Monday, August 28, 2017

Mission Week 39: August 28, 2017 9 Months in the Mission! Half Way!!!

Editor's Note: We can't believe that Sister Tyson is half way through her missionary service in the Brazil, Londrina Mission! We have been so blessed by her service and we are so proud of all that she has done and experienced in this special place! Here is the latest...

August 28, 2017

Sister Tyson & Sister Pereira (Mission President's Wife)


 This week was a good week--- the Zone Conference was awesome- I cried as Presidente gave his training on how we need to be working always in order to set ourselves up and other missionaries up to be baptizing weekly!


We will baptize N. this week! We will baptize her on Saturday!
 
9 months tomorrow!!!!
THE MISSION GOES BY WAY TOOOOOO FAST! I AM LEARNING AND LOVING IT SOOO MUCH! I CAN'T IMAGINE EVER LEAVING!
I love my Savior. I am doing this for Him. My testimony of Him, Heavenly Father, and the Holy Ghost have grown sooo much since I started my mission. I love them and know that they love me because they trusted me enough to send me to serve here in this wonderful place with these wonderful people!!! MY HEART, as always, IS SOOOO FULL OF GRATITUDE FOR ALL THESE EXPERIENCES! This is the hardest thing that I have ever done, but I am growing and doing my best to do the will of The Father. He lives and He is guiding this work!!! I love Doctrine and Covenants 18 when it talks about how great will be our joy if we bring one soul unto Christ...I am here to bring as many souls unto Him as I can...but, if I only manage to bring one soul unto Him during these 18 months...that one soul is going to be MINE!!!! I KNOW HE LIVES, AND I LOVE HIM!!!! I AM BEING MORE AND MORE CONVERTED AS EACH DAY PASSES AND I NEVER WHAT THIS SACRED TIME IN MY LIFE TO END!!!!
Here are some of my 9 month pictures--- HUMP DAY IN THE MISSION--- NOTICE THE CAMEL IN THE BACKGROUND... HEHEHEHE!


LOVE YOU ALL!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mission Week 38: August 21, 2017

August 21, 2017

We are teaching a little girl named N. and she is beyond precious! She is 9 years old and lives with her grandma, aunts, cousins, etc. We met her mom and have been teaching everyone in that house, but the mom recently left to live in a different city to take care of her uncle who is sick... N. is soooo special...she learns so fast and has so much faith. she has her own bible and is able to read and explain what she is reading to us and her gma!! ITS INCREDIBLE!

Sister Silva found N. in the street on Sister Silva's first day and we have been teaching ever since!!! N.'s grandma goes to a different church, but is always participating in the lessons. they live in a humble home...

BUT ANYWAYS...N. is special! This week we explained baptism to her and she said, "Sister Tyson, I want to be baptized like Jesus was baptized. Will you baptize me?" MIRACLE!!!!! We went to pick her up yesterday and walked her to visit the church for the first time. It was precious, we walked with her and she grabbed my hand and stayed holding my hand the whole rest of the time until we got to church. She is a chatty little thing and the members loved her!!! She was so cute and ran off to primary with the other little girls. I introduced her to some of the little girls her age who are always clinging to me during sacrament meeting (helping to build friendships) and she did great!!! 

I took her to the baptismal font to show her what it was like, and she said, "so you will go into the water to baptize me?" and I explained to her simply that another missionary- an elder- my friend, would go into the water with her, say a prayer, and baptize her because he has the permission from Jesus to baptize. She then asked why women cant baptize and I was so impressed by her question- then I explained that women have the special job to have babies and be mommies and that because Jesus is a man, he gave the special power to baptize only to men. But, I reassured her that I would be standing right up against the glass of the font, watching and encouraging her until she came out of the water and then I would help her get dried off and changed again for the after party! 

I knew she understood my explanation because she went around telling R. and other members that although she was disappointed that I couldn't baptize her, she understood that it was because I would be a mommy someday and that Jesus only gives authority to men!! hahahaha precious! She explained perfectly!!! soooo smart!!!
Sister Silva will invite N. to be baptized tonight!! First time she has invited someone to be baptized! and then I will get the baptism form filled out and work with the grandma. I was worried about baptizing this little girl without having anyone in her family being baptized too, because its hard for a little kid to stay active without the parents being involved, but I am teaching everyone in her family at the same time and will help them to overcome some addictions and build more faith after N. is baptized. I CAN NOT TELL HER THAT SHE IS NOT READY JUST BECAUSE HER GRANDMA/MOM AREN'T READY. She is ready to be baptize. I know that Heavenly Father knows that she has so much potential to be a huge leader in the church someday. N. was sweet too and kissed my face as she whispered, "Sister Tyson, I want to be a missionary like you someday." MY HEART MELTED INTO A PUDDLE FOLKS!!! THESE BRAZILIAN KIDS WRECK ME.... THEN IT GOT WORSE... her little 4 and 5 year old cousins said the closing prayer at our last lesson with them and they said, "Jesus, please bless our sisters that they can come back to us and that we can sleep good and be happy always," and they were on their knees and everything!! THEY SAID, "OUR SISTERS"... MY HEART CAN TAKE IT MUCH MORE! I CAN NEVER LEAVE THESE KIDS!!!!

