Yep that is right, this coming week is my last full week on the mission! I don’t expect to have an opportunity to write again before I leave. I can’t believe it either. It went by pretty quickly, didn’t it? I think so.
This week we had the baptism of a less active member's son. His grandparents are active in the church. His name is Matheus and he is awesome at soccer.
Honestly, I don't feel like it has hit me yet that I am leaving Brasil in a week. My mission has truly grown a part of me and there is a great place for Brasil in my heart. Brasil is my third home after Colorado and BYU. I love these people so much, a love so different than I have felt before. Love that I believe comes from God. I have been given so many opportunities to know my Savior better and His perspectives and love for others.
I have learned that true happiness and joy comes from serving others. It is something that you can't even describe. Just feel. Missionary work is so amazing because you go out and you just share and testify of the truth. We don't sell this gospel, we don’t rent it, and we don’t convince people that it is true. But we invite. We invite others to know that God is a loving God and that he did send His Son. That families can be together forever only through the sacred power of the Priesthood that was restored to Joseph Smith, Heavenly Father's prophet.
I don’t know what is better than helping people. I am excited to come home, but honestly I am sad to not be able to give full-time service to others 24/7. Through the amazing moments of investigators’ progression and reading the Book of Mormon and praying to God, repenting, changing their lives and being baptized... to the tough moments of investigators giving up on you, to tears and returned copies of the Book of Mormon, slammed doors, and sad phone calls. It has been quite the two years. From the good to bad, I wouldn't trade this small time of my life for anything. I feel closer to my Savior.
We gave a present to a recent-convert named Carmélia yesterday for Christmas. It was a small nativity set. She said (with tears in her eyes) "thank you so much. I might not have anything to give you two, materially, but I believe the best present I can give to you two is my conversion. My whole life has been completely changed because of you two and mostly because of God. I am so different. I pray and read the Book of Mormon every single night and I feel an enormous peace that I have never felt before, every single night."
I would just like to testify that I know that God is our Eternal Father and that we are His children. I know that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to redeem us of our sins and to enable us to become saints through His atonement. I know that the Keys of the Priesthood and Christ's Church were restored here in the Latter-days, all because of a humble prayer from a boy named Joseph Smith. I know that President Thomas Spencer Monson is a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator of God.
Thank you for all of your amazing support and love during these two years. I hope to see you all very soon.