Tuesday, February 10, 2015

It's the FINAL COUNT DOWN! 7 days

Dear Family!! 

I´ll keep this email short because I will be home before you can blink your eyes and we can talk in person. 

This week was hard, felt like all of our investigators fled from us, everyone else didn´t want to receive us, and I received news from some of my other recent converts aren´t as dedicated in the church. It´s been hard... but at the same time, I think I have seen one of the biggest miracles on my mission this past week. 

Tuesday was a day where all of our appointments fell through. No one was in there house. We were knocking doors, working, trying to find people. Nada. At night we had a meeting with the Bishop of how we could best help out the ward and if there was anyone in particular that we could visit. Sister Peña and I left feeling a bit uplifted and with a bit more enthusiasm to find the elect people of the Lord. We left there and continued to work. About an hour later, we got this phone call. Sister Penã answered the phone and there was this guy speaking English. She doesn´t speak english so she passed it off to me. There was this guy who had called us. He lives in Canada and is a member of the church. He had an exchange student living with him and his family and she had learned about the church and wants to be baptized. She would be returning to Brasil that week... 

Thursday. Basically, a referral of gold!!! We met this girl, Giovanna, Sunday afternoon. We brought a member with us and taught her about the restoration! She is super excited to be baptized and so full of energy!!! I am SUPER excited!! I know that she won´t be baptized before I leave, but at the same time, it is such a honor to be able to teach her for a little bit before I go. 

Well, considering that this will probably be my last email on my mission that I will send home, I just want to say that I know that this church is true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God and that he received the priesthood authority, the authority to act in God´s name here on the earth. I know that God lives, and that he loves us more than we can possibly imagine. I know that God hears our prayers. If we wait and listen, we can receive answers, personal revelation for our lives. 

Each week we have the opportunity to take the Sacrament and renew our baptismal covenants. Through partaking of the sacrament worthily each week, we can literally feel the difference in our lives. We can feel support, more energy to continue doing the right things that we need to in our lives. 

I am so eternally grateful for this gospel, for my mission, and for all the things I have learned. During my mission, I have had several people ask me why I decided to serve a mission. I would respond that it was because I loved the Lord and felt that he had blessed my life immensely and I wanted to help other people know of the goodness of the gospel for themselves. 

Throughout my mission, I feel like I have received so many more blessings. Blessings that I couldn´t even imagine before my mission. It is so true that when you give the Lord a crumb, he always returns it with a loaf of bread. 

I know that this gospel is true. That Christ lives and that He atoned for our sins. As we use the Atonement daily, we can experience great joy in our lives. True, lasting joy, not something that will fade away with time. 

I love you all VERY much and am so grateful for all of your love, support, and everything that you have done for me. 

Sister Spencer


Dear Family! 

Well the time is ticking down, 2 weeks left!!!!!!! To be honest though, some days it doesn´t feel like I am actually finishing my mission. Sister Peña and I are still working hard till the VERY end! 

I won´t lie. This past week has been a nice trial of our faith and diligence. We did a lot of walking and had a lot of planned lessons fall through. It is a bit discouraging, but regardless, we are doing the things we need to and are seeing miracles. 

-This week we had one day when all of our plans fall through. It was lovely. NOT. But one small miracle that we did see. We were walking to another apartment complex, talking to people on the way. We ended up running into this couple named Tamirez e Marcos. We had talked to them the week before and were trying to get in contact with them, but it just wasn´t working. It was a miracle for us that we ran into them that day. We set up a time to go and visit them! I am excited to teach them! They have 2 small kids which are adorable! 

On Friday we were walking to the bus stop, in a neighborhood that we had already knocked all the doors. In one of the houses, there was a person cutting hair. He yelled out to us and said that he wanted us to teach the gospel to his friend, Lucas (the person getting his hair cut) and for us to return in 20 minutes. We said okay and were SUPER excited! We entered Lucas´ house and taught him the first lesson. When we shared the first vision with him, the spirit was VERY strong. At the end of the lesson we asked if he was willing to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone who had the authority. He stopped and said that his church -congregação- had the authority. i very simply explained how we know that Joseph Smith received the priesthood, tied it back to the Book of Mormon--if theBook of Mormon is true, then Jospeh Smith is a prophet called of God, Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and we have the authority on the earth today. the spirit was really strong. I hope that he will choose to act and follow the things that he learned

- We have one couple in our ward that we get along with really well. Only the wife is a member. This week we had planned to go over and teach them. The husband does not believe in God and is very scientific. Sister Peña and i were a bit nervous for this lesson so the day before we decided  that we would fast so that everything would go good. The lesson went well. I don´t think that the husband is quite open right now to accept a few things, but we asked him a few questions about the creation of the world that really got him thinking. i´m grateful for the opportunity to fast and all of the blessings that come from it!

Even though we had a lot of appointments fall through this past week, i know that this is the Lord´s work. Daily SisterPeña and i can see the Lord´s hand and we are VERY blessed. i am grateful to be a missionary!

