I am pleased to announced that I have now passed through or served in, for at least a day, all the areas for sisters that exist in my mission. hahahahah I'M TAKING AFTER THE FOOTSTEPS OF MY TRAINER, SISTER KELLY, THAT HAD 9...IM ON MY SIXTH SO WE´'LL SEE :)
I'm loving my time and I love the sisters I take care of and I feel so close to the Spirit and the Lord. This week we went to Birigui, which is a city close to Araçatube, which was my very first area when I got to Brazil. It is SOOO hot there. haha I forgot how hot that side of the mission gets... Anyway I went on splits with Sister Andersen that was my companion in Ribeirão for one transfer and it was fun to relive funny moments and turn bright red together after walking in 120 degrees all day. It was pretty intense. I love that sister and love seeing how we all grow. Actually, that might be the thing I love the most about being a missionary: seeing the spiritual growth in myself and in other missionaries and especially in the people that we teach. I love looking back to the first days of meeting someone and evaluating some time after how that person or situation has changed because of lots of faith and prayer and fasting, and because miracles happen every day. I've seen that and can testify to that beautiful fact: that miracles are random but are daily blessings from our Heavenly Father. I continue to recieve daily miracles and hope that you all can recognize them and then be grateful for them. I love a bookmark that my wonderful, insightful mother sent me that talks about gratitude. It says:
Gratitude turns a meal into a feast and drudgery into delight. It softens our grief and heightens our pleasure. It turns the simple and common into the memorable and transcendent. It forges bonds of love and fosters loyalty and admiration. Living in thanksgiving daily is a habit that will enrich our lives and the lives of those we love. -Joseph B. Wirthlin
So Finados is a national holiday here which is basically "day of the dead" or memorial day in Brasil. We went to the cemetery as a huge group of missionaries and walked around talking about the Plan of Salvation and bearing our testimonies that life after death is not the end and that we will see all those that have passed onto to the other side. We will be united as forever families one day if we chose to live according to the commandments that our loving Heavenly Father has put in place for us.
I love the gospel and how simple it is. I love being able to share it in a language that is not my own but that I now and forever will hold near my heart. I love these people here and feel at least a little portion of the love that my Heavenly Father has for me and for them. I hope every day to convey that love in my words and in my actions and in my heart.
My new companion Sister Araújo is from Recife and she also speaks fluent English. She is actually really helping me a lot because I have forgotten a lot of English. haha I'll have to start studying English before I come home I think. It's so funny I tell people I'm from Colorado and they ask me what state that is in Brazil...and then I have to explain and then we all laugh. haha
This week I pondered the scripture in Mormon 9:21 that talks about relying on the Lord in our fervent prayers and that he ALWAYS answers us! It's a promise that he gives to all of His children as long as we are willing to act upon the answers that he sends us. God doesn't simply answer prayers because we ask in curiosity. He has to know that we will act upon the answers he sends us.
I love Brasil. I love my companion. I love my life and the knowledge and testimony I have of God's plan for me and my family and all those that choose to follow him.
This week I killed my companion....."killed" as in she completed her mission and today she flies home to Manaus, Amazons!!!!! I love her so much and I'll really miss her and all we learned together, and all the moments we almost peed in the road from laughing so hard. hahaha I hope that my last companion loves me and kills me kindly...
Anyway, I stayed in my area and I'm now companions with Sister Araújo who is from Recífe, Pernambuco! She is wonderful and I already love her a lot! Way excited for the transfer that will includes a lot of fasting and prayer to find new people to teach! It's SO HOT here and we often have to go home in the mid-afternoon to take a shower so our organs don't melt, :) but I'm lovin' it and can't complain! We do what we gotta do and go back out again!
I love the mission and I love all the friendships I'm able to build with people that I'm sure I met in the life before this one! It's crazy how we see and meet people that we somehow "already know". Love that!!
Shout out to my daddy who with be 48 this week!! Love you! Thank you for being my friend, father, protector, teacher, and much more.... I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Boa semana!!(good week)
Traveling to Ribeirão with my companion as she was dying....
Let me set up a scene for you:
We have to sleep completely wet because it's so hot at night that you have to take showers at least two times so you survive! Anyways, so its been over 100 degrees every single day this week and everyone keeps telling us that its just gonna get hotter.....I just ask for prayers. haha But it's funny because I started my mission in the hottest area that there is, and now I think I'll end in this area which happens to be the second hottest...God has a sense of humor I know it!
