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

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