Monday, November 30, 2015

Just Follow the Spirit and Everything Works Out

This week was good, an especially spiritual week as I really recognize when the Spirit truly works in our lives because when it is Him doing the work, everything works out and the Lord puts in the right places at the right time and in the right moments.

This weekend was special as we went to Palmas for stake conference and they called a new stake president who I am sure is going to be wonderful and make some awesome changes here in the stake!! Elder Costa (Brazil area president & seventy) spoke to the stake, wonderful talk... about how President Morais was truly called by God to lead this stake. Wonderful message.

It was amazing to see some members that I haven't seen in such a long time...almost a YEAR since I've seen these people!! When I left Palmas I thought I would never see these people again, I remember that day I cried so hard. But the Lord truly knows my heart and brought me back here 💙 I'm so grateful.
Irmã Isabel, who is practically my Tocantins mom...I called her on Saturday night to tell her we'd be going up to Palmas for stake conference and to ask if we could eat almoço at her house afterwards, she said of course...and she made me this heart-shaped chocolate cake. #bestcakeever I love this woman and her family dearly.

Other picture... #braziliansloveCoca-Cola #FelizNatal #christmasiscomingicantbelievethis

This week is a big one for us cause we're doing a BRANCH ACTIVITY on Friday, we're going to do a scripture scavenger hunt in the chapel and we're hoping that it gets the branch excited!!

I thank Heavenly Father every day of my mission for accepting me here in His field. I know that it is a privilege, because there are so many people better than I am who could be doing this work!! But He chose me! Imperfect me. :) It's funny how here in the mission field you live a completely elevated and higher standard of the Gospel, and your faults and weaknesses sometimes seem so much more eminent than ever. So much more transparent.
I am grateful for my Savior who is molding me. In português we have a verb that is 'lapidar', in English you'll see the noun and adjective 'lapidary' that is somebody who cuts stones
But this word in português means a lot to me abecause in Cristalina I came to know this word really well. Because everybody there is a stonecutter, everybody there talks about going to 'lapidar' their precious stones, to cut them.
They take HUGE chunks of crystals, and cut the tiniest piece out of it. And the piece that comes out is crystal clear, so beautiful.

I remember bearing my last testimony the last day I was in Cristalina. and I was able to stand at the pulpit in that tiny white house and say 'Jesus Cristo tem me lapidado aqui.' Jesus Christ has cut me. He molds me.
He is truly changing me to the person that my Heavenly Father wants and needs me to become.

Thank you for your prayers and support, I know I write little but I truly thank Heavenly Father every day for the opportunity I have to be here in the mission field to have MY life changed by Jesus Christ's Atonement.

Amo todos vocês demais!!
Muito amor,

Sister Hill💜🌎🎅

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Brazilian Bus Stations

I don't have much time, we're in Palmas as we just got out of a zone activity... but here it's a nice balmy 98 degrees Fahrenheit, awesome yeah? ;)
This week has been craaazzy we lost 2 whole days of work because we've been bouncing back and forth from Gurupí to Palmas... it's only a 5-hour bus trip!! #sarcasm #farthestareabybus #adventureseveryday I love my crazy brazilian adventures!!

This week we did lots of contacting and proseliting in the street... we meet some really great people, I have been devouring Preach My Gospel and really learning about how the BOOK OF MORMON is the center. We have to teach people about the Book of Mormon, it is that important that we read it and know it by heart so we can share it with others.

We had a sad lesson with Thaynara... we were trying to helkp her with the repentance process as she had law of chastity problems and tripped up a little bit last weekend, and we went back there and she said that she hadn't repented completely yet, she didn't regret what she did, and that she wouldn't be going to church because they don't have meetings at night. But that she would be going to church at night.
When we told her there are only morning meetings... she said she would be going to a different church at night.
We started a discussion about the Book of Mormon, she said she has a firm testimony that the Book of Mormon truly is the word of God!! She truly believes that!! And how she believes that the Church is the only true church on the face of this Earth.
But how she wouldn't go to church Sunday morning because it's too early for her and doesn't fit in her schedule.

We've made lots of awesome new plans to work with the members and have lots of family home evenings!! I truly know that the best way to share the gospel is through the members of the church!! They have already accepted it, they have testimonies!! And we as missionaries need to help them help their neighbors and family and friends learn about the restored gospel.

