Monday, November 30, 2015


Well oi minha família e amigos!!

This week was rough. A lot of things fell through. We had a grand total of 6 lessons with investigators, which really is not much. But we have two new investigators and one might become a family of investigators, so that´s pretty cool!! 

Our Christmas decorations
Our mini Christmas Tree
Last P-day Sister George and I went out shopping and we bought Christmas decorations and we are SOOO Excited for Christmas!!! 

We had Thanksgiving dinner for lunch. We attempted to make American foods. But the first attempt we failed miserably. Crepes wouldn´t form and we burned cheese bread. But the second attempt was great and the food
Burnt Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Dinner 2015


tasted great and we were missing our American turkey. But we had mashed potatoes, thin pancakes with nutella and bananas, jello, cheese bread, and ham. 

We almost got robbed....well our umbrellas did. Some guy came up and asked to borrow our umbrellas and tried to pry our fingers off them, but we got rid of him, so that was interesting to say the least. 

And then we had an investigator who refused to pray in pants this week and told us that Jesus gets sad when we pray in pants, so that was interesting too. She made us pray since she was wearing pants and went on a rant for probably a good ten minutes of why we can´t pray in pants. People here are definitely interesting haha. 

We got # pass along cards and we are so excited!!! I don´t know if you guys have seen the video yet, but if not you should look it up right now. #ASaviorWasBorn. I am so excited about this!!! Share the video with everyone!!! That´s my goal and I would love it if you would all join me! 

I had to give a talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday, that was pretty scary. Bishop called Saturday night and said he needed one of us to give a talk and I was the one to answer the phone, so that meant it was me. I was asked to speak on Families and how our families can be eternal for 10 minutes. I was nervous and stuttered but people told me it was good and I didn´t look nervous, so that was good. That was the first talk I have given in Portuguese, so that was super fun. 

Vera still hasn´t come to church and almost went to a different church this past week, except that we went and visited her when she was going to go. 
Mari told us that she doesn´t really have an interest in coming to church and hasn´t been there the past two weeks. Something is wrong with what´s happening with her and we aren´t sure what. 
Claudia is still Claudia and thinks that it won´t be long before she´s baptized. 
Well, that´s my week. 
Hope things are going well for you! 
Love you!
Sister Wilkins

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Week of Miracles


Well, this week was super long but it was absolutely incredible!!! Sister George and I get along super duper well and she is just super great! Love her so much! She is from Layton.

Me and Sister George
Our first day as comps, Tuesday was absolutely crazy. We had two lunches because we couldn´t get a hold of the Irmã in the ward the night before and she called us after we had eaten and asked where we were. That sure was an adventure! 

Wednesday we had 5 LESSONS!!! Just in that day. That NEVER happens!!! It was crazy!!! We were so tired at the end of the day, but really that has been every day this week. We are doing so much work and the amount of concentration we are both putting into lessons and even just conversations is more than we have ever had to do before, because we used to just rely on our companion who was fluent in Portuguese and now we don´t have that, but I am super glad because it is stretching us and we are learning a lot. 

Honestly, we are receiving a ton of Heavenly help. From the first moment we went to that lunch we knew we were receiving help. The Portuguese we are speaking is better than we were able to speak last week and we have been able to explain everything we needed to so far. We have been able to teach evey lesson well and none of this is because of us. It is all thanks to our Heavenly Father. He is so mindful of us and our needs and I know that I wouldn´t be able to do any of this without Him. 

I am also amazed at how much I am feeling the Spirit. The way I have felt the Spirit on my mission is totally different than the way I felt it before. It has been very difficult for me to recognize it and I was having a hard time with this. But I have felt the Spirit so strongly in my life this week. I have felt him there in our lessons and I know that He is helping me and guiding our work. I am getting better at recognizing him, his promptings, and then following them. I am so grateful for the Spirit. Without him, our work as missionaries cannot go forward, we will not get anywhere without him. 

This Friday was pretty cool. We had district meeting. Elder Reis and Elder Gomes made a treasure hunt for us to find breakfast. They had clues and they had told us that we needed to rely on the Spirit and that we might find a teaching opportunity. Well, our church is in the middle of a bunch of houses. Our last clue said we had to knock on a door. So I tried knocking on the church door, yup, that did nothing for us. We had to cross the street and we knew that was the door we needed to knock on, but we were all struggling to get up the courage to go knock on this door and ask some random person if she had our breakfast. Finally we knocked, no one answered. I knocked louder and a sweet little old lady came to the door. We left a pass-along card with her and then she asked if there was something else we wanted from her. Sister Ribeiro asked if two young men happened to leave something with her for us. She laughed, invited us in and gave us the food. We laughed with her for a few minutes because the whole time she had been watching us out the window. The Elders recorded the video too. It was pretty funny. But really I learned quite a bit from that experience. We have to have the courage to talk to people because we never know who is going to be prepared for something we have or prepared to help us find others or prepared to serve in the church! But it all starts with our courage. 

