Arapongas Brazil

DSC03746 August, 25, 2014

Family e amigos,

This week has truly been a week of miracles and saudades. I said good bye to Sister Hartvigsen last night; she´s on her way to Utah as we speak 🙂 AND I will be moving to Arapongas (near Londrina). I am really going to miss the family I have here.

Sister Hartvigsen and I worked so hard this past transfer and the Lord allowed us to find 3 of His elects who were baptized in out last week together. Annye, Wellington and Fabiana. They are all three sooooooo special to me and I will miss them like crazy! But I know that the Lord has big plans in store for all three of them. Annye is the shining example in her family, her mom is still working towards baptism and Annye will be the force Maria needs to take that final step. Wellington is an amazing young man who basically sought the gospel out and Fabiana and her story will always be very dear to my heart. Fabiana and Leandro are now working on entering the temple together in 364 days 🙂

Life is so good as a missionary. Sorry, I can´t write more right now, but I need to hurry home to pack everything up and catch a bus tomorrow morning! Enjoy the pictures!

com amor,

Sister Dean

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Cascavel Brazil

DSC03402August 18, 2014

Querido Família e amigos,

Sister Hartvigsen and I continue to work diligently. Its super crazy to think that she will be going home this next week!!! It´s been real surreal for me to think about how precious and short our time on the mission is. We are called to labor 18 months to 2 years which seems like a lifetime in the moment, but every day I teach countless people that our life here on earth is only a small part of our life eternal. And our mission is a small fraction of even that. This time is set apart for us to WORK! We´ve been working and praying so hard to have a fruitful last week… I don´t want to jinx anything, but I think that this next week I will have some exciting baptism news (I hope I hope I hope)
Thank you for all of your letters and support! I´m sorry this letter isn´t longer, but there is not too much to report on this week. This upcoming week will be full of changes! A new companion, (maybe a new area and a baptism or two!)

Com amor,

Sister Dean

Cascavel Brazil

DSC03658August 11, 2014

Hello everyone!

Sister Hartvigsen and I continue to work diligently, she´s pretty excited to go home in 2 weeks and I am anxiously awaiting to hear what will become of me in Cascavel. I have grown to love the city and the people, but am ready to stay or go where the Lord needs me. I don´t know if I´ve already mentioned it, but our Zone only has one Brazilian and about 10 Americans lol. (there’s a Pauraguan or 2 too) but zone meetings are super funny. We´ll all gather round a computer screen to watch a portion of ´the district´dvds and our zone leaders will say ´those who can speak English stay in the back, anyone who speaks another language, please gravitate to the front to read the subtitles. It blows my mind sometimes to remember that I am communicating with so many different young people from around the world and we are uniting to speak one common language 🙂 it´s pretty neat.

We are working hard, and I am sooo grateful for all of your support (and for the letters!!! I love the letters!!)

com amor,

Sister Dean

Cascavel, Brasil

DSC03576
Querida Família e amigos,

This week was pretty gritty. I got bit again by the devil bugs and had to stick it out 2 days with another elephant foot. But I am learning from my mistakes and refuse to be food for the bichos again. I also have some pretty wonderful and gritty news about our investigator Maria. Maria is sooooo prepared to be baptized….. It is just the cigarettes. those darn things. She is at church every Sunday and volunteering to clean the chapel with the other women, but those cigarettes!!!!! Her testimony is so strong and every time we visit she declares she will be baptized, but cigarettes are so hard for her. Last night she shared with us that she wishes that God would make her vomit every time she smoked she wished to stop that badly. My companion and I looked at each other and said, “Maria, do you really mean it?“ There is an ancient missionary technique called “chá de cigarros“ cigarette tea. You make a tea of the innards of a cigarette and give it to them to drink then wait 45 minutes…teach, invite the spirit, and wait. Then when they have the desire to smoke again. the smell will remind them of that one awful tea indecent… She and her son Murilo were all for it! It was not a pretty sight. We had to leave to make it home before it really settled in, but it truly was a testament to me how much Maria wants to follow the Savior. I learned something very interesting this week about sacrifice. Heavenly Father truly is the refiner; we need to pass through the fire sometimes to come out polished. Heavenly Father wants our sacrifices, and I´m learning that it is not a sacrifice if it can be easily offered up. He wants us to identify the one thing in our life that we can´t imagine changing, he wants us to sacrifice the hardest thing for us to let go. Sometimes it´s our pride, a bad habit, or even an attitude. He needs us to overcome our biggest obstacle and he will give us the strength if we search for it. Once we overcome our vice we feel an indescribable feeling of victory and relief. Then God will help us identify the next thing in our lives that holds us back and he will help us overcome that vice. God is refining us if we let Him. Turn everything over to Him and you will be astonished at the person you will become. A silver refiner places the metal in the midst of the flames and keeps it there until it is purified; he knows it is finished when He can see His reflection in the silver. WE ARE HIS SILVER!!! If we let ourselves be refined, we will start to reflect His image in our countenance. Be refined and become more like Christ! Life will be unbelievably happier.
Life is so good. I am so blessed to be an instrument in the hands of someone who sees the bigger picture 🙂 Just, one other small thing. Luan, my convert ALWAYS bears his testimony in church and I have a small sense of what it must be like to be a proud mother 🙂 We also had a Bolivian couple in church this week; they shared their testimonies and I was wayyyyy excited to find out that I understand Spanish now too (more or less) it´s a little strange to hear…like someone is trying to speak Portuguese, but they have a bad taste in their mouth. haha, here’s to learning Spanish when I return!

Com amor,
Sister Dean