Thursday, August 15, 2013

Here Comes the Countdown... (Aug. 12)

Well folks.

This week was busy and we worked a lot. 
We´ve been planning a bunch of activities and things for the ward and the Grupo do Tanque.... 
Been keeping busy. 
Our activity this week. Noite dos Jogos!! (game night) We got two new investigators to teach from this activity!! And they came to church on Sunday!
We started teaching a lot of people. 
José is still working towards baptism, but got a few problems in the way still..... We´ve been trying to help him but he makes it challenging cause he talks so much!! haha.

We also started teaching a very simple family in Tanque (the poor neighborhood where we have another sacrament meeting in the afternoon). The sisters that were here about a year ago were teaching them and they already went to church a few times.... This Sunday they went again! The grandma and the mom both suffered strokes and have some problems speaking, reading, and walking. But they are a great little family and want to do whats right. 
Rafaela-- the daughter, is 10 and is awesome. She wants to get baptized and read the Book of Mormon out loud to her mom and grandma. Her brother Felipe is a little rebellious and we haven't been able to teach him yet..... 
One of the shortcuts in TANQUE
well. gonna tell about this week in pictures.... way more entertaining.
Last week on pday!! We spent the day with the Nascimento family, playing Foosball, Uno, Mancala and other games.... This family is so great.
Our makeshift Mancala board. My side is the one that says WINNER. hahaha.
Lunch with the other sisters in our district after district meeting on Tuesday! Sister Alexandre (minha filha!!), ME, Sister Moraes (one of my companions!), Sister Sá, Sister Gómez, Sister Ware and Sister Littell. THERE ARE SO MANY NEW SISTERS IN OUR MISSION NOW!!!! ahhhh.
Our "anti-barata" work in the bathroom! There is this hole in the wall of the bathroom in our house that tons of COCKROACHES like to come in from outside.... one time, we found 9 cockroaches in our house in 24 hours..... EWWWWW. Sister Menden killed them ALL. hahah. LOVE YOU SISTER MENDEN!!! haha. So me and Sister Alexandre bought some window screen netting and stopped the problem!!! Our bathroom has been BARATA-FREE ever since!! yep, yep, i know, we are geniuses.... =]
We had TACOS for lunch the other day!!! YESSSSSSSS. I know it might be hard for some of you to believe, but Brazilian food is NOTHING like Mexican food...... Tacos are soo good!!!
Found my name on a wall!!!! haha
THIS week was "take pictures of everything week"
This next week will be "take pictures of everything cause you´ve only got two more weeks left!" week,
and the NEXT week will be "take pictures of everyone, everything, the weird food and random things you find on the street week cause you are gonna miss it here in three weeks" week. 


Nobody here is letting me forget that I´m going home in two weeks..... Bishop already asked me to give a "farewell talk" in sacrament meeting and is planning an activity/goodbye party for the weekend before I leave...... 
Every time Irmão Gil (the ward secretary) runs into me he makes some comment like "look at her well, cause she´s not gonna be here for much longer!!!" or starts singing random Brasilian songs that I don't know about people leaving..... hahah 
Me and Leticia (aka Sister PIZZA...), the bishop's little daughter when we were waiting for him after the meeting in Tanque. We asked Leticia (who is 4 by the way...) what her name would be as Sister..... she answered "Sister Pízza!!" and it stuck. hahaha.
But, trying to forget about it cause we are going to be really busy these next couple weeks. We´ve got a lot of people to teach!! and so much to do!! 
Me and Sister Alexandre walking to the lanhouse this morning!!!!

Sister Ward

You're Gonna Miss This (Aug. 5)

Hey there family!
So......... I´m gonna be home and talk to you all in three weeks from now.......... so I´m gonna be quick about this today. 

This week was AWESOME. 
It started out with our pday at the parque with Isadora and another family from our ward. They have an American football!! so we threw that around a bit and enjoyed ourselves. 
Learning how to make bife milanesa at our lunch at Renata´s house!
Tuesday, at our district meeting, Presidente and Sister Perrotti decided to give us a surprise visit and showed up to participate in our meeting and practices. I got to practice teaching Sister Perrotti. heheh. 
ANDDDD, they decided to bring with them the two "training sisters" and their companions. Since the mission is receiving so many sisters now, they are starting up this program with training sisters who will do divisions with all of the sisters in the mission to help with training and stuff. Kind of like zone leaders for the sisters. In our mission, they just called these two sisters and started up this program this transfer. 
SO, Sister Brandão, Sister Aspitia and their companions came to our district meeting as well. 
ANDDD our district has 5 sisters that are all living together and dividing one ward in Itatiba.... 
So we had 11 sisters there at our meeting Tuesday morning!!
SURPRISE!!!!!! =]
District meeting with our surprise visitors!! Did you ever think we would have so many sisters????!?!?
Then, Sister Aspitia and her companion Sister Gomes stayed with us to work with us for the next day and a half. Sister Alexandre got to work with Sister Gomes and I got to work with Sister Aspitia. And we got to sleep with the four of us smashed in our tiny room......... Mattresses from one wall to the other!!! hahaha. Great fun. 

Wednesday night was Isadora´s despedida--- farewell party. And she went into the CTM Thursday morning. WOW. Crazy how fast time flies!! It seems like yesterday she was sending in her papers.... 
And it seems like last week I was there in the CTM myself!!! hahah. 
Despedida da Isadora!! she is going to Missão Brasil Vitoria!
We spent the entire week teaching José and Suely. 
We had invited José to be baptized this week, but he wasn't exactly sure about it.... This week we taught him at the praça where he sells ice cream in the center of Atibaia. He is still worked up about a lot of things he has to change in his life and a lot of repenting he has to do, but he wants to get baptized---so much. So we planned everything for him to get baptized with Suely this Saturday. Unfortunately, there were a few things he hadn't told us that he shared with the elder who did his interview, and he is going to need a little more time to prepare. BUT, that´s okay! He is doing really well and came to watch Suely´s baptism and came to church again yesterday. This extra time for him to prepare will be good for him. 

