Monday, January 9, 2012

Transfer 9 week 3

hello dear friends and family;
I have survived yet another week here in Bandeirantes. Between the blistering sun, the umbrella tearing rain and the rocky roads, its been a tiring yet satisfying week of work in the Work of The Lord. Its been a tough week, searching for those who´ve strayed from the path. We have been using our list of members to find those who arent active, to re-active and meet new people to share the gospel in this form. The hardest day was friday. We were able to meet many of those inactive families that particular day. The saddening part was to see home after home, people who had completely lost their testimonies. by five in the afternoon my companion and I were spiritually depressed, all I wanted was to return to our house and eat a pot of icecream. But you just cant give up like that. Sister V. Morais, we have to teach and testify right now and then we´ll feel better. Oh look! theres three women sitting infront of that house. lets talk to them!´´ Well. one of them had to leave, but invited us to pass by another day. we sat and talked with her mom and her aunt. Her mom had some crazy experiences to share about seeing Saint Peter....but we wrote down Ivette´s name and adress to pass by another time. She seemed nice in the 10 seconds we knew her. We had the opportunity to pass by saturday, and she wasnt home but would probably return shortly. So we chatted with her aunt until she got home 15 mins later. Ivette had met missionaries of the chruch while living and visiting in Paraguay, France, and Portugal, but never went to church. She´d had the missionaries here in her home 7 years back, but never receieved a book of Mormon. (sounds like they liked getting free food and conversing more than converting) We taught her the restoration and about joseph smith. I sat there in awe at the faith that she showed. She said straight up, I know God answers prayers. I once prayed in my room, about something in my life. No angel appeared, but I felt this deep warmth and love from God. She said that she would pray and when she recieves her answer, she would be baptised.
Unfortunately she didnt make it to church, but the experience that night gave me hope and reminded me that there are people here to recieve the gospel. At times it gets discouraging when you struggle so much to teach somone, or to even find someone who is honest about recieving you in their home to hear the message.
But an even great miracle happened this weekend. Percídio recieved permission after 2-3 months of waiting from the First Presidency to be baptised. President called us saturday night, and said for us not to notify Percídio, that he would in the enterview. (it was such a miracle that it happened to come the weekend President had come to campo Grande for leadership training) In sacrament meeting the spirit was so powerful, especially afer Percídio arose and shared his testimony of the gospel. He spoke of the change that the gospel brought in his life personally, and the life of his family, and the true happiness he has. AFter that it seemed like the whole congregation rose to bare testimony. When President Oliveira told him that today he would be finally clean of his sins, he and his wife were full of smiles and tears. These are those baptisms that you never forget. Those who have found the truth and truly have felt the power of the atonement and know what baptism means for them and their family. There was not a dry eye in the meeting, and the spirit was so ever present. I will never forget the spirit I felt as he recieved the gift of the holy ghost. My whole body was washed with that sweet purifying sensation that only comes through the Holy Spirit. And now the family of brother Percídio can finally start working towards being an eternal family. Our work doesnt stop at baptism; its the temple that is our goal.
Since the assistants were with president, and they are now in my area of Verdão, I got to hear about my recent converts there. Douglas is ever strong, he and Ricardo are preparing for missions!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IF those recent converts can just make it to the temple, I know the possiblities of them staying true to their baptismal convenant is more likely. Its saddening to hear of your recent converts who have already fallen through the cracks. I worry greatly about many of those. But their names are on the records. They wont ever be forgotten, even if they want to be.
I know this gospel is true-its perfect.
Im so greatful to Father in Heaven, for giving me this opportunity to grow and be an instrument for others to recieve His Truths.
Have a great week, send a hug to Grandma!
love you all,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Transfer 9 week 2

FEliz Ano Novo todo mundo!
espero que sejam felizes este ano e fazem muitas coisas boas para O Senhor.
Im enjoying working with my new companion, sister V. Morais.  SHe is a hard worker and dedicated so we are going to get a long great.  Im getting to know the area, its a lot bigger than what I was working in Julio de Castilho, but I rather enjoy more space to walk.  Its going to be a good transfer for sure. I know im going to be learning alot too.  I have been very pensativa....umm reflective, pensive: yeah about what i want to accomplish in the next five months and the rest of my life.  the last few nights  I have hardly been able to sleep because my mind is going crazy.  I first am thinking about my area and what i need to improve and then my thoughts start to wander off on the changes i make now how they´ll effect me in the future and then it thinking about everything under the sun and next thing i know im laying in bed wide eyed with a headache at 12:30 when i really need to be sleeping.  I literally had to count sheep last night to fall asleep.  I guess with the new year starting im seeing how quickly this time passes.  I dont want, on my last day of my mission to have tears of regret but tears of joy and happiness.
We have some awesome recent converts in my area, families so great.  one family in particular we are praying so much for.  Everyone is baptised except the father, (i wont cite his name because i dont know how to spell it or pronouce it properly...)  and he wants to be baptised so much.  He is such a humble man, the only problem is that he has commited one of those sins that arent easily pardoned.  Seeing him, knowing him, you wouldnt believe that he has killed someone.  I dont know the circumstance, but i believe it had to be for self defense.  We are waiting to hear back from the prophet if he can.  Sister Morais said it was heart breaking the first few months of working with the family because he would cry every time the sisters visited because he wants so much.  I want to see this family be an eternal family.  They are so special.  I have been studying more about breaking and keeping the commandments.  In this world satan tries to make us think that we arent sinning, or that it isnt a big deal.  But it is.  there are so many ways that we separate ourselves from God.  The hymn nearer my God to thee has taken on a new meaning to me as I have been reflecting on how i can purify my life.  That is what I want, to be nearer to God, to feel His spirit ever present in this life.  I know that the basics we need to do in this life are make and magnify our covenants with God; raise an eternal family, and share the gospel.  These are the things most important that daily living at times makes us forget.
God is awesome, HE really is our Father Eternal.  He is waiting to bless us, if we just keep His commandments.  I love this gospel, its perfect.
Love ya´ll, have a great week.
ps-did ya´ll make a list of what is happening in our family in 2011?  if so I want to know the results and if ya´ll did one for 2012.
pps-- you know what is awkward?  when you are sitting next to someone who obviously isnt using deodorant...and you keep thinking, is that me.? so you do the sneaky check like 5 times becuase you are started to get paranoid that you smell bad.