Monday, September 22, 2014

Sister Palma, HEY!

September 22, 2014

Uhhh this week was awesome, I dont even remember what happened but its one of those weeks where it feels like its been a month since I wrote! 
Tuesday we had an exchange with Sister Gomes, she is the one who trained me when I first came! So that was sooo cool to teach with her again, we both have improved so much! She was always awesome, like a really powerful missionary, I always wanted to add my testimony and teach with her but never could very well, most of the time I just listened to her and learned... But now I teach and testify and we just rocked it TOGETHER like I always wished we could when I first came. We found a bunch of new people to teach! She has the power of persuasion big time, Im trying to work on that one. Missionaries in this mission are so different, all about dont take no for answer. This Sunday I fought with a lot of people on the doorstep, "Não você via! Vai lá se arrumar, e nós vamos esperar você aqui." It didnt work that, but that really is how everyone else does it! We did get at least 2 families to church. 
We also entered this neighborhood that used to be worked a toooon when the mission was baptizing 80% children, so there are a buuunch of kids there that are members. They asked us our names and since mine is too hard they started chanting and following us clapping their hands and shouting, "Sister Palma, HEY, Sister Palma, HEY!" hahahah it was so funny, I started chanting with them, Sister Palma loves that attention. 
One of the best moments of the week was going into church and seeing Afonso in a white shirt and tie and he shaved his beard! All because he´s a Priesthood holder now, what a champ! 
Last thing, IM FAT. Its a lot because of this awesome recent convert that Ive already talked about Francisca Helena, she is the ultimate bohemian grandma queen. She made lunch with every kind of meat you could imagine and 2 salads and potatoes and rice and juice that was basically a smoothy, adn then she brought out the cake and i just almost died. Then when we went last night she had made the same cake! And shes the type that puts in on your plate and makes you eat it. For real. Well last night she put 4 slices on my plate! Anyways... this week she said she received a revelation that she said she would only share in the next testimony meeting at church. Naturally we were curious, and more than curious, really worried! Because shes really into mystical stuff, and was part of all sorts of religions. Thanks to her being really emotionally drained and damaged (her grandkids stole all the money she had worked for that week to buy cocaine) last night we convinced her to tell us. She said that 20 years ago she had a dream that she saw Christ walking and he was walking past these windows, and she got the feeling that she should count the windows, and she counted 5 windows, and at the fifth he stopped, and looked at her. WOW, sometimes when people tell us these things I think they are crazy, but the spirit confirmed that it was legit. Then she said something last week reminded her of that dream and told her to try and interpret it. She said that she decided to count all the churches that she has been a part of and sure enough, she was part of 4 before, Catholic, Spiritismo, Messianic, and Candomblei (sp?) and number 5... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! 
Wow. So amazing, the Lord started preparing her 20 years ago to receive the fulness of the gospel. 
We are seeing miracles every day! I am loving it here! So sad that this is week 6 already! 


Seeester Steeevens 

ps i wrote this to dad and thought you guys might have the same question. 

yes my companion is from sao paolo, she doesnt speak english but wants to so i spend a lot of time during language study and while we walk teaching her and helping her practice. shes really patient and helps me work out the kinks in my portuguese. its awesome. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I'll give it all I've got!

September 15, 2014

I cant believe Ive already been here for 4 weeks! 
This week was not very eventful, we walked SO MUCH! I think I say that every week but it was ridiculous. 
Last p day we hit up some sand dunes, because its a mission rule that we cant walk on sand buuut this sand doesnt have a beach so we got it approved. It was sooo fun! We hiked wayyy back up and down the dunes and discovered that there is a beach! Just really far away- I attached a pic. The funny thing was that there are a ton of church preachers and people that go there and climb to the top and just start screeaaming, "O SANGUE DE JESUS TEM PODER, jekajgidkjajdh" for like hours, i dont know how their voices do it. Also people lie in the sand and they pray and dance over them, I was like uhhh is this an indian ritual or a prayer to Jesus? It was ridiculous and a little frightening. But the best day playing in the sand. My companion has never been to the beach so it was a new experience. 
All we did all week was look for new people to teach and take care of our recent converts. The taking care of the recent converts paid off when Afonso, and Sandro received the Priesthood on Sunday! woo! 
And finding is always fun because when you dedicate yourself to finding the elect, the Lord puts them in your path! and you see miracles. 
I am freaking out a littttle bit about having less than two months, but on the morning of less than 2 months I read an article and Elder Holland talks about how missionaries say, "'I´ll give it all I´ve got for 2 years (MONTHS)', and that´s all a missionary has to do!" It was so cool when I read it I didnt even realize it said 2 years, my brain just switched it to months and it was really comforting. All I have to do is give it all my heart ], might, mind and strength and it will be enough, and my mission will be served faithfully. 
I was also studing about sacrifice the other day and read a really cool quote about how Joseph Smith said that a church that doesnt require its members to give up everything will never give its members the faith they need to gain exaltation. Sacrifice is a blessing, there is nothing worth more than it to the Lord. No other church or group or anything requires so much as the Lord requires of us, but no one receives such great promises and blessing and one day exaltation any other way. 


