Saturday, October 20, 2012

Week One in JUNDIAI (Oct. 15)

Hey family!!!!!!!!!!
How is everyone!????!?! It feels like its been a year since I talked to you all last week, so much has happened!!!!
First off...... as of a week ago, Sister Feistner and I had already heard the transfer news and we were both going to stay in Araras. Sadly, things dont always work out how you want them too..........
Due to some crazy stuff that happened, President decided to transfer us BOTH and send us both TOGETHER to Jundiaí.
Specifically, our 40 yr old-ish, married with three teenage daughters, neighbor  somehow decided that he was in love with Sister Feistner and left her a note telling all about it and how he would leave his family to follow her ANYWHERE if she happened to feel anything special for him too..... YIKES. We were completely caught off gaurd cause our neighbors are WAY cool, we were good friends with them, they helped us out a lot when I was sick, they always invited us over to eat and stuff, and we were starting to teach their family the gospel.... Apparently HE at least was interested for a different reason.... sister F.´s "intoxicating hair" and "teeth that shine like the moon" maybe.... hahah. OHHHHH GOSH.
Point being, we got transferred and President Perrotti put elders in Araras. We called president and everything got figured out right after I emailed you all last monday and we packed up and left that night..... CRAZY. We didnt really have time to say goodbye to anyone (which I was pretty bummed and sad about...) and Izabel drove us to the Rodaviária (bus station).Then she bought us Mcdonalds so we wouldnt have to starve on the bus ride.... and we all cried our eyes out saying goodbye.  ahhhhh. I miss her so much!!! and everyone in Araras!!!!!!!!! ahggg. I LOVE all those people there!!!
Anyways. Moving on.
I am feeling fine now.... not sick anymore... but unfortunately Sister Feistner got pretty sick when we were enroute to Jundiaí..... we spent the night with some sisters in Campinas monday night, and she got way sick in the middle of the night. So we ended up staying there all that day and half the next day. Mostly just sitting inside. But I did get to leave and work a little bit with one of the other sisters.... A brazilian sister!!! hahah. It is WAY strange that I have been out here so long and only had american companions.... I dont know why it has happened this way.... but I have always heard that typically you have a brazilian and an american together.... NOT SO FOR ME!!!! It might be our new mission president too.... Sister Pedersen also has an american companion right now... and there are several other brazilian sisters serving together.... Weird. I dont know why.
Wednesday night, we finally got to our new area.... Jundiaí Centro.
Jundiaí is pronounced JOON-G-EYE-EE (well, something like that.... hahahah)
It is a BIG city, and it is right in between Campinas and São Paulo.... about an hour from either city. Araras was about an hour northwest of Campinas, and now we are about an hour southeast of Campinas.... And it is a totally different WORLD here! We are kind of in the mountains (well, as mountain-ish as it gets here) and it is way cooler here and kind of windy. The city is also FULL of hills. It is all hills actually. And we´re not talking just little bitty hills..... these hills are MONSTERS. We just walked to the Lan House to use the computers and we spent about 40 minutes walking up and down hills to get here.... my calves are burning. hahah.
Jundiaí is also a BIG city..... I think it has about half a million people.... but it seems WAY big.... It is also pretty wealthy. It is the third richest city in the state of São Paulo (after São Paulo and Campinas). Our area is smaller than Araras (cause there we were working the ENTIRE city...) and we are smack in the center. Downtown Jundiaí. SWEET. Everyone here seems to be in a hurry.. to get to work, school, whatever. Apparently a lot of people live here but work in either Campinas or São Paulo.... and there are a TON of big apartment buildings here..... (not so helpful for knocking doors since they have door gaurds and gates and everything.....). Since Sister Feistner and I are both new here, we know NOTHING and are lost all the time. hahah. Usually they try to keep one missionary that knows the area and transfer in one newbie at a time, but since we got put here last minute, we are "opening" the area and get to have oh so much fun trying to figure out EVERYTHING.
The sisters who were here before us didnt leave us much to go off of as far as investigators and everything.... we´ve been trying to find a few of the addresses that they wrote down for us.... but some of them dont even exist. woops. hahah. We arrived to find no progressing investigators and no marked baptisms...... We´ve definitely got some work to do.
So we have been knocking doors a lot. Pretty much ALL day, every day. And the people here are WAY less receptive than in Araras...... We have been working a lot in the area close to our house and south of our house in center, and the people are just NOT interested and sometimes even super rude. Everyone on the street is in a hurry to get somewhere and wont talk to us. Knocking doors, everyone is busy, evangelical or catholic..... and NOT interested. haha. We also found my first atheist while knocking doors..... (well, I guess we taught João Paulo in Araras and he didnt really believe in God.... so that is probably my first atheist technically.... ) but really, I havent found many atheists in Brazil. usually everyone believes in God, possibly doesnt go to a church, and probably grew up catholic. Sister Feistner served in an area that was practically all atheists though, so it does happen. I was pretty surprised though.
Besides our area being all hills..... it also went into a cold rainy spell when we arrived..... It is fairly windy here normally, and cooler than araras, which will be WAY nice as we go into summer time...... but this week has been very cold and very rainy. Knocking doors in the rain is AWESOME. hahaha. Not so much.
We also dont know our area very well at all. The first day we accidently went outside the line of our area and started knocking doors one road into the elders area..... sweet. When we got home and looked at our map we were so bummed!!! haha. THEN, turns out the line on our map is WRONG and we knocked doors for an entire DAY on another road that is just outside our area as well. hahaha. OH YEAH.
But, we have been informed that there are some areas more on the north side of our area where the people are a little more welcoming and more humble and so we are planning to try knocking doors more up there this week....... and maybe we will have some more success!!!
ALSO, knocking doors at night is the WORST!!! We were knocking doors friday night on what looked to be an okay street, when a member couple drove up and told us we should avoid that neighborhood...... GREAT, well what would you recommend we do until we can go home at 9 oclock then??? ahah.We went to another road where almost EVERY person refused to even let us say a prayer for them, and we had one lady that yelled at us and told us off for knocking doors at that time of night!! (it was 7:30 at the time....) Needless to say, it was frustrating and we are trying to find people to plan lessons or family nights with for the nighttimes this coming week.
Saturday, we finally were able to find one correct address of a less active family that the sisters left for us. WOOO!!! Turns out they are a way cool family, and invited us back to have a family night there tonight. MAN. That was so refreshing after our frustrating week. hahah.
Also, yesterday we had church. WAY weird to not know who ANYONE is...... not know who is visiting (nobody was.... ahha), who is recently baptized.... nothing. This is gonna be interesting.....
That afternoon, we were in the chapel for a meeting with the ward mission leader..... He told us how our ward is not doing so well right now.... super un-excited, and a lot of people going in-active. Everyone seems to be way busy with work and school, OR there are also a TON of old people.... Hmmm. So we are taking on the task of trying to visit the members and get to know them better and get them excited again.... which is a little tricky since we dont know where anyone lives yet. hahah.
After our meeting, we ran into the elders that take care of the other ward that meets in our building (our building is a HUGE stake center!!!! so crazy after the tiny little building in Araras!! and our ward is super old and has already been split several times... crazy). Our district leader was asking if we would close our numbers for the week, and we just laughed and were like "elder, we only got ONE lesson with a member this week...... we dont know anyone who wants to leave with us!!!" There just so happened to be some young women in the building waiting for their parents to get out of meetings, so we were able to get some girls to go knock doors with us to close our numbers for the week. hahah. But really, it was such a blessing!!!
The girls are part of the other ward that meets in our building but they were way cool!! 16 and 17 year olds, and it was their first time leaving with missionaries. We found a street to knock with them, and just worked making contacts and saying prayers with everyone for an hour. Turns out, one of the girls plays violin!!!! YEAH!!! and she is gonna let me play/borrow her violin sometime!!! YES!!! ALSO, she must be pretty ridiculously good..... classical of course... But she has a STRADIVARIUS (dont remember how to spell that) violin!!!!!!! WHAT?!?!?!?! Apparently, it was delivered to her anonymously in the mail with just a note saying this person had watched her all year and knew she would take good care of it, and pass the charity along to others. WHAT THE CRAZY??!?!?!? Now she is teaching a little boy with dyslexia violin, earned money to buy him a violin by making and selling cookies.... wow. Super cool. ANYWAYS. I am way excited to get to play this stradivarius sometime here in the future!!! hahah.

