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Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014 From Lauren


The weeks are just flying by now. Oh my gosh. I can´t believe that this week I will make six months of my mission. Holy Cow!

Anyway, we worked really hard this week. Our sister trainer leaders came to our area and we had splits with them. It was a great oportunity to learn more from more experienced sisters and get a whole boat load of work done. I really enjoyed it. Finally, we have a pretty good size pool of investigators. The majority are from references from members, not from knocking doors, but I know that they are blessings from the Lord because of all our hard work. One thing I learned in California from my companions is that knocking doors shows that we have faith that the Lord will put those who need to hear the gospel in our path. If we´re doing our best, and working hard, I know the Lord will bless us. And actually I have an experience about this.

I didn´t want to say anything last week, because I wasn´t sure if everything was going to work out, but we had something of a miracle happen. We have a rule in the mission that we have to have investigators in Sacrament. If we don´t have investigators there, then we have to go and get them and miss the class part of church. Well, last week I was super worried about this because we didn´t have many investigators then. We showed up at church and none of our investigators were there. So, I started thinking were we could go to grab someone for sacrament. Just as we were about to leave, one of the counselors came up to us and said that there was a man looking for us. This man, Marcos, had just moved to Poços, already had several lessons with the missionaries were he used to live, the first thing he said to us was, "When can I be baptized?". I seriously could not believe it. So yeah, the Lord really does bless up when we do our part.

We´ve been teaching Marcos for the past week and he is all set for baptism on the 1st of March. He´s origanally from Rio and his family was killed in a land slide that happened there. So, he moved to São Paulo and started having lessons with the missionaries. The gave him a BOM and he started to read it. I don´t know exactly what happened, but he got really frusterated with religion and threw the BOM in the trash. A couple days later, a friend of his told him that he had a gift for him and gave him a BOM. Well, it turns out that it was the exact same BOM that Marco threw out. This really got Marcos´s attention and one thing led to another and now he´s being baptised this saturday. I love the gospel!!!!

The batista family is doing well. They´re really busy so it´s hard to see them, but we´re trying.

I love working here in Poços. The ward is finally warming up to me and I´m starting to have a greater love for the members. Also, Sister C. Silva is great. She reminds me so much of Hannah (our cousin). So just think about that. Being compaions with your cousin. She is so dang hilarious and every day is so much fun with her. Missionary work is the Best!

I hope you all have a great week! The church is true!

Sister Whitney

Monday, February 17, 2014

2nd week in Poc de Caldas

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                                     Me and fabio. He still isn´t baptized, dangit.

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One of my favorite members in Piracicaba. Her son is so dang fat and I just want to squeeze him:)

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                                                  My last lesson with David:(

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                                                          Sister Silva and me.

The lessons we learn in the gospel are like honey.

This week was probably the best trail of faith that I have ever had.
So, my new area is really hard. We knock doors every day and only have a few people to teach. Last week I was really down about this and I kept thinking about how my other area was better and the ward was better, and blah blah blah. Well, I didn´t like that at all, so I started praying to Heavenly Father to help me love this area. And it totally worked!
Right after p-day last week, we went and contacted a reference. Well the reference turned out to be pretty golden and we are now teaching a family of 6, 4 of which can be baptized! Our first visit with them was just talking and visiting, so we could get to know them better. After about an hour, I asked if we could say a prayer together before we left. They agreed and I said a quick little prayer asking for the holy ghost to be with them and their home. After the prayer, the oldest girl, Laura, said that she felt something really good in her heart that she´s never felt before. I almost died I was so happy. So, we explained about the Holy ghost and how he talks to us. She then told us that she´s never felt anything like this with any other church. 
OUr next lesson with them was the restauração and they agreed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We going to try and see them tonight and see if they did. I sure hope so. This family is really special and I love them so much!
The rest of the week was really great too. For some reason, I love knocking doors now. It´s actually really fun and we get to talk with a bunch of people about the gospel. ONe day, sister C. Silva and I played a game while tracting. We had to give each other words to use in our door approach. I had words like trial, faith, virtue, etc. It was really fun and helped us to change up what we usually say. I was kind of mean with one word for Sister Silva. I gave her the word 'Honey". It was hilarious watching her try to use it in a church related way. But she totally pulled it off with something like "the lessons we learn in the gospel are like honey". A little cheesy, but still good. 
Sister C. Silva is the best. This past week we really connected and now we´re bffs. It´s sooo much easier working with someone you like. Another blessing from this week:) 
So overall, this week I learned that when we have faith that the Lord will provide the things we ask for, He really will provide them. I love it! Poços de Caldas is the best and I love serving here!
And this week, if you could pray for our investigators, that would really help. We have the Batista family, Max, Daniel, Marcos, and Janet. Keep them in your prayers, especially the Batista family. I love you all!
Sister Whitney 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Senior Companion in Poco de Caldas!

February 10, 2014 From Lauren


Let´s talk about all the stuff that´s happened this past week. Oh my gosh, what a ride.

Well, after emailing last week we went to wal-mart to buy food and then headed home for lunch. We were going to get our hairs cut after lunch, but I got a phone call from one of the assistants. I about died because he told me that I was being emergency transferred to the edge of the Mission, Poços de Caldas, to finish training the new sister there. Her original trainer just finished her mission, so they needed someone else to finish her training. 

