Saturday, June 14, 2014

June 9, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

(I literally started this letter in Portuguese and had to start over...oh boy). This week was wonderful! We have been teaching a ton of people and running around the city of Icoaraci like crazy. We have been teaching this 25 year old named Andre and he is so excited about the gospel. Every time we pass by his house, he is always full of questions and a desire to learn more. He went to church yesterday and then was invited to our lunch appt. It was wonderful to see the members interacting with him and sharing parts of their testimonies with him throughout lunch. The gospel really does change people.


The other day I was thinking a lot about the concept of change. I find it so interesting that as we journey through life, we each go through a gradual molding process. Usually this molding process is slow and steady, but at times to Lord puts trials in our path. I started studying a little bit about adversity and its purpose. In "true to the faith" I read an awesome description of Adversity. I was overwhelmed with the love of my Savior as I came to more fully understand his perfect sacrifice. He paid the price for all of our sins and understands us perfectly. It is such a simple concept, but at the same time it is so complicated. How can someone perfectly understand every person that lives on this earth? Seems impossible right? I then came to more fully understand that nothing is impossible in the eyes of God. Our Savior is perfect and therefore he knows perfectly how to help, love, and serve every person that has, is and will walk this earth. To me that is incredible. I am so grateful for this gospel; I know that it is the only pathway to everlasting happiness. Like it says in Mosiah 2:4, If we keep the commandments we will be blessed both spiritually and physically, and if we endure to the end we will be received in heaven to live with God in a state of never-ending happiness. That is our goal and our purpose in this life. I know that it is through the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ that we can one day return to live with our Father in Heaven and feel of the never-ending happiness that awaits us. 


I love this work! I love this gospel! 


Love you all :) Have a great week! 


Love Always,

Sister Sender 


Ps: the world cup is starting and the streets are filled with banners and decorations. We even helped our neighbor paint a huge Brazilian flag on the driveway this morning. 


June 2, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

I am just in shock at how fast the weeks are flying! i am honestly trying to remember everything that happened this past week... it was a blur. (thank goodness for my journal). 


We have been working a ton and our teaching group is wonderful. We started teaching a family and they are so excited about the gospel, and love to read and study more. As we taught them this week, I couldn’t help but just smile at the joy they feel because of the gospel of Christ. My comp. (Sister L. Oliveira) and I have been searching and praying for ways that we can strengthen our area, and some answers came through this week. We invited a young woman (22 yrs old) to start teaching with us. This young woman loved it!! She started talking to all of her neighbors and we have started teaching them all. It has been incredible! She even bore her testimony about the power of missionary work yesterday, and a few other members became curious and are getting more excited about missionary work. I am so excited to see what changes are about to happen here in our area! 


I know that my message is short this week, but i just want each of you to know that I know our Savior lives. He loves each of us and knows each of us by name. To me that is incredible. He loves us with a perfect love that is unshakeable. We are each imperfect and make mistakes, but through Christ we can be made clean again and start fresh. We learn from our mistakes and that is because He teaches us through mistakes. 


I love you all! Have a wonderful week :)


Love Always,

Sister Sender 



May 26, 2014

Dear family and friends,

Another week and weird to think May is already coming to a close! It just started! Crazy how the time flies! This week I have thought and studied a lot about agency (our freedom to choose). I was reading in 2 Nephi and was touched by a comment Nephi made, "My soul delighted in the proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ..." (2 nephi 11:4). I feel that same joy teaching the people here in Icoaraci and want them to just accept the restored gospel. I can’t help but feel sad and even hurt when they don't accept our message or keep commitments. As I was studing "why" people reject us so frequently, I came across another scripture that answered my question, (2 nephi 10:23) "Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves- to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life." We have agency or the freedom to choose the path we want to walk. I cannot make the choice for anyone, but I can invite them to accept the pathway to eternal life. It is upsetting at time and I just wish every person on the earth could understand that they are free to choose and that the Lord will send them the means to choose the way to eternal life, they just need to accept the way of the Lord and do their part. I know that if we follow Christ and stay on the Lord's pathway, the never-ending blessings will come. That is why there are two sides to every promise. The Lord promises blessings and we promise to keep His commandments. If we do our part, He will do his part perfectly. I love this work and am striving to become the servant He wants me to become. It is a slow process, but it is based on a perfect plan. 


I love you all!! Have a wonderful week!! 


Love Always,

Sister Sender 


Cultural/ moments of the week...


-Embarrassing moment!! I don’t know what happened, but my throat closed up during lunch yesterday and I couldn’t breathe. My comp just stared at me and I had to make the "I am choking sign" Sister Conforme had to do the hylemic manuver (i think that is how you spell it)! Yeah soooo embarrassing!!! but I am ok now :) 


- I have heard more gun shots this week than in my entire mission


May 19,2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Can you even believe that a week has already passed by?? I can’t believe how fast the time is flying by! This week was crazy busy and we worked super hard. This week was also full of new experiences. We did some divisions, spent a day in the hospital with Sister Conforme, and even found a family to teach! I am also finishing up training my "daughter" Sister L. Olivera and as a result we did a few divisions with our district leader for her to see how she is progressing. I was so proud of Sister L. Oliveira and the progress that she is making. It is incredible. My district leader was very impressed and when I was talking to Sister L. Oliveira about it afterwards she made a comment that made me start thinking. She said, "well, you do always say teach the people with love, and thats what I did." I took a minute to think about what she said and was honestly touched. It is so true, if we teach and serve one another with love, the Lord can truly work through us, and to me that is the best feeling in the world. I love my companion and am so proud of her. We are doing everything we can to serve her and to help this ward progress. It is tough at times, but I know that the Lord is guiding his work.


I also had the chance to help Sister Conforme in the hospital. We rode the city bus to Belém for a few hours and I even got to see a street protest. (it was way different than an USA protest) The people were throwing fire bombs in the streets and screaming (I will have to explain that one after the mission). Once we got to Belém we had a few wonderful spiritual experiences. We saw one of my investigators and were able to talk with her in the street which was great. We also saw a member from Cidade Nova that stopped me in the street to catch up on life, and then the best part was when a car drove by and it was a man that we re-activated and married in Capanema (he baptized his dad after the new church dedication, I love that family so much). It was almost a flashback day for me. I couldn’t help but just smile and remember so many wonderful people that I have met here in Brasil. Once we arrived at the hospital, Sister conforme had a bunch of exams and then they gave her an IV. I took the time to start talking to people. It was quite hilarious actually, because everyone wanted to talk to the " young American girl". Sometimes being from a different country has its benefits. I taught a few lessons and chatted with a few cute old ladies. Even the doctor was interested. After a long day in the Hospital, we headed back home and I talked with some more people on the city bus. It was a blast. I am so grateful for the joy that the gospel brings and for the love that we get to share with all of the wonderful people here in Belém.


I know that this gospel brings perfect joy, and that through our Savior Jesus Christ, we have the opportunity to become clean again in preparation to one day return to the presence of our father in Heaven. I am not perfect. I have a ton of learning to do and need to improve in so many areas of my life, but I am putting forth all of my efforts and truly trying to one day reach perfection. I know I can’t do that alone. That is why we have our Savior Jesus Christ. I love my Savior.


I hope you all have a wonderful week!


Love always,

Sister Sender


ps: remember to smile :)

pps: the world cup is coming and everything here is turning green and yellow (brasil) its pretty cool.