Monday, April 25, 2016

In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle, The Lion Roars Tonight....

Hello família e amigos! 
Tudo bem?!
Nine Months!   With Sister Mesias

Jorgy, our lizard friend (see post titled Facebbok referral)

Last night with Bruna and Robson

Well, transfers are in, and I am sticking around with Sister Ogle again! We weren´t expecting that one! Not really a whole lot of changes going on with transfers. Our district is expanding and we are going to have two more Elders, and one of them will be our new district leader, so that will be fun! 

Last P-day we took a little adventure to...the ZOO!!!! :) Holy cow it was super fun! There was a tiger like ten feet away from us. His mouth is bigger than my head! And next to him were a bunch of lions. There were a ridiculous amount of birds and monkeys, but that´s Brazil for ya! It was almost deserted and it was soooo fun! There was a RIDICULOUS amount of mosquitoes though, and being me with my super sweet blood, I got home that night with what looked like Chicken pox on my legs. It was awful! But the zoo was so worth it! 

We have a new ward mission leader, who I think is really going to help us a lot. As I have been in this area, we have had a lot of difficulty with working with some of the leadership and getting the help that we need because we opened the area, as a third companionship. But this new Irmão is awesome and really wants to help and is already helping us a ton! 

Don´t know if you remember Judy, the teenage less-active we are teaching. She has been to church the last two weeks and is working to get her patriarchal blessing! And she just basically showed up and asked for an interview!!! Miracles are real people! Heavenly Father does touch hearts, sometimes we just have to wait a little to see the results. 

This week I tried some new stuff...yup Sushi and raw salmon. And I learned how to make sushi haha. Well, the sushi wasn´t awful but it was kind of weird. And the salmon, well I actually thought it was good. The texture was a little funny though. But it was a pretty big step for me. Day 1 in the field I said I would never eat sushi again...never say never. That is a really important lesson to learn haha. 

Well, I am really lucky right now to be teaching a man who found the church through Facebook, knew the Book of Mormon was true the moment he saw it and felt like he was always missing something in his life, like there was an emptiness inside. Mauro, this investigator, has loved God his whole life and always strived to keep the commandments, but even still he felt something was missing. This week he told us that that something was the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and now that emptiness is gone and is full of love and happiness. He is sharing this message with others already and is very excited for Saturday, when he will be baptized, and even more excited to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost this Sunday. I am so grateful for the example he is setting for me. It has been an amazing experience watching him become increasingly more happy every time we see him. 

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


I think these are turtles-for you mom!

On the bus to the zoo.

We decided that I am a little like an emu because of my really long here is my emu face. Please enjoy haha

And this is me as a wolf...haha just for kicks

Monday, April 18, 2016

9 Months and a Long Way to Go....

Well, hey fam! And amigos! 

This week was good! 
Sadly, Bruna and Robson moved this week back to their home city. Good news is it is in our mission and is an area with Sisters. There is a chance I can see them again during my mission as baptized members of the church!!! :) Heavenly Father is so good. 

We had an investigator that we have only been able to visit once before this week. His name is Juneval. He is dating a less active, Laura. We talked about the Book of Mormon with the two of them this week and it went really well. We invited them both to read and pray about it and they said they would. Juneval has been reallly interested in the fact that we have living apostles and prophets and doesn´t believe that no one told him about this before. He was really excited to learn about it and asks a lot of really good questions. We asked him at the end of that lesson to be baptized when he knows the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and he accepted!!! Laura said that his mom might not like it though. She is really Catholic and wants Juneval to get married in the Catholic church. He doesn´t want anything to do with it haha. 

Our less active, Judy, came to church yesterday! She turned 18 recently so she got to join us in Relief Society! It was awesome, the Relief Society welcomed her in and I think it really helped. And then after sacrament meeting she came up to us and said that she wanted to talk to the Bishop about getting her patriarchal blessing!!! Miracles! She will be interviewed for the recommend next week! We are super excited for her! 

Well, this week I officiallly hit my 9 month mark. Yup, that was weird. We ate pizza for lunch, made chocolate chip cookies and that was about it to celebrate. It was Dstrict meeting day too and the elders made a cake for all of us. It was super delicious.

