Monday, January 27, 2014

Ola Familia!
Ok seriously, I cannot believe all of this crazy weather you guys are having! What I would give to go lay out in a field of snow! It was over 100 F this week here and we can really feel it when it we are outside walking all day. I want to try to fry an egg on the sidewalk because I´m thinking it really could work here. A few places like the Church have air conditioning though so we are really trying to take advantage of that. Our apartment complex just sent us a note this week saying they were thinking about installing air conditioning in our apartments! That would truly be a miracle.
But the happiness and success of missionary work is completely outweighing the difficulties of the weather. We are teaching like crazy! I have never found so much joy and happiness in missionary work. Sister Hoggan is so great and easy to work with. We work hard every day and come home super exhausted but super happy. We are teaching a lot of different people and having awesome contacts. We have a great unity in our companionship that I haven´t had with any other. We have had similar experiences in the past on our mission and have similar goals and hopes for the work in the future. I love teaching with her and feel very confident and safe to talk to anyone and teach any principle with her as a partner. The work is going strong and we can work as hard as we want.
Our biggest challenge these two weeks has been helping people come to Church. We have great, super spiritual lessons with people and have had 5 or 6 people promise to come to Church on Sunday but then no one shows up. We are doing our part and trying to go pick them up to take them to Church though so I don´t know much more we can do. I am learning all over again about the importance of agency and how we need to repect the agency of others no matter how hard you want to make them choose the right! Agency is a very important part of God´s plan and we should never try to take that away. We did have some less actives that we are working with come to Church though. That was exciting and two of them seem really pumped up and ready to become active again. We are seeing miracles everywhere.
This week has been a week full of the Spirit. We have still had hard moments and have had a few great investigators drop us, but we have had some amazing lessons. I feel the Holy Ghost speaking through me every day and have never felt the Spirit so strongly in one condensed period of time in my life. Even if we don´t have many or any baptisms, I feel like we are being successful missionaries and really bringing others closer to Christ. I love this work! It feels so good to have the Spirit with you and testifying of your words. I can know we are doing the right things when the Spirit is so strong. I am truly coming to love this people and want all of this happiness and peaceful feelings for them too.
Our highlight investigators of the week are Jonatos and Jessica and Iara. Jonatos and Jessica were a contact we made in the street that we marked an appointment for the next week. We taught them the first lesson on Saturday and the Spirit was super strong. We saw them again on Sunday, and although they didn´t come to Church (but they only had about 12 hours notice) Jessica said she had already read the chapter we gave them. It will be hard to meet with them because they work a ton and are only available Saturday nights, but we think they are really going to progress. Iara is a single Mom with a super cute baby girl and a 10 year old son. I knocked into them a few weeks ago with Sister Jales and it has been hard to get in contact with them again, but we have always felt a pull to go back there anyway. These past two weeks we have had the chance to meet with her twice and have had some really powerhouse lessons. She has been through A LOT in her life and we will have to explain things slowly and tenderly, but I am starting to see the beginnings of the evangelho de Cristo changing her life. I know she can be healed of everything and that she can know for herself that this is the true Church of Christ led by a prophet of God. Oh, we have such good news to take to everyone! I wish we could teach every person in this city.
Life is great and filled with good things! Be grateful for every blessing you see!

Love you forever,
Sister Marchant

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hola família!
Thanks for sending all of your exciting news! It is really fun for me to hear about all the big changes and events going on in your lives. But don´t do anything too exciting while I am gone. I don´t want to miss all of these amazing events. Way to go Mom and Dad with all of your great missionary work! The members mean everything to us. We really couldn´t do any of this work without you and appreciate everything you offer. Thanks for going above and beyond just feeding dinner to the missionaries! It makes a big difference.
This was about the best week of my life! Sister Hoggan is absolutely amazing. We are very similar and both itching to work hard. We almost killed ourselves this week with working until dark and falling into bed dead every night, but it is so good. I have never been so tired but also so happy in my life. We are teaching lots of lessons and have had some miracle, spiritually strong lessons this week.
Sonia is doing great. We set a baptismal date with her for the first of February! We had two great lessons with her about the Book of Mormon and then the Plan of Salvation. She said the prayer at the end of one and cried and said that she could really feel a difference when we were there. The only problem is that she has difficulty attending Church. She lives right across the street and usually doesn´t have good excuses so we are a little concerned about that, but I believe she will be able to overcome her concerns and become baptized soon. I really hope it happens before I leave this area!
We also found a new family Susana, Elisvaldo, and their daughter this week. They were a reference that the other Elders found at the bus stop. It was actually pretty cool because Elisvaldo never takes the bus but his car just got broken into this week so he couldn´t use it for a while. He said he had been searching for the right church to raise his daughter with good morals and recognized that perhaps the elders were an answer to his prayers and that this experience was a blessing from God. They are reading the Book of Mormon now and seem very interested. I know that they will have challenges to overcome to fully accept all of the doctrine of Christ, but they said they would be baptized if they knew the Church was true.
We also had a really neat member present lesson with our friend Ana Furlan. We taught a young mom named Iara late one rainy night about the Book of Mormon and the power of Christ to overcome any hardship we face. Iara has been through A LOT and still is in the middle of a lot of challenges. She has never really been religious either so we are going to have to work slowly, but this was an awesome lesson. It made a huge difference to have a member there, especially with both Sister Hoggan and I being Americans. Iara cried and said we could come back any time.
Our main problem right now is helping people come to Church. We got up super early to try to visit and bring all three of these families to Church yesterday (even with members!) but no one answered the door or came. It is difficult because you want them to progress and experience the difference of our Church so badly, but there is only so much we can do. I feel like we did all we could do though and must now leave it up to the agency of our investigators.
Sister Hoggan and I did a fast this week to create goals for our companionship and transfer. We have the same vision and want to change a lot of the same things about our personal missionary work and personalities to improve. I am very blessed to be with someone so dedicated to the work and the gospel.
I am feeling such love for these people and am truly desiring their salvation. I wish I could bring everyone to the gospel of Christ! This is such a happy message and I am so happy to have the opportunity to share it with everyone. For the first time I am coming to understand a little bit of what Ammon meant in Alma 26:35-36. Doing the work of the Lord is so great and I just want to rejoice all the time. Life is hard but great!

