Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Week 33: Bad News, Good News

Bad News: Sister Lima is getting transferred to Lowell :( Transfer Meeting is on Wednesday, so we'll be companions until then! I'll miss her a lot. Sometimes I didn't realize how much I love her, but we have really had such a wonderful time serving together :)
Good News: I'm getting Sister Cruz as a companion! She's awesome, and I know that we're going to have fun. She was Sister Lima's MTC companion and she's also Brazilian. I'll probably always have Brazilian companions.

Bad News: Sister Nielson, my STL is going home. I love her.
Good News: Sister Asay is coming to Weston and will be my new STL!!!! This, this is what our days together in preschool have prepared us for. :)

Bad News: I..... am red dotted for the rest of my mission (because of that accident).
Good News: Sister Cruz drives! Andddd...... I'll drive when I get home! In 9 months.... I'm sorry, there's not a ton of good news to combat that one. They just barely received a letter that restricts my driving privileges until I go home. I really don't think that that actually will affect my driving record at all, just for when I'm on the mission. But maybe if you want to check on that Dad that would be good.....

Bad News: we... saw 0 investigators this week. It's been a bit of a rough time. 
Good News: We had 13 member lessons! So we did do stuff, I promise. :)

Bad News: I did not actually send you that package last week.
Good News: I did today!


Today's email is going to be really short, and I apologize for that.

So yes, Sister Lima is getting transferred. I'll stay here with Sister Cruz! The Spanish elders are both leaving, so we'll have Elder Tuckett, who will shotgun train here. It's going to be a good transfer, I can tell. At the end of the transfer is General Conference already! Can you believe that?? Time flies. 

I just really love the members here. I've got a picture of most of the Meredith family that I'll put on dropbox soon! I love that family so so so much. And Sis. Meredith's mom, Sandy Ray, might have been the nurse on duty when I was born at Payson hospital. So cool. All of the members here are really amazing though. There's a family who has 2 paralyzed sons, and Brother Nixon just told us the whole story yesterday. Wow. That's a story for another day. :) And we are so well taken care of here! So even though this email is short, know that we're doing well :)

Mostly the struggle we're having right now is finding new investigators. We have amazing members and we're trying to work hard and smart, but we just are still missing something. I think having sister Cruz come might help. Let's hope for a better week for investigators!

Oh yeah, and we had interviews last Tuesday! President Packard is just the coolest. Also, he had us chase him around the highway (in a car) on Saturday night to grab some fliers for a fireside this next Sunday, and he was wearing a sweatshirt! Not something we normally see, haha. He's an amazing mission president, and it will be sad to see him go in July, but I'm excited to see what happens with the new one, President Miller!

I love you all and hope that you have a good week. We're probably going to be free of snow this week, which is good, but it just stays cold here! We're having a good time and boy oh boy do I love my mission and my Savior Jesus Christ.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week 32: Some are Cold, but Few are Frozen.

President Packard said that at the end of a WebEx on Saturday. Gotta love him.

Well, it's been the same ole thing here in the MBM. Lots. Of. Snow. Don't believe me? I'll show you...

Monday we were snowed in. That's why we wrote on Tuesday.

Tuesday we shoveled a path for a man named Joe. He always asks us to shovel after every storm, so I think we've been there 5 or 6 times now. He's not a member, but isn't interested. But our bishop asked us to go shovel for him, so we shovel! We also had dinner at a member's house, then we tried our best to help dig out a guy who had crashed his car into a HUGE pile of snow. I mean HUGE. It's a story that doesn't matter as to why he got there (we think maybe he was drunk....), but we drove past and Sister Lima suggested that we help him. We tried our best, but he was really stuck. His dad came and they called AAA (we went home before the car got out but after we invited them to learn more--which they didn't accept), and the next day when we drove by the car wasn't there, so woohoo! They offered us $20, but we refused. I have to say, that was kind of fun to refuse the money, haha.

