Thursday, March 24, 2016

Mission Tour and Cristo Luz

Well, hello people.

Again this computer or my camera is not working, so I will not be able to send pictures, which means that a lot of the stories I wanted to share with you probably won´t make sense. But I will try.

Last week sister Ogle and I tried to visit Cristo Luz, we got up there and got to take pictures with one that is like 7 feet tall, but found out that it is now closed there on Mondays. That was a bummer. 

Transfer calls came, and nothing. I won´t be transferred! Neither will sister Ogle! 

Well this week we met with 3 new less actives. Two are from the same family-Laura and Daiane. They are super cute, super sweet. We are teaching Laura´s boyfriend, Juneval, now. He loved the first lesson. We haven´t finished. But he wanted to understand how we have apostles and prophets on the earth today and was shocked that no one had ever said anything about that to him before! 
We are also going to start teaching Daiane´s husband and his sisters, so that is exciting! 

Bruna and Robson are still doing awesome! 

We got to meet with Elder Zwick this week, a member of the 70. He talked a lot about how we can have better success in the mission. How we need to pray for our bishops and ward counsels and those of the whole mission as well. He talked about studying and how the people/misisonaries who don´t study and progress end up going downhill and leaving the church or becoming inactive. Those who study will reach a new level of spirituality they didn´t know possible. 
Don´t forget to do your study!!! :) 
We sang for elder zwick, which ended up as miracles because brazilians in general can´t sing. And there were 3 american sisters, all the elders were american and there were another 5 sisters i think. 
Sister Ogle and I also got called up to the front to do a practice training. That was really nerve wracking, but he said that it went really good. And he wrote our names in his Preach My Gospel because of it...haha crazy stuff. 

Well, I am basically out of time. Sorry not much to say this week. Sorry there aren´t any pictures again. This makes literally no sense to me. 

I love you all! 
Keep studying! 
Keep up the good work! 
And keep smiling! 
Love ya! 
Sister Wilkins

Monday, March 14, 2016

Nose rings, birthday, and mission call

Oi família e amigos! Tudo bem?!?!

Well, things here are super great right now. Holy cow so much has happened in the last two days, but I will get to that in a bit. 

First off, we had a lesson on Tuesday with Bruna and Robson about the Law of Chastity. We were talking about piercings and tatoos at the end and Bruna has a nosering. I wasn´t totally sure how to go about telling her straight up that she´d have to get rid of it. Well, the lesson ended and we sat and were waiting while Robson got the pie he´d bought us three ready (it was international women´s day....happy international women´s day everybody, haha), and Bruna came back in the room with something small cupped in her hand. It was the nosering. She said "I guess I won´t be needing this any more" and then walked to the window and chucked it into the street. My jaw was on the floor. Holy cow, that was seriously like one of the coolest things I have ever seen! I am so grateful for their examples and for their great faith, and that they are so willing to follow the commandments that our father in heaven has given to us. 

Wednesday we went to pick them up before a ward integration night. Bruna had surprised me and made what is called (translated) a cracker pie, which is absolutely delicious even though it doesn´t sound it, for my birthday. They sang and we ate and it was super good! 

Integration night we did that activity with the three kingdoms of glory like we did back in Oficinas, Tubarão. Except this one we put details on different parts. It was really cool to see how much sense it made to people who are not members of this church. To see the looks on their faces as they accepted baptism so that they could move on to the celestial kingdom. It was really amazing. 

Well, I turned 20 this week and that was really weird. I woke up in the morning to a surprise breakfast, a lot of balloons, and a bunch of little gifts on the table with the sisters in my house singing happy birthday in three different languages, although they didn´t really know how it ended in English so that was kind of hilarious. We ate cake and french toast for breakfast (because I have the best comp in the world, who woke up early and stayed up late to make all of this possible). Everything was pretty normal until we got to lunch. They made a super nice lunch for me and it was super fun. And then at the end they pulled out a cake. So we had cake and brigadeiro and it was amazing. We visited two less actives who are finally starting to progress, so that was great. And then we went home and watched the District while eating more cake and brigadeiro. 
I got a call from a member saying that my brother´s mission call had arrived and I got permission to skype with my family to watch it, so basically it was the best birthday ever. By the way, he is going to Russia and I still can´t believe it, but he is going to do super great!!! 

