Monday, December 26, 2011

We wish you a merry christmas, we wish you a merry christmas....and a happy new year!!

Olaáááá!!Merrrry Chriiiiiistmassss!!

I hope that all of you had a very wonderful Christmas; full of love, peace, and joy. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday and this year it didn't change one bit. In fact, it will probably be one of my most memorable Christmases. On Friday, we had a Christmas conference with President and Sister Tanner. We put together a program of music and spoken word, which was really neat.This was our gift to ourselves. For our gifts this year, President asked that we memorize a scripture in our non-native tongue (I chose Alma 17:11) for him. And for the Savior, we decorated a Christmas tree with photos of our baptisms. It was really a special conference. At the end we watched the film about John Tanner (he's the great (something) grandfather to President Tanner) and I couldn't help but think of that family home evening when we watched it together and of course little Tanner :)

On Christmas Eve, our day was full of appointments with investigators and a family night.The day started out nice and sunny, but then the downpour began. It was quite the adventure trying to navigate the flooded streets as fast as possible to visit everyone. I don't even want to think about what I walked in all day. And despite the fact that we showed up to everyone's house soaking wet, we enjoyed sharing Christmas messages and the love of our Savior. The people here are so generous and kind!

Our family night with the Bishop and his family and other members was quite the event. We had a feast fit for a king and enjoyed their company and friendship. The day was full of much laughter and joy.

And on Christmas, we started out the day with Sacrament meeting, which is a great way to commemorate the Savior's birth. Irmã Meire invited us over to her grand house for lunch, they have a pretty big family, it was fun to visit with them. Then we all got to call home. It was so great to see everyone on skype! Irmã Raquel had also made lunch for us, so we stayed and ate dinner at her house and had a really special evening with her. Then we rushed off to the Bishop's house again to make "Breakfast for Dinner" American style for them. A Christmas isn't complete without Danish pancakes! Needless to say, this Christmas was one to remember. Christmas is a time for family, and although we were far from home, I felt right at home with all of the members and wonderful people here. The love of Christ spans across all nations, languages, and traditions. I couldn't think of anything better than sharing in this love as a missionary of Jesus Christ. Now, more than ever, I feel like I have a greater understanding of His life and Atonement. How blessed we are to have this special knowlede in our lives!

Other news for the week, A.B. moved back with her mom, and we miss her a lot, but hopefully everything will workout for her. We have started teaching some really great families this week and hope that we will find many more. Sister P and I will be staying here in Diadema Centro for one more transfer together! I'm so excited that we get to stay together and continue the work here! I love the people here.

While Christmas is coming to a close, don't lose that special spirit that you felt! This spirit is the love of Christ and is something that we can have with us everyday, if we keep it. Always strive to live in such a way that you can keep this spirit with you. Share your testimore with someone, even if it's just to your Heavenly Father, do a kind deed, lend a helping hand, and share those beautiful smiles!I love you all so much, thank you for your love, support, and prayers. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.Until next year ;)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Feliz Natal!!!!!!!!

Olá!!Tudo bem?

I hope all of you are enjoying the wonderful winter, Christmas weather! If you're not, just imagine showering in your own sweat everyday. It's nice and toasty and humid here, summer is really setting in. My feet are getting wonderfully strange tan lines lol. I call them "Zorro."

So, news for the week...A.B.. Met with her last week and pushed back her baptism date to Christmas :) But, you guessed it. She was out of town this weekend, so she didn't come to church...She's so great, I really hope that things will start working out. We'll pray for New Years. But we did have some really great lessons with some families this week! We taught a lot of lessons on Christmas from the December ensign.  I love the talk about "O Vinde, Adoremos" (O come let us adore Him). For it doesn't matter the distance we are from the Savior, He remains the same and is always waiting for us to come to Him. Like the shepherds who were close or the wise men who were far, Christ beckons for all to come unto Him. May we learn from the shepherds and "go with haste" and from the wisemen who studied and watched for the signs. The Savior and the gift of His Atonement is ready for all to come and partake, all we need do is unwrap the gift and apply it in our lives. We do this by praying and studying the scriptures everyday, serving those around us, keeping the commandments, and everyday trying to be more like the Savior. I know that all of you are feeling His love, especially this week before Christmas, even more in your lives. It is my hope and prayer that all of you will keep this Christmas spirit of love and service not just this week, but everyday of your lives. Come, let us adore Him.

Other events for this week, our zone has been working on music to sing at our Christmas program with the President. Elder B composed some special renditions of some of the hymns and asked me to do some solos. The music is gorgeous, we missionaries, don't do his work justice. I'll be singing "What Child is this?" in portuguese, and I can't help but think of Grandma Eilers everytime. Last night we went to the area Villa Niguera and sang our song in the road. While there weren't lots of people there, the spirit of Christmas was overpowering. I love carolling, it always brings the love of Christ more into our hearts. I sent a photo of all of us with our santa hats. Enjoy singing those Christmas hymns, pay attention to the words, they are really powerful.I love you all and wish you a very merry christmas. May you feel and share the love of our Savior even more this week.

Monday, December 12, 2011

TRIO! E lição da semana: nunca esquesci sua guarda-chuva!

Olááááá vocês!!!

First things first, to all of you that wrote me a special Christmas ornament note, THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart, I loved hearing from each one of you and laughed and smiled and cried. Merry Christmas, everyone :)

Second, I have a new companion! We are now in a trio! Sister C will be staying with us until she dies(heads for home) on December 27th. She is from northern Brazil. It's so great to have a Brazillian companion. She is definitely helping Sister P and I with our goal to only speak portuguese. We can't really speak english anymore and I can already feel the difference in my portuguese. It's so much easier to speak it when we speak it all the time. It' fun to have 3 again, i'm excited for the rest of this month that we have together.

