Finding the One in Ninety Nine

Olá Familia!

This has been somewhat of a crazy week. But things are still going greatJ. Time is flying by! In a couple of weeks, we have transfers and the mission will be split. But I’m not really thinking about it. Literally anything could happen this transfer. I still want to stay in Carregado. I feel like things are really moving forward here and my work isn’t finished here.

The Saga of Moving Houses!

  1. Sister Johnson and I left our house on the 11th floor and moved in with the Sisters of Povoa.
  2. Sister Da Luz and I moved away from the Sisters of Povoa and into the old house of one of our members. He’s still not finished moving out, so there’s still a lot of his stuff in the house.
  3. We needed to prepare the house on the 11th floor to return it to the owner. This was a huge, ongoing ordeal. Let’s just say a lot of its previous inhabitants didn’t leave it in the best shape. We were told that it needed to be cleaned by the end of this month, so we buckled down and got it done. No one really wanted to help us because they don’t want to walk 11 flights of stairs (the elevator was shut off), but some of them did and we will do something really nice to thank them. So ya, I’m really glad that’s over!

Investigators

We’re a little sad right now; because a lot of our investigators aren’t progressing.

Dina: She says she’s not smoking, but we smell it on her and we saw her smoking. She didn’t come to church yesterday and she doesn’t pray with us anymore. I think she’s feeling really inadequate and we don’t really know how to help her.

Sonia: She and her sister, Hironette, have testimonies, but they don’t really keep their commitments. It’s hard; because there isn’t really anyone their age at church. We literally have 1 active youth. Ideas on how we can help our youth program grow here?

Sara & Fabio: Sara is awesome! She loves our lessons and learning about the gospel. She prays and reads scriptures; but she isn’t coming to church or making any progress with smoking. We have done so much to try and help her. We gave her a program to quit smoking and helped her clean her house. I think it comes down to desire to stop; but how can we help her have more desire?

Sister Da Luz and I decided this week that we will rely more on faith. We are going to drop a lot of our investigators who aren’t progressing, not completely; but they won’t be our focus. We are going to invest a lot of effort in finding people who are prepared to do anything to follow Christ. This is really hard for me; because I see the potential of all our investigators and I know they can be that person. Sadly, if they don’t want it, I can’t help them.

I’ve been studying a lot about how Christ taught people. He loved everyone; but he never really spent his time with people who weren’t ready to follow him. He rebuked many people. I’ve been thinking about that lately; because he also was the shepherd who would search for the 1 in 99. Maybe the message is that really the one is sometimes literally the one and that we really have to search for the sheep that want to be found.

I also studied about faith. James E Talmage said in Jesus the Christ, “Though within the reach of all who diligently strive to gain it, faith is nevertheless a divine gift, and can only be obtained from God. As is fitting for so priceless a pearl, it is given to those only who show by their sincerity that they are worthy of it, and who give promise of abiding by its dictates. Although Faith is called the first principle of the Gospel of Christ, though it be in fact the foundation of all religion, yet even faith is preceded by sincerity of disposition and humility of soul, whereby the word of God may make impression upon the heart. No compulsion is used in bringing men to a knowledge of God; yet as fast as we open our hearts to the influences of righteousness, the faith that leads to life eternal will be given us of our Father.”

Love You All!!!

Sister Runyan

 

 

 

Another Baptism in Carregado

Olá,

So, yah, things are going pretty great here. We are officially in our new house. It’s really nice and a billion times easier to work in our area now.

This week was Sister Da Luz’s birthday! She’s 22 now. We celebrated by moving into our new house.

Fabiana (Dina’s daughter) was baptized. It was a really cute baptism. There was another lady from another area who was baptized as well; but it was really hard for her because she has a fear of being under water. They had to do it 3 times because her foot kept coming up. It was difficult; but she demonstrated her faith and was baptized.

Our members are so sweet and Sister Da Luz is great with them. We have a really good relationship with our members. This should help to get some lessons with member present.

Sara and Fabio still have a long way to go. I want to help them in every way I can. We made a plan for them to stop smoking. The mission has a list of tips to help people stop smoking. Ultimately, it’s up to them to stop; but I just wonder if there’s something I can do more.

Dina is doing well with smoking right now. She has a really strong will and when she wants to do something she’ll do it. She is an incredible woman and will be an incredible member of the church. Right now it’s a problem with law of chastity; because Tony doesn’t want to get married or come back to church or change his life at all; but Dina doesn’t want to ditch him still. She still has a strong desire to be baptized. It will just take some time. We’ll see how things play out.

Sonia wants to be baptized as well. The only problem is her sister was baptized and she’s a less active now; because she’s really, really lazy. She still likes the church, she just doesn’t want to come to church; because she’d rather sleep. I don’t know what else we can do to help her.

Edmilson is fantastic! He’s getting ready to receive the priesthood. We desperately need him. Our branch is 90% women. Church started late this week because we had to wait for our priesthood holders. He will be an awesome branch president someday.

We need to find more people like him who have already been prepared and are ready to live the gospel.

I love this work, I love the people here, and more importantly I love my Savior.

Love you all!

