week 67 . the latest from Brazil

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To start out, we heard about what happened in Paris. I was blown away. It seemed so surreal hearing about it out here. It's so sad that these things happen and that there are people who have so little respect for human life. We are keeping all who were affected in our prayers. 

Early in the week we had mission counsel. We were able to learn a lot with the AP's and President and Sister Soares. On Monday night Sister Castilho and I had a long talk about our work here and what we felt like we were doing right and what we needed to change. During the counsel on Tuesday it seemed as if everything that was said was meant for us! I felt so powerfully that God knows us and what we need in our area to be better missionaries and to help His children. We came home excited to put what we had learned into action and this week was truly wonderful because of that.

Mission Council
Megan and Sister Brown 

Sister Castilho and Sister Lopes

Megan and Sister Carvalho
We dedicated ourselves this week to helping Paulo and Paulino recognize the answer that God had given them that the church is true. We couldn't understand why they didn't realize how prepared they were spiritually. We spent the week doing everything we could to resolve any doubts they had about the church, members went to their house to do the same thing, but they still were unsure. Finally on Friday we felt that we should talk about the Plan of Salvation, which had little or nothing to do with their doubts, but we felt impressed and followed the prompting. As we talked about the concept of eternal families they started to open up. And then when we explained to them that they could be baptized in behalf of their parents (and other family members) who died without that opportunity it was like a light turned on in their minds. We saw them become completely converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was amazing to see how God uses us as a tool in this work. 

Yesterday they showed up at church after us. I looked over at them and didn't see a bag with a towel or anything (to dry off after the baptism) and my heart dropped. But after sacrament meeting Sister Castilho and I ran out to the parking lot and we saw the bag with the towels in their car!!! BUT unfortunately they were not baptized on Sunday. But it will all work out. They decided to change the date because they want their niece to be there. She has a busy work schedule but they are going to find out when her day off is and we're planning their baptism for that day (probably during the week this week). We're bummed that the baptism fell through on Sunday, but I'm so happy to know that they are converted and willing to make this covenant with God. Keep them in your prayers that it'll all work out this week! 

We were teaching an elderly woman named Rita this week. As we were teaching her granddaughter entered the room in a wheelchair. She is special and 11 years old and one of the sweetest people that I have ever met. Her name is Maria Fernanda. As we were talking she maneuvered her wheelchair so that she was sitting close to me and facing me. And she hugged me and said "you are beautiful!' She didn't stop saying that the entire lesson. (to Sister Castilho and I ). And when she left she gave each of us a tight hug. Such an angel. 

And then the next day we were walking in the street and a little girl walking in front of us with her parents was basically walking backwards so that she could talk to us in the street. She asked us if we were friends and if we lived in the same house haha. And she just kept talking for a good 5 minutes. Cutest little girl. And when we left she said "You are both very pretty! And well behaved!' This week was full of confidence boosters haha. 

This Friday was Friday the 13th (for those of you who hadn't noticed) and it was full of adventures. One example being that a dog just about ripped my companions leg off in the street. But she deterred him with her Chacos and his owner came over running and shooed him off before he could actually bite her. But we were shell shocked with dogs in the road for the rest of the day haha. And we also decided to commemorate Friday the 13th by doing Halloween-style makeup on our faces after we got home. Sister Castillho's idea...I love her for that. Some missionary-style fun for ya haha.

#minhavida // 

+ On Saturday we decided to sing a Christmas hymn during the after-lunch message. We started to sing "The First Noel." It was all going great (or at least not badly haha) until we got to the chorus. As we sang, the member's cat slid out of the cabinet that he had been sleeping in (he came out of nowhere), and he wasn't too happy with us. Sister Castilho and I both saw it at the same time and we had the same thought that our singing was so bad that it woke up this cat and made him angry). Sister Castilho started laughing ("coughing") and I was left singing alone, which made it worse. So then I was trying not to laugh and basically we barely made it through the rest of the hymn. And then afterwards Sister Castilho tried to play it off by saying that her family sings this song every year and faking that she had been crying. I died. hahaha. 

+  I wrote a note in English and afterwards I realized that I had written you're when it should've been your. And the English major inside of me died a little bit. I'm still crying about this. My English is a mess. 

+ We were walking down the street and we saw an elderly woman trying to take some palm fronds off of a little tree in front of her house. She was struggling so we went over to help her. We spent a good five minutes trying to rip them out and finally succeeded. Then as we walked away she went with us and that's when we found out that it wasn't her house. We had helped the old lady steal the palm fronds. And to make it better there was a camera in front of the house. Awesome. 

Congrats to Brittany Steele! And small world that it's dad's cousin's son! Is it someone that I know from family reunions or anything? [mom note: a friend Megan went to high school with is marrying a Baker relative]

I got two packages this week!!!! WOO HOO! One Halloween package that Sister Castilho and I are loving. We took advantage of the fact that Friday was Friday the 13th and celebrated a belated Halloween haha. Extra thanks for the many many Reese's products. I'm a happy camper. 

Megan and Sister Castilho
I haven't opened the other package yet because I think that I'll be transferred in the middle of December so I'm waiting to open it to decorate until after transfers. It's a lesson in self control haha. [mom note: Christmas package]

Thank you thank you for sending clothes! You're the best momma! It's something that I didn't want to stress about here.  

Nice photoshopping skills Luke hahahaha [mom note: Meg's little brother shared his latest creative work with her]

I hope you all have a wonderful week and remember how perfect this gospel is. I love it. And all of you!

Sister M. Baker

Sister Castilho trying to get mangos from the tree

a lizard in their fridge

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