Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March 2014


From an email dated March 10, 2014:

"We went on a field trip of sorts with the Gospel Principles class to visit the temple. It was such fun and everyone loved it! Juliana and Néfi went together and you could tell from the look on his face that Néfi was remembering all the good times that he had in the Church and the times he went to the temple before. Juliana LOVED that temple and didn't stop talking about the peace that she felt there. Pray for them...they are having a really hard time right now. Truly the temple is the House of God and His Spirit dwells therein."

February 2014

Sis. Hills celebrated her birthday on the 16th~

And here are a few more photos~

From an email dated February 17, 2014:

"My birthday week was seriously a week of miracles. Sister Duarte and I had some pretty incredible experiences. The first one was with Aulda and her neto, Fabrício. She had already been taught by the other missionaries about two or three years ago. She is pretty amazing and already knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. We had some pretty interesting lessons with her about forgiveness and repentance. Her family has suffered a lot because one of her daughters decided to leave her kids and marry some guy from Goiania. Now this daughter is super religious and doesn´t have anything to do with the kids. It´s really unfortunate. 

On Monday night, Sister Duarte and I went to visit some people with Renata (she´s pretty much the coolest Relief Society president and ward missionary). We met a man named Charles who said that he didn´t believe in God, but gave us his address so that we could talk to his wife/girlfriend. (They aren´t married, but call each other husband and wife. It´s a Brasil thing.) When we went to visit Julieli, the wife, she originally said that she didn´t believe in anything either. Both Sister Duarte and I wanted to just leave, but the Spirit told us to ask her about her life and listen. She has had a super rough life. She was abandoned by her mom when she had 13 years old and went to live with some guy she didn´t even like. She was involved with drugs and never finished middle school. Now we are helping her to find some ways to finish her schooling and gain some training to help her. Charles doesn´t really want anything. He just says he doesn´t believe anything he can´t see and that the only thing he believes in is the power of the human being. How unfortunate. 

On my birthday, we just worked and worked. It was raining all day long. We got super soaked. The streets here are cobblestone so the water just runs and runs. The streets turn into rivers and it is just beautiful. We joke that only "eleitos" are in the streets on a rainy Sunday. We had the weather and a soccer game working against us, but still managed to find some people to teach. I don´t think I will forget this birthday! 

Com Amor,
Sister Abbie Hills"

January 2014

Photos from January 2014~

From an email dated January 13, 2014:

"We has a really great training for all of the Sisters in the São Paulo Interlagos mission. It was all about the potential that we have and how we can use our divine nature as women to help people to come unto Christ. Que legal, neh? Honestly, each one of us has a purpose and a part in our Father´s eternal plan. Never doubt this. If we lack knowledge as to what that is, then we should just as Him. He tells us in James 1:5 that if we lack wisdom we should ask Him and He will give it to us freely. FREELY! This doens´t just go for knowing that Christ is our Savior or that the Book of Mormon is true, this is if we lack whatever kind of wisdom. Do you have a question about where to begin studying for your test? Ask our Heavenly Father! Or maybe a question about who you should date? Ask our Heavenly Father. I promise and know that He will always answer. Because He loves us, and we are His children."

December 2013

Photos from December 2013~

From an email dated December 16, 2013: 

"I cannot express in words how much I have felt the love of the Savior during this past week. I am so incredibly blessed to be able to participate in this wonderful time when the Lord is accelerating His work here on the Earth. I will admit, last week I felt a little discouraged and doubted my potential and the veracity of my calling. But the Lord is so merciful and showed me how much He loves me and wants me to be here to help His children return to His presence. The promise that Elder Ballard made that if we extend a hand for just one between today and Christmas is true. Millions will feel the love of the Savior, and most importantly each individual. I know I have felt His love so much as I have worked this past week.

I am sending tons of photos this week because it was truly a blessing in my life. I have come to appreciate even more the Atonement of the Savior. In the garden, he literally suffered for each one of us. My mission president said to me that it was very personal. He saw our faces and accepted to suffer for each one of our sins individually. Even the people who he knew wouldn´t repent. What love and devotion can we forget?
I am so glad that you all had such a wonderful opportunity to share the Savior´s love through music. The song of the righteous is a prayer unto our Father and He always hears our prayers :)"

November 2013 & An Apology

I (Mynnette, Abbie's sister) have been SO BAD at keeping this up!  My goal is to at least add the pictures each week and a little blurb!  Please forgive me as I catch up! ;)

Here are highlights and photos from November!

From an email dated November 18th: 

"This week I reached 3 Nefí and the ensinamentos de Cristo quando Ele estava aquí nas Americas. Oh my goodness I love my Savior so much. This week, because of the lesson in Relief Society about service, I was especially struck by the scripture in chapter 12 verse 41: And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. The citação from the lesson is the following: "Cultivate a spirit of charity; be ready to do for others more than you would expect from them if circumstances were reversed. Be ambitious to be great, not in the estimation of the worldly minded, but in the eyes of God, and to be great in this sense, “Love the Lord our God with all your might, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.” You must love mankind because they are your brethren, the offspring of God. Pray diligently for this spirit of philanthropy, this expansion of thought and feeling, and for power and ability to labor earnestly in the interest of Messiah’s kingdom."
God bless and stay strong!
Sister Hills

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Plans for the holidays

All this talk about plans for the holidays sound super fun! The people here have started putting up Christmas lights as well...but it´s really hot so it is a little confusing. These band and choir concerts sound like a dream. I am currently helping our ward choir prepare for the dedication of our new chapel on the 8th on December. I am so incredibly excited. We are going to have an open house the week before and are making convites to hand out to all of the neighbors and nossos pesquisadores. . . . .

It is so weird to think thatthis Sunday I will have FOUR months here. Que benção! ALSO WE ARE GOING TO THE TEMPLE ON QUINTA-FEIRA AND THEY HAVE THE NEW FILM AND I AM SO EXCITED I AM GOING TO DIE. Not really, but I will definitely have a review for you all next week!
Here in good old Brasil we have a real problem with helping the people be baptized and come unto Christ. They don´t get married. Or they get married and don´t separate legally and live with another person. I was thinking about why we are not having a lot of success helping these types of people. Then it hit me...I need to strengthen my testimony of the law of chastity. So that´s what I did. I read two awesome things this week that really opened my eyes as to WHY the Lord prohibits qualquer relacionamento sexual outside of casamento. We Believe in Being Chaste by: Elder David A. Bednar in April 2013 and A Família: A Proclamação ao Mundo Needless to say I gained a greater testimony of the importance and the gift of our bodies here on the Earth and why Heavenly Father gives us commandments to protect this gift.
Funny Story! So this week we were contacting a referência and were waiting outside their house when their car drove up. Out popped a little senhorinho in a suit and tie. We talked to him for a little bit and he asked if we have a Bíblia with us (of course we did). He asked us to read Marcos 9:38-43. It talks about one who was casting out devils in the name of Christ and that the disciples shouldn´t deter him and then talks about protecting children. He said that these scriptures meant that what we were doing was wrong and proceeded to talk for about a half an hour. In the end I told him about the Restauração do Evangelho and that our propósito was to help people increase their faith, not to tear it down. In the end it was really funny, but I felt sad for the little senhorinho.

Pizza in Brazil

November 4, 2013

Sister Goncalves reached her 1 yr mark!! :)
So we had pizza
and guess what?! Pizza crust is filled with chocolate here! Could it get any better?
Also a random horse [was] in front of our investigators house, because apparently thats normal (as well as seeing it later throughout the day on different streets )