As part of a spiritual purification we (as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) make monthly fasts a priority so we are able to receive the specific blessings that comes from 24 hours of prayer and without any food or water. So as I was fasting this week I included in my fast that I could gain a testimony about the importance of fast offerings and giving the little money I have so that others have something to eat and drink. At the same time, I know the Lord will always provide a way for me to receive the nutrients I need to do the Lord´s work. As I ended my fast we literally were without food in our house and we decided to ask a brother in the ward if we could eat dinner with them because we were hungry. He called his wife and when we got there they had made all the food that they themselves had and we ate and ate and the food NEVER RAN OUT! This was just the first of many food miracles. When we got home another brother called us and asked if he could stop by becasue he had a suprise for us that he was sure would "make us very happy". When he got there we couldn't even lift the 6 pizzas and boxes of food that he helped carry up the stairs. I cried. I'm serious, I have never been more happy to see food!!!! Then 3 other separate families have called us in the past 24 hours inviting us to eat dinner on almost all the days this week!! (Here in Brasil lunch is the primary meal, so when we have dinner appointments its a miracle because lunch is the only meal we eat with members.) I LOVE THE LORD! THE CHURCH IS SO TRUE!!! The Lord takes really good care of his servants, and this week I gained a VERY strong testimony of why we dontate all that we have to the Lord--because he always blesses us with 100 times more than what we offer him.
Love you all the way from Brazilllllll!!
The night we didn't go to bed hungry because of this wonderful family
This week was my "hands of God" week as I spent A LOT of time doing somewhat physical labor for the Sisters that we take care of. As part of the calling that we have as Sister Trainers, we take care of 8 other sisters and go on splits with them in our areas and in theirs so that we can help them physically and spiritually and really in anything that they need.
Anyway so this week we had a mission wide leadership counsel meeting and as part of the responsibilities, President Brum informed us that four of the Sisters would be moving to a different apartment, and that he wanted us to help and then report back to him. We spent almost all of Saturday two of the sisters and us cleaning and organizing and putting in order a whole new apartment to get it ready for this next week. hahah The mission really prepares you for everything and then a little more! We successfully got the job done and am pleased to say that I now have experience moving people in and out of apartments without a car..... hahaha But it was fun! It was great to be able to get to know the other sisters and to listen to the same 8 songs that we have on the cell phone from EFY and Meet the Mormons :) Such a good movie by the way! Anyway so what came of all this is that it turns out that I have developed an aggressive allergy to cleaning products and my hands started peeling and cracking and bleeding. But don't worry I've already bought some medicine and they are healing. It really helped me to think though on Sunday as I took the sacrament and renewed the covenants I made at my baptism, because for a moment I looked at my hands and felt just a tiny part of the pain that the Savior must have felt when they nailed him to the cross and punctured his hands all the way through with thick nails. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and love when I stood and bore my testimony to the ward of the Love of our Savior and the love I have for His work. I know that any and all pain I feel is so very small compared to that that he bore and suffered alone. I love Him for the sacrifice He willingly bore for me so that I can return to the presence of my Heavenly Father someday with my Savior and family by my side. I know that my Savior loves me and testify of this great and marvelous work of which I am His hands and His feet and His love to the people here in Brasil.
As part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, every six months we have the privilege of hearing from the prophet and apostles of the church as they speak to all of God´s children here on the earth of His will and plan for us. God wants us to be eternally happy and that is why we have someone, a living prophet, Tomas S. Monson, who leads and guides us in our day. I truly have a testimony that we can not have true worship or religion without communication with God. God communicates to us through His servant as he says in Amos 3:7 and also through His sacred scriptures of which are the Bible and The Book of Mormon. We communicate to God through personal and sacred prayer and he responds to us through our studies and spiritual impressions in our heart and mind.
I loved what Elder Kim B Clark said (who was the president of BYU-I when I was studying there). He says that "we don't have to be perfect, we need to be good and getting better". I can truly say that I'm good and getting better on my journey to perfection. We have the church and all of us are on the same journey in the search of perfection and eternal life in the celestial presence of our Heavenly Father. I am just and ordinary person who is undergoing and extraordinary process. I love this divine work of being a missionary and proclaiming as with the voice of a trumpet that God is our Father. Jesus Christ is His son and our Savior and that proof of God´s love for us is The Book of Mormon. I know that God leads and guides through living prophets just as he did in days of old. If you don't know these things, communicate with God. We cannot gain spiritual knowledge without prayer. I love this work and promise that it changes lives for i see it everyday as I'm here in Brazil laboring in the Lords service.
love sis anderson
We slept in the other sisters house to watch general Conference in their chapel. it was only a little fun
Me and sister Annis swapped clothes and nametags :)
The one and only, my companion Sister Ferreirinha :) LOVE HER!
