Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Milagres in Poa :) 3/28/16

Hello everyone!! How was Easter? I really missed it! They don´t do much here for Easter. The parents give a chocolate egg filled with candies to their kids, which I think is a really cool idea, but that´s about it.

Whew, this week was exhausting, but wonderful. We are working hard to get things going here in Poa and things are really starting to happen. We did a fast and were able to find a map because of it :) We´re having a lot of success contacting less-actives and recem-conversos who fell away. The members here are so helpful and ready to serve. I know that this area has had baptisms in the past purely because of the faith of these members. And I know this ward will continue to grow and improve because of its members. They are golden. Everyone does their part. Exactly how the church should be run.

We saw an amazing miracle this week and I wanted to share it with you guys. Last week, a member remembered that the Elders had given a blessing to someone and never returned, so I called the Elders that were here before and asked for the address. I figured we´d just stop by if we were in that neighborhood. Fast-forward to this week. We had set up an appointment with a menos-ativo and his non-member wife with a member of the ward. On the way to pick us up, the member got completely lost and ended up showing up 20 minutes late. While waiting for her, I called our appointment to let them know that we were going to be late. The husband answered and said that his wife had left and didn´t want us to come anymore. When our member-present arrived, we explained the situation and asked her if she´d like to just try some people with us. I remembered that old referral that the Elders had, and we decided to try. When we arrived at the house, the man let us in and ended up telling us all about his life and his relationship with God. His dad had been very sick and he had prayed with everything he had that God would cure him. But his father died, and he decided that God must not exist. Or if He does exist, He doesn´t bother to help us. Years later, he decided to try again and prayed and prayed that God would give him some kind of sign that He exists and cares. But again, nothing happened. So he gave up. But he said that that day, he had been feeling something strange. Like something big was about to happen. So when we clapped at his door, he let us in, curious, but full of doubts. We promised him that God exists, that He knows him by name, and that He sent us to him to help him. During the lesson, I felt impressed to share a video with him. So he opened Youtube, and there was the Church´s Easter video. He stopped, surprised..."Is this a video from your church?" Yes! He just stopped, in silence, and then replied, "God´s finally speaking to me." We watched the vidoe and it was absolutley perfect. He accepted The Book of Mormon. When we marked a chapter, he asked, "Would it be alright if I just read the whole thing? And can I come to church too? I know this is God´s answer..." It was the most miraculous experience. And I don´t think I had to think about my Portuguese once during the lesson. After, as we were driving home, the member who went with us thanked us for the experience and said she would tell all of the irmas in the ward that if they need a spiritual uplift, they should go out with the Sisters. 

I am so grateful to have had that experience. The Spirit was so strong, and I felt so much love for this individual. I know that God heard his prayers when his father was sick. I know that He was there when he prayed for a sign. And I know that He was there with us as we taught His son. God hears us and He responds. But He waits until we are ready to accept His answer.

In other news, I am so excited to go to the Temple!! I think one of the blessings of being on a mission is being able to feel the lack of the Temple in my life. (We don't get to go very often) It makes me want to prepare and receive whatever God has for me there. I read the book, "Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple" today, and I am so excited for the opportunity to visit the Campinas Temple this week. I hope that I am ready and prepared to not just enter the Temple, but let the Temple enter my heart.

Other than that, not a lot of new news. It´s hot, like normal, and we´re still living in Vila Virginia, but I think we´re going to move to Poa this week!! Woohoo!!

I love you guys so much and I hope you are finding all the happiness and beauty that God is placing in your path through life :)

All my love,
Sister Doyle

The Founding Sisters of Poa :) 3/21/16

Hello everyone!!

Whew, it feels like it´s been a lifetime since I last talked to you all! So much has happened!

