27 October 2014

I will make weak things become strong unto them

     This week was a wee bit hard here in Embaré. We talked to a lot of people (although not as many as we should have) and a lot of appointments fell through and my companion was getting very disheartened. She said "We are talking to so many people and no one wants to listen. We marked a lot of appointmetns, but when we get there, they aren´t home. We are tired and it´s hard to keep going. We are doing so much, but nothing is happening." She is a little newer as a missionary and a recent convert too. I explained to her that sometimes we are going to have very very hard days, weeks, months or even years, but Heavenly Father is watching out for us. He knows we are doing hard work. He knows we´re tired, but He also knows how strong we are, and with Him, we are unstoppable. She gave a little smile and we kept walking. 
Intermediate English Class
with Sister Arthur
    The next day we had english class. We got there super early, hoping that someone would come early and want to hear about the gospel, but no one came until 4:57. That was okay, because at least they were excited to learn English. I love my class and it seems that because of them I am liking being an English teacher more and more every day. They are so excited to see me and they all call me "teacher." It´s adorable. I think my youngest student is 40 years old, but they all take me very seriously, because my English is so good. We had a few funny moments this past class. I had to talk to my companion briefly in Portuguese and when I turned my attention back to the class, they started giggling and whispering to each other "no, no just wait and see how long it takes her." I reflected while I continued to talk. What I was doing? Then I realized....I was accidentally speaking in Portuguese. One of my classmates (the smart alec of the class) said in his Brazilian accent "teacher, please speak English." We all laughed a lot about that.
     At the end of the class, I invited everyone to the baptism that would be happening a half hour after and as is the custom, everyone left immediately following english class. I was so happy when one of my students asked "Is it right to say ´I appreciate you?´ I said yes, because I think it is, but I´m not totally sure what´s right in English any more. She put her hand on my shoulder and said "I appreciate you very much." What a sweetheart!
     After everyone had left,  we talked to the Elders, who said that the same happened in their class. Only Luiz had stayed. Sister Tabraj and I had to go pick someone up with some members and arrived just as the baptism was about to start. We were so astonished when we entered and saw Maura (the one who appreciates me) and Oscar (a couple from my English class) sitting in the back of the room! They were talking to Elder Maia and looked very happy to be there. We sat next to them and they asked so many questions and loved the baptism and asked us if we would visit them to teach them what it is we are here to teach! It was amazing! I have never been happier to be American in my life! (I love being American, so that means I´m pretty darn happy.) Everyone had a great experience at the baptism! As missionaries we had a lot of "face-palm" moments, because the member directing the baptism turned it into a comedy act, but I know that when we are in the right place for the right reason with the intent to learn and have a spiritual experience, the Holy Spirit will whisper truth to our hearts and that is just what happened with those who came to see just "what is a Mormon baptism like?"
     Shortly after the baptism, my companion said " I guess I shouldn´t have been so quick to complain." He is always here to help us.
      Tonight, we are going to teach them about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

     This whole situation of teaching English....again...reminds me of a scripture, Ether 12: 27 "And if men come unto me wilshow unto them theirweaknessgive unto men weakness thathey may be humble;and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will make weak things become strong unto them.
     Teaching English was a weak thing that I hated and I used to hope for a reason to end the class....and according to my desires, people stopped showing up and I stopped teaching English. When I realized how much it could really help people to come unto Christ, I decided to give it a real effort. I told Heavenly Father that I don´t like teaching English, but if He wants me to teach it, I will give it my all and I will find a way to be happy. I know this promise found in Ether is true. I am not the world´s best english teacher, but look at what ´s happening!
     We have 31 students (basic and intermediate) and the members (who didn´t have much confidence in the missionaries when we got here) are impressed and people are coming unto Christ. In short, I love being American.
      I would tell you about all the other cool things that happened, but everyone probably already stopped reading half way through. Just kidding. Maybe.
I LOVE YOU! Remember! Your good efforts are not useless, even if you feel like you didn´t touch anyone´s heart.

Sister Arthur

21 October 2014

"Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up." ~Jesse Jackson

We started English class this week. There are a lot of excited people. I hope I can teach them well and keep them excited. Oh my goodness it was so much work! The elders don´t usually stay in our area, and my companion doesn´t speak English, so I had to do almost everything. It was exhausting, but it will pay off. Already, there was one man who said he´d been looking for an opportunity to get to know the church. English class was just a bonus. The elders are teaching him already and he came to church on Sunday. Luiz. He´s cool.

Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up ~Jesse Jackson
My companion and I were completely blown away when a member said that it was hard to integrate a recent convert, because she's of a lower class (we were both pretty offended by that one as well, because we don´t come from high society either...) After speaking with them about that they were much more helpful and loving. I think everyone needs a little reminder every once in a while, but it´s good to know that there are some people out there who actually change when they realize they are not doing what Heavenly Father wants. There is good everywhere we look. Sometimes it´s just a little disguised.

I remember we had a fireside about family history when I was in the youth program. Brother Whitney dressed up as one of his forefathers and talked about him as if he were this person. I will never forget the spirit that I felt as I watched. The people who have gone before us really have an effect on where we are and who we are. We don´t usually realize it, but literally without them, we wouldn´t be here. We are planning an activity to get everyone fired up about family history and we´re going to do a "Brother Whitney" theater piece to start it off and really get everyone feeling the Spirit of Elijah. I am so excited to show these people why it´s so important to do family history. I wish I´d been more diligent in doing this before the mission.

One hard thing. I'm still experiencing the broad shoulder curse...Every blouse I have ever owned has been too tight on the shoulders and the clothes I have are getting tired of all the stress on the shoulders. We're supposed to dress "professional." What´s worse is that I´m in Brazil and it´s almost summer, so modest clothing is almost impossible to find. Sorry about the rant, but this is really frustrating. Any suggestions?

It´s funny that most missionaries look forward to Pday. I´d rather skip it all together. It´s way more stressful than proselyting.

Sister Arthur

15 October 2014

2 Meter Tall Woman

Loved Ones,
This probably happens in marriage too....
sometimes you leave the house and
everyone looks at you funny and laughs
and comments on your clothing, asking if
you coordinated. Then  you look at each
other and wonder how you left the house
not knowing you were dressed the same.
This is a mild example, but it happens quite
 often that you´re pretty much twins with your
companion without knowing it. That´s life.

In a meeting with the bishop the bishop asked "Sister will you be singing in the mission´s musical fireside?"
"The lower voice, right?"
"haha. You can already tell?"
[that ward member that says everything he thinks] "Well, you don´t have the voice we´d typically expect from a girl like you. If we just heard your voice, we´d expect it came from a 2 meter tall woman."
That´s cool. 

We are having a really hard time finding people to teach, so we are trying to be really creative with our activities and have more opportunities to visit the church. So many people say "I wanted to visit, but the church is always closed when I walk by." It stinks, but nobody gets paid for their calling. Everyone, even the bishop, is  volunteer, so we as missionaries are trying to give more opportunities for people to stop by when the church isn´t usually open. I hope it works! We are excited to give tours and English class starting this week. The problem generally is that no one in our area actually lives here. We find a lot of people for other missionaries to teach, because everyone from the surrounding cities works in Santos. But we know, when there´s a will, there´s a way, so here we go with our will to find the way!

I am sending all of the pictures that I didn´t get to send last week! This week we went to an unsketchy LANhouse. I guess one thing I won´t miss is having to use public locations to communicate with my family.

Ana´s baptism. She has been going to church for over a year and her
two daughters are already members along with the rest of her family.
She just wasn´t ready yet. Well, the first
 Sunday that I was in
Ala Embaré her daughter talked to the elders who talked to us and
then we went to meet her and she said "my baptism is
 next Sunday."
We said "Oh, cool,what time?" She´s a very cool lady. Very busy.
She has a clothing store and she makes all of the clothing, which is really cool,
because it´s very hard to find modest clothes, so you just make em yourself!

My companion has been on the mission for 9 months
as of 9. Oct! It´s funny making little parties for the people
with less time than me now. We made chocolate covered
strawberries and apples, because it´s totally better than
cake. We discovered that it´s just about time that you
can´t make chocolate covered anything anymore,
because it´s getting too dang hot!
Speaking of too hot, we had to take a little break the
other day, because my companion was overheating,
but thanks to my amazing mom, I had Gatorade powder
on hand and we mixed it up and got on with our day.

The whacky American room for General Conference.
Our real-time English session ended way before
the one with Portuguese translation.....ya.

I have officially embraced my gringo-ness! Not that there was any hiding it...

