Monday, June 26, 2017

"Finding Miracles" Needed!

Tree of Life
Dear Family,

This week was yet again filled with lots of work, but unfortunately there are not many fruits to show for it. BUT THAT IS OKAY!! Our teaching pool dropped rather drastically, but that means so much more time has opened up for the truly elate who will actually progress!! Honestly, I was a little discouraged last night after receiving so many final "NO's," but Lia wrote in her letter today out of the blue: "More finding is more baptisms, don’t let faith dwindle that you need to have finding miracles." I realized that my faith has dwindled in that aspect.
Typical Sao Paulo Scene

We spent two days this week in Tatuapé with the Sister Training Leaders of the mission, Sister Saavedra and Sister Lee! We also did a division in our area with some sisters in our zone, super fun. We finally were able to teach Lays and Vanessa again, and it was just marvelous. Terezinha has a fever, so unfortunately, she didn't go to church and her date fell. Alessandra FINALLY went to church this week!

Stay tuned for next week, certainly we will have many finding miracles to tell!!

Sister Lu


Monday, June 19, 2017

News from Lu

WOOHOOOOOO!  Another week chock full of hard work!

1. Last week we had already gone a long time without seeing Gustavo (the homeless friend) so we gathered our courage to ask his scary friend, Marcio, where he was. He said "Haven't you heard? The little guy was attacked with a knife and has fled Poá. Poor thing, never did anything wrong to anybody." I still had hope he would come back, but it has now been 2 weeks. At least I took a picture with him and Night. The last time I saw him was in the street at night, talking to another homeless person and I said good night, and he said "Good night, Lu!" which is what everyone calls me here. I could already see that he was changing, just after teaching him a few times. I told Rafael, an RM from our ward who was helping us, that Gustavo left, and he said, "Don't worry. He has a Book of Mormon and pamphlets. He will keep studying and will one day find the church himself."

Gustavo and Night
2. After all of this work this transfer, we had so many investigators and NONE OF THEM WERE MARKED FOR BAPTISM. It is kind of driving me crazy. So, we made a list of 10 people who can ABSOLUTELY be baptized in July and fasted for them. The Lord has already begun to answer our prayers. On Sunday, all of our plans fell through by 3 pm, so we were in a really dangerous part of our area and were about to head out, but I strongly felt like we should go deeper in and try to visit Terezinha. Not only was she home (miracle number one), but we were finally able to teach her the restoration. We asked if she had ever felt like Joseph Smith and wanted to know which of all of these thousands of churches is Christs true church. She said "yeah, I was actually thinking about that last week." It was a wonderful lesson, and she accepted a baptismal date for the 8th of July! Please pray for her so that she can actually make it to church!

By the way, this is the mother of the missionary who we helped with the Skype call on Mother's day. :) 1 down, 9 to go!! WOOHOO! This week we want to mark Lays, Alessandra, Vivian, Rebecca, Nadia, Rogério, Sonha, Wanderley, and Maíra. However, we will be out of our area 2 days, possibly 3 (if we can get Cíntia and John to the temple), so we are going to have to really hustle.
Sister Quieroz

3. Sister Quieroz is as lovely as ever. This week we had interviews with President and I asked if I am going to die (end my mission) here in Poá. To my surprise he said probably yes! I was actually really pleased about that. It will mean my entire mission has been in the "interior" or not downtown Sao Paulo, and this entire time I have been wanting to go there really bad, but now...I am totally content to just stay here :) Another added bonus is that the interior is way safer than the capital, and I have not been assaulted even once on my mission (that in itself is a miracle). After looking at all my favorite members and investigators yesterday, I felt so blessed to be able to finish my mission here. I also want Sister Quieroz to stay with me
I drink tea now.
Green Banana Chips

Love to all,
Sister Lu

Monday, June 12, 2017

Workin' It!

Sister Quieroz is in the orange next to Ava
I don't think I have ever gotten SO MUCH STUFF done in one week in my whole mission.

Sister Quieroz got here and just hit the ground running. She knows almost all the members, investigators, recent converts, and less actives. I just LOVE this lady. She is quiet, loves to read, loves animals, makes weird sounds just like Mom, is obedient, and is a WORK HORSE.

