I can´t believe
that the transfer has ended and another has begun! I got transfered to
Dom Pedro (really close to the temple and the soccer stadium) and I am with Sister Ojeda (from Peru). We are going to get along just
great! There is tons for work to do and lots of people to visit!
This week we had a really interesting experience. We went to
visit a Recent Convert who lost their baby on Monday. They left us in
their house to run an errand real quick (missionaries always have
perfect timing right?) Anyways we were waiting and a very typical Amazon
rainstorm hit. The kind where the street turns into a river because of
all the water. Well, my companion and I logically would have stayed in
the house. Who wants to get wet like that? But the Lord said otherwise.
Ever so distinctly we felt that we needed to leave. It was a sense of
urgency that I have come to recognize as warnings from Heavenly Father
through the Holy Ghost. So my comp and I decided to follow the Spirit
and brave the storm to go home. We got soaked through with rain water
and the roads and sidewalks really had turned into flashing rivers. I
never would have thought to leave the safety of that house, but the Lord
said go. As soon as we got out of the neighborhood I felt an
overwhelming sense of peace that let me know I did the right thing. Call
us crazy, but when the Lord tells you something with urgency, it is not
the best time to ask why. I still don´t know why we left. We visited
the family the next day and everything was normal. Sometimes we will
never know why, but as we follow the Spirit we will have the calm
assurance that we did the right thing.
At many times in our lives God will tell us to do something or
to not do something. He being a perfect and omnipotent Person, is it
really our place to ask why? He already knows and is giving us an
answer, warning, or guidance. Those moments are not the best time to ask
why. God knows so go with what He gives you. Have a little faith and
trust in you Heavenly Father that knows perfectly what you personally
need for your salvation. He and Jesus Christ are the two people in this
universe that will never lie, cheat, steal, decieve, or turn their backs
on you. You can trust thier judgement and direction because it will
never be wrong!
Remember the Lord loves you and the Church is TRUE!!
Love Sister Nay
PS- Life is full
of tough decisions, but if we include the Lord and use our brains, we
will be lead to the places that we need to be with the people that we
need to be with.
This past week has been amazing and exciting!
The World Cup has started and I have never seen so many drunks in my
life! We had 2 very special baptisms this week! And as always I learned a
few things or two while thinking and singing while I walked.
The World Cup is a sight to see folks. I have never
seen people so into a game like Brazilians are into soccer. The whole
world stops when Brazil plays and when other teams are playing the world
is on pause. Seriously the World Cup is a family event that lasts over a
month! Plus anyone who is not a member spends all day drinking and all
night partying! You would not believe the noise. Fireworks every goal
that Brazil makes. Yelling, jumping, yelling, yelling. Did i mention
We had two very special baptisms this week,
Kleberson and Darlyson. Kleberson is the boyfriend of a member and has
been coming to church every week for 9 months. He has had a testimony of
the Gospel of a long time now and had a desire to get baptized but was
afraid that once he got baptized he would fall backwards. He lacked
confidence in himself and so he dragged his feet. But we had a really
good lesson with him last week and he finally decided to get baptized.
The smile on his face is a priceless memory that will stay fixed in my
mind forever. Darlyson is a 16 year old that has incredible faith. It
was as though we weren´t teaching him at all. He was so prepared and so
strong! His family didn´t really support him but he stood up for what he
believes in and got baptized. He is a great kid. Both will be amazing
missionaries in the years to come. They both talked about serving
missions after they got baptized!
Okay so why did I put Harry Potter in the title of
this weeks email? One night as I was glorying in the wonderful wind of
the fan after a day of much walking in the very hot sun, I began to
think. I will try to explain the thought process I had and hopefully you
all will understand at least a little but of what I am trying to say.
