Monday, September 29, 2014
I've finally, over a few weeks, figured out a few things about Brockton:
-City of Champions is it's nickname because THE Rocky Marciano came from here. Like, the famous boxer? Yep, him.
-There are literally more hair salons here than I think I have seen in my whole entire life. I'm not even kidding. I would count them, but... maybe not.
-There are also a ridiculous amount of cats. I mean, they're everywhere. I have a funny story about a cat to tell you when I get home. I just can't do it justice over email.
-Also, funeral homes are a thing here? There's at least 3 in Brockton and they're pretty much everywhere else too. So... are there a lot of deaths here? I dunno hahaha
-Chain link fences. You just really have to experience Brockton, I think.
Let's get back to missionary work.
Lately I have felt that the language has been better, or at least I've felt better about it. It isn't necessarily easier to understand the Creole, but I can see myself improving slowly. We have elders here that we work pretty closely with who speak Haitian Creole, and I was talking to one the other day about learning the language. He said it took him 6 months to really feel like he got it--I think I'm mostly just very impatient, and that's not good but I'm working on it--and that it was still very hard. He also gave me some good advice on how to go about learning it.
All in all, I'm trying to trust in the Lord a lot more and focus on being grateful for what I do know. After all, I've only been learning/speaking Portuguese for 2 1/2 months! That's already amazing that I know as much as I do! Yesterday at church on of the stake leaders (I think) spoke, and he gave his talk in Portuguese--he must have served in Brazil. I understood 98% of what he said, so that's extremely comforting to know that I really can understand Brazilian Portuguese at least! Anyway, the Lord has blessed me so much already and I need to be patient.
And now for the work! Honestly, this week was a little low on lessons, so I'm just going to say the highlights. I need to get faster at this anyways, haha.
We think Karen doesn't like the Word of Wisdom... I guess they talked about it in Relief Society the one day she came to church, and that was before we talked about it. We're working on her still.
Also, we found out more about why chastity and Eugenia aren't good friends. Let's just say it's not pretty and we really can't say more about it. Poor thing.
We taught Jessica and Celia about modesty and chastity, and they totally ate it right up. We explained that it would be hard, but worth it. They're so good. We wanted to teach them about prophets and the Sabbath too, but only Jessica was there when we showed up for that lesson... so we read the Book of Mormon and talked about revelation! It went so well. Jessica has definitely received answers to her prayers, and it is AMAZING how prepared she is. Seriously. She didn't come to church yesterday--Celia did!--but she really wanted to and was totally ready, the ride just didn't work out, so we're going to do that better in weeks to come. Both girls are totally on track for baptism! It's so so so exciting, and they're getting excited too. :) We'll see them tonight.
Aurizanda... she's doing well, but we couldn't quite get her to say yes to a baptismal date. Obviously it's an act of faith for her to say yes before her situation is better, but she also might want to wait until next August when her sister--who's a member--will be here from the UK. So. Yep. Laura is our 100% platinum investigator, let me tell you. I am not worried about her baptismal date in the least. She reads all the time and studies very well. She even came to the Women's Broadcast ! (Which was amazing, by the way. I loved how they talked so much about temples and Pres. Uchtdorf's talk. It was perfect.) Wow. She is so faithful and so ready.
Through the rest of the week we visited some young women and other members. I really enjoy visiting the young women :) I go there pretty much everyduring church. My excuse is our girls are there, and it works out well--it's in English, they sometimes have food, and I love YW!
Also. Wait for it.
Um... the rest of the week was rather the same. It was a hard week for Sister Melo, so we did a lot of talking in order to help her. Some appointments fell through, yesterday was crazy as always, and we're just running around doing the work of salvation! You know, the usual.
I love this work. It's hard, and I am so weak, but with the Lord I am strong. This weekend is General Conference, and I encourage ALL of you to listen with open and ready ears. Go into it with a question, and I promise it will be answered. Remember, last year, morning session, I received my answer that yes, I was supposed to go on a mission. And here I am! How crazy this past year has been. How amazing too. I've learned so much and continue to learn things I didn't even know I could learn!
I hope all of you have a fantastic General Conference week. Thank you for your letters, packages, support, love, and help. Every little bit is appreciated!!
Just as teachers live at the school, missionaries do in fact live at the chapel.
Also, I did wear my glasses just for fun that day, so that's exciting.
