Tuesday, October 26, 2010

TRANSFER!!

So the long and awaited day finally arrived. Sunday after church, I got a phone call from the mission staff saying that Sis. Chipman and I need to pack our bags because we would be leaving Rio Verde bright and early the next morning. Well....we were transferred to...(drum roll) Patos de Minas. If you look on the mission map, it is the border city between our mission and the mission Belo Horizante. It´s a city that isn´t even in the state of Goiâs but is part of the state of Minas Gerais. It´s one of the farthest cities from the mission home and before us only had elders. Yup...we are opening an area to sisters!

Sunday night we had a goodbye get together with some of the members in the ward. Because it was so last minute we didn´t get to invite everyone I wanted, but I´ll be sending letters next week. Needless to say I cried and the members cried. After 8 months of seeing them almost everyday, they´ve become my family and Rio Verde has become my home away from home. I don´t think it´s sunk in yet that this could be goodby forever. I´m so greatful for the people I met in Rio Verde. Really one of the hardest but most rewarding 8 months of my life.

So yesterday we spent our time on the bus and because I get car sick writing or reading anything I spent over 12 hours sleeping. We spent the night in the Sisters´ house in Ubêrlandia and then caught a bus bright and early today. Another 3 hours of sleeping and we arrived in our new city and new home. From what I´ve seen and heard about the city, the people are super friendly and while it´s a smaller city, it has everything we need...including baptisms :) The food is supposedly great...but fattening. The city is pretty much a bowl which means lots of climbing up and down hills. This should help balance out the food problem :)

It´s going to be rough starting all over again and being lost in an area that I don´t know. But the members seem great and I´m excited to get to meet everyone this Sunday.

. . .the city is so far away from everyone and everything, . . . I don´t know our new address yet because the plaque with the street name isn´t in front of our house. We don´t get to participate in the weekly district meetings, because it´s a 3 hour bus ride to the meeting. So...we´ll just settle for calling in our numbers every night and eagerly wait for zone conference when we´ll be invited into the city.

(NOTE: Since it takes so long for items to get to Erika and I won't know her residential address for a while, I have mailed all of her Christmas packages to the mission home.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gratitude For The Power of Fasting

So transfers have happened for a few people and others are still waiting...I´m one of the waiting.anyone.

I´ve been fasting and praying a lot this week so I could know what I needed to do to help the Lord´s work move forward. We have a lot of investigators, but only a few of them are progressing and the majority of them aren´t coming to church. We pass by on average 5 houses every Sunday before church, but out of these 5 houses, only one person ends up coming with us. I know that both the Lord and Presidente Prieto are trusting in me to help train these 2 sisters and I´m working super hard to have results. We´ve made goals (personal and in our trio) every week and we´re teaching with boldness, but last week I was (what´s the word in English) discouraged. I decided to fast until I received the inspiration I needed. There was no lightning bolt moment, but while we were teaching one of our investigators (Poliana) about the tree of life vision (yes I used the cut outs you sent) I applied what I said. We all have times of trials (mists of darkness) and it doesn´t necessarily mean that we´re doing anything wrong; what it means is that we´re being tested to see if we will keep holding on to the iron rod. It takes faith to keep going even when you don´t know what´s coming up ahead. Anyone can just give up, but the Lord doesn´t bless just anyone; he blesses those that prove themselves worthy of the blessing. Well...I´ve just kept going this past week and our investigator Poliana scheduled her baptismal interview for this upcoming Friday! Please pray that everything goes smoothly with her interview and with her baptism which is scheduled for 3:30 saturday!

I´m greatful for the power of fasting. It really does bless our lives and the lives of others.

The work is still going and I still love Rio Verde. I feel like my time here in this city is coming to a close, but at the same time I feel like I could stay here forever. It doesn´t matter where I´m
serving, what matters is that I´m doing the Lord´s work. I really love being a missionary!


We made chocolate lollipops for the elders in our zone and wrote their names
on each lollipop. It's my new favorite treat to make. . .
chocolate lollipops.


From last week's hike. . . we filled our bottles in a little stream. . .
no worries because my water bottle has a filter!


