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!

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