Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Week 63

August 28, 2017

This was a fun week.  I was able to take a little bit of time to say goodbye to so many people.  I also got to get to know my new companion who is very excited and a lot of fun!  

I was so very very thankful to be able to stay until the end of the week to see Eduardo´s baptism!!!  What a blessing!  He kept expressing how important that day was to him, and how truly excited he was!  He thanked us for our "beautiful words" that had helped him to the point of baptism.  I told him that it had just been the spirit that he had felt, and that one day he would say the same "beautiful words"! (he wants to serve a mission)  He invited an aunt and a good friend to come and watch.  Lohan and Gabryel also gave wonderful little testimonies at the baptism.  I told Gabryel that the next time it will be his turn to do the baptizing!  He told me that he is actually going to another state to work and earn money for his mission.  He has 10 more months to wait.  I asked him about his girlfriend, and he sighed and said with determination, "I just consider these next 10 months as a part of my mission".  He has been one of the biggest examples of faith in my life! 

Off to a new area with a new companion.  Makayla is now serving in Rondônia, Porto Velho (Old Port)
We had the funnest time in the airport and on the plane, haha.  We tried to by Pizza Hut which ended up being like really expenssive finger food #americanfood #foreignairport.  It was a quick, one hour plane ride and we had some good airplane fruit snacks, haha.  
I don´t have any pictures yet because I need to transfer the pictures on my memory card to my jumpdrive to take more.  Yet, I will just say that I feel a little bit like I am on Mars!  There is like a thin layer of red dust on everything, haha.  Unlike Manaus, it is totally flat, and so all of the streets look the same.  Also there are less trees/jungle.  

Lending words of comfort...
I am super duper excited to give it my all in this last area, in these last two transfers.  My companion is a go-getter and so I just know that we will be able to get some good work done.  
Yesterday and today we had two interesting experiences.  On Sunday we were walking back home when we stopped to contact a girl who was sitting on the curb with a backpack.  My companion said, "Hello, how are you," and she started to cry.  We sat down next to her, and with a little bit of polite prodding we learned her story.  She told us that she had just seperated from her husband (or ran from him).  She said that they had been together for two years, and she is only 15 years old.  Her parents live on the other side of the city, and it looks like she left her contact with them when she got together with this guy.  We offered our phone and a little money, but thankfully a friend of hers passed by on his motorcylce and was able to give her a ride.  We weren´t able to help her in many ways but I was thankful that we were able to appear as comfort in that moment. Today we were leaving our house when we ran into a little boy who was crying because his mom left the house, and he got left behind.  Thankfully his dad soon got home!  It was another instance when we weren´t able to do much other than be of comfort in a moment of need.  I was also so happy to be able to clearly understand the situation :) 

No other time in our lives would we simply set out each day with a single mind set to seek those in need, offer hope, and share a messege of joy.  How a mission must shape ones heart for a significant better!

love you all, have the most wonderful week!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Week 62

August 21, 2017

Changes in a companion & area... 
Sooo, I was transfered to another state ... Rondônia!  It makes me laugh because I think that the prince, from the "Princess and the Frog", is from some made-up country with a similar sounding name.  I will be going to Porto Velho (Old Port), taking care of two wards again, as STL, and I will be with Sister Peters ... an "Americana" :O!  I have met her before, and she even stayed with us once for a week.  She even served for a good long while in my first area.  She is from Salt Lake.  I never thought that I would have an American companion, haha.  
So because we have to take a plane to get to our aea, we will stay, the four of us (Sister Justino, Peters, Gates, and I), in our area here in Manaus for the week.  So I have a whole week to say goodbye to everyone here.  We also have mission counsel and Sister Peters will be renewing her Visa.  So it should be a fun week, and maybe we will even get to go to the temple.  

