Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Adventures in Brazil

With Sister Vieira and investigators

June 2, 2014

Oi familia!!

We had another great week here in Cidade Vargas.  The transfer schedule is different here in Brazil--when I left Michigan, I lost a week.  Thus, this coming week will possibly be my last week with Sister Vieira!  She has served here for six months and everyone is positive she will be transferred, so keep me in your prayers!! I don’t know the area too well because I came halfway through the transfer and I am still muddling my way through Portuguese.  So we will see what ends up happening!

Here were some highlights of the week:  

This week I learned so much about the importance of an eternal perspective.  We had zone conference and it was really really good.  Presidente Tanner talked about the importance of conversion and retention.  Brazil has a huge problem with people going less-active right after baptism and so the missionaries are focusing more right now on teaching with a focus on enduring to the end.  I love it so much.  We are teaching about the temple in our lessons and really helping people to achieve a deeper, more profound level of conversion. We teach about enduring to the end, and President Tanner said the end is the ENDowment.

We put on an activity for our ward last night.  We pretended we were all on an airplane and the plane had some difficulties so we landed and fixed the issues.  While we were grounded, the people on the plane could wander around the island and participate in different activities.  After, we boarded the plane again but the plane crashed and everybody ended up dying . . . kind of morbid, but it illustrated a point.  We then sorted people into different rooms depending on what activity they did while they were on the island.  The rooms represented the different kingdoms of glory, and each room had different food.   For example, the telestial kingdom had water and crackers and the celestial kingdom had cake and Guarana.  It was really fun and it made me think about the things we are doing right now with our lives.  This time we have right now is so so so important and we should use every moment to prepare for eternity!!  

We also visited a less-active couple in the ward.  It was an interesting and saddening experience. They both have strong testimonies of the gospel, but they just don’t feel like they need to attend church right now.   They said they think Heavenly Father and Christ understand that they don’t want to attend.  As they were saying these things, I found myself thinking of the spiritual warfare we are in right now and how important it is to be vigorously righteous.  We never know when our time will be up!!

On another note, here are some things I love about the Portugues language:

When we greet people we say ´´Tudo Bem?´´ and they say ´´Tudo bem.´´  This phrase translates to ´´all is well.´´  I love the word ALL.  Every time someone says this, it reminds me with Heavenly Father, Christ, the atonement, and a positive attitude, ALL things in our lives can be great!  Sure, we might have a few hiccups here and there but when we count our blessings, we see that all is well.

When people pray, they always say ´´Nos te-agradecemos por um mais dia.´´  We are grateful for one more day.  I love that people are grateful for every single day of life they have.  We really need to make the most of every single day.  I have thought about that a ton lately because my mission time is passing so quickly!  I need to make the most of every single day!!

Another common phrase is ´´gracas a Deus.´´  People thank Heavenly Father for everything here.  Are you having a good day?  Yes, gracas a Deus.  How is your family? Doing well, gracas a Deus.  I love it.  We really should be grateful for every blessing we have and acknowledge the powerful hand of our Heavenly Father in all things.  

Portugues is going well though.  I feel really blessed!  Sure, I can’t say or understand everything but Heavenly Father has helped me never to feel overwhelmed.

Boa semana para vocês!!  Te-Amo!!

Sister Dixon

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