This week my scripture to ponderize was John 14:15-"if ye love me, keep my commandments"
I love this scripture and l learned a lot from it this week. If we love our Savior and our Father in Heaven we need to show that love by keeping the commandments, demonstrating our faith as well. But I also learned about how he makes us a promise in return. "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love". We cannot lose if we keep the commandments. Sure it isn´t always easy and it´s definitely not always convenient, but when we do we will be filled with love and we will be more receptive to the Spirit. The commandments are guidelines, they are meant as protection and when we keep them we will be blessed. 

Have a wonderful week! :)
Love you all! 
Sister Wilkins

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Buffalo Wings and Carpet

Well oi familia e amigos! 

This week not a whole lot happened, but I will share what I can. 

So last Pday we went to Big, which is a store owned by Walmart, which is basically just a mini walmart in Brazil with a different name. HOLY COW!!! We stayed there for like 3 hours and it was SOOO FUN. We walked up and down every aisle looking for what they did and didn´t have that American Walmart has. It was soooo weird, but so wonderful! And it is pretty cheap! And they have we took a little shopping spree. haha. SO FUN!!! :) 

Bruna and Robson we seriously visited 4 or 5 times this week. Haha!!! We had lessons about the Plan of Salvation, the Word of Wisdom, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are learning super fast and they really understand. When we talked about the Word of Wisdom we weren´t even planning on having a lesson and Bruna just asked about coffee, so we sat down and had the whole lesson. It went really well. They smoke, but from the moment we talked about it they haven´t smoked a single cigarette!!! They are praying for help and Sister Ogle and I were both shocked when they told us that they had just stopped, that it was difficult, but they hadn´t smoked at all again. WHAT?! :) And they are super excited about it! They love to tell people they are addiction free and that they stopped smoking! We had to move their baptism date to April 16 because they aren´t married and the marriage process here is kind of really long...45 days. So we are waiting for their documents and everything to go through. But they are super excited about their baptisms and they are already trying to share the gospel and telling people that they belong to our church! It is amazing to see how much they have already changed!!! 

WE HAD AMERICAN FOOD FOR LUNCH YESTERDAY!!! :) There is an Irmão in the ward who served in Salt Lake and he made Buffalo wings!!! They were so good! AHHH soooo good. Although, they didn´t have a lot of heat in them and I was dying...I don´t know how I am going to eat spicy food when I get back haha. And they had carpet in their house!!! THE FIRST TIME I HAVE SEEN CARPET IN 7.5 MONTHS!!!! :) It was wonderful!!!

This week we found out that one of our less actives passed away. We had been trying to call her and such and she wasn´t answering, which is not normal. We were at lunch with a counselor in the Relief Society presidency and I had the feeling to ask about the less-active and she let us know that she had passed away the last couple days in February. She was such a fun, happy, funny little lady that I will miss visiting. But I know that one day I will see her again and she will be even happier and funnier there :)

This week I was reading the conference talk about ponderizing. I hope all of you that resolved to do this challenge to ponderize a scripture once a week are doing better than I did. I restarted this week. And I realized how important it is. It is only one scripture. 80% pondering, 20% memorization. You do not have to memorize the scripture word for word. Just know where it is and what it talks about, the key phrases. And the Spirit will help you to use that scripture, to remember it in times of need!!! What a great way to learn the scriptures!!! :) Enos 1:4-that was mine this week. What was yours?

Well, we got a call from the AP on Friday because we are going to have a general authority visiting our mission next week. He asked me and Sister Ogle to sing. So we are going to sing....yup please pray for us. We need it. I think it is going to be a group of about 10 of us..please pray. We need help. haha

Well, that is about it for this week. 
I love you all and hope that things are well! 
Sister Wilkins


Thursday, March 3, 2016

"The Spirit was literally attacking him!"


