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Monday, December 15, 2014

Camera still broken, dealing with adversity, one tired sister

This week was great. We're teaching a woman named A who is AWESOME! She just gets it, so quick. we had a lesson with her about the Book of Mormon -it's weird, we have a separate lesson with the Book of Mormon because we have limited Books of Mormon...Book of Mormons...copies of the Book of Mormon, so we can only give them to people that we think will actually read it - anyway, when I said that we were going to be talking about the Book of Mormon she got all excited and was like "I read about the Book of Mormon in that pamphlet ya'll left me and was going to ask where I can buy one to do the studies in the back of the pamphlets."

First off, not very many people actually read the pamphlets we leave, and secondly NO ONE does the studies in the back!! She is AMAZING and has a baptismal date for the 27th of December! BUT she's not married to the man she lives with...he is super awesome too, but hardly has time to sit in the lessons with us because he works all day everyday. also she is super pregnant and her feet look like soccer balls they are crazy swollen, so its hard for her ot get around...but we´re going to try to get her a ride to Church this next Sunday, I am SURE she is going to love going to Church!

Ae is still struggling with the palavra de sabedoria (Word of Wisdom), we're going there tonight to have a heart to heart with him to evaluate if he is actually willing to change or just likes the idea of changing.

God is good! this week I was sitting in Church feeling bad that no one that said they were going to come to Church showed up, but then Áa (an investigator we haven't visited for 3 weeks) showed up! AND she said that she was there last week (we skipped church last week for our Christmas tour....we went to church in Guaruja) AND she brought a friend! If that is not a miracle, I don't know what is! We're going to her house tomorrow to evaluate the situation and help her progress towards baptism.

Not much else to say...a lot of hours traveling on the bus. A lot of singing. Little sleep. And one tired, but happy sister missionary.

These past couple days I've been thinking a lot about obedience. Christ the Son of God, was exactly in tune with the Father. ALWAYS doing His will. That is why they were one. They aren't literally one person, but they are one because Christ's desires were God's desires. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I need to be better at not just doing what He would do, but WANTING and desiring what He would want and desire.

I love ya'll. I hope you have a good week.


Sister Byrne

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Singing in the Choir, A new, powerful, ally and teaching with the Spirit

What a week! Sorry I didnt get the chance to write last week. I was super rushed with internet time because we went to Monguagua to go on a hike with the other sisters in our zone. It was a blast!

I LOVE when missionaries come home to their home wards! they are always so excited for the work and ready and willing to do everything to help us. A brasileiro named W came home this week. He spent all of Wednesday with us taking us to the homes of his family members and friends he left behind before the mission. We met his cousin A, who is bom de mais! (the coolest). A is 18 years old and living a life that is contrary to the laws of Heaven, and he knows it. But he straight up told us in our first lesson with him that he doesn't think he can change. He wants to, but he doesn't think he can. He said, "Sister, I'll be honest. I don´t have the desire to change my life right now, but I have the desire to have that desire." He had no idea how powerful that desire to have desire could be. We left him with the commitment to read Alma 32 which teaches us about faith. Verse 27 touched his heart. It teaches us that if we just have the DESIRE (Sis Cabral has been teaching us a lot about our desires lately. D&C 11. We are going to get whatever we WANT. God gives us what we WANT, so we have to replace our hearts with a heart that wants what God wants so we can inherit all He wants to give us.) that desire is the catalyst to start a mighty change of heart.

Anyway, we taught A about repentance and his countenance illuminated and he was so excited to know how to apply it in his life. when we went back to teach the restoration he was so excited about the first vision that when we described what happened in Joseph's words, he was speechless and he was just like, it makes so much sense.... he accepted a baptismal date and he is going to be baptized the 19th of December!! :D I love teaching him, the spirit always fills the "front yard(?)" when we teach him and I haven't felt the Spirit THAT strong in teaching since we taught H.

Speaking of yesterday was one of the BEST DAYS EVER! I got to go back to Guaruja for one of our cantatas and all my people from Santa Rosa were there!! Including H. Now, that is complete joy. My heart was so full of alegria that I thought I might just die from happiness right then and there. My moms hugged me tight and wanted to steel me. haha. I got to see so many of the people that I LOVE so much! As I stood at the pulpit and sang of the Savior´s love for us and the remarkable gift He gave, I looked around and remembered the stories of the people sitting in the crowd. Everyone of them with a story of how Christ transformed them. I think of how Christ has transformed me. My heart was completely full. I am so grateful to be here. I am so grateful for the Savior. He's the reason I'm here. He's the reason any of this even matters. I love Him.

Anways, I feel like I'm rambling, but there is so much more that I could say about this week. Just know that I know that Christ LIVES. He is the way, the only way, that we can change. He is the only way that we can be forgiven for our mistakes and weakness. Think about Him this Christmas season and think of what you can give Him this Christmas. I love ya'll. have a great week!


Sister Byrne

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Itanhaem is a brand new start. Miracles expected!

Oi boa tarde!

Tudo bem? I made it here alive! Thanks to a member the transfer went smoothly and I got on a bus for 3 hours and made it up here. Let me just testify of the Spirit at work though. A random dude on the bus helped me know when to get off. Now mind you, I was traveling by myself without a cell phone and I hadn't talked to Sis Reis and Vangkue (the sisters picking me up) all day AND I didn't have the address of the new place. I got off the bus and no one was there...so sat on the curb with my suitcases and duffle bag and waited...it started to get dark quickly and I was like...oh shoot...I am not about to just sit here in the dark....maybe I should start walking in the direction my ex roommate had told me the apartment was...but I felt at peace where I was...which was the Spirit telling me stay put. So I did, I was getting nervous so I pulled out my scriptures and started reading, and lo and behold as soon as I did the sisters showed up and led me to my new home :) #Godisgood #theSpiritisreal

My new companion is INCREDIBLE I LOVE her! We got to our new area, but the sisters before us literally left us with NOTHING..the area book is a disaster and so it's basically like we're opening up this area. The ward has some problems, but that's why we're here, right? The bishop is a SAINT! He fully supports and trusts us as missionaries. He will go along with WHATEVER we want. We're organizing a Christmas activity that I'm super excited about, but I know it's going to be a TON of work. But hopefully it'll be worth it. Presidente Cabral always tells us that we are the Lord's Plan B in every ward that we are in. If the ward needs a YW leader, it's us. If the ward needs a pianist, its us. If the ward needs a Quroum president, that's us too. We're here to make sure there is no apostasy and help things run smoothly. Sis Allred and I have a vision for our new ward and we're excited to share it with the members. Our focus is going to be reactivation, because there are a TON of people who are inactive. Like we have over 20 pages of names...and only 76 people were at Church yesterday. There's no point of baptizing if people aren't going to stay. So we're hoping to build up the ward and leave them strong. And I'm confident that working with the members is going to help us find new people to teach anyway.

We had our first presentation of our Christmas cantata. Everything went wrong before it started, but we managed to pull it off and all was well. We are going to be traveling a TON these next two months. and I'm not excited to be stuck in a bus for hours and hours every weekend, but hopefully our presentation will touch the hearts of many people, and if nothing less, it has already touched my heart and is helping me prepare to have a spiritual experience on christmas and not just eat a ton....

Oh, back to how much I LOVE my companion Sister Allred. She has the BIGGEST heart EVER and is the sweetest person ever. She testifies boldly and we teach so well together. The Spirit literally guides our lessons. I missed that with my other companion. Sister Allred gets that it's not about teaching a lesson, it's about teaching the person and that simple fact makes ALL the difference! This new area is HUGE so we walk more than I've ever walked in my life, but during our walks we have awesome conversations about the gospel and make contacts, and agh! Miracles are going to happen here left and right!

Anyway, I love ya'll. Thanks for the emails. Be good and remember who you are :)

Love you

Sister Byrne

Monday, November 3, 2014

Reflecting a 1 Year's Progress As a Missionary | 3 Nov

Boa tarde!

Another week here in Santa Rosa. This transfer is a little funky; its 7 weeks instead of 6, so I get at least another week here! :) I LOVE this area! I honestly would not mind if I spent my whole 8 months here in Brasil serving in ala Santa Rosa. It's not perfect, and it needs a lot of work, maybe that's why I love it so much? Things are slowly getting better and attendance is slowly growing in sacrament meeting! yahoo!