Suely is SUPER ELEITA and was completely ready for baptism, and this Saturday she got baptized and yesterday she was confirmed!!! WOOOO!
She was SOOOO excited for her baptism. I can't even describe to you all how excited she was..... ah. And it was so adorable. This little, 60 year old lady that has gone through so much in her life. But she is always ALWAYS happy. No matter what is going on. I love her!
Saturday, we had a problem with the water heater.... We couldn't figure out how to turn that stupid thing on!!! So one of the Irmãos from the branch helped us out and turned it on....... BUT, he turned it on to the setting "minimum" instead of "MAX"...... So when we got to the chapel about 40 minutes before the baptism was supposed to start, the water was cold. 
uh oh. We went into the guys bathroom and discovered the problem and switched it on to max, but it was too late.... The water was just warm enough to not be freezing anymore when Suely got baptized. 
Also, our bishop has been training all the priests in the ward to baptize. And so, one of the 16 year old priests was assigned to baptize Suely, and it was his FIRST time baptizing anyone..... Anyways, he was a little nervous and it took 3 times for him to be able to get her under the water all the way..... ahhh. Poor kid. And poor Suely!! haha. 
With Tomás, who did the baptism, and Irmão Robérico.... About 30 seconds after we took the pictures, he was already posting them on Facebook..... hahaha. maybe you all saw them! hahah
But, in the end it was really special, and both Suely and Jose were crying after the ordinance. 
Sunday, she got confirmed and is officially the newest, most EXCITED member of our ward!! =]

We also did a TON of contacts last week and found some new cool people to teach..... We´ll see how that goes this week. 
And we did some planning on how to work with the members and were able to plan with several people that are going to do visits with us this week, and we are planning a couple awesome activities for the next few weeks. 
I´m way excited. 
Me and Princesa Giovana at the Grupo do Tanque!! I LOVE this girl. She is soooo sweet! A couple weeks ago when we stopped by, she gave me and Sister Alexandre these little angel statue things that sit on your desk from her collection. She is the sweetest.
Grupo do Tanque!! (only some of the members.... Sunday before last there was a good 25+ people there...)
Sister Alexandre, Cinthia, Renata, Me and princesa Giovana!
Getting pretty nervous about coming home.....
Yesterday, I got out my oldest memory card with pictures and started looking at them. MAN, I was so pale!! hahah and my hair was darker...... are you guys gonna recognize me???
I hate saying goodbyes, and I´m gonna miss the people here so much....... I keep trying to forget how soon I am leaving, but people have a crazy way of reminding me..... like my companion Sister Alexandre, who has been counting the days..... hmph. Nice of her, huh??? hhahaha. 
Our new means of transport to go up and down all the crazy hills here!!! Still have to ask president about that one..... hahaha.
Check out who I found hanging out by the church!! HERBIE!!
I love you guys SO MUCH.
Random pony at a house we walked past...... SO RANDOM!!!

Milagres Sao Reais = Miracles Are Real (Jul. 29)

This week was good here!!
We´ve had some miracles here in the work!
Last week, I think I said that a lady named Sueli came to church....
Well, we´ve been teaching her all week and she´ll be getting baptized this week!! She is AMAZING! Like I said last week, she´s about 55 and years ago went to the church in Guarulhos for about 4 months, was taught by missionaries, wanted to get baptized but DIDNT because she was living with someone and not married.
Now, she´s single and wants to be baptized!
When we taught the 1st lesson she told us that she knows Joseph Smith was a prophet, knows the Book of Mormon is true and wanted to be baptized.
In our other visits she told us that she feels ready and prepared to be baptized. WHAT??!
We originally marked her baptism for yesterday, but she had to go out of town.... so we re-marked for this weekend.
Saturday night she came with us to watch the elders´ baptismal service and LOVED it.
When we taught her about the plan of salvation she had a ton of questions and was so happy to get answers and read with us the scriptures in the Bible and Book of Mormon that backed up what we were talking about.
She is very busy and works a lot, but gets so happy when we come over and puts everything on hold and runs to grab her scriptures so we can teach her.
SERIOUSLY, this lady is so prepared.
We´ve already taught just about everything she needs...... so this week we´ll just be helping her with any last questions, reading the Book of Mormon with her and have the elders do the baptism interview!
We started teaching a man named José. He lives alone and is 57.
We found him when we walked by his door on a FREEZING cold day.... as we walked by, we felt like we should ring his doorbell..... so we did! And he came out and we started talking to him there at his door in the freezing wind..... aaaaahhhh. brrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
We talked to him there for about 40 minutes.
He is having a really hard time right now suffering with a lot of stuff that happened in his life and trying to repent of a lot of things.... When we rang his doorbell he was praying asking god to help him..... The spirit really does have perfect timing... =]
He came to church this Sunday, and really enjoyed it.
He completely changed the topic of our gospel principles class with his questions.... hahah. and he talks a LOT. ergh. Gonna have to learn patience this week!!
In sacrament meeting he started crying during some of the talks.
I hope that what they said helped him!
We´ll be teaching him more this week!
So.. I said that it was cold this week.
And maybe you all don't believe me cause, well, it is BRASIL, and Brasil is supposed to be HOT.
Let me tell you------- that´s all LIES!
Here in atibaia, it was SO COLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
About 5 celsius (41 degrees F)......
I almost froze to death.
I think we had these super cold temperatures to help me prepare for the snowy winter in Utah/Washington.... yikes.
I didnt like it very much.
The sun came out again today and I am much happier! hahah.
But the cold was kind of entertaining......
We put on ALL of our sweaters (at once) and jackets and I put on TWO skirts, stockings and SWEATPANTS under my skirts!!! hahaha.
It was still cold!
Getting ready for a cold day!!! That's right folks! Sport pants ROLLED up under my skirt!!! hahaha. They didnt stay rolled up for long walking, so I had to pin up the rolls with paper clips!!! hahahahah. CLASSY.
ALSO, my comp is from Bahia, where it is only ever HOT. Very hot.
When we left our house in the morning, you could see your breath. Sister Alexandre started JUMPING up and down with excitement, "look sister!!! Look at the smoke coming from my mouth!!!"
hahha. She had never seen anything like that before.
Sister Alexandre showing us the "smoke" because of the cold!!! hahaha
BTW--- they dont have heaters, or hot water in the sinks here...... so it gets REALLY COLD in your house..... yikes. We lit up our gas oven and used it to heat up the house a little bit in the mornings...... hahahaha. I figured it was a pretty smart idea! =]
OH! and we were having our little mini-English class Saturday and there were so many funny English mess-ups..... hahahah.
I was asking one of the kids---Warley, a question.... I think it was "do you like strawberries?" or something like that. Afterwards, he replied and said he did, and then i said "ME TOO". HE  misunderstood what I said and thought that I said "mentiu" which means "you lied!" hahahaha. So he replied back angrily "MENTIU NADA!!" to say that he wasnt lying! hahahaha. Oh brother.
Sister Alexandre also told the class that she likes "LICE and beans....."
And the word "THIRD" pronounced by brazilians sounds surprisingly like turd.....
Ohh brother.
Gonna have to call it quits on the stories for today.
Me and my new companion!!! Sister SAPA!!! (aka. Sister Frog!!!) hahahaha.
Love you all so much!!!
Scripture for the week: Alma 26:27-30
Love you!
Sister Ward

