Monday, November 29, 2010

Rough Week . . . . .Blessings in the End

The week started out brutal...and the attached photo pretty much somes up how our work went. The elders that left the area had 2 men they were teaching and were "ready" for baptism. We´ve been trying to get a hold of them since we´ve arrived in the city but they haven´t been to church once these past 5 weeks. Well...we found out this week that one of them is in prison for the next three years and the other has moved quickly without telling anyone where he moved to. We don´t know exactly what happened and the member that informed us, just told us to forget about them and move on to the next investigator. I was super frustrated by the situation because we´ve been focusing so much of our time and efforts in teaching and baptizing these 2 men. I vented a little to our district leader but he put a new light on the situation saying he was greatful that nothing happened to us. Three years in prison isn´t just a slap on the I´m greatful too that the Lord was watching out for us.

This week the rain POURED!!! I let one of the members borrow my umbrella one day and she lost it...meaning I was left with my broken umbrella. With the wind and the rain, the broken umbrella only broke more and I decided it was useless and went running through the streets of Patos in the pouring rain without an umbrella. Needless to say I was drenched head to toe and the house we were going to didn´t even have anyone home!

Some other things went wrong during the week...but in the end, the blessing came. Deise told us that she wanted to mark a baptismal date!!! She´s going to be baptized December 11 so please pray that everything goes well. It´s amazing how the Lord works.

When we asked her how she got her answer she said that she has been praying and felt a peace that it was right. She´s a girl full of questions, but she said that the church is the only church that´s been able to answer all of her doubts. She doesn´t feel confused when she studies the gospel. It´s so true that the church is here to bless our lives. The gosepl is simple, but it´s the only truth and that´s why it feels so good to study about it´s teachings.

Monday, November 22, 2010


We’ve really been blessed with investigators that are excellent! Most of our investigators are member references, meaning that a member sent us to teach their friends or families. This is the best way to find people to teach because the investigators already have a support system and someone they can trust to answer their questions and to visit the church.

But with all these excellent investigators we’re having trouble getting them to commit to baptism. They are all waiting for lightning bolt experiences that will serve as an answer to their prayers, but I know that the Holy Ghost answers through more delicate answers. I’m learning more and more about the power of sharing testimonies, because people can be full of questions and doubts, but when I share my testimony, they can feel the truthfulness and feelings are things people can’t ignore.

We have two young men that are going to be interviewed Friday for baptism Saturday and confirmation Sunday. The problem is that they live super far away and because there are just men in their house, we can’t visit them at home. But we have a member that’s going to help us baptize these boys this Saturday and he’s offered to let us teach at his house (which is also on the other side of the city.)

The three sisters; Deise, Natane, and Nilzielle could be baptized, but Deise is going to be out of town this weekend and Natane and Nilzielle are still minors and can’t be baptized without their mom’s signature. Their mom said that she won’t sign until she visits the church, but she doesn’t want to visit…so we are in a tight situation. Please pray that everything can go well for these 3 girls and that they can be baptized together and before the end of the year.

I know that I’m here on the mission to preach the gospel of Christ and I know that the gospel of Christ includes all the blessings and ordinances of the church. Basically, I’m here to baptize. I know that it’s not an easy work, and that Satan is working just as hard as we are, but I also know that God is going to prepare a way that the people will listen and accept these messages.

We made chocolate chip cookies (they didn't turn out very good but brasilians don't know the difference, so they liked them) Me and Nilzielle!

With Irmã Nayara and 2 of her children (Amarilis and Brenda) Yes...we are a little crazy.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Priesthood Power

So yesterday was a holiday here in Brasil...something about the declaration of the republic being signed or something like that. Well, brasilians love their holidays so they have lots of them and when they have one, everything shuts down. So basically our p-day got moved to today because non of the internet cafés were opened and neither were the grocery stores.

Last week we had our zone conference in Ubêrlandia (see the photos.) It was super great to be with other missionaries again. It´s hard being out in the middle of now where and knowing that the only other missionary in a 3 hour radius is my companion. But the fun part was that 7 of the 9 sisters in the mission are in our zone...everyone minus Rio Verde. This meant that we got to have a sleep over with all the sisters. 4 mattresses and 7 sisters led to a night of pretty much no sleep because of the lack of space, but we put all the mattresses together and had a giant sleep over! The next day we had our conference. I was really looking forward to the interviews with Pres. Prieto but because of the number of missionaries, we got put at the very end of the line. Our bus was leaving the next morning and the majority of the missionaries were going back to their areas the same day of the conference. the time our turn came around it was 9 pm and I was spent. The interview was short but good and Pres. Prieto complimented me on my leadership´skills. I´d been studying about the priesthood for a few weeks and last week felt that I needed a priesthood blessing. Because there is no better to give a blessing than the mission president, i asked for a blessing. I´m so greatful for the priesthood power and for the worthy men that hold this power. (read "the priesthood power" by Pres. Packer from his conference talk in really helped me!)

The sisters in the zone Uberlandia (with the mission president's wife. . .Sister Prieto)
This photo has a funny sotyr. . .Borracharia - a place where you change your tires, oil, etc. Bolichi-bowling alley I switched the words and told an Irma that I wanted to find a Borracharia in the city so that on our p-day we could play there. . .

Lunch the day of conference the sisters get to eat first! PRIVILEDGED!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Address

How sisters give hugs to boys...with my recent convert Samuel (who was called last week to be the Young Men´s president!)
Some banana trees in Rio Verde that makes it look that I´m out in the middle of no where
Last p-day we decided to "liven" things up, so we visited the cities cemetery! Here in Brazil, they put houses over the graves of the people. Inside the houses they have pictures of the dead person and a few of that person´s personal objects. I thought of mom when we visited the graveyard and remembered the graveyards we visited during our vacations in Tennesse and Hawaii...good times. Hide and seek in the cemetery.

This week was super hectic to say the area, new members, new investigators. Patos de Minas has super great potential and the first impression of the members is super great! What with our ridiculously large area, I´ve had to cut the area map in 4 parts so that it can fit in my bag :) We´re dividing up our week according to the suburbs we will be working.

We are getting to know the members little by little, but they are super excited to have sisters in the branch. It´s been over 7 years since they last had sisters and so there are members here that have never personally known sisters. The members are excited to help us with the work and are super willing to help us in general. We´ve gained about 5 new moms here in the area...irmãs that are willing to help us with anything we need. The thing that´s going to kill us are these hills that the city has! Up and up and up and up!

New Mailing address:
Sister Erika Riggs
Rua Patrocinio, 194
Santo Antonio
38700-364 Patos de Minas-MG