Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I'm in Brasil!

I MADE IT!!!! I´M Here at the CTM and the weather is absolutely beautiful and the city is beautiful and the CTM is georgeous!
It is so nice here and I love it and I just can´t believe I´m in BRASIL!!!!! AHHHHH :)
Portuguese keyboards are really hard to get used to by the way so I might not be able to type a whole lot. I got both your emails and thank you!
The flight went well. We were stuck in the air for almost an hour longer than we were supposed to be. Didn´t sleep much either, but that´s ok.
MY COMPANION IS SISTER CHILD AND THE ELDERS ARE IN OUR DISTRICT!!!!!!! Heavenly Father seriously hears and answers prayers. And the other two sisters that were in the other zone that came with us are also in our district. There were 15 missionaries total that came with us. Two sisters are only here for two weeks since they were already in the field and then the rest are all newbies!!!
PRESIDENCY HERE SPEAKS ENGLISH!!!!! Happy day! All is well!
There are palm trees in our courtyard. We have a mini track. There are seven floors in the building. It´s a gorgeous building! I love it!!! We are all so excited to be here and be in the same district! The Elders are super excited too!
I went and found Elder Searle (?) after I talked to dad and he was doing just fine and I got him to come sit by us. 
The guy who I was telling you would help us at the Sao Paulo airport did. He was super nice and waited for us and Elder Searle to get off the flight and helped us get through to the travel people who were waiting for us, and it went super fast, a lot faster than we were expecting and no hassles and no bag checks or anything! SO BLESSED. We got to the travel people, where the Elders were waiting for us too! Man we all missed each other so much, and we hadn´t even been apart for 24 hours. Crazy stuff.
We are only allowed to take pictures on P-day which seems kind of strange to me, but it´s cool.
Sister Child and I have our own room right now, but we think there will be more people later today. We also have our OWN BATHROOM!!!! :) I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!!
I haven´t heard much Portuguese yet, another blessing! I CAN UNDERSTAND PEOPLE! :)
I am super duper tired now that I´m sitting down, but we´ve got a lot of meetings and welcoming and lunch is after this and there´s just so much to do! I´m so excited!
I feel so blessed to be here safe and all my luggage is safe and every other missionary who traveled here with us is safe and just BLESSINGS!!!
Yesterday there were so many blessings while we traveled. We didn´t have to take the Front Runner, which would have been crazy and trying to transfer would have been even harder, because it was broken down and they weren´t sure why. We had so many people talking to us asking about where we were going and saying look there´s the missionaries! And then we met a guy from Switzerland while we were eating breakfast who served his mission in England and was on his way to SanFran and he played his 1920s banjo for us and sang us some really old songs about don´t let your daughters date Mormon boys because all they´ll have is cake, something, and babies and it was hilarious. We also got fed by Sue and Gordon Smith at PF Changs during our layover and they let us use their phones. And just BLESSINGS!!!! :)
Don´t have much more time left for email. But they let us shower when we got here. MORE BLESSINGS. And that guy who served in Vitoria (?) who was coming to Sao Paulo was like the biggest lifesaver there ever was. And now we´re here and the sun is shining and I´m in a district with three of my favorite people and I couldn´t be happier! Things are going so well. SO MANY BLESSINGS!!! I seriously love Heavenly Father. He´s amazing!
No pics while we are here for the next fourish weeks, but it´ll all be good and there´ll be plenty to try to describe and explain to you since you can´t see it yet. The men here are like wonderful gentlemen. It´s great.
I love it! I love you! Hope all is well!
Sister Wilkins

You can tell she is tired but excited by her email.  And we received one from the CTM president.  He said please send letters, but no packages.  Packages can't be accepted by any MTC other than Provo.  And he sent us this picture of the missionaries who arrived today.

We got to talk to her on the phone yesterday while she was at the airport.  It was so good to hear her.  She was so positive, upbeat, and happy.  We are so grateful for this amazing young woman who is such an example to us.  We are so blessed to be her family!

Monday, July 27, 2015

week 2 and Brazil tomorrow. "Leaving on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again" (Jk...18 months!)‏

The district with Sister Hirschi, our awesome teacher!

Sister Wright, Sister Child, Me:  Brazil bound!
Oi familia e friends!

How are you all doing!?

Things have been kinda crazy here lately after the four of us got our visas. Sister Wright was having a really hard time with all of us leaving her at first but we've talked with her and she knows this is where God wants her to be. 

