Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hey There Family of Mine!!!! (Jan. 21)

This week flew by once again.......... And I´d just like to sum up a little bit of the adventures..........
1. Did I tell you all that I HATE the bus system in Campinas??????? yep. It makes NO sense whatsoever........ Sister Moraes and I spent a large amount of time in downtown campinas, lost, trying to find a bus stop that actually had a bus that would take us back to our area......... We ended up walking in circles for a while.... haha. AND, later this week we took the wrong bus trying to leave from one neighborhood to another and ended up LEAVING our area and having to WALK back for about 40 minutes up and down hills........ SWEET. Good thing we like walking..... (**cough cough)
this is how you decide what street to knock doors.... Walk around till you find a SIGN with your NAME ON IT!!!!!!!!!!! =]
2. My companion woke up to me talking in my sleep a couple times this week............. And you may wonder, "why is this exciting???" WELL. Cause I was sleep talking in PORTUGUESE!!!! Wooooooooooooo!!! It probably isnt that big of a deal, since I still speak portuguese (and english....) WRONG all the time.... But I´m taking it as a good sign.
3. We got rained on a lot this week again............. Somehow, whenever it is raining a lot, my skirt gets completely soaked..... My companion says its cause I´m so tall that the umbrella is too far away from my skirt and only covering my head--- so it does no good. HMMM. Apparently in Japan they make umbrellas that have walls hanging down on all sides....... I think I´m gonna have to get one of those.
4. We started teaching a woman named Patricia that goes to our english class. She kept asking a TON of questions to the members in our english class, and so we marked to meet with her in the chapel and explain more. It was AWESOME. A recently returned missionary that goes to english class--Leandro, came to teach with us and it was a really good first lesson. She was just EXPLODING with questions and understanding everything perfectly! AH. It is really refreshing to finally teach people that GET IT, after spending days knocking doors and trying to explain to people that really dont care.... She hasnt come to church on sunday yet, but we´re hoping she´ll committ to coming soon....
5. We had a multi-zone conference this week and it was SO GOOD. Yep. We got a TON of ideas and help to figure out what we need to do better in our work.... and President Perrotti was just on fire telling us all how we need to step it up. Basically one of those conferences where you get completely broken down into nothing and then built back up again.... A little painful sometimes, but really good. I think that the missionary work in our whole mission will really improve over the next few months.....
6. Kesia and Michael are still progressing so well!! We weren´t able to meet with them at all this week until Sunday because of her work schedule.... BUT, they came to church again (3rd week in a row!!!) and loved it like always. =] They are just so excited to learn about everything! Loving the classes and the manuals and everything! The young men, and young mens leaders are ON FIRE with getting Michael involved, and the Relief Society is a litttttle bit slower to get on the ball, but they are adopting Kesia in too now. Everyone thinks that they are members already---- showing up to church for all the meetings, Kesia in a skirt and everything, coming to church with scriptures and manuals in hand..... One of the RS counselors even asked Kesia to be on the lunch schedule to give us lunch!! hahaha. It wasnt until WAY LATER in the conversation that she realized Kesia isnt a member.... OH, and when we passed around a sign up sheet for people to sign up to leave and teach lessons with us, Kesia signed up. She is that awesome. Point being- things are going really well at church.
We also were able to take Kesia to see the CES devotional of Pres. Uchtdorf. (link) In the devotional, he was talking all about the difference between BELEIF and TRUTH and it was sooooo good!! YOU can all go look it up on the BYU website as welll and enjoy the awesomeness of it!!  And somehow, it was PERFECT for Kesia..... I was a little nervous at the beginning wondering if he would even talk about something that applies to her--- as a single mom, not a member...... BUT, Pres. Uchtdorf went and blew all my worries out of the water and bore his testimony so powerfully about the restoration of the gospel and how all of us need to pray and ask to know for ourselves..... EXACTLY what we have been trying to help kesia with. AH. it was perfect.
ALSO, we planned for saturday to go to the TEMPLE with Kesia, Michael, Christain and Caio and we are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!! ahhh. Gonna go visit the temple, drive there in her MERCEDES, teach a FAMILY there on the temple grounds, and feel the spirit there. IT IS GOING TO BE AMAZING.
AND some other reasons why this week is going to be AWESOME.......... We finally got a ward mission leader that was called this week, so that is gonna help us out a bunch.... We passed around a sign up sheet in Releif Society for the Irmãs to plan to leave and teach with us and we have people planning to leave with us THREE DAYS this week.... We´re gonna try out some different ideas to avoid knocking doors as much for hours on end.... hahaha. AND.............. yep. Its just gonna be great. Dont even worry. 
Me inside Vitor´s play tent at a member family´s house..... Dont worry, I asked him first if I could go in..... He may or may not be old enough to know how to respond to that question, but he let me anyways.
Vitor in his tent..... (He was too scared to come in while I was still inside.... hahaha. He just pretended that he didnt want to play in the tent until I got out and went and sat farrrr away. )
 OH and today we are gonna go play at a cool park/place here in campinas! wooo. Its called O Taquoral. Or something like that........... BUT yeah, activity with the elders in our zone there today to start off our awesome week. 
Love you all SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have a good week!!!
Sister Ward 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rain, Rain, and More Rain... (Jan. 14)

Anybody know what day it is today?????!!!
Yep. that´s right today is offically the TEN MONTHS of mission mark!!!! WOOOO!!
hahaha. Just wanted to celebrate this important moment with you all!

This week was pretty rainy and cold. All week long. haha. It is a little strange when I am shivering and cold here to think that I am in BRASIL, in the SUMMER and I´m cold and having to use a sweater....... we´ll see what happens when I go back home to the snow...... yay.
I dont have a lot to say about this week................ spent a lot of time knocking doors in the rain and having only 1 or 2 people let us in in the entire day...... And we had to drop a lot of our investigators that just arent progressing, or dont want to work with us anymore..... And we found a few families of SUPER STRONG 7th day adventists while knocking doors, that spent a large amount of time lecturing us about the 10 commandments and how all of them, including the 4th commandment are still applicable today---and how that doesnt change, no matter what day of the week Christ was ressurrected.... People not understanding me on the phone (I think my accent is getting worse or something....)..........  and getting way soaked and having to use wet shoes cause ALL of our shoes are wet and dont get dry......OH and I bought my 4th umbrella on the mission this week cause I lost my last one--- smooth move.... . Yep. That sums most of it up.
Me and my new companion Sister Moraes, taking cover after getting completely SOAKED one day this week........... (I could wring the water out of my skirt)
OHHHH and we shared this little covering with a half-drowned rat that emerged from the sewer while we were standing there. Cool.
English class I used a bunch of those photos you sent me Mom, to teach about the 4 seasons. They loved it!!! Everyone loved getting to see pictures of my family, of our house in the states, snow and leaves in the fall, our canoeing trip, the pictures of the flowers at ?????? (oh gosh........... forgot the name of the park....... uhhhh. you know. the park that has the big tree, mom and dad got married there, and we go there every mother´s day??? cant remember.... shoot..... OH YEAH!!! FINCH ARBORETUM!!!). And we learned vocabulary from all the seasons and they asked really hard questions and I couldnt remember all the words to answer them......... FOR EXAMPLE, what is the name of the little floaty arm-bands that people put on their children??????? Also forgot the name for "inner-tube" until the day after english class when I was STILL stumped about it and trying to remember.............  You have no idea how frustrating and weird it is to forget things in english..... MAN.
Highlight of the week---
We´re still working with our little "miracle family". Kesia and her three sons, Michael, Cristain and Caio(who we havent actually met yet....). Kesia works late during the week, so we only get to see them on the weekends, (bummer, it´d be way more fun to teach them than knock doors in the rain!! haha). And Saturday when we went to teach them, we got a little bummed cause Michael and Kesia hadnt read anything in the book of mormon that we left with them and after taught and explained for them again about the restoration and baptism and everything, they still didnt want to get baptized. BUT DONT WORRY, it just takes time.
Sunday, was good though. They came to church all happy and excited.... Michael is loving all the classes with the young men, and nearly died of excitement when someone gave him a BOM/pearl of great price/D&C combo---- he was like "LOOK at what I got today!!!!", and Kesia had read what we left with her in the book of mormon and started reading again from the beginning just saturday night..... She also prayed like we asked her to, but she said she didnt get her answer yet..... I sure hope it comes soon.
As for a spiritual thought............ go read Pres. Uchtdorf´s talk (link) from conference in October on regrets and decisions...... It is great, and was the source of some of my goals for the new year. =]
OH and about my accent getting worse...................... this morning in our study time, me and my companion did our "inventario de dupla" where we tell eachother the things the other does well and what needs to improve.... My companion said how I need to study and work on my portuguese and my accent, and that with time, it´ll get better (yep, still waiting for that day....). THEN, just a little while later when we were getting ready to go downstairs to open the apartment door for the guy delivering our new tank of gas for the stove, she asked me if I was gonna get dressed in a skirt and everything. I was like "yeah, I´m not gonna go down there in pajamas.... I´m gonna put on a skirt and my nametag...". Instead of the word "plaqueta" that means "nametag" she heard "panqueca" that means "pancake"...... SWEET. She had to ask me about 5 times to repeat until I was yelling it to her.... then we both died laughing thinking about me getting dressed in my skirt and pancakes....... OH BROTHER. 
Remember how I complain about how much the members expect us to eat at lunches???? YEP. check out the plates!!! =]
have the best week!
 sister ward

