Yesterday was GOLD. James and Janessa were both confirmed and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. That was awesome. I also randomly saw some of my beloved friends from the Lexington ward who were randomly in Salem and they told me that Julie and Steve were baptized yesterday as well. Life is really good and the work is progressing. This kind of happiness is pretty much unbeatable.
We are working with several investigators. "Ashley" is the wife of a member in the ward and she has started opening up more to baptism. She is the sweetest thing and I am so privileged to know her. We are also working with an investigator named "Mike." He is 60-something and takes care of his 98-year-old mom. He shared his testimony with us about how he knew that he was supposed to answer the door when the sisters tracted into him, and that feeling of 'knowing' that he needs to continue is the same feeling that drives him to continue reading the Book of Mormon. We are so excited about his progress. The work is hastening. It is such a happy thing to be a part of!
Dear friends! Look up the October 2013 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. God sends us prophets to tell us what we need to do right now. The people in Noah's time needed Noah to warn them to repent right NOW because there was going to be a giant flood. What has our prophet asked us to do right now? Missionary work. I PROMISE happiness, and support from the Lord as you 'thrust in your sickle with your might.' It doesn't matter if you are afraid. The Lord will be with you and He has all power. I know it. Find this happiness. It is real. And it's in your grasp.
Lots of Love,
I hoped they'd call me on a mission... I didn't even have to grow a foot or two! :)
Hi! My name is Tami. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have recently accepted a call from the Lord to serve as a missionary in the Brazil Campinas Mission. Beginning August 28, 2013, I will be serving as 'Irma Larrabee' (that's "Sister Larrabee" in Portuguese). Follow my adventure as I get to know the good people of Brazil and share with them the thing I love the most, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is true!
Monday, December 2, 2013
Yesterday was crazy! ANOTHER BAPTISM – one of our investigators, “James”, is the husband of “Rose” who has been a member for 22 years now. James finally decided to take the discussions and then he committed to baptism! YAY! He had a stroke or something and so his legs do not work now. Yesterday was his baptism! It has been such an ordeal getting this baptism together because #1 getting James in and out of the font took a special wheel-chair like invention and 6 people in the font and #2 his granddaughters are also getting baptized and they wanted to do it together. So that is a dual-ward baptism which is really hard to coordinate apparently. :) But yesterday we showed up for church and the power went out. And because of liability reasons, the stake president cancelled church. Everyone was freaking out because no one was coming to fix the lights until 1:30 and they were thinking it would take hours to fix and that means the baptism would have to be moved because the font takes 2 hours to fill, bla bla bla. So we prayed. The lights turned on at exactly 11:30. So there was no need to cancel church. Anyways. It was cancelled. And after all the chaos, the baptism happened at 3! Right on time. It was incredible to see all of the men in the font dressed in white who all worked together to baptize James. It was truly a testimony builder as we saw the power of the Priesthood work to lift their fellow man. It was great.
I also want to say how awesome my companions are. We are all trying to improve and be better missionaries and it is SO NICE. No one has to worry about saying things we think we could improve because we are all moving towards the same goal. They are so sweet and great. I really love them. It was a really good week. Full of daily ups and downs, but the Lord is with me every step of the way. He truly answers my prayers and is so aware of me.
Until next time!
Monday, November 25, 2013
I don't have much time, so I'll have to go, but love you all!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Today is the last day of my first transfer in the field. I cannot believe how fast 6 weeks has gone.
