Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014

Probably the last email of her mission........

Dear Family and Friends,
   18 months later and here we are.... what a journey!! Looking back to January 2013 when I opened my call to serve in Belém to right now November 2014 so much has happened! I know that the Lord’s hand is and always was guiding my life. I started this adventure not knowing what the Lord had planned for me. It was a terrifying leap of faith. I truly believe that my mission was a journey and test of my faith. My mission was a mission of Miracles.  
  I recently started reading my mission journals and it is incredible to look back on the changes that have occurred. I have learned that mistake of the past do not define you, they refine you. Everything that I have experienced (before and during my mission) has not only prepared me to serve a mission, but have prepared me for an even better future. Every sacrifice and learning experience was crucial and worth it! Serving a mission was the best thing I have ever done in my life! Everyone always says that missions are “the best 2 yrs (1.5 yrs)”, but my mission was the best 1.5 yrs “FOR” my life. I have witnessed miracles, built a relationship with my Heavenly Father, strengthen my relationship with my Savior, family and loved ones, I have met incredible people and culture, I have learned the importance of self-less service, gained self-confidence, my testimony has grown, I am fluent in Portuguese, I know that the atonement is real and works, and I now know what matters most. Missions are hard and are most certainly full of challenges, but they are gratifying, rewarding and change us. I am becoming who my Father in Heaven wants me to be. His daughter.       
   When I left for my mission, I promised my family, self and  the Lord that I would be obedient and serve to the end with all my heart. I have desired and worked to return with honor. Each morning when I put on my name tag I remember that promise. I represent my family, my Savior, and His restored gospel. I am a representative of Jesus Christ. My calling has been the best calling anyone can hold.      
      Reflecting back, I learned and changed so much in each area and with each companion. The MTC with Sister Clark and Sister Garner, Capanema with my trainer Sister De Lima, Cidade Nova with Sister Barros and Sister Vargas, Icoaraci with Sister Felix and my “daughter” Sister L. Oliveira, Nova Olinda with Sister G. Cardoso, Ribeiro, and C. Cardoso, and finishing with Sister Vargas in Independência. It has been the most incredible adventure guided by the hand of God. I love Belém. I am having a hard time saying goodbye. I love Brazilian lifesyle and the people here. I love my mision. Missão Brasil Belém! Missão de Milagres! (mission of miracles) Só os fortes servem no norte! (only the strong serve in the north) I will never forget the time I spent here in Brasil. Each investigator, every seed planted and every baptism! Every miracle! It was worth every moment! Every minute in the blazing hot sun and down pouring rain and worth every cold shower and mosquito bite. Every hardship, let down, and tear shed was worth it. Every soul that can closer to Christ was worth every effort!   
      It’s like my dad said in an email almost a year ago, “remember that you are a ‘Sender Missionary’ It is in your name. “Sender” of the message of Jesus Christ.  Remember that you are a Sender.” I have done my best to fulfill that call to be a “Sender”
   In the last few weeks of my mission, I have studied the life of my Savior and his earthly mission. He really was a perfect missionary! Reading about His selfless service I began to reflect on my personal mission even more. I am so far from perfect! I searched and prayed to know if the Lord was proud of me and accepted my mission. My answer came when I was reading in Alma 38:2-5,10,15 (I put my name in the scriptures).
 2 And now, my ‘daughter’, I trust that I shall have great joy in you, because of your steadiness and your faithfulness unto God; for as you have commenced in your youth to look to the Lord your God, even so I hope that you will continue in keeping his commandments; for blessed is he that endureth to the end.
 I say unto you, my ‘daughter’, that I have had great joy in thee already, because of thy faithfulness and thy diligence, and thy patience and thy long-suffering among the people of ‘Belém,Brasil’.
 4 For I know that thou wast in bonds; yea, and I also know that thou wast stoned for the word’s sake; and thou didst bear all these things with patience because the Lord was with thee; and now thou knowest that the Lord did deliver thee.
 5 And now my ‘daughter, Sister Sender’, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day. 
10 And now, as ye have begun to teach the word even so I would that ye should continue to teach; and I would that ye would be diligent and temperate in all things.
15 And may the Lord bless your soul, and receive you at the last day into his kingdom, to sit down in peace. Now go, my ‘daughter’, and teach the word unto this people. Be sober. My ‘daughter’, farewell.
 The Spirit that I felt when I read these verses was absolutely incredible. The Lord has accepted my mission service here in Brasil and has even more work for me to do one i arrive home. I am honored to be a daughter of God. It is a privilege that we each have to be a child of God. 
 I know that my Savior Jesus Christ lives! His gospel plan is perfect and can provide everlasting happiness. I know that His gospel and church were restored through the young prophet Joseph Smith. Priesthood authority has been restored.  The Book of Mormon is truly another testament of our Savior Jesus Christ and is TRUE! I know that our Heavenly Father knows and loves each of us individually. He hears and answers prayers! He knows what we need/want and is waiting with extended arms for each of us to converse with Him in humble prayer. I know that families can be together forever and are central to our fathers plan. The atonement is real and works! I am proof that it works and that His grace is sufficient. The Lord loves us perfectly to the point that he gave His son to suffer for us so that we do not need to suffer too. I am so grateful for that eternal sacrifice and the opportunity that we have to have joy in this life and the life to come. I look forward to the day when I can return to my Heavenly Father’s presence and embrace Him again. It has been awhile.
"E logo irei para o lugar de meu descanso, que é com meu Redentor, pois sei que nele descansarei. E regozijo-me no dia em que meu corpo mortal revestir-se de imortalidade e apresentar-se diante dele; então verei a sua face com prazer e ele me dirá: Vem a mim, ó bendito; há um lugar preparado para ti nas mansões de meu Pai. Amen" (Enos 1:27). Aprendi muitas coisas aqui na melhor missão do mundo. A missão realmente foi a melhor coisa que já fiz em minha vida! Sei com toda certeza que Cristo vive e esta é a Igreja dele aqui na terra. Sei que Cristo está com braços abertos por cada um de nós. Usa a expiação! Vive o evangelho! Sei que a verdadeira fé traz os verdadeiros milagres! Esta é a missão de milagres! Amo Vocês e A Igreja é verdadeira!!! 
Love you all!! See you all next week!
Love Always,
Sister Sender 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