Third, NEVER forget your umbrella. Even on a beautiful day, you never know. The one day we did this guessed started to POUR and we were soaked for the rest of the night! Oh goodness, it was quite the adventure! On the upside, people let us in :)

Fourth, NEVER try to go over a sidewalk with an overflowing guessed it again. Sister C and I tried to walk over this flowing nastiness and what do ya know? It ended up filling my shoes with loveliness. I was (and still am) mortified. Hopefully I won't die from any strange diseases, I washed my shoes out with soap, so we're as good as new! (I hope...)

Fifth, it's been quite the roller coaster this week with A.B. Last monday night we showed up to her house and gave us this super sweet notes about how we are angel sent to her by the Lord and that she felt so alone before we found her and how much she loves us and is grateful for us. Yay :) Warm fuzzies...until...the end of the note has an address and phone numbers and talks about how much she will miss us. Yep, she's moving back home to her mom, out of our area. This next week. So we talked to her about what she would have to do to be baptized still and she decided to stay til Christmas to be able to be baptized here and then move. Yay! Warm fuzzies...we taught her most of the commandments and she is pretty much perfect, already! Golden, elect, amazing. So we arranged to pick her up for church this week...yep, you guessed it...we walked that hour and a half, up giant hills (BOTH ways) to no avail. We are super sad. Now she can't be baptized on the 18th. But we'll see what happens tonight when we go visit her. The miracle of this sunday was how many unexpected less actives and investigators we had. It was certainly a blessing! We are loosing investigators this week, we need to find more!

Sixth, the Sister's got to have a special meeting at the mission home this week with President and Sister Tanner. it was AMAZING! Loved every minute of it. Sister Tanner is an amazing woman. They taught us about our special gifts as women and how we have an amazing power to change lives with our gifts and love. She talked about how she wrote the new relief society book "Daughters in my Kingdom" as a special calling from the 1st presidency, with the intent :"This book needs to get the women of the church where they are to where they need to be." Sister Beck originally wanted it to be a manual, but the first presidency wanted the book to be given to each woman as a GIFT. And Sister Beck, herself, asked Sister Tanner how many sisters were serving in her mission and she sent a speacial copy of the book for each one of us! Sister Tanner signed it and gave it to us as a gift. It is so touching. One thing that really stuck out to me that sister Tanner said was that "We can't let the amusements fo the world divert our attention!" So during this wonderful season of Natal (Christmas) don't get too caught up in the amusements of the world. Remember what is most important and all that our savior did for us :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dezembro? It can't be!

Oláááááá :) Bom dia!

So last week was full of fallen appointments and a bigillion references, this week was almost the complete opposite. We've finally have a few more progressing investigators, yay! And....we have an investigator with a baptism date marked! It was really cool, we found her cousin contacting on the road and taught her and her cousin the first lesson. A.B. started to cry during the lesson, she was so prepared to hear it. We came back for the second lesson and had a really neat lesson about the atonement and how we can become clean again through faith, repentance, and baptism. After I invited her to be baptized, she immediately said " I accept" with a smile of hope and relief on her face. It was such a neat experience. We went to pick her up for church this Sunday though and found that she got called into work :( Muito triste. We left our apartment at 7am to make the 45 minute walk to her house and back in time to pick up another investigator for church. It is so devistating to put all that you have into this work, give up all that you have (and them some) for investigators to feel a portion of what you feel about the gospel. You give up meals for them, sleep for them, walk hours (literally uphill (and down) bothways) and they don't even realize it. It sure puts it into perspective how important this message is to the whole world. We sacrifice so much to help them partake of the redeeming love of Jesus Christ, all for the hope that we can "bring just one soul unto Christ." Good news is we had 3 nonmenbers at church this week!

Other neat night we were walking a good half an hour from our house to an appointment and I just felt really bad about going up there for some reason. I kept waiting for the feeling to go away, but it never did. So we decided to turn around and go visit some other investigators close to our home. It's hard to listen to those subtle promptings when you never know "what if" or "why" but I'm glad we did. When we passed by the house of our missed appointment the next day she told us that no one would have been there anyway. I'm so grateful to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost to lead and guide and protect us. Who's to say what would have happened if we hadn't listened to that prompting, but I was grateful that we were safe and watched over. Our Heavenly Father is always watching over us, anxious to lead, guide, and help us. All we need to is turn to Him and LISTEN.

The people we are teaching and our ward is so wonderful. They love the sisters :) They always ask us to sing for them, my companion and I make a great blend, so it's a fun blessing everyday. My voice seems to be more soprano now than ever, interestingly. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has blessed me with a voice that can invite the Spirit and soften the hearts of our investigators. I hope that you all have a wonderful week and strive to invite the Savior into your life every day. Never forget Him and what He did for you.I love you all!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Óla família e amigos!

How was thanksgiving? I hope you all ate enough for me! We completely forgot about it until right before bed. This last week was full of many falled appointments and many references! We received 17 references in the last week!! Say what?! And we had some really neat miracles running into less actives on the road and in their houses. We have so much reactivation to do here, it's great! Our progressing investigators, Decivaldo and Noelia came to a baptismal service on sunday and I think it really helped them, hopefully they will commit soon, they already make great members of the chuch. All of them members of our ward are amazing! They are super receptive of us and willing to help, feed, refer, and more for the gente.

