Monday, December 29, 2014

Itapetininga Letter 2 (Christmas and New Years)

Dear Family & Friends,

Feliz Natal e Feliz Ano Novo!!! (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year)

This week was a week of miracles! I thought it would be difficult to do missionary work because of the holiday but this just made it even better! People were very receptive to us and we ended up finding 8 new investigators just on Christmas day. I loved the opportunity we had to work on Christmas. Made it the best Christmas ever and one that I certainly will never forget.

We had our mission Christmas Conference on Tuesday and it turned out really well! The morning part we had training from President Farnes and after lunch we had a zone talent show. I taught the sisters in my zone how to sing "Away in a Manger" in English- everyone loved it! We also did a huge gift exchange. It was a super fun activity and it was great to see my old companions, especially Sister R. Santos. I was able to get my update on Rio Acima and everything there is going great!

Yesterday our awesome investigator Bruno came to church! He was one that stopped us on the street last week when he was drunk and told us he was ready to change his life. We told him we had everything he needed if he was really willing to listen and change, and he accepted a date for baptism in that instant. He hasn't been drinking for the past few days and he LOVED church! He will be baptized on January 10th. Pray for him to stay strong!!!

Other highlights of church yesterday. I had to give a talk on missionary work so I put a little spin on it and talked about the Savior's invite to be the "salt of the earth" and "savor of men" (see 3 Nephi 12:13, D&C 101:39-40, D&C 103:9-10). I enjoyed preparing for it and I think everyone was able to understand me! We had to teach Gospel Principles class last minute because the teacher didn't come. It turned out really well! We taught about agency- perfect for Bruno and the less-actives that came. I really love my companion. I really love teaching with her! It's so neat to be able to work with another sister that has alot of experience because we can do things like this on the fly with no worries!

So updates on where we live. The good news is our front door locks now! Our kitchen sink will be fixed this week and our new washing machine has been ordered. Things are improving! I have to say that the smell in our laundry room reminds me of girls camp and my cross-country bag... but don't worry, we have been washing our clothes by hand so this should improve. 

I can't believe 2014 is almost over. I remember a year ago looking at the 2014 calendar my mom sent me and thinking to myself, "Every single day this year I will be on my mission. Every minute, every hour. How am I going to do this? An entire YEAR??" It was that day during my studies, that I made this year of 2014 my search for VALIANCE. And a year of valiance it has been! This year has changed my life.

I am so grateful for the decision I made to serve a mission. I wouldn't trade this for anything. I have grown closer to my Father in Heaven and learned more about the Atonement and sacrifice of my Savior Jesus Christ. I have learned how to follow His will and show others how to follow Him too. As I have strived to help others build their lives, through all the hardships, sweat, tears, and of course the moments of pure JOY, this mission has built me!

Time to welcome in 2015 and see what the Lord has in store this year! What will be my theme for 2015? Stay tuned! Feliz Ano Novo everyone! Love you all!

Seja Valente e Fiel,
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. Pic with President Farnes and his sweet family at the Christmas Conference and the family we ate lunch with on Christmas Day

These 2 pics are ones she sent me - our Christmas box arrived a couple days before Christmas and the church building they meet in.  She says it's beautiful!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Itapetininga Letter 1

Dear Family & Friends,

Hello from Itapetininga!!! It's a city about four hours away from the mission office in São Paulo and it's the area everyone calls "no fim do mundo" (at the end of the world) haha I love it! This city is very clean and there are very few hills, thank goodness. There are two branches here so there are two companionships of sisters and we live together: Sister Kürtem, Sister Silva, and Sister Vogel (my companion). I am the only American in our house (they are all Brazilian) and I am the only American in our zone too! So it's been pretty fun.

Sister Vogel (from Rondonia, Brazil) and I are both new to the area so this week has been quite adventurous. Lots of walking of course! Let's just say I am very grateful for our map! We have been trying to follow the notes the other sisters who served here before left us, getting to know all the recent-converts, less-actives, members, investigators, and of course, finding miracles of our own! It's been a bit stressful but I know it will just take time. The chapel was built in October and it is the most beautiful church building I have ever seen. This area is really growing and there is lots of work to do! Sister Vogel goes home the transfer after me so we think this will be the last area for both of us. You know what that means? Time to give it all we got!!!

Among the adventures of the week... 

The day after we arrived there was a water leak in our house so we didn't have water or electricity for 2 days. Good thing Sister Vogel is super awesome and figured out how to fix it. This house is not the prettiest house I have lived in on my mission, nor in the best conditions... but hey, it could always be worse. 

