Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014


Gosh. Being a missionary. It's the best. And the hardest.  Haha there is never a moment where you can just "chill out"  because you are on the Lord's watch!  But nothing is more satisfying than the tiredness of a crazy week of "missionary-ing" :) 

Good week here in Tamandaré!  Our "re-activation" program seems to be going pretty well!  It has been good visiting all of the Recent-coverts and a bunch of less-actives and re-inviting them to partake of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ!

We had a miracle baptism this week, too!  J______ is a cousin of C____ and C______ (girls who were part of that ELECT family we baptized a few months ago).  J________ moved to their house, had already visited the church, and was SUPER excited to learn more/start going with L______ and her family here in Tamandaré.  I LOVE the video "The Restoration" that the church has that explains the Joseph Smith Story in just 19 minutes.  It ALWAYS brings such a strong spirit.  When J_________ was watching it, she started crying, and said, "I want to watch it again!  I need to get baptized!"  WHOOOOA HORSEY!   I think we can help you in that department! Haha  it was so fun teaching her the gospel, seeing her accept it, and then this Sunday, baptizing her.  

This morning, I finished the Book of Mormon in Portuguese! It was such a special experience to reflect on Heavenly Father's tender mercies for the Nephites and Lamanites, and in my own life.  Every time I read Moroni's challenge, my mind is flooded with all of the happy times I've had and will have in my lifetime.  Heavenly Father truly loves us.  SO MUCH.  What a miracle that we have someone like Him to guide us, help us, and comfort us in our times of need.  I KNOW that the Book of Mormon is true!  Reading the whole thing in another language, understanding, and having the Spirit bear witness that truly it is the word of God was something so special to me.  It is incredible that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is literally the same in EVERY language.

I love my family!  I pray for you and think about you SO much... haha probably more than I should... ;)  

Have a super week!

Love forever, 

Elder Boyd hit his 9 month mark on the mission:

We have a few models in Tamandaré ;) Pretty "hot" right?

Baptism of J_______!

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014

Olá, familia!

It's been a full week, of ups and downs, but we've got some good things coming our way!

We got a call from the Assistants of the mission this week, and they gave our companionship the assignment to work almost solely with the recent-converts and less-actives in our ward in the place of knocking doors all day.  It has been a weird change!  The mission is trying out this type of work with a few companionships in different areas to see if it will bear fruit, so from no on, our task is to re-activate, boost ward attendance, and receive referrals like crazy!

We started working this style, and so far, it hasn't played out exceptionally well, but I think with a few more weeks, something will go right.  We had a bit of bust getting people to church this week - members not wanting to help us with rides for investigators; people traveling; etc;buuuuuut... Next week we should have at least 4 newbies at church and a few baptisms marked for the next Sunday!

I think it is SO HARD sometimes to have faith, or, at least to grow our faith.  But as I was reading the Book of Mormon this week, I came across this scripture in Mosiah 4:9 
Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth notcomprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. 
Belief and hope always precede faith!  Sometimes, I think it's all we can do - to believe, or desire to believe - and if we do, our faith truly is growing.  Oftentimes the situations or circumstances we're passing through don't make sense in the moment, but we have to press forward, believing that every trial is for our benefit, and that Heavenly Father truly sees all of the pieces.  I know that as we trust in Him continually - even when it's hard or seemingly inconvenient - He will bless us.  Our faith will grow, and we will be blessed.

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know He lives!  How happy is that?!  I am so eternally grateful for this gospel and the blessings that lie in store as we continue faithful in this cause.

Have a super week!


PS - Sorry for the lack of pictures!  I'll repent and send some next week :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

CATCH UP! -- August 11, 2014

FAMILY!  I love you!  I hope things are going well for each and every one of you and that this letter finds you happy!

Shout out to Laura for COMING OUT CHAMPION TO OPEN HEART SURGERY!!!   Woooooooooooo  I love you, Laura!  

This week has been a good one!  Always busy.. darting all around town on foot and bus, but we were able to find some pretty cool people to teach!

2 weeks already have flown by with Elder Boyd.  Haha he's pretty silly (as you can see in the pictures).  It is w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l being with an American every now and then because when our brain hurts from thinking/teaching/speaking Portuguese, we can take a break/joke in English.  We like to eat pizza! Holy cow you need to try Brazilian pizza... You can get pizzas with 2098417209754 toppings, and chocolate-stuffed crust.  It's a miracle!

Our district has had some really good success lately!  Attached are pictures of K___ and E_____'s baptism, L____'s baptism, some DELISH "churrasco" (Brazilian BBQ) and some other random happenings this week (like knocking doors in the ghetto!  #sketchy!)

We've got some good things going for us this week, and if not this Sunday, the next should bring a few more "white" photos.

I have a goal to finish the Bible and Book of Mormon this transfer, so I've been reading up a storm, and keep finding little "gems".  Here's one of my favorites from the week:

! Thess. 5: 17  "Pray without ceasing."

I love the simple, yet firm admonition given by Paul, to pray always.  I have such a testimony of prayer - especially prayer of the heart.  I know that Heavenly Father hears each and every one of them.

I am so thankful for this Gospel!  Nothing beats it.  Nothing can lift us out of the dust of despair like the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love you!  Until next Monday (...only 39 more Pdays to go!)

Some more random pictures from this week:
Me and Elder Boyd in the ghetto (found a random homemade swing!)


Horses and Donkeys near our house that scared me!

Drinking "Chimarrão" with Keith and Edison (a brazilian herbal tea thing that everyone drinks here!)

One of my FAVORITE families!  They are the ones that we baptized two months ago (they had the missionaries over for dinner yesterday.)  Their lives have changed completely for the better. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4, 2014

Hey Family!  Happy August!

LOTS of things happened this week here in Tamandaré.  
First, TRANSFERS!  I received a new companion, Elder Boyd, an American from Texas.  He has almost the same time as I do here in Brazil, so it's fun being on the same level.  Haha it's funny sometimes during lessons or contacts because there are still a few things that neither of us know.  But it will be a good transfer!

We were running nonstop this week, catching Elder Boyd up on the area, helping the other Elders in our area teach a single-mom and her family (we can't enter a house without an adult man), and teaching an elect named L____ everyday this week.  L____ is a poor, humble woman, who cares for A LOT of kids.  She let us right in a few weeks ago, and we taught her, and baptized her this week!  It was a bit of a roller coaster (Satan ALWAYS tries to stop people from making covenants), but we were able to answer her questions and doubts, and this Sunday, she was baptized!  She was SO excited and happy to finally find the truth.  Nothing beats finding people who are ready to receive the Gospel!

Things are starting to heat up.  Winter came and went here in Curitiba, and it's already hot again!  Haha

This week, Elder Boyd and I are going to work work work until we drop.  Having a companion that I can be friends with will make a big difference and help a lot I think.

These past few weeks I've been on a "blessings of the Book of Mormon" kick.  I keep going back to the words of King Benjamin when he tells us when we will receive blessings promised from obedience to the commandments.  He said, 

"...he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he dotimmediately bless you..."

I love this promise, because I KNOW that when we keep the commandments and covenants we made with Heavenly Father, the effects and blessings come.   How happy is that!

I love this Gospel.  I know it's true!  Nothing else in this world can change people for the better like the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Have a SUPERB week!  I'm thinking and praying for you!


PS - I HAVE PICTURES!!! But I left my camera at a Recent Convert's house... sorry!  Until next week :)