Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 29: O campo ja esta branco para a ceifa.... literally.

(Translation: The field is white, already to harvest)
Because it snowed 7 inches on Saturday! We're also expecting a blizzard tomorrow with 2-3 feet of snow. We've got a lot of stuff to be prepared, so we're going to be fine. Maybe a little bored staying inside the apartment for a few days, but it's okay. 

A lot of stuff fell through this week, but it's okay. Let's remember what happened.

Monday we had dinner at the Hutchins again, and it was delicious. We had a really good discussion about prayer too!

Tuesday a bunch of stuff fell through and then we had dinner with a young family and we went to the Relief Society activity! Good stuff. 

Wednesday we were able to talk with a kind of less active lady who's super awesome, then to another one who came with us to a dinner with another member! Lots of members. But it was fun, and the dinner was at IHOP, so what's not to love? Nothing. Love everything. That night we taught Sean the Word of Wisdom. He's still just the coolest guy, and he is so committed to the gospel already. He's been off coffee for 2 weeks--I think he was told earlier he can't drink it--and he's going strong. It's really neat to have a good conversation with him, because he tells us about his doubts and worries, and then we tell him that everyone else knows exactly how he feels! And he's easily one of the most prepared people I've seen for baptism, right alongside Laura from Brockton. SO MUCH LOVE!

Thursday we had a really good weekly planning session, we ordered pizza, and then we had Chinese with a Brazilian for dinner! We're getting rather ethnic around here :) So it was Maria who had us over, and her brother Jose was there too! Afterwards we taught him the Restoration and it went really well. He's a new investigator! I think he'll be really strong. He's really busy, but his sister is such a strong and fantastic member, so he will be too. 

Friday more things fell through! So we wrote nice things on sticky notes to stick on Joame's door. When she saw it later, she told us that she loved it and read them all. I love doing things like that :) We also saw Marli, an AMAZING member who's really coming back now. I love her a lot. Then we had dinner at Priscila's house, and it was absolutely delicious. Brazilian food is awesome.

Saturday we had a red dot in the morning, so we didn't go anywhere until the afternoon. It had snowed 6 inches or so, but the roads were clear, so we visited Raquel again. She believes the Book of Mormon is the word of God! She's not ready to change her religion (she's actually a practicing Catholic). Yet. Then we were able to stop by a couple of formers/potentials and we set appointments with them! We visited Joame for a few minutes but we got a text telling us to go home (another red dot, it was snowing pretty hard again), so we left.

When we were driving home and almost there, we came to an intersection where we had to turn left. The snow was packed pretty hard, and I put the break on too much, so we skidded and crashed into the guard rail directly in front of us. (yes, we got in an accident.) Luckily, we had slowed down enough so that we weren't hurt at all. Not even a scratch. The airbags didn't go off either. So just the front right bumper of the car got damaged, and we're okay. Just without a car for a few days (which sounds like it will work out, because of the blizzard tomorrow we won't be going anywhere).

But you know what? I know the Lord is protecting us. If we had driven through the guard rail, we would have driven into a stream that was in the ditch behind the rail. Imagine what would have happened if there hadn't been a rail at all. And we don't even have a scratch. I will admit I went home and cried for a while--I'm pretty certain I did go into mild shock afterwards--but otherwise, we're fine. It's starting to be funny now. The Lord still has work for us to do, and there's a reason we don't have a car. I just know for sure that there were angels there that helped stopped the car so we would walk away unharmed.

Also, yesterday at church Maria told us that she had been thinking about us right at 6:45, when the accident happened, and that she had felt bad for us--but didn't know why--so she was praying for us right as the accident happened. And I know that all of your prayers back at home helped protect us too, so thank you.

We went home and watched the Testaments because I was just so done for the day.

