Monday, September 30, 2013

To: Mom
So it's one more transfer day here in the mission.  And I´m staying here in Maringá with Sister De Moura. I'm really happy to be staying with Sister De Moura - she´s awesome and we work great together.  We really thought one of us would be transferred.  But there's only one thing I know about transfers - and that's that you never know what will happen.  But it's always the will of God.  Between Sister De Moura and I, we have 8 transfers here.  I was here for 4.  She arrived when I left and she passed two here.  And now we are on the 2nd together.  That's a lot of time for our area.  For example, we have a new investigator we were teaching this past week who remembered me from a time that I already passed in her house when she lived in a different area.  But I know we are here together to work and to help others come unto Christ by being baptized and receiving the blessings of the gospel. 

This was a great week.  We spent it running.  L. called us Tuesday night saying she wanted to talk.  Normally this isn't good.  And as her son had died recently and she was passing through a lot, we arrived Wednesday, with I admit a little dread.  But she shared an amazing story how she had truly received an answer from God that our message and this Church are true.  And now more then ever she wanted to be baptized (and she needed to get married before she could get baptized).  So we went to the city office the next day as early as we could to see what could happen.  Here you have to start a process of paperwork, etc. etc. and wait for 19 days for the authorization to marry, etc.  She was in the middle of this process when her son passed away and the date almost fell through.  But miraculously everything worked out.  I can officially say we helped plan a wedding in 2 days.  She and her husband were married Saturday and were baptized the same night.  Sunday they were confirmed.  They were married in the church and the Bishop performed the service.  We truly were so grateful for the help of the Lord and all of the missionaries and members who helped.  Clothes, money, and everything that worked out.  It was such an amazing experience and I am so excited for this family.  They truly deserve all of the blessings that come from their obedience. 

Yesterday, in Gospel Principles I was elected (of the sisters) to give the class.  Haha and the topic was eternal marriage.  But it was fun and a good class.  I was able to see C. give a talk also.  There´s nothing better then to see those who you have taught and baptized progress in the gospel.  People can change. The gospel - the atonement of Christ enables us to change and to make our lives better.  I am so grateful for this.  I know the only way we can live with God and with our families forever is through being baptized by someone authorized of God and living worthy until the end.

Love you all, have a great week!!


I know you're dying for information, hope I helped kill this hunger a little bit today :)
I'm sending three photos from the wedding/baptism and  a photo of our district.

LOVE YOU Mamãe!!!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I finally received letters this week from Sister Laura Bullen!!

August 26th

I don't think I've written for a few weeks now.  Sorry, with transfers and crazy P-days I didn't have much time.

That's crazy how the Elders got their miles cut.  Leaders/secretaries have been looking at the additional money missionaries receive here too.  We've been walking a ton here in Maringa!  Our area is huge, but the bus is expensive.  So sometimes we're walking an hour just to arrive for lunch.  But we don't mind the extra walking.  I hope the Elders have a lot of help from the Brothers.  Relying on the members could be a blessing for the work or really difficult.

That's really neat that Skip and Olga Cook are Temple President and Matron.  Did they sell their home?  That'll be really neat for them.  It'll be nice to see them when we visit the temple.  I'm so grateful for all that you and Dad have done to make the temple part of our lives.  For the sacrifices you've made to go and to always return.  I know that it's the place more Holy and sacred here on the Earth.

Sorry this letter will be short - we're heading out to buy food for lunch.


Sister Bullen

September 9th

Sounds like you had a good birthday.  I certainly remembered you and hope you felt the love that I have for you.

I love getting your letters and emails, thank you!  I (and the Sisters, too) all think it's funny how much you know, because of Facebook.  I didn't even know what Elders (or even a specific date yet for when I will return home.  But several of the Elders you mentioned are Zone Leaders and one is the Assistant to the President.  I know that I will be the only sister leaving on the transfer when I will return home.

