Week 72: Engaged in the saving of the human soul

Hello my dearest loved ones. This week was a week that Heavenly Father blessed us to see some of the fruits of our labors. This Sunday, the frequency hit 76, which is record in this branch, and just four short of being able to be qualified to be a ward. (!!!) Taisi and Diego, two eternal investigators, were baptized, and we had a frequency of 50 people at the baptism, another record!! And we had two resgates this Sunday also!!! Heavenly Father is pouring His blessing upon this blessed city. I love this place and I love this work. One miracle especially special to us that happened this week is this: so we live behind a fast food restaurant where a less active young man of 23 years works. Every day we passed we talked with him, and every Saturday night we nagged him to go to church, and he never went. But, Saturday, another young man that is preparing to go on a mission, Filipe, was talking with him (Douglas). And Saturday night at the baptism, Filipe came running up to us and told us that a miracle happened, that Douglas decided that he wanted to return to church, and that he too wanted to go on a mission. He said that he told Filipe that he wouldn’t let him go alone! And so he went to church Sunday and at the end, he thanked us for never giving up on him. Never never never give up on the lost sheep; we never know when the Savior will touch their hearts and they will return, and we will be the way through which they could be saved again (3 Nephi 18:32), and we will be engaged in the same work of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father; in the saving of the human soul.

This week I remembered a primary song that touched my heart as I did a study of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

It shouldn’t be hard, to sit very still
To think about Jesus, His cross on the hill
It shouldn’t be hard, to sit quietly
To think how He suffered and died for me

(And then I forgot the rest haha but anyways)

I made a goal to think more constantly about the Savior, in every moment of every day, so that I could come to know Him even more than I have come to know Him here on the mission, and I challenge you, my loved ones, to do the same 🙂

I know with my whole being that Christ lives, that he lived and suffered and died and lived again for me, and for each one of us. Let us try to make every day a demonstration of our humble gratitude for this eternal and perfect sacrifice.

I love you all!!!!!

Photos! 1. Erick, one of the most Christlike persons I have ever met in my life, dedicated his whole Saturday to helping us with the pia batismal for the baptism, because always something has to go wrong with the pia batismal the day of the baptism haha
2. These kind missionaries used this mop to imitate my hair lol
3. Taisi in white!!
4. Diego in white!!
5. Diego and Pedro Paulo Dias hahaha love them

Erickmophairtaisidiegodiegoandpedropaulo

Advertisements

Week 70: Adair’s baptism!!

Hello loved ones!!! This week was wonderful. Adair was baptized!!! As always, everything went wrong the last minute hahaha normal. So his baptism ended up having to be Sunday morning before church, and the baptismal font wasn’t filling up (see photo below) hahaha. But, in the end, everything worked out, Adair was baptized, and it was so so so good. He left the water gleaming, saying over and over again, “I’m so happy, but so so happy.” We love him so much.

Also, other miracle, Jenifer came out of nowhere (the sister of a recent convert) and we challenged her to ask Heavenly Father if she should be baptized. This wa Saturday night, and Sunday morning she showed up at church and told us that she had received an answer to her prayers, and that she wanted to be baptized, this Saturday!! I’ll leave it at this: the power of fast and prayer is so so so so real. God is so good.

One thing that I have learned is that everything depends on the desires of our hearts. If our hearts are right, then what we will ask God in prayer will be right, and then we will receive what we ask accordingly. And He never never never fails to keep a promise, to answer our prayers, and to show His merciful arm in the lives of those who ask humbly and seek Him earnestly. I love Him so so so so much, and for this reason I love this work so so so so so much.

“O taste, and see that the Lord is good.” Psalms 33:8

I don’t have a lot of time again today haha but here are some photos!!!!
1. Adair’s baptism!!
2. Selfie with Adair lol
3. Long story short: last minute the batismal font didn’t want to fill up, so all of the children ran and filled up pots with water to dump in the font and it was hilarious and wonderful and I love them
4. One of our investigators that made it out to church! lololol but for reals he followed us until church

AdiarBaptismSelfiekidshelpingfollowedtochurch

Week 69: I shall not be moved

Loved ones!!!! This week was a week of miracles!!!! I know I always say that hahaha but for real. Every week is more miraculous than the last. And na verdade almost all of the miracles happened yesterday… So I’ll tell you guys all about it.

