Monday, February 23, 2015

Double Baptism and Many Miracles:)

Olá, amigos e família!

This week we had many, many miracles!!

We went to visit Adailton. Turns out, he had actually MOVED without telling us. After 2 days of searching and asking everybody who had lived next to him or known him... the father of a member in our ward told us that he had seen him on the street. It was literally a scavenger hunt to try and find him. We were walking in the pouring, freezing rain, I was about to give up hope... when Sister Miranda said "He's there" and started walking towards a white tarp-looking structure over in the grass. We found him!!! And he just "happens" to live next to/be friends with one of our investigators, Aliciane!!
#idontbelieveincoincidences #dontexist
It was such a miracle to find him. Truly an answer to prayer.

We had the baptismal interview for Andreia, FINALLY!!!! I've only been waiting for this day for THREE TRANSFERS!! It was so great to see her come out of that interview with Rodrygo waiting for her, excited for her baptism the following day.SLast     
Last night we got our call about transfers... I was so certain I was going to stay. And if I would be transferred, I would be transferred within Zona Palmas. I wasn't going down to Brasília.  But Elder Benedetti called and told us that I would go down to Brasília and find out my area when I got there... I would get onboard the 13-hour bus at 7:30pm Sunday.

So that was a bit of a shock. I wasn't expecting that at all. But I packed my things.

Get to church on Sunday, and Sandreane and the kids were there (Junior, 12 years old, has a date for baptism but we conversed and decided he wanted to wait for his dad to watch the baptism). We found out that he told the whole young men's class that he was going to be baptized that day!!! Completely to our surprise! He hadn't been interviewed, hadn't even been taught everything yet... but we conversed with him, and he said that he was ready! That he didn't have to wait for his dad, he would be baptized on Sunday.
I was so excited to know that I would be there for the baptism of Andreia and Junior, 2 investigators that are very, very special to me.

So we had a double baptism! It was wonderful. Very spiritual experience to see 2 completely different stories. The son of a less-active member, who I know will help his entire family reactive in the church, and the spouse of a recent convert. Those moments made yesterday, hands down, one of the happiest days in my entire life.

But it quickly turned into one of the saddest days of my life when I had to say bye to everybody... I cried more than I've cried in a long time. I did not want to say goodbye to any of those people. I didn't want to leave... but I made it through that.

I was transferred here to Zona Brasília!! Nucleo Bandeirante is my new area. And I'm here with Sister Alvarez, who has 10 months in the mission. She's from Guatemala, and super cool! I'm so excited to be here. I'll miss my adventures in Tocantins... even though it was soooo hot. But I'm grateful for this new start, new people... a new adventure. :)

I hope you are all well, have an awesome week! Pray for missionary experiences!!!! :) <3

Muito amor,

Sister Hill

Monday, February 16, 2015

Grateful for the Plan of Salvation

This week was so good, so many things happened. I hope I can clear my mind enough to have time to write everything that I was meaning to write. <3

President came this week! He arrived on MondayTuesday morning we had our training with the assistants (Elder Kendall Clinger is assistant here, nice to have a native Bountiful-ite), and afterwards, President talked with us.
He told us about a film that touched him much that an apostle (I forgot which) showed to him. President said to the apostle "I have to have a copy of this film for my missionaries." The apostle got a special copy (in portuguese, of course) to President, and then he got permission to show it to all of us missionaries here.
Can I just say... that film was amazing. I loved every second of it. I remember when I went with my work at BYU, the CLO, and we heard about it from the people that work in the Church Office Building... I was so sad that I would miss it. I was pretty sad that I would have to wait until after my mission to see it. You can imagine my surprise when I heard that that would be the movie we would watch...

It was hard to hold the tears back through the film. Such a powerful message, such powerful stories. Of course a chapel full of missionaries, 90% that are Sisters, lost it when the 6th story talked about the Missionary Mom and her son that went on the mission... such an amazing film. I loved it so much. I loved the Spirit that it contains. <3

President had some amazing words for us. He taught us from Alma 5, telling us that the Second Coming isn't as far away as we think it is. We, as missionaries, need to find the people that ARE ready to hear the gospel! Because they're here, just waiting for somebody to find them. Such an amazing message that is.

