August 27, 2014

Week 53 (18 August 2014)

Well, lots of things have changed this week. New area, new companion, new languages, new adventures. Right now I am in Santo ├éngelo with Sister H~ from Peru. I am finishing her training and teaching her Portuguese. Talk about stressful, but it´s all good.

So far I am liking Santo Angelo a lot. the people here are receptive and we already have a baptism for this weekend. Please keep L~ in your prayers. She was already on her way to baptism when I got here, but we are still teaching her the rest of the lessons and helping her progress even more in the gospel. She is always excited to learn! It was funny, we were filling out her baptismal sheet and guess what!? Her birthday is May 22! She got SUPER excited and gave me one of the biggest hugs I have ever received. Then she said that we could celebrate it together next year. A little bit later she realized that I would already be in the States and . . . let´s just say it was sad to see her reaction. But, she is wonderful, her daughter L~ is 15 and has already been a member for a while and is helping her mom through the process of conversion.

Well, I got to run. Thanks for everything!

Sister Phelps

August 26, 2014

Week 52 (11 August 2014)

I'M BEING TRANSFERRED  :(   to Santo Angelo.  I left my address at home so I will have to send it to you next week. I will be finishing Sister H~'s training. She is from Peru, So I will be teaching Portuguese. . .

Sorry I ran out of time already.  Just know that I had a good week, I am happy and healthy, and I love you.

Com muito amor sempre,
Sister Phelps

Week 51 (4 August 2014)

Well, after last week being somewhat of a struggle, all of our efforts paid off this week. We didn't have a baptism or anything, but our numbers were great, the spirit was strong, and we met some golden investigators [people ready to hear the restored gospel of Jesus Christ].

Our biggest problem was finding people to teach who were willing to make commitments and change their lives for the better through the gospel. On Segunda we met J~. It was a miracle that we met her. Sister A~ [her companion] needed to go to the restroom and we were far from all of the member´s houses and didn´t know what to do. I remembered that we had a former investigator that I taught with Sister L~ who lived close. We went to her house and she and her neighbor (J~) were there. While Sister A~ was in the restroom I began to talk with J~ and got to know her a little better and we marked to visit her another day. We went back Quarta with Sister S~, a sister training leader and had a wonderful lesson. We taught her about the importance of prophets and she understood everything. She even asked about how the sacrament works in our church and said that the things we said made lots of sense about needing a prophet in the last days and all that jazz. It was really special and the spirit was super strong.

We also met D~. He lives in the same house as his niece who is a less-active member. We went to visit her, but she wasn't home so we taught him instead. It was wonderful. He showed so much interest in our message about profets and truly wanted to know if we have a living profet today. We left him the challenge to ask God if we have a profet today. [Sarah's misspellings, but I left it in because I'm guessing it is a symptom of thinking in Portuguese instead of English]. Unfortunately the rest of the week he wasn't at home, BUT on Sexta we found him at home again. When we got there he got super excited and was so happy that we thought he was drunk. We sat down, said a prayer, and then I asked, "so, did you pray like we asked you?" He said yes and then I asked what question he had asked God in his prayer (because lots of times they forget the specific question that they needed to ask to receive a specific answer).  He said "I prayed and asked if we have a living profet today."  We got super excited when he said this and then I asked, "and do you feel like God answered your prayer?" He paused for a minute and said, "I feel calmer and safer now that I know that we must have a prophet today."  We just sat there with our mouths wide open in shock. That was the answer we wanted, but not the answer we expected. He said that this entire week he had been thinking about what we told him and that he prayed 4 times to get an answer and that he felt super happy all week. He thanked us at least 5 times for talking to him and it was great. We taught him about the first vision, left him with a book of Mormon and asked him to say the closing prayer. In his prayer he thanked God for sending him two angels to help him change his life and find the right path. It was a very special lesson.

This week was full of experiences like that. I am so happy to be a missionary and feel the pure love of Christ working in the lives of others. This work is truly Christ's work and as a missionary I am trying so hard to do Heavenly Father's will and bring his children to the truth. I know this is the Church of JESUS CHRIST. It can bring us a fullness of joy that we cannot find anywhere else.
Com muito amor,
Sister Phelps

Week 50 (28 July 2014)

I didn't have any crazy stories this week, but I am FINALLY living with an American again. She was serving in Arizona for 7 months waiting for her visa and is from Georgia and her mom is Japanese. Needless to say that the Brazilians get confused when they find-out that she is American. It is super funny to see their reactions. The first day she was here I was trying to explain something to her in English and I realized that I have forgotten a lot of English words. I had to look in the dictionary to remember the word cabinet. It is super weird because I am to the point where I think in Portuguese and it is hard to flip the switch to English in my brain. And there is also a woman in our branch who is deaf so I am learning Brazilian Sign Language (Libras, which is way different than ASL) and my brain gets even more confused because sometimes I have to think in English to remember a sign and then think in Libras and Portuguese. After we talked to E~ yesterday (the deaf woman) I accidentally started talking to my companion in English. haha. You should have seen her face after I finished talking in English without realizing it. Poor girl. Her companion is crazy.

August 25, 2014

Week 49 (21 July 2014)

Remember C~?. Well we had been praying A LOT so that she would be able to go to Family Home Evening with us. It was a spiritual battle and we were just hoping that things would work out. We went to pick-up another young woman to go to FHE with us and right as we were leaving her house (5 minutes before the FHE would start) the phone rang. IT WAS C~! Her mom had let her go to FHE with us. Remember that part in The Best Two Years [a movie about missionaries] when they are praying and the phone rings, and it is the investigator. It was like that. And our reaction when I hung-up the phone was a huge hug with my companion like they did in The Best Two Years after Kyle asked to be baptized. It was a mega spiritual experience. The lesson was great because our 3 recent converts (all young women) gave the lesson on faith as part of their Personal Progress [a goal setting program for Young Women, ages 12-18]. Everyone cried. It was wonderful! SUPER WONDERFUL. I get chills just thinking about it. Unfortunately we still cannot teach C~ at her house, but she loves English so we will start teaching her English with some of the other youth to spark friendships so that if she has questions about the gospel she can talk to them.

One of the inactive members at R~, J~, and J~´s house began listening to our messages. It is a miracle because before he avoided us at all costs... :) Yay!

We were lost and didn't know what do on Saturday night so we knocked on a house because we really wanted to teach a lesson. An old woman (M~) came out of the house and let us in. We talked to her for a bit and then her neighbor arrived. We found out that her neighbor (who [name] is also M~) is less active and thinks that she wants to start going to church again and wants us to teach her daughter and her family. The Lord put them in our path. :)

Love you! Sorry it's not organized.
Sister Phelps