I hope you all had a great week! Mine was absolutely fabulous! 

Monday night we had a cool experience. There is a member, Marcio, who works on a road we walk down a lot. We were introduced to him our first day here. Sister Ogle remembered where he works and always waves when we walk by. Monday night we didn´t have any appointments scheduled, she waved, and before I knew it I was walking into his work. We sat and chatted for a while. And he gave us two referrals. One of which we met and marked for the next day and the other for Sunday. Which is where the miracles started happening. 

This week we had a little adventure to Itajaí (the Elders´ area) to get some documentation stuff done. It was super cool! Super fun, super pretty! I had pictures that I was really excited to send from there, but my camera started erasing short it´s having issues, and I don´t have the pics any more... 
Later that day, when we got back we had the lesson with the first referral, Bruna and Robson. They wanted to know more about Marcio´s church and they knew that the church likes families a lot so they were really interested in that. We went and had the first lesson, and Robson has been searching for a really good church his whole life. We talked about prophets, and how there are prophets here on the earth today. They really liked it and invited us back on Saturday. And were already planning on coming to church Sunday.

Wednesday we had interviews with President. We got a training and talked about the Atonement a little and what the Atonement can do for us, so that was pretty cool. We talked a lot that day with the American Elders. They are absolutely hilarious and we just sat there laughing with them for like 4 hours straight. It was so fun! My interview with President went really good. Apparently I was in there for 20 minutes. But he helped me understand how I can be a little better, and it really made me realize how important Mission Presidents are and that they are really just here to help us.
The American Crew from the day we had interviews with President Silva
Marcio called us with another referral, and we went and met him the next day.

Thursday: the new referral´s name was also Robson. Sister Ogle and I call him Robson 2. He wanted to know more about the Book of Mormon because Marcio had told him about how this book talks about the Aztecs and the Mayans and Incans. He wanted to buy it, but he looked up how to and it said to contact the missionaries. So we went in and gave him the whole restoration lesson. He has been looking for a church for 26 years and hasn´t found one he likes, he feels like there is a void in his life, and so much other stuff that was super awesome. Before we gave the First vision we talked about how the Spirit works, and for him he gets some weird tightening of a muscle or something. I don´t know how to explain it. We talked about the first vision, and how we have a prophet on the earth today and he was feeling the spirit so strongly, that when we walked out of the lesson Sister Ogle described it as "The Spirit was literally attacking him!" But Honestly, it was one of the most spiritual lessons I have been in. The spirit was testifying as much to me as it was to him. Robson 1 came and joined the lesson as we explained the Book of Mormon. We left a copy with each of them and challenged them to read and pray. They were both really excited about it. It was awesome. 

Saturday: We went back to Bruna´s and Robson´s. He had read, prayed, received a very strong answer, and knew the Book of Mormon was true and was hinting at baptism. Bruna had also prayed and knew that what we had taught the first time was true. We taught the rest of the Restoration, with the help of Robson haha. And left the challenge to read and pray with Bruna. It went really well. We invited them to get baptized at the end of the lesson and THEY BOTH ACCEPTED!!!! And are really excited about it!!!! Only thing is they aren´t married yet. Please pray that they can get everything in order they need to so that they can get married! They really want to!

Sunday, they came to church!!! And all the lessons were about prophets! Robson even participated! It was amazing! They loved church and are really excited about it!!! And they feel like this is the right path for their family. I cannot even begin to explain how natural it felt to have them at church, like they had been there with us for years! I am so excited for them! 

Well, that was really my week in a nutshell! 
Have a wonderful week! Love you all! 
Sister Wilkins

There was a baptism this week

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Hairballs and Floods

Oi querida família e queridos amigos! Como estão?!