The primary is already involved and I have a leader in the primary who is 19 and planning on serving a mission, that lives close to N. who has already agreed to pick her up each week and take her to church even after I get transferred- and she will pick her up for the primary activity this week!!! ORGANIZING FRIENDSHIPS AND GIVING THE WARD RESPONSIBILITY REALLY WORKS MIRACLES!
N. sat next to me during sacrament meeting and colored in my notebook-- I will send a picture of what she drew. She drew me with the Book of Mormon in my hands... we are teaching so many people about the Book of Mormon right now so it is hard to remember who is learning what and so I asked her, "have you already learned about the Book of Mormon?" and she said, "no, but you will teach me about it soon!" I LITERALLY WAS SO CHOKED UP. I HAVEN'T EVEN TAUGHT HER ABOUT THE BOOK OF MORMON YET, BUT IT IS ALWAYS WITH ME WHEN I TEACH HER AND SO SHE ALREADY KNOWS HOW IMPORTANT IT IS!!!! We happened to be talking about the importance of the Book of Mormon in Relief Society yesterday and I cried as I showed the women in my ward the picture and explained that even young children who have never been introduced to the Book of Mormon before can feel of its importance based on how we live our lives and study the Book of Mormon ourselves! So sweet!


In other news, as Sister Bott was leaving to Cambe (my last area), I told her that I had organized the area book for her to go and find and baptize all of those people that I had been teaching.

This week, the AP's called me and told me that they were going to do a conference call between me and Sister Bott because there was a little boy there who would not get baptized without talking to me on the phone!!! When I heard Sister Bott's voice, I burst into tears! lol!! She explained the situation and said, "Sister Tyson, everyone is here ready to baptize this kid, but he said that he has to talk to you first. Sister Tyson, you are our secret weapon in convincing this kid to be baptized tonight!" Then I talked to E. (the little boy)--- I WAS A WRECK! I talked to him about everything and about how important it was for him to be baptized. I promised him that he would be blessed and that the problems at home would get better if he would have the faith to be baptized. He kept telling me that he missed me and I told him that I love him so much!!! he said, "Tia (aunt), I will be baptized when you get here to watch it happen." 

E. was firm on his decision that he wouldn't be baptized without me being there...Sister Bott was disappointed but laughed and said, "Sister Tyson, everyone here (members and investigators) are cracking down, saying 'we want Tyson, we want Tyson!' I am starting to think that you did too good of a job over here...." hahaha

We will see what Presidente says..he wants baptism...and I will be baptizing here in Bauru this week (fingers crossed) but rumor has it that he might let me go back to Cambe for a day to baptize some of these people and come back...who knows... I would be more than happy to! We have our Zone Conference tomorrow so I will talk to Presidente then.

IT WAS SOOO GOOD TO TALK TO SITER BOTT!!! R. WAS WITH ME SO SHE ALSO TALKED TO SITER BOTT FOR A FEW MINUTES. SISTER BOTT KEPT SCREAMING AND SAYING, "YOU DID IT TYSON! YOU PREPARED ALL OF THESE PEOPLE AND NOW WE ARE GONNA FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED HERE!"

Oh and SHE BAPTIZED MY LONG TERM INVESTIGATOR N!!!!!! N. WAS SOOOO STUBBORN AND WE WENT THERE SO MANY TIMES, BUT FINALLY SHE WAS READY AND SISTER BOTT WENT AND BAPTIZED HER!
I am sooooo happy!!! We are all on the same team- it doesn't matter if we are planters or reapers, we are all here to build up the kingdom!!! My heart was at peace to know that I did my part to help set these people up and that I worked so hard there. The Lord is soooo merciful, and as hard as it is to be without Sister Bott and to miss seeing these baptisms of the people that I struggled and prayed so hard for, I AM EVEN MORE HAPPY TO HEAR THAT SISTER BOTT IS HAPPY AND SEEING THE BAPTISMS FLOODING IN!!!!! MY HEART IS THRILLED!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mission Week 37: August 14, 2017

August 14, 2017

This week was crazy---- let me explain what has happened....