That's cool that you might be able to go to the temple and hope you all enjoy it.  It's something that I miss.

This week we were talking with a man at his door when his friend came up and he was/is a member, but less active.  It's been a long time since he was active and I don't think he has much desire to return.  But several times in the street, or knocking on doors, etc. we've encountered less-actives and many times it's surprising how much people can forget about the Gospel and doctrine.

But I truly know it's really hard for less actives to return to Church.  People worry about clothes, about who will sit with, who will talk to them, or maybe what people will think.  But I also know that sometimes this happens with people who are active, too.  Every member needs a friend and a purpose in church.  Satan truly knows how to keep people from returning to church.  If we remember that each of us has a great part to do in the Gospel and to bless the lives of others.  When we met this man in the street he started to express how he doesn't even know if God lives or how much he means to him.  I could bear my testimony for him, that I know each person has a great value in the eyes of God.  We are his children and he loves us.  I know the Gospel is true, that we truly have the Church of Christ here on the earth.  I know that we have a living Prophet.  I know that God gives us the forces we need to do his will.  I am so grateful for the mission and for all that I have learned and will still learn.  I love you all!

Sister Laura Bullen

Monday, September 23, 2013

To: Mom
This was another crazy week for us.  One of our investigators who has been progressing, her son past away.  Her two sons were baptized about a year ago.  And she´s been progressing with her boyfriend so that they could both get married and after, baptized.  But he dissapeared Sunday morning and they found his body Monday afternoon.  So Tuesday sister De Moura and I went to the funeral and we spent Monday night with the family too.  The family received several visits from the ward which was really nice to see the support they received.  It´s been really tough for her, and really sad.  But I´ve really seen how having a testimony of the plan of salvation makes all of the difference.  You can know that while we are separated for a time, they are going to a better place.  And that if we all do our part, live the gospel, then some day our families can be together forever. 
This week we also went to Londrina to do companion exchanges with the 4 sisters in Ibiporâ (my second area).  It was really good to work with them and to help them with some of the difficulties that they have.  I really learn in divisions that it doesn't matter what area, etc. We can be happy, work hard, receive blessings, and do the work of the lord. 
Yesterday, in gospel principles the lesson was about family responsibilities and we talked about examples from our parents, etc.  How blessed I am to have an amazing mom and dad. 
Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Mom, I'm sending photos to make up for last weeks lack of very much email (and because I'm sending photos it took some time away from writing....) 
but there are two photos from our last leadership meeting and one that I thought was funny, when we were using a pay phone. 
love you!!!!!!!!!
PS- a foto is worth a 1000 words :)

Sister Bullen and Sister De Moura.
Add caption

At the last leadership meeting.

Sister Bullen using a payphone

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sister Bulo: Mom
Sorry this email won´t be tooo long.  We left a little late leaving the house and we´re catching a bus to go to Londrina today about 6 pm to do companion exchanges the next two days with the sisters there.  So our time got cut a little short today. 
But this week was good for us.  We were able to go on exchanges this week too and I went with Sister Edwards one day who´s brand new with four weeks in the field.  The other day i went with Sister Gee who is only one transfer behind me.  I love divisions because you truly can learn with each sister and we always have great experiences. 
I really know that we can be happy and see the blessings in each part of life or wherever we are.  I know that God loves us and guides us. 
Love you all and hope you have a great week!
PS- i know i know mom, i promise you a long letter next week 
love you!!!

As you see, Sister Bullen's email is extremely short.  I would complain a little if it wasn't that I also received a copy of the email she received giving her return home itinerary.  She arrives home November 14th.  Yippee!!  

Monday, September 9, 2013

(Just some random photos from her mission.)

10:42 AM
To: Mom
Happy Birthday!!!!  I hope you had a great day yesterday and hope you know and felt that I love you so much!!!!   I know you are the best mom and the mom that i need in my life.  That you were prepared for me!  Thank you for all that you do.  KNow that i love you!!!!

