Reta final 😳

 

Hi!!


I don't even have words to describe how good this week was. God is good you guys. Miracles are real. ðŸ˜­ðŸ˜­ðŸ«¶ðŸ«¶ My heart is so full. 

I had an exchange with Sister Nielson this week and I love her so much. She just loves the Savior and is passionate about the gospel and I love that about her. I don't think she knows this, but I definitely had tears in my eyes as we were just walking a 45 minute walk to our member meal talking about our recent personal studies and about the scriptures and about our missions and about how much we love the gospel and love our Savior, Jesus Christ. I feel like these past couple of transfers for me have been than one montage in the Best 2 Years when they are getting along and having the best happiest time giving out all of these Book of Mormons and the song "Don't You Know" is playing in the background. 

I need to talk about MARIA ðŸš¨ Maria is our friend and she is 17 and is from Capo Verde and is the cutest girl ever. Last transfer when we found out that the mission would split into two next year, we sent out a text to tons of members saying olha!! The work is progressing!! Israel is being gathered!! Do you have any references for us?? ðŸ‘€ðŸ‘€ And we received 3!!! One of the Irmãs responded saying that her daughter is going to bring a friend to church on Sunday and that we have to meet her! And that is when Bruna brought Maria to church!! Ever since then Maria has never missed church, has never missed a youth activity, and said that she plans on staying here. Our lessons with her have been my FAVORITE. This girl is so smart. She understands any scripture we give her. Perfectly understand and accepts and is excited about the commandments. She has been ready for baptism since literally day one, but she has been hesitant to mark a date. She said she knows baptism is important, and that she needs to do it, but that she just didn't know when and where to do it and we were like ðŸ˜€ðŸ˜€  

But this week, we had the MOST SPIRITUAL LESSONS EVER with her. On Thursday we had a powerful lesson talking about fasting and we finished by reviewing the baptismal questions. At the end we did the last question, "When you are baptized, you covenant with God that you are willing to take upon yourself the name of Christ, serve others, stand as a witness of God at all times, and keep His commandments throughout your life. Are you ready to make this covenant and strive to be faithful to it?" and she said so confidently "Sim." But still wasn't ready to schedule a day. On Saturday we had a lesson where we explained the temple and how we do proxy baptisms for those that have passed away. And she was just mind blown that each member of the church has a record and that when we move to a new city that we are still members of the Church of Jesus Christ and that even after death people can do saving ordinances enfim. The Spirit was so strong and it is just so amazing to help people learn of these truths for the first time, truths that I have been blessed to know for my whole life. Saturday afternoon, the three of us started our fast together, and we fasted for Maria to receive the confirmation she needs to move forward with her baptism. We jejuared and went to church and we had the most spiritual fast and testimony meeting I think I have ever gone too. I couldn't help but bare my testimony at my last testimony meeting here in Portugal ðŸ¥² After church we had another lesson with Maria, and we were able to get her member friend and one of her other friends from church to help. I want to remember this lesson FOREVER.

My whole mission I have wanted a stronger testimony of fasting and I can without a doubt say that my testimony has been strengthened. I know that when we are fasting, we are more susceptible to the promptings of the Spirit. As we overcome the natural man, it is easier for the Spirit to speak with our spirit. Maria shared again her hesitation and also her frustration for not feeling like she has received an answer. And there was a moment of silence. And I prayed so hard in my heart and trusted so hard in the Spirit to know what I should say. I opened the scriptures, read, testified. Sister Jones shared a personal story, and testified. Manu and Bruna shared their personal conversion stories and testified. The Holy Ghost was almost tangible, I could almost see it in Maria's and Bruna's and Manu's face. Maria sat there, wiped away a tear, and said "I think I already received my answer." You can imagine the happiness that I felt, that we all felt, hearing her say that. It reminds of the experience of the people of King Benjamin, "we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts..." (Mosiah 5:2) Sister Jones and I got home from that lesson, and went to break our fast in the most heart-felt prayer ever as we thanked our loving Heavenly Father for the work He is doing and thanked Him for letting us be instruments in His hands. Please pray that everything will go well this week and that Maria will be able to be baptized on Friday ðŸ™

Being inspired by Sister Webster (😘), this transfer my theme has been Mosiah 3:19 -becoming as a little child. 

"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."

I think it is so interesting that this is a comparison that is commonly made, especially by Jesus. When Jesus visited the Americas he was only there for 2 days. Just 2 days to minister and teach and love these people in person. It's so interesting to see what he carefully chose to say and do. and in 3 Nephi 11, this comparison of us becoming as a little child was so important, he repeated it two times in a row mesmo.

3 Nephi 11
37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things. 
38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

I couldn't help but think to myself, but why? Why children? This transfer I've studied and pondered and made plans to develop each of those attributes and now it is much more obvious to me as to why. Children just believe doubting nothing! They love and will forgive endlessly! They obey without needing a reason! They serve because of the pure love in their hearts! They are humble and easily teachable! (https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/james-m-paramore/become-little-child/

Every single older missionary I've known has has a hard time with leadership and working with leaders in the ward. Why is that? We get older, more educated, more confident in our own knowledge, more prideful? We had the primary program in our ward this past month, and I think the part that got me the most was when the sacrament was being ministered. They all sat on the stand in front of us, and as soon as the sacrament prayers began, I watched as each one of them so reverently bowed their head and closed their eyes in humble prayer. I want to be more like them in submitting my will to the Father. 

Sorry for this essay. Good thing you only have one more of these emails to read ðŸ˜³ðŸ˜³ This week we are going to the temple with Carlos! ðŸ¥° and will have Maria's baptism! ðŸ¥° and we are going to invite the whole world to be baptized! ðŸ¥° It's going to be a good one. I love you guys!! Beijinhos!!

🫶 Sister Menden 

Pics!
- This cat crepe was only 6 euros ðŸ˜±
- Exchange with Sister Nascimento!! ðŸ©·ðŸ©·
- This Irmã is INSANE and she fed us this week and Sister Jones pulled out her balloon animal skills and it was so funny. 
- My umbrella broke weeks ago but I haven't wanted to buy a new one and so I have just been getting soaked out here 
- We heart attacked bispo's door ðŸ«¶
- Exchange with Sister Nielson ðŸ©·ðŸ©·
- Us and our Brazilian hot dogs ðŸ¤¤ bro so good. They're just hot dogs with mashed potatoes and hamburger meat and ketchup on top. 
- Us and our farturas ðŸ¤¤ which is like a big churro and we got Nutella inside. 
- Us after a lesson with our friend Walter and our recent convert Carlos!
- Us after our lesson on Sunday with Maria where she said she finally received an answer and we were all teary eyed ðŸ¥²ðŸ¥²
- The Message Maria sent us after finishing her fast ðŸ¥²ðŸ¥²

























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