Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A few notes from several letters received from Sister Bullen today:

Sisters Huinao and Bullen were talking to a person who was having a really hard time with some problems in his/her life.  A great person who has really made changes in life.  Like Preach My Gospel teaches, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost doesn't get rid of temptations.  It reminds me of Alma 36 where Alma the Younger talks about his conversion.  We all make mistakes, we all sin.  These sins create feelings of guilt and shame that can only be fixed or redeemed through repentance and forgiveness.  Our sins and short comings can be completely washed away through the Atonement of Christ.  But we have to be humble, demonstrate our faith and trust in God.  Our Savior always knows how we are feeling and what we have passed through.  Because he suffered through lower than us all.

I know that Christ lives.  That He is my Redeemer.  I know that our families can be together forever.  I know that peace and joy come from living the Gospel.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true.  I know that God hears my prayers.  I know that people - our friends, neighbors - need us to share our testimonies with them.  That the Gospel and the ordinances are the only way to gain salvation.

You already know by my email that this week was a little harder for me physically.  After the blessing I really was healed and we worked hard the following days.  Sunday I spent a little time in the house because my head was splitting, but I've gotten better.  I'm doing great now.  Nothing makes you miss Mom more than to be sick.  :(

It's freezing outside!  It's about 40 degrees and we get all bundled up to walk outside.

Today I'm planning to go with Sister Huinao to get our hair cut.  I've been wanting to trim my hair for ages.  But when you only have Monday to do so and so many other good things to do too...  So we'll see if we succeed in our plan.

Ha!  I laughed that you said Elders try to dry socks in the microwave.   From what I've seen of other Sisters, we're a little bit smarter, but more dangerous.  I've NEVER done it, but seen other Sisters leave clothes on the back part of the fridge where heat leaves.  Or here in Campo Mourao it's cold enough that we have an electric heater (that doesn't work too well) that Sisters leave clothes on too.  (They also don't see problems with leaving them plugged in when we leave the house for a quick errand.  But I do my part to protest (haha "my Dad taught me better") but it hasn't been a problem much.

Sister Huinao and I had a good week and I have been having a lot of fun and working really hard.  We think, talk, laugh, cry and invite people for baptism.  So it's going good for us.  We're in the search for people who are prepared and waiting for our message.

We had some neat experiences this week, making contacts in the streets with people and testifying of the truthfulness of the Gospel.  I respect people when they don't have interest or don't want anything.  But I'm going to do my part to clearly testify.  Because I know it's the only way to gain salvation.  Like Nephi said, "I have spoken plainly that ye cannot err"  (2 Nephi 25:20).  I know the Book of Mormon is true and that it has the Plan of Salvation.  It blesses us with the Spirit and the forces that we need.

I love you,

Monday, August 26, 2013

To: Mom
Congrats to Brian and Kaycee he´s a handsome little boy!!  That´s really neat and hope Kaycee and Elias are doing great.
This transfer was crazy.  We had 9 (NINE) sisters who arrived.  I´m still working as a sister trainer leader. My companion is Sister De Moura and she has almost 1 year in the mission.  She´s great and we´re really enjoying working together.  I returned to Maringá in the same ward and in the same area.  So its been really neat to see some of our recent converts and some of the members here.  We´re loaded up with divisions every week to help the sisters here.  We have 6 sisters here in Maringá and 4 in Ibiporâ (my 2nd area close to Londrina) that we will be going on divisions with.  Because so many new sisters arrived we have some sisters that are still kind of new training or that turned seniors.  But we´re all really excited and doing great.
I´ve been encountering people that I remember, houses that I´ve already knocked and I´ve been in the houses of the members here more then the sisters that are here.  haha so it's been a really interesting week and we´re enjoying the week.  In church I was able to see Claudecir who was ordained as a priest.
This week as we were teaching a family we were talking about praying and searching for answers.  How a desire sincere really is important.  If you are comfortable and happy in your house you certainly won´t go looking for a new one.
I love the little things that bring happiness in the mission.  The sun.  Water.  Sun block.  Visitors and investigators at church.  And being able to give every person an opportunity to accept or reject the message of the Restoration.  I am so grateful for the mission and for everything that I have gained being able to testify that we have the same church of Christ that existed on the Earth when Christ ministered here.   I know that this church is the church of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it is the word of God.  I know we have a prophet who is called of God.  I know that our families can be together forever- but only when we do our part first to follow the example of Christ.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

To: Mom

Transfers have arrived.  And I'm being transfered... to Maringá. ha  Where I already passed 4 transfers.  I'm excited to return, but I´ll really miss Campo Mourão - its a great area.  I´ll be companions with Sister de Moura who I know a little bit, but only from our monthly meetings. 

This week we started teaching S. - who is the mom of one of the brothers in our branch.  She´s 68 and has diabetes, so her sight is kind of bad and she stays in a wheelchair most of the time.  She moved this past week  and is now living with her son and his wife.  She is amazing.  She marked her baptismal date for this Sunday the 25.  I'm really sad I won´t be here to see it.  But I know the most important thing is that she has received an answer and that she will receive the greatest blessings through this choice.  That now, she will be able to be with her family forever.  She´s so sweet and I really enjoyed getting to know her and see her progress. 

