Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 30 - August 27, 2017

Olá família e amigos! Today was transfers again (for some reason that I'm not aware of, this transfer was only 5 weeks instead of 6). Sister N. Souza was transferred, and I received a new companion, Sister Silva. We met about 5 minutes ago, so all I know about her is that she's been out for almost a year and she's from Recife. I am crazy happy that I'll be staying in Dom Pedrito- if I could choose, I'd stay here a good while longer.

This week was super good. We had a family night with a family of investigators; we played a game where, if you lose, everybody else gets to draw on your face with lipstick. We ended up walking home that night with the lipstick still on our face...luckily not many people were on the street and it was dark outside, but the looks from the people that did see us were pretty funny.

For the first (and last) time in my entire mission, I forgot my nametag one day this week. We were rushing early in the morning to catch the bus to go to our district meeting, and I completely forgot to put it on. I know, I'm a terrible missionary. Of course this just happened to be the district meeting that our mission president showed up to as well. I thought I was gonna die- everyone talks about how angry he gets when missionaries break rules, even the smallest ones. But luckily he just joked with me about it and told me to not forget again. 

A cool experience that I had this week: we have a 15 year old investigator, Vitória, who asked was asking us a bunch of questions of what it was like to be a missionary. What we had to leave behind, how we stayed in touch with our families. And then she asked, "Was it hard to go on a mission?" That made me stop and think about all the difficulties I've passed through so far. The pain of saying goodbye to my family at the airport. The many tears at the MTC. The heat and the cold and bugbites and sunburns. The exhaustion at the end of every day. The goodbyes when being transferred. The sadness when you watch people walk away from the blessings of this gospel and the potencial happiness they could have. And yet, with all of that, I didn't have to hesitate to say to her, "No, it wasn't. I know I needed to come here."

That's about it for this week. I'm continuing to LOVE what I'm doing, and hope you're all happy as well.
Sister Coleman

We just get the photos without any explanation.  I would assume that the pictures of the animals are from when she visited the Bishop's home several weeks ago.  The other sister in her pictures are of Sister Souza, the companion that just got transferred out of the area.  I am assuming the apartment pictures is her current apartment.  You guess is as good as mine on the rest.  But she looks beautiful and sounds so happy!!! - Tiffaney

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 29 - August 21, 2017

News for this week! A new bishop was called this Sunday in the Dom Pedrito Ward. Bispo Fernando has only been a member for 4 years, but he's a very kind and hard-working man, so we're excited to see how this ward can grow and strengthen with his help. He's also super willing to help with missionary work, which will be great.

This week we had a cool experience with a new investigator. His name is WIlliam, and he's about 17 or 18 years old. At the end of our lesson (the Plan of Salvation), we asked if he had any questions or doubts. He said, "Just one. How do you know all of this is true?" I think that's the first time anyone has asked me that. So of course we went on to talk a little more about our testimonies and how he, too, could know it was true if he prayed and asked. He was like, "Alright, I can do that." So, of course, we're super excited to continue working with him!!

Also, Feliz Aniversário to President Monson! I was reading an article in the Liahona the other day about his life and everything he's done in his callings in the church. It made me realize how much we take it for granted that we have so many people willing to dedicate their entire lives to the cause of the gospel and to service in the church, and of course, how fortunate we are to live in a time with a living prophet. 

In fact, I've been thinking a lot about all the things I've taken for granted as a member of the church. Since I've grown up with the gospel, things like baptism and the Book of Mormon and a living prophet and the blessings of an eternal family- all huge, life-changing things- have always surrounded me, so they felt like ordinary things. I'm eternally grateful for my mission for a million reasons, but one of the greatest being for how it's made me more grateful for the gospel in my life. Meeting more and more people who've never had the opportunity to have these blessings makes me realize how valuable they are. I'm also so humbled to meet the members here in Brazil. The great majority of them are converts, and they don't waste a single day talking about how grateful they are for the missionaries that brought them the gospel and for the blessings they have now because of it. 

So my challenge for all of you today: Think for a moment about how blessed you are. Think about the amount of people who've never even heard of, much less recieved, the blessings that we have as members of the church. And pray that those people can have the opportunity to encounter these blessings.

I love this gospel, and I love my Savior.
Sister Coleman

Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 28 - August 14, 2017

This week we had splits...again! I went to Bagé, a nearby city, to stay with Sister Cirqueira, another Brazilian. She is amazing, and I hope she's my actual companion one day. She also makes the best hot chocolate I've ever tasted in my life, which I will for sure be making frequently when I get home.

This week has also been one of the most rainy so far. In fact the house where I was staying in Bagé lost power while we were sleeping because of the storm, which means I had to take a shower in the dark in freezing cold times, you guys. When I returned to Dom was still raining. And has been for days. I don't mind working in the rain, but the problem is that no one seems to leave their house when it's raining (which means much less people go to church), and also no one answers their door, which makes it super hard to visit people. So a large part of our rainy days are spent walking all over the city, knocking on doors (or clapping our hands, in truth), until someone answers and lets us in. Everybody says we're crazy for working in the rain, but the work of the Lord doesn't stop, right?

Hope everyone's enjoying the warm summer weather in the US! 

Sister Coleman

Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 27 - August 7, 2017

I am continuing to adore this area and to love my companion, so things are going pretty well. This week a lot of our commitments fell through because almost none of our investigators were home...even though we tried at each house about 3 times this week. But, it's all good, because it gave us the opportunity to knock on a lot of doors and meet a lot of new people, so we have high hopes for this coming week.

This past week we also ate lunch at house of the Bishop, who lives on a farm. So we got to spend some time with horses and sheep and pigs and such, which was pretty cool. 

A little miracle that happened as well: we fasted that we could find someone to help get baptized this transfer, and this Sunday, two members came up to us and gave us references for friends of theirs that they want us to visit- friends that are passing through hard times that are really needing the gospel in their lives. We're super excited to work with these references and hope that they're an answer to our fast (because it's super rare here for members to give out references like that).

As of tomorrow, I will have been out on the mission for 6 MONTHS. That's crazy. Only a year left you guys. But I'm loving every moment and plan to make the most of this next year.

Sister Coleman