Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!  Judging from the pictures, it looks like it went pretty well!  I'm already excited to stuff my face with you next year and run that race!  This has been a crazy past two weeks! 
I think these past two weeks may have been the most trying of my mission so far... this area is a tough one, and this was my first transfer not baptizing anyone.  For nearly two weeks, almost no one opened their door to us, no one came to church with us, no one even cared.  I started to feel pretty down about myself, my mission, my purpose, when Elder E. Silva and I decided to fast one day.  NOTHING had been going right, and we were both super discouraged.  We gave it up to the Lord and decided to keep working through it, even if it seemed like there were no results.  Saturday arrived, and we still had no one to bring to church , very few lessons, and super hunger, but then... a miracle happened!
We were burned out, and decided to pray in that moment, asking Heavenly Father to send us where someone would accept us.  As soon as we finished the prayer, we both felt impressed that we needed to stay on the same street, and start knocking.  The first house we knocked, G______ and I_____ (mother and 17 year old daughter) answered the door.  They let us right in, we taught them, and the next day brought them to church.  They LOVED church.  When we went to visit them after church to answer questions/doubts that they had, they couldn't stop talking about how much they were touched by the special spirit they felt there, and how badly they wanted to return, and bring their entire family with them.  THEN THEY ASKED US TO BE BAPTIZED.  WHAT?!  It was such a crazy, tender, wonderful miracle from Heavenly Father.
I remember that day we were fasting, I was asking Heavenly Father for a confirmation that fasting works so that I could have more faith in this sacred principle.  He blessed me with this overwhelming experience that confirmed that truly - fasting and humble prayer works.  I was taken aback at this experience, because it's not everyday (in fact, it's almost never) that a person will seek the truth as they are seeking.  As they told us their story (they moved about 1 year ago from São Paulo to Curitiba, and missionaries had already knocked on their door before) it became clear to them, and even more clear to us, that Heavenly Father has truly been preparing them to receive us, and receive the sweet joy of the Restored Gospel.
In every mission call, there is the promise that:
"As you serve with all your heart, might, and strength, the Lord will lead you to those who are prepared to be baptized."  

As I re-read my mission call this morning during studies, it hit me strongly that the Lord will always keep His promises.  I am so thankful for the sweet manifestation of His love and mercy with us this week, and for Him having prepared these special daughters of God to receive greater peace, light, direction, and happiness in their lives.

Sorry I wrote a bunch this week, but I just wanted to close with a scripture that reminded me of G______ and I_____, found in Alma 32:16

" Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe."
I know that the Lord is preparing people in every land, in every corner, of every part - His elect who hear the voice of His representatives as the voice of the Good Shepard, and have the courage and faith to act.
Love forever,


This week we had the mission Christmas conference, and the entire mission got together for an all-day event!  Super fun!  ALL OF THE SISTERS IN THAT PICTURE ARE FROM MY DISTRICT IN THE MTC AND ALL OF THEM ARE HOME NOW.  

- a pretty sunset here in Guabirotuba

- a wild rabbit that we found on the way home one night... #rabies!

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