Saturday, March 21, 2015

"And He took their little children, one by one, and blessed them."

We´ve learned a powerful lesson this week, that is to take up on the opportunities that come. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed with everything going on and we often feel I can´t take up any more obligations or activities. But I believe if I want to live this transfer to the fullest, I must give my all to all the Lord sets before me. 
An amazing woman in our ward,Cliniriam Barroso, is known for being a member-missionary. Last June during the world cup she coordinated a training for all the transportation in this city where the world cup was at. Many of the people coming to watch the world cup don´t speak Portuguese, but usually speak some English. So, some trainings were given to hundreds of the taxi and bus drivers.  Sister Barroso does not speak English herself, so she invited the american missionaries to teach the classes. Many were baptized as a result. We often get, honks, waves and sometimes even free rides from the buses and taxis here.
Sister Barroso started working at an elementary school this month. She called this week and asked that we would come and teach the students English. The school board approved for us to come for one day and be a guest speaker to the classrooms,  
I went with one of the near-by zone leaders Elder Bailey. We got there early and met with Sister Barroso, she stated "You can´t teach the gospel to the kids, but the teachers are free game!" She introduced us to everyone she knew. As we gave lessons we also spoke to people about our message, she would invite her co-workers to her home for family-home evening. Many have accepted her invites. 
In the teacher lounge, we asked one teacher what she like about being a teacher. We shared with her a special part in the Book of Mormon where Christ takes the children in the Americas and blesses them one by one. She was very excited to receive a copy of this book. 
We taught about 8 classes of English from the youngest group of age 3 to about 12. After meeting the school owner, we were also asked to teach one of the college classes for adults in the afternoon. 
The classes we gave were simple. We presented ourselves in English and Portuguese. Then usually took questions for about 15 minutes about the culture or about us. We usually saw the questions as an opportunity to bear a small testimony of why we are here.
Then, we liked to present our families. I would draw a picture of dad on the board and we would review the words such as Father, Dad, Daddy, and Daddio. Then I would draw you, and include words such as Mommy, Mom, Mother, and I´d teach them your names. Then I drew Joslyn, and they already knew the word "sister." As I began to draw the next stick-figure- the kids assumed I would draw a boy to review the word "brother" But it was another sister. As I began drawing the head they would yell out "A brother this time!" Nope! another sister, then another, and another. Everyone had a good laugh at 5 sisters. 
Then we all stood and we taught Head Shoulders Knees and Toes to finish, (even the adult class). 
Last Sunday we went to Cajazeiras. It was so good to see everyone! I have a great love for that ward. Those who I taught were all still there going to church. Daniel and Josey are preparing to go to the temple. Pedro Lopes and Elonise showed me that they had their documents ready to go to get married. Those members are such a blessing in my life. 
Things are busy and I love it. Have a nice great week! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

3-12-15 Short n Sweet

On Tuesday we had our transfer meeting. It´s a largest meeting with 2/3 of the mission at it. It was a ton of fun. In one of our training's we presented the mission´s standard of Excellence called the model of Christ. The Standard of Excellence is a sheet that has a list of requirements in order to receive it. Requirements such as waking up every morning at 6:30, exercises, studies, and other rules. Missionaries who fulfill it each transfer are recognized in the zone conferences. 
I spoke how it´s not just a checklist of things to do, but rather opportunities of someone to become.

 Because our Savior has a list for us, His commandments. It isn´t enough to just do them, but want to do them and become them. 

It´s been a really great week, and I´m loving all my responsibilities, even though it can be stressful at times. I love these missionaries greatly. 
I love you all! 

3-5-15 Training and a Missionaries Testimony

Things are going really well. Tomorrow we are headed to Barreiras, back to one of my areas! I´m very excited. We are going to be flying out in the morning with President and his wife. In the evening I hope to visit some of our recent converts. Saturday morning we´ll give our training to all the missionaries. Saturday afternoon were giving a training to all church leadership of the 3 branches on how to better our capacity to teach the gospel. We´ll attend church with 2 of the branches on Sunday and then we´ll head back. 
We´ve been running around a lot. Unexpected challenges have appeared this past week, and my companion and I have been traveling around the mission to resolve them. It´s been a great experience. I feel that much is being required of us, and so much is also being given. We are full of energy despite all the bus rides. A feeling of peace and love has filled us as we go to resolve contentions. We have prayed for angels and they have sustained us. My heart as been brought ever so closer to the savior. 
I´m starting to see all the rules and tasks we have, are much like the Law of Moses, their purpose is to point us to Christ. 
The training's have been going far better than I could have imagined. Many have gained testimonies of Family History work and have become more converted missionaries. They´ve shared some really neat experiences during our trainings, I´ve asked them to email their experiences so that we could have them on record. I´d like to share on of the stories with you from a friend of mine (who gave permission) named Elder Williams. 

"So before my mission I was promised that I would feel the presence and help of my two grandmas that had died before i was born or when i was really really young and couldn't get to know them. It was a promise that was a little foreign to me because I really didn't have any idea how they would or could help me because they had already died and weren't here anymore, but then I had one of the hardest nights on my mission. It was a Saturday and after a few afternoon visits I wasn't feeling very good but I saw that we only had one more visit close to home and then I could lay down and rest. It was a visit that I had really been wanting to do for a while with a less-active sister that was always really busy and hard to meet with. It was a really good lesson but right in the middle I just felt like I was gonna throw up right on her floor so I ran to the bathroom and didn't end up throwing up but just felt really sick. After the lesson I was a little frustrated because I had disrupted the lesson and I had really been wanting to get her back to church, but we made it home and I laid down immediately to see if the sickness would just pass. It didn't pass, only got worse and after about an hour of laying with a lot of stomach pains I ran into the bathroom and threw up like 8 or 9 times and just felt super weak and sick. I made it back to the bed and was just laying there feeling really miserable! I started crying and just knew that I needed to say a prayer but I didn't feel like kneeling down was really an option because of how I was feeling, so I just stayed there on my bed and closed my eyes and started to pray out loud. Through my tears I just begged, pleaded with the Lord to help me have the strength and energy to be able to be at church the next day. I didn't want to go because all I wanted to do was rest and feel better, but I knew that we had to be at church. Like we are in a branch and there aren't a ton of people that go, and if the missionaries weren't there who would be? We just had to be there but on my own I wouldn't be able to make it so I just begged for his help. When i woke up the next morning, I wasn't 100% better but my prayer had been answered and we made it church. So, Elder Pollard, when you asked for experiences that we have had when we received help from the "other side" my mind went directly to this experience. I remembered joking with my mom that I needed her to be there to help me and comfort me because companions aren't as sympathetic and as I thought this during the training, I just knew that there was someone there helping me that night. Actually, there were two someone's to be exact. Like I felt the strongest impression to the point of knowing, without doubts, that my grandmas, Marilyn Richards Covey and Leonora Cannon, were there with me. That God, my Heavenly Father sent two of his angels to my bedside to help me through that night so that i could be at church the next day. The promise made to me before my mission was kept, and my grandmas were sent to help me when I needed it most and are here with me still. As I wrote this experience down in my journal I could literally feel their presence again with me! It is something that really means a lot to me, and brings a lot of hope knowing that I am never alone! 
So yeah, just thank you, for being inspired to have that training so that i could feel that and know that they are here with me!"
Elder Williams