I cried a little when I read that Uncle Herb passed away. <3 It's crazy how things happen without me being there... it's so weird being on a mission when things in the world happen. Haha. You're playing the flute!! I know it will be beautiful. Beatles Song<3 which one? Take a video, I want to see it :)

Yayayayay Gracie, she'll be 11, right? How exciting!!

I also am grateful for the Plan of Salvation. It's such an amazing thing that we teach here in the mission. So many people don't have that knowledge that they will see their loved ones again. They're not lost! They're not gone forever! They're just in a different state. In fact, they're in a way better state than we are... but they're working, and they're working hard to get everyone prepared for when Jesus will come again.

It's interesting to think about how the spirit world is actually here on the earth... i truly believe that. Everybody's working. Because Jesus is coming. And we need to prepare, even if we don't have a body.

Almost forgot!! I got the package this week, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. That little flash drive with 32GB...yes, I cried when I put it in and heard all of thew onderful things that you put on it. Especially Scripture Scouts... ughhh thank you so much, I wish I could express my grattitude through words but I just can't.

Also, I truly believe that the Spirit whispered to Dad to tell him to put a Conference Ensign in that package. I cried when I saw that Ensign. I haven't been able to read the Conference talks from October, and that was waaaay back when I was in the CTM. I'm reading them all right now.

Today I read the talk from Elder Gavarett, I loved reading it. I had forgotten that story about his wife. Or maybe I was sleeping when he told it the first time. But when I got to that part, I was like 'awwww!'. I love that talk. Such a powerful message about following our Savior through our actions. It's one thing to say that you will follow the Savior... but our words aren't what will go down in the books. It's our actions. It's the covenants that we make while we're here. It's going to the temple, going to church, reading our scriptures, doing family history work...

thank you for the New Eras and the Friends too! Another friend is always nice! ;) haha. I was really impressed with the New Eras, the Church is really improving the layout of everything. It's much more visually appealing to the youth these days. Especially that one that focused on Family History work, I was really impressed. The apostles are really talking about familiy history these days. That doing our indexing and family history work is just as important as going to the temple, if not more important.

This week I received a packet of letters from the ward, thank you Moss Hill Ward family!! I loved them so much. Arrived a little late (thanks to being here 13 hours away from the mission home;) but I'm so grateful for your words. Thank you. 

Muito amor, tenha uma boa semana!

Sister Hill

Monday, February 9, 2015

Nice and Normal

Hey hey,

This week was good. Nice and normal, it's crazy how fast time passes out here... tomorrow I will have 5 months in the mission. It's so weird to think that almost 1/3 of my time here is over. Let's not think about that. :)

This week me and Sister Miranda stayed after almoço with Irmã Francisca, and for our service project of the week we helped her make pizza crusts for her to sell at the fair. She makes pizzas every week to sell there... it was super fun. We wore those hilarious hairnets. :)

Andreia is still going strong, feeling prepared to be baptized on the 22nd... she told me and Sister Miranda that when she was taking her English course she had to sing a song in English, and she sang I'm Yours by Jason Mraz... so we decided that we're going to take the guitar over there sometime this week and play and sing with her. Gonna be fun. :)

We found a young woman this week named Hellem (say it like 'Ellen'). She's only 14, but she's strong Adventista (Reformada) like the rest of her family. She's the youngest of 3 siblings in her family. We found her in the street with her brother Lucas. We visited her and the siblings (mom wasn't home) on Saturday, taught the Restoration... she was incredible. Payed attention the whole time, commented, showed so much interest in the message of the restored gospel... she asked US about coming to church on Sunday, as we had mentioned it before. We planned to have a member pick her up for Church Sunday morning.
And she came! She was ready when we got to the door. She loved it in the YW's, already has a friend, and is planning to go on a camping trip that the youth are going to take for Carnaval.

Adailton also came to church this week!!!!! For as long as we've been teaching him, it was honestly a miracle. We planned to meet him at the bus stop close to the chapel, he would walk halfway and we would meet him there... we were nervous when we got there at the assigned time and he wasn't there. But when we saw him walking it gave us such hope in him... we're excited for him to be baptized on the 22nd too. He's awesome and loved his first time in Church.