Wednesday was good. We saw Joame and Gabbi and talked more about the Word of Wisdom. Joame isn't so sure about giving up coffee--she says it's too much on top of the other changes the gospel requires. We tried to help her understand, but we didn't get very far. We're going to try to go back and talk more about the Restoration just as a refresher. I love Joame so much and I know how much she does want to do good, but there are some things in her life that are really holding her back... but we'll keep trying! That night after a dinner with another member, we helped with Mutual! You know I love YW and YM. We helped the Priests (meaning just the YM President....) put together a mutual activity about the BoM, and we introduced the BoM and why it is so important in the work. (I'll talk more about that later!) I loved helping at mutual. But Sister Lima had a migraine, so we couldn't help too much more. But we were able to talk with the Activity Days girls about missions and they were so cute about it! I love them too. :)

Speaking of Activity Day girls, let me tell you a story about an 8 year old named Celeste. I love Celeste. We were at her family's house about 2 1/2 weeks ago for dinner (the Merediths. I love them. So. Much.), and since we had had splits earlier, Sister Lima had been at their house helping finish dinner (which was given to a woman who just had a baby). Then we got back together and had dinner at their house. Got it so far? So then we're eating dinner with them and Celeste says "So has anyone besides my family and Sister Lima noticed that I got my hair cut?" We all thought for a moment and I said "... do you mean me? I'm the only one here not your family or sister lima.... but I noticed! I did!" And we laughed for a while. Maybe that wasn't so funny here but at the time it totally was.

Hahaha I love Celeste.

Thursday! Hahahahahahahahahahahhah nothing happened today. Just kidding, we did weekly planning and stuff and then we had dinner with the Pitcavages again! And we rushed to Framingham to see Maria and her less active son, which went well but we were home a little late, whoops.

Friday.... okay for real everything we tried to do today didn't happen. We had district meeting, where Elder Rivera gave an AWESOME training about the BoM (more later!!) but after that we did stop-bys for days and that's it. It was good though! We set some appointments for later.

Valentine's Day <3
After correlation and English Class (where one guy came.), we went with Sister Meredith to the temple to see the sealing of the Thatavarti family! Oh, that was so cool. What better way to spend my one mission Valentine's Day than in the temple watching a sealing? A lot of people from the ward were there to support them, so that was really neat. PS the Boston Temple is totally in my top 3 temples of where I want to get married, just so you knowww.
Anyways, as we were driving home it started to snow a lot so Sis Meredith just drove us home and we stayed there. We watched "Legacy", classic. Good for Valentine's Day too. And we played Uno and wrote in our journals and went to bed. And that was that!

Also, THANK YOU family for the cards and candy! That was so nice. Jared, please try just a little harder to glue something nicely for when you have a girlfriend or something. Thank you. But I really loved all of the cards, and Sister Lima did too. You're the best :)

Sunday! We were snowed in and we played Uno and ate food and read the Book of Mormon and we didn't have church, but we were able to have a little Sacrament Meeting in the Elders' garage. That was really great. I love the Priesthood and I'm so grateful for all of the blessings I've received from it. We each bore our testimonies and it was really nice :)

One other thing--go listen to/read Elder Holland's talk "Cast not Away Therefore Thy Confidence". I think that it's a BYU devotional. SO GOOD. It was a really good reminder for me as I listened to it.

Also, I read all of "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" and it's AWESOME. I know for sure that we have it at home because Dad tells me things he reads in it sometimes. The rest of you at home, read it. It's a quick read, and it will change how you think about missionary work! I challenge you to pick one strategy Pres. Clayton uses in the book and use it to share the gospel better in your life.