This week the greatest miracle was being able to contact almost ALL of the potential investigators we had been trying to contact all last transfer, 6 news investigators out of all of the potencials! I am so tired and I love it.

I love you all, sorry the letter is short this week!

Sister Ludlam

a little later...

HI MOM! I got the package and Sister and I LOOOOVEEDD ITTT.
I even loved the 86 percent chocolate. I ate a little bit and couldn't handle it, so I put the bars into a pot with butter sugar, put the chocolate in a mug with flour and egg and it TURNED INTO CHOCOLATE MOLTEN LAVA CAKE!! I was so proud of myself. Ghiradelli chocolate molten lava cake ;)

I am doing well. Everyone is saying "voce tá azul, tá acabando!!!" which means I am in my second to last transfer and it is almost over, but I feel like I am just going to stay here in Poá indefinitley. I am very very happy.

Thank you for all you do for our family, Mom. I love you.

Oh, by the way Sister Queiroz has 1 year and 1 month, goes home when Sister Lee does.

Sister Ludlam

Monday, June 5, 2017

New Companion: Sister Quieroz

JOHN AND CINTIA GOT MARRIED AND BAPTIZED! I have never seen so many intense miracles in such a short period of time as I have with them.

Today, I am actually a little sad because Sister Lee was transferred. I cried a LOT. She is now Sister Leader of the mission, I am so excited for her!

My new companion is Sister Quieroz, and I am just so so so grateful she is my companion. She is from Mato Grosso (state in the center of Brasil), loves to read, is very sweet and goofy and just...lovely. Every time my heart starts to hurt, I just remind myself she is my new companion and am comforted. I'll send a picture of us next week. We are sister leaders for our region. I will have 9 MONTHS in Itaqua this transfer! After the baptism ended, and I was thinking about what it would be like if I stayed here.  My mind just filled with so many people we need to visit, who are ready, and how much WORK there is to do here in Zion! Sister Lee told me, "That's interesting you feel like that. I felt like now my work is completed and I can leave." Then we received the news I'd stay and she would go.

This week my favorite experience after the wedding and baptism was meeting Gustavo. As we were walking in the street, he walked up to us and introduced himself, told us he was hungry, and would just like to eat a kabob stick they were selling on the other side of the street. I asked how much he needed, and he told us to just buy one of my pieces of art (like hippie necklaces with colorful feathers and dream catchers) so we sat down and began to talk to him. I have taught a LOT of homeless people on my mission, but there was just something so special about him. I got so excited after meeting him and couldn't stop thinking about it for the rest of the day. He is 22 years old, has a little puppy he carries around in his backpack named "Night" (like the English word) and has lived on the streets for 4 years. He said, "I would LOVE to go to church with you guys. Come wake me up here in the morning and I'll go with you!"

So, we asked our friend Rafael to come with us (just in case, you know) and made a little breakfast for him. We show up, he is awake, but in a huge group of hobos drinking beer and said he couldn't go to church with us because they had to go to another town to do something...I was like, "WHAT IN THE WORLD? How did you manage to make up a commitment?" But he said he already started reading the Book of Mormon and truly wanted to go to church next week. We are going to try and find him this week and teach him. I don't think this is the last you will hear about Gustavo. :)

We also are very excited to teach Luis Fernando. Let me start from the very beginning: When I was in Vila Virginia, I would always hear about this family that was spread over our whole stake-- that one person got baptized-- and like a domino affect, family member after family member would get baptized. I thought it was so wonderful and had always wanted to be a part of it all. When I got to Poá, I met many of the members of this family, and John and Cintia are actually apart of the dynasty. John's older brother came to their baptism, and I just thinking about him. He is like a hard core rocker. I think he's 55 and has a little pony tail and wears black leather pants. I like him a LOT. As we watched him during the baptism, he seemed so interested and like he was really feeling the spirit. Afterwards we said, "We want to visit you!" and he said he works all the time, but told us when he is at home and we are going there this week! YAY! His only issue is with coffee, but that won't last for long ;) Sister and I whispered to each other, "He is next." I feel like this family must be very, very special. I have never seen anything like this on my mission.

Have an awesome week!  Love, Sister Ava