R is our new golden investigator. She is elect! We teach her at H's house because she's friends with H's neighbor, and it's so interesting to teach her with all the other people there. Everyone else is interested and participates, but when it comes down to the invitation to DO something, everyone else comes up with a million excuses why they´re not ready or not willing to keep a commandment, but the Lord has been preparing R to meet us, because she accepts everything readily and LOVES the lessons. I love her so much! She has such a sweet heart and there's just something special about her.

B came to Church! She LOVED it, and said she cannot wait for next week to go again. She is planning to get baptized this week :)

S is hiding from us...not sure what happened. I think she finally prayed and got her answer about getting baptized, and knows its what she needs to do, but doesn't want to accept it...so she´s avoiding us because she doesn't want to get baptized. But hopefully something clicks and she meets with us again this week.

Not much else to add this week. I love this place with my whole heart. The other day I was walking down the street on the way back home and I just looked around and smelled the smells and listened to the evangelico music that is always playing in the streets at night and thought about how terrible it's going to be on my last night here when I have to say goodbye to all of this. But thankfully I still have six months to enjoy :)

The gospel is true. I LOVE it, especially the Restoration, who knows how many times I've taught people about Joseph Smith and the First Vision and, yet, every time I teach about it the Spirit touches my heart confirming the truthfulness of it. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and I could never ever deny it. That's my unique message I have to share with all these Brazilians, that Christ´s Church was RESTORED on the Earth. The priesthood is real and it´s back :) What a blessing. What a marvelous message to share.

I love ya'll. Have an incredible week! Don't forget to read the Book of Mormon :)


Sister Byrne

Movie Night and Esperistismo | 27 Oct

Olá! Tudo bem?

This week I hit my one year mark on my mission... I don´t really know what to think/say. It´s flown by incredibly fast. It´s already Novemeber, before you know it, it´ll be Christmas and I´ll be skyping with the fam, and then just 4 more months and I´ll be back home. I´m giving Heavenly Father all I´ve got because just being out here doing what I do everyday has blessed my life forever. There´s no way to describe it. I love these people. I love this work, and there is NOTHING I would rather be doing.

This week we had a special "Movie Night" at H's house. Have i already told ya'll how much I love him? Because i LOVE that man! We organized a movie night and brought over pop corn and explained that we wanted to invite some people over to watch "The Testaments", well he is the cutest thing ever and he set up the TV in the garage on a table with a TABLECLOTH, and he bought little white bags to put the popcorn in for everybody to have their own individual popcorn and he bought drinks and set up a sofa and a bench in the garage, all by himself. And we had a movie night :)

We brought an investigator with us and he invited his neighbors. It was awesome! Sunday he received the priesthood :) oh my little heart. oh and also he´s pretty much our only ward missionary. We had 4 investigators at Church on Sunday (one being his friend he brought with him) and he became bffs with the other man we brought and took him to all the classes and sat by him and even walked with him home after the meeting. Adorable? or Adorable? Later when we stopped by his house he was trying to convince his brothers to go to church next week, they were complaining that it was too long, but H said, no it's not, I feel like its not long enough! I just wish I could stay there all day! He is so wonderful! The Gospel truly changed him.

Oh, also, Bishop called me Saturday night to give a talk Sunday. I was super nervous because I still struggle with the language, not as bad as I used to, but it´s still a struggle. But Heavenly Father is so smart and so loving, and I had no problem Sunday at the pulpit trying to get out the words I wanted to get out. The Spirit is absolutely real and helps us do what the Lord needs to get done.

I don´t have much else to say, my new companion loves to cook, so we cooked lunch today. Fried chicken and home made french fries. mmmmm :)

We have a lesson tonight that I´m super excited about, It´s this lady named S, she used to be into Spirits (Espiritísmo) and stuff like that, but she is just eating up the gospel. She went to Church on Sunday and loved it! She´ll definitely be baptized soon! :)

Life is good. I love being here. I love every second of it. We´ve been studying the Living Christ and part of my Christmas Present to the Savior is to memorize it before Christmas. It´s been helping me get to know Him better.

Oh! Also, I´ve been thinking...and here I am all day everyday out here in Brasil preaching and teaching about Christ. Preaching about His gospel and testifying to everyone I meet about the divinity of who He is. I´m out here all day everyday preaching that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. That little blue book has helped me come closer to Christ and learn of his teachings, so I have a challenge for all of ya´ll. I have six months left. 180 days (give or take) and my challenge to you is to read the entire Book of Mormon before I get home in April. 6 months is plenty of time. And I´ll be doing the same thing here, but in Português, which slows me down. Read 3 pages/day and I think that´ll be enough to finish before I get home. What do you think? Challenge accepted?

I love ya´ll. I miss ya´ll. Keep on keeping on. Keep the main thing the main thing. Have a GREAT week!

Sister Byrne

Tapioca Man, Fishermen and African Companion | Oct 20

There is no way I have time to tell ya´ll all the stories that happened this week, but let´s just say Heavenly Father helped me fake it until I made it. I started this week with a new companion. I thought this week would be terrible and we would get lost and spend our whole day just looking for investigators´homes. I prayed A LOT all day, alright Heavenly Father, I THINK this is how we get there, if it´s wrong, just let me know. I´d start to walk and if it was wrong, I knew within 30- seconds of walking, if it was right, I felt nothing and just kept going. Now, ya´ll know how TERRIBLE i am with directions. How many times have I called you pops in a moment of being lost?

Now imagine, me in a foreign country, in a concrete jungle of the city Santa Rosa, trying to navigate...yeah...if it´s not a miracle that we didn´t get lost...I don´t know what is. Heavenly Father hears EVERY silent prayer.

We did a blitz in every area of our zone, where all the missionaries attacked an area for a day to find new investigators, well this week everyone came here...and lo and behold, miracles happened left and right! Some elders found a group of 4 fisherman who live together. When we went back to teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ, two were firm and they wanted to learn more, they came to church the following day, and unfortunately, our lunch fell through, so the member just gave us money...but we weren´t about to buy anything on Sunday...BUT the fishermen invited us over to eat with them! It was so CUTE! They cooked fish and rice for us, and set up a little table with a table cloth and everything outside the house (we weren´t about to go into a house of just men despite how nice they were). They had everything set up for us by the time we got there and they even tried to go buy dessert...but the Lord is so smart and the market happened to be closed that day :) #keepingtheSabbathdayholy!

Anyway, we knew they were leaving for a month to go fishing, so we put together little presents that consisted of all the pamphlets for the lessons. We brought them with us to lunch and they were SO EXCITED to read them. like super excited, and unfortunately there is a lack of supplies here in Brasil(sic), so we only had one book of Mormon and we told them they had to share on the boat. and they were like, hey, we can read it together at night before we go to bed. #elect and they want to get baptized when they come back.

H, who got baptized, lives with 6 of his brothers...who have started taking the lessons, or rather, they drop everything they are doing and always come and listen. They are very timid and wouldn´t participate or answer questions, but things have changed and they have started participating! :) R and J prayed about getting baptized and they both got an answer of YES! BUT J has a "wife" and family in Baia, only they´re not actually married, and he only visits every 6 months...so we can´t baptize him until he marries his wife...so sad! but R is going to be baptized this Sunday :) and hopefully H is going to baptize him! :)

Life is good. God is great! The plan of salvation is perfect. I love ya´ll have a great week!

Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference, A Baptism, Saying Goodbye To A Dear Friend | 6 Oct 2014

What a week!! I don´t have much time, but this weekend was probably one of the BEST WEEKENDS EVER!!

First off General Conference was inspiring, uplifting, and definitely a call to repentance! What a blessing to have the chance to listen to modern day prophets and apostles of God. This is Christ´s Church and it is the only Church lead by Him personally. My fav talks, Elder Klebingat, Elder Carlos O Godoy, President Uchtdorf, and of course President Monson´s. I have a list of things I need to change in my life, and I hope to accomplish it before the next General Conference in six months.

And what could make general conference weekend even more sweet...? a BAPTISM! :) What a miracle that H got baptized this weekend. A hard core alcoholic who immeaditely quit his addiction after a preisthood blessing given by a man worthy to administer the ordinances of the priesthood. H is one of the most simple people I have ever met, but he has a strong testimony that Jesus Christ is His Redeemer and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. ANYONE can come to know that this Church is true. It doesn't take intellect or sophistication just a humble heart ready to accept an answer from God. The same man who gave H the blessing baptized him Saturday night. :) I cannot even express how full of happiness my heart was/is. Misisonary work is the GREATEST work there is!