The Book of Mormon. Can I just say how much I love that book? If it hasn't changed your life, read it. Then it will. I know that it is true. I know that it is the word of God and that anyone can and will come closer to God and Christ by reading it. President Packard says that you will never run out of things to learn--you will read the Book of Mormon over and over again throughout your life and you will never find all of its riches. Elder Rivera said in his training this week "Lose yourself in the Book of Mormon". Please do read the Book of Mormon every single day. It will change your life. I know it has changed mine, not quickly, but rather slowly, throughout my whole life. I can't deny it and I won't. I love it, and I'm trying to increase my testimony of it so that I can better help others learn from it. You can never have a testimony of anything (especially the Book of Mormon) that is strong enough.

I love you all so much and hope that you have a good week! Luckily, we are cold, but we are not frozen. Yet. More snow is on the way.... enjoy whatever weather you have, whether warm or cold! Haha :) I love you all!

P.S. transfers are next week, so we'll find out the changes this Friday. We think some crazy things will happen this transfer......

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Week 31: Just Another Manic Monday...

For some reason that line of that song has been stuck in my head for 2 days now, and I feel as if it accurately describes yesterday. Enjoy.

We had another snow storm yesterday so we were snowed in again! I think I'm entirely done with red-dot pdays, thank you very much. It is good because they don't stop proselyting days, but still....

Last Tuesday we had dinner at the Waterfalls' house (they're members in the Framingham ward, but he speaks Spanish and she speaks Portuguese so she came out with us afterwards)! It was so fun. They have 4 cute kids and one on the way. Their second daughter's name is Rachel, and when I told her that that's my name she was like "whaaaat?" It was really cute. So with Sister Waterfall we stopped by a less-active Brazilian member and Raquel (but we didn't teach her). Sister Waterfall still remembers a LOT of Portuguese! I hope to be able to keep mine up like that.

On Wednesday Gabbi came home from the hospital!!! (I hope I told you that hahahah but she's fine) We went over to see her and it was really good to see her :) I love Gabbi a lot. That day was crazy, lemme tell ya--we were constantly talking with our ZLs who had a new car for us (WOOHOOOOOOOOOO) and then they were going to meet us at our dinner with the Indian family in our ward but then they got lost without a GPS, so Brother Thatavarti directed them over the phone to their apartment. THEN the Thatavartis told us they will be getting sealed on Valentine's Day and they invited us to go!! We're really excited. What a better way to spend your only Valentine's day on the mission? (we will be going to Chick-fil-A for dinner afterwards, that has been decided for a while, so that is better).

So on Wednesday we got a car again!! It's not our old car, it's a different one, but at least for a while, it's ours. :) 

Thursday was weekly planning! We tried to stop by a few people afterwards and we did teach Sean, which was really great as always. Then we rushed to dinner with Sister Silva where we ate delicious Brazilian food :)

Friday we had zone meeting and exchanges with the sisters in Weston afterwards! Zone meeting was awesome--we talked about how to improve our companionship study, and we got lots of good ideas. Then I went with Sister Nielson to Weston for 24 hours, and we had a great day! We taught some really good lessons, got stuck in the snow with our car for 20 minutes (but we got out, thank goodness), and had a delicious Venezuelan dinner. Love it. And Sister Nielson is so awesome! She goes home at the end of the month, which is so sad. She's an amazing missionary :)

SATURDAY. Big day. Sister Nielson and I had studies, a lesson, and some service and lunch for a lady in Weston, which was one of the most delicious lunches I think I've ever had in my whole life, so that was good. We went back to Marlborough and exchanged back and set up for Sean's baptism!! His baptism was beautiful. The PVC Sisters brought a display and the Spirit was there and the APs even came! (one of them had taught Sean once... also the APs are really cool). Ah, so good.  Then we went to the Bishop's house for dinner, which is always so fun.

Sunday it had snowed in the morning, so we didn't teach Dylan but we went to Church! OH AND THIS IS IMPORTANT. For ward council, they taught us how to do some more family history. And guess what??? I FOUND 3 NAMES TO DO!!! 2 males and one female. They are the 7th great-grandchildren of my 10th-great-grandmother Janet Thomon (mom's side). The one girl is Janet Jean Laing. I'm not sure when I'll get that work done, so maybe I'll send at least the boy names home. But that was so cool. And church was fun--I tried to translate sacrament meeting, failed pretty badly, helped in nursery for an hour, and taught YW. Good stuff! Then we had dinner with the Crums, who are my favorite couple for forever. And we visited Ariel. PLEASE keep her in your prayers today--she's going through a HUGE surgery as we speak. 

