Monday, May 23, 2016
Keep the Faith!
Week 44—May 23, 2016
Baptisms and finding people has been super slow here in Caldas Novas, but that hasn´t stopped us!! We have been praying and fasting to find someone ready for baptism and guys this week the Lord has been preparing people and putting people in our paths. We´ve seen many miracles and tender mercies.
This week we went to visit an investigator and they were having a problem with one of their family members so we didn’t get to talk to them, so we left to go visit another person. We were walking down the street when this lady on the phone ran up to us and said “hey! What church do you attend? Could you help me and say a prayer for my sister who is having problems with her husband?” We were like “yes, of course!” So we followed her to her sisters house and after we got there said a prayer for her sister. The lady that brought us there was Eusoni, and she said “Are you guys mormons?” We were like “yes, people call us that as a nickname.” Then she asked us, “do you have the Book of Mormon in your religion?” We were like “yep!” And whipped a book right out of our bag and explained it to her and her sister then gave each of them a Book of Mormon. It was awesome!! So we scheduled a day to visit them and invited them to church on Sunday. Eusoni wanted us to meet her family and said she´d read the Book of Mormon! She was so excited and thanked us! So a couple days later we returned to her house and taught the Restoration to her and her whole family. It went so good and they said they would all pray and go to church. Eusoni said that the other day when we said a prayer at her sister’s house, before we got there her sister was about to take pills to kill herself. But after we got there and said a prayer for her, she didn’t want to anymore. Eusoni said she had a prompting to ask us to help her when she was in the street. She didn’t know who to ask or what to do and then we came walking by and she felt she needed to ask us for help!! We were like AHHH!! The spirit told her, it was so cool!! Eusoni was at church on Sunday and loved it! She´s GOLDEN!!
Okay, another amazing experienced happened yesterday. So last night I wasn’t feeling too good and I was a little stressed out because I couldn’t figure out where this address was. We were walking and I was looking at the map when Sister Vital stopped me and said lets go talk to that man, I have a feeling we should. I am not going to lie people, I was a little frustrated and we were late, we had already reached our goal of contacts for the week, I just wanted to get going and find the house we were looking for. Right when I thought this I was like, I need to repent, watch this man totally have a problem and need us and we are an answer to his prayer. So we started talking to him and I could tell something was wrong. I didn’t ask him, but we waited and he finally said. “Wow, its amazing that you guys stopped and talked to me. I saw you guys walk past me and I thought, I think they are from a church and then you guys came back and talked to me. I have been having a lot of difficulties this past month. I got divorced and I lost my job and I feel I need to start going to church and I don’t know what to do, I feel super lost, and I’m living with my mom.” After he said this I looked at my companion and she looked at me. You guys, the spirit speaks to us, but it’s hard to hear him in our moments of stress and worry. We must be in tune and listening and paying attention to the spirit. I am grateful for the Holy Ghost and how he spoke to my companion. I learned a valuable lesson from this. I’m so grateful Heavenly father is preparing people for us!!
LOVE YOU ALL!
This is the mom of the bishop here, isn't she just the cutest! I said "I need a pic of you in your adorable dress!" And she was like, okay, and placed her hand on her hip hahaha(;
The member on the right Pedro, has read The Book of Mormon 2 times and he is 11 and was baptized in December!! Ryan get reading (;
Selha (wife of Rodrigus) gave me this skirt!!
The field is white and ready to harvest
(it's not wheat but actually weeds,
but it reminded me of the scripture)
Smashed in the car it was hilarious (: hahha
Monday, May 16, 2016
We Got a 10!!!
Week 43—May 16, 2016
This week was a good one, holy cow!! So on Wednesday Sister Vital and I were doing our companionship study as usual, when all the sudden the assistants called asking for our address. (We had been warned that Pres. Kuceki is doing a scan of all the houses in the mission to see if they are clean and tidy) You guys, I got a flash of the movie “The Best 2 Years” a moment when their Pres. made a surprise visit and entered their house and it was all messy. ahhaha! Luckily we were prepared and just did a couple sweeps, washed some dishes and we were ready. President Kuceki came in with his assistants and looked at our apartment and complemented us. They looked in the fridge and saw that we had ice cream. He looked at Sister Vital and said, “I know who bought that...” haha! Sister was like how did you know? Sister Vital was so embarrassed it was hilarious! We talked to him for a bit and then he gave us a BIG 10 on how clean our house was!! Can I get a WOOT, WOOT??!! Yay!! He said he has only given 3 other 10´s in the mission(; Lets just say we are proud of our apartment. Oh, and they all loved our apartment, Pres. Said, “I would like to live here!” I told him, “I LOVE IT HERE!” Like seriously, we have one of the nicest, if not THE NICEST apartment in the mission(: #feelingblessed
Okay this week was insane because of many reasons. First our investigators Rafael and Fabiana have been to church for a month now. On Tuesday we decided to pop the question again about baptism and then about needing to get married legally first. When we got there, the house felt different and Fabiana´s eyes were super red and Rafael was super quiet. We talked and then asked how they are feeling about baptism. Rafael said he knows this church is true and wants to get baptized and then we asked Fabiana and she said she isn’t ready. So then we asked them about getting married and they said this was the issue. They are thinking about splitting up. It was so sad, they didn’t give us the details and we didn’t give advice but asked if they would go and talk to the bishop to work things out before making a decision. We had a fast and have been praying and after talking to the bishop they said they want to work things out and stick together!(: But they don’t want to get married quite yet...so they can’t get baptized for at least a month, because they have to get married first. So we are waiting and praying for them because they are an awesome family, their kids love church and everything too. So we are just relying on the Lord and his time for them to be baptized. They are reading the Book Of Mormon together and everything, they are elects!!
