Monday, January 30, 2017

Worldwide Training was Incredible!


Mom asked a few more questions:
1. What do I think of all the new changes in the missionary schedule and key indicators?
I think its incredible!! I'm not sure which of the changes President Silcox will actually make, but I love the idea of it all. I just hope we don't wake up at 7:30 am and work until 10 pm and sleep at 11. I don't think we will because it is much more dangerous to be in the streets after 9 pm. To be honest, the change that makes me most excited is the key indicators. I think it was incredibly inspired and that missionaries will become incredibly more dedicated and focused on what will actually help people come unto Christ. WOOHOOO!
2. Ava's opinion on pants: So I used them for one day...and I think that's good enough for me, hahaha! The benefits of long skirts is that they are much less hot and attract less attention, but when it rains like it does in Brasil, it becomes very, very difficult to walk when you're soaked. One of my skirts actually ripped because of it! Pants are very comfortable, stairs and buses are much easier, and they certainly offer offer more protection from bugs -- considering we sit on the ground a lot. All in all, I prefer skirts because they are a lot cooler :)
3. My voice came back and I'm coughing way less :)
Training Meeting

SO MANY THINGS HAPPENED THIS WEEK and my heart is so filled with joy and thanksgiving and I don't have time to talk about everything, but I'll try to get it all in there.

The worldwide training was INCREDIBLE. Yes, they announced the new things (which was cool), but WOAH the training rocked my boat! Ever since then, I have been studying in much more depth how I can declare nothing but repentance to people, and I feel like I am a true, blue, through and through missionary now, like this part I didn't realize was missing to my preaching has now been filled in and I am helping people a lot more come unto Christ.

Rosana's Baptism
Something I've been realizing lately, especially when I teach the Plan of Salvation, is that I almost try to sell the gospel to people, to convince them that they want it. I talk about how glorious God's plan is for us and eternal families and become so confused when people here and say, "Oh, that's nice." I thought, "How is it possible that people hear that the church of Jesus Christ is restored and they aren't even a little bit rious to ask God if its true?
But this week I realized instead of convincing people why they WANT the gospel, I need to show them that they NEED it. When I think of my own personal conversion and when I truly began to LOVE the gospel was when I truly began to use the Atonement in my life when I was in high school. Maybe some people won't be too enthusiastic about the incredible doctrines of the church, but everyone needs the healing and soothing power of the Atonement in their lives. So ever since Thursday, I've been declaring - sharing the incredible examples of the Atonement and repentance bringing joy to people in the Book of Mormon. Maybe that's why I've been so giddy this week.

Things that happened:
1. Did a division with Sister Braga from the Bahia-- what a blessing she is in my life!
2. Took Rosana to the temple grounds!
3. She was baptized on Sunday!
4. RUTH CAME BACK!! We learned that she actually showed up at the church building on Christmas and New Years Day, but because she has no way to communicate with anyone, she didn't know sacrament meeting was later and just waited until she gave up. When I saw her I felt like this part of my heart that was missing was finally back in place, like I had been holding my breath and finally I could breathe again. I had no idea I could love someone so much!
5. Norma and Jessica and Marcos came to church after trying to get them to come for 3 months! I think they had a great experience.

I am so happy!

Sister Ludlam

Monday, January 23, 2017

Helping Others Overcome the Enemy

Sisters in Pants!  Woo Hoo!

Hello All!

Mom has asked me many times to explain what I do as a Sister Leader, and I keep forgetting. SORRY!


We care for the emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being of the sisters in our zone, Itaquaquecituba. three companionships :) We call our sisters a few times during the week to see how they are, and we do divisions (we split up with them for visits). They come to our area and I spend the day with one and Sister de Jesus with the other. We also participate in the Leadership Council of the mission which has the Sister Assitants to the President (APs), Elder APs, President and Sister Silcox, all the sister leaders and all the zone leaders. They give us a training and then we pass along the training to our zone

The sisters in our zone are such strong women, and they are the ones helping me, truthfully. There have been emergency hospital runs and assaults, but they JUST KEEP GOING! I love these Sisters. I will take a picture this week with them at the worldwide missionary training and send it next week.

We have a wonderful investigator named Rosa who is progressing to baptism (should've been yesterday but it'll probably be next week). Her testimony is so pure and filled with faith. I believe our friendship has an eternal foundation. She's 14, loves k-pop, lives with her sister and helps take care of her nieces and nephews, and has already planned her trip to New Jersey this winter. She's a hoot. I feel like the age 14 is when everyone starts to really ponder on questions of the soul. I received my own testimony at 14 years, Joseph Smith and Ruth too!!

This week we had interviews with President and I asked, "How can I be better?" He read Moroni 9:6.  "Now, my beloved [daughter], notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; 
for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation;
for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay,
 that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, 
and rest our souls in the kingdom of God." 

He said if you focus on helping OTHERS overcome the enemy, he will be defeated automatically in your own life. Sure, you can focus on how to improve yourself, but when you focus on others the progress is much, much quicker. It was such a good sting filled with love. I left that celestial classroom in the church room super excited. I love my President.