This week we gave our last two lessons to Morgan. The fourth lesson was ok. We taught him the law of justice and mercy and he seemed to understand. And we talked about faith in Christ and baptism and asked him to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized. He said he didn't have a problem with it, but he didn't say yes. Our last lesson was super awesome. We weren't even sure what to talk about so we had kinda prepared two lessons but we weren't as prepared and we just wanted to go by the Spirit. We ended up talking to him more about things we had discussed previously and just answered his questions. HE PRAYED AT THE END WITH US. OUT LOUD. AND he said he would get baptized!!!!! :) IT was awesome!!! 

Then, the next day Morgan walked into our classroom study in the morning and it turns out he's our second teacher! His name is Irmao Workman. His lessons are amazing and so powerful. I've been so blessed to have the teachers I've had and I'm going to miss them so much!! We told Sister Hirschi she should stow away in our luggage and come with us. She just laughed.

I got really sick this week and my district was kind of worried about me. It was just a regular cold and I felt bad that I was sick and making it so that my companions were being held back. I just felt awful and wanted to make sure that we could all study. There is no time to rest as a missionary, especially when you are learning a language, so that was hard. But I just didn't want to miss class or devotionals or anything, so I stuck through it. And I got two blessings from the Elders which helped me deal with it and were seriously some of the coolest blessings I've had (especially since they were coming from 19 year old guys). But everything is doing a lot better.

We got our visas. Elder Banz came and pounded on the door of our room Wednesday morning, saying come read this letter! So we ran over and all four of our names were on the computer screen and we went to the travel office and got our visas and it was awesome!!! We are all so excited and some of us are slightly nervous, but we'll be ok :) 

We've definitely grown really close as a district this week, which makes it hard to leave. But we're excited to be able to go where we've been called. We laugh together, we sing together, we pray together, we've done everything together and the thought of being in a different district with different companions is so weird to me. At least we'll be able to see each other in the CTM. 

Yesterday was amazing! We had such a good Sunday. The Spirit was seriously so strong. We talked about enduring to the end during relief society and it was awesome! I love this quote Sister Moss shared with us (not sure who said it): "This is enduring to the end: seeing things through to completion." I just thought that was super cool. We got to hear from Elder Stephen B. Allen, who is in charge of the missionary department of the church. IT WAS AWESOME!!! HE IS AWESOME!!! We also got to watch conference talks as a district for a while and then we watched Legacy last night. So funny with the romance in it when we're all a bunch of missionaries who can't even flirt haha. 

My lesson yesterday wasn't awful but it wasn't the best. I talked about the qualifications of baptism and why it's important for us to understand and how we can help our investigators understand too. We got to go to a departure devotional yesterday too which was just super weird because they kept talking about being in the field and we were just like ya, that doesn't apply to us. 

Today has been a rough day for our zone. We walked in to class and Brother Nilsson told us that an elder's father passed away last night, so it was pretty somber this morning in our building. We fasted for him today as a zone and he decided that he's not going to the funeral. He's staying here and doing the Lord's work. I was so touched by his example. If you could keep him and his family in your prayers it would be much appreciated. 

Thank you for all your letters and packages! It's been much appreciated! And it will be so nice to have food for the four of us to have to snack on at the airport!!! 

So excited to get to Brazil but kind of nervous!! It'll be so good to serve the people once I can learn the language. 

I love you all and pray for you all!

Hope everything is going well for you!!! 


Sister Wilkins 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I'm Going to BRAZIL!!!!

I got my visa today!!!! I head out to Brazil on Tuesday!! AHHHHH!!!
Sister Child is going with me. Elder Banz and Elder King are flying out the same day, but a different flight. We'll be meeting at the travel office at the same time, so probably dropped off at the airport at the same time. Sister Wright and Elder Ebert are staying here, their visas didn't come through.

Over 14 hours on a plane!! AGGG.
Monday after dinner we'll have time to do laundry and email before we leave. 

Love you so much! 

Sister Wilkins

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


For those of you who wanted it, Mady's email (for her entire mission) is
Her P-day is Tuesday, and they print their emails at 6:45 am so that they have time to read before their 1 hour time limit for sending emails.

While she is in the Provo MTC, her physical address is:
Sister Mady Wilkins
2005 N 900 E Unit 238
Provo, Utah 84602

Week 1

I can't believe my visa hit four dots! That's so crazy! A lot of the sisters here in our zone have been at four dots for a couple weeks and still haven't heard anything from the Church, so I might be here for six weeks, which I kind of hope I am. If I don't get it by Friday I'll be staying here. I just found out like two seconds ago that Elder King is leaving on the 29th. Our district might start to dissolve pretty soon, sadly. We were all really hoping that we'd be together for a while. We have so much fun!

