Curitiba Temple

Curitiba Temple

Monday, November 25, 2013

EDIMGIAFAD, Red Clay, and the Fantastic Four!

My dear family,

I love you all so much! I always love hearing from you. I hope everything is going well for y'all. This week was pretty chill. We taught the Reyes family the rest of the Plan of Salvation, and they agreed with everything we taught. E still has a lot of questions, and it can be really intimidating, but we're trying to help him realize he doesn't need to know everything right now. He gets into some pretty deep stuff. They still weren't able to make it to church, but he said he already looked ahead to next week because he knew we would ask. So he said they look free! I'm sooo excited for them to come! His wife and daughters are very accepting of the teachings as well. They're an awesome family.

We've tried to get in contact with the McMullins this whole week, and they've been sick. S loved the Family Proclamation we left her, and so did H. They are very interested, but J is still super stubborn. We're going to stop by today to see what we can do for them. Kiya's friend, M, is awesome! She reads the Book of Mormon almost every day, and she prays every day! She says she understands it pretty well! She has a hard time waking up in time for church, so we'll see what we can do to help her with that.

Biggest miracle this week! We got a mystery text from the 2nd ward elders saying "Good luck!" About an hour later we got a phone call from a brother in their ward, Max, who is dating a non-member, M. Well, they talk a lot about religion, and M started reading the Book of Mormon and wanted to meet with the sisters! All we knew was that she had read through the testimonies and had some questions she wanted answered "from a woman's perspective". We met her on Saturday, and she is awesome! Her questions are so sincere, not contradictory at all. And everything made perfect sense to her! She even talked about being baptized! So we have a dinner appointment with her this Friday. She is just the sweetest little southern lady!

EDIMGIAFAD = Every day in Middle Georgia is Armed Forces Appreciation Day!

The work in this area is definitely progressing! We still have some major struggles, like member support, but we're learning to just love everyone and to be patient. That actually reminds me, we've decided that us sisters and the elders all needed to be here at the same time because we all bring something different that this area needed right now. Elder Clay has the experience, Elder Forbush has the patience, Sister MacDuff has the conviction, and I have the love. Amy Eubanks is really good at drawing, so she's working on a picture of the four of us together: the Fantastic Four.

You know you're in Georgia when... There are a ton of brick houses made from Georgia red clay!

It's been fun here! I can't believe transfer calls are in five days!! My stomach is doing somersaults, not knowing what that call could bring. It scares me to death! Especially going to Brazil. It was funny, a stake rep spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday and mentioned his son waiting for his visa to Brazil, and half the congregation turned around to smile at me. They are so supportive in that way. A few of them came up to me afterwards and made little jokes about it, and some told me that they're praying for me. That helps put my nerves to ease a little bit.

Our zone with Elder and Sister Aidukaitis!

I know that wherever I go is where I am meant to be! I'm learning to trust in the Lord more and more each day. "Fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you. Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." (Doctrine and Covenants 6:34-36) I love you all so so much! Thank you for all of the support you give me here. I couldn't do this without you! I miss you. Write me soon <3

Love always,

Sister Ramsden

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sweet Tooth, Pea Coats, and Slow! Church Zone

My dear family,

I love and miss you all so much! How are you all doing? I hope it was a good week for y'all. This was a pretty good week! A lot happened, so I apologize in advance if I seem more scattered than usual! First off, Halloween was really interesting this year. President Cottle had us all on "lockdown" in our apartments by 6pm, so we didn't do a whole lot. I seriously had the biggest sweet tooth of my life that day! I guess there's no better day to have a sweet tooth, huh? Well good thing, because that's the day I got your package! I don't know if y'all planned this, but I also got a package from Mataji that day and she sent me candy and nuts. Did you do that on purpose? Anyways, I appreciate it. I love y'all. That candy is not going to help the weight situation, but I'll lose it all in Brazil.