ILOVE YOU! Have a great week and think of all the reasons you have to be happy!

Sister Arthur

07 October 2014


So I always write that my week was crazy, but this one was really really crazy. As always, it was crazy in a good way. Did I mention we are serving in President Cabral´s ward? But he´s cool and he´s always traveling, so basically it´s normal.
     We are planning up a super english class! It´s really hard to find people to teach here, so we are trying to be creative in finding ways to be able to share the gospel with them! Maybe teaching english isn´t so horrible any more. I picked the advanced level! We are hoping to be able to teach advanced and basic. The other American, Elder Stokes, is way cool.
Okay, that was asa far as I got last week. SOrry! But I have to tell you about this week, because it just literally blew my mind!
GENERAL CONFERENCE! OH MY GOSH! I LOVE GOD SO MUCH! I know that He listens to us and hears our pleas when we pray. He answers us when we read the scriptures and listen to the words of His servants. He is so merciful and I´m sorry I didn´t advise everyone in advance to watch conference, but there ´s still time. You can find the recordings at! It´s such an amazing opportunity. I´m so sad for all the people we invited that didn´t come, because the speakers specifically addressed their concerns, but I´m also so happy for the people who came and saw for themselves that the prophet is a servant of God.
Here are some of my favorite things that were said in the conference. I wish I could write them all, but it´s better if you just watch it yourself. Also! I had the great blessing of watching almost all of conference in English. I love to speak other languages, but some things you just have to hear in your own language. Conference is one of them.
President Henry B. Iring: Human judgment and logical thinking are not enough to guide us in this world today. We need a constant stream of continuing revelation." SO TRUE!
My life has taken so many different turns because of answers to prayers. These answers are my personal revelation. It is by small and simple means that great things are brought to pass. This conference I receieved many answers to my prayers and I know that these men are called of God to guide us in these latter days. The scriptures are such powerful tools. If you doubt it, just give it a try, but not just any try will do. God answers the earnest seeker of truth. He knows our hearts and will give liberally to those who truly seek to find Him.

Elder Jeffry R. Holland: Bless the poor. 
Sister Tabraj and I were concerned about how the members of the ward would respond to someone who we were bringing to conference. He lives on the street and the people who live in this area are better off than most. We didn´t want him to feel unwelcome. He didn´t end up coming this week, but when he does, we know that the members will remember these words of the Apostle of the Lord.

Elder Neil L. Anderson concerning many of the false informations pertaining to the prophet Joseph Smith: Internet information does not have a truth filter.
Joseph Smith was told that his "name would be spoken of for both good and evil among all nations." Today, there are many lies written and spoken about Joseph Smith. It´s true. The internet doesn´t have a truth filter. The only way to know for sure that he was a good man called of God is to ask God Himself. He cannot lie.
Lest we think she lost her silly side...If I check the
Missao Brasil Santos FB page enough I can find
funny things that lift my spirit...that is where all
of this week's pics are from.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson: The responsibility is ours. God does not save us exactly as we are. No unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God. Christ suffered for our sins, but the responsibility is ours to repent and become clean.
Many people think "God loves us all, so it doesn´t really matter what I do. He will forgive me in the end." It´s absolutely true that God loves us.He wants us to be happy. He wants us to return to live with Him, but  no unclean thing can dwell  in the presence of God. He has already shown us the way and given us everything we need to be happy and to return to Him. We need to take responsibility for ourselves and follow these instructions.

Also, Elder David A. Bednar shared the reason for why we are so eager to share what we have with you! Maybe we are awkward or abrupt or just plain old can´t get the words out straight, but that´s just because we´re human.  He explained that when we find a cure for a pain we are feeling, physical or spiritual, we automatically want to share what has helped us. This is why we literally share what we know with anyone who will listen. The gospel of Jesus Christ, complete and true exists again. God still calls prophets to guide us and direct us. Jesus Christ is our Savior and He lives.
Okay, so this isn´t even close to all of my favorite things. If I had all day to write, I would, but you wouldn´t read it all, so I will say again : Go watch conference, in your native language. If you already watched it, watch it again!
Yup. Still Karynne ;)
I have some sweet pictures from this week, including the baptism of Ana, but this LANhouse is way sketchy, so I´m going to hold off a week.
I love you! Have an amazing week, and don´t forget to put into practice all the things that you learned in conference! That´s the only way it will make a difference!


Sister Arthur