Monday, October 20, 2014

President Dalton's FB page..(Katie's Mom had to post!)

I loved her!!! So proud of you my dear Kate!!! :)  I saw this on Katie's Mission President's Facebook page! :)Love, Mom

October 20, 2014

Dearest family of mine,

Wahoo! Another wonderful week out here in the mission field, serving the Lord full-time. "The field is (definitely!) all white and ready to harvest" And as president Dalton says, "The field is even whiter here in Brazil!" Oh how true that is. The highlight of the week was seeing João (our recent convert, Dalva's husband) baptize Gabriel yesterday!!! It was truly one of the highlights of my mission. I can't describe how special and spiritual it was. João was so nervous before, but we helped him practice and memorize the words... it was perfect. I testify that even amidst our many weaknesses, the Lord sees the completeness of our divine potential as sons and daughters of God. We were challenged in this general conference to memorize "The Living Christ." I memorized almost half of it before my mission and am now finishing it. This is helping me gain an even greater testimony and love for our Savior, and I challenge each of you to do the same. As a representative of Him, I promise that in doing so you will feel His love for you in a deeper way. I can't remember if I told you about another one of our investigators we are teaching, Felix. He is progressing and like I've said before, that is just the most special thing to see as a missionary- seeing people really COME UNTO CHRIST and be converted; and you see it happen daily, its amazing. I couldn't be happier doing a more happier thing.

I love you all!

Sister Thornhill

October 13, 2014

Dearest family,

Where do I even start. Every week is better than the last it seems. Its transfers and guess what, Sister Kuster and I will stay serving together for another transfer here in Jd Campinas, wahoo! We will continue in our calling as sister training leaders as well. We are super excited for this new transfer!

As of lately and as you already know, I've been learning a LOT about faith. I have never seen the Lord's hand in working so many miracles as I have now. Sister Kuster and I are increasing our faith daily- individually and as a companionship. And how are we doing this? Prayer, obedience, worthy and inspired goals, an attitude of faith, fasting, and diligent work. I love Sister Kuster- I really couldn't ask for a better mission companion. I thank the Lord for "letting" us serve together (as President told us :) for even one more transfer. This last transfer and going into the next is a turning point in our missions, and lives. What a blessing it is to continue doing the Lord's work, in the Lord's way, together. How much easier it is to do this spiritual work with the spiritual power of exercising our faith.

Our area is feeling our excitement, from the members to our investigators. Sister Kuster and I had the most spiritual lesson of our mission this week with two of our investigators, Felix (19) and his sister Adelaide (20). We didn't find Felix- he found us. We were walking along the road next to the church one day the week before last, when he ran past us, then stopped and asked us, "Are you missionaries of this church?" We said yes and he told us how he had been wanting to learn more about this church. Well we started teaching him, met Adelaide, and have been teaching them ever since. They even went to conference with us for a session, and loved it. We had a lesson this week that was the most spiritual I have ever had, the kind of one where you can almost literally feel the presence of the savior there. The lesson wasnt ours, it was His. They will be baptized on Saturday! 

In the ward, the bishop called a ward mission leader finally, Irmão Renato, who is great. We started off running with him, and this included having a successful and spiritual activity yesterday afternoon specifically for recent-converts. We have another ward member (recently returned sister missionary, Samara) who asked to go out teaching with us every evening. (miracle!) There are lots of amazing things happening here! Sister Kuster is just as happy as me. We have made specific goals for this new transfer, including goals to help the sisters we serve increase their faith. We have some really cool ideas to have really effective, spiritual (and FAITH-BUILDING!) exchanges with each of them.

Love you, Tchau 

Sister Thornhill

Thursday, October 9, 2014

September 29, 2014

Querida família,

Well this week we started off on our faith finding journey! We recently had a special meeting with President Dalton, just the two of us and him. We talked for over an hour just about FAITH. President taught us so much and we set some faith finding goals! Sister Kuster and I are excited and already seeing a difference.. big difference in the results. We are having lots of special experiences that are changing our lives! I would like to share one that we had yesterday- We were working in an area we are wanting to work in more because we feel that the Lord has some of His elect there. We found one almost right off the bat, Gilson who recently lost his sister. He is thrilled to go to church, learn about the gospel and prepare to be baptized.. and he gave us a handful of references! After that as we were leaving the area, we decided to stop and ask the Lord if we should really leave as we had planned, or if He had someone else that we should meet there. I remember looking to my left, then I looked to my right and saw a road and had pictured in my mind that there is someone in THAT house. I couldn't see it from my point of view then, but knew it was on that specific side of the road, the first house. I told Sister Kuster "let's go there" and she felt to go there too. As we entered THAT road, we came upon THAT house, and THAT person the Lord had prepared for us, standing in the doorway- her name is Dalva. She recently separated from her spouse and now is facing the challenge of raising four children on her own. As we taught her the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the spirit was felt by all. She opened up even more to us and expressed how our message has already helped her, and that she is anxious to go to church and learn more about the restored gospel. It was a miracle! FAITH produces MIRACLES; miracles don't produce faith.

I love being a missionary. I love the Lord, and having faith in His work is required. If we don't do His work in faith, we are not really doing it. Sister Kuster and I are reading "Evocando os Poderes do Céu" and learning lots- I'm an amateur at all of this, but I know the Lord and angels are my companions, and these experiences the Lord has in store will change many lives, including mine. I agree with something an elder said in his departing testimony this week: At the beginning of the mission you think nothing is about you; but then by the end you realize that it has everything to do with you. Whether or not we choose to go forth in faith in our lives is up to us!

I know, as it is testified to me again and again by the Spirit, that there is truly no greater responsibility (and joy!) we have than to preach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Só templo! :)

Sister Thornhill

P.S. I attached a picture from João's baptism, and another with some sisters at the multi zone conference we had this week. It was amazing! Tchau tchau, beijos.