Also, I burned myself this week with hot oil... whoops. It kinda looks like a creeper from minecraft I think. So yep.
You know, your average pet hens running around the yard.
Missionaries really are super heroes!
Monday, September 22, 2014
The title says it all.. I've been out about 2 1/2 months on my mission. Some days it's felt like a week, others an eternity. A minute in the "real world" is a month here. It's really so strange.
iPhone 6, huh? I heard about it, but I have no idea how it's different hahaha. So... other than that it's newer, what makes it better? Is it basically a mini ipad?
I'm glad to hear everything is going so well. Baseball, seminary, school, OUAT, the usual. Things here have been a little up and down this whole past week, but it's still awesome. I'm starting to realize that I will do the same thing every single day for another 15 1/2 months. Seriously, missionary time. It's all so good, but sometimes it just hits you.
Well. Let's get started.
Karen cancelled, she had an appointment, so we went and saw a recent convert instead. This recent convert, Joana, can't read, so that's an interesting tidbit. Some others actually can't either, it's kinda strange. But we shared the visiting teaching message with her about how Christ is our Comforter. Read it, it's really good. Then Alma 7:11-12.
Oh yes, we went to the mall last week too because S. Melo needed shoes. That was just about the strangest and yet most normal thing I've done on my mission so far.
During service at this Catholic Charities food line thing, I put the largest amount of hot dogs I've ever seen in my entire life into a fridge. I seriously doubt I've seen that much meat in my whole life.
We saw Jessica! But... Nilse apparently moved in with her boyfriend. We have a little more information now, but she basically dropped off the map for about a week, not even Jessica heard anything from her, until, when the other sisters somehow ran into her. And then we lost her again. Sooooo I guess that's a dropped date. Pray for her to want to come back and want to change, please.
But Jessica was awesome! We taught Gospel of Jesus Christ and she loved it. Oh, yeah, and she's amazing because she went to church last Sunday, went to YW and learned about having good language. She then decided--on her own--to try to stop swearing. Golden? Yes.
Then. We went to Celia's house to talk to her and her parents. Celia was actually at Jessica's house doing hw, so we saw her there but she didn't go back home in time, so we ended up just talking to her parents. But we got their permission for her to be baptized!! Finally! Ah, an amazing day.
We've really started to use time very wisely, so now we do an hour of personal study, an hour of comp study, an hour of language study, and an hour of training 3 or 4 times a week when we don't have meetings and things. So that's exciting. It is actually really good, just a lot of studying!
We saw a few members--who I could really talk to in Portuguese! Blessings for language study, for sure--today, including one of the YW, and that was great. We're really trying to help all of them get more into Personal Progress, and I love getting to know each of them individually! I'm so excited to be doing that.
And.... we had an appointment set up with Eugenia but she wasn't where we told her to meet us. So. We dropped her. It was sad, because I love her and she is really great, but she hasn't actually followed through on a lesson with us for weeks now. I guess the law of chastity scared her off or something. Alas. But Aurizanda, another investigator, is progressing! She still needs to figure out her living situation, but she really wants to be baptized. So as soon as she can move out I think, we'll give her a date! Woohoo!
But yeah, I had a little meltdown over the things I'll miss if Arissa and Elizabeth are really both getting married. I'm happy for them, but I don't get to do a single thing to help them prepare or anything. So that's sad. I asked the Elders for a blessing, because this has been really difficult for me, and they gave me one. Can I just say again how grateful I am for the Priesthood? It's an amazing blessing, and it is so impressive to me when these boys my age or younger can give me a blessing straight from our Heavenly Father. I felt a little better after that.
Ah, weekly planning. Always makes the day a blur. Uhhhhh I forget what happened. OH. We went to lunch with the elders because it was Elder Halling's year mark. That's right.
Elder Halling, one of the Haitianaries had his year mark, so to celebrate, of course we went to No. 1 Buffet. It is No. 1 after all. (a chinese buffet, a particular favorite of the Brockton missionaries) So the West Bridgewater elders are not in our district nor our zone but they cover Brockton? Go figure. We're working on the APs about that.
After planning, we saw Jessica again! We taught her about the Word of Wisdom, and she basially accepted it right off the bat. She's so great, my goodness. She always comes up with just the right questions and the right answers, and it's really amazing.
We saw Karen again too, and taught her the law of Chastity. And she was totally good with it! It was a short lesson because she was leaving soon, but good.
