Friday, May 20, 2011

The End

Well...I can't believe that I'm the one writing on the blog again. Yes, this is Erika. I came home yesterday bright and early and last night was released from being a full time missionary. I can't believe that the end has come but I'm thankful for all that Heavenly Father has taught me in these past 18 months. Serving a mission was the hardest and best decision that I've made in my life and if I could, I would do it all over again.
I know that this is the true church with the priesthood power from God. I'm greatful for church leaders who guide us and bless us in every moment of our lives and I'm greatful for the special moments I had on the mission that strengthened me and challenged me. I loved being a missionary and will love being able to help the missionary work here in my own country...but how I already miss Brasil.
The adjusting will take some time...but I won't be changing the spirit that I've felt the past 18's just going to get better!
Thanks for keeping up with my mission and for helping my mom when she hit difficulties with the blog :)



Monday, May 16, 2011

Last Entry By Truly Yours. . . . .Erika's Mom

Well...this is it! The last email home! The time has flown by, but I´m excited to see everyone again this week! We had lots of fun this past week recording the CD. Unfortunately, it won´t be ready until the end of next week...but the mission office promised me that they´d be mailing me a copy, so that´s something to look forward to. As you can see from the photo it was an officail recording studio that had giant bank doors to keep sound out. We used headsets and spiffy microphones that picked up everything...even the shuffling of shoes! We sang some group numbers and then we sang the duets and solos. OHHHHHH.....I LOVE MUSIC!!! I´m excited to see how the CD turns out! We spent almost 3 days practicing and recording and catching buses, so this week went by quickly.

The ward found out yesterday that I´m going home this week. They asked me to give a talk next week and my response was "I would love to, but I can´t. I´m going to be in a different country." That let the cat out of the bag and everyone found out at the same time that my mission is almost over :) Until yesterday nobody knew that I was going home so soon! Just how I wanted it! So...we said some goodbyes yesterday and then I finished packing. I´m surprised at how much so little can weigh! I have practically nothing in my bags, but they are super heavy! It´s all those journals I wrote in these past months...heavy stuff.

They want me to be in Goiânia tomorrow...first thing in the morning...but I´m trying to see if we can go tonight...I´m not to excited about catching the bus 5 am when everyone else in the city is going to Goiânia to work or school. So, we´ll see what happens...but whatever happens, I´ll be seeing you in a few days!!!! CRAZY!!!

I´m not sure what all you have planned for when I come home. But, if we don´t do family dinner, I would like for us to go out and eat @ Texas Roadhouse. I´m from Texas and I´ve never eaten there!

I´ve loved my mission and I´m looking forward to sharing my experiences with all of prepared for some storytime!!!! Thank you for your support and prayers this past year and a half!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


We marked a baptismal date this past week with a woman named Fabiana....unfortunately it´s in 2 weeks and we all know that I won´t be here. She´s already been to church several times, but when she was younger. She now has a family of her own and said that she´s needing to find a church to help her teach and raise her children. What´s interesting about Fabiana is how long it took us to get a hold of her. She told us that she was at home the entire day...but after passing by her house 5 different times, we realized that her deffinition of "all day" is different than ours. Normally we take people off our list to visit after the 3rd time we pass by their house and there´s no one there, but I felt that we needed to keep on trying. Turns out the Holy Ghost knows who we need to visit because we finally managed to teach her the first discussion and after the first visit she accepted to prepare to be baptized! We´ll be working with her this week and then will be the pass off to the next sister who comes to Hidrolândia.

I´m trying to decide what´s the best way to break the news to the branch that I´m going home next week. I´m thinking I´ll just blurt it out at church on Sunday and say my goodbyes after sacrament meeting. I don´t like goodbyes, so it´s better to get it all over with in one clean cut.