A leaves for her mission this week...I am going to miss her so much! She is seriously one of my best friends down here and helped me so much during those first couple rough weeks.

I don't have much time today because we went to the aquarium and the bus was super late...but know that I love ya'll to pieces. Choose the right, and be grateful for the internet because in case you missed Conference this weekend you can still watch the talks at your finger tips pretty much whereever you are.

The gospel is true. Revelation is real. God still speaks. LISTEN to Him!


Sister Byrne

Monday, September 29, 2014

Missionary Roller Coaster, Preparing for Conference, Repentance.... again!

This week was a roller coaster! Just like every other week here in the Santos Brasil Mission.

F doesn't want to get baptized anymore...he straight up told us that living the commandments was too much work. It broke my heart. I think that the real problem is that he has a new girlfriend and he doesn't want to live the law of chastity...seriously? but hey, M is going to come to lessons with us this week, so that's good.

H came to a baptism with us this weekend and LOVED it! He said he felt the desire to get in a jumpsuit and get baptized right then and there. Bless his heart straight to heaven, he has been sober for 2 weeks now!! When we stopped by his house yesterday all his buddies were in his..garage?...drinking and having a bbq, but he was inside by himself because he didn´t want to be around it. So we took him to FHE at a member´s house instead. He loved it. His baptism is THIS Saturday! :)

We also have another investigator on date for this Saturday, B. She is 70 years old and super duper sweet. She also came to the baptism and felt the Spirit. She described it as feeling "leve" light.

And you know what else is this Saturday.....GENERAL CONFERENCE!! yahoo!! :) I discovered a secret talent this week....I´m crafty. Our ward struggles A LOT, we have lots of issues. (which is why we have to put the new area we wanted to open on hold...so sad the potential saints there have to wait to receive the gospel because the members here have to get it together) Anyway, Sis Reis and I have been thinking and praying a lot for our ward and we think they just need to be more united and friendly towards each other. SOOO we´re organizing activities and doing cute things for them. We made 3 extra cute posters for General Conference.

Also we had a Mission Conference this week, in which President Cabral "quemou" us, which basically means called us all to repentance. It seems like the more I study the gospel the more I realize I need to repent. It´s a never ending cycle....

So many stories, but so little time. Just know all is well and that the work is progressing here in Santa Rosa. Pray for H and B. And that we can find new investigators. But for now our focus is going to be the ward itself and what we can do to unite these wonderful saints!

DON`T FORGET TO WATCH CONFERENCE and invite every one you know! Conference is such a privilege. We get to hear from a prophet of GOD! If that´s not a big deal I don´t know what is. Prepare yourself spiritually so that you can FEAST on the words of Christ. I´m beyond excited to hear the messages of the prophet and apostles. #soblessedtohaveaprophetontheearthtoday

Love ya´ll. Be good. And send me your favorite notes from Conference next week :)


Sister Byrne

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Four miracles, trading drugs for faith in Christ | 22 September 2014

Well shoot, what a week! Miracles beyond Miracles. We decided to bring a guy in our ward, CH, with us to give F, his son, and H priethood blessings to help them overcome their addictions.

  1. We found out that F has more problems than we thought...so he couldn't be baptized this Sunday...and I´m not sure if he really wants to let go of all his worldy pleasures yet..but some day he will.
  2. F's drug addict son, M, has stopped using drugs....yeah, no joke. He has been reading the Book of Mormon and loves asking us super thoughtful questions when we come over. HE´S PROGRESSING!!! AND he was going to come to Church on Sunday, but he only has a bike and it was POURING rain...so he didn´t come. but ya´ll seriously, he is having a mighty change of heart and its the most beatiful thing I've ever seen. He is so different from who he was 3 weeks ago. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH! he is so cool. and he loves singing songs in english when we come over. He is solid and i am so excited for him.
  3. H has been sober the past 4 days!! how do you say...BOO YAH! The blessing Charles gave him was so powerful and left H in tears and speechless. Pray that he stays strong so he can be baptized this week!!
  4. M came to CHURCH! yes, C's M. Half way through the week she had a mighty change of heart too and she is normal around us, and she is always home (aka not out doing drugs)!!! :) She said she definitely wants to come to Church again next week AND.....bom bom bom....she and C are going to go to the cartorio to mark a date for their wedding! :) and then they are going to be baptized!! oh yeah oh yeah!! :) She isn´t 100% sure if she wants to marry C, but he is the best guy ever and he loves her so much. I have full confidence that it´ll happen. We knew that she would be the key to this family. Pray that she too can stay strong and stay out of trouble.

It´s the start of a new transfer here in the Santos mission and we have some high goals, so I'm excited to see what happens in the next 6 weeks. General Conference is coming up and i cannot wait! :) Life is good. The gospel is true! It changes lives. The priesthood is real! What a blessing from God that He lets worthy men exercise a part of His power to bless His children.

This week I've been thinking about and doing a lot of repentance. William and Giancarlo might remember this, but I've always been one for do overs. For example, everytime we would play pokemon on the gameboy and I would find a weakness in my team of pokemon or I would think of a better way to have done something I would start over. For whatever reason, I love starting things over. Probably because I´ve already done it once, so I have a little better idea of how to do it better. Unfortunately in this life we don´t get to start over in the sense of entering a time machine and going back to a place or time we were before. You just can't do that (despite the efforts of many). BUT we can always repent and start over in our hearts. Wipe away all the mistakes, all the stupidity, all the guilt. Swipe it all out and repent and become new. It's a beautiful aspect of the gospel.

I can´t help but think of M. He was doing some pretty terrible things that caused pain to him and his family. but now, he is in the repentance process and if he continues to work hard and change he's going to be right there in the celestial kingdom standing on the right hand of God. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE YOU´VE BEEN OR WHAT YOU'VE DONE. WHAT MATTERS IS WHERE YOU ARE HEADING. God's love is infinite. Christ's atonement is infinite. It's up to us.

I love ya'll. I miss ya'll. but all is well. :) Life is great. Have a fantastic week!

Sister Byrne

Mister Bus, Dangerous Brazilian Attack Dogs (or not) | 15 Sep 2014

Minha familia!

This week was better than last. I´m starting to understand more and speak more. Little by little. I wish I could just download Portuguese into my brain...but that would be no fun. haha Sis Reis and Alice (this girl in our ward who is leaving for her mission in Argentina next month, who is ALWAYS with us. I LOVE her so much) always teases me because I say things that don´t make sense or make up words. hahaha note to everyone: jokes that are funny in english are not funny in portuguese!

anyway, this week we did a lot of traveling. I´ve never been on so many buses and ferry boats in my life. We had almoço (lunch) with a member in a part of our area I´ve never been to before and it was right on the beach :) oh yeah! such a temptation. I wanted to touch the water so bad, but we can´t even go on the sand #missionlife #imsogoingtohoneymoonhere also, we are opening a new area. Part of our area is super far away and all the members there are less active because the Church is crazy far away and no one has money to bus there every week. SOOO...we have to find 20 people who are willing to come to church on Sunday and open up a group. We´ll have sacrament with them there in someone´s home until we can get more people and hopefully eventually they´ll be enough members to build a chapel there in Santa Cruz de Novagente! How tight would that be?!

I can´t remember what I wrote last week about our investigators, but M and C are not doing good. We were trying to get them married (nobody here is married) but M got into some heavy drugs and C isn´t sure he wants to marry her anymore and she doesn't want to marry him at all...its so sad. C is so ready he´s asked us like 3 times when he can get baptized and we have to explain every time that if he wasn't living with the mother of his daughter who is a crackhead he could get baptized. It breaks my heart. #ihatedrugs BUT we had a bomb lesson with C this week. His daughter Nicole (who does not stop) quieted down, (Alice entertained her) and we read from the Book of Mormon. THE BOOK OF MORMON IS POWERFUL! We read the book of Enos with him, and he did not want to stop reading. He loves the Book of Mormon and he relates it to his life. C gets it.