is the promised land. The Bishop, the
members, the scenery, the investigators... I will miss this place immensely. I
am being transferred to Lexington
which is in the Roanoke Zone (my neighbor zone). I get to be in a trio which
includes SISTER HABIBPOUR – my companion from the MTC! Win. Salem
So I am sad to leave
and Sister Wood and Sister Pierson, but not as sad as I thought I would be. It
is very unusual that I would be leaving after 6 weeks because I am only half
way done with training, and usually you stay with your trainer (sister Pierson)
for 12 weeks- until training is completed. But it has actually been such a
tender mercy to be leaving so unexpectedly because I realized how much trust I
have in the Lord, which I don't think I quite realized before. Lexington
I do not want to part with Sister Pierson, but I am not as upset as I thought I would be. I know I'm going where the Lord wants. But Sister Pierson is the bomb. I love her so much. When we have been in interviews with President Pitt has apologized to both Sister Pierson and I so many times about splitting us up. "I tried to work around it, but the Lord has different things for you to do." He really doesn't want to split us because he sees how much love we have for each other and how well we work together, but he would not be doing transfers as the Lord intends if her didn't. In the last interview he said "I wish I could explain to you how strong the impression was that you should be with Sister Pierson." I can't explain how much I love her.
I love this place. I am sad to leave, but happy because I know it's where God wants me. I know nothing about it, but it feels kind of like Christmas Eve: God has blessings for me in
Till I write again in
Monday, November 18, 2013
Since the last post, Sister Pierson and I got a new companion, Sister Wood. She is so great. The two weeks with her in our companionship have been the best on the mission. Sister Wood is a great example of courage and hope. Our last companionship studies together have been mind blowing :)
So I have some fun stories that tie into some deep thoughts:
Last P-day I played touch football with our district. For anyone who knows me well, this is a huge shock because I am deathly afraid of sports. Like. Seriously. :) But It was so incredibly fun. I had no idea what was going on. It was a blast. We are doing it this P-day as well. I am so sad we did not start doing this sooner. I was sooooooooooo sore. For DAYS after. I am so excited. I still don't quite get the rules and I feel like an idiot the whole time, but it's great.
Also, today we had a District meeting/ hike that was super great. It represented the apostasy and there were "clues" or "pieces of truth" that were all spread out along the trail and the further we walked the more scattered. We tried to follow the clues as best as we could according to our knowledge, but sometimes we took wrong turns. It was super symbolic and really fun. After, we all took pictures. Elder Jackson and Elder Bogguss wanted a picture together, so they handed me their camera... and I dropped it. Sorta. The wrist strap detached and the camera fell and shattered into a million pieces. It was awful. Elder
wouldn't even look at me. He was like "all my mission pictures from my
whole mission were saved to that camera!" I felt like dirt, but I was
still like "I DIDN'T DROP IT!! IT FELL APART!!" I was still holding
part of the camera. After about ten minutes of me freaking out and total
awkwardness they finally told me that the camera was already broken and that it
was all a joke. They had pieced it back together. I was so full of emotions of
confusion, guilt, sorrow, more confusion, and surprise I screamed when they
told me. Not might finest moment. But it was really really funny! HA HA HA! Jackson
So. There was a time, not long ago at all, where I was afraid of everything - especially if it had to do with people. For example, team sports, or associating with a group of people. I remember having panic attacks where I forgot how to breathe because there were people around me, wanting to go to parties or do other things but giving in to my fear and staying home. I cried so hard when I found out my dad had been called in the Bishopric of the Young Single Adult Ward and I knew I would have to associate with people. I love people. A lot. I am just afraid of them :) I would look at the scripture that said weak things could become strong in the Lord and hope it could be true. But I never really thought I would improve. My fears, however irrational, were extremely real and - to a certain extent - they controlled me. But I have always tried to push forward and trust in the Lord. I was pondering everything I do on this mission. Teaching, knocking doors, being in charge, having responsibility, building trust with everyone, talking to EVERYONE, having friends who are close enough they convince me that I broke their camera, PLAYING FOOTBALL FOR GOODNESS SAKES. Never did I think that this would be possible. Never. I know the Lord can make my weaknesses strengths. I have seen it. I testify that God is real. He is all powerful, and all loving, and we can trust Him.
