Monday, December 26, 2016

It All Comes Down to This Moment

Oi família e amigos!! 

I hope you are all doing well and that you had a wonderful Christmas! 

This week was slightly crazy and a lot of stuff happened. 

We are teaching a little girl, ten years old, named Lorena. We went back to visit her and she had read the whole Plan of Salvation pamphlet! She started saying she didn´t really know if she had understood it and then she went and explained it all! It was amazing! I was so impressed with how much she understood and she explained more than was in the pamphlet! It was crazy! 

Anderson and Andreza, two of Sister Ogle and Sister Pina´s investigators were baptized. 

Well, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we weren´t able to find a single new investigator. We spent the days knocking doors. I was sad and frustrated and I didn´t know what to do. So I prayed a lot and I started a fast. And on Thursday we found two investigators! Paola and Eduarda! It was seriously one of the biggest blessings this week. 

We held a "District meeting" in our front room because district meeting was cancelled. It was good. We learned and shared a lot and it was wonderful! 

We had the branch Christmas dinner party, but they started at 9 and so we weren´t able to stick around. But the members brought us a ton of food the next morning! 

Christmas Eve we tried knocking doors but no one was home...and those who were yelled at us or politely told us they didn´t want our message. 
We had two parties. We went to a less-active´s house and we ate a lot of food and just had a ton of fun. It was great! 
And then we went to the branch president´s house. We had permission to stay out until later and we had dinner there. That was a lot of fun too! But holy cow I ate way too much. 

Christmas was awesome. We got to skype and that was super great :) 

Well, that was basically this last week in a nutshell. 

So, as I now have 1 year, 5 months, and about 2 weeks on the mission my time is coming to a close. I was trying hard to think about something that I could share with you. And here is what I came up with:

18 things that my mission has taught me have more value than I understood before, in no particular order:
1- My family
2- My Savior
3- The Book of Mormon
4- Drying machines and dishwashers
5- The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
6- E-mailing systems
7- Service rendered by others
8- The healing power of the Atonement
9- Peanut Butter
10- Formal education and seminary/institute
11- Cars!!! 
12- Air conditioning
13- The Church Manuals
14- The Gift of Tongues
15- Sun screen.....and aloe vera when I don´t use the previously mentioned
16- Google
17- The capacity to laugh at the small things, including myself
18- The love of our Heavenly Father for His children

If there is one thing that I could let you all know that I have learned on my mission it is that I know my Savior lives. I know that He atoned for all of our sins. I know that He loves us. He died for us and He rose from the dead. He healed the sick, the blind, the maimed, and the hurt and He still heals today. With Him everything is possible. Because of Him we will live again. Because of Him we can have eternal families. Because of Him we will see our loved ones again. Because of Him, we can face our challenges and overcome our weaknesses. He is the answer. And He is the light. He is the way. And He will guide us if we will turn our hearts to Him. 

I love you all. I hope that you choose during this year to follow the Savior a little more, to be a little more like Him. 
He lives. In His name, Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Happy New Year! 
See you all soon!
Sister Wilkins

ps. this is possibly the last time I will be communicating with y'all via email. If you want to talk to me afterwards, you can find me on Facebook :) haha


Branch Christmas dinner
Christmas eve 
crazy socks



Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Merry Christmas! #SEJAaLUZdoMUNDO

Oi família e amigos, 

This week has been difficult. We had a lot of appointments marked for the week and all but one fell through. We´ve knocked doors a lot. And very few people let us in. We had 3 and a half days without a single new investigator, and very very few lessons. We have faced a lot of rejection, but it has allowed me to reflect a lot on the Savior´s birth and how he suffered it all. All the rejection in the world. He suffered it all for us. 

Well, interesting things this week...
We met a man who plays the accordion professionally. He let me try to play and take a picture with it. It is super heavy and I learned that you have to be super coordinated to play.

We had our Christmas conference this week, which was super fun and strange.
As it was my last zone activity I was asked to bear my testimony, along with all the other missionaries who will be leaving in January. Well, to keep it short I cried a lot. But in that moment I realized how much my mission has helped me come to know my Savior and understand more about the Atonement and what He has done for me. I felt that I could feel a small part of the pain he felt and the rejection, but I was also able to feel the heavenly joy that comes as people accept the gospel. What an incredible feeling.

Sister Ogle and I played ping pong....we aren´t very good but we had a ton of fun. 
Got a letter from the Stake Presidency. Loved it! If they read this (or not) give them a huge thank you for me!! :) 

Well, I don´t have much else to say. 
Remember the reason we have Christmas. And remember to share that reason with others. Remember to have a little more charity and be a little more like our Savior during this week. 
Love you all! 
Merry Christmas! 
Sister Wilkins

Christmas conference:

Sister Child!

Me trying to play the accordion

And a super pretty lake here in our area...sorry it was cloudy, not as pretty...

It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas

Oi família e amigos!!! 

Well, it has begun to rain here. And sometimes it rains like a mist and it almost looks like snow. And then I almost feel like it could almost be Christmas. And then I sing a lot of Christmas music and then my companion looks at me strange because she doesn´t have the same love for Christmas music as I do...haha. 

