Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Thurs., Sept. 22nd, 12:30 Emily arrives home at the Spokane Airport. Lunch for anyone interested at Emily's house at 1:30. (14111 E. 42nd. Ct., Veradale, WA 99037, Call 290-3064 with any questions.)
Friday, Sept 23rd, 6:00-9:30pm - Party/Open house, 14111 E. 42nd Ct., Veradale, WA 99037, Call 290-3064 with any questions. FOOD, FUN, FAMILY & FRIENDS! Everyone is invited!
Sunday, Sept. 25th, 9:00 -10:00am Emily speaks in church and gives her "homecoming" report at the Spokane East Stake Bldg., 13608 E. 40th Ave., Spokane, WA 99214. Call 290-3064 with any questions.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Fortunately Maria didn´t believe any of it, she still loves us and doesnt believe we´re devils and is coming to church next Sunday! Bruno continues to be strong and an incredible example to us despite the confusion and controversy he´s receiving from his family. We´re all trying to be patient in this process and realize that the Lord really knows what he´s doing and has a plan and a purpose in all things.
Hope everyone has a good week!
Bruno´s family came to church on Sunday! What a blessing. (Bruno I know you´re reading this so it´s strange to be writing about my mission news but it really was the highlight of my week! haha.) His mom, Maria and brother, Gabriel both went to church with him and loved it. Unfortunately Marcelo, his dad wasn´t able to go but promised to the next time he is available. I love this wonderful family so much and am so happy to be a part of introducing them to the restored gospel. Relief Society was all about Eternal Families and Maria (his mom) loved it! She even volunteered to bring a pot of rice to our Potluck...Fast? (almoço de jejum?) on Saturday! haha
I´ve already started packing my suitcases. I know I´m trunky, literal. I think its the heat. ugh. And my wonderful companion is helping me leave behind ALL of my nasty old clothes that I almost brought home with me. haha. Funny how attached you get to things.....
This week we were able to go to a leadership training with our new mission president President Martins whom I love to pieces! I could listen to him talk forever!!! He is such an inspired man. We learned so much about so much and it really helped! One of the trainings was given by our very own LZs and it was about correction. I really loved it. It was about how all of us have a need to be corrected by our leaders, be it a bishop, parents, etc. (in our case LD, LZ, mission president). If we are doing something incorrect we have a need to be corrected by our leaders who do so out of love. Correction is essential because without it we wouldn´t have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and grow, change and be better. That's where repentance comes in. What a blessing it is to repent! To be made clean and have the chance to start over. Instead of getting defensive when someone corrects us, we should look at the situation as an opportunity to become better and be grateful. there were a lot more things that were said but I´m not remembering all of them right now! Ask me in a few weeks and I´ll show my notes to you, haha. But it was really a great discussion. I loved it! I absolutely love how the things that I learn on my mission will always and forever be applicable in my every day life after the mission! The gospel is amazing isn't it??
I love Brasil and my mission...even if it is SUPER HOT! Beijos e abraços
Monday, August 22, 2011
This was a good week for us as Lucimara was baptized! The spirit was very strong and there was a great turn out from both members and investigators. It went perfectly. She was very happy and so were we! What a blessing it is to be able to help individuals understand the truth and make covenants with God. It is so evident that this is what SHE wants both for her and for her children. It was really a great service.
On Sunday, after Lucimara´s confirmation, me and my companion sang with the Releif Society in Sacrament meeting and I had the privellege of looking out into the congregation and seeing ALL of the recent converts that have been baptized since I´ve been in Eden! What a beautiful sight that was! I instantly became emtional and couldn´t sing very much after that. It´s hard to end a mission isn´t it? I took a picture with all of them after. That is all of my recent converts for now......theres still a lot of time left!!!! :D
We were able to have a good meeting with Bruno´s parents the other day and I think it helped a lot. We were able to explain how we really only invite the people we teach and if they recieve an answer and have a desire they choose to be baptized which is what happend with Bruno. His mom seemed to be better about that and said she would speak more to him about it. So maybe we will just have to be a little more patient with the situation. He is an elect and choice young man of the Lord. His testimony astounds me and even if I won´t get to be here for his baptism, okay I will be sad, but it will be okay! It´s not about me, whats important is that he gets baptized!!
