Monday, February 27, 2017

On the way to the zoo!

Today Ava's letter came in Portuguese, so I will include the google translated version below:

Sao Paulo Zoo
3,200 animals, 102 species of mammals, 216 species of birds, 95 species of reptiles

Sorry, but I need to write in Portuguese today. We are going to one of the biggest zoos in South America with a family that I love VERY much, Sister Gilmara and Brother Ronaldo!

I'm writing on her cell phone because she does not have time to go to the LAN house. So it gets very difficult to write in English because autocorrect tries a thousand times to correct every word in English.

This week I had an interview with President Silcox and he gave me all the wisdom and strength I needed. It is very clear now what you expect of me in this "challenge," and in fact, it is very beautiful. This situation that is so challenging helps me overcome the weaker parts of myself. Charity, patience, and humility. Really, the Lord loves me so much that he entrusts me with such ... intense challenges. LOVED your letter. Mom! And I also always love the details of the week.

President Silcox's advice is always very inspired.  I love you all so much.

Kisses! Sister ludlam

Monday, February 20, 2017

No Time to Write

Felipe's Baptism 
Ava did not have time to write this week. 

She says she can't wait to tell us about Felipe's baptism story when she has a minute.

She asked me to apologize to those she was not able to respond to this week.

She'll be back before we know it!  Sorry I am late with her news--we were out of town.

Monday, February 13, 2017

A week in the life of...

Irma Gomes's First Day in Vila Virginia

WOOOOOOO this week was different and filled with learning. The reason it was different was trying to get used to the new schedule (training a new sister), but every day something unplanned would throw our plans for a loop. I was SO PUMPED for this week and thought we would mark a ton of people for baptism, but sometimes the Lord has other plans in mind!

Tuesday was consumed by transfers because Sister Gomes's suitcase broke BUT WE SURVIVED! I was so impressed by her because when we got home we put her stuff down and I said, "I know you're hungry, let me warm up some left-over birthday cake," but she said, "No, Sister! Let's say a gratitude prayer!" We knelt down and she began to thank Him for every detail of the day. <3 Beautiful.

Wednesday our phone "died," so the plan was to borrow Irma Marcia's phone at lunch to call Elder Webster but when we got there Sister de Jesus called THEM and was worried sick because she thought we had never made it home because we didn't go to district meeting. Then Elder Marquina called and we explained what happened again. Elder Melo said we needed to come to the office to switch the phone because it wouldn't even turn on when connected to the charger, so almost the entire day was used up in that adventure. We did get to teach an investigator when we finally got home, so that was a blessing.

Thursday was consumed by trying to do Weekly Planning and some members found out we didn't have a working stove, so they tried to help us but it didn't work out and ate up the afternoon. The people in our ward are angels and treat as like daughters.

Friday we ate lunch with Bispo and had a meeting with him about all the things we wanted to do to get the Obra Missionaria moving in our ward.I was overcome with gratitude because Bispo Cesar (became Bishop a month ago) is incredibly spiritually guided and organized and studies Preach My Gospel to know what his role is in helping the Obra Missionaria.
Felipe and Ryan

Then we taught Veronica who has always been a little "mole," but Sister Gomes really followed the Spirit and helped her open up about her fears of baptism. I just sat and stared at Sister Gomes as she said the most inspired, powerful things. It was divine. On our way to the next appointment, she started having really intense stomach pains. Very, very scary. She was out of commission for about the next 24 hours.

Saturday and Sunday we are able to make some visits, so that was good too :)

Things I Love About Sister Gomes:
1. She loves UNCONDITIONALLY. She is putting her arm around me and being the sweetest thing.
2. She talks to EVERYONE. She does contacts with everyone, and it is such a good example to me.
3. She is helping me live the law of consecration and share everything I have with her (hahahaha!)
4. She is SO GOOD AT COMMUNICATING! I have never had a companion who just says what she is feeling! It is so refreshing and I feel so relaxed that I don't have to think, "Uh oh, what's bothering her?" or "What did I do that annoyed her?" I feel like we are true sisters, irmas na carne!
5. Her testimony is so powerful, I already know many reasons why she was sent to this area, many of our investigators need her!

Hope you all have a great week!
Irma Ava

Monday, February 6, 2017

Mission on Fire

I will stay in Vila Virginia (hallelujah!) and train a new sister! I don't know anything about her yet, just that she is not American. Sister de Jesus is being transferred to another area to finish the training of a new sister.

I am so so so unbelievably excited to meet my new companion tomorrow, woohoo! She is a lucky duck because she is going to start out her mission on FIRE because Vila Virginia is just over-flowing with miracles. Rosana received the Gift of the Holy Ghost this week. We fasted for the 17 investigators who said they would come to church would actually make it...and it didn't exactly work out how we wanted it to. IT WORKED OUT EVEN BETTER!

 We ran into couple from the ward the day their cousin moved in with them. We taught him the Restoration,  and he wants to be baptized and has already received an answer. His name is Felipe (I am sensing a trend with this is the name of ELEITOS). I AM SO EXCITED! This week I have just been on cloud 9, I have never felt such a constant and profound peace and joy in my life. I was especially grateful to take the sacrament on my 20th birthday. I saw a little bit into the heavens as I thought about the last 20 years and felt so CLEAN. I have a perfectly clean slate for the future in my life! I get to do it again next week too, woohoo! Oh, how perfect is Heavenly Father's plan for us!
I received 2 packages this week, one from the fam with a ton of little cards from Grant's wedding guests which was honestly the best thing I could've asked for for my birthday <3. THANK YOU FAMILY!

Sister Gines also sent me a honkin' box, jam-packed with love and carinho. I felt like it was my birthday and Christmas and all things wonderful at the same time <3 THANK YOU KELSIE GINES!

Thank you to all who wished me a happy birthday, and sorry I can't respond to much this week :( BUT I WILL!
The Big 2-0.  No more a teenager!

I want to bear my testimony that I know we are children of a Heavenly Father who loves us. We are here on earth to learn and grow and become more like Him. And it just incredible to me that that is possible, because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's kingdom here on earth, with all of the truths and principles we need to one day return to Him. If we obey His commandments and the counsels of our modern-day prophets, we will have eternal life, or life with God. THAT is the fullness of joy we seek.

Have a wonderful week! ♥