Tuesday, September 24, 2013

``There is nothing so unchanging, so inevitable as change itself``

So this week was an interesting week. 

Tuesday was transfers, and me and my companion Sister Amaral were told that we would stay... So we were all excited about this new transfer and the great things that we would see together, because we have two awesome investigators that have baptisms marked for October, Marcos and Karina. 

On Wednesday we wrote goals for the transfer and talked about all the things we could do, to help our area, and we were super pumped to work hard!!!!!!

Then on Thursday, we got a call from the Assistants that there was going to be an emergency transfer because of a situation that happened with other sisters. When I first got the call I felt heartbroken. Sister Amaral went to a different area, and I stayed here in Vila Prudente with Sister Oborn. Sister Oborn is my second american companion. I feel sad that Sister Amaral left, but I already love Sister Oborn!!!!!! 

But ever since Thursday it feels like everything is changing in my area. We started working in a different area than usual, we have new investigators, we are trying new methods of working. The mission is wierd. I feel like in one day I feel up to 100 different emotions. Happiness, Sadness, Excitement, Discouragement all at the same time. I´m sad that Sister Amaral isn´t my companion anymore, but I´m happy that Sister Oborn is my new companion. Change is hard, but I know that it is for the best. I read a talk by Marvin J. Ashton that described exactly how I am feeling. Here is a quote he used from C.S Lewis, 

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace” 

And so it is, with us. Sometimes change is hard. But it´s usually for the best. I hope that I can learn to adapt quickly and see the sense in what God is building in my life. I hope that this week will be a good one for me and Sister Oborn and for all of you!!!!!!!! 




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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

``When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings; name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.``

Wow. This week was such a GREAT WEEK. A week I will definitely never forget. 

It started out with us going to the TEMPLE on tuesday. I´m so grateful that I had the opportunity to go to the temple and enjoy the sweet spirit that is found there. 

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Then we worked hard on wednesday, and on thursday night we had the baptism of Rafaela before seminary. She was SOOOO happy, and so touched by the spirit. It´s been so awesome to see her progress. She is totally involved in everything. She has already read all of 1 Nephi and is working on her personal progress with her sister Raquel. Yesterday she recieved the Holy Ghost and when we passed by we asked her what it was like to have the holy ghost and she answered that she woke up today so happy that she cleaned the house entire and made lunch for her sister, something that her family always complains that she doesn´t help with. It made me so happy. 

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And then on friday we worked hard and on Saturday we had the baptism of Sabrina. WOW. I couldn´t even believe that I was so blessed to be able to see the baptism of Sabrina. It was such an awesome Baptism. Her Sister, that I had met in the MTC in provo was there. We had invited EVERYONE to come and see her baptism. It was such a special moment for me. Her being baptized while I am still in the area made me really reflect how truly blessed I am and how much Heavenly Father really loves me. 

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During her baptism we sang My Heavenly Father Loves Me, and our LMA is a proffesional piano player, who did the accompany. Sister Amaral sang the first verse in portuguese, I sang the first verse in english and then together we sang the second verse in portugese. It was so good that a lot of people cried and afterwards the bishop asked if we sing it as a special number during sacrament meeting the next day, so we did, and Sunday was such a good day too, because we saw our recent convert Jeferson pass the sacrament with his aaronic priesthood. We saw Sabrina and Rafaela recieve the holy ghost and we had 3 really great progressing investigators there. I don´t know if I´ve ever felt so happy in my whole entire life. Inline image 4

And... Tuesday are transfers. I don´t know if I will stay or if I will leave my area. I love my area and I love everything about my mission. I´m so grateful for the Lord for giving me the experiences that I am having. I´m so grateful to be a missionary. I´m so grateful for all the blessings that he has given me. I´m grateful that we have the true restored church of Jesus Christ, I´m grateful that we have the plan of salvation, I´m grateful that we have the knowledge of the things we need to one day return and live with Heavenly Father. I´m grateful for my companion for the great attitude that she always has. I´m grateful for President Ferrin because I know he is inspired in all things that he does. I´m grateful for ALL OF YOU. Every single one of you. You have always been such great examples to me. Sometimes we pass through hard trials, but I know that Heavenly Father has given us SO MUCH because HE LOVES US. I´m so grateful for Jesus Christ because it´s through him that I have all of these things.

``Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation and thankfulness for blessings or benefits we have received. As we cultivate a grateful attitude, we are more likely to be happy and spiritually strong. We should regularly express our gratitude to God for the blessings He gives us and to others for the kind acts they do for us.``

Sister Bruno 

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Monday, September 9, 2013

There are great challenges ahead of us, giant opportunities to be met. I welcome that exciting prospect and feel to say to the Lord, humbly, ‘Give me this mountain,’ give me these challenges.`` - Spencer W. Kimball

This week had some really great Ups and some really low Downs. 