With President and Sister Silva after a long day or working
Friday night we had a dinner with President that one of the Irmãos in the ward prepared. Member couples invited nonmember couples and President talked about how families are important and read from The Family: A Proclamation to the World. It was super awesome. We have some new potential investigators. And the mayor of Tubarão was there. So that was pretty cool! 

This Sunday, we didn´t have any of our investigators at church! Half the ward was gone too! It was so weird and pretty sad!

Well, as for investigators. 
Mari didn´t even make an effort to stop drinking coffee. She doesn´t have a desire to yet, so we are going to be praying for that desire to manifest itself. We started teaching her the commandments and we taught her about Keeping the Sabbath Day holy. It went really well! But then she wasn´t at church. Luis, her husband was, but he said she had some really bad head pain so she stayed home. 
Vera is becoming very depressed because of her situation with the divorce. She nearly talked our ears off for an hour. I flat out told her that she wouldn´t be as depressed if she would come to church and try to make some friends. She hasn´t been to church in a month now. And we even called her Saturday night and she wasn´t there Sunday. I am getting to a point where I really don´t know how I can help her any more and it is devastating. All I want is for her to come to church, but we don´t have a car, we can´t pick her up and drive her, so it´s hard because all we can do is invite her and ask the members to give her a ride. 

Well, Christmas decorations are up!!! IN THE WHOLE CITY!!! IT IS GORGEOUS!!! We were walking down the main road, hardly any cars or people were out and then the Christmas lights just suddenly turned on. It was gorgeous!!! I am SOOOO Excited for Christmas!!!! But it is getting extremely hot here. It was at 31 degrees Celcius yesterday which is pretty cool for the week and that doesn´t factor in the ridiculous amount of humidity we experience. So, it doesn´t completely click in my head that it´s getting really close to Christmas. 
But, with all the sun we walk in, I am more tan than I have ever been. It is super great! Blessings of the mission! haha. 

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that sometime this week you can take 10-15 minutes and just offer a heartfelt prayer of gratitude to your Father in Heaven because He has given us everything. Don´t ask for anything, just express your gratitude to Him. 
I am super grateful for all of you and for the marvelous opportunity I have to serve a mission! I wouldn´t trade it for anything. 

Love you all! 
Sister Wilkins

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Transfers :(

Oi familia e amigos!!! Tudo bem?!
Well, this week we had a bit of success. Mari prayed about the Book of Mormon!!!!!! It was seriously a miracle!!! She told us that she hadn´t received a response yet. Sister Diniz started talking about the different types of responses and how we can recognize them. Mari paused for a second and then said, you know I don´t think I need a big response. From the first lesson with the Book of Mormon, I believed it was true. MIRACLE OF THE WEEK!!!!! I cannot even begin to explain how excited about this I was!!! Thank you for your prayers for my investigators, I know that they are being answered! The next lesson we had with her was about the word of Wisdom, because she asked about coffee, so really hoping that she will be able to get the goal we set with her to leave coffee for one week and substitute something else for it. 
Vera, is still Vera. She didn´t read. She wasn´t at church. I am starting to get really worried about her. I am not really sure what else we can do for her. 
Claudia was supposed to get baptized this week, we talked to her on the phone. She prayed aobut if she should be baptized, she felt the spirit and has a great desire to get baptized, but she chose the natural man. She chose her boyfriend over baptism. AGHHH it is so frustrating to have situations like this where the investigator knows what they should do, but still chooses the wrong path. Sometimes as a missionary you really wish you could just take away free agency for two seconds. 
Well transfer calls came Wednesday. Sister Diniz was transfered home, she finished her full-time mission and I am sure going to miss her. Sister Crump was transferred to Floripa. She left this morning. And I am staying in Oficinas!!!! I GET TO SPEND CHRISTMAS HERE AND I AM SO EXCITED I LOVE THIS WARD :D
My new comp is Sister George. I haven´t met her yet. She and Sister Crump are changing spots. I am really worried about how our Portuguese will be, but I know that the Spirit will touch the hearts of those who are prepared and we will do what we can for the others. 
Our ward mission leader is great. He and his wife had a big barbecue for Sister Diniz because she was leaving and it became for Sister Crump too when we found out she was leaving too. 
I get to see President this week. A brother in our ward organized a dinner for members to invite nonmembers and invited president to come and present a lesson of some sort. I am excited to see what he has to say! 
Last night, after Sister crump and I dropped Sister Diniz off at the bus station and then went and taught a lesson to Luan at Jorge and Fran´s. I understood almost everything they said! I shouldn´t have been able to, but I did. The gift of tongues is real. That hour and a half with them made me feel more comfortable with my portuguese and made me think that I can do this transfer; it will be difficult, but I can do it. 
Well, in other news I have probably 30 new bug bites. The bugs here are ridiculous. And I saw a lizard that was like 3 feet long. But it crept under a house before I got a picture. Other than that, things in Tubarão are good. 
IT is ridiculously hot sometimes, but I am adjusting slowly and life is good. 
Love you all! 
Have a wonderful week! 
Sister Wilkins