F is still stuck on his cigarettes. Bless his heart. He cries every lesson we have with him. At first he would try to hide it, but he doesn't even try anymore. he´s going to get a priesthood blessing tomorrow to help him overcome his addiction. He, too, wants to get baptized desperately. He came to church again and it was awesome! I LOVE him so much. His son M is also a drug addict...but we´ve been talking with him more too and he says he´s coming to church with us next Sunday.

H...I love him! He calls me his North American, Mister Bus. hahaha they struggle with my name here.He was sober for 2 days after we invited him to be baptized, but he relapsed Saturday and didn´t come to Church sunday. his baptism is scheduled for this Saturday. PRAY FOR HIM!

Also, I´m part of a special choir in the mission that is going to do a mission wide musical devotional for Christmas. I´m one of 4 sopranos...yeah...ya´ll know how well I sing... BUT our choir director, Elder Clark is bomb and is helping us a lot! Also, I got to see Sis Arthur from my original MTC district! It was so good to see her again!!

Well ya´ll...life is good. Brasil is amazing. I love it here. I cannot describe how much I love these people. It´s been one week and I already feel like they are my best friends.

I love you all. Pray. Read your scriptures and go to Church. okay? I've been realizing and understanding more and more how much the Gospel has blessed my life. I´m not perfect, and my life isn´t perfect. It hasn't always been rainbows and butterflies, BUT I was able to avoid much of the heartbreak that comes from breaking the commandments. I have been so blessed in my life. Mosiah 2:41 It´s real!

Love you all,

Mister Bus :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Santa Rosa, but, in Brazil this time | 8 September 2014

okay for reals... where do i even start?

My new area is in Guaraja, and my ward is Santa Rosa! My new companion is Sister Reis. She is Brasiliera (from the north) and is my hero. I love her to pieces and I probably would have cried a lot more than I already have if it wasn´t for her. She is one of the best missionaries I´ve ever known and I am learning so much from her!

I live in an apartment with 2 other sisters, who are HILARIOUS! I love them too. One is Brasileira and one is American like me.

I LOVE the Brasileiros. Its crazy how willing they are to talk to EVERYONE. We talk to tons and tons of people and they just open up their homes and let us in and feed us. All the time. what the...? definitely not Roseville. The ward is pretty small only 75 people were at church on Sunday and 3 of those were our investigators :) but more about that later. I struggle because I can´t communicate as well as I used to in my other mission, so I´m definitely being humbled by the Lord. Its been hard, but its been good. The members feed us super well. I never thought I'd love rice and beans as much as I do! oh baby soooo good!

Another humbling thing about Brazil is the condition people live in. On Sunday we had almoço (lunch) in a favela with a rockstar awesome family. They literally had holes in their walls in the kitchen. All 6 of them slept in one room. And they didnt have a table, so they made a table out of a random piece of wood and put a table cloth on it. And me and sister reis sat at the table while they all sat on the sofa in their tiny living room. Bless their hearts straight to heaven!! They have nothing, but they want to give all they have to the missionaries.

WE have one investigator on date. His name is Fagundes! and I LOVE him! He reminds me a lot of Zio Arcangelo for some reason. His son is a hard core drug addict and lives with him. and steals all his stuff to go buy drugs. And then leaves for days while Fagundes sits at home and worries. My heart just aches for him. But its a common problem here in Guaraja. There are TONS of drugs everywhere....

Anyway, bless FAgndues´heart. We told him to pray about Joseph Smith and the first two times he didnt do it, but the third time we went over and asked if he had done it and he was like, yeah i did, and I got an answer. I fel t so uplifted and slept the best Ive slept in months. I even had a dream of my mom. I about cried as he was telling us all this. He came to church on sunday and gave us all his coffee (we have so many cigarettes and coffee in our house its ridicuous). He smokes, but has made goals to quit. and hopefully he´ll be baptized next Sunday (his brithday).

Another of my favortie investigators is Engenio. Everytime we go over to his house he is WASTED! but he is the sweetest thing. He showed up to church on Sunday 1/2 an hour early and completely sober, and he also had a dream about water and entering into the waters of baptism. but we havent had a chance to teach him the word of wisdom because like i said, he is aways drunk...yet he keeps all his commitments to read and pray...anyway, i love him.

Life is good ya´ll. Im not going to lie, of course i struggle with the language and trying to figure out whats going on, but it´s the same work here. inviting others to come unto Christ. Its the best thing there is. Prayers are real. Heavenly Father hears and answers every single prayer. I love Him.

I love ya´ll. have a great week! :)

Sister Byrne

On my way to Brazil - an Elder for a companion? | 20 August 2014

I finally made it to Brazil. what an adventure it was to get here! I was companions with an Elder, stayed at a hotel, found a bunch of other missionaries, survived a 10 hr flight, but we made it! Its pretty late already, so we didnt get too good of a view of Sao Paulo on the way here, but it looks just like Italy. Theres even an italian pizzeria on the corner. The MTC is surrounded by a giant gate. and we just found our like 2 seconds ago that JEFFERY R HOLLAND IS GOING TO BE HERE TOMORROW!!! I am THE most spoiled missionary in the world. Anyway, I love yall. Ill talk to you next week!

Last Week in California - Leaving for Brazil - 18 August 2014

This week I just want to tell y'all about someone that I absolutely love. Her name is TH. TH has a boyfriend, G, who served his mission in South Carolina. He was a bomb missionary and did some great things, but after he came home he started making some poor decisions and soon became inactive in the Church. He and TH fell in love and long story short moved out to California where two Elders came knocking on their door to meet her boyfriend. Well G introduced her to he Elders and she quickly fell in love with the gospel. She read the Book of Mormon and got an answer that it was true. She loved when the Elders would come by and the Spirit they brought with them. And she eventually decided to get baptized....only problem was she and G were living together and he wasn't ready to get married. So they stopped coming to Church and meeting with the Elders and returned to the life they had been living.

Fast forward about 6 months. Two sister missionaries are given TH's address. They stop by 15+ times at different times of the day, Facebook her, call her....nothing. But for whatever reason they felt strongly that they should keep stopping by. One Sunday night the Sisters were in the bad part of town where TH lives, which was unusual for these two. It was already 8:30pm and they still had to bike all the way home, but they decided to just go knock on TH's door. Might as well since we're here. They knocked and waited....knocked and waited....then finally the door opened and it was TH. She welcomed them in with her thick southern accent and poured out her heart to them. She felt horrible. For the past six months she's been fighting an inner battle between what she knows is right and the man she loves. She told us at she felt like she was choosing G over God and she knew it wasn't right. She wants to just go to a court sign a certificate to be married and then go get baptized. She's ready for it and she wants it more than anyone I've ever met. We cried with her and encouraged her to tell G what she told us. That night they talked about it and G knew that they needed to change and told her they would. We set a goal for them to get married Nov 1st! And I'm going to miss it! And the baptism! :(

But y'all. I seriously love her sooo much! Like I want to be her best friend. She is so sweet and when we left she said the prayer and I've never heard such a powerful sincere prayer in my life. I'm so sad I'm not going to get to watch her and G progress. :(

This week was no fun. I had to say goodbye to everyone. It still hasn't hit me that I'm actually leaving tomorrow. I love this ward so much and am going to miss everyone SO MUCH! I LOVE them!!! I finally got my bags all packed (which was a miracle in and of itself. We went on exchanges this week and the sister that came here with me is a bomb packer, so she basically packed my bags for me)

Love y'all. I'm probably not going to email anyone anything else. This is like he craziest Pday of my life.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Birthday Wishes and Goodbyes | 11 Aug 2014

Where do I even start? this week has been REMARKABLE!

Well...for starters I turned 21...PAR-TAY! The celebrations started Thursday...A (an LA girl i met last week and instantly connected with) took me out to lunch and bought me cute little missionary things. I don't know why we become friends so fast, but I totally love her!

Then that night the Bs threw a birthday party for me and J and the kids came. They made me Texas sheet cake, and my birthday wish was to find a new investigator. When J had asked me earlier this week what I wanted for my birthday, i just said "MANGOES!" So she gave me a bag of mangoes :) mmmmm! Then we were totally going to be late to a meeting we had, and Bro B was the only one who could drive us...so we rode in the back of the truck. BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER! I would never have even thought of that one!

