Monday, March 27, 2017

Joyous Celebrations!

Erien's Baptism Day
This Week was Wonderful! Guilherme and Erien were baptized and confirmed, and all of our investigators went to see the baptism. Maria said, "Can I be baptized today too?" Ha ha!

Irmao Ronaldo and Guilherme really bonded over their love of fighting. He is like the wise sensai (how do you spell that?) and Guilherme is like little grasshopper, in terms of fighting, but even more so the gospel.

Sensai and Grasshopper
Todd Garner: Guilherme got super excited when I told him that Diego Brandao is a Mormon, hahaha! Irmao Ronaldo was baptized on March 25th, 27 years ago, 18 years old and they both LOVE the Book of Mormon. Guilherme finished it in two weeks and is now reading everything in the Gospel Library app (that'll keep him busy for a while). Erien has gotten a TON of personal progress done because she wants to finish it before she turns 18 in October :) They both want to serve missions!

Maria loved her first Sunday and felt very very loved, which was our main goal.

We deep cleaned the house with Norma this week. We are going to spend all of p-day with Jessica. I am super excited to bring everyone to the stake building for General Conference this weekend! WOOHOO!!!

Brasilians LOVE Poor Man's Cranium (shout out to all the Kitchens out there who made it legendary in our family--says Mama Z). Hebert liked it so much that they play it all the time now as a family. They made an Extreme Poor Man's Cranium; its hilarious. Also, the Relief Society president asked us to make a game for the RS Birthday Party at the last second-- so OF COURSE, we played it with them and MY GOODNESS! I have never witnessed a crazier, louder, more intense version in my life. The irmas just LOVED IT. ♥ Good memories ♥

Love to all,
Sister Ludlam

Monday, March 20, 2017

Thrilled to Stay in Virginia


I was so afraid I would be transferred that I've been praying all week and fasted to be able to accept the Lord's will because I thought my life would end if I had to leave...but turns out the Lords will is mine as well, so it's just WONDERFUL!!

Tongan Pancakes
Miracles of the Week: 
Beautiful Brasilian Scripture Cases
1. Jessica and Hebert got married!!!! I don't even know how to explain how happy I am, this is truly the biggest miracle ever. Jessica is marked for April 8th, but is still a little shakey and is seeking an answer. Please pray for her ♥ We are doing the 21 day Book of Mormon challenge with her. She is the sweetest, most loving, coolest person ever (Hebert is pretty cool too, I guess. HAHA just kidding!HI HEBERT!!! (he reads my blog by putting it in google translate)) In Portuguese, Herbert is pronounced "Heh-birch." Norma and Marcos (Jessica's mom and brother) are marked as well. I think their home is my absolute favorite place to be in this area. Certainly I came to this area to meet them.
Family Home Evening

Last visit with Veronica
2. In the span of 2 days a few weeks ago, we taught all the commandments, and G**** and E**** had to make some major changes. They are following the law of chastity, Guilherme has given up his coffee addiction, and he has stopped training on Sundays, which is a BIG DEAL, GUYS. These two incredible people have been making major changes in their life and they are just so inspiring to me. G**** always says things in his prayers that make me cry. For example, this week "please help me find a job to support my family that still allows me to go to church every week" or "I am so grateful that I get to get baptized next week, it certainly will be the best decision I have ever made." Tonight we are going to the house of the Rico family to make cookies and have a family night about Personal Progress with Erien, Ruth, and Rosana.

3. The missionary spirit of our ward is changing. Thanks to Sister Gomes and our new LMA (ward mission leader) Geraldo, we are on FIRE. We have had multiple Family Nights in members' homes with investigators every week, and we are planning to do another Chamado Ao Servir activity (Called to Serve--the same one I did in Satelite) the members have been coming out with us to many lessons, many carpools with investigators, just incredible! And the ward is SUPER EXCITED for the baptism this weekend of Guilherme and Erien!! WOOHOO!

4. Maria lives in the apartment building next to ours. We ran into her twice at the front gate and on Sister de Jesus's last day Sister De Jesus said, "She's going to get baptized, you're going to send me an email in a month and tell me she was baptized!" And after many miracles, she will be on April 15th! She calls us her angels. I don't think I have ever felt so much love for an investigator. She lives alone and just treats us like princesses when we visit her. She has been having debilitating leg and back pains, so some members came over and gave her a blessing. Her faith was enough to heal her, and now she is able to sleep and walk without limping!! At first she was really unsure about baptism and said she had a dream a pastor said to her she shouldn't be baptized again because she has already been baptized ( I could tell she this was not a dream but had actually happened, and she was afraid of hurting our feelings or dissapointing us), but after we watched the long Joseph Smith movie she said, "Alright. I accept. I will be baptized in your church." And she just gets stronger and more firm in this decision every time we meet ♥

On the 27th, Irma Gilmara will go into surgery for breast cancer. Please pray that all will go well and that angels will be by her side. She is scared, but she is still always thinking about other people. She is just the most incredible dove. I LOVE HER SO MUCH!

