Our Skype with Sister Bailey was wonderful!! She is so happy and healthy! The Lord has really taken care of her and us while she has been serving the people of Brazil.
We thought it would be fun to do the 'thumb thing' that so many Brazilian missionaries do in pictures. It really means baptism and becomes a sign of love and respect for their investigators.
Y'all have no idea!!!!!!!! I am so excited to talk to yáll on Christmas!!!!!!!!!!! I really can´t believe another year has come and gone and it is already Christmas time again. Let´s all say a prayer that I will be able to speak English :)
Here in Manaus we are in the rainy season. Which is kinda good because it is a WHOLE LOT COLDER, buuuuuut it stinks to be walking in the rain 24/7. My poor Chacos are going to just break in half any day now. And they stink because when it rains the streets flood with water... which isn´t actually water... it is 50% sewage and 50% rain water :/ Manaus has a real problem with their drainage system. And yesterday my umbrella broke :(((( It almost lasted the whole 18 months... all my stuff is breaking or running out.
It is super funny because my companion is very short, and I am huge here compared to everyone else soooo we are using that to our advantage. When the people are staring, we stop and use the opportunity to make a contact! This week was pretty uneventful. My former companion, Sister da Rosa, is training a new American Sister. She hardly understands anything...poor thing. But the struggle makes you stronger! I am amazed that is easier for me to speak Portuguese than English now. The Lord has blessed me so much!!!! Time is passing so quickly. I am trying to take advantage of every moment because I know I will miss it so much when I get home.
I am happy and healthy. On Friday of this week we have our mission Christmas conference and since they celebrate Christmas on the 24th here, we are going to an awesome family's house to eat and celebrate with them on the 24th!!! I am so excited. I hope yáll feel the Christmas spirit and most of all remember why we are celebrating. I know Christ lives. I feel Him close to me in every lesson, every time I read the scriptures, and especially when I kneel and pray. He is real. He is the reason for this wonderful season. What will you give to Him this Christmas?
We have an investigator named Marc. His girlfriend was baptized about a year ago. She introduced him to the church and he has been receiving the missionary lessons for about a month. He was 100% ready to be baptized, but said that he hadn´t received an answer yet. We prayed and decided to take him to visit the Manaus temple. We walked on the temple grounds and then took him to sit in the visitors center. We gave him a piece of paper and said he was to write down the feelings he had inside the temple and what he would do or change to enter in the temple one day. After, we went outside and sat on the temple grounds to give a lesson. Before we could even begin he turned to us and said, `` I received my answer. This church is true. The Book of Mormon is true. I want to be baptized.`` The spirit was so strong in that moment. I admire the people that have such faith to search, pray, receive an answer AND are able to recognize it. He was baptized on Sunday at the stake center with many other people from other wards. It was an experience to never forget!!!
Oh yeah and I got transferred back to Adrianópolis!! My companion is Sister Vazquez from Argentina. I think the Lord is telling me I need to learn Spanish because I have had like 10000 Hispanic companions!
Have a great week! and be safe! <3
Pictures of our temple trip, baptism, and parrots outside our house!!!
I have switched companions yet again. Sister Chaar got super sick and had to go home. :( My testimony of Priesthood blessings has grown sooooooooooo much. I am with another short term missionary from Cuari (a small city that you can only get to by boat). She was serving in Chile but had knee problems and had to come home. She is serving as a short term here to see if she will be able to return to here mission in Chile. So we're practically opening this area up together. It is pretty funny the distance we walk everyday. I have no idea how I am still gaining weight. ugh!
Other than that this week was normal. Just trying to stay focused and work these last three months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love y'all. Next Monday is transfers and I am not sure what will happen. Maybe I will go back to Adrianopolis but either way I will probably get a new companion. I WILL BE ENTERING IN MY LAST TWO TRANSFERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have the best week!