All of that made Sunday an interesting day. Church went well, and the elders gave us a ride there. We got a ride with the Nixons to their house for dinner--they're so cool! They gave us a lot of food for the blizzard. They also just have really cool old stuff--and from there to our other appointment with a boy named Dylan. He's 8 and he lives with his less-active grandma, but he decided to be baptized so they're coming back! He's a lot like Ryan, and he's really funny. When we got home, we watched a reaaaaallly cheesy 80s video called "Our Heavenly Father's Plan". Good stuff.

So it was a good week! Not a lot actually happened as far as appointments, but it was still a long email, so there ya go. 

We're ready for this blizzard. Bring it on. In a few hours, though, so we can have a little more PDay time. But then bring it on.

I know that the Lord lives. I know that He is truly protecting His missionaries. I know that He loves each and every one of us and each one of YOU. I love Him. I love being a missionary. 

Stay safe this week. I love and miss all of you! Keep coming unto Christ! And go look up the "Come Unto Christ" song from the youth theme last year. It's my current favorite. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 28: Spring?

Well hey there.

Yesterday it rained all day and today it's a freezing 50 degrees, so welcome to New England I guess! Haha. It feels glorious outside, but I'd really like one or two days where it snows so much that we're stuck inside, then we can be done with winter. Please and thank you.

This week was probably one of the most interesting ones I've had thus far on my mission. It was all the same, yet really different. Sorry, I'm getting to this point in my mission where I mostly want to hear every detail of your life, but I don't want to tell you any of mine :) I'll try though! But basically all we do is teach lessons sooooo yep.

Monday! We had a dinner with the old couple in our ward who used to be mission presidents and the Boston temple president and now he's the patriarch. We had a lesson after with the guy who's dating their daughter, and it was a very interesting lesson. Basically, we gave the guy wayyyy too much information, so we hope that he did read the Book of Mormon and that he felt the Spirit enough to want to learn more :)

Tuesday. We had a meeting with Sister Wood, our YW president and it was really good because we're going to get a lot more involved with the YW! I love the young women. I'm so excited--we're going to plan a movie night watching the Testaments or something, we'll do an activity where they go street contacting with us, and it's gonna be great. I'm actually so excited. Later we had a lesson with Joame and Gabbi (and Joame's probably reading this, hi Joame! She found the blog and says she loves to read it.) about the gospel of Jesus Christ and it was awesome! Gabbi helped us teach since she basically knows everything. :) That night we had a dinner with the Pitcavage family and it was one of the most fun dinners I've ever had on my mission. Love it. Love them.

Wednesday we saw Gabbi and Joame again and we had a little tea party! With juice and Brazilian cake! Love that too. Then we watched Because of Him, my favorite, and talked about it with them and their friends. That night we had dinner at another member's house and that was awesome. I love member dinners. 

Thursday was weekly planning! It's usually good and always long. We did see two less actives that day, one english and one brazilian. Love that. I just love missionary work.

Friday was district meeting as always, with another lovely lunch at the classic Burger King! We've been really trying to do language study every day, so we did that. Later we met with a whole bunch of the Brazilian members and that was way fun! I ate a lot. They always want you to go back to get 2nds and 3rds and 4ths. I usually go for 2nds but more than that is hard... I'll keep training myself to do it. We also got a new investigator that day! We got a media referral over text, so we went to her house (she asked for a missionary visit!!). She wasn't there, so we left a note but decided to go back later. When we did, she was home and we taught her the first lesson! She met some missionaries when she was visiting Fortaleza Brazil (she doesn't know Elder Wilhelm), and they referred her so we could go teach her. Her name is Raquel and she's awesome. Love it.

