Monday, September 22, 2014

A guerra é real!

Dear Family, 

Unfortunately, the world went a little crazy this week.  And I don't really want to explain it all, but it all boils down to..."We wage no common war, cope with no common foe, the enemy's awake..." (The words are more appropriate for this in portuguese) So yes, we were little sad when sad things happened. Haha, descriptive right? But "we're going on to win" and "the Lord of Hosts is ours",  so we know it'll all work out!!! It's just that more than ever before, I'm feeling real and pure love for these people that we're teaching. So I worry more than ever now. Oops. And they are progressing, a lot of them, it's just that it's becoming so difficult for them! Mirailde for example. Everything that could possibly have gone wrong went wrong this week, even the small things like the dog running away! We know she will be a great leader in the future, and Satan does too...and he's not leaving her alone. :( 

Here's an almost funny one--Elaine looooooves the church. A lot. But she needs to get married before she can be baptized...tudo bem, right? Just that there's a little complication. Her husband weighs 300 kilos (so...650+ lbs) and can't leave the house!! So the complication do you get married if you can't go to the law office? Cartório to go? 

You'll be happy to know that Afife stopped drinking coffee (she thought that was absurd the first time we explained it) and is trying to keep all of the commandments! She's taking big steps now! Just a few complications...yeah. Moving on. 

Luan wants to perform at the talent show on Saturday! Yay! I actually think it'd be really good for him, I hope he does. Angelica walked all the way up to the church, then felt bad when she got to the gate and went home. Nooooo!!! She got there very late, so we were already inside and weren't there to help her. So sad! 

Claudio is doing well! I sure do love him. And speaking of adorable old men who were recently baptized, do you guys remember Bernabé? I found out this week that he was called to be the Young Men's secretary in Mont Serrat! Awwww!!!!! Vania and her girls, Sergio, and Mariana are also doing great. Yay :) We found out that Sergio's sister wants to be baptized! She came to the baptism, and then starting with the day of the confirmation, went to church every Sunday since. The day of the baptism she "warned us" when she wrote down her address that she already had a religion, but would accept the Elders. Go spirit, go spirit, go spirit GO!! Claudio also passed his first referral, you'll be happy to know! And a couple of weeks ago Sergio received the priesthood!

Well, this week we will exercise every bit of faith we have to see the miracles the Lord has prepared for our irmãos here...we're looking forward to seeing what's in store! 

Love you all!

Sister Fuller

Monday, September 15, 2014

What's the word...figures!

Hey, Family!

I asked Sister C. Silva (she was sitting next to me) what the subject line of my email should be. She said, "Tell them about how all the missionaries from the interior (the country part away from the capital) will go to the Campinas Temple now!"

So, I will. It's true. They will! October 7th. 

It's all good, I'll go before that. Just not with the mission. Pois é!! 

This week was great! We had 20 investigators at church between our two companionships, and it was the second week that they had to set up chairs for overflow. This ward is going to split!!!!! We're getting there!!! 

Incredibly, everyone I told you about last week except for Elaine are still progressing. Elaine's reading the Book of Mormon and praying, and she took her daughter to the primary activity, but she didn't go to church--so yes, she's still doing well, too! Mirailde and Erick will be baptized this week--prayers welcomed--and are soooo excited. And adorable. We love them! Angelica and Luan are wonderful. He wrote a song! Using the Gospel Principles manual for ideas for the lyrics!! And it's actually really good!! Haha. I love it. We passed by yesterday and before he even left the house and yelled out to us, "I haven't smoked since yesterday!!!" He was very proud of himself. I love this family!

Maria Silva and her family went to church as well (Except for the husband and the oldest siblings) and are really progressing now. Wilson (13 years old) went to the YM activity this week, and loved it. The YM will have a big part in helping him. 

Maria and José, another couple we're teaching, also went to church! They loved it. I love teaching families. :) Tiago, their 7 year old son, had the fanciest clothes of all the boys in the Primary. Haha. :) 

We're working really hard to help these people that we have to progress! As always, prayers welcomed...