September 22, 2014

Wow, this week was another week to remember! Of all the baptisms I have witnessed on my mission, I think this week's was one of the most special ones all around. João was baptized!!! :) We have been teaching him for the last few weeks, but we weren't the first ones- His wife, Irmã Dalva, is the stake relief society president and he has sat through many a missionary discussion for the last 12 years. He joked with us when we gave him a Book of Mormon that he already has a library of them! In the few weeks that we've been teaching him, it appeared that we were getting nowhere and that he would never accept- but we kept teaching and prayed/fasted in faith that he would come around. We felt inspired by the Lord to do so. One day we even gave him a picture of the São Paulo temple and told him, "João, when you decide that you want an eternal family we want you to write the date of your sealing one year from your baptism...which will be the 20th of Setember." I dont think he thought we were really serious at first, but we were- that's what the Lord told us was the date. He continued to be what we call in portuguese "mole," but we persisted. Well you can imagine our surprise last Monday when we received a phone call from Irmã Dalva telling us that we better come quick and that they had some good news for us...Sister Kuster and I immediately started crying in amazement and literally ran to their house. There, he told us that he would be baptized this Saturday (2 days ago)- and he was! João was baptized Saturday and confirmed yesterday a member of the church of Jesus Christ! Like I said, it was one of the most special and spiritual baptisms of my whole mission. João was literally glowing, but I think who was glowing even more was Irmã Dalva. She shared with us how in her patriarchal blessing it says that she would one day be sealed to her spouse for time and all eternity- that promise is being fulfilled right before our eyes! The day they broke the news to us, João wrote down the date of their sealing a year from now. THIS is what missionary work is all about! It's not just about baptizing lots of people- its about eternal families! Baptism is just a step towards the temple. No one can go to the temple without first being baptized. When you look at it this way, you really realize how big of a responsibility we have as members and full-time missionaries to do our part! And I testify that there is NO greater joy than being a missionary. This is the best work and most important work there is. O melhor!

I pray that we will always be responsive to the Lord's heedings to save souls. There are many, and He will make the way known to us as we ask Him in faith and then move forward.

Boa semana! Amo vocês!

Sister Thornhill

September 8, 2014

Dearest family,

As always, happy as ever. My companion is happy, I am happy, our investigators that are progressing are happy- everyone is happy! The only one who isnt happy is Satan. Our president said that he thinks that Satan has an army of his own who He sends to try to destroy the work we are doing. And President said, "I believe he's getting a little discouraged because they are just not getting through here in the Interlagos mission! He is having to send them elsewhere, because here its not going to happen." The transfer meeting was SO fun and funny this week. The assistants and President announced the changes of companionships, leadership, etc as if it was the beginning of a sports game, announcing the players haha, with music and everything. It was so funny. I have learned so much about the importance of having a positive attitude and how that leads to success in every aspect of our life! And how could you not be happy, living the gospel of Jesus Christ! Its the only real happiness.

I'm short on time this week, sorry. I love you, and challenge every one to start now to hear the words of the Lord at general conference here in a few weeks.

Sister Thornhill

P.S. A funny experience that happened this week- My companion and I were on our way to a meeting and were literally PACKED into the train with all the early morning rush. Well when we got to our stop, we couldnt get out because of the MOB of people pushing, trying to get in- and we were trying to get out! Well then the guys that work there literally caught us by the hand and pulled us out. Welcome to São Paulo!

September 1, 2014

Wow, this week flew by! Its transfers again (I feel like I am saying that every 2 weeks, not 6... I really wish time would just calm down a little bit). Right now I'm sitting in the internet cafe where we send our emails and theres a stray dog sitting at my feet... only in Brasil. I love it!!! Well, it was a tearful goodbye with Sister L. Silva today at the mission office. I love her so much, we had so many experiences together serving the Lord. A part of my heart will be flying to Arcri Brasil tomorrow.

The good news, I returned back to Jardim Campinas with Sister Kuster (I attached a picture of us). We said to President, "We are really spoiled." :) We are really best friends and this transfer serving together again will be amazing.

Deyse was baptized yesterday, and as always I just can't describe how special it was. Deyse was SO prepared by the Lord, its amazing. If every member were to give a Book of Mormon to just one friend, just imagine!! My personal conversion of the Book of Mormon has been strengthened because of this experience with Deyse.

Well, I'm out of time for this week. I love you I love you I love you!

Sister Thornhill

August 25,2014

As we used to say on the BDC (ballroom dance company) before our last shows, "Last show, best show!" This week is Sister L. Silva's last week of her mission. "Last week, best week." :) We have high goals and great faith! Let me first share with a few miracles that have happened recently.

The Lord has blessed us SO much just in these few weeks in seeing the conversions and now baptisms of Daisy and Marlene, two of our investigators. Both miracles. Daisy just showed up at church last Sunday with a brother in the ward thats a friend of hers- As soon as she walked in the door, she couldn't hold back the tears. Words can't express how special this Sunday was experiencing this with her! SO special. As we got to know her, she told us that she has already read the Book of Mormon, and she said that every time she reads, she feels the Spirit so strongly. THAT is the spiritual power of the Book of Mormon. She had never been to church, never taught by missionaries, only read the Book of Mormon- and felt the Spirit! And that same Spirit, now just another testament of the truth to her, she felt walking into the doors of the Church of Jesus Christ. She will be baptized this Sunday.
And then there's Marlene. She has been taught by the missionaries for many months, has read the Book of Mormon as well, but never made it to church. But finally with the help of a member in the ward, she came yesterday! Just one special Sunday after another another. She felt the Spirit so strongly!!!! Of course she did. As I greeted her and hugged her, the only thing she said to me was, "Podemos marcar meu batismo??" And me, "Of course!" :) She will be baptized this Sunday as well.

I learned from these two special Sunday experiences the difference it makes when an investigator is reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. Yes, people can feel the Spirit and have a great experience at church. But I testify that their experience will be SO much more SPIRITUAL if The Book of Mormon is truly an active part of their conversion. And we as missionaries have a responsibility to help make this happen!

I love the Lord. I know we are His missionaries.
Love, Sister Thornhill

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 11, 2014

Sometimes I just stop and think, Wow. I'm on a mission!!! :) It is really just the greatest thing in the world. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else, doing anything else. This week my dearest companion Sister Kuster and I had a really special experience. We had a multi-zone conference with President Dalton (the BEST mission president in the world) and there, we had an amazing training on becoming and being THE missionary, not just A missionary. At the end, the elders asked us to write down 5 things we learned and apply them that same day. Well, one of mine was to teach someone the message of the restoration on our trip back to our area. Well there we were waiting for our train to terminal Grajau, one of the biggest terminals.. the chances of finding someone who lives in our area is SUPER slim. Well, there we were sitting talking about the meeting, and the though came into my head (in other words, the Spirit told me)- Remember your goal to teach someone here! So I looked to my left, then to my right and saw a lady sitting, waiting for her train. I told Sister Kuster, lets go teach her. Long story short, we did! Her name is Leticia, and she was SO prepared. She had been looking for truth. She told us, I have felt that all the churches I have been to are missing something, so she just doesnt go to any anymore. She accepted the invitation to be baptized and we are teaching her family- her, "husband" (they have to get married first unfortunately, welcome to Brazil!), and her two teenage daughters. It was such a special experience. Oh, and she lives a few roads away from our house, in our area. MIRACLES. The whole thing was a miracles. I learned from this that the Lord will GREATLY bless as we keep our word, and put into action our faith. I have been learning so much about prayer, faith, following spiritual impressions and miracles lately. That's how the Lord works! Ether chapter 12 is one of my very favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. I challenge you all to read it this week as a family! I will read it too.

