Monday, May 21, 2018

Week 68 - May 21, 2018

This week was amazing- super hard, but super rewarding. We were having a few difficulties with the ward, trying to involve the members more with our investigators and recent converts and encouraging them to participate more in the missionary work. There were some confusions and complaints from the leadership about some of the people we were teaching, which kinda made us feel like crap for a few days. But Sister Coon and I prayed a lot to figure out how to resolve the problem and gain the trust of the leaders, and we ended up writing a letter to the Bishop, which sounds like something kinda pathetic and not very helpful, but we felt like it was what we should do. As soon as we left the letter at his house, miracles happened. Several members started apologizing for not working with us more and suggested ways that they could help us. The Relief Society President (Carla, one of the best human beings I've ever met) stopped by our apartment to give us cookies and tell us we're loved, and the Bishop called us to say he was sorry for any misunderstanding and that he was very grateful for our work. Then, on Sunday, he gave a talk in sacrament meeting about missionary work, encouraging the members to participate more. I felt so grateful and humble for these leaders and members and the opportunity I have to work with them. They remind me that this really is the church of Christ, and that the more we try to be like Him, the more miracles we'll witness. It was also a very spiritual experience for me, seeing how God is really in the details, inspiring us to write just a simple letter. This work is so wonderful.

Kauã, Junior, and Victoria´s baptism 
Also! I finally got to go to the temple this week...for the first time in more than a year! All my other areas were too far away from the temple, so I was never able to go, but now that I'm finally in Porto Alegre, we get to go once per transfer. It was great, the temple always brings we so much peace. I was surprised to discover that the POA temple is basically identical to the NC Raleigh temple, inside and out. So that was kinda cool, and weird, because it felt like just another youth temple trip.

Porto Alegre Brazil Temple
Pure Joy!
There's this little village/neighborhood in our area with only people of Native American descent that I went to for the first time this week. It was super cool to see, one of the people we were teaching makes and sells baskets and dream catchers for a living. As we were teaching her and her family, her husband walks in and they start arguing in a language that was definitely not Portuguese. (I don't know what tribe they're descended from, so I have no idea what language it was). After the lesson, I said to Sister Coon, "That was so cool! I wish I spoke two languages!" She just kinda looked at me for a minute....

Well, that was my week. Hope y'alls was good too (I'm already practicing my Southern for when I get back.)

Sister Coleman

Cristal - Minha linda e maravilhosa área

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Week 67 - May 16, 2018

Note:  We had such a great visit with sister Coleman on Mother’s Day. She is genuinely joyful and focused on her service. She is doing well, and living her mission.   She also got to attend the temple on Monday, which is why her update is late.  LOVE THIS GIRL!!

What a crazy good week!!! First, we had the baptism of Dhyeron (13) and Sofia (8), a brother and sister who are just the darn cutest. Dhyeron was a street contact, and when the sisters went to his house, they found out that he already knew about the Book of Mormon because his dad was a member that had been inactive for a long time. And that very next Sunday, Dhyeron and Sofia showed up at church with their dad and grandma (also an inative member), all because Dhyeron asked them all to go with him. Ahhh, eleito!! 

And this last week when we were going over the baptismal questions with him, we asked him about the law of chastity, and he pulls out a mini "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet from his pocket (that someone must have given him at church) and turns immediately to the right page to be able to answer. Like, what, this kid is gonna be an amazing member. And future missionary. And probably bishop or mission president or something too. 

Also, on the night of the baptism, we found out that all the child-sized baptismal jumpsuit things (I don't remember what we call them in English) were dirty, so Sofia ended up having to use an adult size and just roll up the pant legs a whole lot. Poor thing. But she just thought it was funny. And after the baptism, both of them were saying, "I feel so light! And clean. What a blessing Baptism is. 

Then, on Sunday, the recent converts and investigators that we went to wake up and take to church took awhile toget ready, so we were gonna be late for church, so we had to call for an emergency ride from a member. Luckily this member is amazing and wonderfully willing to help us, because it was only one car, and like 6 people to bring to church (not including us two). So that was an experience, but we all got to church, which is the important thing :)

Finally, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! I hope all the mothers out there remember how much power and importance and influence you have in the lives of others and in the plan of our Heavenly Father. And I hope the rest of you remembered to thank your moms for everything they do for you. (Speaking of which: thanks Mom! I love you! You're amazing!)

Boa semana por todos vocês! Até mais!
Sister Coleman

Monday, May 7, 2018

Week 66 - May 7, 2018

THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME! Cristal is an awesome area and Sister Coon is an awesome companion and I am just loving it here. A few highlights from this week:

We had 3 baptisms! First, Kauã, 11 yrs old, whose mom never wanted to let him get baptized but we planned a special lesson for her this week and prayed a whole lot and she finally let him. He was so excited, every day during the week when he saw us he goes, "Sisterrrrrsssss, Saturday is my baptism!!!" Then on Sunday morning when we went to walk with him for church, he goes, "When do I get the gift?" We were like, uhh, what gift? "The Holy Ghost! Duhh!!" That kid cracks me up. The other two baptisms were Junior and Vitória, siblings, 15 and 13 yrs old. They're kind of crazy and hilarious, and were gonna get baptized in a few weeks but they already love the church and wanted to get baptized, so yeah, basically a great start to a new transfer.

