Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week 46: Sister Nudey, Kanudia, Knitting, Canoe-T, KNUTTI

I have been called every single one of those names this week. True story.

Well this week has been awesome. Can I just tell you how much I love Central Falls? So much. It's good to be back in the land of Portuguese and Cape Verdeans. Yesterday we were fed a very bony fish though, so that's not as nice. But I'll take their bolo any day :)

Monday... we had FHE with the Polleys again, and they were so kind. They gave me a Martha's Vineyard magnet so I can always remember them :) The members on the Vineyard are amazing and are so kind to the missionaries.

Tuesday I'm pretty sure I mostly packed all day long. then we had dinner with the Bilodeaus one more time and an activity with the Relief Society making blankets. Also awesome.

Wednesday was transfer day! We had one last service at the nursing home (I love the people there so much), where they brought ferrets!! Who doesn't love ferrets? I guess they did pee all over the floor, but not while the people were holding them. that was a plus. I finished packing and we caught the ferry just in time! One last ferry ride to the mainland and a car drive up to Weston took us to transfer meeting, which was amazing. Only 7 missionaries went home, so they all got a lot of time to bear their testimonies. It was really great. Then Sister Roman (ho-MON) and I drove into Rhode island!! Wooho!! (we have our own car and it's awesome :) )

Thursday! We had a meeting with our Relief Society president in the ward and the RS president in the group. Let me explain:

We cover the Central Falls Portuguese group. There is a Central Falls English ward, and we just meet at the same time downstairs. Our chapel used to be a Catholic Church, so it's pretty strange and not very big. But it does have 2 floors! The group right now has an average of 30-35 people who come every Sunday, but this past Sunday 38 people came!! The group leader, Irmao Machado, said that me and Elder Araujo (who just got transferred here too) can't leave until the group is a branch. I'm totally fine with that.

there are also now English sisters, who are our roommates, who cover the ward, plus Spanish elders who cover the Central Falls Spanish Branch.

Also, remember Elder Friebe? From my MTC and Brockton districts? He's in my district again. It's pretty funny. Our Portuguese has definitely improved since then.

So Thursday we had that meeting and then we did weekly planning, which mostly consisted of Elder Friebe and Sister Roman telling the English sisters what to do for the English investigators. We finished planning on Saturday morning for the Portuguese people. We share investigators with the Elders, so that makes things interesting! It's kind of nice though. The only thing is one companionship will probably be taken out at the end of this transfer.

Due to that fact, Sister Roman and I made goals on Saturday. We want to work so hard and have so many investigators that we just simply can't be taken out, or it would hurt the work here. I know it can happen, and I have a really really good feeling about this transfer! Sister Roman is awesome. She's been out for 13 months, so she and I are about the same pace. We try to speak just Portuguese when it's just us, and that helps me a lot. She likes to share clothes and she has a lot of cute stuff. Also, she gave me a dress that is too small for her. So all in all, she's a great companion :) But really, she's awesome. 

Anyways, so we made goals. We want to increase the attendance of sacrament meeting in the group and the number of investigators we have--we want to find 3 new investigators every week. Part of our goals is to pray for them every time we pray, so if you would like to, we would certainly appreciate your prayers for that :)

We visited a lot of members and a few investigators too. The people here are great! They are so happy and so kind. I like them a lot. 

I just want to share one miracle that happened this week (sorry time is short). On Sunday, church finished and we were just eating lunch in the kitchen when the elders texted us and said that Antonia, a less active, called them and told them that she was at church! We were like whatttt? (the spanish branch meets at 2, so she was there in that meeting). We went to say hi quickly, and she told us her boss let her choose what days to have off. So she chose Sunday andMonday and she wants to come to church!!! That was a miracles, my friends!! And we visited her later that day, and she works at a nursing home and might have a sweet service opportunity for us--playing music for the old people. #bestserviceever.

The Lord is blessing us immensely here in Central Falls. I know that He has a great plan for us and this area this transfer, and we just need to do our part. I love all of you and hope that you focus on the miracles that happen every day this week, because there are so many little miracles that just pass us by. Try to pay attention to them!

I love you all. Have a great week, and enjoy summer! (Because Memorial Day means the start of summer :) )

OH! And also I saw the Penrods, an awesome family from Marlborough, on the Vineyard on Tuesday. Plus I saw most of my past companions plus AnaPaula from Brockton when we went to the temple yesterday for the recent convert temple trip. The Lord is so good to me :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Week 45: From a Real Island to a Fake Island

That's right--I'm getting transferred to Rhode Island! Woohooo! I'm actually really excited. Sister Roman will be my companion, and I already know that she's awesome. I hope to be able to speak just Portuguese/kriolo with her, because I'd really like that all to improve.... 