So, recently I have been struggling a bit...or a lot a bit...with feeling like I have been a successful missionary. I have been watching friends have tons of baptisms and here I am in the area with the most success with baptisms in the mission and I´ve got nothing. 
I started studying the other day,  don´t even remember what I was studying, but I started learning about how numbers are not what is important to the Lord. Yes He wants us to help His children, yes He wants them baptized. But us having those numbers is not what is important. Our purpose here is to help others come unto Christ. A lot of the times that means planting seeds. We aren´t always going to have the rewards right here right now because our timing is not perfect, but the Lord´s is. He knows all, His plan is perfect, He knows what He is doing. And sometimes we have to be humble enough to submit to His will and understand that this life is not always going to be the way that we want it. It doesn´t matter if we have baptisms here on the mission, as long as we are doing our part. There is a scripture that talks about how we will reap the rewards if we work really hard. It doesn´t say when. Those results could be in 3 days, 3 months, 3 years, during the mission, after, or even after this life. The fact is we don´t know when, so it is important to do what is right and work hard here now so that one day we can see the fruits of our labors. 

I am so grateful to be here on a mission. To be able to serve others every day. To be ale to talk to my Savior and about Him on a daily basis and draw closer to Him. I am grateful for all of the experiences here. President Silva sent us a message last week talking about the parable of the Butterfly and how we ask for patience, we are sent trials that will develop that quality. We ask for a job, the Lord gives us the health to work hard. We ask for anything...we always get what we ask for, just not always the way we want it, but in the way the Lord knows we need it. I know that His plan is perfect and will get us through. He will not give us anything we cannot handle. 1 nephi 3:7

I love you all! 

Facebook Referral!

Hey fam! 
Well this week was kind of crazy.

We got a new investigator. His name is Mauro. He found the church through Facebook and requested a Book of Mormon, so we went and took him one this week. He was super excited and knew that this path is right for him. He came to church on Sunday and asked us when he could get baptized, so we are going to work really really hard and he´ll be baptized next Saturday! We are so excited! He is hilarious! He is literally like a character out of an animated film, or pixar or something...I keep thinking like Monsters Inc, but I am not sure why. He is super funny though. 

I gave another training in District meeting about how important the spirit is and how we don´t have to be crying or shaking to feel the Spirit, in fact we should feel the spirit every day and those are feelings we aren´t necessarily going to feel every day. It didn´t go how  I had planned, but everyone said it was good. I have learned that it is extremely important to be attentive to the Spirit and willing to change what you want to say so that others can hear the things that they need. 

We found a lizard in the church during district meeting. We named him Jorgy. He was super cute. He pooped in my hand when I picked him up and we almost accidentally killed him, but then found out that he was just playing dead, and then he escaped. But we had a little lizard friend for a while. 

We found out Bruna and Robson are probably moving back to Caçador, which is super duper sad. We don´t know for sure, but we will find out tonight. They haven´t started their marriage papers because they found out that they might be moving, so we aren´t totally sure what´s going on yet. 

This week I learned a lot about service. They talked about service a lot in general conference and I received the inspiration that I need to serve more. So I started serving in as many ways as I could find this week. And oh my goodness, the blessings of serving are real. I cleaned a lot of the house and I was so happy, and I hate cleaning our apartment because it just gets dirty ten seconds later. And I just kept wanting to find ways to serve. I was able to catch up on a lot of things that I personally needed to do as I put aside my time for me to help others. I know that service brings us closer to Christ and makes us happy. It can also impact the life of another for good. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here and to serve and for all those of you back at home and on missions who helped me to get to this point today. I love this gospel, and as I once said to a group of youth I will say it again and again, there is no better way to serve than to share your testimony of the gospel with others. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to do just that. 

I love you all! 

Have a wonderful week! 


Elder Reis (old DL)

Jake's Mission Call!

Mini Cristo Luz

Mission Tour

We found the Statue of Liberty!

Sister Child!!!!!

General Conference and Zone Training

So, hey family!

This week felt like a month long. So much happened, but it all happened in like the last 3 days.

So, I gave my first training in our Zone Meeting. It went really well. We talked about simplifying, intensifying, and testifying and the importance of using these three tools in our teaching. We also talked about Obedience, and how the Spirit works in lessons and conversion. It was really cool. The Elders talked about unity, baptizing converts, and love. It was really cool.
We got to go eat with the Elders and it was super fun.