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy 2013!!!! (Jan. 7)

Hope you all are doing well.............
And to all you folks starting school again............ good luck. Glad I dont have to worry about that. haha.
OH!! and I got the christmas package at transfers this week!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much!!! It was so sweet opening it up... hahaah. it was practically spilling over with goodies. =] I shared the peppermint patties at english class....... and they were a hit. hahah. 
CHRISTMAS ARRIVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =]
Welp. This week was good. Way busy and exhausting, but really awesome.
We had transfers on Wednesday and I stayed in Campinas 3.... My new companion is Sister Moraes from Belém, Pará. She is from the same city as Sister Paixão, AND my district leader Elder Alcantara...... I think President is really wanting me to pick up a "Pará accent"..... My companion has been on the mission for almost 8 months.... just two months less than me, and she teaches and talks to everyone like a boss, and is insanely good with a map.... She basically is good at everything, which is really handy. Everytime I have no idea what I´m doing (happens a lot) she is on top of it. She is the most quiet of all my companions, and fairly serious..... which´ll take some getting used to...It´s weird to suddenly be the one that talks more..........and I think that when I make sarcastic remarks, she takes me a little too seriously..... hahah. .... she´s also super nice and INSANELY organized. This transfer will for sure be wayyyy good.
We kept really busy this week........... we walked a lot, talked to EVERYONE and spent practically every second teaching. We were pretty much crashing into bed at 10:30 everynight. I´m still sooooo exhausted. ahhhhh. Maybe after this we´ll go back home and sleep a little. =]
We are teaching a girl named Joyce and her little sister Juliane. Joyce is 19 and her sister is 10. Their cousins got baptized in another city nearby, and they went to the baptism and talked to the elders there. The elders passed over their address, and we started teaching them. We havent taught too much yet, but Joyce is reading the book of mormon, and the two of them went to church again with their cousins this sunday to see their confirmations. Woo! So hopefully big things will happen here....
We´ve been teaching a super smart 9 year old named Danilo and his family for a while now..... He lives with his grandma-- Maria, and pretty much every kid in the entire neighborhood is her grandkid and lives in this house.... Every time we go there it is just crazyness, and some new kid that we´ve never met is there.... haha. Its hard to teach them, but Danilo especially is really excited--- reading the book of mormon out loud to his grandma (she doesnt know how to read), and always asking us to tell more "stories" when we go to their house. We figured it would be basically impossible to get them to come to church.... BUT, this sunday was a day of MIRACLES. We called the number they gave us in the morning to see if they were up and ready..... whoever answered the phone gave us ANOTHER number to call instead, and so we tried it, and nobody answered..... We decided to go and give them a shot anyways, just in case.... (even though the week before, we tried and nobody answered the door.....). AND, when we showed up with a car to pick up ALLLL the grandkids that wanted to go, THEY WERE ALL READY AND WAITING FOR US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We couldnt believe it! Maria, with 4 of the grandkids....... Danilo, Daniel, David and João Vitor. AH!
Maria may or may not have fallen asleep in EVERY class at church..... hahah. poor thing..... but the kids sure enjoyed themselves! In primary, they were giving out CTR rings, and so they all got excited about their new CTR rings..... haha. And in sacrament, me and sister Moraes sat in the bench behind them... All four of them would ask us what hymn was coming up next and have us open the hymnbook up to it so they could be ready. And every time they would ask for anything (help with the hymnbook, or to go to the bathroom or water fountain about 500 times...) they would be like "tia...." AKA "aunty"..... hahah. super cute.
before church, in our meeting with the bishopric.... a lady and her 14 year old son showed up in the parking lot in a nice, black mercedes.... Everyone was like. "well, somebody should go talk to them and see if they need anything...." TURNS OUT, they really came to church ON PURPOSE and all on their own! The lady-- Kezia, asked what time the meetings started and I figured she was probably a member, so I explained the meeting schedule and asked her what ward she was from... "oh, we´re not members.... but I went to the mormon church for a year and a half in the states...." SAY WHAT??!?!?!? She lived in the states for 5 years, and her husband who passed away a couple years ago, was a less-active member of the church. When she was living with his family in Arizona, she went to church with her mother in law for a year and a half.... They´ve been living here in Campinas again for about 10 ish years, but have never visited the church here. Not sure why, but they decided to come yesterday and give it a shot. Kezia has three boys--- Maicom--14, Caio--12 and Cristian--9. Caio and Cristian were gone for the weekend, but Maicom came to church with her and loved it. The young men in our ward are rockstars and really made him feel welcome.... He is all excited to come to the activities, and to english class on thursday.
Kezia works late every night, so we will only be able to teach them on the weekends........... bummer. But we went by and got to know them last night. She read the entire book of mormon when she was going to church about 10 years ago, and knows a LOT about the church.... but she has some doubts about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the gospel, and so she never felt like she needed to be baptized again (since she was baptized in another church...). ANYWAYS, it will be AWESOME to get to work with them and try to help her find out for herself if what we teach is really true or not.
It was a crazy answer to our prayers and all our work in our crazy week to have them just show up on sunday....... Sister Moraes told me that the night before she asked heavenly father to just send a woman to church that was prepared to be baptized.......... and BAM!!! An entire family that has already gone to church, visited the temple in Salt lake, in Arizona and here in campinas and that want to keep coming back to church every week. YEP. Prayer works. 
Love you all sooooooooooooooo much!!!
have the best week.
dont drown in all the snow y´all got there!! (a kid this week told me he would drown in the snow if he went to the states....... oh boy)
Sister Ward
bowling with coke-bottles filled with water and a soccer ball in the chapel for pday last week................... yeahhhh. we are classy.

dont freak out too much............ but I may have skipped putting sunscreen on my arms one day this week....... this is what happened. hahaha. My companion freaked out a little..... but I told her its normal and that I´ve had worse............ I dont think she quite understands that you can get burned until you turn purple and have blisters..... yep.

