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

Monday, February 3, 2014

Feb. 3, 2014

Oi minha querida família!!!
Well it was another week of work, joy, (serious) heat, yes some challenges too, and miracles! :) Our district here in Parelheiros often calls our area "Pareleitos" because we indeed find (and believe in finding) many Eleitos (the Elect of God)! Só milagres every day, not only this area but on the mission. It is amazing to me each and every day to see the miracles that happen by the hand of the Lord. This week we were especially happy because three of God's elect children were baptized yesterday- Mayara, Mariane (twins) e Flavio. They are truly special and as always words cannot describe the joy and light seen and felt as they entered the waters of baptism. Flavio, 10 years old said to us in response to the question Why are you excited to be baptized? He said, "I am excited because I know I will be happy because I will be following the way of God and Jesus Christ. Someday I want to be an Elder (missionary)." And he will be, no doubt about it.
We are also teaching a family- Amanda and Giovana are sisters (15 and 14 years old) and their brothers Guilherme and Mateus (19 and 17). They LOVED church yesterday and the ward is really helping us with them, making them feel welcome and comfortable. Testimony meeting in our ward was so amazing yesterday. Every single testimony was truly powerful. One testimony in particular I will never forget and I don't think anyone will. There is a member of the ward, an older man probably in his 80s, with cancer who is in truly bad shape. But there he was at church, and oh how powerful his testimony was as another member of the ward wheeled him up to the front in a wheelchair so he could fulfill his desire to bear testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel. After him, his daughter got up and told us how he can't remember a lot of things because of memory loss, but one thing he remembers perfectly and talks about frequently- His Priesthood and his love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He understands his role as a faithful holder of the Priesthood of God and his desire to bless others still lives on and is remembered by everyone, especially his family members. It made me think about and realize how very important, even vital, it is for all of us to live in such a way that we will never forget our divine roles as sons and daughters of God.
What a privilege it is to be living on the earth today. What glory it is to have the restored gospel in our lives. And what a necessity it is as members to share this glorious gospel with all the world. The Church and Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored through the calling of the prophet Joseph Smith. Thomas S. Monson is the prophet for all the world on the earth today. I know that as we follow the prophet- in every way possible- God blesses us tremendously! This morning in my personal study I learned about how the first thing that Adam felt after partaking of the fruit was fear. But as we know, God provided for us a Savior. And BECAUSE OF THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST, WE DON'T NEED TO FEAR. I love my Savior and I strive each day to do as Helaman counsels in Helaman 3:35.
I love you all! Until next week,
Sister Thornhill