Speaking of which, Sister MacDuff really thinks I'm getting my visa this transfer. The thought literally scares me to death. When President Cottle calls me to tell me, I'm probably going to cry I'm so nervous! But I know it's all in the Lord's hands. The members here love that I'm learning Portuguese, especially the ones that served in Brazil themselves. Brother Lochner is genuinely concerned that I'm going to lose it all before I get there. But there are families that have asked me to pray for them in Portuguese, so I do that occasionally. The members really are awesome. I feel so much love for them! We get many offers to come out to lessons with us. They're great.

Our district last transfer!

Can you believe this transfer is half way gone already?! I can't believe it! It has seriously flown by! It's already November! Oh Dad, you asked about the weather. It's about as random as it is in Chico. We had rain, 85 degrees, and 60 degrees all in the last week. It gets really cold here! It was already 45 degrees when we got in at 9:00 last night. Crazy! I'm actually really regretting not packing my pea coat (the dark blue one... hint hint, haha). If you can send it to me, I would be sooo grateful! I don't know why I didn't bring it. I'm really putting those scarves to use, too! I never was much of a scarf person until I got here. I love the scarves you got me when y'all went to France. They keep me nice and warm. Well enough about the weather.

It was a good week! We made some serious progress with the less-actives we've been working with. We were able to be bold and loving with them in inviting them back to church. They seemed promising in their responses, but none of them were able to make it. They truly are changing though and I know we will see their faces in our chapel again soon! I have such a great love for these people. I've found that showing love for them truly brings the Spirit so much stronger and increases their desire to take the steps necessary in coming back to church. We've also decided to re-teach the discussions to some of the less-actives. That will really help them remember why they loved the gospel once and rekindle that flame for them to come back. I'm excited for that! The best one this week was with a woman named H. The sisters here have been trying to reach her for months. We finally caught her at home and set up an appointment to get to know her better. So we met with her and asked her what her expectations were for us coming. Turns out that her husband, E*, is actually interested in learning more and potentially being baptized! We did not see that coming at all. He was super rough the first time we met him, but he really wants to feel more unified with his wife. He loves the fact that they can be together forever. So we're starting to teach him!

You know you're in Georgia when...

Other than that, we just met with E again. He really wants to be able to connect himself to God somehow. He stopped praying when he was really young because he felt that he wasn't getting answers. He lived in really rough circumstances. We told him that maybe the prayers were giving him the strength he needed to endure. He cut Sister MacDuff off in the middle of her sentence and said, "Okay you can stop there. You touched me with that." We can tell he really wants to understand more of his relationship with God and to develop it. He has read the first 10 chapters of 1 Nephi, and he really likes it. It's interesting to him, and he doesn't question that it's true. We invited his family to join us next time so that they can share this learning experience together. He told us they only go to the church they do because it's better than not going to church at all. So we'll see what happens!

S and her family are doing okay. They ended up cancelling our appointment Saturday because they had family in town, and then they have "revival" all this week, so we're not sure if we'll be able to see them this week at all. I hope that they've been able to read the Book of Mormon and that J has kept an open heart to it! That will help them so much. We also had our first lesson with the two 10-yr-olds, M and C. That was an interesting experience. Our car got surrounding by little children all younger than 10 who all wanted us to teach them! They are sweet children, but most of them are younger than 8, and we feel that they just all want to do it together because it sounds fun. We had a talk with M and C's parents about the commitment of being baptized and the importance of them being able to make it to church. Their parents said if the kids ask them, they will take them to church, but they have to show that they want to be there. It's good to know that their parents will support them in that way. The kids weren't at church yesterday, but we have a lesson with them today, so we'll see what happens.

K is doing well! She seems so much happier since she was baptized! She really does have a desire to be at church, she just doesn't have a way to get there because her mom works. Also, her grandma has dementia and it hurts her to leave her home alone. She has so much love for her grandma. She's a sweet girl, and she really is progressing and growing closer to her Father in Heaven.