 My first sacrament meeting here and the bishop came up to us 5 minutes before and informed us that we were each going to be speaking. So much for getting my feet wet, I'll just jump right in! The talk went well, I think, and we've gained the confidence of a lot of members. We are so fortunate here in this area. There is so much work to do. It's kind of funny, everyone here jokes that the've started to send the primary on missions when they see me. I tell them it's the "new force" behind the church. Everyone thinks that my companion and I are sisters, or often times they think that she's my mom. It's pretty funny.

Today we had the opportunity to go to the temple, which is always a blessing. And yesterday we had an AMAZING day. We found some people who are really prepared for the gospel and some less actives. And we went out with some members in our ward, but our appointment fell through. But this didn't stop this couple (both returned missionaries) from working. They were contacting people left and right and we even taught a lesson in the road. They were a huge example to us and we learned so much from them.Never hesistate to share the gospel. When you are confident and strong, people will respond to you positively. It's kind of like riding a horse, they sense your emotions and mimick them. I pray that we can all be a little more open and proactive at sharing the gospel.]

Monday, November 21, 2011

"All these things shall be for your experience and for your good."

Olá Família and Amigos!

So here I am in the field!!! It´s a little crazy! I´m in Diadema Centro, which is the second most populated city in Brasil! My companion and I are opening an area, so that means that we kicked out the elders and we´re both new to this place. There is so much work to do here, it´s hard to know where to start! My companion is Sister Petita, she is from Georgia and she has been on her mission for 10 months. I am so grateful for her, we are already best of friends. I´m still not too comfortable in my portuguese so it is a huge comfort to have an american companion. BUT we need to speak portuguese more, I cannot use her as a crutch.

The members of our ward are SUPER nice and friendly! I love them already. They just split the ward and so everything is new the bishop and all the other leaders...and us! So it´s a little tough to get started, but we already had a great first week. We have a super great couple who came to all of stake conference this weekend. And we´ve met a few less active members that we´ve been able to have really neat expericences bringing them back to church. It´s these great experience that we have with people that make the new missionary experience not as overwhelming.

I´ve had some great scripture study this week to help me be a better disciple of Jesus Christ. Matt, 16: 21-27, Matt. 19:16-23, and Luke 12:22-37. All of these scriptures are really motivating. They taught me that "whosoever will lose his life for my sake will find it" And that we need to be willing to give up and leave behind the world to follow Jesus Christ and seek to build the kingdom of heaven. Do a mental check for yourself, like the young man, " What lack I yet?" What am I willing to give up to be a disciple and follower of the Savior. And we´ve been promissed to "Fear not, little flock." The Lord is mindful of us, and just as he takes care of the ravens and lillies, he will surely take care of us. You are never alone, for the Lord knows you and He knows your needs and what you are going through because he has been through worse, all for us. His love is all encompassing and all we need do is have the faith to take up our cross and follow him.It is my hope and prayer this week that during this time of great thankgiving, all you of you will take the time to reflect on your blessings and how you can give back to our Savior.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oolaaa! Como vai?

So yeah, news of the week. We actually did real proselyting on monday! We went out to the streets of São Paulo for about 3 hours and talked to people and gave them copies of the BOM and invited them to church! It was quite the experience. At first we were all nervous to stop people, because they are all in a hurry and don't want to talk to you, but I had the BOM challenge from Bishop Sutton, so I was determined to fulfill it. I wrote my testimony in the front and  I was determined to share what I had. So after a few nervous "Ola"s and some shut downs, I got up the courgage to just stop and start talking to this girl. She was really gracious and kind and seemed happy to receive the Book of Mormon. It was an encouraging experience and after that the giving just started flowing. We gave out 8 copies of the BOM in all and committed 3 very interested people to come to church! One lady had many questions and said that she saw the missionaries all the time, but they never had talked to her. I´m glad we finally did! Who knows what people will do with the books we gave them, but hey we did our part and they have the opportunity! I´m not going to lie and say that it was a piece of cake, it was definitley way out of my comfort zone, but I did it and grew from the experience. I am excited to get to the field next week and meet my mission president and companion and teach some real investigators. Hopefully I´ll even learn real portuguese too ;) Brazillians talk fast!

                                                 Tasha's District at the CTM in Brazil

Other news, I finished the Book of Mormon today!! A week earlier than my goal. Oh what a marvelous book it is. It has fueled my mission and my fire for the past 9 weeks and I know that it has changed me for the better. The Lord truly speaks to us through His words of His scriptures. And if any of you feel like you need to inspiration and direction, i know you can always turn prayerfully to the scriptures. He will hear you, He will answer. How do I know? Because it has happened to me.

Shout out to those who sent me letters this week, THANK YOU so much! They are very appreciated, I loved hearing from you! As for the rest of you, you can now write me at my mission address :) Letters only take a week, btw.

I love you all and miss you and pray for you. I know the Lord is watching over you and is mindful of you everyday.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Oi! I´m in BRASIL!!!!

Olá! Tudo bem?!
Ok, so I have so much to say to all of you, 30 minutes is not enough! I took a picture of all of your emails so I could read them later, I loved all the pics, thanks!! Today is the Day of the Dead in Brazil, so all of the stores and the post office :( is closed today for the holiday, so no mail til next week. But that´s ok, we got to go to the temple today, it was really wonderful!
So, I love Brazil!!! It is so beautiful here, just like I pictured. It´s actually not hot here at all. First few days we got here it was the perfect temperature, but now it is actually pretty cool. I wish I wouldn't have sent home my hoodie! Oh well, hopefully it will warm up again soon. Just like in Texas, all of the elders like to freeze us out with the AC. Ai. So yeah it is crazy different here! There is way way more study time, but they are not strict here at all and the rules are really slack so it is hard to be obedient. Sis. Barlow and I are trying our best to remember to be exactly obedient like we were taught in Provo. They focus on the language here more than the spiritual things, and they don't focus on teaching investigators as much here. Overall, I just need to be diligent on my own and not slack off. I'm learning so much here because of the change! I´m grateful for this opportunity to learn things that I wouldn´t have been able to in provo.

