Monday, October 31, 2016

Sunshine in My Soul!

Sis. Souza, Ana Maria (found her spot this week:), and Ava at São Paulo Temple

We have a teaching pool! A few weeks ago someone named Filipe called us and said, "So..we met in front of Espirito Santo (that massive catholic church that everyone frequents in our area) and I wanted to know why you guys never passed by?" I could not for the life of me remember who Filipe was, but that sure didn't stop us from marking a lesson!

I couldn't believe it! A few days later we showed up to his house with Irmao Emerson and when he saw us with our name tags, he froze..."You're not Luana..," he said. We still have no idea how he got our number, but apparently he was trying to bring back a menos activo from his youth group at the Espirito Santo and somehow ended up calling the missionaries...whoops! But he still let us and try to teach him a lesson. Didn't go too well. He was super uncomfortable the whole time. BUT Irmao Emerson, the young men president, invited him to play fútbol Thursday night and we left.

Thursday night we are teaching Bel and Filipe calls! He says, "I'm here at your church, but there is no one here.." WHAT IN THE WORLD? HE ACTUALLY SHOWED UP?  We left Bel and ran to the chapel, only to find him in the church talking about doctrine with Bispo and 3 other irmaos. He was FILLED with questions and said he would come to church on Sunday! And he came!

Only problem is he looked up every single anti Mormon site on the internet and confronted us with a TON of questions. We marked a lesson with him at the home of Irmao Miranda, the member who gave Ana Maria as a reference. Irmao Miranda knows everything about the Bible, church history, the organizational functions of the church, and was PERFECT to resolve Filipe's doubts and concerns.

We invited him to read the Book of Mormon and he is becoming more and more interested in the church everytime we talk to him. I can't believe the same Filipe we taught that first night is actually seriously investigating the church. Oh, how mysterious are the ways of God!

We also brought Ana Maria to the temple! Satan tried really hard to make it fall through, but we overcame every obstacle and she had a lovely experience. I also happened to be on the same street at the same time the one day Elder Christensen was in my mission boundaries. Is was so good to see a familiar face!

WOOOOOHOOO!! There is sunshine in my soul today!

I love my Savior Jesus Christ!!
Sister LudlaM

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Temple Blessings

 (Ava sent a private note this week, but nothing for the blog but some pictures!  At least she was happy about the package☺  And you can photoshop yourself into her temple shot with Sister Souza!)

We had a much-needed trip to the temple this week. I just sat on the coach and stared at the chandelier for half an hour. Finally, the missionaries from my group started to leave and for some reason I felt this pressure I didn't know was there... be released and was able to just talk to Heavenly Father in peace.

THANK YOU SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGE! The conga bars were not even stale-- it was a miracle! I shared them with some missionaries as we traveled to the temple and they loved them. One American elder asked what your names were so I explained the whole Buck and Zanne thing. He then pulled an Uncle Dave gravely, red neck voice and said really low, "BUCK N ZANNE," and it made me so happy I almost fell over. Thank you for the love and letters! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, packages make me so so so happy <3

We took this picture to print out and paste a picture of Ana Maria to inspire her to keep preparing to go to the temple so she can go with us!!!  Missionary projects!


Monday, October 17, 2016

Ava Sings "My Heavenly Father Loves Me"

This week was just wonderful. I am thoroughly EXHAUSTED, but it is so worth it because we saw many little miracles this week! People are just falling into our laps. :)


1. We are teaching Bel and her family and I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. They didn't come to church though, so we asked, "Why didn't you come?" She responded "I went to bed at 6 am." "Why?" "Someone crashed a car into the store next door in the middle of the night and robbed it." "Oh...that's a pretty good excuse actually."

A few seconds later the news comes on and, lo and behold, we see footage of the car smashing into the store. She then goes on to say "So I was reading the Book of Mormon, and I heard these strange, loud noises and thought about the Vision that boy had, and thought, 'COULD IT BE? AN ANSWER?' And then I realized the store next door was being robbed and put the book down." Sister Souza and I laughed and LAUGHED! Only in Sao Paulo!