Today, P-day, was one of the best I´ve had in a looooong time! We went to a city called Votorantim and got together with all of the sisters again and had lunch at a members house.....a family that is AMERICAN!!!! So that was pretty much awesome! The father is here working for a few years and the whole family came with him. Today we had tacos and laughed and spoke English the whole day! Yeah it made me even MORE trunky.....dang it.....but I´m hanging in there! Like I said its an emotional roller coaster to end your mission. One day I´m crying cuz I dont want to leave the next day I´m eating mexican food and countind down the days! hahaha. Anyway have a great week e até semana que vem!
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
My knowledge and testimony of different aspects of the gospel sure has grown tremendously over the past year and half. One thing in particular is of the power of the enemy and just how real he is. For example there is a recent convert here who was baptized with 25 years. Unfortunately that's too late for him to serve a full time mission but he had such a great desire and received special permission from the first presidency to go! We were all SO excited for him. Sister P and I told him the first day we found out he´d start preparing to be a missionary that he would be tempted tremendously, now more than ever. A mission is a very important and sacred experience and Satan knows this and doesn´t want you to go. We tried hard to warn and help him but unfortunately he is now being very rebellious and isnt even going to church. It makes me SO sad. The power of Satan is so real.
I see the same things happen the weeks of our baptisms. EVERYTHING imaginable happens to make it so the baptism doesnt. It´s incredible. Last week Lucimara´s uncle had a stroke and her family was all in a panic, of course because its a big deal and sad. But to me it was just so obvoius that somethign like this would happen and that we would have to move back her baptism. Fortunately Lucimara told us that she TOO understood this and that she woudnt delay her baptism beacuse of something that could happen any day but because she wanetd more than anything for her family to be a part of this very important day. so now its marked for this Saturday and we are praying so much that nothing happens and that it goes through!
We are also having difficulties with our elect Bruno who is already practically a member. He is beyond ready but his parents are apprehensive to let him be baptized. We are doing our best to help his family as a whole but naturally the Lord has a plan for everything and maybe its just not the right timing yet. (though I really hope it is because I want so much to see him get baptized before I go home!!!)
I know the church is true and that miracles happen daily. I´m grateful to be a missionary and if I had it my way I´d never let this adventure and journey end! It´s such a blessing and privilege to be here. Abraços and Bjus!
Monday, August 8, 2011
On Saturday we were running around to make our appointments that kept falling in the hot sun, when we saw Luiz. He was sitting on the sidewalk reading a book and I felt like I should contact him, but I ignored the tender voice of the spirit and we kept walking. My amazing companion didn´t let us walk 5 more steps when she said, "Lets talk to that guy, I feel like we have to." Yep, that’s the spirit alright. So we started talking. He said that he was reading his second book of the day. Sister Pedroso gave him one of the pamphlets and he said "Too bad it’s kind of small." We both looked at each other and she said "Well here let me give you a bigger one!" So we gave him a Book of Mormon and he promised to read. I invited him to come to church with us the next day and he said he´d love to but "Just so you guys know, I´m atheist. BUT I´m always willing to be proven wrong!." After a few seconds of awkward silence we said "Well great then we´ll pass by at 8:15 to get you!" My first thoughts were "He is an intellectual and won´t be easy to convert but thank heavens we have the spirit on our side!" He is the first person I have met of this faith on my mission! Seriously! Sunday morning there was Luiz on the sidewalk waiting for us with his Book of Mormon in one hand and a cigarette in the other! I was so pleased to see him ready to go! The first thing he said was "Can I wear my Nirvana shirt?" hahaha! Loved it. So basically he loved church. Of course he did. Who wouldn´t? It´s nothing like anything anyone ever expects. And it´s literally IMPOSSIBLE not to feel the spirit when you´re there. He kept making comments like "It´s so calm, but not annoyingly calm ya know?" "Wow we actually learn things." During gospel principles HE was the one asking questions. One recent convert was able to relate to him and answer his questions because he used to be Atheist too! (what are the odds?) It was neat. Since yesterday was fast and testimony meeting it´s always special. The only thing that "bothered" him, for lack of a better word, was how EVERY single person said "I KNOW that the church is true....I KNOW we have a living prophet, etc." He said "How can you have an absolute certainty about something? You have to be willing to change and have an open mind!" We were able to explain about what it means to have a testimony and how it really is impossible to deny when you´ve had a personal witness from the Holy Ghost. It was SO incredible to see his intellectual side struggling and battling with the spirit that was touching his heart! We are going to meet with him again this week and I can´t wait!