On Tuesday, I said goodbye to my beloved Cidade Lider, as well as the amazing sisters that I lived with and headed out to Itaquaquecetuba with Elder Merrill (he was in Itaquera with me and now he´s our new Zone Leader in Itequaquecetuba). We finally arrived, and I met my new companion, Sister Felartigas. She is from Uruguay, is almost done with her mission, and reminds me so much of my first trainer, Sister Hingano :) We are super different, but I know I´m going to learn a ton from her. It´s been good so far. We have the assignment to be Sister Training Leaders here in Itaqua, so that means that we look after and do divisions with some other sisters in the area. It´s going to be an adventure :)
 We arrived in Poa, dropped our bags off at our house (which looked pretty dirty, but we just left it) and went to the chapel to meet some of the members. The members here are amazing. We are the first sister missionaries to ever serve in Poa, so the members are pretty excited. They are all super willing to help, and I know that we´re going to have a lot of success here. We went back to our house and discovered that it didn´t have power, so we borrowed some flashlights from the members and just went straight to bed. Good thing, because I think if we had had time to look around the house, we would not have been able to sleep...

We woke up the next morning and immediately began cleaning, but it soon became apparent that this house needed more than just a sweep-over. Broken windows, old broken furniture, black toilets, moldy walls, cockroaches, no power...it was pretty bad. We called President, and he sent some Elders to come look at it. When they saw how bad it was, they told President, and he got pretty mad. He sent the Elders who were here before us to come clean up their mess (awkward). So they came, and we helped them clean ALL DAY. But still, the house didn´t have windows or power, so they are sending someone to come fix it up. Until then, we are living with Sister Tordecillas e Sister Martinez in Vila Virginha. We take the train for about 45 minutes every morning and every night to get to and from our area. It´s pretty annoying, but you gotta do what you gotta do (right mom?) :)

Other than the house situation, we are loving Poa. It´s pretty hard to start an area from scratch, with no one to teach or anything. But the members are awesome and we know that the work is going to start picking up soon. :) We´re gonna work harder than we´ve ever worked before to give the people of Poa all that they deserve :)

I sincerely hope you´re all doing well. I know life isn´t easy, but it´s for sure easier when we work alongside The Savior. He´s been there and He gets what we´re going through. And He really does want to help us. 

All my love,
Sister Doyle

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Collection of emails from 2/8 - 3/14

Let the carnival begin!! 2/8

Hello everyone!!

I don´t have much time to write this week, sorry! The internet is being slow. But I love you all and I´m doing well!

On Tuesday, I got my new companion, Sister Hilgemberg! She´s Brazilian, so obviously we are a little different, but I love her and I´m learning a lot of Portuguese! She´s teaching me a lot and I know I will grow so much this transfer :)
  • Sister Hilgemberg! Francis and her two sons.
  • Francis made us bread. :)
Our investigators are doing so well!! We had seven people at church on Sunday! Francis and her sons are as great as ever and are preparing really well for their baptisms. I know that God prepared them for us to teach and that He´s helping them along the path back to Him :) I love them so much. I love that being a missionary allows to feel some of God´s love for His children. It´s incredible :)

This week is Carnaval, which means Brazil is crazy!! I have never seen so many drunk people in my life haha But it will pass and things will settle down again. We´re going to be staying in the house a lot this week, which will be kind of tough, but necessary. I think there are a lot of really beautiful aspects of Carnaval. I love how creative the people of Brazil are :)

That´s pretty much all the big news I have for you guys this week! Keep being awesome and relying on the Lord. I know that He has a plan for each and every one of us, and that if we kneel in prayer, He will show us what we need to do. He wants ALL of His children to return back to Him some day :) Thank you, as always, for all the support and love!

All my love,
Sister Doyle 

God is so good :) 2/15

We´re having a baptism!!!

