Monday, March 26, 2012

Humility = Teachable

Olá :) Como vocês estão? Tudo está ótimo aqui!

Had a week a little rough around the edges, but definitely had the icing on the top! Working hard with all the investigators we are preparing for baptism. Trying to deflect the attacks from Satan. And make sure that in everything we do, we are doing what the Savior would be doing. We've got so many investigators with some really great potential right now! It's really exciting, now we've just got to be really organized and receptive to the Spirit so that we can help them continue on the road to conversion.

Events of the week include, war against the cockroaches (we battled against ten in our apartment and stairwell on wednesday), getting kicked out of investigator's house when the husband didn't want us there, find of the week: Kellogg's Corn Flake (for only $3.69! Yesssss.), protection from the Lord, and many many spiritual experiences teaching and studying together. I feel like everyday I am learning so much, and things that I never imagined I needed to learn. Quote of the week from me, "Lessons with members is probably like the most important thing we can do in this life." With all the seriousness of a weekly planning. We're trying to bump up our lessons with members, adding one more each week. It is so vital, but it's hard. I encourage all of you to help out your local missionaries--offer to teach with them! Love it.

So if I had time to tell you all that happened this week I would, but I don't so I will just try and briefly touch on the highlights of what I learned this week. First off, ATTITUDE is everything. For those of you that know me, know that I am pretty well a happy go lucky kind of a girl. Always happy, looking at the bright side, come what may and love it. But here on the mission, I've let myself slip it seems. Not acceptable. Now more than ever this attutide is crucial! It makes all the difference in everyday, in relationships, in prayers, in confidence, in day to day ins and outs, in lessons, in sleep, everything. Faith=happiness. And it all starts with hope. See Moroni 7. And that hope comes when we control our attidude.WE have the power to change our thoughts feelings. We have the power over our lives. Let us all choose to keep our attitude at the best. It will make all the difference in your life. Try it. Second big lesson of the week I learned from our investigator, Graça, but she does't know that I learned it from her. We read Alma 32 with her and the firest part of the chapter talks about humility and she is really humble and willing to learn more and just accept all that she is learning. She doesn't even know it, but she's taught be that to be humble means to be TEACHABLE. To be willing to learn, change, accept God's will, recognizing that there is always more to learn. When I first got on the mission, I was teachable--just soaking it all up because I didn't know anything. But it's so easy to get caught up in the motions and forgget that there is sill so much to learn. Bu thte Lord will always show us our weaknesses so that we can be humble so that there is space in our hearts for Him to teach us and so that our faith, hope, and charity can grow. Now see Ether 12.

I have such a long way to go to be like my Savior, but everyday I am trying. And all that He asks is our best and He will do the rest. Don't forget to be teachable and keep the good attitude everyday, in every situation!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mais uma!!

Hello, hello :)

So what a week! We are really starting to see the work pick up here...this week we had 13 people with baptismal dates marked! Wahoo!!! Only problem...we just got to get them to church and you know, keep progressing :) The Lord is really blessing us here.

Tender mercy of the week: GB got baptized!!! She's a young woman of our ward that I didn't even know wasn't a member until last month. She's been waiting to get baptized for 3 years because her parents never let her. So she turned 18 this month and voila! baptized and confirmed this weekend. Oh my, it was such a special and beautiful experience. She is one tough cookie with and amazing testimony. We were so blessed to be such a small part of it.

Other great happenings of the week. For my sixth month mark, I made myself some to die for banana pancakes! (and thanks to Sister Ps mom, complete with maple syrup and everything). It's sure been six months to celebrate. So much has happened in this short time, and I'm loving watching people's faith grow (and mine too) and making so many friendships and memories working in the Lord's vineyard! Sister Brenchley and I are really looking forward to one more transfer together here in DC. We're just starting to get a handle on things here and I know this next month with be a month to remember. I love Sister B so much, she helps me learn and grow and laugh everyday. I don't know what I'd do without her...enjoying everyday I have here. This week we had NOVA FORÇA with all the trainers and newbies and it was amazing. All of the new missionaries are so amazing, I think they have us train to get trained.