I get along really well with my companions. Sometimes we get frustrated with each other. But all six of us in the district are the oldest child, so it's a lot of strong leader personalities, which is cool.

My teacher is Sister Hirschi. she hasn't told us a whole lot about herself, but she served in Portugal and is super super cute! We all love her so much! And she is such an awesome teacher! I had an interview with her yesterday and she was saying she's so impressed with our district.

The first couple days here were kind of crazy. It was just crazy trying to get everything set up and the first three or four days your schedule is different from what the rest of your time here is. But we're finally on a normal schedule! We study in the classroom for nine plus hours a day. we eat three meals a day in the cafeteria. We just study Portuguese for like half the day and prepare lessons for Morgan/study the gospel the other half. We have gym time, too now. We played sand volleyball the first day and it was super fun! Most of our zone played. We've played soccer and ridden stationary bikes and walked the track as well. The facilities here are nice. 

We pray so so so much. And it's awesome! I love it! Days are long, weeks are short. Everyone kept saying it, but I didn't believe it at first. It is seriously so true. It's crazy. I feel like I've been here forever when I look at a single moment, but when I look back it's also really hard to see that it's been a week. It seems longer and shorter at the same time.

Our investigator's name is Morgan. He's from Rio de Janeiro and only speaks Portuguese. Trying to communicate with him in the first lesson was hard. He asked a lot of questions we couldn't respond to, like "Why is prayer necessary? How do you know Heavenly Father hears you? Why is baptism necessary? (yes, we asked him to get baptized) etc, etc" It was humbling to be in a position where I knew what I needed to tell him and I understood him, but I couldn't say anything back because of lack of vocab. 

Sunday was my favorite day. The spirit was so strong. We sing a lot. We sing in Portuguese a lot. I didn't know what I was singing in sacrament since it was in Portuguese. But it is so much easier to feel the Spirit and I feel it so much stronger since I'm not just blindly saying words. 

Our second lesson with Morgan was AMAZING!!!! :D We taught him everything we wanted to and answered all his questions. IN PORTUGUESE!!!! I think we caught him off-guard with how prepared we were!!! :) I did most of the talking that lesson, but that's because the notes were in front of me, and it was a lot of questions for him and scriptures for him to read. It was so good tho! We prayed for the Spirit to be there and it was, and that was the difference between our first and second lessons. We taught about God and the Spirit and how to recognize it. We committed him to pray and read some scriptures we left with him!!! We went in to the third lesson yesterday and it was not as good at all. We tried to teach him about Jesus because he doesn't know much about him, but we tried to teach him about how he's our Savior. But we couldn't. He didn't understand why if Heavenly Father loves us so much he can't just forgive us and why we need a Savior. We're going to teach him about the law of justice and mercy, which is kind of a hard thing to teach about (which is what I just wanted to tell him, but I couldn't say any of it in Portuguese, which is frustrating, but oh well). BUT he KEPT HIS COMMITMENTS!!!!! 

My time here is going well. I love it! Please tell people to write me! Letters are amazing, but so are emails (we print them early on P-days at 6:45 so we don't waste time reading and figuring out how to respond since we only have sixty minutes). 

Our district is really good at getting distracted, which is frustrating, but it's funny a lot of the time.

I've learned to pray and bear my testimony in Portuguese. I try to pray only in Portuguese and last night was my biggest success. Whatever I don't know how to say in Portuguese I say in English. IT's coming good. I'm starting to think a little in Portuguese, like when I write in English in my head it turns to Portuguese as I write. I know I'm being blessed because there's no way I'd know as much of the language as I do now if it wasn't for the Gift of Tongues. I'm so thankful for the help that praying for it brings me.

If you can find the MTC devotional "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar, you should read or watch it this week! It's awesome!!! He talks about how the Savior always turns outward rather than inward. It seriously changes the way you think. we also got to hear from Sister Edmunds, as sisters, on Sunday. Super awesome! 

I also found out that Davis Eberly's cousin is in my district. She's super cute and sweet. I'm loving my zone. The sisters are amazing.

Brother Nillson, a member of our Branch Presidency talked to us about staying "On the Wall" like Samuel the Lamanite. He says get on and stay on with missionary work. Don't let it stop after you get off the mish. AMAZING! And SO POWERFUL! He coaches football at Orem high and is a Spiritual Powerhouse.

I've been doing Dad's challenge of five things I'm grateful for since I got his letter. It's cool to see how much there is to be grateful for here.

