Monday, October 24, 2016

"I've Got a Blank Space, Baby, and I'll Write Your Name"

Oi familia e amigos e todo o mundo!!!! 

This week was super good! I am super happy! Things are super great! (Sorry in advance for all the excitement to come that may or may not make sense)

This week we went and taught Pedro, Rosangela, and Aime the Restoration. The Spirit was so strong, they´ve already received testimonies about the Book of Mormon and they accepted the convite baptismal!!!! (They accepted the invitation to be baptized). We walked out of that lesson nearly flying home. We practically ran all the way there (because we were almost late) because we were so excited! There was a baptism on saturday in the Elders' ward that we got to go to and we invited this family. THEY CAME!!! And they came to church!!!! :) SO HAPPY!!! But we found out that there are some family problems that we never imagined and that they might be moving back to the Bahia at the end of the year...please pray for them. The bishop is going to talk to them and see if he can help. 

This week we had interviews with President. It was awesome. 
I asked him about his thoughts on college and such and we had a really good talk. Asked him what I could do to be better since my mission is coming to a close (tears....) and he helped me to realize how far I have already come. That was awesome. 

This week we found two or three new investigators every day!!!! WE HAD 18 NEW INVESTIGATORS THIS WEEK!!!! :) Well, that was legit, and hence the title of this email...we have been writing registros (forms) for about an hour a night every night of the week. And then we collapse exhausted in bed. It is AWESOME!!! 

This week it has heated up a lot but it has also rained a ridiculous amount here. It is crazy. They are having some problems with heavy rain in some areas of the mission, but it´s good. Don´t worry all the missionaries are safe. It´s helping us cool off instead of dying every day of heat. 

Loving the mission more and more every second. There are times when it is hard, when all you want to do is sit in bed and cry or study until your eyes can´t handle it. But there is nothing better. If you are considering a mission, please stop considering and decide to go. You WILL NOT regret it. And you will grow more than you could ever imagine. 

Love you all! 
Have a wonderful week! 
Sister Wilkins

Interviews with some of the missionaries..

Really cool flower we found while walking yesterday

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Week of New Investigators!

Oi familia e amigos!!! 

Well, I don´t think I have been this tired in a long time. This week was so long. We had a holiday on Wednesday and it rained. Normally here in Brazil no one would answer the door in this circumstance. WE GOT IN AND SHARED MESSAGES AT ALMOST EVERY HOUSE WHERE SOMEONE ANSWERED THE DOOR!!!! :) 

President has sent us a lot of emails and we have talked a lot lately about finding one new investigator every day. Sister Evangelista and I have taken that very seriously and we are working really hard to find one, or more, new investigators every day. On the holiday (Children´s day) we found 7!!!!!!!!!!!! And most of them were couples!!! WE ARE SO HAPPY!!! AND EXCITED!!! 
So, we got 15 new people to teach this week, but three said that they didn´t want to receive our messages after we finished...

Well, what else? I talked in Sacrament meeting yesterday about the pioneers in my family. That was actually really cool. Bishop asked me to talk about my feelings towards these people and how because of them I can serve a mission. Well, the stake President was there and I was a little nervous. I had to talk for 15 minutes, and everyone there was totally stone-faced when I was talking. I was grateful when I finished. But it all worked out really well. The members all really liked it and said it was good and that I am speaking really well...when I was up there I could have sworn that I went backwards in progress about 6 months. But it was really interesting, because the people here are almost all first generation members (and then there´s the second generation with their kids) so I have heard a lot of their stories and I got to share mine and how we are all pioneers, independent of how many generations are in the church because we all have to make the choice to be baptized and then work to be converted to Christ. Sadly I realized that I don´t know a lot about how my family learned about the church...just one great-great-great grandpa. Got a lot of work to do when I get home. 

Avelino came to sacrament meeting!!! :) I was soooo happy!! 

Well, it is super hot. We basically melted today and yesterday. we bought milkshakes and I got  sandals for R$11 (pics to follow). 

What more can I say??
We are working with a guy named Fernando. He is engaged to a less-active. We taught him about the Book of Mormon this week and he said he´d read it! And wants to be baptized but he wants to know what his commitments with the church are first. Please pray for him!! 