Then we saw Celia (& Beizinha) and gave her a baptismal date forand she accepted!!!!! Oh, finally. It helps that she and Jessica are good friends and we know her parents are definitely supporting her this time (she's had 2 dates in the past). Beizinha says she really thinks this one will work out. Hurray!!
District meeting! always fun. We taught a less active, an old/new investigator who is just fantastic, and a quick member lesson. The women we saw today are great. Some of them just have difficult things in their lives, you know? Oh, but we did bring a YW, Talia, with us to see the investigator. She was so excited! She's 13 and this was her first time going out, so that was really exciting for her. Think Merrily, but shorter and slightly louder and Cape Verdean. That's Talia.
Oh this day was hard. We tried to see a YW, but she had a modeling audition in Boston, so we just helped her mom translate her homework. That was pretty cool because it was about child development stuff, so I actually remembered a bunch of it! That was neat. It took a nice long time.
We had a Relief Society activity on eating healthy and picking healthy foods. It was good, I just really couldn't understand.... anyone. Cape Verdean women are really hard to understand when they get going really fast, even the other sisters say so. I was having a bit of a down day already, so that was really hard for me.
Because. Karen texted us and said she wanted to just go to her old church instead, but we could still meet from time to time. Soooooo that was way sad. We haven't really talked to her about it yet, but we will tonight. I hope we can get AnaPaula to come with us and help convince her otherwise = feel the Spirit. Oh Karen. Something's a bit fishy, so we're focusing on inspired questions today!
And we finished up with a YW lesson and a nice long and big crying fest for me. The language was really hard today, and I was stressing out over Karen and things. It was really hard. I can see where I'd like myself to be, but I don't quite know how to get there. The sisters all were so kind and helped me as best they could, but they're all fluent in Portuguese and haven't gone through this at all. they promised they'd help more and speak more Portuguese around me. I need to pray harder and work harder. As I was thinking/praying about it all, I thought immediately of Hymn #130, Be thou Humble. Those words were exactly meant for me in that moment. Every. Single. Word. Definitely revelation and a tender mercy.
Church was less crazy this week, especially because only one investigator was there. But we went to YW and they had blue cupcakes to eat, so that was good. We had a lesson with Laura, our investigator who now always comes to church, and it was amazing! She is so smart, so intellectual, and really wants to be sure this is right and she is prepared. And now she has a baptismal date for the!! She's amazing too, so strong and steady. Definitely a blessing for us.
That night we had a fireside about Joseph Smith, given by Pres. Packard. It was AWESOME. Celia and Jessica came!!! Ah, I love hearing President speak. He's really amazing.
Well family, my time is short. But I love you and hope you all have a great week! The work is good, it's hard, but I am trying to do my best. I'm still definitely working on consecrating myself, because that's really hard to do. But I love being a missionary, and though I miss people and will miss really important weddings, I'm definitely supposed to be right here, right now. I'm not sure exactly why, but I love it here. This week will be hard, I think, but good.
Hurrah for Israel!
Our girls! Me, Celia, Jessica, Beizinha, and Sis. Melo. Beizinha is the BEST. She comes out with us all the time and just barely decided to go on a mission. She's 18, so she's got a year or so left, but that's okay. She's gonna be great. Celia and Jessica both have baptismal dates for Oct. 11!!!
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Dad, there are 11 Portuguese sisters in the Mission currently, but one just went home for medical reasons. I could go to Framingham/Marlboro, Dorchester, South Coast, some place in Rhode Island now I think, and maybe Cambridge. They just closed that for PO, but they'll put elders in next transfer. We'll see. Or maybe I'll get put into an English area or open a new one or something. Who knows? Heavenly Father. So I'm not worried :)
. And . I'm gonna group them together, you will see why.... continue on, reader.we were pretty much out of commission, because we studied, started a project to make little booklets of members according to the map of Brockton (basically the project will make us way more productive), then drove to the MISSION HOME! :) I didn't have the normal experience there since I came mid transfer, so I was invited back. We ate dinner with all the greenies, studied the BoM with President (fav), and went contacting in Boston Commons! Plus some basic training which I already knew. It was way fun, and I love being around President and Sister Packard, they are really the best. night was transfer meeting, so I went to that! It was so cool, we got to see the greenies meet their trainers. There were 3 sisters from Brazil that came, 2 to speak PO and 1 English, so I had gotten to know them a little bit. I hope to be companions with them one day, they're all so awesome and nice!