Teaching lessons are always great ups. This week started good, because we taught some really great lessons to our investigators. But as the week went on. Bad news kept coming. Day after day. First day, Jeiza, one of Raquel´s friends that wanted to be baptized for sunday, decided she didn´t want to, but Rafaela was still wanting to the whole week. She´s awesome one day after we taught her about the gospel of jesus christ she went to school and taught her entire class about faith, repentance, baptism, the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. They started calling her pastor Rafaela and she told them. No, actually it´s Sister Soares. Everything seemed ready for sunday: the President of the Young Women made a cake, Me and sister Amaral practiced singing When I am Baptized the youth of the ward got all excited. And what happened?!?! We got there on sunday and she told us she wasn´t going to be baptized. WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?! I thought. I felt true sadness. Geiza the whole week had been talking to her about all the things she would miss out on, like drinking going to parties, drinking coffee things that don´t bring happiness!!!!!!!!! On our way to church we talked to her and made a pact that she would  say a prayer and pay attention to what she learned in young women´s and afterwards make her decision... and what happened?!?!? Heavenly Father answered her prayers....  

For God hath not given us the spirit of afear; but of bpower, and of clove, and of a sound mind.Be not thou therefore aashamed of the btestimony of our Lord

She told us that the leaders had given her this scripture to read and that it was exactly what she needed and that she knows that Heavenly Father really answered her prayer and that this church is really true!!!!!!!!!! But she still told us that today couldn´t be the day. the youth spent the entire church talking to her about the decision. I also think that one of the young men helped a lot with the decision, but now she is going to baptized on Thursday. 

We also got robbed this week as well. Luckily he only stole our cell phone. But it´s been hard without a cell phone. REALLY HARD. We lost a lot of our investigators numbers and just my luck the same day I left my planner at the mission office, so I didn´t have numbers or addresses of some of the people we had marked to vist during the end of the week. It may seem silly but this was a BIG MOUNTAIN for me. Because after everything seemed to be going wrong this happened. I was already so stressed out because of everything else going on. 

But... I know that Heavenly Father gives us mountains to climb for our benefit. Funny because last monday I downloaded free music from lds.org and one of the musics talk about mountains to climb. It says 

``I know  that it won´t be easy, but it´s making me strong. So give me mountains to climb, rivers to climb, something thats going to make me better than I was . Give me mountains to climb because I know its taking me higher than I´ve ever been before.`` 

I thought it was a good message so I translated it for my companion. After everything that happened she laughed and said. The savior heard you. What does it say in D&C??? Song of the righteous is a prayer??? Heavenly Father definitely has a sense of humor. 

But this week should be a lot better. We have the baptism of Rafaela on Thursday and Sabrina on Saturday.... WOOO HOOO. Sabrina is finally going to be baptized on Saturday. SOOOO HAPPY. And tomorrow we are going to the temple. I know it is going to be a GREAT WEEK. 
Never Give Up!!!! Whatever Challenge the Lord gives you, face it with Courage and know that you are capable. 


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Monday, September 2, 2013

´´Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written´´


So.... This week was a another GREAT WEEK. It started out pretty slow and we had some major bumps in the road, but the bumps hardly matter because it ended so good. Yesterday was the baptism of Raquel. Raquel is a 15-year old young woman. Who is SO awesome. A couple of weeks ago we met her because we were looking for a different investigator who lives in the same divided house. Our other investigator wasn´t home, but Luis (Raquel Dad) opened his door and told us that she wasn´t home and asked who we were. It just happened to be really outside this day, and he invited us in and told us that his teenage daughter was home, so we took advantage of the situation and asked if we could share a message with him. He accepted even though he wasn´t very interested. As we were teaching Raquel left her homework to start listening. She told us that before we had showed up she had a feeling that she needed to find God, a path to follow, and that all that faulted was us knocking on her door :) She and her sister Rafaela and their friend Geiza went to church with us for the last two sunday´s. We always invited them for baptism, but they always felt like it was too early. This week as we taught Raquel we invited her for baptism and she told us that she knew that it would be something good, but that she was SCARED. We shared the scripture in Alma 7 that says not to fear baptism, and we felt really prompted by the spirit the whole entire lesson. She is such a good example of courage to me. I know that she was scared because her sister and her friend thought that baptism was way too early, and that she was CRAZY for wanting to be baptized. But she decided that it was necessary for her. She has a desire to follow Jesus Christ and she didn´t let fear get in the way of keeping and doing all that is written in the scriptures. She didn´t let it get in the way of following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. ANDDDD because of her example Rafaela and Geiza felt the spirit so strongly during the baptism that they want to be baptized next week!!!!!! The baptism was such a spiritual experience for me as well. I LOVE Raquel and Rafaela and Geiza so much. They are such beautiful daughters of Heavenly Father and I know how much happiness the gospel is going to bring in their lives.

Sabrina, another investigator we have been teaching for a long while now, has also decided to be baptized on the 14th!!!!! Announced yesterday during Sacrament Meeting. She is also a great example of courage to me. Her mom is dying of cancer and she feels so helpless, and yet she still has the courage to put her faith to test and follow the savior Jesus Christ. 

Courage is to not be afraid, especially of doing what is right. I know that it is necessary to live the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I know that all of us can apply this principle in our lives. As a missionary, I know that sometimes it´s hard to have the courage to go up to random strangers on the street, sometimes it´s hard to have the courage to commit investigators to baptism on the first lesson, sometimes it´s hard to have the courage to always follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I also know that when my heart takes courage and I keep and do all that is written, the Savior blesses me. I feel so blessed to be having such great experiences on my mission. I feel so blessed to be in such a great area with such a great companion. I feel so blessed to be seeing so much success on my mission. I know that I am helping the Lord help and touch the lives of others. 

Never Fear. Be of good courage.