Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 55: The Sun'll Come Out... with the Gospel!

I would first just like to say that my friend from BYU, Cami, sent me her wedding pictures today. I don't understand marriage and it is just SO WRONG that all of my friends are married. hahahahaha good thing I'm always singleeee! How does marriage even happen?

But she looked gorgeous. She and her husband, Neil, got married in the San Diego temple, so that is pretty cool. I guess they're really cute and stuff.

Anyways, back to missionary work! It's better anyway.

This week was an interesting one. Just full of good stuff! And mistakes. I noticed yesterday just how many mistakes we've been making lately, like being super late to appointments, forgetting to call people when they were waiting on our phone call, scheduling things with the wrong person and therefore not showing up to appointments... But as I remembered all of this, it was right before church started. And during ward council we had another training on enhancing the power of the Sabbath Day, so even while I was thinking about all the things I've done wrong lately as a missionary and how I just haven't lived up to what I should have, I remembered that I was about to take the sacrament.

One interesting thing that our Elder's Quorum president, Brother Costa (#brazilian) said was that the Atonement without the sacrament would be limited, because there would be no way for us to formally and officially accept the sacrifice that Christ made for us. I haven't studied all of this out, mind you, but it makes sense. Each time that we do something wrong, we need the Atonement. But I think in order to use it and become clean again, we need to go through the repentance process AND we need to take the sacrament. Remember, the sacrament is an ordinance, one that we take for OURSELVES, over and over again. Why? Think about it. We need it. 

So with all that in mind, I think that particular sacrament meeting was one of the most sacred that I have experienced, because I remembered what it was for and I was very aware of things that I wanted to have a clean slate from. I'd encourage all of you to take the time to truly prepare for the sacrament this Sunday so that it can be a really sacred experience for you too. 

The gospel is amazing. I wish I had much more time to be able to study it! After the mission. After the mission.

Well, we visited a lot of people this week. OH!! And we had a MINI-MISSIONARY with us! Sister Hansen. She is so great. She is going to Missão São Paulo Sul in October, so she came with me and Sister Couto for a day and the English sister for the rest of the time. She's the redhead in all the pictures. She is really great. She speaks WAY more Portuguese than I did when I started, haha, so she'll do great in Brazil. 

This week we really started focusing on individual members of Anselmo and Clarice's family. We started truly teaching Walter, their 10 year old brother. Man, that kid has QUESTIONS! He asked us why Jesus Christ had to die for us, so we explained to him all about the Fall and the Atonement and everything. Crazy kid! He's really great though. He thinks a lot and really wants to learn, so he doesn't like Primary very much... oh well. We also taught Maria, the mom of the family, and even though our Kriolo is just not good enough to be able to truly talk to her, I felt like we had a really good lesson as we taught the first part of the Restoration. Maria speaks, like, ONLY Kriolo, so it's an interesting experience. But if I had no other reason to learn Kriolo, I would still learn it just so I could teach her. Please pray for her. She's trying to get work on Sundays, but her boss said no. She still wants to try to get it off every other week though! Man, she is the greatest. She will pray to see if she should be baptized on August 30th, but she said she does want to be baptized, even though she was baptized in the Catholic church already. That's a big deal, friends. 

Also, we started teaching Brianna. Brianna is the girlfriend of Anselmo and Clarice's older brother (I don't know his name....). She lives with him, so the Silveiras are pretty much her family. We can tell she is in an extremely delicate and difficult situation, but we are so excited to be teaching her. Sister Couto and I talk allllll the time about how the gospel will change her life for forever, in every way you can imagine. To start, we taught her about the purpose of life and the Atonement of Christ. It was really great, and I feel like we are at a really good level with her now. Later, we read Alma 32 with her because she didn't read it before for her assignment. That was a miracle lesson:

She said she didn't really want to meet with us, but she agreed to anyways. We were going to teach the Plan of Salvation but decided to just read with her. When we got to the house, it was sprinkling and the clouds were super gray. But as we read with her on the side porch of the house, the sun slowly came out until the clouds and rain were almost completely gone at the end of the lesson. Her mood (and mine, it was a tough day before that) changed completely!! She loved it. She said she wanted to read more, so we gave her 2 Nephi 31. She is awesome. She's 21, so she's our age, and you can tell that she has so many more dreams for her life than what she can see now. Luckily, our message of the gospel is about HOPE and the fulfilling of dreams through Christ. Brianna is so completely prepared. We can see that this road to her conversion will be really rocky and she may even try to drop us and stop it all at some point, but we KNOW that this is what she didn't know she wanted. And it's exactly at the right time.

That is why I love being a missionary. We have the opportunity to witness the change the gospel makes in people's lives. It's truly a miracle and the greatest thing on earth to see a testimony grow (like a seed :) ).

On Thursday we also taught a less-active member named Rosie. She is so great. She hasn't gone to church for 14 years, ever since she got pregnant out of wedlock. But you can tell that she has a testimony. She even told the Jehovah's Witnesses that we believe in 3 kingdoms versus Heaven and Hell! That's when you know she's a good one. Anyways, we had a great lesson with her as we talked about our experiences that converted us to the church. We really want her to read the Book of Mormon every day, because we know that with that as her center, all else will fall into place.

Also, side note, we planned with the Elders for 30 investigators this week. You read that right--we have T-H-I-R-T-Y current investigators. Those elders work hard! They keep finding a TON of new people to teach, and we haven't even met them all yet haha. They also extended a baptismal date to a man name David Lopes who has come to church a bunch of times, and he accepted!! He will be baptized on August 16th, and Sister Couto and I will go start teaching him too this week. The Lord is truly pouring out His blessings on us here in Central Falls. I love this place. The people here are so prepared! 

 We also had some amazing member helps this week. Clara Goncalves is the man. The woman? Seriously, she keeps telling us all about all of the people she wants to help reactivate, and we're just like "oh, sure."

Jared, I promise that when you get to the field and you really start teaching people, you will see the blessings of missionary work. There is no work that is greater and nothing I'd rather be doing right now (even if all of my friends are getting married without me...). The gospel truly changes people's lives, and it will change yours too.

I hope you all enjoy yet another great week of Summer! I'm so glad to hear that Ben had a great time at Youth Conference. That sounds like it was so fun. (Emmett is one of my favorite people ever, by the way. That kid rocks!) Alyssa is going to be a great Beehive President. Go reactivate those less-active girls! And Spencer and Ryan, I'm sorry, but you'll always be the "little boys". Sorry, not sorry. 

Dad, someone (I think Sister Watts) told me the other day she wouldn't have guessed that I was so funny, or something along those lines. I've just been seeing more and more each day how I am your daughter hahahaha. The whole leading people not being led? Yeah, me too. Enjoy Utah! Remember, no blood or broken bones. 

Momma, thanks for being the best. Have fun at your stamping day :) I told Sister Couto how you have stamping friends from the internet and she thought it was just as funny as I do :)

I love you all. Thank you for all of the prayers you constantly send my way. I am absolutely positive that without them, I would not make it through one day here.

Go study the scriptures!

Oh! I forgot. We had an impromtu wedding on Saturday night, and it was awesome because it brought 3 AWESOME potentials to us!! They speak portuguese, 2 just got married, and the other we talked to is absolutely amazing and already has a testimony of the gospel (she was a former investigator a while ago in Brockton!) What? #millionsofmiracles

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