Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Trials and Miracles in Tiangua

July 23, 2014

Oi Minha Familia!    [Hi my family]
Wow!  I don’t even know where to start with this week.  I feel like
Sister Maeno and I are truly being tested and prepared for something verrryyyyy big soon.  This week was a tough one for all four of us in Tiangua.

I’ll start with dear Irismar and Francisco.  Wow!  The changes in them are incredible.  Indescribable! It was always a concern -- their true intent, we know they believe and have such a strong testimony of the church, but the intent and motivation to actually get up and get married so they can be baptized was always the problem.  But this week, wow.   

We have been really researching and asking everyone about the details of marriage here in Brasil.  It’s complicated .... especially because he’s from another city and she’s been married before.  We finally figured it all out.  All they need is birth certificate and proof of residence … and 300 reais [real, Brazilian money].  So man, it’s been a battle getting everything in order but finally we planned the day to go with them to the cartorio  [registry].  We arrive and find out that the certificate of him is not the original so he has to go get it from the birth city.  Also, the waiting time from signing and paying to officially married is 20 days.  :( so they won’t make their date for this Saturday but the miracle of it all was that Irismar, all 65 years of her, walked with us to the cartorio [registry] because she wants this so bad!  She has problems with her knees and health and everything so we tried to get a moto taxi but none was there and she just said, “Let’s walk.  This is God’s will. We’ll make it happen!”  It was super intense.  Also, apparently, Francisco was searching all night for the original but could only find the copy.  So he’s going to travel to his birth city tomorrow and return Friday so they can sign and marry!   Man, it’s seriously a battle, but its like all 4 of us versus the Adversary. But at least we know we’ll win.  

 I’m super nervous and sad about transfers.  We’ll find out Monday what’s happening but I have a feeling that I might be transferred....... and even though I probably won’t see them married and baptized, I can finally rest assured that they have the faith, testimony, and now the intent and action.  I don’t know exactly when or if I’ll see it happen, but i can trust that at least they will be baptized and sealed in the temple.  For me, that’s more than enough :)

This area is struggling and at times its soooo darn frustrating,
because we have sooooo many elite people who are so ready and so
wanting to be baptized but are only unable to because of family.  4 of our elites are just waiting and praying now.  Their families won’t allow them to go to church or are allowing to go to church but not baptized. It’s super frustrating for everyone, but we were studying and praying and talking with our leaders and for now it’s really just a matter of time and testimony, faith and the will and timing of the Lord.  I know they will one day have the chance to accept the gospel fully through baptism.  When that day comes it’ll be just that much sweeter because of the battle to get there.


Sister Maeno is teaching me Japanese!!! :D haha.  I can say “Hi, my name is Sister Yoshimoto,.. Are you Japanese? No, I’m American.” Thank you, Your welcome. yuck, and..... I can almost pray.  Haha but that’s about it. pretty cool huh? haha
But wow, Sister Maeno is really amazing.  She’s seriously pre-trained, so that’s nice for me haha.  She is so strong and really helping me a lot.  I am sooo grateful for a companion who is willing to work hard, love so much, and be obedient and faithful and have fun at the same time!  It’s such a blessing in this time.  We’re really able to talk and keep each other positive and just laugh when we need to haha.  She’s such a blessing.  Especially in this week when it was super tough.  She, too, had some experiences in the past with people close to her passing away at their own hands. 

And this week, someone very special to us in this ward who has suffered greatly from depression had a very verrryyy low point and ended up in the hospital.  We visited and prayed with him and he received a blessing from the elders who were in town for an
interview (another miracle).  But this week really strained us but I am so grateful for her and we were really able to keep each other strong and continuing on this week.  Pray for our ward.  Something weird is going on and the fiery darts of the Adversary are really hitting hard for some reason.  Assaults, robberies, accidents, motor accidents, deaths of family members, near death of others, injuries, every possible bad situation is hitting our investigators, members, just everyone. It’s super freaky but pray for their protection.  It doesn’t matter what happens.  We’ll keep going and the work WILL go on!  But we’ll keep praying.

On another note, I got to read the other emails!  Thank you for the
updates!  I love hearing about home and the fun you all had at Young Womens Camp!  haha.  Poor mom.  I totally understand and this is why it’s so dangerous to have a girls camp... haha … jk.  But I’m glad you survived!! I was cracking up at your letter.  I can just hear you saying this and I realized why I am the way I am in certain aspects.  haha.  Trials of charity.  It’s a tough one.  Also,  Sister Merril and I were talking about camp and decided we wanted to make smores, but they don’t have a lot of things here that they have in the US so we had to improvise... it was really weird. but really good. I’ll send a picture.  haha. Marshmallows here are rare.   They were strawberry flavored! haha.

To answer the question about fruits here.  I will describe our daily meals.  Breakfast:  mango, tangerine, toast or egg.  Lunch: rice, beans, meat, some pasta thing, salad, fresh juice--like from the fruit itself.  Super good.  Dinner:  after planning at 10pm. we don’t really eat dinner ... maybe toast or something a member gave us to bring home and a guava.  Seriously, fruit is soooooo good and so cheap here.  I love it.  guava, tangerine, mango, pineapple, papaya, apples, bananas, passion fruit, I’m so spoiled here, but i love it because its all soooo good and I think I’ll never be able to eat fruit in the US again :(

Thank you for the recipes. I’m going to try again.  We tried and it was like this flat pancake thing hahaha.  And also, we tried to make a cake and it turned out like a lump so we shaped it with our hands and covered it with condensed milk.  It was really good haha.  I think we have problems baking here, but it all tastes good soooooo tudo bem! :)     [it’s alright]

Anyway, I will send pictures today. but I just want to thank you all
for your prayers and love and support.  We’re hanging in there and
working hard!  I’m super excited for the next big adventure because
truly everyday is an adventure!  We NEVER know what’s going to happen.  It’s scary but always fun.  I still wake up sometimes and can’t believe I’m actually here in Brasil and actually a missionary.  Like, I’m one of those super cool sisters with the name tag and skirt who is talking to strangers on the street IN PORTUGUESE … what... and seeing the miracles of the Lord in every minute, there are so many amazing people out here just waiting to find the truth … waiting to fill that emptiness.  And I have this amazing opportunity and privilege to show them where to find it.  I loveeee the Book of Mormon.  I can’t believe the power it has.  I love this work.  I love my Heavenly Father and I love my Savior.  Every
day I learn something new something deeper about the  Atonenment.  I can never fully express my gratitude for Him – the Savior.  I know this is the true full complete gospel of Jesus Cristo.

Love you alllllll!!!! I pray for you all every night by name.
-Sister Yoshimoto!
Ate a proxima semana!   [Until next week}

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