Monday, March 31, 2014

12/16/2013 I love your all!!

How the email time flies.
Christmas!!! Its coming! There are lights up everywhere and everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit! Is there snow there?
This week was amazing and crazy. 
Last week our area was combined with the elders that had been in our ward. Now its just us. Which means we picked up a lot more investigators. Especially because the Elders in our ward had been doing some really great work. They really love people and they really know that the gospel's true and people feel it, and as a result they left us with a family of 4 to be baptized this Sunday. So we  finished up the rest of the lessons and just go by and help them with any doubts and worries that they had up till then. They are amazing. One of them hurt her foot on Saturday night, but even so, she walked an hour to church in the morning to be baptized. that´s how you know people know its really true. when they are willing to make serious sacrifices. that happens because they know that the blessings are better. because they really love God and want to follow Him. 
Then Mario and Birgit came to church on Sunday. We tried to translate for them, but I'm not sure how it really went because I was pretty much just running around the chapel. piano, investigators showing up late not knowing where to go, nice handicapped lady in the ward trying to pick up investigators babies, etc. so yeah. I hope that went well. We just need to help her learn Portuguese. that seems like the best solution to me!
The thing with them is they have a little girl and she is teething and they don't sleep much and finding time for church stuff is hard for them. they make time. they read and let us visit and they pray a lot and sincerely. but they sincerely just say. when you aren't here its hard to have enough time to focus long enough to even think about anything.and I really know the truth of that. especially at Christmas. Birgit's 11 yr old daughter is coming for Christmas from Estonia and so things are going to get even crazier. and I just want so badly for them to feel the peace the gospel brings. I want them to understand what Matthew said in chapter 11:28-30
28 ¶aCome unto me, all ye that blabour and are heavy laden, and I will give you crest.
 29 Take my ayoke upon you, and blearn of me; for I am cmeek and dlowly in eheart: and ye shall find frest unto your souls.
 30 For my yoke is aeasy, and my burden is light.
But I realized for them to understand that I need to understand it. Really understand it. Taking on Christ's yoke doesn't just mean doing church or missionary things. it really means giving him our heart and soul. It involves asking to learn how to really trust Him. (and that's the part that sometimes I get a little nervous about. luckily He knows that and can help motivate me to be better and trust in Him by putting people in my life that I really love that need for me to learn that. like Birgit and Mario.)
Also this week! These two kids who always come to church got permission from their mom to be baptized! Their dad is a member and works out of the country most of the time but has been in town lately since their grandmother passed away about a month ago (he gave the most beautiful prayer and blessing over the grave I have ever heard) and with that Sara started talking about wanting to be baptized. She is super cute and gave the prayer in the baptism yesterday and lead the music last week (basically just waved her had around).
Milagres em todo lado!!!!
Also, Sally sent me this really cool paper about happiness and success that helped me recognize that success comes from happiness and happiness comes from gratitude. particularly gratitude to God. So try it.
1. Write 3 things your grateful for.
2. Journal 1 positive experience from the last 24 hours every day.
3. Exercise regularly
4. Meditate (or give yourself scheduled time to unplug and think about nothing. or just think about blessings or for me study and pray but also try not to think about your stresses.)
5. Conscious acts of kindness every day.
It works!!
Being grateful for blessings invites more miracles into our lives.
I love you all and I am soooooo excited for christmas!!!!
Steph\ Sister Lofgreen
P.S. Fight the good fight! (I was glad to see that scripture on Grandpa's funeral program. He fought the good fight :)

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