Monday, December 23, 2013

Brasil WEEK 6

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! Feliz Natal! :)
Today we had a big meeting with the entire mission for Christmas, It was so awesome! How very blessed we are to have Presidente e Sister Pinho leading our mission. Pres. Pinho bore the most powerful testimony/expressed his love for us- He said that we are his children, and he expects an invite to each of our marriages, children's baptisms, etc. He said that when we have our own children and they are baptized and TRULY CONVERTED, this is true success to him and Sis. Pinho. He also emphasized how real it is that the Lord chose each of us to be His representatives in this mission at this time. I felt the truth of this so strongly... I also felt this yesterday when 3 of our investigators were baptized!!!!! :) :) :) Wahoo!!! Luciano (the RS president's husband) was baptized before church, and after Queteria and her son Dennis were baptized- one of her other sons, Kelvin, was all ready to be baptized but at the last second he didnt do it because he has a fear of water (he is 9). But we are going to try again this Sat. :) I will attach a picture of them to this email- Words cannot even begin to describe the feelings that were felt seeing these children of our Loving Father entering the waters of baptism. I will tell all details when I skype you all this week!
This is what missionary work is all about, helping others come unto the Savior so that they can enjoy the fruits of living the His gospel. I love the Lord and know that every baptism that "we" have is not really ours, it's always HIS, the one who made all of this possible- the Salvation and Redemption of souls. How honored I feel this Christmas to not only remember my Savior, but to represent Him.
I love you all and will see and talk to you soon!!!! :) Tchau for now!
Sister Katie Thornhill

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Brasil Week 5

"The powers of heaven are real and can dramatically influence the course of events in our lives." (I think Bruce R. McConkie said this)
How true this is! I see it happen in each of our investigator's lives as we find them (or even better, members refer them to us..), we teach them by the Spirit about the restored gospel, and they come unto Christ in faith, repent and are baptized. Lives are changed! Souls are saved!!! Generations to come are blessed! How glorious. This week was sooooo wonderful. Emails don't do these weeks of miracles justice. This week, Marilando had his baptismal interview and will be baptized this Sat! He still struggles with smoking, but is trying and we have faith this week we will see the end of it. He loves the Book of Mormon and knows it is true. Please pray for him that he will be ready for his baptism this week! Luciano will also be baptized this week- the whole ward is thrilled about it because its the primary president's husband. And most importantly, HE is soooo excited to be baptized. Speaking of primary, yesterday the ward put on a primary program in sacrament meeting and they asked me to be the pianist- I was super nervous but it turned out to be great. The Spirit was so strong during the program- The Spirits being sent to the earth at this time are truly special ones, and that was very evident yesterday as some of them (primary age!) bore their testimonies. Mara was at church yesterday as well! Wahoo!! She is what you would call a golden investigator. After the sundy school lesson about the plan of salvation, she told us, "Sisters, I want to be baptized." :)
Now that we are finally feeling more comfortable getting to know our area (that is huge!!), the work is speeding up and we are really excited about it. This week we found 2 families- Queteria and her 3 boys (they were at church yesterday!), and a couple- Vania and Welington. I will tell you more about them next week, but I realized this week more than ever that the Lord really does lead us to these people. We had fasted that day we found and taught both. Fasting is a way we can receive the powers of heaven more in our lives, and I saw this come to pass in a very real way this week.
I love these people, and I love seeing the Hand of God work in each of their lives! How glorious!
I hope you have a wonderful week, and I am reeeally excited to talk to you on Christmas, wahooo!!!! Tchau for now!
Sister Katherine Elizabeth Thornhill
P.S. A picture of Bia, a young woman in our ward who loves teaching with us- Future missionary! We love her!!

Brasil Week 4

Wahoo, this week was great! One of our investigators with a baptismal date, Luciano, is doing wonderfully. He was at church yesterday, and was also at a baptism the elders had. What wonderful opportunities to feel the Spirit of the Lord in preparation for his own baptism. We had a lesson with him last night, and with every commitment we extended to him, his immediate reply was, "com certeza" (in English its like a firm "of course" or certainly). He is so ready and has a sincere desire follow Christ, and it is so wonderful to see. We also have another person with a baptismal date, Marilando- He is great as well, but is having a hard time with smoking. We had a powerful lesson with him yesterday after church with two members of the Priesthood quorum- the Spirit of the Lord was there. I LOVE working alongside members- Its so very true what Pres. Hinckley said about anyone who knows missionary work, knows that there is a better and higher way than simply tracting- and this way is through the members of the church! Yesterday Sister Hamburgo and I gave a stack of pass-along cards to 2 youth-aged boys, and they went around contacting people on the streets- soo awesome! Oh another investigator we have, as of just yesterday is Mara. She is amazing! We were truly led to find her- she was a contact on the street! She came to church for the first time yesterday and loved every bit of it. She said its very different than anything she has experienced before, but that she felt peace and happy there. She is the sweetest older lady- when she hugs us its like she doesnt want to let go haha- She always tells us, "I just love you so much!" Truthfully, the love she feels around us and at church is the love the Lord has for her. But we love her too! We visited her last night and she had made us a cake.
I could go on and on about the people we are serving here, and teaching the restored gospel to. How special each one of them is to our Heavenly Father. And because of this, He sent His Son Jesus Christ. It is His work and His glory, and how grateful and honored I feel to have a part (as small as it may be) in helping to bring this to pass. I am learning sooo much here on a mission, I can't believe it. I pray everyday to have only a desire to serve these special children of God- to serve with ALL I have. I love the Lord, and I love being in His service!!!
I love all of you very very much!
Sister Katie Thornhill

Monday, December 2, 2013


All right family, this week is going to be a shorter email, the internet is really slow today and having problems. Sorry about that! But I'm doing great! :)
I am loving life. You know you're loving your mission when the thought of ever leaving gets you teary eyed. I love it here- everything about it! (okay maybe not the toilets..) This is the most important work there is, the SALVATION OF SOULS!!! It is a great honor and privelege to be serving here among these wonderful people in Braziil. How do I deserve to be so very blessed? I am a full-time missionary! Of course this was the Lord's plan for me- this is confirmed to me each and every day. This was always part of the plan. It is amazing to me how great and marvelous His plan is for each person! Every single person on the earth is a child of God. And He has a very specific, glorious plan for each of us!
This last week we worked hard and although we haven't seen huge results yet, we know our work is acceptable to the Lord and we will see the fruit of our labors soon enough. Last night we had a miracle! We taught the husband of the ward primary president who is a non-member, and he wants to be baptized! His name is Luciano. He meets every qualification for baptism (D&C 20:37) and we are so excited and happy for Him to enter into the covenant of baptism- and what a blessing for this wonderful sweet primary president! They will soon be able to be sealed eternally.
I love the Lord. I love His Gospel. Eu sei que a igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias é Seu Igreja na terra hoje. Que benção!!! I love all of you and thank you for your prayers and love! Christmas is just around the corner and I can hardly wait to see and talk to you (skype)! Boa semana para vocês!
Sister Katie Thornhill