Sis. Barlow and I are again companions with Sis. Pedersen! Yay :) But we are not with our other district or friends anymore :( We miss them, but we know that we are where we need to be and we are making new friends! Brazillians are SUPER nice, I love them! All the sisters going to SPS are so sweet and excited to be companions. They are so warm and welcoming, I wish American culture was more open. Some of the brazillian elders told me that they thought I was brazillian because compared to my companions I look brazillian. Huge compliment :)
So the tastes really good. The only thing is that it just doesn't sit very well. Seriously, they eat SOO much meat. At least two servings PER meal!? Hopefully my body will adjust soon enough, I can't figure out if I´m hungry or just don´t feel good or if I ate too much! Weight it comes ha ha. But I know that I am going to be just great and I´m already adjusting wonderfully. 3 Ne. 13 :25-34
So on sunday we got to watch the Joseph Smith movie in portuguese--no english subtitles! It was so neat! I loved it! I was able to understand almost everything! (I´m not sure if that is due to how much portuguese I´ve learned or that I´ve seen the movie so many times that I practically have it memorized...I´m going with the former :) But really, I´m so greatful to be hear and be able to speak and hear portuguese more! My goal for this week is to accept Portuguese as MY language. Because it is now for the next 17 months. So I´m trying to not speak anymore than 15 phrases in english per day! Oh man, it´s tough, but so helpful! I´m at about 25 times per day right now, but I´m learning so much more.
At the devotional yesterday our district sang prelude, and my district had me and Elder Lanham sing a solo/duet. It is really neat to be able to share my testimony and the spirit through song! We then watched a DVD by Elder Neil Anderson from a provo devotional. It was so good!! It was all about the Atonement and dealing with the things unseen. One quote I really liked he said: "Grace is the power to become something you are not." We all could access this power a little more in our everyday lives.
I´m almos finished with the Book of Mormon! I´ve loved every page, and my testimony has grown so much! Mormon 5--we need to more recognize the presence of God in our lives!
If there is anything I´ve have found this week, it is that ATTITUDE makes all the difference. You´re life is how you make it, SO MAKE IT GOOD! We all have the freedom to choose whether to ACT on our situation and change our experiences for the better, or to be acted upon and not enjoy what we otherwise could have. So I encourage ALL of you to choose to have a good attitude about what is going on in your life and always ACT not be acted upon.
I love you all.
Te amo

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tasha Arrives at Brazil MTC!

We received the following from the Brazil MTC:

Dear Parents,We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC. What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise totake good care of your missionary.They now have companions and are settled into their rooms. They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study. The branch presidents and their wives, will soon give them a second greeting. These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for their health needs. He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good.

It sounds like she is in good hands and we are excited for her to finally be in Brazil. The MTC states that NO packages should be sent to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where Tasha will be serving not the MTC. They ALSO Strongly ENCOURAGE SENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Also, please DO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers. Only use the US Post Office.

Her mission home address is:

Brazil Sao Paulo South Mission
Sister Tasha Bierman
R. Dr. Luiz da Rocha Miranda, 159 8° Andar
Parque Jabaquara
04344-010 Sao Paulo - SP

Monday, October 24, 2011

Prayer works!

Bom dia!!!
Ola familia e amigos! Como vai? Tudo bem?
Well this week has been absolutely CRAZY! WE'RE GOING TO BRAZIL!!!! TOMORROW!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! It's nuts. 5 of us in our district got our visas, 3 are still waiting so we are still praying. But I am so grateful for the wonderful example of our teacher Irmao Cangelosi who taught us to pray with faith for the things that we need. Everyday we pray, and if we didn't pray for our visas, he would have us get down on our knees and pray for them again. It taught us that we can't just sit around and wish for the things that we need, but that we need to pray for them and do all that we can to obtain the blessings we need. We need to show the Lord that we are willing to do what it takes, but that we are always willing to accept the Lord's will. Because He is in charge, and although we may not know why things happen the way they do--God does and he has a very specific plan for all of us. The Lord blesses those who SEEK Him.

Other happenings of this week...I've been practicing "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" for a few weeks so that I could audition for a special musical number at a devotional or fireside for the MTC. Elder Udall and I have been really working at it and were planning on auditioning this week. They tell you to audition early so they can fit you in somewhere before you leave because so many people are so talented here. So I figured I still had like 4 weeks left...BUT then my visa came on Tuesday! And I didn't know what to do because I was sure that they already had all of the musical numbers lined up, but I had practiced and I have this huge fear of auditions, so i decided to buck up and audition and come what may. I was going to see this thing through. So we auditioned, and we got a YES! But they didn't know if they could fit us in...well I have the opportunity to share that wonderful song at the Senior Missionary Orientation today! Wish me luck, I hope the Spirit will touch their hearts through the song :) 

We had another really powerful sunday yesterday. I love sundays so much! Our district sang "A Child's Prayer" (in portuguese and english) in sacrament meeting as our farewell. There were some really good testimonies born. My roommate Sis Arslanian said something that was really profound: "I don't understand how the Gospel blesses us, but I KNOW THAT IT DOES." This is the truth and the most honest testimony one can bear. Many people want to know how it works or how we know, and oftentimes we don't have the answer, but like Nephi and so many others of the Book of Mormon... we can say: "I do not know all things, but I know that the Lord knows all things and I trust in Him." Sister Barlow and I taught our district meeting yesterday on the Power of Prayer. So fitting for this week. Prayers have the power to change the world, but it takes effort and thought on our part. I hope I can be better at it.

