Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 23rd E-mail

Family and Friends,

My second transfer is officially over. Weird. I will be transferred!! I don't know where yet, but according to Sister Wegener, I will probably be headed to a place called Campus Norte with another American companion named Sister Grant. I will let you know when I find out for sure! To tell you the truth, I am a little nervous. It kind of feels like my first day again.....I was starting to feel comfortable here. Ha I should have known that the Lord would kick me out of my comfort zone! It is how we progress, I guess! 

The Portuguese is coming along more and more everyday. I still struggle to really express myself profoundly, but I can express almost everything I want to in simple and basic and choppy terms. The flowering and fluidity of my speech will come along. Haha I am learning patience for sure. 

We have some really good investigators right now.....many of which will be baptized! I won't be here for the baptisms of course, but I feel honored to have been a part in their conversion! Ahh!! There really are so many people in this world that are searching for the truth! They are only kept from it because they know not where to find it! It is a privilege to help people find it! 

I heard from my companion in the MTC, Sister Zeller, the other day! She arrived in Brazil about a week ago! Glad she finally made it! 

I will tell you a little bit more about Brazil I guess!

They take holidays really seriously here. When there is a holiday....EVERY store is closed and the streets are deserted! Tumbleweeds. Creepy.

I take hot showers here. 
It is really annoying coming into fall now. It is cold in the during the afternoon.....and cold in the evening. It makes deciding what to wear a pain. 

I. Hate. Dogs. Everyone and their dog (hahaha) has a dog. Twelve dogs. And they are annoying. And they bark non-stop. And I don't see why people here like having twelve annoying, barking dogs. 

Well, time is all but out. I love you all. I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ. I know families are forever. Press forward in Faith!

Sister Autumn Barnes

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 17th E-mail

Dear Friends and Family,

Tomara que vocês estejam felizes e saudáveis! Eu estou bem! Estou aprendendo cada vez mais! É um grande privilegio de ser uma missionária! 

My week was really good! Long.....but really, really good. This week, we began teaching two families that have a ton of potential. One of these families was a reference from a lady who was baptized in a different ward a couple weeks ago. This lady, whose name is Lira was so excited to be baptized and wanted her sister, Sylvia, to have the opportunity to hear about the church as well. Sylvia is so cool! She has been reading the Principles of the Gospel book because her sister gave it to her to read.She has also been reading the Book of Mormon of course. The one hold back is that she is living with her boyfriend. However, they have been talking about marriage, which is good. She came to Stake Conference this Sunday and many of the talks were about family relationships and marriage. She cried throughout most of it. I know it really touched her. We will be teaching her, her boyfriend, her son, her daughter, and daughter's boyfriend tonight! I hope that wasn't too confusing! 

We are also teaching another really awesome family: Mara Ione, Fabio, and Eduarda. Mara Ione works with a member of the church, and the member has been talking to her about the church. We taught a lesson with the member present, and this family had a lot of questions. Fabio, the father, suffered a really bad accident a little while ago and has really bad burn marks all over his body......he was especially interested in the message of the gospel. 

I want to tell you about one more guy that we are teaching. His name is David. He is the grandson of Suely (the older woman that was just baptized). David is 22 years old and is living with Suely right now. Just a few months ago, he was a drug trafficker. He was beaten up by the equivalent to a cop here, and left on the side of the road to basically die. Since his recovery from that, he has been trying to change his life around. He has an honest job and has been reading Suely's Book of Mormon. He said he doesn't really understand anything he reads in the Book of Mormon, but he feels a peace when he reads it. 

Ahhh!! I know the Book of Mormon is true! Even a simple boy who doesn't even understand what it is talking about can feel its power. I know that it works together with the Bible to testify of Christ. I am filled with the love of God, with answers, and with comfort every time I open its cover. One thing I have learned while on the mission is how to truly apply the Book of Mormon into my life and the life of my investigators. The Book of Mormon is a powerful witness that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world, and that His true church is on the earth today. Never take that book for granted!!! 

I love you all! 
Sister Autumn Barnes

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 10th E-mail

Friends and Family,

Happy Easter! 
I don't really have much time to write, but I will do my best to fit in as much as I can! 
Easter was really good. We ended up having fast and testimony meeting, and the spirit was really strong! We went to a member's house afterwards, and ate lots of food. Picture the biggest chocolate easter egg you can think of.......yeah, this place is loaded with HUGE chocolate eggs for Easter! Let's just say I ended up eating a ton of chocolate! 

Marco (the boy that got hit by a car) is doing well. He didn't break anything (miracle), he just scraped up his body a lot. We don't know when the baptism will be. We are working out some issues with that. The Lord will make everything right! 

GUESS WHAT!!??? I just got an email from President Pavan......and guess who is coming to visit my mission??? ELDER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND!!!!!! (Ethan, be jealous). April 27! Oh boy.....I am excited! More details to come. 

I love you all! I hope to write more next week! Today was really busy!

This gospel is beyond true! Stay firm in the faith!! 

Sister Autumn Barnes

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April 3rd E-mail and Pictures

This week was crazy!!!! 
Sister Wegener was really sick for most of the week, so we didn't really get to work that much. But, one of the days she was sick, we had permission to leave Sister Wegener with one of the Sisters in the ward and I went out to teach with Carol Toebe (an 18 year old girl in the ward). Talk about scary!!! I was the Senior Missionary in that case. I was really nervous.....but I was really surprised by how much I could actually do without the constant help of Sister Wegener. The language, the coming along! 

Conference was so great! I was so excited to be able to hear the counsel of the Prophets! We watched it at the chapel. A lot of the other missionaries from Novo Hamburgo came to the chapel to watch it as well, so it was pretty much a party! Just kidding.....we had a couple of investigators come to watch some of the sessions. We watched half of the sessions in Portuguese and half in English. Haha it was good in Portuguese, but I missed hearing the actual voices of our church leaders! Not to mention I didn't understand all of it in Portuguese...the apostles use lots of words that you don't hear everyday! 

About Marco's baptism. I kind of want to cry just thinking about it. But....everything will be ok. Everything was set for his baptism in between conference. His mom, who refused to come beforehand, decided to come. In the hour of the baptism, we found out that something had been wrong with the drain plug, and the font drained. And.......the church ran out of water. I felt so so so awful. The baptism was rescheduled for tomorrow. This is the really, really, really sad part. Marco was hit by a car today. We don't exactly know how he is doing, but we know that he is in the hospital right now. I will be praying REALLY HARD for this boy! 

I know this church is true. While listening to conference, there was no way in the world I could deny it. I know we have a living prophet on the earth today. If we follow him, we will never go astray! Love you all! 

Sister Autumn Barnes
General Conference at the chapel

Eating pizza at a restaurant with Carol Toebe. They eat pizza with a fork and knife here. They make it a lot harder than in needs to be!