Sunday, January 31, 2016

Welcome to paradise

Oi familia e amigos! 
This week was insane. So much happened, and I don´t have a lot of time because of computer difficulty, so sorry if this seems scattered. It probably is. 

We had zone training this week. And we watched a worldwide broadcast for missionaries about the 12 week program, it´s the program to train new missionaries. It was broadcast from SLC and there were apostles there. It was amazing! It was the first time in more than 10 years they have done something like that. But it was so cool. There were a bunch of different speakers. And one of them talked about less actives and how to work with them, which was an answer to a prayer because that is about half of the people we are working with right now. It was awesome. 
Also, we have 10 Americans in our zone and our house of Sisters are the only sisters in the zone, so that´s crazy. There are 24 or 26 people in the zone. 

There were two baptisms in our ward this week. One of a little girl named Emily and a teenage boy named Lucas. 


We had a crazy experience at the house. We came home one day after lunch to work on training. And we got in the apartment and sister Belo told us to come to the other room quietly and quickly. So we did. THERE WERE TWO VULTURES SITTING ON THE WINDOW SILL IN THE MAIN ROOM AND THE WINDOWS WERE OPEN. We were stuck in the bedroom until they left about twenty minutes later. so that was a crazy experience. 

And then later that day Sister Ogle and I were walking to an appointment and we watched a man get hit by a car. We think he was drunk, but we aren´t sure. He walked out in the middle of the road, not at the cross-walk. He had been walking in front of us just minutes before. And then he was on the ground face down for at least 10 minutes. Based on the sounds that happened, I think he probably died, but I don´t know and I don´t have any one to tell me if he did or not. Sister Ogle and I didn´t know what to do, so we just stood there for almost 20 minutes while the scene played out and the ambulance came. That was a really crazy experience.

We had miracles this week with investigators and less actives. 
We taught Miguel the whole plan of salvation in 30 minutes, which I have never done before and he understood it all perfectly and repeated it all back to me in like 2 seconds. We asked him to get baptized, but he wants to know the Book of Mormon is true before he says yes. But he said that if he gets that answer then he will act on it. He is praying about the Book of Mormon again this week. 
Judy, the less active we have been working with, CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY!!!! I think it went really well! But we didn´t get to talk to her afterwards. BUT SHE CAME!!! 
And then we got to gospel principles, and ALEX WAS THERE!!!! Alex is a referral from bishop who we have only had one lesson with, but he came to church and he liked it and wants to come back. he did say it was different, but he wants to learn more! And he brought his son!!! 
And then we got to sacrament meeting and YGOR WAS THERE!!! Ygor is a less active we visited once and tried to visit again, but didn´t get the chance. I swear he is going to serve a mission. His family is less active and his dad isn´t a member, but we haven´t met him yet. Working with Ygor and his sister and mom right now to help reactivate!! I was so stinking happy yesterday!!! The Lord´s hand really is in this work. 

Well, that´s about it for my crazy week. 
Hope you all are doing well! 
Love you! 

Sister Wilkins

Monday, January 18, 2016

Lessons in Patience, and the Hills are alive, with the sound of muuusiiic

Oi Familia e AMigos!!!! 

This week was amazing and full of so many stinking miracles!!! 
First miracle: our furniture arrived Monday!! it´s not set up yet, but it arrived!!! 
Second: We were knocking doors Tuesday and we got our first four investigators! 
Her name is Evaneta and her three granddaughters who were home joined in the message. They really liked it and wanted to learn more and were very interested in coming to church. Sadly they weren´t there yesterday, but we´ll see. We had two lessons with her this week and her granddaughters were there for the first one, so that was super awesome! 

We have 4 other new investigators from this week! 
The first is Miguel. His family is all recent converts. He has already been to church a few times and read parts of the Book of Mormon, but he has never had the lessons. The trouble with him is that he works really late Saturday nights and gets home as his parents are leaving to go to church. We taught him the whole Restoration and he really liked it. I think it is just a matter of getting him to church. 

Our phone finally started working this week, so that was a miracle. And we have 5 or 6 less actives to visit!!! Miracles. 

We got locked out of the church this week. That was a fun experience. So as I said last week I am playing piano during district meetings. This week went so much better by far. Just a couple wrong notes, but nothing too bad. So I needed to practice piano. The lock on the gate wasn´t opening. We sat there for 45 minutes trying to get it to open, it finally opened and then when we needed to get back out we sat there for another 45 minutes, with members and still couldn´t get it open. So ya, I got locked in the church haha. 

We have walked up so many stinking hills this week, and when we can we sing...if we aren´t struggling for that´s the title for this week for ya. But holy cow. The views at the tops of these hills are gorgeous. I´ll send some pics. 

Well, other crazy experiences this week: I ate homemade avocado ice cream, which was actually pretty good. I hit my 6 month, we celebrated with delicious pizzas. 

Sister Wright and I celebrated 6 months with pizza (chocolate and bananas-yum!)
Well, I have learned a lot about patience this week. A lot of the times the Lord sends us trials so that we can learn something. I needed to learn patience. We were without investigators or anyone really to visit for almost two weeks and I was so impatient with the situation. But as soon as I learned to have patience we recieved new investigators, referrals, and help from the ward. Everything started to go right the moment I decided to be patient. it sure is funny how we learn the things we do in this life. So that was my lesson in patience for the week. 

Well, not really much else to say. Things here are going really well. 

hope all is well with you! 
Love you all! 

Sister Wilkins

Missionaries Sang as they Walked and Walked and Walked...

Oi familia e amigos!! 