November 3, 2014

Dear Family and Friends! 

What a crazy fast week!! So many things happened that I don’t even know what to write!! First off.... I am officially taking my first worm medicine..... pretty cool huh! haha 

This week was full of miracles! We found a ton of new people to teach and are helping an incredible family!! We have focused a ton and the power of the spirit and truly searching for miracles that come when we listen. I know that we are doing the work of the Lord! I know it! That is what drives us to continue on each and every day. Our endurance is increased by the hand of the Lord. Knowing my purpose as a missionary has helped me search for those that are ready to hear our message. We are teaching of Christ and a fullness of joy! Who doesn’t want to feel pure joy?? Exactly!! That is why we are serving. That is what motivates me to give even more of myself each and every day. The smiles and life changes are worth it! It never was easy, but with God it is possible.  

I love my new area and the members here. Our Ward needs our help and we are doing everything we can to bring back those that have gone astray and also to find those that can strengthen the Church here in Independência. I love my companion and we are having a blast working for our Father in Heaven. I know that we are here for a reason! The Lord has a plan for us here!!  

I hope that you all have a wonderful week! Strive to find someone to serve this week. Ponder on someone that hasn’t been at church for a while, or that you personally haven't talked to for awhile and visit them!! It will change you live and the lives of those around you!  

Love Always,

Sister Sender 

Ps: Smile too! 


October 27, 2014

Dear Family and Friends!