I am so grateful for my Savior. I am so grateful that He was willing to die for me and feel every pain I would ever feel in this life. We are never alone. We never walk our paths by ourselves. He is always with us.
He walked our path way, way before we did.
When we seek relief, when we are looking for something who can relate to our situation and give us the comfort we so desperately need...
who better than HIM to share in our sorrows. He who is 'acquainted with grief'.

I love my Savior. I love this restored gospel. I love the Book of Mormon and know that is the word of God!! I am so grateful for a living prophet and 12 apostles, the same organization that Jesus Christ Himself organized when He was here!!

I love you and hope we can all remember what we're truly grateful for this Thanksgiving.
I'm grateful for this gospel.

Muito amor,
Sister Hill 💜

p.s. no way to send pictures today, next week ❇

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Pioneer Children (And Sister Missionaries) sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked....

This week was good but looooooots of walking, seriously Gurupí is HUGE and sometimes we're not able to mark all of our appointments in the same neighborhoods, so we spent lots of time walking this entire city to rush to appointments o.O but it's great!! It finally started raining this week, and you'll see from the pictures that Tocantins, Brasil is already getting ready for Christmas (cause nobody here cares about Thanksgiving, right...). We took some pictures with Santa and the best book ever 💙 #thebookisblue

This week we have been finding lots of people in the streets where we contact the person, talk to them for a bit and then out of nowhere the person's like "yeah i'm baptized in the Church" 😑 so many people baptized but horrible church attendance. we're working on reactivation along with strengthening the members, super super important here... we found a girl this week, Ludmila, 17 years old...she baptized about 5 years ago but then fell away from the church, she wants to come back!! She practically lives at her boyfriend's house, so we went there and talked with her boyfriend's mom who is suuuper awesome, we're going to go back in a couple days to check up on them and see if they read and prayed.

District meetings are super exciting here... we're so far away from civilization that our meetings are by cell phone. :) Us 4 sister missionaries in our 'living room' all sitting around the table with the cell phone pluged into a portable speaker so we can hear was hilarious this week, as one of us was saying the prayer, and the cell phone has hung up without us knowing, and our DL called back the ringtone player super super loud in the middle of the prayer but we didn't know what to do so we just finished the prayer awkwardly lol. #Gurupíproblems #gottaloveTocantins

This week we're going to Palmas for a district and zone will be nice to see our leaders and other people in our zone since we're in the middle of nowhere 😊

I'm grateful that it FINALLY rained on Friday, that cooled everything downnnnn. I'm happy to have said goodbye to 100 degree heat. #dontcomeback
They are decorating for Christmas already (see the picture) 

All is well here in Zion. Eating lots and lots of mangos 💜 since they grow on the trees here. And investigators always pick a bunch of mangos for us, put them in a plastic bag and give them to us to take home 😇 i love Tocantinenses. 

#missionperks The Catholic Church clock that rings every hour and half hour across the street from our house...

#theChurchistrue #theBookisblue #andJesusistheChrist
muito amor

Sister Hill 💜💙💗

Monday, November 9, 2015

Playing the GIANT PIANO!!

This week was good, we worked suuuuuper hard and I felt like we walked the entire city HA but it was great and I think I'm sweating all of my organs out here hahaha.

Yesterday we had an AWESOME Sunday in the branch, we got 6 investigators to church and the other sisters got 7, there were more than 100 people in sacrament meeting which was more than we've had there for a while. And yesterday was the primary program which was super special for our investigators!!

We're working with Thaynara, she's 21 and super special. She has problems with the law of chastity, but this past week and a half every time the temptation has come up she's totally been strong and brave, I'm so proud of her!! And she's reading the Book of Mormon and strengthening her testimony of Joseph Smith, as she had some doubts about the plates and Joseph Smith... she's awesome.
We went on foot to her house to get her for church, and we got there at about 8:15...and she was still sleeping. She refused to go to church since she had been out all night with friends. But 100% help from the Spirit she went and changed and she went to sacrament meeting with us. I was so proud of her ❤

Debora, a 10-year-old little girl went to church yesterday for the first time, too!! She and Thaynara have baptismal dates forNov. 28th, but we forgot that stake conference is going to be that same day so they might have to be baptized that Fridayinstead, we're going to see about that this week. But we are so excited for their progress!!

