Monday, February 17, 2014

Just Keep Swimming

 Reason #154 why I love Brasil:

Valentines day is not a thing.  Whoop whoop!  February 14th still was, however, a day to eat chocolate as I mourn because it was the 6 month mark on my mission.  This I am not okay with. 
(Reason #155, if you are wondering, is the Brazilians love for cheese.  I met a couple yesterday and literally the first thing they asked me was if I liked Gorganzola... ummmm YES.)

Besides my denial of how fast my mission is going, this week we witnessed a lot of really miraculous things... after really bummer days. 
There was one day in particular where literally every single one of our appointments and plans fell through.  I had not experienced anything like it yet.  We were really discouraged, walking the streets, having exhausted all of our options, when we ran into our friend Rafa.  We told him about our day and how bummed out we were and he lit up and said "I know what you can do!  There is a family down the street who has not been to church in years."
So we went a knock knockin at their door (clapping, actually), and we met an older couple.  A sweet old man named irmão Jurado welcomed us and we met his wife, who was laying on a bed in the living room, almost lifeless.  He told us that she had suffered a series of strokes.  He told us that he had not come to church since she had her stroke because he cannot leave her home alone.  In a series of ward boundary and leadership changes, they had gotten lost in the shuffle.  He told us that he served in the bishopric for 10 years and would bring the sacrament to the sick and afflicted every single Sunday.  He told us that he felt abandoned. 
We told him things would be different now.  Our bishop came to meet them and shared a message with them. Irmão Jarudo stood up afterwards with tears in his eyes and told us that he had turned away from God, but that he wanted to come back.  On Sunday, he came to church for the first time in years.  He was embraced by old and new friends.  I sat back and watched it all happen and watched as Lapenta and Rafael passed the sacrament for the first time in their white shirts and ties, and I just cried and cried and cried.   

“Being blessed with hope, let us, as disciples, reach out to all who, for whatever reason, have ‘moved away from the hope of the gospel’ (Col. 1:23). Let us reach to lift hands which hang hopelessly down.”
No matter how dark things seem or how far gone we think we may be, there is always hope for the future.  A hope and peace and happiness that only the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring to us! 
Então... continuar a nadar!  Eu amo vocês!
com amor,
Sister Burch

Monday, February 10, 2014

Following Him.

Bright and early Sunday morning, our investigator Regia made the decision to follow Jesus Christ and get baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God. 
When I first got to Brazil, I was really really nervous and really afraid to teach in Portuguese. In our lessons, I would feel entirely anxious and worried about what our investigators would think about some gringo trying to speak their language. 
When I met Regia and her family, for some reason, I did not feel that way at all.  I felt entirely accepted and loved and welcomed by them.  They were complete strangers, but felt like old friends. 
I love them.  I love my Savior, Jesus Christ.  And part of the reason I love them so much is that they love Jesus Christ too. 
And He loves us.  So much so that He taught us exactly what we need to do to have happiness in this life and in the life to come. 

"He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do."
com amor,
Sister Burch

Party Planning!

So last week my little Laura whispered to me that her birthday was in a couple days.  I asked her if she was excited and she said yes.  But that they could not afford to have a party for her.  Laura and her family are really special and humble people.  They live 6 people in one small room, and her mother is pregnant with her fifth child. 
Sister Marcon and I knew we had to do something for her birthday, so we put together a little festa with the limited resources we have. 

This family warms my heart.  

That baby there is due to be born the day before my birthday!!!  And we are trying our best to get those two lovebirds hitched.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

mudanças pt 3

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and last but not least, o templo!
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That is my life lately in pictures.  I want you all to know that I love you.  That I pray for all of you everyday and that I know with all my heart that with Gods help, we can overcome any challenge life throws our way.  He is always here for us and that never changes and will never change. 
Love you all,
Sister Burch

mudanças pt 2

-BAPTISMS!  To the right of me are Laurinha and Rafael, who are clearly done with taking pictures haha.  They are strong people with a whole lot of faith.
-That there is my bispo at our ward activity.  We got to choose how they had to pop a balloon.  >:)
-annnnddd our ward mission leader.  We are probably too mean to them.Displaying IMG_1751.JPGDisplaying IMG_1779.JPG

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Hey hello everyone!  Today we had the wonderful priveledge of going to the São Paulo temple!  So p-day is on Tuesday for this week.  This week we moved apartments!  Moving just generally is the pits.  Moving as a missionary... is worse.  It took us FOUR days to move.  We did not have a whole lot of help or resources so we literally walked 7 miles with boxes and boxes in our arms.  On a side note, I am getting super buff. 
Our new place is bomb!  It has a great view, computers in the complex, and no cockroaches the size of my face.  Blessings, people!
And now I will do my best to play catch up with fotos!
in order:
-my zone and I!  Letś play a game called "who is the most sunburnt?"
-an amazing family!
-Sister Del Guerso and I at the Sisters Meeting
-My lovely trainer and I!
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