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

Monday, April 2, 2018

Week 61 - April 2, 2018

In case any of you missed it, ONE OF THE NEW APOSTLES IS BRAZILIAN. YUSSSSSSS. Elder Soares will be amazing, and Elder Gong too, of course. The funny thing is that I got more excited than the actual Brazilians watching conference with me when Elder Soares was called. The fact that the Quorum of the Twelve is getting more and more diverse is so cool to me- what a blessing it is to be part of a worldwide church, where people from literally all nationalities and races and countries are working together for one great cause, the greatest cause that could ever exist, in fact.

What a marvelous conference we had, you guys. I recieved so much revelation and inspiration and felt the Spirit so strongly. General Conference is such an amazing blessing. I especially loved the music from the choir of young adults in the Saturday afternoon made me really miss singing in choir, haha. And how cool is it to have conference on Easter Sunday, what a perfect way to celebrate the life and sacrifice of our Savior. One of my favorite talks was Elder Uchtdorf's, when he said that the most importante day in the history of the world was the day that Christ overcame physical and spiritual death for us, and that the most important day in our personal lives is the day we learn to really understand the sacrifice He made, and what we need to do in return. I hope during these next few weeks- and months- as we reflect on the messages we heard (as our prophet asked us to do) that we can think more about what we can do to show our gratitude for the Lord's atoning sacrifice, what our own sacrifice can be.

We had a wonderfully busy week, running around trying to invite everyone we talked to General Conference. One of the investigators we brought to watch with us, Andriel, is only 11 years old. Pobrezinho, I was sure that he would get bored (I know I did when I was 11), but afterwards he said he loved it. This kid is awesome, we met him and his family door knocking a few weeks ago. As usual, we gave him a Book of Mormon and promised that he'd recieve an answer to know it's true if he prayed and asked; a few days later he saw us walking on the street and goes, "Hey, I still haven't recieved my answer!"  We were like, "Okay, well, did you read and ask?" He admitted that he still hadn't read, and now he says that as soon as he reads and gets an answer i it's true, he'll get baptized. 

Hope you all had a great week!
Sister Coleman

Monday, March 26, 2018

Week 60 - March 26, 2018

One more transfer has passed, both Sister Carlota and I are staying here in Areal, and I am now only 3 transfers away from coming home. The end is near and I am nowhere near prepared, but I am fully intent on making the best out of these last few months. Rio Grande do Sul ain't seen nothin' yet.

This week we had a number of cool experiences: We were saved from being mugged twice (long story, don't worry, we're fine....let's just say God really does protect His missionaries), a random man on the street asked for a Book of Mormon and for us to visit him (that never happens), and we somehow survived somehow survived all the streets flooding after this huge storm the other day. We've discovered that's it's quite common for the water on the street in Pelotas to reach up to the knee after the storms, so we're gonna have some fun times this winter. The bad thing is that we can't see where we're walking with so much muddy water; one elder in our district even stepped on a nail because of that I'll still be able to walk when this is over!

Ahhhhh, Easter and General Conference are this week!!!! Can you believe it! It feels like such a short time ago that we watched conference the last time, but I'm so excited to be able to hear the counsel of President Nelson and receive some answers. I hope we can all spiritually prepare ourselves to receive the guidance that we're needing in our life through the inspired words of our leaders. And I especially hope that we can all take time to reflect on the life and sacrifice of our Savior during this Easter season, and even more so, the sacrifice that He asks of us in return. A few scriptures from the Book of Mormon about Christ that I especially like:

Alma 7: 11-13
I Nephi 19: 9
Alma 9: 26-38

Love you all! Enjoy this splendid opportunity that we have to hear the words of a living prophet!

Sister Coleman

Monday, March 19, 2018

Week 59 - March 29, 2018

Before Baptism of Jaqueline and Wellington
We had some super excellent experiences this week. First, the baptisms of Jaqueline and Wellington, a 14 and 11 year old. These kids are so clever and I've grown to love them so much. All the elders before us were visiting them too, since about a year ago, but they never wanted to get baptized. They're in the process of being adopted by their aunt, who's a member and brings them to church every week. 

After Jacqueline and Wellington's Baptism

Jaqueline even went to Youth Conference and bore her testimony in sacrament meeting one of my first weeks in the area, but she still didn't want to get baptized. (????) Finally, last week we had a super spiritual lesson with them, and kind of out of nowhere they decided to be baptized. I cannot even express how happy I was, I can see SO MUCH potential in these kids, I am so sure that they will go on to do amazing things for the church and for their Savior, and I'm so blessed to be able to see the start of their journey on the gospel path. The baptism of Jaqueline was one of the most spiritual experiences I've had on my mission so far; I know it was a miracle from the Lord that they finally took this step. 

