Monday, April 29, 2013

Sisters Bullen and Marques

So I didn´t end up being transferred, but Sister Marques was transferred to the area I was already in.  But I did switch bedrooms and desks - the easiest 'transfer' I've done in the mission.  :)   But this was an amazing week.  Every area that I've worked in Sister Marques has been one of the other missionaries in the house, so we already knew and loved each other really well.  But it's been great to get to know her even better and to work together as a companionship.  She´s an amazing missionary and we are loving working together.  We worked super hard this week and arrived several nights exhausted.  We laughed a few times joking that President put two old sisters together.  She has 1 year and 4 months in the mission and I'm a little over half way (or almost a year.)   :)
We had a really neat visit with one Irmã in the ward.  (When I write Sister I feel like I'm talking about a missionary).  She´s about +80 and lives alone.  She is active, but had said something a few weeks ago how she doesn´t feel like anyone visits, etc.  So we decided to visit her one night and it was really special.  We got to know her a little bit better and she loved the visit.

We also had a couple of really neat experiences working with some of our members this week.  It really helps us see that this work can´t go anywhere without the aid and testimonies of our members.  That they can help so much with this work!  That it really works so much better with our members.

Sister Marques and I leave this afternoon to go to Londrina for a Leadership meeting and we will get to stay 1-2 nights in Ibiporã.  We´re both pretty excited to stay one night in the area we both already passed through.  Although time will be tight it will be neat. 

I´m so grateful for this time that we have to serve and to do this great work.  I know the Gospel is true and that Christ is our Savior.  I love you all, and have a great week!

Ha one last question before I go.
I mentioned an old lady we visited this week, she wanted me to ask Grandma how much it would cost to make and send a patchwork blanket to her.  She said she would pay for everything and the work.  I told her that it would probably be really expensive.  But she wanted me to ask.  And I didn't have the heart to tell her no.  So i'm asking.  But it would be something hard to organize... anyways, she thought they are something really beautiful and, etc. 

Last thing- for mothers day we´re planning on being able to Skype, like we were able to for Christmas. 


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Received letters from Sister Laura Bullen today.

March 25, 2013


How is everyone?  Mom - I LOVED the package, you're the best!  I finally received it (along with a small pkg. from Alesia and some letters).  The sandals are great and I've already worn them twice (in 3 days).  I loved the pictures, they're great and we all had fun looking at them.  The postcards were fun too and some of the sisters picked some out.  Thank you!!!

Also, before I forget.  One of the letters I received was from Sister P. who sent a hug for you!

I'm enjoying training - Sister R. is a great missionary.  Like all of us, she's learning and getting used to a lot of things in the mission.  But it's fun (and weird, kind of) to remember how it was for me and to be in the spot of the trainor.  Sometimes as I see the experiences or moments she has, I think wasn't I just there a few weeks ago.  I was definitely nervous and stressed the first days - probably week - but I've seen the help of the Lord and how he helps us be capable of what he calls us to do.

I've seen how much responsibility it is, you truly help them - the new missionaries - create their vision and attitude for the mission.  I am so grateful for her and for Heavenly Father that it's her that I get to work with.  She has a desire to learn, to grow, to work, and to sacrifice.  We work great together.  I have a love for her - that I want her to have success in the mission.  You really feel the responsibility when you're in a big city navigating the bus system or even navigating the roads.  She truly follows my example.  I remember laughing in my head the first couple of days when she even followed me in what exercises I was doing (well she still does the same thing).  It's so funny, because it helps me remember how important my example is.  Also how much I want her to know that I'm not perfect.  How we never get to the point in the mission - or in life - when we can say "Alright, I think I'm good now."  We always have to grow, to get better, to keep learning.

Yesterday in Church none of our investigators showed up, but 2 men we have taught in the past, like +3 months ago showed up.  Miracles are real!  It's really been great the last 2 weeks and time has flown.  I'm so grateful for your love and support from everyone!  I'm  so grateful for this Gospel and I know it's true.

Love You All!

Sister Laura Bullen

April 1, 2013


I always love the emails - thank you.  The ABC's of the missionary life:  ALMOCO, Batismo, e Cartas!  (Google Translate:  "Lunch, baptism and letters)   Sou muito grata pela cartas de voces!!  (Google translate:  "I am very grateful for your letters.") 

I liked reading about how Hannah feeds the dogs, ha, that's funny and I'm sure Dad has fun telling the story.

Hope everyone there had a good Easter.  We did a "chocolate friend" in the house and an Irma from Church gave us a little basket full of chocolates and sweets/snacks.  It was really sweet and so great.