Our branch activity that Sis. and I planned. . . . lots of participation and lots of cakes! (It was a recipe swap)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Apartment Hunting and Cake Bake Off

We´re working hard to find people to teach. We´ve got an activity planned for this Saturday...a Cake bake off and recipe exchange. The Irmãs are super excited, but we need to remind them that the purpose is not about the cake but to bring friends and introduce the church to them. We´ll see who the members bring. We´re inviting all of our investigators and everyone else we find on the street.

This week has also been spent looking for a new house to rent. The owner of the house we´re living in has randomly decided that she needs to use one of the rooms in our house. She won´t say what for...but there is no way I´m going to give a copy of our house key to anyone. So...we´re looking for a new house. Unfortunately, the road that enters the city is under MAJOR construction and all the construction companies are housing their employees here in the city. This houses for rent. We´re keeping our eyes and ears open, in hopes to arrange something soon. This reminds me of apartment hunting...glad that mom took care of that.

zone activity....yes..the elders played water balloons, but the sisters stayed out of it.

the overpass we take to get to our zone meetings every tuesday...we have to catch a 30 minute bus to arrive in the city of Aparecida.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"A Little More Time To Learn A Lot More"

I´m greatful for the time that I have here on the mission. It´s a time that I wouldn´t trade for anything and I know that I´ve learned a ton. I´ve got a little more time to learn a lot more. I´m taking care of Sis. Magleby to make sure that she´s able to adjust to mission life. She´s doing super well and I know that she´ll learn the language super fast. She still doesn´t know that I´m finishing my mission this transfer, but I think it´s better that she doesn´t know. Starting your mission with a companion that´s going home is rough...I would know because I passed through this.

I don´t have any photos this week to send...but next week for sure. We´re in Independéncia today for a zone activity. It was scheduled to have volleyball and basketball and barbeque, brazillian style. I´m stoked to play volleyball even though I´m no good. Elders are fun to spend time with because they are just like all my friends back home.

On Saturday we found a family that wants to get to know the church. They´ve been living in Hidrolândia for a few years, but have never visited the church. They´ve been curious to know what the Elders do, because they´ve seen lots of them on the street. The best part about this family is that they´re legally married! It´s super hard to find couples that are legally married here...some of them have been living together for decades but never made their relationship legal. I want to help these families understand that a family isn´t until death do you can be forever.

Last night we a had an easter activity at church. We read some of the scriptures of the last days of Christ´s life and then watched a 30 minute movie about the resurrection of Christ...and of course there was a snack after. It was simple, but I know that the members liked it. They´re wanting to have more activities to get out of the house and do something together with family and friends.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Enduring To The End

We were blessed last week with a surprise interview with Pres. Prieto. It was super good to talk with him because it´s been over 3 months since my last interview. I told him about the problems we were facing in the´s a small city, so everyone has already had contact with the church and because of this, the members are disanimated with missionary work. Together, Pres and I brainstormed some activities and firesides that can be done here in the area, to excite the members and the community. He thanked me for the work that I´m doing and the fact that I´ve taken the initiative to look for the problem and a solution. He told me that this is an attribute of a good leader. He´s not counting down the days, but he knows that the end is near and says that it leaves him sad. I´m really working to be a good missionary because I want to help this mission grow. I finished the interview with a closing prayer and he said that he felt a noble spirit every time he was near me. This is because of the dedication I have to the missionary work...what a compliment!

Sis. Magleby´s 22nd birthday...we ate monster cheeseburgers with monster fries.