And that is SO AWESOME that Westward the Tide got to sing at the BYU game. They're so good, they deserve to get really famous. Also then I'd be related to a famous person, so that's cool.
YAY MISSIONARY WORK LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT NOW.
By day seems to work best for me.. let me know if you'd prefer another way.
We had just a glorious lesson with Karen on Monday night, and this time we had Ana Paula, a member come with us. Karen is still so golden, it's ridiculous. Maybe she's platinum? Anyways, we taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. She totally gets it. When we asked what standing as a witness means, she said "oh, like if you're in a big group of people and someone asks who believes in God, you'd stand up, raise your hand and say 'I do!'" So yeah, she gets it. And Ana Paula was amazing too, she taught all about the Holy Ghost, we didn't teach that like at all. She also told her whole life story, which was pretty cool. After the lesson, she got Karen's number and told us that she feels like God wants her to be Karen's friend, so she promised to bring her to church (see) and text/call her during the week. Let me tell ya, members don't always just do that for someone they don't know. So try that sometime! So great. I love Ana Paula. We have another lesson with Karen tonight about the Word of Wisdom, or maybe Chastity. We gotta figure that out, haha. We'll do that soon though. I love Karen. We're gonna move her date to , just because of General Conference, but we still have to ask her about that haha. Tonight! (tonight.... ah West side story)
That night we bought African dresses, and I already sent those pictures. Those things are so comfortable, I would suggest investing in one. Or I'll get you one. Maybe not for dad, but I guess if he wants one....
At transfer meeting, I really felt the Spirit and was reminded how I need to consecrate myself to the Lord, not only now, but for the rest of my life. We all do. But as a missionary, this is the perfect time for me to do so, when I don't have so many things to worry about except Him and His work. I'm really trying to forget myself, the things I miss, and what I want, because this work isn't about me. I have such the privilege to be here as a missionary, so I better use time wisely. So my goal for my mission is to forget myself and go to work. On the back of my new planner, I wrote "All that I have, do and AM is the Lord's." Because it is.
Oh, hey, guess what? TWO MORE BAPTISMAL DATES! I am so excited. These were for Nilse and Jessica, 2 sisters who I think were taught before. They're friends with Celia and Beizinha. They LOVED the Plan of Salvation and had so many good questions. They are also so prepared, and I am so blessed to be able to teach them. They're date is, so we'll have 3, hopefully 4 with Celia soon, that day. I'm way pumped. Oh this work is the best. Also what was so good to see was Beizinha after the lesson! She came with us, and when we got out, she just said "Are you serious?!?" And we proceeded to talk about the lesson all 45 min of the walk home. Beizinha is so so so amazing. Have I already said that? Oh well, it's true. She is probably the most amazing person I've met. Her faith is so strong, her conversion story is amazing, and she is way fun. She comes out with us a lot. I love her so much, and I can't even describe how much.
So that lesson was awesome, then we had dinner with a member and talked more about tender mercies. SO. What tender mercies have you seen recently? I know I told you about that challenge, so I expect reports.
Yeah not much all day long... oh, dad, there's this place we went for district lunch called Little Sami's, and you'd love it. So if you're ever close to West Bridgewater, Mass, go there. It's kinda like firehouse subs, but I would submit better.
We did have a quick lesson with Celia and Beizinha. And let me tell you, that was one of the times I have felt the Spirit the strongest in my whole life. I can't quite explain it. We didn't talk much, just about Celia and her dad still. I don't really remember, honestly. We did talk about the Stripling warriors a little, but what I really remember is how I could feel God's love for both girls so strongly. It was amazing. I think that is what Celia needed to give her the push to talk to her dad, which we'll do. We'll see!
We taught Karen's friend, Steven, and he's just as golden as she is. He brought up baptism before we did! We taught him with the English elders, and we thought we'd give him to them, but then he came to the PO branch, so we'll see haha still figuring that out. But wow, he's way ready too, and so eager to learn and study the BoM. I love those people. I love all people, actually. Charity!
That night, Sis. Belchior and I went out together while the other sisters went to a wedding in Cambridge, and we got caught in the rain. That was fun. She's amazing, so obedient and still fun. I have a lot to learn from her. Oh, and that night I ate a chicken heart.
That day we decided to work with our YW a lot more! I'm really excited to get to know these girls better. I think it will make such a difference to the branch.