Another piece of news- President has asked Sister Kuster and I to split up to help a few struggling sisters these next 3 weeks. I will be serving in the area of Embu-Guaçu with.. Sister L. Silva! haha again. Its going to be great.

I love you!

Sister Katie Thornhill

Another Picture! August 4, 2014

PICTURES! :) August 4, 2014

August 4th, 2014

"The Lord has placed currents of divince influence in your life  that will lead you along the individual plan He would have you fulfill here on earth. Seek through the Spirit to identify it and carefully follow that direction that the Lord has put in your life. ALIGN YOURSELF WITH IT. CHOOSE, WILLINGLY, to exercise your agency to FOLLOW IT." (Elder Richard G. Scott) I just love this quote I read recently. Elder Scott is one of my favorites.
I've had many experiences on my mission when I have truly felt LED by the Spirit (as Nephi when the Lord used Him to do a great work- "And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do." 1 Nephi 4:6) It is just the best feeling in the world! I had an experience recenly in particular that I would like to share-- My companion and I were contacting people on a long uphill road- we were in need of finding new people to teach. We only had a half hour to do so, so I prayed in my heart to find one elect. I asked Heavenly Father to put this person in our path, and I comitted to Him that I would follow the Spirit. Well almost a half hour had passed and we neared the top of the long road, and not much luck, and it was time to go back. My first thought that came into my mind, feeling a bit discouraged, was- I can't believe it. With that, we literally did turn back, and as soon as we did so, my second thought- No, I know the Lord has prepared someone. We have to keep going a little farther! We did so, making it to the very top of the long road. Still no one! Now I was really determined. I thought, I KNOW there is someone the Lord has prepared. In that moment I prayed that He would show me the way. There were 2 directions we could go (a fork in the road). I literally stopped in the middle of the road, looked in both directions, praying. Then I saw her in the distance, a young girl working on something on the side of the street. Her back was turned to us, but I felt the strongest impression, almost a voice, that told me- That's her. Without hesitating, I told my companion the same thing, "That's her!" and we made our way over to her. In short, we taught her the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, with power and authority, and the Spirit did the rest. She accepted the baptismal invite and in the middle of it all she said to us, "I just feel so happy and I don't know why.. Can I give you a hug?" :) Well, words can't describe the sweet spirit that was there. I testify that there truly is no greater feeling than to follow through with a spiritual prompting, and to see the fruits of that. The gift of the holy ghost is really a GIFT!

Sister Kuster and I are working hard and I know the Lord has put us here to find those elect. They are there- And its up to us to ask in faith to find, and to follow those special promptings.

This is the best work in the world!!! Love you all!

Sister Thornhill 

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

Dear Family,

Wow, I couldn't be happier or be more blessed! (Well thats what we think, but then Heavenly Father proves us wrong, always, blessing us more and more.) I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!! Missionary work is the greatest and most spiritually rewarding work that exists! I just wish I could put my love/excitement of the restored gospel and missionary work into the hearts of everyone! This week, my companion Sister Kuster and I taught the Plan of Salvation like crazy! just about every lesson and street contact. This is one of our goals/vision as a companionship- is for all we teach and talk to, to really understand the plan of salvation, and especially about eternal families! President Dalton said there are 2 things most people have never heard about: First, the first vision and restoration of the gospel. Second, God's plan of happiness for our families. How is it possible to experience true conversion without a knowledge of BOTH? One doesn't make sense without the other.

The work of the Lord is really going, always someone to share the gospel with. Blessings! Miracles! My companion Sis Kuster and I are seeing miracles! Since we are opening the area, we started at zero. But after much prayer, faith and even fasting during the week, we already have a group of about 20 investigators with great potential to be baptized in the coming weeks, and several at church. I am gaining a more profound testimony of faith leading to miracles. In reality, miracles are easy, and happen frequently..If we just have sufficient faith! We had a leadership training meeting this week where we were taught the importance of leading IN THE LORD'S WAY, and not our own. This applies in every thing that we do in life- We must serve the way and manner the LORD would serve, love the way He would, teach what He would teach, pray to Heavenly Father with the real intent that He prayed with to the Father, lead, teach and strengthen our families in THE LORD'S WAY. 3 Nephi 27:27 "Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily, I say unto you, even as I am." I just have such a desire to be more like the Savior in all that I do, and in all callings He has extended to me. In my opinion, this isn't the hardest part, the actual becoming more like Him- this is very possible. The hardest part is "surrendering" our hearts to Him (Helaman 3:35), and letting Him change us. This is the part that takes great faith. But thanks to Him, it is completely possible.

I LOVE MY SAVIOR. I feel His love around me always as I help others understand this love He has for them. We should never ever let ourselves doubt this love!


Sister Katie Thornhill

July 21, 2014

Dearest family,

I have been transferred finally haha! I received the call just now from President himself. I will be serving in the area of Jardim Capinas, Zona Casa Grande. I am heading not all the way, but back towards good ole Parelheiros (Parelheiros is in the Casa Grande stake). I have also received a calling as a Sister Training Leader, which is the biggest change! I dont really know how that happened, but I know the Lord will help me in this great responsibility to help the sisters in our mission fulfill their purpose. We have SO many sisters, and I have grown close to so many of these amazing sisters already. So I am beyond thrilled to get to know each one even better! My new companion is Sister Keuster (its a german name). She is so great, I am so excited!! We are going to "pegar fogo" this next transfer together.:) She is Brasilian, but her family moved to London, England about 6 years ago, so she speaks English fluently- My first transfer with an english speaker, wahoo! It's going to be fun. :) She is a dancer too!

I have learned on my mission that changes are good, because they always bring new opportunities to grow- spriritually, mentally, and in every other way. This is one thing I love about the gospel of Jesus Christ- We always have boundless opportunities to GROW and become more like the Savior. One of my very favorite hymns is "More Holiness Give Me." It is all about becoming more like our perfect Savior Jesus Christ. We should never be afraid of changes, if these changes will bring us closer to Christ. I testify that each one of us really has the potential to BECOME like our Savior and our Heavenly Father. Therefore would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father whois in heaven is perfect.- It is interesting to note that the footnote in the scriptures to the word "perfect" is about this being a process of growth. This is so true.
I love you and pray for you always! XOXO Until next week! Tchau!

