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!