Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014 The last post as a missionary in Brazil

Aahhhhhhhhhh!! This moment is so bittersweet! I can´t believe that I´m really writing my last email. I can´t believe in 7 days I´ll be on a plane going home! I don´t think it´s going to really sink in until I see my parents in the airport. Maybe not even then! But I am loving my last weeks in the mission! Heavenly Father is SO good! I feel so blessed to have spent the last weeks of my mission here in Pecém. It was short, but I really loved it here and met people that I will never forget and learned things that I only could have learned here!

I remember my first day in the MTC. I remember the feeling I had putting on my name tag for the first time! I was officially a missionary! It was one of the best feelings in the world! I really didn´t know much when I got to the MTC. I didn´t speak Portuguese and I had only read the Book of Mormon one time through for Personal Progress. There were so many things that I truly believed in, but not much that I could say that I KNEW. I just knew that I felt happy in church and when I was doing the right thing, and that I wanted other people to share in my happiness! Today, almost 18 months later, there´s so much that I can say that I know, and I wanted to share some things that I learned on the mission.

First of all, I learned that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints really is true, and that those words aren´t just something we all say in testimony meetings! As I´ve taught people with tons of different backgrounds, I´ve seen how the gospel is perfect for every single person and how it brings happiness to people no matter what their circumstances are! There's no way that something false could bring so much joy into so many peoples lives like the gospel does. I really know that the church is true.

I know that Joseph Smith was called as a prophet and brought back the church and teachings of Jesus Christ that were lost. One of the weeks in the MTC, I was doing my personal study and I found Doctine and Covenants 135 where John Taylor wrote his testimony of Joseph Smith. That day I prayed to really know if Joseph was a prophet and later that night we watched a movie of Joseph Smith's life. I  received my testimony that day that he was a True Prophet of God. During my mission I don´t know how many times I´ve shared the experience of the first vision with people, but every time that I share the experience Joseph had, I get the same witness that it is true.

I know that the Book of Mormon is true! I even enjoy reading it now. There were lots of times on the mission where I was feeling sad or needed a boost in my testimony and every time I read the Book of Mormon, I got the answers and comfort that I was seeking. There are so many things that I believed before the mission that I learned were truths from the Book of Mormon. When I read the Book of Mormon, everything just makes sense!

I know that Heavenly Father listens to and answers prayers. If it weren´t for prayer, I wouldn´t have survived my mission! There were times when I felt so alone and there wasn´t anyone who I could talk to about everything that was happening. But I learned on my mission that Heavenly Father is always there, just waiting to listen. It doesn´t matter how eloquent we are or how long the prayers we offer last. I have never talked to anyone so sincerely as I´ve talked to Heavenly Father, and I know that he is happy to hear me. There´s no problem too insignificant for him and there isn´t anything that he isn´t willing to help us out with. Sometimes our answers don´t come in the way we want them to, but God´s will is always better and wiser than our own.

I learned that Jesus Christ really is the Savior of the world. I learned how personal his sacrifice was. He didn´t just suffer for all of us at once. He literally felt EVERYTHING that we felt, are feeling now, and will feel. He knows all of our pains and our trials and because of Him we can have the power to overcome any challenge in our life.

I learned that being obedient is really the way to true happiness. The commandments aren´t just a list of suggestions. They really lead us to eternal joy! It doesn´t matter what we have in life or how much we weigh or how many friends we have that will bring happiness. If we´re not being obedient to the commandments, There will always be something missing! I´ve never been happier than I am now on the mission and I know its because I´m living the gospel the fullest way possible.

I learned how much I love my family. Being away from them has been SO HARD! I didn´t realize how amazing my family is until I left. There are so many broken families and people in the world today. There are families where the dad and mom don´t even like each other! I am so blessed to have grown up in a home where I knew without a doubt that my mom and dad love each other and where I felt so loved every single day. There wasn´t ever a time where I really felt alone because I always knew I´d have my family to depend on. I´m so excited to be able to laugh with you and take a n occasional Sunday nap again :) I´ve missed grandma jane and hacking Tasha's facebook. I´ve missed hearing about who mom and Sarah think I should marry. I´ve missed dad´s jokes that only he understands and his stories that last for 20 minutes! I´m so blessed to have a family like this.

