Monday, March 27, 2017

Let's be honest, not every week is good.

I'm having a hard time and I'm not gonna lie and tell you all that my week was great. Everyone told me a mission was hard but i didn't realize just how hard it was. These past few days I've really questioned if I can  stay here much longer. Physically im struggling as well as mentally and emotionally. Being moved to a new area was hard and the first little while in a new area is always a struggle. New investigators, new members, not knowing where anything is, being sad after saying goodbye to everyone in my old area. This week I got really sick as well and that didn't help with the adjustment. 
I wish I had some awesome story or scripture or experience to share that made me realize "wow! i'm just gonna be fine and be a missionary for another year and see miracles and be so so happy!" but I don't.
Maybe I'll learn some stuff this week after conference and through my experiences and have something to tell you all next week to inspire you. But this weeks letter is a bit of a downer and im just being real because lets be honest not every week is good.

letter to myself-

Have faith sister lytle. Faith that god will help you. Have faith that this week will be better. Have faith that your family is okay. Don't stop praying and hoping for better days.
Remember that you are loved. Remember that Jesus already felt all of these things for you and he can help you. Understand that you are not a failure no matter what happens.

Monday, March 20, 2017

"It's like leaving my family again!"

This transfer was super cool. I learned a lot of things. I'm sad to leave Camaçari Radial because it has been my home for 6 months and ive seriously met some of my favorite people in the world here. It has been so hard to say goodbye. It's like leaving my family again!! But I'm excited to meet new people and have new experiences. I will stay in Camaçari but i will go to a diffferent part of the city far away from here.

This transfer was really hard and I felt a lot of homesickness and anxiety and experienced some tough things but at the same time we were blessed with 7 baptisms and the happiness that came with that. I never imagined that i would see baptisms like this. Its been so cool to watch this gospel change peoples lives. It's so humbling.
Marcus and Caio baptism

Yesterday we had 2 baptisms of 2 young men we´ve been teaching for a while now. Caio is 16 and has been preparing so diligently for baptism for about a month. He reads the scriptures and says beautiful prayers and even stopped drinking coffee to be baptized. He had a desire to serve a mission along with Yago and Maycon! So cool. And the other boy Marcus. He was supposed to be baptized a few weeks ago but his mom didn't sign the papers. He was really sad. He wanted to be baptzied so badly and he goes to church every week and everything. Well we were preparing for the baptism of Caio and Marcus came running into the church with the papers yelling

 "sisters sisters!! my mom signed the papers!! she won't come to my baptism but she signed the papers! can I be baptized today?"

And of course we were like um yes. And he was baptized with Caio yesterday. I was sad that no one in his family was there but he didn't seem to upset about it. He was smiling so big just because he was baptized and because he knew he was doing the right thing.

It is very normal for these young people here to not have the support of their families. I can't imagine not having the support and love of my family. I can't imagine how hard it must be. But these young men who have been baptized (Yago, Maycon, Caio, Marcus) didn't have the support or love of their families but they never gave up because they knew that this was right and they felt that. They all have desires to serve missions one day. Im just so happy with this. to have more worthy young men serving missions and finding more people to bring to this happiness! ITS SO COOL!!! We´re all just helping each other out! and thats exactly how it should be. Ive been thinking of the scripture in John and the hymn Love One Another a lot this week and the importance
John 13:3 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Family in the ward

I'm so thankful for this opportunity to enter into homes of these people to teach them and to learn to love them every day. To realize that really we are all children of god, brothers and sisters and we should treat each other as such. The people of Brazil are the most loving people in the world I think. I know heavenly father sent me here because of this, because he knew I needed to feel their love and learn a lot of things from them.

Next week you´ll hear from me in my new area with my new companion and everything! AMO VÔCES MUITO MUITO MUITO


Yago all ready for church!!

son of the bishop received his call to Japan!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Yago and Maycon