Also, funny thing this week. Most of our investigators live in two different neighborhoods here, so Sunday morning it would make since to go to one, pick everyone up there, then go with them to the other neighborhood that's closer to the chapel and pick those people up and then we all go to church together, right? Ok, but there's kind of a big drug war going on between these two neighborhoods, so people living in one can't enter in the "territory" of the other or they run a high risk of getting shot. But a lot of the investigators from both are teens or kids, so they can't walk alone to church. So, we literally spent like 30 mins Saturday night trying to strategize how to get everyone to church. We finally came up with what we call our War Plan, because we felt like Captain Moroni or Helaman coming up with all their clever little battle plans. Let's just say the plan involved a lot of walking, getting up super early, and our ward mission leader basically acting as a babysitter for a little while, but it all worked out and we were able to bring a sizeable group of people to church. Totally worth it. The Lord makes things work when we do our part.

Well, that's about it. I LOVE CRISTAL! I LOVE MY MISSION! I love you all too.
Sister Coleman

Monday, April 30, 2018

Week 65 - April 30, 2018

I can now say, with almost complete certainty, that I have just been transferred for the last time on my mission. You never know, but seeing as there's only 3 more months on my mission, I'm pretty sure I'll be staying in my new area until the end. I am now- finally- serving in Porto Alegre, in a ward called Cristal (meaning crystal) with Sister Coon- a super fofinha sister from Queen Creek, Arizona who's been on the mission for 3 months. I haven't seen much of the area so far, but there's lots of hills 😐 and fancy-looking houses, which I'm not used to. 

I am super excited for this new transfer, I'm absoutely certain that miracles will happen. Why? Because I'm gonna work harder than I've ever worked. Something that President Cruz says a lot, especially as he too is coming to the end of his mission, is that the hardest and most important parts of the mission of our Savior were at the very end. Those were the moments that He needed the most strength and courage and diligence, and the moments that He literally gave His all. So, of course, as I'm trying each day to be just a little bit more like my Savior, this is my time to give it my all. 

I feel so blessed and privileged for the experiences that I've had so far on my mission. As much as I don't ever want it to end, I know that Lord has other callings and plans for me afterwards. So while I'm here, doing what I love most, I'll make the most of it. 

I hope you all are doing great, loving life, following the gospel, all that good stuff. Amo todos vocês!!
Sister Coleman

Monday, April 23, 2018

Week 64 - April 23, 2018

Sorry, today will be another short update day because I'm almost out of time. A girl who got her call to POA (Porto Alegre) South asked me for some advice, and I had a lot of emails to respond short, my time is shorter today. 

But I'm doing great, nothing's out of the norm. Oh, the mission office called this week to ask which airport I would be getting off at because they're already buying our tickets :( 

 I can honestly say that your's and dad's influence is a primary reason that we're all still active and have our own testimonies. You've always encouraged us to know for ourselves, but have also taught us with love the importance of the gospel. We had an online fireside kind thing with the Brasil presidency yesterday, and they talked a lot about family scripture study, and I started thinking a lot about how we always read scriptures as a family, as long as I can remember. I even remember when G couldn't read and we had to whisper the words for her. But that's so important, you've set such a good example for us. Thank you for that. I love you!!!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Week 63 - April 16, 2018

Some people here have been telling us that basically the third world war will be starting because the US dropped a bomb on Syria....since we have no access to the news, and everything that people say here isn't always accurate, tell me a little about what's happening and if I actually have to worry about another big war happening.

This week was kind of disappointing, we had a lot of baptisms lined up but they all fell through and I'm kinda getting frustrated, so I don't have much to say. But I love everyone and I'm still doing great. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Week 62 - April 9, 2018

What a great week! And an incredibly busy one.

The sisters that are working in the ward next close to ours have now moved into our apartment- one is from Peru and just arrived on the mission last week, the other is from Maceio (Brazil). They are both super cool, but sharing one bathroom between 4 sisters that all have to get to bed by 10:30 has been an interesting experience. Also, we had a bunk bed waiting for them in the other room of the apartment, but when they moved in we discovered that the bed frames of both were broken. The mission office told us to go ahead and throw those beds away and that they would send new ones, but the beds didn't fit through the doorway to take them to the trash bins, and there was no way to take them we kinda ended up throwing the beds out the window. Fun mission experiences you guys.

That investigator Andriel that I talked about last week went with us to church again this week, and afterwards shared his Easter candy with us :) This kid is so funny, he was telling us about how his grandma attended an Evangelical church that doesn't let women shave their legs, and she prayed so that God would make her leg hair fall off. In telling us the story, Andriel goes, "I don't know everything about God, but I don't really think He works like that." 

Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting, and I heard a very touching testimony from one of the members. She said that this was the first Sunday in a long time that she was able to bear her testimony, because for years and years she hadn't been allowed to because of her personal worthiness. She said that the feeling of being able to really express her feelings about Christ and church for everyone after all this time was the most wonderful, freeing feeling. She really made me think about how I'm sharing my testimony, if I'm really appreciating the privilege that I have to bear it so often during the week. Our testimony is the most precious thing we have, and sharing it with others will help both their's and our's to grow. So while we can, let's share what we know. 
Boa semana por todos vocês!
Sister Coleman