Not a day of rest, apparently. Sis. Lowenthal and I practiced for and performed a version of Beautiful Savior during the first hour (performed in sacrament meeting, which is last), then we were asked to teach CTR 4! The manual was in Portuguese. So I had not much of an idea how to teach 5 yos about how Jesus healed the children in the Book of Mormon. So we taught them "I Wonder When He Comes Again." They may not know it, but Sis. L and I sure do, ahah. It was really fun to teach them, but crazy.
Oh, yes, we had SIX investigators at church! Karen finally came, Steven, Jessica, Celia, Laura, Aurizanda. It was way cool! I didn't talk to any of them much because I was running around, but I think they all really liked it :)
Then that day my stomach started hurting... ugh. It was okay later that night, but we had to cancel a lesson and I stayed home with Sis. B again so I could rest a little more and eat. Sis. L said I had low blood sugar. I'm totally fine now, but it was frustrating to not be able to go out and work! I'm grateful it only lasted a few hours though, not longer.
One day I'll write a short letter. I really should do that, these things are probably way too long and no one really reads all the way through, except maybe Mom and Dad. Thanks, parentals. :)
So basically I'm working on consecrating myself to the Lord, because it's all about HIM, not me. What I want has no consequence. Rachel doesn't matter right now, but Sister Knutti can do a lot of work for the Lord. And my time is so short! I've been out over 2 months now, almost a month in the field, and it's crazy. Only 16 months left... that will fly.
I've been learning so much from the BoM as I study for the tender mercies. Please take the opportunity to study it like that, it is truly amazing. Think about every verse, and look for opportunities to learn,and you will!
I love you family and friends! Thanks, mom, for sending my music. It's felt so good to play it again. I love being a missionary, and I'm learning to love the people so much.
Until next week,
P.S. Tell me something you learned from your scripture study this week! Seriously! :)
Me and Sis. Belchior in the rain... and we had such good hair that day. Ah well, anything for the Lord!
African dresses and interesting product placement
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Oh I love and miss you family. I do. I'm glad school and seminary are going well! And the coat closet is nice and organized, very good. Ah, Ticket to Ride. Good stuff indeed, especially if you're in different rooms playing! Haha! But that does sound really great. I'm pretty sure we're allowed to play board games on Pdays but we don't have any... sad. Tell Savannah she is the greatest, from me. And actually all the young women. See below and I'll explain just a tad.
Ohhhhh yes, it was blazing here. I think it was...when we didn't use the car at all. Gotta love those sweat stains, ya know? Walking all over town in the humidity and heat is always a good time. But I'm so so so glad to be here in Brockton! This week was fantastic. Lemme tell ya....
Um. I don't remember what happened after I emailed. Probably just I played the piano a bit in the chapel, we ate food, and saw Celia. That was good! I don't remember what happened though, whoops.
EXCHANGES! So I was on exchanges all day in Foxboro with Sister Gledhill, who is just about the greatest. She is actually super good friends with Sister Wood, my MTC comp! Small world. But I love her to death, she was way fun. We ate a lot of carbs that day--pretty much only pasta.... yep, missionary life) and stopped by her investigators. Who aren't mine, so it may not be worth talking about. Oh, but one older lady, we were reading the BoM with her and she was like "What terrible names they have... Alma!" #mormonprobs
Before we got out teaching that day (and we drove, thank. goodness. I think that day was the hottest this week, if I recall. I was still way sweaty though), we had a mission-wide WebEx, which means President talked to us over the computer. A lot of it was just general information, but he also gave us a Book of Mormon reading challenge, and one I want to give to you!! SO LISTEN UP. READY? We have 2 transfers--12 weeks, but you can take longer, you have work and school and stuff, all I do is study and teach haha--to read the BoM. We were told to mark it up according to the tender mercies that we see in it (1 Nephi , Moroni 10:3-4, Title page, etc.). Think about that--tender mercies are the really nice things God does for us, especially when we feel we don't deserve it. I've learned so much by doing this so far! And President promises that we will better see the mercies in our life as we pay attention to the ones in the BoM. So I'm extending this challenge to you! Do it!