I'm out of time, we have to run, but I love you all so much and hope that you all had a good week! President Packard said this to us after our WebEx today, and I'll say it to you:

Be safe. be happy, act in faith!

I love you all!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Week 30: Tractin' in a Winter Wonderland

(Because of the recent blizzards in Boston, Rachel was not able to get to a computer until Tuesday.)

We don't tract like ever, but we have a song with the same title. I'd like to draw particular attention to one line of the song: "Our plans've fallen through.... The gospel's still true! Ridin' in a winter wonderland..." All is true except that we don't have a car. But we will tomorrow! HURRAY!!

What happened this week you ask?

-The Superbowl (Go Patriots!)



Tuesday it snowed. So we did puzzles, shoveled snow for 3 hours, enjoyed some time in our apartment's common are with the elders, and did more puzzles.
Sister Lima's snow angel

Rachel's snow angel

Missionaries make good impressions.

She delights in shoveling.

Wednesday we were luckily able to go out after lunchtime. So we shoveled and then taught Raquel again. She's awesome! We taught the Plan of Salvation, and she loved it all. We're hoping to see her today and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and extend a date for her! It'll be awesome. That night we went with Maria again to the classic Brazilian restaurant. So good. And we met with our bishop, which was really awesome to get some assignments from him.

Thursday was easily the most productive day of my whole entire mission, if not my whole entire life. We went with the Spanish elders to their service, we shoveled for a guy, we weekly planned, we made brigadeiro (I'm learning), we went on splits--I went with Sister Souza to visit a potential and Sister Lima helped Sister Meredith make dinner for a woman who just had a baby--we brought dinner to the family, we had dinner at the Merediths, and we taught Sean about the 10 commandments and Sabbath day. Not a single second of the day wasted, let me tell you. It was awesome.

Friday on the other hand, we didn't see anyone. We had a dinner, but Sister Silva wasn't feeling well so she just drove us home and we ate the food there.

Saturday we had correlation meeting and we went to the funeral of a recent convert (who moved out of our ward a few months ago, so we don't know him). There were a lot of nonmembers there, so it was a good place for us to be. After all that and serving, we had dinner with the primary president (who's super awesome), and she came with us to see the Kostetskys! It was a really good visit. :)

Sunday was a normal crazy day. A 9:30 appointment, ward council, church, dinner appointment, an auxiliary interview, and home early for the snow.

And yesterday it snowed and it snowed and it snowed. So we played games with the elders, played in the snow (it was very difficult to walk in... but we have some awesome pictures.), and did puzzles. A good day. We just didn't get to do any necessary pday stuff, so we're finishing that stuff today. 

And there you have it! Our plans fell through, but the gospel is still true. I love being here in the MBM. We have snow and it gets crazy, but it's awesome. The work has slowed, but I think that's our fault really. I know I need to be a little more diligent than I have been, but that's what the Atonement is for--we can improve in everything, small and big, no matter what. We can start over again and again and it is through the Atonement that we can come closer to Christ and become perfected in Him. I think I told you all last week, but right now one of my favorite songs is "Come Unto Christ", the mutual song from last year. The words are amazing. 

I hope all of you have a good week and that you all stay warm! It's been pretty cold here but we're making it through. 

Your homework this week is to read King Benjamin's Speech, Mosiah 2-6. So. Good. Think all about it in terms of the Atonement, and try to look for the central messages. We just finished studying that with President  Packard over the last few weeks, and it has been mind blowing. I love it.

I love you all, have a fantastic week!

Only because this is the creepiest photobomb ever.