Querido Família e amigos,
The Work is going forward! this past week was pretty enlightening. We held stake conference and I was unbelievably happy to hear both Sister and President Genaro give talks. They are such an inspired couple and good speakers! Sister Genaro shared the story of how the land for the Houston temple was obtained (look it up!) and it truly solidified my testimony of the will of the Lord and as Néfi teaches us, God never gives His children orders with out before preparing a way by which His orders can be fulfilled. The power of prayer in hand with doing the Lord´s will is unbeatable!
Since President Genaro was passing in our city, he decided to do a few interviews. We talked about strengths, weaknesses, health, goals, all the usual, but I was very surprised to hear about his plans for me this upcoming transfer. There are still 2 weeks left in this transfer, but President Genaro informed me that I will be taking on the role as the next Sister Líder Treinadora! (… in english I think it´s sister leader trainer…leader trainer sister… don´t know) Yikes! I know the Lord will qualify me but I´m a little apprehensive about what lies ahead. He informed me I will continue training Sister Gardner at the same time, which is good, but a lot of responsibility. I am about to hit my 1 year mark and am amazed at the growth I have witnessed here on the mission. I am amazed at the growth that undoubtedly is in store!
Sister Gardner continues to learn very fast! Here on the mission, we use the terms ´mãe (mom)´and Filha (daughter) to describe our ´liniage here on the mission and I am so proud to call Sister Gardner my daughter. I am seeing the potential she has and how she will turn into a great missionary when she takes the reigns.
I know that we are doing an important work here and that the Lord is blessing us. I would like to leave a small testimony that I know that the Word of Wisdom is inspired revelation. Vices are not of God. I know that giving up old habits is hard, but when we remember the consequences of disobedience and the promised blessings we can do the impossible. It is worth it. the things that the Word of wisdom warns against is inspired advice to protect our bodies, our spirits, our minds and our family relationships. I love the inspired advice from an inspired man, “STOP IT“ it´s not worth the eternal consequences and your eternal happiness is at risk. Avoid Alcohol, cigarettes, Coffee, Tea and Drugs. Challenge God, see if He wont bless you. I love you all and I pray for you all to follow this council from our loving Heavenly Father to be happier! Your body is a temple!
Queirdo Família e amigos!
This week Sister Gardner found another miracle. It all started when Rebecca, a young woman in our stake who is leaving for her mission in 12 days, called the sisters in the stake and she asked to work with us the entire day so that she could get a little practice in before leaving. it was late and that day in particular was super intense. The other companionship of sisters that live with us are the Sister Líder Treinadoras and they have to travel to help President Genaro with special assignments. This week they were gone 4 days of the week and they left us to keep up their area while they were gone. in those 4 days we taught their investigators and prepared two brothers, Juan and José to be baptized. I was very worried about our investigatores this week because our time was divided in two areas, but Sister Gardner and I, we were praying so hard to help a child of God enter into the waters of baptism from our area this week. Although it looked glum, I am learning that devoted prayer and promises and faith will always pull through. Our Heavenly father promised us that our area, our `field´ is white nd ready to harvest. We prayed with faith and friday night I pulled out my planner and asked Rebecca, “ I have two names of families in our area book, you can pick, should we visit Leandro or Julia?“ Wow is the Lord good. Rebecca studied the names and she said, `Julia? the daughter of Elisangela?“ Turns out Rebecca was good friends with this family who all but the mother had turned less active. We passed in their house around 8:00pm, we got to know them and we followed the promptings of the spirit knowing that God would put someone in our path who was prepared. Rebecca bore her testimony and we invited 9 year old Julia to be baptised the very next day and she accepted. It truly was a miracle that the ord put Rebecca in our way and I know she will be a wonderful missionary. I tell her that Julia will be her first name she puts in her Preach My Gospel of baptisms she has had as a missionary 🙂
Sister Gardner is learning super fast and I am so excited to see her in 4 months or so when she becomes totally fluent and a super powerful missionary. I tell her all the time that she is the fastest learning missionary of all the missionaries that arrived in her group. no lie!
I miss you all but a so happy to get you emails and hear of your missionary experiences. Thank you all for the support and prayers.
Com muito amor,
Sister Whitney Dean
Querido família e amigos,
This past weekend Sister Gardner and I found José Mendes. We were walking up a ginormous hill, coming back from a disappointing appointment and we passed in front of a red gate. I saw an elderly man sitting on a chair all alone. We stopped and felt like we had to go back and talk with him. José lives with his sister Glória is 72 years old and sells popsicles from his house. He is so dear and intelligent. We sat down and talked about baptism and he said, “well, I was only baptised once as baby in the catholic church, but I think after your explanation it won´t do, when can I be baptised“! With a leap of faith we marked his baptism for the coming Sunday. We returned day after day to share with him the messages of the restoration, the plan of God and the commandments, He eagerly soaked it all in and related to us how he had been waiting for someone to make sense of it all for 72 years. He is so special. I remember moments in my life looking into the eyes of inspired men; bishops, stake presidents, mission presidents… I see the same love and disposition when I look in his eyes. He is eagerly learning as fast as he can. He had expressed a desire to pay tithing one day (before we explained). We briefly covered tithing; seeing as he already had a knowledge and desire, but the Sunday he was to be baptised, the sacrament was coming around and he slipped out a 10 dollar (reais) bill with the intent of slipping it onto the bread tray. I quickly explained again and he said “oh. well, why didn´t you get me one of those envelopes sooner?“.
Sister Gardner is coming along real fast! I think I mentioned it but she reminds me a lot of myself when I arrived on the mission. She is great and I love serving with her (not to mention all of the new and fancy united states clothes she brought with her) 🙂 We´re working diligently here and searching for ways to become more obedient and worthy to find the elect and the miracles. Thank you for all of your support, letters and prayers! I am so blessed to have the fire power that is Green Bay in my mission 🙂
Com muito amor,
Querido família e amigos,
I am so sorry I didn´t get a chance to write last week, but I was called to Londrina to pick up my new companion! I am training again! Her name is Sister Gardner from Orem Utah and she is great. She reminds me a lot of me when I first arrived in the field. I wish I could upload photos of us, but the computers were using today are a little old and don´t have how. Last week Sister Munar and I helped our friend Maria enter in to the waters of baptism and this week with Sister Gardner we helped our friend Eduardo be baptised. I am so amazed at how fast the work is moving here in our mission. Our Zone really is a zone of miracles, in 4 weeks together with the help of the lord, we baptised 60 children of God! I am amazed at the progress our recent convert Gabriel is making. He is such a joy in my life. Sister Munar and I bought him a tie and a sister from the ward brought him a white shirt 🙂 . He was SO excited to get up in front of everyone in his church clothes to receive the gift of theHoly Ghost. We made 20 invites for him to hand out to his family and friends and within an hour he had run around the neighborhood and delivered all 20! I love that kid! We are reading the Book of Mormon with him from the beginning and helping him keep a journal of all of his spiritual experiences (my teacher mode is kicking in). I am learning so much from reading the Book of mormon with him in portuguese, it truly is amazing the simple truths a child can expound upon that our adult and hardened minds tend to breeze over. Gabriel is a miracle in my life and I truly cannot imagine what would have happened if I had decided not to serve a mission.
Today is my 11 month mark. I really can´t describe how the mission has changed me. I am being molded in so many ways and I am learning things that will sculpt the woman, wife, mother, friend, daughter and servant of God I will become after my mission. This Christmas it was such a relief to talk and laugh with my family. Life is so good and I am in the service of the Almighty God. I am so grateful for everything. Thank you all for the support, the love and the prayers!