Sunday, February 19, 2017

Week 33 pictures

Week 33 oi de Brasil :)

February 13, 2017

Hello yall!

I love being a missionary 😍

This week was a roller coaster! We had SUPER GOOD DAYS, and then the opposite.  But I´m happy! 

This week I got to do something that I´ve been DYING to do since I got here in Brasil!  My Mission President finally allowed us to!  There´s a picture here of me with a cup and a weird straw thing.. it´s called chimarâo! It´s a type of tea! Pretty cool stuff.  100% certain I am going to buy a whole bunch to take with me when I return to the good 'ole USA.

What else happened this week.. my companion and I saw a TON of miracles. There was one day that was literally like the best day ever.  WE FOUND A GOLDEN INVESTIGATOR AND HER NAME IS TACIANI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

One day we had 3 investigators "cut" us.  Which means they don´t want our visits anymore.  So that was pretty fun stuff.. but hey it´s good too! We will use our time more wisely now. 

We have a baptism marked for this Saturday..  Eliane.  Everyone please add her to your prayers because yeah. She didn´t pass her first interview, and I´m really worried about this week. BUT prayers are powerful :D

For a spiritual thought... yesterday in Relief Society the subject was about blessings and how many times we forget how BLESSED we are.  We think more about our neighbors/co-workers life etc, than our own.  But the purpose of the lesson was to show that in reality we are all very very blessed by a loving Heavenly Father.

I´d like to challenge each of you to, for a moment, to forget about alllllll the things you´d like to change, and think about the things you are grateful for in your life.

*don´t read on until you´ve thought of at least 3 things ;) *


How do you feel?  more happy?? More relaxed??  Definitely not stressed or angry, huh?

On my mission here I have journal. It´s called, "Sister Councill´s livro de Milagres" (which is incorrect Port grammar btw) or Sister Councill's book of miracles. Everyday I write at least 1 miracle that happened that day. I like to think of miracles as 'tender mercies.' A miracle doesn´t have to be a huge thing, for me it´s when you recognize a blessing in your life and recognize that it came from Heavenly Father.

Yall, I know that every single day we have tender mercies/blessings/miracles that happen.  The hard party is having the eyes to recognize. But like everything else, practice and prayer will help. As we pray for the eyes to see, and really LOOK, we´ll recognize the blessings in our lives; we´ll be grateful; we´ll be HAPPY.

xo Sister Councill

Week 32 pictures

Week 32

February 6, 2017


Okay, perfect.  Let´s begin!!!!

Now we get to wake up at 7:30 (gloria, gloria, Allelujia) and go to bed at 11.  AND we get to choose when we want to do our studies throughout the day. It´s perfect because it gives us some more freedom!  WOWZERS. It´s perfect. I´ll write it out specifically, because I know my mom will want to know ;)

7:30- get up pray
7:30-8- exercise
8-9- get ready for the day, eat, etc
9-9:30- plan
9:30-10:30- personal study

10:30- 10 pm- proselyting.

BUT in this time we get to choose when we will do companion study, language study, and training!  Also we can have 30 minutes to eat dinner now, which is FANTASTIC, because all of us missionaries here in Brasil, always waited until we got home at 9 to eat, but now we can return 30 minutes earlier to do that!!! WOOP this girl is gonna COOK!!!!

Also our pday starts 2 hours ealier :D

AND THE BEST PART is that now we only have 4 key indicators. 

1. Baptisms and Confirmations for the week
2. How many have a baptismal date
3. How many were at church
4. How many new investigators


ALL of these changes made me think about how change is SUCH an important aspect and blessing in our lives. And, not just change, but INSPIRED change.

Now what is "inspired change."  ?  
(something I made up haha)

With the example of all the changes in the missions, these changes were inspired, BECAUSE the Prophet and His apostles ( the missionary committee)felt they were necessary.  How did they feel it? I haven´t asked them personally, but I bet they would say something like this, "through the Holy Spirit- through fasting and through prayer."

So "inspired change" is something that happens when we are seeking the guidance of the Spirit, through prayer and fasting.  But what does this have to do with us?

One thing that I think is very important to realize, is that when an "inspired change" happens in our lives, it will ALWAYS be for the better.  Because it was inpired by God.

So us, as children of our Father in Heaven need to learn how to pray and seek His guidance in our lives.  And when we learn how to do that, the choices we make will be in line with the plans He has for us.  Consequently, we will be living a much happier and easier life.  NOT easier in that we won´t have trials, but easier in that we will be wiser in the choices and changes we make.

The first thing that we all can do to learn how to make "inspired choices" is pray to God, and ask for His help.  I know He will help us.  Becuase he loves us.  His gratest desire, is for us to be happy.

I love you ALL,

xoSister Councill

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Week 31 pictures

Adelynn's "greenie" companion.

