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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Feliz dia dos Pais!!

Dear Family, 

I've decided I may be a little...horrible...and that I may have forgotten to say happy father's day on the american one. Well, yesterday was Dia dos Pais aqui no Brasil, soooo....I thought I'd send a very, very happy father's day to my very, very wonderful father!! I love you Dad! Thanks for all you do! 

Luckily, I do have the calender Mom sent me, so I don't really have excuses to miss anything. Like your anniversary! I promise I didn't forget--I was with Sister Garner on the 5th and I even commented about it! (Side note: she's excited to meet you! Because she realized she'd meet you on our last day here...and I realized she hadn't met you yet. Haha. I hope you're ok with the fact that you now have three daughters!) Hey, exciting news! This week I was companions with Sister Garner for a day! It was wonderful, actually. Words don't describe how much I love her! 

Time really is flying by these days, it's crazy. Transfers are next Tuesday! We'll be finishing up this one with another 2+ exchanges, a zone service project (this is NEW, our mission didn't do this before!), and Mariana's baptism!! 

This week I had a lot of opportunities to serve as a Sister Training Leader, and I loved it! We had a lot of contact with our Sisters, and two exchanges. It's so wonderful to be able to pass what I've learned because of my experiences on the mission. I've learned a lot about how to deal with stress, how to work diligently, about prayer...lots of things like that, and also things like teaching techniques, planning methods, etc. Lest you think that came easy...let me assure you, it did not! But I LOVE everything I learned, and I know how important these things are! It is so incredibly satisfying to be able to know how to help one of our Sisters because of something I've already passed through. Also, if I can help them learn what I have without it being quite as hard, that's great too! Sister Vaughn always says that we're only successful in serving other missionaries if we manage to pass all we've learned to those around us. Anyway, what I'd like to say is...I love being able to help. I love feeling the Lord use me to bless others, both investigators and missionaries! :)

Mariana is doing wonderfully! She's announcing her baptism to her family, friends, neighbors, anyone she talks to....she'll be a great missionary! She's so excited. She also figured out how to download the Gospel Library Ap, and is really excited about all the books she has now. Maybe a little more excited that she doesn't need to carry everything with her! She is INCREDIBLE, and the gospel is blessing her! Do you remember the scripture that says, "Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you"? She's cashing in on that promise. (Is that even an expression? Sometimes I really doubt my English skills) She's just glowing, more and more each day! Just imagine how she'll be after her baptism! 

We also had a family come to church, so we are counting our blessings! The mom was embarrassed because she didn't have good shoes for her children to use, just flip flops. But Sister Ward told her, "God doesn't worry about what shoes we put on our feet--He only worries about where our feet are going." (Yeah, you can put that on your wall! Or Pintrest. I liked it!) Anyway, this faithful mother gathered her children--9, 7, 5, 1 and was waiting outside their house for us when we walked by to pick them up. Very special. :) 

Well, I should go. Thanks for all you do for me, family. I sure do love you guys! 

Sister Fuller

Monday, August 4, 2014

Somos os Soldados :)

Dear wonderful people that I love,

Well, here's another week that's gone by. Doesn't time just fly? This week had a lot going on for us. Tuesday we had exchanges, and I saw my companion for a quick 5 minutes before we switched again. Wednesday was exchanges...guess what! Miracle! While I was in the other area, I ran into Sergio, our recent convert! Woohoo! We even had a quick lesson with the friend he was with! Tender mercies. :) Thrusday was normal, but Friday was leadership council. Most of the day was spent there or traveling--get this! We live so close now, we can walk there!!!! It takes about an hour, and saves money. Soooo we do it! Serving in Sorocaba has it's perks! 

Sad news. Cristian and Tatiane don't want anything yet. But I know Heavenly Father wanted us to find them, so maybe it was just to make sure we put them back in the Area Book for another missionary to find them. He has a plan for them! Serginho's moving along slowly...but he'll get there. Hey! Did I tell you about Mariana last week? I don't think we go! 