Sister Thornhill

July 14, 2014

Dear Family,

What a blessing this last week was! Yes, "ja éra" for Brazil as far as the world cup goes. But like Pres. Dalton said, That is a blessing for us as missionaries! because we have a message that will make them happier than any world cup won! He said there are two messages that we teach as missionaries to the world that they have never heard before: The first vision of Joseph Smith, and the Plan of Salvation for all of God's children. One of the first things Pres Dalton said to us is this: You all are just amazing. It just amazes me how many baptisms you guys have.. without having taught the plan of salvation. haha It's so true. By far, lesson 2, the plan of salvation, is taught the least but is the most important one of all! It was so funny when he said that. Well, we are definitely learning our lesson as a mission. We have been really focused on practicing and teaching, and really focusing everything we do on the Plan of Salvation. We are already seeing the results (more baptisms!!). Also, we have been encouraged to visit the temple with our investigators, along with teaching about the temple BEFORE baptism. I can already testify of the MIRACLES that are happening when we do this. Our leaders have told us-- If you have an investigator who has problems with the word of wisdom, law of chastity, doubts about the Book of Mormon, (anything!), TAKE THEM TO THE TEMPLE. We are doing this and are really seeing miracles happening. Those on the other side of the veil are SO happy about this, and I have no doubt have a part in these miracles.

Something cool that happened this week- In my interview with Pres Dalton, we discovered that he is one of my best friends Davi's uncle! What are the chances. I LOVE Davi. She is currently serving in Peru. I knew he looked like someone I knew!  Also, he told me Mom added him on facebook, that is awesome.

Well we have a great group of people we are teaching right now, and are praying really hard they progress towards baptism this week. If all goes well, we have potential to have 4 baptisms this week. This Sat, our zone will be going on a temple trip with investigators. Sis Evaristo and I are inviting everyone we can because we just know it will make all the difference for these people in their conversion and progress towards the waters of baptism.

Lastly, a quote I read recently in the Liahona magazine by Elder Russell M. Nelson:

"Without the Book of Mormon, there would be no gathering of Israel. The Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel. Without the Book of Mormon, we would know little about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Because it teaches of the Atonement, the Book of Mormon helps us to repent, make and keep sacred covenants, and merit the ordinances of salvation and exaltation. It leads us to the temple." 

I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON. I have such a testimony of it. Note to Ben and Jacob: Have you read the Book of Mormon all the way through? If not, I invite you to read it! I just know it will help you, strengthen you, heal you, and CHANGE YOU.

I love each and every one of you and know you are in good hands, the best. :) XOXO

Sister Katie Thornhill


Attached is a picture of Bruno (our recent convert Nilva's son) on the special day of his baptism!!! :)

July 7, 2014

My dearest dearest family,
Finalmente, chegou a hora- We have a new mission president, President and Sister Dalton!! They are soooooo wonderful! We are very blessed! And how amazingly blessed we were to have Pres and Sister Pinho. Although it is sad to say goodbye to Pres Pinho, it feels SO great to say welcome to Pres and Sister Dalton. We had our first meeting with them this past week in a multi-zone conference in which he taught us about his vision for our mission/the work we are doing, and what should be our vision, and that is... THE TEMPLE!!!!! He talked about how many missions  in the world are either one of two things, a baptizing mission or a retention mission. Well, he said that we won't be either- Our mission will be a TEMPLE mission. We are not just here to baptize lots of people, nor are we here to help inactive baptized members come back to church. If we are to be missionaries who fulfill our FULL purpose, we need to be missionaries who baptize, and help ALL (members and recent converts) make it to the house of the Lord. This should be the vision for each of us, always- the temple. If we have been baptized into the restored Church of Jesus Christ, what are we doing to either: 1- prepare to make greater and higher, holier covenants with Heavenly Father in the temple, or 2- be and remain worthy to enter the holy temple??  I invite each of you to ponder about this. What covenants have you made already with our loving Father, and what more can you do to keep them and/or make more (i.e. receive your endowment/be sealed)? The greatest happiness we can have in our lives are those blessings that come only from making and keeping the covenants of the temple.

Another thing I love and learned recently is the reality of angels working alongside us. Just think- There are MANY souls waiting to be saved in the spirit world, ancestors of the many souls we are trying to save here. Do you think they are praying that we (as missionaries) succeed, so that they will succeed eternally be being found and baptized vicariously by their living family members here? Of course! There are those working on both sides of the veil for the salvation of all of God's children.

I love you all dearly, and just know we are never alone. Pray and converse with Heavenly Father. Study the scriptures, which is the word of God and a way He talks to us, and answers our every question.

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014

Dear Family,

Sorry this week I wrote individual emails to everyone but will sum up a few things:

-We have a new mission president!!! Pres and Sis Dalton. I am so thrilled to meet them this Friday, and I will tell you all about it next week.
-This week we started teaching some really great people! Also, Mariana will be baptized this week we are hoping. She is loving the church and learning all she can about the Restoration.
I love the part in PMG that says that when people gain a spiritual witness of the truthfulness of the restored gospel, they want to learn everything they can about the restoration. Well I think that for missionaries, as we gain a spiritual witness of the importance of our calling to represent Christ, we have a desire to learn everything we can about Christ! Today I receive the book Jesus The Christ and am SO looking forward to studying it. "Learn of me, listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my spirit, and you shall have peace in  me." I know that as we learn of our Savior Jesus Christ, we will be greatly benefited and more able in our strivings to be His chosen disciples.

I love you and hope you have a wonderful wonderful week... Go Brasil! :)

Sister Thornhill

June 24, 2014

Dear Family,

Things are going great here- we learned today in our zone meeting about the importance of BELIEVING that miracles will happen. We won't baptize weekly if we don't believe we can. They showed a video clip from Star Wars when Yoda is saying to Anekin- "Use the force!" And Anekin gives up, and after Yoda succeeds Anekin says, "I don't believe it!" And Yoda responds- "That is where you went wrong." Nothing can happen (miracles/ invoking the powers of heaven) if we don't believe. Like Pres. Pinho always tells us- The heavens are willing to give us anything we ask, but we must first have faith (believe) and show our faith through our diligence.

I hope to become the missionary the Lord wants me to be. I have never been so aware of my weaknesses as I am here on the mission. And I also have never had such a great desire to change my weaknesses into strengths. How grateful I am for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the way by which we do so. What a blessing. We don't have to just "let things happen" in our lives- We can make things happen. I testify of the truthfulness of this life principle. As we learned in this past general conference, we can't afford to "sleep through the restoration"- We are living in the dispensation of the fulness of times! We are here to help build the kingdom of God! We will never experience the changes the Lord intends for us without diligently acting upon our faith.