Rain or Shine... Here in Atibaia (Jul. 22)

Hey family!!!!

Hope you´re not all dying of heat up there!!! hahah. 
Here its been pretty good temperatures..... not too cold, not too hot, and just a couple rainy days..... Jealous???  =]
hmmmm..... let me just whip out my TWO WATCHES to check the time...... gotta love Sister Menden.... =]
This week, Sister Menden got transferred and I picked up my new companion... 
Last Monday, we spent our pday getting her stuff together, and saying goodbye to people. Crazy how attached you get in such a short amount of time.... I´m not looking forward to my turn here in 5 weeks...... erghhh. 
Did I mention all the crying involved????! Oh boy. Not gonna be fun. 
Last pday with Sister Menden....... goodbye party at the pastelaria.... hahah.
Tuesday, we went into Campinas early in the morning to switch companions at the rodaviaria (bus station). Funnnnn. I love waking up at 5am!!! NOT. and taking my companion´s THREE suitcases up the stairs and smashing them in the little nascimento family car...... hmmm. ahh Sister Menden. haha. 
My LAST TRANSFER and last time at the rodaviaria in Campinas to switch companions....... WOW. Here with some of the missionaries that will be going home with me.... 6 weeks!!! (now it is just 5......AH!)
 WELL, that afternoon I went with the other sisters picking up newbies and got my companion! My companion is Sister Alexandre from Salvador, Bahia BRASIL. She´s 23 and has been a member for 2 years. She´s super nice, hardly eats anything (a big problem here with the Irmãs who like to force us to eat a TON... haha) and quiet (but not as quiet as Sister Menden.... heheh). She already knows how to teach like a rockstar and our work is going really well. 
Me and my new companion--- Sister Alexandre from Bahia (she might look american folks, but that´s just to trick ya!!)
Our first couple days here together, all our appointments fell through and I possibly walked her almost to death, so she is having a great breaking in to the mission............. hahaha. 

We spent a lot of time trying to find new investigators without much success this week..... walking a lot, talking to a lot of people, knocking doors, but not getting to teach much..... 
We did have a few cool lessons. 
We taught a young lady named Eliene. She is SUPER cool and way prepared, but not sure if she knows it yet. She asked a lot of questions but is scared to committ to anything.... She didnt even want to come to church.... But, if she really does read and pray, it´ll work out. 

When we were knocking doors Saturday, we found a lady named Sueli. She said that years ago, she was going to church for about 4 months and would´ve been baptized but was living with someone at the time and couldn't.... She told us she would come to church Sunday. And guess what??? She did!! This week we´re gonna go visit her and start teaching her...... Sounds like she was already taught years and years ago, so who knows! maybe she´s ready now! 

I almost forgot!!! At transfers, I got to talk with the elders that are in Campinas 3!!!  And I got to see pictures of Késia and Michael´s baptism!!!!! woooo!!! and they are teaching Caio and Cristian right now!!! I guess Késia and Michael got baptized in May-ish, and now Késia has a calling as secretary in the Relief Society!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOO! =] =] so happy. 
And Rodrigo is still doing well and active and serving as the ward secretary!! 
And another inactive lady that we visited started coming back to church and gave a talk week before last!! 
ah! Everything is so good!! 
Got your package!!!!! Thanks so much!! LOVED the sticky notes!!! hahaha. They are ALL over our house...... =] Best idea EVER.
Yesterday, we had something sad happen here in our area..... Our ward mission leader, Irmão Zequinha (the dad of the family with 11 kids that always takes care of us and helps us out....) had the beginning of a heart attack during sacrament meeting at church yesterday... He wasnt feeling well and went out by himself to go to the bathroom. Apparently he had the beginning of a heart attack in the doorway of the bathroom and fell. Then a kid from the branch found him and got help. They sent an ambulance and the whole family went out and they took him to the hospital. I guess he started to have another heart attack when they put him on the ambulance, but they gave him medication and it stopped..... 
Anyways. He is doing well now, but is in the hospital in another city---Bragança. They did a bunch of exams this morning and they´re gonna do a surgery to put in a pace-maker (I think...). 
Keep him and his family in your prayers this week. 

Gotta head out!
love you guys lots!!!

