Monday, September 24, 2012

How is everyone doing?

Thanks to Katrina for the package I received this week!! It was great and has been fun.

This was a great week and flew by really fast. We had a conference with Elder Godoy on Thursday that was really good. I attached a photo that was taken of everyone at our conference. There was one other day where missionaries who are working/living farther away met. So we had two conferences for everyone. (I feel like this thought wasn´t very clear)... But the frist day people close to Londrina met the second day was for missionaries in our mission farther away. The second group was smaller then ours but not sure how many missionaries. But it was really neat, I´ll have to write about it more in my letter.

We had a really good district meeting this week too. One part that I remember well is our district leader had the picture of the pioneers burying their loved ones who had passed in the frozen ground. He asked what qualities these pioneers had. We talked about how the qualities they had we want to have in our lives and this work as missionaries. But as members, these are qualities all people can really apply to their lives. Faith, Courage, Sacrifice, love, obedience, service, etc. These pioneers were willing to follow the will of the Lord and sacrificed much persecution and hardships. But they witnessed miracles and the hand of the Lord in their lives. Something that was really neat to talk about.

It seems like this week we had a lot of experiences with agency. We´d been teaching one investigator for quite a while (she´s been an investigator for I think more than a year). But she is so special, and I love her. One day she will be baptized, but probably not while I am here.  She has a testimony of this church but she has a few emotional problems that makes it hard for her to go to church and have confidence in other people. But she believes the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet. She has a desire for baptism but doesn´t want to set a date. Which is hard. Our purpose is to help others become closer to Christ through our Gospel by following Christ and the commandments. One important commandment is baptism. Anyways, it was a really good visit but sad in a way too. We can´t teach everyone and our time is sacred. So it will probably be our last visit for some time. But we could walk away and really know we did everything in our power and capacity to help her know the truth, to help her with her concerns and to invite her to continue to progress.

Out of time some how really fast, but love you all,

Monday, September 17, 2012

Excerpts from a couple of Laura's letters.  We do not get letters often as she does not live close to a Post Office and Brazil is a walking mission.

Laura writes:

You are right, we walk every7where.  I guess I never mentioned that.  The entire country of Brazil is walking missions.  I think some areas had bikes, but some cities are so big and dangerous that the whole country is made up of walking missions.

Thanks again for your constant emails.  I love them.  Emailing is a highlight of P-day and your emails/letters mean a lot.  All missionaries talk about how by the end of your mission the only person still writing you is your Mom - but you are an excellent penpal.  (I think Susanna has been quite faithful too, and has received similar message.  I don't know how often others write.)

I enjoyed hearing about your new fridge.  Sounds like Dad and Erik are enjoying the new garden tractor.  Dad (or you) or Erik needs to explain what a lawn sweeper and thatcher are, though.  Haha.

I forgot to write in my email that we had a Ward activity on missionary work that was really good.  It was a scavenger hunt and 3 teams had to follow scripture clues around the chapel.

Maybe you have posted my address, if not, can you post the address for Londrina on the blog.  Every missionary receives mail there (Londrina missionaries) no matter what area of our mission you are in, so it won't change, my whole mission.  But thanks for everything, love you all!  (I posted it on this blog a few weeks ago).

Read a few lines of the email (normally read after I email when I print it) and saw that you mentioned Katrina sent a package. I haven´t received it yet. But it is waiting for me. We get to go to Londrina tomorrow to pick it up from the Post Office. Didn´t know who sent it until saw that line, but was wondering. Am excited to pick it up!

Saw your line about knee high socks. No, what Im talking about are `no show socks´. Made of a nylon material but made for flats or dress shoes so they don't show much. Literally like a sock but the top is really big. In the store they are located right next to the socks and nylons and stuff.

But this week has been really great. Hot upwards of 93 degrees this week, but as people keep saying, only starting to begin summer. Ha I'm excited to see the difference in Spring and Summer. I hear it's more humid during summer, it hasn´t been too humid yet.