P.S. We had to buy all new housewares for our apartment. There was very little when we got there. This is a picture of my shopping trip :)
Oh how I have missed yáll this week! But on Thursday I was on splits in an area called Campos Elisius. I had already gone on splits there once before and had come to know some members. One young woman in particular follows Maddie on Insta hahahha! This young woman is cute and knew that is was Thanksgiving in the US so she bought us SUSHI and invited us to eat at her house Thursday night! It was the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On Monday night I got a call that I would be emergency transferred to an area called, Manaú (which is actally right next to my last area). My new companion is Sister Chaar. She is a short term missionary from Manaus. hahaha However she is incredible!!!!! I have never seen anyone so happy in my life. I arrived in the area super nervous, but she had a huge number of investigators. And like progressing investigators!!!
Funny story of the week: Sister Chaar and I were waiting outside of a less-active´s house when out of no where this fat dog comes running after us. I have no idea why but I just turned and ran, but that wasn´t a good idea because the dog ran after me. I then had no other option... I had to dig in some random persons trash to get something to throw at this dog!! hahaha
When I pulled this 2 L bottle of the trash the dog turned and ran in the other direction. I then turned to my companion and she was CRACKING up laughing!!! hahahhaa it was super funny after because like who would ever dig a 2 L bottle of someones trash to throw at a dog. But you gotta do what ya gotta do sometimes hahahha!
This area hasn´t had a baptism in almost 3 months. I got here on Wednesday determined to baptize! Sister Chaar said that there was this guy who has gone to church 3 times already with his girlfriend and he is super interested!! All week I was praying that The Lord would help me have the faith to perform a miracle. During church I felt SO strong that I needed to invite him to be baptize that same day. But then I thought..this is craziness. I can´t just throw a baptism together in one day. However after Gospel Principals, I turned to my companion and said, ``Sister. We are going to invite Eliz to be baptized TODAY!`` She said okay let´s do it. We said a prayer and then invited him to be baptized at 4:30 pm. Tears began to form in his eyes and he said, ``I feel the same thing. I need to baptized today!!!!`` We talked to bishop and all the members super quick and everyone agreed that he needed to be baptized!!! It was probably the most spiritual baptism I have ever seen. It truly was a miracle.
Normally I pray asking the Lord to perform the miracle, but this time I asked him to give ME the faith to be an instrument in His hands. I am so grateful that He heard my prayer and gave me the faith and courage necceasarry.
PS. On saturday night we got to help with an event at the Stake center! They invited all different types of leaders and pastors from the community! We got to welcome everyone and answer their questions about the church :)
I've attached some pictures of Manaus. Unfortunately, Manaus lacks a sewer system, and I had to document it.
This week was insane. I spent time in the hospital, at the psychologist, and the mission home with several sisters that are struggling. I was a little down, because I wanted to work in my own area. Finally on Thursday I had a little time, so I passed by Isak and Marilia´s home. They began telling about the changes that have come since they were baptized. They then began saying that their daughters will be missionaries just like Bailey and Rosa. Just helping this one family has made my whole mission worth it. And on Sunday it was so cool because he received the Melchizedek Priesthood and baptized his other daughter that is 11 years old. Now the whole family was been baptized and I will be back here in one year for their temple sealing. It is incredible to watch the gospel change lives!!!
I recommend Alma 8 and think about how yáll can help the missionaries (Alma) as members (Amulek).
Thanks for everything!!!
Love y´all!! Eat lots of turkey for me!!!!
PS made cookies for the first time here! They actually turned out pretty good, or I am forgetting the taste of real cookies hahaha!!
My companion and I made an agreement to give it our ALL this week and try to go way beyond our normal goals. We wanted to show Heavenly Father and ourselves that we are way more capable than we think we are. I know I could have given it more, but at the end of the week when we closed all our numbers it was the best feeling to know that we worked our tails off!!! Never forget the potential you have as a child of God.
On Thursday we had an incredible day. Normally a majority of our appts. fall through or something happens everyday, BUT Thursday all of our investigators were home and our lessons were extra spiritual. We have one investigator that we have been teaching for about 3 or 4 weeks. His name is R. I don´t know why, but he just refuses every week to go to church with us.... Sister da Rosa and I have been praying all week for him and taught a lot about the Sabbath Day. Finally on Thursday when we invited him to church he said, ``I will go with you guys. 8:00 am I will be here waiting.`` 8:00 am he was there waiting!!! Long story short he was our bishop´s math teacher in college. hahaha!
