Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Life is Flying By Faster Than I Can See (Mar. 4)

Hey everyone!!

This week was soooo good!!
Okay, so it wasnt a perfect week, but I loved it!
And the weeks are just FLYING by right now!!! ahk. Can you believe it is
March??? How did that happen??? I feel like it is still December folks....

Some stuff from this week:
1) Officially obsessed/in love with the little music box that i bought to
play MUSIC everyday.... church/EFY/Mormon Tabernacle Choir music has never been so
exciting. Let me tell you....
2) Got kissed on the forehead by a drunk Italian man this
week.............. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! After shaking my hand
(like normal people when talking to missionaries...) he decided to put his
hand behind my head and PULLED me towards him so he could kiss my cheek
(normal greeting here folks---as long as your´re not a missionary...).
Sadly, he was a lot stronger than me (AND my companion who started pulling
on him as well when she saw what was going down....) and the best I could
do was duck, so he ended up kissing me on the forehead. ACK. Worst moment
3) After having my companion make fun of me and my extreme lack of skills
when it comes to ironing clothes,  I decided to overcome this challenge and
learn how to iron properly. Yep. That's right. This morning I ironed ALL of
my clean clothes. And nobody died. Miracles are real!!!!
4) Got to play a violin for about 5 minutes. It was a bittersweet moment.
Great to play, but terrible to realize how much I´ve forgotten and try to
make my stiff fingers move.... yikes. Don't worry. When I get home I will
lock myself in a closet for two months, just me and the violin.... and all
will be well. =]
5) We had our interviews with president this week. And it was great.
Got to ask him all of my questions and probably took way more time
than i should have. hahah.

And about our work this week.........
we are teaching Robson and he is doing well. He is still waiting for the
8th of March to get his "answer". But he is reading and praying everyday,
so that is a start.

This week, we invited just Michael to have a family night with us at Aline
and Diogo´s house again. Probably the most genius idea we have had yet.....
Our biggest difficulty with Kesia and Michael is just finding time in
Kesia´s busy schedule to teach them.... SO, we realized that we could teach
Michael during the week when she is working if we could just figure out a
place to teach him... BOOM--- At Aline and Diogo´s apartment which is only
a BLOCK from their house!! PERFECT. And Diogo and Aline are AMAZING and the
perfect members to help him, since they are all already friends and Michael
thinks Diogo is the bomb. We ended up teaching him about the plan of
salvation (link). It was a great lesson. He asked us more questions in that lesson
than any other investigator I have taught.... And this coming from a 14
year old. WOW. What 14 year old kid is that interested to know this kind of
stuff???? it was a really good thing that Diogo was there to help us out
with these questions.... holy cow. Some really deep questions about
pre-earth life, about the purpose of life, about the spirit world, about
temples, about being sealed as a family, about the resurrection...... This
kid is so smart!!

Yesterday, we invited Kesia and Michael to watch a baptism service that
took place in our chapel, of two investigators that the elders in another
area were teaching. It was really cool. At church and at the baptismal
service, I felt the spirit so strong and I know they felt it too.
Afterwards, we had arranged to teach Kesia alone at the chapel while the
men were all watching the general Priesthood broadcast. Teaching her by
herself, there at the chapel was the best thing ever. It was amazing. We
were teaching about the commandments and the spirit was so strong! It is
amazing the testimony that she has of most of the commandments, for
example, with tithing. Her experiences are insane!! She shared with us two
very powerful experiences that showed her the importance of tithing and the
blessings that come from living the law of tithing. It was so cool. And she
shared how she has been paying tithing faithfully (at another church that
she doesn't even attend.... ) and that she has been feeling for a while that
she needs to start paying her tithing at the Church of Jesus Christ. WELL.
had to explain to her that she would have to be baptized first.....
ha. What other investigator tells us that they WANT to pay tithing
before they´re even baptized??
Some of the other commandments, she had some doubts.... but she opened
up with us and shared a lot of her doubts and thoughts and reasonings
about the commandments that she thought would be a lot more
We also talked about baptism again. Always. haha. And, if you all
remember, back when we took her to the temple, she talked with our
zone leader and marked March 10th as her potential baptism date.... So
we invited her once again to be baptized on the 10th, this Sunday. She
still feels like she hasn't received a specific answer yet........ We
shared how we have been praying and fasting for her to get her answer
and she shared with us some really special experiences and Sister
Moraes as well.... It was really spiritual, and they were both crying
(but not me..... once again, think I must not have a heart or
something....) In the end, we knelt and prayed with her, and she asked
for strength to live the word of wisdom and give up coffee, and asked
to know if she should be baptized March 10th. It was a really special
moment and a really special lesson.... Afterwards, we explained about
priesthood blessings and she asked for a blessing... Since the
priesthood session had just ended, there were still a bunch of
priesthood holders in the chapel, and one of the counselors in the
Stake Presidency gave her a blessing. It was really powerful.
I know that the Lord has big plans for Kesia and she is such a
special, amazing person. Now, the only thing stopping her is for her
to receive and recognize the answer from Heavenly Father that this is
what she needs to do....

