Hey Family and Friends,
Salutations from Brazil!
This week was filled with adventures and even more opportunities to learn. On monday we celebrated my companion's twenty third birthday. We took Sister Mio to ride the chair lift up the hill. It starts close to the beach and goes up to the top of this jungly hill! At the top you can get off ad walk around. I was so cool. There is a look out point that looks over all of Santos. Wen I am in the city I feel so small and insignificant. Like a point on a map. But standing above it all I could see the big picture.
I made some new friends at the top... there was a giant group of the cutest, tiniest monkeys! They came right up to you! I was told that they bite... so I didn't work up the courage to touch them! ha ha Hey mom, do you think Zoe (my dog) would like a monkey friend?
Afterwards we ate açai! (which may just be heaven in a cup). It is so pure that the purple is almost black! And we had a family night/surprise party for Sister Mio with the ward. She loved it!
This weekend there was a stake activity-- "The Night of the States". The yound women put on a show representing all the different states in Brazil. The dances were all so fun! Our ward represented the Amazon, and definitely looked the best. I realized I have been in Brazil for five months, and I know very little about the rest. My point of view here is pretty limited...(And yes I am referring to the ten different friends that got married or engaged this month that I didn't even know about! Congrats!)
This week we were impressed to visit a member of our ward who usually isn't at home. But miraculously we caught them as they were leaving and they invited us in. We ended up talking for a little over an hour. When we arrived they began to cry, explaining that there had been a misunderstanding between them and another member of the ward about something very simple (and in my opinion, silly). Afterward people began to talk. From the point of view of the person I talked to, she was trying to help. But in the end many people (without really knowing much) began to speak poorly about this member. People began to say terrible and hurtful things. I realized I was at the look out point, and these members are in the city. They can't see the big picture, or how much damage they are causing.
They are causing something so small to hurt someone they love. This is a huge problem within the whole world: Gossip. I plead with you (along with President Uchtdorf.) When you are tempted to speak ill of anyone I give you one word of counsel: STOP.
When we let words of criticism or hate leave our mouths we forget our Savior, Jesus Christ. They may have hurt us in the start, but in the end, we are in deeper water. And so please, just STOP. You do much more damage than you will know and it's a mess you will never clean up.
Oh! And I almost forgot! Four of our investigators came to church yesterday and they all loved it. What a blessing!
I love you all so much! I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Love, Sister Culley