Monday, February 27, 2012

Don't you worry bout a thing...

Oi! So some weeks just seem to happen everything at once, and boy oh boy, what a week!

Started off last monday really stressed about all the investigators we needed to visit after p-day to help them get baptized this week. Showed up at our investigator's house that was supposed to get baptized on sunday to find a messy party going--lots of drinking, and funky, and none of the Spirit--needless to day, it didn't really work out to teach our investigator, and we haven't been able to get a hold of her since :( But we'll keep trying. So then we went to the next one, great lesson: check, running late for the next appointement: check. So we literally ran to our next appointment that was 30 minutes away. As we were crossing a really busy street, some cars started to come really fast and yep, I crashed and burned, tripped on some plastic in the road and slid into first base style. Luckily all the cars stopped for me, any my knee was only a little cut up, but needless to say we were very late for our last appointement and things just didn't quite work out. So that was monday.

Tuesday was a little more tranquilo and had some great lessons. Wednesday was, well, an adventure in the bathroom. Our drain for our shower has really started to stink. So I cleaned out all the hair, but the water doesn't drain all the way, it just sits stagnant all day in our shower. The water is really gross looking and has nasty little black worms growing in it. So Sister B attacked the drain with an old jam jar and some clorox. We got all the water and horrible smelling black sand out. And while the water still doesn't drain, at least it doesn't stink! Luckily sister B had a cold so she couldn't smell anything. I have such a wonderful companion :)

So as the week went on, the stress continued to build. We are really starting to get a lot of investigators and have such high hopes for them to convert and get baptized and we love them so much...we just need like 10 more of us! So saturday arrrived, and we arranged for everyone to get to church and planned a great FHE with our ward mission leader and some of our best investigators. We did all of our visits for the day and showed up at our investigator's house that night to walk to the member's house when we got a phone call from the member "Sisters, where are you? are you coming?" I looked at my watch and said 'yeah, we'll been there at 7:30'...come to find out it was already 8:00 and I had completely lost track of time! It was too late to have our family night, I was crushed. I felt soooo bad. But we still had a great lesson. So we hurried home. Woke up at 6:15 on sunday so we could get everyone to church. Left our house at 7:30 and our district leader called " Sisters, you know that today is daylight savings time, right? It's only 6:30 right now." So we were only an hour early. No biggie. But we had some really great investigators at church and some really great lessons. Yesterday one of our investigators told us that she had been fasting when she went to church and has decided that if any church will go to heaven it'll be our church. Say what?! We hardly knew how to respond we were so excited. The Lord continues to guide us when we ask in faith and follow His Spirit.

Today we got to go to the temple again, which is always nice. This week I've really been thinking a lot about how we can help our investigators understand why the restoration is so important and that salvation is at stake! I am so grateful to have the Gospel in my life. The knowlege of God's plan for us and how we can overcome spiritual and physical death to return to his loving presence and receive a fulness of joy in our families. And while most of the world doesn't realize this yet, we do. And we're just two sister missionaries, trying to spread the word and the love to the people of the world. It's true! We know it! Live it and never forget it!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!! Share the love!

Olááá!Tudo bem com vocês? Tudo ótimo!

So this week, the Lord is really blessing us! We're working hard, trying to follow the Spirit, be obedient in the littlest things, laugh and smile, and just spread God's love for His children. And what do you know, we've got some really great investigators with some really great potential! We're working and praying hard for some baptisms these next few weeks. Almost everyday we seemed to find a new investigator that listened to the message of the Restoration and accepted and believed the testimonies we bore. It is such an amazing experience to see people with open hearts and minds, prepared to hear the Gospel. It's a wonderful feeling when people accept the things you hold most we just got to get them strong, going to church, living the gospel, and entering those waters.

One neat experience this week, that has taught me to never hold back my amazing newbie companion happened when I did a contact with a woman in the road. I testified to her about the Restoration and asked her a question about what she believed. But the contact seemed like it was going no where and the woman told me she didn't understand what I was saying. So my companion just spoke up and asked, "If you knew that your church was wrong and that our church is true, would you want to hear more?" And I thought to myself, 'Oh no, it's never good to tell people there church is wrong, here we go...' Then to my utter astonishment and our excitedment, she said "Yes, I want to hear more." So we taught her the Restoration and bore testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and she accepted our invitation to be baptized! Only problem is that she doesn't actally live here, so we'll see how it goes. But this was just one of the really neat experiences we had this week. One investigator, G, came to church and said that she was going to come every sunday from now on, and we didn't even have to ask!

This week was a little stressful for me trying to keeping everything organized with the work picking up, but that's a good kind of stress that pushes you to do the very best that you can. Sister B is great, she is always following the Spirit and helping me to have fun while we work. The Lord is really taking our weaknesses and turning them into strengths. Theme for this week: Ether 12:27. The Lord gives us weaknesses so that we can be humble, as we humble ourselves and strive to do our will, recognizing our dependence on Him, he turns our weaknesses into strengths. While I feel weak and inadequate as a missionary, trainer, in portuguese,etc. the Lord is magnifying my weaknesses so that we can bring about success in this area. He really is working with the Spirit through us. The gift of tongues is real, I don't know how I communicate with everyone, but I know that when we humble ourselves, submit to the Lord's will and not our own, miracles happen.

I hope that all of you can recognize the hand of the Lord in your lives and let Him turn your weaknesses into strengths. It's not easy, but with His help, everything is possible. During this special month, share the Love of our Savior in everything you do and say!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Oh how lovely was the raining...after all the glaring sun!

