Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Transfers and More

Hey everyone!!
So--- first things first. We had transfers this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!! drum roll........ And Sister Pedersen and I are both staying!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! We are super happy because things are going sooooo sooo well here in Araras right now. I´m so glad we get another 6 weeks here!
As I said, things are AMAZING here in Araras. We keep having sooo many miracles!!! And the members here are amazing. Just amazing. They are helping us sooo much!!
ARARAS!!!! The coolest place ever!!!!!!!!!!!
Miracles from the week:
Saturday morning, Sonia called us crying.... we were a little worried at first and Sister P. asked her if everything was okay. She was like "yeah I am just so happy!!". Turns out, her sister had called and talked with her... They had been fighting/not talking for quite a while, but somehow Sonia´s sister was talking to Sonia´s husband and he told her about all the changes Sonia has been making in her life. And he told her about us and how Sonia is so much happier now and able to cope with her mom passing away. Sonia´s sister--- Sonildes, has been having a SUPER hard time with their mom passing away as well.. She hasnt been sleeping, can hardly eat, has been smoking 3-4 packs of cigarettes every day, and has been so so miserable.... When she heard about how Sonia has been changing her life she was like "I want to meet these angels". So. She and Sonia started talking again, completely made up and Sonia was calling us to tell us how Sonildes wanted us to come by her house that night. AMAZING. Sonia was like "I just couldnt wait to call you because I´m so happy!!!". MIRACLES.
And that evening we were able to go to Sonildes house with Sonia, her husband Saul and their daughter Sabrina. It was soo good. We were able to just talk with her, and mostly just listen. We hardly said anything, and Sonia just testified to her. It was so amazing to hear her testimony and see how she has learned and understands everything that we have taught her. She has the strongest testimony!!! She is amazing! Such a cool experience.
Sunday--Sonia was baptized!!!!! And it was perfect.So many members came and are helping to bring her into the ward. Perfect. And it is amazing to see how much Sonia has progressed and how much she has changed since the day we first met her. The difference is like night and day. She was super nervous before the baptism, but her face after she came up out of the water was sooooo happy!!! She couldnt stop smiling.
And a sidenote.... people here always say "God bless you" when you part ways..... Since we taught her about how God is her Heavenly Father and that she can pray to Him as Heavenly Father, she always says "may Heavenly Father bless you..." when we part. =]
Also, Sonildes came to the baptism and loved it!! She is so willing and ready to do everything that Sonia has been doing to change her life.
We were able to pass by her house again on monday and meet with her. She told us that she was able to sleep without problems both Saturday night after we first met her, and Sunday after the baptism and after the Bishop gave her a blessing. She told us that she has been praying and reading about the plan of salvation from the pamphlet we left her. She kept telling us how she wants to do everything that Sonia has been doing.... she already has cut down her smoking from 3-4 packs a day to only 3-4 cigarettes a day!!!!!!!!! CRAZY. We also invited her to prepare for baptism at the end of the month and she said yes!!
I´m so excited to keep working with her!!! She is so ready and willing. I dont know how we have been so blessed to find people so prepared to hear our message. So many miracles!
And some funny stories....
Friday, while we were at our lunch appointment, the weather started to get a little scary.... It had been fairly sunny and warm when we left, but by the time we were about to leave our lunch, it was raining like crazy, windy, with thunder and lightening. Love it......Okay, maybe not so much.
The members were super nice and offered us a ride to where we were going to work that day.... Which of course, was in a completely different neighborhood on the opposite side of the city. While we were in their car, I kept feeling water on my ankles.... I thought it was from the window at first, because it was open a little bit at the top. But when we went through a huge puddle, I got a splash of water on my feet!!! So I looked down, and there was a hole in the floor of the car!!!!!!!! hahah. So we could see the water rushing by as we drove!!! hahah. Crazy.
Afterwards, while were walking in the rain, the streets had rivers running down the gutters.... And the path we usually take is dirt..... and Sister P. thought it would be a genius idea to try to still climb this dirt path over a hill to get to our investigator´s house.... It was NOT a genius idea. hahaha. Her shoe got stuck in the mud for a bit... but dont worry, it was all part of the fun. 
Sister Pedersen and the hill we tried to climb in the rain...... It had turned into a muddy river. hahaha.
AND to continue our rainy day story.... While were walking on the paved road because the hilly, dirt shortcut wouldnt work, it was still raining and SUPER windy. I bought an umbrella here in brazil..... (ASH, the one you gave me was taken from me against my will..... by someone who apparently needs it more than I do.....) ... and it isnt the best.... haha. So as we were walking, I was joking about all our mishaps in the rain and as I start listing things off, my umbrella flips inside out!! hahahahah. It was PERFECT timing. Sister Pedersen and I nearly died we were laughing so hard.

My umbrella is super classy..... Dont even try to deny it.

And another---
Monday, our district leader Elder Lobato and Elder Raleigh were working with us here in Araras. We were visiting with Sonia before they left that night. But Sonia loves to talk, and as we kept trying to leave, it got closer and closer to when they had to catch the last bus that would make it back to the bus station in time for them to catch the last bus of the day to their area. When we finally leave, it is 8:00 and the bus is supposed to pass at 8:10. So the four of us are running to first take a girl from the ward who was helping us back to her house, and make it to the bus stop by her house. As we are getting close to her house, we see the bus starting to head up. So we all take off running as fast as we could to beat the bus. And we missed it as it passed at that stop. But we knew the bus would head back down through the neighborhood back where we had been over by Sonia´s house. So we left our friend from the ward, and the four of us took off running again back through where we had just come. The whole time we could see the bus coming down on the other streets and we were just trying to beat it back to the next bus stop. I´m sure it was hilarious to see two sisters in skirts and two elders in their white shirts and ties running full speed down the streets at night.... hahaha. We ended up missing the bus within seconds. Hahaha. All our running in vain!! But miracle of miracles, we were able to call a young lady from the ward who helps us teach a lot, and has a CAR and she was able to come pick us all up and take the elders to catch their bus. So it all worked out. I just hope we didnt freak out too many people  in the street as we ran by.... haha

And one more rainy day story......
last night it started rainy again like CRAZY!!!! Harder than I´ve ever seen it rain!!! There were honestly rivers going down at the edge of every street. And at street crossings, they always have a little dip/gutter thing for the water to run down, but there was soooo much water that it was overflowing!! Onto the sidewalks and everywhere. We would have to try to jump the water every time we crossed a street, but the little rivers would be nearly four feet across! We got to one that was especially gigantic.... and Sister Pedersen was in front of me. She paused for a second and I figured she was getting ready to jump it..... but then she changed her mind and just waded through it. hahaha. And the water came up to her knees!!!!!!!!! ahahahahaha. It was one of the funniest moments of my life. Needless to say, we got to the members house where we were headed fairly soaked, and they very kindly gave us a ride home afterwards.... which was good because while we were sitting at their house, the rivers in the streets had turned into torrential floods. Sweeping gigantic carboard boxes and other trash away down the street. It was pretty intense.
Anyways, everything is just so great here!!!
I love Araras and being a missionary and I never want to leave!!! hahaha.
Thanks so much for all your prayers; I know it´s because of your prayers that we have been having so many miracles.
So thank you. =]
Love and miss you all!!!
Have a great week!!!
Sister Ward

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