I'm really happy for the time I've had to be here in Warner Robins and to work with these people. I have learned so much from them. I don't know where this next transfer will take me, but I know that I am doing the Lord's work no matter where I am, and I am grateful for this time in my life. I love you all so much! Thank you for your support. Have a great week! I'm praying for you.

Love always,

Sister Ramsden

Monday, November 11, 2013

10-year-olds, Trunk or Treat, and It's a Big Deal!


What a week this has been! Goodness. Sister MacDuff and I have been able to try and apply the things that we learned from Elder Aidukaitis last week. It's incredible what a difference it made! After many weeks of no new investigators, we found six in this one week! It's been incredible. Two of them are two of K's friends who are both 10 years old. We talked to their parents and they agreed to let us teach their children. It will be really tricky, we have to figure out all the details with Bishop Stewart, so we'll see where that goes. We have a lesson with them tomorrow, and we're really going to emphasize to them and their parents what a commitment it is to get baptized. Hopefully they'll be able to understand that and be willing to work hard to gain testimonies.

E, the guy that we gave the church tour to, is another new investigator! He has so many questions, really really good questions. Actually some questions that are hard for us to answer. But he really wants to know if the Book of Mormon is true! We committed him to read one page every day (he's really busy so that's all he could commit to), and we have a lesson with him Wednesday! He told us that he respects our persistence. He also told us that he wants us to come over every week so he can learn more. We didn't even have to ask! He's probably going to be a tough one to convert, he's weird about prayers and church. So I'll let you know where it goes!

Last, we have the M family. Sister MacDuff tracted into SM months ago, and we've tried her several times since I've been here and she's never been home. Well we finally caught her at home and taught her about temples. She loves the idea that her family can be together forever. Turns out her husband's step-dad is actually a member! Well, after that day, she told her husband and 12 year old step-daughter all about it. We went to visit her the other night, and they were all outside getting ready for their nightly walk. So we set up an appointment for yesterday. Turns out her husband, J, is very into his Bible. He really doesn't think that we need any more than the Bible, but he was very nice about it. Despite his beliefs, he did recognize that he has to read the Book of Mormon to know if it could be the word of God. So we taught him, S, and H about the restoration of Christ's gospel. S is so into it! Every time her husband had some issue and we addressed it, S would look at him and say excitedly, "What do you think about that, honey?" She really really wants to be with her family forever.

We committed them to read the Book of Mormon as a family and to pray to know if it's true. We really emphasized the importance of them, especially J, keeping an open heart, really desiring to know if it is true. They are going to come to Trunk or Treat on Wednesday, and they offered to feed us dinner before our next lesson on Saturday! They're awesome. I'm really excited to see them progress as a family. J actually has been to the LDS church about 15 years ago, so we asked if he would come again, and he said he would come to our church if we went to his. We told him we'd have to get permission... I'm not sure if we're allowed to do that. Anyways, they're awesome!

There is another man, Mr. A, that we met this week, but we haven't been able to set an appointment with him. He's a private investigator, so he's really busy and he doesn't know his schedule for this week yet. But he agrees with everything we have taught him so far! And he was really interested in reading the Book of Mormon. As an investigator, he told us that he analyzed us and could tell that we were honest people, so that's good. He really likes Sister MacDuff. She's so bold with him, it's awesome! We're definitely learning to be more bold with people. Like Elder Holland says, "This is eternal life!" It's a big deal!

But it really was a great week. The Lord has blessed us so much. I can feel my love for others increasing as I learn to see them more as my brothers and sisters. I have a lot of work to do to improve my teaching and other things, but I know that the Lord will help me. Plus, always having things to work on is what keeps us humble. :) Dad, Mom, Summer, Skyler, I love you all so much. I pray for each of you every day. I hope all is well with you! Write to me soon. <3

Com muito amor,

Sister Ramsden