Curitiba Temple

Curitiba Temple

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cold Feet, Out of the Blue, and Hitting a High A!!!

My dear family,

I hope y'all are doing well! So, the cold feet is referring to the fact that it is really cold here! Nothing figurative haha. It was a good week!

We taught a lot of lessons. M. is still progressing toward her baptism on the 28th! And... so is A.!! Remember her? Well she showed up at church out of the blue the other week, so we started visiting with her more regularly again, and she feels ready to be baptized! I can see the change in her from when I first got here to now. She is so much happier and has a much greater desire to follow God's commandments and enter the covenant of baptism. We met with her almost every day last week, and we have full support from the bishop and many others in the ward who already love her so much. We're working with her and E. as a family so they can progress toward the temple together as well. Everything is just going really well with them! After 35 years of investigating the church, A. is finally getting baptized! Woohoo!!!! We are ecstatic.

We are still working with the R. family, and they are still progressing, just very slowly. E. is a very educated man and has a lot of deep questions. Deep questions and surface concerns. We struggle with knowing how to help them progress toward baptism. They continue attending church and they love the people and they receive answers to questions there. The girls have even been better about reading from the Book of Mormon. I. said she gets answers every time she reads! She is really the most receptive to the things we teach. So Heavenly Father is teaching us patience with this family. Sister Madsen and I joke that we'll sing Hallelujah when they finally accept a baptism date (The South has gotten to me).

Speaking of, we got recruited to sing in the ward choir for Christmas, and that's one of the songs we're singing. For some reason, someone thought it would be a good idea for Sister Ramsden to sing soprano... I invite you to listen to the Hallelujah Chorus by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and wonder how in the world I was able to hit a high A! It was truly a miracle. I feel so much happiness with Christmas coming up!

I love that I have the opporunity to serve my Lord and Savior as a gift to Him during this season. I feel more love for my brothers and sisters around me, and for you!! Thank you for your love. I hope that y'all are having a wonderful Christmas season. I wish to give you the advice that President Cottle gave to us: Choose to look outwardly instead of inwardly. I know that that is when we will feel the truest and deepest peace and happiness. I love you all with all my heart! Take care.

All my love,

Sister Ramsden

Friday, December 13, 2013

Devotionals, Comforters, and Cold Turkey!!!

My dear family,

I love and miss you all! I hope y'all had a really great week. We had a pretty slow week, working on building up our teaching pool, developing new finding approaches, etc. We have a lot to work on and it can be hard! But we're definitely learning patience. Yeah, pretty much most of the week was spent doing finding activities. Not many new investigators, but some promising potentials!

I love this time of year because people are more open about talking about religion, with the focus being more on Christ at this time of year. I love seeing all the decorations! We actually helped a family decorate their tree, so that was fun. Amy Eubanks has been coming out with us a lot. It's the best! We learn so much from her, and she gets to have these real missionary experiences as she prepares to turn in her mission papers! We have great times together. The coolest thing is hearing her tell us of the blessings she has seen in her life since she started working with us more. To me, it just builds my testimony of who I represent. It pushes me to want to act more like Christ and bring people closer to Him by teaching them His restored gospel.

Christ is everything! I've been reading the New Testament, the miracles He worked... He lived so perfectly. He is such an example to me. Last night at the Christmas Devotional, I had the strongest desire to just be with Him physically right now! But I know that even though He isn't here physically, I can feel His presence with me always. That's what He promised us - that He would send a Comforter. The Holy Ghost has helped me through everything as a missionary. I am so grateful!

Throughout the difficulties in working through weaknesses, M. has been such a light in our lives. She is so excited about her baptism, she does everything in her power to make it to church every Sunday, and she lives the commitments before we even extend them. This week, she sent us a text early one morning and asked us to pray for her because she was quitting coffee cold turkey. We haven't even taught her the Word of Wisdom yet! But she knows she has to quit in order to be baptized, and she is willing to do that because it's what Heavenly Father wants her to do, even though she doesn't understand why. She is so incredible. I learn so much more from her than I feel like I teach her. She attended a baptism with us this week and felt the Spirit tso strongly. Yeah, she's just amazing! We are so blessed to have her in our lives.

Us with M. at the baptism :)

Mom, Dad, Summer, and Skyler, I love you all so much. You have no idea! I can't wait to see your beautiful faces on Christmas. Thank you for all of your support while I've been gone. I hope you have a great week!!

Muito amor,

Sister Ramsden

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Black Friday, New Companion, and TONNSSS of Food!!!

Oi familia!!!

Alright, I'll start with the big news because I know you all want to know her name... My new companion is Sister Madsen, from West Jordan Utah! She's awesome. We get along really well. She's been out for about six months. She served in the Augusta zone before here. Yeah! She's cool! So it's been a fun week of adjusting and learning to teach and work with someone new. But she makes it so easy! I'm very blessed.

The Fantastic Four!

How was Thanksgiving?? I hope y'all ate some homemade pie for me :) We went to the Boyds' for dinner and they sent us home with TONNSSS of food. Like, two fridge shelves full! It's super yummy. It was hard to know what to do because it was a holiday... So we ended up going to some stores for Black Friday. No, not to shop... To contact! It was super fun! We just talked with the people in line around us and if that didn't work out, we got out of line and went to the back of the line and talked to those people haha. When the line went inside, we went to the mall and sat with people who were waiting on benches. It was a really fun idea! It was a good day, and it didn't really even feel like Thanksgiving, but I definitely took time to think of all the things I'm grateful for. There's a lot!! Heavenly Father has been so good to me.

Me and Sister Madsen! She's 5'11"!

So, Wednesday night we taught M. the Plan of Salvation. She thinks it's a beautiful plan, and she already believed everything except for the three kingdoms of Heaven. So she told us she'd pray on it. And she came to church yesterday!! She was so excited to finally get to come. Testimony meeting was perfect, she was crying the whole meeting. The Spirit was so strong, all through church! And the members were awesome in welcoming her.

Our district last transfer

After our correlation meeting, we took Amy Eubanks (new ward missionary! Yeah!!) and went to follow-up with M. She had been crying since she left the church! She said every question she had was answered, the service was everything she hoped it would be. She loved it! We brought up baptism again, and she said she absolutely knows that's the direction she's going. She knows that she needs to be baptized. So she will be baptized on December 28th!! Her testimony of the gospel blows me away. She wonders how it took her so long to find it! I can feel my testimony growing so much as we teach her and as the testifies to us.

Me and Amy!(She is the daughter of Kevin's last missionary companion)

This gospel is 100% the true gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness, once again on the earth, never to be removed. I love being a part of this great work! I learn so much every single day. I love you all with all my heart. I pray for each of you. Thank you for everything you do for me. I am SO blessed to have you.

All my love,

Sister Ramsden