One of the really cool things that happened this week was a visit with a member less active in the ward. Her whole family (parents and siblings) are members, but less active. We were going by to visit her sister who has been a bit more receptive to wanting to go to church, but were able to visit the other sister who hasn´t been very interested before. But we had a really good visit that was special. She talked a lot about how she remembers being sealed in the temple with her family when she was 9, and how she still remembers this really well but doesn´t remember other things. How this was special and she knows it was special. We talked about families. And I was talking about how when I was young I remember when my friend was sealed to her parents in the temple I remember knowing how special the expereince was for her. I remember being a little jealous that she got to experience that with her family. Knowing that it would be an experience very special to have with your family. But growing up and today, I am so grateful for my parents and the decision they made from the start to begin an eternal family - to be sealed in the temple. I am so grateful for this gospel and that through this Gospel we can have the opportunity to live with our families forever. I know that families are sacred and a place for us to learn and grow together.
The other thing I really liked that hit me was she said she never forgot the teachings of the church. How she/her family has been inactive for many years, but she has never forgotten. How she wants to go to church but doesn´t feel comfortable there. She talked about how she has lots of friends in the church and knows people don´t talk about her, etc. But how she doesn´t feel good in the heart about things she has done in the past and other things. But it was really a neat visit that I´ve been thinking about.

The phamplet we have of the Restoration we give to people has the picture of Christ holding a lamb. The parable of the 99 sheep and one is lost. And how Christ will leave the 99 to look for the one. That is our purpose to invite all to come unto Christ. We have a loving Heavenly Father who loves ALL of his children. Not just the obedient, not just some and others. But he literally loves and cares for all of his children. The parable of the prodigal son teaches us that. The joy in heaven is greater for the person who has returned from sin then for those who have never lived in sin. This doesn´t mean he loves one more then the other, but I know he has great joy for those who accept the gospel. Who are willing to change their lives to follow Christ, to live this Gospel.  All people deserve an opportunity to make the choice to accept the gospel or not.

This week I also read a talk on Pride that was really good. I think its by Ezra Taft Benson. It's really good. But just want to talk about a little part. Most people think of pride as being arrogant and not caring about others. But there is so much more to pride. Pride is the opposite of humility. You cannot change yourself, who you are, or progress if you have pride. Those who don't forgive or who hold grudges do so with pride. It was said better in the talk, but he said something along the lines of, those who don´t forgive are holding others under their power. Trying to keep these people indebted to them. But anyways its a great talk and have been thinking about it and how it can be connected with so many things.

But its been a great week and love you all!!


Also, was wondering if you could send the recipe for Sugar cookies and maybe a recipe for No-Bake (I think there was a really good one in the recipe book from Grandma's ward that is old and we use a lot)??

Thanks & love you!!

Monday, September 10, 2012


Susanna, I included you because I'm not sure if Mom is travelling to Washington right now or not so just in case she can't pass this on, thought this would be easier for you all and I started typing Paula´s name but not sure if I have her email.. Hopefully Mom had a good birthday and hopefully Grandma is doing better.

I sent some pictures in a second email last time, but I'm not sure if it went through, got a message it didn´t, so let me know if you didn't get it.

Oh and one other little thing before I forget, maybe you've noticed you're not getting letters as often. We dont have a post office very close, 45 minutes in the area of the other sisters. So unless we eat lunch with members close to the post office or go to Londrina, we don't always get a chance to send letters very often. But I promise I have letters written and waiting to be sent :)

Time seems to be flying by. I officially have 9 weeks in the field, so the same amount that I had in the CTM. But the CTM feels like so long ago. It's weird for me to think that the 2 different times are equal.