baptism of Yago and Maycon
2 more baptisms this week! What! blessings.
 We were planning for the baptism of Yago for saturday night and all week we were preparing him and everything we needed for the baptism. Well since i first got here in Camaçari we visit with a 17 year old boy named Maycon. He has been taking lessons from missionaries for more than a year and has wanted nothing more than to be baptized. He was so prepared and just has the strongest testimony of the gospel. The only problem was that his parents wouldnt allow him and because hes only 17, there was nothing he or we could do.He came to church every week but it was a fight with his dad to get out the door every sunday. His birthday isnt until august so we told him, we will continue meeting with you every week and when you turn 18 you will be baptized. He accepted this but was always a little sad and we knew he didnt want to wait 8 more months. We felt impressed to make some goals with him. We felt very strongly that his dads heart could be softened. We told him that he needed to be praying every day for help, for his parents. He needed to continue coming to church every week. And we needed to fast together. We did all these things and at the beginning of this past week we handed him the baptism papers and said "take these home, pray in front of your dad, express your desire to be baptized, and ask him to sign them"
We left and waited anxiously for him to call us and let us know what happened. We tried our best to have lots of faith. He didnt call and we went to bed that night really sad because we assumed that his dad hadnt signed. Well early friday morning bishop called and said "sisters a miracle happened. maycons dad signed the papers." We all cried hahha it was so cool. This poor kid had been waiting and waiting to be baptized because he knew it was what he needed to do. He felt that. And through his faith and persistence and diligence he was baptized and confirmed a member of the church along with Yago friday night.
Yago and Maycon both have expressed desires to serve missions and will receive the priesthood this week.
Oh another miracle. Nadson came to church in a tie! He always said he would NEVER wear a tie. And he blessed the sacrament.

Where there is miracles and happiness there is always hard stuff too. missionary work is hard in case i haven't already said that haha. There are days that i really want to give up. Ive never experinced anything like this before. Such joy and happiness with such anxiety and sadness. Its confusing but i know its because where there is good there has to be bad to. opposition in all things. If everything was good here then it would be easy and i would'nt learn anything. I'd just be here in brazil for a year and a half and return the same person i was before. So ya its hard and i some days i dont know if ill make it 18 months but im still here and im seeing cool things and im learning so much. These people here who have been baptized are amazing.They have so much faith and they are helping me more thank I'm helping them.
Cute girls we have been teaching 

love you all.

sister lytle

Mission Pres. wife sent us this excerpt from the mission newsletter:)
Careful what you wish for!  Fake has turned to real!

Monday, March 6, 2017

5 Months down!

Sister T and me
Oi Family and friends
This week was great. We had 2 baptisms which was super awesome!! First of course was NADSON! He really did it! He was really baptized and confirmed a member of the church. My heart was just bursting with joy!! It wasnt easy though let me tell you. The morning of the baptism we went to the chapel to clean and fill up the font. Well WHAT DO YOU KNOW the church didnt have any water. This is not a normal thing that happens. We spent the entire say trying to figure out why we didnt have water and how we could get water and what we could do. It was exhausting. When the hour of the baptism arrived and we still didnt have water, everyone started to complain and say things like "lets just move the baptism to next week" well we knew that this baptism needed to happen then. We called up the sisters in the other area here in camaçari and moved everyone and everything to the other chapel about a 15 minute car ride away. Very few people here have cars so bishop and some other awesome members made several trips back and forth to get people to support nadson. Others walked miles to attend the baptism. it was such a demonstration of love that i wont ever forget. The baptism was perfect and i cried and the spirit was so strong! I know that this baptism was extremely important. Thats why everything went wrong. thats why the chapel randomly didnt have water.Because the devil works the hardest in these situations... But through the faith of everyone there and through a little bit of work and struggle, the baptism  happened and it was beautiful.
Nadson baptism!!!!

The next day we had the baptism of Melissa. She's 9 and the baptism was wonderful as well. My companion and i sang "Faz Me Andar So Na Luz" ('Teach Me To Walk In The Light") with a few primary kids. I taught them to sing a part in english and it was so cool. A bunch of little Brazilian kids sang "Teach me, teach me to walk in the light" with the cutest little accents and again i cried. shocker.
Melissa baptism

Also I'm not sure if ive already talked about Yago but he's 16 and we've been teaching him for about a month now. He is awesome. Yesterday he bore his testimony in sacrament meeting. He said from the pulpit how he was so thankful for the sisters who have been teaching him and then he looked at us in the crowd and said "and i think i want to be baptized" the entire congregation was all like

So again tears.

Later that night we visited with him and set his baptism date for this Saturday the 11th. The only problem was his mom needed to allow it. so we spoke with him and said Yago, if this is really what you want, then you will talk to your mom as soon as you get home tonight. you will have lots of courage and we have faith thats she will say yes. and afterwards you call us and let us know what she said.

So we sat in our house just waiting. Amd then the phone rang. And it was Yago. And guess what. HIS MOM SAID YES. we shouted and jumped for joy haha it was a moment i wont forget.

So lots of cool things happening here in camaçari. Lots of people who are so prepared to have this happiness in their lives.

Miss you extra today family. Seems like a lot more than 5 months since I last saw you.
hope all is well i love you all and i cant thank you enough for the love and support i receive from you all.

tchau tchau
sister lytle
My companion made this for me for my 5 month anniversary, it says "I love my companion, everyday, I  need to pee."
she spelled everything wrong but this is what she knows so far in English.  haha

Monday, February 27, 2017

"He said YES!"