I was doing laundry ,no big deal, when I ducked down to avoid wet clothes on the clothes line. When I went to stood up, I slammed my face into this metal support that´s part of a broken shelf the elders had made. As you can see it left a pretty line on my forehead which has now scarred over. I think the scar is pretty neat, not going to lie...very distinguished.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


This week was hectic...I got a phone call tuesday night saying that I was being transferred the next day! I packed my bags...which are ridiculously heavy and I´m not sure why (I think it´s because of the journals, scriptures and other books). I said goodbye to our recent convert, Patrícia, Nilziele and Deise...I don´t like goodbyes, so I preferred not to round up all the ward members this time. I spent the night in Uberlândia and then the next morning caught a 6 hour bus ride to Goiânia. I´m re-opening an area to sisters...a tiny city called Hidrolândia has only had elders for the past year or so and this past month has been without missionaries. The real kick about this transfer is who my new companion is...or should I say companions. I´m training again...not one, but two new sisters. The two newest sisters in the mission arrived last week and Presidente put me in charge of them both! One is Brazillian from São Paulo and the other is an American from Washington...yup. Needless to say, I´m feeling more than a little overwhelmed in a new area, with 2 new sisters in a branch that has over 200 listed members in the area and a frequency of 30 on Sunday. I know that the Lord is going to give me lots of strength and will help me know what to do. I also know that Presidente Prieto is doing everything to keep my mind off of home...keep me busy with the work!

Sis. Magleby and Sis. Ferro

What´s good about this is that no one (not even my companions) know that I´m on my last there are going to be no jokes and no comments. I know that this is going to help me, personally, a lot!

The little town of Hidrolândia is...little. I´m greatful that I wasn´t transferred to some busy city, because I prefer the calm feeling of the suburbs. The city has a population of about 10,000 people and is known for it´s jabuticaba (yummy...too bad it´s not the right season for jabuticaba fruit), and it´s natural waters (which consequently also means it´s cases of dangue.) The branch may be small, but those that attend regularly have rock solid testimonies and I´m excited to get to know the members better. Our branch mission leader is super involved and is willing to help in any way to get the Lord´s work done here.

We´re going to have to be creative in our activities because basically everyone in the city knows a member, or knows the church, or is baptized. What´s funny about the city is that know one uses street names. Because the city is so small, everyone gives directions by landmarks. Instead of saying "I live at 864 silverthorne trail," they people here would say, "I live on the street that curves at the end close to Frank's house. The house with the small tree in front" And everyone would know exactly where I live. This is proving tricky when we try to find new investigators, because they describe where they live instead of pass an address. We´ve found various houses that don´t even have numbers on the front!

I´m excited to work here, but I know that we will need lots of inspiration to help reactivate and animate the members!

Monday, April 4, 2011

God and Jesus Christ

Life is back to normal here in Patos...well, basically. This week we got a surprise phone call saying that there would be zone conference in Uberlâ we got back on the bus and drove back to the city we left a few days earlier. The best part of the conference was the fact that ALL of the sisters on the mission were there! We´re few in numbers (there are only 7 sisters in the whole mission) but we know that our numbers will grow a little. Two new sisters are arriving this week and in May we´ll be getting 3 more! Zone conference was super great and we received some new rules including teaching 10 first discussions every day...and reading 15 pages of the Book of Mormon every day. These really are big challenges, but I know that our faith will increase with these tasks.

General conference was super great! There were problems with the connections, so I listened to all the sessions in Portuguese. I know that the translators are good, but nothing can compare to hearing the acutal voice of the speakers...especially Elder Holland and President Monson. We even had a few investigators come and watch which is super great! The members really make all the difference because they are the ones who will still be here in the city when transfers come around. I particularly liked Elder Nelson´s conference talk because it answered a lot of the questions I had written. I know that we receive answers to our prayers, which is why it´s so important that we ask.

