My name is Diana Martin and I am a not so secret agent for the Lord in beautiful Maceio, Brazil. I am serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 18 months.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I Feel My Savior's Love

Dear Family,

It is a little hard to believe that we are in mid September already. Its been a bit hard adjusting to the fact that time is passing. My body is still telling my that it is June. Maybe I just don´t want to believe.

I´m scared too mom! I get cold in weather in the 70´s! But I am also pretty excited because it is so nice to curl up in blankets. It's better to be in the heat during the mission because we don't get lazy wanting to stay in our beds curled up. It's hot so we throw off the covers and get to work!

This week I had to learn once again some important lessons. The first being the harsh consequences of sin, even if the sin be a small one. This week we were doing divisões with some sisters. I went to go and stay in their area and house. And while no major rules or commandments were being broken it was easy to see that one of the four people in the house was not "serving with all [her] heart mind and strength" Small things like staying in bed for 30 minutes longer. Not starting personal study until almost 9 and etc... And in general an attitude far from willing. This affects the attitude and efficiency of the whole house. When we think that our actions only influence ourselves we are so sorely mistaken. Seeing this in others makes me more aware of my own actions. How am I acting? My actions are helping or hurting others? Helps take the mind of what is best for me and what is best for the group. But at the same time it was hard to see how the others were suffering. It made me think of what Elder Holland said during his mission tour to São Paulo. That he is tired of seeing sin. I feel the same and I see so much less than he does. Just imagine. 
The second would be that I have a limited view and God knows it all. I don´t know and can´t decide who will accept our message and act upon it. God knows. So it is better to trust in Him than  in me and my own capacities. 

This week we had a ward conference. And it was great. The first two hours were normal, except for the fact that there were so many people from the stake there. But sacrament meeting was really special. The part a little funny was when we sustained Bispo Fonseca as Bispo. He is about to have 10 years as bispo and he was so sure that he would be released this conference. But at least he has mais 6 meses! But the part that really tuouched my heart was the choir. A 10 year old boy that is very small for his age took part. And for the last hymn they sang I Feel my Savior's Love. Riclecio, the boy, sang the first verse alone. Without piano even. And it touched everyone's heart. I have never seen so many people with tears in their eyes. He sang so heartfelt-fully and with such conviction that His Heavenly Father And Savior love him that we all felt that same love for us. It was amazing. I never cease to be amazed by the power of music.
After church all the members were talking about how I only have one more week. Some already saying goodbye. It's a little scary but I am more calm now about going home than I was about two weeks ago. Now I just have to hit the pavement and work! ...And plan my 30 minute talk for church Sunday.

I love you all and I am excited to see you soon.
Sister Martin

Fotos da Conferencia E. Gomes


Dear family,

I love you all and I am so happy! Why? Who needs a reason? Life is wonderful isn´t it? 

This week we felt the start of summer. We passed two days in almost unbearable heat without wind. but then it returned to rain and have a lot of wind. I am now sitting at the computer using a cardigan. I feel cold. uh oh; 

This week was pretty crazy mesma with the mission tour with Elder Aidukitis. The zone leaders and sister training leaders went an hour early to talk with him before the rest of the zone joined in. So we started out with 6 duplas and Elder Aidukitis. It was a bit odd being so close to and speaking so personally with someone you usually see on a big screen speaking English to the world during general conference. But man he is cool. He talked a lot (and rather firmly) about being better missionaries. Heavenly Father is happy with our work but not satisfied. We can do so much more. He talked about planning. How we need to DOMINATE the skill of goal setting. Not just master but DOMINATE. Shows how important it is right? Some rules were changed and other things were reinforced. The hardest thing to change actually is devotional every morning. Now we just wake up and begin our day without the hymn and scriptural thought. It feels like being back in high school when I went to school without going to seminary first. 

We visited two recent converts or less actives in a two day span. Both of these women fell ill right in front of us. It was the first time in my life that I really wanted to be an elder or at least have the priesthood so that i could give a blessing of health to those that I love and see suffering. All the more important to have the priesthood in my home! 