Other than all of this, we had 2 exchanges back to back this week, and I ended up away from our area both days. I came back and felt...very strange. It was a "long time" to be away! 

Just a little tidbit--Claudio missed the bus yesterday, so he walked to church. Awwwwwwww. :) I love him!!! 

Love you all! Have a great week! 

Sister Fuller

Monday, September 8, 2014


Translating this was hard--feel free to edit it if something doesn't make sense. 

"I remember perfectly the day when I was walking down the street and all of the sudden startled by a tall young woman with a strange accent, who started talking with me and asked if she could visit me one day. At the time I was so distracted by my kids running everywhere that afterwards I didn't even remember if I had given the right address. 
They tried three times, if I'm not mistaken, to visit me at home, but each of those visits I was too busy. Even so, God is perfect. he didn't let them give up on me, and how grateful I am for that! When I met them, I didn't imagine that these two young women were the answer to the many prayers I had previously offered.
God, in His infinite wisdom, knew exactly how much I needed this Gospel in my life. I was a little reluctant to accept the invitation to go to church for the first time, but I went on a day that truly was special; a baptismal service. I remember that I was a little nervous because I didn't know what would happen, but God really is wonderful, and everything was perfect--I remember the peace that I felt when I entered the church building. By this time, the Sisters had already invited me to be baptized but I was really worried and scared, wondering if I had made the right choice. After all, I didn't know much about this church and everything was different than what I was used to. But when I saw the man being baptized with such emotion, I thought, "This is what I want for myself!" I was certain in that moment that God had sent me everything my heart had always desired. 
I will never forget the day of my baptism. It was a day of struggles and of tears, but God never fails in His plans. It was hard, but finally I saw myself dressed in my white jumpsuit, with my family there with me! When I was in the bathroom I thought, "It's happening," and I smiled so much it seemed that my face didn't have control of itself!! What a wonderful feeling that filled me in that moment. 
God is so wonderful; everything was so perfect! At the beginning of the ceremony I was super nervous, but when Tharlis (who baptized me) and I went to the font and I entered the water--wow, it was like, "Phew! I did it!" All of the nervousness and all the struggles that I had gone through up to that moment, that burden of sadness and anguish disappeared. The feeling of entering the water and rising again, completely renewed, was indescribable. 
On Monday, I woke up and looked at myself in the mirror, and it was me but at the same time seemed like it wasn't, it was somebody completely different. It was someone more calm, more sure. The holy ghost acted in my life in a great way. Everything had gone through my whole life up to the day of my baptism, I saw now as challenges and obstacles that I had overcome. The pains, sorrows, disappointments--they all seemed like nothing! When I lived them and was going through it all, logically it was hard. They were, in fact, terrible moments, but now I see them not as a trial, but really as god given learning experiences. 
With all my heart, I thank firstly God, for not letting me get discouraged, and secondly the Sisters for the kindness and dedication they displayed, and principally for teaching me that there exists a love so great that it only gives of itself, and doesn't ask for anything in return. 
Before my baptism, I tried to seek God, and because nothing really completed me I thought there was nothing more for me. I had my family, and for me that was good. I had everything and I didn't have anything. Well, my financial life didn't change, but now on the inside, I'm a different person. 
On Sunday I was confirmed and everyone kept congratulating me. I just kept thinking, "They have so much love for one another!"
The classes were great, like every week, but it seemed like the time wasn't moving [as I waited for Sacrament meeting]. Saturday had been very special, with the song the Sisters sang for me and the message that Alinne shared, but Sunday was my confirmation! I received the gift of the holy ghost. 
I remember that the chapel was full, but the moment when the Bishop called me up to the front and I sat in the chair and Tharlis started the prayer, everything disappeared--it was just God and I, and not anything else. An incredible wave of warmth filled my chest, but at the same time that it was in intense, it was also calm, it was gentle. It was if there was so much peace inside of me that my body became lighter--how great that felt! 
Truth be told, I don't even remember who was there afterwards. I only remember the people I saw when I opened my eyes. But it seemed like I was floating, and it was in that state that I returned to my seat. It was so special to take my first sacrament after all of this, it even had a sweet taste in my mouth! I will never forget!
The spirit of God truly transforms the lives of all who earnestly seek the truth.
What I want with all my heart from now on is that I become a better person, so that everyone near me can also see, through my example, the love of Jesus Christ!
I feel like I can make a difference, especially in my family. I don't feel like a part of the world anymore, with all of the ugliness that exists in it. 
I remember asking myself many times what God had prepared for me--for my future, and for my family--but today I know exactly what He expects of me. And above all, I know who I am:
"I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!"