We´ve started teaching a woman named Nayara. She´s the daughter of 2 less active members. She´s been living in Germany for the past 9 months and while there has lost faith in any type of God. It´s the first time that I´m having to start the discussion teaching who is God and Jesus Christ and how we can gain faith that they really exist. Teaching the basics is super important and I know that my own testimony will grow as I study to help Nayara gain her faith back.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Living Prophet

I don´t have any photos to send home this week. We spent half the week traveling to and from Goiânia, so this week flew by. Sis. da Silva and I had a blast in Goiânia! We spent the night at the mission home, but because of construction, we arrived too late to do proselyting. Sister Prieto told us to relax and go to sleep we relaxed and chatted and didn´t go to sleep until the normal hour of lights out 10:30. We woke up bright and early the next morning and I went to renew my visa. It was super great to spend time with my elders! Three out of the 5 Elders who entered the MTC with me were also renewing their visas, so we got to catch up a bit. It´s so great to see the progress that they´ve made as missionaries and how much they´ve grown! I know that I´ve certainly grown a lot since the last time I saw them.

I´m super excited for General Conference this upcoming week! It´s one of the best weekends of the year...being able to listen and learn from the living prophet and living apostles of the Lord. We´re working to bring lots of investigators to the sessions, so that their testimonies can be strengthened too.

We´ve got some good investigators that we found this week...but good isn´t great. I know that the Lord is preparing people and to help find them, we are going to be more involved in splits with the members. Because there are 3 of us, Sis. da Silva will be teaching with a member while Sis. Ferreira and I will be working together.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Patricia Got Baptized!

Another week in the life of a missionary here in Patos de Minas. Today we are going to be traveling to Uberlândia to spend the night. We´ll be leaving Sis. Ferreira to work with the sisters in the area and Sis. da Silva and I will be catching a 6 hour bus to Goiânia to renew my visa...which means sleep over @ the mission President´s house! All in all Sis. da Silva and I will be spending a little more than 20 hours on the bus in the next 3 days...bleh. We´ve bought lots of motion sickness medicine because we both get car sick But it´s all for a good cause because I don´t want to stay in the country illegally.

This past week we were blessed with a baptism! Patricia got baptized! Her story goes to show that the members really do have a work to do. She came to church after an activitiy the branch had, to pass out pass-along cards and invite people on the street to visit the church on Sunday. Well....Patricia and her son visited and she got baptized! She´s super cute and excited to follow the commandments. She is now focusing on her son and her parents because they listen to all of the discussions, but don´t keep commitments (the word of wisdom in particular). But Patricia is a woman of great faith and is praying that she can be the example that makes a difference in her family.

Yesterday we visited a man who we met in the office supply store. He invited us to visit him and his family, but when we went to his house, he started talking about his religion and tried to convince us that we needed to be baptized in his church. Well...while he was trying to convice us, I only realized more and more how true the church is. The things he was saying didn´t make any sense. A testimony is a powerful thing and there´s no chance of denying it. I know that this is the true church that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ not only live, but love each and every one of us. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that we have a living prophet today to lead and guide us. I know that the authority of God is the priesthood and that it exists only in this the true church. I love gospel and anyone who tries to tell me that the things I believe are false, don´t understand that the Holy Ghost can´t be denied. I may not be able to describe how I know these things are true, other than the fact that everything I am is because of this gospel and the fact that I feel that it´s right. Logic isn´t enough to move my heart from what God´s shown me is right.

I love the church, I love being a missionary and I love you!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Besides hearing about Japan, this week was good. We´re teaching Patricia still and she´s really progressing. Before, she didn´t understand why she had to stop drinking coffee before her baptism, she didn´t think it was necessary. We bought some Cevada...which is the substitute for coffee in the church here in Brazil. She´s been drinking it and these past few days has been having terrible migraines! She started laughing when she told us how irritated she´s been these past few days and how the headaches aren´t going away. She realizes that she really was addicted to coffee and that it really is bad for your body. She stopped smoking without a problem, and stopped drinking beer without a problem, but it´s the coffee that´s giving her problems. She´s now more determined not to drink any coffee which is perfect!

As you can see from the photos, our investigator, Edna, who was 4 months pregnant when I first started teaching her, gave birth! A big healthy baby boy...Lazaro Henrique! We saw him his first night at home and he´s such a good baby. It reminded me of baby Kate and the last time I saw her, she was this size and now she´s super big!