This little girl is obsessed with asking me about snow everytime that she sees me............ we had a bbq at their house on new years, and she started drawing pictures of snow-men for me..... hahaha. She wants me to mail her snow. I told her it probably wouldnt make it...... dream crusher.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (Dec. 31)

Can you believe its gonna be 2013 here in a few hours?????? NOPE. cant believe it.
 Well. Lots of stuff happened in the last couple weeks..... we finally found a lan house that is OPEN on new years eve, but it is gonna close here in a little bit, so this´ll have to be quick.
Firstly, Christmas here was good! A little hotter than I´m used to, but whatever. We got to have a multi-zone celebration the week before christmas, and our district got to go the temple as well, and it was AWESOME. My first time going to the temple since I left the MTC..... about 8 months now, so I really enjoyed it! 
Me and Sister Paixão at the christmas multi-zone


SPOKANE-IANS in my zone!! Elder Sands and Elder McLane
Christmas eve me and my comp. had a little dinner of mini-pizzas, pastels and chocolate on the floor. And since my companion is WONDERFUL, it was good. She wanted to stay up until midnight to see the fireworks..... I may or may not have crashed at about 11.... haha. But I woke up when the ENTIRE CITY started setting off fireworks at midnight. Dont know how Santa visits anyone in Brasil--- nobody ever goes to sleep on christmas eve!! 
Our christmas eve FEAST

NATAL (christmas in portuguese) in CHOCOLATE!!! ( a wonderful lady in our ward gave us two boxes of chocolate the week before christmas......mmmmmm.)
Christmas day was pretty normal--- study time in the morning, lunch with members.... and THE BEST PRESENT EVER of talking to you all on skype!! It was soooo great to see you all!! Thanks so much!! =]
I felt bad because my companion only got to talk to her mom for about 5 minutes...... Thanks for talking with her--- she loves you guys.
After christmas, we worked our butts off. Really. And it was an AWESOME week. Just flew by! Let me tell you some of the miracles real quick:
1) we were able to find people, at home, not partying and not traveling the days after christmas this week....
2) The fix-it guys were able to fix our shower!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOO! The power may or may not have gone out imediately afterwards..... but that is besides the point. haha
3) Thursday, we had an area-wide power outage that lasted all afternoon and evening. It rained a TON, really hard... some hail and everything, so it must have knocked out some power line or something.... We got a little nervous trying to figure out what we would do for our english class with no power.... But we went to the chapel anyways, and a BUNCH of people still came! We started out with a little light from the windows, but that didnt last too long..... but for some weird reason, everyone wanted to stay and practice english IN THE DARK. hahah. I couldnt even do a real lesson or use the book or anything--- cause there was no light. I used a student´s cell phone to light up the board every once and a while when I wrote a word, and we just practiced pronunciation.... For an hour and a half! And everyone wanted to STAY. hahaha. I guess our class must be a lot cooler than I thought.
4) when we left english class and locked up the chapel, the entire neighborhood was still pitch black.... The SECOND that we opened the door and entered our apartment building, BOOM "let there be light!!". It was like magic!
5) Saturday, a girl from São Paulo came to spend the new year with her aunts family in our ward..... and for some miracle, she wanted to work with us ALL DAY on saturday. WOOO!! Turns out, I met this girl---Maxiny, in the MTC, my last p-day! And she wrote me a couple letters afterwards.... And now we met up AGAIN, when I actually can speak portuguese, and she got to help us teach all day. It was way cool.
6) Sunday, we had a baptism! Nathalia, is the older sister of a girl that was baptized the transfer before I got here.......... Sister Paixao and her companion taught their family for that entire transfer, but Nathalia never wanted to get baptized...... was scared of being baptized. Since then, she has been coming to church EVERY SUNDAY, started working on her personal progress and is always at the activities at the chapel. But every time we talked with her, she still didnt want to get baptized. This week, in our district meeting the our leaders asked about her and her family and decided to do her baptismal interveiw and talk with her and just see if she was ready for baptism. When the elders went there to talk to her, she told them how she and her sister are reading the book of mormon together every night!! ahhhh. And she decided that she wanted to be baptized finally! So sunday afternoon, she was baptized along with an 8 year old girl from the ward. It was great, cause there was a ton of people in the chapel to support them and we had a little party with cake and soda afterwards. WOO. =]
The baptism---- Jussara and NATHALIA!!!!
We have transfers this week on wednesday........... Sister Paixao is leaving, and I´m staying. AHHHHHH. So now I have to know our area, all our investigators and not get lost!!! hahah. It´ll be interesting for the first little bit. And I´ll miss my little angel of a companion. 
Love you all so much!!!
Happy new year!!
Sister Ward

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...okay. so not really. (Dec. 17)

Welp. Another week gone by.
And just for you all to celebrate with me.................... Friday I passed the 9 MONTH MARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOO!!
Everyone says its just down hill from here on out.... but talking with my comp, Sister Paixão, I decided that there is no such thing as down hill........ Its just gonna keep going up, and up and up until a lovely, giant crash and burn at the end--- Sept. 2013. YIKES
The same day that I hit 9 months, my companion recieved "the death phone call".... in other words, the elders from the office calling to let her know what day and what time she will take a plane to go home.... February 12 at 7:15 am..... hahaha. Yep. hers is a lot closer than mine. It was a pretty trunky day. hahah. (trunky is missionary slang for anything that makes you miss home, think about home, etc.)
Hump day! NINE MONTHS!!!

and we took some traditional humpday pics.....

