Monday, January 28, 2013

Attached a photo of our zone, we had a zone meeting a week or two ago.  So I really enjoyed the photos of Disney World they were so cute.  Loved the one with Kayla sleeping in the arms of Kevin, missing one shoe.   Looks like everyone had a great time.   I'm glad everything is working out for Dad and for Erik. So I looked up the talk you mentioned in your email to print. And with all of these things, I'm out of time.  So sorry this is short.  Sister Ramos and I will do a few things in the center today.  Maybe eat some food or something. haha it sounded really exciting for us.   It was a good week-but I'll write you a good letter all about it.  Love you all!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2013 13:18:12 -0200

Happy Birthday Dad!!

I'm glad to hear Erik´s okay and hope everything is working out for you all. I hope you know that if you need to use my blazer you can. It sounds like the cars are having a rough winter. I can´t believe erik hit a horse?  (She only scanned my email, her brother, Erik, hit a MOOSE.  The State Trooper told us a HORSE was hit in the same area the week before and it was called in as a MOOSE being hit.  When the dispatcher called someone to harvest the MOOSE they found a HORSE and could not touch it.  We all laughed that someone didn't know the difference between a moose and a horse.)  How does a horse run away from home?? (not questioning erik, questioning the Horse).

 But this week has been good. I´m continually impressed with the members throughout the world who sacrifice and serve without questioning. Sometimes I think how can people not see the truth of the Gospel through the lives of the members. But it's not always that clear for everyone. This week we had some neat experiences with working with our members here. I love that the church of Christ has a role for everyone. The church is supported by the voluntary service of everyone. Leaders make such a big difference in our lives.

 I knew before my mission I was a wild child in the Primary when I was younger.  (She wasn't a wild child, just a very SOCIAL one.)   But I'm hoping that the ´payback´is happening now so I won't have to pay when I'm a mom. haha but seriously. When investigators visit the church for the first time with children who have never sat through church or when its just us with a youth who is a member but less active, it makes such a huge difference when a member takes time to help with a child or even sit close to them to offer an encouraging smile.

But we have one investigator who is doing really well. I don´t remember if I mentioned her in the last email or not. M. went to church for the 2nd time yesterday and is doing really well. She has changed so much since we first encountered her, and is truly special. We are so excited for her. She has smoked most of her life, so its been a challenge for her to live the word of wisdom. But she knows it's true and is trying to quit. We´ve already seen the hand of the lord in her life. 

 I gave a talk in sacrament meeting about missionary work and am so grateful for this ward. We have several members who are stake leaders and want to really help with the work. It's truly something missionaries can't do alone.  The testimonies of members and the difference they make in lessons is so great. This week we were talking during lunch with one of the sisters in the ward who is in the stake young womens. She says in the stake theres about 100 active young men but only 47 active young women. She really wants to work with us to help strenghten our ward. 

 Faith and obedience will truly change your life. If you have faith, a true testimony you will be obedient to all of God´s commandments. One thing I know for sure, if you're reading the Book of Mormon, and reading, sincerely, you will be firm and steadfast in the Gospel. Even if you don´t understand everything, you will receive blessings for obeying the commandment to read the Book of Mormon every day.

Love you all! have a great week!
(And read the Book of Mormon!) :) 

I can´t think of anything i really need. We buy sunblock here (infact i bought some today). Its more expensive here, but by the time you send it here (because its not too light) its probably not any cheaper to send it. 

 But thank you mom for your support and prayers, love you all!

Love you my faithful mommy!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

It was another good week here in Maringá. Sister Ramos and I are really enjoying our time together and finding some great people and families here. Sometimes its really funny with us two together because her accent is really thick from Recife and my accent is weird. So we had a few people this week who told her her accent sounds american too. Which is really funny. But she definitely doesn´t have an american accent. But it gives us a good laugh. At the start of this year we started reading as a mission the Book of Mormon together. So during our study time in the morning everyone is reading the same chapters. I love the book of Nephi. And always find it interesting to think about how its the book people read the most. But we can learn so much from Nephi about faith, courage, and obedience. The picture I attached is our family Almeida, i told you about a few weeks ago. love you all and have a great week! PS- Mom tell Katrina I received her package this week and it was really fun to get. It was the first time we received our mail from the mission office while i´ve been here. It was perfect. Sister Ramos and I played Go Fish with the cards she sent for language study this morning :) Also- I was wondering if Dad (or you) know the frequency of how many people in your ward are normally at church? Just curiosity, because we´re always talking about it. One last thing, I was just wondering if Brian or Erik or someone could email me a few pictures of snowmaching or something. Even if its the pictures from facebook. Really just pictures of us or them, in the snow or doing something fun Alaskan.