LOVE YOU GUYS! I am being so spoiled over here!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Ava Answers Questions

Changes in the mission:

We wake up at 7, but it can be earlier too! Sometimes we wake up at 6 so Sister can use a members punching bag or so we can run to the chapel. I am so happy I can run a few times a week!! We then do an hour of personal at 8, half an hour of planning, half an hour of 12 weeks (new missionary training) and then we leave the house to do proselyting. We eat lunch with a member for an hour (no more) and then get back to work. At some point during the day we can do language (30 minutes) and Comp study (30 minutes) but it has to be in public, like a park or on the sidewalk. We also have 30 minutes to eat dinner at home. The key indicators didn't really change in my mission. We only report the 4 (confirmations, baptismal dates marked, investigators at church, and new investigators), but we still need to make goals and work with all of the original ones.

Felipe's story:

As I said, we found him on the street with Taisa and Wanderson (members who are letting him live with them) on a Saturday night, and began to teach him every other day. He had moved from Alagoas to have a clean fresh start here in São Paulo. He was a little unsure if we really wanted to go through with everything, but when President came here to interview him, he got super super excited!!! President just has that powerful spirit that spreads light into peoples lives and helps them want to follow the Savior. I love President. President said "He will be baptized and confirmed tomorrow."

Then....everything that could've possibly fallen apart, fell apart. We spent the rest of Saturday running our tails off to make things right but when we would fix one barrier, another would arise. I kept thinking "Is this a sign it isn't meant to be?" But I remembered President's words and realized it was the adversary doing everything possible to keep it from happening. Even AFTER he was baptized the next morning before church we were still hitting barriers (they pronounced his name wrong in the ordinance). In the last 10 minutes of sacrament meeting, President finally called us back and said to go ahead with the confirmation so we did some hand signs with the brothers in the front...and it all worked out! WOO!  I felt like I had finished a marathon once church ended! It was truly miraculous that despite all the opposition, we were able to fulfill the Lords will. :)

Rosana and Rute went to Girls Camp (but it also has the young men, so it's not really girls camp) and they had an amazing experience. Rosana bore her testimony the Sunday after and tearfully shared how much she learned and grew. She walks an hour to and from the church 4 times a week to go to seminary. Rute has been inviting all her friends to church and to hear the missionaries. We have been gathering a ton of modest clothes for them :)  I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!

What does it mean to train?

Every 6 weeks new missionaries enter the mission and begin their training. Their first companion is their trainer and they do a program called "12 weeks" which is how long training lasts. So, Sister Gomes is brand new in the mission and I am helping train her how to be a missionary!

There are more Guilherme miracles, but I don't have any more time. I'll update his story next week :)

LOVE YOU ALL! I forgot my camera at home today, I am sorry!!

Have a great week!

Monday, March 6, 2017


My Weekly Vila Virginia MIRACLE REPORT

This week we found Guilherme (William in English) and Erien.

Okay, I know I always say this, but this time I mean it, they are the most prepared and elate people I have ever seen on my mission!

We found them on Tuesday, taught the Restoration and it was a great lesson, but then the first lesson is always wonderful -- and then they don't follow through on commitments. We went back on Thursday and he had read until JACOB in the Book of Mormon! I couldn't believe my ears. We began to teach the Plan of Salvation and he had so many incredible questions that we only got half waythrough. We came back the next day and he had written two pages of his impressions and questions from reading the Book of Mormon.

 Erien at first didn't really want to participate, but after accepting lots of love, she too began to follow Guilherme's (her boyfriend) example and now they are both so excited to be baptized on March 25th! The list of little miracles I have already seen just from these two is too long to tell, but I am just feeling too spoiled to have the privilege to teach them.
Working with the other sisters
Sister Gomes is teaching me how to do little things to show my love for people. She goes out of her way to use a little bit of paper/time/money to make people's day. Before I would think, "No, it's a waste," but honestly, she has won the heart of our ward and investigators. I am always hearing little ideas of how to make someone's day, but rarely do I do those little things. BUT NOW I DO!

So basically its raining really hard here and it zapped my computer here in the lan house, so all the things I was writing were lost so I don't have more time. I'm sorry! Next week I'll talk about Felipe, the changes made in our mission, and what it's like to train.


Sister Ava