Hey everyone!!! You have no idea how much we missionaries look forward to P days!! It is so good to get a break from our week of hard, hard work....but, I am enjoying my time as a missionary. This week was A LOT better than weeks past. I have been a lot happier and the time this week went by a lot faster. Im still working on the language, still cant understand a whole lot, but it is okay. I have found that even though I cant have a real conversation with someone, I can still bear my testimony and talk about the Gospel, which is the most important thing, right?? I have tried all week to not stress about the language, and I have done good! Ive learned that as long as I study hard, work hard, and pray hard, I will get it eventually. Something that helped me was today i got an awesome letter from my grandpa Beckstrom who served here in Brazil too. He told me not to worry about the language and that soon I will be speaking it and understanding just fine. It really helped me out!
Some other things have helped me too. There are some lyrics in the song Walk On by U2 (haha it was only a matter of time till I started quoting U2 in emails, huh!??) They say `And I know it aches, and your heart it breaks, and you can only take so much...Walk On`. That helped me because, although I do struggle at times and it feels like I cant take it anymore, I just have to walk on (literally haha, we walk SO MUCH). I just have to keep trying. I know the Lord will help me. The song goes on: `What you got they cant deny it, cant sell it or buy it.` This helped me because I know that the message I have is so important! The people here need to hear it! They can make the choice whether or not to accept it, but they are only going to hear it from the missionaries. It is my job to invite them to hear this message! Another thing that helped me was a scripture that my Aunt Lisa sent me last week, D&C 122:5-9. It made me realize that no matter how hard things get, 1) the Lord is ALWAYS with me and 2) every struggle will be for my benefit in the end! (So yes, Lisa, if you are reading this, that scripture really helped me! Thanks!!) My mom also said something last week that helped me too: `There is a struggle with anything worthwhile. That´s what makes us appreciate things.` Thanks mom! That helped me so much!
This week has gone good. We are having some trouble with finding people that really want to hear our message. Lots of our `investigators` told us this week they didnt want to hear anymore from us and that they didnt believe it. That was sad for us to hear. But we have one family and two young women that we are really counting on this week! They came to church yesterday and loved it! We are going to work hard with them this week! Things with my companion and I are about the same. he doesnt really like to talk with me and he is always talking about how much he wants to go home (he leaves in August), which kinda stinks for me because I still have 21 months left! But did I mention that he is the district leader? Its kinda cool cause I get to help with the training at district meetigns and I get to help out with baptismal interviews. This morning I had an interview with the zone leader and he told me he is confident that soon I will get the language totally down and that I will be a mission leader soon as well.
This week I had a cool experience where I was able to explain and talk about 3 Nephi 11 all by myself and the Spirit was really strong. I couldnt believe that I did it all by myself, but now looking back on it, I know Heavenly Father was there helping me. Tonight, as we do every Monday night, we are going to a members house for Family Home Evening. I love doing FHE here with the members! We bring a baseball hat that we call the scripture hat! We have filled it with a bunch of slips of paper with scripture references on it. A mix of Bible, BofM, and D&C verses. We pass it around and everyone takes one scripture and reads it and then explains it and bears their testimony. It is so cool. I have seen these families become so much closer just by doing this.
My favorite food this week was this fruit salad made with papaya, bananas, apples, and pineapple. BEST THING EVER
Well, I will close with my testimony that I know this is the true church of Christ here on earth. Thomas S Monson is the prophet that leads and guides us. The Book of Mormon is the true word of God. I have such a strong testimony of that amazing book.
Tchau! - Elder Eastwood
PS: About the pictures...the one of the pasta is this really good meal the sisters made us for lunch today...I ate a ton of it and really loved it! It wasnt until after that I learned it was made with goat cheese...oops...the one of me and my awesome neck tan line and holding the plate is of Goiabada, my favorite snack here! I eat it for breakfast a lot. It is this fruit leather stuff made from the goiaba fruit, I put whipped cream on top of it to make it even better :) Then there is a picture of Bono cookies! They have a brand of cookies called BONO! So cool and so good! Finally, I felt inclined to leave a picture of one of the six awesome blisters on my feet :) Enjoy!