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!