I´m so sorry about the lack of an email last week.... I ended up only getting about 15 minutes to email... it was just a mess.
So I will try to fill in about the last couple weeks today!
Two thursdays ago, we had a family night with some members that AMAZINGLY (because this is VERY rare in brazil...) have a violin!!!!! Their daughter, Mariana, (who leaves to teach with us almost every week) used to play but stopped, and the violin has just been sitting in their house. Somehow, we found out they had it and I got to tune it all up and play for them. It was so great!!! And they loved it. It is fun because I cant express myself very well in Portuguese yet, but with a violin it is a whole lot easier. hahaha. Afterwards they let us take it home with us and so now we get to play it a little everynight when we have time. =]
I also got to play some prelude music in sacrament meeting. That was super intimidating. Because everyone was talking and gettting situated in the chapel and I was standing up in front of the pulpit to play. Then when I started playing, everyone just got silent and was staring at me! hahah. But everyone loved it, especially since it is almost impossible to find someone who plays violin here in Brazil. Super cool.
The past week, we did a very LONG division. The traveling sister (who is in charge of all the sisters in the mission) wanted to do a division with Sister Pedersen to train and stuff, and wanted to try to do it a week long. So monday, we met in Campinas and traded companions. Sister Flores and Sister Pedersen went to Hortonlandia for the week and Sister A. Silva and I came back to Araras. I was SO NERVOUS and stressed about being in charge of Araras for the week, especially since Sister A. Silva and I have the same amount of time here on the mission.... As in NOT VERY MUCH. hahah. Thankfully, she is brazilian/american and doesnt have any trouble speaking or understanding people.... haha.
The week ended up being a really awesome experience! We had so many miracles.
Monday, we passed a girl that we have only ever taught through the window of her house. When Sister A. Silva and I passed however, we somehow got invited in and were able to teach their whole family!! There was about 11 people there, coming in and out and listening to our message. Sister A. Silva is a very powerful missionary and was able to talk with and get the interest of everyone there. Super cool.
Wednesday, we had our goodbye lunch with President and Sister Tanner. All the sisters in the mission went to the mission home for the day.... which is why I wasnt able to email last week! There are about 26 sisters in the mission right now, and it was cool to get to meet and talk with all of them. Sister Pedersen and I were pretty excited just to see and talk to each other after the couple days apart though... hahah. Sister and President Tanner leave this week, and we will have a new mission president. Everyone is pretty sad to say goodbye.
Thursday, our district leader Elder McGill and his companion Elder Raleigh, came to Araras to help with finalizing a baptism for a girl named Luiza. She is nine and her family has been less active for the last couple years, so she never was baptized. They all are members though and are just coming back to church. She and her whole family really really wanted Luiza to get baptized except for Luiza´s mom.... She was a little worried about the idea and wanted to wait till Luiza was older. But, after working with the family all day, many prayers, and talking with her mom at the pizzaria where she works, she gave her consent for Luiza to get baptized this past sunday!! WOOO!!
That day was pretty crazy, with the elders in one area and Sister A. Silva and I working in another.... There was a lot of rain and running in the rain and another incident with almost missing the bus. To make a long story short, Sister A. Silva and I got completely soaked all over from running down a huge hill in the pouring rain at about 8:55 at night..... hahah. When we got home, I could wring water out of my skirt, out of my book bag..... sweet. After kneeling and praying when we got in our house, we both just layed on the floor for a while and left puddles where we were laying. hahaha. Blessings of the mission.
Friday, we all met in Campinas again and switched back. Woo! But it was a great week, and Sister Pedersen and I both learned a ton in our respective areas that we are starting to apply in our work here now. So good.
As for other highlights of the week.....
We have a TON of investigators who are really progressing and are preparing for baptism!!! So good!!! We have miracles here everyday!!!
Also, when the elders where here thursday, they had a woman come up to them in the grocery store. Her name is Izabel and she has been trying to find us! Crazy. She has a fiance who is a member and lives in the states. Turns out, the brother of her fiance came here on business for the church and was visiting her on saturday. So she invited us for lunch so we could meet and speak english with him. Super cool! We got to meet her whole family... And Izabel lives in a very nice apartment building behind our house. We can wave to her from our kitchen window!! Crazy. Also, she owns a bakery on the corner and told us to go get free bread there every morning!! We started going by and the girls that work there LOVE us and have started just filling up a bag of all sorts of bread, cakes, juice, and sandwich type things for us. And she told us to feel free to come by in the morning as well as the afternoon. CRAZY. I am pretty sure we are going to get very very fat....... haha.
Sunday, miracle of miracles, we had TEN investigators in church!!! All thanks to the bishop, who invited a TON of his extended family... super cool. We also had Luiza´s baptism, which was awesome. She was so happy and excited and her whole family as well. =]
All in all, we worked really hard all week and a lot of miracles came as the result. Amazing!
I love and miss you all!!!
have the best week!!
(Note from Ashley: I didn't believe her emails that said everything was sunshine-lollipops-and-rainbows down there, so I asked her what she hates about her mission, and this is what she said)
Things that bug me.... hahahaha. There are a LOT..... And usually I´m fine with things, unless I get depressed or in a bad mood... hahaha
1. when I lose my email time because of the unorganizedness of a lunch activity that takes all day.....cool.
2. I trip a TON. When did I become such a spaz??? I´ve never felt so clutzy in my entire life!!! hahahahaha. you would die laughing if you could see it.
3. When people dont even try to understand my portuguese. They´ll just be like "I dont understand" over and over again. It is so annoying. Cause I´m trying my best here!!!! Gah. I think some people would rather just use that as an excuse not to listen to us. haha.
4. When I get forced to eat a LOT more food than I would like. Just cause someone only eats one plate of food doesnt mean the food is bad or something..... But alas, we always have to eat two plates or more.
5. I miss you all a ton. I only get to email you all once a week and I almost never get letters. It´s hard not to feel cut off from the world. I know that it is all for a good reason and we need to be focused here, but it is like all of a sudden all the people in my life dissappeared. You know? I get my hopes up every tuesday when we get mail at our zone meetings, but I usually dont get anything.
6. RAIN. It is really hard to work in the rain and we just get completely soaked and stay soaked all day. It stinks. This week has been sunny so far though. =]