It feels like forever and a half since I've had the chance to write to you! How are you all doing? Daddy, I finally got your letter today! A month and a half later haha, wow. Okay, big news. I was transferred! Halfway through the transfer, the visa waiters arrive, so there´s always a chance that someone will be transferred, and we knew Pres Fernandes doesn't like trios. What´s crazy is that I had that feeling that I would be transferred. When I thought about the work that was going on in Lapa, I felt like I wouldn't be there to see more changes. That didn't make it much easier when we got the phone call last Sunday, but all is well!
Cely was confirmed, we said goodbye, and I left Monday morning! I´m now in Fazendinha with Sister Pereira! She´s from Rio de Janeiro and has 5 months on her mission. Oh yeah, and we´re white-washing! Fazendinha now has a set of sisters after 20 years, and a set of elders. There was a pretty significant task ahead of us cuz we didn't have a map or a list of members. Just the Area Book. But the map and list of members came super quickly. The elders have helped a bit, but mostly we've relied a lot on the members for help. The wife of the stake president helped us locate where the majority of the members on our side live. She has been an enormous blessing, my goodness.
I was a little nervous to white-wash at first, but we have seen miracles just in our first week. Fazendinha is part of Curitiba, where the people´s hearts are a bit colder, so we knew we´d have to rely more on referrals rather than door-knocking. This week we received 17 referrals! I'm pretty sure that has never happened in my mission before. And they´re promising referrals, too. So much to say and so little time! Basically, the stake was nervous to have sisters cuz there were sisters recently who didn't work very hard. So we have a lot to prove to gain the trust from the members here. But we've met with the stake pres various times and yesterday he told us that we surpassed the expectations he had. He said that we´re Zone Leader level and that he never anticipated the spiritual strength that we have. I know we both needed to hear that, cuz we both feel a little insignificant to be the first sisters here in 20 years. But the members (mostly the irmãs) are super excited that we´re here. And we are too! Obviously there´s lots of work to be done here if Heavenly Father saw it fit to place two sets of missionaries here.
We have a baptism this Saturday! Fábio, who has met with missionaries for a long time, but had to make some changes before baptism. He is so prepared, it´s insane. He calls himself Elder Oliveira because he has a great desire to serve a mission. He´s super cool! We also have Leonardo who is very religious. He was going to be a Father in the Catholic church, but he left because of the corruption. He´s already been inside the temple, and he has an incredible relationship with Heavenly Father. I ask that you pray for him, cuz he has a desire to be baptized and his understanding is incredible, but Satan is working really hard against him.
Last but not least, Sister Pereira. Where do I begin! I have no doubts that we knew each other before this life. Her and I are so similar. We've only known each other for a week now, but people always tell us we teach together like we've known each other forever, like we´re best friends. She is a super powerful teacher, and she helps me tons with the language. We fit together perfectly cuz she has a great desire to learn English, and I have a great desire to teach it! So we have a rule that we speak English at home and Portuguese outside haha. We've already had good laughs. I´m super happy to be here, and I know the Lord has great things in store for us and for the people of Fazendinha! Love you all to the moon and back! Take care and write to me soon!
All my love,
Sister Kashmir Janae Ramsden
I hope y'all weren't worried that I didn't email this Monday. You´ll never guess what we did today that changed our P day. We went to the temple!! It was the best feeling in the world finally seeing the temple that I've been staring at pictures of for over a year. The Spirit was stronger than any other time I've been to the temple since I received my own endowment. In the Celestial Room, Sister Pereira and I prayed and discussed the needs of our investigators and were able to receive divine revelation. Guys, the Church is so true. Every time we teach the Restoration, I feel the Spirit so strongly, and there´s no way I could ever doubt that this is all true.
We had Fábio's baptism Saturday, and he was confirmed Sunday!
Leonardo is 110% incredible. He read the entire Book of Mormon in just one week, is now reading it in Italian, and we just bought him one in English. He just accepts everything so humbly! He has tons of friendship in the ward now, and everyone who meets him automatically loves him. He´ll be baptized after church Sunday and confirmed the following Sunday.
Alessandra, 22 yrs, is amazing. She's one of those awesome examples of a quick change of heart. She cancelled our appt last week, so we stopped in Sunday when she wasn't at church. She told us she had been kind of avoiding us, that she wasn't going to answer when we knocked. So we discussed her concerns, kicked her with the Spirit, and by the end of the lesson she decided she wants to be baptized! She said she's already received tons of answers that she should be, so she should stop ignoring the Spirit. So she´ll be baptized next weekend!
André is the son of a less-active woman who´s the only member in her family. André randomly showed up at YM last week, so we visited him and he told us how great his desire is to be baptized. So he'll be baptized next weekend too, and we´re teaching his sister Andressa, too!
More Helping Hands!
We met an adorable, super humble couple, Anamaria and Ademir this week knocking doors. They´re an elderly couple with super great faith. Anamaria came to church with us Sunday, made friends, felt the Spirit, and her and Ademir decided to be baptized. We all cried together when we visited last night, the Spirit was so strong. Sister Pereira and I left with this satisfying feeling that we literally did nothing during the lesson. I feel so strongly that we are truly just instruments in the Lord´s hands. We love the people, speak the words that the Spirit gives us, and hearts and lives are changed. Being a missionary is the best thing in the world! I can´t believe that I've officially been set apart for a year, yesterday. Heavenly Father is so good, and I've learned so much the last year. His plan is absolutely perfect.
It breaks my heart to hear that Uncle Wayne passed away. I know he struggled for so long. But I take comfort in knowing that he isn't in pain anymore. I have no doubts that he is with Grandma and Grandpa Woolley having a long-awaited reunion. I love the knowledge that we have of eternal families. Please send my love to the whole Woolley family. Know that they´re in my prayers. I love you so much, family. Take care of yourselves and have a good week.
Sister Kashmir Janae Ramsden