TO CELEBRATE my 9 months on the mission, we bought pizza and ate it on the floor.
This week was a good one. WELL, at least a WHOLE LOT BETTER than the week before.... =]
We spent last pday with Sister Feistner and her comp. Sister Aspitia in Jundiaí. Sister Feistner IS indeed going home for treatment and will be leaving tomorrow...... So it was both really good and a little sad to pass the day their with them..... may or may not have cried on the bus going back to Campinas, but I learned some important lessons that day.... so it was very worth it in the end.
Tuesday--- We spent our morning in our district meeting, and then had choir practice in the afternoon. Some WONDERFUL elders in our zone were able to find a violin for me to borrow, just to play with the missionary choir in our performance at the temple. YES! The poor violin was abandoned under a bed or in a closet for quite a while, so when I went to tune it up, the A string broke.... SWEET. But everyone wanted me to play so bad, that the elders in the office went and found a music store and bought new strings for me to put on it-- all within our lunch break of about an hour...
I dont think I realize how much I miss playing music until I get a violin in my hands and start playing again............. ahhhhhh. AND, to make it even better, the elder who was playing piano-- Elder Cox, plays reallllyyyyyyyyy well. Improvises and everything. AND, has backed people up playing celtic music before!! So we got to jam out a little bit while everyone was getting organized. AH. It was like heaven. Playing vioin WELL, isnt very common around here.... so all the missionaries were freaking out..... recording us on the mission cell phones and on their cameras and everything. hahaha. All our little renditions of hymns and celtic music. There better be violins in heaven.... or I´m gonna get pretty upset. hahah.
This week, we´ve been working with our two little families!
One especially, is SO GREAT! I love this family already!!
The parents--Carlos and Fabiana, are LEGALLY MARRIED (hallelujah!) and they have twin 8 year olds.... Carlos Alexandre and Rita. They are super receptive when we´ve taught them, and we marked a date for baptism with them.... unfortunately, they didnt come to church on sunday, so the date we marked will have to be re-marked.... But, they so are getting baptized!
Also, our "aula de inglês" (english class) this week WAS GREAT!!! For the first time since my first week here, the class WASNT a disaster! YAY! hahah. We were able to buy books for almost all the students, so now we are using a great english program to teach everyweek. The owner of this english school is a member of the church, so he lets the people in our english classes buy books super cheap..... Its awesome.
We also got to finally divide the class..... So I can teach just the more advanced students, and the member that is teaching can work with the kids and people that have never studied english before. It is interesting when the students ask me questions...... hard questions. Things you never think about...... agh. Way too confusing. Yep. Definitely gonna make a fool out of myself every week in this english class.
SATURDAY, was our magical day at the temple!!! WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
The "Cantata" at the temple, was a performance of about 20 different groups.... ward choirs, groups of not very good violinists (sorry, I judge. yep.) and other small groups singing. It was WAY cool. It was outside on the temple grounds and a LOT of people came..... It was raining the ENTIRE day, so not as many people came as we would have liked.... and none of OUR investigators came....but it was still cool. Everyone was sitting or standing with umbrellas to watch.... so when you looked out from the stage, all you could see was a FLOOD of umbrellas. haha.
Our missionary choir was the last number, so we spent all the time leading up to our number walking the grounds and talking to people or manning booths with church materials for investigators. I got to see a few members from Araras and Jundiaí, so it was way cool!! Remember Mariana from Araras?? She always would go and work with us knocking doors and stuff.... She was there and turns out she did indeed decide to serve a mission! She´s going to Belém, the city that my companion is from!! Super cool!
It always is super fun to have a big get together with lots of other missionaries as well......... All the other missionaries that we´ve worked with that get transferred far away.... Got to see almost all the sisters in our mission... and Elder Gaines and Elder Raleigh from my group in the MTC and lots of other missionaries that I´ve worked with already. So great.

Me and Sister Paixão all ready to head to the temple on Saturday...... Since it was raining, I had to take the violin all wrapped up in a black, plastic garbage bag---- super classy.
Finally, we performed our number. Silent night and that one primary song that talks about when Christ will come back to earth..... YEP, dont remember the name in english anymore.... haha. THANKFULLY, they had a little tent set up for the sound equipment and the keyboard, so I still got to play the violin. WOO! And it was so good!! ah. The choir sang perfectly, Elder Cox rocked the piano, the elder conducting led the whole audience to join in on the last verse of silent night, and I only messed up TWICE in my solo parts (embarassing.... )... but Sister Feistner told me that nobody noticed..... just her of course. hahah. But to be honest, everyone freaked out over the violin, so I was hugely overly praised, which made me feel a lot better about how I am forgetting how to play EVERYTHING and how my poor fingers are losing all their calluses and just dont move fast enough anymore.... haha. Poor guys are getting out of shape!
Sunday morning was apparently a super important soccer game---- corintians (one of the brasil favorites) vs. some team from england that I cant remember the name of........... SO, NOBODY came to church............... And there were fireworks going off, cars honking non-stop and a bunch of drunk corintianos in the streets all day long. I take it that Corintians won. hahah. I might have to sue whoever plans these soccer games if they put another one on sunday during our meetings. haha. 
OH and one last note.................... remember how I´m really good at breaking showers and our shower here broke??? Yep. still broken. and it got super cold this week and rainy so it has been an adventure taking showers in the morning............ woo!!! I LOVE ICE SHOWERS!
love you guys!
have the best week!!
Sister Ward

My Week (Dec. 10)

Happy monday everyone!!!!
Hope you all had a great week.
This week was a tough one. Some of you probably remember that I have great talent for worrying about things excessively........... well. Lets just say that this was one of those kind of weeks. My last companion, Sister Feistner was SUPER sick all last week and in the hospital for most of the week..... And I may or may not have become a giant bundle of stress and worry all week long. Poor Sister Paixão has definitely had some hard times trying to calm me down and take care of me.
Thankfully, Sister Feistner left the hospital last thursday and is doing a LOT better now. She went into the hospital super sick because of an intestine infection. But they had to do a lot of tests and discovered that she has a kind of auto immune sickness that will affect her for her whole life. Right now she is on a ton of strong medicine that is messing with her and making her super tired, so it is going to take her a while to recover..... She and her companion will have to stay home and take it easy for a while. Possibly a very very long while. The mission doctors are monitoring and discussing her case to know what needs to be done to help her most in the long run, but I dont know that they´ve come to any for sure decisions yet.
I really dont have much other news from the week............. Basically we got up and studied in the morning, I would be fine while we read our scriptures, and then sometime before we left our house to go work, I would be stressing again and have a break down. Working was hard cause I tried to concentrate but just kept worrying about Sister F. in the hospital and all the doctors trying to figure out what the heck she had.... And coming home at night I´d be a wreck again before going to bed. Yep. Great fun. President authorized for us to call and talk with her almost every day, so we got to know more or less what was going on.
ALSO, he authorized for us to come out to Jundiaí today to visit her! So we are all in Jundiaí right now, and get to spend the pday together! WOOOOOO. Sister F. is still pretty tired  and sick, so we wont being doing much of anything exciting, but I´m SOOOOOOOOOO GLAD to be able to see her and talk to her and find out how she is doing.
Something I learned this week........... I feel like everytime that I pray for "mountains to climb" as Elder Eyring put it, the Lord gives the mountains to my family, my friends, the people I love. SO NOT FAIR. hahaha. I think there is a lesson that I am supposed to be learning here, but I havent figured it out yet. I am REALLY good about stressing and worrying about the people I love when stuff like this happens..... SO GOOD, that I make myself a mess..... So I think that one of the lessons is to figure out how to get rid of all my stress and worrying, so I can concentrate on the work I´m doing. Concentrate on the needs of the people here, the people we are teaching and trying to serve.
Also I am learning a little bit about the importance of time. We really dont have much time in our lives to do all the important things we need to do..... We have to take advantage of every moment. Things are always changing in our lives, and we never know when we will have the opportunity to do whatever it is that we are doing at the time again...... As for a full time mission, this opportunity is one that we have right now. ONLY. So I´ve been thinking a lot about how I need to use my time here better and take advantage of every moment. Learning how to concentrate in the middle of challenges is a big part of that..... that I need to learn.
I am hoping that this coming week will be a lot better. It should be! We talked with President Perrotti yesterday and he promised that we will start to see more miracles in our area. THANK GOODNESS. All of our investigators have been either falling off the face of the planet, ignoring us, become to busy for us, or stopped progressing.  So I really hope we have some miracles this week. ALSO, this week I will hit the 9 month mark!!! WOOOOOOOOO!!!
ANDDDDD Saturday, all the missionaries in the zones closest to Campinas will be singing in a choir at the temple! They will have a Christmas program at the temple grounds, and we have been inviting investigators like crazy. There will be a lot of choirs and groups singing, and the missionary choir will be the finale. WOO! We had a practice for it last week and I got to see Sister Pedersen, Elder Raleigh and a bunch of people  that are serving in the zones close to here right now. SO great.
This week we received references of two awesome families! WOOOO!!! We tried super hard, but we didnt get them to come to church..... ahhhhhh. But I am hoping that the will keep progressing and around Christmas or New years time we will have some family baptisms!! WOO!
Well, I dont have much more to say today.
Some scriptures for the week=
1 Cor. 10:13 (Link)
and one of my faves. Isaiah 41:10/13 (link)
I know that the Lord will help us in whatever challenges we have to face....... He is really there to "take us by the hand" and lead us through our hardest times. He never will give us a challenge that we are not able to conquer with his help. And how it says in Alma 7:11-13, (link) He suffered EVERYTHING for us..... to know how to help us in these hard times. I know He will help each and every one of us as we strive to come closer to Him and ask for His help.
I love you all so much!!!
miss you all and am SO JEALOUS of your lovely cold temperatures, snow, christmas preparations and everything!!
have the best week!
Sister Ward