Sister Missionaries at Zone Conference
(Week 58 Update)

Also, my companion and I were asked to speak in sacrament meeting yesterday. I talked about the reasons why we have to share the gospel and why it's necessary for our exaltation. Sister Carlota talked about how sharing the gospel is our greatest expression of love for our Savior. Right after sacrament meeting, several members came right up to us and gave us some referrals of friends or neighbors that they wanted us to visit (I guess the talks worked, right?). These members are fantastic...I hope I'll be staying here for the next transfer! (Transfers are next week.)

Camily's Baptism
(Week 57 Update)

Side note: I found a little bakery here that sells amazing cupakes- the first time I've eaten cupcakes since I've been on my mission (they're super rare here since they're an American dessert). I also found a used book store downtown, where I bought a few of my favorite books in Portuguese to read after my mission. I'm so happy here, you guys!

Making S'Mores
(Week 58 Update)
Espero que todos vocês estejam bem. Continuem a ser exemplos por aqueles no seu redor, e sempre compartilhem o evangelho!!!  (I hope you all are well. Continue to be examples for those around you, and always share the gospel !!!)

Com amor,
Sister Coleman

After Alex and Márcia got married.
(Week 57 Update)

Márcia's Baptism
(Week 58 Update)

Baptism of Nores
(Week 58 Update)

Monday, March 12, 2018

Week 58 - March 12, 2018

Pelotas Zone

After an incredibly scorching hot week, it finally rained yesterday. Oh what a miracle. Sister Carlota got super cold and started shivering, she thought it was weird that I was so happy with the rain. But, seriously, when you walk in the heat all day every day, a little bit of cold is one of the best things that can happen. 

Also, we had two incredible baptisms this week! One was Márcia, the investigator that got married last week, and she was so incredibly smiley and excited the whole week, it was so heart-warming to see. We had a family night with her and her family on Friday, and I taught them how to make s'mores (they'd never eaten them before). When Márcia took the first bite, she goes, "This is so good! And so smart and easy! You win this time, America." 

The other baptism was a woman named Nores, who we've been working with for a good long while to overcome some addictions and personal problems. Her baptism was especially espiritual because you could really tell how ready she was to leave all those problems behind and be a new, clean person. I'm immensely happy for both of them.

We also had a Zone Conference this week, and in the middle I realized that I was the oldest sister (mission wise, not age wise) there. How weird is that, I still feel like I started my mission just a few months ago. :( 

At the end of the conference, President Cruz said something that really hit me. He told us that he wants every one of us to do our best and work our hardest and be obedient not just because he wants the mission to have success and such, but because he's made a personal promise that he'll go to the Celestial Kingdom with his family, and as his missionaries we've become part of his family. So he will be waiting to see us there too, hoping that we've put into practice everything he's tried to teach us. Aw, I love my mission president.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Coleman

Monday, March 5, 2018

Week 57 - March 5, 2018

This week was EXCELLENT! 

Two of our beloved investigators, Alex and Márcia, got married!!! They've been receiving visits from the missionaries for months, and they've been wanting to get baptized for a long time, but needed to wait to get legally married first. And they finally did, and it was so cute, and I'm so stinking happy for them. Even though they've been together for like 5 years and have kids and everything, Alex was so nervous before and during the wedding that he was trembling...I was kind of laughing at him the whole time. I've come to love them a lot. And Márcia even asked me to baptize her...of course I explained why I couldn't, but I've never wanted to be a priesthood holder so badly, haha.

One of our other investigators, this cute little girl Camily, got baptized this week too. She's been going to church for a awhile but never got baptized, and her baptism was super special because almost all the kids from primary went and gave her presents and hugged her afterwards. 

We also met this cute old man while door knocking who wanted me to talk to his daughter on the phone in English because apparently she lived in the US for awhile. 1) I learned how hard it's become for me to speak English. 2) While I was talking to her, I told her a little bit about missionaries and the church, and she said, "Teach my father. he's a good man, he just needs to accept Christ in his heart a little more." I was like, yep, that I can do. Very cool experience.

That's about it. Also this week was really stinking hot. I'm hoping autumn arrives as soon as possible.

Sister Coleman