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