What a week of change! (and lack of sleep!) On Monday night we received a call from the Zone leaders that we would be transferred. I was super sad knowing that I didn’t get to say goodbye to any of my recent converts :( I called a few and surprisingly a Irmão went and picked up Isabel and she went in front of our house to give me a hug and say goodbye. It was a tender moment. Man saying goodbye was so hard!! Fabio and Andressa surprised us too! It was so hard!! But we are doing to Lords work and we were called to serve in other areas.  

I am currently in Cabanagem (Independência) opening another area! (4th time during my mission.... I was called to open areas haha) I am serving with Sister Vargas!! (2nd time together) She is wonderful and we are excited. 

We also had a "Mission Tour" with Elder Fernandez (Area Brasil) on Friday which was great! I learned a ton and am so excited to help the people here. Our ward needs our help and we are willing to do everything we can :) We are currently teaching two families that we found this week :) We are planning a wedding and they are so excited :)  I think that was the hardest part about leaving Nova Olinda.... knowing that we were teaching a family that was close to baptism. I have learned that many times we plant the seeds and others harvest the fruits.  

With all of the changes and traveling I am exhausted, but am so happy :) We are teaching families!!! I think it is the most beautiful sight seeing a family united through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that the Lord called me to serve in this area with a purpose, and I am determined to fulfill my purpose here in the time that I have left to serve.  

I love you all!! I know that our Savior Lives! He loves us!! 

Have a wonderful week :) 

Love Always,

Sister Sender 

Cultural/ outras coisas:

- they eat a ton of spaghetti noodles here in my area. (mixed with rice and beans).... my stomach is adjusting yet again... cough cough 

- yesterday at church the members didn’t know that I was American..... that was a cool compliment.... :) 


Leadership conference and zone meeting

October 20, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Another great week :) We had a few challenges (with a baptism falling through), but we are overcoming those challenges. As I was studying this week, I thought a lot about my call to serve. I often thought to myself... what was the Lord thinking calling me? I am just "Sister Sender". I found my answer and comfort when I was reading in Amos. (I finished the old testament this week!! :)  

Amos 7:14-16 "Then Answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was a herdsman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit: and the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, go, prophesy unto my people Israel. Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac."

I thought to myself! Wow! Amos was a simple man and was called to be a prophet of God! Look at everything that he did and the difference he has made in the restoration of the gospel! I too can make a difference as simple "Sister Sender". We each can! 

I know that the Lord works through small and simple means. He qualifies his servants. I am so grateful to be one of his representatives. I love this gospel and love my savior. 

Have a wonderful week!! 

Love Always,
Sister Sender 


October 13, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow another week!! Where does the time go??? 
This week was wonderful as always! We are now even teaching a wonderful family!!! They are even legally married (that is so rare to find!) They are now reading the Book of Mormon as a family and really searching for an answer. It was wonderful sitting with Maria and Bruna (mom and daughter of the family) yesterday at church. They were so excited!! It is interesting how our desire to serve/teach families grows more and more each week. We search and search and once you find a family to teach you don’t want to let go. We are working really hard with them to help them truly progress. I want more than anything for them to be baptized and one day be sealed for time and all eternity. Only the Lord knows his plan perfectly, but I know he is guiding his work! 
Yesterday was also a wonderful day at church :) Fabio was confirmed (he had to wait a week because of general conference). He bore a wonderful testimony during the testimony meeting and even received the priesthood!! We are so excited for him! In his confirmation blessing was promised with the desire to serve a full-time mission! It was most certainly a goose bump moment and he is thrilled :) My companion even joked with me afterwards. he said "moms get excited for their children, and we get excited for our recent converts!! So true!! 

This week we also traveled to Belém for a leadership training meeting with President Scisci. It was wonderful! I really felt the love our mission president has for us as leaders in the mission field. He is wonderful!  

I think that is about it for this week.... I don’t have a crazy story to share, but I do know that Christ lives and loves us!! I am doing his work, but hope that each of you are trying help in this important work! 
Love you all!! 

