Monday, December 16, 2013

Boa tarde familia!
We are have only a few weeks until Christmas! We are making plans such as THE PHONE CALL and all of this crazy music stuff. We have an ensaio for our choir this today actually all day long and then the Mission Conference is tomorrow! This will be the only time all year that the entire mission will be together. It is kindof a huge deal. The choir is sounding pretty good and I am very excited to be a part of it. Our main big performance will be in the Mission Conference tomorrow but we are also singing in the centro in a park tonight and perhaps with the Stake Choir here in Campos Eliseos some day. I am also accompaining Elder Ruberson who will be singing O Holy Night. It will all around be excellent. I know that the Spirit is present with sacred music and that this is an important part of the work for me right now. I am very grateful for this opportunity and know that God is pleased with our work.
This week em Sexta feira when we came home at the end of the day we walked in to a huge surprise: Sister Huntington and Sister Sperry had boughten Christmas decorations and decorated our house! They have some little teensy Santa ornaments on the wall and actually bought a baby tree with lights. It is so beautiful and is getting me really into the Christmas season. These Sisteres in our casa are really great and encouraging. They always now how to support me and build me up when I´m feeling down. We can´t do this work alone, but with the support of others we can do miracles!
We haven´t been able to do a ton of normal missionary work this week because Sister Jales has been a little sick. We are however teaching a new investigator named Shelly. She is only 11 but has been coming to Church for the past few weeks and has good friends at Church. She is reading the Book of Mormon with her mom and learning a lot. She was also sick this week so we really couldn´t visit her but we will return this next week and talk about baptism. I have high hopes for her! She will be a great example to her family, and we are planning on encouraging her mom especially to start accepting more of the lessons now.
We had divisions with the Sister Training Leaders this week! It was so amazing. I was with Sister Silva. She has such a kind heart and is super great at teaching and contacting and everything. I learned a ton and want to apply all that I learned into our future teaching. It is amazing how much you can get done in one day when you are focused and working hard. We taught lots of good lessons and I am excited to continue here in Campos Eliseos.
One thing I have been thinking about a lot lately is the power of testimony. We bear our testimony, however simple, with everyone that we talk to. I love the power of sincere testimony because it can never be denied and works with every person regardless of their situation. I want to bear my testimony with the world and be bold in the way I declare what I believe. I know that this igreja e evangelho de Cristo is the same organization that Christ established when He was on the earth. I know that this is the only way to neverending happiness and that I am having the wonderful opportunity to teach God´s perfect and eternal Plan of Happiness every day. I know that this is the right thing, and nothing that happens in my life or in the world could change that. I have finally gained a testimony of the Atonement and its power to overcome every obstacle and challenge that we face. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. The Atonement of Christ is very real and will lift us back up as missionaries at times even more than it will help our investigators. This Gospel contains all the truths of the one and only true and living God. He is my leader and Father. With Him, no matter what trials or difficulties I am asked to pass through, I cannot fail. The standard of truth has been erected and no unhallowed hand shall stop the work from progressing. The Truth of God will go forth boldy, nobly, and independent. The Great Jehovah has not yet proclaimed that the work is done, so I will continue to work and fight for Him. We are on the winning team! We will prevail!

Sister Marchant

P.S. Thanks for all the great emails this week! Shout out to Grandma for her neverending love and support! Yes Grandma I think I am receiving all of your emails and there is another letter on the way to Templeview Drive...I love you all!