We accomplished the impossible and helped two very very timid girls, Amanda (15 years old) and Isabella (12), go to church on Sunday so they could be confirmed and receive the Holy Ghost. The previous sisters had their baptism the night before they left. When we met the girls for the first time, they didn't say a word to us and were so sad because the other sisters left. They refused to go to church. We visited them every day this week and little by little they are opening up to us. Sunday morning we spent almost an hour there trying to convince them to come with us to church. Lots of patience and love. Heavenly Father is a God of miracles, and finally, they accepted. It all turned out perfectly and the confirmation went great. Now the goal is to help them stay ative!

I am now an english teacher! The previous sisters started an english class (free, open to anyone) before they left and now it's my job to keep it up. We have it at the church building Wednesday night and Saturday morning. I was kind of thrown in there the first day in the area and had no idea where to even begin, but it all worked out. I taught them how to say things about Christmas and we sang Christmas songs in English. It was fun! There are a few investigators and recent converts that have been attending and we will work on recruiting more. This is good practice for me to remember my english!

I am SO excited to be serving here in Itapetininga! This area is awesome. I love my companion (I really do!) and I love being a sister training leader. Sister Vogel and I are one of the five companionships of siser training leaders in the mission. We are part of the mission leadership counsel and have meetings with President Farnes. Our job is to help the other sisters (we are in charge of 2 other companionships in our zone). We do training and 2-day exchanges with them every transfer. We follow-up and offer cousel and guidance. Our job is to uplift and encourage! So grateful for this chance to serve more. Sister Vogel has been a sister training leader for the past 4 months so now she is training me about what we do.

I can't believe Christmas is already here! I feel like my life is flashing before my eyes. When people ask me how long I have been on my mission, I almost cringe when I say "15 months". How is this possible??!!! AHH! What is happening?! I'm excited to talk with my family on Thursday :)

I read "The Living Christ" this morning during personal study and I have to admit, this was the first time I ever read it. We have it in our home and I've skimmed it a few times, but today, I read it and let the powerful words truly sink in. It's the testimony of the prophet and apostles of our Savior Jesus Christ, His life, His ministry, and His Atonement. It really touched my heart today and helped me appreciate this Christmas season. I challenge you all to read it this week and reflect on our Savior and Redeemer, and what He has done for us. I know that Jesus is the Christ. He lives. He loves us. What glad tidings of great JOY!

Merry Christmas everyone! I want you each to know how much I love and miss you. Thank you for your support, your encouragement, your thoughts, and your love during this holiday season!

Seja Valente e Fiel,
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. Pics of my district from the Provo, MTC almost 15 months after we first met each other. So neat to see how everyone has grown! And the other is my new companion Sister Vogel and I. She laughed and laughed about this. Don't worry, we weren't really "lost"!

Monday, December 15, 2014

SP Barcelona- Rio Acima Letter 23

Dear Family & Friends,

Well, this is my last Rio Acima letter. Tomorrow I will be transfered to Itapitanenga! I think that's how you spell it. I have no idea what it's like or where it is or if it's a branch or a ward or how many missionaries are serving there. And I can't remember my companion's name. But there is one thing I found out, and I was very shocked to hear... 

I am going to be a Sister Training Leader. Remember how I kind of sort of stress out about things? You can only imagine. Feeling super inadequate and very nervous, but excited!!!

"God does not begin by asking us about our ability but only about our availability and if we then prove our dependability He will increase our capability." (Neal A. Maxwell) Thanks for this quote a few weeks ago, Mom. You must be a fortune teller!

I am so grateful for the past 6 months I have had to serve here in Rio Acima. "And we have suffered all manner of afflictions that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our JOY would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some. Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of our labors, and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are MANY" (Alma 26:30-31)

The fruits of our labors are many!!! Heavenly Father has poured out His Spirit upon this area and I know Rio Acima will continue to thrive. I have learned so much from my experiences here. Aside from learning that you can never get to close to a dog, I have realized what it takes to help someone through the true process of conversion. I have learned that faith and exact obedience brings miracles. I have seen the power of prayer in action. I will never forget the Sunday we had 16 people in our gospel principles class, or seeing Eduardo come to church in a white shirt and tie for the first time, the miracle of finding Luiz Carlos, or the night Murilo told us he was going to be baptized. THIS IS JOY! We have had so much success with the "He is the Gift" video on during these past few weeks. Lives are being touched, and generations are being impacted.