Mariana was a street contact. She passed her address, but said she was hardly ever there. "But just let God do his work", she told us. 

Well, we finally passed by when she was home, and we taught her about the Restoration. She understood really well, and we felt good about it, but she said she had a commitment in her church, and couldn't leave. So we started praying for a miracle! 

In case you're wondering, Heavenly Father works by miracles. Now I'd like to talk about a little miracle that's available to all of us...the Book of Mormon! 

We left the Book of Mormon with her, and told her to read and pray, etc...all those good things. Well, she read the chapter we marked. Then she read it again! Then apparently, she liked it so much, she read it out loud to her husband! (It's already going great, but just wait...) Then, she started at the beginning and read until chapter 20 of 1 Nephi. And all of this in 3 or 4 days. 

Well, that was just the begining. Just think about whatever you think would happen with a golden investigator, and that's probably what happened with Mariana. She's incredible!! She'll be baptized this month. :) 

I don't have a lot of time, but I want you all to know how much I love you! Big, big hugs from across the world! 

So crazy that Keaton's going home! I thought he had two weeks. Haha (....and then there were 3)

Thanks for your emails! Love you all! 

Sister Fuller

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Return of the...Wonderful People that I Love!

Dear Family,

Who remembers Cristian and Tatiane? Anyone? They were that couple we found my first days in Ouro Fino that went to the baptism with us, accepted a baptism date, and were super excited...and then randomly and suddenly moved to Paraná. Well--guess what! They're back! And Heavenly Father lead me to them! President Farnes had us all read the story of Alma going back to Amonihah (is that what it is in english? No judging, I don't read the scriptures in english anymore) and then pray to know who the Lord would have us return to. Well, we did that. And I thought of Cristian and Tatiane, but I knew (or thought I knew) that they moved. So I told Sister Ward, "Look, I'm only thinking of this one family, but they don't live here anymore. But maybe there's a new family living there, and we should visit them." Soooo....we went. And they MOVED BACK! And Heavenly Father knew it, so he took us there!!! 

See, this is what's cool about being a missionary. It's not our work. It's His.

Well, we haven't actually been able to teach them yet, which is a bummer. But I know Heavenly Father has something special planned for them! 

I told you a little about Sergio and Serginho (haha, Bob and Bobbi. I like it). Mom, in Portuguese if you add -inho or -inha to the end of any word, it makes it smaller. So it's Sergio and his son, Sergio. Little Sergio. Serginho. :) 

Good news! Sergio was baptized! Serginho's not ready yet, but he's getting there! He had a little relaspe and started smoking again....but he's going to stop now. As a matter of fact, we made a deal. I can't eat chocolate this week, and he can't smoke. I think I'll keep going with it until his body's not addicted to it anymore--that's just two weeks, right? Let's face it, not eating chocolate is probably a good decision for me anyway. 

Sergio's baptism was perfect! He was so excited, so happy. I have some photos I can send you! Woohoo, photos! I'll send it in a separate email--I had to ask for the owner of the computer place to send it to me first. Last night we talked to him more about the temple, and he's really excited. His first wife (and Serginho's mom) died of breast cancer when Serginho was little. He married again, but now they're divorced. When we taught him about the Plan of Salvation, he learned that he really can live with her again...and now we know that they will. Really, really special! 

Well, I am OUT OF TIME. Gotta go, but I love you all! Hope you have a great week! 

Sister Fuller

Monday, July 21, 2014

Remember the turtle?

Dear Family,

How are you all this week? I sure do love you guys! 

Quickly, before I forget--do you remember when I was in Coffeyville, and I saw that turtle brutally killed in front of me? Well, this week the same thing happened...but with a dog. Ok, not the same thing. I didn't think the dog needed saving. But anyway, I saw a dog get ran over by a car this week, right in my front. Eck. Sister Ward just about died, too.