Well, this week we had a lesson with Everton and Sinara who have 4 boys. We taught about the Book of Mormon and they were really excited to see us and just excited about everything really. We went back last night to see if they´d read...sadly they hadn´t. But they understood the importance when we left early to let them read. AND Everton wanted to say a prayer with us before we left. Like really really really wanted to. We let him say the prayer and he was so happy, so excited. Man I love that family!! They are wonderful! Please pray for them that they will be able to get a day off work so that they can come to church. They work on Sundays. 

I had an amazing experience this week with listening to the promptings of the Spirit. We were knocking doors, on the same road that we always knock because it is HUGE. And then we passed a road that we pass all the time, that I really had never even realized was there. I stopped in the middle of the road. I looked at the road sign, looked down the road, back at the road sign and would have just continued walking but something told me we had to go down that road. So we started knocking doors. Some guy asked me if I was his cousin as he passed us in his truck. Turns out nearly everyone on the street is related. But we knocked for a while, until finally Allan let us in. It´s been a while since he´s been to any church and he doesn´t know why he stopped going. He was going to serve a mission for his church. But we sat down and started talking with him, and he told us he asks himself two questions every day: "What is faith? And Could it be that  I have faith?" Well, we taught him for about twenty minutes from the scriptures about faith. And at the end I looked him in the eye and I asked him, "Allan, with everything that we´ve taught you, what do you think now? Do you have faith." His response nearly brought tears to my eyes. He said, "With everything you have said, I, I am certain that I have faith." The spirit was so strong and I was so happy. Man, I wouldn't give up these feelings for anything. 
WE went back yesterday and taught his wife too, Eliziana. They are super awesome! Please pray for them! They want to come to church! 

WE did Torta na cara (pie in the face) for an integration night again and it was hilarious! 

We bought a Christmas tree with blinking lights!!!! :) That is real happiness my friends. 

Yesterday there was a "regional" stake conference. It was a broadcast for all of Brazil. Elder Holland talked. He tried to speak in portuguese and it was super sweet. But he gave the rest of his talk in English and it was translated. But he talked about how we can be better, how the saints can be more perfected here in Brazil. But I believe it applies to everywhere, so I will share with you what he said:
1-Behave and act the way that you would in the temple. Practice in the home what you learn in the temple. Remove the things in your house that don´t help you to do this. 
2- Obey faithfully the law of tithing!!! We have to pay tithing to build temples and to be worthy to enter these temples. 
Please apply this in your homes!! It will bless you!! 

Well, not much time left and really not much else to say. 
I love you all! 
Have a great week! 
Remember the reason for the season and #SEJAaLUZdoMUNDO
Sister Wilkins

Mosiah 14-17

Santa pillow

Mari, from the Fazenda! 

Allan and Eliziana´s hedgehog

Our little Christmas tree

Friday, December 9, 2016


Oi família e amigos!!! 

Well, this week has been busy. 

We started off with an exchange...Sister Ogle and I got to be comps for a couple hours again while the Sisters went to the doctor. It was super fun! 

We had lunch with Noelli, from the Fazenda. She came and ate with us at a friend´s house (member of our branch). It was so good to see her and catch up for a bit. 

Well, we are still knocking a lot of doors. A lot of people have lied to us about their addresses or when they will be home and it has been complicated. But we have found a couple people. 

We found a couple, Raimundo and Mary. They live really close to the church and are super awesome. They want to know the truth and be closer to God. They said they´d come to church!!! but they weren´t there...we think it´s because of the rain....

We also found a grandmother, Lenir, and her granddaughter, Lorena. Lorena´s parents are divorced and it´s been about three years. Lenir explained how hard it was for Lorena in the beginning. She had fevers, cried a lot, and even asked why she was born. There was not a dry eye in the room. My heart broke for this ten-year-old girl as I told her that Christ knows exactly how she feels and knows how hard this is for her. I explained to her that she can pray for comfort. 
I have thought a lot about this little girl this week. My heart breaks for people who have these difficult situations who don´t know that there is a better life after this one, that the things that are hard and that are wrong in this life can be made better through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for His sacrifice. Especially in this Christmas season.

Sister Ogle and I gave a zone training which involved exploding balloons, cookies, and a hunt for small candies to explain how we need to be dilligent. It was pretty awesome. And also quite hilarious.

And we bought pizza just because :) 
Also got cupcakes from a sister in the branch. They are delicious. 

This Christmas season there is a #LIGHTtheWORLD campaign the church is putting on. I want to challenge all of you to be a part of it every day. Watch the videos ( there will be a new video every day that talks about what Jesus did and how we too can be like Him. And then complete at least one of the challenges per day. AND WRITE DOWN YOUR EXPERIENCES!!!! :) and share them with me. I will be sure to do the same for you!!! 

Love you all!
Sister Wilkins


Exchanges with Sister Ogle

zone training

Elder Nascimento (he was visiting the mission...already went home)