Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mission Accomplished November 12, 2013

First Day Home
Coming Home!!!!



with niece

Mary Ann's Mom, Wow! Last e-mail from you Mary Ann while you are on your mission. We have loved getting your mission e-mails. We love the spirit we feel when we read them. We are so happy you are coming home. We know you are a great missionary and that while you've been serving God  that he has likewise been blessing you as well as the people you have taught. We also feel very blessed from you and your sisters serving missions. What do you most want us to fix you for dinner now that you haven't had American food for a year and a half? See you the day after tomorrow!!!!


Mary Ann's Dad, Both scriptures are perfect!  We look forward to you coming quickly and seeing you fact to face! 

Amen to the comments of your mom!

How wonderful to receive the feeling of comfort and peace!  This comes from Heavenly Father!  Indeed, mission accomplished!! 

We will do well to have this comfort and peace as we live each phase of our lives. (D & C 88:3-4) 

You are a wonderful daughter, in whom we are well pleased!

with parents

November 12, 2013
I love you all!!!! And I´ll see you this week!!! WHAT?!!!!! 

Thank you for all the letters and support that you´ve all given me while I´ve been here on a mission!  I love you all and I am so excited to see you!

Today is our pday because of transfers, but it´ll end a little early so that I and Sister R can take the new sisters out to do contacts.  Then she´ll stay with them and I´ll go to dinner with President and Sister C and the elders that are going home.  I´m the first sister to go home from the Juiz de Fora Mission.  Tomorrow morning, a van will take us to the airport in Rio.  We´ll get there at around twelve and since the flight doesn´t leave until like 10:40 at night, we are all going to the Cristo Redentor Statue.  I´ve been wanting to go there since I´ve gotten here, but didn´t think I would be able too cause of the mission split, so hopefully all goes well! :)  Since I am the only sister leaving, I´ll just have to stay with a group of elders.  But I am way excited!  

Well I am SO grateful for the opportunity that I have had to serve a mission here in Brasil in Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais. I LOVE Brasil, the people here and their warm, loving culture.  I am so grateful for all of the experiences that I have had and for the things that I have learned :)  It has been a wonderful year and seven months :)

The feeling I have now is definitely a bittersweet one.  It was hard to say goodbye to everyone, but I´m grateful for the love that have gained for them and I know the difference that they have made in my life.  I´ve had a good feeling these days though - pondering my mission and the way that I´ve served and its just a feeling of peace, a mission accomplished - missão cumprida - type of feeling.  I feel like I´ve done what the Lord sent me here to do and that now he has other plans.

well, I love you all:

2 John 1:12  

or is this one better?

D&C 33:18

November 4, 2013

At the Cemetary

November 4, 2013
It definitely seems surreal to me that I will see you all in a little less than two weeks! what?!  Crazy!!!!
I love you!
Well.... This week has been a difficult one. My companion is awesome though.  She is learning Portuguese super fast and is going to be THE best missionary ever.  :)  Sister P is super funny and great and really cares about each one of our investigators.  I love her!

 Not too much is new.  Working hard and loving it as always.  :)  We did an AWESOME activity week for the day of the dead they had on Saturday.  We all went to the cemetary with our zone and several members from our ward and stake.  There were a TON of people there paying respects to their ancestors.  The stake donated a ton of Liahona´s to give out and after that we used the plan of salvation pamphlets and pass-along cards.  It was super cool to be able to talk to people about the plan of salvation and the spirit was super strong.  :) it was great.  
Which day is stake conference?  The 17th  what pictures did you send for that?? embarassing?