Saturday we had 6 appointments set and only 3 held up. Welcome to missionary life! But it was okay, because we were able to go to the Olive Garden again for lunch :) We also visited Nilva, who gave us pao de queijo and bolo and it was great. Then dinner at an english member's house (love it!!) and we visited the Kostetskys! I love that family so much. They're the ones with 2 autistic boys. All of them are so great. When we went on Saturday, it was about 8:20pm so when the boys were going to bed, one came and told us goodnight! It was so sweet! PLUS Sis. Kostetsky is reading the Book of Mormon again! After 20 years! She read up through 1 Nephi 9 in one night, and Sister Lima and I were just grinning like fools while she told us the story up until then. We are so proud of her! she's really starting to catch on :)

Sunday! I love crazy Sundays. We had correlation, PEC, church (where it was ward council too! Go figure!) and then right after church we went to visit Gabbi, who is currently in a support group type thing at a hospital in Natick. Don't worry, she's all right. But I think where she is now is helping her. Anyways, we saw her with 2 of the YW leaders. I love that girl. And we had a really cool experience where we were sharing something from the November Ensign. When we finished, I had the feeling I needed to give my Ensign to Gabbi. It really wasn't that big of a deal to me--I had actually ordered that Ensign, but it was still only a dollar--so I was like "well okay." Afterwards as we were driving back with Sister Wood, she AND Sister Lima said they had both received the same impression for us to give Gabbi one of our Ensigns. So there you go. We don't really know why she really needed it, but we followed the Spirit and I know she or someone will be really blessed by it.

That night we had dinner with Sister Hutchins, the seminary teacher. I told mom about it. :) I love that woman too. 

Love. That's basically it. That didn't really sound like it was a weird week, but there were a whole bunch of weird things I don't think I should really get into. A good week, but a weird one. 

I hope you all have a really great week this week. Keep reading the Book of Mormon--I know it changes lives. I'm seeing it do so now, and it's amazing.

Missionary work is the best. Please find one thing you can do this week to participate in it! Go out with the missionaries, give them a referral, feed them dinner. Do something. The Lord will bless you for it. :)

I love you all! Have a SPIRITUALLY UPLIFTING week!! :)

P.S. Thanks dad for the hot chocolate :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Week 27: We're Missionaries, Not Nuns.

We know more than some people think we do. And that's all I'm gonna say 'bout that.

(I promise, nothing to worry about. One of our investigators just really likes a member and it's really easy to tell. that's all.:) )


So much Portuguese. Sister Lima had me start to learn how to translate when someone speaks English (she'd read an English talk and I'd have to translate). It's really hard. I get really frustrated that I don't know all of the words and I get really behind and everything, but I know the only way I'll really know how to translate is if I do it. I'll learn.

Boy oh boy, this week was busy.

Monday we did a sweet FHE with Brazilian members (okay, like one family, a family where the parents both served missions in Portugal, and Gabbi's family) about the tree of life. Oh, you know it was good. What's better than hershey's kisses taped to a fake tree? Just about nothing.

Tuesday everything fell through! Yay! Except dinner. That was good. A couple who are from South Africa are in our ward and they gave us dinner. I know Connor would really appreciate their accents. Also, their food is absolutely delicious. They're so fun. 
Also on Tuesday, I was really just having a rough day (that was the first day we practiced translating....). But we stopped by a former's house, and his wife let us in! It wasn't a super duper good lesson, but it was good. It made me feel the Spirit, so that's what matters. Then we were sitting in our car after and we called a potential who is one of 10 children and she set an appointment with us (that fell through but it wasn't her fault. Disregard that.). I really felt of God's love for me. When I have a really bad or hard day, something goes right, I think, just to show me that God is there and that this work is really up to Him. I have so many tender mercies in my life that come when I really don't deserve them. And for those, I'm grateful :)

Wednesday we had tons of member lessons! The coolest one by far was our dinner appointment with an Indian couple in our ward. They told us that they met the church in Idaho (they moved there from India), and that's where they first really knew about the church and more about Christianity than they had ever known before. They joined there, and they told us too that they know the gospel is true. Their friends will and do make fun of them and God if they talk about how they are Mormons, so it's really hard for them. But they recently received their endowments and are planning on getting sealed soon! I don't know if I've ever seen such wonderful examples of people who are truly and absolutely converted to the Lord and the gospel. Wow.