ALSO, while working that street, Sister Feistner and one of the girls were working one side of the street while me and the two others were working the other side(and talking about violins while waiting for sister F...... haha). Apparently, Sister Feistner and Vitoria found an ELECT!!! They taught him the whole first lesson about the restoration and left him with a book of mormon! He was apparently WAY interested, and when Sister Feistner told him about Joseph Smith and how God and Christ appeared and told him that none of the churches were true, he was like "well, what do we do then??!" =] Then she continued to tell him all about the restoration, and gave him a book of mormon. He said he will read it, and that it will only be the third book he has read in his LIFE.!!! yikes. hahah. BUT SO GREAT!!! I am way excited for us to go back and see how the reading went, and continue teaching him!! His name is Rodolfo. Hopefully you all will be hearing some more about him over the next few weeks. =]

Another little blessing...... last night we were doing our weekly planning... I called the bishop´s wife to ask her a question about a reference she is planning to take us to visit. Afterwards, she called us back real fast and was like "sisters, I just made a chocolate cake, do you want some??" OF COURSE WE DO!!! So then, she was so sweet and packed up a little package with cake, crackers and eggs and bishop drove it over to us. It was just a little thing, but so sweet of them!!! And it was so nice to feel like people actually care about us after our hard week.... And, since we have been missing our little bakery in Araras and the free food every day, it was nice to get some yummies as well. hahaha.

ALSO--- the lady who schedules our lunches here is WAY awesome, and way on top of things..... so I think we will never be lacking in the lunch department.... The ward seems way good about that. And everyone is constantly asking us if we need anything in our house and if we are doing okay. So I think things will just continue to get better as we get to know the area and all the people here. WOOO!!! I´m excited. =]

Well. I was all excited to send home some pictures....... but this lan house doesnt do pictures apparently. GAH. So it will have to wait till next week, and we´ll try to find a different lan house....But I have lots of pictures to show you all!!!

I hope you all have an amazing week!!!!!
Love you all SO MUCH!!!!!!!!
I miss you all everyday.
thanks so much for all the emails this week.... wish i could respond individually to all of you, but I dont really have time. But I love reading them soooo much.
Until next week
Sister Ward

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