Sister Ward is really good at breaking showers...But it really isn't my fault! (Dec. 3)

Its DECEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cant believe it! CANT BELIEVE IT.
This week has been sooooooooooo hoooooooot. Its been between 36-40 celsius (96-104 F) all week............ and that is HOT. Especially for me. hahah. And yes, I use sunscreen every day, but I still have the funniest looking shirt tan that you have every seen..... and a watch tan..... and a shoe tan. hahaha. Fam, you guys are gonna love it when I come home.

our area, and some bannana trees

We had some funny adventures this week................
Firstly, I just want to remind you all of my great luck with chuveiros (the shower heads that heat up the water)............ I DONT HAVE GOOD LUCK WITH THEM!!! Our chuveiro in Araras burnt out twice, the one in Jundiaí once and this week, ours died as well.............. Thankfully, taking cold showers isnt a bad thing now that it is hot. =]
But the story gets better. We told a member how the chuveiro had burnt out, and he told us that it was just the resistence (is that the right word in english) and that we just had to change it. And he said "sisters, its really easy. you guys need to learn how to do it already!" So he kind of explained what to do, and when we got home, Sister Paixão got on a chair and went to work. After about twenty minutes of her struggling while I am saying my prayers, I hear a HUGE amount of banging/falling/my companion possibly dying and so I finished my prayer quickly with a "please dont let my companion be dead" and went to help. The chair leg had broken through the plastic drain covering and she had fallen off, knocked all our shampoo and soap and things off the shelf and banged her arm and neck on the toilet.......... awwwww. hahah. Poor thing. SO, since I´m a lot taller than Sister Paixão, I tried to help her with the chuveiro. I didnt realize that she hadnt turned the off the electricity in the apartment yet...... So first thing I did was put my hand on the part with the wires and got shocked at 220 volts. WOOOOOOOOOOO. Yep. It hurt. hahaha.
In the midst of all this craziness, the pipe that pumps the water to the shower head out of the wall, came out of the hole in the wall. And since it was super worn down on the part where it screws in, we couldnt get it back in. No matter how much we tried, it wouldnt stay, and the shower head just kept falling down on our heads!
So, we made do with what we had, and took cold-water showers from a hole in the wall all week! hahaha.
okay, not all week............ but several days. Then the fix-it guys in the mission came to put in a new one............ only thing is that the new chuveiro burnt out as well. Sweet. We may not have warm water, but at least we arent taking showers from a hole in the wall now!
our broken shower
Another funny story-
We were walking and found a tree with a fruit they have in Belém, where Sister Paixão is from. She got super excited and started looking for a way to get this fruit (jambo) down. There was only fruit wayyyyy up high in the tree. So, after many failed attempts to shake some down I grabbed a rock to throw at it. Sister P. was like "yeah, great idea. you throw and I´ll catch the jambo" and I was like "no way, you have to move out of the way or this rock´ll fall on your head!!". She didnt listen to me and just told me to throw it anyways. FIRST THROW---- she got hit in the head with a rock. Yep. Told  her so. But in the end, we got the jambo down and all was well. =]
Sister Paixão with the jambo that took so much work to get down..............

and with the rock that fell on her head!! (dont blame me!! I warned her!)
More about our missionary work-
We have a good group of people we are teaching right now......... A good amount of people, but a lot of them just wont come to church!! Frustrating
We are teaching an old man named Claudio. He is living with his daughter in-law and grandkids who are members, and has been coming to church with them. He is very interested in learning more, and trying to quit smoking as a christmas present for his grandkids and change his life for the better. We are hoping to be able to work more with him this week!
We found a 12 year old girl this week named Gabriella. She is friends with a family in our ward, but we found her house randomly, making contacts on our way to another appointment. We taught about the restoration to her and her aunt, and left the book of mormon with them. We also invited them to be baptized, and Gabí was super excited about it all. She said a prayer to close our lesson, and it was the most adorable prayer I have ever heard. She said "Please bless me to know that this message is true, because I hope that it is true...." ahhhhhhhh. Her aunt started crying after she heard her neice pray. She had never heard her pray before!! Its funny to realize how you can take for granted things like praying as a family..... That isnt a normal thing for most people.
ALSO, Gabí came to church on sunday!! she came with her member friend Vitoria and their family, and she LOVED it. We are hoping to mark baptism with her for this coming weekend, or the next. All depending on if we can get in touch with her mom-- who lives outside our area in downtown campinas.....
Love you all!!
have the best week!!
Sister Ward

CAMPINAS (Nov. 26)

FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and everyone else!!!!

AHHHHHHHHHHH! so much has happened in the last week!!
It is weird to think that you all are still just living normal lives back there........... everything just keeps changing. WITHOUT me! hahah.

So, last week, I left jundiaí..................................... And even though I was only there for 6 weeks, leaving was just as bad as leaving Araras............ ah. No big deal. Just another chunk of my heart ripped out and left in a city in brasil.............. what do you do.

My new area is in Campinas--------------- campinas 3. I´m not exactly sure what PART of Campinas we are in exactly, but our area seems to be mostly residential. The neigbhorhood is mostly the area of Campos Elesios. My new companion is ADORABLE and such a sweetheart. Her name is Sister Paixão (Sister PASSION =]) and she is from Belém do Pará. Which is in the northeast of brasil in case you were wondering. She has been on her mission for a year and three months already, so she´ll be heading home here in february. CRAZY. Its fairly likely that we will stay together for both of her last two transfers until she heads back home. Woo!
I´m soooooooooooooo happy to be working with her because firstly, she is AWESOME, a great missionary, and sooooo nice. And secondly, cause I desperately need some more help with my portuguese!! haahah. I always write down words I dont know throughout the day, and I´ve already written an entire PAGE in my planner, just in this first week together. And I made her agree to correct my grammar and everything when I talk, so I hope I can learn a lot from her! I´ve been practicing my accent too, and she says it is getting better, but I´m not sure if I believe her yet! She has a northeastern accent, which is very different than the accent here, so we´ll see what kind of weird mixture of an accent I end up with! hahaha.