It was another good week here in Maringá.  It's starting to get hotter and we´re arriving at summer time (true summer time). 
We had a really good meeting with Pres and Sister Genaro.  We talked about some of our needs of each zone and how we can improve, etc and was really inspirational.  It was raining the morning of the mtg haha so a couple of the sisters were brave (or desperate) enough to call S. Genaro to ask for a ride to arrive in the chapel.  6 sisters who straightened their hair.  haha but she loves us and we got to ride with her.  I don´t think this happens too many times for Elders. 
But this week we were able to have a meeting with the sisters here in our zone before our zone meeting to animate and talk with them for a few minutes.  It was really neat.  We have the zone with the most sisters. Here in Maringá we have 8 sisters and at least 10 elders.  But we were able to talk about what brings us joy in the mission and the blessings and influence we have as sisters. 

This week we talked a lot about the importance of the Book of Mormon in teaching.  How we have a promise that God will give us an answer that the Book of Mormon is true or not through prayer.  How this answer can be so simple and so strong  because reading the Book of Mormon you are reading the words of God, etc and this testifies in our hearts.  I know the Book of Mormon was written by the prophets who lived here and I'm so grateful for this!  that we can be led and guided and have a proof that god loves us. 
This week we also talked about rejection and how some things that we pass we can get comfort through the Atonement of Christ. That he suffered through everything and we can get comfort and forces through the power of the atonement.  That we can give everyone a fair change to accept or reject the message of the Restoration. 

One of the nights we were teaching one of the couples who is trying to marry and it was a really neat experience to teach and to testify about eternal marriage and how a marriage will be more successful when the principles of the gospel are lived, taught, and practiced.  Family prayer, scripture study, fhe, tithing, love, respect, etc.  These are all essential and that the home really is attacked by the world because it is the unit more sacred. 

But I hope your all doing great and hope you have a great week!

love you!

ps-  No, I'm not planning on extending my mission. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

To: Mom

It was another really good week here in Maringá.  It´s still ´springtime´ but we´re having some really nice sun (followed by a day of colder air and rain). 

Yesterday was really special because it was testimony meeting and I got to see C. bear his testimony.  It's amazing to see the fruits that come from missionary work.  Seeing someone's life change through the atonement of Christ and receive the joy that comes from living the Gospel is truly the best thing.
I also got to see two of our investigators in church yesterday.  They´re a couple who had their 2 sons baptized by sisters who passed here before me and we taught them for time and a whole bunch of other sisters too.  But they´re an amazing couple and he finally got the paperwork ready so that they can get married and then baptized.  It's been really special to see people and to encounter this area again. 

We participated in two divisions this week with two of the sister companionships.  I love getting to do divisions, I always feel that I can learn so much and I know that the learning process never ends.  We truly learn line upon line in the Gospel.  I know that we can make such a difference for someone through our actions. I love seeing how the Gospel is the same for each of us.  But the message of the Restoration adapts and moves each time we teach.  That the Spirit truly gives you the words and promptings. 

We had a really neat family home evening with a couple this week and their son who is a member.  We read some of a talk from Elder Godoy on Families and how they can be eternal.  I know that FHE truly makes a huge difference in the spirit that stays in the home.  That family prayer and scripture study help us stay in the straight and narrow path.  Paying tithing and serving in the church leave a lasting impact on the blessings that come to our family.  I know that obedience is essential for our salvation and is connected to faith.  That we don´t have to always understand, but trust in God that he knows how to lead and guide us. That God calls prophets in every dispensation to lead us. 

Today, we´re catching the bus to go to Londrina for our meeting.  I´m excited to feel the Spirit that is always so strong.  I´m so grateful for our Mission President and his wife for their service and their testimonies. 

I´m so grateful for the joys that come through the little things each day.  That the search for new people and investigators is never easy, but always worth it.  That every person has a divine right to use and exercise their free agency.  I know that God loves us and has a divine role for each of us. 

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