There is really so much that I´ve learned here serving as missionary. I had NO IDEA what I was doing when I sent my mission papers in besides i knew i was supposed to go. I thought that the mission would just be tracting all day long and that everybody we talked to would want to hear the message. And that I´d always know what to say and do and at the end I´d be perfect and ready to be exalted. But that´s not what the mission is like. Especially my mission! Being a missionary is a million times better than I thought! I´m going to miss being SO different from the rest of the world. I´m going to miss having to pronounce my name for people 30 times before they understand it. I´m going to miss the way that people just instantly open up to me and all the friendships I´ve made as a missionary. I didn´t know how hard it would be to eat rice and beans and spaghetti every day, or how sad I would get when people didn´t accept the message or stopped receiving our visits! I never imagined how happy I would be to see someone read the Book of Mormon or hear them pray for the first time.

There is so much that I just can´t even begin to describe! But I´m so grateful for all that I´ve learned here. I´m not leaving the mission as a perfect person, But I know that I am much better than I was before. I know that my testimony is stronger than it was before! I will never be able to thank Heavenly Father enough for all the blessings I´ve received on my mission. And all that I know I´ll receive in the future! It´s been 18 months of the greatest and hardest experiences of my life!! I´m excited for this last week! It´s going to be hard to leave Fortaleza, but I know that I will still be able to talk to everyone from here, and that the friendships I´ve made aren´t going to end just because it is time for me to leave!

I can´t wait to see you all soon!
Sister Pehrson


Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014

15 days until I come home!! I´m so excited and happy and scared and sad all at the same time! I can´t believe how fast time has gone, and how fast it´s still passing by. These last weeks of the mission are amazing, but really challenging too! this last week was awesome! Full of fun adventures and amazing spiritual experiences like always! 


Monday night when preparation day ended we had the great privilege of teaching our 19 year old investigator about God's Law of Chastity. As soon as we said chastity he started cracking up!! But once he calmed down we began teaching and he had lots of questions like, ´´Can I still kiss girls?´´ The best part was at the end when we invited him to obey this commandment. He didn´t respond and gave us this weird look like he wanted to say something but he wasn´t sure. He finally mouthed something that we didn´t understand and once he saw that we weren´t getting it he whispered ´´Sisters. I´m already obeying it. But don´t tell ANYONE!!´´ hahah I don´t know how Sister Cabana and I kept from laughing out loud! It´s always an adventure teaching people.


The next day we taught another investigator. He was telling us all the doubts he has about being baptized and we shared with him some scriptures and thoughts to help him out. He´s from Rio Grande do Norte, which is about 6 hours north of Pecem. He left Wednesday to visit his family and he got back Sunday night. We´re going to teach him tonight and he told us Tuesday that he´d pray and think a lot during his trip and give us an answer tonight if he will be baptized! I really hope that he got his answer because he´s genuinely seeking the truth. After that we had an amazing lesson with Elizabeth and Roberto, a couple we´re teaching. They both really loved church! He said the closing prayer and it was so powerful. He is really changing a ton! 


On Wednesday we taught our investigator Marquilene. She´s doing well but that was the only day we got to teach her and we haven´t seen her the rest of the week. We´ll try again tonight! We met a new investigator that day, Nescy. she´s really sweet! She is a single mom and is struggling a lot right now, but she wants to learn more about the gospel. She had a daughter that passed away when she was about 2, so she has lots of questions about where her daughter is and things like that. It still amazes me that there are so many people prepared to hear the gospel that haven´t had the opportunity to talk to the missionaries! We stopped and said bye to our iunvestigator before he left for his trip and he said he´d read the Book of Mormon every day that he´s there! After that we had a meeting that is caled Leitura, which is kind of like Institute (religious instruction). 


Thursday was sooo awesome! Since Pecém is the interior of Brasil, our area is HUGE! It includes more than just the city of Pecém. So we went to this little city nearby called Taiba. It's right on the beach and is so pretty! The people there are so sweet and open. The first door we knocked on the lady just let us right in and was so excited to have us there! The people in Taiba have never heard of the church and have never talked with missionaries, so its like heaven for us! It's hard for the people there to get to Pecém for church, but if we teach enough people, they could start a group there. I think the church would grow a lot over there! When we got back to Pecém we taught Elizabeth and Roberto. I thought seeing the ocean would be the best part of my day, but the ocean didn´t even compare with how amazing our lesson was with them! We watched The Restoration with them. I know I´ve watched it about 8 thousand times on the mission, but it never gets old and always brings the spirit! We bore testimony to them of how the Book of Mormon will bless their lives and that they will receive answers to their prayers. Elizabeth said the closing prayer and that was my favorite part. She asked her husband for forgiveness and prayed for him to have the strength to make good choices. She said some really funny stuff too like  ´´Help us to keep being the great couple we are. I know I´m a great spouse for Roberto (long pause...) and he´s a great husband for me too!´´ haha I love them. I left their house and I was seriously on cloud nine! I love the moments on the mission when I get to see people truly change their lives. Elizabeth and Roberto are so much closer now! They are so much happier! I love seeing the joy the gospel brings to peoples lives. 