We exchanged back on Tues. night, after some plotting--see--so I was back in Brockton again. A lot of our appointments fell through that day, but we were able to see a member family and read 2 Nephi 2 with them and talk about why we need opposition in life and how our attitude affects our choices and how life goes. That night too, we saw Karen again! Wow, she's still so awesome. We taught her the plan of salvation, and it went really well. AND AND AND. We extended a baptismal date for (which we might now have to move b/c of General Conference) and SHE ACCEPTED! I HAVE MY FIRST BAPTISMAL DATE SET! She is so so so awesome. She was going to come to church yesterday, but didn't because she got in a car accident the other day and hurt her back, so she spent time at the hospital night. She was there until at least , so she just needed to go home and sleep. But that's okay--obviously she really really needs to go to church, because she's facing so much opposition! She really is so golden. I love her.
Wed. night we had a meeting with the Branch pres. about recent converts... not super exciting but necessary!
Ah, weekly planning. good stuff. Hours and hours of sitting. But this week was pretty good, we ended up actually having more of a needed companionship inventory. Sister Melo is awesome. After we finally finished planning, we saw a member, Olympia, and talked about her family--3 out of her 4 kids have served missions! That's really rare here, most of everybody is a convert and there are tons of broken families. which is sad, but so good when you see a pretty strong one! I forget what we taught her, whoops. Later that night though, we were supposed to teach Eugenia. We stopped by her salon to confirm that we'd walk with her to a member's house like 45 minutes later, and she was like yeah, okay. So. 45 minutes later, we go back to the salon, and she's disappeared. Gone. Her boss said she went home. We went to Eugenia's house, and her roommate said she was at work. So that was way freaky and annoying... we felt so bad for Claudia, the member (who is one of the very few endowed members in the branch, so she's super active and super awesome). She is so nice. We couldn't get ahold of Eugenia at all, so we ended up just going to Claudia's house to give back a bow l and apologize. She is just the greatest, though, so she was okay! We ended up sitting and talking to her for a while, which was exactly what we both needed, and hopefully something she needed too. She fed us dinner and everything! :) We told her about one of the tender mercies we had both noticed that morning in our studies (see above!!). Sam, Nephi's brother. I thought of Lord of the Rings, not gonna lie. But what a tender mercy it was for Nephi that his older brother believed him and stood by him! Food for thought. I gotta go faster. So our little talk and lesson with Claudia was really really good.
Oh, about Eugenia. Apparently she picked up and went to Rhode Island on a whim to see her 5-yo daughter (that happens.. the kids thing I mean). So.... yeah. Okay. We're gonna DTR with her soon, because she keeps falling through. Probably because we gave her a chastity pamphlet...
But. Daniel with the firey furnace--the men (i'm not gonna spell their names) said they believed the Lord would save them. BUT IF NOT they would still never deny Him and worship an idol. Think about that--BUT IF NOT. This is my new motto. Regardless of the consequences, we still need to do the work the Lord has asked of us. Be bold. Don't worry about what will happen, since it doesn't matter. But have the faith to do it anyways, believing that everything will work out in the end. Faith is nothing without action. So ACT! Oh yes, and transfer texts!! But no one in our district was transferred, so that's cool :). Sister Melo's 20th birthday!!! Oh, this was a good day. In the morning, we had a zone meeting about how we can fill up our planners when something falls through. Good good good stuff. We heard a story about some WWII battle.. I forget which. But think of the one in
We tried seeing a bunch of people today, but it all fell through. I forget what we did. But for dinner, we went to the Morreira family, a member family. Their oldest daughter goes to BYU and the ward Sis. Melo's family is in, so they set things all up with videos from her family for her birthday! It was so awesome! This family is just the greatest. Sis. Melo was crying and smiling and we all ate really hot really good food in the really small really hot house. But oh, it was so good. Then. Okay then. Ready? We heart attacked Beizinha's door (18 yo YW who is really THE bomb dot com, she shares the gospel so well and comes out with us all the time. I'll need a picture with her) because her birthday was. Then. We went home. And my plan came in full circle. So lemme tell ya.
