Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 56 - 57

July 10, 2017
Transfers...Makayla's companion, Sister Rivera whom she has been with for 18 weeks just finished her mission and retruned home.  I am guessing she has stayed in Manaus because only those missionaries get to attend the temple.  Even in such a short letter she sounds good and very busy!
I´m sorry to send such a quick email this week, today we are headed to the temple!!!  You´ll never guess who my new companion is ... you´ll have to wait for pictures.  We had two baptisms this weekend, and how they were special!  I think I will have more time to write next week.  It was hard to say goodbye, in a rush, to Sister Rivera, but I hope that she is having a wonderful time coming home.  
Love you all so very much! 

                                                                              July 17, 2017
Makaylas new companion is Sister Justino.  This was her 2nd companion. Makayla was her trainer.  I remember how much Makayla enjoyed working with her and laughing with her.  They will be great! 
So just to clear things up I am in the same area as a STL with ... Sister Justino!  I love our new mission president and Sister Caetano!  He is pretty direct and isn´t afraid to ask if we studied in the morning, haha.  I think that he will do our mission a lot of good!  
That is great that you are filling your days well :)  That is what summer is for after all.  
This week was yet another busy week with temple (again!), mission counsel, and interviews with President.  We are teaching a cute little Senhora (Mrs)who has decided to be baptized!
So this week we will be working hard, and we´ve already been getting ourselves organized with more creative ideas of how to be better STLs and help our sisters this transfer.  
Miss you all and hope that you have an amazing week!   Love you! 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Week 55

July 3, 2017
Crazy Busy and loving it!
Well, last week was crazy busy, and this week will be even more so.  We have two wards to take care of, so our area is pretty big.  This last week we ended up with appointments/ to-do´s in both areas in the same day, more than once!  This week will be full because we will be doing two splits, back to back.  Another Sister who is going home this transfer will be coming to stay with us during the whole week.  We will have another conference with the new President, and there will be a bunch of things to buy and activities for Sister River, who will be going home next week!  Maybe it will be the craziest week of the mission!  We are also planning two or three baptisms of our own, our ward mission leader will be baptizing his daughter, and I think there will be one or two going away parties for Sister Rivera with the members.  I think the baptisms will be Saturday: Lohan, Priscila, Isabella, and maybe Luiz on Sunday.  
Lohan is 14, but has been going to church for 3 months (which is the amount of time that a minor has to investigate the church).  He has been going to seminary, and did better on the test than some of the members!  He is really smart and reads everything that we give him.  He has even already given a lesson in teacher´s quorum.  I´ll send a picture of him and his plants, because his hobby is caring for exotic plants :).  We are finally on a very friendly basis with his mom (he is an only child and doesn´t live with his dad), yet she still doesn´t show much desire to get to know the church.  Yet, of course we will continue working with her.  
Priscilla is another member of a family of less actives that we have been working with.  We helped her out with a few things, and in return she agreed to hear the discussions and come to church with us.  Yet, she is also really intelligent and seemed to take in everything that we offered her.  She has been going to church with us, she is now doing the self-sufficiency course, and has been to institute.  We had invited her to be baptized, and she didn´t even wait for us to ask her if she had made a decision.  She came to us, saying that she had received an answer in church on Sunday and while reading the Book of Mormon!  
This week we also met Alessandra, who was a referral from the Elders.  I was totally blown away by her welcome, charity and service towards us, and her faith.  She is golden!  She is even taking us to buy a few things for Sister Rivera today in the Center.  I can´t wait to start truly teaching her!
When Makayla arrived in her mission she was unable to understand President Catro or anyone else.  I think how much she has learned from he and his wife and the fondness she has gianed of them, along with the dear friendships she has made since then. Truly a deeply meaningful and rewarding experience Makayla is having. I am so grateful for the opportunity she has been given from our Father in Heaven. 
Sorry for the craziness, but back to this last week. It was great to see all of the missionaries in Manaus at our last conference with President Castro.  I think it has been 9 months since I saw my first companion, Sister J. Lima!  It was so much fun to see so many faces that I love.  It was bitter sweet to hear from President and Sister Castro.  I think we had all been well prepared to see them go, though.  I mean to say that we have been talking about it for a while.  The best part was singing our mission hymn.  I don´t think that it has ever been sung so well, heartfelt, and loud before!!!  We will sure miss them.  What a lasting impression they have made on us :).
Well, hope you have a wonderful week!

With lots of love!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 54

June 26, 2017
Book Of Mormon
...Moroni 7:45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easilyprovoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

This week a thought came to me: if there is one thing that I really want to learn on the mission, it is to have Charity!  The scriptures plainly state that without it, we are nothing!  Wow.  So I decided to study and work on one characteristic of charity every week.  This week was long-suffering.  I sure learned a lot of interesting things!  Another word often used in the place of long-suffering is forbearing, which means patience and forgiveness.  To be long-suffering also means that we have a vision of the Lord´s work for the salvation of His children, and work for it also.  If those around us do not accept the gospel, we do not get discouraged, we do not give up.  The Savior is our perfect example.  I remembered him on the cross when He said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."  He said this in the act of making possible our salvation.  

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Week 53

June 19, 2017

This week must have been crazy (which is usual) because I am having a hard time remembering what all happened, and I find myself really wanting to start the week off with a nap, ha-ha.  We had two splits this week.  I got to split with Sister Bianelle and Sister Valadares!!! (Makayla served with these two sisters in a "three-partner companionship" this past winter /spring in Itacoatiara) It was a lot of fun.  We had invited so many people to come to church, yet only a few held true.  This was disappointing, yet we did have a puppy visitor during all 3 hours, ha-ha.  That night we had a missionary devotional by our Ward Mission Leader.  Not very many people came, yet he did a fabulous job!!  When everyone was leaving the building, two investigators came walking up.  They have been living in an unfinished apartment building, and the owner came with 12 security guards to kick them out.  He threw all of their things into the street, and Francisco broke his foot in the process.  It was really such a sad thing to see.  Yet, one of the members has a place for them to stay for two weeks.  There were a lot of little miracles that happened that night!  

Today we went to the center to look again for a dress for Sister Rivera.  We came across the coolest street fair of Indian things.  I went just a little crazy and basically bought a weapon.  It´s like a blow dart gun, and I´ll have to take a picture with it! (So, I hope Makayla can get that home through customs!)

I hope that all of you have an amazing week!!! 
Love you!

Happy, Beautiful People of Brazil
If you ask me how Sister Long is doing, just look at her...