So yeah, after that phone call I kind of freaked out a little bit. But about 15 minutes later I was all good. Now, I´m even better :) I love serving in Poços! It is so beautiful here and it´s not as hot. Double Win!

Anyway, I spent the rest of the P-day packing up my stuff to head to Poços. That night we had a FHE with a bunch of members and Fabio. We got to play a bunch of hymns together one last time too (of course, Nearer my God to Thee). It was pretty hard to say goodbye to all the members and Fabio, but I kept it together.

The plan was that I was going to leave on Tuesday, but the sisters from Poços missed their bus, so I ended up leaving Piracicaba on Thursday (it´s like 6 hours by bus to get here, not my favorite). I was totally ok with this though because I got to say goodbye to David. Now that was hard. I was totally doing great too until he asked me to say the prayer. Then I just lost it (in a good sort of way, not a crazy way). Teaching him has been the best part of my mission. To see someone so prepared for the gospel and then to get to teach it was seriously the best thing. Before I left, he bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it changed his life. Words cannot describe how happy I was in that moment. Missionary work is the greatest!

So now I´m in Poços de Caldas:) I love it here! The weather is much better and our area is pretty dang great. Plus, Sister C. Silva, my new companion, is fantastic :) It´s kind of weird being the senior companion and training. I just barely finished my Portuguese round of training 2 weeks ago and now I´m a trainer. Good thing I kind of know what I´m doing. 

The people here are a lot more well off, so we´ve kind of struggled to find people to teach. We´ve knocked doors every day this week, but with little luck. But, this past Sunday, a recent convert gave a us a list of 9 people he wants us to go teach. I am so excited! It is the best when members give references because they usually work out. WOOT! I will keep you update :)

So, overall, I´m enjoying my new part of Brasil with my new companion. The cool thing about serving a mission is that I know 100% that this is the area where I am supposed to be. These are the people I need to teach and though me, hear what their Heavenly Father has to say. It is so awesome!

I love you all and I hope that you have a fantastic week too! 

Sister Whitney


Monday, February 3, 2014

5 month mark!

February 3, 2014

This past week I made 5 months of my mission! Woot! I can´t believe it. Time is a really weird thing in the mission. Sometimes if feels like days since I´ve left and other times it feels like this has been my life forever. Either way, I love being on my mission.:)
This week was pretty low key. On Tuesday we had a zone conference get together with 2 other zones. I loved it because I was able to see my friends from the MTC. Also, President had a bunch of really great things to say. He talked about how easy it is to give out a Book of Mormon. Well, easy for him, because I kind of had a fear of giving out a Book of Mormon. I started to think about why I had that fear and, honestly, I couldn´t come up with a good excuse. The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. It is hard proof that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that our Heavenly Father still talks to us in this day and age. Not only that, but it testifies of our Savior and we can learn more about Him through the Book of Mormon. I started to think about all the times a scripture from the Book of Mormon has helped me or the happy, light feeling I get after I read it. So really, my fear of handing of copies of the Book of Mormon is selfish. Why should I keep all that happiness to myself? So, this week I tried to hand out more. I´m not perfect yet, but I´m slowly overcoming my sensless fear of handing out BOMs. I´ll keep you updated:)
Which reminds me, the nail biting thing is actually going really well. I did fall off the wagon about a week and a half ago, but it was a good experience. I was super mad at myself for giving into weakness so now, I don´t have the desire to bit my nails at all. It´s been a really great experience and I hope that it will help me relate to our investigators. We still have a boatload with Word of Wisdom problems. 
Speaking of which, I´d like to talk about this family we are teaching. We found this family through a referal from the Elders close to our Area. Their names are Luciana, Rogerio, Camili, and Maria (DuDa is her nickname). Anyway, they are a really golden family. Rogerio loves to read everything we give him and Luciana wants to know everything about the temple (her mom passed away and she´s really interested in work for the dead). The only problem is they aren´t married legally (this is seriously the most annoying problem. GET MARRIED PEOPLE). But, they have the desire to get married. So, hopefully they´ll try the knot soon, because they want to be baptized:) I love teaching them so much and I know that the gospel will bless their family so much! We´ll see what happens.
Fabio still isn´t baptized. It´s starting to get a little annoying. It´s not even funny how prepared he is for baptism. But, he wants to wait until after his divorce is finalized before being baptized. So, for the moment, he is a dry mormon. We´re still working with him a ton, so maybe it will be soon. We´ll see. 
Well, my family and friends, I love you all so much. Thank you for all the prayers and good thoughts. They definitely help:) Have a fantastic week and don´t let stupid fears stop you from sharing the gospel. Don´t be selfish, haha:)
Peace and blessings,
Sister Whitney

This is from an old pday. We got caught in the rain and got completly soaked. It was really fun:)

This one is for gram. A brasilian fabric store. I almost had the desire to make a quilt.

The quality is crappy, but this is my brasilian band. Me, fabio, and a member. We played nearer my god to thee like 3,000 times. 

We matched. It was really special.

We had a zone conference type of thing this past week. It was super fun and I got to see my amigas from the CTM. This is my bestie, Sister Sergent