This is an older picture from when I was with Sister C.  This was the Baptism of A.  C wrote me telling me that she passed away this past month. :( 

October 28, 2013

Juiz de Fora sisters

October 28, 2013
Man! It´s funny how much changes in such short period of time!  I hope you all know just how much I love you!!  It sounds like you are all doing great!
This week I went to Volta Redonda in Rio to do three exchanges.  Anyways, I had a pretty legit experience there.  The sisters were teaching this lady who has been a member of her church for about fifteen years and super happy with it and doesn´t want to change - she told us exactly that during the lesson - super firmly.  We taught, bore testimony, etc and then she said that on Sunday she would go to church and see what it was like - but without any comittment whatsoever.  But anyways, I knew that I needed to invite her to baptism, even with her responses.  And so... I started talking about the Book of Mormon and how it is another testimony of Jesus Christ, etc.  and she read the promise in moroni 10 and the spirit with that.  we talked a lot about real intent as well.  And guess what? She accepted to be baptized on the third of november.  I´m just way glad that I followed through and invited her to be baptized even with the things that she said.  She has already had several experiences that lead her to believe that our church is true and so that helped her a lot as well.

We only go back from the exchanges on thursday afternoon - so we weren´t able to work in our own area as much as I wanted.... but the Lord blessed us a TON.  This week we were walking down this HUGE set of stair that goes down a giant hill (did I ever tell you how hilly Juiz de Fora is?  well. it´s like ridiculous!  I´ve now seen a place with such rolling hills as they have here.  sometimes they seem like mountains.  Our house is actually at the top of a hill.... ) but anyways we stopped and talked to him, he let us in and we taught him and his entire family - there are like seven of them that live there. but yeah, it was a pretty normal lesson.  Anyways, we went back Sunday morning and he told us that he was praying the other day for direction and then went out and sat on his front porch and well... that is when we came along.  and his question after that was like - now what?  He kind of recognized it as a response from God, but didn´t know what it meant for him - what he should do with it.  So yeah.  We used that experience that we has and of course invited him to baptism, which he accepted.  His name is C and he got out of the hospital recently (i think something because of smoking) and realizes that his life was preserved by God, but now wants to know why and is searching for that.  It was pretty sweet.  

October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

... has it really already been a year and a half?
so.... the first thing I really want to do when I get home is go to the temple. ..  Can we do that?  We could even just go straight from the airport to there and that would be fine with me! :)  And I´m not sure how getting released works, but I would really love to go before that if its possible:)
I love you mom and dad!  Thanks for all of your love and support as I have been on a mission.  I love you!
You are the best parents EVER! :)

O has his wedding date - it´ll be on December 7th and then he´ll be baptized on the 8th.  I am SO happy for them!  They are SUCH a wonderful family.  And I´m glad that the Lord has been able to use us as an instrument in His hand to find them.  A contact in the street to a family being completed and next year sealed in the temple!  How exciting is that?! I won´t be here for the baptism, but they promissed to send pictures... 
We are working hard, like always..... I love my companion, Sister P.  She is THE best.  t I can really see her learning things quickly - even though sometimes I don´t think she can see it.  
I love being here and working.  There are always challenges and things to confront, but those are the best learning experiences.  I love that the mission is such a good opportunity to "forget yourself and get to work".  I love this work and I love the people here. 
We are teaching a family who left the church about six years ago and you can really see the effects of that on them.  They have one son who is now seventeen and the other is twelve - and never baptized.  The one who is seventeen .  It has really been interesting to teach him.  He is super smart and has a TON of good questions.  He questions everything.  His questions are really valid too, but the gospel and the plan of salvation answer them all.  We taught them on thursday night and I could really feel the spirit there.  

October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013
We just watched conference in portuguese, which is fine by me! :)  but we were only able to watch the sunday sessions :(
My companion is..... Sister P!!! The only american who actually got her visa.  (there were suppossed to be like ten more)  But she is AWESOME!  I have loved being her companion!! She is super fun to be with and I love working with her!  haha.  It´s been good too cause she´s been helping me re-learn my english.. hahaha  Never thought that would happen.  Whenever president was talking the first day, I was translating for her and I couldn´t for the life of me think of the translation for the word - "cobertor".  I sat there thinking for a minute and just said the closest word that I could think of - which was lençol or sheets.  and she just started laughing.  But I mix up my words/grammar like all the time in english.  its  funny.  and kind of sad.  
She is twenty and is from Wisconsin.  She stayed in the provo mtc and got to Brasil this past week. she is super dedicated and she is going to be THE best missionary.... :) I love her!  I remember how hard it was for me whenever I got out into the field and its interesting being on the other side of the spectrum now.  
Here's a picture of all the trainer's and trainees:

We had the mission counsel this week:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

September 30 and October 7, 2013

Bishop and wife with Mary Ann

October 7, 2013

All is well here.  We found out about transfers a few minutes ago.   So yeah - remember how I was training two sisters just now? Weellll... BOTH of them will be training this next transfer!!!!!... opening areas and training :)  I´m excited for them and hope that I was able to pass everything to them that they will need to be successful missionaries.  I will be staying here  and will also be training.  There are only four new sisters coming on the mission and so it´ll be us three and one more sister training.   I think President wants to keep me here in the big city because it is central to all of the sisters.  He has a lot of the sisters areas here close and so it makes things easier with me here and doing divisions and such.  I love my area though and so it´ll be way good to stay!  And this is definitely the longest that I´ve stayed in one place! :)  

 And yes mom, this is my last transfer!!! :(  Crazy, huh?  I am excited to work hard this transfer! It´s definitely going to be the best yet!

September 30, 2013
I´m doing good. I guess you guys have gotten a copy of my travel plans..... that seems so weird to think that I´ve been out for more than a year and five months!  The time has passed by so fast!  But I am so glad that I get an extra transfer to work and serve the Lord!!! 
Everything is going pretty well here..... They changed our bishopric on sunday which was a HUGE surprise! 

September 16, 2013 and September 23, 2013


September 23, 2013

Sorry about the short emails.  Its just cause everything is super crazy busy.  We only have an hour to e-mail.
Everything here is going well... pretty normal....  The best thing to see though is the progress of the recent converts.  V, who was baptized this month and bore testimony on the day of her baptism, was asked to give a ten minute talk this coming Sunday, which she accepted!!!!  She was telling me before she was asked that to get her mom to come, she´d have to give a presentation or something as an excuse and so this´ll be perfect!  She got a little nervous, but she´ll do great!!!! :)  It was way cool...
  Did I ever tell you about O?  It was pretty cool.  We were trying to find a street one day  and asked a girl for directions.  She said she was headed there and that we could go with her.  On the way, we started talking and she said that before she was eight, her family had gone to our church for awhile and that she had been a part of the primary.  she said that we could come back another day - her name is B and is about 24. We went back later, but she was leaving, but O answered the door and we talked to him for a bit.  He didn´t show interest, but said that maybe his wife would be interested and he gave us her phone number and left a pamphlet of the restoration with him.  but anways a member told us he would go to church the next day and guess what? he went!!!   so yeah.  His wife is a member -  well actually they´re not married (it is pretty common here for people to live YEARS together and never get married legally).  They´re working on their papers right now and in about a month, they´ll be able to get married and O and their son M will be able to get baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Marriage is a SUPER long process here and SUPER expensive as well.  Its about a month´s salary and pretty much no one has that on hand.  but O is super dedicated, already has all of his papers in order and everything is going super smoothly.  Since we´ve met him, he´s already read into third nephi! he knows the book of Mormon is true and that this is the path that he wants to follow.  A true miracle!:)

September 16, 2013
mannnnn.... things are so crazy here!  but its a good kind of crazy. That is SO cool that Michelle got her visa and is on her way to Brasil!!! That is super legit!!! She is going to LOVE it here.  

Welllll.... Things are good, but different.  I like doing divisions with the other sisters but it is also weird being away from my area and the work here.  At least my companions are able to keep up the work with our investigators, but even still its kind of strange for me.  Today I´ll be going to do a division..  I´ll stay there tomorrow and get back Wednesday afternoon.  It seems like forever for me to be away from my companions and my area - especially since I´m the one training them and I´ll be leaving them to work on their own..... but they are super awesome and work super well!!! :) 
We had a zone conference on Tuesday this week.  It was super good!  ha. And I got a call on Monday night asking me to give a talk in it on the book of mormon. :)