Saturday we had the opportunity to have lunch with a member that lives in São Cristóvão on a farm. It was so cool! We got to see the cows and chickens and climb on top of a hill that looked over the countryside. It was really pretty. Photos soon to come a videos to see. (When I say soon I mean in algumas semanas)

I love you all and hope you have a fantastical semana!
Sister Martin!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Setembro?! Já?

Dear Family,

It is hard to believe that September is already starting. Every week seems to pass faster and faster now. It is starting to really worry me. But I am happy and ready to work even harder than ever these last few weeks. This week we will get a boost from our mission tour with Elder Aidukitis (I don´t remember how to spell his name). 

This week was pretty emotionally draining with two exchanges, three baptismal interviews and many problems with families not wanting their loved ones to get baptized. And even though things didn´t turn out the way we had planned this week and getting sad about that - I was really reassured this week about the inner peace that comes from Christ. So I was able to get better focusing on doing my part and trust in Christ. 

The best is when investigators go to church of their own free will without us even calling for them. About a month ago we had gotten a reference from our zone leader and we went and taught a great man and marked his baptism but he was always working and hard to find at home. So we passed about two weeks without visiting him or trying. Then one day we passed his wife in the street and told us to return sometime during the week after 6. So we decided to try one more time. We knocked on their door and miraculously he was home. He let us in, said that he had sunday off from work but that he would be going to his church. He seemed pretty mole (I don´t know what mole is in English...lazy?..not willing to act) so we decided to leave a shorted message with him (3rd). At first the lesson started a bit rough with a lot of noise going on but soon the Spirit entered and changed everything. At the end of the lesson He said that he had been touched by the Holy Ghost and that he would be going to our church the next day. Miracle. The next day we tried to call him but his phone was turned off so we just walked to church and we found him there! He had gotten there a good half hour before church started. Amazing.

I hope all is well and I am looking forward to hugging you all

Sister Martin

Excitement and Determination

Dear Family,

I love y´all. Just wanted to let you know.

I got my birthday package! Thank you so much! Loved it. 

This transfer seems to be pretty crazy. The first day together, Sister Bento and I planned out all of the divisões (splits or exchanges) that we would be doing for the transfer. But many things are happening unplanned! There are sisters that are having health problems and others that are trying to move to another house then there is a mission tour coming up, leadership council, zone meeting, maybe a zone conference... Basically it has been hard to plan but it has also been a great transfer so far and there is still a lot to go!

This week we got to teach three amazing girls/woman. We found Barbara and Vitoria who are cousins when we were in their house teaching the first lesson to their grandma who was a contact we had made in the street. The responded so well to our mensagem. It was amazing! And pretty funny. When we returned the second time they were practically jumping up and down with excitement just to see us. It is the best feeling ever. They are actually reading the Book of Mormon and praying every night and came to church alone without us going and pícking them up. Barbara is younger and not shy but gets very embarrassed when it comes to things about the gospel. She knows at the end of the lesson one of them will give the closing prayer as the dupla with the name tag always starts. When she realized that it would be her giving the closing prayer she spent the entire lesson worrying about what she would say and was so antsy to do it right. It was funny and heartwarming. 

The other amazing miracle was Glaciane. She was a reference from a member of the ward but the member had just given the address and said to go without giving much information about Glaciane. We showed up thinking she was a normal person who had never heard about the gospel before. We were wrong. She is an amazing woman living alone with her 6 year old daughter. She works like crazy to give her daughter what she needs and she was almost baptized about 2 years ago when something happened and she ended up not being baptized and moved to another bairro. We walked in and one of the first things she says is that she wanted to get baptized.  well we taught the first lesson and she accepted and had such a sweet spirit about her. Even her 6 year old daughter sat and listened. Two days later we returned. After we had left she talked with her boy friend who had come to visit and asked if he was still going to marry her so she could get baptized. He said no. And so did she. She told us that absolutely nothing would stop her from getting baptized again. Her strength and determination blew me away. 

Well I hope you all have a greatly fantastic week and see miracles all around you.

Sister Martin