I was thinking about how so often we as imperfect
human beings we get so caught up in how awful or amazing our past was we
don´t want to set it down and pick up our present or our future but we
want to dwell on what was. Then I thought how dumb that was and I
compared it to reading a book series. Let´s just take Harry Potter for
example, a very well loved book series. How silly would it be if we were
so enthused with the first book that we never bothered to pick up
2,3,4,5,6, or 7? How much adventure are we missing in Harry Potter´s
life because we got stuck in his 1st book? It is the same thing in our
lives, how much are we missing because we are stuck in our past good or
bad? How much are we will to miss because our first book was so awesome
we don´t bother looking at the next book? Are we really willing to give
up a lifetime of adventures because we had one really good or bad
adventure in the beginning? Am I really going to choose to miss tomorrow´s
double rainbow because yesterday´s single rainbow was really pretty? At
the end of each weekly email from Presidnet Klien he writes vamos na
frente or let´s move on! Yes our past was awesome or terrible. Yes at
times we want to go back and relive those moments or go back and change
something, but at what cost? Missing something even better today! So
today I leave with you all the challenge vamos na frente, let´s move on
will definately be a better day! Don´t miss some of life´s greatest
adventures because your life was different yesterday, last week, last
month, or last year. TODAY is the good day to start a new adventure,
turn a new leaf, start a new book. New beginnings need not only be on January 1st, we always wake up with a new day with no mistakes in it yet!
So Harry Potter taught me a little bit about always
anxiously moving forward, excited for a new adventure and not getting
caught up in what was! So this week Harry Potter was serving a mission
with Sister Nay!
Remember the Lord loves you and the Church is SO TRUE!!
Denys and Natalia got married and Denys was baptized last week!
The font was clogged and we needed to fill the font with new water.
Because the water was a week old. So we emptied with buckets and garbage
cans in an hour :D
I hope you all know that I love you! I also hope
you all know what it feels like to be happy. To be happy because you
choose to be happy. Your world could be crashing, people could be
talking about you behind your back, things could be going everything but
your way, but you still have the choice to be happy! So in this moment I
want all of you to choose to be happy no matter what happened
yesterday, this morning, or last week. Starting right now, you can
choose to be happy and you will be! Sing a song, laugh, tell someone you
love them, serve a stranger! Today is a great day to be you! Today is a
great day to be full of joy! Today is a gift, that is why they call it
Today I want to share something amazing and so simple!
in your life, everything about the Gospel, and everything about your
future is tied to the Atonement or sacrifice of Jesus Christ! You can
have everlasting joy because Jesus Christ came to this earth for YOU! He
suffered, died, AND was resurrected so that YOU can be happy, so that
YOU can have joy! You can be freed from sin, mistakes, and guilt. You
can hand your trials, weaknesses, and difficulties to Him. You will live
again after death because of Jesus Christ!
The atonement of Jesus Christ give purpose and significance to your
life! You exist becasue Jesus Christ choose to come to this earth for
you! Isn´t it wonderful that we have a loving Savior that would do so
much for us!
We have everything to rejoice about because Jesus Christ lives!!!
Don´t dwell on your past and where you have been, Jesus Christ gave you today and gives you the future!
Seeing as you are all so eager to hear more about the wedding last week I will indulge.
was a stressful week trying to organize a wedding and get all the
proper clothing and stuff. But I finally got to see member´s of the ward
helping one another and we were able to find a dress, shoes, a suit,
shoes, a tie, cake, cupcakes, and a salty cake thing. Each was from a
different member. It was truly a miracle. I played the piano for the
wedding. Miraculously I was able to remember Pachabelle´s Cannon in D
well enough that i could play it. The Holy Ghost truly brings things to
our rememberance when we need them. I haven´t played that in years, but I
did last week. I improved a little but I remembered the melody and the
left hand! Truly a miracle of God.
The baptism was quick and powerful. I bore my testimony and I could
feel the Spirit so strong that God was so proud of Lusivaldo.
This week I can´t help but use two primary
children´s songs about the pioneers. (Yes I know we have more than a
month until pioneer day.)
This week has been full of blessings and excitement and may I say more than a little bit of walking.
There are a lot of people here in Petrópolis that are changing my
life each day as I get to know them better. I am so grateful for the
opportunity that I have to be here. These faithful people here in Brazil
are often spiritual pioneers in their families. Sometimes I feel like I
pioneer because of the amount of walking that I do, especially this
Being a pioneer doesn´t mean you have to be the first memeber in
your family nor does it mean that you have to walk across the plains in
extreme weather conditions. Being a pioneer has more to do with the
faith that you hold in your heart. Do you have the courage to give up
everything (poularity, fame, fortune) for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and
the will of God. Do you have the faith that through even the hardest of
trials everything will all be worth it?
The lessons that we learn from our pioneer predececors is more that
walking and giving up worldly goods. It has everything to do with their
legacy of unwavering faith and courage in the face of immeasurable
trials. We all can make the choice to be a modern day pioneer. A person
that will stand up for what is right even when you are seemingly alone
is a pioneer. A person that looks at a seemingly inconquerable trial and
says `the Lord is at my side´ is a modern day pioneer.