My adorable new companion--- Sister Paixão

Last monday, Sister Feistner and I passed the pday with Sister Severo (a sister who went home last week) and her parents who came to pick her up. Then we spent the night with the other sisters there in Campinas, and went to the bus station for transfers tuesday morning. Transfers are one of the most exciting gatherings we have in the mission. Everyone who is being transferred or has to bring their companion in to be transferred meets up at the big bus station in Campinas. It is a HUGE gathering of missionaries in the middle of the bus station, probably about 100 missionaries every transfer. And of course, we are all crazy to talk to eachother and catch up with friends we´ve made on the mission who we havent seen or talked to in months......... so everyone hangs out for a while in this giant swarm of missinaries, before we all have to catch buses and head back to our areas. 
Me, Elder Raleigh and Sister Pedersen at TRANSFERS

me, sister feistner, and sister severo before she headed back HOME
In this lovely swarm of people, I learned some AWESOME news! The elders in Araras said that Larissa really did get baptized and is doing great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOO! And that Izabel got baptized in Florida last week! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
=] =] =] =] =] I´M SO HAPPY FOR HER!!!! ahhhhhhhhh. I love that woman so much!!!
They also said that all the leadership in the ward changed--- they have a new bishop, the old bishop is serving as counselor in the stake presidency now, and that the missionary work is just going soooo well! ALSO, they said that Mariana, (the young woman that always left with us) put in her mission papers!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woo!! We talked with her a lot about serving a mission because she was thinking about it a lot but unsure about what to do.... but apparently she is going now!!!! =]
AH. I love getting news!

RODOLFO GOT BAPTIZED YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
woooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Miracles do happen!! Even if I´m not there to see them!!!! hahah. Wish I could tell you more about how it went down, but that is all I know.

Anddddddddddddddddd, about my new area. Campinas is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much hotter than Jundiaí. AH. SO HOT! and it is always super stuffy with no wind, so it makes it worse. aghhhh. I will probably die. Especially since I figure that I will probably stay here until about march.... but who knows. IF that is the case, I will pass all the  hot summer months in this terrible place. ahhhhhhhh.
OTHERWISE, it seems like a great area. The ward is great! At church on sunday, two different families brought us bags of food and cake to take home.... hahah. Such sweeties. And it seems like everyone here wants to help us a lot.
It is a little hard at first to get to know everyone, but hopefully that gets better over the next few weeks.

We have a few investigators who are progressing/accepted to prepare to be baptized, but we are going to have to spend a lot of time over the next few weeks finding new people to teach. We passed a lot of the people that Sister paixão and her old companion were working with, but almost all of them arent progressing or dont want to have anything more to do with the church..... So we´ve got some work to do still.

Best part of the week was our ENGLISH CLASS!!!!!!!!!!!! I´ve never taught an english class before on the mission, so when I heard that they had an english class here, I got a little bit nervous.... okay maybe more than a little bit. This class has a regular attendance of 30 people!!! and most of these people are not members of the church! So I was pretty intimidated.
They had two american elders teaching the class, but about a month and a half ago, they were transferred out and two brazilian sisters were put in.... apparently, there was a lot of complaints, so that is possibly part of why I am here now. Since the elders where transferred, an irmão from the ward has been teaching the class. But I´ve heard that he is just not a very good teacher, gets really nervous, and writes everything incorrectly--portuguese and english.... So the students of the class were pretty upset.
We talked with the member that is teaching the class early in the week, and he basically said I didnt need to worry about anything...... that he was in charge of the class and could take care of it and all I needed to do was show up and help with pronunciation. WELL. I guess he got a little nervous and overwhelmed, cause when we got there, we sang a hymn and said a prayer to start the class and then he just handed me the material for the class and asked me to practice the pronunciation with them. IN THE END, I taught the whole class, by myself. hahaha. But it was so awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its a good thing that people here think americans are SO COOL.... haha. otherwise they all would have laughed at my accent and my lack of skills at writing portuguese on the blackboard and then I would have run away crying.... okay, probably not, just kidding. But I hope that all the students enjoyed it as much as I did.... and actually learned and understood something.......... hahah. But I thought it was super fun.
Next week, we are going to divide the class and I´ll get to teach just the more advanced students. So it should be A BLAST. ALSO, there is an english learning program here and the owner is a member of the church, so we get to use materials from their english program in the class. WOOOO!! So no stress for us!!! yay! I basically just have to read through and explain all the examples with them and have them practice and translate. YEAH.

Some other experiences from the week----
A girl´s reaction when she found out I am from the states........... "How emotional!!!" Yep. doesnt make sense in english.................. or to me in portuguese. hahah.
When we were teaching this girl, her little brother (about 3 yrs) and little sister (6 or 7) were being super distracting, so instead of trying to make them be quiet, I gave up and let my companion teach and tried to distract them by making crazy faces. Hey, if you cant beat them, join them, right??? I think it worked fairly well. haha
I taught the three year old how to high five and it was just about the cutest thing you have ever seen. SERIOUSLY. I wish I could send you all a video of how adorable he is. Afterwards, he wanted to show me his skills with a soccer ball.......... it is amazing how these tiny kids can be so talented with their feet!!!!!!! Holy cow!!!

about portuguese--
finally having a brazilian companion, I am learning a LOT about portuguese that I never knew........... Its great. I´m also learning a lot of random slang that I´d never heard before. For example, my lovely companion was making a cute little cover for my planner out of christmas pictures cut out of liahonas covered with clear plastic sticky paper (is there a name for that stuff?). When she did it, the plastic stuff got wrinkled on the front of the planner and she said "ahhhh ficou igual a minha cara!!" which, translates word for word into "it turned out just like my face!!" haaaaaaaaahahahah. Apparently this is a way to say that it turned out BAD..... but it made me stop for a minute in surprise, and then she had to explain it to me. hahah.

Sunday, we had a missionary training activity with the ward. We wrapped up a giant christmas present and put wrapped up book of mormons and pamphlets inside to give to each of the members for them to give to friends and family. Then we had a little training with the members and pracitced with them what they could say to friends when they ask common questions about the church. It went SUPER well. My companion is a BOSS and she was so great!!! getting all the members excited to go spread the gospel!!

Last night we also had a little miracle-
we were talking to a man on the street who was being superrrr frustrating. He has a lot of doubts about god and just wouldnt accept any of our answers, but still wanted to talk and argue anyways. While we were trying to finish up our conversation with him, a young man came up to Sister Paixão and asked her "what do I need to do to become a part of your church??" SAY WHAT???!?!?!?! Needless to say, she was a little taken aback..... He is MARRIED (not just living with someone....... HALLELUJAH!) and was a missionary for his church for a long time.... but he said he is looking for a new church and wants to find out about ours and be baptized!! WHAT??!?!? So we marked baptism with him for the 22nd of december, and marked to pass by and talk to him and his wife tomorrow! Hopefully, they are as prepared and awesome as they seem, and we can work with them!! His name is Iverson. I think.............. hahah.

So, in Jundiaí, this WONDERFUL family that I love to death was planning to have a little thanksgiving dinner with me and sister Feistner..... BUT, since I got transferred, Sister Feistner and her new companion from Argentina--Sister Aspitia, got to enjoy it without me. ahhhhh. So, when Thanksgiving arrived this week, I was a little bummed. But my adorable companion spent the entire day practicing the word "thanksgiving" and asked me how to spell it and everything. When I went to get into my bed, there was a little chocolate and a card that said "happy thanksgiving" waiting for me. hahaha. ahhhhhhhhh. She is a sweetie. So that was my brasilian thanksgiving. =]

Well. I´ve offically spent way too long telling about my week............
Hope you all have a great week!!!

Love you all so much!!

Sister Ward

Hey Family! (Nov. 19)

Welp. Yep!! I got transferred!!!
hahah. I dont know where I am going yet, so just hang in there till next week. okay? thanks.

We left Jundiaí this morning to pass the pday in campinas saying goodbye to some sisters that are leaving.... So I dont have much time to write today! I´m sorry!!! 