Our recent convert Jonanth bore his sweet testimony yesterday too! ahh there is just nothing better. It´s impossible to explain how I feel to see a recent convert publically bear their testimony and cry about the love they feel for the Savior and his Atonement and how he wants nothing more than to serve a mission to share this wonderful message with others! QUE ORGULHO!
Well that’s about it on my end! The Lord continues to bless our tiny branch here in Eden and I am grateful. I know he loves and protects his missionaries and I am grateful!! Thank you everyone and have a wonderful week! Bjos e abraços
Sunday, August 7, 2011
During the game of life, we added a twist at the last minute. Right before judegement every family had the option to or pay $1000 and get rid of all of the blue "sin" cards or keep their money and their cards. We didnt explain why, just gave them the opportunity to choose. The majority chose to pay and get rid of their cards. But I was very surprised at the families who replied "But I dont have any money left! No I´ll stay." Wow! What an important lesson. This part of the game was supposed to represent repentance. And how we all have the chance to be clean from sin. It´s not easy, we have to pay a price and suffer a little but its worth it. Thanks to our Savior Jesus Christ and the Atonement we have the privelege to repent and start over clean! What a tremendous blessing!! I sure am thankful because I recognize the need to repent DAILY! I´m grateful for the game of LIFE and for the lessons learned. I hope everyone can remember the importance of being obedient in the small things and realize that the Lord has so many blessings waiting in store for us! Thanks for all the love and support gente! Continue to pray for the misisonaries around the world!
Monday, July 25, 2011
Até que em fim tivemos um batismo! We finally had a baptism after so much time. Jonathan was baptized on Saturday and it was wonderful. It has been a long time since we´ve had a baptism but I really liked something our zone leader said the other day. He told us that the wards which we´re serving in will be much more appreciative of an empty baptismal font for a long time and baptisms every so often of people who are elect and will stay firm in the church, rather than having baptisms every weekend just to have them all go less active soon after. (did that make sense?) He basically told us not to worry about numbers. That really made me feel comforted. When you really forget about the NUMBER and focus more on the people. Jonathan is so elect and we feel privileged to have been able to help him prepare for his baptism. The promise the Elder gave held true too because yesterday we had lunch with the second counselor of the bishopric and he said that very thing! That there was a time when the missionaries here were having soo many baptisms. Unfortunately many of those individuals chose not to remain in the gospel. Obviously we all have our free agency, but for this reason there exists a special preparation BEFORE baptism, oh better I like the word conversion.
As missionaries its our job, our privilege to find those who are or ready or are willing to make the changes necessary to be baptized. It´s an important and essential covenant that we all need to make. It´s a commandment! Even the Lord Jesus Christ, who was perfect, was obedient to Heavenly Father and was baptized. I love being a missionary. I may not convert a nation like the sons of Mosiah, but I can do my part and help the individuals while I am here!
Thursday, July 21, 2011
We were talking to another young lady we are teaching and she said "We study religion in my church, you guys believe, blah blah blah and this religion believes blah blah blah" She then said a lot of mean things about other faiths and their beliefs. I asked her if you had a question about your math homework would you go to your English teacher? She said "No of course not, my math teacher." We explained that it should be the same way with religion, if she has a question she can ask us, or about any other faith she should ask the member of that faith instead of discussing and ridiculing other religions in her church. I asked her if she thought thats what Christ would do. If we try we can really learn a lot from everyone. We can look for the good in everything that other religions practice and their doctrines. Truly "everything good comes from God" and all is a preparation for the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have made so many friends from other religions and I am grateful! I have learned so much and have gained so much respect for each and every child of God, no matter what their beliefs. Deus realmente é um só and His love for all of His children is infinite!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Our little elect Jonathan is as great as ever. He makes us so happy and puts more confidence in us that the Lord is truly preparing people to hear the restored gospel. His eyes literally glistened when we spoke of a living prophet "Really??," he said. He accepted the invitation to be baptized without hesitation, stopped drinking coffee the very day we taught him the Word of Wisdom, and told us that he can hardly wait for our visits to learn more and for church on Sunday because of the sweet spirit he feels. The Lord loves and knows Jonathan.