Love Always,

Sister Sender

COOL MOMENT!! We were walking under a tree the other day and saw an owl!! it was exactly like a harry potter owl!! (my camera battery was dead ;( sad day) 


October 6, 2014

Dear family and friends,

How was everyone's week? I hope you all had a wonderful general conference weekend! This week was another fast one! We ran around trying to get everything done, but it doesn’t seem to ever get done. We had a baptismal service for Fabio on Saturday between conference sessions, which was wonderful! He was so excited, and loved conference. It truly was the most remarkable moment sitting on a bench filled with recent converts. We had the opportunity to sit with Wyllon, Stephany, Andresa, Jamili, and Fabio yesterday during the conference. It was the most humbling and rewarding experience. They were all beaming! I love all of the talks! Especially D. Todd Christofferson's talk about agency.  

I have grown to really love studying bout agency and the Lord's perfect plan. I found it interesting how he explained that the Lord will support and accept our decisions/ desires if they are just and guided by the spirit. He will not act for us, or make decisions for us. That would take away our agency and corrupt his perfect plan. God wants us to be free to choose. We choose our consequences through our actions. He will guide us as long as we are worthy of his help.  

I also loved Elder Carlos A. Godoy's talk yesterday afternoon. Isn't Portuguese a beautiful language!! The best part was hearing his talk and understanding every word ;) He also talked about our life decisions. I really started to think when he said, " O que Senhor espera de cada um de nós?" (what does the Lord hope (or want) from each of us? I reflected on my life and am still reflecting on this question. The Lord knows our potential, but do we really know our own potential? Makes you think huh! There are so many blessings ahead! We just need to act and be worthy of them. That is why there is repentance! As one of my best friends always says, "Repentance is an eternal principle." 

I love this gospel!! My mission has opened so many doors and changed my vision of what matters most. I am giving my all and know that I can and will always give more. 

Love you all! 
Love Always,

Sister Sender 


1) I killed another cockroach (haha idk how to spell) last night.....ew 

2) there are 1,000 types of ants here and they get into everything!! Even paper!! and they all bite!! ouch! 

3) I am officially allergic to the mango "milk" that drips out when you pick a mango.

4) it is normal to pick fruit from the backyard and make juice. 

5) Açai and cupuaçu are 2 fruits that are only grown here in pará. Açai is exported all over the world, but we drink it pure here right after it is harvested :) 

6) it is normal to eat off of the same plate/spoon/fork/ cup of any random person. 


September 29, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

It is hard to believe that September is already over and that October is here! I bet the leaves are starting to change! I think fall is the most beautiful season back in Ohio. Nothing beats driving out to the church in Hiram and soaking in the beauty of the changing maple trees driving down the big hill. Here in Belém, the seasons do not change very much. There is sunshine with rain and then sunshine with more sunshine. We are currently in "summer" or the hottest part of the year. When it rains the heat just gets worse as it rises from the ground and the sun shining down at the same time. Yesterday was hot... the road was steaming! It looked like the hot air that comes out of the oven when you open it. I think we might just have to try frying an egg on the sidewalk today! I love the sunshine! :)  

This week was full of challenge and spiritual experiences. We have been working with an investigator named Fabio and he is ready to be baptized. He was having a hard time recognizeing his answer but with lots of prayer and discussions, he received his answer. He aid that when he started praying, he felt like he had a debt to be paid and that when he finished or asked for an answer, he felt as though his debt had been paid. He then explained that he feels two types of peace. A peace that he feels in three moments. At church, during our lessons, and when he prays. It was an incredible conversation helping him recognize his answer! The spirit wa incredible. Yes, he still needs to understand more about the importance of baptism and enduring to the end, but he received his answer! Peace!! One of the most powerful fruits of the spirit! 

I love this work!! I know I say that every week, but it is because that love grows each and every week. I love my Savior so much and am so grateful for the power of repentance. I am not a perfect missionary, but through his infinite grace, my best efforts are enough. 

Have a wonderful week!


Love Always,

Sister Sender  


September 22, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Another week!!! NOSSA!! Well we are doing great :) I love my companion and we are having a ton of success. It is so wonderful having someone to laugh at my silliness and just have fun while working. I think I have laughed and smiled a lot more this past week, which was wonderful!! 


