Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Another week on the farm

Oi família e amigos! 

This week has been a little rough...will explain...

We had an investigator who was perfect...she keeps the commandments, she does what she should, she´s blind, but she wasn´t understanding the whole get baptized in our church thing because she was baptized in the Catholic church. We had explained to her many times why it was necessary and we knew she understood why. On Wednesday it was rainy and glum, and we went tot her house.We were following up on the commitments we had left with her and she was just kind of brushing it off and kept trying to change the subject..we  had asked her to pray to know if her baptism was realized in the correct form...she didn´t...but she didn´t want to say that and then she began to talk about how her past was hard and all that good stuff...which she talks about all the time. But she never tells us what short we began asking her questions...and she began talking...and ended up telling us that she had been offended by two things that two other sisters had said to her and hat she will never be baptized....that was rough and all we could do was say sorry and leave. 

But, in good news, we found a "new" Investigator! We were knocking doors last P-day and we found a lady who said that her mom would be interested...we went back a few days later when the mom was home, and this lady has been an investigator for like a year!!! And the sisters stopped visiting her right as we got her...we had never met her, but we found her teaching record at home afterwards and she, too, keeps the commandments, but drinks coffee and really likes the saints of the Catholic we are going to see what we can do to help her. 

Yesterday we got to go contacting at an old folks home, but this old folks home is special. You don´t have to pay to live there, and they only take in people who are basically off the street, most of who also don´t have family. The majority of them are really sick or have mental illnesses. We got to sing a couple hymns and contact the people who work there. It was amazing. The spirit was so strong. I have such a strong testimony that we are all sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father who has an individual plan for us, and this experience reaffirmed that to me.

We also got to give a training at District Meeting this week. The majority of our district is really trunky (ie, they are really thinking a lot about home and getting really excited to go back) and discouraged. We gave a training on what kind of missionaries we hope we are, how the little things can´t let us down, and how we have to keep giving it our all and climbing up the mountain of progress. We cannot flatline in this life. We have to keep learning, and keep climbing, no matter how difficult the road may get. 

Well, that was about it for my week. Had an awesome study to share with you guys, but forgot to bring it. Will compartilhar next week! 
Love you all! 
Stay wonderful! 
Sister Wilkins

When you live on the farm you take a lot of selfies...haha...

And here is the inside of a maracuja which we got to try this week. 

It is delicious by the way. It looks all spiky, but it is really flimsy and tastes delicious. It holds the seeds in the fruit!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Father's Day!

Oi família e amigos! Tudo bem!?

This week was really fast. The weather here is wack. Some days we are sweating in short sleeve shirts and others we are piling on clothes to stay warm. The weather makes no sense here. 

Well this week we worked really hard. And we found a referral from a while back. His name is Francisco. He and his family recently moved here and they went to a ward in our zone THREE TIMES!!! The sisters started teaching him because they found out that he actually lives right on the border of the area, but the house is in our area. So we have been trying for forever to mark with this guy to teach him and finally got to! It was awesome! He said that he wants to join the church, but his wife is a little more hesistant because she´s heard a lot of false rumors about the church. But we are excited to teach them and they are super accepting and they even gave us açai---from the north...the real stuff. It is soooooo good. They also had us try some other weird fruit, but I have never seen of it or heard of it. It was strange. 

Well, what else. This week we had a zone training and we revisited the things we learned at the mission tour with Elder Zwick. We talked about "Simplify. Testify. Intestify." It was really good. We learned that we shouldn´t be doing hardly any of the talking in the lessons and how to make our lessons more simple. It was awesome! 

And yesterday we had the neat experience to see our recent convert, Cleiton pass the sacrament for the first time. He was so happy and excited! It was so awesome. He also got to go to the temple with the ward this Saturday. Holy cow, I have never seen him with such a big grin on his face. He was so happy when we asked him about it. I have such a strong testimony of the temple and the importance that it has in our lives. We should be striving to make it to the temple and always be worthy to hold a temple recommend so that at any moment we can enter the house of God. I know that the temple is where we can find peace and happiness that the things of the world could never bring. I love the temple. My appreciation for that sacred place has grown as I have not had the chance to go back for nearly a year. I miss it and the Spirit that resides there. Take advantage of the temple! They aren´t that far away and the biggest sacrifice will probably be the time or the money, but I PROMISE that it will all be worth it. 