This week was actually an extremely difficult week. There were a few moments of tears and there was a point when I thought we had lost one of the families we were teaching. We tried everything, and I mean everything, to have a baptismon Saturday and it all fell through. I began to question what I was doing as a missionary and felt like I had no experience and didn't know anything. This is why I was completely shocked yesterday when I got the call to be a sister training leader. It was a confirmation to me that Heavenly Father trusts me and that He is in control. He knows what I need to grow. He knows what I need to continue on my journey to VALIANCE!

I know this week will be crazy but I am so excited to help the other sisters, to go on exchanges, and to help in training! It won't be easy, and I know I will have moments when I feel like I am not adequate enough, but I just need to trust Heavenly Father. I am His servant. I am an instrument in His hands. Everything that has happened on my mission until now, the missionary I am today, everything, is because of Him and the strength my Savior has given me. 

I love and miss you all! Thank you for the many thoughts and prayers.

Seja Valente e Fiel,
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. I made my sweet companion french toast today, thanks to the syrup my mom sent a few weeks ago. I will really miss Sister R. Santos. She has grown SO MUCH since the beginning. What a priviledge it was to train her. In reality, she trained me. The other pic is of Helio, Aides, Neto, Athaide, and Taina- a incredible family that is going to be baptized one day really, really soon. The parents need to get married and we are still working on getting Aides's permission to baptize the kids. I know Sister R. Santos and her new companion will take care of them! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

SP Barcelona- Rio Acima Letter 22

Dear Family & Friends

RIGHT NOW go to this website and watch this video!!! Then share it with everyone. He is the

You can't keep reading until you watch it. Nope, I won't let you.

So this video is amazing and it's being shared all over the world. In Portuguese, this video and message is "Ele é o Presente", which means, "He is the present". It's perfect because it's a double play on the word "present". Our Savior Jesus Christ was the first present of Christmas. He is the best present our Father in Heaven gave to us. And more than this, He is the past, the present, and the future, and He always will be. He is the light and life of the world. He is the beginning and the end. He is our Savior, Redeemer, and Friend in this present moment and forever.

I am so grateful for the gift of the Atonement, the sacrifice of my Savior specifically for me, in my life. As I reflect on Him and the mission He lived here on earth, I find strength to accomplish my mission and live every day to the fullest. I know Christ lives and this is the gift we need to share with the world! What a special opportunity I have to be a representative of Him here in Rio Acima.

This week was incredible! We had 2-day exchanges and Sister R. Santos lead our area while I went to Votorantim. She did awesome! So proud of her and the incredible work she and Sister Pinon accomplished here (yes, my old companion Sister Pinon is a sister training leader now!). We have lots of invesigators on date for baptism December 20th and we are praying for a miracle for this weekend. Last week of the transfer! WOOHOOO!!

I love and miss you all!
Seja Valente e Fiel,
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. Pics of our zone activity today. Sister Pinon and I! Playing soccer with all these Brazilian missionaries, ohhh yeah! It was alot of fun. And this is why this email is short. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

SP Barcelona- Rio Acima Letter 21

Dear Family & Friends,

I can't believe it's December! Not much of a winter wonderland and it feels like Christmas in July but hey, I am excited! Best season of the year.

On Friday President Farnes felt inspired to have us visit all the former investigators that have been to church before and put them on date for baptism Sunday November 30 (yes, 2 days later). Crazy?! Ohh yes! Friday and Saturday were the craziest days of my life. So let me just tell you how this all went down....

We knock on a door. "Hi are you (name of person we are looking for)?" We ask them a few questions, get to know them a little bit. "We are messengers of God, representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. God sent us here today because he has a very special invite for you. On Sunday we will be holding a baptismal service. Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized this Sunday by someone holding authority from God?" Yup! Ladies and gentlemen, this is faith at its fullest. It was great!

Responses were many. "I liked your church, but I am already baptized. I don't want to change". Others laughed. Others flat out told us no. But we did have success! We ended up adding lots of new investigators where these former investigators had moved. Others we are teaching need to give up smoking and get married, and they can be baptized.

One lady, Arace, was touched by our door approach and let us in. She prayed with us right then and there to ask God if this baptism was what she needed to do in her life. We helped her recognize her feelings and she told us she wanted to think and pray more. Unfortunately she wasn't ready for Sunday but we are going to keep teaching her!

Another success story. We found a 21 year old guy on the street named Renan who already went to church 3 times. His mom is a member and lives in São Paulo and his dad is a less-active in our ward. He instantly accepted baptism for Sunday. We went straight to his house and taught him everything he needed to know for the baptismal interview. He was on fire! Super pumped about the Book of Mormon and accepted to live all of the commandments. MIRACLE! But here is the sad part... he had to work on Sunday. But don't worry, we'll keep teaching him! Heavenly Father will provide the way.

