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