Sister Ludlam

Left:  Making "cookies" with the Rico Family and Rosana. Everybody asks me to teach them how! haha

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Proclaiming the Gospel from the Rooftops

From the Rooftops


1. I learned that Felipe (from Satelite) decided to be baptized (not just a date marked!) and is preparing to serve a mission!! Unfortunately, he is going to move so I don't know how to contact him after the mission, but his transformation is absolutely the greatest miracle I have seen on my mission.
2. We were praying to be led to prepared people who are ready to accept the gospel, so some young adults walk up to us and start a conversation about the church and missionaries that taught them, but WE FORGOT TO ASK FOR THEIR HOUSE NUMBER! So a few days later we find the street they live on and realize it is extremely long and has thousands of houses. We say a prayer to be led to them and start knocking and asking "do you know a Jessica that lives on this street?" No one had a clue, so after knocking for a long time, we just stop in front of a house and stare at it for a while in silence. We then keep walking a little bit and RUN INTO ONE OF THE YOUNG MEN WE MET!
We moved to an apartment with a JACA TREE!
He then invites us to walk home with him and OF COURSE the house we just felt like stopping in front of (but didn't knock) is his house. Next thing we know we are teaching 7 people the Restoration. Everyone is living with their girlfriend and needs to be married, but they are all prepared. This Sunday only Salom wasn't working, so he was the only one who could came to church. Sadly, he woke up early, caught the train, searched for the church building and couldn't find it, and went home. Pretty dispaointing, but there is always next week! The fact he went out of his way to come is a miracle in and of itself.
WONDERFUL WEEK filled with learning! Lots of love!

Sister Ludlam

Ava took a photo in her bridesmaid dress on January 14th, her brother Grant's Wedding Day, since she couldn't participate in the wedding party :-(    How will we photoshop her in without any legs? ☺  We love you, Ava!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Miracles in Vila Virginia

A Great 2-package-and-3-letter Day!
This week we saw lots and lots of miracles, especially yesterday. 6 investigators at church and 5 less actives we have been working with, that NEVER happens!! The only person who has gone to church my entire time in Vila Virginia was Ruth! INCREDIBLE!!!

Speaking of Ruth, we haven't seen her in weeks. We were communicating with her by asking a member to send messages to her facebook, but now she can't use facebook. But somehow she found my email so we are able to communicate on p-days. I miss her so much and hope she can come home soon. :(

I love you all, have a great week!

Sister Ava

Monday, January 2, 2017

My New Year's Resolution=OBEDIENCE


My New Year's Resolution=OBEDIENCE. 
Every year I usually have a long list of random things I want to change, and I starting making a long list a few weeks ago. However! I realized that all the things I wanted to change are already commandments!! When I was baptized, I promised Heavenly Father I would keep ALL of His commandments.
SO! I repented and recommitted to some in specific:
1. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
2. "And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as theyself."
The gravity of these commandments has really begun to sink into my heart lately. I think there would be no more need for New Years Resolutions if we would just obey these two commandments!
3. The Word of Wisdom! I would make an intrecate new health work out plan, but if I would just follow the divine counsil of the Word of Wisdom, there would be no need! The Lord has counciled us to eat with thanksgiving, praise and moderation, and that we should not partake of things that are harmful to our bodies. I love how Lehi says that no longer wants to "droop in sin." When I am not taking care of my body (eat junk food or over eat), I literally feel like I am drooping, physically and spiritually. But when I do take care of it, I feel FILLED with energy and light, and clean!
4. It is a COMMANDMENT to pray. I want to pray at all times with all the energy of my heart, especially as I report to him at night before going to bed. I love the scripture in Alma that says "counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good ; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down until the Lord, that He may watch over you in your sleep, and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God." My journey to know Christ my Savior and my Heavenly Father has been such an incredible experience, and I know I will KNOW Them if I would follow this council.
5. Constantly be mindful of the covenants I have made in the temple of God.
6. When I accepted my mission call, I signed my name saying I would obey ALL of the mission rules. I will continue to strive to be EXACT in my obedience. :)

I think it is so beautiful that Heavenly Father loves us so much that the commandments He gives us will turn us into the people we want to be. If we just stay true to the covenants we have already made, He will mold us and help us reach our divine potential. :)

This 2016 New Year celebration was AWESOME! Sister de Jesus and I were not invited to pass the New Year with anyone, so President let us watch Disney movies in our apartment! HAHAA!! I know it sounds so lame to anyone who hasn't served a mission, but it was literally the best thing ever. I have no shame to admit we watched Barbie, a Mermaid Tail, Finding Dory, and Descendants. It was HILARIOUS because Sister and I would cry about EVERYTHING, the silliest little things like when Merlia got a tail because she made the decision to stay with the merpeople. We also couldn't help but relate everything to the gospel. Then we walked outside at midnight and watched the fireworks. I was overcome with peace and JOY. 

Happy New Year!!