Camila also had to work yesterday (miracle from last week). We were a little bit frustrated. We tried everything to help her be baptized on Sunday. But I know the Lord will do His work in this situation too! Everything will work out in His timing, He has a plan.

So all in all, we did not have a baptism yesterday. But we sure tried! And Heavenly Father blessed us for our faith and diligence in other ways. We found a family with 3 kids old enough to be baptized and they all came to church yesterday!! Hélio (dad) found us on the street and thought we were Jehovah´s Witnesses and asked us to visit him and his family. He was sure in for a suprise when we showed up at his door with a Book of Mormon! But it was so perfect. They all accepted baptism. Hélio and his wife just need to get married. Oh how I would love to just marry everyone today so missionary work could be so much easier.

We also had several less actives at church for the primary program yesterday (when all the kids ages 4-11 give little talks and sing about what they learned during the year). So cute! I want to learn all the primary songs in Portuguese now!! And Murilo recieved the priesthood yesterday! Our recent converts are firm!!!

"Say not ye, There are yet four months and then cometh the harvest? Behold I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest" (John 4:35) It's not tomorrow, it's not next week, it's NOW!!!

This verse really hit me this week. I have less than four months on my mission. I can't give up now. There are people who need to gospel NOW! People ready to be baptized NOW! I learned so much about faith this week. I am so grateful for the many blessings and miracles the Lord is giving us in our area.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I didn't realize that no one celebrated here... no one knew what it was. So I took every opportunity to explain to people about this day of thanks to recognize all of our blessings the Lord has given us! My heart is full of gratitude today. Thank you for your support! Love and miss you all!

Seja Valente e Fiel,
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. Our Christmas pic! Yes... I am VERY excited for Christmas :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

SP Barcelona- Rio Acima Letter 20

Dear Family & Friends,

Guess what... MURILO WAS BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!! I cried Monday night when we visited him and he told us that he was ready and everything would work out. Miracle for sure! I told him how my family all the way in Alabama (and everyone else who reads my letters) had been praying for him. He was very touched by this! His baptism was SO sweet. Thomas, one of the young men's leaders, baptized him and bore his testimony about how the Lord prepared Murilo to strengthen the young men in the ward (there are only 2 active right now). His less-active mom Ivone and stepdad Silvio (nonmember) were there and are super excited to get active. Silvio told us that as soon as his divorce is finalized and he and Ivone get married, he's next to be baptized!!! OH YEAH! What started out as a simple street contact a few months ago will end up with an eternal family. We are determined! This is only the beginning!

We were a little disappointed yesterday at church when we didn't have any other investigators there. It seemed like all our miracle people from the week before were falling through. Then, out of nowhere, in walked our next miracle...

Camila, 18 years old, is dating a returned missionary who lives in another city. He has been talking to her a lot about the church and she has already been 4 times with him. He took her to see the temple in São Paulo and she wants to be married to him forever! Rafael (her boyfriend) decided it was time to take her to church where she lives so she could meet the missionaries and get to know the members. OUR AREA! They stayed all 3 hours yesterday and we took advantage of the moment and taught them right after church. She accepted baptism for Dec. 6th
!!! She has a few doubts and wants to take things slowly, but she is excited to meet with us and knows that she wants to be a part of this church! SO EXCITED!

I am so grateful that Heavenly Father prepares people and puts them in our path. He knows who is ready to accept the gospel and if we pray hard, work hard, and strive to be exactly obedient, He leads us to the "elect"! Many times, missionary work is frustrating and disappointing (what a roller coaster!), but these miracles make it all worth it. So thankful Murilo was baptized this week and for the miracle of Camila!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope we each continue to strive to recognize the Lord's hand in our lives, not just in the big miracles, but in the many little victories and tender mercies as well. Read 1 Nephi 1:20. One of my favorites!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!

Seja Valente e Fiel (be valiant and faithful),
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. Pics of Murilo's baptism and the beautiful sky after the rainstorm we had

Oh and guess what... Sister R. Santos and I made the weekly mission newsletter! We taught the most lessons last week out of all the missionaries in our mission! WOOHOOO!

Monday, November 17, 2014

SP Barcelona- Rio Acima Letter 19

Dear Family & Friends,

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me, confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me!

I love that hymn. This week was incredible! I am so amazed at the blessings the Lord is truly showering over us. I know for a surety that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers and He knows the desires of our hearts. He wants to bless us! He wants us to be happy!