Beijos, beijos!
Sister Marchant

P.S. Mom, could you send me a traditional brownie recipe? Lots of the members have been asking for one. They don´t make normal cookies or brownies here!

Presidente Brum!
Esta semana foi talvez a melhor semana em minha missão inteira! Eu amo Sister Hoggan! Ela é tão simpática e paciente. Eu posso ser mim mesma com ela e eu me sinto muito feliz e segura. Nós temos os mesmos metas e esperanças por esta área e nosso trabalho em geral. Eu estou muito animada trabalhar com ela e estar ainda nesta área.
A ala aqui é excelente. Com o novo Bispo Fabio tivemos um conselho da ala em domingo. Foi ótimo e eles têm um novo determinação fazer a obra missionária aqui. Acho que nós vamos ver milagres.
Tem tão muito trabalho fazer aqui! O campo realmente está branco para a ceifa. Agora com os Elderes no escritório em Campos Eliseos também, nós decidimos que Sister Hoggan e eu vamos trabalhar em todo de Campos Eliseos. Temos muitos pesquisadores visitar e muitos contatos contatar. Nós ensinamos muitos lições maravilhosas esta semana e nos sentimos o Espírito Santa forte; Eu nunca tenho estado tão cansada na missão, mas também eu nunca tenho estado tão feliz. Eu gosto de trabalhar duro e nós realmente estamos fazendo isso. Nós também fizemos metas pessoais e juntos para a transferência ontem, e acho que nós vamos ter sucesso quando estamos ajudando uma à outra. Nós vamos precisar usar o tempo nós temos para descansar ou nós talvez vamos matar nos mesmas, mas além disso, tudo e maravilhoso.
Esta transferência vai ser muito diferente da outra mas eu ainda vou ter desafios e provações. Deus sempre tem aluma coisa ensinar. Ele ensina em maneiras que eu nunca espera mais sempre são boas para mim. Estou muito grata ser missionária aqui e agora. Que bênçãos eu já recebi!

