So this week we had the baptism of Nelci!!! It was super spiritual and overall a wonderful experience. This week was a bundle of fun. I dont have words adequately to describe this week, seriously. Sorry I don’t have much to say.
God lives and loves us! Don’t forget that!
So this week has been amazing as almost every week has been since I arrived here in Porto Alegre. This week we had splits with the Sister Trainer Leaders. It was great. I went to Guaíba and worked in their area which is about 40 minutes away from Porto Alegre. I worked with Sister B. (from Uruguay). It was pretty cool. Guaíba has the feel of Rio Grande a little bit. Their are a number of frogs and it is pretty plain ground.
This week we also had Zones Conference. Sister Cruz gave us a lot of directions about how to take care of our health and as a result I decided to completely eliminate soda in my life. Ciao soda forever! President Cruz and his assistants really stressed the importance of obedience in this conference. Obedience really is key to being a sucessful missionary. Obedience is the first law of heaven and we will only reach exhaltation one day through our obedience to the laws and principles of the gospel.
We found a family this week that is super, super great. It is like my dream family to baptize: mom, dad, son, and daughter. Wow! This family is extremely family-oriented and great. Another missionary refered them to us and mentioned that they wanted to attend and get baptized in the church. Well of course we found their house and visited them with much anticipation this past week.
They had already started reading the Book of Mormon (the dad had even dowloaded the app on his phone) before we even got there. They are friends with another family of members and so they already knew a whole bunch about our church but had never actually entered in a chapel before. Well, we taught them and they accepted the baptismal invitation and everything. We also had the oportunity to teach them about the Plan of Salvation and about temples. It went super well. I can tell that they want their eternal family really, really badly.
They went to church this Sunday and the ward received them really well. They are progressing like crazy. The only mini bump in the road is that they have to get married. (Wow. Almost no one is married here in Brazil!) We are already starting the papers process with them and in a short month (fingers crossed) everything will all be set for them to get married and then baptized. Woohooo!!!!!!!!! It is super great being a missionary when you find people totally ready to accept the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love being a missionary!! It is an absolute priviledge sharing the gospel with God’s children. I just hope that He continues helping me out every step of the way. God certainly is leading the work here in the Cefer ward. I feel the Spirit daily and I am so very grateful for the peace and happiness that come from the gospel. These days I have felt happier than ever before. The gospel just brings so much happiness. I am super psyched to continue doing this for half a year more. Everyone should serve a mission. It is difficult, but it is very worth it.
(Sorry the email is so spastic.)
This week has been extremely busy and way fun.
I got to go to the temple for the first time in Porto Alegre! It had been a rather long 9 months since I had last gone to the temple (I think it was the longest time away from the temple since I got my recommend with twelve years old.) It was absolutely wonderful! The temple is so beautiful- inside and out.
There is such a peace and serenity that emanates from the temple. When I went there to do endowments it felt like I was coming home after a long journey away. The spirit was really strong during the session. I am so grateful for temples sprawled all around the world. They are an amazing blessing for the members of the church. And they are such a blessing for all of the people that are waiting beyond the veil to accept these saving ordinances.
This week we worked our tails off! We have some pretty great progressing investigators and we’re hoping that they will soon get baptized. We have tried talking to absolutely everyone that we find about the gospel- people in the streets, people working, people doing goodness knows what.
Anyway we are teaching a bunch of mini-lessons and inviting basically everyone to come unto Christ. This is our great purpose as missionaries, to “Invite others to come unto Christ.” I feel like by talking with absolutely everyone, we are becoming better representatives of Jesus Christ. After all, Jesus would never pass anyone by. He gives a chance to everyone. A chance to repent. A chance to believe. A chance to accept the gospel. And really He gives a chance to absolutely EVERYONE to come unto Him through his wonderful atonement.
So this week we will be moving into the area. Halleluliah! We have been spending a whole lot of money on the bus these past weeks living far away from the area. So I have heard that the apartment is brand stinkin’ new. Cool! I’ve heard that there is a gym, a fireplace, and a pool (which we of course cannot us.) However it sounds like we will have the most chic apartment ever! We are super excited to move.
Have a good week y’all!
This week was absolutely great. This week I passed my birthday in three different places. I was priviledged enough to taste several different b-day cakes. All I can say is that there are some really amazing members out here in Bagé. Wow.
I loved the video the family sent me! The sound didn’t work but it was wonderful to see all your happy smiling faces singing me “Happy Birthday!”
Well, you would not believe it- my birthday package arrived exactly on the day of my birthday!! Our Sister Trainer Leaders came to spend the night in our apartment on June 9th and brought with them the mail from Porto Alegre. So I recieved my package exactly on the day of my birthday. It made me so flippin’ happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have noooo idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved the oreos, PB, decorations, absolutely everything! Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou sooooooo MUCH!
So Lucia is progressing very well. She went to church this last Sunday (again) and liked it a lot. She also appreciated that she recognized a number of people there. She seems pretty determined to quit drinking coffee and start living the Word of Wisdom. This is just a step on the road to baptism. I’m so happy for her. She is an excellent investigator. I love missionary work!
I love you so very much. Thank you so much for being so dedicated in mailing me emails.
Have a good week!
This is the longest summer of my whole life! I left Utah when the summer was just ending and I arrived in Brazil when the summer was just beginning. In other words, I´ve had what seems like 9 straight months of summer. I absolutely love summer and I never would have thought that I could get tired of it… but man! I need a little bit of winter! I am dying out here in the heat. Seriously. Thank goodness- the ´fall season´ starts here on the 20th of this month. If I stick around in Bagé it sounds like I´ll actually get cold down here. (Bagé is known for it´s extremely hot summers and extremely cold winters.) I couldn´t be more excited to feel the cold once again. For the moment, the only cold I feel is occasionally during the night sleeping, or every morning that I take a freezing cold shower (yes- our shower is broken.)