This week I also really had some neat experiences with the other sisters here.  They have been accompanying a family who was baptized yesterday.  We went on divisions with them several times to help and to teach her.  I was able to go on splits with Sister Butler on the morning we were able to mark her baptismal date firm and get her signature for her 2 children to be baptized too.  We had a really great lesson and the Spirit was really strong.  She baptized yesterday in really cold water (the water heater wasn't working..) but it was really neat.  :)

This week we also had a few little moments to see how sometimes someone does a little act of service for another person and they think it doesn´t matter, but it really makes a big difference.  For example, the day I went on splits with Sister Butler - Sister Hartvigsen was sick in house with Sister Huinao.  So it was just us two at lunch.  When we had left we didn´t think it was too cold...  So at lunch the sister let us borrow sweatshirts.  And she was right - we passed some pretty cold weather that afternoon/evening.  But it was really sweet and I'm grateful for the people who do small acts of service - they make a difference!

But this week was really good. Hope you all had a great one too. Love you!

Monday, August 12, 2013

To: Mom

Sorry this email home probably won´t be terribly long.  I had to send some attachments, etc for the mission office and it took a little extra time. 

But we had another great week.  Yesterday we had the baptism of J. He was a miracle who fell into our lives this past week.  He really developed a testimony and had a strong desire to follow the answer that he received.  F. has been progressing so much, and he has been so fun to teach and see progress.  Yesterday, M. gave her first talk (she was only baptized 2 months ago!).  It was so neat and so special to hear her give a talk.  The gospel truly changes lives and it's been so neat to see her grow and change through the Gospel and the atonement of Christ. 

This week we had our leadership meeting in Londrina.  Which was really powerful and inspiring.   I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow and the new things that we are learning with Pres. and Sister Genaro. 

We were supposed to catch the bus to go back to Campo Mourao the day after.  But Pres. and Sister Genaro gave us 2 and the 2 sisters from Maringá a ride. They were going to Maringá for interviews with the missionaries there and then Sister Genaro needed to see our house.  So we got to cut the hours down on the bus ride and get to know them a little better.  It was really neat and they are both really funny. 
Our branch is preparing for a temple trip in October and it was really neat to hear a short talk from one of the counselhors who talked about preparation and sacrifices.  It was really neat.  The temple here is about like Anchorage for us.  About 7 or 8 hours of driving.  But often times represents a larger sacrifice for the people here.  I am so grateful for the testimony my parents helped me develop from when I was young and could see the sacrifices they made and the love they have for the temple.  I know that it is worth the sacrifices we make to go there.  That it can enrich all of the aspects of our livee. 

Our internet library is closing... But I love you all and hope you have a great week!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

To: Mom
It´s good to hear you all had a good trip in Washington and made it home good.  Happy Birthday to Erik! hope it was a good one for him.  I forgot to tell you in the last emails, but I sent home a package about 2 weeks ago. But it´s not too exciting.  It has some things of mine that I wanted to send home and i included some juices and a few other things.
But this week was really good.  Yesterday was the baptism of F.  The sweetest old man I know.  He´s a little deaf, so teaching him the past few weeks was sometimes really interesting.  But it was really endearing and sweet.  Most of his children and some of his granchildren are members, but he was never interested. But we started to teach him, he went to church, then he quit coffee, then he committed to baptism this week.  We had some really special moments with him and his family this week.   One of the sweetest moments, was when we were in the church when the elders came for the interview.   Elder Jensen (our district leader) was saying how it would be an interview to see if he was ready, etc.  And Francisco replied, Yes, I´m ready.. AHHHH it was so sweet.  We were so happy for him and it's really been so special to get to know him.  His son, who´s about 16, was able to baptize him and it was a really special baptism.
In our meeting with our leader of the missionary work in the branch he was sharing a message with us from the scripture in Matthew 5 about the salt of the earth.   He was talking about how we can be the salt of the earth.   He talked about how if its not good, don´t say it.  If it's not good don´t do it, and if it´s not good, don´t think it.  It was a really neat message that he gave that we thought about a lot this week as we worked and taught.  That if you want to do or say or think something, if it´s not something that will benefit or help someone, just don´t do it!
We met some really neat couples/families this week.  That helped testify of the importance of the Gospel in our homes and in our lives.  One of the people we met this week was talking about some of the difficulties in their marriage.  But we could testify for him, that when Christ is the center of the home, when gospel principles are taught in the home, and when we serve and love one another, our relationships can be saved and strenghthened.   Maybe we are young and single and don´t really know anything about raising children or being married.  We do know that Christ has taught through the scriptures and through modern revelations that the home is a happier place when all work together to help one another learn.  That service of small and simple things make a big difference.  Repentance and forgiveness needs to be given and received.  But we had some really neat moments trying to accompany and teach some families.
Today (right after the internet) S. Huinao and I are going to catch the bus that will bring us to Londrina for our monthly meeting there. But our meetings are always really neat and it´ll be nice to have the teachings and talks from President and Sister Genaro and some of the elders.
love you all! have a great week!