I love you and know that even moreso, the Lord loves you.

Sister Katie Thornhill

June 16, 2014

Querida família,

As you all know, the world cup has begun here in Brazil and everyone is excited to say the least. The roads are painted, brasil flags everywhere, etc. The days that Brasil play, we have to stay at home all day because of all the craziness/bagunça going on. In other words, the world cup is really fun for everyone except for missionaries haha. Because of this, next week I will be emailing on TUESDAY, not Monday. So if you dont receive an email on Monday, don't panic. :)

This week the Lord blessed us with finding several new people to teach and prepare to be baptized. I am continually reminded on my mission that the Lord fulfills His promises to us. Sometimes in life we work so hard to do good and don't immediately see the fruits of our labor. But if we just keep pressing forward doing what we know to be right (the Lord's will, and not our own), we will soon see the many fruits the Lord has prepared- but it is only through our diligence and faith that this blessing will be granted unto us. 2 Nephi 10:17- "For I will fulfil my promises which I have made unto the children of men.." If you are not seeing things happen yet, just hold on to the faith and hope you have in the Lord's promises and "everything will work out!" as President Hinckley says.

It was transfers this last week and I stayed here in Ranieri with Sister Evaristo. I am really happy because I absolutely love this ward and the work here is going great. This week Bruno, the son of Nilva who was recently baptized, will be baptized. He is 9 years old, is so sweet, and is deaf. We watched the restoration DVD with him in sign language the other day and as we did so I felt the Spirit stronger than any other time watching that DVD. It was Bruno's first time at church yesterday and he LOVED it. I think Nilva waited so long to bring him to church because she was nervous about how it would be. But after reassuring her and getting the members more involved, she felt comfortable enough to finally bring Bruno and Amanda (her 5 year old daughter). I am so amazed at Nilva's progress in the gospel after her baptism. How grateful I am for the Lord's continual guidance in teaching and strengthening Nilva according to her needs, through the members serving her, through the scriptures, answering her prayers, comforting her, etc. We have been giving Nilva ensign magazines and she reads them cover to cover in between our visits. She is amazing. The gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect and provides us true peace, joy, and happiness. We have a member who sends Nilva a text message every day. Another member has been visiting her weekly. And yesterday at church is was so wonderful seeing the members working together to help Nilva's family have a positive and spiritual experience.

We are also teaching... the hulk. :) It's true. Michel, the body builder friend of a member. He may look scary but really he loved church yesterday and is working towards receiving the answer from God that His church has been restored. Yesterday the elders in our ward (the zone leaders- Elder Barker and Elder Dudley--yes we three served together in Parelheiros, crazy) The elders asked if they could teach and baptize him- we said No! haha He's ours. :) Speaking of the elders, we have a great zone and district. We are so blessed! I learn a lot from the many different elders and sisters I serve with.

I am really happy as always, and love you very much! Thanks for all the prayers, packages, emails... I love you!!!

Sister Thornhill

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9, 2014

Dear Family,

You know that feeling when you experience a moment in your life that is so wonderful that you wish time would stop so that you could experience it longer?? That is what I feel every day on  my mission- That is what a mission is. I am experiencing some of the greatest joys and satisfactions that I've ever experienced, and lucky for me I can put my life on pause and enjoy this for not just one moment more, but a year and a half. Before the mission, I had thoughts like, There must be something good about serving a mission because returned missionaries are always so happy and talk about their mission with as much enthusiasm as when people talk about the latest hunger games movie. Well now I understand it. Oh, there is something good about serving a mission! As President Pinho said with respect to returning home: "Saudades, sim; remorso, JAMAIS." Translation- "We will miss it/longings, yes; regret, never."  I could go on about how happy I am and try to express my happiness, but let me share with you why I am so happy- a few of the experiences I had this week..

Earlier this week we visited a young woman in the ward, 12 years old, Eduarda. She adores church but is less active because her mom is completely inactive and oftentimes doesn't allow her to go to church. Can you imagine how horrible this would be? Well it gets worse. My heart broke as she shared with us about how her mom has been beating her, for no reason at all (what reason could there ever be for physically abusing any child of God). I sat her beside me and put my arms tightly around her, and I cried with her. I felt the Savior's perfect love for us both in that moment. I had this overwhelming peaceful feeling, and I just knew that we are daughters of a heavenly father. My companion and I bore testimony to her of this reality and of the reality that angels are watching over her. We promised her that if she would continue in faith, reading the scriptures and praying daily and serving her family, one day she would marry in the temple and have an eternal family. This trial will pass- the Lord has already prepared the way. We then knelt with her on the cold, hard floor in that tiny home and offered up a heartfelt pleading prayer to the Lord. I felt the presence of angels there- I felt the Lord there.

Another, more positive experience happened just yesterday. As my companion and I were walking home, we stopped to talk to a member in our ward who is preparing to serve a mission, Anderson. He introduced us to a friend of his who he was talking to, Michel and told us to baptize him haha. He said to us, "Batize este rapaz!" (that means baptize this young man haha) Michel is huge, a body builder. We got to know him a bit and then handed a restoration pamplet to Anderson, inviting him to explain about the message a little bit. It was funny because Anderson was so suave and smooth about it- "Okay man, this talks about how the church of Jesus Christ was restored to bless us today, with prophets, apostolos, and the authority of God. I would like you to read it, man, reflect on it, dude." it was awesome. We set a return appointment and... vamos batizar. :)

Members and missionaries working together = Many souls saved!!!

We also had our last meeting with President and Sister Pinho last week. It was so great- we even watched a movie, Ephraim's Rescue. I invite you all to watch this movie if you haven't already! Loved it. I love this phrase from it- "The gospel of Jesus Christ is another way to say "opportunity." The greatest opportunities available and imaginable to us are those that come as a result of living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love you all and wish you the greatest of weeks, full of opportunities! :)

Sister Katie Thornhill

P.S. Yes World Cup begins, quinta-feira, woo! Go Brasil!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May, 2014 (letters combined)

Dearest Famly, 
9 months already? Now I'm on the downhill, that's a pretty crazy thought!  And 1 year, "já era" as Brasilians say (it means something like, its already happened).   Even though I am still in the midst of serving,  I can already see the difference my mission is making in my life, and in the lives of those I serve here in Brazil. I know that we are just so blessed as we strive everyday to follow the perfect example of the Savior. I read recently in my studies from Elder Ulisses Soares in his recent conference talk "Be Meek and Lowly of Heart: " Christ faced extreme physical and spiritual suffering, giving us the opportunity to change our spiritual nature...thanks to His love, it is possible to change. It is possible to leave our weaknesses behind." I really love this and know it is true, and is a great purpose in our lives. 