Sister Ward

LAST TRANSFER!!!!! Can You Believe That One????? (Jul. 15)

Hey folks!!
tomorrow we have transfers!!! And yesterday was the last night I had to wait impatiently until 10:15 PM for the elders to call and find out if I would stay or leave..... cause next time, I´m getting transfered to SPOKANE!!!! hahahahah.
But anyways, they finally called last night ...... andddddd I´m staying!!!! =] =]
but Sister Menden is leaving..... pretty sad about it.... and I´m gonna be training again. yikes.
But I´m really happy to get to stay here in Atibaia for my last few weeks!

Walking to lunch. Check out those blue skies!!!

This week was pretty challenging...... We haven't been having very much success in the neighborhood that we´ve been working in.... Just finding a lot of people that aren't progressing. A little frustrating. But this week we´ll have to find a different approach to find new investigators.......

Got to take Giovana´s family to the temple finally!! But her dad ended up not letting her go, and we only got to go with Laura and Giulia. It was a really good visit.
Laura and Giulia!
WE had our multi-zone conference this week..... It was sooooooooooooooo good. Everything that was on my mind and I was stressed about, President Perrotti talked about and basically drove out of my head. hahaha. He´s sooo good! And he used clips from sports movies--Peaceful Warrior, Coach Carter, etc, to show principles that he was talking about. hahah. As well as the scriptures of course.

Our zone leaders.... Elder Gamblin and elder Chagas, as well as Sister Compton and sister Gómez from our zone. I met Sister Compton in the CTM and kept telling myself I wouldnt freak out about going home until she went home....... SHE IS GOING HOME TODAY...... freaking out now!
gonna keep it short this week.....
more news next week.

FESTA JUNINA in our ward!! Missed the party because of our multi-zone in Campinas, but we got there at the end!
love you guys!!
Sister Ward

Adventures of This Week. (Jul. 8)

Well. this week was good. Some little problems made it interesting.....
like 1) My bag has officially died....... the buckle broke months ago and ever since then I was looping the strap through the broken buckle thing to hold it together.... now that broke too. hahaha. So now I get to TIE it every time I put it on.... hahah
2) After my bag broke, my shoe broke too!!! Dang it! This is my third pair of shoes!! Ones that I bought in Campinas. Argh. And the snap that snaps the strap shut came off..... We´re gonna go to one more store in center today to see if they can fix it. But we already tried 3 shoe-fix shops and no luck.... uh oh. Might just be using my sandals everyday for the next two months...... hahah. 
3) Spent a couple days with our cell phones not working to call or answer phone calls from ANYBODY!!! haha. So frustrating when it is Saturday night/Sunday morning and you have a bunch of people to call and confirm plans to take them to church...... ergh. Luckily, Irmã Dalva lives upstairs from us and let us use her phone. SCORE. 
4) We had our pancake activity this week.... Didn't go over quite as well as when we did it in Campinas.... but oh well. haha. When we started making the pancakes, we got about 12 pancakes cooked and the gas ran out. UH OH....... So the Irmão that was there went to the little shed that they keep the big things of gas in to check it out and help. The church has TWO gas canisters---so if one runs out, they can just switch to the other one and replace the one that ran out.... WELL, they BOTH had run out! hahah. So we had a huge pile of ingredients, a big mixing bowl full of batter, 12 (cold by this time....) pancakes and a room full of hungry/impatient kids and teenagers..... with NO GAS. 
hahah. They spent a good 40 minutes messing around with the gas canisters and trying to hook it up and see if they were really both empty.... but no luck. Eventually, we figured we would just have to make do without pancakes. But the Irmão didn't give up and sent someone just to buy gas, at 8:20 and got it all hooked up and going with time for us to make pancakes for everyone and Sister Menden and I still get home at 9:30. hahahaha. What an adventure. 
Did I mention that Brazilians think maple syrup is the coolest thing in the WORLD???!

Otherwise, this week was pretty normal. 
We started working more and looking for new people in a different neighborhood this week. It's a poorer neighborhood where we have our small group sacrament meeting Sunday afternoons. You have to take a bus/van to get out there and they drop you off/pick you up on the side of the freeway. 
We´ve been trying to be careful not to stay when it gets dark...... harder than it seems folks. hahah. but we´re being safe, so no worries. 
One day we were trying to find the house of a lady that we had met on the street. She had explained to us "oh, just follow this road and keep going and going and going until the pay phone..." 
Yep. She basically lives in the middle of NOWHERE, in the jungle (not really but almost....) with the only payphone for miles.... hahah. BUT, we found her house. =] We taught them the first lesson--- an adorable little family (not married, unfortunately) and they wanted to come to church. Their little girl got sick though and they couldn't make it.... ergh. 

We´ve been working with Giovana´s family still. Last week, we taught Laura about how important it is to come to church.....and she had scheduled a work appointment RIGHT during the middle of sacrament meeting.... but after we talked with her and explained how the Lord would bless her with peace, and more success in her work if she kept the Sabbath holy, she told us she would change it. 
Well, she did and was there that Sunday. When we talked with her this week she started explaining about all the miracles that happened because of that.... She works at a company that sells and installs in-ground pools, and they have goals for how much they need to sell every week and every month.... Basically, she said that in this past week, she was able to make soooo many good sales that she won a weekly premium, and practically closed out what she needs to sell in the ENTIRE month! She was very impressed. She was like "sister, you said I would be blessed for coming to church, and it happened!!" 
Wow. Miracles happen. They were at church again this Sunday. =]

Oh and this week was 4th of July!!! 
Sister Menden started off the day super patriotic-----singing the national anthem and every American song she could think off...... That actually lasted pretty much the whole day. I think we sang parts of every patriotic hymn in the hymnbook, the Air Force song, Yankee Doodle, and a bunch of other super obnoxious American songs.... hahaha. Just about every time during the day that we left a house and started walking on the road alone again, Sister Menden started singing..... Then, to close out the day, we stopped by the grocery store and bought Doritos, Twix and Milky Way. yeahhhhh. AMERICAN. 