I'm so humbled to be here on the mission. I have so much to learn and improve. It's such a blessing to be spending everyday working for the salvation of souls. If only everyone else could realized how important it is too! But we'll get there, it's taken me years to get here and we are seeing such great progress with some of our investigators. During lessons I am learning things from them. We taught a lesson about the 10 commandments to G and G, and as we were talking about taking the Lord's name in vain, G talked about how we really need to be careful in our moments of suffering and avoid complaining because the Savior suffered more than us all and not one word of complaint or frustration or cuss escaped His lips. In this moment I learned a valuable lesson from G, that I really needed to be reminded of. No matter what we are going through, the Savior has been through more. And He bore all pain and suffering with patience and love. I think we all can work a little harder on following our Savior's example and take every moment in stride. Restist the urge to complain and always respond with love!

Just working on the road to salvation here, and Sister B and I are working on a new tactic: baptismal invites in the road! It's really fun and motivating to invite people to get baptized from the first time we meet them and help them realize the importance of our message and how we really are representatives of Jesus Christ, not just two interesting american girls trying to make some friends :)Last night was New Beginnings for the moças, and it was so special. Sister Brenchley and I sang and we watched all the young women bear testimony. Germana participated too! I love seeing the young women grow and progress, it brings be back a few years. The organization of the Church is so amazing that all of the programs help each individual grow closer to our Savior and follow in His footsteps. Wherever you are in the world, whatever your situation, the Savior and His restored gospel can help :)

I know the Church is true and the Book of Mormon is God's word. We are so blessed to have the truth and help of our loving Heavenly Father. Stay true to what you know and you'll never go wrong!

Muito amor

Monday, March 12, 2012


Oi queridos, tudo bem?

Just another week in the life of a sister missionary here. Hiking some hills, teaching some people, new experiences and old ones too, and of course the ups and downs of missionary work. We discovered a new fruit this week! It looks exactly like a tomato, but it one of the most sweet and delicious fruits I've ever tasted. I just can't remember the name...Started off the week with a great hair cut, probably the best I've every gotten, definitely the most I've ever paid! We were in hurry to get it cut before p-day ended and no one was open. Found a place, ran in sat down and enjoyed the experience, chatting with the cabelheiras...until I got the check and ended up paying $75 reais (about $42) to get my hair cut and dried! Well needless to say we laughed hysterically to relieve the shock and it will be a very long time before I cut my hair again. My companion thought it was particularly ironic because I'm a very "stingy" person and told her that paying $2.75 for 10 pães de queijo (little balls of bread and cheese) was ridiculous. She then proceeded to calculate that she could ahve bought over 250 pães de queijo for my haircut. Oh the joys of being a gringo :)

Then we had a rather distressing lesson with one of our investigators. He's been coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon and everything, really searching and it's been great. Well at church he brought us a list of questions that he found on the internet (probably some anti-mormon stuff) and brought them out during our lesson, in a few words, the Spirit was lost and tears were shed. But testimonies were borne and we'll keep working on it. We went back and had a great Spirit filled lesson on getting answers through prayers and the Holy Ghost. He wanted us to go to his church with him because he's been going to ours. (He loves his church and goes everyday! It's really neat to see that dedication, what if we all had it?) So we went with him to do a visit and it was quite the experience. In my short 21 years of life, I've never been to another church, I've never needed to. And I'm glad that I was privileged enough to be raised in the Gospel and have this truth all my life. It was so loud and strange, the Spirit was missing, and the truth was missing. But the people were nice, and you could see their faith. I'm grateful for the article of faith that says that we all claim the privilege to worship as we will and give others the same respect. It was really refreshing to renew the quiet, peaceful Spirit this sunday. Sadly he didn't come to our church this week, I hope he doesn't give up on searching for the truth. He's such a great investigator with a lot of faith.

We have some investigators that are really progressing. One of our investigators even started going to seminary! But she studies at night, so she will have to start doing the lessons at home. But she is really getting involved in the young women's and everything! Another one of our investigators continues to accept all of the committment and live them everyday. She's staying strong and not drinking with her family, even when they make fun of her. And when we taught her about keeping the Sabbath day holy, she said that it would be so great to have a day of rest! We love her and are seeing how the gospel has the power to change lives. The only thing is that her husband doesn't like it at all. He didn't let her come to church this week and said that if she went she would come home to find him gone :( It makes me so sad. We just keep praying that his heart will be softened.

