I had a pretty good week. Portuguese
is still hard, but I´d say that I understand about half of what is going on.
I´m speaking better and I actually got to teach a part of a lesson this week.
It was pretty cool because I usually just give my testimony. I struggled a bit,
but our investigator totally understood what I was saying. So neat! I feel bad
though because Sister Lopes pretty much does all the talking. But nevertheless,
I keep trying, haha. I´m excited for this week because I started reading and
marking up a Livro de Mormon. It´s actually been super helpful, so that´s
another neat thing.
I love Brasil. The people are
amazing, the country is beautiful, and I get to be a missionary here. So
amazing. To put my love for these people into perspective, I willing took and
ate tomatoes for a member during lunch. They were disgusting and awful, but I
love these people so much that I didn´t care. I LOVE BRASIL!!!
Aside from tomatoes, the food here
is amazing too. Food of the week was definitely this pudding stuff. I have no
clue what the name is, but it tastes like if someone took a bunch of hostess
snowballs and made them into a pudding. I was in heaven! Also, the meat here is
pretty dang good too. Needless to say, I don´t go hungry.
The work here is going pretty well
too. We have a couple of investigators that are preparing for baptism, so that
is pretty exciting! Talking with people here is super easy because they love to
talk. Even if they´re not interested in the gospel they will still talk with us
about it. It´s pretty cool.
My favorite thing though, is talking
with the members. They think it is hilarious when I speak Portuguese so they
make me talk a lot. I really love them too, because they help me with my
pronunciation and learning new words. And when I do mess up, they think it´s
even funnier. Like the other day we were having lunch with a member after
church. I was helping 2 of the ladies with the dishes and they asked if I was
going to get married after my mission (Utah Mormons would do really well here because
it´s the usual to get married at 18, yuck). I was like, in Portuguese, No, I’m
afraid of marriage, which I thought was a good response. Unfortunately, I said
something along lines of No, I don´t give a `swear word’ about marriage. They
almost died they were laughing so hard. Oh, gosh.Obviously I am still
Well, I love you all and I hope that
you have a fantastic week! Peace and Blessings!
Minha Companhera! Sister Lopes
(Notice the graffiti as well as the spiral barbed-wire on top of that wall!)
(Looks like Lauren gets the baby bed! Good to see a fan in there cuz its H.O.T.!)
The Bathroom (totally leaves something to be desired).
The front room where we study and plan.
(She has lost a bunch of weight and someone needs to help her with that hair! Can't wipe that smile off however! Just what a Mom needs to see!)
Ok, so there`s about a million
things I want to talk about so I´ll try to type fast. First off, I LOVE
BRASIL!!!!!!!!!! California was great and all, but I can tell that I was meant
to be here. It is so comforting to know that I was set a part to teach these
people and that this is where I am supposed to be. I truly never felt that way
in California. I thought I did, but now I know I didn´t.
Anyway, the plane ride here was so
long, but incredibly worth it. And, I met up with three other sisters from my
MTC district in Sao Paulo! I missed them so much and it was so awesome to have
them to talk to while we drove 2 hours to Piracicaba. The weather here is so
hot and I always have frodo hair. Always. My stupid straightener and blow dryer
don´t work here, so feel free to send hair suggestions :) I don´t mind too much
So the first day here we had our interview
with President Canuto. It was really short because he doesn´t speak English,
but it was also good. It´s kind of weird being around a bunch of people who are
talking and not be able to understand them. IT gets better every day though. I
still can´t speak very well, but I understand more and more each day.
After our interviews, we went and
met our trainers. We went to the church, which is dang pretty, and sat down to
talk about stuff I didn´t understand because it was in Portuguese. We sang a
hymn next and while we were singing, our trainers came in. It was so cool! Then
President called our names and suspensefully called out our trainers name. I
was second and I almost died I was so excited. MY trainer´s name is Sister
Lopes and to say that i love her is an understatement. SHE IS THE BEST!!!!!
Also, she doesn´t speak a word of English, so that´s been really fun as
well:) Now, I love the trainers I had in California, but Sister
Lopes is my real trainer. I love her so much and she is such a great
missionary. Que Bom!!!
The rest of the week has been simply
amazing. Our casa is nice, we spent all day cleaning it so it´s also clean,
which is good. I don´t ever go bare foot though. Too many yucky things. Also,
we have lizards that live in our yard area. I love them and sometimes I get
anxious to hold them.