I need to finish up real quick.

I hope you all have the best week!
I´m so happy to be here and to have these opportunities to help people
to feel and recognize the Spirit in their lives!

Love you all!
Sister Ward

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pancakes American Style (Feb. 25)

The week here went well..........

Dont know if coca-cola has been doing this in the states, but they´ve been doing a coca-cola zero promotion with names, cities/states on the can. I have been trying to find my name for a while, but never had any luck.... Then this week, we went to lunch at a restauraunt with the elders after our zone meeting. AND WHAT DO YOU KNOW, there is a coca-cola with MY NAME on it sitting in the soda cooler!!! AH! How cool is that?????!!!

We taught Robson a few times........ We taught him about the commandments. When we taught about the word of wisdom, I was way surprised... because he doesnt drink, smoke or drink coffee!! WHAT? Apparently he stopped drinking coffee as a kid because it started to make him sick, and stopped drinking as a teenager cause he wanted to be more physically fit to do hip-hop dancing.... Okay. cool. We also watched the restoration video with him. It was really cool, it helped him soooo much to understand better about Joseph Smith and the restoration... He said that he believes everything we´ve taught him, but that he still hasnt got an answer to his prayers...
He also told us that he wont get baptized until after March 8th. Apparently he made a "promise" with God and if God helps him with something (wouldnt say what...) in his life, he will get baptized, and if not...... who knows. But apparently this thing he asked for will only happen on March 8th......
I tried to explain to him how God blesses us when we keep His commandments, and not before, but he still didnt want to change his mind....
Kesia and Michael and family are doing well........... We werent able to teach them again this week, but they came to our pancake activity and to church on Sunday..... All three boys came with Kesia to the activity!! And Sunday, Michael, Christian, and one of Kesia´s friends came with her to church! During sacrament, I sat with Michael and he started going off with questions during the ENTIRE meeting! man this kid is smart! I made a little card with a drawing of the plan of salvation this week and he started asking questions about it and I ended up teaching almost the entire plan of salvation to him there in sacrament meeting. This kid has questions for everything.... goodness. I didnt have answers for about half of his questions.... But Michael is GOLDEN, he wants to know everything!!! And he is such a good kid!! all the leaders are so impressed with him at church and during the camp-out that he went to with the other youth.... He is smart, polite, obedient and friends with everyone. He is always helping out and wants to learn everything. I´m so excited for him, Kesia and their entire family!
This week, me and my companion were interviewed for TV!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH. We were just walking, minding our own business---okay not really, more like walking and inviting people to come to church, when my companion went up to two guys passing out magazines. Turns out, they were passing out magazines for a religious TV program?? Legião da boa vontade??  Something like that...They gave us their magazine and we gave them a pamphlet about the restoration... =] THEN, as we are talking with them, a group of people with a big video camera came up to us and they were like "well, actually, we want to INTERVIEW you for our telivision interview...." WHAT.? So.... somehow, we got roped into bearing our testimonies to be aired on TV..... AH. Dont know if they will actually air everything that we said..... BUT, there is a fairly good chance that they´ll at least play a clip of me saying EVERYTHING wrong in portuguese (I got nervous okay!!!) just to show off how their magazine reaches AMERICAN missionaries from other churches! AH.
They made us sign a little peice of paper afterwards and everything, so this business is serious. ack.
We also had our activity with pancakes!!!! OH GOODNESS. We got there at about 5pm just to get everything ready.... We cooked pancakes from about 6 until 8 pm.... And there was a TON of people there!! When it was time to eat the pancakes, they killed them all off in about 20 minutes.... hahaha. But it was a hit!