Monday, June 27, 2011
We were blessed with new people to teach this week, including a young man named Fabricio. He is so happy and positive despite his broken arm and broken family. He´s only 17 and has an incredible amount of faith. It was very impressive to see. He should not be the good kid that he is because of the daily situation that he lives in. His mom died a few years ago in a car accident and he lives in a home where love is defintely not shown. His Dad and step-mom get drunk every night, fight, beat each other, him, his younger siblings, etc. He even showed us blood on the wall from a recent fight. It was horrifying. He told us that when his step-mom goes to beat his younger siblings he steps in the middle because "I would rather her beat me than let them suffer." He told us that he prays every day and night that God will send angels to his home and change the hearts of his parents so that there will be love in their home. We all cried together as Sister Pedroso bore her testimony of the gospel and how it changed and is changing her family. She came from a similar situation but was able to give hope to Fabricio. I don´t know what it´s like to be born and raised in a horrible situation like this. But I do know that God is aware of Fabricio and hears and has answered his prayers, even if he doesn´t know it yet--not saying that we´re necessarily angels or anything, lol. But really it was a very moving experience for me to be with him and hear his faith. We were able to share with him that families can be happy, show love, and be together forever. This is Heavenly Father´s plan. He doesnt want any one of His children to suffer. Fabricios situation made me feel so spoiled but grateful for my family and the love that has always been present. I have never doubted the love that my parents had for each other and for me, what a blessing. There are so many homes/families being destroyed by Satan because of a lack of love. Think of how much better the world would be if we demonstrated more love for not only our neighbor, but inside our own home. What a privelege it is to be able to be here and help individuals like Fabricio know that there is hope, that he doesnt have to go through this alone, that Heavenly Father knows and loves him, has a plan for him, and that families really can be together forever.
I´m not trunky (ready to come home) but last night we had dinner with a member and he said "Sister I have something to show you!" He put on a clip of Whitney Houston singing the national anthem at a baseball game with everyone waving american flags. Oh my word. I just stood there and bawled. Its been SO long since I have heard the National Anthem and it made me so proud to be an American!! Brasil will always have a special place in my heart but I cant help but love my country! Can´t wait to go to a baseball game again too! hahaThe irmao told me that he does this with ALL the American missionaries. dang it! Anyway hope everyone has a great week! and God Bless America! and VIVA BRASIL!
Monday, June 20, 2011
I love to watch the Jehova´s Witnesses. They really do inspire me! Such a dedicated people to their faith. EVERYONE proselytes, not just full time missionaries. Sometimes when we are on the street we see 20 or 30 duplas? (um companionships?) knocking doors and I think "Wow. wouldnt it be cool if members of the Church of Jesus Christ did that?" Sister Pedroso made a comment that I liked. She said, "There are so many of them! and just two of us. It makes me so proud to be a missionary of the Lord!" We are a small army but with His help we can make miracles happen.
We had Zone Conference this past week. President Cooleys last one before he goes home. It was wonderful!! I wish I could write all of the incredible things I learned!! Maybe I will save that inspiration for next week´s email since this one is getting pretty long already. But it sure has been a pleasure serving with him and Sister Cooley. They have done wonderful things for the Sao Paulo North Mission. I look forward to getting a new mission president and seeing the changes that he will put into place. I´m grateful for the things I am learning on my mission I can see the growth and I am happy. (spiritually and materially....I totally know how to make rice now just like a Brazilian!!! :) Hope everyone has a wonderful week!!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I wish I had something inspiring to write I´m sorry that I don´t. I heard this happens towards the end of the mish, you sort of start running out of things to say! But I am NOT trunky, promise. More nervous than trunky. I don't want to go home! I love being a missionary! I say it every day! There is just simply no greater joy! Hopefully next week I have something more important to say!