As I have thought about our pioneer predececors and
the example and legacy they left us. I initially thought about how much I
was walking. I did the math and thought wow, here in Brazil I will walk
just about as much as the pioneers that crossed the plains. But as I
have pondered their legacy (as I have been walking) I think what they
would truly want for me to learn is from their faith and courage. Do I
have the courage to be obedient, steadfast, and faithful to all my
covenants, the commandments, and even the mission rules? Do I have the
faith that even though trials have, are, and will come my way that Jesus
Christ and Heavenly Father will provide a way not only to get through
them but conquer them? In my heart I have found the answer... YES! I
will take courage to stand. I will hold on to my faith and trust in God.
And one day, if I continue in courage and faith, I will arrive in Zion
just like the pioneers.
You don´t have to push a hand cart,
Leave your family dear,
Or walk a thousand miles or more
To be a Pioneer
You do have to have great courage
Faith to conquer fear
And work with might for a cause that´s right
To be a pioneer
week was full with a little bit more walking than normal, but it is all
great fun! We worked a lot in a part of our area far away from our
house this week. We have 3 investigators out there and we picked up some
new ones too! I remember walking back and thinking about how much I
wanted to sit down. We were walking down a dirt road and it seemed like
it would never end. But that walk was totally worth it because the faith
of God´s children and my faith were strengthened that day.
Then the next night our investigator Cristiano was going to have an
interview. When he didn´t show up at the set time. Sister Marinho and I
walked all the way to his house which is about 20 minutes from the
church and then walked around his entire neighborhood trying to find
him. But we didn´t. But I learned that it is one thing to help
investigators by teaching them and another to walk and walk and walk
trying to find them.
Sunday morning we agreed to help an investigator find the church
because they just moved to Manaus. After 30 minutes of walking in the
opposite direction of the church building to find them, they said that
they could´t make it that day. So we then walked 50 minutes to the
church building. During this entire time our neighbors dog was following
us. Seeing as there are lots of street dogs here, one pack of dogs
wouldn´t let him pass their street. When we arrived home last night he
still hadn´t returned home. We then spent 2 hours of our weekly planning
time looking for the dog. Needless to say I gained a new appreciation
for the pioneers and how much they walked each day.
During all of this walking time I truly have learned the power of
singing while walking or doing whatever activity. I have gained a
testimony that if we sing as we do our work, play, and things that are
hard the Spirit of the Lord will be with us more strongly and we will
have a stronger disposition to serve those around us. We will find great
strength as we sing.
Pioneer children sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked.
Pioneer children sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked.
They washed at streams and worked and played.
Sunday they camped and read and prayed.
Week after week they sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked.
Yesterday I was talking with the Young Men´s president
during lunch. We were talking about life after the misson, he was giving
advice and stuff. We ended up getting on the topic of I was a visa
waiter. I have been here for 2 months and people still are suprised that
I am more than halfway done with the mission. As we were talking I made
When we moved from Florida to Arizona I remember getting very
emotional and swearing that I wouldn´t make any new friends because I
knew I would just be moving again in 2 years. That stance lasted the
summer and shortly after school started I met Merrilee and we have been
best friend´s since.
I realized that something similar happened here. I
gave my heart and soul in PA and it ripped to shreds that day that I got
my visa. I acted excited but truly I was heartbroken to leave. I never
conciously made a decision to not devote all that I have to this
mission. But I realized that subconciously I have been doing that in a
pathetic effort to protect myself from more heartbreak. Because this
time, when I leave it is more than likely that I will never go back. PA
is much easier to return to, Manaus is a place that when I leave I will
have to wait for the second coming to see these people again. It was
hard enough to leave the first time knowing that i would come back.
Allowing myself to fall in love like that again with the knowledge that I
will never see them again is something that i am terrified of.
I have made a decision to study hearts and changing hearts for the
next little while so that I can learn to open my heart to this place and
accept that yes I will love these people and yes I most likely will
never see them again in this life. yes it will be hard to leave, harder
than PA because in PA I have the promise of going back easily.
It is not that I don´t love the people, i do, I think they are
great. But I realized that I put up barriers to protect from more pain.
Love you all and thank you for all of your support!
I am doing good.
