Monday, November 10, 2014

Heavenly Father Has a Plan

Hello Everyone!!

I hope you all had a wonderful week!! My week was... interesting. I am pretty sure that almost all of you know this by now, but I am home! I know it seems pretty crazy and really fast and it has been such a roller coaster and even though I am home, I am writing this letter to help explain everything. 

Well first, I came home early from my mission because of my health. I have been having pain in my hips since January 2014, my first transfer in Maceio. I started having pain at the end of everyday, but it gradually turned into having pain all the time, everyday, which is what it is like now. I have pain in both of my hips when I am standing, sitting and walking, which makes walking miles everyday difficult :) I went to a bunch of doctors in Brasil during my mission, but none of them could tell me what was wrong, they would just give me medicines that didn't help and tell me to rest for a few days. I was just continuing on with my work and just living and dealing with the pain. 

Then a few weeks ago, my mission president called me into his office. I knew he wanted to talk about my pain because I knew he was worried- I just didn't realize how worried. He asked me how I was doing and then just basically told me that I needed to home- now. I cried SO much and my heart broke right there in his office. At the time, I wanted to stay on the mission until I could not walk anymore. I wanted to give my all until the very end because I felt like I could still do more, but now I see that I needed to come home. I need to take care of my health and the last thing I want is to have a worse problem in the future because I stayed and struggled through. My heart broke thinking about all of the people I was leaving, the members, the other missionaries, Brasil! I love Brasil! I never would have ever thought that I would come to love a people, a culture, a country as much as I love Brasil. I love the states because that is where my family is, that's where I was born, but I absolutely love Brasil and part of my heart is there- and always will be.  

The first few days were really hard, thinking about coming home early, having to talk with everyone, what it was going to be like, but somewhere along the line, I got peace. I started thinking about why I couldn't serve a year and a half, that's what I signed up for and told the Lord what I would do, but I thought about how He gave me a beautiful, wonderful year, a year that I will never forget and be forever grateful that I had. Heavenly Father knew that I wanted to serve a mission, be a missionary and so He gave me a year to do that. Everyday that I was there was a gift and a blessing. Of course I am so sad that I couldn't spend 18 months in Brasil, but I know that Heavenly Father has a plan and that for some reason, I need to be home and that just means that I did what I needed to in Brasil, I learned what I needed to and helped the people I needed to, so He called me home. I know there is a purpose for everything and that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. 

So what does that mean for me now? Well, I am here going to the doctor and I will start doing physical therapy and see what happens. My mission president said that I can go back and finish the last 6 months of my mission if I am pain free and everything, but there is no way of knowing that right now. So right now, I am home, resting and trying to keep busy. I am so grateful to be back and have the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family. I am freezing a little because Brasil is a little different than New York in the fall/winter, but I love this time so that's nice and I will get to see snow this year which I missed so much last year :) 

With all of this, I learned that Heavenly Father really knows each one of us personally. He has a plan for each of us. I know that everything happens for reason and that we have to take everyday as a gift. We shouldn't put things off and say 'Oh tomorrow I'll do that' or 'Next week I'll be different' because we have today Who knows what will happen next week, so we need to choose to change today. 

I loved serving a mission, I loved being a missionary and sharing this wonderful gospel with the world. I love Brasil and I miss speaking Portugues so much!! I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father who gave me the opportunity to serve a mission. This past year has been the best year of my whole life and if I had to choose to do it all again, even knowing that I would have all of this pain and have to come home early, I would do all again in a heart beat. I love my Heavenly Father and His Son. I know this church is true and that this life is not the end. My heart is so full of joy and gratitude to know all of these truths- we are so blessed!

I hope you all have a fabulous week!! This maybe the last letter that you get from me about my mission, but we will still keep in touch. I love you all so much!! Thank you for all the support, prayers and love. They were felt greatly. I love you!!

Com amor,
Sarah (Sister Chilson)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween, Miracles and 1 Ano

Bom Dia tudo mundo!!

Wow, this week went by so fast!! It was so crazy and we didn´t end up teaching a whole lot, but we had alot of fun and helped strengthen the ward :) 

First, our Halloween activity was a hit! Everyone loved it! People came in coustumes, loved the games, food. There was a cake walk, bobbin for apples, music, sugar cookies... all things American :) Everyone loved it though because they have never had an activity like this here. We are hoping that next year they will do it again and keep a tradition. I went as a cook because it was really easy and I already had everything :) People thought my apron was really cute though (thanks Joanna :)

I also celebrated the 1 year mark of my mission!! What?! My district leader right now was with me in the CTM (he is from Bolivia) and we had our District Meeting the same day we hit 1 year so we took pictures together. It might be hard to read, but the paper I am holding says ´Feliz 1 Ano´which means ´Happy 1 Year´and Elder Pepper is holding the paper with our names on it. I cannot believe that I have lived in Brasil for 1 year! Time goes by so fast and I remember counting down the days until I hit 4 monthes or 5 monthes and now, the days go by so fast! I love Brasil so much!! I love the people, the food, the culture... Brasil is such a beautiful, wonderful country and when I leave after I finished my mission, it will for sure not be the last time I am in Brasil :)

This week we also had a wonderful miracle happen. So we had a meeting at the stake center and we wanted to get a ride home with a member and not have to take a bus and we got a ride from a member who lives in the José Tenório ward, but lives close to us. So we were on the way home right, and we dropped of the first sisters at their house and something came up about food and he asked if we were hungry and without even waiting for an answer, he said of course and he pulled over the car to a little resturant. We thought he was kidding, but then he got out of the car and opened my car door and was dead serious! He then went and got the other sister and he bought ´dinner´for us! We were all amazed and super grateful and we thought that was it. We dropped the other sisters of again and then he was taking us home when he asked if we needed food for tomorrow and we said no, but he said that we probably needed food, so we went to the grocery store. We thought he was kidding again, but yet again he got out of the car and opened our car doors, so in we went to the grocery store and he said we could pick out anything we wanted. He was just walking down the alies like he owned the place and we were following behind him and he would ask us what we wanted. I picked out watermelon because I love watermelon now :) After he spent alot of money again, he finally took us home. We thanked him  10 million times, but he said that everything he has isn´t his, it´s Heavenly Father´s and by helping us, he is helping the kingdom here on earth. It was really sweet ofhim. So now we have almost 50 eggs in our apartment and a bunch of other food... It was so sweet of him to reach out of us and even more amazing because we have only talked to him a few times in our lives. Milagres são reais! 

Well, that´s about all for this week! I hope you all have a fabulous week!! I know that Hevenly Father knows and loves each one of us and He has a plan for each of us that we can become the best that we can be. I love this church, I love this gospel and I love Brasil :)

I love you and miss you all!!

Com amor,
Sister Chilson