Our pancake activity! There was a good 50 people there!!! WOOOOOOO!! and ten investigators!!!!!! A record night!! This is when we were still making more pancakes.....
Irmão Jair, our ward mission leader that organized EVERYTHING for the activity

Irmã Thiana helping with the pancakes
Me and Rafael with some of the ingredients for the pancakes.......... check out the big pot of maple syrup back on the stove!! the syrup was a hit!!!! Think we got signed up to make pancakes with maple syrup for about 6 families when we eat or have family nights with them.... hahah.

BTW, my companion is a pancake-making PRO. She PERFECTED making pancake batter that night!!! And please remember that Brazilians don't make these type of pancakes! Pancakes here are like crepes and they put meat and stuff inside and sauce on top and serve them like enchiladas.... totally different.
OH and the big news!!
Maybe you all have already seen/heard something about this on the church website..... But our mission is going to divide!!! 58 new missions were announced world wide last week---7 in Brasil... And one will be the Brazil Piracicaba mission! The Piracicaba mission will take a large part of our mission, as well as some areas in the Riberão Preto mission.... Araras for example will be part of the new Piracicaba mission, while my other areas--Jundiaí and Campinas will be in the Campinas mission still. This also means that I might end my mission in a different mission!!! Ah! They will have to divide the current missionaries between the two missions, so it is very likely that a lot of us will be sent to the Piracicaba mission. Me and Sister Moraes might be serving in DIFFERENT MISSIONS here in a few months!! How crazy is that?!
Well. Hope you all are doing well!!
have the best week!
Sister Ward

my favorite thing to do in English class!!! hahah. We reviewed the alphabet in English class this week and I made them all practice by guessing letters for hangman ONLY with English pronounciation. heheh. It was great. They all love to make fun of me cause I only enjoy it when the sentence is hard enough that I get to hang at least half of a man..... hahaha. It is called "forca" in Portuguese (FORK-UH)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Our HOTT Week in Campinas (Feb. 18)

Hey there family!!
hope you all had a good week!

It was a good, REALLY HOT week here in Campinas 3........... 
11 months celebration this week!!!! WOOOOO! my companion, sister moraes celebrated NINE MONTHS this week as well! yep. We´re gonna make some pastels to celebrate later today! 

Monday night we got to say goodbye to Sister Paixão before she took her flight HOME, super-early tuesday morning..... She and her companion came and slept over in our house since they were working in Jundiaí--- far from the airport... And so we bought a pizza and had a party! hahah. woooo! I´m gonna miss that girl. 
after our last night with Sister Paixão..... all stylish and ready to go HOME..... ahhhh. oh, and eating the egg and cheese sandwich I made for her.... yes thats right, I got up at 5 in the morning just to make her an egg and cheese sandwich. True love. 