Um abraço,
Sister Marchant

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Olá Olá Meus Amores!
Happy New Year my dearest friends! Things are going by so fast here on the mish. It is already 2014! I am ready to devote this entire year to the service of my Lord and Savior. How lucky am I!
A few of you asked about traditions for New Years in Brazil. I didn´t hear about anything too special except that everyone stays up past midnight and gets a bit tipsy...But as missionaries we went to bed at 10:30 again! We woke up right before midnight and ate dark chocolate m&ms (yum yum thanks Mom!) and made new years resolutions. We also watched fireworks outside of our window. We live in the third floor of an apartment complex so there so we had a decent view. That is one great tradition they have. Every city sets off tons of fireworks at midnight. No matter where you live you will always be able to see fireworks because tons of people set them off all over the city. Then we just went to bed again, because as a missionary, you are always exhausted.
We did a sweet service project this week. An irmão in the ward is remolding and repainting his living room. We went over to his house one morning and helped to sand down all of his walls and doorframes. It reminded me of working in the house with Dad. We got super dusty and were pretty tired by the end, but it felt great to do some hard physical labor again :) (did you ever think I´d say those words Dad?)
Sonia and Lucas are progressing a lot. They are growing tons in the gospel and are such a joy to teach. I feel true genuine love for them and pray every day for them to continue to grow in the gospel. Sonia is 21 and Lucas is 19. I don´t remember if I´ve told you tons about them yet but we actually met them as a street contact because their mom wanted to come to our English class. That was over a month ago, and no one from their family has been to the class yet, but we have been able to teach the lessons to them instead. They live right across the street from the Church so it has been really easy to get them to come to Church. They are truly reading the LDM and have awesome questions during every lesson. I love teaching them because they listen intently to everything we teach and have a honest desire to recieve answers to their prayers. I hope I don´t get transfered so that I can continue to teach such wonderful people here who are stealing my heart.
We switched our Preparation Day to today so that we could go to the zoo! It was super fun and had some pretty amazing animals. It was pretty similar to our zoos just a little smaller. They had a few of the basics like an elephant and bear and lion, but then lots of different types of birds and warthog type animals that I have never seen before. It was pretty intense. But the best part was the gardens. They had extremely tall trees with a really thick forest that was absolutely beautiful. I would have been happy just to walk through that beautiful forest even if there wasn´t any animals. The botanical gardens at the Cincinnati zoo don´t seem like anything after that. It was the first time I felt like I was in the stereotypical Amazon that everyone thinks all of Brazil is like. Although it was a little tricky to get our preparation day switched around it was totally worth it and plus, the zoos are free here.
We have also had some inspirational lessons with less actives this week. Our ward has lots of less actives that are needing some love, so we have been seaching them out and bringing them back. I like working with less active because they almost always are very accepting of the missionaries and know what to expect when we come. I have felt the Spirit extremely strong in those lessons and have grown from the testimonies of these members. All of the less active we have talked to still have a testimony of the gospel but just have had some difficulty or another that is keeping them from reaching their highest potential. We can use the base they already have to help move them forward to enjoy all of the fruits of the gospel de novo.
This week I have come to love and appreciate the Atonement of Christ even more. I need it so badly as a missionary and I know how much our investigators need it. We can do everything God asks of us with the Atonement and can do nothing without it. How grateful I am for this wonderful gift! Every single day I thank my Heavenly Father for the help and strength that I can gain because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He is my Savior in a very literal sense and pulls me out of every hardship I enter. Everything is possible because of His infinite and complete sacrifice for us. Even when no one else does, He knows EXACTLY what we are feeling and going through. He will never leave us comfortless, in fact, he will always be there to full us all the way up with comfort and joy! We can do it all! Every hardship of this life will be worth it and can be the chance to be molded into someone better. I am so grateful for all of the experiences a mission offers. There is nothing like it in the world. If any of you reading this are debating whether to serve or not, DO IT! Every challenge or hardship you may have to go through to become a missionary is 100% worth it. I would never choose to change my decision and am so grateful the Lord has called me as His servant to bring others back to Him. Lucky for me I myself am being led back to Him at the same time. My heart is full.

Alguns beijos piegos,
Sister Marchant

P.S. Thanks for teaching me how to type. It´s funny that the Brazilians here think it is amazing how fast I can type. I don´t type any faster at all than any normal person but it makes a big difference when it is crunch time for emails and I don´t have to peck at the keys. The simple things about life you don´t appreciate enough...

Olá Presidente!
Obrigada por tudo de sua ajuda esta semana! Este tem sido uma semana de santificação de novo. Eu estou aprendendo MUITAS coisas. Eu sei que as experiencias nesta transferência vai me preparar e me ajudar por eventos no futuro. Eu sei que Deus tem um propósito por tudo que aconteceu em nossas vidas e que eu vou ser grata por esta experiencia no futuro. As verdades do evangelho são tão boas e felizes. Estou aprendendo muito mais sobre a expiação de Cristo e estou crescendo muito mais perto a Ele. Eu sei que com a ajuda Dele tudo é possível e que eu posso vencer qualquer dificuldade que eu tenho. Deus é tão bom!
Nós também tivemos algumas boas lições esta semana. Nossos pesquisadores Sonia e Lucas estão progredindo bem. Eles gostam de ir a igreja e têm perguntas perfeitas. Acho que eles têm confiança em nós e tem desejos puros aprender sobre a felicidade do evangelho. Nós os amamos e estão tentando fazer tudo os ajudar achegaram-se a Cristo.
O trabalho empurra para a frente! Tenho um testemunho forte sobre as palavras de Joseph Smith quando ele falou que A obra de Deus avançará com coragem, nobreza e independência, que nada vai parar o progresso desta obra. Temos as melhores notícias no mundo! Que felicidade ser missionária, não importa o que desafio aconteceu. Com a ajuda do Senhor, eu vou fazer sua obra.

Obrigada por tudo,
Sister Marchant
Translation into English
Hello President !
Thanks for all your help this week ! This has been a week of sanctification again. I 'm learning MANY things . I know that this transfer experiences will prepare me and help me in future events . I know God has a purpose for everything that happened in our lives and I will be grateful for this experience in the future. The truths of the gospel are so good and happy . I'm learning a lot more about the atonement of Christ and am growing much closer to Him I know that with His help everything is possible and that I can overcome any difficulty that I have. God is so good !
We also had some good lessons this week . Our researchers Sonia and Luke are progressing well . They like to go to church and have perfect questions . I think they have confidence in us and have pure desires happiness learn about the gospel . We love you and are trying to do everything to help have come before Christ.
The work pushes forward ! I have a strong testimony to the words of Joseph Smith when he said that the work of God will go forth boldly , nobly, and independent , that nothing will stop the work from progressing . We have the best news in the world ! What bliss to be a missionary , no matter what happened Challenge . With the Lord's help , I will do your work .

Thanks for everything,
Sister Marchant