The week was good, but tough..... We´ve been working hard, but there isnt much to show for it. We were working a lot with Rodolfo all week, and planning for his baptism on sunday...... But he kept being all wishy-washy about it. In the end, he told us he would decide sunday morning (the morning of the 'planned' baptism) and let us know before church what he would do.... ha. We went to pick him up for church, and he didnt even get out of bed. Sweet. 
It is frustrating to me when people just dont make the decisions that they need to make......... and then just let it happen how it happens. He knows the church is true!!!!! and its blessed his life so much!!! But still, he just keeps being indecisive. I hope that he does end up deciding and gets baptized in the next few weeks...... Not that I´ll be around to see it though. Oh well. 

Interesting side note from the week---
I woke up thursday with a weird allergic reaction. My face was red and burning up and I had hives on my arm, stomach, chest......... sweet. Sister Feistner got a little worried and called Sister Perrotti just to ask her about it...... Since we are two americans and didnt know how to describe hives properly, I think she got a little overly-worried and told us to head to the hospital just in case I had measles or something.......... Yep.
So we went to the hospital. Remember last time I went to the hospital??? How I passed out??? 
Well. I one upped it this time.......... They took a blood test and the guy was having an insanely hard time getting the needle into my vein...poking it around and wiggling it and all. Then the blood wouldnt come out into the tube, so he started wiggling it around somemore. By the time he was finished with the blood test, I was NOT feeling so grand. THEN he is like "well, we´re gonna give you some medication on the IV now....." nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
So he took my other arm and started fishing for a vein my elbow, the back of my hand........
Pretty soon, I knew I was gonna pass out. So I told him so. Twice. apparently he didnt believe me, cause next thing I know I am waking up with 4 brazilian doctors standing around me freaking out. "WE KILLED AN AMERICAN!!!" okay not really......... it was more like "does she even speak portuguese???? is she here alone (my comp. had been told to wait in the waiting room......) what do we do??"  And I´m sitting there, trying to recover enough to answer their questions, having passed out, and apparently barfed on myself AND wet my pants............. COOL. 
They went and paged Sister Feistner....... "Sister Ward´s companion....... please come to the back..." hahaha. And they told her what happened. She just laughed and was like "wow. that´s embarassing."
Then we had to have the bishops family come bring me clean clothes so I could head over to ANOTHER doctor, cause they were all freaking out because I had passed out............. woops. Turns out it was all over nothing and the allergic reaction went away after a dose of benidril. But it made for an interesting day.....

Its funny how I only stayed here in jundiaí for 6 weeks, but I am already super attatched to the people!!!!! ahhhhhhhhhhhh. So sad to leave!!! I´m gonna miss soooooo many people so much!!!! 
We had lunch with the bishops family (before we knew about transfers) and I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!!!!!! We kept waiting there, hoping to here about the transfers so we could say goodbye and everything....... ahhh.
I only got to say goodbye to a couple people real quick..... and goodbyes are the worst!!!!!!
Everyone was crying and it was terrible. Thats all. I better get to come back to visit some day....... 

And that´s besides having to say goodbye to sister feistner as well!!! ahhhhhhh. we´ve been companions for four months now...... half of my mission!!!!!!!!!! crazy! I am gonna miss her sooooooooo much as well. 

Sorry it wasnt much of an update!!! 
Until next week!!!

Sister Ward

(Nov. 12)

Hey all you people loving up the snow!!
Next time you get sad to go scrape off the car, think of me being SUPER JEALOUS of the snow you have, and dying here in the heat!!! haha
Welp. Its been another week, ALREADY........... its like magic. Cant keep track of the days anymore.
Moving on...........
Its been a good week!
Last monday, we had a family night with an inactive family that we have been visiting every monday night (and sometimes more often...) since we got here. We wanted to watch the restoration video with them, but somehow, it seems like EVERY  SINGLE TIME we try to watch that movie, EVERYTHING goes wrong.......... When we first got there, the husband Sidney wasnt back yet...... Marilda and their handicapped son Jonathan were home and watching tv, when we arrived with another recent convert named Cleber. We sat around waiting for Sidney for a while..... and then decided we should just start. Poor Jonathan got SO stressed out to have us start without his dad.... ah. poor guy. He is about 27, understands really well, and can apparently read and form words with help.... but unable to talk or move much more than his head. He is ALWAYS smiling so big when we get to their house though....
We sang a hymn and started.... still waiting for Irmão Sidney and decided to just teach about the restoration real quick since he wasnt back to get the computer set up to play the movie. FINALLY he got back, and went get the computer all set up..... It must have taken a good 25 minutes of him struggling with that computer and the speakers before we were FINALLY able to watch the film..... hahaha. MAN. It was way worth it though, and the last time we passed by their house, they were still talking about it... It just brings the spirit so well.
About Fernando-
He´s doing so great!!!!!!!!! He is still so excited, and so happy!! He was confirmed on Sunday, and super happy about it........ We were only able to meet with him a couple times this past week, but he is doing so well!! He is looking for a job right now, and was all stressed about having to work on sundays since he is looking for a restaurant job.... We talked with him a lot about the importance of going to church each sunday, and now he is looking for a job that will let him do that. He understands SO WELL. It is amazing. hahaha. Maybe I´m just used to a lot of investigators that dont get anything at all...... but he is soooooooooooo awesome!
This week we spent a lot of time trying to find people at home.............. and they pretty much never were. COOL. Even Rodolfo started to never be at home!! AGH. And it is tough to find new people here because 1) knocking doors is the WORST here....... pretty inefficient.... most people arent home, and whoever is doesnt want to talk to us 2) when we try to do contacts in center, everyone is in a hurry and doesnt want to talk OR they are not even from Jundiaí, and just work here and live in other cities. SWEET. The lucky elders in our zone get a lot of references though.......... hahaha.
Tuesday, we were able to get Rodolfo to come down to the chapel for FUTBOL!!! haha. We grabbed a young man that was waiting for the weekly soccer night to start and walked up to Rodolfo´s house with him. Then we were just like "hey, you´re gonna go play soccer right now, and here´s a friend for you". It was actually a LOT easier than we anticipated............ He was just like "soccer??? okay" and dropped the stuff he was working on and came. SCORE!!!!!!!!!! And he apparently had a good time as well. He was complaining about his legs still being sore for about 5 days afterwards though...... hahahah
We also were able to actually teach Rodolfo again on wednesday.......... this time with a recently returned missionary from our ward, so now he has at least one friend at church!!!!!!!!!! Woo! =]
Rodolfo is SUPER cool......... He is still working along at everything. He is trying really hard to do everything right, to read his scriptures, pray, come to church and keep the commandments that we´ve taught him. It is really awesome how concerned he is about it all. He really WANTS to do it!! He gets stressed about all the things he feels like he needs to do better and isnt able to do PERFECTLY, and so we have to talk through that a lot with him and help him with his worries. But it is amazing how much he has changed and the progress he has made! He has read a good 20 chapters in the Book of mormon by now!! And this is the guy who has read only 2 books in his entire life!! Crazy right. And he prayed again for us saturday night!!!! ahhhhhhhhh. It makes my heart melt everytime he actually prays for us!! And this time we didnt even have to ask him to do it!! He just was like "well, its my turn". =] WOOO!
Oh and fun thing from wednesday!!!!
Around lunch time, we went up into center to just make some contacts and try to find people to teach. While we were there, we passed a guy playing violin on the corner.....Okay, so he was playing a "violin", but CRAZILY enough, he was playing fiddle music!!! Like celtic music! In brazil!!! WHAT??! We had passed him once before, and Sister Feistner had tried to get me to go up to him and ask him to play his violin....... but I chickened out and we ended up just going on our way to another appointment. THIS TIME, she was like " Sister Ward.... just do it!! If you dont, you´re gonna regret it for the rest of your life!!" Eventually, she just marched on up to him and was like "my friend plays the violin........... can she play yours???" hahaha. He was a little taken aback, but he ended up letting me. Turns out, this guy is wayinto playing FIDDLE music, not just classical, and has his violin set up more like a fiddle and everything! ( the strings closer to the fingerboard and stuff). And he got way excited to hear me playing traditional american fiddle music cause he has pretty much only learned celtic......... His most "american" fiddle song was St. Anne´s Reel. But yeah. IT WAS SO FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I started playing and everyone passing on the street just stopped and stared.......... hahaha. (I play a LOT differently than this guy---- louder, more obnoxious maybe??? hahaha). Sister Feistner said it was crazy how everyone was just stopping and staring. A random member from another ward in the area came up and had me play to his cell phone so that the bishop from his ward could hear the "american sister" play the fiddle....... hahaha. And then afterwards, this fiddle player---- Jon, from Chile, wanted me to teach him some stuff, so we traded versions of St. Anne´s and then I started teaching him Devil´s Dream (good song for a missionary eh??). OH YEAH, for you fiddle people that´ll understand what I´m talking about, he wanted me to teach him how to do a cut, you know, like in celtic music..... butttttttttttt yeah. I had no idea how to explain it to him in english........ much less in portuguese.......... and he´s from chile and grew up speaking spanish, so I could barely understand his portuguese anyways........ hahah. Whatever. Good thing you can just play music without talking that much.
OH----------- and btw, it either was HOT or RAINING this week.............. I havent decided whether it is worse to work in the heat or the rain.......... hmmmmmmmm. The rain is more pleasant, but more impossible to find anyone to talk to..... So I guess its a toss up.
When we got stuck in the POURING rain WITHOUT umbrellas........... (it was sunny that morning!!!) we ran and took cover under the balcony of a corner bar...... hahahah.