The transfer ended two weeks ago and Sister Bott stayed- it would be her 4th transfer here in Bauru Centro, but the transfer had passed and she would stay...or so we thought... this Monday right now... we were just enjoying our pday like normal- when I wrote to you guys saying that we would be getting another sister, that was true, but the AP's called too soon without understanding Presidente's plans.

PRESIDENTE CALLED ME LATER AND TOLD ME THAT HE WAS CALLING ME TO TRAIN A SISTER FOR CURTO PRAZO- THIS MEANS THAT THE SISTER LIVES WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF OUR MISSION, AND WILL COME FOR 1 TRANSFER TO GIVE THE MISSION A TRY AND THEN SUBMIT HER PAPERS!!

HE EXPLAINED THAT SISTER BOTT WOULD BE HEADED TO CAMBE-- MY LAST AREA- TO HELP FINISH THE TRAINING OF ANOTHER SISTER AND THAT I WOULD TRAIN HERE IN BAURU CENTRO.
 
PRESIDENTE explained that he could not think of a better sister to get a future missionary excited to serve. He had planned to keep Sister Bott with me for one more transfer, but when he had received notice from this stake president that we would be receiving a sister de curto prazo (short term), he knew that he had to split our companionship and call me to train her. And it worked out to send Sister Bott to Cambe to finish the training of another sister there...Sister Bott is sooo ready!!! He talked about how great she was and how we were both ready for this....
MY MIND IS BLOWN... I KEEP TRYING TO HAVE FAITH THAT THE LORD TRULY QUALIFIES WHOM HE CALLS.... THIS IS NOT COMMON! USUALLY AMERICANS TRAIN WITH 1 YEAR IN THE MISSION.. FOLKS... I HIT 8 MONTHS LIKE 2 WEEKS AGO!! I FEEL SO INADEQUATE...BUT I AM TRYING TO BE THE BEST EXAMPLE THAT I CAN BE AND TRYING TO SHOW SISTER SILVA THAT THE MISSION IS FUN AND THAT WE CAN HAVE A BLAST AND BE OBEDIENT AT THE SAME TIME!!!
She is so sweet. she has been a member for two years and is from a city called Cianorte in Maringa, Paraná. she and her younger siblings are the only members in her family- she is learning super quickly and is already doing something that I can't teach her--- HOW TO HEAR AND FOLLOW THE SPIRIT. I am teaching her how she can recognize when the spirit talks to her, because she is still learning basic gospel principles, but she is flying!!!! It is funny cause the branch presidente in her area was my last zone leader in Tiradentes- Elder Teles!

 WE had stake conference yesterday and Elder Aidukaitis of the 70 was presiding because we got a new stake presidency here in Bauru... super cool!!!!!

Oh and Presidente & Siter Pereira came too! Super fun to see them!!!! My bishop went out of his way to talk to Presidente Pereira about me!! President Pereira said to me, "Sister Tyson, minha filha, the bishop of your ward really really likes you, he says you are getting everyone in the ward excited to help with the work- keep it up!"

Then, after the conference- the bishop and his wife -I ADORE THAT FAMILY--- told me about their conversation about me with Presidente Pereira.. they said they have never had as many members giving references or had this many people reactivated in all of the time they have served as leaders in the church- bishop has already served for years as a branch presidente, bishop twice, and stake presidente. they said, "everyone likes Sister Tyson, she is our sunshine here in Bauru!"

MY HEART IS BEAMING!!

R. AND V. HELPED ME FIND MORE SHOE INSERTS TO PROTECT MY FEET!! YAY!!!! BLISTER FREE FOR THE REST OF THE MISSION!
IT WAS HARD TO SEE SISTER BOTT GO--- THIS WEEK WAS HARD FOR ME!
R.i and V. and L. helped us get her off and we all cried like babies!! It was sooo hard-- then I stayed with R. and V. and L. to eat dinner at a restaurant - I taught a lesson in English to the server- and then they took us back to the bus station to pick up my new companion and then to eat the most incredible churros in the world!! Sooo great!!! They are the best people!! They really are my family here in Brazil! It reminds me of when it was just me, Allie, you and dad living together after I got home from college last year--- I adore these people!!! THEY HELP ME SOOO MUCH!

It's so kind to hear the sweet things that people will say- helps keep us going, but SERVICE IS NEVER ABOUT THE ACCOLADES! I AM SOOOO HAPPY TO JUST BE TRYING TO HELP IN ANY WAY THAT I CAN!

