Está semana foi maravilhosa e cheia de bolo. Ba, eu amo bola, tá louco.
So this week was quite awesome. Yesterday, was Stake Conference and Elder Cruz of the Area 70 came and visited us. He's from Rio DE Janeiro and his accent in Portuguese is so flippin' cool. It was an amazing conference! I wish you were all here to hear what he had to say. It was amazing. Anyways, so my week was also pretty awesome. Clôvis went to all sessions of Stake Conference and he loved it. It was so cool that he had the chance to hear so many testimonies about the Book of Mormon, because the Spirit was there, I know that his testimony was definitely augmented.
SO, on Tuesday, we did a Family Night with a really awesome family, Paulo and Sandra. They have 6 kids, and they are the coolest family ever. We talked a little bit about how we need to make sure that our personal desires are the same desires that God wants us to have, so that we can arrive in the last day and tell our Heavenly Father that we did what he wanted us to do. Afterwards, we ate the best coconut chocolate cake ever.
On Thursday, we did "Noite dos Bolos" (Cake Night) at the church, and, Sandra, the marvelous cake cook, made a bunch of cakes for the ward...and yes, her cakes are amazing. She made cinnamon banana cake, strawberry cake, coconut chocolate cake, and any cake that you could imagine (except for potato cake, because I'm pretty sure that doesn't exist). It was awesome. We left a special message about choosing the right path to follow in our lives, and we did a really fun activity that everyone liked. It was really cool because there were a lot of non-members there, for the cake of course, but even though they expected the cake, they got something sweeter...a message confirmed by the Spirit. There was such a strong Spirit in the church, and we were all able to feel the Savior's love for us. It was a cool experience.
Friday morning, we didn't have lunch, so we ran to the market to grab some rice. It just happened that I entered in this tiny market at the right time, because as I entered, a man asked me if I was American. I said yes, and he told me that he had just been to Washington, DC! He started showing me photos of the capital building and the Washington monument and all the cool stuff back at home. I was messing with him and freaked out a little and told him that I saw my mom in one of the photos. He was like "whoa...really? THAT'S CRAZY!" I told him I was kidding and we started laughing. At that moment, another guy walked up to me and asked me if I was American. I said yes (because I am American) and he started speaking English with me and told me that he lived in Canada and was moving to England soon. I was able to tell him that my family had lived in England this passed year and that he's going to love it. As I started to explain our message to them, they kind of "had to leave" so we weren't able to talk much to them, but it was kind of a crazy coincidence that I ran into them.
Then, that night, we had a Family Night in another one of my favorite family's house, Luis and Suzete. They are awesome. And Cesar and Maria and Clôvis and Mariana (his daughter) also came. We were able to have a fun conversation and then leave a really spiritual message about loving your family and showing your love for your family. It was really cool the was that we all learned by the Spirit and were able to feel our Savior's love for us.
So I wanted to share a story with you that Presidente Parrela shared at stake conference:
So there was a city in the hills in the middle of nowhere. There was a wise man traveling through the hills, and as he arrived in the city, he noticed that it was very poor. The land wasn't very good and it was hard to plant seeds and farm. The only thing that they had was a tiny, skinny cow that gave them all milk. As the wise man arrived in the city, he noticed that all of the people were really skinny and poorly nourished. One of the people in the city went to talk to the wise traveler. He explained that they suffered all day and that they only had this skinny cow to live on. The citizen asked the wise man what he could do to have a prosperous city. The wise mine listened, was quiet for a little bit, and then looked at him and said, "Go push cow over." The citizen thought it was a crazy idea, but being obedient, went to the skinny cow and pushed it over. The skinny cow fell over, and broke his leg. The citizen ran to complain to the wise man, but the wise man had already left the city. Within a few days, the skinny cow died. About a year later, the same wise man was passing through the hill, and he came across a prosperous city that he had never seen before. He entered and ran into the same citizen that he had talked to a year before. The wise man asked what happened and the citizen said "Well, after the skinny cow died, we were desperate. So we were forced to work 10x harder to work in the fields to try and plant seeds. We had to work harder to harvest our crops, build our buildings, herd our animals, and basically, survive. Because of this, our city developed and now we are prosperous"
Sometimes, in our lives, we have a "skinny cow", and we need to kill that skinny cow so that we can prosper. Sometimes, there are things in our lives that are stopping us from progressing, things that seem good, but are stopping our progress. In our lives, we need to recognize this "skinny cows" so that we can overcome them, work harder, and have prosperous lives. So everyone, this week, it's time to push over the skinny cow in our lives. And it's through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we will be able to work harder to "harvest our crops" and have a prosperous life.
I love you all so much, and I know that this Gospel is true. Only through sincere repentance and loving our neighbor that we can really feel the most pure love of our Heavenly Father in our lives. He loves you and knows you personally. So push over your skinny cows so that you can all experience the potential that we have as children of the one true God.
HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!