Well, this week we had a lot of rain. Like a lot lot lot of rain. Three day there were parts of or whole streets flooded and we came home wet. So that was super fun! The worst one was on Saturday. We got on the ônibus right as it started pouring. And then it dumped for probably almost 45 minutes. We were pulling into the bus station, but all the cars in front of us were turning around and we couldn´t see why, until we reached the intersection. The four-way stop was literally full of water. In the deepest part there was probably a foot and a half-two feet of water. And the bus went for it! We made it through just fine, but it was crazy! And then a road behind our apartment flooded up to people´s knees! It was crazy stuff! It made me grateful for the road we live on and that we don´t really have to deal with it too bad. But man, there was a lightning storm while it was raining and it was legit. I was watching it the whole time in the bus and then for like half an hour at home. I tried to take a video of it, and I got a couple good ones, but my camera had a meltdown and deleted some of them...sorry, no cool lightning videos.

Yesterday we had two of our less actives at church with us!!!! One of them we had basically given up on visiting because she wasn´t keeping any of her commitments, but she came to church!!! Crazy stuff!! And the other is Ygor, the young man we have been working with. He had a member asking him about a mission, and we are trying so hard to help him get ready to serve...not sure if he wants to yet or not, but we are trying.

What else...well, Alvaro, our "atheist" investigator turned out to not be so atheist. We went and taught him and his family yesterday about God, and it was actually a really good, really awesome lesson. We started by asking everyone who they thought God is and then they started asking us questions like where He is. We asked them what sort of state they thought he was in...physical body, spirit, energy, etc. We got the answer energy/spirit from them. We had the chance to explain using Genesis 1:26-27 that man was created in the image of God, which must mean that God has a body of flesh and bone. And now they believe in God, that we are His children, that we are created in His image, that He has a body of flesh and bones, and that the Godhead are three separate beings!!! It was so cool! And Alvaro prayed at the end of the lesson! And it was such a beautiful prayer and the spirit was so strong. It was seriously amazing! And he and the young man said they would come to church on Sunday! 

So...I am not a fan of knocking on doors. It has not been effective for me so far and I feel lke our time could be used better or more effectively a lot of the I avoid it. Which is awful. Learn from my mistakes. I have repented haha, but seriously,  I don´t like doing it. But we made a goal this transfer to knock on ten doors a day. We are tryng our best, but we don´t always get to it. But one day this week, we had a huge gap of time with nothing to do, so we went and knocked four streets of doors. We made 13 contacts. And I realized that knocking doors can be fun! You might not enter every house you knock on, but you are planting seeds, and I have begun to realize how important that is in missionary work. 

We had a zone meeting this week! I swear half of our zone is Americans, which is super fun! But it was so good. We talked about How to Begin Teaching, and I learned so stinking much! The way you begin teaching is everything as a missionary. Your first few minutes with an investigator are the most important, and it is so true! Even as a member. The example we set as members is so important because people will reflect the way we act on the church. The impression they have of us will bias the impression they have of the church almost every single time. 

What else...random tidbits. I met a german this week. And could barely understand him when he first started talking..he was speaking Spanish, but by the end I could understand him almost perfectly. 

So...I had a fun experience this week. With a massive hairball. 
I was taking a shower and the shower was not draining well at all. I waited until the water left and then went in to try and unclog it with a fork. The cap of the drain came off and the water inside was black. Waited some more for the water go down, put a plastic grocery sack over my hand and arm and got to stick my arm down the drain. I pulled out a wad of hair literally the size of the mini soccer balls and volleyballs that are meant for display...roughly the size of a double fist. It was awful and the smell was terrible. I think that was the first time I ever unclogged a drain...I was gagging. Ah it was terrible...but Sister Ogle thinks it will help me later in life when I am a mom..hahaha.

Well, what else can I tell you? 
I had a cool experience in church yesterday. I had been thinking about the song I stand all amazed and we ended up singing it in Sacrament, but the words are different and have a bit of a different meaning than they do in English. It still talks about how Christ gave His life for us, but it made me think about it in a different way, made me understand the humility of the act a little more. sorry this probably doesn´t make a lot of sense. I will have to translate it into English for you one day. 

Well, sorry for my scatterbrainedness. But that´s kind of how my week was, scattered, and random, and crazy! 

Hope things are going well with all of you! 
Love you all! 
Sister Wilkins