Sister Runyan

 

Mother’s Day Skype

We had a fantastic conversation with Kendall on Mother’s Day. We all commented afterward on how happy she was. While we talked with her, her companion, Sister Da Luz (pronounced Da Loozh), braided her hair very quickly. We were amazed at the result. I wish we had a better quality picture. Kendall called us from the church building while the branch was there watching old home videos. Kendall was able to bring several of the branch members in to introduce us. The only time I got teary was when the branch president’s wife hugged and kissed Kendall for me. I am so grateful for faithful members who are taking care of my daughter!

Kendall’s Letter:

Oh my goodness! I have had killer allergies this week. The pollen is in the air full force. But I´m happy because we will be moving into our new house in Carregado this week. The traveling by train saga is finally coming to a close; which is a good thing; because I´m getting fed up with the whole system. In Carregado, you can only buy tickets from a machine, and a couple nights ago it didn’t let me pay with paper money, only coins, and I didn’t have enough. It wasn’t like we could go exchange anywhere either the station is practically in the middle of nowhere. We had to use the train; otherwise we would be really, really, really late. I just decided to use the train and explain to the worker what happened. He was just like, you have to validate your ticket there’s no excuse; but he let me off. I was just feeling ticked off; because they don’t make it easy to use the train and the workers are sometimes not so nice. But soon I won’t have to be dealing with that every day.

Dina is having a hard time right now, and I don’t really know what to do to help her. I think she’s having difficulties with Tony (her boyfriend).  Fabiana (her daughter) is super cute. She reminds me of Gabby a lot. She will definitely be baptized this Sunday.

Who knows what will happen with Domingos and Antonia.

Sara and Fabio are great!!! We met with them last Monday for the first time in a while. Since then, they have made a lot of progress. They pray together as a family they read the Book of Mormon and Sara cleaned their house and is starting to look so much happier. They agreed to get married by June 19, baptized June 20 and confirmed the next day. They are incredible and I’m so excited to see the gospel transform their lives.

Sara has a friend, Sonia, she has a lot of interest in the gospel. We met with her and she says she was already baptized when she was 8. She thinks it was our church; but we need to check with the records. She is really sweet. She smokes as well.

Smoking is a huge obstacle here. The majority of our investigators smoke right now. A lot of people have addictions and I have absolutely no personal experience to help them. I will study a lot. (We are working getting her the booklets, in Portuguese, for the church’s 12 step program).

Interesting things that happened this week.~

  1. When Sister Da Luz and I were buying tickets for the train one day, we saw a man and he had the same face as Wilford Woodruff, same beard, same everything. Sister Da Luz told me afterwards that she thought he was one of the 3 Nephites, or a general authority. Who knows maybe he was or just some random guy who likes beards from the 1800s.
  2. We were both feeling a little under the weather one morning and we decided to rest a little that morning before we left. While I was deep asleep, I remember what felt like someone tapping on my bed to wake me up. I was still paralyzed from my sleep so it took a few seconds to open my eyes. I saw it wasn’t Sister Da Luz; she was asleep. I had a feeling it was someone from the other side, reminding me that I have important work to do. I have a feeling it might have been grandpa.
  3. We went to Belem today. It was pretty neat. The Portuguese are very proud of their navigators.
  4. Saturday night, one of the primary children, Alicia, went missing. Her mom was really upset. We said a prayer with her and minutes later they found her. That was a pretty neat experience.

I’ve been feeling really tired lately. I think my brain is being exercised a lot with Portuguese right now. But, I just feel so relieved that we have a house in Carregado; because I know this will help our work a lot.

I love you all a lot!

Sister Runyan

Moving

Olá Familia!

Things are going crazy over here. We are getting ready to move houses. Sorry I haven’t sent any pictures. We’ve been writing in a copy shop the last few weeks and so I haven’t been able to access the internet with my camera on my p-day.

I LOVE SISTER DA LUZ!

She is incredible. She teaches with a fire in her soul. She’s from Cabo Verde. She’ll be a member for 3 years on the 5th. She is a hard worker and she has no fear. My Portuguese is going to sky rocket this transferJ

It’s really funny sometimes when she talks really fast and I can’t understand very well. I ask her to speak slower, but she says the first word slowly and the rest the same speed. I like to make fun of her for that. But she loves to joke around with people. It’s really funny.

I’m excited to talk to you all next week! (She gets to call home on Mother’s Day)

How is everyone feeling about school right now?

How was Avengers? Only say it was awful and that they ruined everything!

I FREAKING LOVE DINA!!

She’s like the big sister I never had. She is accepting everything we teach her incredibly well. She has a fire about her and has a strong desire to live the commandments. She’s quitting smoking and starting to live the law of chastity. I am so proud of her!!

There was a festival in Carregado, for Dia de Mãe (Mother’s Day). I bought something for mom. It probably won’t get there for a while.

I saw Bishop Barbour and Sister Barbour. It was really nice to see them and chat with them. I gave them an SD card that has some videos I filmed.

Today we attempted to clean our old house. Let’s just say the missionaries previous did not keep it very clean.

I’m going to try and start English classes here and genealogy. I think this we be a good way to get more new investigators. Yesterday we had 6 investigators come to church. This is a really good number for us. We have goals to baptize a lot of people in the near future.