Sunday morning: Went to church, searched and picked up our investigators. One investigator in especial: Adair. This was his second time at church, and he LOVED it. He had a serious problem with the word of wisdom, but from the moment we taught him the word of wisdom, he stopped completely. Stopped cold. Is that how we say it? I forgot hahaha anyways, miracle number one. And he went to church yesterday and he will be baptized this week!!!!!! Miracle number two, a man that we had street contacted a long time ago (so long ago that I don’t actually remember haha) talked with one of the members saturday, and he invited him to church. He said he would go. But until sacrament meeting, he still hadn’t showed up. So we went with the member, Paulo Dias, to pick him up. We arrived there, and he was not expecting us haha BUT, he dropped everything and went to church with us, and he too loved it. Third miracle, two eternal investigators, literally, 20 years. We almost gave up on them, but we felt yesterday that we should visit them. So we went and they told us that they were resolving their problems (aka not being married), she told us, “You guys won’t believe what just happened. My husband (husband entre aspas) just asked me to marry him.” !!!!!!!!! and that they (she and her son) wanted to be baptized agora. !!!!! Fourth miracle, that same member called us last night and told us that he has someone that is interested and is prepared to be baptized. Gente, we walked home last night, exhausted after a long week of hard work, but floating in the clouds because of the goodness of God. He is blessing us so much, He is so good. This I know with all of my being, that when we do our part, he is obligated to do His part, and He will never never never let us down. On the contrary, He will always do so much more than we can ever expect or want. He is so good, gente. Trust in Him! He always always always keeps His promises. I love Him very much.

“I have set the Lord before me, and I shall not be moved.” Trust in Him!!!! Don’t be moved!!! He is perfect and loving and knows you and loves you, and He will answer your prayers, this I know with all of my being.

I love you all!!!!!!

1-2. BUTIÁ
3-4. These were supposed to turn out cool lol
5. We love Butiá
6. Our little army of helping hands

ButiaButia2dandelion1dandelion2butia3army

Week 68: Love love love, here it comes :)

Hello loved ones!!!!!! I’m so sorry, this week I don’t have much time to write, but it was a WONDERFUL week, every week is more wonderful than the last, not sure why Heavenly Father is doing this to me, it’s making it a lot more annoying that it’s coming to the end… hahaha just kidding but for real. I sometimes stop in the street in awe and unbelief at how wonderful the mission is, how wonderful God is, and our Savior Jesus Christ. And I know that it sounds dumb haha but I don’t know, being a missionary has been and continues to be the best thing that has ever happened to me, and it is incredible to me. My love for Heavenly Father and my awe and gratitude at His love and mercy and glory grows every day. I love the people here, I love the members, I LOVE my companion, but most of all, I love being able to testify of Jesus Christ every single day, being His representative. This alone fills my heart with so much joy, I can’t comprehend it. I know that He lives, with all of my being, with more surety than I know anything else, I know that He lives. And this testimony has made all the difference for me.

I promise I’ll write more next week!!!! And send photos!! I love you all!!!!
Com amor,
Sister Smith

Week 67: Substance to the Soul

Hello loved ones!!!!! This week was another wonderful and full and great week. This week we saw many miracles. We threw a Halloween party and it was DOPE.  A ton of people went and it turned out great. Which is a miracle because holy cow we did not realize that we do not know how to plan a Halloween party hahahha BUT thankfully, it finished well with the help from the members and Heavenly Father. I’ll send a few pics lol

So this actividade took up a lot of our time this week, but Heavenly Father blessed us because of our sacrifice; we found a new family to teach! A member brought them to the activity and they loved it, and yesterday they went to church!!