Also, Happy Father´s Day to all the Father´s out there! And especially to my awesome Dad! He is such a great example to me and I am forever grateful for the lessons that I have learned from him. Love you dad! 

Love you all! Have a wonderful week! 
Sister Wilkins

This is us with some rosca. It´s like a puffy, crunchy cheese bread. I really don´t know how to explain it. But the last time I had it was in Tubarão and I finally found it again! I was so excited!!! 

And these are the Americans in our zone!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

FREEZING!... Not sure if this is Brazil haha

Chocolate covered strawberries!!! THE FIRST TIME IN FOREVER THAT I HAVE HAD THESE!!!! :) 
Oi familia e amigos! 

This week was crazy! 
We had to spend forever cleaning out our apartment this week because it basically looked like a tornado hit it after monday. So that was a fun experience. 
This doesn´t do it justice...but this was the mess of clothing before it was separated.
There are now 6 large black garbage bags of old clothing sitting on our floor, in addition to the clothing we set aside that we thought would be useful. 
And when we were done....

We found little larva worms in boxes and they were crawling on our floor. That was disgusting. And we learned that our bathroom is actually white! So, that was a good part of how we spent our week. 

We are also FREEZING! Which I never expected to happen here in Brazil. But there is ice on the windows of the cars in the morning and it has gotten really pretty cold here lately. Small miracle is that the heater the mission bought us got here this week and we have heavy coats! 

This week we were blessed to have a new ward mission leader called. He moved here about the same time Sister Ogle and I arrived. And he is AMAZING!!!! He is so ready to work and hit the ground running with us and we are super excited. And he is only a convert of 4 years, never served a mission and says that this is his opportunity. He gave a talk yesterday in sacrament about missionary work and how the members can help. We got asked by so many members if we need anything and they said to call if we needed a ride, food, anything! THIS WARD IS AMAZING!!!!! We went and visited 6 different houses yesterday and were fed at every single about a lot of food...we went home exhausted and completely stuffed...couldn´t even manage a little breakfast this morning haha. 
But seriously this ward is perfect. We get to church and the first thing said to us is who needs a ride to church that we can go pick up? Our members are always giving us rides and food, and our bishop is super on top of things. We don´t have to ask for help, because he has already done the few things that we need. It is AMAZING!!! We  really don´t want to leave this area...ever. It is perfect. The whole mission raves about how perfect Balneario is...but I think that a lot of them look at something great and grand that has lots of beaches and they think that it is paradise...I have learned that paradise is where you are, where the ward knows how to help and are willing and everyone wants to do anything they can to help the work move forward. I am sooooo grateful for this ward. It´s the little things that make the difference.  (Belneario was Mady's last area)

We visited the teenager that I told you about last week again. She is so prepared. She isn´t pregnant. She prayed about Joseph Smith after we taught her about it and she said she knew that it was all true. We taught her about the Book of Mormon this week and she started reading it, went back yesterday and she had prayed and knew it was true!!!!! We asked her what she was going to do with this knowledge, this response she´d had and she said "I think I am going to be baptized in your church." We were just like WHAAAAAATTT?! (Just like the minions say it) hahahaha! IT was amazing!!! 
I know that the Lord prepares people to hear about the gospel in the time that is right for them and I know that they will accept when the time is right. It is truly amazing to me to see the hand of the Lord working in other people´s lives! I love it! 
I am so grateful to be on the mission and be able to see that everyday! 

I am so grateful for all of you! Love you all! 
Let me know if I can help you and if you have any questions, please don´t hesitate to ask! I know that sometimes things I say don´t make sense because my brain is in portuguese mode or the way we explain things here is different, but if you have a question feel free to send an email my way! 

Sister Wilkins

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Transfers and Prayers

Helaman bought us hamburgers the size of our heads!
Oi familia e amigos! 

This week was so crazy and super long because we were waiting for transfer calls. They came during lu

nch at a members house on Thursday and we got calls. Sister Branco is getting transferred today and Sister Ogle and I are staying together in the Fazenda!!! Crazy stuff! But we are super excited!

