Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Living Prophet

I don´t have any photos to send home this week. We spent half the week traveling to and from Goiânia, so this week flew by. Sis. da Silva and I had a blast in Goiânia! We spent the night at the mission home, but because of construction, we arrived too late to do proselyting. Sister Prieto told us to relax and go to sleep early...so we relaxed and chatted and didn´t go to sleep until the normal hour of lights out 10:30. We woke up bright and early the next morning and I went to renew my visa. It was super great to spend time with my elders! Three out of the 5 Elders who entered the MTC with me were also renewing their visas, so we got to catch up a bit. It´s so great to see the progress that they´ve made as missionaries and how much they´ve grown! I know that I´ve certainly grown a lot since the last time I saw them.

I´m super excited for General Conference this upcoming week! It´s one of the best weekends of the year...being able to listen and learn from the living prophet and living apostles of the Lord. We´re working to bring lots of investigators to the sessions, so that their testimonies can be strengthened too.

We´ve got some good investigators that we found this week...but good isn´t great. I know that the Lord is preparing people and to help find them, we are going to be more involved in splits with the members. Because there are 3 of us, Sis. da Silva will be teaching with a member while Sis. Ferreira and I will be working together.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Patricia Got Baptized!

Another week in the life of a missionary here in Patos de Minas. Today we are going to be traveling to Uberlândia to spend the night. We´ll be leaving Sis. Ferreira to work with the sisters in the area and Sis. da Silva and I will be catching a 6 hour bus to Goiânia to renew my visa...which means sleep over @ the mission President´s house! All in all Sis. da Silva and I will be spending a little more than 20 hours on the bus in the next 3 days...bleh. We´ve bought lots of motion sickness medicine because we both get car sick But it´s all for a good cause because I don´t want to stay in the country illegally.

This past week we were blessed with a baptism! Patricia got baptized! Her story goes to show that the members really do have a work to do. She came to church after an activitiy the branch had, to pass out pass-along cards and invite people on the street to visit the church on Sunday. Well....Patricia and her son visited and she got baptized! She´s super cute and excited to follow the commandments. She is now focusing on her son and her parents because they listen to all of the discussions, but don´t keep commitments (the word of wisdom in particular). But Patricia is a woman of great faith and is praying that she can be the example that makes a difference in her family.

Yesterday we visited a man who we met in the office supply store. He invited us to visit him and his family, but when we went to his house, he started talking about his religion and tried to convince us that we needed to be baptized in his church. Well...while he was trying to convice us, I only realized more and more how true the church is. The things he was saying didn´t make any sense. A testimony is a powerful thing and there´s no chance of denying it. I know that this is the true church that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ not only live, but love each and every one of us. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that we have a living prophet today to lead and guide us. I know that the authority of God is the priesthood and that it exists only in this the true church. I love gospel and anyone who tries to tell me that the things I believe are false, don´t understand that the Holy Ghost can´t be denied. I may not be able to describe how I know these things are true, other than the fact that everything I am is because of this gospel and the fact that I feel that it´s right. Logic isn´t enough to move my heart from what God´s shown me is right.

I love the church, I love being a missionary and I love you!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Besides hearing about Japan, this week was good. We´re teaching Patricia still and she´s really progressing. Before, she didn´t understand why she had to stop drinking coffee before her baptism, she didn´t think it was necessary. We bought some Cevada...which is the substitute for coffee in the church here in Brazil. She´s been drinking it and these past few days has been having terrible migraines! She started laughing when she told us how irritated she´s been these past few days and how the headaches aren´t going away. She realizes that she really was addicted to coffee and that it really is bad for your body. She stopped smoking without a problem, and stopped drinking beer without a problem, but it´s the coffee that´s giving her problems. She´s now more determined not to drink any coffee which is perfect!

As you can see from the photos, our investigator, Edna, who was 4 months pregnant when I first started teaching her, gave birth! A big healthy baby boy...Lazaro Henrique! We saw him his first night at home and he´s such a good baby. It reminded me of baby Kate and the last time I saw her, she was this size and now she´s super big!

