January 12, 2015 (week 70)

hello!

This week was really hard. We had a leadership conference on Tuesday so we ended up not getting back to our areas until Thursday because it is so long to travel. We are 9 hours from the capital here in Sousa and they only have 1 bus that leaves at 10am so we couldn’t return until Wednesday. I didn’t end up seeing anyone from my old areas but the trip was still good. I learned a lot. It was a good time for me to reflect on the time I have left. I want to make it all count. I made a lot of goals for my last transfer and am really excited to work on them now. Because we lost a lot of time we had to do a weeks worth of work in only a few days. It was really busy but we saw a lot of miracles happen. We found a family that is really great. We’re hoping to baptize them on the 25th.. we’ll see how it goes. The husband, Damião, had a dream about the church the other night and has lots of desire to find the truth. His wife, Cida, has her doubts and not a lot of desire. They have two girls, Donárea (11) and Ionary (9), that have been going to church with us the last few weeks. I’m really excited to see the changes their family is going to makes. It always makes me so happy to see other become more happy and develop peace and love in their lives.

Other than that not a lot happened.. It’s my companions last week of the mission so that’s hard too. But she still excited about the work and everything so I have a lot of hope for this week.

love you all!!
Sister Lawrence

January 5, 2015 (week 69)

hello!

This week was really productive. We worked really hard to build our teaching group. And man did we find some good people. I’m really excited for these coming weeks. We were able to find a few families that I’m really excited to baptize. I hope they continue to progress.
Not a lot out of the ordinary happened this week. Right now I’m in Natal. We have a leaders conference tomorrow. One of the counselors of the mission was in Sousa and was going home to Natal yesterday so decided to catch a ride with him. It saved us 80 reals and a p-day. I think today or tomorrow I’ll get to see a lot of people from my areas here in Natal. I’m really excited!
I’m also really excited for the new year! Lets take advantage of the time we have a give it all to the Lord. It’s our choice what happens. This is something I wish our investigators understood better. Well, my time’s up love you all!!!

O Senhor vive!
Sister Lawrence

December 29, 2014 (week 68)

hi everyone!

It was so great to talk to you guys on Christmas! I really enjoyed it! But it made it feel real that I’ll be coming home soon. I don’t believe how fast it’s gone. Since I talked to you guys already this week, I don’t have too much more to add.  The rest of the week didn’t go too well with our work but a new week has started, so I’m excited. Let the challenges come! haha

So this email will be more reflective… I’ve been trying to think about what I’ve learned this last year, 2014.. one whole year in the service of the Lord.
I’ve learned a lot about the gospel of Jesus Christ… faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. These are things that at first seem so simple but in reality are profound and complicated to understand the powerful depth each one has in our lives. Faith.. I don’t even know where to begin with what I’ve learned about faith. Faith is a power with the ablility to literally move mountains. A lot of the time we let our doubts and fears control us replacing our faith. When we learned to completely trust in the Lord without reserve and move forward anything is possible. When we have true faith and desire to do what is right we begin to understand the necessity of repentance. Repentance isn’t possible without change. We have to be willing to change. I think I’m still learning a lot about this one. Baptism is the fruit of the change. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to apply this in my life because I already got baptized so I started to study more and contemplate about the importance of the sacrament. It is one of the more important things we do in our lives and how many times do we go to church not thinking twice about what we are doing and promising to the Lord. He has given us a chance to be forgive and cleansed every week. If we are taking the sacrament worthy really trying to make changes everyweek its all in vain. It’s really changed my outlook on the importance of going to church every week. I didn’t give it the value I should have. It allows us to be worthy of the Holy ghost. I read a talk the other day abut the plan of salvation. It got me thinking about the degrees of glory. A celestial glory we can stay with God. A terretrial glory we can only dwell with Christ and a telestial glory we are only able to stay with the Holy Ghost. This world is at a telestial state right now so when we aren’t worthy or don’t have the spirit with us we aren’t even worthy of a telestial glory. How will we be worthy to live with God? I got thinking how important it is now to develop the gift to be worthy of the spirit and to always stay with him so we are able to progress to a celestial glory. If we are doing these things enduring to the end will be a priviledge not an obligation. It’s through these efforts that judgement day will be a day of celebration. Truly the Savior is merciful. I love the Lord with all my heart. I know that the gospel is true!

