Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 49!

I left Caldas Novas!
Week 49--June 27, 2016

This week was the biggest shocker of my entire mission!  HOLY COW!!  Okay, so I have been in Caldas Novas for 6th months and this is my 5th transfer here.  I knew I’d probably be leaving next transfer, but not in the middle of the transfer!  I got a call that we were having an emergency transfer and that I would be leaving the next day to Patos De Minas!!!  Patos isn’t in Goiania, it’s in Minas, another state in Brazil.   Our mission only covers a little bit of Minas!  I was in complete shock when they called!  I thought something must have happened for them to do this so last minute with President Kuceki leaving this week.  (I’m so sad.  I’m going to miss Pres. & Sister Kuceki  so much!)  After we got the call that I was being transferred the next day we ran to visit Rodrigues, Fabiana & Rafael´s family, and all the members I’ve grown so close to.  It was so sad, I can’t tell you how many tears were shed.  It was super hard for me. 

When I called Rodrigues and Selia and told them I’d be leaving the next day we started crying and asking why already?  Why?  We planned our last lunch at their house the next day, before I left!  The entire day I was extremely emotional!  Selia (Rodrigues´s wife) and I kept crying and hugging.  Like I’ve said, in every area it gets harder and harder to leave the people I meet.... especially after 6 months!!  Rodrigues and Selia have become my parents here in Caldas.  Every time we need a ride we just call them and they take us where we need to go.  They always make lunch for us and when we need something we always stop by their home and they are always willing to help.  Selia gave us dresses and they gave us money to buy snacks.  Ah, they are just he most amazing, selfless people.  I didn’t want to spend my last day anywhere else than in their home.  I feel like their home is my second home in Caldas.  I love them so much I am crying just thinking about them.  During our last hours together we talked about the first day we met.  Sister Kendell and I knocked (clapped) at their door.  We talked about the first time that Rodrigues read the Restoration Pamphlet and how he felt the spirit so strong that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.  Then when we taught him about the word of wisdom he said ok, if a prophet received revelation that we shouldn’t drink coffee, then I will stop drinking it.  He is so obedient and has a strong desire to follow Heavenly Father.  Then I bore my testimony and said how proud I am of Rodrigues and his decision to be baptized 3 months ago and how he is such a good example because he is always sharing the gospel and inviting others to church.  I told him to keep honoring his calling in the bishopric and to help this ramo (smaller than a ward) grow in Caldas Novas.  Rodrigues & Selia were crying the whole time and they both said that their lives changed the day we entered their home.  They said that I am like their daughter and they want to keep writing me and keep in touch and they want to send me gifts when I get married and stuff.  Rodrigues bore his testimony and said our last prayer together, and you guys, this man has the purest heart!  He has so much faith in our Father in Heaven.  He told me that the greatest gift that God has given him was to bring us into his home and teach him the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He said that he is a different man than he was before we taught him.  Selia said, “yep, he is always reading the Book of Mormon and before this he didn’t even like to read!”  Rodrigues is my pride and joy!  I haven’t had the opportunity to stay in an area long enough to watch someone I’ve taught and baptized, progress in the gospel, get the priesthood, bless the sacrament, and become a member of the bishopric.  I love this man and I am grateful everyday to Heavenly Father that he gave me the opportunity and honor to teach him and know him.  A piece of my heart will always be left in Caldas with Rodrigues and Selia.

Then I said goodbye to Rafael and Fabiana´s family.  That was super hard too, because we were all planning that I would be there for their wedding and baptism...but not any more.  Fabiana was crying and super sad.  Then she made me PIZZA!!!  We were planning on her teaching me how to make all her yummy recipes on our next few p-days….but not anymore.  It was super hard, I bore my testimony and Rafael said that we were angels that God sent to him in his time of need.  I love this family.  They said they would call the new mission president and ask if I could be there for their baptism in July!  I am praying I will!!

I am loving Patos, Sunday was great!  We already had a miracle and found this lady Saturday and she came to church on Sunday and I have faith she will get baptized next week!!!  WOOT WOOT!!!  I love you all!  Thank you for your prayers, they help me, and strengthen me everyday!!!  xoxoxoxo Have a good summer!!

-Sister Smith

This cute member sells bread in the street. 
 I just adore her!

 Our favorite place to buy pastels. 

Rodrigues and Selia with the bishop and his other councilor.

Me and the bishopric in Caldas Novas.

Me with Rafael and Fabiana's family that will be baptized in July!  

Fabiana made me pizza, it was better than the restaurants here!

Saying goodbye to Caroline, Patricia wasn't there, she was in the hospital because her husband fell at work and broke his chin and all his teeth came out...super sad! 

Saying goodbye to Gene! 

Saying goodbye to Lais! 

Rodrigues and Selia, I love them with all my heart, our last lunch together 

My new companion!!!! Woot woot!!  Sister Ketlin, she is from Brazil and in the same ward as our new MISSION PRESIDENT!!


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