I AM DOING THIS BECAUSE I LOVE MY SAVIOR AND LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THESE PEOPLE!!! MOM, MY HEART CANT TAKE MUCH MORE!!!! I AM GOING TO BURST! I KNOW I ALWAYS SAY THAT...BUT ITS SOOO TRUE!

Mom, dad--- I don't know if I can come home..... my heart is bursting... I miss you guys more than anything, but my heart is planted here in Brazil- in every area, in every house of every member, active or not, investigator, and with every companion.... I can't even imagine the pain of taking this name tag off of my chest... the thought of it KILLS ME!!!
I AM SOOOO HAPPY- GENUINELY THE HAPPIEST I HAVE EVER BEEN IN MY LIFE- I am sooooo grateful.

Today, we will shop in Bauru and try to find a watch for Sister Silva- I am showing her all the good shoes and stuff to buy for when she heads to serve in her real mission...it will be fun!!

I love you guys more than anything and am sooo grateful for you guys!!! Thank you for your support and encouragement-- I am praying for you guys always and hope you know how truly happy I am to be here! I love the Lord and am seeing His hand everyday in my life- hope you guys are too!! Thank you for all of the mail too!!

xoxoxo!
 have a great week! tchau!
-Sister KALEE JAE  TYSON





Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Mission Week 36: August 7, 2017

August 7, 2017

A.P.'S ARE CALLING RIGHT NOW TO TELL US THAT WE ARE GETTING A NEW SISTER TO STAY WITH US IN A TRIO UNTIL THE END OF THE TRANSFER-- SHE GETS HERE TONIGHT!!!! TODAY WE HAVE TO GET ANOTHER MATTRESS BROUGHT INTO OUR APARTMENT AND EVERYTHING! WE WILL PICK HER UP AT 11:15 TONIGHT!

Monday- I bought a new black dress-- simple and cute.

Tuesday-- we had lunch at the irmãs house- L.- she is the one who made us that cute fourth of July lunch! We had Sister Araujo with us because it was transfers and her new comp hadn't shown up yet-- we ate yummy chicken stroganoff and chocolate fondue with bananas and strawberries! Then, right after lunch we went and bought more chocolate and fruit to eat fondue again later that night! So fun! 

We got Sister Araujo to her companion and then made it to our ward activity- THE TALENT SHOW-- MOM, CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT I DID THAT? I HAD SOLO PARTS AND IT WAS IN FRONT OF MY WHOLE WARD!!! WE WERE EXPECTING ON PERFORMING CAUSE WE DIDN'T THINK WE WOULD BE ABLE TO GO, BUT THE WARD CALLED ON US TO PERFORM AND WE DID!! #HAVE TO GIVE THE GOOD FOLKS WHAT THEY WANT..... #DEDICATED TO MOM, ALLIE, KENNEDY, AND ALYSSA WEBB!!! 

My voice is still kind of weird from having that cold a few weeks ago, so it probably sounded terrible, but I SANG A SOLO!! And all of the ward showed us all of your guys comments on the Facebook post about it! lol!!! I thought you guys would be shocked... I shocked myself!! SISTER BOTT likes to perform. IMAGINE...ME...ME...ME..PERFORMING A DUET WITH SOMEONE IN FRONT OF TONS OF PEOPLE!! WHAT ARE EARTH? 

I AM LEARNING SO MUCH! Sometimes we do things out of our comfort zones to make other people happy and to bless their lives.... we can't be selfish with our talents...hehehe look who is talking... these people have blessed my life and I had to give them what they wanted! lol!
 
Wednesday-- zone meeting- 
We almost meet our last goals for our mission! Our goal for the transfer-- 168/170 confirmations!! yay!

We had a yummy lunch at bishop's house! It was so good and so glad that his wife finally let us wash the dishes after!! Bucket list item! haha

We visited some menos ativos and some widows! So great!!! 

It's so cool! We have seen so many miracles this week just by being at the right place and the right time, doing the right thing--- R3!! SUCH A BLESSING TO BE FEELING AND TRYING TO FOLLOW THE SPIRIT SO MUCH IN THE MISSION!
  
THURSDAY/FRIDAY-- 

LUNCH AT STAKE PRESIDENTS HOUSE--- OUR STAKE PRESIDENT WILL BE RELEASED THIS WEEK AT OUR STAKE CONF- THIS WEEK 12/13--- PRESIDENTE PEREIRA WILL COME TOO! 

On Saturday we took I. out for ice cream to see how she was doing this week after her baptism and to teach some things to her-- she said that she felt so clean and welcomed at her baptism and that she was excited to meet new friends at church too! We were thrilled! It was a great recent convert lesson with a 9 year old! Gotta take them for ice cream!!! Soooo precious!

