Monday, December 9, 2013

"Come Mais Sísteres!"

The food here makes me want to cry somedays. Sometimes because it is so dang good and other days because they make me eat too much.  In our branch here it's become a joke to say "Eat more sisters!  Ya'll walk a lot!"  But really we know that they are not joking...ya HAVE to eat more.  Sister Acevedo and I were on bed rest for a day because of how awful we felt.  One day last week  Irmã made us fish and it was sooo good!  But I was struggling to separate the meat from the bones.  She was really concerned for me so she started taking out bones for me.  Then I accidently swallowed a tiny bone and she really became concerned...she said, "I knew we should have made chicken.  You Americans don't know how to cut fish huh Sister?"  After that Sister Acevedo started to cut my fish for me.  I felt like such a child but I just had to laugh because I thought it was so funny.  "Don´t worry Sister, next time I will make chicken".
It's also been kind of rainy this week which always leaves the dirt on the roads really slippery.  You already know where this is going...I slipped!  TWICE!  The first time was in front of a Restaurant full of people and of course they are already staring at me because I'm different.  It was a humbling experience.  I was like "Sister Acevedo!  I can't even walk away in secret to hide my identity...every knows the white american missionary in Boa Vista!"  I'm having a lot of fun serving with Sister Acevedo.  She is a really good missionary and her personality is easy going and fun.  We are working really well together.

Yesterday we were asked to give talks in sacrament meeting.  She only had to give a 5 mintue talk and I had to give a 10 minute talk!  It was my very first talk in sacrament meeting here in Brazil, but I was surprisely calm.  I even went over my time...oops!  I'm not sure our members understood everything we said, but we understood each other so I think we´re safe.

This week we taught a family that needs to get married.  The week before we taught them the Law of Chastity and invited them to get married.  This week we followed up and the wife wants to get married, but the husband was reluctant.  We taught them the Law of Chastity again with baptism in mind and told them they can only be baptized after marriage.  Then it all clicked and they asked us, "So right now we are living in sin?"  Sister Acevedo and I replied in unison, "yes".  It was strange being so bold, but I realize that we have to be bold when it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  And as a representative of Jesus Christ, it is my responsibility to cry repentance to this people.  After all this, he still wasn't sure about marriage.  So I said, "Well, then I don't think we can come back and teach you anymore.  We are only here to teach those with a lot of faith who are willing to obey God's commandments and be baptized."  That did it.  We are now planning a wedding!  It will take some time for them to save money, but we told them the members would help with the reception to make it really special.  They were really happy.  And I was really happy!  After we left Sister Acevedo said, "Wow we really do have power and authority in our calling!  Two really young girls from different countries convinced a young poor couple to be broken portuguese!"  Seriously, this is true.  Either these people are nuts or we have been called of God to do this work.           

I feel so blessed to be a part of the work of Salvation.  There is no better work to be involved in and no greater priviledge.  Remember that people are watching us.  We need to be examples above all else.  And we in return will receive blessings.  I really like what Jeffery R. Holland said in respect to blessings:

Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.

I know that the church is true.  I know the Savior lives and is very much involved in this work.  I know people are being baptized today because of the Spirit they feel.  Jeffery R. Holland also said:

People do not join the Church because of what they know. They join because of what they feel, what they see and want spiritually. Our spirit of testimony and happiness in that regard will come through to others if we let it. As the Lord said to Alma and the sons of Mosiah, “Go forth … that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.” 5

Let us pray that we can be instruments in the hands of the Lord.  I know that as we do this, we will be so much more satisfied with our lives.  His plans for us are always better than our own.  I love you all.  Have a happy week!

Sister Hayley Jensen

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