The food is amazing here. They have
lunch as their big meal, so we usually eat that with members. I´m pretty sure
if you don´t eat a store full of food then it´s considered rude. So I eat a
boatload. I would feel bad about eating a truckload except our area is all
hills and we walk everywhere. I am convinced my 8 half marathons and the whole
marathon were to prepare me for these hills. They are awful, but I love it:)
I adore the members here. They just come up and talk to me and keep talking to
me even when I have no idea what they are saying. The people we teach are the
same way. IT was so hard to teach lessons in California because no one would
talk to us, but here everyone talks to us. They may not be interested, but they
still listen. so dang awesome.
Not knowing Portuguese is a little frustrating
(actually a lot), but it´s getting there. I probably sound like a dang fool, the
people here don´t care and love that I´m trying to learn.
I love you all, and I am so grateful
that I get to serve in Brasil now. Thank you for your prayers. They worked!
We had P Day on tuesday this week because we got to go to the temple. I'll talk more about that later. But for now, I GOT MY VISA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT'S TOTALLY OFFICIAL AND I LEAVE ON THE 11TH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS MY BEST DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On friday we went to the mission office because it was sister Grant's birthday and she had some packages to pick up. I didn't really want to go because the zone leaders were going to get them anyways and I didn't want to waste time. But we ended up going down anyways and chatting for a few minutes in the office. We were just talking with the secretary, Sister Wade, and all the sudden she was like, "you know that you got your visa, right?". I thought it was a joke so I laughed it off, but she was like "no really, look at this paper". And much to my surprise, she wasn't pulling my leg and I really had received my visa!!!! I couldn't speak for like 15 minutes I was just so happy and then I cried a little bit in the bathroom, but that's not important. The take home message from this is that I got my visa and now I get to go teach people in God's language:)
It could not have come at a better time too. I love Anaheim, but I've had a hard time focusing on working here. Thankfully, now I get to be a missionary in my mission and teach people I was set a part to teach. Thank you so much for all of your prayers in my behalf. They totally worked:)
Now about the temple. Every other transfer the missionaries get to go to the temple and I was lucky enough to catch one of those trips. The Newport Beach Temple is incredible, definitely in the top 5 of the prettiest temples I have been in. I really needed this trip too. Since I received my endowments, I've gone to the temple at least once a week. But since entering the field, I haven't been able to go. I'm ok with that though, because it's my job to do missionary work among the living, not the dead. However, that doesn't mean that I haven't missed it.
This trip totally recharged my batteries and gave me a feeling of peace. So this is my plug for the temple: if you haven't been in awhile, go now. I promise that it will bless your life and that you will be able to overcome the hard times in your life.
Ok, I'm done being preachy:)
Other than those two major events this week it's been pretty low key. Actually, just kidding. With halloween and sister Grant's birthday, there was a ton of partying missionary style (mostly frozen yogurt parties). Also, the Elders in our ward baptized a man named Will. It's actually an amazing story. 2 weeks before I arrived in anaheim, the ward had a special fast for the missionaries so that they could find people to teach. Then, after general conference, 2 guys, Will and Daniel, just showed up at the church and asked to be taught. Will was baptized on saturday and Daniel is scheduled to be baptized next saturday. Talk about a miracle. It has definitely strengthened my testimony of fasting. I love food, but miracles are so much better:)
Well, the next time we chat, I will be in Brazil:) I leave the 11th at 8:15 am and don't get down to Brazil until 8:15 am the next day. Whoot!! I love you all so much and I appreciate all the support and love that you have shown me.
Eu amo voces!!!!!!! Eu estou indo a Brasil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(from Mom) yayayayayay!!!!!! HOOOORAAAAAYYYYY!!! Its my best day too!!!! I am so dang excited for you!!!! I just mailed you a package that should reach the mission home on Thursday and mailed a couple of letters too. Watch for those before you head out!!!!!!
I LOVE YOU SO DAQNG MUCH!!! MOM
(from Lauren) love you so dang much too, mom:) you are the best and I miss you.
Classy Halloween costume I found outside in a free costume bin.
These are all the sisters in our zone. Sister Grant, me, Sister mulitalo, and Sister napigkit. I adore Sister Mulitalo and Sister napigkit. They are the best missionaries ever. Plus they like taylor swift
Sister Grants birthday, we may have had an icing fight....
Yeah. I'm the only one doing a dorky face!
Wills baptism! He is golden!
This is Sister Ames. She's basically my bff out here and she was also a visa waiter. Luckily, we both got our visas so we get to be travel companions again (we flew out here together)! I love her so dang much!
Triplet Sister Missionaries!
Santa Rosa Temple
Ward halloween party. We set up a spook ally for the kids. Do you recognize the mask? haha
When Lauren was about 3, she discovered my mask that is exactly like this skeleton. She was terrified of it and it also glowed in the dark. If you know Lar, you know that she doesn't let anything frighten her. She wore that mask for days until it wasn't frightening anymore. Here are some previous Halloween costumes that I found down memory lane.