Sunday, July 21, 2013

Last MTC email


Last MTC p-day! These last few days have been wonderful. Wednesday was very special .I was able to host new incoming missionaries. I helped them get settled and feel welcome here in the MTC, so much fun. As you watch missionary after missionary say goodbye to their family I couldn't help but think two things. 1) It is incredible that so many families are willing to make such huge sacrifices 2) I love my family so much and am grateful for their sacrifices. After I finished hosting, I was standing outside my classroom door and a new group of elders walked by. I turned and said "welcome elders!" Only to see that I was saying welcome to my Cousin Christopher!! His classroom is across from mine and he seems to be doing so well. I checked on his district last night and answered questions they had. He looks great! Then Wednesday evening (same day) my brother Nathan came to the cafeteria for dinner. He teaches at the MTC and I asked permission to eat dinner with him before I left :) It was so wonderful! My district got to meet him and it was so nice to see someone I care so much about! I love him so much :) I felt ready to head off to Brazil after saying goodbye and can't wait to see my family again. 

Thursday was a long day of in-field orientation and Friday was lots of class and final lessons. As I took a little time to reflex the MTC experience, I can't help, but feel a little proud of myself. Not in a prideful way, more of a "wow I have been so blessed and have grown so much." I really do feel God's hand in my life and that the Lord would accept my progress thus far. I have grown a lot, but have a lot more to do and learn. I will and need to work even harder in Brazil and give even more of myself to the Lord. My faith is being strengthened and I am so grateful to be going to Brazil. Overwhelmed is the best way to describe it. Excited and humbled as well. I know the Lord will guide me and I am so grateful for the time I have had here in the MTC. The MTC is a place of miracles and large amounts of growth and also change of heart. It is here the Lord starts His molding process, so that His work is done His way in His timing. When it comes to missionaries... His timing is fast. I can do this! "I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me (Philippians 4:13)" One day at a time. Hand-in-hand with my Savior.  

May God bless each of you!  

Love always,

Sister Haley Sender 

PS: Next post- I will be in Brazil! Amazon here I come :) (first time outside of the USA)


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Here she comes....



I believe in Miracles. This week has been a week full of them! I have been teaching four different people and each is going through completely different things. I wanted to share two experiences.  

1) Flavia.... She is the toughest person I have ever taught! She struggles with the need for religion or if there is even a God. After teaching her many lessons and feeling a bit discouraged I started to pray even more. My companions and I couldn’t figure out what to teach her! So then one morning we had a simple lesson plan and knocked on her door. She opened and just smiled. We talked to her and answered tons of questions and then a miracle happened. She paused and said Deus e nossas amorzo pai celestal. Deus e bom. Deus nao esta mal. She continued to express her new found knowledge of God being our loving Heavenly Father and that He is there! The change in heart that occurred in Flavia was incredible! I could physically see it and feel it. At the end of our lesson, I asked her if she would pray. She was nervous, but after some confidence boosts, she offered the most simple fervent prayer. I felt the love of God and felt so much love for Flavia I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest! I believe in Miracles!  

2) We have been teaching these two friends Bobby and Earnesto. As we taught about the importance of The Book of Mormon, and that it is another testament of Jesus Christ, they were very interested. We ended up teaching the restoration and told the amazing story of the prophet Joseph Smith. I had the blessing of describing the first vision to them. As I said the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith's experience i was so overwhelmed. I said the whole thing in Portuguese, but wasn't thinking about the Portuguese. I was thinking about the message and the two wonderful young men in front of me. I looked into Bobby's eyes to see tearing streaming down his face, and couldn't help but let them roll down mine to. I know that the first vision occurred and that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. I have felt it in my heart and Know it to be true. and now, Bobby felt it too. I believe in Miracles! 

I am feeling quite overwhelmed as I am writing this letter and have so much more to say, but I just have one more miracle to talk about. It is my last week in the MTC and the time really needs to slow down. As many of you know, getting a visa to go to Brazil is extremely difficult. Here in the MTC about 2/50 missionaries going to Brazil get their visas before they leave the MTC. So we get temporarily assigned in the USA and wait for our visas to come. Re-assignments usually come on Thursdays or Fridays during your last week. We open them one by one as a district and everyone receives a new inspired call. So here is the start to my next adventure as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.... I believe in Miracles. 

Yesterday morning my companions and I were working on "TALL" (a computer language learning software) and I was learning new words. Out of no where I was rolling my "r's" perfectly and speaking felt natural rather than foreign I thought wow that is so cool! What a blessing ;) I then continued on working and practicing. My companions were laughing as I was finding words with "r" that roll. Then we worked on planning and walking to a table to start personal study. As we were walking I here shouting.. I turn around to see my favorite two sisters (Sister Blair and Bennion) jumping/running/waving their arms around. They were shouting my name. ( I honestly thought my skirt was tucked in funny or something....that would be embarrassing!) But then I heard "your name was called" I was thinking called for what? Then I heard "travel office". My heart dropped and I felt the tears swell up in my eyes. I think we about ran to the travel office! I told the lady at the desk my name and they handed my a stapled packet of papers. I asked "Is it a visa" she replied "yes it is a visa". I screamed and hugged Sister Blair and my companions. Then the tears rolled a little... My visa came!!!!!!! Mine out of our zone of over 100 people! I was one of five people to get their visas this week. It is an absolute miracle! I was and still am at loss for words. I feel overwhelmed, excited, and terrified, but know that God has a plan for me in Brazil. Ahhhhh, I will be there a week from right now! Thank you for all of the prayers on my behalf and for the love I feel from each of you. i know this miracle wouldn't be possible without your thoughts and prayers.  

i know that this mission is what The Lord had planned for me at this time in my life. I know that Jesus Christ is our savior and that He knows each of us individually. He knows us each by name and loves us unconditionally. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is real and changes lives, because IT HAS CHANGED MINE. I love all of you and think and pray for you often.  

