Happy P-day family and friends! Isn't Monday a wonderful day?
and... HAPPY HALF TIME RILEY! We have made it to the the most important quarter of the game. This is when it really counts! I will play my very hardest here on the last half of my mission, and you guys have to play your hardest there at home! This cancer never stood a chance!
So this week was filled with new and challenging experiences. I love the mission because you really learn something new every single day. And sometimes you don't want to learn it, or you don't think you can, but the Lord shows you differently.
Often times I forget that this isn't Sister Culley's work, but the Lords. It has to be His way, even if you don't think you can rise up, He will continue His work the way He needs it to be done. Take Portuguese for example. Not in a million years did I think I would be fluent in another language. Before the mission I hardly new Portuguese existed. I fought against it for a while, thinking, "I am the last person that can learn this language," and then one day I just spoke it. This wasn't the fruit of a special talent, or a trick, it was because Heavenly Father wanted me to speak Portuguese, so I speak Portuguese.
This week I was asked to sing in the special Christmas choir that the mission will hold. I told them that I don't really sing, but someone spoke up and said that I sing well. It was no longer my choice. Heavenly Father wanted me to sing in the choir, so now, I sing. I arrived at the first choir practice. I told them I feel more comfortable singing Alto (the lower voice). And there I was... put with the three other Altos in the mission. Never in my life I thought I could learn such complicated songs and actually sing them well and in harmony. But here I am. Because Heavenly Father knows how He wants this work done, and little Sister Culley isn't about to stop Him.
When we are baptized we promise to be tools in the hands of the Lord. I may be a rusty, old, crooked tool, but He knows what He is doing. In His hands I am pricise, effective, and powerful. On my own I really can't do anything!
The Lord continued to stretch and challenge my faith this weekend. We helped with an activity in another area. Each companionship was assigned a class room and a Gospel Principle. People would be visiting the church that day and would be going through two minute classes about all the Gospel Principles. At the end of the activity we all stood at the pulpit and sung the hymn Joseph Smiths First Prayer. We invited those that wanted to, to be baptized the next day. I was sceptical at first, but in the end it was a huge success. Many people spoke to me after with tears in their eyes, speaking of the spirit that they felt. Many hearts were touched and softened that day.
This weekend one of our investigators, Leonardo, lost his brother. His brother had been sick before, but he hadn't mentioned that it was that serious. Once again my faith and testimony of the Plan of Salvation was tested. I was able to testify to this man and his weeping mother that I know that there is a way to see his beloved brother once again. That death is not the end, but the start of an eternity together with our families. I wept as I thanked my Heavenly Father for this surety that I have. I know I gained it through experiences that Heavenly Father gave me this year to make me a better tool in His hands.
This knowledge allows me to think of my Grandpa Jay with a smile on my face. It will have been one year since he passed away this weekend. I know that Grandpa is happy, and proud of each one of us and will never let us down. He is with us and preparing a place for each one of us. Forever Families are real, and powerful. I do not fear the future, because I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us. I thank my lucky stars that Grandpa and Grandma layed a foundation for our family to be together forever with our Heavenly Father.
I love you all! Prayers coming at you from Brazil!
Love, Sister Culley
P.S. Happy HUMP Day! (just to make you laugh a little, because you are all way too serious!)