Thursday we started Gabbi's new member lessons! Man, I love that girl. She's so great. We had dinner at a Guatemalan family's house (I love them. They're the best.) and afterwards had a lesson with Sean, who is their friend (he was the elders' investigator, but we decided to share him). Sean is so cool. He LOVES to read the Book of Mormon because he feels the Spirit and always feels better when he does. He's really so ready for baptism. Right now he's praying about a date (he won't be in town for his original date, so he's deciding when to be baptized instead). He's awesome. 


We had a very last minute (like we knew on Tuesday) Zone Conference! It was amazing. I'll tell you about it in one second. But later we had dinner with a family that has 6 kids under 14 (sound familiar?) Literally it was just like home. I actually loved it so much. I can promise you that when all the kids don't necessarily behave, the missionaries actually enjoy it. It reminds them of home and they aren't upset or offended or judging at all :)

Oh yeah, and it was my 6 month mark! Strange. Elders Friebe and Rodrigues were there too, so that was kinda cool that we were together on that day. Hence the sweet pictures.
6 months!

6 thumbs-up for 6 months

Saturday we went to an 8 yo's baptism and Sean went and it was great! Then dinner at a filipino family's house. We're very diverse here, actually. Huh. Good day.

Sunday was another really awesome Sunday. Some less actives were at church, but most of our investigators weren't. Sad. It's okay though, I'm definitely getting better at Portuguese! I can understand a whole lot and have a conversation with people usually now :) Also, another dinner and another appointment with Sean. He's so cool.

Okay let's talk about the Zone Conference. Basically it was a reminder that we need to be working our hardest to reach our new goal, which if you forgot or I didn't tell you, is to have at least 70 baptisms each month until July (when Pres. Packard goes home). Remember the miracles I talked about that happened in November? We need to keep those going. The Lord has a lot of people who are so prepared to hear and accept the gospel, and we need to do our best to find them and bring them to Him and the gospel. This goal will take a lot of work on our and the members' part, but I know that the Lord will prepare a way. We've been sharing this goal with all of the members we see for dinners and things, and we keep sharing 1 Nephi 3:7 with them--this goal is a commandment of God for us right here right now, and He WILL prepare a way for us to accomplish it, but we need to do our part and act in faith.

Part of this goal is that we need to each sacrifice something and everything that is holding us back from doing our best work and consecrating our whole selves to God. I've made a couple of sacrifices.  I know that I need to be as obedient as I can be and as focused as I can be on the Lord's work, because this goal is really important. The Lord has shown us what is possible, and now that we know what He wants us to do, we can't just not do it. 

So please pray for us--please pray that this goal will be accomplished and that we will be able to find and teach the people who are ready to hear the gospel. Pray for them to gain testimonies and have a desire to be baptized, and please pray that we can find those 70 and more individual people who are ready to come closer to God.

I love you all so much and hope that things are still going well. Enjoy the snow, have a great week, and I'll talk to you all soon!
All but one of the Portuguese-speaking sisters


Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 26:"Knutti.... é japonais?"

My life in one sentence.

"Nao nao, é da Suissa. Nao, nao é japonais." (No, no, it's from Switzerland.  No, not from Japan.)

"Mas se Sister Lima tem o nome 'Knutti', com certeza seria japonais." (But if Sister Lima's name were Knutti, it would certainly be Japanese.) Yeah, basically.  (In Portuguese, it's pronounced "Ka-noo-chee"--hence the problem.)

I love Brazilians. They just cannot understand my name.