So apparently coconut water hydrates super fast but
too bad it tastes like moldy water.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rescuing O-W-L


Today's p-day was full of adventures! First of all when we woke up there was an owl outside of our front door (first picture) we tried to scare it away, but realized pretty fast that something was wrong with her. She would fly only a few feet and then fall back to the ground. We decided that she was just a baby and that she fell from one of the trees that are neighboring our house....so we did a capture and release (film).
The first try was not successful...nor the 2nd. But the third time we managed to catch her using my mosquito net :) and we stuck her in a box. We called animal control but today is a holiday (dia das crian's...day of the children) and it turns out that it doesn't matter what your job is, everyone takes the day off. They told us that no one could come and pick her up until Wednesday. They gave us a plan B...send her to the animal shelter via Moto-taxi. Here they have taxis with cars and taxis with motorcycles. We decided to go with plan B, because we don't know how to take care of owls but on the way to the Moto-taxi station, we ran into a police car. We told them the situation and they agreed to take the owl to animal control for us. Let's just say that I lived out my dream of playing Crocodile Hunter today!

We also broke the day today by hiking to a church that's about 1 1/2 hours away from our house...

1 So to get to the top of the catholic church they have the custom that you need to climb on your knees to show repentance. There were 86 steps and we only stopped to take the picture on our knees :)

2 We made it! With the group that went with us.

3 Inside the little chapel...the religion of Brasil...but we´re working to change that :)

4 There was a little natural pool with this water fountain. The rest of our group went swimming...minus the missionaries who just wet our feet.

5 This is an area where you pay to go fishing...there were little man made lakes all next to eachother. We didn´t have time to go fishing so we just took some pictures.

This week we really got working...but Satan was working too. So many of our investigators weren't at home during the hour that we marked with them. We're struggling a bit to find the Lord's elect, but we know that they are out there.

. . . One of these golden couples is Wanderlucia and Jeronimo. Wanderlucia read the chapter we marked for her 3 times because she wanted to understand what was being taught. She told us that before she read each time, she started with a prayer so that the Holy Ghost could help her understand the chapter. She's started reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning and is already in Chapter 5 of 1st Nephi. This is huge because she struggles with reading and the Book of Mormon doesn't use language that's easy to understand. But she asked us questions about the chapters and all of them showed that she understood what was going on in the story.

Friday we found a 16 year old boy who had been talking to his older sisters how he wanted to start going to church again and how he wanted to be baptized. Thirty minutes later we showed up to teach his sisters a spur of the moment lesson...he listened and this past Sunday came to church. I'm greatful for the Holy Ghost and know that I need to pay more attention to his promptings. I'm so set on making and following plans that I'd getting caught up on doing things my way instead of the Lord's way. I know that it's a humbling experience that we're passing through here in Rio Verde.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

OBEDIENCE

Everyone who understands English better than Portuguese (the Americans) got to watch conference in an English only room...que chic!

I hope that everyone enjoyed conference weekend as much as I did!

My sisters and I have some great investigators...but Satan is working super hard to keep them from progressing. Between Sunday commitments and marriages that are too expensive to afford, our investigators are having trouble keeping their commitments so that they can be baptized. We marked with 11 investigators to bring them to church to watch a session of conference, but only one came through with her commitment. Needless to say, we were disappointed, but we know that perserverence is the key. We are going to be changing a few things in the way we work, and I know that trial and error will eventually bring success! This upcoming week we are going to be going on various splits with members (some less actives!) so that we can double our work and get more results...plus we´ll be fortifying the members. This will be good for each of us to take turns working with the members. Being in a trio is good, but nothing is better than a regular companionship with 2 people.


So elections took place yesterday and this is what the street looked like outside of one of the voting areas. The candidates pay people to throw advertisments with the numbers of the candidates. Sis. Silvera says that most people just pick up one of these papers before they enter the voting area and vote for whatever person is on the paper.


One of our investigators runs a gas company (all the ovens and stoves here run on gas). We helped her paint magnets that she gives to potential clients. On the magnets she writes the name of the company and the telephone number, so that the client can put the magnet on the fridge and have quick access to the phone number.


I decided to use the mosquito net! First time! I don´t know what it is but there are tons of bugs @ night all over the place! Our bunk bed is only for 2...so I sleep with my matress on the floor. I didn´t want to wake up in the middle of the night to something crawling on my, so I put up the net. But...the putting up part was interesting. I used our clothes rack as the base and balanced a broom handle over it. I attached the broom handle to the net so that it hung over my bed. It didn´t fall on me, so I consider it a success :)