Ola Presidente Brum,
Tínhamos divisões esta semana! Foi muito bom. Eu foi com Sister Silva. Eu aprendi MUITO e estou animada sobre a obra de novo. Nós ensinamos muitos lições juntos e encontramos mais novos pesquisadores. Sister Silva deu muita ajuda que eu precisei neste momento. O resto a semana foi um pouco diferente por que tínhamos muitas outras coisas fazer por exemplo o entrevista e os ensaios do coral. A obra está um pouco devagar agora mas temos muitos nomes que vamos visitar em breve. Eu realmente espero que eu posso ajudar mais e fazer todas as coisas de acordo com a vontade do Senhor. Muito obrigada por sua ajuda esta semana. Você fez muito para nós.
Um grande abraço,
Sister Marchant

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hello Hello!
Phew! What a week. It has been a bit of a difficult one, but we have had some really neat experiences as well. To start, Sebastião is doing awesome! He received the Aaronic Priesthood last week and passed the Sacrament for the first time this week. It is neat to see him continually progress. He comes to all the Church activities and makes lots of comments in the church classes. I really think he will stay active in the Church and help build up the ward here in Campos Eliseos. He does not know tons of people in the ward yet but is really starting to become immersed and would be fine without the missionaries there.
We had a really difficult, intense lesson with our other investigators Paula e Anderson this week. They had been avoiding our calls and hadn´t been to Church for the past two weeks. Early this week we showed up at their house one night and Paula told us that they did not find what they were looking for in our Church. She said the people were great and that she liked meeting with us but that she wants to look at other churches to decide first. We were pretty crushed and talked with her for a long time. We tried to emphasize the importance of the Book of Mormon and a personal testimony and she said she would continue to read and study. We bore our testimonies with all of our hearts, and to be honest, I felt the Spirit super strong in that lesson, maybe more than nearly any other lesson we have had with them, and we have had a bunch of spiritual lessons. I am really starting to recognize that one way that always works without fail to invite the Spirit is to bear sincere testimony. Every time I try to start to bear my testimony about something the Spirit helps me with the language, and I know that whatever I say can´t be denied. Others can argue about the doctrine or setup of the Church but they cannot deny when I say that I know something to be true. Testimony is powerful and I always strive to end every lesson with my personal beliefs. So Paula said that she might come back in the future and would keep an open mind. They have had problems trying to quit smoking and to get married and I think that they are scared to make any big changes in their life. Sister Jales and I truly believe that some day they will remember what they have felt in the gospel of Jesus Christ and return to His true fold.
We had a ginormous rainstorm this week again. I should probably stop talking about these because they are going to happen all the time, but this time we were in the thick of it. We were sloshing through the street with rain up past our ankles and it made me think of what many of you are experiencing right now but with snow instead. This is something I have never experienced in my life but it is always quite an adventure and we laugh through it all. There is a man in our ward who loves the American missionaries. He is so awesome and nice and always comes up and talks to me and sometimes gives little gifts. This week he gave me one of those colapsable umbrellas that is the lightest thing I have ever felt and will be perfect to carry around in my bag all day just in case. I am ready to take on the torrents!
I think I mentioned last week that we have a new sister in our house, Sister Sperry. She is amazing. She is super hardworking and always happy. Our home is so much happier and the four of us get along extremely well. It is great to come home after a long day and be able to talk to Sister Sperry and Huntington for a little tiny bit. We can really help and support each other as missionaries. There is no way I could do this alone!
I have been studing a lot about charity and love this week. When it comes down to it, charity really is the greatest attribute of Christ, and when we can gain true charity, all of the other attributes will much easier fall into place. In California I learned how to be strictly obedient and work with every rule to the T. Here I am learning to relax and not be stressed out over everything. I am learning to love every situation no matter what happens and to appreciate the small things. Charity has never been one of my strong abilities but I am learning little by little to gain more of it. Studies have really helped me to see the importance of skills like this and how to better apply them into my work. I have been a lot happier as I can let little things that bother me slide away quickly and to focus on loving the people here individually. Every person we talk to is very improtant and a child of God. I hope they can feel that they are important to him.
Wow, I have also really come to rely on prayer. I pray all the time now whenever I need any help or advice and God answers. Isn´t it amazing? We have a 24 hours a day, free, open line to all the right answers. I am SO grateful for prayer and the help I constantly receive from my Heavenly Father. He never lets me down and is always there to support and love me. I hope and pray I can do the same for others, especially for Sister Jales.

