This last week has been way crazy and I don't know where to start. I guess I can never go wrong with starting that I have grown spiritually and strengthened my testimony. I do know that the Lord is on my side and is raising me up. I really loved what you said in one of your emails Mom, that in times of trial we grow the most. I have seen that in many elders and sisters and starting to see it in myself also.
We had transfer meeting on Monday and transfers on Tuesday and I am now in the city of Camaçari! I left Dias D´ávila and Elder Ruiz there and it was definitely a sad moment. Elder Ruiz has really been a great companion for me, he has helped me grow up a ton and learn a great deal about myself. I didn't really know that he had such a gigantic affect on me until we had to separate to meet our new companions. I love him a ton and know that he will baptize the heck out of Dias D´ávila now that he has a Brazilian companion who can speak a whole lot better than I!! I am way happy for him. My new companion is Elder .......... Agusto! He is from the state of São Paulo and has been on his mission for 1 year and 6 months. He has one sister that is 17 and lives with his mom and sister there. He has been around the block a few times I can tell and will really help me with my language and conveying the message of the gospel. We live in another apartment that is way nice! Sisters lived in the apartment before us and soooo it's got everything you can dream of ha. It has 2 rooms, one bathroom, a big living room, kitchen, and the sweetest part is an upstairs porch on top of the house!! I can see pretty much our whole area from there! I have been blessed with great houses my whole mission. The Lord is for sure looking out for me ha. We did have a few friends show up when we pulled out the drawers but don't worry nothing is faster than the handy-dandy sandal ha. And hopefully they don't have a family living there because I'll find the little suckers and smash 'em all! Everything is great where I live I just have to get used to the new companion and the role that I need to play to make us successful missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ. One thing that will help a little bit or really a whole lot is that my new companion is not like Elder Ruiz at all really. Elder Ruiz could talk for hours without stopping to breath and so almosos were a breeze. Show up at the Irma's house and talk a little bit with everyone and then like a clock my companion went to work talking away ha. But my new companion is a little different and more quiet ha. So I guess the Lords telling me to open my mouth ha. It's all good though because the more I talk the better my accent will get and the more fluent my speaking will be. Wish me good luck ;) ..
We also had our last meeting with President Toledo. I remember President Smith in Texas and how good of a man he was and is. But I never got a chance to build a love with him. With President Toledo it was a little different, I have had the chance to have a one on one interview with him a few times and talked to him every week through email and when he was giving his final words the spirit hit me so strong that he was called of God and lead this mission as a vessel for the Lord. The final things he said to us were so powerful and I wish I could share them with you the way he said them. He spoke on the the atonement of Jesus Christ. I have heard Apostles speak and Prophets speak on the television but how he presented the greatest gift to mankind so well justified the magnitude of feat. I have never wanted to testify of the Saviors atonement so much as I do now. Because what Jesus Christ accomplished in that garden so far away has never been so apparently needed in my life as I need it now.
I know that Heavenly Father doesn't expect perfection from us, but I have never wanted to be so perfect in my life as I do now. Thinking back at all the mistakes I have made, all the injuries that I have felt, all the sadnesses, shortcomings, faults, weaknesses, and sins I have committed was all felt by my Savior, Jesus Christ. And why did he do that? Because I needed a Redeemer and also so he can say,"I know how you feel. Because I have felt that." I know that the atonement is real for everyone. And the most humbling thing I think that I realized during Presidents talk was that the Greatest Achievement of all Humanity, the thing that holds it all together, the Atonement of all the sins in the world was suffered, kneeling. I know that my President was called of God, Himself. I know that he has a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and the Atonement. And I want you to know that I do too. He lived, He atoned, He died, He rose, and now he wants us to return to him.
love, abraço .. your Elder Brown