Today the battle to look for new shoes is going to continue. The last time I wrote about the shoes, I went looking and they didn´t have my size in any of the stores. The only shoes they had in my size were polk-a-dotted or high heeled which doesn´t go over to well here in the mission. I´m going to try in some other stores that aren´t in the center of the city and I´ll let you know if I have any luck. I need new shoes because these 2 pairs are had it. This past week we had a big rain storm that left us huddling together in the only space with a roof...the front entry way to a house´s front gate. The lightning took out the power in the street for a few minutes and poor Sister Ferreira is scared of lightning! When the storm started to calm down, we headed off to our next appointment and my poor shoes got soaked. All this rain and sun is taking it´s toll ....has taken its toll on my shoes and I´ll be looking for a new pair today.

Speaking of new shoes...I got a phone call from the mission office and I´ll be finishing my mission May 18 which means I should be coming home May 19 or 20 (it all depends on flight plans.) They said they´ll be sending me my flight plans soon and you should be getting a copy too. but let´s not think about the end...I still need to baptize a few more people :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Threesome For The Third Time!

This week passed by super fast...too bad I forgot my camera cord at home, so I can´t send photos. The highlight of the week was the news that I´m training again! Yup the newest sister, Sister Ferreira, from Fortaleza is now in trio with me and Sister da Silva. I really like training but I think that Pres. Prieto is trying to keep my mind super occupied so I can´t think about the end of the mission.

Speaking of the end of the mission, I got a phone call last week from the mission office about flight plans home...but there´s something wrong with the plans. The Elder called to tell me that I would be going home May 11th. The problem is that May 11th is right in the middle of a transfer. I asked him about when the transfer would end and he responded saying that he thought it was wierd that I would be going home in the middle of a transfer and I would be traveling alone instead of leaving with a big group of American Elders on May 31st. Well...I told him that I didn´t want to leave in the middle of a transfer and I certainly didn´t want to travel alone. He was supposed to call me back when he talked with Pres. Prieto, but until today I haven´t heard back from him. I´m worried that there´s something wrong with my flight information and that they aren´t able to resolve the problem. My worst fear is that they didn´t ask for my extension and that it´s still marked for me to go home in April...we did the math and the transfer ends April...11th. So, I´m just waiting for the phone call or a chance to talk with Pres. Prieto. We´re going to be having zone conference this week in Uberlândia, so I´ll be seeing him soon.

This is the week of Carnival the Mardi Gras of Brazil. All of the youth went camping to avoid the parties that would be going on here in the city. But we´re lucky we´re here in Patos because it´s a small city and not too much goes on. But a lot of our investigators are taking advantage of the holiday and are traveling and visiting family. We´re really working on Patricia and Oscar who both accepted to prepare to be baptized. Patricia is absorving everything up and is loving participating in the church activities...she even asked to pay tithing this past Sunday! I love being able to teach these people the gospel because I know it´s true.

Sorry again about not having pictures this week will be double! But I`m super happy here in Patos and I´m glad that everyone´s doing well back home!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Christlike Attribute

Another week in the life of Sister Riggs has flown by. We spent a lot of time waiting and catching buses this week (hence the photo) to visit less actives, investigators and lunch appointments.

The young women´s, primary and relief society organizations have been reorganized...with new presidencies. The leadership in the branch is great which just proves that this branch has great potential. I love this branch and am learning a ton here working with the leaders and members. But it doens´t matter how good the leadership is...every member needs to gain their personal testimony of the gospel. Salvation is a personal thing...something that we´re really working with the less actives here. Too many people stop coming to church because they were offended because of something someone said. But what´s interesting is that by leaving the church the only person that looses blessings is you. It doesn´t matter how many times you read the scriptures or say your prayers, nothing can take the place of taking the sacrament weekly.