Friday was a little rough. It was a holiday here and everyone and their mom was down at the beach for this big party. All our appointments were falling through! But it was all a part of Heavenly Father´s plan because we ended up finding some awesome new people to teach! We met this lady Marta who is a hair dresser. She is awesome! Her daughter is a member of our church, but doesn't attend very often. She´s going through a lot right now and said that before we got there, She was praying and feeling really down, but that our visit really lifted her spirits! At the end of the night we taught Nescy. She told us about her experience when her baby daughter died and how she knew it was God's will. She said that when we visit her that she feels a lot of peace. We told her that that´s God telling her what we´re teaching is true! I´m so excited to teach her more, especially the Plan of Salvation.


On Saturday the holiday continued so a lot of our plans fell through again, but we were still able to meet some great new people and we taught Roberto and Elizabeth again. We brought this magazine of the temples with us and talked to them about eternal marriage. Roberto still isn´t sure if he wants to get married, but Elizabeth really wants to. We talked to them about how important it is that first they get married legally, but that the most important part will be when they get sealed in the Temple. They promised to talk more about marriage and we´re going back tomorrow night to follow up and see what their plans are! We had a Branch activity that night at the Branch President's house but there were only a few members that came. I wish more could have come! We ate a delicious barbeque and made the best of it! 


Sunday we spent the afternoon doing our round up for church, but because of the holiday everybody was too tired to visit church or was visiting family in another town. We had one investigator who came to church but he ended up leaving early. We are not sure why he left. At the end of the night we visited Roberto and Elizabeth.  They were both tired and decided not to go to church, but they already promised to go next week! I really hope that they do. 


It's so weird how fast the time is going by. Today I woke up and it was December! This week is my last ´´normal´´ week on the mission. Next Friday I will leave Pecém and go to Aldeoata for my final interview and stay there for the weekend. So crazy! Please keep me in your prayers. Have an amazing week!!

Sister Pehrson



Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014

I´m soooooooo excited to tell you about my new area. Seriously, I´m in HEAVEN!!!! Pecém is the most beautiful place. The people here are so amazing and my companion, Sister Cabana is the best and i´m just so happy! :) I feel very blessed to be serving here in Pecém.


Last Monday we spent all day running around getting our bags all packed and everything arranged for the transfer. Sister Machado and I were both transferred we had to figure out how to get to our new areas. They were too far to ask sonmeone to drive us. Pecém is about 1 hour from our last area. We got all that figured out and then worked our last night in JD América. We went and saw our investigator Lorena. We wanted to say bye and give her the option of continuing to learn from the other sister missionaries. She was super sad to see us go, but she said that she has a friend that she is going to bring to church next week and she is moving to a house near the chapel! How cool is that?! I know that the other sisters in jd america will take really good care of her and I´m excited to see what´ll happen with her! That night we had pizza with the sisters in our house as a little farewell party! 


Tuesday was nuts....seriously. Since pecém is so far away, I needed to go on a bus. A sister in the ward dropped me off at the bus station and I found the bus, but it wasn´t leaving until 1:20pm. It was 8 o'clock in the morning and I needed to be in my new area at 11am! I didn´t have a cell phone but I asked a lady and she let me use hers. I tried calling the assistants but they didn´t answer! The lady told me there was a bus leaving from another station, but she didn´t know exactly when. I finally decided the best option was to just get a taxi, and 100 reais (about $45 US) later I got to Pecém!! After being in the taxi about twenty minutes outside of Fortaleza, I realized how different it would be here in Pecém. There were tons of palm trees and cows and horses and beaches and some jungle. I knew I would love this place, but I didn´t realize I´d love it this much! My companion, Sister Cabana, is amazing! She´s from Argentina and has been out about 7 months on the mission. She is so sweet and fun to be with! I feel really blessed to have a companion like her! Our area is right next to the beach. The roads we walk on here are all sand and rock. Our house is really nice and clean and we have hot water to shower with! The first night, I didn´t want to leave the shower! The people here are amazing! They are all so loving and laid back. I love all the investigators here! There is one family we are teaching right now that has 4 kids. The mom's name is Marquilene, and she´s so sweet. We´re also teaching a really cool couple, Roberto and Elizabeth.