Also, another HUGE MIRACLE, Filipe’s mom, (Filipe who is preparing to go on a mission) is an eternal investigator of about 10 years, going to church faithfully and wanting to be baptized. But, she was never baptized because she is a widow and she receives money from her late husband’s work, but she is now living with another man for almost 20 years, they are basically married just not officially because they thought they would lose the money from her other husband’s work if they got married, and they need that money. BUUUTTTTTT THANK HEAVENS my mission president is a lawyer, and he told us a number to call to ask if she truly loses it or not, because apparently the law about this moved recently, I don’t know it’s complicated, but ANYWAYS WE CALLED AND IT TURNED OUT SHE DOESN’T LOSE IT AND SO THEY CAN GET MARRIED AND WE ARE SOOOO HAPPY buuuutttttttt Satan is annoying still and is still placing obstacles in their path so that she can get married. But it will all work out, pray for her, and Heavenly Father will do His part, this I know.

This week I had a very special experience at church yesterday. Yesterday was our Stake Conference, and the missionaries sang in the choir, so we had to sit in the front, long story short, I sat basically right next to the pulpit, and so when the talkers gave their talk, I had to turn my head backwards and anyways it a super uncomfortable two hours for me haha BUT I prayed and asked Heavenly Father that He could let me have a sacred experience and He gave it to me. Every single talk touched my heart profoundly, I don’t even remember what was said, but the Spirit brought to my spirit something heavenly in every single talk, and finally I learned the importance of our worship. I read a talk from the November 2016 conference from Bishop Dean M. Davies, “The Blessings of Worship” and it also touched my heart profoundly.

When was the last time that, in a normal church meeting, you felt that you were truly worshipping Heavenly Father and our Savior? When was the last time that you felt “a sense of majestic awe and profound thanksgiving”?

“When we worship in spirit, we invite light and truth into our souls.”

We create substance to our souls; the more we lose ourselves in worship to our God (which doesn’t only mean on Sunday at church, but also how we show our adoration to Him in every thought and word and deed), the more substance is added to our souls, and the more substance that is added to our souls, the more we can find ourselves, because there will be more of us to find!

So how do worship God, lose ourselves in this worship, and subsequently find ourselves with added substance to our souls?

“We approach Him with incomprehensible feelings of wonder and awe. We marvel in gratitude at the goodness of God. We ponder God’s word, and that fills our soul with light and truth. We comprehend spiritual vistas that can be seen only through the light of the Holy Ghost. As we worship, our souls are refined… our hearts are drawn out in praise to our blessed God… we hallow and honor Him continually.. we open our hearts to the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ… Our lives become the token and expression of our worship.”

I humbly testify of this; so much light and pure love and hope and faith has entered in my life and has become part of my soul as I have searched to lose my life in worship to my God. He is so good, gente. I love Him very much. I know that He is real, that He loves us, and that He is merciful.

I love you all!!!!!!! Have a wonderful week!!!

Photos!!
1. Halloween!!!!!!!!! Erick lol
3. Rafa lol
4. Demonic children hahhahahhaha jk..
5. Filipe, who is planning on going on a mission in January!
6. Our haunted house got a little out of hand…. hahahhahahaha jk its just make up dont worry
7-8. The love of my life

ErickRafaDemonicChildrenFilipeHauntedHouseLoveLove2

Week 66: Miracles and miracles and miracles!

Hello loved ones!!! It is crazy how fast the time is passing….

This week was so good, Heavenly Father placed so many tender mercies and even huge miracles in our path. He is so good.

This week we fasted. A lot. And Heavenly Father saw it. It’s interesting, because you know who else knew that we were fasting? Satan. Literally the two days that we fasted this week, were the only two days since we have arrived here in Butiá that people offered food to us hahaha seeeeyaaaaa. But anyways, we fasted for two specific purposes; to find God´s elect, and the second, to find men to prepare to receive the Melquesideque Priesthood. (Forgot how to spell it in english.) And LITERALLY the same day that we fasted, both times, Heavenly Father answered our fast and prayers. We found a man that accepted us into his home, and he told us that we were angels, on a divine mission, and he accepted a baptismal date!! And the other miracle, the other fast we talked with three men, members of the church, that are elders in perspective. They opened up to us, told us their difficulties, and decided to make the difference necessary in their lives to be able to receive the Priesthood. (!!!!!!!)

