Monday, January 26, 2015

Itapetininga Letter 6

Dear Family & Friends,

"It is impossible to fail when you do your best when you are on the Lord's errand." (Elder M. Russell Ballard) So let's THINK and let's WORK like it's impossible to fail. Because it truly is.

Just my little thought to start us off today!

This week was really good. Really exhausting, but really good! We did a 3 day exchange with the sisters who live with us. On Tuesday Sister Silva and I worked in our area and Wednesday and Thursday we spent in her area. She was a little discouraged about finding investigators and didn't know what to do to be more excited. She wanted to improve with street contacting. So, we street contacted EVERYONE! We made street contacting more fun by getting to know the people and what interests them. We found lots of new investigators. We found a miracle lady in the rain when we had 3 minutes left to go home and she accepted baptism with a date in that moment! Oh, the blessings that come from obedience and sacrifices!

One thing that I loved from this exchange were the studies we did to help her with the things she had questions about. With lots of prayer and inspiration from the Lord, I was able to talk with Sister Silva and help her improve her relationship with her companion. We studied about "Zion" and "Unity" (in Portuguese it's "Sião" and "União"- it's cooler because it rhymes). Zion, a place of peace and those pure in heart, can be anywhere we make it, from our homes, to the lives of our investigators, to our companionships (see 1 Nephi 13:37, 2 Nephi 1:21, Psalms 133:1, Acts 4:32, Philippians 2:1-4, Moses 7:18, D&C 6:6, D&C 109:39).

Sister Vogel and I went teaching with the ward missionaries this week and it was great! They gave us referrals for less-actives who hadn't been visited in awhile and investigators who had already been to church. WOOHOO! Miracles are going to happen this week. Yes, miracles are going to happen.

I woke up a little bit sad this morning because I can't even express in words how much I want to have a baptism here in Itapetininga. We are working SO HARD and doing everything in our power. I don't know what else to do. We are praying with all our hearts for the Lord to help us. We have so many people that can be baptized TODAY if they just open their hearts to accept it. I just want to help one of Heavenly Father's precious children return to Him. This is a work of salvation!!! We are here to SAVE our brothers and sisters! How great will be the day when we can return back to Heaven with the people we helped here in this life. Can you imagine the incredible joy??!! AH!

So, we are going to THINK and WORK like it's impossible to fail. Because we can't fail. We are the Lord's missionaries.

Have a great week everyone! Love and miss you all!

Seja Valente e Fiel,
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. Pics from a family home evening we did and Sister Vogel and I when we hit our 15 and 16 month marks! 16 months in the mission. Wow I am old.

So I just want to say thanks for everyone who sent an email today. I bawled and bawled reading these e-mails. Just want you all to know the Lord knows exactly what we need and He answers our prayers!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Itapetininga Letter 5

Dear Family & Friends,

I know Heavenly Father prepares people and puts them in our path. We met a lot of neat people this week and I am so excited to share them with you!

We were walking home the other night and had about 15 minutes before we could go in, so we decided to go to a park nearby to find people to talk to. My companion noticed an older lady struggling to carry her groceries so we went to help her. We walked with her to her house and surprisingly she let us in to share a message! She told us she's never let missionaries in her house because she is super catholic but God touched her heart and she had a good feeling about us. I know that simple act of service opened her heart and we were able to give a Book of Mormon to her and her 5 grandchildren. Excited to teach them more!

We received a referral to visit a lady named Nelma who lives in a neighborhood very far away called Taboazinho (about an hour walking) and yesterday after church we finally made the journey out to meet her. It turns out her brother is an active member in another city and sent us Nelma's address. We were able to get to know her and teach her the Restoration. She is strong in another church but wants a church that will unite her family, and she sees how her brother's family is united and happy. The lesson with her was incredible! We testified of the unity and love that comes from the true gospel of Jesus Christ and forever families. She accepted to be baptized on January 31st!!!

Sunday morning was stressful because we tried everything possible to get the people we were teaching to church but everyone fell through. A little bit frustrated, we arrive at the church and notice a lady waiting in the front. Her name was Nadir and a member had invited her! I wanted to jump up and down and run around the parking lot in happiness. She told us she had always wanted to visit our church and always saw us talking to people at the park. She really enjoyed church and we are going to visit her tonight!!