We also had the baptism of Manoel!!! He is 19 and the kind of young man that is ready to go on a mission right now. He is already reading in Mosias and knows without a doubt the church is true. Probably one of the most elect I have taught on my mission.
Just another week of working hard and helping others :)
So finally Last Monday they called to pass the transfer. I thought for sure Sister Garcia and I were going to stay together, BUT no :( I am training for the fourth time a sister from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil!!! Her name is Sister da Rosa. However, I am still a Sister Training Leader and I am training another STL too, Sister Vazquez. My official companion is Sister da Rosa (my daughter), but when it comes time to do splits and stuff Sister Vazquez and I are companions. It is super confusing and I have so much responsibility. I am not sure why the Lord has called me to train yet again. No one has ever heard of a STL training a greenie before, but I am willing to do whatever the Lord calls me to do. I actually really needed this because training helps you be more obedient, diligent, and patient....all the attributes I need :)
Wednesday was a holiday called ``Day of the Dead`` here in Brazil. We went to the cemetery and taught the Plan of Salvation; however, it is a Catholic holiday and so it was kinda difficult because all the people there are die hard Catholics. They burn candles on the graves and say some sort of repeated prayer. My companion and I almost died because it was dang hot and the smoke from the candles wasn´t helping, but an experience to remember. How grateful I am to know where we came from, why we are here, and where we will go after this life. FAMILIES CAN REALLY BE TOGETHER FOREVER :)
Then Saturday we had interviews with President. I didn´t even say what was on my mind, but he responded EXACTLY with what I needed to hear. I have no doubt he is a man called of God. I am so grateful for the scriptures, a Savior that knows my thoughts and answers my prayers.
Often I feel overwhelmed and wonder if I have the strength to continue on. I am training a new sister, taking care other sets of Sisters, planning the misson Christmas party, and trying to take care of my own area and help ALL people come unto Christ through faith, repentence, and baptism. But many times literally out of no where I get this boost of energy and I feel as though someone is pushing me up the hills. I may only have four months left, but these are going to be the best four months of my mission!!!! I know the Lord is aware of each one of us. This week if someone offers to help you... let them serve, or if you feel prompted to go and help another person... GO!!!!
I LOVE YÁLL!!! I challenge yáll to read Mosiah and King Benjamin´s talk to the Nephites.
Have a great week :)
Wow what an incredible week that I will never forget. Like I said last week, we have been teaching an incredible couple, I and M. They were so prepared by the Lord to accept the gospel....it is unreal. Several of their friends were trying to convince them that the LDS church is crazy and what not, but instead of listening to the rumors they invited their friends to hear our message and they bore testimony of The Book of Mormon!!! When we were teaching them on Friday I asked Isak if he could say the closing prayer. Normally we pray on our knees but my companion and I forgot...we just folded our arms and bowed our head. M then looked around and said, ´´Umm are we not going to pray on our knees??`` Wow they were even correcting US!! I have a love that is out of this world for them. On Sunday at the baptism the enemy was working REAL hard so that the Spirit wouldn´t be there. The children were running and screaming, the person conducting was making jokes, etc. However, when they entered the waters of baptism my heart began to swell. That is exactly why I left my family, my friends, the comfort of my home, my studies, Instagram, sleeping in, cold weather, and everything else. Because like Alma said in Alma 26:30 `` And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.``
There is no greater joy than helping others come unto to Christ. It is all worth it in the end.
On another note... I had the opportunity to go on splits in my first area, Noeal Nutells!! It was so great to visit the members that I loved sooo much. I am so close with the Bishop´s wife there. She made me a cake and cried when I had to say bye again. I am SO grateful for the MANY families that have taken care of me here. Like I promised many that I would bring them the gospel.... I know that these families promised to help me here when I am sooo far away from home :)
The Lord is so wonderful. I love my Savior and know He lives. A mission is the hardest thing everrrrrrrrrrrrr, but I love it. Thank you for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime!
OH AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YÁLL SO MUCH!!!!!