It is incredible to me that something so small and simple as a fast makes Heavenly Father bless us so incredibly much. Every day I am more in awe at how merciful He is with us when we make but the smallest effort to show our love to Him.

ALSO other miracle!!!! We started working with a family that fell away from the church two years ago, and stopped completely with everyone. A family that the father was the first counselor to the Branch President, that already went through the temple, etc. All of the members told us about them when we arrived here in Butiá, telling us to visit them, etc, that they had been trying to reactivate them for a very long time, but they didn’t want anything to do with the church. So we started visiting them, and it was chill, they let us leave a message, and we started to be friends with them for real; we felt the pure love of Christ for them, we felt how much He truly wanted them back in the fold. Anyways, the miracle is that yesteday, they showed up at church!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For the first time in two years!!!!!!!! Church had already started but I was in front trying to call an investigator to see if he would come and I saw them show up and I screamed and ran to them and I hugged her and we cried hahahhaha it was such a good feeling.

Loved ones!!!! It is so so so worth the effort to bring a lost sheep back into the fold. Never give up! Never give up doing your visits, serving them, inviting them back, showing your love and the love of the Savior for them. One day they will return, and we will feel the same joy that the father of the prodigal son felt. And we can have a party like he also had 🙂

And so, this week was wonderful. Obviously there were some downs. There always are. We are living in a fallen world with wicked people, we are all imperfect spirits housed in an imperfect body, but God is real, Jesus Christ atoned for us, and we are the Saints of His church in these Latter Days. What more reason do we need to rejoice each and every moment of each and every day?

I love you all so much!!!! Make an put Christ as the center of your life every day.

Com amor,
Sister Smith

Photos!
1. Minha filha. I love the heck out of her. We are literally sisters seperated at birth2. My rain cap lol everyone said I looked like a butterfly, but a dumb butterfly…. hahaha
3. I love hammocks way too much
4. Lovely Brasil
5. Singing in the rain
6. We found this mask in our house hahahahah wut
7. Lovely Brasil pt. 2

minhaponchohammocksBrasilSingingMaskBrasil2

Week 65: INSANITYYYYYYYYY I don’t know what else to say here hahaha

Hello loved ones! This week was INSANE. Literally insane. I don’t have the time nem the resources to say everything that I happened but I will say two things that I learned in a very real sense this week: 1) What the pure love of Christ truly looks like; when someone forgets completely and totally about herself to put the needs of another above her own. (AKA my companion and my roommates this week). 2) That Satan is real and when we are determined and happy and living righteously, that when we are on the brink of something really good and miraculous and life changing, he will come at us with all that he has, and he has a lot. But this leads me to the other thing that I learned. That, exactly as we continue being determined, happy, obedient, and trusting in the Lord, the adversary never will have more power than us. Our spirit can be much much much stronger than our flesh, we only have to want and trust.

So this week my perspective of many things changed for the much better, and every day I am awe-struck at how much the Lord is teaching me here.

Because of the things that happened this week we weren’t able to execute all the plans we made. But, we planned a dope activity for the youth and almost 20 youth showed up, and they LOVED it. And I laughed até o pó. We did a “tree of life” activity and we had to guide them and they were blindfolded and it also made part of our english class so they had to follow my instructions in English to find the tree of life (we taped candy to a tree behind the church hahaha) and all the while the other jovens and adults were “Satan” trying to tempt them and confuse them. And it was soooooo funny but in the end a super strengthening experience. I love love love love love this area and these members so much, they are helping us so much in our quest to open this area and find the elect of God and make this branch a ward. I know it is going to happen. The Lord does nothing until after the trial of our faith, but after the trial of our faith, He does everything.

I love you all so much! Thank you for your prayers. I will need them especially now, pray for me that I will be able to stay in this area until the end of my mission.

PICTURES:

1-3. Yesterday we were knocking on doors for EVER without any immediate results, and out of nowhere came this dog that looked like a lion. He turned out to be the highlight of our night hahaha
4-5. This is what happens in our family home evenings hahaha

LionDog3LionDog2LionDogFHE2FHE