Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2 Months!

Makayla has been a missionary for 2 months now!  Not that we are counting down her time but celebrating her amazing opportunity!!!

Recently I had listened to a talk by Hank Smith about the scriptures.  He refers to a scripture that repeatedly mentions the "waters of Mormon".  Book of Mormon/ Mosiah 18:30 Maybe it wasn't a coincidence.  Maybe it was done purposely to highlight the important and sacred baptisms that took place there.  I shared this with Makayla... 

Your scripture thought has impacted me a lot.  Guess what?  The name of my zone is "the waters of Mormon".  I dug into that chapter this week!  The scriptures have become my dearest friend.  At times, they are the only things that I really understand (they are in English), and they fill me with some much comfort and understanding.  I wanted to learn more about baptism because, that is actually the first thing we teach here.  Mosiah 18 was perfect!  One scripture talks about grace,  This led me to John 15. New Testament / John 15 What an incredible chapter.  It made me cry and it was exactly what I needed to hear.  Christ invites us to abide in him 3 times.  The last time he replaces himself with "the word of God".  If we abide in the word, we abide in him.  Check out this chapter, it is amazing!

Makayla promised to write more next time.   She included pictures this week and it looks like she is doing well :) 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 8

Traveling to a different country can be exciting but also overwhelming especially when no one around you speaks your languge.  I am excited to hear about Makayla's beginnings becasue I believe we will be able to witness wonderful changes and some amazing independance in Brazil.  

     Last week in particular I was pretty homesick.  Okay, let´s be honest, the entire week was quite the quiet struggle.  But things always slowly get better, so I still think about our family often, but in a less homesick way.  
Sister Lima?...
     I honestly don´t know too much about my companion because it is difficult to have a conversation.  However, she could talk all day :)  She loves to use the words "crazy" and "freaky," and she loves to sing.  


     Manaus is a happening place.  There is always music spewing into the street for everyone to hear, and the funny thing is that it is often American music.  The other night we were walking home, and I hear that last song in the movie Greece. I turned to my companion and yelled "ooh, ooh, ooh".  I can truly see the Jungle from our deck!  That is beautiful every morning.  Oh, and the food is pretty darn good!  Brazilian Lasagna is top notch!  It´s like ham and cheese ... I think?  Secondly, juice is life!  Although I don´t usually know what fruit it comes from, haha. 

A typical day?...
     Every day we either have some erands to run, or we have time to study.  Then we go to lunch with a member everyday and share a message.  Later, we either have appointments, or just street contact and teach lessons right there because people are just chillin.  


     On Sunday, we had two families and a few other investigators come to church with us.  One of these little boys, Danelo (he is special - shaking a lot and doesn´t talk), was very happy and didn´t cry, which is apparently significant!  Another investigator, Andreu (14 and lives alone), told us that he had a dream that the Book of Mormon is true.  
     When we went to a members house for lunch on Sunday, they hadn´t started lunch yet, so they put on 17 Miracles.  And guess what!? It was in English with Portuguese subtitles!  It was the best brain break!  There is a line in the movie that really stood out to me: 

"They had no skills of frontiersman, but they were disciples of Christ, and capable of doing all that He asked." 

This reminded me that I can do all things in Christ, even if I have very little language skills.  This is the same for all of you, in any aspect of your life in which you feel inadequate.  I think that whenever we are confronted with a trail, we should see it as an opportunity to learn more about the Atonement, and be grateful for it.  This is often easier said than done, but as Jeffery R. Holland said, 

"In this Church you get credit for trying". 

I don't know if I said this in my last email, but remember it is not 

"I can´t," but "we will"

Both statements are true, but if we focus on the second, we will succeed with Christ.  


Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 7

Last Monday(Week 6), July 4th Makayla left the MTC in Provo and began her journey to Brazil.  She flew to Atlanta where they then flew through the night to Sao Paulo (on the coast of Brazil) and finally on into Manaus where she arrived in the early afternoon of her 2nd day of travel.  Her mission president reported that she arrived very well! 

When we got to talk to her over the phone in SLC, she said it was time to leave the MTC because she wasn't progressing anymore.  It was time to go to Brazil and learn the language for real and begin her mission.  Now that she is there she is surrounded by the language and at a loss for communication, the time to progress isn't always easy but I know that she is being greatly loved by the people there and she will adjust and come to have a great love for them in return. How I wish I could be there on her shoulder to witness this wonderful experience!

Hooray for pictures!  It is so neat to see where Makayla is now & the sweet companion who is taking such good care of her :)

The trip was long.  We met the mission President at a restaurant, then had desert at the mission home.  Other missionaries were there, and we met our companions on the second day.  We then got to go to the Temple, and then to our permanent home.  We have two wards in our boundary, and I met one of the Bishops that night, whose wife speaks a little bit of English.  I think that there are like 400 members per ward, but only 100 or so are active.  Everyone is so friendly, they always give hugs when you first meet them.  I am dying to connect with them and be apart of the conversation, but it is so difficult because I really don´t understand much.  Their accent can be different from what I learned in the MTC, they speak quickly and connect their words.  But, I know they are wonderful people.

Guess what, no one speaks English! My companion ... nope.  Yet she is so patient with me, often having to explain things multiple times, and she always holds my hand when we cross the street, but people drive like crazy.  In fact, we have ridden the bus twice, and it reminds me of the night bus on Harry Potter.  Once we were about to drive under water spray, and suddenly they were yelling to close the windows, but they didn’t all get closed and so water came crashing in.  This world is different from ours in every way.  Because of this, and the fact that I can barely understand anything, it has been easy to feel homesick and overwhelmed.  This has most definitely been one of (or the) hardest weeks of my life.  Yet, I know that there is much good to come, and I simply need to press forward.  In our room, there are some gospel posters, and one of the only ones in English says, "You are never alone," and has a picture of the Savior.  

This morning, our washing machine was broken, so I washed my clothing in the bathroom sink!  My arms and fingers are a little sore, haha.  But I guess it was a good experience to have.

One member, an older lady, in particular is so kind to me.  We visited her yesterday, and she gave me medicine for mosquito bites, fruit drink, berries, taught me words, glued my dictionary back together, and more.  
The stereotype is most definitely true ... Brazilians take their time with everything.  It is so easy to find people to teach because everyone is lounging in the street and you´re not taking up their time because they aren´t going anywhere.  

There was a baptism this week, and 3 people confirmed!!!  We visited the house of the man in the picture, Ademar.  So many people here are so very poor.  But life is good here, and they are most definitely being prepared by the Lord to hear the word quickly. 

The food is great! 

This experience is teaching me a lot about the Atonement and what is most important in this life.  This week has been quite difficult, but I know that I will grow a lot.  I know that we are never alone, and that Christ is always nudging us towards growth.  I´m so grateful to know of this gospel, and I know that we will always find joy in continued study, and action on what we find.  

Love you all, so very much!!!

Makayla with her new companion Sister Lima at the Manaus Temple

Manaus Temple with new Mission President...President Castro & his Wife

A view from Makaylas balcony...

Makayla's Kitchen...

Wow! Fruit Juice :) 

Sisters Lima and Long

A Baptism