Sunday, February 28, 2016

Thanks February 28, 2016

I find myself deep in thought lately.  One thing I have loved here is that so many of the young people are respectful.  They say "Yes, ma'am" and "no, sir".  When they say it, it is clear that it is part of their value system.  They have learned to respect other people.  I wish I had taught that to my children.

I am also impressed by those who stop and say "thank you".  We received two sweet notes from Sisters in the mission.  They were notes to thank us for small things.  Those notes made my day.  It made me want to do better.

So, I want to start now.  I started to write a list thanking people.  That just is not the same.  I want to take time to let you know personally how you have impacted my life.  So, for now, if you are reading this blog, I can tell you that you have impacted my life.  Because of you, my life is better.

I wonder what the world will be like for my wonderful little grandchildren.  As long as there are good people in the world, I have hope for them.  Thank you.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A great week February 21, 2016

This week was great.  My brother, Ed and his wife Nancy, stopped to see us on the way to some visits with other friends and family.  We hadn't seen them in about three years.  It was so marvelous to have them here.  Although they do not hold my religious beliefs, they were wonderful being here in our missionary world.  They were able to see the office where Elder Dixon and I spend our week, meet Elder and Sister Underwood, and eat Brazilian food.  We talked about important things, laughed and played games.

One of the great things that we did was share ideas.  Although I did not have much respect for Jimmy Carter, Ed holds him in high esteem.  We agreed to go to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum.  I saw a different side of Jimmy Carter.  While there are things about him I still do not like, I found myself being taught information that helped me understand better.  I came away with respect for the many good things he has done, and for the desire he has to make the world a better place for others.  I also had not realized the great work that Rosalynn had done to bring issues regarding mental health to the world.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and  the Civil Rights MovementThe next day, we went to the Martin Luther King Jr. museum and the church where he preached.  It is a very moving site.  The thing that hit me the hardest was the glass wall on which they had etched the laws that existed for the purpose of keeping the "Negroes" in a lesser status in society.  The laws were ridiculous.  I was surprised by the laws and the stupidity of the thought behind them.  I was moved once more by the powerful thing that Rosa Parks did.  I was sick to my stomach at the lynchings and the information that people watched them like entertainment.  I was moved that Martin Luther King Jr. chose to rise above all of that and call for a peaceful movement to change.

Both sites were good reminders of the terrible injustices that can take place when people forget that all of us are children of God.  We are equal in His eyes.  When we forget that, we forget our humanity.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Young women of talent February 16, 2016

Last week we held a fundraiser for the girls to earn money for Girls' Camp.  Our Young Women President suggested that we sell cakes for Valentines Day.  I was really impressed at the quality of the decorating from our Young Women!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Wonderful converts! February 7, 2016

Yesterday, one of our Brazilian sisters married her long-time sweetheart, who is a man born and raised in the South.  She is a talented artist and, I find out, also a talented wedding planner!  She chose to use burlap with silver and black.  The result was beautiful.  We were quire busy and forgot to take pictures.  Usually I can steal pictures from someone else, but this is the only one we have.

Today was one of the best fast and testimony meetings I have attended in a long time.  One of our recent converts had a pastor coming to her home for dinner.  She hasn't been a member very long and the pressure put on our new converts by those of other faiths is tremendous.  She prayed because she was really scared about having him come.  The Elders (our missionaries) then dropped over (an answer to her prayer).  As a courtesy, she asked the pastor to see if he would object to having them come for dinner.  He agreed as long as they did not discuss religion.  She said that they would not unless he did.  All of them were there for dinner and religion was not discussed.

After our Elders left, the pastor indicated that he was surprised that Eleuza would let "them" in.  She explained that, although she was not learned in the scriptures like he was and she was not able to respond to his points, she had felt the spirit about the Book of Mormon and it made her happy.  She talked about how our gospel teaches us to love others and so she would always welcome him for dinner, because that is what the Savior would do.  When he left she sought reassurance in the scriptures and found verses that gave her exactly what she needed.  What a powerful testimony!  I can't begin to explain the joy I felt in seeing a recent convert have that strength to overcome opposition.  She is a joy!

Then Elder Cruz bore testimony of how the Lord answers prayers.  He had been very concerned about a new assignment and really felt the need for a blessing in his own language.  President Tedjamulia had no idea about Elder Cruz's concerns or his prayer, but called him.  Of course the blessing was given

And our beautiful new sister from Temple Square bore testimony of having faith.  She had set a very specific goal.  True to the accounts I always hear it was the end of the day when that goal was a reality.  I love to hear these powerful stories of the answers to prayers and the ability of faith to change the world.

They remind me of the importance of remaining strong, sharing what is important and loving everyone.  Love these people!

Transfers! February 7, 2016

I know that many of y'all love to see the pictures at transfer.  I stole some from Sister Garver (thanks).  Enjoy!