FB Share Script

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