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!
Salem is great. It is not like Lexington. My companions
are great. They are not Sister Pierson. I will get used to it I think. But the
members are so fun and loving. I don't get their humor yet… but I'll get there.
And the best part of Salem
is that someone got BAPTIZED yesterday!!!! Her name is “Janessa”. She's 15 and
she is awesome. I got to speak at her baptism which was so super fun. And super
nerve-racking. I have never spoken at a baptism before! But we get fed here a
lot more than Lexington
and that is good -- especially since no one here feeds us shredded rabbit, possum
chili, or leftover casserole. Ha ha! I'm just kidding around. Although the food
was different, I did like it. Twas just an adjustment.
I don't have much time,
so I'll have to go, but love you all!
the last day of my first transfer in the field. I cannot believe how fast 6
weeks has gone. Lexington
is the promised land. The Bishop, the
members, the scenery, the investigators... I will miss this place immensely. I
am being transferred to Salem
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.
So I am sad
to leave Lexington
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.
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 Salem,
and I have no idea what they are, but I get to start finding out tomorrow!!
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:
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.
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 Jackson
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!
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.
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 Virginia
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.
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.