Family, you all are such great examples for me! I love reading Devin's emails (thanks for forwarding them, Mom!) and hearing about all he's learning. I'm so grateful for that Mom and Dad always share what you're learning, or something you're thinking about. My family is pretty awesome. :) I am SO excited that Dad and Sterling are doing family history and FINDING PEOPLE!!! That's my dream!! You guys have to teach me when I get home! That's so neat that you all went to Nauvoo this week. I looooove Nauvoo. It makes me sad to think that probably, I won't be able to participate in the pageant again until I have my own family, but I'll always treasure that summer we went together! Dad, you commented about how it was 4 years ago, and I...don't know. Realized how quickly time passes? Do you know, I arrived on the mission with 19 years. Now I'm 21. It's like an Elder's mission! Haha. Anyway. Let's talk about the gospel. :) 

This week was mildly crazy, but actually, that's kind of normal. Sister Christoffersen always said (probably says, she's still alive) that as true messengers of Christ we don't just believe in miracles--we depend on them. So as miracle believing missionaries, we work really, really hard to see these miracles. Which leads to craziness, so there you go! 

This week, we were working for a miracle baptism. Well, it didn't happen yet, but it will this next Saturday! Sergio and Serginho (remember them?) are really progressing these days! Sergio stopped drinking 100% 2 weeks ago, and accepted a baptism date for the 19th. But then he had to travel for work, so it wasn't going to work out. But he courageously spoke to his boss and told him that he had a "compromisso com Deus" (Sister Ward and I just tried to translate it, and it didn't work out. But you get the gist, right?) and asked if someone else could go that weekend. The boss said, "Cool! Tem que colocar Deus no priemeiro lugar! (Put God first)" but said it was too late. (Awww.) BUT! He could come home the middle of the night on Saturday! Just didn't work out. He got home Sunday at 5:00 p.m., so no baptism yet. But get this! He was reading the Book of Mormon on the bus the entire time! Woohoo! 

During this entire week of craziness with Sergio, we never managed to pass by when Serginho was there too. As a result, we didn't really know how he was doing. We got to church on Sunday, and Serginho was there. He told me that in this last week that he hadn't smoked at all!!!! Not once! Family! God really, really loves his children and answers prayers! This is a MIRACLE!!! He's a little more reluctant about getting baptized, but we taught them both last night about the Plan of Salvation and talked about the role of Christ--that it's not up to them to be perfect, and that we're truly only doing our best when we accept the help of the Savior. I remember a conference talk from last October, I think, that talked about that. It was really good. :) The spirit was really strong in the lesson, and he said he's going to try. He's been taught everything now, and now that they're both overcome their addictions, there's really nothing stopping them! Prayers welcomed! 

I wanted to share a quote I love with you all. I'm not sure who said it, but it goes like this....

"To believe that weaknesses and deficiencies in your character are unchangeable is to reject the central truth of the Plan of Salvation. You are not cast in stone. You not only can change, but you do change, all the time. You are a dynamic, changing, evolving being. You are always changing. You never stay the same. You cannot stand still. You are responsible to who you are and you are responsible for who you will become." 

That's a truth I love as a missionary. I am who I want to be! If I want to be a strong, powerful, missionary that trusts in the Lord, than I am. If I want to be the kind of missionary that talks to everyone she sees and takes advantage of every teaching situation, then I will be! To quote Elder Scott, "We become who we want to be by consistently being who we want to become, every day." 

Testifico. :) 

We are children of God. Our potential is unlimited, and only can be inhibited by our own expectations and limitations. So that's something I've learned. :) 

I love you all so much! Have a great week! 

Sister Fuller

Monday, July 7, 2014

I'm Proud to be an American!

Dear loved ones, 

How has your week been? I hope you're doing great! 

