"There is sunshine in my soul today!"

"There is sunshine in my soul today!"

Quick Update


This week was pretty chill and we didn't have too much happen. Because it was transfers, Sister Lifferth, who is in Oriximiná (a small town down the river), stayed with us for about three days when we were waiting for her companion to arrive. It was pretty fun to have that experience in a trio. :D When we were seeing her off we took a little stroll on the boat! (Everyone has to bring a hammock to sleep during the night--it's super cool! I'll send pictures later). . 

Lets see... my favorite experience this week was talking with a new convert, Davi, who travels for months at a time for work. He finally got back this week so we payed him a visit. I was super shocked to learn that in his one year as a member, he has read the Book of Mormon five times!! He's about 70 years old, and he said that his one regret was not finding the church earlier because now he has less time to learn everything. He's a super special person!

Have a wonderful week everyone! Love you all!

Sister Dickerson

No Transfer This Week!

Whoo-hoo!! Sister Almeida and I are still companions. :) And we are going to stay here in Santarém! I'm pretty excited about it, especially since this past transfer was so difficult for me. You can't leave an area until you really love it. I know that I still have some important things to learn here. 

This week was wonderful! I finally saw the Lord helping and guiding us. We had quite a few people give referrals this week (HUGE STEP OF PROGRESS), and because of this we were able to find eight new investigators!! Whoo-hoo!! 

With these new investigators, we had some very tender experiences. One was with a woman named Maria and her granddaughter, Jarleane, who's 16 years old. Maria told us her story... that she had four children, but all of them, and her husband, passed away in the past few years. Jarleane's mom committed suicide. And now Maria cares for all of her grandchildren. My heart broke hearing her story. Sometimes it's really difficult to be a missionary--you see so many broken lives. But it was so powerful to teach about the great plan of happiness that God has for all of His children--to testify that Maria and Jarleane would be able to see their loved ones again, that they would have an opportunity to accept the gospel as well, and that families can be together forever. I really love this gospel. 

We also started teaching the family of Lázaro and Francisca. They have six children and are amazing! Lázaro already had all the right questions. He has already gone to many different churches, but he felt like none of them were completely right. After we taught the Restoration, he said (with a lot of conviction), that if God touches his heart that this is the right path, he will certainly follow it for the rest of his life.

Unfortunately, Edmílson is going to Belém for two weeks, so we won't be able to teach him for a while, but he is still the cutest old man ever. Teaching him was probably the most fun thing of the week. :)

If you think of it, please say a prayer for Samuel, the young man that was baptized last month. He's been in the hospital all week with stomach pains, but they still don't know what's the matter. 

I love you all so much! I know that when we put our trust in God, He really does help us along the way. :)

Sister Dickerson

Another Interesting Week!

So... to be completely honest, this week was super difficult for me... My refiner's fire I guess. I've been feeling pretty discouraged with this area and the lack of success we have been having finding and teaching people, especially people who actually have the desire to progress and follow Jesus Christ. But, I know that I have no reason to complain because if I want to find more success, I need to change a few things that we've been doing wrong. This week I started reading the liahona from the past conference. It is amazing how the words of the prophets are so applicable in our day to day lives. I had been pondering the link between faith and diligence all day, and when I opened the liahona to read, I nearly every talk taught me more about this very subject. Personal revelation is so real!

This week we began teaching a super cute old man, Edmilson, that runs a small shop. He's awesome!! My favorite part about teaching him was at the end of the lesson, when we invited him to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet. He said that he would, "with ALOT OF FAITH!" He threw his hands up in the air when he said the last phrase. 

On Wednesday I had to teach a bit in our zone meeting... it was terrifying. But I think it all went well. I spoke about diligence, something that our whole zone is lacking at the moment... "Work, work, work. There is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work." (Gordon B. Hinckley). This coming week should be much better. :)

Oh! And I have two crazy stories--on Friday we had lunch super far away (about an hour), in Alter do Chão (a very touristic spot). We were waiting for the bus to go back, when two blonde men came and starting talking to me in English. Turns out they are from Sweden, but they live in Rio. Only one of them spoke Portuguese, so we settled for English. It was the weirdest thing... They were both very nice, but still I felt very grateful that I'm here in South America and not Europe. People here are so much more open to religion...

Oh, and a less active member that we are helping said that he prayed to Joseph Smith this week...that was interesting.... We of course explained that we pray to Heavenly Father ONLY, and that it was God who answered his prayer. Also, we showed a picture of Joseph to an investigator, Maura, during a lesson, and she said that she thinks him very attractive. I laughed so much. The people here are amazing.

Love you all!! Have a fantastic week!!

Sister Dickerson

Here you can see where the Amazon river (the brown one) meets the Tapajós! 

Happy New Year!

I don't know why it is always so difficult to remember what happened during the week...

Well, firstly, it's 2016!! Sister Almeida is used to partying every new year, so she was feeling pretty down at the prospects of staying home doing nothing... but we bought some ice cream and watched fireworks at midnight from our window (it was impossible to sleep anyway haha).

This week was full of miracles! Samuel came to be confirmed (whoo-hoo!!), and we found lots of new people to teach. :) I'd like to tell you all about one of those people--an older woman, Evilma. We had actually talked to her my first week here in Santarém, and I had a really good feeling about her. But every time we passed by, she wasn't home or was too busy to talk to us. I was starting to feel that we were wasting our time passing by and that she didn't want to hear from us... but Tuesday night we were contacting people on the same street, and we noticed that the lights were on at her house, so we decided to stop by. To our surprise, she called us in immediately. She looked very beat up. Turns out on Christmas day she had been in a car accident, and her mother-in-law had passed away. We then had the sweet experience of listening to her problems, feelings, and grief and afterwards sharing the Plan of Salvation. As we left, she had a smile on her face again. :) It was a very special experience for me.

Also... our bishop authorized us to baptize someone in the river. So I'm super excited. We are trying to convince Marcos to be baptized there... we'll see how it goes.

Love you all so much! Have a marvelous week!!

Sister Dickerson