We got her dad to confirm that he would bring his whole family to church yesterday and we were so happy--- unfortunately--- they didn't show up.... in fact, all of the people we had confirmed for church hadn't shown up! So sad--- we will find out what happened at then go back and help them this week!!!! WE LOVE THEM SO MUCH ALREADY!
 
 I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT THIS IS THE WORK OF THE LORD--- I AM NOTHING WITHOUT HIM-- I CANT SPEAK PORTUGUESE WITHOUT HIM, I CANT FIND, TEACH, BAPTIZE, BE A GOOD COMPANION, or ANYTHING ELSE WITHOUT THE LORD!!! I LOVE MY HEAVENLY FATHER AND AM TRYING TO SHOW HIM THIS BY THE WAY I AM TRYING TO SERVE.... IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT SERVING A MISSION- ITS ABOUT HOW WE SERVE!!!
 
One fun challenge for you guys this week--- I love doing this during personal study sometimes--- all of you take a piece of paper and write down your stresses, personal questions, worries, etc--- all individually-- then ask Allie to open the Book of Mormon to a random chapter and read it together... Start with prayer of course-- and see if that chapter answers any of the questions that you guys had about life- to resolve worry, stress, etc. I WANT TO HEAR HOW IT GOES--- SIMPLE THING, BUT HAS HELPED ME WITH MY TESTIMONY OF THE BOOK OF MORMON- I LIKE TO DO THIS WITH MY INVESTIGATORS AS WELL!

Mission Week 35: July 31, 2017

July 31, 2017

THIS WEEK WAS A WEEK OF MIRACLES!!!! 

FIRST OF ALL!!! SISTER BOTT IS STAYING IN BAURU CENTRO FOR HER FOURTH TRANSFER! WE WILL STAY TOGETHER! SHE IS GOING TO BE MY CO-SENIOR COMPANION! I AM SO HAPPY! WE ALREADY HAVE SO MANY NEW PEOPLE TO TEACH!!

WE BAPTIZED THIS WEEK!!!!! 

Long story.... when I wrote to you guys last week, I was feeling really nervous about not baptizing here with Sister Bott. This is considered one of the hardest, if not the hardest areas in the whole mission to find people- let alone to baptize- and this transfer we had so many goals in the mission and in our zone to baptize. 

We have worked endlessly this transfer to use the Spirit to help us find people to teach. When I arrived in Bauru and had knocked doors for a few days, it was clear to me that regular proselyting would not be very effective here in Bauru Centro- because there are many apartment building and nicer homes and less houses to try. We prayed and fasted to know how the Lord would have us approach this area. 

We were inspired to ask the Bishop for a list of incomplete families-families with menos ativos or active members who had family members living with them that werent members. I believe we received that list in the end of our 2nd week here. 

We were able to have some really cool experiences with our visits. We werent finding anyone that could be a true possibility for baptism, but we did find the F. family. 

J., A., N., and I.  We felt strongly to keep going to their house and on this past Wednesday- Sister Bott said to me, "Do you think we should try something else? Do you think we should go back to that house- they are never there...but I dont want to give up just yet.." I thought really hard about it... I prayed about it, and then felt very strongly that we needed to go back just one more time the next morning. 

We went back to their house on Thursday morning (July 27) and J. was there!!! He told us that we could come back that night at 6pm and that we could find his wife and daughters at home!!! (We had already talked to his wife and daughters one other time when we had gone by- but this was the first time that we had been in contact with them for a few weeks). TENDER MERCY!!!! 

Later that night, we went back to their house and only N. (16) and I. (9) were in the house. We were obviously wanting to find them with their mom- but asked if we could go in. We talked to them for two hours, just making small talk, talking about the United States, and talking about cute girly stuff--- gaining trust and friendship... then their mom got home. (both parents work non-stop-- their mom is a nurse and works many hours). 

A. (the mom) talked to us and we explained to her that we could not find records of her and N. on the church records-- meaning that we knew she had said that she was a member of the church- they had both been baptized but that maybe the paper work hadnt been filled out correctly. (I remembered that even the Bishop gave us their family because he was under the impression that only J. was a member of the church)--- I explained to her that we would try to find the records again, but if not, she and N. would need to be re-baptized and confirmed again. She was remarkably calm about it and we explained that if that would need to happen, she could be baptized with both of her daughters on the same day----- long story short----- we told her we would look harder for her records and let her know asap!

