Monday, October 27, 2014

My house here in Guabirotuba

Here's our little house!  As soon as you pull into our chapel, you can see it waaaaaay in the back by the basketball court.  It's great because in the morning we can do exercises in the sport court and on Pday we can lay out on the grass alone or study.  Pretty neat!

That guy is my companion.  Haha he's crazy!

"I don't think I'm in Tamandaré anymore!" -- October 27, 2014


Wow... this week was a roller coaster, but a good one.  TRANSFERRED FROM ALMIRANTE TAMANDARÉ TO........Guabirotuba!  Holy Hannah... this area is 100% different!  Tamandaré was extremely poor, but Guabirotuba is just outside the center of Curitiba, and is pretty rich!  There are NO streets that aren't paved! MIRACLE!!  Because literally only the main street in Tamandaré was paved.  Legs and shoes: saved!  But I must say it's weird seeing nice things and nice cars again.

My new companion is a HILARIOUS little skinny Brazilian named Elder E. Silva.... Haha we laugh a LOT which is good.  He is a very happy person, and a very good missionary.  We'll make a good team!  He only has about 4 more months on the mission, so I think I might "kill" him (be with him until he "dies" or in other words, goes home). We were both transferred to Guabirotuba the same day, so we still know almost nothing about the area.  Lots of exploring and knocking! 

The houses here are all lovely!  The people IN the houses... think they are too, haha so this area will be a bit more tricky than the last, but already, Heavenly Father has blessed us.  The ward here is a bit smaller (about 100 active members), but they areROCKIN.  They are all pumped and willing to help out the missionaries with anything (I think because they know this area is tough) and have lots of activities to invite the community to get to know the "Mormons".  

OUR HOUSE!!!  HAHAHA HOLY COW I DIDN'T BELIEVE IT WHEN WE PULLED UP FROM THE TRANSFER MEETING!  We literally live IN the church!  When the church was remodeled, they built a little house for the missionaries within the gates, just behind the chapel!  Haha it is so perfect!  I'll send some pictures in a separate email.  Usually people always think missionaries live IN the church... and in this area, we do!  It's pretty itsy bitsy, but fun and different.

Depsite a week of dimished lessons and not knowing anything about anything here, Heavenly Father opened the door of a really cool family in the area that we taught a few times, brought to church, and will try to baptize this Sunday!  S____, A____, and A____.  Should be good!

Change is always hard, but always good.  Always an opportunity to learn and grow.  

Sure love you!  Hope you have a happy Halloween week, too :)

Love forever,

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20. 2014

What a crazy week!

First off.. TRANSFERS!  I sadly will be leaving Almirante Tamandaré... After 6 months in the area, my time is up, and tomorrow I will find out we're I'll be going and with whom I'll be serving.  Today will be a sad day of packing, and saying goodbye to all the special people God blessed me to meet.

I have learned SO much here in this area. The pressure was trying, but I really know that Heavenly Father helped us, and helped ME a lot in my weaknesses of the language and teaching skills.  I know this because I could see how He used Jason to touch the hearts of some of His children.  My testimony has grown a lot here, and I am really really sad to be leaving.

Yesterday, the family of Elder Brown (a funny American elder that served here in the area for 11 months) came to Brazil to take him home from his mission.  They all came to our ward here in Tamandaré and it was SO TRUNKY but wonderful to see a happy, English-speaking family!  Haha that night, we all got together and had a "FHE" and it was so much fun.  There was so much joy in that meeting!  It left me feeling happy and hopeful... I can't believe that in just 7 months, I'll be with MY family again... 

Missions are SO wonderful!  Golly they're hard, but seeing Elder Brown without  his name tag, and with his family made me realize that one day, I won't have this precious opportunity to talk with everyone in a different language, to share the gospel, or to see the fruits of the Atonement in the lifes of these people anymore.  It is such a gift to serve - to have these two years to give it all to the Lord, because when these two years are up, we'll never get them back again.  We'll have jobs, and families, and other callings... Every day is literally a gift.