Let the miracles begin...
We found an old teaching record for a lady named Aparecida that was taught over 10 years ago. We clapped at her gate and called her name, waited and waited, and nothing. We started walking away when I glanced back and saw her. "Who are you?" she said, "How do you know my name?" Then she saw our name tags. "Mormons! How did you remember me?" My companion looked at her and said, "Heavenly Father never forgets his children". We ended up teaching her, her husband, and her 30 year old daughter named Ket. Ket accepted baptism and by the second lesson, was reading the Book of Mormon- she explained to us perfectly how the Book of Mormon and Bible support each other in testifying of Christ. WOOHOO! Unfortunately she didn't make it to church yesterday but I still have faith in this miracle.

We visited another former investigator named Juliana late Saturday night and invited her to church. SHE CAME!!!! She brought her 3 young kids. It was her first time and she loved it. SO excited to teach this family!!!!

Sabrina (girlfriend of less active Julio) came to church for the second time yesterday. We hadn't been able to get in contact with her so we took advantage of the moment, talked to her after church, and put her on date for baptism November 29th!!!! I'm excited about this one too!!! Problem with her will be teaching her. Her mom isn't supportive and Julio is always working, but I know Heavenly Father will provide the way!

We found a family with 5 kids!!!! Marcos, Denise (the parents) and Biatriz, Julia, Tiago, Pedro, and Gustavo (the kids).  All over the age of 8! And this family is perfect. So happy and united. Marcos truly wants what is best for his kids and wants to learn more about the church. They accepted the invitation to be baptized last night during our lesson, but they work on Sundays and are very busy during the week. But I know it's all going to work. I have faith. This family is too perfect. We have to teach them!!!

Luiz Carlos received the Priesthood yesterday! He is really doing well and staying strong. His mom told us she doesn't want to join our church but is glad her son is happy. Broke my heart a little bit, but I know one day soon she will realize that this gospel is for her too!

And last but not least, Murilo. If his Silvio (stepdad) decides not to travel this weekend, Murilo will be baptized on Saturday!!!! We are doing everything to make this happen. I have faith, I have faith, I HAVE FAITH!!!

So I have been reflecting alot this week on my personal testimony and how my testimony has been strengthed through out these past few years:

"Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might be born of God and be filled with the Holy Ghost" (Alma 36:24).

I think about moving to Alabama and everyone asking me questions about being Mormon. It was then that I had to decide if I really believed all of this was true or not. My testimony was strengthened from those experiences. I think about serving in the Ensley Branch with my family, seeing the gospel change lives. This is what sparked my desire to serve a full-time mission. And now here in the mission field. Serving in the United States and here in Brazil, watching before my very eyes how the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses everyone!

I know with all my heart that this church is true. I am proud to be a Mormon. I am proud to be a missionary! I am working hard every single day and not wasting a single moment because I want everyone to taste this same joy that I have tasted!! Valiance in this great labor of love!

I love and miss you all!
Sempre Sorria,
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. Pics of Luiz Carlos, his mom Tereza and Eduardo after one of our lessons last week. And the other, # 1 BYU fans here in Brazil!!! Thanks for the package mom :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

SP Barcelona- Rio Acima Letter 18

Dear Family & Friends,

LUIZ CARLOS WAS BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!!! We had a combined baptismal service with the other sisters who share the church building with us. Everything went perfectly! He was definitely nervous, but Irmão Claudi (member who baptized him) helped him alot. It made me so happy to see the ward members jumping in to make him feel welcome and comforted. Luiz Carlos was our miracle this transfer. No doubt the gospel changes people from the inside out! His mom came to the baptism and to church on Sunday to see him recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost.  She cried as she saw her son get baptized and told us she never thought this day would happen. Luiz Carlos has caused her much heartache and sleepless nights over the years, and now, she has the biggest smile and glow of happiness. |Makes my heart smile! Yes, let's baptize her next :)

Yesterday was the best Sunday of my mission. Aside from the fact that Luiz Carlos was confirmed and his mom Tereza came to support him, Eduardo (recent convert) passed the Sacrament, gave his first talk, and recieved his first calling. He will be helping out with the Young Men- perfect! I can't even express how happy I am to see one of our recent converts progressing in the gospel and growing his testimony. SO AWESOME! And Murilo also was at church with his mom and stepdad! Such a great Sunday. WOOHOO!