Monday, June 6, 2011
Today, the Sisters from another area spent the day with us. We made lots of food and a delicious cake and laughed a lot! It was a ton of fun. Then our recent convert called me and I could barely hear her because she was whispering, but I finally understood that she had invited some Jehovah´s Witnesses into her house and she needed help. lol. She didn’t know that we had Re-RE-enforcements from the other Sisters who were with us. So we spent several hours kindly discussing the gospel with some very nice women of another faith. It was sooo very interesting to hear their point of view and to see just how many truths they really do have. And to also see where their teachings deviate from the gospel of Jesus Christ that has been restored to the earth. When Christ came to earth, He brought the fullness of His gospel and set up the organization of his perfect church under His authority. But because of the unbelief of the people of His day, they rejected Him and His teachings. The Savior was crucified, the Apostles were eventually killed and the authority they held to act in the Savior’s name was gone from the earth. Doesn’t it make sense that a loving Heavenly Father wouldn’t leave us alone to wonder without direction? If the organization he set up when he was on the earth was perfect (as it most assuredly was), why would it be any different today? He restored His perfect gospel to the earth along with the priesthood authority to act in His name. He restored the same church with the same organization that existed in His day. We are part of that gospel—members of His church—participants in the same organization that existed in His primitive church! And we are blessed to have His priesthood authority. I saw that Priesthood authority heal Renato’s son and his mother, Marlene. I truly respect members of other faiths. These sweet Jehovah’s Witnesses spend a majority of their time knocking doors--just like us! The other day we saw two women who had to be 90 years old showing a Bible verse to a young man in the street! Pretty impressive! In the end I told them, really we are all on the same team even if we believe differently. And it´s always great to learn other´s beliefs! I am so grateful to be serving a mission and inviting others to accept Christ and his teachings. I know lives can change and be better. I hope everyone has a fabulous week! Tchau tchau!
We had lots of investigators in church on Sunday too so that was a blessing. Henrique is...well he is good! Right before Sacrament meeting the 1st counselor asked me "Sister, do I need to announce a baptism for this week?" and I replied "Just a sec, let me see." And I sat down next to Henrique and asked "President would like to know if he needs to announce a baptism for this week. what do you think?" hehe. And he said "What do you mean? Mine? ...ummm okay. Pode ser." hahaha. I was SO happy, the ward was so happy, I sure hope Henrique was happy. He told us that it seemed that every talk/lesson on Sunday was directed especially for him. He even fasted yesterday for 24 hours all by himself! I´m so proud of him and for the process he is going through to change. I feel that he is ready he just needs to have the confidence to know that he is ready! I am praying so hard that his baptism goes through this week.
Training is also going very well! It doesn't feel like training, it feels like I have a rad roommate who I get to teach the gospel with every day! Sister Pedroso is an incredible missionary and I totally love working with her. She will be (is already) a huge asset to the mission. She is such a good example to be of obedience and love for everyone she meets. We really are having so much fun as we work! Men have already called asking her hand in marriage, hahaha. Guess we´d better be careful huh? ;) Things are wonderful as always! Até mais!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tudo bem gente? Como vai? Tenho boas noticias! Marcelo was baptized on Saturday! It was a special experience. Very different than other baptisms that I have been apart of. I have been able to help teach and prepare many people enter the waters of baptism on my mission so far but I have never seen someone so truly converted as Marcelo! His completely humble and meek nature is so inspiring. He barely speaks, but when he does it is to bear a simple, powerful testimony of the change that he has felt in his life and his gratitude to be able to "start over again". His whole family are inactive members except for his Dad, who is there every Sunday despite the LONG distance (about a 20 min drive) from their house. What a privelege it was for Irmão José to baptize his oldest son after so many long months of going to church alone. What a blessing to have his ENTIRE family on the same bench in sacrament meeting as he confirmed Marcelo a member of the church and gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost with the Preisthood that he holds and honors. It was really touching to witness. Hopefully because of the tremendous example of José and now Marcelo they will both be able to help bring their mom and other siblings back into full activity!
