Last letter home as a missionary…
hello! for the last time!
It’s incredible how much we can learn and grow in such a short time.
Today will be more of a reflective email. This week I’ve been thinking a lot about how this year and a half passed by. It sure has been an adventure.
During this year and a half I’ve learned what it means to be Christ-like. I spent a lot of my mission learning and trying to develop Christ-like attributes. If theres one thing that’s important to develop, its faith. With faith we are able to accomplish anything. Faith is a power, a firmness in Christ. Most people feel that faith is just believing but its so much more.. it’s doing, then waiting with confidence that the Lord will provide. I’m so grateful for the chance to learn this. During the mission I learned the necessity to choose weaknesses and change them to strengths. If we aren’t actively choosing to change for the better, we are regressing. This is the beauty of the gospel. Now I can say that I know that the church is true. I love my Savior. I know he lives. I’m grateful for the chance to improve. Especially for the chance to learn from the prophets of old. I know the book of Mormon is true. I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the only church with all the sweet truths.
Love you all!
Only one more week of my mission! Can you believe how fast its gone by??
So this week I think was one of the busiest, most tiring week I’ve had on the mission so far. There is another pair of sisters that live with me but are part of a different branch. Anyways, they have been really sad and discouraged these last few weeks so we did an exchange with them Wed-Fri. It ended up being really good but its always harder without your companion. Also, like I said last week were trying really hard to meet our baptism goal of 40 to have a bbq next monday. We had 5 people marked to be baptized at the start of the week. During the week we found another but by the end we didn’t have anyone. The week turned into a pattern of one day really good one day really bad. I don’t think I’ve ever been more stressed and tired in my life haha.
So Friday we ended up having a really bad day. All of our investigators didn’t pass the interviews because either didn’t want to get baptized or we couldn’t find them. We finished the day desperate and sad but still had hope that things could be saved on Saturday. We ran around like crazy on Saturday.. we weren’t able to help anyone become firm to be baptized but all of them said they would go to church. We ended the day excited about the miracles we would see happen on Sunday. Sunday morning arrived and almost no one went to church only João, Ivanildo and Miriam. João can’t get baptized, Ivanildo was supposed to be baptized but wanted to wait until next week and Miriam is only 9 and we hadn’t taught her anything.
So what happened.. I really really didn’t want to pass another week without baptizing anyone but by the end of church we didn’t have anyone. My companion and I were determined. We asked the elders in our branch to help (Elder Dias is our district leader) and we just went around to all of the people we could thinking that were possible to be baptized yesterday. Nothing was working out but I was trying really hard not to lose faith that we could baptize still. Finally, we went to Miriams house to talk to her parents. I think we passed over an hour talking with them trying to convince them that she needed to be baptized but her mom didn’t want to let her yet. Finally, I just asked her plain out. We are going to have a baptism meeting today at 6, can she be baptized today? She responded with some excuse that they were going to visit someone but if they returned in time she could! I couldn’t believe it… it wasn’t set in stone yet, but at least there was hope. When we left her house we were still short 1 marked baptism.
Desperate to find someone we said a prayer and both felt we should talk to a girl that was sitting in front of her house a few yards away. We taught her the Restauration and she accepted to be baptized! After we went running to the church to wait for Miriam. While we were there we got the call from Damião (her uncle) that they were heading to the church. We couldn’t have been more excited!!! Everyone was dancing around. The best part was that Damião baptized her (he’s a recent convert that was baptized a few weeks ago). To top off everything our zone baptized 43! The miracles haven’t stopped! It really was an incredible week!
The church is true and God answers prayers!
Happy Birthday Mom! I love you!! I hope this week goes well for you!
So this week was interesting. It had its ups and downs. Sometimes it was a real test of patience and at other times the miracles were obvious. One thing that I learned this week was about forgiveness. We were teaching a man that lets just say he had a hard past and a few people did something unjust to him. This week we were teaching him about the atonement and the miracle of repentance but he has so much hatred and vengeance in his heart that he can’t seem to understand. It’s really sad to see how much it controls him. I wanted so much to help him but his heart is hard. It really showed me the importance of repentance and forgiveness. The Lord is so merciful with us to be willing to forgive that we to need to be willing. It’s the only way that we can truly be happy it to forgive and be forgiven… Its a painful process but eternally worth it.
Love you all! until next week!