Anyways.... we explained to A. and her two daughters that night that we loved them already and knew that Heavenly Father loves them and so He sent us- His representatives- to invite them to  experience the peace and joy of a family united in the Gospel. A. cried as she explained that she hasn't been able to come to church for a long time because of her work schedule. She said that us coming was an answer to her prayers--a cry for help that she thought wouldnt be heard. She cried and said, "I have been so far away from Heavenly Father these last few years, but I have always tried to say my prayers and ask him to help my family make it back to church--- I want the Gospel in my home, but I need help--- I know that Heavenly Father hasnt forgotten me because He sent you to me and my daughters. You guys never stopped coming by these last few weeks--- GOD IS MERCIFUL- HE ALWAYS COMES BACK." 

MY HEART WAS SO TOUCHED! This sweet mom just needed help!!! She signed the papers that hour to have her daughter baptized-- I. (9) and we told her that we could do it on Saturday (two days later). She explained that she wouldnt be done working until at least 8:30 at night and we told her that we would baptized her at 9pm if we had to! We let her know that we would call the bishop to confirm whether or not A. and her other daughter were members or not and then plan the details of the baptism(s). She agreed and we left. 

I could she the hope in A.'s eyes. We werent just there to baptize her youngest daughter... we were there to remind A.,  that HEAVENLY FATHER ALWAYS GIVES SECOND CHANCES... or in this case, 20 chances (we literally went back to that house soooo many times- almost gave up, and then went back one more time!!!!)

THAT NIGHT OUR HEARTS WERE ON FIRE!! I CALLED THE BISHOP IMMEDIATELY AND HAD HIM SEARCHING FOR BAPTISMAL FICHAS/RECORDS. He got right on it and luckily found that A. and N.'s records had just got put into the wrong folder with another family's records. So that is why we didn't know if they were members or not. 

I explained everything to bishop and told him that we would probably be having a baptism two days later at 9pm in the evening! He laughed and told me that he would be happy to come and help us baptize regardless of the hour. He is so great- older man- already was a stake president and is just amazing!!! He said something that made my heart so happy, "Sister Tyson, I want you to know that I trust you and Sister Bott. I know you work so hard and I know that the Lord trusts you to do everything in line with His will. So, if you want to baptize a little girl at 9pm on a Saturday night- I will be there and will bring the whole ward with me! We are here to support you and we are so grateful for you!" 

The next day- Friday- was a rush! We went and picked I. up at her house to take her to the chapel and show her the baptism font. I thought it would be a good idea for her to have a chance to see it and practice before the day of- especially in such a quick situation like this---- she was nervous but asked lots of cute questions- I even walked down into the dry font with her and explained everything to her. It WAS PRECIOUS! She hadn't been in the church for years so it was cute to see her face light up as memories were flooding back to her. 

SATURDAY WAS EVEN CRAZIER!!! I HADN'T RECIEVED FULL CONFIRMATION THAT THE BAPTISM WAS GONNA HAPPEN UNTIL 6PM!!! I HAD BEEN CALLING MEMBERS ALL DAY TRYING TO ARRANGE EVERYTHING, SISTER BOTT AND I HAD OTHER COMMITMENTS TO FULFILL, AND THE BISHOP WAS WAITING FOR ME TO CALL HIM AND TELL HIM THAT WE WERE FOR SURE GOING TO HAVE A BAPTISM THAT NIGHT. 

I had talked to A. that morning and she said that she didn't know if we would be able to baptize I. that night. SISTER BOTT AND I WERE PANICKING AND ON OUR KNEES AND FASTING ALL DAY LONG! 

I DIDN'T HAVE CONFIRMATION FOR A., SO I HESITATED TO MAKE FORMAL PLANS WITH THE WARD-- BUT AT 6:30, I FINALLY CALLED OUT TO EVERYONE. I TOOK A LEAP OF FAITH---- Rosivani and Valci and Lisley went to the store and bought cake and drinks to bring, the elders were on standby with the jumpsuit and getting to our chapel, and bishop was getting to program ready. Before we had even had a firm go-ahead from A., Sister Bott and I had so much faith and went to fill up the font!!!!!

I was about to call A. again, when N. called me at 7:30 and said, "my mom happened to get off from work early and is going to change her clothes and drive us over to the chapel--- we are all ready to go- I. has her towel and is excited-- can we come over there right now?" I agreed to meet them at the chapel and then hung up and started screaming!!! I LITERALLY WAS BOUNCING OFF OF THE WALLS!! I WAS SOOOO NERVOUS THAT EVERYONE WOULD SHOW UP FOR THIS BAPTISM AND THAT IT WOULD BE CANCELLED!! SISTER BOTT AND I RAN AROUND OUR LITTLE APARTMENT SCREAMING AND THEN DROPPED TO OUR KNEES AND PRAYED-- JUST WITH GRATITUDE FOR THIS MIRACLE!!!!!!!!

