Monday, October 7, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
I have learned and grown so much this week and have so much to write about! I have learned a lot about the importance of the spirit in our lives. I teach people every day about Jesus Christ and the restoration of the gospel, but the spirit is crucial. i cannot touch the hearts of the people unless I teach by the spirit. During General Conference yesterday, Elder David M McConkie said something that I loved, After we prepare a lesson or something to teach "we have to be able to let go and follow the spirit". This can be scary and sometimes I would prefer to just teach a lesson, but teaching by the spirit is powerful. Only the Lord knows what we truly need.
I also had the opportunity this week to be "tested". My zone leader and another district leader traveled to Capanema and I had to teach them a gospel lesson. After I finished they would critique me (president is doing this with lots of misssionaries in order to find missionaries ready to train). I taught them and they gave me pointers, but the best part was when they said that my Portuguese is incredible for the time I have been here. They said that they understood everything I said and felt the spirit strongly. Miracle!! They finished by saying "you are ready to train and will soon. So start preparing". The Lord is hastening his work! I still have one week left in my own training and am preparing to train another new missionary soon. I know that we can do all things through the Lord. He is a perfect God that works through imperfect people.
A fun moment this week was after the 1st session of conference. Renato (member) told me to grab my camera. We walked behind the sacrament table only to see a huge iguana. it was a meter long and cool/creepy. It started running around the room and everyone was standing on their chairs. When they caught the iguana they picked him up by the tail and ok DRUM ROLL.... I held the iguana!! Yes me. I about died haha. I love the random moments of excitement here. It is in these moments of joy that I know the Lord is laughing along-side us. Maybe He was laughing when He created the world. "hmmm... this spider is for Sister Sender, oh and this yummy cock croach too haha!" I am so grateful for these moments and for the hand of the Lord in our lives. I loved the words of Elder Holland on Saturday "Never lose faith in the love of the Lord. You cannot comprehend how much the Lord loves you". I know this to be true. The Lord loves each of us with a perfect love. He allows us to break down so we can build- up even stronger. I have felt this in my mission. I love you all so much! Keep the faith, persevere, and remember to laugh.
Laughter is one of the strongest medications.
Dear Family and Friends!
Another great week in Capanema! it is interesting how every week of my mission thus far has been centered on a specific topic. This week was prayer. In the mission I pray more than ten times a day ok more like twenty. We pray with the people we teach and the spirit is so powerful. I was touched many times this week by very powerful prayers. Our investigators pray for us during our lessons. They ask that we will be able to find others to share our message with. They pray for our safety and success. When they express thanks for our presence in their home I can’t help but feel an overwhelming joy for them as well as in my own life. When I thought about prayer this week, I felt like I should pray even more! But then I thought, how can I further strengthen my relationship with my father in heaven? Answer: sincere prayer. I began to study this exact question. How can I have more effective personal prayer? I narrowed it down to 3 things:
1) Pray specifically for guidance and pray for other specifically
2) pray to be shown what to say/do and know that the Lord knows what you need better than you do
3) Believe your prayers will be answered.
A prayer is a conversation with our father in Heaven. A two way conversation. Listen for responses. They will come.
Another great experience this week was the baptism of Mykellem. She is incredible! I love teaching her and her spirit is so strong. She is nine years old and recently moved in with a family in the church. She came from a broken home and I felt so honored to help her feel love and purpose in her life. It was wonderful!
Another Miracle this week was with an investigator Idelcina and Silva. She has waited almost 8 years to be baptized in the church because she is not married. We have been working with them. After seven years of missionaries THEY ARE GETTING MARRIED!! They signed papers this week and they baptism is marked for November 9th :) I am so excited!
I think about my journey thus far. One year ago President Monson announced the change in age for missionaries. I never thought i would serve a mission... I honestly never had a huge desire to serve a mission, but here I am. I love my mission! This time in my life has been incredible and will only continue to become more exciting. One year ago... if only I knew I would be sitting at a computer in Brazil serving a mission. The Lord really does have a plan for each of us. He sees the big picture. We just have to rely on Him and his timing.
I love you all! Have a wonderful week and general conference!!
Dear Family and Friends,
another wonderful week here in beautiful Brazil! The tan lines are starting to become quite amusing. ;) I was thinking about this last night... When I arrived in Brazil my skin was extremely white and everyone would stop and stare. I was fresh and new to the mission and country. As I have worked, learned, studied, and grown I have felt my heart change and my relationship with my Savior grow. My skin is a great reminder of this. I didn’t become tan overnight. The process was gradual and is still an ongoing process. It is the same with my progress as a missionary. I grow and change a little more every day. This applies to every aspect in life. We start something new and with time and experience we become better and learn more about our personal capabilities.
This week we had interviews with the mission president and his wife. President and Sister Scisci are wonderful! Sister Scisci shared a story that changed my perspective a lot...
She talked about a runner. His mom always attended his races, but never stood at the start or finish to cheer him on. Many people asked her why she didn’t cheer on her son. She responded, "many people stand at the beginning to cheer him on and it is very crowded. Many people also stand at the finish to congratulate him. I like to stand on a corner in the middle of the race... because in the moment when he is feeling tired, and is ready to quit, I am able to cheer him on and help him push through." It is the same in the mission. My family and friends cheered me on when I left to serve, and will embrace me when I return, but in those difficult times in the middle, I have my Savior to cheer me on. Weekly emails and letters help, but during a long hard day, I know my Savior is walking beside me.
I am so grateful for the words of encouragement I receive every week. I love my family so much and my love for them grows every day. Distance makes the heart grow fonder... this is so true. I love my mission and the opportunity I have to give a little bit of my time to God. I hope you all have a wonderful week!
1) eggs are stored at room temp (which is 85+)
2) Everyone cleans with powdered laundry soap and a broom. "mop" the floor and then squeggy the floor
3) We eat lots of fish, chicken, and "carne" (red meat). We eat the scales and all.... and shrimp tails :) yummy... (actually I really like it but have to be careful with food here I get sick a lot)
Mon 9/16/13 10:10 AM
Hello Family and friends!
Another week down and the time is flying by! This week was a week full of learning experiences. In my mission I have learned that obedience brings miracles. I have strived to follow every rule and do everything in my power to be a good example and missionary. I know that because of this, miracles are coming.
We had two baptisms this week. A 18 year old named Vinicius who is incredible and a 17 year old young woman that the other sisters taught. The spirit in the meeting was incredible. In moments like this make struggles in my mission worth every minute. Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ. As I have been teaching people about our Savior Jesus Christ, I have felt very close to my Savior. Life is hard, and my mission has been difficult, but I know that I am not alone. The Savior knows our hearts and he knows our desires, and when we are patient blessings and help will come. I read this quote this morning and love love love it! "Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required." -President Thomas S. Monson
This is very true. I know that through patience we grow immensely and that the Lord works through patience. I love this work and love Brazil. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to serve my Father in Heaven. i am sacrificing time with my family so that others can live with theirs for eternity.
Have a wonderful week!
PS: cultural things
1) Wedding rings are a simple gold bands placed on the right hand and engagement rings are silver and placed on the right hand
2) milk here is powder because liquid is very expensive
3) we store sugar and all types of food in the fridge because ants get into everything