Week 31: So much to tell ya'll


Wow okay so to be honesty, I don´t even know where to start!  I´ll start by telling you about my new companion!  (minha filha-my daughter).  She is from Sao Paulo (like all of my Brasilian companions hahaha).  She´s adorable! She has a really soft and high voice, it´s super adorable. AND she is one day older than I!  Her birthday is July 7th and mine is July 8th, isn´t that pretty funny??  Well she´s an amazing and dedicated person. She´s super willing to work, even with blistered feet and she isn´t scared to talk to people!  Basically I feel really blessed and happy to be her companion :)

Fun fact:  This week I had cow stomach.  

Fun fact:  Never again will Sister Councill eat cow stomach.

Also something interesting about Brasil.  Here, teenage boys fly kites in the street for fun!  I thought that was super interesting because you would NEVER catch a teenage boy doing that in the States!

Also this week was realllly hard for me.  My mom always said that the mission is HARD, because people have agency.  And this week I found that to bee 210% true.  We have been teaching Lucas and Leah.  They are awesome.  Lucas is almost 19, and Leah is his mom.  They were super interested in what we had to say and we were SUPER excited to teach them.  We taught them about the Book of Mormon this last week, and a day later called them to invite them to an activity.  Leah said they talked to their pastor and would stay in their church.  MAN, okay guys.  You know that feeling you get after someone breaks up with you?  Well I 100% felt that after she hung up the phone.  I´ve never cried so much on the mission, except for in that moment. And I felt totally ridiculous, because my companion is a newbie and I have to be an example for her haha- but When I thought about it, my two trainers both cried during their first week with me.  I guess it´s normal haha.  

No, but seriously, it was the worst.  And I understand now why missionary work is so hard.  You meet people, and you begin to love them SO MUCH, and then when they aren´t willing to give it a chance- the Gospel, the Book of Mormon- it is truly soo soo sad.  

If ya'll wanted to pray for them, that would be AWESOME.  We already stopped by once after this phone call, but yesterday their pastor visited them, and she called again to say that they wouldn´t be receiving our visits anymore.  *sighhhhh* Please pray for them.

So that was a huge part of my focus this week.  Also we are teaching Eliane.  Her story is INCREDIBLY long, but if you all wanted to pray for her and pray specifically that she can understand why baptism is important, I would be very grateful!

Also a call to all those who know what Blue Ridge is😉😎  Would you all be willing to send me ideas of simple ice breakers, and things like that from the class Character Education?  It would help me a TON here on the mission 😀 Thank you thank you! ❤

Yesterday during Sunday School we learned about the Creation. How God created the Earth, and how this is an example of how much He loves us. At the end, the teacher asked a question that has REALLY caused me to think.  

What do you appreciate most about the creation of the World?


That´s a pretty grand question, huh?  
It really made me think hard!

I ended up saying that I appreciated most that God created the Earth with diversity- that there are different countries with different cultures that we all can learn from. 
I´ve had the opportunity to experience a little of Asian culture, and now Brasilian, and I really want to experience and love so many more! (that´s my life´s dream in a nut shell).

But I would like to ask all of you the same question- What do you appreciate most about the creation of the world???

I promise you that thinking about this will lead you to realize just HOW MUCH love Heavenly Father has for you. 

Our God is a loving God.
He is a kind God.
He is a merciful God.
He truly is our Heavenly Father.

I love you all and wish you a happy-filled week,

xo Sister Councill

Week 30 pictures

Week 30


Oh my heck. I am a bundle of TONS of emotions right now!!! BECAUSE TRANSFERS!!!!!  (When we switch companions every 6 weeks)  and your Sister Councill is going to train!!!!!!  AHCK.  Oh my heck. I am excited and nervous and excited and nervous all at once!  Basically what this means is that I´ll be the companion of a new missionary, so I´ll be teaching her how to #mission haha 🙂  Prayers. Lots of prayers for me pleaseeeeeeee

Well this week was great! I am going to miss Sister Ferreira a ton.  She was a really fun companion :D  This week we finally carried our cameras with us for a few of the days, so I have TONS of photos to send to yalllllll.

But this week (and actually the last few weeks as well) I learned two main things:

1.  People have their own agency, and God has His own plans
2.  Missionaries CANNOT be successful w/out help from the members

So we have an investigator named Eliane. Sister Ferreira and Sister Martinez started teaching her before I arrived in Fazenda.  She´s had a really hard life.  But she is an incredible person. Sister Ferreira and Sister Martinez tried marking a baptismal date for her two times before I arrived.  And we marked a date for her as well. Everything was great, but then she didn´t pass her interview.  (To explain, everyone who is going to be baptized has to have an "interview" or a conversation with an Elder to make sure that they really are ready to be baptized, because baptism is something very important that can´t be taken lightly) And now, Eliane doesn´t even want to think about baptism.  It makes me really sad to see how everything has turned out, BUT I´ve learned from this experience that everyone has their own agency, and that God´s plans are bigger than ours.  