Monday, January 7, 2013

I hope everyone is starting off an amazing new year up there.  January is turning out to be the month everyone said it would be, crazy.  It's pretty normal to see a hot morning, rainstorm in the afternoon, and a cool breezy night.  While this is funny sometimes, it's also a little... annoying at times.  But only a little.  We´re glad for the rain, because it's cool and is refreshing.  But the sun is a lot easier to work in.  But anyways, we´re really blessed in this area, it's just predictablly unpredictable.

Christmas was very special here (if I haven´t said so before, the last few emails were short- I know, I'm trying to repent with this letter).  It was simple, but very special.  We felt a lot of love from our members, investigators, and between us sisters in the house.  For Sister Ramos, it's her second Christmas in the mission.

This past week when we were contacting some references we had received we encountered an elderly woman that was a sweet visit.  Sometimes we focus on being led to people who are prepared to accept and live the gospel.  And while this woman, probably won't change much and I don't know if we´ll get to visit her again, we had a really sweet spirit and it was an opportunity to give a little service and comfort.  She´s housebound and is a little sad about how life is going for her right now. But we gave her a Book of Mormon to read and it was really neat to talk with her.  Sometimes we are led to people for different reasons than we expect.

Which leads me to my next point.  One thing I´ve really started to understand (but I'm sure I still have a Lot more to learn) is about our agency in this life.  I´ve seen people who´ve received their answer, they know the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and they know the Church is true.  They know because they prayed, and received an answer.  But they still don´t change anything. Sometimes, it's because their whole familly is of a different religion, other times it's because they don´t want to make a commitment to go to church every Sunday.  But whatever the reason, they´d rather keep living and neglect the answer they receive.  This is one of the hardest things.  Knowing that they are denying themselves so much happiness and so many blessings.  Yes, often times the Gospel requires sacrifice, but there are always so many blessings promised for us.
We have the agency to know for ourselves.  The agency to listen.  The agency to not respond.  The agency to change ourselves and the agency to have faith.  Sometimes we need to take a little leap first, but we will always be rewarded when we practice this little faith, this little hope.

Yesterday we were able to visit a family that was really special.  We have a missionary in our ward who returns on the 23 of this month.  Haha and this will make your jaw drop, and he´s getting married on the 8th of .. February! (but I've actually heard of this happening a couple of times already. The culture here, you don´t mess around with dating, when you´re dating, its because you see a future, etc.).  But none of his family are members.  But we had a really sweet visit with this family and the mom really enjoyed talking with us.  She showed us photos and the dad made food.  They are so excited to have their son return home and it was neat to talk with them.

That´s one thing that has impressed me with a lot of missionaries here.  Many, the majority I've met, don't have many family members in the church.  And often times, a mission is something their family doesn´t understand.  But it all just comes back to faith.  Faith truly is the first thing we need in the Gospel.  It is faith that will support you, comfort and help you.

But I'm so grateful for all of you and the love and support.  Love you all!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

We didn´t get to use internet on Monday, because of New Year's Eve the internet shops and tons of other businesses were closed.  Missionaries all over the mission didn´t get to use internet, so Pres. Tavares authorized us to use internet today.

 But it has been a great week. I don't have a way to email you a picture of the baptism, but we had the baptism of Adriana, Igor, and Mateus Saturday. Her husband and son were baptised a few weeks ago. It was really special and this family is so amazing. It's neat to be involved and to watch this family grow.

 I received Dads emails, and it was very sweet and special. I hope he had a great Christmas and some chocolate was saved for him :)

Please forgive me, this email was short. But I´ve received emails and haven't saved or printed pics that have been sent by you all.  So I finally put them on my pindrive.  But I'll be sending letters your way today.

 Mom, I thought of a few other things I might like if you´re still working on a package:

 Afterbite (the bug bite stuff, I know it's a little off-season for you but if they have it in the store that would be great :) )

 Deoderant (like the kind you sent last time, I like the scent shower fresh, or something like that. Brand Degree)

 Masscara (I never remember what brand I use, but I like waterproof, especially here with the humidity/sweat)

I love you all and hope you have a happy New Year!