(She put the amen there, just so you know!)

Someone was praying extra for us this week!

Dear Family, 

Thank you for your prayers!!! This week was incredible. And the kind of incredible that continued on to Sunday, which is better yet! We had 8 of our investigators at church, and even more that just visited! It was wonderful. And it's just going to keep getting better from here! 

It was also fast and testimony meeting--3 of our investigators got up and shared their testimonies!! Woohoo!! You guys remember the last time that happened, right? It was Cleusa, and then she was baptized! 

I'm going to just give a little bio about each group of these people...

Mirailde and Erick
You'll laugh about this one. We found them because...their dogs were wearing ties and I thought it was funny and I wanted a picture. Yup. But seriously, they're two lhasas (like Sadie! But ugly) and they had ties! What is this right? I was going to be speedy and taking a picture, but then Erick  (fyi, that's prounced Erick-ey in portuguese) ran outside the house and I quickly put the camera back in my bag. Erick is 8 years old. He looked at us, thought for a minute, and then asked us; "Do you want to come in?" Haha. So we asked if his mom was there, and she was busy, so we said we'd come back another day! 

Well, we did, and we started teaching them. Actually, she's his grandma, but he lives with her. She's Brazilian, but they were living in Japan up until 4 months ago. He looks like a little Japanese boy. With dimples. Cute! 

She was Buddhist for 27 years, but recently felt the desire to look for something more. She's devouring the Book of Mormon and learning about Christ, and has a lot of real desire to change! They came to church and LOVED it! Erick bore his testimony. SO CUTE! "I like Jesus, and I like to learn about Him. One day, I want to see Him. And I like Jesus, because He helps us. And He is good for our health. And I love Him, and I like to see the light of God." Bahaha. Cute. Everyone loved it. 

Elaine was a referral from Maria Silva, another investigator. (have I talked about her?) She's her next door neighbor. Maria and her family are really progressing and she wants to be baptized...but she needs to be married and her husband doesn't want to. Booo. :( Anyway, Elaine is their next door neighbor. She has a 6 year old daughter that is besties with Camila, who LOVES US. So we became super popular with Marcella as well! (Marcella is Elaine's daughter) We taught her on Saturday, and she came to church on Sunday! Woohoo!!! She already marked to come back and to bring Marcella to the Primary'll be good! 

Angelica, Luan, and Beatryz
Angelica and Luan are a young couple. Beatryz is Angelica's 8 year old daughter. She also has a 2 year old, Julia. Suuuuper cute! They were also a, actually do you know how this started? We saw a woman with a bed on the street, and learned they would try to bring it to their house . It was an old lady and a kid, so yes, we helped. Then we taught them for a while, but they didn't progress very much, but she gave us the referral that was....Angelica! What's the moral of the story here? Always help old ladies carry beds. 

Angelica and Luan want to change their lives. Luan was born and raised in downtown São Paulo...not a pretty picture. And--as he told the entire ward when he bore his testimony, so I don't think he'll have a problem with me telling you--he has many problems with drugs. But he wants to change! So they came to church!! Woohoo!! Fun fact. Guess what he does for a living? He sings funk. Google that. It's a style of music here that is...bad. But he wants to change that, too! Yay!

We were just passing by her house and felt we should try there. So we did. And she let us in, and we found out she had already been to church, 5 years ago! Another day we taught a group of teenage girls on the street, and marked their addresses to visit their families another day. We were going to visit one of them and we realized...wait a second! We know this address! It turned out that we had found Afife's granddaughter! She was waiting for us there, super excited. Waaaahooo!!! She just didn't come to church because she had a dance recital. Or something like that. But Afife came!!! 

