December 16, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
So this week was good, but we had few lessons because we had soooo many conferences! Tuesday and Wednesday we went to the temple (ahhhh! :D) and then zone conference. A member couple spoke to us, and then Presidente and Sister Lanius. It was definitely what we needed to hear. So amazing. They talked a lot about faith, and how we have the resources we need, we have the priesthood, and the spirit, but we don’t have faith enough when the storms come. In between the talks, each zone sang a Christmas musical number, and read a scripture. We chose Silent Night. Sister Remy had a beautiful piano arrangement that we used for the first 2 verses and then Elder Carroll and I sang harmony on the last verse, with the rest of the district singing the alto part on an ooooooo. It was SO COOL!!!! And the scripture was Mosiah 3, not sure which verses exactly, but the prophesy about Jesus Christ. It was beautiful. After that, Sister Lanius had us all sing our numbers again (which was good, because the first time I was super nervous, and shaky and the next time it went better) and then she made Presidente sing O Come All Ye Faithful in Latin. They are so cute :) We love our mission president and his wife :)
Friday Thais was baptized!!!!!!! Finally!!!!!!!!!!! And Ermesson had received the priesthood the week before, so he was able to baptize her. It was so cute, the two of them in white :) He memorized the prayer and everything. They were so excited! Ahhhh finally after 9 months, Thais was baptized. It was definitely a struggle. Everything seemed to be going wrong beforehand, but through everything, they have both been faithful, and we are so happy for them!
Saturday we had stake conference, and our district leader called Saturday morning to tell us we would be singing Silent Night as a district again that night. So we got to sing it again! And then the bishop of the other ward that shares our building asked me to sing Silent Night this week for their Christmas fireside. Hahahaha. Stake conference was super good. The theme was building the missionary work, missionaries and members together. It was perfect! We have really been struggling to get the members to be involved with our investigators and recent converts. We’re hoping this helped open up their eyes a little.
Sunday Vitoria came to church (ahhhhh she is perfect. We’re going to invite her to be baptized tonight! Prayers!) and also Isabel, a girl who is dating an inactive member. She had met with the missionaries before, and we found her name in our records and visited with her a few times and invited her to church. She had seemed hesitant, and I wasn’t sure she would actually come, but she did, and with her boyfriend who’s a member! We were thrilled. We’ll meet with them this week and hopefully they’ll continue to come. It wasn’t regular church yesterday; it was a broadcast from Salt Lake especially for Brazil, with area authorities and Elder Ballard. It was super good, but not sure how it seemed to an investigator.
I think that’s all I have to tell from this week. I miss you and love you all! Oh, I received a letter from Sister Donnelly (In Portuguese!!!! It was so cool!!!!!) and from Lauren Mongie :) I will write back, but it may take a while. Tell them thank you from me and pass along a big hug :) It made my day :) And congratulations to Lauren on her mission call!!!!!!!
I love you oodles! Can’t wait to talk to you soon! Hope you are enjoying this Christmas season :) and remembering everything we have to celebrate!
Love, Sister Pilar de Luz
P.S. We want to act out the nativity story in our apartment on Christmas Eve. My companions wanted to use my whiteness to be the angel at first, but then they thought of a better role: the star. "It’s not easy....being white...."
Templo de Recife!!!!!!!
Batismo de Thais! Ermesson baptized her. AHhhhh it was so beautiful!!!!!!!!!!
Oh and I forgot to answer your other question. The dress from the baptism is from Rosinha, a recent convert (she’s amazing!!!!). She didn’t want the dress anymore and insisted I take it, and either use it or give it away. I resisted, but she wouldn’t take it back. I didn’t think I would use it because it’s open in the back and was too short, but we went to an alterations lady who added 6 inches of black fabric for cheap, and I wore a sweater with it, and it works!
Opened one of the packages because it had Christmas decorations in it, but I’m saving the other until Christmas day!!!! Put up the tree, and the decorations, and the little things you wrapped in wrapping paper, I put underneath to open on Christmas :))) And last night I taped the Nativity pieces to the wall :) but I don’t have a picture of it yet. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!! I love love love the decorations, and the card, and the peanut butter and nutella and recipes, and everything :))))) you guys are the best!!!!!!!!!The other package is pretty big, and I’m saving it for Christmas day. I just sent you a picture of the decorations :) There are no words to describe how much I love you guys!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, it really was a miracle [I got the packages]. It was a happy happy day :) It was truly an answer to many prayers :) Haha, the wrapping paper definitely makes it more fun :)[Editor's note, she is commenting on the fact that we wrapped up some not very exciting things in the package just for fun so she would have things to unwrap even though she'd only asked for some food treats and some necessities (like socks and Ziploc bags--no we didn't wrap the Ziplocs up.)] And yes, everyone got at least one package before Christmas. Others are coming, but everyone had at least one, except the other sisters already opened all of theirs, haha.
Our district at zone conference. We all dressed in blue so we’d look cool when we sang. It worked.