Funny moment. Jamili (7 year old daughter of a less-active) calls me "Sister Bieber" because my name is too hard. And of course everyone that lives in the United States is best friends with Justin Bieber, or so she thinks! Haha I like it.

Time for a little spiritual rejuvenation for you all. So I read a talk this morning about the physical suffering of Christ on the cross and it was very profound. This lead me to study more about His sacrifice. After all the pain in the Garden of Gethsemani, taking upon Him the sins of the world, bleeding from every pore, being beaten and whipped, having a crown a thorns pressed on His head, carrying His cross to the hill where he was nailed and raised up, after hanging and struggling to even breathe, He mustered the strength to speak a few significant and lasting phrases. In these references in the New Testament about the crucifixion, I found 7 phrases that Christ spoke whilte He was on the cross: Matt. 27:35-50, Luke 23:33-46, and John 19:18-30.

Our Savior, our perfect example, showed such humility, love, and obedience in these last precious moments of His earthly ministry. From the powerfully deep words that He said, I learned the importance of forgiveness, mercy, family, and submitting to the Father's will. He is the only one who completely understands everything we go through because He literally went through it all.

I invite you all to find the last things he said while He hung on the cross and reflect on our Savior Jesus Christ and the suffering that He went through. Remember, He did it all for YOU.

Seja Valente e Fiel,
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. This photo is too cool for words!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Itapetininga Letter 4

Dear Family & Friends,

This week has been extremely hot! So hot. I don't think I have stopped sweating. I wake up sweating, go to bed sweating. A cold shower doesn't really do much. So hot that my necklaces are burning to my skin and I even have tan lines from my pearl earrings. I'm sending some of this heat for all of you who just think you might be a little cold. And I might just come home black. Look out! 

The week was super busy and crazy but this is normal. We did an exchange with the sisters in Cerquilho and it was awesome! Tuesday andWednesday I worked with Sister B. Verçoza here in our area. She has been in the mission field for 5 months but you would never know! She teaches with such confidence and truly understands her purpose. She has a sincere love for the people, even those who aren't her investigators. This exchange was definitely unforgetable for several reasons. Let me tell you just one:

Tuesday night we went to the church for Bruno's baptismal interview. The sisters who live with us were there at the church too. They thought it would be fun to take the elevator to get some things from the second floor (yes, this church building is so fancy is has an elevator). Just a few seconds later, they call us on the phone to tell us they had gotten stuck in the elevator. What??! How?! After calling several members, one of the members of the district presidency, and the zone leaders and assistants, we were finally able to get a hold of the elevator worker who had the special key to open the elevator doors. 2 HOURS LATER they were let free. Yup, this really happened.

Bruno passed his baptismal interview but... unfortunately he was not baptized on Saturday. He is having trouble with his addictions and this last weekend it all took a turn for the worse. We are doing everything in our power to help him, but it seems like he's lacking his own desire to stop. We aren't sure what to do but we will not give up!!! Please keep praying for him. And if you could include Demi in your prayers too, that would be great! She didn't make it to church yesterday either. 

English class was a huge hit this week! We had 4 new people come. We learned the verb "to be" to express characteristics and age. One of the ladies that came told me that she was very impressed and that she had never seen things explained so simply. This made me feel good because I have no idea what I am doing, haha! And they gave us their addresses to pass by and start teaching them. Woohooo! I LOVE english class. It's so fun! I am discovering my passion to teach. My lifelong dream. 

President Farnes set a goal for the mission to put 1,000 people on date for baptism last week. With 100 companionships in the mission, that's 10 per companionship. After we found our 10 Sister Vogel and I decided to help the sisters that live with us. Yesterday we split up and I worked with Sister Kurtem and we went to a new neighborhood in their area they had never tried before. Sister Kurtem was very nervous about inviting people to be baptized, and putting them on date nonetheless, so I made it my goal to help her lose her fear. In just a few hours we were able to find 4 new investigators and every single one of them accepted to be baptized with a date! It was incredible to see how the Lord prepared those in our path. We just need to have faith and invite! Sister Kurtem told me she feels so much more confident about the baptismal invite now. I'm excited to see how these people progress and the miracles that will come from this exchange!