As of right now our goal is to have two baptisms this weekend (Jessica and Henrique) and two the following (Renato and Gabrielly). Let´s pray that they happen! I don´t really have much else to say today other than I am so grateful to be a missionary! For any young man out there....don´t even think twice about not going! And for and young woman who has already thought once, I would encourage you to think twice! haha, seriously missions are the BEST! you just don´t have anything to lose but yourself and when that happens you truly GAIN! I can testify completely to that!
Com muito carinho e amor,
Monday, May 2, 2011
On Friday we were only lacking the 7th, this weekend. We knew the only person who potentially could be baptized was a man named Marcello, whom neither of us know very well. He is the son of a member in our branch who comes to church and attends institute, but other than that we didn´t know too much about his background with the church. We marked to meet with him on Friday. We prayed and did practices so that he could be baptized this Saturday if it was the Lord´s will. Did I mention he lives in a little city in the middle of nowhere outside of Eden? Yeah our area is like that, we have to take a few buses to get to some places but its totally worth it! So we showed up not really sure what to expect and I can honestly say it was one of the most spiritual lessons I have ever been a part of. Marcelo basically told us that he had just never wanted anything to do with the church before and had made some choices that eventually led him to think "Is this really what I want?" I think it was the first time I had ever seen someone truly "repentant". Now I have no idea who Marcello was before, what kind of choices he made, etc. But I can testify that he has changed. To see how the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the repentance process has worked in this mans life without even knowing him was an experience that I will never forget. Tears filled his eyes as he expressed his desire to be baptized, by his Dad to whom he looks up to as an example. We invited him to be baptized this Saturday and he accepted! My faith increased extraordinariuly this week. Please pray for Marcello that everything goes according to plan!
After an amazing conference with Elder Neil A Anderson we were able to make it back in time for Ligia´s baptism this past Saturday! It could not have gone better. The spirit was so strong and many people came to support her. Including her boyfriend who isn´t a member....yet :) The Relief Society even had refreshmants waiting! We didnt even ask them to do that! What is this place? Oh yeah, paradise!
So basically I am just as happy as ever with a heart full of gratitude and love. Thanks for all your prayers and support, as you can see they really do make a difference in our work!!!!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
The difference between here and Caxingui/Vertentes is drastic. I will never speak badly about my last area because I loved it there, differently. There were many people who touched my life profoundly and I will forever be deeply grateful for the experiences I had there. But in the words of Sister Steinbeigle Eden is a "breath of fresh air" LITERALLY! It is so darn peaceful here!Sometimes it feels like I´m on an island because it´s in the middle of nowhere. Instead of traffic, people ride horses for goodness sake! Instead of working in the oldest stake in Brasil, I am serving in a teeny-tiny branch that only has existed two years! The people here are the nicest, most humble, willing to work, help, and serve that I have ever met in my life. The recent converts: incredible. Our investigators: even more so! We will be baptizing a young man, Luca, this Saturday who is so elect! He even bore his testimony yesterday in church! I just sat in sacrament meeting and cried yesterday. I felt so strongly that this is where I am supposed to be right now. There is so much to be done here and I am refreshed and ready to do it! I could go on forever because there is so much to say but mainly I just wanted everyone to know that I am happy. Probably happier than I have ever been. Wanna know why? Because I´m not thinking about me! Why has it taken me a year to figure out the key to success? My mind is completely wrapped up in what I can be doing for others and it´s a wonderful feeling. I feel so incredibly blessed. So grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows me and knows that I need this. Or better, that HE needs ME here to help HIS children. I haven´t even mentioned my companion who is also just a doll! She is from Bahia (just like my trainer!) We get along great and sing Celine Dion all day long together! Ahhh where am I? Oh yeah! Paradise! It is very possible that I will end my mission here and how great would that be!!! I sure hope it happens. There is no where else I´d rather be! Sending my love and all the positive energy I´ve got cuz I have plenty to go around! :D
Monday, April 4, 2011