So yes, I'm feeling very blessed these days. All of these people accepted baptismal dates, and are going to need a lot of prayers. But oh, how we are excited for them!!! 

Love you all! I have something special to share--Mariana wrote up her testimony/conversion story, and we translated it. I'll try typing it really quick!

Sister Fuller

Monday, September 1, 2014

"It's a privilege just to love"

Dear Family,

That was a wise quote from a Sister here in São Paulo. I liked it. Also, something Irmã Prata always says; "Não existe vitoria sem a luta" which translated is...There is no victory without a fight. I like it! We have to work for the things that matter! 

So last week I gave y'all the heads up...but the exciting news of this week was that Elder Aidukaitis visited our mission! Tuesday we went to the meeting in São Paulo, that was in the church building next to the temple. Which means, yes, I DO love to see the temple! But it was closed, so now I'll work on the second line of the song. ("I'll go inside someday") And now...I'm doubting my ability to remember the words. Sorry.

I know this is a little ridiculous to talk about, but it was one of the high points of my week. We got there a little late because the bus broke down, and it was pouring rain, so we didn't see anything. Then we had the meeting, and then it was time to go. And I knew we were close to the temple, but I couldn't find it from any of the windows and everyone was leaving. So I saw one of the Assistants and I asked, "Elder! Are we close to the temple?" 

And he laughed, and said, "Yes, Sister, we're right next to it!" 

So Sister Ward and I ran down the hallway to look for another window, and we found and exit. Sister Ward started going down the stairs, calling, "Where is it, where is it?"

And then all of the sudden I froze..."Sister--Sister, I think it's right here." 

You know that story about the men examining the elephant but no one was seeing the big picture, so none of them knew what it was? It was like that. We were so close, we just saw the wall. But I recognized the wall...we went around to the front, and we saw the angel moroni. 

We walked into temple grounds, and it was like time stopped. I just started crying, and we sat there for a while. A warm blanket of love surrounded us, and I felt so safe, so watched over. It was a really special moment. :)

Well, the meetings with E. Aidukaitis were great! He's a spiritual giant, but he made it feel so natural to be with him. He met with us in small groups, which I really liked. I learned a lot about setting goals with faith, and diligence in the work of the Lord. 

Wednesday we had a meeting with him here in Sorocaba, and then we had to deal with an emergency, so we didn't do any proselyting work. (One of the Sisters broke her foot, and needed transportation/place to sleep/walking cast/etc). Thursday we were still dealing with that until about 4:00, so we really lost some time this week. But that doesn't stop us! 

Thursday, we visited Claudio. He had a baptism date for last Sunday, but with the whole confusion with work and all, it fell through. But Thursday we talked about how he was feeling, and we marked his baptism for Saturday! Let me tell you, this old man is golden. When we taught the word of wisdom, we already knew he had stopped smoking and drinking more than 20 years ago. But we were worried about coffee! We were teaching him not to drink black tea, and he didn't know what that was (it's rare here). "Well, I recently started drinking a lot of tea. Let me go show you the box." 

So he went and grabbed the box, was herbal tea. Cool. Then he explained, "I started drinking this instead of coffee--I thought that maybe coffee isn't really good for my health." 


Also, you'll smile to know, he cut his hair for his baptism! It was a little long (think Albert Einstein) and scraggly, and he cut it! He was really happy on the day of his baptism. He's great... :)

Well, that's about it for this week. Hope you're all doing great! Love you sooooo, so much!

Sister Fuller

P.S. We'll be having a ward talent show this month, and S. Ward and I want to do something clever. Better yet, we think that clever, but well known in the US could be new here! So PLEASE send me your ideas for a talent show--thinking inside the box, outside the country. :) 

P.S. again. Just so you know...and because I thought it was last district leader very creatively thought of "wake me up when September ends." I just like music, but you better believe I will NOT be sleeping during September! But it was clever, and I thought maybe you'd appreciate it. 

If you were interested, there's not really a good word for clever in portuguese. I miss it. :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

I love to see the Temple!

Ok, folks. The day has finally arrived. And I'm scared to say it to jinx it (AGAIN), we go. 