Yep, you read that right! Francis and Nikolas and Gabriel are going to be baptized this Saturday night!! I am so incredibly happy and stressed and excited!! I can hardly handle it!! :)

We´ve also been working a lot with less-actives, which has been surprisingly enjoyable. This week, we have been working a lot with a less-active young woman named Eve. She was offended by someone in the ward a while back and hasn´t gone to church in years. As we visited with her, she told us that she hasn´t felt the spirit in a long time and that she thinks she needs to just drop the church altogether. I felt prompted to invite her to go teaching with us the next day, and surprisingly, she said yes. The next day, she went with us to visit a man who had helped me and Sister Bundy when we were assaulted (hidden blessings :)) and we taught The Restoration. The Spirit was very strong, and at the end, I asked Eve to bare her testimony. She bore a strong testimony of Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon. Afterwards, she said that she had felt the Spirit for the first time in a while, that she knows the church is true, and that she wants to serve a mission a year from now. She then asked us to come home with her and teach The Restoration to her parents. It is hard not to cry, even as I´m writing this, because of the immense love I feel for this young woman and her family. I know that every soul is precious in the sight of the Lord. And I know that Eve will be a great influence for good in the world. 

In other news, I´m going to be speaking at Stake Conference next week. Yep. Nervous and excited :) God will loose my tongue so that I can speak what´s in my heart. I know that the gift of tongues is real. 

My companion and I are doing well, just trying to work hard and be the best missionaries we can be :) It´s been really hot here, which is hard. But God´s sustaining us through this Brazilian summer :) Cold showers and frozen cups of yogurt have become my new favorite things!

Hope you are all doing well and feeling the light of The Savior´s love this week and always :) Don´t forget your prayers or your immense worth! 

All my love,
Sister Doyle

"Yea, they were baptized [...] and were filled with the grace of God." - Mosiah 18:16     2/22

Hello everyone!

Well, I think this week was the most stressful, exhausting, crazy, wonderful, happy, glorious week of my mission so far.

The highlight? Francis, Nicolas, and Gabriel were baptized this Saturday night, along with a young woman that the sisters have been teaching!! And then they were confirmed and given the gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday! They looked so glorious in all white :) The whole ward got so excited and involed in the baptism...the Relief Society made treats, the Primary sang, the Young Women sang, the Young Men talked, the Sunday School set up a video...everyone did their part. The chapel was filled to the brink, and we even had people standing in the back. There were more than 110 people there! I think that´s more than we had at church the next day! Although Francis was very nervous, she and the boys had so much support, members and non-members alike, and the Spirit was so strong. I am so honored to have been a part of this journey for them, and I look forward to continuing visiting them in the coming weeks :)

Now that the baptism is over, I have started preparing for my talk at Stake Conference this Saturday. I´m pretty nervous to be speaking in Portuguese in front of so many people, but I know that the Holy Ghost will bring to their hearts the message that they need to hear. 

In other news, our English class had more people than ever this week! More non-members than members! It is stressful, but also super fun, to be teaching English. We´ve started doing verbs and conjugations, so I think I might need to start studying English during language study :) I really do love teaching. And the people in our class are so humble and excited to learn! Most of them have hopes of living in America one day. I hope I can help them with their dreams :)

Other than that, life has been pretty normal. Super hot. Lots of rain. Lots of dogs. And lots of rice and beans. Hope you are all doing well and know how much I love and appreciate you! Keep your chin up and everything will work out :)

All my love,
Sister Doyle

"The Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain..." - Zecharias 10:1     2/29

Hello everyone :)

Not much to tell this week, other than the fact that we have had A TON of rain :) I´m not complaining, though. I´d take pouring rain over blazing sun any day :)

Francis, Nicolas, and Gabriel are doing well and loving being members of the church. Nicolas and Gabriel are going to receive the Aaronic Priesthood (The priesthood is the power of God given to men in order to do things in the name of Jesus Christ. The Aaronic Priesthood is the first priesthood that a young man can receive, and worthy young men of certain ages can use this priesthood to bless and pass the sacrament, baptize, and help the people around them.) I am very excited for them to take this next step and continue progressing and becoming like Christ. I love them all so much :)

The English class is going well. We´ve started learning verb tenses, so it´s getting complicated! I´m loving it. It´s hard to switch back and forth between English and Portuguese really quickly, but I´m starting to get better at it. And living with an American in the house helps me to keep my English up :)

This Saturday and Sunday, we had Stake Conference. My companion and I had the opportunity to prepare talks for the Saturday evening session. Sister Hilgemberg talked about eternal marriage, and I talked about The Atonement.The whole session went really well and the Spirit was strong. I love this stake so much. It will be very hard to leave Cidade Lider when I get transferred. 

