They have soccer fields everywhere, and we are working so I cant play! :( We were in front of Caroles house and, no joke, the ball comes sailing to me. i think it was a blessing :) I kicked it back and dang it felt so good to just touch it even for a moment. It is the raining season now and so we are learning we have to bring our umbrella quite often. We got caught in the rain twice in the past week (after we had straightened our hair... sad) but we did have some fun out there but its pretty hot so it feels good.  Had to use the bathroom by candlelight once this week. Went to "the Centro" for shopping and was fun but the bus ride back I didn't feel so good. Luckily we got back before I felt to sick. We did get to see the beach on the way though. AND sooooo gorgeous!!!!!!! There is nothing like it!  We drove over a huger bridge overlooking the ocean and the city it was so pretty.

[ see pictures of Natal at the bottom of this post ]

We walk a ton, I have no idea how much - at the very least 10 miles a day.  I eat a ton.  I think I get served cake or "bolo" like 2 to 3 times a day, but I'm still a good 57 kilos (125lbs) and staying healthy.

Being a missionary is awesome and so fulfilling too.  I did learn something pretty cool this week in Moroni 7:46 it talks about Charity being the pure love of Christ and how Charity "never fails" . The next verse says that whoso possesses this at the last day "it shall be well with him". I read this scripture for a spiritual message to a member after they had served us lunch and I guess being a missionary I understood it different. If it want to be a successful missionary I need to have the pure love of Christ, Charity first, before everything else. Better than knowing all the lessons, scriptures by heart and speaking the language. Charity is the base and everything else should be built upon it, not just for missionaries but for everyone in all the things we do. Because it never fails! How sweet is that!? In the Portuguese scriptures it says tudo estara bem :) for some reason it has a little different meaning in the Portuguese language. It hits more home. Maybe because people use tudo bem every time they greet you.  It means "all is well".

Sister Richardson

The city of Natal Brazil. Almost same population as Austin, Texas.
Laurens first area is on the far north of the city - on the far side of this picture.
(see map on blog to see the area of the city she's working in or click here to see a green pinpoint of her area on google maps)

Panorama of the most famous beach in Natal and some say all of Brazil. This is probably the one Lauren was talking about.

These are solid sand - not dirt hills with sand on top. Much of Natal is sitting on solid sand dunes. All the beaches are banked by sand dunes like these.

More of the Natal Beaches. "Morro do Careca" (bald hill) - the dune in the distance that looks like a slide... well it was A SLIDE!  A 360 foot SAND slide. People used to slide down it on "skibundas". But naturalists were successful at getting is closed in the late 90's. No more sliding or even walking up there anymore.

The Navarro Bridge in Natal. The biggest suspension bridge in all of Brazil. Two years old, one mile long. Lauren talks about this in her letter. Newton Navarro was a famous artist from Natal. No wonder Lauren likes this bridge so much. They're going to build a round suspending restaurant below the center of the bridge.
(Click here for a cool 360 view)

Natal at sunset.

Lauren's address is now on the blog.  Please write her!

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