Monday, November 4, 2013
This week included the best day of my life. We taught our second Lesson with Julie and Steve. It was on the Plan of Salvation – a lesson that addressed the questions of "Who am I? Why am I here? and Where am I going?" We began to explain why bad things have to happen – how we have to experience pain in order to experience more joy. They understood about that. They explained how this horrible ordeal of cancer has brought them deeper joy in their marriage than ever before. They explained how they wake up each day more in love than the day before. It is because they have put their collective life in the hands of Christ. He has unified them. No matter what happens, it will be okay because Christ loves them and they love Christ. Julie is confined to her house of the hospital. She can leave once a week and she has chosen to use that to go to church on Sundays. She is so sick, and yet her focus is "Now that I'm Mormon, how can I use my talents to serve others?" They are both so positive and happy in the middle of everyone's worst nightmare because they have put their life in God's hands and they trust Him. What an example they are to me. She also spent the last 5 minutes of the lesson encouraging us. She said that although not many receive us and listen to what we have to teach, there are people – like them – who are searching for this truth. We have spent about 3 hours total with them, but they told us that those 3 hours have changed their lives and brought them so much peace and knowledge. The hour I spent with them that day was the best hour of my life.
And my day got even better. After that, we got to attend the baptism of another investigator. The other missionaries in our ward have been teaching a man named “Richard”. He's 29. He is so awesome. The Spirit at his baptism was amazing. He knew he was making the right choice. I marveled all day that God let me be the one who came to
and be the one to teach Julie and Steve. He allowed me to witness the miracle
of Richard's baptism. He allowed me to be companions with Sister Pierson (who
is so incredibly wonderful). All God asked of me was to be worthy and willing
to preach His Gospel and He FILLS my soul with happiness. It is difficult to
describe the Joy that I feel from forgetting myself and sharing the true Gospel
with God's children. I stand all amazed that God offers this opportunity to me.
I am humbled. I am blessed. I am so loved. I could never deny His love for me,
His spirit reassures my heart every day, and I see beautiful witnesses of His
love for me everywhere. Virginia
If you seek for truth with faith in Christ and real intent, He will manifest truth unto you through His Holy Ghost. I know it, because I know Him.
Lots of Love,
Monday, October 28, 2013
Last week was a week of miracles. It would be impossible to name them all, but here are the two most blatant ones.
Yesterday I invited our new investigators to be baptized and they said yes!!! They are so prepared to receive the Gospel, it is unreal. “Julie” and “Steve” used to be Catholic but it "doesn't fit them anymore." Julie has cancer. She is friends with a lot of Mormons. She received a blessing from the Bishop and when she went to get her lymph nodes taken out, the masses inside were no longer malignant. She has researched the church so much and during the lesson she answered more of her husband’s questions that we did. Ha ha. The spirit was incredibly strong. We talked a lot about Priesthood authority and then I talked about receiving answers through the Book of Mormon. Steve got so excited... He was like "This makes sense, I was wondering how to go about getting an answer, but this makes sense. I'll do that :)" Julie says her goal is to go to the temple one year after baptism. Is this even REAL?!? The most beautiful thing about this is that I can see God answering their prayers. They have been searching for the church that God wants them to join and during the lesson, the Spirit told me that this was His answer to their sincere prayers. God answers prayers. Not only their prayers, but mine. Which brings us to the next miracle...
We met “Bob” at the Buena Vista Library which isn't in our area. We had to go there for our first p-day (preparation day- once a week we can shop, do laundry, do email... basically get caught up) because Sister Pierson (my companion) was going to meet someone from her old ward there to get some of her stuff she left. It turns out that her friend didn't actually work at that library. But we were there to meet Bob. Because it is a small library, we were the only ones there and I talked to him about the church. We both felt something special about him, so we started praying that we might run into him again. So on Thursday, The assistants to the President texted us and asked Sister Pierson to send baptismal pictures from her last area. Sending the pictures didn't even work, but we were supposed to go to the library on a Thursday because Bob was there (IT ISN'T EVEN THE SAME LIBRARY WHAT) and he's coming to the Ward party on Wednesday. He seemed so happy that we invited him. Yes.