Right now, Sister Hilgemberg and I are just trying to find some new people to teach who are ready to hear the Gospel. I know that if we follow the Spirit, we´ll be led to those people. I´m excited to teach them :)

Alright, I´ve used too many smiley faces for one day. I love you all and I hope you are all doing well. Don´t forget that you have worth and value in the sight of The Lord and that He´s rooting for you. And so am I :) Don´t forget your prayers!

All my love,
Sister Doyle (or Dolly if you´re Brazilian) 

My comp with a cat alseep on her skirt (she´s allergic to cats so it´s kind of a hilarious picture)


Another rainy week in Brazil :)  3/7

Hello everyone! 

I hope you are all doing well! It´s been hot and rainy here in Sao Paulo, which has been interesting :) I am never dry...I´m drenched in sweat or drenched in rain. No other options ;)

In all honesty, this week was kinda tough. My heart has been aching for my people. There is a lot of sadness and addiction and rejection of the truth, and I feel as if I could shout with Alma, "O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth." (Alma 29:1) We had an investigator drop us who I have been teaching for almost 4 months now. It broke my heart more than I thought it would. But that´s good, because I know that I´m truly caring for these people. And I hope and pray that they can see and feel my desperation and hope that they will accept this amazing blessing of the Gospel in their lives. I know how much it can change lives. 

The English class is going well and Sister Hilgemberg and I are doing lots of contacting and door-knocking to try to find some new investigators. I know that God will help us as we work our hardest :) 

I wanted to do a special little shout-out to everyone who put together that amazing Valentine´s Day box! I absolutely loved it and it came right when I needed to feel a little extra love. You guys are the best and I am so lucky to have such amazing people in my life. All the Valentine´s Day cards were adorable :) You guys are the best!

I hope you are all doing well and staying close to The Lord. He has a plan for each and every person on this earth, and He will help you know what you need to do if you pray and ask Him. 

Keep being awesome!! :)

All my love,
Sister Doyle

  • The skirts we made with the irmas of the ward. 
  • My normal breakfast

Last week in Cidade Lider...  3/14

 Hello everyone! Hope you are all doing well and finding all the beautiful in life :)

This week was pretty rough. Lots of knocking doors and being rejected. But we had some miracles too :) We met some of the most amazing people I´ve ever met in my life and drank grape juice and ate fancy cheese with them in their wine shop (it was grape juice, I promise). They really re-established my belief in humanity and that what we do as missionaries makes a difference. I´m so grateful to meet wonderful people like that.

I don´t have much time to write today, but I wanted to let you all know that I´m being transferred! I´m going to a more suburban area of Sao Paulo called Itaquaquecetuba (yep, don´t even try to pronounce that). Me and my new comp are going to be opening an area there! It´s going to be an adventure to get there tomorrow knowing absolutely nothing but the address of our house, but I know this is where the Lord needs me right now. It will be sad to leave my beloved Cidade Lider, but I´m excited for the change and the opportunity to meet new people and get to know a new area!

Have a great week everyone, and don´t forget your prayers. Prayer is the single most important thing you can do in your day. So make sure it gets the time it deserves ;)

I love you all! Thank you for the continued support and love!

All my love,
Sister Doyle

P.S. - I woke one day and went straight to the bathroom. Half awake, I heard a rustle next to me. I turned and saw a moth the size of my head. Not exaggerating in the slightest. I freaked out and it freaked out and much flapping of wings and screaming ensued. I´m still alive. Moths are gross. Have a great week everybody.