Sunday, December 7, 2008

August 12, 2008

Dear Family,

Thanks to Dad for sharing a bit of your wonderful weekend. I might have cried a little bit. I'm so excited to have Kevin more or less here with me. I really need to ask my mission president if I can visit Kevin in the temple one of these days. (Note: My Planejamento is my Missionary Planner here in the field. We get a new one every six weeks and I cut out pictures from the Ensign/Liahona and use contact paper to make 'em stick to the covers of the planner. It protects and beautifies!!)

My new companion is already providing wonderful opportunities for growth. On the day of transfers all the missionaries in the mission that are transferring get together in a metro station and switch it up and chat a bit. Last week was the first time that I went, because the other day another Sister went to pick up Sister Christensen for me. So anyway, when we got there all the sisters were asking me who my companion was gonna be and every time I said Sister F. Souza there was a moment of shock and fear on their faces. I got a little bit nervous. She has quite a reputation in the mission. So when I met her I was walking on eggshells... what about this sister is so terrifying? She is quite pleasant and chatted a lot on the way back to our area and she started working right away. So in the course of the last week I have come to understand why it is that lots of people have had a hard time with my dear companion, but I have also gained a strong testimony that she is in the right place at the right time and both our area and I need Sister F. Souza. I know that the Lord is minutely involved in the organization of this missionary work. Nothing is done by chance. So if Kevin ever gets this letter or any other future missionary of the family, always remember that you are here to learn and grow and as my mommy once said "you can't climb a glass mountain." You need challenges to grow. And the Lord knows what he's doing. So you just gotta step it up.

A little bit about my companion. She is a great missionary. She teaches at every opportunity. She has seized many opportunities to teach that I would have let slide right by. Especially in the houses of members when they have friends over. Usually I would just have left a sweet little message about love or hope or Christ or some such fiddle faddle. She teaches a First Discussion of Power. That friend leaves the visit knowing all about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sister F. Souza also has a gift for organization. When she arrived in our area she put our home in order and our Area Book in order and our Investigators in order. She knows how to organize. I am now living in the cleanest house that I've ever lived in. And I am helping to maintain this cleanliness! So she has a lot to teach me. Remember my motto? Powerful, Patient, Persistant servant of the Lord? She is teaching me Power by example. She is also teaching me Organization and Cleanliness by example. I am also learning Patience. Remember how I am a Red-Blue personality? And how I never really wanted to be Red and so I've been trying to control my Red? The Lord knows this. He has now given me the opportunity to conquer my Red once and for all. Sister F. Souza is the Reddest person I've ever met in my life. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but she is quite red. So I am adopting a White attitude. I have to choose my moments to present a contrary opinion with care. And I'm succeeding!! She is also a bit negative. Ok, maybe a lot. But Sister Christensen was such a saint and completely positive that the Lord has prepared me with the tools I need to be positive and try to share this positive. So anway, I love my companion. She is lovely. She is really red, but it's not her fault. And she's having a hard time because she's trying to control a life that is impossible to control completely. You can't really control the mission. You have to let go a little bit. You can control many things but you can't control everything... But anyway. She is trying really, really hard. And she's doing great things. And our area is already getting better because of her. And I am already getting better and learning a ton because of her.

I love the mission! I love that the Lord is perfect! I love challenges! SWAT to the Rescue!! I love you all, too. Thanks for helping Kevin prepare for the mission. It seems like my mission is flying! Just a year left! I have so much to learn! I've got to take advantage of every moment.I love my family.I'm praying for you all. Don't cry too much. It'll be worth missing Kevin when you see how much he grows. Not to mention the people he'll help.I'm really going to stop writing this time.

Sister Whitney Amber Todd

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