25 August 2014

I just want to go around filming everyone to be able to hear all their stories!

If there were a competition for most
creative letter, Yevette Crapo wins!

I am so loved by my Exeter Ward family!
I´m just sorry I don´t get to write everyone
as quickly as I´d like
Dear Everyone,
     Wow this week has been incredible with experiences from every end of the spectrum. The first that I would like to share is just plain old funny. Sister Andrade and I were walking at night by the canal when we both felt we needed to go back and talk to a guy we had passed, so we went back and he started asking a bunch of questions. 
     First he asked " Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross and resurrected in the third day?" Of course! 
     "and do you believe that He spilt His blood so that we can be cleansed from sin?"
     "Hmm. That´s funny. The other Mormons I talked with said they didn´t." 
I think he was confused, but he said that´s good to know, because now he will at least know to tell the people that it´s not true. We talked a lot about what we believe and he told us that we´ve never received the gift of the Holy Ghost, because we´ve never spoken in strange languages and I was like "I´m doing it right now!" He didn´t want to hear it, but he was at least polite. When we had concluded the conversation, I asked if we could say a prayer together and he said
 "Sorry, my pastor doesn´t permit anyone who is not of our faith to put their hands upon my head." I backed up and said
     "No, I´m not going to put my hands on you. I just wanted to offer a prayer." 
He looked a little exasperated. Anyways, we didn´t pray, but It´s all good. We left him with some pamphlets, because he said he wanted to read more, but that his wife would be jealous if we went to teach his family. Sister Andrade and I walked away wondering what the heck just happened.

     We are doing a project called " I am Mormon and I Love Pastel (some kind of fastfood..ish´s like a fried pocked filled with stuff.)"
It´s so cool! We are using the ideas of the I am Mormon videos found of Our members are making their own and we missionaries are going around helping those who don´t have the means or know-how to make a video. 
Irmã Guarino!
    We started last night with Sister Guarino. We asked her why she is Mormon. She then proceeded to tell us the story of her conversion and how the church truly brought her family together, even her husband who never wanted to be baptised. It was such a beautiful story and I love this lady so much! What a trooper! Now I just want to go around filming everyone to be able to hear all their stories! When we finished, we showed her the video and she was so happy! She thanked us and said "Nobody´s ever done something like this for me!" For us it was simple, push a button, but it made such a big difference for her. 
     I told her she needs to write her conversion story, because she is the pioneer of her family. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren will want to hear this story! I just recently got my family´s conversion story from my grandmother! I will share it another day, but it´s so special to see that the seemingly small efforts of those who are dedicated to the service of the Lord really make a big difference in the lives of more than just that one person.

Really Big Tree
     I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I know that He died for me, so that I can return to live with Him and with my Heavenly Father after this life. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
     Have a great week! SMILE ALL THE TIME! It´s not just good for you, but when people see that others are happy, they know it is possible!

Sister Arthur

18 August 2014

Share what, to you, is most Precious...

This week in Ponta da Praia:
     Preparing the whole city for the visit of Elder Holland! We´ve been visiting lots of members and non-members and everyone under the sun to invite them to hear the apostle Elder Holland speak tomorrow! SO COOL! Before the mission I didn´t fully realize the importance of seeing an apostle, and I´m not sure it´s really something that you can explain to someone. You kind of have to understand because of your own experiences and preparation, but I know that God calls prophets and apostles today to lead and guide us here on the earth, so that we can be prepared to meet our Father in Heaven when we leave this earth. I am so excited to be able to meet Elder Holland.
     Coolest thing that happened this week was that we met Larissa. She´s so cool! She said she thinks there are other prophets who wrote like in the Bible that weren´t included (totally true, even aside from the Book of Mormon) and that religion and science shouldn´t fight against each other, because they actually complement each other (also totally true)! We taught her about the Restoration and the prophet Joseph Smith. She said Joseph must have been a "Nota dez," or a 10. That was pretty funny, but she is so cool! We talked about how a baptism has to be done with the priesthood authority of God and she said "I´ve always wanted a true baptism." She´s really searching for the truth and I am so excited to be able to continue teaching her.  You know how we got to meet her? Because a member of the church, Brother Moraes, showed kindness. He offered a ride, because she was trying to find a way to get home. Then, he shared with her what, to him, is most precious. THE GOSPEL! Brother Moraes gave her a pass along card and talked a little about what he believes. He then asked if she would like to learn more from the missionaries, and she accepted. It is amazing the lives you can touch when you simply share what is important to you.
     We met another person who was very...interesting...and totally anti American. He wasn´t rude, but he was very concerned that I didn´t know that the US wants to own the whole world. He was a very interesting character. I´ve never heard an accent quite like this one. He was raised in Brazil and then moved to LA. Imagine a brazilianLA accent. Done. It was cool to hear him speak English. My companion, Sister Andrade, understands a lot of English, but got a little lost with the accent.
Me & Sister Andrade in our apartment
      Speaking of Sister Andrade, OH MY GOODNESS SHE IS AMAZING! Coolest, hardest worker in the world. My mom said she looks timid. Yes, she looks timid, but in reality, I am the timid one next to her, because she is never afraid to open her mouth. She is so creative too! We have an area full of apartment buildings (super fancy ones, normal ones, suare ones, round ones, tall ones, short ones, you name it) and this requires a lot of creativity, because it´s literally a lot harder to get to the people. 
    We are teaching English again, but it´s much better this time. I might even start to like it. We are doing so many cool activities to get the members involved in the work and invite their friends. I will tell you more about it next time. This letter is getting long.
     I just want to leave my testimony that I know this is the Lord´s work and that when He is with us, we cannot fail. I love you! Have an amazing week!

