Tuesday, April 28, 2015

5 BAPTISMS!!! and Fun Pictures

Hope everybody had a fantastic week! We saw lots of miracles this week.

This SUNDAY we will not be having 1... not 2... BAPTISMS.
I still can't believe it.

So Geralda's family! Angela with her kids? They all came to Stake Conference yesterday (which was AWESOME, I took so many notes... it was so so good. lots of great stuff about missionary work.)
It was great to see so many investigators there, Rose and David were there with Lucas & David III, Leonardo (friend of a member who's reactivating) was there, it was awesome.

After the meeting, we were all leaving (you know how it is with Mormons leaving chapels... suuuuperr slowwwww.) and I went up to Angela and asked her if she liked the meeting. Her response:
"It was fantastic... question, what do I have to do to be baptized? Can I be baptized this Saturday?"
I had to stop myself from squealing there in the middle of the chapel... so we planned to do it on Sunday so Bishop can announce the baptism in the meeting.
Then Giovanna, 9 years old (Angela's daughter) was there, and I asked her if she would like to be baptized with her mom... and she said yes with the biggest smile on her face. Geralda (her grandma) said that she gathers the family every night and reads the Book of Mormon to them... what 9 year old does that?! <3

And Gabriel and Larissa, the other 2 children, will be baptized with them!!

AND Eva will be baptized this Sunday as well, we just need to finish the lessons with her as she has already known the gospel for 20 years now... she told us that she told herself that she would be baptized when her sons returned to church. <3 the Lord sooo knows what we need and when we need it. <3 I'm so grateful He is in charge of this work.

And every day I am grateful for a companion that loves me because every time I see a cockroach in our house I freak out. And Sister 
Alvarez says she loves the sound they make when you step on them, so she's perfectly fine getting rid of them for me. <3 I love her to death.

And every day I am still amazed at the miracle of the Book of Mormon. I have been devouring 2 Nephi chapter 3, it had never occurred to me the miracle of the brass plates with the records of Joseph of Egypt, and that he saw Joseph Smith and the Restoration... how cool is that? I love that the Book of Mormon has so many pieces to the puzzle that the Bible doesn't have. and Ive realized that as I read the Book of Mormon, it strengthens my testimony of everything else. EVERYTHING.
I have a testimony that as we read the Book of Mormon, really study and ponder it... any answer we have about the restored gospel can be answered. It is the keystone to our religion. <3

Have a fantastic week! Here are pictures. The picture with us on the couch with the family is David and Rose and David and Lucas :)
I also attached a picture of the POURING RAIN.

Monday, April 20, 2015

5 Baptismal Dates!!!!!

Oi gente! Esta semana foi boa... tivemos um MONTE de milagres esta semana, eu ainda não acredito.

Highlights from the week:
Birthday Party/Family night on Monday (eu amo bolo.)

Lunch with David, Rose, David and Lucas!!

We marked 5 baptismal dates in one day with people we love and have been waiting for <3
We finally met with the grandchildren and daughter of Geralda, a recent convert in the ward! This woman was suuuuuuper religious before she joined the church, she started 2 churches, knows the Bible better than the back of her hand... but now she really has this fire of testimony in her, she's sharing the gospel with her entire family! Saturday morning she came and picked us up (impossible to walk there.) and we went to her house to meet her daughter and grandchildren! one of the granddaughters is Jessica, she speaks English and was super excited to talk with us and find out more about us.
We ended up teaching Angela (the daughter), Larissa (granddaughter, daughter of Angela) and Jessica with Geralda present... the Spirit was super, super strong. It was so amazing to see how the Lord has prepared everything, Geralda needed to join first to help them meet the gospel... they really felt the Spirit and accepted baptismal dates for May 2nd/3rd! We're excited to continue teaching them, it will be a challenge since they only meet on Saturdays.

Cadu... exists still, member's boyfriend. He's already had a date that fell through, but after he almost died on his motorcycle last week we went back as he really needs the gospel in his life right now. He's always been a little skeptical about receiving answers, so when we finished teaching him the Restoration and how the Book of Mormon came to be, and the promise in the Book of Mormon, he asked us, "Has there ever been anybody who hasn't received an answer?" What a powerful thing to tell him that no, there hasn't been anybody who has asked with a sincere heart and real intent!! He also accepted a baptismal date for May 2nd, we're so excited for him <3

Eva (mother of Jefferson and Sandro), who rejected marking a date for baptism because it wasn't time yet.. finally accepted!!!! She said that she knew the time was right. Because now her sons are returning to Church. :) Sandro and Jefferson both talked with Bishop and everything is great for them coming back, the three of them were in Church together and they were in white shirts <3 

Sunday was amazing to see Geralda's family in church, they all were commenting and reading and participating, they loved it!!!!!!! I love this family. And Eva was there with her 2 sons are coming back, and Cadu went with Marcio's family to another ward because they went out of town (we think, still need to talk to them)...

I realized yesterday that LOVE is such a huge thing. When we selflessly LOVE people and truly forget about ourselves, we feel the Spirit and have spiritual experiences. And when we have spiritual experiences, our testimony is strengthened!!
There is really something amazing about completely forgetting yourself and getting to work. Like President Hinckley's father said... "FORGET YOURSELF AND GET TO WORK." 

Oh, and President Holland's talk from Conference is still blowing my mind.