Sister Marchant

P.S. I received a super nice Christmas card from the Milford Ward Primary this week! Thank you so much for your kindness and cuteness! It was greatly appreciated.

Oi Presidente Brum,
Muito obrigado por todas as suas palavras simpáticas. Eu realmente aprecio todo o conselho eu posso receber. Esta semana foi um pouco mais difícil. Quatro de nossos pesquisadores progredindo disserem que não querem receber nenhuma mais lição. Tivemos algumas lições muito tristes com estes pesquisadores, mas nós sabemos que nós fizemos nossa parte. Fizemos tudo que nós pudemos e agora eles têm seu livre arbítrio. Eu me sentia um pouquíssimo do que o Salvador se sente quando os filhos de Deus não aceitar esta mensagem de felicidade. As vezes eu pensa, "como você pode abandonar alguma coisa tão importante e maravilhosa?" Mas eu realmente tenho aprendido amar estas pessoas ainda e saber que Deus ainda as ama mais do que eu. Esta obra é difícil mas com certeza vale a pena. Estou aprendido MUITAS coisas todos os dias, mais do que eu esperava aprenderia. Estou aprendendo habilidades e atributos importantes que eu sei eu nunca poderia aprender alem de uma missão. Esta oportunidade é uma bênção muito grande.
Nossa recém converso Sebastião está progredindo muito ainda. Ele recebeu o Sacerdócio a semana passada e passou o sacramento esta semana pela primeira vez! Estamos muito animadas para ele. Eu amo ver ele cresce. Ele tem muito fé e é muito forte no evangelho.

Muito obrigada por tudo,
Síster Marchant

Monday, December 2, 2013

Oi Oi!!
This is the first line of the chorus of our mission song. And boy did it rain this week! One day it was raining so hard it flooded the streets and the sidewalks and started coming up onto the porch of the member´s home we were out. Luckily by the time we were done having almoço it had slowed down a lot so that we could go out and keep working, but phew! I have never seen so much rain in my life. We were watching out of their front door the whole time. It made me think of how you must be having snow covered roads really high right now. Almost the same thing.
Transfers are here! Sister Jales and I are officially staying the same in Campos Eliseos! This is what I expected so it is not a huge surprise. We did get a new Sister in our apartment though named Sister Sperry. She is an American too and will be with Sister Huntington. Elder Worthin left our ward as well and was replaced by Elder Lewis. He will be our new District Leader. Sister Jales is a little concerned because she will be sorounded by Americans all the time now, but this is a good opportunity for her to learn more English and for me to practice remembering to always speak in Portuguese, especially with other Americans. I´ve heard great things about these two missionaries and I think they will be really hard working and help our areas. I know that our Mission President is inspired to bless us with these changes.
The Elders here had another baptism yesterday! It was the daughter of Mariana who was baptized last week. She was so excited and seems really commited to the Church. The actual baptism was a little different. They had it right after Church (because she had other plans on Saturday), which actually turned out really great because lots of people stayed to support. When we went over to the baptismal font, a lot of the water had drained out during Church unknowingly! It only came up a little past the knees of Elder Worthin. They tried to do the ordinance like normal but she didn´t get all the way under the water, so they actually did it kneeling down. I have never seen that before but I guess it works too and she made it all the way the second time. She is only 12 and was pretty scared but did great and we are very happy for her. We also had two investigators at Sacrament Meeting this week who stayed for the baptism! They are both young girls and we have only taught them once, but they seemed to like Church so we have high hopes for them. Getting investigators to come to Church is sometimes the hardest part for people so this was a big step.
Mariana is a super chef as well and made us cake afterwards which was too good. All the food here is too good and I eat way too much. But we are running every morning so and pretty much only eat lunch so hopefully I´ll be alright.
The piano lessons turned out really well this week. I had forgotten how much I love to teach. The two girls have actually taken piano in the past so they have lots of books to use (Bastien piano basics and Um Doze por Dia (a Dozen a day!), I might add) so I think it will go really well. I am excited that I will get to stay in Campos Eliseos and teach a little longer. Our English class this week was also awesome. It is amazing to watch someone grasp a new concept or idea and watch it finally make sense to them. I am seeing that in our teaching lessons as well. I love teaching people who really listen and want to learn, especially about the Plan of Salvation that is so new in many ways. We had a few great lessons this week and were very happy all week working together. Sister Jales has had some health problems but they are clearing up and I think all will be well. We have a lot of things to do still in this area and are looking forward to this new transfer to try to reach new goals.
I am very excited to hear all the news of my great family! Congrats to Nate on your job offer and good luck with starting a great new family! I´m also excited to hear about all the trips you all are taking across the country for the different holidays. Thanks for keeping me updated! They sound super fun. I think a normal phone call will work fine for Christmas. It will be a little sad not to see all of your beautiful faces, but I think it will be more reliable and definitely worth it to hear from everyone.
Keep up the good work and eat lots of leftover pie for me! I almost forgot it was Thanksgiving, it came up so quick. But don´t worry we did go out to a buffet place to have a mini celebration with the other Americans here. It was a very delicious mix of rice, beans, and meat. Not the traditional Thanksgiving feast, but a feast nonetheless. Life is good the Brazilian way! I am learning and changing lots.
Sister Marchant

