Monday, January 22, 2018

Week 51 - January 22, 2018

This week has been crazy busy, but as always, full of...wanna guuess?....miracles! We had a Zone Conference on Wednesday- which was super inspiring, I'll share some of my thoughts about it below, and a Stake Conference on Sunday.

Since the city where I'm serving, Arroio Grande, is about 2 hours from the stake center, and very few people here own cars, the branch rented a bus to take us all to the conference. Who would've thought that spending 4 hours inside a bus with people that I didn't even know a few months ago would be one of the funnest things I've done in a long time. These members and investigators have literally become my family away from home, I loved it.

So many people went to the stake conference that we were literally putting chairs in every available space, and even then a got chunk of people ended up having to listen from the hallway.

But it was super good, very spiritual. AND, 3 of the investigators that went to the conference with us- Sara, Maiara, and Doca- will be baptized this week!!! (maybe 4? It's complicated, I'll keep you updated). I'm so stinking happy, these people are amazing.

So, something that was talked about at our zone conference was about the moment in John 21 when Christ asks Peter 3 times if he loves Him (one of my all time favorite parts of the scriptures). We watched a video of a talk by Elder Holland (a video I highly recommend, if you can find it) where he said that Christ was asking Peter is he loved Him more than fishing, more than the nets and the oars and his boats. Of course, Peter says yes. But Christ reminds him that, if that were true, he would never go back to fishing- in actions or in his heart. When Peter was called as an apostle, he was told to let go of his nets, and that was a commandment that lasts forever. That wasn't a mission that would end after Christ died or whenever Peter felt like going back to fishing.

How does that relate to me? When I was called as a missionary, it wasn't just for 18 months. When the Lord asked me to "let go of my nets" (leave behind my personal affairs and serve with all I have), He was actually calling me to be a part of this work forever. When I get home (which there's still a lot of time before that, thank goodness), I'll still be a missionary. In a different sense of course, but I was still called to let go of my nets, my own will and desires, for the sake of the Lord's will. I was called to be a disciple and His representative until the end.

How does this relate to you? Maybe you've already served a mission- 1, 5, 10, 30, 40 years ago- or maybe you're preparing to go. Maybe you never will go. But the Lord has still called you to this work. We were all called to let go of our nets and follow Him. We were all called to be true disciples until the end.
"If ye love me, feed my sheep."

Remember the Savior and everything he's done for you. 
Love you all! Hope you have a good week.
Sister Coleman

Monday, January 15, 2018

Week 50 - January 15, 2018

I think you guys are probably sick of me saying that I had a week of miracles, because I feel like I say that almost every week, but it's true. A mission is full of miracles.

This week we had the baptism of Zaida- a super adorable older woman.

She's now known in the branch as the one who tries to talk with everyone even during the sacrament :)

Nycolas- a 15 year old boy who decided that he wanted to be baptized after teaching him only once. This week, as we were finishing to teach him everything, he asked us if he could go with us to visit other investigators. We were like....sure, okay. 

Another investigator, Raiane, who's only 8 and refuses to get baptized- I think just because she's stubborn- also asked to go on vists with us several times this week.

While in other areas it's a struggle to get members to go on visits with you, in Arroio Grande even investigators will ask to go on visits with you. I never want to leave this city.

While knocking doors earlier this week, we found a woman with severe Alzheimers. She was super sweet and very receptive, but it turned into a pretty funny lesson because she kept saying to Raiane (the little girl aforementioned) "Oh you're so cute, do you want to come live with me?" and Raiane just looked at us like "What do I do?" But it was a cool experience, we talked to her a little bit about the Plan of Salvation, and even though she probably won't remember what we said, she was very touched by our visit.

That's about it. Espero que todos vocĂȘs estejam bem!!!
Sister Coleman

Monday, January 8, 2018

Week 49 - January 8, 2018

Despite it getting so hot that I almost fainted this week, it has been a week of miracles. Yet again. 

We've been teaching a woman named Franciele for a few weeks, and the other day she told us that her husband- who works in another city and only comes home a few times per month- started reading the Book of Mormon and loved it and asked her to tell him about what we're teaching her. He encouraged Franciele and their 3 kids to go to church with us on Sunday, which they did, and now they all want to be be baptized. So, yeah, that was pretty awesome.

Another investigator, Nicolas (15 years old), went to church for the first time yesterday, after us teaching him only once, and already decided that he wants to get baptized next week. We were super surprised, but obviously extremely happy.

Something funny that happened: we were teaching a family that we'd just met, when a friend of their's walked into the house. She stopped in the doorway when she saw us and started panically doing the Catholic cross thing, as if we were demons or something that she needed to protect herself from. We just kept teaching, every time we looked at her she stopped, but throughout our whole lesson she was doing it. I thought it was pretty funny.

I had a wonderful experience during fast and testimony meeting yesterday. The spirit was SO strong. I love hearing the testimonies of the members here, all of them have passed through some things that most of us can't imagine, and their faith is so strong because of it. I've also developed a deep love for getting up and sharing my testimony, something I was always scared to do at home....maybe something about doing it in Portuguese gives me courage :) 

Something one of the members said in his testimony really struck me: He said that we pray and search for miracles every day, but many times we forget that WE are the miracles. The fact that we are who we are today, compared to who we were years or even months ago, is the miracle. The fact that God could take such a flawed, imperfect person and mold them into his servant and instrument. Really, when we look at who we are today, where we are and what's going on in our lives, compared to before we truly chose to completely follow our Savior, there's no way it's not a miracle. 