Love you all and hope you have a good week!

Sister Ward

FAMILIA. (Jul. 1)


Yep, that´s right. We cleaned our house. 
Upside down and inside out...... our house is CLEAN. 
Cleaned that thing out Brasilian style...... with buckets and buckets and MORE BUCKETS of water, laundry detergent poured all over the floor, and scrubbing it with a broom. Weird as it may sound, it worked well. 
Better not find a SINGLE cockroach in our house this week! 

Did I mention that our house has been infested with them??? and I HATE cockroaches!!! One climbed on my foot and another one on my hand! aggggghhh. 

But moving on. 
Our house is clean and we have cockroach killing spray. So all is well. 

About this week....
We are dropping pretty much all of our investigators cause they aren't progressing...... ergh. Now we REALLY have to find new people..... 

Giovana and familia are doing so well!!! 
BATISMO DA GIOVANA!!! Giovana + FAMILIA  + Me and sister Menden! From left to right: S. Menden, me, Giulia, Giovana, Laura(their mom), Rafael (her boyfriend), a couple from the ward in Bragança, and Solange (their grandma from Bragança)
 They have been coming to our activities, and came to church again as a family for Giovana to get confirmed! Laura made some friendships in Relief Society and Giulia is doing soooooo great in Young Womens-----Did I mention that she told us that she wants to serve a mission!!!!???!?!
Us + Giovana + Guilherme (the young man that baptized her)
This week we watched the movie "Together Forever" with them. It was perfect because there was so many things in the different stories that applied to this family. From the first 30 seconds Laura was like "this sounds just like me!!". (it was a guy talking about how he had his priorities messed up when he was working way to much and neglecting his family) Anyways, it was good and got them thinking. As well as we got them to commit to do family prayer everyday and helped Laura to see how SHE needs to come back to church and not just her daughters.... It especially rang home because she had just marked a work appointment for Sunday morning (when Giovana would be confirmed), completely forgetting that going to church with her family should be the first priority..... After we watched the movie, she decided to re-schedule the appointment and be there at church on Sunday. =]

Luana is also doing really well. She is also getting more excited and making more friends in Young Womens. (SIDENOTE---Luana and Giulia live a street away from each other! and there are two other young women that live about 3 blocks down the hill from them! YES) 
ANDDDDD she is planning to leave and work with us, making contacts and teaching this Wednesday! =]

and we are gonna have another NOITE DA PANQUECA this week!!! Basically, the same American pancakes with maple syrup activity that we did in Campinas, me and Sister Menden decided to do here. =]
WOOOOOOOOOOOO. And we have some awesome young women that help us out with activities every week, so it is gonna be great. 
So many people have already commented to us that they will be there...... yikes. Its possible that this thing will be HUGE. 

Did I mention that Brasil won the "Copo de Confederações" yesterday??? Yep. They were playing against Spain last night, and we knew Brasil had made a goal as we were walking down the silent, deserted street and all of a sudden we could hear cheering and screaming coming from inside ALL of the houses on the block...... WOW. 
Afterwards, we knew Brasil won because of all the fireworks.... hahah. 

Also, it has been raining a TON here..... cold and rainy and coldddddd. So glad I brought that giant rain coat/trenchcoat thing..... ahhhh. SO COLD. Totally gonna die when I get home and it SNOWS. 
Going to church in the rain was fun..... We walked to church this Sunday with Luana..... We figured she would bail and decide to stay home because of the rain.... but she went!!! All cute in her new skirt and high heels and umbrella!!! haha. and we trekked up and down the hills in the POURING rain. I totally stepped in a huge puddle on accident and my feet were soaked for the rest of the day..... But, it was strangely the funnest walk to church of my life. I remembered Uncle Ben´s "you´re always gonna remember this moment", and told Luana how she would be able to tell her kids someday when they start complaining about going to church that she went to church, trekking up and down the hills in the POURING rain...... hahaha. Good moments. 

andddddd its raining again. 
so excited to go buy groceries in the rain. YAY. 

playing UNO for our ANIVERSARIO DE ATIBAIA pday!
love you all SO MUCHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
boa semana!!!

Sister Ward

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


AKA---- Atibaia´s birthday today!!

Hey everyone!!!
Well, so I don't have much time today, but here goes....

Today, is a holiday in the entire city to celebrate Atibaia's 348ish years..... hahah. Naturally, nobody works, and they have a huge parade, shows, a partying in the entire city.... 
So, we are also having a party! PDAY!!! 
We are here right now with a bunch of the YSA girls from the ward, (the girls who are all getting ready to leave on missions.... Renata, Isadora, Isabela, Bianca, and Julia.)
This morning, we got to see part of the parade!!!! All the elementary schools walk through the parade with their fanfare groups????? (don't know the worddssss... you know, like trumpets and horns and people waving banners and stuff. ) FUN. 
And they have an apparently world-famous professional fanfare group called FAMA that performed at the end of the parade.... sweet. 

Then we went and bought stuff to make food and made pasta in the pressure cooker (GENIUS) and now we are emailing real quick from their house because ALL THE INTERNET PLACES IN ATIBAIA ARE CLOSED!!!!!!! Rude. 

Anyways. Fun day. Gonna play some games and maybe watch a church movie after this!

But moving on to this week!!!

We have been teaching them all week and it has been so GOOD to work with this family... 
Giulia (aka Julia...) is so excited to start coming back to church, and Giovana was so nervous and excited for her baptism! So cute! 
Giovana wanted us to come over ALL THE TIME (like multiple times a day....) to read the Book of Mormon with them.... And she always asked us to explain words to her.... hahah. like "atonement" "abundance" and random words that I didn't even know! hahah
They are adorable though. 
The baptism was great.... A lot of things went wrong.... like all the members showing up late, the baptism starting an HOUR after the time we said, the water didn't heat up fast enough...... etc. 
BUT, it was very spiritual and special. I don't think I should say it was my favorite baptism we´ve had, but, it was very cool.
After the baptism, we sang "I like to look for rainbows" with all the young women that were there and it was sooo special. It was especially cool to see her mom´s face as we were having the service and while we were singing..... She KNOWS she needs to come back to church and repent! 
This week, we are planning to take their family to the temple. 
I love this family so much!