Oi family and friends
Nadson will be baptized this FRIDAY. WHAT. This is a miracle. I am so happy.  Nadson was one of the first investigators i met on my mission 5 months ago. For 5 months I've worked with him and invited him to read the book of mormon and pray and for 5 months he didnt. For 5 months he didnt want anything to do with baptism. He was shy and closed off and didnt really care to listen to our messages. For a short amount of time we gave up a little bit on him. But we really felt like we needed to try again this transfer. we prayed and fasted so hard for him. And these past few weeks i have seen such a change in him. And tuesday night we ran into him in the chapel and started talking and i felt so impressed to invite him to be baptized friday march 3rd. It was weird because we werent in a lesson but i just felt like i should so i talked with my companion and we invited him. and he said yes. HE SAID YES. We visited him every day this weekk because i was scared that he would change his mind or something. But no. Hes so happy! He so excited! Hes a differnt person! Im so happy. He will be baptized friday i dont believe what im typing!
haha but i have such a testimony that the spirit can change a person. His mom is so happy. Shes a recent convert and whne i called her and told her he accepted baptism she thought i was joking but after started crying and screaming haha. You all just wait for the ahppy baptism photos next week!
i have never felt so much joy/frustration/sadness/annoyance for the lives of other people before. i have never been so concerned for the lives of other people before. Honestly it's exhausting. but its great too because i can forget my own issues (a lot) for a minute. Helping others is the best part about this work.

Every day is hard but also every day I see really cool things and meet really cool people. I know this isnt supposed to be easy. Because if it was easy then it wouldnt mean anything. Every day when we talk to peopel in the street they say "you arent from here are you?" haha and then i say nop im from america and then they say what what the heck are you doing here! and then i get to tell them why i left my family and home and life and came to dirty sweaty brazil haha. but its cool because what an opportunity to bear my testimony of this work. Oh man i miss my family and home. but its just a short time more. and i still have to find a family to baptize and bring to this happiness before i can come home haha.
all will be well. missionary work is so cool!! the gift of tongues is real! A boy in the ward here got his mission call to japan this past week. his mom just about died. I told her my mom felt just about the same way about me coming here. but it was cool because i was able to talk to felipe about the gift of tongues and the reality of it. I know japanese is way harder than portuguese but people i never thought i could learn any language and here i am with 5 months in my mission able to speak and understand almost everything. and i know its not me. im not a very smart girl i know that. but i am with the spirit and with god. and so i know the gift of tongues is real.
well. i love you all so much. my freinds and cousins and aunt and uncles and gmas and gpas and family. i wish i could name you all and just tell u all how cool i think you are. thank you for your love and support and prayers.
tchau tchau
sister lytle
"Little girl I taught who had a Buddy bunny, I cried"

Monday, February 20, 2017

Oi from Brazil!
This week was great and we are finding new people to teach and its just awesome. Oh something cool..we had 12 investigators at church on sunday. 12. TWELVE. DOZEN. WHAT. I didnt believe my eyes but God heard our prayers and we are just seeing miracles.
We had a zone conference this week in Salvador which was super awesome. I learned alot because now i can actually understand what people are saying! YAA! We learned about the importance of working with members. Its so true that we have so much more success when the members help out by giving us references or by visiting people with us. WE also learned about the importance of daily repentance. This is something that I never really grasped the importance of before my mission. We need to be repenting everyday because surely everyday we make mistakes. But we need to be humble enough to ask for this forgiveness everyday and try to be a little better the next. Also especially as missionaries we cant walk around telling people they need to repent if we arent repenting ourselves. But im learning and gaining more of a testimony that repentance truly is a gift from god because without it we cant ever return to his presence.
We are working really hard with Nadson and set a new date for baptism for March 4th. He is still struggling and saying he has fear but we arent sure of what yet. But i have so much faith in him and he comes to church every week in a white shirt and he goes to the activities too! i have been working with nadson since the first day in the field-almost 5 months! I have seen such a change in him and i know he will be ready by the 4th..he just has to believe that himself.
We also are tecahing a girl names Melissa. Shes 9 and will be baptized on the 4th as well. She is awesome and is super excited to be baptized but still has alot to learn. I love teaching kids about the gospel because everything is so much simpler and they are so honest and sincere. Her mom is a reccent convert and has been helping us out alot.
My companion is the best. She is so funny. Heres a story for everyone to have a good laugh:
So the other day she found a butterfly cocoon on the ground and decided she wanted to bring it home and build a home for it. i wanted to say ummm are you 5 years old? but i was nice and said ok go ahead instead.
She talked about this butterfly everyday. she would say "oh my companion, one day it will come out of the cocoon and be so beautiful" and i went along with it but i was pretty sure it was dead since it was on the ground and since it had been sitting inside our house for like 4 days. Didnt want to break my companions heart though. well the other night i was just starting to fall asleep when she starts yelling "SISTER SISTER!!" and then i feel something hit me square in the head. WELL JUST GUESS WHAT IT WAS. We turned the lights on and there is the biggest ugliest moth ive ever seen in my life. Im not kidding this thing was huge. size of a small bird. So theres this weird brazilian moth flying around our house and my companion running after it with a cup yelling "MELISSA AUBREY!" (she named it both of our first names lol)
anyways we opened the windows and waited in sheer terror for this weird moth butterfly bird thing to leave for like 20 minutes. And then finally it flies out the window and my sister torquato looks at me with tears in her eyes (im not kidding) and says in english "Melissa Aubrey is baby is gone" hahahahha i have never laughed so hard.
Anyways that was my week. Taught lots of cool people and am learning so much about our savior jesus christ and what he did for us and the plan our heavenly father has for us. we are so lucky to have this knowledge. what happiness it brings and what comfort in times of anxiety.
I miss you all! I love you all!
sister lytle tchau!