This week was Carnaval--------- maybe you all have heard of it.... The crazy huge festival that happens in Rio de Janeiro every year? It is what Mardi-gras is based off of I think... Anyways, nothing too crazy happens here, but it is a holiday for almost the entire week, so a lot of people travel, or stay at home and have parties---- AKA, the people who are actually still here are at home/in the street drunk. Fun right? 
Makes missionary work interesting anyways.... 
English class. We had a grand total of 40 people in english class this week................. OH MY GOODNESS. And that is with a whole ton of people absent because of the carnaval holiday week...... oh boy. 15 of the people this thursday were brand-new first-timers................. This english class is gonna KILL ME!!! 
Robson is the guy on the right side, with a backwards baseball hat and the number 22 on his shirt, Jenifer--in the purple on the far left is from a different ward nearby and comes to teach and knock doors with us one day every week, Irmã Aline is kneeling by herself on the left, Valeria--the lady in the back in the pink shirt lives across the street from us and taught me and sister paixão how to play some brasilian music on the guitar on our pdays, Irmã Monica is on the right side in a striped black and white shirt-- she is SO COOL! I love their family! They have a pizzaria and always want us to come by at night to eat pizza with them----sooooo gooooddddd, and Patricia is in the blue shirt next to Valeria--- we taught her a while back but she´s been SUPER busy lately and we havent been able to teach her again yet.... this week hopefully will work out for her..... 

We were able to teach Robson again this week..... He is progressing well! We taught him with a member couple-- Diogo and Aline this week. We were gonna teach him about the commandments, but he had a hard time with what we left him to read in the Book of Mormon and didn't understand much, so we changed our plans and read and discussed with him the chapter we marked---3 Nephi 11. It was REALLY good that we did....... He still has a lot of doubts about a LOT of stuff.... about the restoration, authority, baptism, baptism for the dead, etc..... He is still having a hard time with all the doubts he has had since the first day we started teaching him... I think the problem is that he hasn't put enough effort into praying and trying to get an answer, a personal testimony.... When we met with him that night, he STILL hadn't prayed and asked... Not even once! so we talked about that and committed him to praying and asking specifically about baptism and about the restoration. 
Since then, the other times we´ve met with him, he said he has been praying and asking, but hasn't felt anything yet..... Well. We´ll see how we can help him with that one this week....
AS for all of YOU.... if you don't KNOW something is true, GO PRAY AND FIND OUT!!!! It works. I promise. We don't have time to doubt this stuff folks, we need to KNOW and not doubt...

We also had a family night with Kesia, ALL THREE of her sons-- Michael, Caio, and Cristian, at Diogo and Aline´s house last night. It was so good! It was the first time that all three boys have come to anything.... It wasn't anything crazy, just a simple family night--- with prayer, a hymn, a short message, and FOOD! hahah. But the friendship with people in the ward was the thing that was best. Now, hopefully they feel like they have friends in the ward-- that live a block away from them! So perfect! Also, it was cute to see how well-mannered Caio and Michael are. When Aline started to bring out all the food and stuff to make little sandwiches, they got up and went and helped her with it all until it was finished. Then while we were eating, Caio would get up and pass things around to everyone in the room. Awwwww. Cute! 
Also, you guys have NO IDEA how powerful Kesia is.... She shared her testimony about tithing in our gospel principles class and it is INSANE her experiences and strong belief in everything!!  She´s still not a member!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH. How is she not a member yet????! 
I´m so excited for her baptism coming up!!!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully we can help Michael and the boys as well!!! 

Otherwise, we have been spending a lot of time trying to find people to teach..... and knocking doors. YIKES. So far, not too much luck..... nobody seems to want to have us come back, but, we´ll find people soon. don't worry. 

OH!!! And this morning, I made pancakes with maple syrup for me and Sister Moraes!!! hahah. SO GOOD!! I had to practice because this Saturday, we are going to have a big activity and I am going to make American pancakes and maple syrup for the ENTIRE WARD and everyone we invite!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Everyone in the ward thinks it´s a joke that I´m gonna cook...... hahah. Probably cause they all think that Americans in general don't know how to cook (probably cause all the American missionaries don't know how to make rice or beans....), and cause I´m always sharing my experiences of trying to make rice and burning it, forgetting the salt, trying to fry potatoes and burning them as well.......... Yep. Good thing Sister Moraes is an awesome cook. ahah. 
But, at least it will maybe get people to come to our activity---- they all are gonna want to see me making a fool of myself cooking hundreds of pancakes!!! 
Wish me luck.... 