Every week Sister da Silva and I choose a Christlike attribute to work on. We´ve noted that when we choose a characteristic, that´s when the trials come. When we chose humility this week...we were a little hesitant to find out what the Lord would send to "help" us develop this attribute. All in all it´s important to recognize that without the help of our Heavenly Father we are nothing. This week´s attribute is Faith in Jesus Christ...

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Holey" Shoe

Our elect...Jessica, can´t be baptized until her mom gives her permission...which could take a while. Her mom doesn´t even want to listen to any of the discussions, but she won´t let Jessica get baptized until she learns more about the church.

The Lord blessed us by sending 2 investigators to church that weren´t invited by anoyone. Last sunday we had a fireside about missionary work and as part of the fireside, the youth went out on the streets and handed out pass along cards. They gave one to a guy named Oscar and this Sunday Oscar came to church with his mom! We´re going to visit them this week and we´ll see what the Lord has planned for them! Really...the Lord is preparing this branch to split. This past Sunday we hit the big 100. 100 people were in the sacrament meeting this past Sunday!!! On average we have in the high 80´s or low 90´s so this is huge!

On a side I will be buying some new shoes. black pair has a lovely hole in the bottom which is not so great when it rains. We´re going to go looking around today and. . . I´ll buy a cheap pair that will last exactly 3 months :)

these are the prison bars that are on our windows...and all the other houses here in Brasil. I think it has something to do with break-ins.

BIG PATO...our yummy cheeseburger that was super romantic for valentine´s day.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


HAPPY VALENTINE´S DAY!!!!! I hope that you´re having a great valentine´s day. Today to celebrate Sis. da Silva and I are going to eat cheeseburgers at a restaurant called Big Patos. I love how creative these brazillians are.

Last night we had a fireside for all of the returned missionaries in the ward and all of the youth. Of course the focus was...missionary work. We as missionaries got to share some experiences of life in the mission field and then the youth got to hit the streets. They knocked doors and passed out pass-along cards to people on the street. This would be a great activity to do on a stake level. I love being a missionary and I really hope that the activity excited some of the youth to serve missions too. They learned in 30 minutes that not everyone wants to accept the gospel, but that doesn´t give your a reason to not share it.

We´re teaching a girl named Jéssica. She´s accepted to be baptized and I really love teaching her. In fact, in every lesson that we´ve left with her, she end the lesson by bearing her testimony. She doens´t realize that she´s bearing her testimony...but she already knows that the church is true and that she wants to be a part of it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Future Missionary

This week was a rush to get everything going with our "modest fashion show." We were running around confirming with the members who were given assignments and the youth who would be modeling. When Friday night came around, I was excited but also nervous. I´m learning how to delegate responsibilities here on the mission, but I´m still trying to overcome the "if I don´t do it, it won´t get done" syndrome. Apparently Sister da Silva alos has this complex :) Well...we marked for the models to be at the church 6:30 pm to do a quick run through before the activity started 7 pm. Well...the activity didn´t end up starting until almost 8 pm and there were models still showing up 8:40 pm! I was stressed, Sister da Silva was stressed, but in the end, the members really enjoyed the activity. The youth hammed it up on our red carpet and our presentor (who talks about what each model is wearing) was Irmã Sandra, and she stole the show with her witty comments. The missionaries ended up running home, which is nothing unusual with a branch activity because they always go until late.

The branch is setting some great goals in order to accomplish the big goal of dividing the branch into two. They´re focusing on passing more references to the missionaries and reactivating families. We´re going to be super busy this transfer trying to divide our time between less actives and investigators...but good news...Elaine is going to be baptized this Saturday and one of our old investigators...Gilvani (I think in past emails I wrote Geovane). He was traveling the past 3 weeks and everytime we called him to see if we could mark a lesson, he said that he was out of town and didn´t know when he would be returning. For missionaries this response is the response of someone trying to avoid the missionaries. our surprise he walked into Sunday school yesterday! Not only did he come to church, but while he was traveling, he found a church in the city he was visiting and attended these past few Sundays. Sister da Silva talked with him and he said that he wants to be baptized soon...we marked next Saturday! So we´ve got 2 baptisms marked and we´re excited to be so blessed with such great investigators! What a great way to start of the month!

