Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Week of Changes

Hey y'all!

I've been missing my country music like crazy this week. This whole 8 months on a mission thing is starting to take its toll on me. BUT, I love love love my mission, so it's worth giving up music and a normal life for 18 months.

Anyway, this week has definitely been interesting. Like I told y'all last week, we had transfers. My new companion is Sister Dávalos! She's from Lima, Peru and is super sweet. We're very different, but we're definitely making things work. Different isn't always bad! It's working to our advantage because...WE HAVE TWO BAPTISMS THIS WEEK! Holy cow! I'm so stinking happy! We had an amazing experience with them that I'm going to share with you all.

So the two baptisms are two young men who are grandsons of our recent convert. Anyway, the older of the two asked us why he needed to be baptized if he was already baptized in the Catholic Church. I have been scared to death to answer that question since the MTC. I truly didn't know how to answer, but I knew that I needed to say something. Also, I know that prayer goes a long way! I said a silent prayer as I thought about how to respond. Let me tell you all something: it may have been a silent prayer, but I was pleading for help. As we like to say in Portuguese, "socorro, socorro!" It was much needed in that moment. Anyway, as I silently screamed for relief, words started to come out of my mouth. The Spirit not only gave me the words to say, but helped me to gain a testimony I didn't know I had.

As missionaries, we invite all people to be baptized. We know that it is through baptism that we follow the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and enter in the gate on our path back to our Heavenly Home. I knew that, but I didn't know how to explain to this 15 year old why we were asking him to change his life. I understand now.

In Mathew 3 we read ,
"13 ¶Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Do you know why Jesus went to John the Baptist? Because he had the authority to baptize. So, there's one thing. In order for us to follow in Christ's path, we need to be baptized by someone who has the authority. 

Another thing. How was Christ baptized? By immersion. It's only logical. In order for someone to come up straightway from water, they have to be completely immersed. Point number two: we have need to be baptized by immersion. 

The last thing I said? Well, this is one of my favorites. We need to know what we're doing. Christ made the decision and we need to as well.

I'm out of time, but I want you all to know that I know this is the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. I know that there are men on the earth right now who have the authority to act in God's name and to baptize in the same way that Jesus Christ was baptized.

I'm out of time but love you all!

Have a great week!

Amo Sempre,
Sister McEldowney

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Home run!

No time. Had a miracle baptism this weekend! Sending pictures!

Also, we had transfers. I'm staying in Ponta da Praia as senior companion! Ahh! No pressure or anything!

Have a great week!

Amo Sempre,
Sister McEldowney

Baptism of irmão Marcio! #miracle

1 Companion, 2 Transfers, and 3 Baptisms Later...

From the keeper of this blog -

A little bit late with this one. Kayla's 11/2/2015 blog below -


Well, you guessed it! It's P-Day again! Happy day! I love P-day!

So this week was slow, but also super fast! I don't have a lot of time though, so this week will be relatively short blurbs about some major events.

  • BATISMO! Irmã Margarida got baptized on Saturday! My goodness, talk about someone who was truly prepared for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their life! She's awesome! In two weeks she met the missionaries (cough cough - my companion and me - cough cough), went to church, felt the Spirit, accepted baptism, and got baptized! People, that process took me over a year! She's so solid too! She's already planning her first trip to the temple to do baptisms for the dead and wanting to sign up to feed us and my goodness, she's just the best! I love love love her!

  • I went on my first divisions with the Sister Training Leaders here in Brazil! I did exchanges in Maine, but here was weirdly different. I survived with only some minor injuries. No, seriously, I have a "mild" sunburn as a result of my day in Praia Grande, but I'm alive and well!

  • Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, (known as Dia dos Finados here) is a thing! It's actually a really depressing day for Brazilians, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ makes everything better! We taught the Plan of Salvation to people in the cemetary. I wrote this about my day to my mom and thought the rest of you would enjoy it too! "We explained to them that the Plan of Salvation is God's plan for each of us. It explains where we came from, why we're on the Earth, and where we'll go after we die. It's amazing how knowledge of God's plan provides such comfort, especially in times of grief. I love that we, as missionaries, share with people that we lived with God before this life, that He sent us here to gain a body just like He has and to choose the right so that we can return to Him after we die. I think the best part is when we explain that families can be together forever through this plan. When we do all the things we are supposed to do and choose to follow Christ's example, we truly can be reunited with our families. I love to bear my testimony to people that families are forever in the Celestial Kingdom. We have the choice now to follow Christ's path so we can return to His presence and the presence of our Heavenly Father in our families. The choice truly is ours."

  • My companion hit her one year mark! I made chocolate cake and German Pancakes for her! That may have been slightly selfish on my part because I love both of those things, but she loves them too, so it worked out well!

Well, that's about it! Have a great week!
Amo Sempre,
Sister McEldowney

From the keeper of this blog, caught a few things worthy of more information. I've included hyperlinks below -

"She's already planning her first trip to the temple to do baptisms for the dead..."

"I love to bear my testimony to people that families are forever in the Celestial Kingdom."