Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tchau Texas!

Minha gente!! I feel like I was just emailing y'all, but oh well. Time really does fly on a mission. Like, the next time I email y'all, I'll be in Brazil. I can't believe I have less than a week left here. I'm really gonna miss it...Anyways, this week was so spectacular! So many good moments :)

Tuesday - We had dinner with Oswald and Karima finally! Not sure if I've mentioned them yet, but Sister Meiners met Oswald a while ago with a different companion and he was super interested. He told her that he'd love to meet with the missionaries, but whenever they went back, he was never home. We stopped by a few weeks ago (like my first or second week) and we met his wife Karima. Sister Meiners said that whenever they had seen her, she had never let them in, but she invited us in right away. She was super concerned that we were out in the cold. But, we told her that we had a car and she kept asking about missionaries and why we do what we do. She asked so many great questions and she invited us to come back for dinner after Thanksgiving since they were going out of town until then. So we finally got to meet with them on Tuesday! We taught them about the Restoration and tried to answer as many questions as we could. They're like the perfect investigators, but the only problem is they're never available to meet. We asked when we could teach them next and they said not until January, after the holidays...I was so sad :((( We are going to stop by this week and drop off Spanish materials (they talk to us in English and understand everything, they just like to read in Spanish) so at least I'll get to say bye.  Oh, this was also the day that we went tracting on that one street with the really mean lady.
Wednesday - We had District Meeting Wednesday morning. Haha Elder Gulbransen had his teeth fixed by then. Luckily, a lot of Elders and Sisters in the Zone have gotten to know dentists in their wards. We visited with a lot of members this day and shared the He is the Gift video with them and invited them to share it with friends, family, and neighbors :) We also had dinner with the McIntyre family. They're crazy, but I love them! They have a daughter who is like 11 I think named Nicolette and she is the best. She wants to be a missionary and she's gonna be an awesome one. She already is :) She brought a friend to the Reflections of Christ exhibit and introduced her to us. So sweet :))
Thursday - Weekly Planning day so we weren't out as much. We did have dinner with the Vigil's who are a part-member family. Sister Vigil is the best and she took us to the temple today. Her husband isn't a member, but he goes to church a lot and he's taken lessons for a while. We talked about Matt 20 with him (the parable of the laborers). He's very smart and he loves to read the scriptures and all of these deep doctrinal books, but he is still very attached to the Catholic church. I think that's the only thing that's holding him back because he basically knows everything about the church. After that appointment, we helped set up the Reflections of Christ exhibit. It was awesome!
Friday - We got to view the Reflections of Christ exhibit early and we also had a shift in the evening since they had missionaries there the whole time to answer questions. They also set up the church for tours since a lot of nonmembers would be coming with member friends so that was cool. We met with Dakoda this day too. He is part of the Starnes family and he is 8 years old. He hasn't been baptized because his family is mostly inactive and they never take him to church or let him get rides. But, we taught him a lesson about keeping the Sabbath day holy with his grandma there and she told us that his dad (who has been struggling with Word of Wisdom problems) has been saying that he wants to get back to church and he wants to take Koda :) So that went well!
Saturday - We got to meet with Magda, Ashley, Isaac, and Noe! 
Sunday - Best Sunday ever! I bore my testimony since it was gonna be my last chance here in Texas. So did Sister Meiners and Sister Burraston. The Spirit was so strong that whole day! And we got to watch the Christmas Devotional that night with members (the Sadler's) and Magda and her family came over to watch it too! Sister Sadler made an awesome dinner and we had a ton of ice cream too! Haha best day ever!
Monday - We got to meet with Devan! He was the one we met in Bartonville while tracting on this road where we were trying to visit a less active. The girl we were trying to find wasn't home, so we drove farther down the road and knocked on a few doors and found Devan. We asked him about how religion has influenced his life and he told us that he had never really believed in God and that he had never really been religious, but he was open to anything. We tried to meet with him after setting up an appointment sometime during Thanksgiving week, but he wasn't home when we went. So we tried again yesterday and he was there and he let us in! We taught him about the Plan of Salvation and we set up another appointment with him for this Friday. Hopefully, he'll be there. He works a lot, but he seems pretty interested :)
Oh also, since I'll be in Brazil soon, if you want to send letters or anything else, it'd probably be better to just send them straight to the mission office there. Mail is really slow and unreliable there so I don't really expect anything haha but here's the address anyways:
Sister Alia Yun Earls
Brazil Vitória Mission
Avenida João Baptista Parra, 633
Salas 1501/1502
Edf. Enseada Office, Praia do Suá
29052-123 Vitória - ES

Eu amo vocês!

Com amor,
Sister Alia Yun Earls
We got to go to the Dallas temple this morning!!!

We helped decorate and set up the church for a photo exhibit that they were having this past Friday and Saturday. It was called Reflections of Christ. I dunno if any of y'all have heard of or seen those photos but they're amazing. It's just a bunch of beautiful photos depicting Christ's life. I think the photographer lives in Keller and he promised that he'd have showings of the photos in nearby stakes and we were one of them! We unwrapped so many poinsettias!

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