Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Delightful Christmas and Sister Leader assignment


I wrote a nice long letter BUT the computer crashed and I have no more time :(

This was the happiest Christmas I have ever had!

I LOVED doing Seja a Luz do Mundo! I am so excited for this next transfer!

Sister Ludlam

A little later...

I am sweating. I am SUPER excited for 2017! AHHHHHH!! I love the new year so much!

My Christmas was SO DELIGHTFUL!!! We got to stay with the family of Irma Gilmara until midnight. She is such a dove. She is going through chemo and had a million people to take care of during the party but was always going out of her way to check up on us. She bought us fancy fans that I will 100% carry with me and use every day. I am not kidding.

Then we had an especially spiritual sacrament meeting and went to lunch. Super yummy, lots of non members and less actives. It did not feel like Christmas. Then we talked to you guys and it was super lovely. REALLY short, but it was just nice to hear your voices. <3

I will stay with Sister de Jesus and will be
Sister Leader. With more time I feel better and better about it. Many fears, but it means there will be lots of growth! WOOHOO!!! 

I love you guys an awful lot.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Heavenly Father Loves Us So Much

Sister Doyle and Ava

Christmas Conference! (on the right) Sister Doyle goes home in a week :( My eyes are red because President sang "I Wonder When He Comes Again," and I wept like a baby. 

I am a little sad because we have been working with a lot of people that KNOW the church is true but don't want commitment and don't want to progress. Really, really sad because we had to drop ... everyone. We now have no investigators at all, but THAT'S OKAY because now all of our time will be dedicated to finding people who are searching for the truth AND willing to it. :)

I saw many little miracles this week, but I will just share a few.

1. Ruth (Potter) has been going through a lot of trials recently. We haven't seen her in weeks nor been able to communicate with her because she has been living in the house of another aunt, but left her cellphone here in this area. We tried many things to get in contact with her, and nothing worked...I started getting scared I would never see her again. Then, Saturday night, Sister and I said a prayer that we could find a way to get in contact with her quickly because she needed to go to church the next day to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. The two past weeks had been conferences at the Stake building.

After contacting everyone that could possibly help, we decided maybe it's not meant to happen this week. BUT THEN we showed up to church Sunday morning and RUTH WAS THERE! She woke up early and walked all the way from her other aunt's house to go to church! She said "I just couldn't miss another Sunday." I almost cried with joy when I saw her, I had missed her so much. Then she spent the rest of the day with the Young Women at a special lunch and Young Women in Excellence.  Oh, by the way, in Portuguese Ruth is pronounced Hoo-chee. Super cute.
Vitoria and Irma Maria Jose <3

2. While we were filling up the font for Ruth's baptism, Vitoria, a 10 year old from the primary, came in and asked who was going to be baptized. Elder Marquina said "You are. Didn't you know?" She got a little quiet and said, "I actually haven't been baptized yet..." Whoops. So we passed later that week to talk with her adopted parents. Before we even brought the subject up, Irma Maria Jose said, "After Ruth's baptism, Vitoria would not stop talking about how much she wanted to be baptized! So we went to the Capitol today and did her paperwork so now she can legally be baptized." WOAH! Since she has more than 8 years, she technically is a convert and needed to be taught all the lessons and be interviewed by Elder Vargas. After a glorious 2 weeks of teaching her, she was baptized this Saturday and received the gift of the Holy Ghost right before Ruth did this Sunday. What a miracle! And it is all thanks to Elder Marquina, hahaha!

3. It was really hot yesterday, so Sister de Jesus asked for a cloud to cover the sun. It did. Then she asked for rain. And boy, did it rain!!! Heavenly Father loves us so much <3

We had a Christmas conference it was so much fun. Honestly, this Christmas has been the best Christmas I have ever had because my life.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Learning Lessons on Love

Trip to the São Paulo Aquarium
This week I learned about love.

We went to the Area of Brasil Conference with President Holland (just a broadcast - haha) and I had this question in my heart of how to help our companionship. The answer is LOVE. 

All of the misunderstandings and accidents and little tiny things can be swept away in a wave of LOVE. Have you ever noticed that when you are offended or feeling insecure or over-analyzing or irritated, when someone puts their arm around you or gives you a sincere compliment, those feelings just evaporate?

So I put it to the test, and things have been better. Things are not perfect yet because this is honestly new territory for me-- to have my first instinct be reach out in love.

So yes, this week was tough but I AM SO GRATEFUL for these priceless lessons!! I'm sorry I don't have "mission stories," but we are giving our all! Walking in the streets all day long and meeting tons of people, doing our part :) Lots and lots of contacts :D

  I told President this transfer has been hard for me because when I was in Jardim Satelite, I always felt very confident and comfortable, thinking I had finally got the hang of the mission. But being in a new area with a new companion has made me extremely aware of my weaknesses. It's good for me! ;)


Sister Ludlam

Monday, December 5, 2016

Like the Moon, we do not Shine without the Sun/Son.

My lovely companion, Hermana de Jesus

I can't explain how much I love my companion. She is literally the Bahian missionary version of Allison Garner. How cool is it that I walk about teaching the restored gospel with my best friend?

Thanksgiving without the family was just fine, I was so busy that I didnt even realize what day it was until Sister pointed out I was fasting on Thanksgiving. Hahaha!

An irma invited us over to meet some "friends" and we figured out they were 7 young men studying to be PADRES (Priests) in the Catholic church...and they were SO MUCH FUN!! Teaching them the Restoration was something I'll never forget, that's for sure! They said they admired our courage, hahaha!! They are bright lovely people, and they accepted our invite to read the Book of Mormon (Irma just happened to have 7 hardback Book of Mormons in her cupboard ;)

This week I learned SO MUCH and I still don't know what I should share because time is limited! I learned about pride, faith, light, and the word of wisdom.:)
Teaching Seven Catholic Priests

I think I will talk about light. :) Light has always fascinated me and has an extremely special meaning to me. I believe it has everything to do with who God is, progression, and who I want to be! This transfer I put a picture of "The Light Bearer" (a picture mum sent to Ava a few weeks ago, see below) on my planner as a reminder that my goal is shine so that others will be drawn to Christ! I also learned after chosing my personal theme the the church's  Christmas theme for the year is also Seja a Luz do Mundo (#LighttheWorld)! We hand out cute little cards to everyone we meet and invite them to shine, too. Also, my companion is one of the most light-filled people I have met!

SO! The plan was to show up in Vila Virginia and just SHINE...but it didn't really work out that way. I was absolutely EXHAUSTED for the first 2 weeks, and found it almost impossible to summon the energy to shine all day. One day this week, I was thinking "Heavenly Father set all this up for me to truly learn how to be a light, so why am I failing?" I then began to study my favorite scriptures about light and my patriarchal blessing and realized I was going about it all wrong!

Ruth's Baptism
I, Ava Ludlam, nao tenho minha propria luz! (I do not have my own light) But I can shine when I look towards the source of true light: Christ. Like the moon, we do not shine without the sun/Son. It is not MY LIGHT that I need to be shining, it is the light of Christ! This week has been incredible because I began to find strength beyond my own and shine HIS light into the lives of others.

Also, if you haven't checked out the Light of the World site on, come and see! It will make this Christmas the happiest one yet because it will be centered on Christ and shining light into the lives of Gods children.