Oh yeah, this week we got to hear from....ELDER RICHARD G SCOTT!! Oh my goodness, what a blessing that was. I love hearing from the Apostles of the Lord! 

Always remember, "When you have done your best, you will sure still have disappointments--but you will not be disappointed with yourself."Be strong. Keep the Faith. And ALWAYS put your trust in Him.

I love you all,Tchao!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tasha's Visa Arrived!!!

Hi Everyone:
We have some exciting news. Tasha called on Wednesday to let us know that she had received her visa....Yippee!! She will be flying out on Tuesday and arriving at the MTC in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Wednesday morning. She is so excited. There were quite a group that received their visas this week including her companion so there will be 7 of them traveling together for which we are grateful. It was so great to hear the sound of her voice and know that she is doing well. She could only talk for 5 minutes and it is amazing how quickly 5 minutes passes.
For those of you wanting to send her letters, please note the new address in Brazil.

Sister Tasha Anne Bierman
Box#28, Dist 37-A Brazil MTC
Brazil Sao Paulo South Mission
Rua Padre Antonio D'Angelo, 121
Casa Verde, Sao Paulo, SP
Brazil    02516-040

This is the MTC address and she should be there for a couple of weeks. I believe that it takes about a week for a letter to reach her so write her right away and she will get it while she is in the MTC.  Please do not send any packages to the Brazil MTC because  she will not be there long enough to receive them.  I will post the mission home address shortly and you are welcome to send packages there.  It is my understanding that they take about 4 - 8 weeks to arrive.   She loves to get letters and feels bad that she doesn't always have the time to respond back to everyone. Thank you all for your support for her.

Monday, October 17, 2011

TRUE HAPPINESS comes from TRUE REPENTANCE (Alma 27:18, Mosiah 4:11-12)

Como vai? Tudo bem, aqui!!! MUITO bem, actually :)
This week FLEW by. Like literally, FLEW. I can't believe it's already P-day again. This last week we taught around 10 lessons and studied and learned and studied and learned....and slept...they turned off the AC last weekend, so this weekend...can you say SAUNA? We missionaries are all like little miss Goldilocks...we always want juuussst right. Lol.

So I had the opportunity of speaking in sacrament meeting yesterday (which was AMAZING). They don't tell us in advance who the speakers are, but they tell you right then. And yep it was me :) Good thing I prepared! I was asked to speak on true repentance, which fit in perfectly with my book of mormon reading this week about the misssionary experiences of Alma and the Sons of mosiah. The people of Ammon are a HUGE example to us of people who truly repented and became truly converted. They were so converted that they refused to defend themselves against the lamanites and they were willing to be slaves for the nephites to make up for all of their murders. In Alma 23:5 it said that "as many as...were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away." WOW. I think we could all learn from their example.

Other thoughts, at service this friday a custodian was asking all the missionaries if they thought the MTC was Prison or Paradise. Most of them were saying prison! Can you believe that?! PARADISE is how I feel about the matter, SERIOUSLY, it is amazing here, I love it SO much!!
Other things, so everyday I have at least 2-3 people come up to me and say that I look really familiar, but we've never met each other before and I don't recognize them at all...? Strange huh? Well my companion claims it's because she thinks I look like Kate from "Lost"...which I think is a huge complement! I love Sister Barlow so much. She is amazing in everyway! And such a good friend!

Final thought, for the day because I don't have much time...
WE are SO blessed to have the Gospel in our lives!! I think we take it for granted a lot, but the Book of Mormon clearly teaches us that this is the way to have true happiness. I know that this is true, I challenge all of you to NEVER FORGET IT!

Also, in sacrament meeting yesterday the thought came to me :"Christ can only be our Savior if we accept Him." We accept him by having FAITH in Him--which leads us to REPENT, thereby accepting and UTILIZING His Atonement for us. I hope and pray that all of us can be more accepting of Christ, increase our faith in him, and continually repent to become more like Him.

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! Thank you for all your prayers and know that I pray for you everyday.

Com amor,
Sister Bierman ;]

Monday, October 10, 2011

Eu tenho muito FRIO!!!!

How are you enjoying WINTER? That is exactly how I feel here, it is so cold! I wish I would have brought some of my scarfs or something lol. But then the rooms are warm, so that's not bad. But the heater in our room doesn't work, so it's cold at night. My alarm clock says it's 68 degrees, but it feels so much colder than that. It's really strange to be experiencing cold when it was so NOT planned on lol.. But I must say that, ok I know it's crazy, but I'm loving the scenery here in Provo. The mountains are breathtaking with half snow and half fall colors, especially Mt. Timp, and overlooking Utah lake is simply amazing! This morning it was really neat to see the sunrise hit Mt. Timp and the Mtns behind the temple were covered in snow and reflecting pink. Add that and the gentle glow of the temple and it was simply breathtaking! And then to turn around and see Utah lake and the pink and purple clouds over it. Love. Just love.