I love my family!  I am SO SO SO thankful for each and every one of you.  I am so thankful for your prayers and love and support.  And I am SO thankful for this Gospel.  Satan and his power is REAL... but Heavenly Father and His power is stronger.  Rely on the cleansing, enabling power of the Atonement each day to better yourself, and better the world!  We are literally Children of the Most High God, heirs to His throne.  How can we fail if we have this knowledge?

Love forever, 

- Some crazy critters here in Brazil

- Our district :)

- Baptism of Ketlin and Bruna!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pictures from the last two weeks!

Some pictures from the past two weeks:
- WE FOUND SUBWAY!!  So this was an early Christmas treat.  I love the taste of America!

 - A huge moth in the church bathroom

- A real-life tucan!  In some random neighborhood!

- Package finally came!

October 13, 2014

What a WONDERFUL WEEK!  So many good things happened!

First off, my apologies for not sending out a letter last week... after 30 minutes, my computer booted me off, got some kind of virus, and wouldn't even turn on again... sooooo there went my email time!  Brazil is sketchy sometimes!  I hope you all had a great week, too!

Because of General Conference last week, the temple was closed, so we were unable to take C___ to the temple grounds to teach her... but, this week, we had it all planned.  C___ has been going really firm in her church for 15 years, but ever since her son,Maicon, got baptized 5 months ago, she has felt like her progress in her church stopped, and she has been searching for an answer... she told us how she felt like God was calling her to something else, as if He had more for her to do, but she still didn't know what.  We have been teaching her for a good while now, and I have been so touched by her sincerity to search, ponder, and pray to know the truth of things.  C___ is a little different than the majority of people here in Tamandaré.  She is very intelligent, lives in a large, custom home, has a car, and is very blessed with the material things of life.  Generally, people like her don't open a door to people like us ;)

This Saturday, we went over early and hitched a ride with her and her son to the Curitiba Temple.  Before we got there, we promised her that she would get her answer there on Temple grounds.  As soon as we pulled into the parking lot and got out of the car, a peaceful quiet settled.  The Spirit was already there.  It was a beautiful, clear, sunny morning, and the Temple was gorgeous.  We let C___ and M_____ have some time alone walking around the Garden of the temple, and we went in to see if we could arrange to teach her IN the temple.  We talked to the temple president, and they prepared a lovely reception room for us to enter in and teach C___.  Before we went and got C___ to teach her within the walls of the temple, Elder Boyd and I had a prayer together.  I have NEVER wanted someone to accept baptism as badly as I wanted C____ to accept.  As I said that prayer, the Spirit bore powerful witness to me of the necessity of baptism to return to Heavenly Father one day.  I could feel in that moment how badly Heavenly Father wanted C___ to accept baptism, too.  I felt His love for her, and prayed that He would help us in our limitedportuguese teach her in a way that she would recognize, understand, and accept the Savior's invitation to follow him.

As soon as we got C___ and M_____ in the Temple, everything went better than planned.  C___ is a mother of 4 adult children.  She loves them SO much but worries that they will stay off "the path".  Teaching about the plan of Salvation, I felt like I needed to bring a few pictures of our family and of Dad.  I showed C____ my family, and told her about Dad... how much I love him and miss him and how I want, more than anything, to be a forever family.  We testified through tears that we knew that God had an eternal plan for her, and her family.  I told her that I knew that because of the blessings of the Temple, I will be with my family for all time and eternity.  In that moment, she told us, "This is the answer I have been waiting for, searching for, and praying for.  I know that God brought me here today to His temple to show me what I need to do."  We invited her to be baptized in that instant, she accepted, and we all cried and cried and cried.  Gosh... As a missionary, you truly have NO greater joy than to see the miracle of the Gospel take root in one's heart.  It was literally a miracle and SUCH a powerful experience there in the temple that day...

I am SO thankful to be here.  C___ was literally one of the people I KNOW that I needed to come to Brazil to find and teach.  It is incredible to see how the Spirit will teach and mold even the most stubborn of hearts the truth.  I love the blessings of the temple.  I know that they are real.  I am so eternally grateful for the restored knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and the power of the Priesthood that makes these wonderful, binding ordinances possible.

I love my family!  I'm so glad that we are a forever family.  I am soooooooooooo thankful for the opportunity God gave me to help others have those same blessings.

Have a wonderful week, and remember what wonderful blessings we have.

Love forever,