After the meeting, the LPs came down to visit and took us out to ice-cream! (yeah, I've been a fatty this week) It was SO good to see them. I totally wrote T this 3 page letter bearing my testimony to him and basically telling him he needs to get baptized already, and he called me and told me how much he loved it and was so grateful for the testimony I shared with him. It melted my heart when he called and told me that. I LOVE that man...and I hate to admit this, but I totally gave him a giant hug before saying goodbye!

Then next day the sisters took me out for breakfast at Denny's. Then some other sisters took me out to Starbucks at lunch (for lemonade of course!) We had weekly planning most of the day....but I told Sis Giani that all I wanted for my birthday was to walk down Greenback and talk to as many people as I could! So that's exactly what we did. and a MIRACLE happened!

The first 5 people we talked to were like..ehh.. go away, but then my feet just started walking me to a bus stop, and Sis Giani typically doesn't like to go to bus stops because its ALWAYS awkward. But I had already started heading toward it. EVERYONE AT THE BUST STOP WANTED TO TALK TO US! I was standing there talking to 2 different groups of people at the same time, wishing I could call in some reinforcements! This little 12 year old girl was like "yeah, I know what the Book of Mormon is. I checked it out from a library once and read Nephi, but then I had to give it back and then we moved. I LOVED it!".......are you joking me?! So I gave her a copy and started talking to her mom was was totally like, "yeah, I live in Antelope, but I would love missionaries to stop by. We've been looking for a Church to go to down here.".....MIRACLE! Then this other lady was like, "if I want to be a Mormon, do I get to be baptized again?" "Yup!" "What do i wear to the baptism?" Apparently she and met missionaries before and wanted to start coming. Seriously?! Then this other guy was in tears talking to us at the bus stop. We told him reading the Book of Mormon would bring him closer to God and he was like, "where can i get one of those?" and we handed it to him and he was beyond excited to read it.

#powerofabirthdaywish #miraclesgalore It was probably the most fun I've ever had on Greenback. Heavenly Father loves me :) He gave the BEST birthday gift :)

Then Sister Nelson took us to Black Angus for dinner :)

Saturday we got to go to Rocklin for the baptism of someone Sister Giani taught, and I told Sis Soliai and she totally invited everyone I love in Loomis to come! It was so super sweet! The Ts, A F, R M and my girls, and the Bs all came! I was probably the happiest girl in the whole world! Once again, Heavenly Father is so merciful to me in letting me say goodbye to everyone I love from the California Roseville Mission #Helovesme

Anyway, all is well, we're just working hard. I love my life. Have a great week!

Love ya'll long time!


Sister Most Blessed Girl in the World Byrne

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CPR and Visas | Dateline August 4

Sooo much happened this week! I wish I had enough time to tell y'all all my adventures. Let's just say a cat snuck into our apartment. We almost had to do CPR on a deaf guy. And there was lots of sister missionary drama! And we helped some sisters move...

Wednesday Sis Giani and I were sitting at our desks, minding our own business eating our lunch. The phone rings. Caller ID: President Marston. Sis Giani picks up they phone and it's actually Sis Marston asking for me. Oh no...

"Hello Sis Byrne, I have some news for you."

Me, "Is it good or bad news?"

"Both...your visa for Brasil came through. All the departing missionaries are going to the temple tomorrow morning, do you want to come?"


"Okay Congratulations we'll see you tomorrow!"

The phone call ended and I couldn't move. I didn't know how to feel or what to do, so my eyes just started crying. I couldn't tell if they were happy tears or sad tears or both.

Soooo I got to go to the temple this week! I LOVE THE TEMPLE! And Heavenly Father loves me because it was such a beautifully coordinated event. I walk in and who do I see? Grammy T's best friend D! And she was in the session with me!! She represented my Thomson family. Then I look to my right and Bro J from Tempo Park ward who I love with all my heart is sitting just a couple seats down from me! Then a few minutes pass and Steph and Jon A from Loomis show up! I love them to pieces too! President and Sister Marston were of course there and my zone leaders from both areas. It's like Heavenly Father planned for someone from each aspect of my time in he California Roseville Mission to be there. If that's not a tender mercy I don't know what is! It was beautiful and I kept feeling this comforting feeling that change is part of life and it always leads to something beautiful. I felt the Holy Ghost say to me "You've don't all you needed to do here in Cali. You did what I needed you to do. Now go find those that are ready for you in Brasil."

Friday was E and S's baptism. What a special day! Those girls are angels and I love them sooo much! They asked me to play the ukulele for them at the baptism, so I sang and played "How Can I Be". I was nervous out of my mind, and I wouldn't have done it in front of everyone if those two hadn't of asked me. I just love them too much.

Sunday was probably one of the best Sunday of my whole life! E and S were confirmed and bore their testimonies after! S went first and said "I am grateful that Heavenly Father saved his life for me. And I am so happy to be here. I feel like I'm a new me." Then E got up and said "I am So grateful that my mom brought Heavenly Father to my life. I am so overjoyed to be baptized."

M, a guy the elders baptized a couple weeks ago, passed the sacrament for the first time and he was so cute! He was so careful with the trays and had a huge smile on his face the ENTIRE time! As I sat in the pew all I could think about was this is what it's about. And I felt like the most blessed missionary in the world. My heart was just overflowing with happiness!!

Earlier in the week I came up with an idea. We had just got a new box of 40 Book of Mormons (sic) and I decided that we were going to hand out the whole box before I leave for Brasil in two weeks. I knew we would need help, so I thought to make it a ward effort! I told bishop about it and he said that when I got up to bear my testimony I could tell the ward about it from the pulpit! So I did. I told them it was my departing wish to hand out 40 Book of Mormons in 15 days. I testified of how the Book of Mormon changed my life and then sat down. I also told them that if they took one they were making a personal promise to me that they would actually give it to someone. By the end of church the box was EMPTY, all 40 copies gone. Looks like we need to get some more Book of Mormons!

What a great week! I love being a missionary. It's the greatest calling in the world! I've never been happier. I'm so grateful that I get to be out here. Have a great week!


Sister Byrne

Shotguns, Halo, Splits | Dateline July 28

What a great week! Last Monday night after dinner the members we ate with let us look at all their guns...! I got to hold a huge shotgun. It made me feel pretty powerful. I kinda felt like I was in Halo going against the flood... :)

Anyway, I had a lesson with B this week! I love him so much!! I finally got his address and sent the referral to the missionaries down in Brazil. He is so going to get baptized! He's been having trouble understanding why the Book of a Mormon is important and hasn't been really motivated to read it. BUT we were talking about Christ appearing in the Americas to the Nephites and he got super excited. So he said he would read 3 Nephi 11! I'm so excited to get to discuss it with him this week!

We had exchanges this week. I stayed here with Sister Rose. I LOVE her! Along with all the other sisters. Sister Rose is pretty quiet but incredibly hilarious! We had a blast together and watched the miracles roll in as we worked hard that day. We literally talked to every single person we saw. We had a surprise lesson with one of our investigators who told us she had been meeting with missionaries in Missouri who were preparing her for baptism!!! Yeah, she came prepared. No big deal...her only obstacle is this Boy friend she has...but he agreed to take the lessons too!! :)

Then we started talking to this random guy. I don't know why but I felt like asking him if he felt abandoned. He said yes. We started talking and testifying of God's love for him and turns out he's a less active member of the Church that the family we had dinner with the night before talked to us about! Coincidence? I don't think so. Anyway, we assigned him 2 Nephi 4 and he said he'd read it. But we're probably going to pass him to the elders because he's a young guy, so they'll be able to relate better.

I love being with newer missionaries. She had that fire so we did work that day!

We have a baptism this week!! Yahoo! I'm so excited!

Also, I didn't get to finish this email until now because we had to go so some stuff and now we're with all the other missionaries and I kinda wanna go play ball with them, so I'll keep it short.

Studies this week I was reading in Alma 34 and v 14-17 really touched my heart. They repeat "faith unto repentance" like 4 times! And I found this awesome quote that changed my life

Just how much faith do I need for the atonement of Christ to work for me?

In other words, how much faith do I need to receive salvation? In the book of Alma … we find the answer. The prophet Amulek taught this simple but grand principle: ‘The Son of God, … bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.