Well, I love you all tons! i am excited to see/talk to you in TWO WEEKS!!!! The church is true! 

Sister Beth Spencer

Monday, January 26, 2015

28 More Days to GO!


Well, just about everyone already knows that i only have 28 more days left!!!!!! And I am super super excited to come home. But at the same time, I am working hard and focusing on the work and not being trunky. I only have 28more days to be a representative of Jesus Christ in Brazil and i am going to work hard until the very last day! 

Miracles. This week has been a bit harder, a bit different. But still, this is the work of the Lord, so we´ve seen some miracles! 

- we went to visit an inactive member named Adelia. She´s an interesting lady, but she loves her family a lot. After our visit with her this past week, we asked her if she knew anyone who would be interested in receiving a visit from the missionaries. She passed for a minute and then said yes--her neighbor! Getting a referral from her was a miracle for us!! 

- Our cellphone is out of minutes now and so we´ve been going to the church to make our phone calls. This past week we were trying to get ahold of a member. It was urgent and we had the wrong number. She lives in an apartment complex that is restricted so we couldn´t go and knock on her door. We tried everything possible to contact her but nothing was  a few . We said a prayer and then continued working. That night as we were walking back to our house we found them! The had gone to the grocery store that is in front of our house (far away from their house) to buy a few things. Prayer works!!! 

- One of the missionaries who lives in our house blew out the lights this week. I don´t know if any of you have ever tried to get ready for a special day at 5 in the morning without any light. It doesn´t work out that well. We had multizona this past week and ended up leaving our house at 6 in the morning. When we returned it was 8:30 at night. We were thoroughly tired and it was hard to plan for the day without any light. We said a prayer that we´d be ableto have light again. Not even 5minutes later the lights magically turned on! I don´t know what happened exactly, but it was a miracle!! 

- We´ve been meeting with this less-active family-- Alinio and Isabel. This week Isabel opened up to us and started talking about the small ways that she is starting to see her testimony grow. It was a miracle because so many people dismiss the small ways they see the Lord´s hand, but she didn´t! She recognized!!

I am so very grateful to be a missionary! I know that this church is true and Joseph Smith really did see HeavenlyFather and Jesus Christ. Through reading the Book of Mormon, I know that every person can know this truth for themseves. We are teaching a person named Cristina. She is Espirita. (basically she believes in reincarnation). It is very clear to me that God is a God of order and if we want to know something, we can pray and ask Heavenly Father. And then, through the Holy Ghost, we can receive an answer. 

i love you all so much!!

Much love, 

sister Spencer

3 weekssss 3 weeeeeks 21 daysss 21 daayyysssss!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Sister-in-Law's Mission President's Wife!
Dear Family, 

Well to be perfectly honest it doesn´t really feel like my mission is coming to an end. Sister Peña and I are still working just as hard as ever here, and we have seen a lot of miracles! 

The beginning of this week was pretty hard. it felt like everyone was rejecting us. All of the first lessons that we taught, people flat out told us that we were crazy, that it was impossible for the story of Joseph Smith to be true because no one could see God. in all of these circumstances, we bore our testimonies and told them that we knew that Joseph Smith really was a prophet called of God, that the Book of Mormon is holy Scripture, and if anyone wants to know it for themselves, all they have to do is to ask God. 

During the end part of the week Sister Peña and I were really blessed. We were trying to find new investigators and we found this guy named Diego. We taught him the message of the Restoration, and invited him to be baptized on February 14th. He accepteddddd!!!!!! and it was a miracle!!!!! I am SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER excited about this!!!! We are going back to teach him on Thursdayand have an awesome member to go with us.This is going to be great!

We received a referral this week-- Lenice. We went there with a member to contact her. The lesson was super great. The spirit was SUPER strong. Lenice is super open. She is going through a lot of challenges in her life and really wants to strengthen her relationship with God and do His will. We taught her the message of the Restoration and also marked a baptism for her on the 14th of February! Wow! WHAT BLESSINGS!!! 

And, it doesn´t end there. At church on Sunday, we had 3 random people show up for church. One was a person who was always walking past the church and felt like she should go, so she went!She said she LOVED church and that she will be returning the next week with her husband1!!! The other two were friends of an inactive member. The inactive member decided that he needed to return to church so he brought his two friends with him! Miracles!!!!!!!

Well, I know, without a doubt, that this church is true. That Joseph Smith really is prophet called of God and that the Book of Mormon is Holy scripture. Through keeping the commandments, we can experience true happiness in our lives. 

I love you all tons!!!!

Much love, 

Sister Spencer

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

35 More DAYS!!!

Dear Family!!!
Wow, the days sure are dwindling down... but don´t worry. I am staying focused and working hard!! Just for a bit of an update of what has happened this past week. My companion Sister Galarza was transferred and so my new companion is now Sister Peña. She is from Ecuador and we get along really great! She helps me out with Portuguse when I need help and I am teaching her english a little bit. It´s pretty fun! I don´t have a ton of time in this area, only 2 weeks so it has sort of been like Sister Peña and I are opening an area. Things are good though. We´ve seen a lot of tiny miracles this week.
This week I thought I would write about some of the miracles that I have seen.