I´ve also been learning that all the work I do as a missionary goes to waste, if the members don´t help in the conversion process.  Something to think about is that, most times an investigator will only give church ONE shot. And that one time can make it or break it.  Sister Ferreira and I have three investigators who aren´t willing to go back to church because they didn´t feel welcome.  SO please please please, whatever church you belong to, when you see a face you don´t recognize, go up and introduce yourself.  Say hi, make a new friend.  Because this really does make a difference 🙂  Also, for all of you that own a copy of Preach My Gospel, you should read ch. 13, because it´s AWESOME.

Last night we had Ward Council ( a meeting with the Leaders in the church here) and I just got this GREAT feeling of awe and gratitude for missionary work.  To me it´s incredible to think that there are literally missinoaries, members, leaders, Bishops in all parts of the world, who are working to built the Kingdom of God.  I have no doubts that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Lord´s Kingdom here on the Earth.  And I am SO happy to be living my life right now in Brasil as a missionary.

Eu amo Meu Salvador.  
Eu amo Meu Pai Celestial.  
E eu amo a Igreja verdadeira- a Igreja de Jesus Cristo Dos Santos Dos Últimos Dias. 
Eu sei do fundo do meu coração, que esta Igreja é VERDADEIRA. 


xo Sister Councill

Week 29 pictures

Week 29

January 16, 2017

Hello my lovely friends and family!!!

First off, I love you all. Please know that ❤🙂 

I think this week was the first time I prayed for my mission to pass by slower.  The weeks are flying by, and I am starting to freak out a little bit.  Because I only have 11 more months.......... 

But this week was QUITE the adventure. Let me tell yall about it!

Long story short, on Tuesday my companion was in a lot of pain, and she fainted!  Thankfully I caught her 💪 okay wow, my mom always told me that if someone tried to kidnap me, then I should go limp, because you´re heavier when you are limp.  NOW I know this is 1000% true.  #NeverGoingToStopDoingPushups  No, but really it was a miracle.  Because we were walking down the stairs, and she started to get really weak, but she didn´t faint until we reached the bottom. I don´t know what I would´ve done if she had fainted on the stairs!  

There´s a book series that I LOVE. It´s called the Muirwood series. It was written by a member of my church and has a lot of similarities.  (YALL NEED TO READ IT ASAP, it´s soooooo good) But this week I basically told my companion the whole story of what happens in the series, and that was really fun for me!  But let me tell you, it was so hard to remember haha. Man I think that I have forgotten SO many things from before the mission!  I´m not sure if that is good or bad?  (mom, wanna help my memory out with the books??)

So as missionaries we are always trying to find new people to teach, but we also teach people who are "less active" in the church.  And the area that I am in right now, was recently divided, so we have been having a hard time finding "less actives."  BUT Heavenly Father is so good, and this week we found TWO families!!! How neat is that?? I was really grateful :)

What else?  Oh yeah! Okay so you guys know the game MASH?? It´s a funny game that young girls play to see what their destiny will be.  Well this week, we were at the church with an investigator while her mom was meeting with other missionaries, and we played that game for her! It was really funny, because I didn´t think that they had this game in Brasil, but I was wrong!  

So this week I have been studying a talk called "the Fourth Missionary."  IT IS FANTASTIC.  I´ve read it before, but I figured it was time to read it again.  It´s specifically for missionaries, but you all should read it as well!!!!  

This talk talks a lot about how we are in control of who we want to become.  It explains how we arent born with one "set in stone" set of personalities and characteristics. It explains how we have the blessing to change.

"The purpose and central blessing of life is change. It is to be changed to become more like Jesus Christ.  It is to incorporate into your character the qualities of His character.  It is to move from one degree of intelligence and capacity to the next, and from there to the next, until you see God face to face and know Him as He knows you."

Isn´t that so wonderful???


The auther, Lawrence E. Corbridge then explains that we literally have the power to choose what we want. He shared the scripture Alma 29:4-5,

"for I know that he (God) granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he alloweth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their will whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.. he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires, whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience."

When I read that scripture I knew that it was true. It is SO true. It says three times that we have the ability to choose how we want to be.  And, if our "desires" are the same as God´s, then He will bless us with what we want. 

Looking back on my life now, I recognize that this has happened a lot to me-  I can see now which desires I had that were the same as God´s desires for me, based on the blessings I´ve rece3ived in my life.  

I really like what Lawrence Corbridge says about all of this, "if you want a 'mess of pottage' then that is all you will get.  If you want light, intelligence, strength, capacity, peace, contentment, grace, knowledge, power, happiness, mercy, joy, and every other good thing, then you may have those too. It is up to you.  Whatever you want."

So.  I invite you all to think about THAT this week, AND, to read this talk!

xo Sister Councill

ps wow sorry this letter is SUPER long 

pps sorry last week my flash drive wasn´t working, but here are some pictures from the last few weeks!!