one more experience from the week--
We found a family that we went to teach this week. It is a grandma with a whole bunch of kids there.... One of the kids--Guilherme, is 9 and wants to be a famous singer..... And this kid can sing!!! Holy cow! He sang a bunch of songs for us and it was the CUTEST thing! I even recorded one, but I don't think email is cool enough to let me send it to you... He is such a performer, totally getting into it..... He also sang some Justin Beiber for us----- there may have been a couple understandable words in there...... hahaha. But if this kid gets famous someday, just remember that I knew him first!!!!!!!!!! =]
Also, while we were there, the kids ran off to go get some star-fruit from a tree nearby. They gave me a whole TON to try, and one of the kids was like "take some back to France with you!".... wrong country kid..... hahah. Sadly, all this star-fruit was super green and sour cause it wasnt ripe yet.... Yuck. 
instead of the traditional "9months" pregnant belly picture,Sister Moraes took advantage of the opportunity to take a "9 months" picture with a REAL baby.... haha. Little Mateus at church on sunday. 
Well, hope you all have a great week!!!

Miss you all a lot! But, still so glad to be here and working in the Lord´s work!! He is taking care of us here and guiding us everyday. 

love you guys.
Sister Ward

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Staying again in Campinas 3! (Feb. 11)

Hey family!!

Well, gonna start it off with our transfer news................. Sister Moraes and I are staying here in Campinas 3!!!! WOOOOOO!
So, this transfer will be 5 weeks long..... and we are gonna work our butts off and have the best transfer ever!!! Yep. Excited??? you should be. 

This week was good. 
We worked hard all week and had some miracles! WOOOO!

Firstly, we´ve been working with Robson. We taught him about the plan of salvation and he always has a ton of questions about it.... About his dad that just passed away a few weeks ago, and baptisms for the dead and the purpose of this life and stuff like that. He also told us that he wants to get baptized and the only thing in the way is him having to "change" a lot of things in his life.... we´ll see about that. It´s been a little hard to teach him because we have been teaching him with his mom..... and his mom talks A LOT. She also doesn't agree with a lot of what we say and teach, so Robson gets all quiet and she just talks the whole time.... arghhh. It isn't until she´ll leave the room to go bring us something to eat that we can "really teach". 
The third day that we taught Robson this week, he had a lot of questions.... about the restoration and authority and why people need to be baptized AGAIN, when they join the church.... As well as more questions about the spirit world and baptisms for the dead.... It seems like he really gets worked up a lot about what his friends and people are saying for him.... But after we talked about all of his doubts and showed him scriptures, he accepted everything just fine. I hope that this worrying about what others think doesn't get in the way for him....... 
He is progressing really well, and wants to be baptized, but he didn't come to church this Sunday, and I´m not sure why..... 
OH, and his mom loves to make comments about me coming back to Brazil to marry Robson after the mission........ greatttt. And he also asked if I plan on marrying someone who is a member of the church.... Sister Moraes answered that one for me... hahah. 

Wednesday night, we were visiting Joanna Darc and Rodrigo (a less-active mother and son that we have been working with a lot...) and when we went to leave it was raining.... They have a driveway that is made of tile that slopes.... and it gets pretty slippery when it rains..... Yep. Luckily, Rodrigo had already OPENED the garage-type door BEFORE I slipped down the ramp and fell on my butt in the rain..... It was great. hahah. But god blessed me with a cushion to fall on, so it was all good. =]
we were all laughing for a good bit afterwards. 

