We went to the temple this week with Nelci (recent convert) and Paulo (investigator). They really loved seeing the temple. We taught them a lesson about Eternal Marriage inside the visiting center of the temple. It was super cool and spiritual. We are working really hard to try and baptize Paulo. He is a batukeiro (like espiritismo…african religion that has lots of different rituals and other things.) He knows that he needs the gospel in his life, he just has to make a decision to be baptized and quit smoking. He is really amazing and his wife (Nelci) is such an example for him. I want to see them sealed in the temple together one day!!!
This is the child of our ‘elect couple’ (Carla and Fernando). His name is Teodoro and he has a big sister as well. This family is absolutely amazing! Right now we are just waiting for the day of the marriage to arrive…unfortunately there is a mandatory 20 day waiting period. They keep progressing every day and are the very best investigators that I have ever had.
This is a photo with all of my companions all at the same time! (except my mother- Sister T. who has already passed away on the mission). Haha! Sister G., Sister Q, Sister J.L., me, Sister L., and Sister A.O.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so cool to see them all together at the same time. I am grateful to God for the time that I spent with each and every one of them. They are truly special daughters of God. They are defenders of the truth with testimonies that shine like rubies.
We had a conference where we were able to hear from Elder Aidukaitis of the seventy. The whole mission gathered in Porto Alegre to here him speak about how we should be more obedient and how we can and should better our planning methods. Elder Aidukaitis is a really inspired man. Through his testimony of Jesus Christ it seemed to me like he had seen God before. Wow. Powerful. I hope to develop a testimony of that magnitude one day. Jesus really is the reedemer of mankind and my personal savior. So cool.
Our last zone picture!
Churrasco at the stake presidents house!!!!
My companion is really funny. I just had to include this one. Hahaha!
Us eating pizza!!!!
The pizza gigantic
Today we went down to the ‘carteira’ with the elect family (Fernando and Carla and their cute children) to mark the date of the marriage! We will be the witnesses. It was really cool and we took a mini-trip into the Porto Alegre North mission to accomplish this with them. They are so amazing! They are a gift from God to us sister missionaries. They are the ideal family that every missionary wants to baptize. I am so grateful for them. They already have such firm testimonies in the restored gospel. For example: I watched Fernando grabbed the tithing slip this last Sunday… and he and his wife are going to show up this Saturday to clean the chapel. I mean, they aren’t even members yet!
So the stake president of the Partenon Stake spoke with our mission president about the stake’s earnest desire to split up. (To become two different stakes instead of one because right now there are 9 whole wards in this stake). So President Cruz has given this new initiative to each set of missionaries within the zone to baptize three men in one and a half months. We are all super excited about this new goal that we have to divide the stake. We are pulling out all the stops and I know that this will happen!
To help with this, they called three new sister missionaries to help in the Cefer ward (our ward). The role of these sisters is to work only with less actives and help rescue members that are afasted (?) from the truth. These sisters now live with us, which makes our lovely home a whole lot more cramped (but that’s another story.) All in all, the zone is super psyched about the work that we have ahead of us and super focused on this new goal. I hope that everything goes well.
So this week we had one day that turned out to be super lame (like it rained and we found no one at home, nor was there anyone in the streets to talk to.) However we continued working all day that day even though it seemed like we found absolutely no one to teach. We kept walking to and fro without people to teach. However that very night I read about patience and how we need to be patient with the Lord’s timing in all that we do. We have to accept all trials because they are for our benefit.
Well we decided to be more patient and the Lord rewarded us the next couple days when we were able to find several families to teach, along with a seriously elect man named Voldney. Voldney accepted baptism (in reality most people do on the first invitation.) He accepted baptism with all of his heart after we taught him about the Restoration. Even when we started teaching him I envisioned him dressed in the white baptismal clothes. Thank goodness he does not work on Sundays so that he can come to church!!! Woohoo!
Anyway it’s been a great week. I love you all and miss you all very much. Ciao!
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!
This week went pretty smoothly. The furniture for the apartment arrived this week. This means that we are officially sleeping in beds, and studying with tables. I completely unpacked my suitcase for the first time in a while, and let me tell you it is glorious!
Carla and Fernando are progressing very well. As far as their marriage goes, they are so anxious to get baptized that they are looking for the fastest way possible to get married. As of now, we are just waiting for a document to arrive from Rio de Janeiro and then it’s all set to mark the wedding date. Sister Q. and I are really hoping that they can be baptized this month (August.) We are fasting and praying that everything goes super smoothly with their marriage.
Today I get to watch a marriage take place! Nelci is getting married to Paulo and then Nelci’s baptism will be the following Saturday. We are so excited and my companion gets to be a witness. So cool!
Anyway I am really short on time today because we can’t be late to the wedding. But the work is going super great here in Porto Alegre. I am learning a lot and the gospel is changing me as a person. Thanks for all of the wonderful support that you guys give me. I love you all soooooo much!!!
P.S. I became rather emotioned upon hearing the news of Dash. ;( He was a REALLY good dog. I hope that all of you can feel comforted even though this had to happen. Follow Jacky and pray a lot and Heavenly Father will comfort you. He is definitely in dog heaven right now. 😉 LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I miss you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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.)