Yesterday, we also had our stake conference in Itatiba. SO COOL. 
The ward rented out TWO BUSES to take everyone out there. SWEET. 
Presidente and Sister Perrotti spoke, our stake president--Pres. Kawai, and Elder Massagarde from the area seventy. Very cool. 

We also got to watch the missionary work broadcast yesterday with was SO COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!
AH!!!! Loved it!!!
I hope that its online for people to go watch!!! If so, GO WATCH IT!!!! 

Almost forgot!!
I PLAYED A VIOLIN TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
We were walking around downtown looking for an internet place and walked by a hair cut shop with just a guy sitting there playing VIOLIN!!! AH!
SO I freaked out a little and then the 5 girls we were with were all like "GO PLAY!!! GO ASK HIM TO PLAY IT!!!"
So they all went up to him and asked if I could play it..... hahah. And I did. For a glorious ten minutes.... awwwwwww.  
Did I mention that I haven't even TOUCHED a violin since April??????? Yep. a long time. 
but don't worry, I didn't forget how to hold the thing yet..... hahaha. 

Love you guys so much!!! 
need to go now!
pictures next week!!

Hey Folks. (Jun 17)

Hey everyone!!
okay. So I´m having a really hard time concentrating right now to write this email.... 
Did I mention that the lady at our lan house is playing music?? Like, REAL music???!! Very distracting. Right now she is playing Kean.....a couple weeks ago it was Maroon 5........ and now its Coldplay...... ahhhh. so distracted. 

okay. Moving on. 
This week was good!
Despedida for the twins who left on missions this last week!!! Rafael and Daniel...... Dont ask me which one is which cause I can't ever remember.......  they are the 2nd and 3rd missionaries to leave from this ward just in the time I´ve been here!!!
We are teaching a new family. 
The mom---Laura, has been a member almost her whole life, but went inactive when she moved to Atibaia about 7 years ago.... Her daughter Julia (16 yrs) was baptized here, but they never started coming to church again regularly. Her other daughter---Giovanna is 10, and has been going to church with her Grandma in the nearby city, Bragança. Giovanna LOVES church, LOVES primary, LOVES reading the Book of Mormon with her grandma or her mom, and the first time we went to visit them and invited her to be baptized, she told us that she wants to! 
So we´ve been teaching them this week...... Julia might already be a member, but she doesnt remember much about the church because they have been inactive since she was about 10..... So we are reviewing everything. 
As we´ve been teaching them, they´ve gotten so excited! Julia started talking about the church to her boyfriend and even gave him a Book of Mormon!! 
Laura is also living with someone, but not married, so we have been trying to help her prepare to get married and all that stuff...... But she also wants us to start teaching him as well... He´s pretty quiet and kind of scared of us, so it might be a little difficult... hahah. 
But things are going really well with them, and Giovanna has a baptismal date for Sunday after our stake conference!!

Our other awesome investigator is Auria. 
She is engaged and will be getting married super soon to a recent convert, and will be joining a big family of members. Week before this, they called us up to tell us that she wanted to be baptized that Sunday!! So we started teaching her and she is super excited. Her religious background is a lot different ( she was espirita-----dont know that in english------- for 10-15 years.....) and so it makes it interesting to teach her. 
She is progressing well, but works a TON........ which makes it very hard to teach.... She also hurt her arm at work on Saturday, went to the hospital and didnt come to church Sunday.... bummer. 
But we should be able to meet with her this week and get things all worked out for her baptism. =]

Saturday, started off a soccer tournament..... The confederation cup????? Not sure..... Point being.... When Brasil plays, NOBODY is on the street..... and nobody wants to answer their door either! hahaha. 
Brasil played Japan on Saturday and that was our first taste of how its gonna be for every single Brasil game over the next couple weeks..... yayyyyyy. 
So glad I wont be a missionary here during the world cup!!!! hahaha. 
But Sister Menden will!!!!!!!!!!!! ahahaha. 
Gonna find my Brasil shirt this week to be able to join in on the cheering..... 

I love you all!!!!!!!!
Hope you all are doing well and have the best week!!!!!!!
Making brownies for our mini English class. hahaha.
BIGGEST pan of brownies EVER.............
PS----------- Coldplay is STILL playing......... ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

All This Crazyness is Just Freakin Me Out (Jun 10)