Olá Presidente!
Primeiro, tivemos um batismo em nossa aula esta semana! Um dos pesquisadores dos Elderes foi batizado em Domingo. Ela estava muito animada e total foi bem. É emocionante para mim ver estas pessoas especiais achegaram-se a Cristo e observar as maneiras que o evangelho está mudando suas vidas. Minha parte preferida da missão agora está olhando alguém aprender alguma coisa sobre o evangelho que é maravilhosa (qual é mais ou menos tudo que nós ensinamos como missionários de Cristo) que nunca tem ouvido antes. Esta obra está com certeza mudando minha vida também mais do que eu já imaginei. Estou aprendendo um pouco mais como reconhecer e seguir os sussurros do Espírito, e nossas lições estão melhorando pouco por pouco. Sou grata pela oportunidade servir com Sister Jales de novo esta transferência por que eu sei que ainda há muitas coisas que eu posso aprender dela e muitas maneiras que eu quero ajudar nossa aula. Vamos continuar trabalhar douro.
Nossos contatos estão melhorando e estamos ensinando mais especificamente para as necessidades individuais de cada pessoa. Ontem fomos uma praça e falamos com muitos pessoas. Ensinamos duas lições muito boas lá e tivemos experiencias legais. Também tivemos duas lições com Sebastião esta semana. Ele tem um testemunho muito forte agora do evangelho e especialmente do Livro de Mórmon. Ele sempre está lendo fora sua porta quando passamos a casa dele, e todas as vezes que nós o encontramos, ele sempre está muito feliz. Ele também recebeu o Sacerdócio na Reunião Sacramental esta semana! Ele provavelmente vai passar o sacramento a próxima semana e talvez vai receber um chamado em breve. Sebastião é um exemplo para mim de fé muito forte e a disposição fazer tudo que o Senhor pede.
Todas as outras coisas são bem para mim! Uma missão é muito difícil mas muito vale a pena. Eu amo as coisas sobre a igreja que estou aprendendo e a maneira que eu posso aplicar estas coisas imediatamente em minha obra. Eu espero que eu vou sempre aprender e crescer por toda a parte de minha missão e começar amar as pessoas aqui ainda mais. Com a ajuda do Senhor todos meus desejos justos são possíveis.

Obrigado por tudo e especialmente sua inspiração sobre as transferências,
Síster Marchant