Well this week was interesting. We have walked a ton and haven´t had much success. No one wants to receive the missionaries right now because it is their summer vacation, so a lot of them aren´t even home. So we did a lot of walking and we had two lessons this week. 
But...we HAD TWO lessons!!! We didn´t have anything the week before! 

So our first lesson was with a less-active named Nilza. She has health problems, so she doesn´t come to church a lot because it is hard for her. It was a really cool lesson and she had made a new year´s resolution to not miss a single sunday this year. Sunday came around and I was sure she was going to be there, but she wasn´t. Someone said that she was sick. We are going to visit her again this week. 

Our second lesson was a flat-out miracle. we had been knocking on doors for a while and we went and tried to contact references with Sister Wright and Sister Belo, but none of them were there. Sister Ogle and I decided that we were going to try a less active that lived on the way home named Judy. She´s only 17 years old and she is the only member in her family. We knocked on her door and I was fully expecting no one to be home, because that´s what had happened all week long. But she answered! And she was excited to see the missionaries! She, too, was wanting to come back to church, she just is a little nervous about friend groups and such, and only has two months until she goes into relief society, so she´s kind of at that awkward hard age. Sadly she wasn´t at church this week. But we are visiting her tomorrow with a young woman.

Saturday we were walking back from a neighborhood and a 13 year old boy ran up to us, said he was Mormon and that he and his cousin had been trying to find the church last week but couldn´t. We gave him the address and we are almost 100% sure he was at church on Sunday with his family. So I guess that´s the miracle of the week. We helped one family who had recently moved get to church. 

We had our first district meeting this week. Elder Cervantes is my district leader again! He asked me to play piano for district I practiced and all that practice I did years ago on our little old piano helped out. And I played the right hand notes of Nearer my God to Thee. And it actually went pretty well. I was so stinking nervous. And then I played Count Your Many Blessings, well I attempted to play. I have been practicing this song since I got to the field, and I missed a lot of notes, so I have got a long way to improve, but I played one song!!! Haha. 

Well, I really don´t have much else to say this week. 
Hope things are going well for you! 
Love you all!

Sister Wilkins
I made brigadeiro, a really good chocolate treat not found in the US

a ketchup packet exploded all over me.  This is me trying to clean it up

I visited Italy!  At least the street 

My new district


Sister Ogle and I on Sunday

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Messy Week in Paradise

Well hello again, from Paradise...better known as Balneário Camboriú.

This place is GORGEOUS!!!! I´ll explain that more in a bit.

Well, Monday night I had my last lesson with Michael and I finally told him I was leaving. He was sad but he just kept saying how greatful he was that I helped him to find the gospel. That was a very neat experience. 

New Trainers!
Tuesday morning, we got up and we got on the bus to go to Floripa. For the first time in four and a half months I got to see the ocean!! That was AWESOME!!! We got to Floripa with all my bags and sat down at the church. We got to relax for a little bit, I got to see Sister Child!!! and we got to go to a lunch with all 17 of the trainers. That was so fun!!! Then we waited at the church for a little while, and then had to go change our tickets at the bus station because the new missionaries got in late, they had problems with their flights. So we changed our tickets and got to walk through Floripa a little...sadly I didn´t have my camera or any money with me. But it was super fun!!! 
Then we sat around and waited some more, and finally got to go up and meet our trainees. I was the very last person to receive my new missionary. Her name is Sister Ogle and she´s American too! She is super awesome! And we are already having a lot of fun! 

Sister Ogle and I 

New Companions in the hotel
So that night, we got to go eat pizza at president´s house and we got to stay in a HOTEL on the island!!!! Each companionship had a room to themselves and each room had two beds. Man it was awesome!!! And we got breakfast at the hotel the next morning too! 

Wednesday we got to our new area. It is beautiful! It is lined with beaches and it is HUGE! We passed by the beach just to see it and because of the holidays, you could barely even see the sand there were so many people there. 

View from our window
Thursday was New Year´s Eve and we didn´t have work and President said that if we didn´t have lessons we could just stay home. So we stayed home and then waited until midnight. In my new apartment we are living on the ninth floor. And they have huge firework shows here. The fireworks started at 8 just randomly going off everywhere, and then at midnight the HUGE show over the beach started. 15 minutes of Gigantic fireworks. And we had a GREAT view from our window!!! It was AMAZING!!!! 
new year's eve from our window

Church here is huge, the ward has an average frequency of about 250 people. Holy cow it´s big, and different. It´s almost like being back in Utah again. 

Well, I am training. And that´s just crazy. Sister Ogle I think already came pretrained. She is awesome. I just feel bad because we are literally opening a new area. I have no idea how to do that, and we have no work yet. But we are going to work super hard this week and get a lot done. But I really have no idea what I am doing. I am learning to rely wholly on God because I don´t know how to do this, but I know that he does and that with His help and only with His help can we have success. 

Other thing, because we are opening a new area, we get to sleep on inflatable matresses, study at the kitchen table, and live out of suitcases. And we are without a working phone. So fun times here in Balneário. But we are starting to get the hang of it and I know that we are going to find some super awesome people to teach!! 

Hope you all had a wonderful New Year´s!!! 
Love ya!!!

Sister Wilkins




This is Vera from my last area

Crazy Socks and Christmas Jammies
Christmas Lunch:

See's Candy (Thanks, Dad!)

Note from Mom:
We are so grateful for the experiences Mady had in Tubarao and for the wonderful people she met there.  It was such a blessing to get pictures from them and know she's being taken care of.  A special thanks to Will and Thais Campos, who sent several pictures and kept us aware of important things, Irmao Hobson, who allowed her to skype us on Christmas f, and the many others who fed her and reached out to us also.  They have blessed our lives as well as hers.