Monday, March 24, 2014

an added bonus!

Just as a subtle reminder for all of the people that I love...

here is my address!  It won't change!

Rua Euzébio de Souza, 121
Jardim Londrina
05638-100 São Paulo-SP
I can only tell myself the mailman is lost for so long...  Also as a warning/suggestion, for any of you sending me packages, it is a good idea to put pictures of Jesus, the virgin Mary, a cross, or basically anything Catholic on the box.  Because there has been some package thieving as of late.
And as the promised added bonus, meet our friend Princesa. 

The day after the assault, we were real paranoid and jumpy.  Every time a motorcycle went by, I started to panic.  Then all of a sudden this dog started following us around.  Everywhere we went, she went too.  She was our companion and guard dog all day.  And I know it is stupid, but I just felt a little safer with her company :)
Thats all for now!  Love you all!
Sister Burch

I'm a Survivor

If I listened to secular music, I would have Beyonce on repeat these past two weeks.  Because...
I survived Carnaval.
I survived transfers.
I survived getting assaulted.
Allow me to start from the beginning... :)

 My beloved trainer Sister Marcon got transferred and I got a new companion here in Osasco!  Her name is Sister Castro and she is from Porto Alegre. 
We started off the transfer excited and pumped and ready to work.  Our first day together we walked and talked to everyone we saw, and walked some more, and made some visits and then walked and walked and walked.  We walked until my whole body hurt.  We stopped for a minute to make a phone call, and long story short, we got assaulted by two guys on motorcycles.  It was awful and we were left with nothing.  No phone, no map, no keys to home, no contact information of anyone.  Simply nothing.  
Both of us shaken, we walked to a main street and did not know what to do.  I just prayed and prayed for help. 
And exactly when we were praying desperately for help, our friend Maria was walking down the street and saw a cell phone lying on the ground in three pieces.  She almost didn't pick it up, but something told her she should.  So she put it back together, turned it on, and saw that it was our phone.  THEN she ran into someone else we know who had seen us earlier that day.  She told Maria the direction that we went.  Maria then sent her daughter (are you following this?)  to try to find us. 
Mid-prayer, I heard someone yell my name, and then saw my friend Jamili running up the hill shouting that she had found our cell phone.
The bandits left so fast that the cell phone must have flown off of the motorcycle.  And only God could have placed someone we know in its path. 
And with that miracle, we were able to contact help. 
And we also got a ride home in a cop car, so that was fun :) 
To reassure any worries, I am okay, I am alive, and I am happy.  I do miss my bag, and literally only have a dollar to my name, but I know there must be some bigger purpose to all of this.  So Sister Castro and I are all smiles, determined to press forward with unshakable faith.  Because we know that God is looking out for us, and that another miracle is just around the corner

beijos for all!
Sister Burch

Monday, March 3, 2014

My Good Friend Rafael

This week I want to talk about my good friend Rafa.  Rafa is 14 years old and got baptized a month ago with his little sister.  And this week we had the privilege of going to the temple with him!  It was amazing, beautiful, powerful, emotional, happy, spiritual, and "topissimo". 
I like to call him Nephi because not only is he exceedingly young, nevertheless large in stature, but because he has great faith, like Nephi did.

Presenting... future Elder Barros!!!

It really was an experience that will go down in the books as one of the happiest of my mission/life.

On a completely irrelevant side-note, our lunch appointments keep dropping like flies.  So us sistas treated ourselves to some homemade PASTEL.  
I never want to leave Brasil.  Sorry família!  I promise I will make some for you too in... a year. 
com amor,
Sister Burch

Strong Women

I am writing this email in FOUR MINUTES people.  Hello all!  This week one of the strongest women I know got baptized!
Her name is Maria de Jesus.  Really, that is her real name.  She is the mother of Regia and really wanted to get baptized on the same day as Regia.  But she had been living with her boyfriend so could not.  She prayed every day that the Lord would prepare a way for her.  And two days after the baptism of Regia, her no good boyfriend left in the middle of the night without saying a word.  When we went to see her, she told us simply, "God has bigger plans for me.  And now I can get baptized."
It was the happiest day!  Maria de Jesus is the tiny woman in white hiding behind the children. 
Her daughter Regia, who was baptized 2 weeks ago, is also an amazing example of a strong woman.  The day before her baptism, she worked until 4am.  As she slept her phone died, and she had no alarm to wake her up.  Maria came to see if she was ready and found her sleeping.  She awoke her quickly, and Regias baby daddy came over too.  He said to her "I dont know why you think you can be ready in time for the baptism.  You are clearly not prepared." To which Regia replied, "I am prepared.  I WILL get baptized.  And it WILL be today."
They make me proud.  :)