I will see the temple tomorrow. 


We have mission tour with Elder Aidukitis, and our meeting with him tomorrow is in the chapel that's next to the Temple!!!! AAAAAH!!! Well, I'm not even going to say it, buuuut....well, if you'd like to pray really hard today that a miracle happens tomorrow and I can use a wonderful little card with President Hintz's signature on it, that'd be great. The last time there was a MLC meeting next to the temple, they got to...enter....the temple...

This time, nothing weird will happen. I won't let it. Sister Ward and I are very excited!!!! 

This week was good. It was fun to quickly read about Devin's first week! (I'll read the rest later) I laughed about the food. "It's pretty much normal, they just put a ton of sour cream on everything." I could say the same about Brazilian food--or desserts---they just put a ton of condensed milk on everything!!! Seriously, it's big. 

It was so sad to hear about the missionaries in Dalton's mission! We'll be praying for the families of those Elders. 

This week was great. Claudio came to church again. :) I thought of a better description of him for you to imagine--he has Albert Einstein hair! Hahaha. He's so sweet, so pure. Mom, I laughed a lot about your comment about teaching men. Yeah, I've gotten over that. Big time. I'll teach a dog if it'll sit still long enough, and make and keep commitments. 

Oh, I almost forgot--so transfers were last week, and nothing changed. I'm still here with S. Ward, we live with the same Sisters, and the majority of the Sisters we're over stayed the same as well. Who's up for round 2?!!! 

Well, I hope you all have a great week! Thanks for the love and for the prayers! Happy anniversary to Papa and Grandma, and while we're at it--August is full of events...happy birthdays and anniversarys for everyone!! 

Love you!

Sister Fuller

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel!


I tried to quote it, but I don't think I remember enough to quote anything. Oh, like the other day we were walking and there was a lot, A LOT of wind, and I wanted to sing "Colors of the Wind"...but the only words I remembered were "colors of the wind". It's been a while. :) 

First off--DEVIN, HAPPY FIRST WEEK IN THE FIELD!!! (When you read this) LOVE YOU!!!!

This week was great! The high point was the baptism of Mariana. She's incredible! She invited everyone she knows to come to the baptism, but there was a "three day weekend" (in theory, but that's not what it's called here) and everyone was out of town. Triste. Buuuut...her husband came!! This is BIG. He's ridiculously shy, and doesn't even like to come out to talk to us when we're there. But I think he even made friends while he was there, and he definitely felt the spirit! Mariana told us that the other day they were reading the Book of Mormon together and he started crying. Awwwww. He'll get there. :) 

Another ray of happiness and sunshine was finding Irmâo Claudio. He's a scruffy, adorable old man. A few years ago, Sisters visited him and invited him to church. Well, he tried to go, but got terribly lost! And the Sisters never visited him again! Ahaha he said, "I just kept looking and looking and I found a whole ton of other churches, but none of them were the Church of Jesus Christ!" How adorably sad is that? Well, we found him, introduced him to a member that lives close by, and he went to church on Sunday. Yesterday. Right. Anyhoo, when we asked him how he liked it, he said, "I loved it! It's #1!" Aaaah, he's just so wonderful! He said being there made him want to just keep coming back every week. So we asked him, "So you'll come to church with us every week?" And he said, "Clearly! But if you can't pass by to get me, I'll go on my own--I know where it is now!" Hahaha. Yes, well, we also were hoping you'd go alone. But that's very good that you're willing. He said he wanted to cut his hair before next Sunday, because "everyone there is so well put together!" 

Claudio is very wonderful. I love him. HAHAHA guess what I just remembered! (Yeah, I know, you can't guess...) At church Sergio (recent convert Sergio) was looking back in forth between Claudio and I, then asked me, "Sister--Sister, is he your Dad?"

Hahahaha. You just got a lot older, Dad. And Brazilian. And you have a mustache. 

Well...just so you know, transfers are tomorrow. But no one has called for us yet, so I haven't got a CLUE what'll happen! How frustrating. Tune in next week to find out...

Love you all! 

Sister Fuller