We had a super awesome lesson yesterday with a member's brother... she agreed to go do visits with us, and when we left we said 'hey let's go see your brother'...she said that Elders had been there already a while ago and nothing had happened, her brother & his wife didn't want anything with the church...but we went anyway. I truly felt like Nephi as he went back to Jerusalem to get the plates. I had no idea what we were going to say. I had never spoken with this man, and there was the pressure of having the member with us too and her feeling the spirit...
when we got there we introduced ourselves, got talking a little bit about the elders going there and how he liked their visit and had the Book of Mormon and everything...and then we asked if we could share a message with him, he agreed.
As we taught the Restoration with his sister, it was one of the most spiritual lessons I have been in in a while. The Spirit testified so strongly, I was so grateful for the Spirit that He truly is the best teacher... and I am also so grateful for the Bible because here in Brazil, with people that truly have their hearts softened...if you show it to them in the Bible they comprehend more easily.
At the end of the lesson Cairo said that he would pray and ask God if everything we taught is true, if Jesus Christ really did restore His Church to the Earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. And he said that when he receives his answer he'll be baptized!! I know that his sister felt the Spirit too, which was super amazing.
After the lesson his wife (who is a cake baker/decorator) came out with cake and talked with us for a while, she seemed happy too.
As we left the lesson, the member said that she (Cairo's wife Suely) had never been like that before which was a great sign...and that Cairo had never reacted that way to the Church before.

I know that the Lord truly keeps His promises...
that when I open my lips to speak and teach His work to His children, He will indeed put the words into my mind and speak through me.
Every day here in the mission is such a witness to me that I am NOTHING here.
He is everything.
This is HIS work and HIS bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

I love this work. I know that Jesus Christ established His Church here on the Earth. I know that there truly was a great apostasy. And that God loved us enough to call Joseph Smith as a prophet of the Lord to restore His Son's gospel here on the earth again.
Eu amo meu Salvador. Eu sei que Ele vive. Eu sei que Ele nos ama. Que Ele nos amou tanto que Ele deu a Sua Vida por mim...por cada um de nós.
Sei que A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias verdadeiramente é o reino de Deus estabelecida aqui na Terra hoje.
Sei que nós temos um profeta vidente e vivo hoje! Sei que Thomas S. Monson é um profeta do Senhor. Sei que ele tem as chaves de nos guiar aqui na Terra. Sei que ele recebe revelação literal e direita de Deus e Jesus Cristo. Sou tão grata por saber dessas coisas.
Eu amo este evangelho.
Eu sei que Jesus Cristo e Sua Expiação são o centro deste evangelho. 

Muito amor!! Beijos 💋
Sister Hill 


Monday, November 2, 2015

The Rainy Season Has Arrived!

This week was nothing at all what I expected. 💞 We stayed in Palmas until Thursday because we had a Zone Conference on Wednesday with our Zone, and since we're 4 hours away from everybody we never have zone conferences during the transfer so this was our only one. :)
I got to see some families from Palmas that I have missed sooooooo much, it was so good to see them. Gonig back to some of the places I walked and worked and seeing familiar streets...feels almost like yesterday that I was here. It is the weirdest feeling.
Such an amazing feeling to hug and greet people that you haven't see in so long. Such a privilege to return to my first area where I started my mission...and of course everybody was so surprised with how good my português is, that I actually talk normally now 😉

The rain has started here in Gurupi, a cute city with about 80,000 people and lots of great food. 💦 It is a branch here, it just needs a few more priesthood holders until it can become a ward. There's a lot of work to be done here..and of course I'm the only person who plays piano. I'll be the new 'organist' of the branch. 🎼 And I plan on using my guitar here too.

I've been drinking lots of chimarrão as I brought my cuia from Cristalina and bought herb here in Gurupi. :) I'm a happy gaúcha.

The goal of Zona Tocantins and it was a personal goal I set for myself before zone conference (no coincidences, right?)... read Preach My Gospel in 1 transfer, cover to cover. First week down and I'm still going strong, only about 6 pages a day. I love Preach My Gospel, it is truly one of the most inspired works of the Church. I know that it truly was revealed by prophets, seers and revelators...and that it's for ALL the members of the Church, not just the missionaries!!!
I challenge you to go read a little of PMG this week. It will change your life and you'll find answers to prayers!!

Love you all, thank you for the prayers and support.. I am so grateful for the trust that the Lord has in me to take care of His sheep here in Tocantins. I know that He didn't send me back here for no reason.

Muito amor,

Sister (Braz)Hill 💜🌎❤💟💙