Remember Nilva who I talked about on Mothers Day? Well,  she got baptized on Saturday! It was such a spiritual experience and.. (haha right now, here in the cafe’ we email from,  there is a person singing out loud, really loudly and another person told him, "Calma filho!" (that means like, "calm boy/son" haha) ...So Nilva was baptized and confirmed yesterday!!! We prayed so hard this last week for her because she is receiving a lot of opposition- of course, that always happens; Satan is really good at that. But we are better at overcoming this opposition! And she did, and now she is the happiest she has ever been. I will try to send a picture next week. My experience teaching Nilva has been really special. I felt the Spirit so much working through me as we taught and helped her follow the Savior into the waters of baptism. She is a really special daughter of Heavenly Father.

We also had a miracle happen this week when a member in our ward called us and told us that his sister, Claudinise, wants to be baptized. We started teaching her and she will be baptized this week! Her story is really neat. Recently she was in the hospital in a coma for 5 days- she almost died. While in a coma completely unconscious, she received a priesthood blessing and when she woke up she knew the church was true- She said that she literally felt the POWER of the Priesthood of God as that blessing was administered to her. She told us about how she saw Joseph Smith kneeling in the sacred grove and she herself saw the pillar of light. She has no doubts in her mind now about the restored gospel. Wow, when she shared this sacred experience with us, I felt the Spirit bearing witness to me of the true power of God. We are so very blessed to have access to this power in our lives. I know that God lives and that through the instrumentality of the prophet Joseph Smith, His power to bless us was restored to the earth. And her brother, Irmão Claudimere in our ward, is SO happy. I think he is happier than she is! He has been praying for years that she would one day accept the restored gospel in her life, and his faith and prayers definitely contributed to the miracles that happened. It just goes to show how we can never give up on anyone, and that our prayers are heard and will be answered as we offer them in faith.

 I love being a missionary, and I thank you for your love and emails, and packages, etc. By the way, I discovered a weakness recently- the “Biscoff" Cream you sent in my package.. oh my gosh,  I have never tasted anything more delicious..  Maybe its just because I miss lots of american food. haha
I am really happy and am so excited to work, and consecrate everything to the Lord here on my wonderful mission in Brazil!!


Sister Katie Thornhil

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 21, 2014

Well, you'll never believe it, I am serving again in the Guarapiranga stake (my first area), very close to where I served my first transfer here in Brasil (ward Chacara Santana). The ward I am serving in now is Ranieri- Its going great! A part of me feels I have returned home! Serving in Chacara my first area in Brazil was really special and I learned so many things here serving with Sister Hamburgo that have helped me on my mission. I do admit though, I am missing Parelheiros (!!!!!). The Lord really blessed me by sending me to serve there, and with the people that I served with. I loooved serving in Parelheiros. I can't really explain it, but serving there was just so special. But, here I am and I am sooo excited to continue serving the Lord. I had a dream recently (nightmare really, haha) that I was in the car driving home from the Salt Lake Airport and everyone was telling me how happy they were I was home, but I just cried. haha A lot. In the dream, the ONLY thing I wanted to do was missionary work- get out of the car, make contacts with people, teach people the gospel, etc... but I couldn't because I no longer had the authority to do so. Yes, every member a missionary- but only full-time missionaries have the authority and power to teach the missionary lessons, extend commitment invitations, preparing people to be baptized and confirmed. The time of my mission really is short- and the time of my mission is now. I am so happy!!!

My new companion is Sister Evaristo, from Lima, Peru! My first non-Brasilian companion. This is her second transfer out in the field and she is so great. She is the sweetest, a little shy, but has a firm testimony of the things she teaches. Many times when we are teaching, she says in Portuguese with her very thick Spanish accent-"I would like to bear my testimony.." and bears her testimony in the most sincere and loving way. I learn different things from each companion (and I would hope they learn something from me too.. haha)- With Sister Evaristo, I am learning to be more loving and patient. There is so much to be learned from others. It is such a blessing we each can have in our lives when we reach out to get to know, love and serve others. I loved what Elder Boyd K. Packer said in this last conference: "There are things that cannot be taught, but can be learned." These things are eternal things. And these things are the only things that really matter in our lives.

I love you all so much and pray for you all everyday!
Love, Sister Thornhill

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014

Tchau Parelheiros!

My dearest family,

Well the news around here.. there has been an emergency transfer in the mission and I have been transferred! I will be saying tchau to Parelheiros tomorrow morning and find out where the Lord is sending me now. I trust in Him and although it is sad to leave this special area (almost 3 transfers here!), I know the Lord has a great work for me to do in the next area. As for the happenings in Parelheiros this last week, Sister Soares da Silva and I have definitely been working hard! haha (it wasn't funny at the time) one night, in the middle of the night, Sister S. da Silva woke up in tears saying, Oh, my legs! We walk a LOT- It is a blessing because 1- no need to do any other form of exercise, and 2- We have many opportunities to talk to people and invite them to learn about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Remember Guilherme? Yesterday he bore his testimony!!!! AND both he and Mateus will be receiving the Priesthood next Sunday! Oh, this is the joy of missionary work. It is truly the greatest joy I have ever experienced. Being a missionary is far from easy. But ALL of it is worth it when you see these souls come unto Christ and receive the restored gospel. I love being a missionary! Serving with Sister Soares da Silva has also been a great blessing this transfer. We have had many spiritual experiences together and we truly have come to be close friends- I will cherish our friendship, and more importantly our companionship, forever.

I know the Savior lives. I know that He was chosen by God to be our Savior, and I know that we each accepted Him as our Savior before this life. I promise that as we continue to accept Him through faith, repentance, renewing and honoring our sacred covenants, and living the principles He taught, we will be blessed eternally.

Sister Thornhill 

April 7, 2014

Wow, general conference has already come and gone this week! I always hate the last session because I know its the last- but like Pres. Uchtdorf said, There are no real endings, only eternal beginnings. The end of each general conference is a new start to resolve to live what we have learned. We feel the love of God for us as He speaks through His prophets and apostles. And the light of the Lord shines through the eyes of these holy men and women as they testify of Him. I think the most powerful testimony given was that of President Boyd K. Packer. In what is probably his last testimony to us, he declared with clarity what we believe as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, what he himself has come to know for a surety in his long life- "We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost" (Article of faith 1). The most important thing we need to acquire in our lives here on earth is a PERSONAL TESTIMONY of Jesus Christ, and CHOOSE TO FOLLOW HIM every day of our lives, in everything that we do. We may never be a special witness of the Savior in this life; but I believe we each can come to know the Savior personally, with just as much a surety that He lives when President Packer said: "I know the Lord. I am His witness."