this is weird.
pshhhhhhh. Deep breaths...... be calm. Okay.
Moving on now.
I dont have too much time to write today.... We had a goodbye party with all the sisters and Sister Perrotti today and now Sister Menden and I are using the very EXPENSIVE lan house here in the rodaviara in Campinas while we are waiting for our bus to go back to Atibaia.... In other words, we´re here for a little bit and then will be heading out and not actually getting back to our area till 8pm... funnnnnn. 
ALL the sisters and Sister Perrotti. GUYS, you have no idea who longgggg it took to take pictures with EVERYONE´s cameras..... uggggghhh. The things we go through for memories... hahah
But, very much worth it. Our get-together today was a last chance to see everyone before the mission will split at the end of this month.... As of right now, 8 sisters are on the side of the Piracicaba mission, with 14 sisters on the Campinas side.... If any other changes happen, it will just be small, emergency transfers to set things straight up until June 22nd or so...
As for my past companions, Sister Bispo will be in the new Piracicaba mission.... So today was a last goodbye!!
Me and my two "daughters"!!! Sister Bispo and Sister Menden!
Today was also weird because it was a moment of realization..... everyone saying goodbye, and realizing that, yep, maybe I won't see these people ever again. Cool.
Also, realizing that after the sister who will go home next month, ITS MY TURN. ACK!
So everyone was already wishing me a great life at home and all that jazz....... which kind of weirded me out. A lot.
Otherwise, this week was great.
We started teaching an AWESOME new investigator who will be getting baptized soon but I don't think I have time to talk all about her today..... She is engaged to a member and their family called us up saying "oh, so she wants to get baptized..... SUNDAY"....................... WHAT???!
Well, Sunday didnt work out, but here in the next couple weeks she will be getting baptized!! We´ve had some cool experiences teaching her already, but more about that to come.
Also, been reading the Book of Mormon a TON to make sure and finish it in Portuguese before I go home.... hahah. But it is crazy the experiences I´ve had this week because of my extra reading time...... Somehow, what I read in the morning ALWAYS applies to someone and what they need during that day..... Really cool. GO READ THE BOOK OF MORMON!!!
So, possibly, the bishop was in such a crazy rush that he forgot and didn't realize Luana was there..... but it all worked out in the end and Luana was able to get confirmed after the intermediate hymn... hahah.
Did I mention she got a SKIRT to start wearing to church???! She also brought her Bible and Book of Mormon to church in a little purse to be able to participate in all the classes better..... CUTEST THING EVER.
One of the girls in the ward that is preparing for a mission got her call this week!!! Isadora will be going to the Vitoria, Brasil mission on August 1st!!! It was very cool to be a part of the excitement when her call got here.... We actually got to see her open it, and I remembered when I was opening up my big envelope. hahah. SO NERVOUS!!
I´m so excited for all these young people heading out on missions!!!
gotta go.
Love you all!!!
Sister Ward

Andddd We're Gonna Stay in ATIBAIA!!! (Jun. 3)

So, first things first...... we got our transfer news last night...... and me and Sister Menden are STAYING IN ATIBAIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOO!!!
our happy "we get to stay in ATIBAIA" picture!!!!
okay. so that´s about all I have to say about this week...... 
just kidding. 

okay. so this week...........
me and Sister Menden (maybe mostly Sister Menden.... haha) were getting pretty nervous about transfers........ 
waiting for the elders to call last night about transfers!!! THEY TOOK SO LONGGGGGGG!!!! They didn't call till 10:10 pm!!!! ACK! Practically killed us waiting!! ALSO, this was the last official transfer before the mission will split practically in half to form the new mission PIRACICABA.... But, since we are staying here, me and Sister Menden should be staying in the Campinas mission!
I also got extremely exhausted, it got SUPER cold and rainy here, and I got sick.... hahahaha. yayaaaaa. 
It is officially cold/flu season and everyone´s catching it.... 
Dont worry, we are missionaries. so we´re NOT allowed to die because of cold/flu season! =]
hehe. But really, we are doing great and super healthy now, so DONT WORRY.

other important things....
WORST news is that Luana didnt get confirmed yet!!!! AGH!
she has problems with..... gastrich.... uhhh.... dont know what that is in English.... AH. ummmm. yep. But it is a problem in your stomach... 
GREAT help, I know.... 
Point being, is that Saturday night she started to have a lot of stomach pain, didn't sleep all night, and wasn't able to go to church Sunday morning..... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Hopefully, it is just that..... and everything will be fine this week for her to get confirmed Sunday! 

Sunday at church was the BEST testimony meeting I have ever been to....
Have any of you seen a ward where the people start lining up in the front to bear testimony the MOMENT the sacrament is done being passed and BEFORE the bishop turns the time over for testimonies???!
Yep, that´s how this ward is..... INSANE!!
But it was way cool. 
Next cool thing........ from the bishop´s testimony to start it off, until the last testimony, the theme of the meeting was MISSIONARY WORK. 
This ward has several missionaries in the field currently, and a bunch more that are leaving soon and/or preparing to leave in the next year..... Before the end of the year, there will be EIGHT missionaries serving from this ward!! HOW CRAZY IS THAT??!
Several people also shared experiences about teaching/working with us in the last couple weeks, or about when we came and shared a message with their family! 
Trying to visit a recent convert family that lives on the other side of this scary bridge and fence.... hahaha. Sister Menden found it rather funny, me standing on this bridge, in the rain, trying to get a hold of this family on the phone.....
 One Irmão from the ward started talking about the conversation that we had when we ate lunch with their family this past week.... During lunch, I started asking him about how they found out about the church and how they accepted the missionaries and what they were teaching.... 
 Their experience was actually a very cool one.... This family is from another state here in Brasil, the state of Bahia. After they moved here to Atibaia, missionaries knocked at their house. This was about 3 or 4 years ago. He told us that the first time the elders came by, only his wife was home. They came back several times after that, but they never wanted to let them in and made up excuses.... But the elders didnt give up and kept coming back. Finally, this Irmão decided to let them in so they could "say what they had to say and then leave them alone"..... Well. That´s not exactly how it happened afterwards..... They said what they had to say, and this Irmão decided to go to church that Sunday..... His wife was very pregnant at the time, but after she had the baby, she came to church as well.... They got baptized and have an adorable family of 4 kids and are currently preparing to go through the temple and be sealed as a family. 
So cool. 
I always like to ask the members about their conversion experiences, so I didn't think anything of asking about it that day...... but when he got up to bear his testimony about it, it was crazy to see the difference that it made for him to be reminded of that special time in his life. The change that the gospel brought to their life. 
It was very cool. 

Anyways. It was a very special testimony meeting and I am SO EXCITED for all these young missionaries heading out from this ward!! there are three more elders leaving this month, and a group of 4 sisters preparing to leave within the next year!!! So cool! 
This ward is really gonna change lives!! 
After church on Sunday with the 4 preparing "sisters" in our ward!!!
that is about all I have to say for today....
My companion Sister Menden in the rain!!!! GUYS, she is from Arizona..... and never gets rain. So here, she gets INSANELY excited everytime she even THINKS that it might rain!!! haha. She does a happy rain dance when it actually starts raining...... hahahahaha.
I hope you all have a great week!!!
love you all SO MUCH!!!