It's crazy that I've only been on the island for a transfer, though. We did talk to President Packard slightly about it at Stake Conference that we had this weekend (my second in the Hingham stake, go figure!). He said that he wanted to keep me and Sister Redden together and he fought for it for a long time, but he figured he needed to listen to the Spirit. So off to another Portuguese area I'll go!

And I'm going to have roommates :)

This email will be super short because we have a zone pday today and therefore not much time at all.

This week we kept trying to work hard. We did a lot of digital mission work and we finally saw the Benoits!! That was great. We taught them the 10 commandments, and especially about keeping the Sabbath day holy. Tim has a hard time getting to church, and they've got a lot of tough things happening now, so please pray that they can find housing and he can get the sleep he needs.

We had some member dinners, we did a lot of gardening for some members (I'll send pictures of that next week :) ), and we got t-texts on Friday! Haha my first thought was "I'm going to have to pack AGAIN." but it will be fine.

We also had an amazing stake conference!! I loved it. I think my favorite thing is when a recently returned sister missionary said that we need to be "spiritually ripped". The enemy is getting stronger, are you? (Spiritually of course :) ) What a great way to think about it!

Sorry this is short, but know that I love you all and I will reply more next week :)
 The LDS church building on Martha's Vineyard

Typical missionary apartment

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Week 44: Mother's Day!

Talking to everyone was the best! Unfortunately for anyone who wasn't on skype when I skyped home, you won't get much this week. Because it's just that kind of week. 

Basically this week we did digital missionary work! We taught Isabella in Italy and Ismael in Brazil about the Book of Mormon, and I talked to Armstrong in Cameroon about my testimony and the Book of Mormon as well.  Who knew that I'd be doing missionary work throughout the entire world?? The Lord did :) I love it.

Otherwise, we had interviews with our Mission President on Thursday and boy I learned a lot. It's strange though, because the Packards go home the last week of June, so this was probably my last interview with President Packard! The Packards are so wonderful and I don't want them to go home (no one else does either haha), but that's okay. The Millers will be great too! I'm just really grateful for the things I have learned from the Packards.

Friday we stayed off island for zone meeting which was really great! We talked about having auxiliary interviews and ward council and how we can help and make that time useful for everyone. Then we had a lovely lunch at 99, a tradition for missionaries here who have 99 days left on their mission. 2 elders in our zone had their "99" on Thursday, so we went for them. I've got way more time than that left!!

And I skyped home on Mother's Day and it was the best. My mom is the best one that I've ever had, for sure, and she has done so much to shape me and teach me and help me get through this crazy thing called life. I'm so grateful for everything you've done, Mom, and I love you!!

Have a great week everybody!

 Sightseeing on the Vineyard

 Colorful Victorians

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 43: May the Fourth Be With You

I turned to Sister Redden yesterday and said "TOMORROW IS STAR WARS DAY" and she said "what? hahaha" And I responded "May the Fourth be with you". Because of course that's the most important thing about today. (She had never heard that before. Good thing I'm here to educate her.)

This week our numbers were literally the worst I've ever had in my mission, hahaha. Not that we didn't do anything, because we got some great stuff done, but right now we don't count digital mission lessons and things in our weekly reporting. So we had a lot of zeros and 3 member lessons this week. That's it. 

But it was still awesome!

Monday we helped the Polleys finish their rental--the other half of their house. We painted and cleaned and things. They rent that side out for the summer because, well, welcome to Martha's Vineyard. That's just what happens here.

Tuesday we did some GREAT digital work--we had a lesson with Isabella from Italy and Ismael from Brazil, and we (ok I, it was all in Portuguese because Isabella is learning Portuguese and wants help practicing) started teaching the Restoration up to Christ and His Church. And let me tell you, I have never seen anyone so excited to read Amos 3:7 as Isabella was. That scripture just blew her mind! So I gave her a link to the TG Prophets, Mission of, for her to read and study :) She wants to learn more and we should talk to her tomorrow!! Oh, the digital mission is so cool. 

That afternoon we just went home though because Sister Redden was feeling sick (and had a fever and sore throat...), so I sat around and updated records and read old records and found pieces of a map of the island and all sorts of exciting things like that. I did make breadsticks, that was exciting.

Wednesday we had a webex meeting about the digital mission, so we made it over to the church in the morning for that (Dad--we do emailing and all our digital work here at the church building. The building is actually a storefront with one big room we can divide that we use for Sacrament meeting and RS and Priesthood. there are rooms for Primary, Nursery, Seminary and YW. Plus the Bishop's office, bathrooms, and Family History Center. We stay here in the Family History Center like allllll the time because it has 4 computers, our webcam for skyping people, and printers and stuff. It's like our second home. I think that means we'll probably skype you from here, because we can. ha.) Sister Redden was feeling okay, but the hospital didn't want us to go do service because those little old ladies just get sick like that, so we stayed to do some digital work. We taught Rodrigo, a Mexican man, most of the Restoration! That was sweet. I tried to speak Spanish to him, but it was a whole lot of port-iñol-gles going on really. But he understood! We also skype 2 Brazilians guys, and that was awesome. Cool stuff.