I received Mom´s package on Tuesday after our zone meeting. Thanks! It was really fun receiving it and so far the candy has been popular :)

We had a zone meeting this past week that was really good. Our mission scripture Is Alma 26:22 and I love it. We talked a lot about how we can always apply these things, repentance, FE, constant prayer, and good works in our lives. We have 16 missionaries in our zone and 6 in our district. We also talked about how we will have Elder Carlos A Godoy of the Seventy here on September 20 as part of a mission tour. So we will have an opportunity to hear him talk and I'm really excited.

This week we had a ward activity that was a competition between the men and women and who can make the best noodle/pasta dish. It was really fun and we had a lot of the ward and our investigators participate, so it was really good. Being at this activity and a couple of things this week I´ve been thinking a lot about kids and the faith they have and how sometimes its easier for a kid or younger person to accept this gospel. I´m not sure if I remember the whole quote but I think it was Gordon B Hinckely who said every new member needs a friend, a purpose and to learn and receive the Gospel. Sometimes this is easier when kids have a natural tendency to love and to be friends with everyone. They have so much faith and a desire to follow Christ. And how important these children are who are learning the gospel. Our Primary programs have such a great purpose. As do all of our church programs. They help us learn and grow and support one another.

But things are going great here. I can tell I'm really starting to get not just immersed, but accustomed to the language. I was asked to give the testimony in English for our zone meeting and it was a lot harder than it should have been. I tried using Portuguese words a few times on accident, etc. It was weird. I don't always remember my dreams, but I know I've been dreaming in Portuguese for a few weeks. But this week I had one that was really crazy. I remember talking with someone who normally speaks English, and in my dream I also had times where I didn't know a word in Portuguese but I had to keep talking in Portuguese. It was weird, but funny. Even in my dreams my mind is a little confused.

Anyways, out of time, but love you all!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mom Happy Birthday for this Saturday!!

I attached a couple of photos for you all. The one with the group is the 6 of us that were all living in our house before transfers. There are two of a house across the street from us with a dog. This always cracks me up, and I thought at least Dad would find it amusing. This tiny little dog is always hanging over the ledge watching the street. A good guard dog. The other is of us Sunday picking some berries from a tree, they were kind of like raspberries, very good, and I think they were called amora.

This week was really really good and we met an awesome family that we are teaching. We contacted R. on the street in front of his house and he and his wife M. have four daughters. We had our first visit and talked about the Family Proclamation. It was a really good visit and they went to church with us on Sunday. They have been perceptive so far and I am really excited for them. Families are central to our gospel and our plan here on Earth and it is so special when you get to teach a family that is united like this one. I know this family can be blessed so much by this Gospel and the blessings it brings.

We also had a family night that was really special and fun with a family that is a little less active. They had invited a neighbor and and the boyfriend of her daughter, so we had a good lesson and then a fun game that I thought I would pass on. So you can all use it tonight for fhe :) You need candy that´s individually wrapped and a dice. Going in a circle, the first person to roll a 6 gets to start opening the candy using a fork and knife and (of course!) gets to eat the candy and continue trying to open the candy with the fork and knife until the next person rolls a 6 and they get to take over. So when a person rolls a 6 and starts to try to open the candy people in the circle are still trying to roll a 6. The next person to roll a 6 takes over where the last person left off. We didn´t have anyone too young with us and it was fun as all mostly adults, but I'm sure kids would love this.

I´ve been thinking a lot about faith this week. I was reading in the book Jesus the Christ about Christ teaching about how we need to have the faith of children. How they are accepting and believing. Children are so innocent and can have such beautiful testimonies. You don´t have to have a perfect understanding, you just have to start believing. This faith is developed as you try to live and make commitments to follow Christ. Like all things in life you can´t start understanding a principle until you try it. You can´t cook until after you start trying a few recipes. You don´t start out like a master chef either. Its the same principle with faith. You have to start with a desire to follow Christ and through going to church and doing the things Christ wants us to do we develop and strengthen our testimonies.

It´s been a really good week though. Sister Passos has been really great to work with, and it's challenging at times but its been great. She is patient and full of a desire to serve these people here and to spread this Gospel.

Love you all!