I know God answers prayers. He is aware of every one of us. Miracles are real. Although those are pretty amazing miracles, we see innumerable tender mercies from the Lord every day. Pray to the Lord. He listens and will give you the miracles you need. Hope you all are doing well!
Lots of Love,
Friday, October 11, 2013
So my Visa has not come. And I have been called to serve (temporarily until my Visa comes) in the West Virginia Charleston Mission! I know this is where I am supposed to be :) My new companion's name is Sister Pierson. She is the Sister Training Leader (which means she is in charge of all the Sister missionaries in our zone). We are the first sisters to ever serve in our area. Our area is
It's awesome. I don't have much time to write, but I do want to say that the
Lord takes care of us and I love Him. It is a little hard for me to transition
to the field. I couldn't ask for a better companion... or area... or ward...
but I do miss the MTC. Nevertheless, the Lord is giving me the tools I need to
adjust and succeed. I have never felt the type of love that I feel when I teach
real people in the real world. I love them because God loves them. So so so
much! Lexington Virginia
God Loves you,
Friday, September 27, 2013
Today I want to talk about how my love for the Lord has grown for two reasons.
Elder Johnson left. HE LEFT! He got His Visa and he went to
For those who don't know, a district is a group of missionaries in the same
area. In the MTC (missionary training center) we spend all day every day with
them, studying the gospel and studying Portuguese. I know the Lord loves me
because He gave me this district of missionaries. I can't even explain how much
I love them. I love each of them SO SO SO much. I am not a crier normally. The
night before Elder Johnson left we sang "God be with you till we meet
again." And I couldn't even sing because I was weeping openly. Ha! It was
pretty pathetic. I didn't even know what we were singing because it was in Portuguese.
HA HA! I can't believe how close our district is already. I LOVE God so much
for blessing me with the opportunity to serve with them. I cannot even express
As a refresher, here in the MTC we teach people who pretend to be investigators (people taking missionary lessons and learning about the church). They pretend to be people that they taught on their mission, and we take it really seriously. The experiences that I have had while teaching are amazing. I feel so much love and help from the Lord, it's almost hard to believe, but it's real. One of our "investigators” is named “Maria”. She had committed some very serious sins in her past and she was so weighed down with guilt. So weighed down. I have studied a lot of scriptures that describe how real the despair and bondage of sin is and how glorious and real the saving power of Christ is. I'm not perfect by any means, but I've never committed any super serious sins, so I had never really thought about how strong the power of sin is. Sin was weighing Maria down for years and years and years. Sin makes it impossible for us to return to God. Impossible. Unless – we have a Savior. I love the Savior. I love God's plan. I love God.
So in Summary:
We would be lost, helpless, and basically damned without the Savior. We all sin, therefore, we are all separated from God. We would be separated forever if we did not have a savior. We would be lost forever. But we aren't. Christ suffered and died an INFINITE amount so we can be saved. Isn't that enough for us to love Him forever with everything we have- to serve Him with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength? But He did more than suffer for our salvation, He suffered for our pains, sorrows, and sicknesses- everything we feel, He felt. He suffered for it so we don't have to do it alone. But He does even more than that!! He blesses us with amazing opportunities and blessings. For example: the opportunity to live in an MTC with missionaries that I love more than life. He blesses their families while their gone. He answers their prayers. He answers my prayers. He blesses my family. He blessed me with the best family there is on the earth. There is no end to his goodness and mercy. I love Him. How could I ever love anyone more than I love Him.