Unfortunately Murilo was not baptized this week. When we passed by his house the other night to confirm everything for the baptism, he was so stressed out and crying because he didn't want to be baptized. He felt like he was being rushed into it and he was worried about what would happen on the weekends when he went to his dad's house. After listening, resolving his doubts, and much prayer, we decided to take a few steps back on focus on helping him gain a stronger testimony. We had a basic lesson on the name of the Church and we taught him the Joseph Smith story again. He was able to see Luiz Carlos get baptized and I know this helped him feel a lot better. I know it won't be long before he gets baptized! Keep praying for him please!

To my surprise, Sister R. Santos and I will be staying in Rio Acima for another transfer! I was shocked when we got the call. Normally after training, the trainer leaves so I was all ready to be transferred. But the Lord certainly knows better than I do so here we go! I found a lot of peace reading Alma 17 this morning. As I continue to serve the people of Rio Acima just like Ammon served the King, I know the Lord will bless me with the ability and strength to  continue in this area with my companion. Oh how my mission is teaching me lots and lots of pacience. Let's make this transfer the best one yet!!!!

I only have 3 transfers left of my mission... SCARY.

I hope you all have the best week ever!! LOVE YOU ALL! Thanks for praying for Luiz Carlos, Murilo, and the rain! Yes, it rained a ton this week. We won't die of lack of water! I know the Lord hears and answers our prayers!

Sempre Sorria,
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. Pics of the baptism (Luiz Carlos is on the far right- he was happy, I promise!) and of Murilo, his mom Ivone, and his step dad Silvio. Love this family. Murilo WILL be baptized! I have faith!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

SP Barcelona- Rio Acima Letter 17

Dear Family & Friends,

Happy November! It really does not feel like November. Are you sure it's not July?! Still melting and Brazil is having a severe lack of water. There are several areas around us that didn't have water for a few days last week. I'm a little bit scared! Actually alot. So we are preparing and doing everything possible to save water! We are all praying for rain and November 16th all the members of the church in Brazil will fast together to help those without water. I know Heavenly Father will take care of us!

And Happy late Halloween! Unfortunately no one here really celebrated and I love Halloween so that was a bit sad. But I'll get my candy fix when I come home. Did you hear that family? Save some for me!

Ok now for the exciting news. Luiz Carlos went to church again yesterday and he had the chance to see the baptism of the other ward, so he is all set to be baptized on Saturday!!!!! I am so excited! He is very anxious and a little bit scared of what will happen after baptism- if he will be strong enough to resist temptation and addiction. We have been talking a lot about the gift of the Holy Ghost and he tells us every lesson "I'm ready to change, I know I can do it". We fasted for him yesterday. Please pray for him to stay strong this week. He's gone several weeks without using any drugs but he did drink one day last week. I know he will stay strong. He needs baptism now more than ever!!!!

Moroni 8:25-26 "And the first fruits of repentance is baptism, and baptism cometh by faith." Luiz Carlos is showing that he has repented of his past and he has faith to enter the waters of baptism. "[The] Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love". With the Holy Ghost as his light and guide, he will have the strength to overcome his problems and stay firm. With perfect love and hope, we can't have fear. The gift of the Holy Ghost will be the confidence he needs to continue on the straight and narrow path back to our Father in Heaven!

Murilo was at his Dad's house this past weekend so we aren't sure if he made it to church in another ward. If so, he can be baptized Saturdaytoo. If not, his baptism will be Sunday after church. His mom (less-active) is so grateful we are teaching her son. She is so excited for Murilo to be baptized! Murilo is truly feasting upon the words in the Book of Mormon, studying with real intent, and always says the most sincere prayers during our lessons. He is so ready for baptism! Pray for him too!!!

On Saturday we did a service project with all the missonaries in the interior (half the mission). We helped clean and paint a school in the city of Trujilo. It was awesome! President and Sister Farnes and their family were there too. I loved having the opportunity to do a big service project. Reminds me of all the service projects we did in Sacramento! I love service. Always makes you feel good.

So guess what... I am having lots of trouble remembering English. I never thought this would happen to me! Eduardo (recent convert) is learning English and has been asking me lots of questions. It's a little bit frustrating when I can't remember how to pronounce words or remember how to say things in English. I can write just fine but even reading my scriptures in English is starting to become more strange than reading in Portuguese. Just goes to show that having a Brazilian companion has helped me A TON. My language abilites have improved so much over the past 2 transfers. 