It was a challenging, but wonderful week. We taught a ton and walked a ton too. I tried to teach my comp how to do a street contact inside of a city bus full of people, but she chickened out... leaving me alone in the front of the bus full of people.... she was laughing at my craziness, but surprisingly I wasn’t nervous and it was quite fun! I have learned that if we are comfortable in our little comfort zone, we do not progress. How do we progress?? Change! Do something different! Preach the gospel on the city bus again :) haha she laughs at me, but we are having success because we are doing things differently than we have tried in the past. I love this work! 

I have loved my time serving the people here in Belém. We are so blessed o have the luxuries that

September 15, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow what a week!!!! I finally have a companion again!!!! Yay!!! Sister C. Cardoso. It is quite funny because I already served with a mini missionary named "Sister G. Cardoso" and now I am serving with Sister C. Cardoso. So many Cardosos!!! 


We had a successful week full of teaching and running around our area trying to organize Andressa's baptism. She was so excited. It was great to see her in white :) I am not sure if you all remember Jamilli? Well she is an incredible member missionary!!! Andressa is her best friend, and Jamilli took charge helping us teach her friend. It was the most incredible sight watching your recent convert share her testimony at the baptismal service of her best friend. The spirit was so powerful. I love this work!!! 


I have thought a lot about "missionary work" this week. I pondered and reflected about just how incredible it is that 80,000 young men and women voluntarily serve missions! As we taught a preacher of one of our investigators this week, he was full of questions about missionary service and he just couldn’t seem to wrap his mind around the fact that we serve voluntarily. He asked "How do you motivate 80,000 young people to do that?!! We replied, "it is simple! Because we know that our message is true and can change lives". 


I know that this work is true and that I am being guided by my father in heaven. I love him! I love this people and I love my mission! 

Have a wonderful week!! Stay Warm!! (that shouldn’t be a problem for me) 


Love always,

Sister Sender 



It is normal to throw trash out your car window, or even your house window. (I don’t though haha) 

Because it is so hot, it is normal to spend all day walking around in just a towel. 

We eat a lot for lunch but to eat dinner is rare. 


September 8, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

What a week!!! It was a week of changes for sure! I was "single" this week which was so weird. My companion was transferred to Belém on Tuesday and I stayed here in a trio/ with members doing splits whenever I could. It was so weird not having a companion. I was a little lost to be honest. I realized that it will be such a hard adjustment when I get back to make decisions and just simply walk in the street alone!! Weird!!!! haha  

With this experience, I also learned the importance of companions. I only have 50% of the inspiration and without the other 50% our work doesn’t run smoothly. I am so grateful that I will have a companion in these next few days :) Today I was studying in Isaiah 41 and wanted to share a bit that I learned. i was really touched by verses 10 and 13.  

10 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, i will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 
13 "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, fear not; I will help thee." 

When I read these verses I felt an overwhelming love of my Savior knowing that I am not alone in this work. He is holding my hand and guiding me where I need to go. We don’t need to fear in this life! Fear and faith cannot coexist! Our Savior is with us! He can never forget us because his hands are marked with each of our names. I find so much comfort knowing that my Savior knows how I am feeling and has lived every hardship that we each pass in our lives. I love Him. 

I hope you each have a wonderful week :) Love you all!! 

Love Always,

Sister Sender 

Ps: I will be staying here in Castanhal :) I think I will be finishing my mission here which will be wonderful! I love my district!! We are setting records and seeing miracles :)

PS: yesterday was independence day here :) (They don’t use fireworks... only for soccer games haha) 
love you all!! 


Friday, September 5, 2014

September 1, 2014

September 1, 2014 

Dear Family and Friends! 

