Monday, August 30, 2010

Regina and Cristiani


Saturday night we were on our way to teach our investigator, Cristiani. She´s progressing SUPER well and accepted baptism for 18th of September. Well...we were walking to her house when we found her getting a pedicure in the front area of her friend´s house. We stopped by to see what time she would be finishing up and the manicurist said. "I´ve been to every church here in Rio Verde except for yours. Tomorrow I´m going to go to your church." It was completely unexpected, especially since Sis. Judd and I taught her the first discussion way back in March. She wasn´t interested, so we didn´t continue visiting her. Her house is in the middle of our area, so we pass by it almost every day. She works from home as a manicurist and everytime we pass by, we say hello. Six months after we taught her the first discussion, she´s decided she wants to visit the church. And yesterday, she went! She even brought her 3 children with her!

We stopped by her house (her name is Regina) after church to see if she had any questions and she said that after visiting every church, she´s finally found the one she wants to stay in! She loves the fact that the church is all about serving others because she loves serving others. She says that we are an inspiration to her because we are young, but willingly gave up our lives to serve here as missionaries. So...we are going to start teaching her and I´m excited to see what the result will be.

videoHarvesting Jabuticaba

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Witorya, Nuria's Daughter

This week we had a baptism! Witorya (Nuria´s daughter) turned 8 last month and since Nuria is a recent convert, Witorya counts as the mission´s baptism...meaning we had to teach her the lessons. . . . One day I will have a baptism where everything goes smoothly. Nuria and Witorya decided to ask José to perform the baptism (my recent convert and Nuria´s friend). Well I made the mistake thinking that because she was shorter she needed less water in the baptismal font...big mistake. Between the lower water level and José´s nerves, Witorya was dunked 3 times each time more unsuccessful than the other. So...Witorya was in the font crying becuase the water was cold, the branch president was at the front of the font trying to give José advice on how to baptize, Nuria was at the front of the font scolding Witorya for not keeping her feet under the water, Sis. Chipman had no idea what was going on, the elder´s were trying not to laugh and I was behind the font with my head buried in Witorya´s towel not believing this was actually happening. Well...it was finally decided that E. Morais would baptizer her. He has more experience and promised to baptizer her quickly. As soon has he said amen, he put her under the water before she had time to worry about the temperature of the water. Wow...baptisms are a lot of work! As soon as she came out of the water she was all smiles and joking...oh I love how quickly kids get over things!

We also had zone conference this week, which meant interviews! Pres. Prieto gave Sis. Chipman the challenge to speak Portuguese fluently by the next zone conference (25 days from today). Well he told me that if she wasn´t fluent, the fault would be on my shoulders...talk about pressure! I´m trying my best to help her and she´s doing really well at memorizing the verb conjugations. . .

So this week...my birthday was fun. The elder´s planned a "surprise" party with the brownies that mom sent me. They planned it @ Nuria´s house and even sang to me in English! Well, here in Brazil, they don´t have brownies, so they weren´t really sure how to make them...plus the directions on the package were in English. Nuria stuck the brownies in the oven and waited for them to rise...brownies don´t rise...so they burned rock hard. They hurridly bought some cake mix and threw it together almost in time for me to walk in. Oh I love these people so much!

Hahaha...this story happened today. We had lunch at an investigator´s house (the elder´s are teaching them) and they fried fish for us. This is one of the fish heads, complete with eye balls and teeth. Well...they challenged me to eat a fish head, and since I´m always asking for adventures, I accepted. Everything was going well until I pulled a piece of meat back and the eyeball started to pop out...then I started to feel sick. I´m not going to be eating fish for a while.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

22 And Still Learning!!!



So this email is special because it´s the first one I´m sending with 22 years! Today´s been a pretty much normal p-day other than the fact that I opened presents this morning after our study time. I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE the banner and the photos! What a clever idea mom! It´s a lot of fun to see everyone´s faces again and to know that even though I´m far away, I´m not forgotten. I don´t feel any older than one year ago, but boy do I feel smarter. I´ve learned more here in the past 9 months than the past 5 years and I know that it´s only going to get better. It´s funny because before the mission I thought I was mature…hahaha! Now I´m realizing just how much more growing up I needed to do

This past week was super successful number wise. We found 21 new investigators…that´s huge! We found a few families to teach which is super special.

Yesterday I gave my first talk in Portuguese! My topic…missionary work (surprise). I focused on new converts and less active members and how we as members of the church have the responsibility to care for one another (Mosiah 18). We´ve been visiting some less active members and this past Sunday an elderly couple came to church…the first time in almost a year. This gospel really is full of promises and blessings and this is what missionary work is all about…helping people live worthy of these blessings.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Maos que ajudam"

Erika has a new companion. She went to the mission home to get her. She says of Sister Chipman:

"She´s excited to baptize and has a deep love for the gospel and I know that this is going to make all the difference in our work here in Rio Verde. "


Service Opportunities:

"The church has a program here in Brazil known as “Mãos que ajudam” (Hands that Help). It´s an opportunity for the members to do a service project for the community. Our district here in Rio Verde cleaned a park…which meant we cleaned a soccer court and painted over graffiti. I painted and was super lucky that the paint they used washes out because I got paint on my skirt and camera bag. Yesterday we helped Nuria (my recent convert) with the birthday party she had planned for her 2 youngest children: Witorya and Witor Hugo. I love Nuria soooooooooooo much and admire the strength and determination she has. The elders, the sisters and one of Nuria´s friends from beauty school moved furniture, washed dishes, made food, set up decorations, cleaned floors and got everything ready. I´m trying super hard to get Nuria to love the gospel more than the missionaries because I know it will be super rough for her when I get transferred.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Companion

So just to let you know…I´ll be staying in Rio Verde for @ least one more transfer. The branch president joked that he´s going to request my membership records because I´ve officially broken the record for a missionary that´s stayed in this branch the longest. 5 transfers=7 ½ months!

So just to let you know…I´m going to be training a “novinha” this transfer! Yup! I was more than just a little surprised. I´m going to train Sis. Chipman who is from Utah (I think) and is tall and blonde (I think). The thing is no one really knows much about her and I still haven´t met her. I´m going to meet her today so I´ll be sure to take lots of pictures to send to you. Please pray that I can take good care of her and that we can have success in our area.