This week is the last week of training Sister R. Santos. We are going to end this transfer with a BANG! Finish strong!!!! Next week we will have transfers. Stay tuned :)

Sempre Sorria,
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. Pics at the service project. First is with all the sisters- look closely and you'll find Sister Talli Archibald! Love her. The other is with a group of us and our awesome new tshirts. They aren't exactly "Mormon Helping Hands" shirts, but close enough! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

SP Barcelona- Rio Acima Letter 16

Dear Family & Friends,

Luiz Carlos came to church yesterday!!! YAY! He is really progressing. He has trouble reading but we've been reading with him and teaching him slowly so he understands everything. He told us that we are angels sent from God helping him change his life! Woohoo! Eduardo (recent convert) has been doing awesome at being his friend this past week. He's been helping us teach him. I am so happy with this!

We have another investigator on date for baptism November 8th: Murilo. He is 15 years old, the son of a less-active named Ivone that we found street contacting. She moved here recently so we didn't have her on our ward list. It was a miracle we found her because she didn't have the courage to go to church on her own. The youth in the ward are doing a great job of interacting with Murilo and inviting him to activities. He loves the Book of Mormon and is really excited about baptism!

On Tuesday all the missionaries in our zone (about 20 of us) went to one area to do a "Blitz" to help out the other sisters. Each companionship was in charge of a road and we had about 3 hours to contact people and find as many new investigators as possible. Sister R. Santos and I found some really neat families and put 2 people on date for baptism! That day was certainly a powerful and productive day of missionary work for this area. It was a good experience! United our zone, helped the other sisters, and we learned that we can accomplish ALOT in just a few hours.

"And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence..." (Jacob 1:19)

This scripture really jumped out at me during my personal study this morning. We always talk about being more diligent missionaries, but I have never thought about teaching more diligently. How can I teach more diligently? I can ask more inspired questions, listen better. I can seek to follow the Spirit in discerning what our investigator needs. I can explain scriptures and testify more. I realized today that I truly have a responsibility to "teach with all diligence", teach every person to the best of my ability to they can understand. I must continue to do my best to teach simply, boldly, and with love. I must continue to pray and study for the needs of my investigators so they can feel and learn through the power of the Holy Ghost.

I am so grateful to have this chance to serve the Lord and teach His gospel! I am learning so much and seeking to be a better missionary each and every day. It's not easy but it's so worth it. We had so many moments of pure happiness this week. Pure happiness for me is seeing my companion happy. She's not one to express joy, but when she finally does, I can't help but smile!!! Sister R. Santos is an incredible missionary and I am so thankful for the chance to be serving with her.

I hope you all have a great week! Just have to thank each and every one of you for your love and support. Love and miss you all!
Sempre Sorria,
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. Pics... I CUT MY HAIR!!!!! I feel at least 50 lbs lighter and so free! And I hit my 13 month mark this week. And 6 months in Brazil. WOOHOOOO!

Monday, October 20, 2014

SP Barcelona- Rio Acima Letter 15

Dear Family & Friends,

This was a really, really good week! This week was AWESOME! Still melting and baking in the brazilian sun, but hey, we are on fire in more ways than one! We had a district meeting about using every possible opportunity to teach and it really pumped us up. We taught over 60 lessons this week! And we've been working on inviting everyone to be baptized with a specific date on the first contact. Sounds crazy? Oh, it is. It's kind of thrilling! This is thrill in the life of a missionary. Conquering our fears. 

We have to take advantage of every moment to give people the chance to change their lives for the better. I have no doubt that there are people all around us right here, right now, ready to accept the gospel and be baptized. Here's proof:

Tereza was a referral. Sweet older lady who has super strong faith but really doesn't want anything to do with the church. She wanted help for her 30 year old son Luiz, who is recovering from addictions. First visit he stayed in his room and didn't want to talk to us. Second visit, even after much coaxing and persuasion, he still stayed in his room. Then, when it came time to pray at the end, he came out. He told us he had been listening, how he wanted to read the Book of Mormon, how he wanted more than anything to change. It was a very humbling moment and the Spirit was strong. So what did we do? We invited him to change his life and put him on date for baptism in that instant. November 8th. It's going to be the best day of his entire life. And guess what... HE PRAYED AT THE END!!!! I'm so excited to teach him more!

We found a 19 year old less-active named Julio a few weeks ago who told us he had been feeling like the missionaries would visit him that day. He felt like everyone had forgot about him, and this visit was what he needed to have the desire to return to church. We were sad when he didn't come to church last week, but he came yesterday!!! Wooohooo! He even took out his earrings and was wearing a suit! Best part. He brought his girlfriend Sabrina. And we're teaching her tonight!

