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!
Sister Haley Sender