I love you all and I hope you had a fantastic week and a great start of 2018!!!! And always remember: you are the miracle.

Sister Coleman

The young woman in the yellow in top photo and in the middle in bottom photo 
is a teenager in the branch Sister Coleman is serving in.  
Madison told us at Christmas that this sweet girl made her own name tag and goes teaching with the sisters all the time.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Week 48 - January 2, 2018

I miss New Years with you guys so much!!!! Here they just ate fruit. FRUIT. That was their idea of a party. Like, it was still a good time, I liked being with the people. 

Not a lot happened this week, but we have a few baptisms lined up for the next couple weeks, which is great. Also, yesterday was transfer day, but luckily I wasn't transferred.
I love you guys! Sorry for the short email.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Week 47 - December 26, 2017

I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS!!!!......and especially that you remembered the true importance of this holiday. Presents and Christmas trees are good, families are much better, but Jesus Christ is the reason we're celebrating. I hope you all went out of your way to show more love for people and to spread the light of Christ on this special day.

My Christmas was fantastic! I feel so blessed to be here during this special time of year. The night of Christmas Eve we had a party and gift exchange with a bunch of members. Something I thought was funny was that, instead of a bunch of desserts and stuff, they had a table full of fruit. Like, it was good, I'm a fan of fruit, but I was kind of like, guys, where's the chocolate at.

Afterwards, on Christmas day, we had a big barbecue with a family of members. I ate sheep meat, one of the favorites here in Rio Grande do was pretty stinking good, actually. Afterwards we spent the day knocking on doors and singing Christmas hymns for people. That's what I call a good day.

As for Brazilian Christmas traditions, I have to say I'm a little disappointed. I love Brazil, you guys, don't get me wrong, but on Christmas day everyone just stayed inside their house drinking and listening to loud music- and not even Christmas music!

I hope you all took up on my challenge from last week, to invite some friends, neighbors, family members, etc. to go to church with you, come to an activity or family night, or to hear the message that the missionaries have to offer. If not, it's never too late. As we're going into the new year, I hope you've all been thinking about some goals you can make and some ways you can improve in the year to come. I'd like to invite all you to really think, study, and pray about some specific spiritual goals you can make to be a better disciple of Christ and a better member missionary. I love this quote from Elder Ballard about why setting goals is such a necessary thing:

“I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”

Stretch yourself. Go beyond your limits. Recognize the great potential within you. Be who your Heavenly Father wants you to be. 
Have a great New Year, and may 2018 be the best year yet.

Love you all, thank you for your prayers, presents, love, and support.
Sister Coleman

Monday, December 18, 2017

Week 46 - December 18, 2017


I can't believe Christmas is almost here and the year is almost over. Time goes by so stinking fast. It also doesn't even really feel like Christmas here because it's SO HOT. It's almost funny to see Christmas trees and lights and such because it doesn't seem to match with the scorchingly hot temperature. On that note, almost no one decorates their houses for Christmas! I've only seen like 3 houses in the entire city that put up some lights outside, and some people put a tiny Christmas tree on a table inside their house....but that's it! 

But, luckily, Sister V. Araujo and I have decided to take it upon ourselves to spread the Christmas spirit a little more here in Arroio Grande. We spent the majority of the week knocking on doors and offering to sing Christmas hymns. And we are seeing MIRACLES. Literally everybody has let us in to sing for them, and after which we share a small message about the real purpose of Christmas, why our Savior came into the world, what is possible because of Him, and how we can remember Him during this season. We have found several incredible families this week who have already agreed to be baptized, all starting with offering to sing for them. Without a doubt, Christmas and music brings miracles!!

We're also working with several investigators who are SO CLOSE to being baptized. D and J, an amazing couple, will be baptized the second they get married. They are the literal definition of the elects of the Lord, people who have been completely prepared by him to receive the gospel and be baptized. Several other investigators are having some serious problems giving up addictions with smoking and drinking, but they have a lot of faith, and I'm certain they'll be baptized soon. All the prayers for these people possible would be much appreciated!!

Also, most importantly, a Christmas challenge for all of you reading this!: Think of a gift you can give to Christ this Christmas through helping others receive this gospel. We're so blessed to know what our Savior did for us and to really understand why this season is such a joyful time, but not everyone has that privilege. Bring someone to church, organize a special family night and invite a neighbor or friend, pray about someone you can present to the missionaries. Christ came into the world to save us, now He needs us to help save those that still don't have the truth. Stretch yourself a little bit this Christmas, go the extra mile in serving others, and you will see MIRACLES.

I love you all, and hope you have the best Christmas ever. (Enjoy the cold and snow for me.)

Sister Coleman

Monday, December 11, 2017

Week 45 - December 11, 2017

don't know what's happening that I feel like I'm having so much less time to write every week, but yet again, I only have a few minutes left....sorry.
I miss snow. Send me pictures!


 From Madi's Mom:   Although she didn't have time to give us an update, we were able to confirm the time we get to SKYPE with her on Christmas.  YAY!!!! And she sent some photos.