This week's theme is patience, the capacity to support/endure with calmness and hope, even when the little things go wrong. It's the Lord's way of testing us and He knows what's best. As we are patient, the Lord will surely bless us with the capacity to overcome. (See Mosiah 18 then 24). My companion is really helping me become a better missionary as we both strive to be more like the Savior.

I know tha the Lord answers our prayer, sometimes in a instant and sometimes it takes years. This week we had a neat "instant response" moment. We had planned to have a family night with some investigators and everything was all set up. But when we call the investigators, they said that they wouldn't go because it was raining, and that they wouldn't come to church the next day too. No persuasion was working. So we tried calling all of our other investigators, to no avail. So we decided to put into practice our patience and just go with the flow. We walked to their house anyway, as the rain stopped. When we arrived on their doorstep we said a little prayer that they would feel the desire to go the FHE with us. When came to the door, she told us that she had just barely changed her mind and felt the desire to go and in that exact moment we rang the doorbell!

I know that the Lord is watching out for all of us. He is involved in the very details of our lives. And whether it is an instant response, like this one, or one that takes years to work out, He will ALWAYS respond to our prayers. So confide in Him, trust Him, and be patient with Him. He knows what's best.I love you all. I know that this is the true gospel and work of the Lord.

Monday, March 5, 2012

"And both are edified and rejoice together!"

Olá!Foi uma semana ótimo, e cheio de boas experiências!

We are really seeing the truth of the scripture in D&C 50:14-22. Especially verse 22 that teaches us that those that preach and those that are taught, if taught by the Spirit, will both be edified and rejoiced together. We really see this when we leave lessons full of the spirit, we leave ecstatic and our investgators are left happy and smiling as well :) Gotta love it!

We had an amazing zone conference this week! Left with a renewed determination to exercize the power and authority we were given as missionaries to invite God's children be baptized in His church. What a privilege this is! The Lord is really blessing us this week, we found and taught 3 complete families and have high hopes that they will let the Restoration bless their lives. We've got some great investigators that we are preparing for baptism. We were planning on this weekend, but things fell through. Next week for sure! One of our investigators that fasted to know if the church was true, will be moving back to the northwest before her baptism date :( Second time this has happened here, but we've watched her grow and gain a testimony and see the blessings of the word of wisdom and plan of salvation. I just hope and pray that she can find the teeny branch in her hometown and get baptized there. Another one of our investigators who is really close to getting baptism, put the word of wisdom to the test this weekend and didn't drink at her family party. And though all of her family made fun of her a bit, she said she felt great! Everyone is really seeing the change in her, and especially she is seeing the blessings that come from making good decisions and following the gospel.

One neat experience this week was yesterday when we were going to visit a new investigator that we hadn't taught yet and she forgot about us so we had to mark another day, but her sister invited us to come in and right off the bat she wanted to come to church with us the next sunday and said that she was searching for God in her life. We didn't have much time to teach here because we were supposed to sing at a fireside, but we taught her a quick 15 minute version of the Restoration and she commited to be baptized this month! It was a little tender mercy to finish off our week.

We are really seeing the blessings and importance of working with the members and having them in our lessons. It's a lot harder to plan for and arrange, but so worth it. You guys as members are SO important and valuable. You have a special power to help people see how the gospel blesses everyday people. Every member can be a missionary, by word and example. Don't be afraid to open your mouth and share what you know it true. Maybe it's just a little statement about how the scriptures or church or the temple or families have blessed your life. Or maybe it's a simple invite to an activity or church or to hear the missionaries. All you have to do is invite, as my wonderful mother always says " The worst they can say is 'No' and then your right where you started" :) But seriously, share what you have, and go with the missionaries! Help a poor sister out! :)I hope all of you are enjoying the fresh snow and cool winter. For the first time in my life I am enjoying ice cold showers at night.

Thanks for all your love and support and prayers. I pray for you all the time. I know that Heavenly Father loves and knows each and everyone of us and the the Gospel is the only way to pure happiness in this life and the life to come.