Sister Ward

Luana's Baptism! (May 27)

Hey family!!!
 BIG NEWS!!!!! 
Luana got baptized this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOO!
Okay, so a little on the history of Luana since I can't remember what I have said in my emails...
Luana is fourteen and has a friend named Axel who is a member but lives in another branch in a nearby city. She was interested in the church so he took her to church a few weeks ago. She liked it a LOT. 
Luana and Axel!!!
That week, we started teaching her and her family. Her mom lives with her stepdad, but they´re not married and not very interested in learning about the church (especially since her mom doesn't read or doesn't read well.... bummer). But, at that first lesson, Luana LOVED it and agreed to prepare to be baptized. We also have been teaching her sister Jaqueline, but she is not as sure.....
The night after we left the Book of Mormon with Luana, she FORGOT to read or pray about it..... But I guess Heavenly Father was willing to help her out anyways. She had a dream where she was dressed in white, inside of a church with the Book of Mormon in her hands....... She told us afterwards how she "felt the presence of God" and knew that the book was true. Then she heard a voice telling her to "never give up". WOW.
What better answer can you ask for??!?!?!?
After that, we´ve been teaching her a lot. Going by almost everyday to follow up with her and teach her. Every chapter that we´ve given her to read she read and understood super well!! And she kept thinking about baptism, and understood completely how she needed to be baptized.
Her biggest difficulty is that she is shy and didn't have people to go with to church..... One Sunday we went and walked with her to church..... all her friends that she invited had bailed, but she was there waiting for us at her door when we went by that morning!!!
This last week, we were able to take a couple girls from the ward to go with us to teach her..... Made ALL the difference in the WORLD.
Since that was her big worry, it was also one of the only things that was making her have doubts about her baptism..... This week, we are planning to take her to mutual so that she can keep making more and more friends at church!!!
Teaching her about the commandments this week was very cool. We taught basically all the commandments in just one sitting...... She is already living pretty much ALL of the commandments..... was happy to hear about commandments like the word of wisdom and law of chastity because she has seen a lot of the problems that happen when people DON'T live those commandments. Yeah, she is AWESOME guys....
As we were teaching her that night she told us that she has been thinking a lot about how she wants to be a missionary one day..... SAY WHAT??! She wants to go on a mission!!!!
Regardless of wanting to go on a mission, she still wasn't sure about her baptism yet.... So we just kept telling her to pray about it.... (she kept "forgetting" and putting it off....)
Finally, when we went by on Friday night, she had PRAYED asking SPECIFICALLY about baptism the night before..... She told us that she felt "something good" and it made her want to get baptized more. So we invited her again for Sunday and she said okay!!!! AH!!!
It was such an exciting moment. It was funny as well, because as we started telling her congratulations she interrupted us and was like "GUYS, I just dont know what I am going to do with my hair!!! It will be a MESS when it gets wet!!"
hahahah. Since she always straightens her hair, her BIGGEST worry was how to make sure she looked okay afterwards..... hahaha.
We had another member with us--- Renata, who helped her feel okay and not worry about all the people that would be there and such, and figured out a plan for her hair..... hahaha.
Saturday, she was interviewed for baptism and everything was set.
Sunday, we went by to pick her and her family up in the morning......... sadly, all of her family and friends that she had invited BAILED that morning..... so she went with us ALONE to church, for her BAPTISM..... and only her friend AXEL was there... Frustrating. Apparently a lot of her friends have been giving her a hard time for going to church and wanting to be baptized, but she didnt let it faze her and is staying strong!
I made brownies for Luana´s baptism!!! (GUYS, first time I tried to make brownies NOT out of a box!!! Turned out pretty well I think!!) Sister Menden decided that using a ladle to eat brownies was the most effective method.... not sure why.....
The baptism went well, was very special, and she was so shy and nervous about the whole thing!!! We had to practically drag her to take a picture beforehand..... and then practically drag her out of the bathroom after she changed to go into the room with the font for the baptismal service.
hahaha. Her friend Axel was SO excited.... So excited guys..... ahhhh.
Us and Luana at her baptism!!!
some other cool stuff happened this week, but that was the best of it..... =]
my companion -sister menden, was a rockstar this week, doing contacts, talking to people, teaching parts of our lessons and even gave an AWESOME message ALL BY HERSELF at our family night Saturday night!!! She´s a rockstar guys!!
And her accent is so good that it makes me want to just call it quits and go home!!! hahaha. nooooo just kidding... but she speaks VERY VERY well.
oh and some funny portuguese stories....
when I was trying to explain to Luana that she would wear a white jumpsuit for the baptism, I got confused with the word for jumpsuit "macacão" and the word for pasta "macarrão"...... well. I guess you guys can figure out the rest...... I tried to tell her that she would be wearing "white pasta" for her baptism...... OOPSSSSS. Everyone laughed at me.... and then Renata took over and explained what it would be like for reals.... hahaha
And another one..... Renata´s family was slow cooking overnight a GIANT hunk of pig leg for their special Sunday lunch with a bunch of visits and guests over.... This peice of meat is called "pernil" or something like that.... When they were talking about it, I kept hearing "pneu" which is a car tire...... So I asked them what they were talking about "cooking a tire..." hahahaha. They thoroughly enjoyed that one..... "yeah, we´re cooking a TIRE for lunch........ Dont worry about the BURNT RUBBER SMELL....... Would you like to try some TIRE??? I´ve heard its pretty tasty!!"
hahahaha. Welp. I guess SOMEDAY I´ll get this portuguese thing down...... 
This is my face when the jar of peanut butter that Sister Pedersen left ran out...... =[
Have a great week guys!!! 
Love you all bunches!
Sister Ward