Friday, September 20, 2013
Hello There. Today I want to talk about Hope. And why is that? Because Portuguese is Hard, that's why :) We have begun doing these things called "English Fasts." That means you can only speak Portuguese. That is unfortunate because I don't really speak Portuguese. Teaching lessons in Portuguese is hard. Planning lessons in Portuguese is even harder. It is really hard. I know that the Lord can help me, but sometimes I am afraid to hope that He will. I have seen too much in my life and in the life of others to doubt that the Lord has all power, and He chooses to use that power in our behalf because He loves us. A lot. I have faith that He can help me, because He has helped me and those I love, but will He help me? Sometimes I'm afraid to hope that He will. What if He let me down?
On days where we have English fasts, we can speak Portuguese for the last 15 minutes of the day so we can discuss goals and thoughts and such. I expressed the desire for planning lessons to be allowed in English, because when I am planning in Portuguese, I get frustrated and then I don't feel the Spirit. After I said that, one of the Elders in my district, Elder Gray, said that the Portuguese does not limit the Spirit. God asked us to speak Portuguese and He will not withhold His Spirit when we try to do what He says. He completely contradicted what I said, but he amazingly did it in a way that did not cause offense, or anything. In fact, I felt this wave of realization as the Spirit told me that what Elder Gray said was true. I knew the Lord will not forsake me. I have learned that He will support me in the past. Why have I not applied it to my life now? So. I've started applying it to my life now. Guess what? The Lord is helping me.
I know that we can have faith AND hope in God and His promises. He will never forsake us. We can ALWAYS feel His help. Sometimes things don't go as we expect, but we can ALWAYS feel His love and His help and His peace when we have the Gift of the Holy Ghost. He has promised us. And He keeps His promises. So now, I am trying not to doubt the Lord. We've proved Him in days that are past, and He does not change. He loves us. He will help us. We can count on it.
Lots of Love,
Friday, September 13, 2013
Hello friends and family!
So I have spent 2 weeks at the
Missionary Training Center
Although it has been a FANTASTIC two weeks, it has been a little overwhelming.
We were teaching "investigators" in Portuguese on our 3rd day here,
and we are constantly studying from 8am to 8pm. It's a lot of work and a lot of
pressure. But as I have struggled to keep up and keep positive, I have felt the
Lord strengthen me. I am tired, but sustained. I am lacking understanding, yet
the Lord helps me know how to respond. I don't know Portuguese vocabulary, but
the Lord organized my small arsenal of words into meaningful messages when I
need them. The Holy Ghost can truly bring all things to our remembrance. Our
first lesson with our "investigator" was hilarious. We wanted him to
read Provo Utah
10:3-5. For those who don't know that is about how each person can pray to know
if the Book of Mormon is true and they can receive the answer through the Holy
Ghost. And that is true. Unfortunately, we don't speak Portuguese and we
accidentally gave him Mosiah 10:3-5 which is about the history of a people and
how the women sewed clothes "to cover their nakedness." It. Was.
Hilarious. But we improve every day :) A couple lessons later, we weren't
allowed to bring in a written script any more. We met with our
"investigator" (named "Carlos") and the lesson went so
well. One of my companions took 5 years of Spanish, so she is picking up the
language pretty quickly. She was talking to Carlos, and I was trying my best to
understand the words (or even just ONE OF THE WORDS!!!) And then she turned to
me and said something like "Now Sister Larrabee will add
something..." And I was like. "WHAT THE???" (in my head of
course). And then I felt peace. And my pathetic vocabulary arranged into a
message about how I knew that what Sister Bagley had just taught was true; that
God loved Carlos and wanted him to have peace and happiness in his life, and
that I knew the Lord could help him feel that in his life. It was a wonderful
experience. The more I teach, the more I feel God bless me with peace and
knowledge of what to say and when to say it; when to listen and how to
respond... even when I don't even fully understand what they are saying. It is
such an opportunity to learn to love those we teach and feel the spirit in our
I know the Lord will make up for the weaknesses you have. No matter how weak your best is, the Lord can make up the difference if we offer our best to Him. I know that by giving him our hearts, He will make us into the best person we can be. He loves all of us. I love you all. Be good and Stay happy :)