Seester Scheevens 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sandro's Baptism

September 8, 2014

We had the craziest week of miracles with the baptism of Sandro. 
I told a little bit of his story last week but Im gonna do a summary of it all again. 
So we have a recent convert who´s been having a really hard time with her husband and when we went to visit her last Saturday night, he was there, and they were arguing. So I shared a scripture and Sister Palma (being obedient to the training booklet) asked him- the head of the household to offer the kneeling prayer at the end. It was surprisingly a really powerful and sincere prayer, not a fluent prayer and not a long wordy prayer. A simple, honest, prayer where he talked to God about how he wants to change. The next day he was in church! And said that he really prayed for the first time and that he received an answer too, and that was the reason he was in church. (If the other Sisters that served here knew that after inviting him to church for like 4 months they would just die.) So when we went there on Tuesday he was sitting there reading his scriptures! And marking his scriptures! He said that before he had tried taking the Book of Mormon and the Bible and reading but that he just couldnt understand the BOM, only the Bible. But that when he picked it up and started reading where his cousin suggested it all made sense! We were like do you have any questions and he was like no, it makes perfect sense... That night we challenged him to pray about a baptism date. When we went back the next day he hadnt.. but that he was willing to do whatever the Lord asked of him at this point. Did I mention his whole countenance and temperance changed after that Saturday?  Since he was there a few months ago and had already had the discussions too, we were like well... Will you be baptised this Saturday? And he was like- well there´s no reason to delay. So we interviewed him, but he had a problem with question 4, about more serious sins so the next day our Zone Leader interviewed him, and the next day President came and interviewed him, and Saturday, was the baptism! I gave the thought and congradutated him for having sufficient faith to see such a great miracle. The baptism was really good, and right after the elders had a baptism and he didnt even want to leave, he stayed for it too. He is like a legit latter day Alma the Younger. He used to fight about the missionaries about the Book of Mormon and really was not the best guy, but now, is a real disciple of Christ, you can see it in his eyes and feel it when he prays. What a great day! 
Then on Sunday we were really upset because we put out a HUGE effort to get people to church we called a million and went to a million houses Saturday and Sunday morning and no one came! WHAT!? yikes. no one. I was shocked and embarrassed and upset but then Sandro received the Holy Ghost and bore his testimony of the change that took place in him and remembered how blessed I was this week, and was happy. 
Just loving the work! Out of time! 

Seester Scheevens

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Feelin' Hot Hot Hot!

September 1, 2014

Im just here loving Mussurunga. 
Im gonna go backwards with the week. 
Today we went to Pelourinho because all the newbs in the zone always want to visit. We rode the Lacerda Elevator, saw macumbas, capoeira, and lots of rasta stuff. Always a sweet adventure. So pretty, but SO HOT there. 
This whole week was hot, and all of our lunches were in the Elders area! So we walked and walked and walked.... and sweated A LOT. 
One of our lunched was with Irma Tita, she makes shirts in mass amounts and the Catholic church had ordered 2000 and she was behind so we stayed after lunched and slaved in her brazillian sweatshop for a few hours to help her get the order done. It was good to finally do some service. 
This week we had a ton of help from 2 members! We even did exchanges twice! It was way cool, Ive done that like maybe once on the mish and it was a fail so this was the greatest. We got a ton of work done and were able to follow up with all of our previsions too! I just love love love working in a ward where the members want to help you. I cant even explain how good it is. Because when you teach a full lesson its gonna take a while, so when one of us can teach a full lesson and the other one find new people to teach we double in effectiveness. Our LMA takes his calling so seriously, sometimes its funny- this week he asked the ward missionaries how many contacts they had made individually. They were like, uhhh all the contacts we made were when we were with the missionaries, and he was like- no, next week I need you to start counting your own. 
This week we had the baptism of Afonso! Dont ask why I baptize all the old men... It was awesome, we had scheduled for him to come with the LMA but nope he walked there all by himself and was stoked. Loved that. He was so funny, after I was like how do you feel and he was like-- bem.... afogado.. 
We had like 10 members there so that was good and before was a little stressful because the water got cut the other night so we had to fill the font with giant buckets and all the other faucets in the church. 
One of the best miracles was on Sunday, we were real stressed about getting peeps to church... its rough here, city life everyone has work or stuff to do on Sundays.  But the night before we had visited a recent-convert-less-active member and she was discussing some things with her husband that she's been seperated from.... You could feel the tension right away, so that was real awkward real quick. We tried to lighten the mood a little and just shared an all around good scripture e fizemos uma oração de joelhos, we asked him to do it, and the spirit was really strong, and it was the most sincere prayer! Then on Sunday, he came to church all by himself! And so did she! Which was awk sauce again but reaaaally good. In Gospel Principles he raised his hand and was like- the missionaries were in my house last night and I felt something really different, and got an answer to my prayer, and thats why im here. It was just so good because we can be tools in the Lords hands even when we dont have the most powerful lesson and everything. 
Other than thaaat there is a church that opened RIGHT next to our church, like the walls are 3 feet apart, and it has a HUGE banner that says Missionary Church of Mercy and Peace..... MISSIONARY CHURCH!? Oh boy... I hope that doesnt confuse too many people when they are looking for our church or when we explain where it is... 


Seester Scheevens :)