We had one another investigator at church yesterday. His name is Otavio. Sister R. Santos street contacted him in another area when we had exchanges this week. She tried to get his address but he was being stubborn and wouldn't give it. We found him again on Saturday (there are no coincidences!) and he ended up telling us his whole life story about how he lost his wife and how he doesn't know what happiness is anymore. He still wouldn't give us his address so we said "If you want happiness, meet us at church tomorrow". He told us that if we weren't out front waiting for him exactly at 9am, he would turn around and go home (haha this man really is a funny one). We kept our end of the deal and there he was. He stayed for all 3 hours and loved the Gospel Principles lesson about Eternal Marriage. Perfect. We are going to be teaching him this week!

As you can see, Heavenly Father is really blessing us ALOT! We have been working so hard and we are so exhausted. But it's all worth it. 

I gave a talk in church yesterday about missionary work, how Christ was the perfect missionary. I love Matthew 4:19 when the He says, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men". Key word "I". HE will help us. HE will qualify us. This is HIS work. I got lots of compliments on my talk so I think everyone was able to understand what I was saying. I hope so! It was a good experience for me and I learned a lot preparing for it.

I know my Savior lives and He is helping me be a valiant missionary every day. This week was truly a week of valiance for us! When we show the Lord we are willing to work, He blesses us. It's that simple! So happy and excited for this upcoming week! More miracles!!!

Love and miss you all!
Sempre Sorria,
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. Pics from the Campinas temple that I wasn't able to include last week and a family we are teaching. Rita, the daughter of a less-active, just turned 8! We are helping her family return to church and preparing her for baptism. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

SP Barcelona- Rio Acima Letter 13 & 14

Dear Family & Friends,

Did you all miss my email last week??! I missed writing! I hope everyone is doing well. We had a surprise temple trip and got back late. So here is my past 2 weeks in a flash:

First, I LOVE TO SEE THE TEMPLE! All the missionaries serving in the interior (about half the mission) got to go to the Campinas Temple for our Pday. This is why I didn't have time to email last week. I feel so lucky because this is the 4th temple I have visited during my mission (Provo, Sacramento, and São Paulo are the others). It was SO beautiful! Perfect spiritual upliftment for me. Just what I needed! I am so grateful for the temple. The temple truly is the house of the Lord, the closest place to heaven on Earth.

General Conference was great! I have to admit it was a bit different listening to everything in Portuguese. I missed hearing the power in Elder Holland's voice! But it was neat to hear the talks of our prophet and apostles translated live. All the music was still in English so everyone was asking me what the words meant haha. The theme that stood out to me from the talks was that of knowing for yourself, gaining your own testimony. This was perfect for the 3 investigators we had watching with us at the church building. I really enjoyed conference!

Last Sunday was Election Day here in Brazil. Posters and flyers EVERYWHERE. There were a few roads where you couldn't even see the sidewalk. The roads with the schools, where people voted, were the worst. Here in Brazil, everyone over the age of 16 votes. It's a law. If you don't vote, you have to pay R$3 (about $1.50). Not alot of money, but kind of riduculous! I thought that was interesting. I'm not sure who won the election and I'm not sure if people are happy or sad about what happened. I don't really understand politics, especially in another country!

The weather has been SO hot. I have no idea how many degrees it is, all I know is that I have not stopped sweating for days. There is no air conditioning anywhere. And fans can only do so much! And guess what, it's only October. It's still spring. Which means summer is going to be even worse. I think back to my high school cross-country days running in the heat. This prepared me! Also it seems like all the bugs have come out to play. Lots and lots of bugs! But it can always be worse, so I will put on a smile and "keep swimming" -like my mom always says, but now, in my own sweat :)

Yesterday was "Dia das Crianças", (day of kids) a special holiday for all the children under 12. I think this is just so cool! They have parties and the kids get presents. I know my little sister Addi would love this! All the primary kids got treat bags at church. Super cute!

Yesterday at church Sister R. Santos and I taught the lesson in Relief Society (the class for the women) about missionary work and the "fruit", or blessings of the gospel, in our lives. The lesson turned out really good! My companion shared her conversion story and had everyone in tears. She was baptized because of her friend. We as members don't realize the impact we can have on just one person! And just one person can affect generations of others. During the lesson, when I looked around at all the moms and ladies in our ward, I felt so much love for them. I love Rio Acima! These people are my family.

These past few weeks have been awesome! We've been having investigators at church and we have a few on date for baptism. We will keep working hard and I know the Lord will continue to bless us!

Sempre Sorria,
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. I had some great pics to share this week but the computer doesn't like my camera today. Next week, I promise!