my wall

Monday, February 13, 2017

Lots of teaching English going on!

I have a new companion! Sister Torquato!
She's awesome. She really wants to learn english so everytime shes sees something she asks what it is in english. then i tell her and she repeats it with the worst accent ive ever heard. just imagine how she must feel with me and my portuguese everyday! The other day we were walking down the street and she looks at me and says (in english) "my blood is red" hahah i couldn't stop laughing and i asked her if she knew what she had said and she said no. i told her in Portuguese and she couldn't stop laughing either. not sure where she learned that and not gonna lie it freaked me out a little.

Speaking of english I taught an english class this week! it was awesome and a bunch of people showed up. it was super hard not to laugh at everyones accents.  They LOVE english here. they love it so much but no one knows how to speak it. haha
My English class!

Ana Luiza was baptized on Saturday!

She is so awesome and so happy. So many people came to see her be baptized. It was a very happy day for me because Ana Luiza and her family were some of the first people i met in my mission and they have helped me so much and I'm glad i got to be a part of helping her get baptized.

Nadson came to church again!! But this time... In a white shirt!! I could've cried i was so happy. Hopefully he will let us set a baptism date for him soon. We are working so hard with him.
I also gave a talk yesterday in church and let me tell ya if you think giving a talk in english is scary, try it in portugeuse. i was a nervous wreck but i got through it haha. I spoke about obedience and it was really awesome to be able to study and learn a little more about obedience and how important it is. i spoke about jesus christ and his example of obedience when he atoned for our sins in the garden of gethsemane. He didn't have to do that because he is perfect. at any moment he could've said, no im not doing this, this is too hard. But he knew his purpose and he knew he needed to be obedient to Heavenly Father. In matthew 26,  He asks twice if there is any other way 2 times but he also says "not my will but thine be done" "não seja como eu quero, mas como tu queres."
 He performed this act for every person who ever lived- the hardest thing that ever was done or ever will be done out of pure love. I cant even tell you the love i feel from this. I know that jesus christ truly atoned for our sins. I know he did it because it was the plan of heavenly father and he knew he needed to be obedient. When i struggle i think- ok, jesus already felt this he felt it so that he could help me to go through it today. he felt it because he loves me. I can obey i can continue on. Becasue of all he did for me i can serve and obey.
We went to the home of a woman named Joselha the week. We met her in the street and she said we could visit her in her home. We arrived at her house and she didn't seem so excited to let us in or talk to us in general. But she let us in. I felt super uncomfortable at first but as soon as we sat down i felt like i just needed to start asking questions about her family and life. She talked about her family and their struggles. she cried. She told us she didnt have a religion (super rare here)  but she believes in god. She poured her heart out to us. I sat there wondering why some random woman was so willing to tell us all about her life and problems. I realized that she must be so lonely and so in need of people who love her and care for her.
Never in my life have I experienced so much love for complete strangers as I have in my mission so far. it so cool to realize that we truly are all brothers and sisters and we are here to help and love each other.
Joselha said that we could return to her home ths next week and teach her the first lesson. It was so cool to bear testimony of the happiness this gospel bring into the lives of even the most discouraged sad people to talk about Jesus Christ and that he already felt what she's feeling and all she has to do is pray to find help and love.

Being a missionary is the coolest. The people here are incredible. I will never forget them and their examples and love. I realized the other day that I will hit my 6 month mark in Camaçari. I will have spent 1/3 of my mission here and i think that means its pretty special in my life and there were people here I really needed to meet and learn from. I learn more from these people than they learn from me and thats for sure.

 sol isso. I miss you all. I love you all!!

tchau! sister lytle