Thursday, an Irmã from the ward called us bright and early in the morning to ask us to help her with her house cleaning. (first time this has happened to me on my mission....... people usually dont even LET us try to help with anything...) and we were pretty excited to actually get to go do something!!! hahaha. YEP`. We were EXCITED to go clean a house......... Did I  mention that Brazilians clean their houses completely different??? Cleaning the kitchen floor for example involves throwing about 10 gallons of water on the floor, drizzling soap/cleaner over it, scrubbing it with a BROOM, and then squeeging all the water out the door, pouring more water on the floor as needed to thoroughly rinse it off. Its basically the same way you would wash dishes I guess......... She also had me clean her kitchen walls (covered in tiles) with a long handled squeegie and a towel. ???. The walls were shining when I got done. =]
But, point being, it was funny how much we enjoyed that.
OHHHHHHHHHH and just so you all can enjoy this............ The dad of the family whose house we cleaned, his name is Jesus. Honest. Make of that what you will.
RODOLFO WENT TO CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Saturday, when we went by, we were skimming through 3 Nefi 11 with him, where Christ comes and visits the people in America..... When had gone by with Jonathan (the member who came with us) earlier in the week, he had talked about it being one of his favorite chapters in the book of mormon, and Rodolfo remembered that. Rodolfo was all worried cause he had read it, but didnt understand or remember much of anything, so we just explained it to him again and read a little of it with him. We read verse 14 which is Christ inviting the people to come up to him and touch his hands and feet and see the marks of the nails where he was crucified. When we got to that part, we just asked Rodolfo what he would do if Christ was in front of him, inviting him to come up to Christ.... he thought for a bit, and told us that he didnt know. So we continued on and were talking about other things........ Towards the end, we were trying to committ him to come to church the next day, and we used that scripture again "levantai-vos e aproximai-vos a mim" (get up and come up unto me??) and explained how Christ is inviting us to come unto him. AND, he is not saying "only you people who are PERFECT, come unto me", he is inviting EACH AND EVERY PERSON in the world. So we asked Rodolfo again what he would do.... and he thought for a bit and was just like "well I would go to him of course!" YEAH! thats right!! and you can do that by going to church tomorrow!!! He got the point, and got out his cell phone alarm and set it with us sitting right there and everything. And sister F. put a sticky note on the back of his phone with that part of the scripture and "get up and come to church!" written on it, just in case. =]
The next morning, Sister F. and I did a division to pick people up for church. I went with a young lady from the ward to go pick up Rodolfo and walk with him down to the church. When we got there, the car was gone and the house was silent......... Yikes. I rang the buzzer anyways. And we waited. Then I rang it again. And we waited. After quite a while, I decided we would try it just ONE last time.......... So I rang it, and we waited.......... We waited it 10-15 minutes in total with NO signs of life..... Then, finally, Rodolfo came to the door running, TOTALLY asleep and rubbing his eyes and was just like "wait just a minute!" and went to get dressed. We ended up getting to the meeting a good 15-20 minutes late, just as they were starting to pass the sacrament..... so we had to wait in the hall until after they finished passing the sacrament before we could go in............ BUT, HE CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yay!
Poor guy was stressed out with so many people in the chapel (two wards meet there, so it gets pretty packed....), but he liked it!!! When we went by his house again that afternoon, he wanted us to help him look up the lesson manuals online and everything! Wooo!! Anyways, he has come a LONG ways, and I´m super happy about his progress!!
Also, taught my first "gospel principles" class at church on sunday IN PORTUGUESE. Yep, thats right. And I didnt die. Or pass out. So I guess it was a success. maybe........... I dont know if anyone GOT anything out of the lesson........... but it is what it is. hahaha.
OH............. so this week we found a guy that we´ve taught twice now. His name is Alex, and we just taught him standing at his doorway, since no one else was home with him..... But, important part..... He broke his leg because something fell on it, and now he has this contraption on his leg to help his bones heal in the right way. Its got like 4 metal peices that go into his leg THROUGH  his skin and into the bone, connected to a long metal peice running vertically down his calf..... Apparently the doctor tightens it up to bring the peices of his bone back together slowly........... BUT man is it gross!!! Do they use stuff like that in the states??????? When we went to his house, Sister Feistner got all excited to ask him all about it (cause she studied nursing before the mish) and they started talking about how he has to clean it really well cause pus and blood come out of the holes where the metal stabs into his leg and all this other gross stuff that made me almost pass out. AGAIN. hahaha. They spent a good 15 minutes talking about how it works and everything, with me just leaning up against the fence, singing hymns IN ENGLISH, inside my head to distract myself..... hahaha. After a while, Sister F. noticed that I was white, and then she felt a little bad......... for like two seconds. haha. then she kept asking him stuff. Needless to say, I didnt help much in that lesson. 
Well, hope you all have a great week!!!!
Say some prayers for Rodolfo this week!!! So that he can keep preparing for baptism!!!!
Love you all so much!!!
Sister Ward
Us with Leila!!  SHE IS SO COOL!!!!! She helps us out a bunch!! and she is sooooo funny!! We basically just die laughing everytime we TRY to work with her... hahaha.

We made the muffin mix Debs sent!!!!!!!!!! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
mm. and our house smelled like America afterwards........ oh so good. We ate them all in one sitting.

Found this in a little corner store here............... oh brasil.

jibuticaba!! This weird fruit that grows on the TRUNK of the trees here........... Looks like warts all over the tree!!!

With Leila...... being a LITTLE more serious this time......... hahaha.