I came across a better theme scripture for my mission this week. It's one that I've leaned on for strength before, but really struck me this week. Check out 2 Timothy 1:7-8. For God has not given me the spirit of fear, but of LOVE, and PEACE, and a SOUND MIND. I am not ashamed of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And I WILL be bold and INVITE others to come to Him and PARTAKE of His REDEEMING LOVE by repenting and changing and coming into the fold of GOD. This is something that I get a little nervous about because I have never been one to push something on others, or try to pursuade them that I know the right way, or infringe upon their personal decisions. I cannot simply be comfortable with teaching others about Jesus Christ in His gospel and NOT invite them to come and partake of the wonderful fruit! This week's theme seems to be HAVING FAITH TO INVITE OTHERS TO BE BAPTIZED. Why is it so important to not only share the message, but to invite them to be BAPTIZED? Because inviting them to be baptized is how we committ them to CHANGE and have something for them to work toward, it's a goal and a process, and a demonstration of our willingness to follow Jesus Christ. This is hard for me because I feel like I need to teach others EVERYTHING there is to know about the Gospel, when I don't even know that. I need to stop thinking that people must have a perfect knowledge of everything before I can ask them to change, because it is only by FAITH that miracles are wrought and who am I to know the intent of God and the workings of the Spirit in others hearts. I need to take a leap of FAITH to help them take a leap of FAITH and COME UNTO CHRIST. The Savior was not shy or timid about INVITING others to come unto Him, but he invited ALL to come partake of His redeeming love. He taught with boldness and let people choose to accept Him for themselves. My goal is to follow the example of the Savior and NOT HESITATE to invite others to come unto Him through baptism. The Savior invites ALL to come unto Christ--as His representative--SO DO I!

I encourage all of you strive to be more active in INVITING others to come unto Christ. Their salvation is on the line. Help them partaked of His redeeming love, and peace, and joy, and LIFE. You can do it, just SHARE His love! We may not be able to understand all that others go through or why, but the Savior does. Because He has been there. He understands, "He only one." In our own Gesthemane's, WE ARE NOT ALONE. What a blessing this is in our lives, to know that we ALWAYS have someone to turn to! I am so grateful for His willingness to obey the Father and sacrifice Himself for us to be free and healed and cleansed.

I love you so much. All of you back at home are such a huge inspiration to me. Our family picture is the bookmark for my Book of Mormon and it reminds me why I am here and why I need to share what I have with the world. Thank you for all your prayers and support, I need it and feel it. I pray for you.

Te amo,
Sister Bierman

Monday, October 3, 2011

Eu agradeco-te, O Deus, para os profetas!

WASN'T GENERAL CONERENCE AMAZING!? The Spirit here at the MTC is amazing! I loved every bit of conferece, all of the talks were so direct and straight from God! I had so many talks that I loved, it's hard to choose a favorite! Some of my favorites include: "Do the right thing, at the right time--without delay!"- Elder Alonso, "All beings who have bodies have power over those who do not!" -Pres. Packer, ''Compared to God we are nothing, but TO God we are everything.'' -Pres. Uchtdorf, ''Take those things that rob us of our time and instead devote our time to the things that matter most--the things of God.'' -Elder Ardern (this one I especially liked because I can really see the truth of it here at the MTC. We get up 6:30 and until 10:30 we are dedicating our time to the Lord, not wasting one second. I cannot belive how much we can get accomplished here, and how little I accomplished at home. I challenge ALL OF YOU to COMMIT YOUR TIME TO THE THINGS THAT MATTER MOST), "We must LOOK UP and STEP UP and then we will CHEER UP!'' -Elder carl B. Cook....and SO MANY more! Mom, could you send me the talk by Brother Matthew O Richardson? He talked to fast, but it was so important! Thanks! I hope that all of you enjoyed and got as much out of conference as I did. We are truly blessed to have the opportunity to hear from prophets of God.

As for other news, the Portuguese is coming during laundry we were trying to talk to an Elder from Sao Paulo so he could help us practice, boy do we have a lot more to learn! But he has only been here 7 weeks and he already speaks amazing english, so there is HOPE! Our teacher, Irmao Williams, told us that we speak portuguese better now than he did when he left the MTC! That is very encouraging. He says that at the Brazil MTC they speak to you in English, not Portuguese. I am so blessed to be here in Provo. I know the Lord has much in store for me, as long as I am obedient and strive to serve Him the best I can. I can''t wait to see what He has in store for me and the people I will meet!

I love the BOOK OF MORMON! I am learning so much reading so much! I am only 130 pages in, but I have been more enlightened from this Book now than I ever have been in my life. Are YOU reading the Book of Mormon? Are you "drinking deeply and often from it''s pages?" (Pres. Eyring)

I've decided that the theme of my mission thusfar is 2 Nephi 31:20. It has brought me great comfort and strength everyday and I strive to exercise my faith. Mom, will you tell them this is the scripture they can put on my plaque?

We said goodbye to Sister Pedersen this week. It was really emotional at first, and Sister Barlow had a hard time adjusting to that gap in our companionship, but things are going great now! We are closer than ever and feeling the wonderful power of the Spirit in our lives everyday and every lesson. We have a new investigator, Tiago, and already we have had such amazing experiences: feeling the Spirit guide us to TEACH PEOPLE--NOT LESSONS. I have felt the power of the Spirit place words and scriptures into my mind at the moment I need them most. I know that the Gift of the Holy Ghost is real. It''s power is beyond anything we can comprehend. All we need do is seek His help and live worthy of His presence. I know that it is through the gift and the power of God and His Spirit that we can speak and understand so much portuguese in just 3 short weeks. You would think we had been here months!

Among other things...the missionaries here are definitely romantically deprived. We watched "The Testaments'' last night and everytime there was flirting or kissing involved, the whole gym errupted into cheers. Oh my goodness, it was hilarious. Poor Elder Bruce was like, "Two years, man.'' Oh how I love being a missionary and the all the blessing that I receive from the Lord. I hope all of you are recognizing His hand in YOUR life.