April 8, 2013

So last week I stopped to leave for the internet and I didn't get a chance to finish this letter.  But all is going well here.  Training is really hard sometimes, but it's also really special.  It's kind of hard to describe.  There's a lot of responsibility at times.  But Sister R. is a great missionary and we have fun and work hard.  Sometimes we have a hard time understanding each other - not because of the language, but because we deal with things differently.  The mission has taught me more about marriage than I ever thought it would - well really before my mission I never thought "I'm going to learn how to be a good wife," ect.  But you're with your companion 24 hours a day, always - that's MORE than most couples, haha.  And decisions are made together.  How can you help a family have more union and love for one another if you don't have love for each other?  You learn about patience, love, service and sacrifice.  There's no leaving, ha, but there's transfers every 6 weeks.  :)  Just kidding, but I have truly loved all of my companions, they've been great.  I liked the talk by L. Whitney Clayton where he said happy marriage relies on the gift of repentance.  And for repentance you have to be humble.  You have to listen, you have to apologize and you have to be willing to forget.  But General Conference was great and I loved it.

Ha, sorry my emails are short sometimes.  But the time's not wrong.  Here, we have 1 hour to email, write the President and enter a quick report.  But sometimes I glance at emails, or look at the mission website.  I promise to try better to write better emails.  But this mission, I've definitely learned about the importance of obedience.  We have rules and commandments in life (and in the mission) for reasons.  Through obedience, we truly will be blessed.   In the mission there's tons of rules like this.  Can't enter a house w/out a woman, etc.  In our mission, we have more rules than any other mission.  But like someone said in General Conference, you can't pick the commandments you're going to follow.  You have to obey with exactness.  We all start out growing and no one's perfect.  But our obedience is an outward manifestation of our love, faith and trust in God.  God is patient and knows our hearts.

I think I responded in the email last week, but yes the missionary department authorized the chance to email family and friends.  But you still can't email people within the limits of the mission without authorization from the Mission President and you still only have 1 hour.

Are you sending me 2 pairs of new shoes?  I would be happy and was only expecting 1 pair.  I don't need you to spend too much money on shoes.  You Missionary Moms  :)  (Heart)

Yes, Sister R. and I have the same hair color, skin and our eyes are pretty close.  Many times, people ask if we are sisters.  Or they think my companion is American too.  Ha, even when they hear her talk they say our accents are similar, sometimes.

Our apartments have fans, but most people don't have air conditioning.  Here, normally only if you have a lot of money.  We have a washing machine, but no one has dryers here.  Everything line dries.  So you iron clothes more.  Sisters get 120 a month in reais (which is about $60 a month).  If you work/live in an area that you use the bus more, sometimes you get additional.  But we receive $120 every 15 days (I'm assuming she means per companionship).  So it's about $120 every month - for food, the bus, and normal things.  Sister R.'s brother served in Japan, the state Nagoia.

I hope you all enjoyed the sessions of General Conference.  We loved it here.  I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and has all of the Priesthood keys.  I know that God loves us and knows us individually.  I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Restored Church here on the Earth today.

Love you All!

Sister Laura Bullen

Monday, April 22, 2013

I´m being transferred one more time, but this time it's pretty close, really close.  Sister Butler and I are switching places.  Sister Butler has been having problems with her back and we figured something like this might happen.  Our area is a little bit flatter than their area, so Sister Butler will be companions with Sister Rocha, and I will be companions with Sister Marques.  We´re not totally sure what´s happening, but one of the leaders said sister Marques and I will be trainers/leaders.  That we have a lot of sisters who will be arriving, and will be involved in training.  But we don´t really know.  Ha, really we´ve heard a couple of different stories also about who will stay in what area, etc.  Because our areas are the same name but one is ´A´ and the other is ´B´ they are always confusing the two areas, etc.  So hopefully you´ll know better next week what exactly we´re doing.  Probably I'll move to the area of Sister Marques. 

One of the things that was really special this week was a couple of service projects we had.  One was a lesson/service opportunity we had with a recent convert.  She was baptized about 8 months ago with her two children and she´s a counselor in the Young Womens.  She had to give the lesson in YW the other day on the First Vision, and wanted our help, etc.  So it was a special visit, as we helped her and heard her testimony on the First Vision.  I know the Lord makes us capable to do all that we need to.  I know that Joseph Smith saw God, the Father, and Jesus Christ.  Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet and that he restored the Church of Christ on the Earth.  I'm so grateful for this and for the blessings we have because of this. 

Haha one other thing I loved this week, is we arrived in 3 Nephi in our reading of the Book of Mormon in our study time.  I love the story that talks about Samuel, the Lamanite, and how he climbed the wall to preach to the Nephites.  I don´t know if I´d have the courage to preach to a bunch of people who had already rejected me...  But I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the blessings that come from reading every day.  Ha, we also read 3 Nephi 6:18 this morning that talks about food storage.  Ha but you´ll have to look it up - time is short!

Love you all!! Have a great week!

This was taken in Londrina the day I arrived to pick up Sister Rocha.  This lake is in front of the apartment
of our Mission Home.  This was the p-day before we met the new missionaries.

