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!