I thought you all should know that I found a hamburger this week! And oh did I enjoy it! When we were walking past this restaurant I noticed a picture of a hamburger, and I made everyone stop and eat a hamburger with me! But I think the restaurant is a little confused… the hamburger had mashed potatoes on it! I think they went a little overboard on trying to be American.
This week we had a party for the ward. It was for a holiday here in Brazil called festa junina. It is basically a giant party for hillbillies! I thought my two hillbilly brothers would like it! Everyone dressed as hillbillies and farmers (the Sisters in plaid with pigtails and painted on freckles). We danced and ate a mountain of food with corn, right down to the cake. It was so good to see the whole ward laughing and dancing and having fun. This brings a smile to the missionaries faces. You want to make a missionary happy? Be EXCITED! People with excitement are much more fun to work with!
Oh and a “bispa”, or woman pastor, spat on me this week. Because we are helping a woman in her congregation and this same woman wants to be baptized in our church. This woman who is supposed to represent Christ yelled at us and spat in our face because of the service we have rendered to a woman that cannot walk or care for herself. It was incredibly difficult for me not to lash out or fight back. It took all the self control I had to walk away with a “Goodnight, God bless you.” But when I did, I knew I had done the right thing. Sometimes satan puts things in our path to make us angry, because he knows that anger destroys people as quick as a snap! Don’t let anger consume you, it is like drinking poison and thinking it will hurt your enemy.
I received a surprise visit from the President of the mission and his sweet wife yesterday. You could say when he called and asked us to meet him at the chapel my heart stopped for fear that my companion would be transferred or we were in some sort of trouble. The news that I received following never crossed my mind.
Sister Cabral sat with me and allowed me to read an email from my mom telling me about the results of Riley’s scans. I was beyond happy to know that the tumor on Riley’s rib is shrinking. And I should have been filled with terror that there were four spots of cancer that they missed in the initial scan. But I only felt peace. Of course there were tears shed for the suffering of my brother and my family. But not once did I doubt that everything would be okay. The words and faith of my incredible mother gave me an immense amount of comfort. She bore a sweet testimony that everything is happening the way the Lord needs it too. And He is giving us this news now, because He knew three months ago we were not strong enough, but now we can handle anything. Like the Sons of Helaman in the Book of Mormon, “I do not doubt, for my mother knew it.” I am so grateful for her faith and her incredible spirit.
Afterward President Cabral gave me a priesthood blessing. He told me afterward that this was an apostolic blessing because a week ago he received an apostolic blessing from Elder Neil L. Andersen. An apostolic blessing is a blessing directly from one of the twelve apostles of the Lord. In the blessing he CURED my family. He did not say bless, he did not say help, he said CURE. I have certainty that in time all of our sicknesses will be healed, because an apostle of the Lord has promised it. We do not need to worry or doubt. We have been prepared to teach others through our trials and hardships. And He will NOT leave us comfortless.
I love you all so much and am so grateful for your strength and faith. I know that right now seems dark and scary. But the night is darkest just before the dawn. Continue on and He will never leave your side. In your hardest and your scariest times you need only open your mouth and say a simple prayer, “Heavenly Father, help me.” Four simple words that will bring an army of angles to your aid.
I love you so much!
Stay strong. Prayers coming at you from Brazil.
Love, Sister Culley