Arapongas, Brazil

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Querido família e amigos,

It is so strange to hear about all of the changes going on back home! I can´t believe everyone is growing up so fast! Things on the mission too are changing faster than I can believe. It was sad to leave Cascavel, especially with those people very precious to my heart who I´ve learned to love and have progressed with these past few months, but I am feeling very special about Arapongas. Sister Briggs and I are perfect for each other and we have very high hopes for this transfer. The city here is definitely smaller than Cascavel, and very charming. For the first time in my life I am in a Branch not a Ward and I consider myself so blessed to be surrounded by people with such high dreams and hopes for progression of the Gospel. It truly is strange to say ´President´and not ´Bishop`though! Here in Arapongas, we live with one other companionship, Sister Diaz from Argentina and Sister Garcia from Rio and Sister Diaz and I are collaborating big time! We´re trading Spanish lessons for English lessons 🙂 (Maybe if I´m lucky I´ll come home tri lingual).
The work here is coming along. We found a woman named Walquiria who has had a hard life… my mission has truly opened my eyes to the hardships and realities that so many people go through, but at the same time, my mission has taught me that there is a balm for every degree wound… Walquiria attended church with us and it was such a special sacrament meeting! As missionaries, we promise everyone that church will be an experience they will not forget. We promise them that there, they will find answers to the difficulties and questions they have about life. AND that is exactly what happened for her. She received personal revelation and I am so blessed to be a part of her progression.
We are also teaching a man named Claudemir. Claudemir is quite a character. He has a few vices in life, but he has a desire to become the best Claudemir he can be. He is a bit frustrating to tell the truth. People express a desire to change, but Heavenly Father does not want only our words, he wants our actions, he wants our change! From teaching Claudemir, I am learning the value of our free agency; we have done everything we could to help this man leave his old life behind, but it has come down to his agency, whether he wants to really change or not, and I can see how we are to make these life changing choices. I am also comforted to know that we are not alone.
Thank you all for your support and love. Eu sou muito grata pela oportunidade de estar aqui. Eu sei que Cristo vive! Eu amo vocês e Eu valorizo o seu apoio.

Com Amor,

Sister Dean

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