Monday, February 25, 2013

Congratulations for Karlie and her mission call!!! That is so exciting!

We had a conference call with our mission President this week and he announced who was going to be our new mission President (He´s from São Paulo) and talked a little about the new missions that will open here in Brasil.  So it's been really exciting to see and to hear about the new changes in the world.  It's truly an amazing work.  It is so great to see and to hear how the work is progressing and to see how every person really will have the opportunity to hear about the restored Gospel of Christ.

This was another good week here.  We had a really neat lesson with one of our investigators and her family.  Her husband is a member who recently started coming to church again.  So we´ve been working with her and teaching her.  We had a lesson this week about families and how the gospel blesses families.  That it is only through the temples that we can have our families for eternity.  It was a really neat experience.  And she said the closing prayer at the end of the lesson, and it was her first time that she really said a prayer.  She always got super flustered, etc.  So it was really neat to see how she´s progressed.  We also have a family we found this past week and we read a little of the Family Proclamation to the World, and it was a really neat experience.  There´s a reason why Family´s progress together and the Spirit can be so strong when you teach families.  Because the gospel teaches about the strength and importance of family.  I said the other day, it's because of family that leaving for a mission is hard, but it's because of the importance of family that helps you leave too.  The desire to help other families have the same blessings through the Gospel.  Our families really can be more united and have more happiness when we live and teach the Gospel in our home.

We have agency to choose how we want to believe and act during our time here on the Earth.  So we choose our blessings or our consequences.  It's always our choice.  It's definitely one thing we´ve seen this week too.  Is how we sometimes don´t want to do the right things because it appears difficult, etc.  Part of faith is knowing that our Heavenly Father knows what will bring us true happiness and when we live and practice the gospel, even if we´re just beginning or trying, we will be blessed.

But love you all, hope you have a great week!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hello world!

So did you hear about the comet that fell from the sky!!??   haha I'm sure you did, but we almost didn't hear about it.  Sister R. and I passed by the house of one couple in the ward who were leaving to teach a lesson with us and they told us about it.  haha  If it hadn´t been for them, we´d still be clueless.  But it's funny to think sometimes how cut off we are.  That's also the really cool thing sometimes how our focus is the Gospel and our total purpose here.

This week was really good and we were blessed to encounter some really special families in our area. One thing that I love seeing is sometimes you encounter people for reasons different than you think. We made a contact with two people one day on the same road.  One a woman and the other a man, whose mom recently passed away. We marked a lesson with him and we had marked with a sister in the ward to teach with us.  But when she couldn't make it, we were trying to think of someone who could go there with us, when we thought of the woman who lives close to him.  It was really neat to see how the Spirit leads us to people and can give us the ideas we need to do this work.  Because it was the woman we met through this experience, who ended up being the one to progress and have interest.

We had one really neat lesson actually with this same woman.  Her friend is a member who has been inactive in the church for more then 10 years.  It was really neat to talk to her as she explained it was never an issue of testimony, but of personality, and (in her words) she has a strong personality so for little reasons she stopped going, and then it was never easy to return.  But this woman bore her testimony how the gospel makes such a difference in your life and how there´s nothing else like it. How true that is.  As the Gospel of Christ, this is what we need in our life.  God, as our Heavenly Father loves us.  And because of this has provided us with everything that we need, we have the knowledge and the map to get through this life and have more happiness and blessings.  We can see the blessings that come through the Gospel when we practice faith and obedience.

One other thing I heard this week that I really liked, someone said in church, that people go to Christ for three motives:  because of love, because of pain, or because of need.  I really liked that, because it's normally true.  We have free agency in this life to chose what we will do, etc.  We have to chose to follow Christ, but the motive for people is different.  When we chose to follow Christ because of our love and faith for him, this is where our true conversion starts.  Every person has to have true conversion to endure to the end.  One thing that I'm starting to understand a tiny little bit better is what our mission president talked about in his last letter about the natural man (well really he talked about the natural elder & natural sister :) ). and how often times we think of the natural man as what leads us to sin.  But really it's when we give in to those little desires of the flesh or when we don't live up to the person we should be.  For example, in Joseph Smith History he talks of having repented for giving in to the youthful desires, etc.  This was a standard below someone having been called of God. And so, us too, can give in to the natural man when we choose to do things or behave in ways that are not pleasing for our Heavenly Father.  He knows our potential and who we can become.  But we can only become our true potential through the atonement and practicing the Gospel in our lives.