Today the battle to look for new shoes is going to continue. The last time I wrote about the shoes, I went looking and they didn´t have my size in any of the stores. The only shoes they had in my size were polk-a-dotted or high heeled which doesn´t go over to well here in the mission. I´m going to try in some other stores that aren´t in the center of the city and I´ll let you know if I have any luck. I need new shoes because these 2 pairs are had it. This past week we had a big rain storm that left us huddling together in the only space with a roof...the front entry way to a house´s front gate. The lightning took out the power in the street for a few minutes and poor Sister Ferreira is scared of lightning! When the storm started to calm down, we headed off to our next appointment and my poor shoes got soaked. All this rain and sun is taking it´s toll ....has taken its toll on my shoes and I´ll be looking for a new pair today.

Speaking of new shoes...I got a phone call from the mission office and I´ll be finishing my mission May 18 which means I should be coming home May 19 or 20 (it all depends on flight plans.) They said they´ll be sending me my flight plans soon and you should be getting a copy too. but let´s not think about the end...I still need to baptize a few more people :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Threesome For The Third Time!

This week passed by super fast...too bad I forgot my camera cord at home, so I can´t send photos. The highlight of the week was the news that I´m training again! Yup the newest sister, Sister Ferreira, from Fortaleza is now in trio with me and Sister da Silva. I really like training but I think that Pres. Prieto is trying to keep my mind super occupied so I can´t think about the end of the mission.

Speaking of the end of the mission, I got a phone call last week from the mission office about flight plans home...but there´s something wrong with the plans. The Elder called to tell me that I would be going home May 11th. The problem is that May 11th is right in the middle of a transfer. I asked him about when the transfer would end and he responded saying that he thought it was wierd that I would be going home in the middle of a transfer and I would be traveling alone instead of leaving with a big group of American Elders on May 31st. Well...I told him that I didn´t want to leave in the middle of a transfer and I certainly didn´t want to travel alone. He was supposed to call me back when he talked with Pres. Prieto, but until today I haven´t heard back from him. I´m worried that there´s something wrong with my flight information and that they aren´t able to resolve the problem. My worst fear is that they didn´t ask for my extension and that it´s still marked for me to go home in April...we did the math and the transfer ends April...11th. So, I´m just waiting for the phone call or a chance to talk with Pres. Prieto. We´re going to be having zone conference this week in Uberlândia, so I´ll be seeing him soon.

This is the week of Carnival the Mardi Gras of Brazil. All of the youth went camping to avoid the parties that would be going on here in the city. But we´re lucky we´re here in Patos because it´s a small city and not too much goes on. But a lot of our investigators are taking advantage of the holiday and are traveling and visiting family. We´re really working on Patricia and Oscar who both accepted to prepare to be baptized. Patricia is absorving everything up and is loving participating in the church activities...she even asked to pay tithing this past Sunday! I love being able to teach these people the gospel because I know it´s true.

Sorry again about not having pictures this week...next week will be double! But I`m super happy here in Patos and I´m glad that everyone´s doing well back home!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Christlike Attribute

Another week in the life of Sister Riggs has flown by. We spent a lot of time waiting and catching buses this week (hence the photo) to visit less actives, investigators and lunch appointments.

The young women´s, primary and relief society organizations have been reorganized...with new presidencies. The leadership in the branch is great which just proves that this branch has great potential. I love this branch and am learning a ton here working with the leaders and members. But it doens´t matter how good the leadership is...every member needs to gain their personal testimony of the gospel. Salvation is a personal thing...something that we´re really working with the less actives here. Too many people stop coming to church because they were offended because of something someone said. But what´s interesting is that by leaving the church the only person that looses blessings is you. It doesn´t matter how many times you read the scriptures or say your prayers, nothing can take the place of taking the sacrament weekly.

Every week Sister da Silva and I choose a Christlike attribute to work on. We´ve noted that when we choose a characteristic, that´s when the trials come. When we chose humility this week...we were a little hesitant to find out what the Lord would send to "help" us develop this attribute. All in all it´s important to recognize that without the help of our Heavenly Father we are nothing. This week´s attribute is Faith in Jesus Christ...