I love the area, my companion and the work. The mission is without a doubt the hardest but most rewarding thing I´ve done in my life. This is why we´re looking and focusing on sending some people into the mission field. I´ve written my recent convert in Rio Verde, Samuel about serving a mission. He´s going to have his one year anniversary as a member in April. One year after being baptized you can send in your papers, so I´m hoping he´s getting ready!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Eunice, Ezequiel, Elaine, Rita

Another week flown by here in Patos de Minas. This week was pretty exciting because we got ELDERS!!!! Presidente Prieto really wants the branch to split, so he´s sending some help. We ´re hoping that not only our number of baptisms will increase but that we will be able to bring some less active members back to church

Sister da Silva have found some really great people to teach. Eunice and her son Ezequiel are full of questions and even when they have time to hear "a short lesson" they talk a ton and ask some really great questions. Tonight we´re going to give them the invitation to accept baptism. Our golden investigator Elaine. . . participates in the ward choir every Sunday night and even asked to be put on our lunch calendar! Rita, the mother of a missionary who´s serving in São Paulo is coming to church regularly on her own. This past week she turned down an invitation to go out and drink...success!!! She stopped making coffee at home...success!!! She just needs to stop drinking coffee while she´s working and gain a testimony of the gospel. She doesn´t want to be pressured into being baptized, so we´re focusing on reading the Book of Mormon with her every lesson. She has problems with her sight and can´t spend a lot of time reading. We´re hoping that with a testimony of the Book of Mormon she´ll also gain the desire to be baptized. I know that this would be the best news for her son in the mission field!

The members are ready to help with the work. With both elders and sisters both the Irmãos and Irmãs are going to be going on visits. They´ve been approaching us to pass references and offer to show us where some less active members live. I´m loving how involved they are becoming in the work!

This Friday the missionaries are going to be hosting a fashion show. We´re focusing on the youth, so they´ll be the models of modest clothing and we´re also going to be playing some games that touch on the topics of "For the Strength of the Youth." We´re excited and the members are excited, so it´s going to be a success!!!! (I´ll send photos next week.)

These photos have a great story. I sleep with my bed against the wall under the window. One night there was something banging around in the window and it woke me up 430 in the morning. I shown the cellular´s light but I didn´t see anything, so I tried to go back to sleep. Well...2 days later, the window wouldn´t close and when I looked to see what was blocking the window, I number one!!!! Ugh! I couldn´t bring myself to go anywhere near the lizard, so Sis. da Silva braved it and tried pulling him out...until his tail fell off! With a ruler, toilet paper and a plastic bag, she managed to pry him gross!!!! Another exciting adventure on the mission!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Washing Machine!!!

This week was full of surprises! For starters Presidente Prieto visited our little city of Patos de Minas (almost said Rio Verde) and interviewed both Sis. da Silva and I. He also gave us the best news...we´re going to be getting elders this week!!!! He took a look @ the area map and decided that this area is too big for one companionship and that the sisters need to have Elders. This is going to help a ton with the work here in the city. We had 6 investigators at church this past Sunday and this shows that this city has a lot of potential and just needs a few more workers :)

We also got a new washing machine and a new blender!!! We spent our morning reading the instructions for the washing machine and setting him up. He works great and is super quiet that we have to check on him every once and a while just to make sure that he didn´t break.

One of our blessings...after washing clothes by hand for over a month this washing machine is the most beautiful thing we´ve seen.