So when a missionary is on their last transfer the missionary that is their companion "kills" them on the mission as if they were dying or something. haha Anyway, Sister Ferriera is finishing in 4 weeks and it's pretty interesting having a companion that is so close to going home. I like it and I LOVE her but man does she love to talk about weddings and marriage, hahaha but I let her, the poor thing.
Our area here is AWESOME and the ward here is even better! The members call and ask when they can go and teach and if there is anything they can do for us. We normally have more food than we can eat in the house because they feed us so well. I will try my hardest not to get ridiculously fat here. We will see...hmmmmm
So I went on my first "splits" as a Sister Leader Trainer. Basically my responsibility is to travel to all the areas of the other cities close to mine and we switch companions for a day and work in the other areas helping them find new people to teach and with any difficulty or problem that the are personally having or with the members or with the language and stuff like that... Anyway, I went on my first division and I went with one of the sister we live with Sister Annis, who's from Ogden, Utah. SHE WAS MY FRIEND BEFORE THIS LIFE. I absolutely love her and we had a blast talking to everyone we saw and dancing and playing in the huge rainstorm that randomly happened. haha
My companion Sister Ferreira is from the Amazon and is like a legit Indian. :0 I love her a lot and she is crazy funny. We laugh so much! And we have even more spiritual experiences so I'm really happy and REALLY tired but its so worth it!
"Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved" President Monson
SOOOOOO...... One more transfer and I've hit my 1 year mark!!! I got transferred today to São José do Rio Preto which is like 4 hours from the mission office about halfway betweeen Araçatuba (my first area) and the mission office in Ribeirão Preto! I've been called to be a Sister Leader Trainer which is a Leader for all the Ssiters that live close-ish to me. haha My new companion Sister Ferreira and I are already really loving each other because she was companions to Sister Kelly after Kelly trained me when I first got to the mission. Sister Ferreira told me that her favorite companion was sister Kelly and it just so happens that she was my favorite too :)
Anyway, here it's like 115 degrees ALL THE TIME and I'm very hot!!! But, I a am really excited and ready to start this new transfer with my new comp. This is her last Transfer and that means I'll be "killing her" in missionary terms.
I'm preparing myself to hear all about weddings and dating and all that. haha I'm way excited and next week I'll give you an update on the ward and the area and the people we are teaching and the miracles that we are seeing!
Love you and I love my Savior!!
Our Favorite investigators Pamela and Anderson
Playing and packing with Sister Lima da Silva
I made brownies!!!
Ines our "Golden Investigator" that some day will join the church!
I'm approaching a year and found a poem that sums up how I felt and what I now understand about the atoning power of Christ in my life and the lives of others...I left it in Portuguese first because this language really touches me and speaks to my heart...
Antes eu achava que havia um buraco na expiação de Cristo- Que Ele podia salvar todos- exceto eu. Mas eu estava errada. Não há apenas um buraco, mas sete. Dois buracos em suas mãos pelos quais eles O pregaram A uma cruz em favor daqueles pelos quais Ele morreria para salvá-los. Dois buracos em seus punhos por meio dos quais eles garantiram que o peso de seu corpo não faria com que suas mãos se dilacerassem antes que sua pena estivesse cumprida. Dois buracos em seus pés sobre os quais Ele foi uma testemunha para todos do amor inabalável de Deus por todos os seus filhos. E um buraco em Seu lado pelo qual eles O transpassaram para provar que sua obra estava concluída. Sete. Perfeição. Sete perfeitos buracos. No único Homem perfeito da Terra. A Perfeita Expiação para reparar os buracos de nossa vida. Seus buracos nos tornam inteiros. Eu estava errada. Existe uma parte da Expiação de Cristo para mim afinal de contas...
I love my Savior and know that in the end, He will be my support and that there is room for me in his arms as I make room for him in my life. I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the miracles I receive daily at his loving hand...