Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 21 - June 26, 2017

Good news: The weather this week was fantastic. No rain, perfect temperatures. Beautiful. Bad news: That probably means this next week will be horrid, because that seems to be how the weather here functions.

Not a lot out of the ordinary happened this week. J., the investigator that I was positive would be baptized, seems much less certain/excited about baptism now, and is also kind of avoiding us, which is super, super worrying. I'm praying crazy hard that he'll come around and continue with the desire to be baptized. Other than him, we only have two other investigators that really have the desire, but they both need to get married, which is a crazy long process here. All the other people we're meeting are good people...but don't really want to be baptized. Why people don't want to gain eternal salvation, I don't really know. But I'm trying to do everything in my power to improve as a missionary so that the Spirit can work through me and help people have that desire. 

A few funny things that happened this week: My companion, who is trying to learn English, wrote some sentances in English and afterwards had me help her correct them. One of them said "I need marriage me," meaning I need to get married. It's super understandable why she wrote it like that because it's phrased super differently in Portuguese, but I couldn't stop laughing. Also, fun fact for the day, Portuguese has two different words for snot, depending on if it's green (catarro) or clear (ranho). So that's what I'm learning here, what about you guys?

Love and miss you all!
Sister Coleman

Monday, June 19, 2017

Week 20 - June 19, 2017

OLÁ de São Jerônimo!

This week was pretty darn fantastic. We had a branch activity (that we planned) on Thursday where we played games using the scriptures. Sounds lame saying that out loud, but it actually turned out great and the members got really into it. We also had a whopping attendance of 12 people- which also sounds really lame, but considering the average attendance for activities is 4 or 5 members, it was a miracle. 

Also, this girl that we helped reactivate a few weeks ago, D., is preparing to go on a mission at the end of the year. I know it wasn't an easy decision for her because her family isn't super strong in the church and there haven't been any other youth to go on missions from this branch in like 30 years- so she's full on relying on her personal testimony. She's such an inspiration to me, and I'm low key hoping she gets called to North Carolina so I can see her when I get home :)

This week has also been a lot lighter on the rain and a the temperatures have been rising just a little- enough that the weather was absolutely perfect all week. I'm hoping that continues...but from what people say about fall and winter here in the past, it's doubtful.

Other than that, it's been a fairly normal week. So I'll just end here with possibly my favorite scripture of all time. 
Moroni 8:16- "For perfect love casteth out all fear."

Like seriously, how perfect is that? And it applies to everything on my mission and in our lives otherwise. There's no reason I should be nervous to talk to a stranger on the street or invite someone to be baptized or tell someone that they need to repent of something, because if I really love them (and if I really love my Savior), I know that those things can only help them. I know that this gospel will give them everything they need in this life, and my own personal fears should never get in the way of that.

This also greatly applies to repentance. I've made some hecka big mistakes in my life, and confessing and repenting of them was something that took a lot of time and a lot of courage, because I was afraid to face the consequences. But: perfect love casteth out all fear. I love the people I'm teaching, so I know I need to be worthy in order to be led by the Spirit to help them. I love my life, so I want to live it the best I can, which means without sins weighing me down. I love my family, so I want to live with them forever, which means being worthy to be in an eternal family. I love this gospel, which means I'll live it. And, most importantly, I love my Savior, which means I'll show gratitude for His atoning sacrifice and try harder to be a better person so I can live with Him and my Father in Heaven one day.

Love yourself, your family, and your Savior enough to be the best person you can be!

Todo do amor,
Sister Coleman

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Week 19 - June 12, 2017

This week has been pretty good. Sister Ribeiro and I are still figuring out how to function as a companionship, but she has a lot of good ideas about strengthen the branch here and help it grow, as well as how to find new people to teach. 

Also, we have another companionship living in our house for the moment. They're working in the next city over, which already has one companionship, but the house of the sisters there is super tiny. So, until someone can find another house or apartment for them to live in, we'll have 4 sisters living in our house. Which is a little complicated when it comes to showering and getting ready in the morning because we only have one shower with warm water...but we're figuring it out.

The rain and cold are continuing here stronger than ever. Part of our area includes a city across the River Jacuí, which you have to take a boat to get to. When the rain is super strong, the boat doesn't run, so we can't visit our investigators over there. Which is super bad, because apparently it rains here basically all winter. 

Other than that, this week has been pretty normal. J (the investigator that is super close to baptism) didn't come to church yesterday because he had to work, but I'm praying super hard that he'll come next Sunday so that he can be baptized the following Saturday. 

As for my Portuguese, it's a lot easier than it was in the beginning of course, but I'm not gonna lie, it's freaking hard. Since Sister Ribeiro is a native speaker, she's been helping me a lot, but the freaking subjunctive tenses will be the death of me.

I don't really have anything else to update you guys on....hope everyone has a fantastic week!
Este evangelho é verdadeiro e Deus ama cada um se vocês. (This gospel is true and God loves each one of you.)

Sister Coleman

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Week 18 - June 6, 2017

So this week has been a little crazy. First off, it's been raining super hard, enough that some areas of the city have flooded. We actually have a family in the branch living in the chapel because their house was flooded. 

Secondly, transfers were yesterday. I'm staying here in São Jerônimo, but Sister Suárez was transferred :( Luckily, she's staying the same district, so I'll still see her almost every week, but I'll miss having her as a companion. I've learned so much from her and I'm incredibly grateful for the time I had with her as my companion. My new companion, Sister Ribeiro, seems pretty nice and I can tell she's a super good missionary. She's from Recife, Brasil and has been on her mission for 9 months.

This Sunday was a Sunday of miracles. We have one investigator, Jorge, that we'e been working with for forever. The past 4 or 5 companionships before me worked with him too, because he's the husband of a member. But for all that time, he never went to church, so we never got baptized. Finally, this Sunday, HE WENT TO CHURCH! This may seem like a tiny thing, but to me it really is a miracle. I feel so strongly that he'll be baptized soon- I can tell that he is a very special spirit with so much potencial, and I want more than anything for him to be baptized. Pray for him! And for us, that we can know what to do to help him feel prepared.

That's pretty much all for this week. I want my update with my testimony that this gospel brings indescribable happiness to our lives. Despite the constant changes and frequent let downs I've experienced here, I've rarely been happier. I am so certain that this gospel is true. 

"More happines awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among [God's] children." -First Presidency Message, PMG

Amo vocês! Tenha uma ótima semana!
Sister Coleman