Happy Monday! And Happy Birthday Dad and Uncle Alan! Hope it's a good one!
So word on the street is that I've been transferred! Today I had to leave Itacoatiara in the middle of the night with 2 other Elders. It was hard to leave that place. I can't believe how much people can touch our lives in such a short period of time. As I said goodbye to Carla and Lorencio, Carla's eyes filled with tears. She expressed her gratitude for helping them with the wedding and baptism. She told me that it had brought so much joy to their little family and that they are planning on being sealed in a year from now. I could not hold back my tears as I reflected on how I found their family. I didn't do anything that wasn't first inspired by Heavenly Father. His hand was in every step of finding and teaching that family. It could have been any missionary, but I'm really grateful that Heavenly Father gave that special mission to me. I love them so much and I want to come back in a year to watch their temple sealing. She also told me to give my mom a hug for her. Like Carla, I'm also grateful for the sacrifices you are making that allow me to serve here mom. Love you so much.
It was also hard to say goodbye to Irmão Miguel. He is the most happy excited and willing member we have here. When he knew that I was leaving, even he started crying. I couldn't believe it. I love that man. He is a convert to the church who was once very active in another church, but had a heart willing and open to find out if the Book of Mormon was true. When President Castro came to Itacoatiara, he hugged Irmão Miguel and told him, "I'm really going to need your help". And without a doubt Irmão Miguel will always be an example to me because of his tireless service and love. This last week he drove by us and stopped to ask, "What can I do to help you girls out?" I hope that I can be a member with that same attitude after my mission. Always seeking to serve and help.
Before I left, I went to visit some of my recent converts to say goodbye. To make the story short, I found them doing things that they shouldn't have been doing and it broke my heart. I thought back to the moments in the Book of Mormon when the prophets rebuke the people and cry, "oh how quick are you to forget!" I saw the reality of Satan's power right in front of me. There is absolutely nothing more terrible that exists. I was devastated, but I know that I left them in good hands because Sister Lomonte was there too.
It is completely obvious that wickedness never was happiness. That is why I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because it brings happiness. Carla said, "My recent marriage has brought so much happiness in our lives!" because she fulfilled a commandment from God. And in the same sense, I have never felt so much sadness like I have felt when I see someone disobeying God's commandments. I know that if we put our feet firmly on the path and obey we will be happy. I know God loves His children. I know that He has a work for me to do in Manaus before the end of my mission. I'm grateful to do His work. It brings me happiness. Let us be more obedient to God's commandments. I love you all.