I look back to the first few months of my mission and the fear I had. Fear to talk to people, fear to talk about baptism, fear of everything. I am naturally reserved person, I like more to listen than to talk. But now I have gained a testimony of the importance of inviting people to change. People won't change if we don't invite them. People won't change if they don't have a motive. Our brothers and sisters are on the street searching for the door that will open the path to lead them to true happiness and peace in this life, and the life to come. They are lost. Many of them don't even realize they are lacking this eternal joy. But we have it. And we as missionaries have the key that opens this door. This key is baptism. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ and help them open the door and keep strong on the path to return to their heavenly home. I will only be a missionary with this power and authority for a few more months. And I will take advantage of every opportunity to invite people to change for the better and help them see the blessings of the restored gospel. I will LîVE!

I love you all!

Seja Valente e Fiel,
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. The first pic is in a member's home where we ate lunch this past week. They had all their Christmas decorations up still. This is one of the nicest homes I have seen on my mission. Sister Silva, me, Sister Kurtem, and Sister B. Verçoza (during our exchange). The other pic Sister Vogel (my companion) and I with Carmelina and Virgilio, recent converts that are preparing to go to the temple. They are so sweet! We are going to do a service project to help them clean their home.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Itapetininga Letter 3

Dear Family & Friends,

This week flew by SO fast! New Years Eve and New Years Day were normal for us and we were able to teach a lot of people because no one was working. We used Alma 13:21-22 that talks about how now is the moment and we were able to invite lots to be baptized! People are really receptive to changing their lives during this season of the new year. Still can't believe it's 2015!

On Friday we had our mission leadership counsel meeting with President and Sister Farnes. All the zone leaders, district leaders, and sister training leaders were there. We had a special training on obedience and attitude, and we discussed ways we can be examples and help the other missionaries in their work. We talked about the story of Peter walking on the water and how Christ helped him when he fell, how we are here to rescue our investigators, members, and perhaps most importantly, our companions and other missionaries around us. President Farnes has a vision to "resgatar", which means ransom or redeem, more or less to rescue. And this is what we are going to do!!!

This week we did a special exchange with Sister Kurtem and Sister Silva after Sister Kurtem sprained her ankle and had to stay in for the day. My companion Sister Vogel stayed with her and I was able to work with Sister Silva in her area. It was an afternoon of miracles! We found a less-active we didn't know existed and we were able to put 2 people on date for baptism. I really enjoyed teaching with Sister Silva and working with her. I think this is what I am going to like most about this calling: getting to know the other sisters and learning from them!
Bruno came to church again yesterday and he brought his mom Patricia, his sister Gabriela, and his 6 year old daughter Stefani! It was so sweet to see them at church together! Bruno told us he is changing his life for his daughter because he doesn't want her to be scared of him anymore. His baptism will be Saturday!!!!

We had another investigator at church yesterday named Demi. When we found her last week she told us she was done with religion and didn't want to hear about church because all they want is money. For some reason (inspiration of God of course) she let us in her house and we were able to share a short Christmas message. When we returned this week, we taught her the Restoration and she accepted a baptism date for January 17th! She told us she was ready to find the true church. It was truly a miracle. People change when their hearts are touched.

When President Farnes arrived this past year, he established a theme for our mission. The theme is LîVE. Little Victories Everday and forget about "i" (that's why it has a little carrot).

2015 is my year to LîVE. I am going to LIVE every moment of these last 2 transfers. I am going to LIVE my calling as a sister training leader and do all I can to be an example and help the other sisters. I am going to LIVE as a representative of Jesus Christ and invite everyone in my path to follow Him and LIVE. And when I return home, I am going to LIVE and apply my mission every day.

John 17:3 This is life eternal. This is what is truly means to LIVE.
Let's make 2015 our year to LîVE! Love and miss you all!

Seja Valente e Fiel,
Sister Jorgensen 

P.S. Pic is with the daughters of a less-active we found. Unfortunately they didn't make it to church yesterday, but don't worry, next week we'll throw water on them or something. The other pic of all the sister training leaders at the leadership conference.