This week we saw a miracle happen. Our mission district baptized 11 people! Right now I’m serving in a district.. we are trying to turn into a stake. As part of this incentive the district president said he would throw a bbq for our zone if we baptized 40 people this month. Last week we baptized 10 and this week we baptized 13.. 23! with still 2 weeks to go! It’s helped me a lot to stay focused haha.
This week went by really fast so fast that I’m having a hard time remembering what exactly happened…
We were teaching a family that needs to get married. We tried 4 times to go to the notary´s office to mark their wedding but everything we tried something came up with the husband where he couldn’t go. We discovered later that he doesn’t want to get married. It made us really sad because the rest of the family was progessing a lot and really gaining a testimony.
On a happier note yesterday a guy showed up to church wanting to be baptized. It was pretty cool.
Love you all!
The church is true and the book is blue! (according to Jessi!)
So this week was really great! We are having a lot of success right now! I can’t believe how much the Lord is blessing us here. We have started teaching the family of one of our recent converts. Basically they are all really receptive. One of his sisters isn’t married yet but her and her husband are really excited about everything. We are going to marry and baptize them at the end of Feb. It will be my last weekend in my area. What better way to finish the mission! Helping a family enter into the gospel. Besides this family we have been able to find quite a bit of others as well. This week, actually yesterday, I had an experience that strengthened my testimony a lot. We taught 2 women this week -they are cousins. They moved here recently from São Paulo so they are staying at their aunts house. When we passed by to go to church with them basically everyone in their family that was there started to yell and fight with them about religion and going to church with us. Fabula, one of the women, started to cry and said that she couldn’t go to church because of her family. We are going to try and teach her at a members house to see if it works out. It made me really sad to see that people could be so against something they know nothing about and strengthened my testimony that the church really is true. It only makes sense. I hope that Fabula and her cousin Fernanda have the courage to do what is right despite of what their family will say or do.
Well, I ran out of time but I love you all!!
Eating lunch with Irmã Socorro! (when I was with Sister Carroll)
With our mainha and painho! 🙂
This week was really busy! I just wrote you guys on Wednesday but it feels like it’s been a lot longer. So we started working in our area again on Thursday and basically had to do a weeks worth of work in 2 days. It was a bit crazy… we worked super hard and were able to see the miracles. We were able to find a bunch of new people. I had left a few people in the area with baptisms marked for this Sunday. I was really worried about how they were because it had been a few days since I was able to pass in their houses. Usually we pass everyday the week of the baptism. We were blessed this week to find the Lord’s elect, Damião. He has the gift of believing. When we got back from our travels he was still super excited to be baptized. I was soo relieved. He said the experience that he had at church last week was so impactful that he would believe anything that we taught because he knew we were sent from God. It was really great to see him baptized on Sunday.
We also saw another miracle happen on Sunday. On Saturday we made visits with a few of the members to help bring people back to church. Sister Muria invited a lady to return to church and this lady said she had a grandson that really like the church and was always asking her to be baptized. When we got to church on Sunday they were there so we ended up baptizing him after church. His name is Leonardo. He really is a gem, super special.
It’s funny, I forgot how it is to be new on the mission. My companion has so much energy and desire to talk to everyone and do everything. It’s been good for me because she doesn’t leave time for me to remember how exhausted I am. haha, I really am learning a lot from her. I think it’s amazing how we can learn something from everyone. She just starting out and I’m finishing but I think I’m learning more from her then she from me.
I love the gospel!!!
Parabens Blake! Feliz aniversario!
So… my companion finished her mission and I’m…. training! My second daughter on this mission! This transfer is going to be interesting. I’ll be sister training leader alone for the zone and training my new companion as well. Her name is Sister Muria. She’s from Rio Grande do Sul (It’s in the south of Brazil). She’s super excited to start the mission and to work hard so it will be good for me. I won’t have time to think of anything else. haha
My last week with Sister Carroll was really interesting. Almost all of our last transfer was dificult.. We weren’t having much success but our last Sunday was a day of miracles! We had a lot of people at church with us and a few of them went completely on their own. After church we found a golden family!! It was a miracle! The only problem they live in a little town outside of Sousa and we aren’t allowed to go there to teach the family.. but if they go to church again we can baptize them!!! I hope it all works out! Basically, it was a perfect Sunday.
I don’t have a lot of time today but I love you all!!