Sorry about last week. There's been a lot going on in these last few weeks, and there wasn't enough time to write to both you guys and to President...he wanted to have all the major changes start at the same time, so he asked us to email him our ideas. These last few weeks have broken the norm of missionary life! We said goodbye to President and Sister Martins, and we really will miss them. And then the Farnes family arrived, and there were all sorts of events with that! I did actually write you a letter, so I won't say everything I already wrote...but I feel so blessed that they've really just hit the ground running. My greatest regret (not really the word I want) is that I just won't be able to stay with them for 18 more months. They've done a great job at helping all of us to feel like we're getting to know them already, and are so inspiring. I'm so excited to learn from them! Mom asked me to tell you more about them...the story of their lives, I think Google could do better than me. I've just been so impressed with how their family puts the Lord first in all of their decisions, and are so united. I love them! 

The skimpy email last week really wasn't a lack of things to say, just a lack of time. Sorrysorrysorry. Vania's baptism was perfect--one of the most spiritual experiences on my mission! She was so prepared to take this step. Her father and ex-husband, and his father were there to support Vania and the girls, and we definitely felt the presence of angels there to support her. Actually, her blessing when she was confirmed talked about the people on the other side of the veil that were preparing for and waiting for this moment, so that she could help them to progress towards slavation. It was a blessing very, very special! She was promised that she'd be a great instrument in the hands of the Lord and a great help in bringing the gospel for all those in her family. It was so special...she's doing great. She's taking the girls to Primary activities that Sister Vaughn and I didn't know existed to work on the "Faith in God", and she told us that the girls always are messing with the Church site and watching the videos. Cute :) 

Mom also asked about Sister Training Leader updates...well, things should be changing again this week, but these last few weeks we've been over 10 companionships. Which is a lots of exchanges! But it's been really great. Last week, in between exchanges and conferences and who knows what was happening, Sister Vaughn and I were together for the first time on Thursday. Craziness! Oh, World Cup. That's the other complicating factor. But we play tomorrow, and I think then on Sunday....and then it's over! I'll be honest, I've really like extra study time. Haha. 

Well, here's the biggest news: President Farnes feels like it's good to know about transfers before Preparation day is over so we can, you know, prepare for it. Woohoo! So they called this morning. And actually, the assistants called just now as well to change it. Pois é... (it didn't affect me, just Sister Vaughn)

I'm staying! And my new companion will be Sister Ward. (Someone tell Aunt Krista!) If you remember, she's from New Canan, and is in the same group as Sister Christoffersen and Sister Mills and half the other Sisters in our mission. (It's a really big group!) I'm so excited!!!!! Also, we're going to divide our area, so two new Sisters are coming in.(More interestingly, we'll be dividing our house...woot woot! Experiences!) They're both currently companions, and they'll come here to open Pq. Ouro Fino 2...and they're both currently in Mont Serrat. It's a small world after all...oh, also Sister Ward is coming from Cerquilho!!! Hahahahaha. That's actually pretty funny. We're just missing someone from Santana then! 

Well family, that's about it. Hang in there until next week...we'll have a couple new stories for you. Preview: We started teaching Eliana and Antonio! Eliana was less active for many years, and just started coming back. Antonio's not a member, but for the first time since she's been baptized, he's coming with her to church! Woohoo!!! Prayers welcomed!!! 


Sister Fuller :)

P.S. I never tied in the Subject line. Oops. :) Sister Ward is an American, clearly. This 7th american companion out of 9 total! Gente, this isn't normal in Brazil! But yes, it's official. I'm proud to be an American! 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

New Mission President!

June 30, 2014

Sorry I didn't have any time to write today! I had a long email I had to write to President. HOLY COW I LOVE HIM. We had an emergency last minute leadership council on Saturday (his p-day) to talk to him and he's INCREDIBLE. Him and Sister Farnes!!! I LOVE THEM! 

Vania was baptized this week!!!!!!!!!!! And her daughters!!!!!!!!! Such happiness!!!!!!!

Well, I'm sorry...but I'll write you a letter today and send it. Hope you're doing great. 

BYE :)