It's been another amazing and packed week. My companion and I are really getting to grips with the language. We even learnt the subjunctive case yesterday!!! We seem to know most of the vocabulary necessary for the lessons, even if we know barely anything normal like food! We have been testing each other on items in the cafeteria though- like garfo for fork and colher for spoon.
So last week Neil L. Anderson came to give us a talk. It was really inspiring. He reminded us that everyone makes sacrifices and we shouldn't try to make out that one is more important that the other. There were some really good messages about the only competition being ourselves, rather than other missionaries who might be seeming to get things quicker than you. He was escorted out immediately after the meeting- I guess to avoid a tidal wave of missionaries. However, we got stuck in foot traffic so decided to go around the outside of the building instead. Just as we came out we saw an official looking car and his family and then he came out to meet any of us that had been lucky enough to try that route. We got to shake his hands and he even responded to my 'obrigada' :) It was very exciting!!!
We learnt a lot about asking good questions to our investigators in lessons. They are so determined to help us here. My companion and I were lucky enough to have someone spend some time just with us, hearing us practicing and helping us see how we can dig a little deeper with our questions so that people really think.
Another one of our elders got his visa and has left for the Brazil MTC, so now there are only 4 of us left in our district. We do have 2 new sisters though and they love music. So we did a sister's musical item this week- the same arrangement of 'He sent his son' that we sung at Tomas Sagripanti's farewell but in Portuguese and everyone seemed to really appreciate it. We just have so many great opportunities here.
We also watched an amazing Jeffry R Holland talk.... I know, when are his talks not amazing?! It was recorded like 10 years ago at the MTC and he hadn't prepared any of it, he just spoke from the heart. It was so inspiring. He reminded us that we need to 'Astonish' people with a kind of thunder like that which accompanied the angel the visited Alma. He also had this terribly young looking elder read one of the scriptures and there was just the most hilarious exchange as the elder looks admiringly at him and is asked 'did you stutter?' Obviously he is quick to agree with an apostle, but really the verse had just repeated an important phrase and Holland was making a point. It was hilarious! Those sort of experiences are so uniting for our zone and district, as we talk about what we have seen together.
We also had a mission conference where a newly converted family came along to share their story and answer questions. It was so great to see a whole family that has joined together with their 3 children. The father talked really sincerely about the effect of the spirit in conversion. The mother had been around mormon friends for years, but it was only when they moved than a new friend asked if she wanted to meet the missionaries. They also had some amazing experiences when she was asking if the book of mormon was true. She always told her children that a hummingbird was rare and precious and kind of magical in a way and would point towards good things. When she prayed about the book of Mormon, she saw a hummingbird come and sit on her window sill for several minutes. She knew that has been a sign from Heavenly Father especially for her.