Monday, November 9, 2015

Ammon and the King's Sheep

Oi familia e amigos e amigas! 

This week was super fast! Can´t believe it´s already Monday! 

So, we have an investigator scheduled for baptism this week, Claudia. But we went and visited her and she is back with her boyfriend. So, we called President to ask for another opinion and we are going to teach her today and decide if she really can be baptized. I am hoping she can. She doesn´t have any problems with anything and she understands it all. We know she is ready for baptism, we are hoping she will see that she is too and have the strength to live the way she needs to so she can be! 

Vera hasn´t been in church the past three weeks. We went to her house this week with Bishop and his wife and the lesson we gave was one of the best lessons I have been in. We taught her about repentance and baptism. She understood the importance of baptism by the correct authority which is critical. And the only thing holding her back from being baptized is that she needs to pray about the Book of Mormon still. I cannot even begin to express to you how much I love Vera and how much I worry about her and pray for her. She is absolutely incredible. 

I don´t know if you remember Duda. Sister Rosa and I taught her, the 12 year old girl. We were finally able to go and visit her again. Her mom is less active and was in the lesson with us. She is awesome. There is definitely something special about that family. We taught them about eternal families ,which is something they both want and we talked about what we have to do to have that. Hopefully they will start coming to church again. 

We got four new investigators this week, which was a miracle. We need more. And we had five investigators at church! 
Church this week was the primary program and it was so good. Our primary consists of about 12-15 children. But they did so good! And we had 105 people in sacrament meeting! Bishop said that´s the most we have had all year! Miracle!!! 

What else can I tell you? Transfers are this week. There is a good chance that I´ll be leaving. But I really don´t know what will happen. This is Sister Diniz´s last week. And this week is going to be crazy busy! But busy is good, it means we are working and we are working hard! 

I got to help make lunch at a member´s house yesterday. She was making what they call `pancakas` which are basically like thin pancakes or thick crepes. And I got to help! So fun! I miss cooking! Think I am going to try and start making more food again. haha

Well, that´s really about it for this week, but I wanted to share something from my personal study the other day with you. I was reading Alma 17, which is about Ammon guarding the king´s sheep. When we talk about this story in the church we always talk about how his works converted King Lamoni. But, this was not his desire. His desire was to convert his brethren, his fellow-servants. He had the right intentions and because of this, he was able to work a miracle in converting the King. Having righteous desires and being willing to do what God asks of us can bring great miracles that we never expected! 
"Do what is right, be faithful and fearless" --that is my challenge for you all this week! 

Love you to pieces! 
hope all is well! 
Sister Wilkins

Our primary program was yesterday. We had about 12 kids in the primary on the stand. And like 6 teachers. haha. Made me miss our cute little class. But man the spirit is so strong with the primary no matter where you go! Tell the kids I love them and miss them! 

How did I step out of my comfort zone? I am not really sure. I tried to make more contacts. I feel like my comfort zone has become a lot smaller, maybe even close to nonexistent. So that is kind of a hard question. But I try to do something different every week, like eat a chicken foot. haha. 
Rachel´s putting in her papers too?! Holy cow the whole world is going on a mission! 

Advice to youth preparing for missions: learn to trust in the Lord now. Learn the language of the Spirit. This is something that is hard for me because the way that I feel the spirit on my mission is different than how I felt it at home and I am still trying really hard to learn to recognize it. Read Preach My Gospel cover to cover. Don´t just read it. Study it. Learn it, live it love it. Especially chapter 3. You need to know how to teach the lessons in English before you try to teach them in another language. It is so much easier that way. Learn to study your scriptures in a way that works for you. And learn to love to pray. You pray a lot on a mission and honestly it is wonderful, but for some people it is strange at first with how much we pray.

My leg is great! Went to the medic twice more this week. He said it´s healing and I´ll have a mark there for the next 4-6 months, but he was really happy with how it looked and I don´t have to go back to the medic :) 

Favorite thing to eat: I love the lasagnas here. And the ice cream. And the faroffa. Really there isn´t a whole lot that I don´t like. It´s all pretty good. 

