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.