A love for the people and the work...
I have to say that this area that I am leaving was a special one.  I had two wonderful companions, wonderful members, and converts!  Oh how I love these people!  Yesterday was my last Sunday in the area (although I won´t be leaving for a week).  Lohan passed the sacrament for the second time, and made sure that we were sitting in "his area", so that he could pass it to us.  Gabryel also received the Melchizedek Priesthood, and received a calling as the leader of the young single adults!  I just had to buy him a handsome yellow tie, and he said he would wear it to be ordained to the Priesthood.  Goodness, seeing people *happily accept the gospel is one of the most rewarding feelings!  And not only accept it, but run with it!  We are also working with Eduardo, who just needs a parent´s signature to be baptized (he is 17).  His mom isn´t very accepting of the church, and so we are praying and doing all that we can.  We had a few lessons with him this week.  I just love teaching him because he is so willing to understand.  When we taught him the Restoration he said, "No wonder my mom doesn´t like the church, she doesn´t understand how it was restored and the importance of prophets and apostles."  Often times I feel as though I am simply explaining facts, and the investigators are doing all of the hard work on their own with the guidance of the spirit.  I feel so blessed to simply be a small part of this important transition in their lives.  They are the super stars of my mission!!! ...That's it!  The good sweet people she is serving are the highlight of her mission.  An amazing growth of the heart!

Sister Justino & Sister Long

Week 61

August 7, 2017

This was a really great week!  The best part was that on Sunday our Raimunda was confirmed, and Gabryel was ordained to the priesthood!  I didn´t know that he would be ordained yesterday, so it was a sweet surprise.  It was like the best missionary moment in the ward.  During the sacrament I got reflecting on all of the countless blessings that I and my companion had received this week.  There were so many that I had to take out my planner and write them all down!  There were so many instances in the week when Heavenly Father gave me physical strength (I had gotten a bug of some sort) and opened so many doors to us, that just helped us to get where we needed to go and efficiently.  He is the best Father!  I know that when we are feeling and acting on the spirit, that Heavenly Father is pleased and satisfied with our work.

Hope you have the most wondeful week!
love, Makayla 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 60

August 7, 2017
Finally some more details! 
This week we had the joy of seeing Raimunda get baptized!  She is the sweetest older lady who loves animals (and has like 4 illegal turtles in the bathroom), loves to read (she has already read 1 and 2 Nephi), and is just a kick!  We just love her so very much!  I have to admit that I was a little nervous that she would get really dizzy, being baptized, or something like that.  But all went really well!  It was a great experience.  My companion and I got really excited because she was our first "grandma" that got baptized.  

This week we also had two splits.  One sister got her appendix taken out recently, and so has to stay at home for the large part of the day.  So during the split I went to work with the ward mission leader, and a sister from their ward.  We just went contacting and invited a lot of people to be baptized!  We actually had some good success.  It is always fun to do splits because you get to know the city and the other sisters.  I also got to work with Sister Cook from Arizona this week.  She copied a few things from our lessons together and had some really good success in her area the next day.  We had a great time together.  It is actually kind of funny that once in a while, when I work with another American, I am reminded of cultural differences.  It is like looking back through a window onto your own culture, haha.  I am just loving my time here, and all of the friends that I have made and am yet to make! ...All of Makayla's companions have been from South America.

I loved reading about the resurrection this week!  In Alma 40 -42.  All of the good that we have learned from our experiences here on earth, and all of the good qualities that we develop, will be perfected as they become a part of us forever!  

Have a wonderful week, love you all!

I asked Makayla to finish the following statements...
A mission is:  Preparation for everything and for all!  

Christ is:  The source of our joy.

Brazil is:  Meu segundo lar!  Amo Brasil! 
          (My second home) (Love Brazil)

Who is this cute missionary?...

Baptism for Raimunda

Sister Long and Sister Justino

Week 58 - 59

July 24, 2017

In few words...the work continiues!
This week was a great week!  We were able to place a lot of Books of Mormon and invite a lot of people to be baptized!  Sister Justino asked one young man if he would like to enter into the kingdom of God by being baptized, and he shook his head so vigorously, it was a very sweet experience.
Prayer is powerful:
Alma 33, 34, Mosiah 27:14
Love you, have a wonderful week!

July 31, 2017
Again...few words but sounds good :)
This week was a great one as always!  We had a few setbacks in the beginning of the week, but saw many blessings towards the end.  We worked a little with Gabryel one day this week (who is a recent convert of about one month).  It was the best day!  He is so excited to serve his own mission and tell everyone about the experiences that he is having joining the church.  He is a wonder!  
We are also teaching another young man named Eduardo, who wants to be baptized as soon as possible!  I think that I mentioned him last week and the special lesson that we had with him.  We are hoping to have his baptisim this week along with that of another senhora :)  We did one split this week, and will be doing two more this week.  Much good to do!
Hope you all have a wonderful week, full of small and big joys!  
Love you all,