Love you all!
p.s. This computer isn’t letting me download pictures for some reason. (sorry)
Monday, May 9, 2016
Heavenly Father knows We Can Do It!
(With His help)
Week 42—May 9, 2016
So this week was super special because Rodrigus, the man that Sister Kendell and I baptized was made second Councilor in the Bishopric here in Caldas Novas. I can’t tell you how much joy it brings and how unreal it is to meet someone and watch the gospel transform them. He isn’t the Rodrigues I met the first day knocking on his door (clapping) he has changed. We can see the change in him every time we are with him, when he bares his testimony, reads/studies the scriptures, and when he prays. He has let Jesus Cristo become apart of who he is...it’s so special to see. Yesterday, when I congratulated him on his new calling I told him “I know this is a big responsibility, but you´ll be able to do it with Gods help. He´ll be beside you, always.”
I love this quote from Elder B. Eyring it go’s something like this,
“The Lord chose you, he didn’t choose you because there was no one else, or it was more convenient for you to do the task. No, he chose you because he knows you can do it and that someone with authority received revelation from God and they felt that you were the one to do the task...”
I like to apply this quote out here in the mission field. I know that God called me to the Brazil Goiania Mission speaking Portuguese because He knew I could do it. He didn’t say it would be easy for me or that everyday would be sunshine and tulips, but that it would be possible. There are people that have been waiting to find the truth, and He has led me to them. But there are more that He is preparing for me and my companions to find and teach. We can do anything with the Lord´s help, with him by our side, guiding, teaching, and comforting us. Whatever calling or mission call we receive in the church it is to help us grow, to become better, it will bring out something in you that you never thought you could do. But only God knows you have it in you, that’s why He called you to it. Heavenly father and our Savior Jesus Christ can change our lives if we let them in. They love us and want us to grow and become more like them, not like the world, THEM!! They want the best for us and most of all they want us to return and live with them and our families in bliss and happiness for eternity!! AHH! They are so incredible aren’t they??
I love you all! Thanks for your support and prayers! Keep reading the Book of Mormon as a family and on your own! Oh and go to the temple a lot...especially because...I miss the temple!! (;
Com muito amor,
Ice cream in any country is delicious!
Lunch at Rodrigues´s house!!
It was soooooo yummy!!
Look at this cool bug I found!
Solute to an awesome Mother´s Day..
our inside joke for Sister Vital hehehe
Monday, May 2, 2016
Week 41—May 2, 2016
Wow! Last week while I was writing you guys I couldn’t stop thinking….next P-day I will be with my new companion!! I am so excited to meet her and help her get to know life in the mission field!
You guys my new companion is sooooo awesome. Her name is Sister Vital, she is Brazilian and from Sao Paulo. She is 24 years old and she is just the sweetest thing. When I met her for the first time she was with her district and they all said she was the mom of their district in the MTC! She is super thoughtful, caring, loving, and SUPER excited about applying all the things she learned in the MTC into our daily missionary work. She is AMAZING to say the least. I just feel so blessed for having the most amazing companions out here (thank you Heavenly Father..you´re great!.) She has never lived away from home before, so this is different and she is super duper close to her parents...sounds like anyone you know??? So this has been an emotional week for her. But she is doing great. All the memories of my first area have been flooding back to me and I’m like trust me girl, I know how it is. Just hang in there, its going get better. Sister Vital is super sweet and easy to love! We have a family that me and Sister Kendell have been working with before transfers and they were at church yesterday and loved it! We have been inviting them to be baptized but they´ve been pushing that question aside. We have been praying and fasting for them and I just know they will be baptized as soon as they are legally married. They have a daughter Rafaela that is 11 and Junior he is 5. They love and are super interested in the Book of Mormon. Patricia hasn’t been to church in awhile because their family has been super sick like every week. We passed by her house yesterday and she invited us over for dinner today, so that will be fun for her to get to know Sister Vital. The whole divorce thing is a mess and has totally stopped, but I have no doubt, one day it will be fixed and Patricia will be baptized.