Love you all, and hope you have a great week!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy P-day!

Today is the first day we´ve seen sun in a while. We´ve had pretty good rain the last few days, but it's been refreshing and we enjoyed it.

This is a really good area and I'm happy to continue working here with Sister R. We have a strong ward who helps and is always happy to serve.

One thing that I have found interesting and like to think about, especially here in Brasil, everyone has a religion or church. So everyone really has faith. But faith isn´t just believing. We demonstrate our faith in our actions and our lives. We practice what we believe. Christ didn´t just invite people to think about him, but to follow him. We as children of God can show our faith, our love for him through our actions. People want to see blessings from God to see his love in our lives. He also wants us to show our faith. That's why we´re here to walk with faith. To choose the right.

This week with transfers, Sister M. and a sister R. (not my companion, but a new sister who arrived - same last name) slept in our house for one night. They were passing through traveling to their area. So it was really neat to see them, especially Sister M., because it's been a good while since I've seen her. We have 21 sisters in the mission, and now 8 sisters in our zone (which is a lot for one zone).

So one thing that's funny. I don´t know if I´ve already talked much about it, but Sister R. has a really thick accent. She´s from Recife, so she has a northern accent. But when people here hear her talk they know shes not from ´here´ but they know I'm not too. Sometimes people ask if I'm German or from Portugal, but normally they know I'm American. But it's really funny to see sister R. get these reactions and we laugh together about it. One person asked if she was Muslim or from India this week. But normally a few times a week (it's not really that many times if you think about talking with people all day) she gets people who ask if she's American. So we´ve had some good laughs. But I'm really happy working with her. She´s a great missionary and we have the same hopes and goals for this area. We´re enjoying the time together.

I think I've already talked about it, but our mission is reading the Book of Mormon together, so we have the same chapters to read every day together. Today it was Mosiah 3-6 which is one part that I really like. But I'm out of time, so I'll let you all read it and think about what I might have liked. haha but seriously, out of time, love you all!

PS- in the time I've written the sun disappeared and rain fell : )

Monday, February 4, 2013

Well the start of a new transfer is here. Sister R. and I will be together for at least the next 6 weeks. She only has two more transfers in the mission (the one were starting right now, and one after).  So she was really anxious to see what would happen if she´d stay here or what. The other Sisters  C. and  B. will stay here too.  So we´re excited.

This last week was good. We had a meeting with our zone and one other with President and Sister Tavares.  Actually, Sister Tavares was only there for a little bit, because she left to do house checks. But since I'm a sister, we have nothing to worry about.  haha we clean our house :)

But it was a really good meeting and it was really nice to have some training and practices there.  I also received a package from the Singles Branch, which was fun to receive.

This week Sister R. celebrated 1 year and two months in the mission.  Maybe sometimes she´s a little trunky, but it's been great working with her and we´re really happy.  It was a sweet moment as we celebrated this week for her.  She had the most serious health problem in the mission (with her legs) and she´s been blessed to be able to continue serving and she´s doing great.

haha one thing that happened this week (and she said my family would like to hear) as we were making contacts, Sister R. had a bird poop land on her and all over the papers she was holding.  I laughed pretty good, and she did too, after the first initial shock.  But I only laugh, knowing that I have a pretty good chance of it happening to me one day or the other.  It's one downside of Maringá that there are millions of trees here in this city.

I attached a picture of our area.  Where you can see the tall apartment building towards the right half of the picture - our apartment I don't think you can see, but it's located in front/near those apt.  All of this picture is our area, plus more that you can't see.  This is the road that we walk to work in this area leaving/arriving in our apartment, its about 30 minutes or so.

But love you all, and have a great week!