Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cow Stomach, Transfer Calls....you´re not gonna wanna miss this one ;) 2/1/16

Hello everyone! Happy February! Can you believe we´re already through a full month of 2016?? This has definitely been the hottest, most exhausting, most rewarding January I´ve ever experienced.

Once again, thank you to everyone who sends e-mails, reads the blog, prays for the missionaries, etc. Your support is felt and appreciated and I love you all :)

This week has certainly been a wild one!! The craziness started on Wednesday, when we showed up to lunch and smelled something other than rice and beans. To my suprise, the irma, bless her heart, made a special delicacy..."stomach of the bull"...yep. For anyone who knows me, I´m the kind of person who orders the same meal at the same restaurant every time. But, as has become a tradition here in Brazil, God is determined to mold me into something better :) So in only 11 months from now, you can all look forward to seeing a lovely video of me eating cow stomach! If you can get past the sliminess, it really isn´t that bad... I didn´t even throw up! 
Also on Wednesday, we got to teach a sweet lady who owns a little cart with candies on the street. She´s never home, so we teach her in cart. She usually doesn´t want to hear a full lesson, so we have previously only left pamphlets and invited her to read. However, as we talked with her this time, it was different. She explained that her husband used to work with her in the cart, but that he had passed away 8 years ago, leaving her to work in the cart alone. As I was able to testify to her that families can be together forever and that she can live with her husband again after this life, her face lit up. A hope glowed in her countenance, and I could´ve sworn there were angels with us there in the rain. She innocently asked if she would be able to see her parents again too. It made my heart burn within me to again testify that she could see them again and that they could be a family forever. God´s plan is so marvelous. What a blessing and privilege we have to share this message, to be able to give hope to the broken-hearted. 

Fran and her two sons, Gab and Nik are progressing very well and loving the Gospel. I love to teach them and watch them soak up everything. I really do love that family. Fatima came to church for the second time this week and loved it just as much as the first :) I love it when people love church!

Last night, we received transfer calls. To our dismay, Sister Bundy and I are being separated. We knew that moment would come eventually. It will be hard to say goodbye to my mission mom, but I know that we´ll be friends long after the mission. It´s been a great 4 months together :) 
I will be staying in Cidade Lider with a new companion, who I will be picking up tomorrow morning. She is Brazilian, so it will be an adjustment of cultures living together, but I am excited to improve my Portguese and get to know another daughter of God :) I´ll let you know more about her next week!

Hope you all are doing well and remembering to pray and study the scriptures daily. They´re little things, but they make all the difference! Keep being awesome :)

All my love,
Sister Doyle

"Trust God and believe in good things to come..." - Jeffrey R. Holland 1/27/16

What a blessing we have to be able hear and read the comforting words of our prophet and apostles! I have been loving reading through the talks given in this past October General Conference. I know that we have a living prophet today who is guided by God, and that he and his twelve apostles truly have the keys of the priesthood. We have been so blessed with priesthood leadership to guide us in the right path on our way home to Heavenly Father!

Things have finally started to pick up a bit this week, which has been such a relief to Sister Bundy and I. We had five investigators at church this Sunday, which was a new record for us :) I love that when our investigators come to church, they can feel the peace and comfort that comes from worshiping the Lord together. I know that our investigators felt that this week.

Fran and her two sons are really progressing and we might be having a baptism coming up soon! They are so prepared and they are so diligently seeking the truth. I love them and I am excited to see them make covenants that will put them on a path back to Heavenly Father. Everyone deserves that happiness :) Especially these amazing Brazilians. 

We had a missionary broadcast this week that was given by the apostles and other leaders of the church! Unfortunately, we weren´t able to see the first half, but the second half was great! I learned a lot about how I can improve as a missionary :)

We find out about transfers this Sunday night! Sister Bundy and I have already spent three transfers together in the same area, which is pretty much unheard of. She seems pretty sure that she will be leaving the area. I know that is going to be super tough for me, but I know the God has a plan :)
I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the snow!! I am sweating here in this lanhouse :) Be safe and don´t forget your prayers!!

All my love,
Sister Doyle

"Do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you." - D&C 30:11 - 1/18/16

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear..." - 2 Timothy 1:7

These scriptures and many others have been a great comfort to me this past week. It is amazing how the writings of prophets from hundreds of years ago can be so relevant and applicable to us today. I´m so grateful for the scriptures and for the knowledge and comfort we can receive because of them. God is so good.

First of all, sorry that I didn´t write a general e-mail last week! I was busy sending pictures so I didn´t get around to writing much :) But I still thought of all of you, I promise :)

This week was probably one of the hardest weeks of my life, but I have learned more from this week than I think I could´ve in any other situation. And the blessings that have been poured out have been innumerable. On Tuesday, we had a District meeting, during which we found out that there will be some changes in the way mission transfers happen worldwide. I was feeling pretty stressed about that, but I know that God knows best and we just have to trust His judgment. Then, on Tuesday evening, Sister Bundy and I were assaulted (robbed) while tracting in a neighborhood in our area. It was scary, yes. But we had angels on both sides of the veil helping us. As soon as the men got back in their car, a young man who had seen the whole thing jumped on his motorcycle and sped after them. Many people who lived nearby and heard the commotion came out of their houses and helped us, offering rides, phones, water, etc. Ten minutes later, the man on the motorcycle came back with our bags! He had somehow managed to get everything back. A kind couple from the street drove us home and made sure we were doing okay when we got there. I will forever be in debt to those generous people. It is amazing how God provides in our time of need. I have learned so much from the generosity of complete strangers during this experience. And I know that God was watching out for us. 

The rest of this week has been almost as hectic as Tuesday, complete with visits to the office, renewing Sister Bundy´s visa at the police headquarters, teaching a bunch of amazing people, and eating A TON of chocolate :) We taught a new investigator named Fran this week, and she is so prepared and wonderful! She and her son came to church this week and they really liked it. She even asked if we could come visit her neighbor sometime this week. I love that when people realize how the Gospel is blessing their life and the lives of their families, they can´t wait to share it with their friends and neighbors. 

Another exciting thing: Julio passed the sacrament this week!! I almost started crying when I saw him up there in his new white shirt looking nervous and excited :) He goes back to Bolivia this week, and although I´m going to miss him, I know he is excited to see his family again and share the Gospel with his wife and daughters. If I go my whole mission without another baptism, it will all be worth it. He is truly elect.

Another miracle: Money has been a little tight this transfer because we had to pay a bunch of bills, but this week, we were walking along as always when I saw something on the ground. I bent down, picked it up, and it was a $50 bill! There was no one around, so we couldn´t give it back to whoever dropped it. We are currently saving it for someone who needs it. It was a good reminder for me this week that God is always looking out for us :)

I hope you all had a great week and are enjoying the cold weather of The United States :) I miss you all very much but I am happy to be here serving the people of Brazil. Don´t forget your prayers!!

All my love,
Sister Doyle