Sister Bott finished I.'s KitKat cake and we ran to the church---- we had an incredible turn out from the ward!! 9pm at night we had 21 members there to support us! We had only told people that there would be a baptism only 2 hours before but everyone was there!! The whole primary presidency even came with a gift to welcome I.!!!! Some primary kids even did a musical number during the baptismal service!!! Full decorations, food table, desserts, and other snack food was brought by the members and set up for after the baptism!!!! The members even went and picked up my district leader and his companion so that they could arrive on time!!!! I CAN'T EVEN EXPLAIN HOW MANY TENDER MERCIES WE SAW THAT NIGHT!!! OUR WARD WAS INCREDIBLE!!!! We ate lots of great food after the baptism and I could tell that I. felt soooo special!! She was beaming!!!! She was sweet and helped me serve cake to everyone in the room! She told us later that she was so excited to have found her "new family"!!!
 

WE BAPTIZED CUTE I.! I. WAS CONFIRMED YESTERDAY. N.- HER SISTER IS ALREADY SIGNED UP TO GO TO GIRLS CAMP THIS YEAR!! WE ARE SOOOO THRILLED.

A. wept at the baptism and yesterday at church. She said that she had never felt so much Christ like love in her life-- and felt a peace come over her that we were there to help her family to be together forever and happy!!! MY HEART WAS ON FIRE--- IT STILL IS!!!!! 

Bishop already has interviews marked with A. and J., and we will be doing lots of family nights over there at that house!!!

MY HEART IS SOOOO FULL! THIS IS WHY I AM HERE--- I MISS EACH OF YOU TERRIBLY-- BUT I AM HERE TO UNITE FAMILIES HERE IN BRAZIL!!! 

I have truly seen the hand of the Lord this transfer and so much this week. I am sooooo grateful for a great companion who I am able to feel the Spirit with as we work. We worked sooooo hard this transfer and we fasted and prayed endlessly--- we went back to these houses soooo many times and after all of the effort we put in--- all I can say is that HEAVENLY FATHER LIVES. He made this happen. He is soooo merciful to all of us, and HE MADE THIS HAPPEN!!!
 
 

Mission Week 34: July 24, 2017

July 24, 2017


Rosivani & Val

This week was much better- I am feeling better and Sister Pereira has been calling all week to check on me. I told her that I am better and still working hard, she was just nervous that I would get worse- But, I am doing much better and we worked hard this week!

This week, we taught lots of new people. We had asked our bishop a few weeks back for a list of part member families. We felt strongly, after much prayer and fasting, that in this area- knocking doors would not be worth our time, but that working with members, menos ativos, and part member families would be the better route. WORKING WITH MEMBERS IS ALWAYS THE BEST ROUTE! 

We received a great list of people to try to contact from our bishop and this week we really got started. I feel sad because we only have one more week to work before the transfer ends and so we were getting started on this list really late in the transfer, but we were excited and went right out to find these people.

We were able to locate a find some great families who are members or less actives who have kids and other relatives who are not members. We had some great lessons with a few of them and felt confident that they would come to church this week. Unfortunately- none of these people came to church... we were disappointed, but still feel like we need to go back and teach more this upcoming week. 

This week, Sister Bott and I were talking a lot about what is a successful mission- what is success to each of us. Here in Brazil, in our mission especially- we are feeling very pressured to baptize. There is soooo much pressure that I sometimes feel like I could scream! We are constantly given goals and goals and more goals to get people in the water, and it is stressful. I want to baptize. I haven't baptized since i was in Leonor... I know that helping people to make their baptismal covenant with the Lord is a huge part of my purpose as a full time missionary, but I get frustrated with others  when they say that they are not happy because they are not baptizing. 

Folks!!! HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE.

This week- Sister Bott and I went to visit one of the names on our list. We didn't know the member (inactive), but we went to their house. When we got there, I knocked and an older lady came out. I asked her if she knew a "Hermes O." and she told me that he was her husband, but had died 5 years earlier!!! She explained that he was a member of the church but that she wasn't. She didn't want to let us in, but I felt prompted to tell her that we wanted to visit her.

She tried to send us away, and I started to turn away- when she called me back and let us in. We stayed and talked to this widow (R.) for over an hour! She started out cold, and then ended up hugging us, kissing our faces, and praying with us. She has lots of interesting thoughts with regards to religion- but she warmed up and was such a sweet lady. She has gone through a lot and has so much faith. 

