Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Special Experience

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,

Sister Peck

Feliz Dia das Maes!

Wow it seems like yesterday that I called home for Mother´s Day! Parabens to all the Mothers out there, my grandmas, aunts, friends, everyone! What a blessing it is to be women and to have the privelege to bring Heavenly Fathers children into the world! We have a divine responsibility to teach and instill correct principles in these precious souls in a world where there seems to only exist confusion. How else are our children going to learn what´s really right from wrong if not in the home?? Certainly the media, internet, etc is not going to teach it. I have such a testimony of choices needing to start IN THE HOME! As we listen to the prophets and apostles, how many times do they counsel us to have regular family scripture study, prayer, family home evening, dinners together, etc. Do they do it because its something cute and sounds nice? Or is it because there is something more deep we can learn than it may appear at first? These things are SO important! I am so grateful to have had such a great example from my Mother, my Grandmothers, and many MANY women in my life who have helped me learn at an early age to make correct choices. Thank you!

I feel like I don´t have a lot to say since I said so much yesterday on the phone but things are still going really well in Eden! Loving it like always! Marcellos baptism unfortunately wasn´t able to happen on Saturday but has been remarked for this Saturday. We are preparing some wonderful people to be baptized as well who are so ready! Jessica is a young mother who has really "found herself" in the church and has truly blossomed. We are also teaching an adorable family, Luis Renato and Milaide, who´s only real problem right now is coffee so we´re praying for them! But we had two REALLY great lessons with these two different families this week. We watched "Together Forever", which for those who know, is an old film with cheesy music(I think it has to be even worse in Potguese) haha. But both of these families were deeply moved by the film and to our (great!) surprise became very emotional. So I learned never to underestimate the Spirit! He can totally work through cheese too! hahaha. No but I am super happy to be teaching them and to see the changes that are occurring. We are constantly lookng for new people too. Those who are truly prepared and ready to accept the invitation to follow Jesus Christ! I love what I do! And whats even better is that I get to do it in Eden! :)
Com amor,
Sister Peck

Monday, May 2, 2011


A SLUG the size of my foot!

The day we dressed up as Elders! lol

When do the blessings stop?

Wow what a week! Do I start all my e-mails off that way? Seems like I probably do. I just really can´t stress enough what a privelege it is to be here in the Garden of Eden. I mean seriously, when do the blessings stop? A few weeks ago, our Zone Leaders gave us a huge challenge to baptize every week in the month of May. Realizing that would take a lot of faith and a lot of work, Sister Macedo and I accepted the challenge. We made a goal to mark at least one baptism date per day. Okay so I´m not athletic, but isn´t there some analogy about shooting free throws and the more baskets you make the more likely you are to make the next one? It kind of went down like that. My faith was increased every day as we were able to mark more and more dates this week for the weeks in May with our progressing investigators!!!

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!!!!

-Sister Peck