One of the most special parts of conference was the historic General Women's Meeting! How important, necessary and vital for our eternal happiness are our covenants with God. More important than making these covenants, is how we keep and honor them- And how we help our family members both enter and stay on this "covenant path" back to our Heavenly Father. Pres. Eyring taught: "The happiness of eternal life comes through family bonds that last forever." Thus, how high up on our priority list of life should we not only make and keep our own sacred and eternal covenants, but help our family members do the same. This includes family members past and even future. There are many of our own heritage who are waiting on the other side (and are willing to assist us!) to do this work for them that they cannot do for themselves. I know that we can come to love these special people who we never met before they passed on, as we find them and learn about them through the resources that are SO readily available. Like Elder Quentin Cook said, "Family history centers are now in our homes!" I can hardly wait to get home and take my own family names to the temple, so that they too can make covenants with our Father- In this process, we bind ourselves with them forever. This is happiness!!

Yes you heard right, our mission president, President Pinho, has been called to be an Area Seventy. He is so amazing and what an honor it has been to serve under him. And I can't even begin to tell how much I have learned from him! His influence in my life has given me power to be a greater influence for good in the lives of others, both here as a fulltime missionary and life after the mission serving the Lord.

This week here in Parelheiros was another great one. I love this area- the people, the members, (the green!)... I love my companion Sister Soares da Silva. I always tell her that she is training me haha- she has so many strengths that I am learning to develop from her example. Something funny that happened this week- we taught a man on the street, and towards the end of our teaching him I asked how old he was. He said, "Almost 100." haha Meeting and getting to know people is one of my very favorite things as a missionary- I know that each of them is a son or daughter of God with infinite and divine potential.

I am so very happy being a missionary, and part of me never wants to leave. But I know the Lord guides us in life- He knows best. It is when we let Him lead us by following the promptings of the Spirit that everything works out!


Sister Katie Thornhill 

Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014

Hello my dearest family!

First of all, in answer to the question about if we have a car and probably yes because our area is huge... of course not haha That would be a dream! We walk/hike/climb each and every hill in this area. It is the best. :) I think this is one of my favorite things about being a missionary- having things be not ideal and just laughing about it. Some of the times when my companion and I laugh the most is when we are literally hiking up a hill and it is painful, and we just laugh and say things like "Our next contact will be an elect!" or "Only miracles, Sister!" Speaking of companions, I have a new companion this transfer, Sister Soares da Silva- another Silva! I have yet to meet another Thornhill.. How grateful I am for her! Sister Soares da Silva is really the ideal mission companion. We have the same desire to do the work of the Lord, to consecrate ourselves in His service, to work hard (hike up those hills!), and the same vision of success. We are loving serving together here. Sister Soares da Silva is from Fortaleza, Brasil and has 3 months on the mission. She has been a member for 7 years and has the sweetest testimony. We are loving sharing our testimonies together, and I know the Lord will give us success as we continue in patience to do all things, stay faithful, be obedient and positive, and just trust in the Lord. I recently studied about the sons of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon and their missionary work. They were truly powerful missionaries and servants of the Lord. And because they were faithful and diligent in all things, the Lord blessd them with direction and success. I love Alma 17:11.
I have also been thinking a lot lately about how by "small and simple things are great things brought to pass." This week, we will have the opportunity (only twice in a year) to hear the words of the Lord, from prophets and apostles called of Him. I LOVE general conference. I wish I could put into the heart of every person my love for general conference. :) I love it so much. We will learn what "small and simple things" we need to learn and do in order to have more happiness and peace in our lives, here and in our lives to come- "peace in this life, and eternal life in the world to come." I invite each one of you, as a representative of the Savior Jesus Christ, to COME UNTO HIM through watching general conference this week. "Learn of me and listen to my words- walk in the meekness of my spirit and ye shall have peace inme. " I promise that as you do so, these "great things" can, and will come to pass. I love you and have felt so much love from you all while on my mission (and always). Thank you! Happy conference!!!
Sister Katie Thornhill

Thursday, March 27, 2014

March 24, 2014

My dear family,
It's transfer time again and I am staying here in this glorious area of Parelheiros! I will go wherever the Lord wants me to go, but I admit that I'm happy for the opportunity to continue to serve here and help this ward grow. This area is the biggest area in the mission- so it definitely has its challenges. But its an area with SO much potential to grow. Pres. Pinho visited the area a while back and said that one day there would be a temple here. I believe it. But now we have to focus on the little steps that will lead to this blessing, and take them in FAITH. Isnt that how life is? We each have these great big goals for our lives, and we have to realize that to reach them we must do the little things- those "small and simple things." And only by them are "great things brought to pass."
I was so happy to read Logan's first email from the MTC. It doesn't surprise me that he is district leader right off! He has such a strong and special spirit and testimony, and just love for people. I know the Lord will use his many spiritual gifts to save many souls there in Chile. I am praying for you Elder Passey! Shout out! haha I look back to my time at the MTC as a truly sacred time. I felt so close to the Lord there, and cherish the many special spiritual experiences I had there that prepared me to serve out in the field.

Thank you for all of the support and love I always feel from you all each week, and especially the birthday wishes this week! I love you!
Sister Katie Thornhill

March 17, 2014

Hello family!!! Tudo bem! :)

Wow the weeks really fly by, people are serious when they say that on the mission, the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. But honestly, for me days fly by as well- there is never enough time it seems. Pres. Pinho said that there are about 12 million people who live in the city of São Paulo. 6 million of these people are in our mission. This week, I learned sooo much. It is really crazy how much you learn on the mission. A mission is lots of things, but one thing it certainly is, is a time of learning! We had a meeting recently with President Pinho- they are always the bomb dot com of course. He is truly a man called of God to direct this mission and its missionaries. Only HE has the keys to direct this mission, São Paulo Interlagos. His purpose as a mission president is not to baptize people, but to help us fulfill our purpose, which is help others come unto Christ through receiving these two ordinances of salvation: baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. He told us: "I am not here to save the souls of 6 million people here in our mission (of course that is essential he said), but I am here to save the souls of each one of you, missionaries." It was really powerful. It is amazing, even a power, the love President and Sister PInho have for us. They always tell us that they love us like their children. I hope to instill in the hearts of my own children someday, this kind of love for them- the kind of love that is accompanied with power.

As we know, the greatest love that ever was was the love of the Savior for us when He performed the Atonement. He had this kind of love, and we know it is called CHARITY. "The pure love of Christ" Always remember and seek to understand more the significance of the Atonement of Christ in your life.

