Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I love the work I am doing & I know Chist was ressurected!

(Sister Courtney Smith)
Well as far as the week goes it was not super super exciting as far as lessons we taught but you know what it was a really good week for us to organize our plans and update a lot of the work that has been done in the past. It´s the last week of the transfer and I know Sister Sousa will be leaving me because she has been here for 4 transfers!!! It´s so cool because that´s how I was in Viseu my first area :) She reminds me a lot of me!
Well I think one of the biggest miracle we saw this week was in a young man named José Mario. Soooo two weeks ago I ask Garrett (my younger brother) to send his testimony in the form of a letter to José Mario because he is 15 years old and reminds me soooooo much of Garrett haha well anyways he isn´t really keeping his commitments and we got kind of sad because trying to motivate a young man to read the scriptures is kind of hard when the world tells you that playing football or video games is a lot more fun and convenient! hahaha So we watched the movie "how great a treasure." Something like that that shows two stories of how the lives of these men changed because of the Book of Mormon. José Mario is very intelligent and understands profound deep things very easily he is gifted but yet he is still young so it´s hard for him to put the value in things and prioritize his time. hahaha well after the movie he explained that the book must be important, I pulled out Garrett's letter and I translated what he wrote, man José Mario was so intrigued that my brother from the United States would personally write him a letter and tell him how much the book of mormon and church meant to him. José Mario was so happy because he actually speaks some English, so I gave him the letter and the picture of Joseph Smith that Garrett sent me and he read in English "who is your hero?" and I bore testimony that Garrett really did gain a testimony of Joseph Smith because he put sometime aside to see if it was true and I know that my brother was able to recieve the knowledge for him self. It was a neat experience for me to feel the love I have for my Brother and what a help his testimony was in our lesson. We have been trying to get him to come to church for weeks now but he likes to sleep in like every other teenager.. well we asked him if he would take my brother´s challenge to read the Book of Mormon and give going to church a chance. He said very quickly yes!!!! We were so surprised with how touched he was and how inspired. It's very clear that the young people just need help from other young people! Anyways Sunday comes around and we combined to go to their house to pick them up in the morning well when we got there no one answered the door or the cell phone. we were a little sad because we were so excited for him to get to know the church (he never had been to a normal church just a cult). So we went to church without him... man i was so sad because he said he´d give it a chance. In our class I prayed to God that he would help one of our investigators come because we really worked hard this week inviting a lot of people to come to church with us. Well sacrament meeting started and we took the sacrament and still no one came. After the first talk all of the sudden a member tapped my shoulder and I turned around to see José mario and his mom Ana Paula walking through the door. I was so shocked that he came!!!! I felt something hit my heart so hard I knew that it was a blessing and a miracle from God :) everyone at church was so happy to meet him and the two young men we have were so excited that another was there too! They shook his hand and started playing soccer with him!!! Man these jovens really know how to include others!! I was so impressed we didn't even have to ask them to! Then we went to the baptismal font and showed him the clothes! One of the members came up to him and asked well are you going to be baptized soon? Sister Sousa said nahhhh we are just showing him how it works, then all of the sudden José mario said yeah I think so! :) We were so happy for him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His mom asked him well what do you think do you want to come back next week? and he said I´d like to! He just didn't know what it was like and was nervous it would be weird. But once he saw how normal it is he really enjoyed it! We are super excited for him and are excited to start teaching with the young men at church :) I felt so much love from God in that moment I can´t even explain!!! I am so thankful for these experiences I´m having on my mission to teach me God is really there and answers our prayers. He knows each one of us and Know what we need :)

We also had a zone conference with President Amorim. Wow I don´t really have a whole lot of words to describe the conference because it was the best one yet! We talked a lot about chapter6 in preach my gospel which reviews the attributes of Christ. It was such an amazing experience to really think and discuss of why the attributes of Christ are so important in our lives. We reviewed and read the last supper and what happened that night. I felt so much love for Jesus and what he did for me. I know that as I strive to become more like him the more happiness I will have in my life. We really are seeing so many little miracles! I´ve really been pushing my self to talk to more people and inviting more people to get to know our message and our church. Wow the day becomes much more exciting when you really look for all the little opportunities to talk to people. We actually met the aunt of a member in my last area (Foz) it was a miracle and hopefully we will be able to teach her this week :) God really leads us to those who he wants. It was really good to see a lot of missionaries from old areas and to say goodbye to some that are leaving this week! I still can´t believe that the end is coming!!!! I just feel like I want to stay here for another 6 months!!! We got to visit sea life its an aquarium with some cool animals!!! It was pretty fun but to be honest the one in Utah is 10 times better 🙈🙊🙊 theres also a picture of my district it´s a good one! Elder Jones will be going home with me so I won´t be alone whooohoo!! I love the work we are doing and I love sharing the love of Christ with others. It´s the most valuable thing I could do with my life and time. I love you guys a lot! I hope you share the gospel with those who need it! Stay safe and have a good week! 

(Sister Makelle Smith) 
This week was pretty normal.
We went to the centro for some appointments this week so 
we didn't have a whole lot of time to find new people. But we taught Romulo who is progressing and wanting to be baptized!!! Also we taught Robert who is going strong for his baptism date in August! We taught a new investigator Rejinaldo. He is a husband of a member and has been going to church for a year, but always didn't really like the elders because he is a policeman. Haha he likes us a lot! He has a lot of doubts about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We are super excited to invite him to exercise the Faith that he has in Christ to know that this is his restored gospel on the earth today! We had our ward Festa de Junina which is basically a cowboy/hillbilly party. They all dress like country people with plaid shirts and we eat things with peanuts, pinhão, candica, corn, cake. It was a super fun party!! They do a huge square dance. There were a ton of investigators there, super fun!! Ive been learning a lot this week about oração do coração! Which means we need to put our heart in our prayers. I have been trying to make my prayers more meaningful and really try to picture as if God was there talking with me. I know that God exists and is real, he listens to our prayers and is wanting to converse with us. He LOVES to hear from us and what is happening in our lives, he TRULY does understand the things that we are passing through and knows exactly how to help us. I have also been learning a lot about the Resurrection of Christ. I read a conference talk this week and i have learned that the resurrection what a miracle. That there have been more that 500 witnesses that Christ is alive only in Jerusalem. But also all of the Nephite people, Joseph Smith, and our Actual Prophets and Apostles. I know that Christ resurrected and that is a fact that I know in my heart. Christ fulfilled what he said he would do. And truly because of the resurrection the rest of the promises made by him and his servants will all come to pass and will be made true to us!!
My FAMILY is ETERNAL, this literally is the biggest blessing and promise that has been made to me as long as I am faithful!! I love this mission and this gospel!! Have a great week!

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