Loving this work more and more every day. It truly is the work of God and He really does bring about miracles when we do our part. 

Well, that´s about it for the week. 
Love you all! 
Have a wonderful week! 

Sister Wilkins

Monday, October 10, 2016

Yet Another Transfer

Oi família e amigos!! 

Well, this week started with Tuesday night at 10:30 receiving transfer calls from President. I am staying here in Chapecó and my new comp, Sister Evangelista already arrived. And Sister E. Costa left for Caçador. 
I lived with Sister Evangelista back in Balneário. So should be good! 

Well, this week we found a new investigator. We were teaching Gilberto, a new investigator we found a couple weeks ago. He accepted to be baptized in the second lesson. And this was our third lesson with him. He didn´t want to take on any sort of commitment of going to church. Sister E. Costa and I were about to drop him. And then his roommate, Allisom (it´s a guy´s name here) showed up and started participating in the lesson. He was super interested, and super awesome. We asked if we could say a closing prayer. He literally flew off the couch, standing in front of us with his hands out, ready to hold hands and pray. Sister E. Costa and I just smiled. I have never seen anyone so excited to pray in my life. Reminded me a little of the importance of prayers. That we should see it as something exciting! Not just something that we are required to do on a daily basis, not just something routine, because it is so much more. It is a sacred connection with a loving Heavenly Father who will never abandon us. 

Well, we had our last district meeting as a district, but out of the 6 of us, only Sister Evangelista is new this transfer. 

We are also teaching a couple that belongs to the Spirit church...not sure what it´s called in English. In Portugues it´s Espíritismo. Anyway, they believe in the reincarnation. Among many other strange things. But it has been a very eye opening experience. It has helped me to understand better and become more grateful for the chance that I have to know about God´s plan for me-where I came from, why I am here, and what will happen to me after this life. It helps me to know why some people suffer in this life and others have it so seemingly easy. And sadly, there are many people who still do not understand this. Well, I am forever grateful for this plan: the Plan of Salvation. It is real. We CAN live together with our families forever. But we must do our part to earn that salvation. 
If you want to know more about it, enter in contact with the local missionaries of the church, they would love to teach you! 

Love you all! 
Have a wonderful week! 
Sister Wilkins

District meeting, 
and Elder Fonseca, from the other district

A less active being reactivated and his mom! 

And this morning at the rodoviaria saying goodbye to the comp

Conference! :)

Well oi família e amigos! 

This week was somewhat eventful. 
I finished reading Jesus the Christ and would invite you all to read it! Your testimony of the Savior and His divine mission will grow immensely! 

Well, the week started off real interesting....I was peed on by a members dog. Gotta love dogs :P
And the next day we had a man stop us on the street asking if he could talk to a member. We took him to the young men´s president. And he talked with him a bit. And then came and talked to all of us. He told us he´d been homosexual for 29 years and managed to stop. But that he was trying to get a job and had to return to his city, and needed money and prayers...that was interesting. 
Well, you sure do see a lot of strange things on the mission. 

We went and taught Elizabete this week and found out she had doubts about some of the stuff that the Church teaches. One of which was tithing. so we taught her about tithing, and cleared everything up! Things are going really well. And she is going with the ward to the temple this week! She knows she won´t be able to enter, but she´s excited. And I am hoping that she´ll receive a response there! 

CONFERENCE!!! I loved conference! And I have come to realize that we are always learning the same things. About the scriptures, prayer, going to church, etc. Because it is the small things that count. 

AVELINO, our less-active, came to the first session!!! I was SOOOOO EXCITED!!! He´s been less active for about 15 years. And he came, by himself! On his bike!!! :) And it is a long way from his house.

Well, running out of time, but wanted to share this quote that I loved: "All that the Lord expects of us is that we try." -Pres. Hinckley
Don´t give up! The gospel is true! READ, PONDER, STUDY and REWATCH or LISTEN to the talks from this weekend! You will be blessed immensely! I love this gospel! I love all of you! 
Have a wonderful week! 

Sister Wilkins

Avelino at conf. 

And other selfies...