This week has been rather difficult- I´m not gonna lie. I seem to have lost a little motivation for the work. Maybe it´s the heat, maybe it´s my companion, or maybe it´s just me and my attitude. But whatever it is, I´m in a funk. I need to get back in the rhythm, get back to my purpose as a missionary.
Also- remember that cool family that we were teaching? Well we just discovered that the parents are not in fact married. This makes things a lot more complicated for them to get baptized. This is just what I don´t understand: they have two kids together and have seen each other through thick and thin for eight whole years- and they are not married to one another. WHAT?!
On another note- this week we finally managed to find Seu Vaulter in his home. He has come to church four times now on his own and had voiced his desire to be baptized without ever having a lesson from us missionaries. We finally managed to find him in his house and teach the Restoration to him and mark a baptismal date. He is a really cute/cool old man. I’m excited to see him progress in the gospel. I know that this gospel really changes lives and is a great blessing.
So we just received the news about the transfers and I get to stay here in Bagé! I love Bagé – truly. But I am a little anxious about staying on with Sister L. The friendship was running a little thin during this last transfer. I really hope and pray that this time around it will be better and we can learn to love each other as a companionship.
This week we took that family (Isabel and Luiz) to watch a baptism take place. They seemed to like it pretty well.
This week our power went out in our apartment so the mission secretary suggested that we stay in a hotel for a couple days. Of course we decided to take advantage of the chance at air conditioning so we slept at Hotel Ibagé for three nights. It was one of the most gratifying experiences ever to stay the night there! We got to sleep in air conditioning and have warm showers with powerful showerheads. Not to mention that the maids cleaned up after us when we left so that we always came home to a clean room. I forgot how much I really enjoyed these simplicities of life.
The mission is definitely a roller coaster. I have learned so much already and I have a year to go out here in Brazil. This experience is changing my life. I have become way more grateful and I give more value to simple activities. I can see how important the gospel really is and how much we need it in our lives. I hope that all of you are doing great.
God bless y’all!
Last week was the week of Carnaval (which is the Brazilian Mardi Gras). Carnaval is the biggest fiesta of the whole year. Bagé is super peaceful, so we didn´t have much trouble with Carnaval here. The majority of the people that like to celebrate Carnaval left the city for São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, or other cities that have beachside locations. In São Paulo and Rio they have these gigantic themed parades. It seems pretty cool actually (minus the part where most of the women have next to no clothing on during the parade). Everybody in Bagé just watches these parades on the TV.
Monday all of the internet cafés were closed (because of the holiday) and that´s why I´m writing now.
I love you all!
I am being transfered to Bagé! I absolutely cannot believe it though, because I have heard that Bagé is one of the hottest places to be at during the summer. Wow. I am going to roast and pop like popcorn there. I will gain a different Brazilian companion (Sister L.) From the very begining of my mission, I always asked God to give me Brazilian companions to help me learn the language fastest. Well my prayers are certainly being answered, because Sister L will be my third Brazilian companion!
I am a little bittersweet about leaving this area however. The members here are amazing and hardworking, and our investigators were progressing really well too… However I am extremely excited to have a new start in a new area with a new companion. The mission is all about learning. As a missionary, you have hundreds of conversations, you make a thousand mistakes and you learn a trillion ways to improve and adapt. I am glad to have a clean slate and leave some of my old bad habits behind. I will make this transfer the best transfer yet! I´m not saying that I regret my work in Rio Grande, but I am ever grateful for the opportunity to keep improving and keep changing.
The Lord makes us uncomfortable in many instances; whether it be stressful/new callings in the church, a new home, new friends, an extra difficult class at school, a tough coach, or elevated pressure at the work. All of these are opportunities for growth. The Lord stretches us to allow us to grow. He expects us to rely on him and try our very hardest to make the best of every opportunity. Sincerely, if we rely on the Lord (independent of whatever type of hardship, difficulty or stress) and work our tails off anything is possible. We can work miracles in every aspect of our lives if we trust in God and His judgement. But we musn´t become discoraged when the Lord chastens us or humbles us. Often times things do not turn out the way we want, but that only means that there is a better route and God can help show us the right way.
Bagé is this new opportunity for me. I can´t wait to arrive there and give it my all.
The church is true, and Jesus Christ is ever present in our lives. Have an amazing week y’all!!
So here in Brazil there is a thing called civil union. (I think it exists in the US too.) A civil union here in Brazil gives a couple the exact same rights and benifits that a marriage license would. To make a civil union with another person costs close to nothing to make. With a civil union you can be married to various people (independent of sex) and you have no sort of obligation (legal or otherwise) to that other person. To be baptized and become a member of the church you must be legally married (which is a rather difficult process with money involved). Well this week we taught several couples that are in civil unions with one another and let me tell you- it is difficult!
The humidity here is great. My only complaint is when I get home really sweaty and sleep in my hot sweat. Actually another complaint is when things get moldy. Just about anything that gets a smidgen of water on it will start getting moldy if the water stays. For example, my face wipes are starting to smell a little funny. Ick. It´s a little odd.
Sister JL´s foot has started to hurt really bad. (She had tendinitus or something…in the FOOT). This has really slowed down the pace of our work. It´s also slowed down our walking pace. Wow. I never knew that I could walk so slowly. But she is still working like a champ!
Otherwise the work is good. Love you!