Sis. Gledhill and I planned a surprise birthday party for Sister Melo! It was beautiful. She and her comp were coming to our apartment already to do exchanges with the other sisters, so they got everything set up and decorated so when we got home, it was a little party! We actually got home a little early, whoops, but it worked out just fine. And we totally surprised Sister Melo! That was my devious plan,and it was so close to perfect. Hahaha it was awesome. the picture (I think I included... wait no in another email I will) is of us on the couch, all the sisters in the zone. They're so great. Sis. Gledhill's comp is Sister Jessop, and she is so funny. the others are the sisters I live with :)
Good good good hard hard hard day. Whew, gotta go fast. Studies, training, lunch, Celia! We talked with her about Esther and how important it is to have courage, despite our trials and the scary things we're asked to do. We told her to pray, come to church, and fast for help to talk to her dad about being baptized. She's so close! This week we're gonna go talk with her and her dad about it. We also saw 2 formers, who are now our new investigators! Aurizandra and Nilse, plus Nilse's sister Jessica. Wow, these people are so humble and ready for the gospel. There are some difficult family situations, but they're doing great.
We tried to go to a lesson with the Haitianaries/English Elders but the guy wasn't home sooooooo we talked to a guy who really likes to talk! He's a potential. Then we went out with a member to see a bunch more people and got caught in the rain. that was fun. The elders saved us and drove us home, haha.
We had 3 investigators at church!!!!! Celia, Nilse (who are friends with Beizinha), and Aurizandra. It was awesome!!! Fast and Testimony meeting was also good. Oh, about YW, I went into the YW with the girls, and lemme tell ya, our ward is awesome. These girls are awesome too, for sure, but I'm partial to ours :) And guess what the lesson was on? Dating. good stuff.
After church, we had some lessons with members and 2 new investigators! Excited about that. The work is really moving! One of them has already been to church 3 times, so she's way ready. Then we talked with a member, Nenezinha, about Ether 6, and it was so awesome. Please go study that chapter! Think about how it applies to you life. It's so cool.
Um I'm boring today. We did laundry and grocery shopping... and soccer. Oh, my ankle is a lot better now! It still hurts some, but isn't as swollen.
Well family, I love ya, gotta run I think, since we're gonna go to lunch with the elders. I love you, have a great week, look for a little bit of mail, and I hope to hear from you soon! Oh, dad, I got the pillow and waterbottle. Thank you so much! They're great. :)
Pictures are on the way!
I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The owl was in timeout
Reminders to write those missionaries!
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Hello family! Many much things happened this week in good ole Brockton! Let's see if I can remember them all....
After Pday we tried to have an appointment, but it fell through. So I don't remember what we did... probably try to see a bunch of people who weren't home.
Okaywas great. In the morning, we had a WebEx with President, so he basically connects to everyone on a computer and talks to us. It was pretty neat, and I think we have another one . He talked about how to use members and be involved in the ward and stuff. So, all you back home, GO OUT WITH THE MISSIONARIES! We need it. Trust me. And having a member in a lesson makes a bigger difference than you can ever know. Give us dinners, support us when we plan an activity... the work will go much faster if we all work together, for sure. On Tuesdays we do service at a Catholic Charity, so that's interesting, but pretty cool. We help in the food line for those who don't have the money to buy food themselves. There are some interesting people in Brockton, for sure, but there are so many people ready to hear the gospel. It's awesome.
And. Oh yes. We had some great lessons that day. One was with a guy named Joaquin. Right as we started to begin the lesson, his wife came in the room yelling something in creole about them being catholic... so that marks a first: being yelled at for being a missionary. But he still stayed and listened to the Restoration, which was way nice of him. I think we're gonna try to see him again this week. One thing about Brockton is that there are so many investigators and people to teach that we see investigators at most 2 times a week! But that night we went to go see a new investigator, Karen. And she is so prepared and SO awesome. I can't even believe it. Basically she's ready to be baptized. She's gone to church her whole life, pretty much by her self. When we asked her about being baptized, she explained that she had been asked by the other church to be baptized, and she wanted to, but didn't feel like that other church was the right one to be baptized in. If that doesn't scream prepared, I don't know what does. Our lessons with her are in English, so I can actually talk, but she does speak Portuguese and thus counts as our "territory" haha. She was going to come to church yesterday, but got stuck in Boston with no ride home. But we get to see her tonight, and I'm way pumped! She is absolutely amazing, and for sure a blessing to me already. (I had a little breakdown in the car right before her lesson since I'll miss Elizabeth's wedding.... I cried for a while to Sister Melo. But things are okay now. And our lesson with Karen was so amazing, it reminded me just why I am on my mission--to help these people who need and want the gospel so bad!!) I love Karen.
