Feliz ano novo!
So, this week was pretty great. We didn´t get to teach a lot at the beginning of the week due to the holidays, but things have picked up.
For the new year, we went to the stake president´s house to eat some food and then hit the sack. ´´Gracas a Deus´´ I had ear plugs, whereas my poor companion didn´t sleep at all that night due to all the fireworks and music.
Our ward switched to the afternoon now, which is pretty great because now we can study in the morning, but we have to walk to church in the rain and don´t get to teach as much.
Today, I want to share the story of Irma Luci, Yolanda, Junior, Felipe, Maria Clara, and Ana Clara. Irma Luci has 11 kids that´s she´s raised on her own, cleaning other people´s houses to make a living for her family. She walks an hour every morning to get to the family´s house where she cleans and walks an hour at night to return home. Three years ago, the missionaries knocked on her door. At that point in her life, she was pretty much a chain smoker, but as each of her children started getting baptized, her own testimony grew and grew. Finally, one day, the missionaries said ´´Luci, this week, you´re going to quit smoking.´´ She laughed in their face, but really tried through fasting and prayer to make an effort. A couple days later, the missionaries asked if she´d quit yet. When Luci admitted that she´d smoked one cigarette before church, the embarrassment and guilt she felt was so much that she never picked up a cigarrette again. To this day, she has never even touched a cigarette and is one of the strongest, toughest moms in the church. She´s supporting a son on a mission, she pays her tithing every month even though their aren´t enough beds in the house for all of her kids, and her daughter Yolanda teaches with us all day at least 4 days a week. Luci will share her testimony with anyone and everyone of the power of the atonement in helping her stop smoking and the importance of paying tithing. I love going to their house, not because it´s anything fancy or they have yummy food. The exact opposite, they have nothing to give. But every time one of the kids sees us from a distance, walking down the dirt path to their house, they all gasp and yell, ´´the sisters are coming! the sisters are coming!!´´. The whole house turns upside down, dust flying everywhere. It´s hilarious. I feel so loved and special to this family that tries so hard to do everything the Lord asks. If only they knew how special they are to me. I love the example Luci and her family are, and I´m working to one day have the same faith and strength she has shown through her life.
I love you family! Transfers were this week. I´m sticking with my companion (whom I still love) and the same area. Sister Kemer´s leaving for the equator, but she´s tough and will survive. Ahhh, until July, Sister K.
Good luck with all the New Years resolutions! Make the spiritual ones a priority and I know the rest will follow.
Lots of love,