This morning at the onibus station
Well, this week we visited with a teenager that we visited once before. She found out that she might be pregnant and is really worried. And she is now very receptive to the gospel. She wants to come to church and everything! It is so amazing how perfect the Lord´s timing is! 

We also had a less-active miracle. We were talking with this less active who is only a couple years older than us at lunch and found out he plays piano and that he used to play during sacrament. We begged him to come and play this week. MIRACLE-HE CAME!!! And it was AMAZING!!! We don't have anyone in the ward who can play very well. But he got up there, sat down and started playing and the whole congregation sang How Firm A Foundation louder and with more enthusiasm than I have ever heard them before. I was in tears. It was amazing. 

Well, this week I had a couple experiences with prayer and I started thinking about the importance of prayer. First, we went to catch an ônibus and it was freezing and I was feeling really sick to my stomach and just wanted to go home. The bus wasn't starting. Said a quick prayer and after I said Amen it started. The next day, also feeling sick to my stomach, we were walking to lunch. I was almost sure I wasn't going to be able to eat anything and so I was praying hard that I would be able to eat. We got there and it was fish for lunch.....more prayers...lots more prayers, and I was able to eat it all! And then the ônibus' weren't working earlier this week...they went on strike...and we were praying that they would work or we might not have been able to have transfers. The next day the ônibus´ were up and running again. I have such a strong testimony that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. He will never fail to respond. And he never stops listening. 
I also have been trying really hard to have more meaningful prayers my whole mission...and this week my prayers changed. I always read and heard that the Spirit will tell us what to pray for, but I never really understood it. Until this week. I was praying and then suddenly came to mind someone or something that I needed to pray for. And I know it wasn't me because I never would have thought of that. I know that the Spirit helps us to know what we should pray for and it works! I am so grateful for prayer and for the opportunity we have to communicate with a loving Father in Heaven who is always listening and will always respond if we open our ears to hear. 

Love you all! 
Have a wonderful week! 

Sister Wilkins

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Go in chunks...

Oi família e amigos! 

This week was pretty slow. But we had interviews with President, and that was super awesome! 
I asked President about scripture study and how I could better my own personal study and he showed me how he studies and walked me through a passage of scripture that he had studied. That was super cool!!! I learned a lot from that. But one of the more important things I learned is that to take it piece by piece. Don´t try and take pages and pages of scripture and study it all...go in chunks. You will learn more, and as President told me, you will become more familiar with the scriptures! 

Well this week we had a holiday here in Brazil. The missionary manual says that sundays and holidays can be some of the best times for proselyting. Well, here in Brazil it´s the opposite. No one is home on holidays and everyone who is home on sundays is generally sleeping. We walked around this holiday and tried to teach a couple people, and those who were home gave us the cold shoulder and didn´t flat out say it, but they don´t want us to come back. But that´s ok! Easier for them to do that than us waste our time there if they aren´t going to progress. We are a little short on people to teach for the moment. 

But, we are teaching Marta and Alaide, a mother and daughter. When we first got here I thought that these two would never come to church and that it would be very difficult to get them to progress based on how our lesson went. Well, last Sunday they proved me wrong! They were both at church and then this week we were able to mark baptism dates with them!!! They are so awesome! It´s funny how sometimes the people who are least likely to progress are the ones who progress the most. 

We had stake conference this week and we went to Floripa. There was a 70, a member of the area presidency, and a couple from the Curitiba temple presidency there, along with President and Sister Silva. They talked a lot about faith and how sometimes we lack faith, but sometimes we lack the desire to act. I thought that was pretty cool. Someone else also said something along the lines of the things we focus on now will lead us places...but will they lead us to eternity? It was a really good conference. 
The stake presidency was reorganized and the old stake president had been stake president for 8 years!! That was crazy to me...but serving the Lord is serving the doesn´t matter our calling or how much time we are there. What matters is that we give our all to the Lord and that He knows we gave our best. That´s something else I learned from President.

Transfer calls are this week! No one knows what will happen...but there is a good chance I´ll be transferred. 
So, until next week! 
Love you all! 
Sister Wilkins

Don´t have any good pics from this here´s an old pic...

Me and a "dragon" at the museum
Our cliche nametag pic..haha