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!