This week has been super awesome you guys like WOW!! Being a trainer is such an honor and big responsibility. Everything you do and say your companion is watching and observing and learning from you. It hasn’t been easy…that is for sure, but I have been praying more than ever for help and Heavenly Father has been right by my side the whole time. I love this quote and have been reading it all week from Pres. Uchtdorf ``Thou it may seem that you are alone, angels attend to you.`` I have a testimony of this. We are never alone. Heavenly Father sends the spirit to us to help us and angels to watch over us. How cool and comforting is that? We have no need to fear, just have faith!! But I have been teaching her the lessons, how to do contacts in the street, its all so exciting! I am happy she already speaks Portuguese, that makes things a whole lot easier. haahahaha(:
Okay, lets take it back to when I was saying goodbye to Sister Kendell, that was a tough one, the whole ride to Goiania we were talking about our memories and all the things we will do when we return from the mission (we have a Sister bucket list) and we wrote each other notes and we read them...it was special
I had been so excited to go to Goiania to pass by Mauras house, and if we had time to talk to her, (remember she is my Brazilian momma.) I was hoping to see her daughter Stephaney who Sister Matos and I taught when I was in Goiania University and they were both baptized, remember?
When we arrived in Goiania we dropped our stuff off at the Sisters apartment (where I lived before I got transferred to Caldas Novas.) Some Sisters that have been working there in Goiania said “Oh, Sister Smith, are you going to pass by Maura´s house and say hi to her, we told her you might be passing by for transfers and she was freaking out and wants you to stop by!” I was like, YEP we were actually just leaving to say hello to her and Stephaney!! I was so excited the whole time we were walking there (me and Sister Kendell) I was telling her all about Goiania and all the places to eat and buy things, and where the internet café is to email her family! I showed her where some of the members live and telling her all about the members and how she will love it there (because Sister Kendell was transferred there.) I couldn’t wait to get to Maura’s house because this was a complete surprise to Maura, I didn’t tell her I was coming or anything we just ran to her house. I haven’t seen Maura or Stephaney since Christmas when we ate dinner at there home.
When we finally got there, Maura opened the door and got so excited she was talking on the phone and we just started crying and hugging...ahhh. I literally forgot how much I missed Maura it was the greatest thing to hug and talk to her! Stephaney was happy to see me too, she hasn’t changed, still on her cell phone and talking about instagram and all that. We laughed, we cried, and Maura was like ohhh, Joao, he wants to talk to you (her husband who has cancer who wanted to get baptized when I was there but I got transferred.) I went in his room and he was sick in his bed and she was like, he wants to tell you something. He was so sick and weak and thin it was so sad, but he grabbed my hand and said I was baptized after you left. Ahhhh I started crying and he said I have missed you and been thinking about all the times when you and Sister Matos would pass by here and all the good happy times with you two. I love you two, I miss our house being filled with your spirits. It was so special to hear him say all this. We were all crying and we said a prayer together. You guys! I can’t even tell you what joy this gospel is and how happy I am that he was baptized. The spirit was like bursting out of all of us it was the happiest, most perfect reunion with my favorite family (: Maura was like I will make you your favorite strawberry smoothie that you love and the whole time we were talking about all our memories on Christmas. Like making no bake cookies and she said I think I still have the peanut butter in our fridge that you brought over to make them. So me and Sister Kendell ate some peanut butter (they don’t sell peanut butter here in Brazil, a member gave it to us. She received it from her sister who lives in the US). We talked forever and took pictures. Then I said goodbye and that I would pass by again the next transfer. It was so special she said you and Sister Matos are super special to me, other sisters are too but it’s different with you two. I told them they don’t know how good it is to hear that they are still going strong in the church, reading the Book of Mormon everyday and Stephaney and Maura want to serve a mission some day... I love them and I am so grateful that Heavenly Father gave them to me to teach and to baptize. They are my family and are a part of me now, idk it’s something I can’t describe I love them so much!!
Scripture of the week: Alma 29:9
Love you all!
Our ride to Goiania together, My last time with Elder Contrares and Sister Kendell. Elder Contrares gave me and Sister Kendell these key chains.
Sister Vital, me, Elder Alves, & Elder Yanqui
I love my new district!
This member Isabella who I just adore!
This is a joke we have that, that I look like this lady on the toothbpick box hahaha