Oláááá, todo mundo!

Well well well, another week gone by and oh what a week. I picked up my new companion on Tuesday. There were four new sisters that arrived, two americans and two brazilians. I was the only american trainer, so I figured I'd probably get a brazillian to help me with my portuguese. But when I met the sisters, I felt really drawn to one of the americans. We don't know who our companion will be until after lunch and the training meeting. So I talked to alll of them and got to know them and tried to decide who would be placed with who. And I think I was pretty well on the mark. And now, for the big hoorah, my new companion is...drumroll please....Sister B, from Layton, Utah!!!! The very same I felt so connected to.But I am shocked that I am training an American, I didn't feel like my Portugues was good enough or that I know enough. Needless to say we started off this week with a bang and Sister B is on FIRE! First day, we haven't even gotten home yet and she's already talking to people on the bus. Second day she's inviting people to get baptized. Third day she's making plans and goals that will make all the difference her. She has such a big heart, and a desire to testify about the restoration to every person she meets. And she speaks portuguese better than I did when I came, and the Lord is most certainly blessing me with my portuguese so that I can understand all that is going on. I don't feel like I have the capacity to do this, but the Lord is sure giving me His grace. First week together and we had some amazing Spirit filled experiences finding some really special new investigators! I am so excited for this transfer, it's going to be a lot of work, but with Faith, dilligence, and the Spirit, I know that we will have a lot of success.

We didn't have any investigators at church this week, which was a real bummer becuase it was a really spirit filled meeting. Irmão I was confirmed and the Spirit was so strong. He is really special, he teared up when we were talking to him after the meeting. He was really close to Sister P, and misses her a lot already.

This week my testimony is sure being strengthened about the Grace of the Savior. He is sure giving me all that I am lacking in this moment, and showing my weakness so that I can improve, and blessing me with an amazing companion. I hope and pray that I can be the missionary that He needs me to be, and always have His power and the Spirit so that we can find and lead His elect to the fold. I am learning more from my companion than she is from me (but we won't let her in on that quite yet ;) But really we are so blessed here. I know that our Heavenly Father loves and knows each of us individually and that he ALWAYS hears and answers our prayers, in His own time. Miracles happen every day, even years and years later. As Winston Churchill said, "Never, never, never give up." I love you all and pray that the Lord will continue to bless you.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tender Mercies

Bom dia! Tudo bem?Eu espero que tudo está bem em casa com todos voçês. Everything here continues to move forward under the direction of the Lord. Muitas novidades esta semana.

First things first: We had a BATISMO!!! OH and how beautiful it was. Irmão I was baptized yesterday, 38 years after his wife was converted. Miracles happen, never lose hope, never give up. It really was a baptism really special. The whole family and membros antigos were there, musical numbers, strong spirit, and the peace of eternity. This baptism really was a tender mercy of the Lord. I hope to be able to go to their sealing next year. I's grandson is serving a mission right now, and the week we started teaching him his grandson had a dream that his grandpa was being taught by two sisters--before he even knew his grandpa would get baptized. Really, the Lord sets everything up so that they could happen at the right time and place. In reality, we didn't convert him--he came to us. The Lord was watching out for all of us here. After 3 months of hard work, we were blessed our last week together to witness this miracle.

Oh that leads me to the second novidade...Transfers are tomorrow! Sister P will be going to S A and I will be staying here in D C. I don't know who my new companion is yet, because she will arrive straight from the MTC tomorrow. That's right, my heart about stopped when I found out I was going to be training this transfer. "Already?!? But I don't know enough, I'm not ready, I wanted to learn from watching other sisters for a while," But I guess the Lord has other plans for us here. I hope and pray that I can be the best missionary and trainer that he needs me to be. I don't have much to offer. Just willing hands and heart. The Lord definitely knows how to stretch us.

As for this week, it was a really good week despite the fact that we spent a day in the hospital and others in the apartment while Sister P got better. She got a nasty case of food poisoning, but we got her all taken care of and she is as good as new! Despite this, we had some of our best lessons and experiences this week. We really started to click in our teaching together with the Spirit, and now we get to learn how all over again. But that's how life works, right? We are faced with challenges, opportunities to grow and just when we think we've got it down and things start going well, the Lord gives us something new to test us and allow us to continue growing. I love what Christ says in John 15: 1-8, how He is the vine and we are the branches and Heavenlly Father is watching over and taking care of us all. And when we are "bringing forth fruit" he purges us, purifies us, proves us so that we can bring forth even more fruit. In reality, our Father in Heaven knows us way better than we know ourselves. He knows our full potential and is anxious to help us reach that potential, even when we can't see the whole picture. He knows and if we put our trust in Him, we will reach more than we could ever imagine. The beauty of it all, is that it is only through our Savior Jesus Christ that we can really succeed and grow and bring forth fruit. And when we "abide in Him", really try to be like Him, do what He did and asks, follow in His path--He will abide in us and everthing will turn out better than we could have imagined. All we need do is trust in Him, He knows best.

I love this Gospel. I love my Savior, and Heavenly Father. I love the scriptures and every opportunity I have to learn something new, make a new friendship, share our Savior's love, and brighten someone's day. I know that, even when we feel inadequate, the Savior's grace is enough to help us overcome our weaknesses and become something we weren't before. This is the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what it's all about. This is why we are here. Never forget it.

I love you all,
Fica firme, fiel, e feliz