That, my friends, is a direct quote from a story Elder Keene told us this week about an experiment where scientists tried to introduce currency to a group of monkeys and one monkey got smart and stole the bag of coins from the keeper and got the other monkeys to do tricks for him. Elder Keene is a font of endless historical knowledge. Sometimes it's a little exhausting but we do okay :)
This week was good-- I had my first real discouragement that hit me last wednesday and thursday... I was feeling really anxious about teaching and trying to understand my investigators and also a lot of random small things. I was feeling rough. But then me and Elder Keene and Elder Bunch and Elder Lyman sat down and really talked. And we had a very spiritual conversation about conversion and how the adversary is really, actively working against us. And I learned something really fundamentally important about teaching with the Spirit--
Because when I started smiling, and went into the lesson with Neyderson just desiring with all my heart to help him come unto Christ. You'd be surprised how easy it is to care deeply about the eternal salvation of an investigator who also happens to be your teacher for 3 hours a day. Pretty amazing. But the happiness, that sincere desire to serve and to lift and to help, brings the Spirit every time. And then... who cares how my Portuguese sounds?
(although it's sounding pretty good #domdelinguas #jennastyle)
I can teach pretty much a whole lesson in portuguese and say mostly what I want to say! And I had an interesting revelation... I think if I was teaching in English, I would talk WAY TOO MUCH. I would try to reason out the gospel to the people I met, like the missionaries did to Brigham Young in some of the two years before he decided to be baptized. But in Portuguese I only know the basic, pure doctrine. And then I can bear my testimony! EU SEI QUE O EVANGELHO E VERDADEIRO! Verdade.
To the people: shoutouts to
--Jenna for getting transferred again because she's so good that everything that every district wants her
--Daniel and Ashley for going to the coolest places and being like, okay, just taking a weekend to India. and probs Bali. Fun fact: Elder Keene is a lot like Daniel. The more I think about it, the more similarities I see. Elder Keene really wants to go into the foreign service and so when I read him some about your India trip he got reeeeeeeally excited. You're inspiring him muito.
--Darren and Carey for some really delicious cookies and an even more VISUALLY DELICIOUS CHRISTMAS TIE. I will be wearing it for whatever fireside/devo they decide they want me to play cello for. Also for sending Top 5's that are way too long for me to read in my 60 minutes of email time.
--Scott and Kiersten for using my camera and sending me pictures! Only downside... you sent me pictures of homemade pie. Cruel. Just cruel. <3
--Mom and Dad for the package which arrived today (Tuesday/Pday) full of goodness and perhaps the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever tasted. Absence makes the tastebuds grow fonder.
-Yes it is freezing here. LIke the low a few nights ago was -14. Imagine waking up at 5:30 to go get a sack breakfast wearing shorts and an overcoat #notbrazil
-Yes I do wake up at 5:30, not 6:30 every day. We got the early time slot for all our meals so bfast is at 6:30. I empathize a little more for Dad's plight agora.
-I'm working up O Holy Night with Elder Sanchez from Reston, VA! and Sister Favero from somewhere. We'll audition this Thursday. Prayers appreciated.
-Health update: feeling great, taking meds. No symptoms. The eye twitch came back a bit this week but I'm just trying to ignore that.
-my primary duty as District Leader is to get the mail. And I interview senior companions in the district and conduct our district meetings and such.
Jeremiah 1:6-8 was a great scripture for us this week. Also D&C 84:75ish-85. Neither purse nor scrip.
I love you all! Don't get weird without me. And be prepared to face a 4-square master when I come home a long long time from now. Don't be offended by this-- I'm not homesick. I know the gospel is true, and that is my life force that sustains me in this work. It is the reality of our existence.
Eu amo voces! Tudo bem!!