We had General Conference this weekend!!! IT WAS AMAZING!!! We got to watch with about half our zone, well not really, because Elder Naylor and Elder J. Naylor managed to get it on a TV in English for us!!!! BLESSINGS ARE REAL! :) IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD!! And it was soooo fun! If you did not have the chance to watch conference, you need to go watch it! They talked about the temple, about forgiveness, and about trials. They talked about how to overcome these things and they talked about service and how to come unto Christ. It was soooo stinking good. 

Couple quotes that I love:

"Do you have the keys?" -Gary E. Stevenson

"You can have what you want or you can have something better." -Donald L. Hallstrom quoting Jeffrey R. Holland

"Our genuine concern should be for the success of others." -Steven E. Snow quoting Howard W. Hunter

"Choose the harder right rather than the easier wrong." -President Thomas S. Monson

So yup, that´s a little of how my conference was for ya. I loved it. We may have been watching it on a TV that is like 15 years old, the sound may not have been great, and it may have been really really hot. But I know without a doubt that 4 American missionaries grew in Spirit and grew closer to the Lord as we watched conference in a little classroom in the Itají stake center in Brasil. 

I know that the Savior lives. 
I know that this Church is true. It is guided by prophets who have been called by God and it is under His hand that they are given this direction and authority. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the President of the Church and that he is the only one who has all the keys to guide us in our journey to make it back to our Father in Heaven. I know that we are God´s children, and that we are all brothers and sisters. Let us love a little more, serve a little more, and pray a little more for those around us. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen. 

I love you all! 
I hope you are all as excited for the Liahona or Ensign as I am!!! 
Sister Wilkins

Bruna Robson and Daniel

We made these elders tacos between conference sessions.  I miss Mexican food!   But it is so spicy, Brazilian food doesn't have a lot of spice.

Birthday Cake with the District 
Surprise 20th birthday breakfast 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Happy Easter.....from Sister "Whiskey"

Well, OI!!!! 

So this week was pretty great, WE have a new sister in our house from Columbia and she is super cute and super awesome. 

This week we got a lot of rain. It literally rained for more than 15 hours straight one day. Streets were flooded, and that was just super fun. We were absolutely soaked, but since then the weather here has been absolutely gorgeous! 

Well, this week we found a blind lady who is 90 years old and less active, She is super cute and super sweet, and she really just wanted to talk to the sisters. She asked our names and couldn´t pronounce them right, and Sister Wilkins quickly evolved into Sister Whiskey. She thought it was pretty hilarious, and it was pretty funny. Sister Ogle is Sister Olga, haha. She´s fun and we are going to start visiting her more.

We made pancakes this week! And BACON!!!!! And MAPLE SYRUP!!! It was super delicious! (Thank you mom and dad for syrup :) )
We also tried fried bananas with guacamole, which sounds awful but it was INCREDIBLE...ya that´s columbian food. 

Helena, a less active who we have been working with the whole time we have been here FINALLY CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY!!!!!! :) I cannot even begin to explain how excited we were about that!!! IT was amazing! And she even brought us chocolate for Easter because she was worried we wouldn´t have any :)

Happy (late) Easter!!! We got lots of chocolate from members...hope that you guys all got some too. We went and talked to people about Easter on the beach #Hallelujah. IT was pretty great. We ended up with 75 contacts, which is basically a miracle. 

Well, really not much happened this week. That´s about it. 
We teach, walk, eat, and sleep, but really there isn´t any lifestyle better than this because I know that I am sharing something good and true with the people. And everyday I have the opportunity to share with people that Christ lives, that He is our Savior and that He suffered for every single one of us so that we don´t have to do anything alone. I know that He knows each one of us perfectly, and that is what I am grateful for this Easter season. For a Savior who loves us perfectly and unconditionally and that because of His suffering and ressurrection we can be better and more like Him every day! I love my SAvior! He lives! 

Don´t forget to watch conference this weekend and invite everyone you know to listen to a servant of God! 
Love you all! 
Até mais!
Sister Wilkins

Pictures still aren´t working. sorry