The member who lives next door to us is really sick and we have been
helping her out. Sometimes I feel like the entire world is cashing down
around me and I don´t know where to start cleaning up. Just keep
swimming for 7 more months, just keep swimming swimming swimming! I will
survive, I think. We are working hard and doing our best to support and
serve the ward. Everything will be okay!
This transfer has ended and another has begun. I
have the blessed opportunity to stay in Petrópolis with my beautiful
companion Sister Marinho. We have lots of work to do and the energy to
This past week I have learned a lot about choice.
The choice to be happy. The choice to be obedient. The choice to stay or
go. The choice to follow God´s will or our own.
amazing thing is our Heavenly Father gave us a unique gift that no one
can take away. That gift is the gift to choose. Yes there are times when
we don´t get to choose our circumstances, but we can most definately
choose our attitude. I don´t know if any of us fully appreciate this
amazing gift of choice. We are always given countless options each day
in our lives and it is up to us to choose what we think is right.
I have been learning what an amazing gift this is,
the gift to choose. This gift started with Adam and Eve when they chose
to eat of the forbidden fruit. They were given the ability to choose by
God and they choose. Each person on this planet has the opportunity to
choose everyday. Choose good or choose evil. Choose happiness or
saddness. Choose to be happy or to be sad.
Often these choices are hard to make. The right
choice is usually even harder. At times the choice to be happy is harder
than the choice to be sad. The choice to endure is harder than the
choice to give up. But we are given trials so that we can learn to
choose. Not only that we are given trials so that we can learn to choose
the right things.
God gave us Trials that we might choose! Isn´t that
so amazing. As crazy as it sounds He wants us to learn and grow in this
life and the only way that will happen is if we make our own decisions
based on correct prinicples. He is teaching us by guiding and giving us
choices to make everyday!
These past few weeks have been an opportunity
for me to ponder what the phrase, ´refiner´s fire´ truly means. There
have been periods in my life before and even during the mission that I
thought things couldn't possibly be worse than this situation or that
event. But each time a new trial comes along it is just a little bit or
even a lot a bit harder than the previous.
First of all, I have learned to be truly grateful
for my previous trials and the things that they taught me. There are
invaluable lessons in each trail that we often cannot see until the end
or even years after. The amazing thing is that each lesson that we learn
with each trial is a great asset during the next trial. Each time we
learn how we can better submit to the will of God.
Second of all, I have learned that this so called
´refiner´s fire´ is truly an event to help us locate and extract our
imperfections. Impure gold has to go through this refiners fire to
extract its imperfections. But this isn't just any fire, it is a really
hot fire, one that is hard to withstand. Likewise in our lives, our own
personal refiners fire is not easy to withstand on purpose. Heavenly
Father is helping us create a more pure and refined human being, one
that has a greater potential. Also, these moments remind us to turn to
the Lord and rely on Him because He is the only one who can help us
change while in the fire.
In the musical the Scarlett Pimpernel there is a
song titled Into the Fire. A little blurb of this song has run through
my mind frequently lately:
Never hold back your step for a moment
Look alive and your courage will grow
Hold your head even higher and into the fire we go!
will be times in each of our lives when there is nothing more to do
other than take steps forward with faith, hold our heads high, and march
into the fire with the hope that on the other side of that fire you
will be a purer gold than before.
I have made a resolution to be grateful during the
times of refinement in my life. In the spirit of being grateful amongst
my trials... I am grateful for the testimony of Suzana and Giovana. They
are two 12 year old girls who have strong and pure testimonies of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. Giovana chose to share her testimony with Suzana
and Suzana gained a testimony of her own. Suzana chose to share her
testimony with her mother and she was able to be baptized. Friday, a day
of refinement for me, Suzana entered into the waters of baptism. I
don´t know if I have ever felt the Spirit so strong and been so amazed
by youth with such strong faith. These two young women taught me a
lesson of the power of sharing your testimony. I am truly grateful for
their examples in my life!
Best friends. Giovana shared the gospel and this is what happened!!!
Tereré a drink that is super good!!
Me and my comp Sister Marinho
Crazy tan lines and fun
My new best friend (our landlords dog)
Part of my area
My zone (I dont know all the names cause some of them are new to me)
Yeah we pretty much climb either the stairs from south campus to main campus or hills as steep as the Y multiple times a day!
Service and lunch with a family
Me and cacau the fruit they make chocolate out of!