 One of the coldest days we've had in the mission.

Some of the glory of packages that arrive in the house.  Sister Rocha received this package.

General Conference (with Sister Rocha).

Our last Sunday of the ultimate transfer.  Sister Ramos, Sister Bullen, Sister Cordoso, and Sister Butler.

Monday, April 15, 2013

8:55 AM

To: Mom
Aye- Emailing home shouldn't be this stressful.  Internet cafes are one thing...  But 'Im on my second computer because the first one had problems...  And this one had some major problems to copy and paste. BUT this week was great.  Sister R. had her first baptism.  We had a the baptism of a young man, named C.  He was super excited and it was so neat to see how his testimony grew these past few weeks. His girlfriend is a member and he never had too much interest, but finally went to church one Sunday, and we started teaching him.  He went to general conference after and his testimony grew so much.  He really believes and has such a firm testimony.  It was a great experience. 

We have had a couple of neat experiences with our members this week and am so grateful for their involvement and the love they show for us and for this work.  We really can´t do half of what we do without the support and help of the members of the church.  I know that you all have testimonies and so much to share with people.

But time is up and I'll have to write more in the letter today.  Love you all!!

Mom- you asked what else I might like in a package- I can't think of anything but maybe some more hair gel like you already sent.  Aussie brand maybe 1-2 bottles.  Thanks for everything and love you all!!

Sorry for the short email, this week its really not my fault, but the computer!!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

To: Mom
So I know my last few emails have been short, but I'm trying to repent and write better this week :)

haha I saw your email, mom, have you been waiting at the email to hear from me today?

I don´t need a water bottle, since we can´t any longer use filtered water bottles.  I bought a cheap one a while ago, but broke this week.  Right now I'm following the trend of missionaries and sporting a once used gatorade bottle :)  (haha you have the excuse to buy gatorade and have the additional advantage of reusing the bottle).

But this week was really good.  I loved General Conference it was amazing.  We had a room in English where the American missionaries watched Conference together (and we have one brother in the ward who´s American).   There were 7 Elders and Sister Butler and I.  It was amazing and I am so grateful for the opportunity to watch conference.  It just seems to fly by so fast.  It seems like it wasn´t too long since conference in October...   One of the things I really liked from conference is how (I don´t know who said it) but they talked about obedience and how there is no small commandment.  We should be honest and obedient in all things.  If we want to receive selective blessings, then we will select what commandments.  But if we want to receive all of God´s blessings we need to be obedient in all things.  He said small habits will bring great blessings.  Our attitude won´t change now, we won´t magically become obedient to all things.  We need to live correctly and develop these habits now.

This week we also had a training from a stake mission leader . He talked a lot about our purpose and what we do and compared it to several facts of how Geese fly and migrate together.  One of the things I liked the best that he said is sometimes we waste time complaining about what people may or may not be doing, help we don´t receive, etc.  Then just doing things, or using the people who will help us.  I really liked thinking about this.

Haha this week we finished the book of Alma in our study time this week.  One scripture I liked and thought was really good was Alma 56:27, which talks about how packages from home sustained the army. Haha how true, our packages from home really are miracles :D

We had a really neat experience this week when we encountered a woman in a small park close to the chapel.  We arrived a little early for a meeting, and we decided to make a few contacts. And we met a woman who was suffering really bad from depression.  While I don´t know if she´ll ever decide to visit us at church, it was really a neat experience to see how Heavenly Father led us to her, through little events that helped us find her.  And how we had a chance to express the love God has for her.  That especially with depression, many people won´t understand.  Our Savior suffered and knows exactly how it feels.  We were able to leave a Book of Mormon with her, that I hope she reads.  I know it's one of the things that gives me most happiness and peace in life.  This sacred book is a proof that God loves us and talks to us through living prophets.

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

Monday, April 1, 2013

This is all I received today from Laura except another short email requesting some items be mailed.  The one hour weekly of internet time gets split with reports to the mission home and then emails to family.  Sometimes the email home becomes very short.  Afraid I am left wanting more today, but I know she is well and loving what she is doing!  So, I am ok, at least her letters are longer.  Her sweet sister, Susanna, deserved a bigger response from Laura today and I am glad they had a short chat by email.


So time has flown by, Susanna can tell you about our email chat, to not waste time, I won't write about it. 

Times already almost gone. But this week was really good and is flying by.  I can't believe it's already April. I'm really excited for General Conference, I know it will be amazing .  I am so grateful for the opportunity of technology for the whole world to hear the voice of the prophet.  This week we also had a conference with President and Sister Tavares, which was amazing.  They are such amazing people, and I have learned so much, I love hearing them give talks.  Feeling the Spirit with more than 40 missionaries in one room is an amazing thing.

Time is already up, but thank you so much for everything. Hope you all had an amazing Easter, and that you have an amazing general conference.  Love you all!!!