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