First of all I didn’t write y’all yesterday because it was Brazil’s independence day so everything was shut down. Go Brazil! Woohoo! Independence! (Hehe)
So we had a baptism this last weekend of Irmã Necka (Maria Pereira). She is amazing! She is mother of a bunch of sons (whom we are now teaching as well). I am always so grateful for the members that do all that they can for missionary work… Shout out to Irmã Célia and Irmão Batista and their family! They do so much for us and Irmã Célia’s bolo (cake) is amazing!… She always makes good food for after the baptism.
Also this week we had an FHE at Carla and Fernando’s house. It was amazing! We invited Nelci (recent convert) and Paulo (investigator) to participate as well. We talked about Jesus visiting the Americas and watched a video that went along with that message. There is a series of artwork that depicts super well His visit to the Americas. This artwork is super lifelike and breathtaking. It depicts Him embracing a number of American Iindians and Him ordaining the 12 disciples as well. It’s pretty cool. So Carla is a confeiteira and Fernando is a cook (as his profession). Basically we ate really well during the FHE. We ate a shrimp and fish soup with rice and ate one of the most delicious tortas de bolachas (tort of cookies) that I have ever eaten. It was sooooo good!!!
I’m sure you haven’t noticed all my talk of food but yes, I am getting fatter on the mission because the food here is really amazing…or at least all of my muscle mass is slowly turning into just fat. But that’s kind of a lie as well because we do walk all day everyday, so I’ve gotta have at least some muscle right? But no worries, I’ll slim down before I return home. Hahaha!
So we are so very priviledged (and spoiled) here in Porto Alegre (Zone Partenon) to have training sessions with President Cruz and the assistants with great frequency. I think that this week we will meet with them every single morning to practice and better the way we teach the Restoration. We (as a zone) are working on bettering our teaching tactics to allow the Spirit to play a more present role in the lesson. I am personally working specifically on bettering the questions that I ask the investigators that require them to ponder upon and apply the doctrine we teach them
And this week was super cool because I did a split with Sister G. (my old companion from the MTC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) It was so very cool. We got a chance to catch up to one another and got to share some of our experiences with one another. It was so cool and strange to teach with her again. Exactly one year ago we were companions in the MTC teaching our fake investigators with broken Portuguese by reading the lessons directly from Preach my Gospel. Wow. We have certainly come a long way since then. One year ago we almost solely spoke English to one another and now we only speak Portuguese. How things have changed. But change is really good. I have certainly changed a whole lot since that time in the MTC.
This Sunday we will have ward conference and the ward goal is to get as many people as possible to church on this very spiritual day. We are inviting absolutely everyone to come (especially less actives). This ward really needs to have a good frequency on this day. I’m not really sure how this works, but I think that it has to do with the fact that the church records are closing or something like that because of General Conference which is coming up. IDK. All I know is that it is really important that we bring everyone we can to church on this day.
So this next week is set up to be super cool as well. On Monday we (all eight missionaries of this ward) are going to go to a Farroupilia with our mission ward leader (Roberto) and that evening is the marriage of Fernando and Carla. Then on the Tuesday we’ll have a ward activity in our condominium, and Wednesday is temple trip day!!! So it is likely that I will email y’all on Wednesday next week…just to let you know.
My testimony is strengthened every single day out here on the mission. I see so many little miracles but when it comes to writing them I end up forgetting all of them. But I will make an extra effort to notice and record some of the miracles I witness this next week. Love y’all so much!!! Have an amazing week family.
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.)
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 has been really great, although it rained every single day here in Porto Alegre. It’s just a lot of liquid. Wow! I wake up every morning with wicked sweet lightning bolts striking down every 30 seconds and loud thunder cracks . It’s pretty cool and different.
Well this week we have been trying to work a lot with less actives and with members of the church (getting references and everything). All of the members are rather excited that we’re here because it’s been about 5-6 years since they last had Sister missionaries. I hope that we can continue working well with the the members because the work goes so much more smoothly.
We had interviews with President Cruz this week as well and I was able to get to know him better. He spoke to me a little bit about how he did this last transfer. Immediately when he arrived in the field, he had to make the transfer. He told me that he fasted and prayed for inspiration and with a limited knowledge of the missionaries he made the transfer. He said that when he was looking at the board of our pictures he chose the five sisters who would be training the newbies and he felt distinctly that I was supposed to train. I am so grateful for this opportunity to train Sister Q. She is absolutely amazing. I couldn’t ask for a better filha. She is everything that I want to be and we are really rockin’ it here in the Céfer ward together.
So we had a lesson with Lucimara (who is pregnant) this last week and we were trying to figure out if she was able to receive an answer to her prayers about the Book of Mormon. She said that she felt that she hadn’t, but later on in the lesson she confessed that she had dreamed of the day of her baptism all dressed in white. Wow! This certainly was a great answer to her prayer. She then got really excited about her baptism (she even got goose bumps). However she must first get married (which is difficult because she lives in very humble circumstances.) We’ll have to discuss this with the Ward mission leader.
Anyway this last Sunday we took the bus, during a rainstorm, to pick her up to come to church with us. Sadly, she did not answer the door/wasn’t able to come. We then took a bus to reach the church, however without meaning to, we picked the wrong bus and went in the completely wrong direction through a maze of jungle growth. We then had to take another bus to finally reach the chapel. The transit here in Porto Alegre is just crazy!
My companion, Sister Q. is progressing very well with the short time that she has here in the field. She applies everything that we study together during the training and is super apt at teaching and sharing the gospel. We’re getting along really well. The following p-day we will move into our brand new apartment together (halelluiah!)