Apparently faith great enough to move mountains is not required; faith enough to speak in togues or to heal the sick is not needed; all that we need is just enough faith to recognize that we have sinned and to repent of our sins, to feel remorse for them, and to desire to sin no more but to please Christ the Lord. Then the greatest miracle of all, the Atonement, whereby Christ rescues us from our deserved punishment, is in effect in our behalf”

I love y'all. Have a great week!

Sister Byrne

Sister Missionaries Riding In Truck Bed

So, they can't ride in a car alone with a man, but, nobody said anything about riding in the back of his pickup. Anything to get to their appointment on time. Being from Texas, I'm sure this isn't the first time for Sister Byrne.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dog attack, Brazilian neighbors, baptisms on the horizon

This week started off with a dog attack....okay not really, but a big dog did come at me and it scared the poop out of me! He must have thought I was dog food, good thing his owner recognized me as a missionary.

Anyway, I had my first official interview with president Marston. I love him. As much as I miss President Weston, I sure love President Marston. We went over Ether 12 and talked about faith. I always think faith is such a talked about topic that there's nothing more I could possibly learn about faith, but there is ALWAYS something to learn. I love the verses that say something like "By faith Alma and Amulek escaped prison." "By faith this other guy did this other awesome thing" I try to apply it to myself when I'm in a difficult situation. I think of it before and say by faith, Sister Byrne talked to that stranger. Or by faith, sister Byrne obeyed the rule no one else wanted to obey. It gives me courage a lot of times.

MIRACLE I met someone in my apartment complex from Brazil!! She's a member of the Church, but is struggling. Her daughter lives here and has a son. So this grandma, K, came to come help out, but she's lonely because she doesn't speak any English. Kinda like when the Nonna Gianna comes to visit us. So I've been going over there for language study and learning that I know much less Portuguese than I thought... She talks so stankin' fast!! But I love it. And I learn so much from her. I love her to pieces and am so grateful that she's here.

We found out that S, E's 8 year old sister, is going to get baptized on Aug 1 with E!! She has a different dad and he was not thrilled about the idea, but prayer works and he softened his heart and she's going to get baptized! I'm so excited!! Shoot, I even dreamed about the baptism that night. Haha.

M, our recent convert, came with us to two lessons this week. She is on fire! She introduced us to her neighbor then when we went to her house later that week to teach her she asked if we could just go over to J's instead, so we did and he wasn't too excited about letting us in, but M was M and didn't take no for a answer so we got in! Then all he wanted to talk about was tithing, not the typical first lesson we teach, but it went great! I'm excited to see where that goes.

Also another MIRACLE. This lady we talked to on the side of the street when we first got here contacted us out of the blue. We had tried to make contact several times, but she was always busy so we thought, oh she's not interested anymore, but then she texted us and wants us to come over and teach her whole family on Tuesday!! I am so excited! I have always wanted to baptize a whole family, and they just might be that family! :)

One of my favorite places to say prayers is now the bathroom. Haha. It's a nice quiet place where you can just pour out your heart. The Lord doesn't care where you are, He just cares that you call on Him. I absolutely know He hears every single prayer. Even the silent ones in our hearts. How blessed we are to be able to pray anywhere, anytime.

Love you. Have a great week! Say your prayers. Read your scriptures. Remember who you are.


Sister Byrne

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Riding in cars, mourning with those that mourn, lovin' every minute of it

Hey ya'll,

What a week! Ever since we got our car the work has been picking up like crazy! So Sis Giani hurting her arm was a hidden blessing. We've been able to see so many more people and finally get grounded in this ward.

J, our totally hippie friend who recently came back to Church, has a daughter named E, and this past week she decided completely on her own that she wants to get baptized. She was in the car with her mom one day and said, "mom, I've been thinking about it the past couple days, and I think I want to get baptized." Before they went on vacation we gave her a For the Strength of Youth pamphlet and she read the whole thing and LOVED it! Also, she said she wants to get baptized so she can be a missionary some day! So cute right?! I love her so much! We taught her the first discussion last week and she picked August 1st as her baptismal date. The perfect birthday present? Uhhhh yeah!

Also I wanted to tell you about an experience we had this week. We got a call from the Elders in Rocklin with a referral from a member there. Her name is Tiffany. We dropped by early Saturday after a meeting with the ward chiropractor who conveniently adjusted us after the meeting.

Anyway, she opened the door and she was absolutely beautiful. She had her make up all done and hair perfect. She was covered in tattoos and she just looked like a very worldly person. We told her that her friend sent us by because he had heard she was struggling and thought she might be interested in hearing a message of hope.

As soon as we said that tears started streaming down her face. She didn't say anything she just cried and we didn't know what to say, so we just cried with her. After a few minutes she started telling us that she was lost and that there was no hope for her. There was nothing anyone could do. She told us about her very difficult struggles and I was speechless.

I prayed in my heart that I would know what the Savior would say to her, and all that came to me was to testify that despite her lack of trust in God there IS a God and He loves us. We testified that He knows her and that He cares. She wouldn't accept it and continued talking about how if God loved her He would know her limit. We continued testifying that He did and by the end of our conversation she started to have a glimmer of hope. She could say that there were better things to come for her, whereas at the start of our conversation she couldn't say that.

That experience taught me many things. One: sometimes even though people look like they've got it all together, they totally don't. Two: There is always hope. We had no factual evidence that God loved her, but as we testified, the Holy Ghost did His job and her heart softened and her faith increased. Three: Heavenly Father will always help us know what to say so we can be His hands in lifting the broken hearted.

I wish I could share all the wonderful experiences and miracles I see happening everyday, but just know that Heavenly Father is hastening His work. He absolutely hears every one of our prayers hand answers them through others. Even sister missionary's prayers. :)

I love y'all. I miss you. Have a good week. Scripture of the week Alma 7:11-13.

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

He knows how to bind up our broken hearts.


Sister Byrne

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Where do I even start? Got a car, made a tough choice, prayed a lot, and the world cup.

This week we got a car. It just happened that when we went to go pick up the car President Weston and President Marston were doing the president exchange. So we got to say goodbye to President once again and meet President Marston. President Weston left some final words of advice for us before he left and one line really stuck with me. "In the Church we don't compare, we just love." So I've been trying my best to implement that wiPresident Marston, and I do all ready love him.

Unfortunately I've spent more time with him then I've wanted to this week. At our leadership correlation meeting he pulled me aside after and told me I had to make a decision about my visa. He said that I was almost at my half way mark and that if I wanted to I could permanently reassign myself to the California Roseville Mission or continue waiting.

I was so torn and didn't know what to do, I didn't know what I WANTED to do, I didn't know what The Lord wanted me to do. I was just a confused mess. So he told me to pray about it. Fast about it. And get back to him. So needless to say it was an emotional weekend for me. Every morning and night I poured my heart out to God and tried to understand what He wanted me to do.

Yesterday I was fasting (Fasting is Real and It Works), and as I began my studies about Faith I ran into 1 Nephi 7:12

Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.

And an overwhelming feeling filled my heart that I needed to continue to have the faith that God is in charge and He can do ALL things, including getting a little sister missionary's visa to come through. He cares. It gave me great strength and was an answer to my prayer. I am confident that He will get me to Brazil, even if it's just for a small part of my mission. I just need to continue to be faithful to Him. And it's going to tear my heart in two when I leave this mission. I love it. I love the people of Northern California. But I am certain there are going to be great things awaiting me in Brazil.

Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox. M was confirmed at Church yesterday. It was beautiful. Elder Champagne did it. It was his first time confirming someone a member of the Church and it was beautiful. The priesthood is real. The words he spoke were the same words I know Christ would have spoken if He Himself were giving her the gift of the Holy Ghost. Then she bore a sweet tender testimony that touched everyone's heart. We had a ton of people at Church this week and it just makes me smile when I see the pews a little more packed. We had a family we've been teaching there and 6 less actives we've been working with :)

Took care of someone's chickens for a week.

We're still working hard. Trying to find those that have been prepared. It's been nice to have the car to escape the summer heat, but I sure do miss my bike! It keeps you more physically and emotionally stable. Not that I'm unstable, but it's just good for you.

I miss y'all. Have a great week. Open your mouth and share the gospel when you can. :)

Love you!!

