We received this letter from the Mission President. I especially love the line about Nathaniel being blessed, "with the unique ability to bring out the best in others." Proud Mom!
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
This week we weren't really able to do much, Elder Lincoln got sick and we had to stay in for a couple of days. Then, this coming weekend is Carnival, four days when everyone just parties, goes to the beach, and, the whole country basically shuts down. Nobody has work or school. I'm guessing it will be really hard to proselyte during that.
I can't believe I'm almost 6 months in! I've learned so much and had so many experiences that I couldn't have had otherwise! I really am loving my mission and the people I've met!
I love you and miss you so much! Tell the whole family I love and miss them too!
Its great to hear from you!
This week was pretty good. We were planning on having 3 baptisms this week, Wenes, Simone, and Carol, but Simone had to go to the hospital because she has rocks in her gallbladder and she is having surgery. So that stinks. But we're having good success. The ward is getting way more involved and we are having people just show up at Sacrament Meeting... That is incredible. The past two weeks we have met 4 people for the first time at Sacrament Meeting that should be baptized soon!
The past few weeks have been incredibly hot and there was actually a serious drought, but the past 3 days it has rained and it has cooled down really well.
The power went out this week for a while because of the storms, that kinda stunk.
I've seen a couple of glimpses of the Olympics but nobody cares about the Winter Olympics here. Brazil doesn't even really participate and most people here have never even seen snow. :(
We've had some really fun times at peoples houses recently. At Wenes house we made pancakes because Elder Lincoln had brought maple extract to make syrup. It was sooo good to eat pancakes after 6 months!
I hope Valentines Day was fun! It's celebrated in a different part of the year here.
I love you!!!
Haha, it's funny what I miss. It's also funny because the members all know what I miss because all of the American Elders end up missing the same things! Its really funny to realize that here I kinda fall into an American stereotype, haha!
I had an idea, if you want you could go on google maps, and search for "Maria Estela" in Sao Paulo and look at my area!
Also, in a nearby ward they have a chapel that is 5 stories tall!!! I got to go there during splits! check it out!
Today was the transfer, but Elder Lincoln and I will be staying together! This next transfer should be a really good one, we are hoping to start off with the baptism of Wenes, Simone, and Carol. We are getting much better at teaching together and finding people to teach, so I am excited about this transfer!
Last P-day we went to the Zoo! It was awesome. There's a video of a street performer we found who jumped through a hoop of knives. That was pretty crazy, haha!
This week we also went with a member to visit a psychiatric hospital to drop off clothes and bring a few Books of Mormon.
I think it would be really cool to be able to come back and make some Brazilian stuff for you guys!
Haha, my shirts went from gross yellow all around the collar to white like new. Scrubbing my collars works like a charm!
Happy Valentines Day, I wouldn't have even remembered without your email!
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Hope you're all doing well!
We had 4 investigators at church again this week, and 3 of them, have a baptismal date for next week!
Yesterday at church I had a really cool experience! We had a home run of a testimony meeting yesterday, it felt like way more people were in attendance than usual and almost everyone bore testimony, and nobody bore one of those loooong testimonies, haha! Our ward mission leader told everyone how it's awesome and inspiring to work with the Elders, and Ianka and Paulo (two recent converts Elder Paiva and I baptized!) bore their testimonies on the truth of the church and Book of Mormon!!! It was super cool to hear their testimonies and see that they are really going to continue strong in the church! Elder Lincoln and I were among the last to bear our testimonies in the meeting. Then after the meeting Irmão Pimenta (Brother Pepper, heh heh) pulled me aside. Irmão Pimenta is like my favorite person in the ward, but we hadn't seen him in like 2 weeks. He pulled me aside and told me my Portuguese is almost perfect! He said I sound like I have almost no accent and said it is a miracle, haha! He also said that I am proof that the Lord is accelerating missionary work! It was really awesome to get a compliment like that, and while I still have some significant improving to do in my Portuguese I can definitely testify that the gift of tongues is real!
I got a package this week from Aunt Debbie! It had some ties, pajamas, and lots of American candy! I've been in heaven getting to eat Starburst again, haha! Give them a big thank you for me!
This week I learned how to make maracujá juice and we got to try starfruit! When I go back to the states I want to be able to make some Brazillian food. I think I'll buy a Brazillian pressure cooker for beans when I'm at the end of my mission.
Today we are going to the zoo! It should be a ton of fun and Ill take lots of pictures!
We had a really good week this week! We were really able to do a lot of teaching and we had 4 investigators come to church because of it! We are working with an incredible family right now. They are married and have a daughter who is 8 years old (it's totally a miracle to find people that are married and not just living together and not married) That, to me, is a direct sign that they have been prepared to hear the gospel. They are a great family and they have all had cool spiritual experiences with the Book of Mormon and prayer.
We went to Liberdade last week, its really cool there! On the way we passed this huge, cool looking cathedral!
This P-day we're just going to chill in our apartment, study, and I'm going to scrub my shirts, they've gotten pretty dirty.
As of tomorrow I will have been on my mission for 5 months! In just a little bit I will be 1/4 through my mission! It really has gone incredibly fast. I am having a great time and I am learning tons and the feeling when we get to teach the gospel and see people accepting it is better than anything else!
This week was really cool! We had a baptism yesterday, Everton, the boyfriend of a member. Elder Lincoln got to baptize him, his first baptism! It's really cool being a trainer and seeing all of the "firsts" of my "son" haha! It's great because now he is a member and I think this will help keep his girlfriend stronger in the church too! But, other than Everton, we haven't had all that much success, we're having a lot of trouble finding people to teach. Part of that is because were taking a lot of time to work with members and less actives. We actually had two really awesome experiences this week where we visited less actives who said they weren't coming to church because of some doubt. They both said they had asked others about their doubts and hadn't gotten answers they liked, but Elder Lincoln and I were able to answer them completely and both are coming to church because of it! We are trying to focus on strengthening members and less actives in part because our ward mission leader had a little meeting with us where he explained how he thinks that is the by far the best way we can help the area. Our area has about 80 active members and about 350 inactive! We've got some visiting to do!
Today we are going back to Liberdade with a couple of guys from the ward, it should be fun. I've wanted to go back ever since I went the first time!
That's funny that you think Elder Lincoln and I look alike, because Brazilians think the opposite. Before they hear my accent most people think I'm Brazillian just because I have brown hair and eyes, but Elder Lincoln has these really bright, green eyes so it's a dead giveaway that he is a foreigner.
Elder Lincoln and I also have a goal to read the Book of Mormon through in Portuguese while we are companions!