I am not sure if she will join the church....but my heart was at peace knowing that whatever happens, Heavenly Father sent us there for a reason to remind her that she is not alone. She ended up commenting to us before we left, "Eu me-sinto que Deus mandou vocês aqui pra me-ajudar. Eu sei que Ele não me-esqueceu." (I feel that God sent you to me to help me. I know that He didn't forget me.)

I have lots of other stories like that from our week this week!

I was feeling very stressed about not having any baptisms to show from a ton of hard work this transfer, but then I was at peace in my heart this week- knowing that Heavenly Father sees ALL! Even our smallest efforts to strengthen another is an effort worth taken! 

I am a successful missionary, as stated in preach my gospel page 10, if I am feeling the spirit testify to people through me, I love the people and desire their salvation, and if I obey with exactness.

"The only person who determines the limit of your success is you" -Elder Ballard

"Of all the things you could do to show love for Jesus Christ, there is nothing greater or more important than to report that we TRIED to bring souls unto Him. "- Elder Ballard

I can honestly report, that I am TRYING to baptize, I am trying to love, and am trying to do my best!

I am so grateful for this work and for the opportunity that I have to grow and to serve as a servant of the Lord. He lives; He loves each and everyone one of His children. I AM SO HAPPY- MY HEART COULD EXPLODE!

Mission Week 33: July 17, 2017

July 17, 2017

This week was week number 4 of our 6 week transfer... it was a big week for us, but turned out to be a very difficult week for us. 

Monday- we had p-day with our zone. We played games, basketball, volleyball, and of course soccer, at the church with all of the missionaries from our zone. We have an average sized zone with 20 missionaries. It was a fun day! I enjoy spending time with the missionaries in our zone! Lots of fun energy! Sister Bott and I also went and purchased red shirts to match the elders in our district who bought matching ties and asked us to coordinate our clothes with them for the following district meeting... precious!!! 

Tuesday- CONFERENCE WITH THE PRESIDENT! We got up at 3:30am to get ready and walk to our stake center to get on the bus to go to Marília- another city in São Paulo where the conference would be held. We ended up leaving the stake center at 6am and arrived in Marília with the other zone. It was fun to meet up and chat with some of the other missionaries from the other zone who I have already served with in other areas! It was really fun! Then, we got started right off with Presidente giving an incredible training about the importance of teaching repentance with power and about finding new people to teach! It was incredible! I love him sooo much and am so grateful for a presidente who is inspired by God!
 
Wednesday- We had the sister training leaders with us for the day to do divisions with us.. It was a good division and we learned lots! I was with one of the sisters and we taught a woman named M... she is 90 years old but you would hardly know it because she is in such great shape! She has 7 children and even great great grandchildren! She has amazing faith and is interested in learning more about the restored gospel. We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and about how baptism, in order to be valid in the eyes of God, needs to be done the way Christ was baptized- by immersion, age of accountability, and by priesthood authority of God. She has already been baptized in several other churches and so she didn't accept very easily...but she was funny and nice about it and accepted our challenge to pray to see if she needed to be baptized or not...hehehe cute, funny old people... we shall see!

Later that night, Sister Bott and I went to teach the boyfriend of a member in our ward. The member is a somewhat recent convert.  She is 46 and her boyfriend is 54. Her boyfriend told us that he grew up as a Jehovah Witness.... and that he fell away when he separated from his wife recently. 

We taught P. (the boyfriend) and her about the gospel of Jesus Christ and testified of baptism and the plan of God to this couple.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday---I HAVE HAD A YUCKY COLD!

THE MEMBERS ARE AWESOME AND BROUGHT US FOOD to help me feel better!!! 

Val and Rosivani hired a man to come and handle the issues with our cold shower and plumbing issues in our apartment and brought us tons of food!! They were soooo great-- Val is a protective husband and father and has literally taken us in as his own daughters! He brought in a man to take care of all our house issues and left and said, "I hope you know that this is what I would do for my own daughter- you are my daughters now..and I love you both! If you need anything, you call me directly!" I thanked them graciously and told him that our real parents would be sooo grateful to know that we are being taken care of sooooo well!!

AND THEN...THAT NIGHT, ROSI AND VAL BROUGHT US BED COMFORTERS!!! DU-VE BLANKETS! MINE IS GRAY AND BLUE WITH A WORLD MAP PRINT!!!! ITS SO CUTE! THEY SAID THEY NOTICED THAT I DIDN'T HAVE A THICK BLANKET ON MY BED AND COULD TELL THAT I LIKED THE COLOR GRAY SO THEY BOUGHT ME NEW BEDDING!!