Sister Byrne

Trading In my Brazilian Tags, Bicycle Crash, Baptism

Thanks for the emails. On Thursday I had to say goodbye to President Weston :( (well at least I thought that was goodbye). It was one of the saddest things I've had to do on the mission, we sang "God be with you til we meet again", but I couldn't even sing the song because every time is tried I started to cry. I'm going to miss him lots!

That same day I finally gave in. Put down my Brazilian pride...and ordered tags in English...yup, now I won't have to explain to everyone why my tags are in Portuguese or confuse people who try to read it. I'll just be a normal stateside missionary!

I got to talk to sis Soliai this week, have dinner with the B's (a family from Loomis), and hear Brother and Sister J speak at stake conference (also my people from Loomis). It made me feel good that they still remember me and say they miss me :) it was a blast from the past. Good ol Loomis. I'm still hoping for gem to baptize someone over there so I can go back and see everyone!

Friday, Sister Giani had a brutal crash on her bike. She turned away for just a second to look behind her and ran into a curb and ate it! Thank goodness she was wearing her helmet!! Or for real she probably would have died. We had to go to urgent care and they took X-rays, they think it's an occult fracture. President Weston came (so I got to see him again) and made sure she was okay and gave her a priesthood blessing. So we're no longer on bikes...We took the day off Saturday, then Sunday we tried walking around and after 45 minutes she got insanely sick. So we went to Bishop's house for the rest of the day. We think she got dehydrated because of the combo of crazy heat and her pain meds. Bless her little heart. I'm so grateful I haven't been having any problems.

M got baptized on Saturday morning!!! It was the most beautiful baptismal service! She's been through a lot of missionaries and they all got to come back. All the missionaries sang Lead kindly Light and it filled the room with the Spirit. Then an Elder gave a great talk on baptism. Then as we helped her to the baptismal font she started crying. We were in the bathroom trying to help her compose herself and the elder baptizing her patiently waited in the font by himself. After a few minutes of helping her calm down she got into the water in her white jumpsuit and Elder Giles said the baptismal prayer with more feeling than I've ever heard it said. He paused after saying "having been commissioned of Jesus Christ" and an image of Jesus Christ giving this sweet Elder the priesthood authority to properly do the baptismal ordinance popped into my head and the reality of the priesthood and the gospel was brought to my thoughts. After the prayer she was immersed in the water and came up with a big happy smile on her face. As she got dressed Sister Giani and I taught those there the Restoration lesson. And because the Spirit was already there we taught it with great power and even though I was teaching my testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith grew. Then I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. Bishop welcomed her to the ward, we sang a hymn, prayed and ate some cupcakes. I wish y'all could have been there! It was outstanding and I'm so grateful I got to be a part of it. M is incredible and has completely flipped her life around. She quit smoking after 37 years of being a smoker. Quit the drugs she was on. She always talks about God and probably gives out more pass along cards then we do. I love that girl!

I hope y'all have a great week. I love ya.

Sister Byrne

Monday, June 30, 2014

President Weston's Last Hurrah And An Attitude Adjustment

President and Sister Weston are going home next week, so I used up a lot of time writing him my last letter. I love them SO MUCH! I'm so blessed to have had them be a part of my life. And they are definitely going to be a part of my life forever.

Anyway, this week was good. We went on two exchanges and I got to go with a Spanish sister to her area. Let's just get this straight...SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE ARE NOT THE SAME LANGUAGE! Hahaha I tried my best to talk to people though. It was super duper fun! And bless the heart of that sweet little greenie. She straightened me out and inspired me to be more diligent in my language studies. I lost a lot of my motivation for studying the language, but she helped me make goals and I'm back on top of things.

Then I got to exchange with another sister that used to be in my zone in Loomis. She struggles with depression really bad, but we've been friends since day one, so she talks to me a lot about stuff. I love her so much! We had a fun exchange...we may or may not have accidentally stayed up till midnight talking...it was like having a sleepover haha. :)

M IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!! :) it has been a struggle to get her to this point. We have had to be extra diligent and persistent. She texted/called us everyday telling us not to come over for one reason or another...but we still went and had to fight off whatever the excuse was. And in her prayer she cried as she thanked The Lord for sending Sis Giani and me here to Tempo Park Ward. She said she's been waiting her whole life for this moment to know the truth and know God. She's the sweetest and I love her dearly.

Prayer works. Giani and I were having some contention this week, which is totally normal, it happens to all companionships, especially around that time of the month...anyway, I had a terrible attitude toward her and I prayed that Heavenly Father would help me to have a better attitude, but I felt like at that point in time it was impossible. Then a thought came into my head clear as day. "You think I can't do that? I created the world. I designed your circulatory system and you think I can't help you have an attitude adjustment?!" It humbled me and my attitude adjusted.

I love y'all more than a lot. Have a good week.


Sister Byrne

Monday, June 23, 2014

Helping A Struggling Missionary

Oi família! Tudo bem?

This week was a learning experience for me. So much happened and I wish I could express it all in this email but there's just no way.

We had zone meeting on Wednesday and Giani and I as sister training leaders had to teach about becoming faith filled finding missionaries. We talked about how prayer is directly connected to the work and how as our prayers become more full of faith and are more sincere we will become strengthened as missionaries and have the courage to do what is required of us.

After he meeting a sweet sister approached me and asked if she could talk to us privately. We knew this particular sister was struggling, but she hadn't talked to us about it yet. We met in a room and tears started streaming down her face. As she told us about her struggles Giani and I cried right along with her. I was praying so hard deep in my heart that we would know what to do or say to help this sweet sister. All I could think was, we need to say a prayer. I choked out a prayer and we started discussing the situation. She told us that all she could think about every minute of the day was running away. She wanted to go home so badly, but President was encouraging her to stay. She told us that if we let her walk out that door she was certain she'd run away before the weekend.

So we decided to go on an emergency exchange. Giani went with her and they were just going to relax and not do work for a couple days while me and her companion covered both areas. We talked to president and worked out an emergency transfer for that Friday (which so many things surrounding that transfer were miraculous) and just did our best to take care of both sisters who were struggling. After those two days all of us were just emotionally exhausted. I felt like I gave everything I had to these two sisters and it wore me out!

Through this experience I pondered and recognized that that's a glimpse of how the Savior must feel. His character was to always turn outward when most of us would turn in. I also learned that The Lord qualifies whom He calls. Let's be real y'all, I grew up a boy. All my friends are dudes. I'm not very good at handling girls and drama situations and now I'm thrown into all of them in the zone and have to try and resolve them. There's no way I could handle it without the Savior at my side helping me know how to take care of them. Its definitely been a humbling calling even after just 3 weeks.

Anyway, M is still on date for June 28th!! She is a roller coaster sometimes, but I love her so much and am so grateful I'm here to have met her. She has taught me so much about having better scripture studies and pointing everything in my life to The Lord. She is outstanding and has such great faith, she is making me a better disciple of Christ.

I got to talk to Sis Soliai on the phone. And Loomis doing great. D is 5 days sober! B and A came to church!!! And A2 is getting baptized! It's awesome to see the work taking off there.

Miracles are happening here too, but different kinds of miracles haha. We're talking to everyone and picking up investigators. We picked up a family this week that I'm super excited about.

I could go on and on, but y'all are probably getting bored. I love y'all and I miss you! I'm glad Didi had a good Father's Day, I can't express how much I missed y'all on Father's Day....so worth it though. Being a missionary is the greatest calling in the world!


Sister Byrne

Citrus Heights : People Everywhere To Talk To

Oi Tudo Bem?!

This week was incredible! I miss Loomis still. It will always have a very special place in my heart, but I'm starting to fall in love with Citrus Heights! Our ward LOVES us. Mostly because we're sisters, but that's okay. We'll take what we can get. :)

Also, there are people EVERYWHERE! It's like a video game where there are people everywhere in the background and we try to talk to as many as we can! It's super fun, and we meet a lot of very interesting people that way. We've picked up 4 new investigators this week that are pretty solid and a few others. Our favorite thing to do, okay, MY favorite thing to do, is walk down Greenback and just talk to as many people as I can. We get rejected a lot, but I have a solid testimony that The Lord puts those who are prepared to hear the gospel in our way. It's happened too many times for it to be coincidence.

M is on date for baptism June 28th! She is beyond excited for it, and we are too! Sister Giani and I had a goal to have a baptism in one month, and that is going to be wonderful M! It was a miracle. She is so prepared and she is such a great example to me of faith. She NEVER stops talking about God. She always points everything in life to Him. I love being around her for that reason.