Sister Arthur

12 August 2014

An amazing blessing August 11, 2014

This is a wonderful woman whom we reactivated. She is amazing. She´s the one whos dad left the hospital and she snuck up on us in the street and totally made our day! She made us pillows, so we will always remember her.
     Pretty much everyone already said goodbye when we said transfers were coming. We were like "but we don´t even know who goes and who stays yet...." and they were all "It was nice knowing you..." Well, President is in the habit of having the transfer on Monday instead of Tuesday. Last night I got a call asking "are you at home?" Why would I be at home? It´s 6:30 Sunday night. Obviously I´m trying to be productive. "Are your suitcases packed?" What the heck? "Because you´re leaving tomorrow...early." Oh. "You didn´t know?" No. "Oh." Where am I going? "I can´t tell you. Your zone leader has to tell you." Long story short, The zone leader didn´t even know the transfer yet, so the secretary told me I was being transferred to Ponto da Praia in Santos.
My new companion! Sister Andrade
We look better in real life. This was just a quick shot to
show you who she is.
     On Saturday we went to see Bruno in the hospital after choir practice. Oh my goodness what a trip! We went there and they told us that we couldn´t see him until 3, but his mom had told us it started at 1. Then she said. Just wait until 3, show me your document and then you can go see him. Document? Well, I had mine (my dad already bugged me enough at home that I try to always have something to identify myself with), but Sister Medrano didn´t have any identification, because they told her if she lost the foreigners identification, she´d have a big problem. So, what could we do? Emergency exchange? We decided it would be better to go home 91.5 hours on the bus) and try to work things out after we both had adequate identification. We got home and talked with pretty much every member of the chruch with a car. Finally, we went to Ednaldo´s house and explained the situation. He was like "okay, let´s go." His wife fed us dinner (BONUS) and we headed out! We only got to see him for 20 minutes, because he can only have 2 visitors at a time, but we were all so happy! It literally took all day, but after every appointment we had fell through, we decided he is totally worth it to go back, even if it´s not that long. It seems like the doctors are finally finding a solution to the problem! He´s been sick for 8 years and ususally has such bad pain hat he doesn´t leave the house, so this turning out to be an amazing blessing. We just keep praying every day that the doctors will be able to fix it so he can have a normal life. I hesitate to use the word normal, because he´s way too awesome to be considered normal.
     Yesterday our ward mission leader got released and I got transferred. This morning he knocked on our door at 6:30 to show us a slideshow he made to thank us for the work we did. He´s so cool!
     I hope everyone is having a great week! SMILE! Congratulations to the Stormin´ Mormons in the Spartan race! You guys are awesome! I´m so in next year.

Sister Arthur
Sometimes we get crazy winds in our area
...and I was playing with the camera settings.
We look like zombies for real.

07 August 2014

Blessings Promised August 4, 2014

We lost power...just us, so we bought some candles
and continued with our studies and planning.
Sister Cabral, não tive tempo para escrever nas duas linguas, mas isso é de Sister Medrano e eu.


All the Other People Who Will Read This, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! AND SO LOVED!

This week we received a phone call from our district leader who informed us that President Cabral challenged our zone to baptise one more person before the end of the month (the following day). This was at 6 pm. He said, we were the only ones who had someone ready, so we ran to the bishop´s house to ask for his help. He offered anything we needed and we tried to call her to challenge her to be baptised the next day, but she didn´t answer, so we ran to our ward mission leader´s house where we called again and she answered and accepted and her mom approved and we organized it all then and there and had a baptism the next day. We have been working with her since I got here (3 months ago) and she was finally ready! 
Batismo de Leticia
     Our mission president told us that if we completed this challenge, we would see many miracles before the end of the transfer. Are you ready?
     The next day the elders called to tell us that a woman stopped them in the street and asked them to go teach a lesson in her house. They went and asked her to pray to ask if what they had taught was true. She said "I don´t need to ask. I already know, because before I ran into you two I had asked God to show me which church was true. I saw you and I already knew." She is getting baptised on Sunday and the missionaries in other areas (including myself and SIster Medrano) are teaching her adult children and grandchildren who have also accepted the gospel.
      We turned the corner and stopped to talk with Bruno who was baptised last week. He has been looking for a good doctor for a long time and some members of the church helped him find someone who will be able to help. While we were talking, someone put their hands over my eyes and I had absolutely no idea who it was.
     I turned around to see Salome! Salome is an amazing woman who is returning to activity in the church. We had been visiting her and loving her and her family and then she disappeared. Her family said she was spending every night at the hospital in Santos with her father who was very sick. She told us that he´d left the hospital and she´d gotten all the cards and notes we´d been leaving for her and she´d be inviting us over soon. He was in the hospital for a month and had just been sent home.
      We went with the elders to teach the family of the woman who´d stopped them in the street. They said they´d prayed about the message and knew it was true. They accepted baptism, but need to get married to be worthy to be baptised. They were already planning to be married next year, but are praying to know if they should be married this month. They have a beautiful family.
It´s only been four days.... that´s all I have to say about that.

Sister Medrano is now fully trained! What does that mean? We have another hour each day to work in the Lord´s Vineyeard.

I have been gone for nine months! I bet you didn´t even realize it´s been so long. I sure didn´t.
(Happy 9 Months)
What? This is pretty much impossible.
I don´t believe it one bit.
I thought by 9 months I would already be a good missionary,
but I just do my best to improve every day.
I leave the rest in the Lord's hands.

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. There are hard days, there are happy days, there are days that you just don´t know what to think, but they´re all good days, because we are in the service of the Lord and I know He is protecting my loved ones at home.


Have an amazing week and don´t forget that true faith works miracles, but "faith without works is dead in itself (James 2:17)"

Sister Arthur