Challenge: Read from 3 Nephi 11 to the end of 3 Nephi. I've been studying it this week and it is absolutely amazing!! STUDY IT! DON'T JUST READ IT! :) Really pay attention when you're singing and try to feel the Spirit when you sing. It'll change the way you feel about hymns!

I have to teach an ordinance on Sunday in Relief Society (baptism) and then teach my district about baptism! Pray for me! I'll need it.

Know that I pray for and love you all so very much!

Eu sei que Jesus Cristo esta nossa Salvador e amo-te. 

Amo-se muito muito!!!
How are things for all of you? When does school start again??

Sister Wilkins


My District:
Sister Wright, Sister Child, Me
Elder King, Elder Ebert, Elder Banz 

Me and my friend Mallory from the movie theater

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sister Wright and Sister Wilkins arriving at the MTC
This is one of her 2 companions there.

Saying farewell at the MTC

EMAIL JULY 15, 2015 9:15 pm

How are you all doing?!
How's mom doing? And dad? Don't say fine if it isn't true ;)
I love you so much. 
I am doing really really good. I love the MTC so much! My companions are Sister Wright and Sister Childs, both the ones I was friends with on facebook before.
I saw Elder Troumbley tonight and got a picture with him. I think his P-day is tomorrow so his mom might be getting a pic. Kinda funny story how I ran into him. I was sitting next to an elder who said he was going to the Netherlands, asked if he knew him and he was like you mean this guy, who was sitting literally in the seat next to him. The Lord works in mysterious ways. I don't think he knows who you are tho haha I had to try to explain to him and that was weird so ya. Um, what else. 
I've seen Sister Saluone (Mallory) today. I saw Elder Peterson (Kaleb) in like the first fifteen minutes I was here. 
We just met our branch President, President Dansie. I'm in Branch 69. So if you need to talk to someone, that's who to get a hold of. 
We aren't supposed to take long to email tonight, but I just want you to know that everything is going really well here. I see Jackson's email, but tell him I will read it on Tuesday if I don't get time tonight...Tuesday is my P-day.
It is so hard to think of things to tell you right now, we were just told we could email you like 10 minutes ago and it's kinda weird haha. 
The Spirit is so strong in the MTC. I am constantly amazed at how Heavenly Father lets a bunch of 18-20 year olds carry out his work with little supervision, besides the Spirit obviously, and it all works out really really well. I am in a district where there are two tripanionships, mine and a tripanionship of elders, Elder King from Ohio, Elder Banz from SLC, and Elder Ebert from Houston Texas. They're all going to Brazil. We have a lot of fun and laugh a lot. 
Portuguese is difficult, but nothing I can't handle, 1 Nephi 3:7 right? 
Dad, did you know the Richards family from Tuscon, he used to teach seminary at sabino. She was one of the sisters who helped me get my nametag and stuff.
Ummm....I seriously can't think of what else to say.
OH! I need you to send me a voltage converter PLEASE :) they don't have any at the MTC store. Also, food. Food is good, I like food. Please send me snacky foods I can eat at my apartment at like 9:30. I get kinda hungry. If not that's cool too. Also, I realized when I made my bed at 9 last night that I didn't get the mattress cover maybe send that too :) Love you:)
Things are fun in the MTC. Dad was right, I love it. We have our first lesson with an investigator tomorrow, and it's in Portuguese. Wish me luck, I'll need it. 
Elder King already has his visa, he'll be heading out Wednesday we think. Tonight is the first time we'll get mail so maybe we'll find something out.
I love you muito muito!
Tudo bem?!
Hope you guys are having a lot of fun and not missing me too much.
I know that this is where I'm supposed to be. It's been confirmed to me many times. I love my Savior and I know I  can do anything with his help, including learn Portuguese. Sister Hirschi is an amazing teacher and super cute! I love her!
Sister Wilkins

P.S. I'm sorry I'm a scatterbrain right now. I'll try to get better. Also LOVE YOU. And I'll try to write you a real letter soon. Please ask questions. It'll make my letters longer if you do :)

July 15, 2015
Mady asked me (her mom) to update a blog for her from her emails.  As she was preparing for her mission to Florianopolis, Brazil, blogs from sisters who served there were so helpful to her, and so she decided that's how she wanted to share her mission with everyone. Rather than trying to forward emails and upload them here, it will all be on the blog.  
We dropped her off yesterday afternoon.  It was tough.  But she met up with Sister Oakli Wright, whom she had been in contact with through facebook, almost immediately, and I think that helped (her at least :) )
Today we discovered that her VISA is approved and waiting for pickup, which means she could be on her way to the Sao Paulo CTM as soon as next week.  We will know soon.