The best part of our week was Saturday........
This week we marked AGAIN to go to the temple with Kesia.... but everytime we had called during the week, she didn't answer (probably was still at work or something...). Saturday morning we called AGAIN.... TWICE..... and no answer.... so we figured that it fell through again.... 
At about 11 am, she called us. Sister Moraes answered and asked her if she still could go... and YES!! 
So we went with Kesia, and her 12 year old son that we don't know very well- Caio, to the temple. It was really REALLY cool. She loved it. There is such a special spirit on the temple grounds.... She also loved the little store there.... I think she was more excited about buying church books, Liahonas and stuff than most members. hahah. 
We also got to talk to her about the plan of salvation and temple work.... She already knows EVERYTHING.  Its insane how she already knows everything!! 
While we were at the temple, one of our zone leaders was there waiting for other investigators to show them around the temple grounds and talked to Kesia and asked to interview her for baptism. We got a little nervous--- didn't know how she would take that since we haven't been able to hardly TALK to her for the last few weeks, but it was probably the best thing that could have happened.... She really liked it! and I think it helped her a lot..... She marked to prepare for March 10th to be baptized!!!!
She only needs more time because she drinks coffee, and still wants an "answer" that the church is true. She has had a lot of little answers over the years, but she wants a BIGGER answer, something extroardinary.... HMMM. So we talked to her a lot about prayer and shared experiences with her. Sister Moraes told her about how she had prayed our first Sunday in the area for the Lord to send a woman prepared to be baptized to sacrament meeting that week.... and Kesia just showed up out of nowhere!!! When she was telling about the experience, Sister Moraes and Kesia were both crying.... (not me, I don't have feelings.... hahah). But it was really cool. Kesia really felt in that moment how she was an answer to our prayers. And how she is truly prepared to be baptized. She also said that she is going to be more specific in her prayers to get an answer, and hopefully that will help. 
She also really opened up to us and told us a lot about her life, her past, and her thoughts on everything..... Which really helps because now we know better where she is coming from, to know how to help her better.
ALSO, it is CRAZY how she has changed in her opinions in the time that she has been coming to church.... The first time we taught her, she basically told us that she WOULDN'T be baptized. Ever. That she didn't see how it was necessary for her to be baptized again..... NOW, she wants to and is excited! Is planning for March 10th and said that if she gets an answer sooner, or feels  ready sooner, she´ll get baptized before then. WOOOOO!! 
I am SO excited to help her, and Michael, Caio and Cristian this transfer!!!! we´re gonna have some real MIRACLES this transfer!! 
OH and Michael went with all the youth to the campout over the Carnaval weekend. YEAH. =]

Other miracles---
A random family that we have never met just SHOWED UP at church on Sunday.... said that they have been looking for a church to  join and decided to come!! sadly, they are not from our area, but some elders are gonna have a huge blessing with that family!!
ALSO, an inactive woman came to church with her 5 kids! She wants us to teach them so they can be baptized, and 3 of them are old enough to be baptized!! wooo!! she also doesn't live in our area, but works here and is looking for a house here!!! So we are going to start teaching them!! 
IT WAS CRAZY to have so many people show up at church!!! ahhh!! 

I love you all so much!!!
have the best week!!!

ps. I will hit the 11 MONTH mark this week!!! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Can you believe it?

Sister Ward

The Miracles are Coming... (Feb. 4)

...hopefully I'll still be here when they arrive =]

