Christmas is coming!

Oi! I have no time this week but hope you are all great! Here is a picture of us with a Christmas box we made.  We collected food from ward members [people in the local church congregation] for a family of a recent convert that really needed help.  The mother of the family has been working for the city for three months without pay — apparently this is not uncommon here. 

Sister Faulconer and Sister Porcote, Sister missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are holding a box of food and other things they put together for a family who needed help. In the background, the green, red and purple Christmas lights they strung up around their apartment are visible.
Sister Faulconer and Sister Porcote–Lovers of Christmas!

That was a great experience because I know we were really helping them. It was a little miracle because members answered the phone and found things to donate really quickly — we made the box and gathered the donations, and did some things to help at their house house in just a few hours! Service is the true spirit of Christmas! We always have a goal of doing planned and unplanned acts of service but we have a lot of people to visit so we’ve been having a little trouble following through. One unplanned act of service this week was carrying some heavy bags for some member missionaries from a different church. That was a great experience. They were doing a service project as well and I could feel the spirit strongly talking to them — I know they are following Christ´s example through the work they are doing.

Also on display: some Christmas lights we got for our house!  We are both people who really like Christmas and of course we’re very excited to talk to our families too!  

It is getting closer to Christmas and there are more and more Christmas decorations up. It’s weird that it’s still so warm but I’m getting more used to the idea that Christmas is coming now. As missionaries, we’re especially excited for the church Christmas program this year! [Some have already seen it. Watch it here.]

This week had several difficult parts but I have high hopes for next week. We spent several hours one day looking for a man who was supposed to be at the church for an interview. We waited and waited and waited at the church–we walked all the way to his house with the district leader [the missionary responsible for interviewing him to see if he’s ready for baptism] and his companion, but the man wasn’t there and a family member said he had left hours before–then we walked around the streets looking for him. We finally heard several hours later that he had had some questions on the way to the church and apparently decided to take a verrry long walk instead of being interviewed! Then he didn’t show up to church. 😦 Hopefully we can figure out how to best help him next week.

Sister Faulconer and Sister Porcote, sister missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are pictured smiling and holding coconuts with a straw sticking out. They appear to be at some sort of a coconut juice vendor stand as there are several other people with coconuts.

Love you all!

The Gospel is for Everyone

I’ve been in the Recife mission for an entire transfer! Other missionaries have told me that time passes quickly on a mission an uncountable number of times now.  It’s really true! 

Fun facts: I drank coconut juice for the first time this week.  It´s interesting — not bad but not my favorite ever.  It’s very popular here.  Coconuts are everywhere here — the trees, street stalls, members houses, etc.  They are green instead of brown and hairy!

coconut drink
Photo by Diego Torres Silvestre–Flickr

We keep meeting really wonderful people who are super interested in the gospel on the street but we are encountering problems in actually teaching them in their houses repeatedly and helping them get to church!  Still, we had another baptism last week.

We have had several investigators who know little about religion or about Jesus Christ. We have had several who struggle with learning difficulties and who learn slowly.  It is hard sometimes to teach them because of their learning pace (and it’s a lot harder for me to understand and be understood by less-educated people–it makes the language barriers between us higher) but they are all awesome. They don’t have some of the worldly stumbling blocks that more-educated people have with religion (myself included). They really want to do what God wants, and they have less preoccupations about time, work, money, etc. The many scriptures about the problems richer people have in following Christ are true. 

The spirit really does bring all things to people’s remembrance!  It is amazing to see some people learn and remember things about the gospel despite huge learning difficulties. The gospel is for everyone!

Hope you guys have an awesome Thanksgiving and an awesome week!

Love you!

Green coconuts–stock photo