It’s been another good week. I am seeing more and more little miracles happen out here as the time goes by. My testimony of Jesus Christ is being strenghthened every single day as I see Him work miracles in my life and in the lives of others. He really is our Savior and Redeemer. All those who come unto Him with a humble, repentant heart can be changed. I really truly believe in this. God has given me a wonderful chance here on the mission and I’m extremely grateful for his mercy in my life.
I arrived in Porto Alegre! Woohoo! I’m certainly not in Kansas anymore. Wow. Porto Alegre is very different from Bagé. There are way more people here than in Bagé. Last monday I had to say goodbye to everyone in Bagé which was extremely bittersweet. I then received my filha (daughter or junior companion) on Tuesday at the desk and we were off that very night to our new area.
The ward is called Céfer in Zone Partenon. The members are super helpful and just about everyone in the ward was willing to help us get to know the area better. I am super excited to work my tail off here in Porto Alegre. It’ll be one of my best experiences yet! So my companion is Sister Q. from São Paulo. She is super great. She is hard working, bold, and really nice. I’m so grateful to have her as my companion. My prayers have definitely been answered on this one. She is a blessing to me, to the ward and to the mission.
So unfortunately we are currently not living within the boundaries of our working area. We are living in Nonoai which is about twenty minutes away via onibus (bus). The mission is trying to rent a place within the area that is super cheap, and I hope that we can move there soon because taking the bus so many times per day is really expensive! But it is also cool to live in Nonoai right now because I am living with two other sisters- Sister T. and Sister L. (my old companion!!) It is pretty legit.
So when we arrived here we immediately tried to get our hands on the area book. We subsequently found an old investigator of the Elders’ that had been taught eveything and only lacked a baptismal date. So then we found the address of her house and met this sweet little lady Nelci. She is 65 years old and lives with her husband Paulo. She is absolutely amazing. She’s been going to church for a little over four months and was super ready to be baptized. We then marked the baptismal date with her for the eighteenth of July (this upcoming Saturday). Everything was going smoothly. We announced the baptism in the sacrament meeting, handed out invitations to the members and even printed out the agenda for the day of the baptism. Well that very same Sunday we ate lunch at Nelci’s hous and found out that she is not in fact married. Hahahaha. Can you believe that she is living with her ex-husband? The had gotten married, split up, divorced, and then gotten back together. Well the good news is that she wants to be baptised so bad that she’s willing to do whatever it takes- even if it means re-marrying her ex-husband that she’s living with. This just means that it’ll take about twenty-ish days until she can be baptised due to the delay of getting married by the law. It’ll be really amazing when the day of her baptism arrives.
Anyway everything is absolutely great her in Porto Alegre South Mission!!
This week was really jam-packed with things to do. First we had a conference in Pelotas with our new mission president this last Friday. Presidente and Sister Cruz seem really nice. Presidente Cruz is funny, yet he also is super spiritual. We got to know them a little bit and see a bunch of other missionaries that were there as well. I got to see Sister G. and Sister R. again along with other missionaries that arrived with me on the mission at the same time.
I think that Heavenly Father is really looking out for us missionaries because this week we were short on money and without food at home and yet we did not starve. It reminded me of a scripture in the book of Matthew 6 that goes, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we beclothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
We managed to not starve to death because on Saturday we went to celebrate a birthday in the ward at Irmã Santa’s house, and we also had dinner at Lucia’s house that same evening. Irmã Santa made the b-day cake and we also ate mini hot dogs there. For dinner Lucia made really yummy lasagna for us. It was a serious mini-blessing that we witnessed here in Bagé.
The other thing that happened this week was Lucia’s baptism!!! It was so very special. We were visiting and preparing her this whole week to get baptized this Sunday. When we went over the baptismal interview questions with her she mentioned that she might not be living the law of chastity. However the following night our zone leader came to do the actual baptismal interview and she left the interview really excited for baptism, and extremely excited to start a new page in her life. The following Sunday (yesterday) they announced the baptism and she was baptized the following evening.
The ward was so dang supportive of Lucia on the day of her baptism. Almost the whole ward showed up! Without asking, the members brought lots of cake, filled the baptismal font and gave lots of encouragent for Lucia. Overall it was an extremely uptifling experience for Lucia and for everyone in the ward. Lucia seemed super happy during the whole meeting. She really is changing her life by being baptized in the true church of God. From the very beggining she started to read the Book of Mormon, pray and go to church. Her conversion was a quick one. She gave up coffee really quickly (even though when we were teaching her about the word of wisdom she told us that she always needed her cup of coffee in the morning and before bedtime.) She is an absolutely amazing person and I am so glad to have met her and shared the gospel with her. Did I mention that it was me who decided to knock on her door the very first night? Que felicidade que o evangelho me traz!
So today we received the news for the following transfer and will in fact be leaving Bagé. I am going to open a new area in Porto Alegre (an area that was previously Elders). I will be opening it with a new missionary which means I am going to train a new sister! Woohoo! Haha. I will be a mother (on the mission). All of this put together means a whole lot of responsibility for me. Wow. I am super dang excited for this new part of my mission. It will be such an adventure working in the very heart of Porto Alegre. I have heard that this zone is really at the heart of the city and that never before had there been sister missionaries there. I’m nervous, and excited all at the same time. Pray for me! I am going to work my tail off in this next area and my new daughter and I will batizar até o pó! Haha.
However I am very forlorn to be leaving Lucia and all of the other wonderful people I met here in Bagé. Bagé will always have a place in my heart.
Wish me luck in Porto Alegre! Amo Vocês!