Querida família (e amigos!),
Sister Jientara and I may be melting from extreme temperatures, but the heat can not get us down! This week the mission broke the all time record of contacts, more than 20,000! I am so happy to see so many young people united in opening our mouths without fear to invite God´s children to know the restored truths. This week we truly were able to see the fruits of our work. Sister Jientara and I helped 9 investigators attend church yesterday. The parents of Joana are truly opening up. Ever since Cidinha (Joana´s mom) signed the baptismal form, she has opened up a spiritual blockade and is strengthening her resolve to be baptized.
This week we met 6 extraordinary women: Aparecida, Vitalina and Fabiana are a family we found while knocking doors. They are so humble, sweet and ready to learn. Edith is a cute little grandma who lives alone who invited herself to church when we first met her at the door . Carmen and her daughter Carla were investigators we found in the depths of our Area book. Carla has downs syndrome, and is the sweetest little girl on the face of the planet. on her teaching record, we noted that carmen had a very hard time with going to church. When we visited, we picked up an immediate friendship with Carla who declared to her mother she would go to church with the missionaries with or without her! Carmen smiled and marked the hour we would pass by to pick them up on sunday.
These 6 women were truly a miracle. As a missionary in Brasil, it is a struggle sometimes to get investigators to church. A majority don´t have means of transportation. Sister Jientara and I were blessed again as we wrangled two cars and members willing to drive to form a ´mini caravan´ to pass by their houses one by one and pick them up. Every one of them was sitting outside waiting patiently for us to arrive 🙂 I am so grateful to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. A good friend reminded me that our Heavenly Father is in everything we do. His influence is in every miracle and His wisdom is in every hardship. I am so grateful for the miracles and hardships that I have passed through as a missionary, and I am eternally grateful for the knowledge that He is always guiding me.
Thank you sooooo much for the letters, emails, support and prayers. I love each and everyone of you!
Sister Whitney Dean
Querido família e amigos,
I have been transferred! Every 6 weeks we enter our email and see if we´ve recieved the “voce foi transferido!“ email that tells us where we´re going and who will be our companion. I have been transferred to Presidente Prudente, in the state of Sao Paulo, But I will be making a stop in Londrina to pick up my new companion, Sister Jientara (BRAZILAIRA!!!) before heading to my new area. I have had so many hispanic and american companions, I am sooo excited to be with a brazilian again 🙂 I don´t know too much about SIster Jientara, just that she is really tall and a pittbull bit her nose here in Bauru lol. I am very excited to get to know her better.
I am a little sad to leave Bauru, but I know that the Lord needs me in Presidente Prudente. I will be leaving many good friends here, but this is such a testimony that Heavenly Father knows our needs and knows that I have done all that I could here in Bauru and my mission will continue in another part of the Lord´s vineyard.
It is strange to see the mission changing so much. So many sisters are going home and new missionaries arriving. my third companion in Brazil, Sister Briggs, will be returning to the states this week and I am soo sad to see her go, but excited for her to take the next big step in life. Seeing so many good friends come and go is a little melancholy, but I am so grateful for all of the wonderful men and women i´ve met because of the changes.
Thank you all for the support and letters! I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God´s kingdom established on the earth today! Do not take the truths you know for granted! Cherish and share them!
Querido família e amigos,
This week has flown by! I remember how at the beginning of the mission the days and weeks seemed to creep so slowly. Now the mission is moving so fast, I can barely hold on. Sister Gardner and I had the opportunity to meet our good friend Hélio recently. Hélio has serious diabetes and has had to have his right foot amputated and he has lost all use of his right arm. He stays in his wheel chair most of the day, and receives money from the government seeing as he is nable to work. Hélio lives alone, but is such a social light. He can normally be found sitting outside of his big iron gate in the shade of a little mango tree in front of his house, eagerly waiting for someone to pass by to hear a story or just chat for a while. What inspiration (I´d use the word ´luck´ but in the work of the Lord, nothing is unplanned) it was that we passed him in his chair under his tree in front of his house at that very moment. We began to talk to him in a cheerful manner and our conversation soon turned to the Gospel. We discovered that Hélio had received the lessons from Elders a looong time ago, and even frequented church for a good time, but he had been an active member of Assembleia de Deus (a very rigorous group of evangelics) and could not allow the message of the restoration seep into his heart. After his amputation, he felt extremely alone, he felt that even his brothers of the church had forgotten about him. When we found him and shared the message of God´s eternal plan and the importance of servants of the Lord, prophets and apostles, here on the earth today, hi hard heart cracked and he let the light enter!
You can´t imagine how many investigators welose ecause of the strong Brazilian habit to drink strong brazilian coffee. Hélio has been drinking café his whole life, but it was a miracle! haha, normaly we have to break out the whole nine yards to help our investigators quit coffee, but the moment we told Hélio it was a sin that was holding him back from more spiritual guidance he made the decision then and there to stop. What a gift! He is soooo strong.
I love my mission and I look back at all of the miracles I have been permitted to witness. so many hearts softened and minds changed. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! EU AMO SER UMA MISSIONARIA! I loved watching the moment three elders extended their hands to help Hélio into the water and with so much care they situated him to help him make a promise with our Heavenly Father. What a blessed opportunity. I´m one lucky girl.