This was an interesting day, because Sister Lowenthal was sick, so she and Sister Belchior stayed home. All 4 of us are Portuguese speaking and we live together, so Sister Melo and I picked up the lessons the others couldn't do. It went pretty well. Most were in Portuguese, so it was a little hard to understand what the people say, but I'm participating more in lessons now, so that's good. And I really thought a lot about the need for silence and inspired questions in lessons, because the times we don't talk are the times when the Spirit can talk.
Weekly planning takes HOURS. It's way important, because we plan individually for our investigators, but it just takes so long. It's hard, and I ate way too much food, but it's still way good. Sister Melo and I definitely received revelation for one of our investigators, so that was really neat.
After a whole day of planning, we went to see Celia again. I don't remember if I told you about her last week, but she's also way awesome. She's nervous that her dad won't like that she wants to be baptized, so she hasn't talked to him about it yet. We fasted for her yesterday that she could have the courage and strength to talk to him, and that his heart would be softened. We haven't talked to her yet, but keep her in your prayers. She has a super strong testimony, and it's amazing. Her best friend, Beizinha, is a really strong member, so she's been helping her a lot. When we asked Celia about her testimony about Joseph Smith, she said she believes he saw God and Jesus Christ and that he's a prophet. She said she really trusts the Lord, and needs to keep trusting Him. Celia is so amazing. I hope her dad will be okay with her being baptized, because she is ready.
And we had another lesson with Eugenia! It went well. We're gonna teach her the law of chastity next, so that will be really interesting... that's one thing a lot of people here struggle with.
Ah yes,. When we played soccer with the elders in the morning, I rolled my ankle. Through the rest of the day, and mostly the next day, it became HUGE. I'm sending a picture from I think. But don't worry, I don't think there's anything seriously wrong. It feels way better now, and only hurts if I move my foot a really funny way. So that was exciting. It's swollen just a little bit still, but not too bad. I bet it'll be just fine the end of this week.
Most of our lessons fell through this day, so we tried contacting all our investigators and kind of ended up driving around everywhere with no luck. But some days are like that, and we gotta have slow days to have really good fast ones!
All day long we helped set up for a wedding of a girl in the branch. All. Day. Long. Man, we were all so stressed. But at the end, it looked so pretty. We didn't stay long at the wedding because it started late, so we didn't really get to enjoy it all, but it felt like a pretty productive day, even if we didn't teach like anyone... Saturdays are actually pretty hard to get a hold of people for some reason. One thing I learned about Cape Verdeans is they LOVE. TO. PARTY. Everyone goes to every wedding. And the food? There was so. darn. much. I'm gonna try to send a picture, it's crazy. And there were a lot of Brazilian desserts, that someone MADE AT HOME, and they are so delicious. We have leftovers, thank goodness. You would love those, Dad.
Church was great! Sundays are definitely the least restful day for missionaries, though. That's why we have Pdays :) After church, we met with a member and talked a lot about Alma 36, conversion, and sharing the gospel. Go look up verse 24, then ACT! Share the gospel with someone. It doesn't have to be scary, just something little. Think of the gospel as a really important and expensive present that means so much to you--then share it like that! It's really amazing.
We helped out with the English class they have--teaching a lady to read, good practice for me haha--and tried to teach Eugenia again, but things were crazy and we really weren't able to teach her anything. That's okay though, because we didn't have a member and I think it's way better to teach the Law of Chastity with a member present... hopefully that'll all go better in our next lesson!
We went to the Boston temple again! It is so beautiful, and I'm so glad we got to go. It was also the recent convert baptisms day, so we had a few people go and do baptisms too! Way neat. And guess who I saw!! Sister Asay!! :D We didn't get a picture, because we were in the temple and she was about to go do a session and I just barely got out. But we'll get one soon. After the temple, we took some district pictures and went to Olive Garden, so it's been a good day :)
Well family, I love ya, and hope all of you have fun starting school this week! Good luck! Alyssa, I know you'll make a lot of friends. It will be all okay, and you'll love it. Everyone else, well, you already have friends at school haha. But have fun eating frozen custard tonight! I miss you and love you all a lot. Good luck with seminary, too, Mom!
Some random things:
Giant, the grocery store? Called Stop & Shop here. Bizarre.
For Ingrid: I saw a Swedish Shop and thought of you. I love you.
Look up my mission president on reallifeanswers.org --look up Daniel P. He narrates a few videos, and maybe then you'll understand what it's like to hear him talk :) he's super awesome.
Sisters at the wedding
At the Boston temple
In the apartment