tami's mission...

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!

Friday, September 27, 2013

He does more...

Today I want to talk about how my love for the Lord has grown for two reasons.

Reason One:

Elder Johnson left. HE LEFT! He got His Visa and he went to Brazil. WHAT?? 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 it.

Reason Two:

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.

te amo,

Sister Larrabee

Friday, September 20, 2013

We doubt not the Lord nor His goodness

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,

Sister Larrabee

Friday, September 13, 2013

Let the Mission Begin!

Hello friends and family!

So I have spent 2 weeks at the Missionary Training Center in Provo Utah. 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 Moroni 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 lives.

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 :)
Sister Larrabee