Sister Thornhill

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014

I was so happy to see pictures from Logan's farewell! Yay for missions! Log, I know everybody is probably telling you this already, but you really will be such a great missionary! :) Don't worry about anything- Only trust in the Lord.

I studied this morning the section in PMG about the power and authority of our calling as full-time missionaries of the Lord. "Você tem autoridade para pregar o evangelho...Ao exercer fervorosa e dignamente essa autoridade, você receberá poder espiritual, que é uma prova da veracidade de seu chamado." In English: "You have the authority to preach the gospel...As you exercise worthily this authority, you will receive SPIRITUAL POWER, that is evidence of the reality of your calling." My counsel to Logan- Live your mission every day so that you may be able to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ with not only authority, but with POWER.

This week I had a really special experience. After a long and somewhat trying day of missionary work, my companion and I were walking home and we ran into one of our recent converts, Guilherme. He was just getting home from FSY (Brazilian EFY). The first words out of his mouth to us were: "Thank you for teaching me the restored gospel. It has changed my life." He then told us about his experience at FSY and how he loves every single thing about the Mormon church. As he shared his simple testimony of the restored gospel, the scriptures, his desire to serve a mission and be sealed in the temple, I experienced a happiness I have never experienced before. I can honestly say that in that moment, I felt the greatest happiness I have ever felt in my life. He shook my hand with tears in his eyes, and tears in mine too as he thanked us. I told him the only person to thank is our loving Heavenly Father. It was a moment that I will always remember.

Love you all, out of time! Until next week!

Sister Thornhill

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March 3, 2014

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEN!!!!!! I hope your day is really fun- If I was there I would make us a pear pie! And yes I sent you a package- its not much but I hope you like it!
Well my family, this week was somewhat of a trying one. But I know everything will be according to the will of the Lord as we continue to be "steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works." This is how we, despite the trials we will all face at times, stay happy and have peace in our hearts. I studied a little about faith and hope this week and love what PMG says: "Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill his promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimismenthusiasm, and patient perseverance." Also 2 Ne. 31: 20 "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.." Brightness of hope!! We must overcome any discouragement we may face in our lives with the courage, optimism and faith the Lord has provided for us through His atoning sacrifice.
We had a really neat experiece the other day with one of our recent converts, Amanda (which by the way, both Guilherme and Amanda are off at a church youth camp this week!! What a blessing. This will do wonders for their growing testimonies of the restored gospel.) Amanda was talking about how in our lives we need to stay strong in the gospel amidst the evils of the world- she compared this to a rod of iron- She literally used the words right out of the Book of Mormon. We then asked, You do know this is in the Book of Mormon, right? With suprise she replied, "No" It was really cool and she said how this experience strengthened her testimony of the Book of Mormon. She is already preparing to serve a mission. Words cannot express my joy in seeing the hearts of these special children of God change. I love something I read this week from Pres. Eyring: "Sacrifice is made sweet to us when we treasure the joy it brings to another heart." Matt. 10:8- "Freely ye have received, freely give" There is no greater joy!
Love you all! Happy birthday week (and Carnival!!) ;)
Sister Katie Thornhill

Various pictures- The baptisms of the twins Mayara and Mariane, their brother Flavio, and the family of Guilherme, Mateus, Amanda e Geovana. Also a picture of the member we lived with for a while, Irma Carmen and the huge avocados that are here. She often made us "vitamina de abacate" haha, it is really a avocado shake- I never thought I would experience that, but its actually pretty good haha The other picture is of me and my 2 packages I recently received! OBRIGADAAA!!!! Also, we had the opportunity last week to go to the temple in São Paulo. It was so wonderful- I love being within the walls of the temple!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Feb. 10, 2014

I am so sorry but this week I don't have time to write a long email. Know that I am still happy, doing great, no worries here. It is transfers this week and it turns out that I will be staying to serve here in Parelheiros with Sister L. Silva- Wahoo! I am really happy about that because I truly am loving it here. Man is it HOT here! I am not a big sweater, I never have been, even when I danced lots and lots. But here and now.. haha different story! This week the twins, Mayara and Mariane and their brother Flavio were confirmed members of the church and received the gift of the Holy Ghost- it was so so great. And the family of Amanda, Geovana, Guilherme and Mateus that I mentioned last week are going strong! This week, Saturday, they will be baptized! So happy! :) 

Feb. 24th, 2014

Feb. 24, 2014
I can't believe that 6 months has already passed/flown by. Time to continue to fly here on the mission! I am really excited because right now in the mission we have a program/goal as a mission to work with the members to help part-member families- to help these families receive the necessary ordinances they need (baptism!) in order to be sealed eternally in the temple. "Families in Zion" is what the program is called. Sister L. Silva and I have an area called Vargem Grande (a HUGE area, grande yes) and the majority of members living there are less active. We have a goal to focus our work there this week in finding these families and help them come unto Christ. Its going to be another week of trusting in the Lord and miracles, cant wait.
 LOVE YOU ALL! Boa semana!!!
Love, Sister Katie Thornhill

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Feb. 17, 2014

My dear family,

Oh how very much I am learning! The Lord's work continues to "roll forth" through our area and throughout the mission. The members are becoming more excited and we have lots of members who will go out and teach with us this week. It is so amazing to see the difference the members can make in the lives of those investigating the church. For example, yesterday the family of Guilherme, Mateus, Amanda and Geovana weren't at church when we got there- as my companion and I were conversing about what to do, a member came up to us who knows the family- he had recognized that the family wasnt there, and asked if he could go pick them up. He did, and they had such a positive experience at church.

Quickly, I want to share something Pres. Pinho shared with us. He heard this story-

"The sole survivor of a shipwreck was able to reach a small deserted island. He asked God to save him. Daily he looked closely at the horizon waiting for help, but it seemed there was no hope. Exhausted with the passage of time, he managed to build a small wooden hut to protect and save the few belongings they had left. However, one day, after seeking out something to eat, he came home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rising into the sky. The worst had happened, all was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he shouted. However, early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. The ship had come to save him. "How did you know I was here?" he asked. "We saw the smoke signal," they replied.

He then said this: In China, the word crisis is synonymous with opportunity.
Thus, to act in difficult times, the secret being to trust God and have an attitude of faith, optimism, motivation and patience. Often in difficult moments we give up everything, all, however, our attitudes in these moments will make all the difference in our success or failure.

I know this to be true. As we experience the tests of mortality, these can be great opportunities for our learning and personal growth. I know that the Lord is always there with an extended hand outstretched towards us, inviting us to come unto Him. Only by coming unto Him can we receive "peace in this life, and eternal life in the world to come."

I love you!

Sister Katie Thornhill