This week FLEW BY. It was a good'un. We did go have dinner at the Harneys house, and it was really great! They have our Christmas card right up front on their mantel, as it should be. The dinner was really really fun. :) Haha they said "So, we were thinking your mom would call and we would say.... 'Oh Sister Knutti, will you answer it?'" Nope, sorry. Love ya mom but nope.
Rachel with her mom's dear friend

New Years Eve was the most relaxing day. And it was way fun! The Vails (a senior couple) had to take Sister Lima and another sister who's serving in Worcester shopping for warm clothes, so I went on a last minute exchange with Sister Badham, and we went and did their service in Worcester at Habitat for Humanity. It was really fun actually! They wanted us to reorganize things and put pretty things on one shelf and everything that was right up Alyssa's alley. It was so fun, and I love Sister Badham! She goes home in February, so that's sad, but she's really cool. Then later we met back up with our companions and we rushed off to appointments. We visited the Fosters, this old cute couple who are awesome member missionaries (and his conversion story is literally the coolest), then we had dinner at the Bishop's house! It was awesome. He and his family are so funny. His son and his family live with them, and  he's our ward mission leader and the whole family is super cool. 
Then we went home, played card games with the elders and went to bed at a solid 10:30. Slept like a baby right through midnight and it was awesome.

The next day we planned! We taught Gabbi about 1 Timothy 4:12 (go read that scripture again! It's awesome!) and later took out Adriana (who's 17 and my new best friend. Her mom is the RS President and I love that family so much. Adriana is the coolest.) and everything fell through! But she was a great sport and had lots of great ideas. I love young women. A lot. That night we visited Marli, a less active RM who is super cool and came to church on Sunday! She's a fantastic member missionary too. :)

Friday after district meeting everything fell through. Until we had dinner at the Steadmans' (where I skyped home) and then dinner at the Souzas, one of the solid Brazilian families. Luckily I survived the double dinner because Sister Souza isn't super pushy about us eating seconds. Oh, Brazilians. I love their food, I just can't eat as much as they want me to! We had a great member missionary lesson with both families. It was awesome.

Oh, Saturday. Let's talk about Brazilian food, shall we? We helped a member Nilva organize the library so she knew which pictures were where, then she took us to a Brazilian buffet-style restaurant (so. delicious. I love Churrasco.). Her son, Bruno, is the coolest. He kinda looks like Jared, just Brazilian, so that's fun. He's really really nice to his mom and to the sisters (hmmmmm) and is really strong in the gospel. He's cool. The food was delicious. 


We went to Framingham to have a few appointments with investigators and Maria, who's a super member missionary. Then. She took us to dinner at a Brazilian buffet-style restaurant. Not the same one, but the same idea just in Framingham. Again, delicious, but I was still so full after lunch that I couldn't eat all of my food. Ohhhhhh I love Brazilian food though. 

And it snowed on Saturday!! Like a lot. Like we had our first red dot--when we aren't allowed to drive. We were driving home though, so that was allowed. No worries, we got home safe. We still had church the next day, and now there's almost none of that snow left on the ground. Welp. (But it's supposed to snow a bunch this week, so that's exciting! And kind of not. We have to drive to really do much of anything here.)

Church was great. I realized I like crazy church days. We ran around getting things done and still felt the Spirit! Gabbi was confirmed, hurray!! She was so mad at me when she found out she'd have to go sit up in front of everybody, but she survived. And church. Yep. Late that night we visited the Kostetsky family again and we had a great lesson, including a great discussion about how Christ literally brings light. When He was born, it was light that night in the Americas, and a new star appeared. When He and Heavenly Father appeared to Joseph Smith, They came in a pillar of light. Study that up! It was a great discussion. I think we'll be able to help them get back to church someday. It'll take a while, but it'll be good. 

It was really such a good week. The Lord is continuing to bless us and we are trying to work hard! Transfer texts are this week. Sister Lima and I are pretty sure we're both staying, but I guess we'll see. I know this week will be good as long as we work hard and keep up the faith!

I love all of you and I hope that you all have a great week. Good luck with school and seminary and everything. I know that this church is true and I KNOW that miracles happen everyday. We just need to pay attention and we'll be able to see all of the things the Lord is blessing us with. :)