Love
Sister Lawrence

December 22, 2014 (week 67)

oi meu amigos!

First off Happy Birthday Seth! I hope it went well! te amo!
Secondly… Feliz Natal everyone!

This week I had my first exchange as STL.  It was a little nerve wracking because I didn’t know what to expect exactly but it ended up being really great. I put up a lot of expectation for myself that I needed to perform exceptionally well. Because of that it ended up being a really productive week. I learned to really like doing exchanges because it gives me an opportunity to learn from other sisters.

I’m running out of time today but I’ll talk to you guys on Thursday!!!!

Love you all!

Sister Lawrence

December 15, 2014 (week 66)

hi family!

This week the work was a little bit slower because of transfers but we still saw lots of miracles.

Today I just want to talk a little bit about being happy. I think these last few months I’ve learned a lot about what it means to really be happy. And how it’s some thing that we can choose to be. Mom you’ll want to say I told you so – haha but its true. Claro there are moments or situations when people can’t choose to be happy because of depression. But in general its a choice. A while ago I had a really good week. I think it was one of the happiest moments of my life. I don’t think that I could pin it to one thing or another but I was extremely happy. I decided that day that I would stay that happy no matter what was brought my way. And it has made all the difference. Not that I was always sad before but my outlook as completely changed. The little things don’t get on my nerves anymore and the big things are just something to learn from. In portuguese there are different ways of saying “to be” – one is permanent “ser” the other is momentary “estar”. Before I could say that “eu estou feliz” but now I understand what it means to say “eu sou feliz”. I don’t know if this will make any sense to guys but its really made a difference.

CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!

love you all!
Sister Lawrence

December 10, 2014 (week 65)

happy day!

So much has happened this last few days that I don’t remember a lot of what happened but first we had transfers today. Sister Carroll and I are staying here in Sousa.
This week we were able to baptize 3 people. Arthur, Aline and Gabriel. It was really great. But basically now we don’t have many more people that we are teaching so this week we’ve been focusing on finding new investigators but it hasnt been going too well. I think it’s a sign we need to move neighborhoods. The neighborhood that we are working in right now is pretty poor so a lot of the people have addictions and aren’t married. It makes it more difficult to help people. It’s super expensive to get married here and it takes forever. We are also working in a branch that isn’t super strong yet so it doesnt have a lot of capacity to handle lots of people with addictions. But really I love this area – there are so many people ready to hear the gospel. I’m ready to work really hard this transfer.

The rest of my time this week was helping the other sisters so actually I didn’t work very much in my own area. With this new calling I really am learning a lot about patience and humility. It’s been a real challenge to learn how to lead and know what is best for the other sisters. I’m excited to see how this next transfer goes.

Well, love you all!

Sister Lawrence

December 1, 2014 (week 64)

Olá,

This week has been crazy. Tomorrow we have Leadership counsel for SLT, LD and LZ so today we are travelling to Natal which is 9 hours away. We will get back on Wednesday and I will go straight into doing exchanges with one of the sisters so I won’t return to my area until Friday. This week was spent running around our area so I could try and learn the area really fast because I won’t have much time with my companion. But this week went really well. We have lots of people progressing well. It’s different to be in a branch then in a ward. I think I’m really going to like it here.

This is Sister Carrolls last transfer so we are working really hard to stay focused and be an example for the other sisters. Now that I have the responsiblities of SLT its way easier to stay focused because there is so much to think about. I don’t think I’ve ever come home more tired each day then this week. It’s a really good feeling. I think the averages steps we walked this week were somewhere around 25,000 without counting our exercises. I’m trying really hard to make this last stretch really count and cross the finish line sprinting.

We really have seen a lot of miracles this month. Our zone baptised 41 and the mission baptized 245. Records for the zone and the mission. Pres. Soares has been talking with us a lot lately about being missionaries of the new era and stepping up the game. It’s been amazing to see the faith and hard work of all the missionaries. I’m excited to see what December will bring.

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed now with having to take care of more sisters then just my companion but I’m excited for this new challenge. It will keep things interesting.

I love the Lord and His gospel!

Sister Lawrence