We visited a Brazilian less-active who is very interesting. Very nice, but going to church is just too hard, you know? Stuff like that. Then stop-bys all evening. 

Thursday Sister Redden wasn't feeling so good again so she slept after studies and I don't remember what I did. Later we skyped some more people and called the Elders in Cameroon!! A few weeks ago I was talking to this guy in Cameroon who wanted to learn more, and I sent a referral but nothing happened. Long story short, I finally talked to him again and heard no one contacted him so we found the missionaries' number and called them through skype (totally approved, even encouraged by President, I promise) and they got in contact with him!! They told us later that they taught him the Restoration and he's still totally interested. How cool is that?!? His name is Armstrong. And he still counts as one of my investigators :) I'M TEACHING A MAN IN CAMEROON! Whoop!

We just weekly planned after that. Oh, and made Navajo tacos! Those are literally my favorite food ever. I've finally decided. (And we fried the bread dough and NOTHING TERRIBLE HAPPENED! I'M IMPROVING!!)

Friday we had a rather impromptu Zone Meeting, so we went off-island again  for that. Good stuff. Our zone is super small but great. I'll try to get pictures to upload for you.

and that's it. We went shopping at Wal-mart again because off-island is wayyyyy less expensive, and we don't have wal-mart here. 

Saturday we did go to service, which I really love. Those old ladies are the best. And when we did digital work, we followed up with Armstrong's elders (and found out they taught the Restoration), elders in Florida for another investigator I've never talked to, and we talked with Ismael again about our church. Taught him the restoration in Portuguese too! Good stuff. The rest of the night we visited with Sister Marshall, this really sweet less-active lady, and her granddaughter. Probably stayed there too long, but we're working on that. And we walked for 20 minutes in the dark (there are no streetlights on most roads here) because we missed the bus. When we called Sister Brown to ask for a ride, she was able to (hallelujah!) but the bus literally passed us right as we saw her car. The joys of walking areas. The members here are so great though :)

Sunday! We had a grand total of ELEVEN people at church today because 2 families were sick and 1 was visiting relatives. It was great though! We had a nice fast and testimony meeting, Sunday school, and combined 3rd hour all together. Plus a potluck lunch after. Love that. 

We tried to do digital stuff but no one is online on Sundays. 

Hahahaha ok so then we tried to visit the Benoits (not home) and we ended up visiting with Alice, another Brazilian less-active, and her brother Juarez (a Brazilian with a Spanish name), who's not a member! That was sweet.

But before all of that, we were at the bus stop waiting for a bus. I heard some guy arguing with someone on the phone in Portuguese a little ways off, and when we decided to go sit inside the terminal building to wait, we passed by and I said "Oi, tudo bem?" 

He whipped around and asked "fala português??" 

"Sim! Falo português."

You should have seen the look on his face. That's my favorite part when people find out I speak Portuguese.

"Não acredito. Quando você aprendeu português? Você é brasileira?"

"Não, sou americana. Mas aprendi por que tenho muitas amigas brasileiras."

"E sem sotaque! Parece como uma paulista."

"Sim, tenho uma amiga de São Paulo, ela me ajudou muito"

And we proceeded to talk in Portuguese the whole bus ride because he was going on the same bus. THEN when we got back on the bus to go home, our friend Anderson was there again!!

Hahaha I love when Brazilians find out I speak Portuguese. They get soooo confused. And impressed. And shocked. It's the greatest. 

Well, that wraps up our week. We actually did a lot, but our numbers don't show it haha. And today I feel like FHE needs to include a little Star Wars or something, because obviously that's the thing to do today.

Sorry this was such a long email. Hopefully I can still talk to you all about interesting things on Sunday hahaha. But I'm so excited to talk with all of you!! Get ready. If you want me to say something in Portuguese, think now about what you want me to say because when I'm the only one talking, it's hard. Dad, if you want to, you can try to have a conversation with me--you speak Spanish and I'll reply in Portuguese. Or you can hear my broken Spanish if you want. Whatever.

Here's my spiritual thought for the day--I watched the "Mountains to Climb" Mormon Message this week after some guy on skype said some inappropriate things to me (I blocked him, don't worry). Boy, that was the spiritual uplift we need.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the problems we have and we forget that others are struggling too. I've been bad about that these last few weeks. But we also know that when we do have trials and difficulties and things, we can always always turn to our Father in Heaven. He loves us so much. He is really there. He is really our Father. We talk to a lot of Muslims on the digital mission (those Turkish boys must just really like American girls for some reason), and when they say they don't believe God could be our Father, it makes me so sad. We have such an opportunity to have a beautiful relationship with our Father in Heaven, and that is one thing I am so grateful for, being a member of this Church.

It's true. It's all true. I know it. And you can know it too.

Talk to you soon!!!