidents. Afterwards Elder Rais, the Seventy, held a meeting for all of the ward councils in the mission. We have eight stakes and one district in our mission with areas up to 2 1/2 hours away. And they came. On a Sunday afternoon they left their families and came. Some came in rented buses. One bus broke down and that stake never made it. But the chapel and cultural hall were packed. Every chair in the building was used to fill the aisles and every inch of space in the room. I'm sure we would've been considered a fire hazard. There were people standing outside the windows looking in and listening. My heart was full! These are saints who are dedicated to the gospel. They are willing to sacrifice for the building of the kingdom. We will grow and we will have success here in Piracicaba!
August flew by. The highlight was having Michael here for the month. It was so wonderful to spend that time with him. We also had a mission conference with Elder Campos from the Seventy. To be honest I was a little resentful of his visiting while Michael was here, not that he knew. But I just wanted to focus on Michael and not all of the planning and doing of a mission conference. But what a sweet experience it turned out to be. What a wise, kind and loving man. Our mission received another shot in the arm as a result of his visit.
This month has been a month where we're focusing on obedience. We touch on obedience often and it's disheartening to find the level of obedience in the mission is not as high as we hoped or desired. But we're tackling this head on and every missionary in the mission has signed a contract to be 100% obedient. Every leader has made a verbal commitment and we will be focusing on obedience and integrity at our upcoming zone conferences. We have confidence that as our obedience increases so will our success.
As your days in the US are getting shorter and cooler, ours are getting longer and warmer. Our winter was pleasant, our spring has been spectacular with the trees in bloom and now I'm psyching myself up for another sweltering summer. I have been unable to run because of tendinitis in my hip. I hope to be able to start again in the next few weeks but am rather sad that I missed the more comfortable cooler months to run and will be running in the heat again. Oh well. At least I hope I'll be able to run.
We love and miss you all and are grateful for your love and support!
My updated Vovó (grandma) wall with all of my grandkids
Sister Morgan (a sister who has returned home from our mission) visiting with Ashley's family. She fell in love with Mae. Who wouldn't??
Sunset from our balcony
Hanging out with the monkeys Pocos de Caldas
Visiting family in Sao Paulo while Michael was in town