Wednesday, March 11, 2015

comida NUNCA falha

March 10, 2015

Here in Irajá it blows my mind how filthy rich the members are. Everyone lives in these huge gated neighborhoods in grand mansions and then the other half of the ward lives in poverty pretty much.

We always have a lot more success as missionaries with the people who have little or nothing wordly wise but are rich in spirit. Just this last week we found about a dozen new people to teach!  It's hard to get baptisms in this area though because in order to be baptized the people have to be actively going to church and everyone works really hard just to live, and don't make time on Sundays to go to church. BUT we had a miracle this week as we called for members to pick up investigators. Only one, Vera, showed up but she loved it! What's really special as a missionary is when you see people you've grown to love progressing spiritually.  Its almost like you can literally see the spiritual growth in a person as they take all the lessons and share their testimonies not only with you but with their family and neighbors and all the stray dogs and the bus drivers... :) That's the best part of being a missionary: the people. People are so wonderful and different and special and valued by our Father in Heaven. As we teach people who have little to nothing in worldly possessions and people who are wealthy beyond belief, we still get to come to know beloved sons and daughters of God who are willing to humble themselves to repentance. More than a few times this week I felt prompted to share Words of Mormon 1:7, that says that only the Lord knows all that will happen and the necessity to put our faith in our Father and in our Savior and then to ACT on that faith!

I'm really happy with my new companion Sister Andersen and we have a lot of fun introducing ourselves to people here and explaining that we are not sisters nor in any way related! hahaha

Missions are hard but for all the hard times we see daily miracles and we still get to laugh and enjoy the everyday little beauties that the Lord constantly blesses us with!

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com Amor

Sis Anderson

Food for our 1st district meeting here in Ribeirão Preto!! Sister Soares

Ward baptism :)

This cool Greek looking house in the middle of normal houses haha


March 3, 2015

So after 3 transfers in the end of the world where it is SO unbelievably hot, I got transferred to Ribeirão Preto :)  I'm excited for a new area and companion because guess what, her name is Sister AndersEn. hahahaha  She is an American that just finished her training so I'm the senior companion....with 5 months..... BUT I'm really excited because if the Lord knows I can do it then I can do it!! I actually am progressing really really well with the language, but that's partly because I dedicate at least AN HOUR AND A HALF EVERY DAY TO STUDY.  WHEN WE DO OUR TINY LITTLE PART AND SHOW THE LORD WE HAVE FAITH, HE MAKES UP THE REST! I see so many miracles every single day (and so many things that i never wanted to see too haha).

Thought I'd share some things I love about Araçatuba now that I'm gone. sad.

  • The amazing members that gave us wonderful (fattening) lunch every single day
  • The surplus of ice cream parlors 
  • The people in the same spots on the same streets doing the same things every single day that we stop and talk to and care about because they're sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father too!
  • Sister Sperry, Sister Young, Sister Kelly.....LOVE THEM
  • The chapel. It's the house of the Lord first of all and also I love that no matter where you are you can recognize a Mormon church!
  • Walking for hours and hours up hills both ways in the rain and sun AT THE SAME TIME. :)
  • My sweet sandal tan
  • Mostly I'll miss our investigators though and the every single less active that we visited....this work is driven with love and its a good thing that I love to love and I love to learn to love too... LOVE LOVE LOVE its all about love in this world. Love for the blessings and the trials. Love for the people that show us love and the people that don't. Love for our Savior and our Heavenly Father even when we feel far from them.
  • Love.

I'm in Irajá with Sister Andersen now, and our area is a bunch of mansions and really rich people so this will be a little different for sure!!! I'm excited!

Sister Anderson

Sister Young going home :(

Bishop in Araçatuba

Oi Família!

February 23, 2015

So its the last week of this transfer and there is the possibility that I stay here at the end of the world close to the hot place where Satan lives OR that I'll be transferred. We'll see! I already have 3 transfers here so anything is possible.

Last week in our district meeting and then again today we had a training that talked about "What are our Dreams?" that we have to set more than specific goals but actually have dreams for our lives (and right now for our missions).  We talked about the "Why" behind the dreams, that if there isn't a motive for the dream why would you ever complete it? And then the "How". The How really is the most important. God expects us to use our free agency and make our plans and then show them to him. We show God our plans and dreams through our actions and most importantly through our daily and divine communication: prayer. On of my mission dreams that I'll share is to find, teach, baptize, and then accompany to the temple to make the highest covenants with our Heavenly Father. I delight in seeing miracles and change and the hand of God actively working in the life of someone who before, barely had a seed of faith. But to achieve this goal I HAVE TO talk with as many people that I can! I only have 5 months on the mission and while I speak really well for people to understand me I still struggle with the fear that they won't and that because of my inability to communicate they wont receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in there lives. But as I've been praying and reading and studying and trying I've learned that the only thing that will make the fear go away is my confidence in my savior and Heavenly Father. Elder Bednar (a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) said once in a talk he gave that if we do what we have always done we will have what we always had. That really made me think, because I don't want to settle just for what i have right now, I want to get the closest I possibly can to becoming perfect like my Savior.

This week we had a farewell of young man that will leave to serve in the very south part of Brazil. (people say it snows there but i think its impossible to have snow in Brazil) haha  We had lunch with his family and it was so neat to see and here some of his goals and dreams for his mission and how much his parents love and support his decision and yet don't what 2 years apart will be like. Made me think about my family. How much I love you guys and how happy it makes me knowing that I will be with you forever in this life and into the eternities; that families are forever.

One of my favorite young women here in the Santana ward turned 13 this week and instead of going out with friends on her birthday she told us that she wanted to come with us and awesome is that! 13 years old and shes already preparing herself to serve a mission. We always joke about how she'll be called to Colorado and that one day shell knock on my door (hahah), that would be too cool!!!

Well.....I'm tired but I'm so very happy and I'm working hard. Only one request: PRAY. Pray for me and my companion and the mission and for you too. Everyone needs the strength that comes from prayer.

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Sis Anderson

JuJu Birthday Girl!

taking pictures because we were waiting for Noah and his arc...