Monday, January 7, 2013

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

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