Our golden investigator, Elaine, accepted a baptismal date for the 5th of February and is solid. We´re going to be teaching her the word of wisdom this week because she drinks coffee (along with the rest of Brasil). But she´s a nurse, so she´ll understand the need to stop drinking coffee. She doesn´t drink coke anymore. She stopped drinking a while ago because she realized that she was addicted. She admitted that she´s addicted to coffee, so we´re going to give her the brazillian substitute that´s called Cevada. It´s a barely based drink that smells like coffee but doesn´t have any caffeine. (I don´t know how to spell that). I drank some of this at a member´s house and it´s basically disgusting

I was reading today in Jacob 5 and it talks about how the servant called other servants to help in the vineyard...but the number of servants was few. Here on the mission, we are seriously seeing the results of few laborers. March 2, three sisters will be going home and not a single one will be arriving until April...our numbers of missionaries are really low here on the mission, so it´s good to hear that there are youth that are getting ready to serve missions. I love being a missionary...I love Patos de Minas...I love Sister da Silva...and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ!

My love for´s such a pretty city

This view is close to our house and everytime I walk past it I have to stop a little while and just stare.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hearing From Rio Verde

This week was really great and the Lord has been blessing us with really great investigators. Two days ago we got a reference from a member...a lady called her and asked where the church was in the city of Patos. Because she was specifically asking for the location of the chapel here, we thought she was just a less active member or someone who recently moved into the city...but when we visited her, it turns out her nephew is visiting the church in São Paulo and recommended her to find a church in her city. We taught her (Elaine) the first discussion and she accepted everything! She was super excited to visit the church the next day, so we arranged for a member to pick her up and bring her to church. She LOVED it! I´m super greatful for the help of members who really included her and helped form friendships super fast. Really, the members make such a big difference in an investigators search for the truth. We´ve marked to visit her again later this week and we´ll be challenging her to accept baptism!

Our recent convert Deise gave her first talk in sacrament meeting this week about Baptism...I received a letter today from Sister Silvera who is still serving in Rio Verde and she told me that my other recent convert, Nuria, also gave a talk about the Holy Ghost. I love, love, LOVE seeing these members grow in the gospel. I know that the gospel moves lives; I´ve seen lives moved. I´m greatful that the Lord is using me to introduce His church to these people in Brasil...I love these people in Brasil!!!!!!

I forgot to write about the pictures last week...Nilziele´s baptism and a street in our area called Pirolito..which means lollipop in english. This explains why we are both holding lollipops :) This week´s photos... Companion love (check out the sweet dress/jumper an Irmã gave me!)

Lunch time!!! feeding the chickens @ the house of one of the members.

Monday, January 3, 2011


This week flew seems that all the weeks are starting to fly by. I hope that everyone had a great new years and that you all stayed up until midnight! Sis. Da Silva and I were at home before 9:30 and in bed by 10:30. We only woke up at midnight because of all the fireworks. Brazilians really love their fireworks. It was weird that New Years felt like any other work day on the mission. We did our visits, had our lunch appointments, and then went and knocked doors.

We were really blessed this week and got to see some great results because of our work. This past Sunday we had 7 investigators come to church. All of them we´ve been teaching for a few weeks, but until this past Sunday, none of them had kept the commitment to go to church. It´s such a good feeling when people are finally commited to making changes in their lives. I think this is part of the New Year´s resolutions. But the 2nd miracle has to do with who got baptized this past Sunday!!!!! (look at the 2nd photo) NILZIELE!!!! After 2 months of trying to get her mom to sign her baptismal form, the Lord softened her heart and this past Wednesday she signed it! Nilziele was scheduled to be baptized on the first of January, but because all of the members were traveling or with family, we had to reschedule for Sunday morning. It was one of the quickest baptismal services I´ve attended, but there were lots of members that participated. Nilziele is a special little girl that will grow up strong in the gospel...we just need to teach her to like the Primary. She prefers to sit in Relief Society with us than to sing with the other children :) This is such a great start to a new year and I´m excited for all the things that the Lord is preparing for me!