I know that this is the true church of Christ, and I know that this is His work!

I love you all so very much,

Sister Bierman

Monday, September 26, 2011

Visas...Say WHAT?!?

Yep, you heard right. Visas came on Wednesday for five missionaries...and no, sorry to keep you in suspense there, but I was not one of them. But that's ok, I'm so glad to be here actually and I totally know that I'm where I'm supposed to be. My companion, Sister Pedersen, and her brother and an elder in my district all got theirs and they are flying out tomorrow morning! I'm going to miss her, but I'm sure glad that Sister Barlow will still be here with me. It would be really hard without her. Everyone that has been getting their visas are from the east coast or northern california.

As for this week at the MTC, we've had some really amazing experiences! I cannot believe how much I am learning and growing here. The Lord is really preparing me for His work. Portuguese is really hard. I didn't expect it to be so hard because I'm a fairly decent student, but it is definitely a challenge! The MTC has a new teaching method that they've just started, and from a teacher's standpoint, it is the best way to teach, but also the hardest way to learn. For not even being here 2 weeks, I am amazed at how much portuguese we can speak. We've taught 5 lessons in portuguese, and we pray and sing in portuguese, and we only speak in portuguese in class and at lunch. It is amazing how much can be accomplished with a little faith, diligence, and the Spirit of the Lord. Oh man, I feel like there is so much to share, I wish I could give more details! As far as our investigator is going, we taught him 5 lessons and committed him to be baptized! Say what?! It was so amazing! I guess I should fill you in that just before we taught our 3rd lesson with him, we found out that Hugo was actually one of our professors playing the character of Hugo (who is a real person in Brazil). At first we were devastated because we had put everything we had into those lessons. We gave him the BOM with our real testimonies, and we prayed for him, and fasted for him, and developed a relationship with him. Sister Barlow and I may or may not have shed some tears. But you know what? It was the most AMAZING experience that I will always cherish, because it was so REAL. The Spirit and all of the emotions we felt, truly came from our heart. And as we continued to teach him, he was still Hugo to us and the Spirit still worked through us and testified of the truthfulness of what we were saying and aided us in our Portuguese speaking. I will probably always remember Hugo as my first investigator. I am really glad for the whole experience, and all that it taught me.

Our speaker at the fireside on tuesday night was Elder Russell M. Nelson and his wife! The following is from my journal: "He entered as we were singing "Where can I turn for peace?" and as we stood and Elder Nelson entered the room, I was overcome with the Spirit. So much that I found myself unable to sing comprehensibly as tears strone down my face. I KNEW THAT HE WAS A PROPHET AND APOSTLE OF GOD, without a shadow of a doubt, because I felt the strong Spirit of the Lord that his presence brought. I've never been in such close proximity to a prophet of God. It was amazing. He focused on the Book of Mormom and my testimony has most definitely been fueled tonight. The Spirit has been so strong today and I've has many instances today alone of the perfect thought/inspiration/scripture coming to mind at just the right moment. Huge testimony strengthener."

I never thought I'd say it, but I bought a BRAND NEW Book of Mormon today! Mine are just so marked up, it's hard to focus on what I'm trying to study. So my goal is to read the BOM again by the time I leave the MTC, marking all of the scriptures that apply to the lessons I'll be teaching or people I'll be helping focusing on the colors of the lessons in Preach My Gospel. I figure if I read at least 13 pages a day, I'll finish before I leave. Wish me luck!

Well I love you all and and I know that this gospel is true! I know that Jesus is the Christ and that His Atonement can HEAL us and help us through all of life's adversities. I can't wait for another week to be able to learn and grow and come closer to my Savior. It is my hope and prayer that all of you will strive to do the same. COME UNTO HIM.

Monday, September 19, 2011

One Week Down!

My first five days at the MTC have been JAM PACKED with everything you could possibly think of. As I told you in my letter the first day we were immediately rushed off to class. Our teachers only speak to us in Portuguese and on by our third day, we had to teach a real investigator in PORTUGUESE! Say what? And guess what, it was so cool! Sister Barlow and Sister Pedersen (minhas companheiras) were able to communicate with him and talk to him about his life a little. We taught him a little bit about God and His plan for us, and he asked us about the Atonement and the Garden of Gethsemane. The very next morning at 7:30, we taught our second lesson to him, but it was a little bit discouraging. We found that it is really hard to explain the Atonement when you don't actually speak/understand Portuguese...BUT we did give him a Book of Mormon (the one that Bishop Sutton gave me!) with our testimony and highlighted verses and the Spirit was so strong when he read from it! It was so neat. Today we are teaching him again, but this time we are sticking to the basics of the plan of salvation. Irmao Williams (one of our teachers) reminded us to keep it SIMPLE and remember that we need to focus on just having the SPIRIT in our lessons. I think I've got all of the vocab down and I'm excited to try it out. This week has felt like a giant rollercoaster of spiritual/emotional/physical/mental highs and lows...good thing I LOVE ROLLERCOASTERS! :) Other really neat things...I can pray in Portuguese! My prayers are really limited, but I can still get across what I need to! Our district now has a rule that all prayers have to be in Portuguese from now on. Oh, and being in the missionary choir is AWESOME! Oh how I've missed being in choir so much. Our director is amazing and the Spirit is so strong. We are singing "Consider the Lilies" at the fireside tomorrow.
I think I'm going to really love Sundays here at the MTC. It was a much needed spiritual boost to keep us motivated and focused to push past the frustrations of the language and remember why we are here. Each day is nonstop class, study, class, study, lunch, study...etc. It has to be! The food here...wonderful! I don't know how they do it, but I love it!
I wish I had time to tell you all about what I've learned here so far, but there is so much! But I will share with you the theme of all that I learned yesterday: As it says in Consider the Lilies, "He will feed those who trust in Him..."  Every day we need to make sure that we are putting our FAITH in the Savior and TRUST in the enabling power of His Atonement, and HE WILL FEED US. As it says in 2 Nephi 31:19-20, " mush press forward with a steadfastness in Christ...feasting upon the word of Christ." I know that these things are true, and I challenge all of you to put a little more TRUST in your Savior and feast on His words.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