Well, I cant.....
So, about my week.
It was another week trying to work hard and do lots of stuff and having almost everything go wrong........... Okay, so not everything, so we are improving here. =]
Oh and my shoes have all officially died now..... The black ones I brought from home died a whilleeee back, and the ones that i bought here in august have holes all the way through, so when it rains, they let water in from above AND beneath my feet.... hahaha. SO, since I´m pretty much just walking on the ground, my feet were starting to really hurt this week..... so guess what i dug out of my suitcase??? Those ugly sandals that I hadnt even used yet!!! hahah. And I´m using them now!! Hurt my feet the first day, but, getting used to them and now I´m gonna use them to work when we dont have to go to meetings or anything important. My companion laughed at me cause they´re pretty funny looking, but then she told me that if they sold them here she would buy some too just to match with me so I wouldnt feel alone in my ugly-shoeness. hahah.
And we are going into downtown campinas today, so I might buy some other shoes to use on the days that we actually have to go somewhere and look nice..... or nice-ish.
English class is starting to really stress me out. How is it that I dont even know how english works????????!!! Yeah. My students keep asking questions that I have NO IDEA how to answer.... For example, is there a rule to explain when you have to use "do" in a question and when you dont have to??? Luckily, the students help eachother out with these kind of questions, so whenever I am standing there stumped trying to remember a word or figure out some dumb grammar rule, they are busy looking it up in the dictionary or answering their own questions. PHEWWWW. English is so confusing. aggggh.
well, we´ve been working a lot with severall families of recent converts and less actives for the last several weeks. And we´re starting to see some real success with them! I´ve been visiting a mom and son since I got to this area (about 2 months) and I love these guys! Joana Darc and Rodrigo are from Rio de Janeiro and Rodrigo got baptized there. He was super strong there, planning to go on a mission, but when they moved here, he stopped coming to church. Now, he´s past the mission age, but Joana got baptized over the summer and they started coming back to church with the elders that baptized her..... But when I got here, they had stopped coming again for a while....  They had been promising us for WEEKS that they would come back, but every sunday there was an excuse. Sunday before last, i was really dissappointed because I was SURE that Rodrigo would go.... Turns out, he got to the gate of the church and then turned around and went home cause he felt awkward going in in street clothes..... Its been so long that he hasnt gone to church, that he didnt have any church clothes anymore!! So this week, he went and bought church slacks and a white shirt, and we brought his mom- Joana Darc a skirt. (Okay mom, I may or may not have given away one of those skirts you gave me..... But it's for a good cause! and it looks way better on her than on me!) SO, Sunday, he PROMISED us that he would be there, and to wait for him in the entry-way. 9 am Sunday, we were waiting there, and HE CAME!!! Woooooo!! in his new slacks and shirt and tie!! YEAH! Joana Darc didnt make it cause she had to go pick up her grandson that arrived from Rio, but next sunday she has no excuse!!! hahah. I was so excited. AH.
Besides Joana and Rodrigo, almost all the recent converts and less actives that we are visiting every week are coming to church now! WOOO! I´m really happy about that.
This week we also found some really cool new investigators that I am excited to start working with. Sunday afternoon, we went to find the house of a contact we had made a couple weeks ago. Luckily, she was actually at home and had time to talk to us, and let us in. Her name is Eunice and she is about 50 and is a crazy smart philosophy and theology teacher.... She has her masters in theology and is studying for her doctorate I think.... (not sure if what she said in portuguese is exactly the same thing.... gonna ask about that.). When we came in she started talking about how much she loves religion and about buddhism and hinduism and brought out her GIANT catholic bible (which is different from the bible most other christian churches use BTW..)  and just going on and on about a ton of stuff that was way over my head..... Needless to say, I got a little overwhelmed and nervous to try to teach her. hahah. When we had talked with her the first time, she mentioned that she had already studied about our church a little and knew more or less what we believe..... so after her ranting about just about everything, we tried to ask her some questions to bring back the conversation and try to teach her. It was really interesting to talk with her and cool to see her SUPER STRONG belief and faith in God and Jesus Christ.... somewhere in the conversation, my rockstar companion was able to steer the conversation to the book of mormon just with a simple question. Turns out, she really hadnt ever studied about our religion. She didnt really know what the book of mormon is and had never heard of joseph smith. So, we took advantage of the moment to explain to her. It was really cool explaining to her about the book of mormon and about Joseph Smith because I was able to go into a lot more depth and use more examples from the scriptures, cause she was actually interested, and she has studied SO MUCH and has a background to understand about the Jews and a family leaving jerusalem and all that.