We had a training with the Sister Trainers this morning... it was awesome. We learned so much. I learned a lot about how us as missionaries have an authority that we are here to call people to repentance. Like the prophets of every dispensation have done since the beginning of time.
I love a devotional by Elder Holland where he said that the missionaries of the Church are in the same race as the apostles and the prophet in this day. 24/7, every second, our GOAL is to bring others to Christ. Every second, that is our goal! That is our purpose!!!! I'm grateful for my purpose as a missionary.

I know that it doesn't matter how long we walk away from our Father in Heaven... it will never matter to Him how far we run from Him, how bad we are, how many times we've messed up over and over and over... He will ALWAYS love us. He will ALWAYS let us turn back to Him. Because of our Savior, because of the blood that He shed for us... we can repent.

I used to think that Christ was what made mercy and justice possible... but I realized that that isn't how it is at all. It's like this:
God is justice. He is a just God, He always will work this way.
Christ paid the price. Because of Christ, we have mercy.
But how do mercy and justice work together?
Repentance is key.
Because if we don't repent, is mercy in vain?

I'm grateful that we can repent.
"Salvation was never easy."

I hope you are all having a good February... pray for a missionary experience this week!
I love you all. <3

Muito amor,
Sister Hill :*

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lots of Love and Pictures:)

Hey friends and family!

This email is honestly short but full of lots of love. This week was fantastic. Had lots of ups and downs, but lots of really high ups!!

The other day we were passing the lake, and Irmã Giann said to us four, "have you guys been to the lake yet?" and me and Sister Soares, who have almost 4 months here in Palmas were like "uh nope, we've never had any reason to go there.." so we went and put our feet in the sand and took some pictures :) Dad, remember when you said that there was this lake here but I had never seen it before? um yeah it exists ha! and it's huge!! loved it. pretty cool that it's sweet water not salty:)

We had a service project the other day, that's where you'll see some of the pictures with wheelbarrows and masks. Irmão Sebastião has a masonry in the front of his house where he hires people and he builds cabinets and stuff, we helped him for a few hours in the morning before Almoço, it was so fun! We wore those masks because you don't want sawdust in your mouth or nose. Smart idea, Irmão Tião.

Saturday we had Almoço at the house of some members, there's a set of twins and one of them had a guitar... long story short, I played the guitar for like 30 minutes with us 4 sisters and this family, and we sang hymns and it was the BEST day of my life.

And today I bought a guitar....... so this next year will also be the best year of my life. It's soooooo beautiful ugh I just die every time I look at it. :)

I love fast and testimony meeting too. Ours was amazing... there's a young woman in the ward Rita, she opened her mission call in sacrament meeting!! I can't say that I've ever seen a sacrament meeting like that. The pianist was playing Called to Serve quietly in the background... it was definitely something you'd never see in the states. But a mission here is a BIG DEAL because here a mission isn't something that everybody does. So this cute young woman opened her mission call for the ward, and it was beautiful! She's going to the Porto Alegre Norte mission. Tears and everything that comes with opening a mission call. <3

I spent a lot of time pondering in Ether this week. I love the brother of Jared, his story is incredible to me. In Ether 4:5 we learn that "there never were greater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared." He saw amazing things. And we only have a short record of some of the things that he saw. But we learn that he saw these things because of his FAITH, that was so great that he not only believed, he knew, "nothing doubting."

We have a very special promise in Ether 4:7;
"And in that day [our day, here, now!] that they [US!!] shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw,even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ..."

Us! Our day! As we exercise faith, we will see miracles! Maybe it won't be seeing our Savior in this life, maybe it won't be having the finger of the Lord touching 16 stones in front of our own eyes... but we will see miracles when our faith is perfect.

Faith is so important and crucial in our lives today!! I hope you all can strengthen your faith this week. Read your patriarchal blessing, go to the temple, pray for help strengthening your faith... pray for a missionary experience!! I truly believe that the Lord will always answer our prayers for a missionary experience. <3

All is well here in Palmas. Still BLAZING HOT but I love it :) #imissthecold #snowsoundssogoodhere

Hope you are all well, I love you!!