Hardest thing in the mission so far is when we have to drop people. I hate dropping people. I just wish that I could take the person by the shoulders, shake them up a little bit and tell them the gospel is true and get them to accept it. Sadly I can´t do that and people have their free agency. 
Favorite part of the work is watching people grow. It is amazing to be sitting in the room with a person as you watch them gain a testimony of the gospel. Nothing better than that. 
foggy day view from my apartment

My Silly District!

Friday, November 6, 2015

What a Week!

Oi familia, amigos! Amo vocês muito!!! 

So, lots of miracles here in the field!!! Loving the work, as always, and the language. And everything about being a missionary. Honestly I think it is the best calling life can offer. 

So, this week we asked Mari to get baptized. She didn´t accept. She hasn´t prayed to ask if the Book of Mormon or the Church is true yet, but she understands how important baptism is and how big of a step it is, so that´s a start! 

Miracle #1: VERA READ THE BOOK OF MORMON!!!!!!! AND SHE LIKED WHAT SHE READ AND IT APPLIED TO HER LIFE!!! But, she hasn´t been to church the past two weeks. But she READ!!! We asked her to pray about it, hoping that she did! We taught her about faith. We asked her what faith was to her and she nearly quoted Alma 32:21 and she had never read it! How crazy is that?! 

Milagre #2: We fasted with Claudia last week so that she could have the help she needed to be baptized. She broke up with her boyfriend this week because of a fight! And she feels at peace with the decision to break up! We recognized this as an answer to our prayers and hoping she will do the same! (Her boyfriend was holding her back a bit from being baptized.) She is supposed to be baptized next Saturday. 

There are other miracles from this week too. I watched an 11 year old girl share her testimony about giving a Book of Mormon to a friend and she started sobbing as she told us her friend was reading it! She set an example for the whole ward. And she´s 11!!! I watched the husband of a recent convert, who is 19 years old, bear his testimony about fasting to find work and receiving a job offer 4 days later. There are so many miracles! I promise you that if you will open your eyes a little wider and pray to see God more in your life you will see that your lives are full of miracles too! 

We had interviews with President this week. He gave us a training first and it was amazing! President is amazing! And I know he is inspired! He is seriously super cool! My interview was the third to last (we were at the chapel until 5:30 for interviews), so it was pretty short, only like two minutes long. And he just asked me about myself and my family and how I am doing. And man, I know that I needed to have him as my president! He is seriously so cool!

So, Halloween...since you all have been asking. They didn´t do anything. I ate a handful of swedish fish to celebrate. At the very end of the day we saw a lady who had hair like Maleficent. And we saw four trick or treaters about 11 or 12 years old! I so badly wished I had candy to give them! They trick or treated at a bakery, not sure if they got anything or not, but they exist! haha

And yesterday was Day of the Dead. We went to a cemetery to try to contact, at the suggestion of our bishop. The cemetery here is so different. It is literally a bunch of stone boxes above ground like something straight out of the movie. Here, it is a big holiday in that people go to the cemeteries to mourn for their dead, but other than that nothing really happens. But there were a lot of flowers and it looked cool. And there were a lot of people there. There were some people standing at a grave doing Hail Mary´s and it kind of freaked me out a little because all I heard was chanting and I didn´t understand what was going on. 

Well, that´s really about all that´s going on here. We wake up, exercise, study, eat, pray and teach, walk and walk, plan, and then sleep and do it all again. And man does it sound boring when I put it like that, but honestly I can´t think of anything else I would rather do. This is exactly where I want to be and I hope that everyone of you who has the ability to serve a mission goes. There is nothing to compare this experience to. Words cannot explain the joy that comes from bringing the gospel to others! 

I love you all! 
Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween and that you aren´t sick from all the candy! 
Have a wonderful week! 

Sister Wilkins

Transfer calls are next week. We have no idea what will happen. But President did say to Sister Diniz he won´t leave a trio in Oficinas. So we could get two sisters, we could get one and one of us would leave, or we could both leave. I have no idea what will happen. 

Investigators are coming. We are working so hard with them. 
Crazy big caterpillar.  Moved super fast

Awesome hammock at a members while waiting for lunch

A member made us mini pizzas for lunch.  They were super duper good.  And it had salami!

O Master, I did that I looked to do but to comfort more than to be comforted. 

Basically saying, don´t let anything bad happen to me. I don´t want to have to be comforted, but I will comfort others. Funny little signs like this all over one neighborhood in our area. 

Can´t believe Dad´s on high council again! Crazy stuff! 

If you guys want to pray that we can help our investigators and know exactly what we need to do to help them progress that would be great. And that we can find people who are prepared for the gospel. We are in need of more people to teach.