Oi tudo mundo!This has been a great week! On Tuesday I went to Porto Alegre to meet my new companion, Sister Olarte! She is new to the mission, fresh out of the MTC in São Paulo! She is 21 years old and is from Lima, Peru. She is the only member of the church in her family and only joined the church about 2 years ago. She has a lot of faith and I am learning a lot from her humble example. As you can probably imagine, it´s pretty funny sometimes for an American who speaks English and a Peruvian who speaks Spanish to be living together speaking Portuguese. But the Lord performs miracles every day and I can really feel Him helping us out in our work! We saw a lot of progress this week here!
Monday, September 29, 2014
Monday, September 22, 2014
Oi tudo mundo!
This week I have learned a lot about the importance of just doing your part and letting the Lord make up the rest. As we are happy, positive, and diligent, He can perform miracles in our lives and the lives of others!! We had a great experience this week with 2 of our investigators. They both have been learning for over a month now, but have never been able to come to church or an activity. But this week, they both came to a baptism!! Cíntia is a mother of 3 who is recently getting herself out of a life of drugs and taking responsibility for her life. She is so humble and ready to change. She felt at peace at the baptism and recognized the Spirit there. Now, she really wants to make it to church. It is amazing to see the power of the Spirit touching a person´s heart. The other investigator, Letícia, is a 17 year old girl who is ´´married´´ to a 30-something year old druggie and she has a baby with him. Her life is pretty crazy right now and she is trying to figure out what she wants to do. After the baptism, she was so excited and asked us, ´´What do I need to do to get baptized??`` I know that as we have faith, do our part, and think positive, the Lord performs miracles. We are all children of God and His purpose for us here is to help us find eternal happiness and joy.
Also, news of the week: My companion is getting transferred and I will be staying here. I will be training a new sister here in the mission field! I am constantly amazed by how much the Lord stretches me in this work, but I know from experience that as we trust in Him and do His will, all will work out just fine! I am grateful to be serving the Lord at this time and to be a witness of His power and love. How have you felt the Lord´s love for you this week? How will you help someone else feel it? :)
Monday, September 15, 2014
This week was another challenging one, but I learned a lot. It rained a lot and our investigators decided to not be at home whenever we passed by...but we are working a lot more with the members here and have plans to find other people to teach! I was grateful for the opportunity to go to the temple as well. We had our first English class this week and it went very well! I love being able to help people learn and share what I know with them. It was also great to see a less-active man and his step-daughter who we´ve been visiting there at the class!
A major tender mercy of the week was our visit with Irmã Delma and Irmão Antonio! They are an elderly couple who haven´t been to church in a few years because she is basically homebound and he needs to stay there to take care of her. But, they are so sweet and such an example to me. Though they can´t make it to church, every Sunday they have their own little meeting and pray, sing hymns together, and read and discuss the scriptures. It´s sweet to see the true companionship they have and the immense faith and patience they have with the will of the Lord. She is literally constantly in pain, but is also constantly smiling and talking about how good God is and how grateful she is for her blessings. It makes me realize how minor my concerns are and how important it is to just be positive and happy. Life is hard, but we have hope in Christ. Every challenge has purpose and it is through these challenges that we grow and change. It´s not ever comfortable to experience change, but I know that the Lord is with us in every trial and that He understands our pain. He felt everything that we feel and He knows how to help us if we will let Him. I love this scripture in 1 Peter 2:19-21 about being a disciple of Christ.
Monday, September 8, 2014
This week was super rainy and no one really wanted to stop to talk to us or answer the door. But, despite the rain, it was a great week!! Sister Barros and I had a lot of fun together and had some great visits with members and investigators. Yesterday was my ´´mission birthday´´ (aka, the day of the month that I started my mission) and also the birthday of a wonderful sister in the ward. We have been working a lot especially with a couple that joined the church decades ago and hadn´t been to church for probably more than 10 years. They raised their kids in the church to a point, but none of them really know much about it. We have been visiting them for a while and they have some really deep questions and concerns. Although they have a lot of doubts, they love our visits and we have become almost like granddaughters to them. Gradually, they have been feeling the Spirit more and making changes in their lives. They decided a few weeks ago that they wanted to keep the Sabbath day holy and wouldn´t open their market on Sundays. They took a hit financially as a result, but are firm in their decision and even chose to pay tithing too. Yesterday, they came to church!! We also have been visiting their son who is ´´not interested at all´´ in coming back to church, but wants to offer guitar lessons at the church and loves having us visit with him and his family. We had a meeting this week to plan the lessons, and he stayed for our ´´family night´´ at the church too. It was great to see him enjoying being among church members again and developing friendships. I know that he is feeling the Spirit, even if he doesn´t recognize it or want to admit it. This week also starts our English classes at the church (yep, one of the elders and I are going to teach English lessons) and he is going to come with his family. I know that God performs miracles, but often the process is a lot more gradual than we expect. It is so important to be patient with His timing and understand that everything really will work out in the end. :)
Monday, September 1, 2014
This week was great, we had a really fun service project and the baptism of Carla! We helped out at a member´s house doing a ´´faxina,´´ which really is just a big spring cleaning basically. Afterwards they thanked us by having a churrasco! It was a lot of fun and it was great to be able to help them and learn more about their culture too.The lovely Carla also got baptized this week. She originally was going to get baptized about a month ago, but she had a lot of doubts and concerns and asked to push it back. It was great to see her happy and excited to be baptized this weekend and to see that the Lord really has a time and a season for everything. It was the right time and the right circumstances for her personally and she had a great experience. It is so important to be patient with the Lord´s will and timing because it is always better than anything that we want. He knows what is best and we can trust with confidence that everything will work out. This doesn´t mean that we don´t need to work hard, but truly when we do our part, the Lord will make up the rest. Faith isn´t about acting blindly, but trusting that as you act on the Lord´s will, He will bless you. We don´t have the full picture, but He does! Why shouldn´t we trust Him? :) This week we also have been teaching Laureci more and helping her understand the importance of baptism in the Lord´s church. We also met a woman named Eugenia who has had a lot of struggles. Her husband is handicapped and she has to spend all day every day tending to his needs. Even more, he doesn´t treat her well or really want to be with her, but has to because of his physical needs. She is such an example to me of patience and integrity. She told us how hard it is, but she stays with him because she knows that she made a promise when they got married and she is loyal to that covenant. She is considering baptism and understands how serious of a commitment it is. I am grateful to be here in Viamão and for all the miracles that occur here daily.