Monday, August 18, 2014

All I Feel is Love

Patrícia, Elder Carvalhol, Elder Heidenreich, Elder Inácio, Me, Gelson (the counselor that baptized Ana Karen), and in front Ana Karen. Seriously, the love I have for each and everyone of them is undescribable, and the happiness I feel knowing that their family was blessed again through the gospel fills my heart with profound joy.

Dear Mom and Everyone else,

Dang I loved this week so much. Without a doubt it was one of the best I´ve had here in Brazil. Parabéns for Natalie and the new job! Way to be the only braun kid (for now) that hasn´t had a job in fast food. I have no idea what someone at a clothing store would do.... fold clothes all day? Fun stuff. I love hearing about the missionary news you send each week to me from the stake. Don´t stop doing that. 

Some ideas about food that I eat a lot (although I´m not really sure if it´s a great example). I make lots of toast here. It´s cheap, easy, and I like it. Same with cheese and ham sandwichs. Not quite as cheap, but when you put it in a waffle iron or sandwich maker like we have here, it´s delicious. I also make ramen a lot, again, because it´s cheap and easy. Sometimes when our lunch falls through with a member, we make Stroganoff, which is way different and better down here. Pretty much it´s just rice with the sauce, a mixture between tomato sauce, milk cream, chicken, with farofa and batata palha (I have no idea what patata palha is in English, but its like super tiny potato chips).

Anyway, like I said, this week was aweeeeesome. The family we had reactivated a few weeks ago had incredible results. When we found Ana Karen and Sonia doing contacts on the street, we never though we´d have found people so fantastic than we did at that moment. Ana Karen was baptized on Saturday! Sonia has plans to be baptized in the upcoming future, we´ve just got to help her out with the word of wisdom, but she´s progressing a lot. Ana Karen´s Mom, Patricia, has been a huge blessing for us as well. She was an active member in Maricá, was even the Primary President, but because of losing a bit of trust in the leadership, as well as personal problems, she ended up leaving the church, but always having a respect for it. When we found her and her family, she considered that an answer to her prayers. 

Ana Karen´s Baptism was sooooo special. She´s such an adorable girl, and even though she´s only 9 years old, she´s been reading the Book of Mormon a lot, and has said she´s gonna be a missionary. The counselor in the branch presidency baptized her and we had a pretty good number of people at the baptismal meeting, including Jessica who was baptized last week and one of her neighbors. It was the first baptism this branch has had at the church itself instead of having the baptism at the stake center. Unlike last week, everything went smoothly and we had no problems with water. The Spirit was super strong when Patricia bore her testimony about the church and how happy she felt when Elder Inácio and I were able to start teaching her again and invite her to return back to church.

Other news this week, we´ll have transfers next monday, and I´m super nervous about what will happen. I feel pretty certain that I´ll leave Maricá, which is super tough to accept because I feel I´ve gotten to a point where I truly love the people here. Like a lot. Especially for our members and investigators and recent converts. If there´s something to teach to those in your Mission Prep class that will carry them throughout their mission and help them to accomplish a successful a satisfying mission, first is to gain an understanding of the Lord´s Atonement, second would be to gain a Christlike love for all those you come in contact with. I love you all back at home and want you to know that I´m so happy to be here serving the Lord in his vineyard bringing souls to Christ.

Elder Braun

Taken right before the ordinance.

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