The C's are one of my fav families. They are recent converts and they immediately pulled us in and made us feel like family. I love them to pieces! They made us breakfast for dinner last night. So good! And Bro C loves just talking about the scriptures so we have some great gospel discussions with them. They are so involved in EVERYTHING. I want to be like them someday. I told sis C to add mommy on Facebook. So hopefully she does :)

Another one of my fav fans are the A's. They're real life hippies. Like dread locks, herbs, garden, metal water bottles, the whole bit. The little boy Z LOVES me! They came to church in Sunday and he left his mom to come sit by and snuggle with me during church. It was adorable. And he always holds my hand! So cute! I think the worst mission rule is not being able to hold kids. I miss it so much!! But this family is amazing and I love them.

This week I went to my first missionary leadership counsel meeting in Gridley. Sister Allen was there and it was super good to see her! I miss her so much! Anyway, it was President Weston's last meeting because he is going home at the end of the month and it breaks my heart. Anyway, we talked a lot about prayer and I learned so much. Prayer is such a simple principle of the gospel, but it's such a big deal. We are literally talking to God. Our creator. The most omnipotent being in the universe! We get to talk to Him whenever and wherever we want and He listens. That's a big deal! Then we call down the powers of Heaven on our behalf and ask for help, for ourselves or others. When you out it that way, there ain't nothing prayer can't do, if it's the Lord's will of course. President said something that really touched my heart. He said something like, if all the miracles that you prayed for happened, how many more miracles would you see? Are we praying just to pray? Or are we praying for miracles. Are we specific or vague? Do we have confidence that He can strengthen us to endure the waves of our crazy lives? So I challenge you to make your prayers more meaningful this week. Take the time, slow down, and talk to your Heavenly Father. What a blessing that we even can.

Anyway, y'all are probably getting bored of my extra long email this week. But I love you. Have an amazing week! I miss you more than you know, but it's okay because I only remember on Pday :)


Sister Byrne

Sou dicípulo de Jesus Cristo

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Adjusting to the city and pinkwashing

Hey y'all,

Tudo bem? So this week has been a week of much change. I had to say goodbye to Loomis which ended up being much harder than I thought it would be. Who knew I could fall in love with such a small Northern California town. I miss it a lot....thank goodness for Facebook though! I've already gotten messages from the people I worked with there. What a blessing to be able to keep in touch and help me even though I'm not there anymore. The LPs drove me down here and took me and Sis Soliai out for lunch and gelato. They spoiled us :) I love them! Also I got to see one of my other fav families because sis Giani got to go back to Rocklin for a baptism and they found out I was going so they came to this random person's baptism just to see me. It made me feel pretty loved.

So my new companion Is from an Italian family just like me, but her dad was born here, so they're more New Yorker Italians than real Italians. But she is hilarious and we get along great!! We might have too much fun together, but that's okay:)

Citrus Heights is much more city than the colony and Loomis. I was getting too used to country life. I love being in a city though because there are people EVERYWHERE! And one of my favorite things to do is talk to strangers and teach them about the gospel. It's way better than tracting. Also, we do not have a car here, so I'm on a bike!! I love it so much! It's such a great stress reliever and gives me time to think without having any music or anything else in my head. Don't worry ma, I always wear my helmet. Me and Sis Giani are doing what they call "pink washing" we replaced elders, which is really hard because our apartment was filthy and they kept terrible records so we have nothing to work from, but the ward loves us already!

Being sisters in a ward that has only had elders for many many years is kinda like being a celebrity. Everyone wants to feed us. It's awesome. Oh! There are also elders in our ward. We double cover the area. Elder Champagne and Elder Johnston, elder Johnston is from Amarillo, waiting for his visa to Brazil, and studying to be a doctor. He's basically me in guy form....it's super weird.

The ward had a talent show this week and we were in it. We pretended to be elders and the elders pretended to be sisters, it was HILARIOUS! I wish y'all coulda seen it. Also people make fun of me for saying y'all a lot more here....it's a bummer.

The work has been pretty slow the past week as we've been trying to get set up and figuring out our new area, but we made lots of contacts and met a potential family. We're gonna go teach them this week. I'm super excited. Also this lady the elders passed off to us, M, came to church, she quit smoking cold turkey two weeks ago and got up to bear her testimony about it at church. It was so humbling! She has such great faith. We're going to try to set a baptismal date with her this week.

So with all was changes going on in my little life I've been thinking a lot about the question, is it better to have loved band lost or never loved at all? Y'all know that I'm a helpless romantic, so I always said loved and lost. Well during my studies I've decided that that's what Christ would probably choose too.

"Partaking of a bitter cup without becoming bitter is likewise part of the emulation of Jesus." -Elder Neal A Maxwell

We all have different bitter cups we have to drink. Mine this week was leaving behind a place and people I had come to leave so dearly. Open your heart and love those around you, heart break is a bitter cup, but it's worth it to have made a difference in someone's life.

President Kimball said "All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God."

It's about enduring those bitter cups we have to drink with patience. When the tough times come our way it's not about thinking about why it's happened to you, but rather thinking how can I react to this in a way that Would make God proud? However we act to difficult situations has to make things better not worse. That's what heroes do. They make things better.

Anyway, I gotta go, but I love y'all with all my heart. Be good. Remember who you are. I pray for y'all every night. I miss you.


Sister Byrne

Sou dicípulo de Jesus Cristo

Sunday, June 1, 2014

BFF Baptism, Transfers, New Responsibilities (May 26)

A got baptized this week!! :D it was such a sweet moment. Getting him to that point has been such a miracle in so many ways. I'll tell you all about it when I get home. But I love that kid and it's been a blessing to be a part of the change that's happened in him. The gospel is going to bless his life forever and I'm excited to see where it leads him.

The baptismal service was beautiful. His grandpa who was baptized in February gave a talk that was so sweet and just made me smile from ear to ear. Then Aa, A's BFF from grade school, performed the baptism. Such a sweet moment. Aa has kinda been on the fence about serving a mission for the past year, but after coming out with us to teach A and seeing how much of a blessing it is to take part in the Lord's work he has decided that he wants to do that full time and be a missionary. What a huge blessing for him to catch the vision of missionary work and decide to serve a mission. After the baptism I asked A how he felt and he just smiled and with a sincere heart just said, "I feel really good." What a tender moment! I love being a missionary.

In other news, Sis S taught me how to cut hair this week! She let me use her salon scissors and everything! I got to cut D's hair after having an amazing lesson with him. The APs came and as we taught with them the Spirit filled the room and we all left that lesson a little better and a little brighter than we went.

Oh! Also I got to go the temple! I love the temple with all of my little heart. Sometimes I think, I wish I could just live in the temple, and then I remember that despite how nice that would be, the point of going to the temple is to make covenants, and we have to leave in order to keep those covenants. But I sure love that place. :) the Sacramento temple is beautiful and has a special place in my heart.

Loomis is amazing and I love this place! We're crazy busy with teaching appointments. We taught 25 lessons last week!! That's a huge deal for this area! It's just lighting on fire. there is so much going on here now. But....I'm sad.....because I'm getting transferred! :( it broke my heart to get the call last night. I'm going to Citrus Heights to serve in the Tempo Park ward. It's only like 1/2 an hour from here, but I am going to miss Loomis so much!!!

Also I'm going to be a sister training leader, which is like a girl zone leader, which basically means on top of doing the missionary thing I get to serve other sister missionaries too, which basically means I have no idea what I'm going to be doing.

My new comp is Sister Giani. Yup, she's Italian. I already know her and I love her to pieces! We're going to shot gun this area, which means we're going to be new to the area and not know anyone or where anything is. We're replacing some elders up there. Sisters are taking over :) hahaha.

Anyway, so yeah I have to go say my goodbyes today and get my life all packed up. Not a very fun PDay! I already said goodbye to my favorite missionary Elder Herrera. He is my hero and I have learned so much from him. He's going home tomorrow :( but he asked me for ya'lls number so if you get a call in a few days from a random Utah number. It's him.

Well wish me luck on my new adventure. I hope Citrus Heights treats me as well as Loomis did. Love ya'll.


Sister Byrne

Sou dicípulo de Jesus Cristo