2. We were teaching Bel again and a few of her friends were participating, too. She told them, "These girls are really special. Every time they've wanted to leave a message, the TV magically looses signal and the kids are quiet and pay attention. We always feel happier when they are here, there's just something different about them. Even my husband listened one time and READ A VERSE FROM THE BIBLE! Not even his cousin can get him to do that!" I just about melted when she said that! They really are changing and it makes me so happy :)

3. I'm pretty sure a tsunami hit Sao Jose this week because the streets turned into rivers. Another potential investigator says she's going to buy a raft because she still needs to go to work, haha! The only issue is that when buses pass us as we walk, we get hit by a massive wave. One time we got cornered as 5 buses passed us in a row and we futilely attempted to shield ourselves with an umbrella, but didn't work too well. :)

4. I had a nightmare and started talking in my sleep. It scared poor Sister Souza to death! I was super angry about something and kept saying "coisa fea, coisa fea!" I got out of bed and tried to open the window. It scared Sister so much that she yelled, "SISTER WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" to wake me up, and she couldn't fall asleep for the rest of the night. I felt so bad-- but its still pretty funny.

I am so happy and can't wait for another week of hard work and joy! I'm going to take a nap first though... ;)

Sister Ludlam

Monday, October 10, 2016

Welcome, Sister Souza!

Sister Souza arrived on Tuesday afternoon, and she has been my angel and the angel for Jardim Satelite.

We have no teaching pool, so we just did contacts all day!!! This week was the happiest of my mission, without doubt. I feel like I'm radiating! I don't have more time, but hopefully the pictures will make up for it. :)  Love to all ~  Sister A. Ludlam
My little friend hung out with me for a few days--Before
My little friend--After
Brand new crocs!  Didn't know I could wear them out!

Oh, Brasilia!  ♥

FAXINHA (I believe this means cleaning ladies☺)

Beautiful Sister Souza

With Ana Maria after Conference

Our food is part American, part Brazilian....Yeah! Companion Unity!
My Beautiful Area -- Jardim Satelite
Castle on a Hill

The End ... of a green smoothie

Monday, October 3, 2016

Love is ALWAYS the Answer

Hello World!

The Lord did the same thing this week, where I taught a gospel principle and was tested on whether I lived it or not!       So Cool!
General Conference Sunday Afternoon Session with my Sisters
    We were eating lunch with my beloved Irma Lina, who is struggling to love the people in her nursing home. I shared a message from Moroni 8:45-48 about Charity, (pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ) and explained to her that our minds are like a stage. Either "charity" is on stage or "judging" is, and its impossible to have both at the same time. So we invited her to pay special attention to who she was letting on the stage, and to serve the people she is struggling to love.

   THEN 3 hours later, two sisters from another area, Sister Lima and Sister Tordecilla, took me under their wing while Sister C. Silva was at the temple. We entered the house of a member who is less active and began to share a message of enduring trials with long suffering. My mouth almost dropped to the floor as the sister began to say the most awful things. She was justifying beating her daughter, and I almost opened my mouth to tell her what I was thinking! Thank goodness Sister Tordecilla was listening to the Spirit, because instead of telling her that she cannot rationalize physically hurting people just because she is going through a difficult trial, Sister T. asked an inspired question. She said, “Have you asked the Lord what it is He wants you to learn from this trial?” In that moment I remembered the message I gave to Irma Lina, and realized that I had kicked love off the stage
   I learned a very valuable lesson that day from my lovely Sister. I am not sure if anyone actually said this in General Conference (you can watch here) because I couldn't understand everything.  But I think someone said, "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved."  It does NOT MATTER how people are choosing to use their agency, love is ALWAYS the answer!

   I got to spend 3 days in Area Parque Industrial with the Sister Lima and Sister Tordecilla, and I was in HEAVEN. I have never been more tired and more satisfied on my mission! These two Sisters poured love out to me and we laughed and learned so much together. What a glorious week <3
   As I said, I didn't understand everything said in General Conference, but I did get a few nuggets of wisdom and I felt the Spirit very powerfully. It was so cool to see Will Romberger and Sarah Hirachi in the MTC choir!!! Elder Christofferson actually gave his talk in Portuguese which was really cool, too.
Sister Lima and Sister Tordecilla Ice Cream Break

  SO! Today is my last day with Sister C. Silva, but I will STAY in Jardim Satelite and my companion will be Sister Souza (Brasileira), who just finished her first 3 months training! I am a little nervous to be senior companion because I have less than 4 months here myself, but we will figure things out and grow together! :) CAN'T WAIT TO MEET HER! I am so grateful for one more transfer here in my beloved Jardim Satelite. I feel like the Lord is giving me a do-over here, and I am so grateful for that! TIME TO GET TO WORK!! WOOOOOHOOO!!
Love, Irma Ava ♥