On more recent thoughts

Second things second, I'm too tired to post all that I originally intended, but I will leave with this last thought. On thoughts of miracles, the greatest of all is that 4) we live and die and live again! all thanks to our Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our Father in Heaven has blessed us so much to create an eternal plan for us to live with Him again and that He would send His only begotten Son to atone for us and conquer the grave. I'd like to add my testimony to those of President Monson's, “In our hour of deepest sorrow, we can receive profound peace from the words of the angel that first Easter morning: ‘He is not here: for he is risen.’"

In the light of this past general conference, I'd like to affirm that we have apostles and prophets that speak to us today! How blessed we are to receive such divine guidance. May we all find the strength to put our faith in Christ. For if we can't put our faith in Him, than who?

The lastest of all late happenings

First things first, we've been celebrating a lot of birthdays these past few weeks in my family. After learning extensively about human physiology, can I just say that it is a miracle 1) that we are conceived, 2) that we are born, and 3) that we even are alive today! Do you know how many things have to go right for these things to happen, and that if even one tiny thing goes wrong it could be the end? Beautiful miracles, indeed. Sorry for that little tangent, back to birthdays. This year my mom turned 50! In tribute, I wrote her a poem in the card I made her. I wanted to share this so that you could get a glimpse of what a wonderful lady my mom is, not about my awesome poetry skills (I sorta cringe when I think of you reading this, Cole.) So here's to one of the most influential women in my life:

Fifty years have come and gone.
For some those years are merely time,
But for those of us that you have known,
Precious moments sublime.

For each day you shared some word or deed
That brought kindness to someone in need.
How many lives you may have touched,
It is not known for sure.
But of this much I know is true--
You've touched mine through and through.

If I can but hope to be
Half the woman that you are,
I'd not doubt that I'd succeed
Because I'd touched another's heart.

I love you, Mom!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Delicate Arch at sunset.

Sunset and moon.

Crawl-Through Arch.
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

This One's Dedicated to Nicole

In the light of difficult decision making, I've found some comfort in these lyrics. And yes, I'm hooked on Joshua Radin. Happy listening :)

Oh and you might also be depressed to find out that Joshua Radin is playing in Salt Lake TOMORROW. That's right, I won't be there either. :( At least there's YouTube!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence."

“Opposition turns up almost anyplace something good has happened. It can happen when you are trying to get an education. It can hit you after your first month in your new mission field. It certainly happens in matters of love and marriage. … There are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been genuine illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don’t give up when the pressure mounts. … Face your doubts. Master your fears. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence.’ Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you.”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence,” Brigham Young University devotional address, March 2, 1999

Who ever said God coudn't be a scientist?

After a couple of weeks (and a couple of weeks too many) of researching and discussing whether Evolution and Intelligent Design should be taught in public school science class, I am thoroughly fed up with anything controversial. Please don't attempt to discuss any of these matters with me for the rest of the month.

For the record, I am a stalwart believer that God created this earth and everything in it. Not only am I a believer, but I know this with every fiber of my being. How could I not believe without merely walking out my door each day, feeling the sun on my face and seeing how miraculous life actually is? As Alma eloquently states, "...All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is Supreme Creator." (Alma 30:44)

 That being said, the scientist in me is a proponent of not teaching Intelligent Design in science classes. Now before you call me a hypocrite, hear me out. Intelligent Design is not a theory based on scientific evidence and cannot be tested by quantitative means. It is merely an idea of how life came about, based on observations of "irreducible complexity" and backed by various religious beliefs. Based on the nature of science parameters, it is not a scientific theory and, therefore, doesn't have place in a science class. This does not mean that I don't think that is is a valuable concept to be taught, just in a different setting.

After watching videos and reading articles about the controversy and its issues of constitutionality, I cannot help but wonder how all of this blew up into such a big controversy in the first place. After all, we are a nation of free thought. Even God has given us the gift of agency, to act and choose for ourselves. When, as parents and teachers, do we allow our children to start thinking for themselves? When is it appropriate for us to quit spoon feeding them ideas and give them room to piece the puzzle together for themselves? I'm no expert on anything of this sort, but I'd like to think that we are raising individuals who can reason for themselves. I hate controversy. It makes my head hurt. Why can't we all just get along?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Midnight Musings

A month or so ago, as I was lying in my bed looking at my glow in the dark stars, a poem began to form in my mind. A welcome release it was, putting my emotions to words. Don't make fun, I'm still an amateur.
Lost and confused--
Torn from a life
I once knew.

Of my heart are strewn
Tattered remnants
Waiting to be renewed.

There is yet a little left--
A constant light to guide
To places I could never guess.

A life to live must live on.

As a biology major, I was quite surprised to have this pop out of my head so easily. What a pleasant surprise it was. Lately I've been feeling frustrated with my brain though. Confusion has settled these past few days. I think it's the return of the Mono...ah the dreaded disease. Perhaps someday I won't feel its tired effects on my poor body. Until then, hope...there is yet a little left.