It was also fairly intimidating.... haha. She was sitting RIGHT beside me and staring straight into my eyes the entire time. I guess I´m so used to trying to teach people that dont care and arent paying attention that it really weirds me out now when someone actually wants to understand.... She was really intrigued with the book of mormon, and excited about the story of Joseph Smith and how we have a prophet and 12 apostles on the earth today.... she was like "wow, I didnt know that......... I had no idea........" She told us that we have to come invite her when it is time for General Conference again. haha. And we left the book of mormon with her and she promised that she would read.... She was like "Dont worry, I really will read. I am really curious!" Way cool. Now I just hope she really does read, and pray, and that the Spirit will testify to her that it is true.
Another cool experience from the week-
There is a guy that always comes to English class and was taught a little bit by the elders that were here back last summer/fall... His name is Robson (think HOBSON) and he speaks english really well, and just comes to english class to practice talking english with me afterwards as we are cleaning up and ask questions about pronunciation. I always feel a little awkward because he comes up after EVERY class, just to talk to me in English, and nobody else around understands, so it is basically like we are alone, talking there in english. But, no worries, my companion is great and wont desert me even if she doesnt understand a word! haha. So, we decided not to try to teach him unless he actually showed more interest and came to church. WELL. last week, after english class, he started talking to me, so I just asked him how his week was.... turned out his dad died in an accident at work the saturday before and he was pretty messed up and sad about it. It was 9:15 at night and we were closing up the chapel, so there wasnt really any good way to talk with him and try to help him out, so we just invited him, AGAIN, to come to church, and promised that it would help. Sunday, when we went to gospel principles class, he was sitting there!! AH. He actually came! YIKES. Throughout the meetings, I tried to talk to him and see how we could help him. He is super sad about his dad passing away.... especially because it was so sudden. His dad fell from one of those scaffolding things working contstruction. He said that its hard because he "wont ever see his dad again" and asked if I have a dad still, and to make sure and tell him that I love him every day. ( Oh hey dad, I love you, dont forget!! =] ). He said he isnt sure if he believes that he will see his dad again..... I told him that he will. He already has the book of mormon (in english and in portuguese.... ahaha), and so I told him to read Alma 40 (link) that talks about resurrection. After sacrament, that just happened to be fast and testimony meeting, he came up to me and asked (in english--- the punk only wants to talk in english with me.... aghhh) what we mean when we say that we know this is the "right church". And he was like "cause my dad was a good man, but he wasnt a member of this church....". DONT WORRY! WE CAN EXPLAIN!!! Unfortunately, it was the worst timing and we had to hurry to go have our first meeting with our new ward mission leader and the bishop, so I told him that we would explain it all better for him this week. Tonight, we are going to his house to teach him and his mom and possibly his brothers. I hope that it all goes well, and that he doesnt expect us to teach him in English.... aghhh. Did I mention that whenever I try to talk in English with people now, portuguese just comes out??? its a disaster. BUT, we are really hoping that right now is Robson´s "moment" to accept the gospel.
Also, we are still working with Kesia and family............... Its gotten pretty hard to actually meet with her because she is so busy.... Also, we cant go to her house anymore because she lives at her mom´s house and her mom is from the church Assembleia, and is gettting offended with us coming there.... uh oh. BUT, Kesia is going to church every week, and Michael will go to the stake youth campout this weekend! WOOO!! It´ll be really good. And one of these saturday´s, we´re gonna actually be able to have EVERYTHING work out, and go to the temple with Kesia. It´s gonna be awesome.
Ps--for the first time on my mission, we found a family of buddhists. WOW. didnt know that that existed in brasil. You can learn new things everyday!
Me and my companion when we gave in to tempation one night and called for pizza from a family in our ward that owns a pizzaria. MMMMMMM!
Our study room. Guess which desk is mine??? Yep. Thats right. The messy one. hahahaha.
Did I mention that we have a TON of volkswagon bugs in our area???? Like a MILLION. When I got here, Sister Paixão was practically giving me a bruise from how much she would hit me everyday for all the "fuscas" (slug bug). But, I learned and finally got good enough at it that I would beat her to it! Then when Sister Moraes got here, she was on the losing end! hahah. BUT SOMEHOW, she has gotton really smart with the slug bugs over the last couple weeks and if she actually hit me hard, I would really be hurting!
OH and remember how I told you that I was sleep talking in Portuguese a couple weeks ago???? well it gets better.... now I am teaching the first lesson, in portuguese, in my sleep..... OH BROTHER. Sister Moraes woke up to me sleep-teaching about the restoration and repeating over and over "DID YOU UNDERSTAND???Did you understanddd????"  
Such a joke.
Love you all!!
hope you all have the best week!!!
Sister Ward