God bless each of you! 

Love always, 

Sister Haley Sender

Ola! Como v-ao?


Ola! Como v~ao?

Este semana esteve muito bom! I can't believe I have been on a mission for an entire month and will be on an airplane in two short weeks. I am determined that my visa will come! I just have to show faith that it will :) A sister in another district got hers last night, so there is hope.

This week went by so fast that it is difficult to even remember what happened, so I will try my best. Tuesday night we had a devotional in the Marriott center (every Tuesday night there is a devotional in the Marriott center). I sang in the choir which was so fabulous! Brother Richardson of the General Sunday School spoke to us. It was incredible! Lots of his comments stood out to me and I was just soaking everything in. One thing he said was "Your mission should be the best 1.5 years FOR your life, not of your life. Your mission will become a part of you." I want to be the best missionary that I can possibly be. The Lord needs to be able to work through me to bless the people of Brazil. I need to work to be ready and worthy of the call to serve. Everyday, improvement happens. It is a journey and takes work, but as I try my hardest, I know the Lord will accept my best efforts.

On Thursday for the 4th of July we had a special event with music and a speaker. Then we watched "17 miracles" and then had ice cream bars while watching the BYU football stadium fireworks from inside the MTC. It was my 1st Independence Day without family, but it was still a special memory. I stood with my companions and others I have grown to love, and just soaked in the moment. It was wonderful.

Another amazing tender mercy happened during church. I have always struggled to roll my "r's" when I speak Spanish or Portuguese. I just can't do it! I started praying for help to just accomplish the simple task of rolling my "r's". During the first hymn, we were singing in Portuguese and I felt something different going on with my tongue..... Whenever a word had an "r" in it, my tongue would kind of move differently. I was rolling my "r's"!!! No, I am still not perfect at it, but that small moment was progress. I know and testify that what matters to us MATTERS TO GOD. Regardless of how small.

Lastly, on the first Sunday of every month we have a special meeting during the 1st hour of church. It is called testimony meeting. it is a time where members of the congregation can share their testimonies (beliefs) with their fellow friends and loved ones in the congregation. This Sunday, I shared my testimony in Portuguese. The Spirit was incredible! It was simple, but what I felt was powerful. I wasn't nervous and the words just came. I took a step of Faith and shared the thoughts of my heart in a foreign language to me and to everyone in their room. I felt overwhelmed with love and with peace. I know that I wasn't standing alone.

I have faith in this work and know it is true! I am excited to share and want to run around shouting "IT'S TRUE! IT'S REALLY TRUE!"

God be with you all! Till we meet again :)

Love Always,

Sister Haley Sender

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

MTC Pictures


From:Haley Sender (
Sent:Tue 7/02/13 2:35 PM
To: Joan Sender (
Boa Tarde! Como Voce esta?
This week flew by! I feel like I just wrote yesterday, yet so much has happened that I want to share. I have narrowed it down to two experiences...
1) Each week we do TRC (Teaching Resource Center) where we knock on a random door and teach a principle in Portuguese to a volunteer who is a member of the LDS faith. We taught an older gentleman about the power of prayer in our lives. We taught about the prophet Enos and His faith to overcome personal hardship through praying to our Father in Heaven. We explained that we too can converse with God and feel of His love and guidance in our lives. We committed him to having stronger family prayer. After teaching and testifying in simple Portuguese, he offered the most beautiful prayer. He spoke in complete Portuguese, but I felt and understood every word of the Prayer. I honestly thought he was praying in English! He blessed each of us sisters, he prayed for the missionaries around the world, for our families, our visas to come, and for us to feel peace. I was in tears by the end of his prayer. Not necessarily because of his words, but because I could feel the love and prayers from every person around world praying for my success. The Lord is mindful of us. I can testify of that with all of my heart.
2) As we are learning and practicing we often times role play to practice what we want to express while teaching people. I never understood how incredible role playing can be! We have been teaching a woman named Flavia and she doesn't believe in God or see purpose in religion. She had asked us why God gives us challenges and hard times. As we role played our response, we started teaching about how God gives us challenges so we can grow and progress so that one day we can return to live with God again. We talkd about how through faithful prayer wecan overcome any challenge. She asked "So God won't help me if I don't have faith?" (she was upset) I thought of course He will help you! Then I just started speaking in Portuguese. I was thinking in English and it came out in complete Portuguese. "The Lord can help you by sending people like us into your life. He loves you and now we love you and are here to help you, but most importantly, we want to help you." The calm burning warmth of the Spirit filled my heart and my companions hearts. We stopped the role play and sat in silence until one of them said, "Do you feel that?" I know that through faith and trust in God miracle can happen. I have been studying Portuguese for three weeks and can speak from the heart. I know without a doubt I am not doing this alone. The Lord is working with me. I know He can work with and bless each of you as well if you just turn to Him and ask for help.
Ao orarmos diariamente, Deus nos abençoara com consolo e paz. Eu sei que o Senhor nos abençoa quando n´os o buscamos em oraç~ao.
Eu os amo!
-Sister Sender