My name is Diana Martin and I am a not so secret agent for the Lord in beautiful Maceio, Brazil. I am serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 18 months.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The start of something good

Dear Family,

First of all - Happy New Year. I hope this year started of wonderfully for you all.

Second of all. I bought new shoes about an hour ago and my feet are very happy. I did take a picture of my shoes before I dumped them in the trash and I will send it to you soon.

We are still in the same apartment and the apartment we were going to rent was given to another person so we are starting over and the search for an apartment.

This week was hard and amazing and fun and full of hard times.  So it was full of ups and downs. Therefore it was like almost every week of the mission. New Year's Eve we returned home a little early to avoid drunk people and other shenanigans in the streets and we had a party in casa. We made dinner we laughed and sang in three different languages and made a human pyramid and talked about our goals for this next year. We also got to watch some of the fireworks that went off from our apartment. (most people go to the beach and watch a real fireworks show). It was awesome. New Year's Day was almost eerie. There was NO ONE outside. The streets were deserted. I felt like it was a old western film and I was just waiting for a tumbleweed to cross the street. Despite the emptiness we were able to begin teaching Bauer (like Jack Bauer minus the Jack and a woman) She is in her late 30´s and has had a VERY rough life. Three months ago her son was murdered when she lived in Salvador. After his death she moved with her daughter whose father abandoned the family and has problems with drinking and drugs. She is living alone and knows no one. But one thing she has a lot of is Faith. She is keeping strong and seeing her respond to the Plan of Salvation and our other lessons is amazing. We cried together as we talked about the plan that God has for us and that Families can be eternal. It is times like that that reminds me how important this plan is for us. How important it is that we know about this plan. (Alma 24;14). God gave us this knowledge for our happiness. So that we can know that death is not an end. Just a change of location. A change of scenery.

This week was also a little difficult in that it was hard to find people that want to hear our message but this week I also got to thinking about Elder Holland´s talk from April General Conference 2012 "the first Great Commandment" He talks about Peter and Christ when Christ asked three times if Peter loved him. "then feed my sheep" was Christ´s response after every affirmative from Peter. Elder Holland emphasizes that question. Do you love me? Are your actions showing that you love me? And even though times are hard and maybe disappointing I know I can´t give up. I never want anyone, let alone my Heavenly Father or Christ, have to ask if I love them. It should be apparent in my actions.  In my dedication to doing what is right and helping others know and feel of their  love as well. When I want to sit and take a short break I think "Do you love me?" and I am  motivated to keep going.

This week a new year started. A new chance to get better. To  be better. To do more. A new chance to show our love. I am excited for this year and the possiblities that come with 2014. We are at the start of something good.

Love you all.
Sister Martin

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