What a week!!! Flew by and was full of miracle after miracle!!!! My district had four baptisms this week!!!!! We baptized Andre and Isabel :) Yes!!!!! It was a beautiful baptism :) Isabel was so excited and adorable in her little white jumpsuit. After 78 years she was finally baptized and has never been happier. I love her!! She calls me her beautiful daughter and never stops hugging me I love it. Watching her being baptized was one of the tenderest moments in my life. It was a promise fulfilled from many years ago and I know the heavens were rejoicing :) Andre was also super excited. He has quite a heavy past life and changed so many things to be baptized. The church saved his life and he is so happy and finally clean.  

I was thinking about that this week. How through baptism we are made clean again. What a promise! The Lord has given us the tools and the commandments, and if we are faithful, we can be clean of every sin that we have ever committed. It is remarkable!! I am so grateful for the mercy God shows to each of his children.  

I know he lives and loves us!! We were sent here to earth to gain the knowledge we need and to do everything we can possibly do in order to return to his presence. I know that charity is and pure love of Christ and that through Christ-like love, miracles happen.  

I love this work and have felt the power of the atonement change me. I am still "Haley", but just with a different sparkle ;)  

love you all! Have a wonderful week :) 


Love always, 

Sister Sender 


I dont know anymore hahaha everything is normal... hmmmmmm American culture will be weird. 


tchau!! I will send pictures :) 

August 25, 2014

Dear family and Friends,

Well I made it!!! 21 times around the sun and still kicking hahah wow 21!!!!! ahhhh that is just old.... My birthday was great :) super simple, but full of serving so it was fantastic :) I wanted to share a miracle that was the best birthday present I could have asked for.  

So I wanted to drink Açai on my birthday, but I wanted to drink it with Isabel our 78 year old investigator. We went over to her house that evening and I bought Açai for us all to drink and share. While we were teaching her, she started sharing an experience. She had told me a few days earlier that she had had a dream about me. She started sharing her dream... 

She said that a few years ago she had this dream... 

she was at home with her husband (he passed away 11 years ago) and walked outside. She started hearing a bunch of noise and became very scared. She thought the world was ending. She ran home and called for her husband. He told her that it wasn’t sounds of the world ending, but of trumpets of angels sounding. She went back outside and found the place where she was hearing the sounds. She entered the place and saw three angels in long robes. The first was a short small angel in blue. Another was in a large angel in a green robe. And the third was a tall thin white angel in a white robe. She said that the angel was whiter that anything she had ever seen. With tears in her eyes (and mine) she looked at me and said "It was you". Isabel continued and said that i was the captain angel guiding the others and that I started talking to her (in the dream) and said "Isabel, do you have faith?" She replied "yes".  

Isable continued to explain that she knows that the Lord sent us to rescue her. He sent us to her house to find her, In that moment she said that she knew she needed to be baptized. I was then crying like a baby. It was like reliving a memory of a past life. I know it wasn’t a dream she was describing. It was a memory. 


It was the best possible birthday present I could have received. It was the most powerful spiritual experience that I have had during my mission. More powerful than speaking without an accent with Khalil, silvo praying, deborah receiving her answer, or afternoons with Henriqueita. I have had countless spiritual experiences here in the mission field, but my 21st birthday was the first time I touched the other side of heaven. 


I will never forget the day we walked past Isabel's house and the impression and clear voice of the spirit to go back and knock on the door. We are rescuing one of my dearest lifelong friends. Isabel. A friend from long before this life. Her baptism will be beautiful. We finished the evening laughing, drinking açai and looking at old photos of her 7 children. She is an angel. As we left we embraced for awhile. As if two best friends embraced after a distance apart. I couldn’t help but say "I love you Isabel" and she replied "I love you too". 


I know that I was called to Belém for a sacred purpose. I know my savior lives and that the Lord knows each of his children. If he could sent a 21yr old sister to a 78 year old widow. He knows us. 


I love you all!  

have a wonderful week:)


love always,

Sister Sender 

Ps: Wyllon was baptized sat!!!! It was incredible!!!! 

pps: we had 8 investigators at church yesterday and the power went out.... it was an adventure!!!!! :) love you all