-Sister Peña and I were walking to an appointment. We were about 15 minutes early so we were talking to people on the street that were walking. There was this car driving past that pulled over to the side of the road and the driver started to yell "Sister Sister. I need talk with you" I went over there and started talking to him. Turns out this guy doesn´t speak Portuguese, but speaks English. He is super interested in the church and wants us to vist him! For us, that was a miracle that we really were in the right place at the right time!
- Another experience we had. We were walking to the bus stop. We past this one lady. She was smoking and looked a little sad. We said good afternoon to her and about 10 seconds later she responded. Once we got to the bus stop, about 10 feet from her, I kept getting these thoughts in my head saying "Sister Spencer, you are a representative of Jesus Christ in this area. If Christ were here, he would have talked to that lady. What are you doing?" So, I looked at my watch, looked to see if the bus was coming. It wasn´t and we had time so I went back and talked to her. This girl, Jessica, was having a REALLY hard day. She had gotten kicked out of her house and was feeling all alone. We invited her to go to church and got her address to visit her. For me this was something very simple, but I really did feel like I needed to talk to her... and I am glad that I did!
We´ve had a lot of success in this area working with some less-active members.We are working with a few of them with goals to go to the temple. It is really rewarding to see people progressing and accepting the principles of the gospel in their lives. 

Well I love being a missionary and I love sharing the gospel with other people! I know that this gospel is true and that through following the principles in the gospel and applying them to our lives we can have true happiness and joy. I am so grateful for the chance that I had to serve in Tennessee and especially for this chance to serve in Brasil!! I love Brasil!
Hope you are all doing well! I love you tons!!
Much love, 

Sister Spencer

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Year!

Dear Family!!! 

It was absolutely wonderful, fantastic, and amazing to talk to you on Christmas Day!!! I am unbelievably excited to see you all soon in person!!! But, until then, I have 51 days until I will be home and am trying to do everything that I need to here. 

Just to re-cap a bit, I was transferred to a new area about a week moved to and a half ago. My companion is now Sister Galarza. She is from Argentina and has a very cool story.She was baptized and then one year after that she decided to serve a mission, so she has more time as a missionary, then as a normal member of the church. She has a strong testimony and loves sharing her story with other people, so that is good! We are a bit different, so we´ve had some great opportunities to learn, grow, and be better people. Sure still have a long way to go though. 

Not a lot has happened since I talked to you guys on Thursday. Our main investigator that we had with a baptismal date moved to a different city to get surgery so she is not in our area as a  and can´t accept visits from the missionaries for a little while. :P 

We did find a new family though!! We got a referral the other day so we went to contact it! It was a whole family!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :DWe will be going back on Saturday and I am extremely excited to teach them!!!! 

Sorry this email is so short, but not a lot has happened since I talked to you all! 

Sister Beth Spencer

Camera Card Miracle!

Dear Family!!! 

Well this week has been a bit different, but we´ve seen some miracles as well! I´ll give you a quick update since I don´t have a ton of time. 

We found this new investigator named Bianca. I think that she is 19 years old. We taught the first lesson to her and she said that she wanted to read the Book of Mormon and pray. If she gets an answer that the Book of Mormon is true, she will be baptized on the 3rd of January!!!! 

We made friends with a bus driver and so at night he will give us rides because we are servants of the Lord! It is wonderful and really helps us out!!! I am super excited about this!!!!! :) 

I thought my camera card broke this week and that I lost all of my photos. Boy oh boy was I praying like crazy. I found someone who I trust to fix my camera. I should be able to recover most of the pictures that I had! BLESSING FROM THE LORD!!!! 

Our investigator Priscilla has a baptismal date for January 3rd! She needs to get married first, so we might have to push it back a little bit. :P 

Something funny that happened this week. There was one day where we were trying to do a bunch of contacts. We saw a huge group of people so I decided that I would be brave and go up and talk to them. I had good intentions, but it sure didn´t turn out so well. I said that we were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and described where it was using the bus terminal as a reference and asked if they had heard of the church before. There was a moment of silence and then one of them said that I was speaking German. Another said that I was asking for directions to the bus terminal, and then another said that I was asking how to get to the church. Oh boy. I know that I have a ton of room to improve on my Portuguese, but turns out that they were also drunk. My companion and I got a good laugh out of it, and the people did to. Gotta love learning a new language!

8 more weeks to finish out strong!!!

I love you all TONS TONS TONSSSS!!!!! Thank you so much for all of the love and support that you give me. I am ever so grateful for it! 

I know that this church is true. That Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. That He died for us and lived a perfect example so that we can be with our families forever, repent of our sins and be forgiven, and have a hope for a better world. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families, individuals, and the whole word. I am ever so grateful for Jesus Christ and this time that we have to celebrate his birth. 

All my love! 

Sister Beth Spencer