Tenha uma boa semana. Nunca esqueça que Deus está esperando a levantar-nos quando cairmos.
Só levante-se de novo. Nunca desista.

Amo vocês! Até mais.
Sister Hill

photos to come next week since this week didn't work :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Even Nephi Had Family Scripture Study

Oi amigos e família,

This week was good.  We went to the house of David/Rose to see how they are, they had a visit so we were a little hesitant to go in, but we went in anyway. Who was visiting? David's sister and her husband, and another friend of Rose!
David's sister Jane is SO COOL, officially one of the coolest women I have ever met. We started messing around with David's guitar, she plays welllll I was super duper impressed.
I started playing Frozen for her little daughter and the daughter started daaancing siiiinging, it was the cutest thing ever I absolutely loved it :) I love playing guitar when it makes people happy <3

And then the moment that brought the hugest smile on my face, I started playing "I Am a Child of God" because David absolutely loves that song, he loves it so much. and he pulled up the words on his iPhone, in ENGLISH. He doesn't speak English but he started singing in English, and Jane started in with him... seeing these people I love so much singing in English was one of the most beautiful things ever :) almost teared up a little.

We talked to David Neto (12 years old) about how he feels about the church, since every time at his house he never sticks around long enough for us to talk to him.. he said that he doesn't know if the Book of Mormon is true because a kid at his school told him that the Nephites/Lamanites couldn't exist because of the Mayans and Aztecs... so we explained to him and he seemed more eased about the thought of the Nephites/Lamanites. But then I asked him if he had any desire to know if the Book and the Church are true, and he just said "No." We're working with him.
It's funny, sometimes I'm just like "ugh, this darn agency thing." baha.

Jefferson and Sandro (inactives for like 15-20 years) CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With their mom Eva, non-member. We were absoutely ecstatic when we saw them walkin in the door, and then Jefferson told me in English that he already schedued an interview with the Bishop, he wants to be re-baptized. !!!!!!!!!!!! I was so thrilled, I was too happy about that. <3

Everything is good here... latey I've been missing how clean the US is. :P i miss cleanliness haha Thank goodness for hand sanitizer, right?

I've been pounding through the Book of Mormon in portuguese... I'm a visual person, if I remember where the verse is on a page I can find it, so I figured I'd better learn where everything is in portuguese. I'm finally understanding 100%, it's amazing how the gift of tongues is. <3 
I've been finishing up Nephi. I love his example. Found a little treasure the other day:
 22 Now it came to pass that INephi, did teach my brethren these things; and it came to pass that did read many things to them, which were engraveupon the plates of brassthat they might know concerning the doings of the Lord in othelands, among people of old.
 23 And did read many things unto them which were written in the books of Moses; but thamight more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiahfor did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.
I love verse 22 because it says that Nephi taught the scriptures to his family, to his brothers!! And this thought came to my head, EVEN NEPHI HAD FAMIY SCRIPTURE STUDY. Whoa.
And verse 28 has the WHY?!...why do we read the scriptures a\s a family?
1. To more fully persuade [our families] to believe in the Lord their Redeemer
2. For our profit and learning
The prophets wrote the scriptures for US. That we could profit and learn from their mistakes and experiences. How grateful I am for every prophet who was obedient and wise enough to listen to the Lord and record the things that were happening. 
If the prophets of old read scriptures together... shouldn't we do the same?

I love you all, have a fantastic week!!

Muito amor,
Sister Hill <3

Monday, April 6, 2015

Conference + Easter = Best Day Ever!

Olá, família e amigos! Espero que todo mundo teve uma boa semana...

This week was wonderful... conference! I loved loved loved conference. I was planning on watching it in English, because in Brasília enough missionaries and members speak English that they put the English transmission in another room... but it wasn't working. So I watched all five (including the General Women's Meeting) in portuguese! I'm super gratefu for the gift of tongues.. without it, I wouldn't have understood a thing! But I know Heavenly Father helped me that I was able to understand everything. <3
And the daughter of a recent-convert came to conference with her mom and two children!! It was so awesome to meet her, we want to meet with them this week and hopefully set some baptism dates :D

Transfer was this morning... and Sister Alvarez and I stay here in Bandeirante! I'm super grateful because I love her soooo much, and I love this area... and there's so many people we still need to work with together! Super gratefu :)

This afternoon we moved! To a WAY bigger apartment... this apartment has 3 rooms and 2 bathrooms, it's enormous. We still have to go back and clean the old apartment... we're thinking that President will send elders next transfer to work with the Sisters. Should be interesting.
I was SO impressed with how much the ward helped with the move... we just had to talk with our Bishop, and in 3 hours we moved everything from one apartment to the other. There were about 8 people helping, it went so fast. I was so grateful for members that stepped up to help us. It was so incredible to see after the Palmas moving-house-disaster when nobody wanted to help us. Good members make such a difference!

We never saw David and Rosilda and their family in any Conference sessions... we're going to visit them this week and see what went on.

Maria is now saying that she wants to separate from Chico because he's saying that he doesn't want to get married anymore... sigh. We're still working with them.

I loved loved Easter, the members we had lunch with on Sunday gave us a huge box of chocolates. :)

Life is good, change is scary but it's so good for us!!
Pray for a missionary experience this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love you all, muito amor e beijos!
Sister Hill