On wednesday the sisters in our house made me breakfast. It was tapioca and´s different but it´s very good! Our district meeting was in our house and it was just us sisters because it´s too far to travel to meet with any other missionaries. That day we taught a new couple, Samara and Faviano. we taught them about the restoration and Faviano said the closing prayer. It was SO powerful! Every Wednesday night we go to the casapela (chapel that´s actually a house) and have Leitura, where we read the book of mormon with members and investigators. One of our investigators, Junior, was there. It was cool to see the casapela! It´s tiny and there is a swimming pool where we do baptisms. It´s so awesome here! 


Thursday we did our weekly planning and I figured out who is who in our area, so that was really good! After that we got to work! First we taught a lady, Claudia. This week we´ll go back to meet her husband and teach her whole family. This is what I love about Pecém, there are tons of families here! After that I got to meet Nathalia. She´s really sweet too! After that we taught Marquileien and her nephew who lives with her. We taught about the book of mormon and invited them to read it. then we taught Roberto and Elizabeth! We talked to them about the blessings of marriage. We said ´´Roberto, do you love Elizabeth?´´ and he was like ´´yeah, but I don´t know if she loves me.´´! She said she loved him and they said they want to get married! They´re going to choose a date soon. I´m so excited for them! My first wedding on the mission! Afterwards we taught our investigator, Junior. He is so awesome! He´s from Rio Grande do Norte, so his accent is different. He´s 19 but looks about 30...! But he´s a really really cool guy.

Friday I went on exchanges! I went to Plan Alto which is Sister Machados new area and worked with her companion! It was so good to see Sister Machado again. Sister Machado doesn´t like the interior as much because you have to do a lot of walking. It was good to be able to talk to her and remind her that shés going to be okay! I loved working with her. Her companion, Sister Alcocer, was super fun to work with! We got caught in a huge rainstorm and for the first time since I came to Brasil I felt cold! It was marvelous! I got to know the senior couple that serves in their area. They are so sweet! It was a really fun day


Saturday was seriously CRAZY! I loved it! I came back to my area and we had lunch with the Branch President and Sister Walker, the sister whose place I took here. She's going home and her whole family came to pick her up so they ate with us too! I was so nervous to see an american family haha! But it was sooo awesome! It was so nice to speak in english, but I kept speaking in portguese instead of english. Sister Cabana would want to say something to Sister Walker's mom and so I´d start translating but in the middle of my sentence I realized I was speaking in Portuguese again, haha. It was so good for me to see some normal americans and realize that I am going to be okay when I get home! I was feeling a little stressed about going back to the U.S. and adapting to speaking in english and being ´´normal´´ but I know it´ll be awesome now! Sister Walkers family brought us a HUGE bottle of syrup and gave us all a little bag of american candies like sour patch kids and sweidsh fish. I know I´ll survive these last 3 weeks ;) When we said goodbye, Sister Walker's dad tried to hug me. I was backing away from him and he was like ´´it´s okay!! I´m a dad! We can hug missionaries´´ haha. It was good to have a dad hug, I won´t lie! The rest of our day we spent preachin! We taught Marquilene and read the Book of Mormon with her and helped her understand better. That night I met Clalber and Dafne. Clalber was baptized 2 weeks ago. They are a really sweet couple and I´m excited to get to work with them.


My first sunday in Pecém was awesome! Since we don´t have church until 4 here, we did our studies in the morning. We also taught Junior and it was an awesome lesson. he told us he wanted to stop drinking coffee so we helped him figure out what he could do to quit. In the middle of our lesson he pulled out some candies and gave them to us and they were coffee flavored, haha! We told him he couldn´t eat those if he wanted to give up coffee. He didn´t believe us intil we showed him the ingredients and that they had coffee in it. so funny! We talked to him about baptism and how he´s feeling. He has been taking the lessons for awhile but he has this feeling that he wants to know more before he´s baptized. It´s so cool being Sister Cabanas companion because she has this perspective of being a member for just 4 years. She shared a lot of experiences with Junior that helped him out and now he is praying to know what day to be baptized! After lunch I got to see the beach here for the first time up close! I was seriously one step away from the sand! It is SO beautiful! Sunday afternoon here is the time to get everyone ready for church! We stopped by almost all of our investigators houses and reinvited them to church. I love the Pecém branch! We had  a total of 24 people in church yesterday, including us sisters and our investigators. Without the investigators and us there would have only been only 18 people. crazy right?! Sacrament meeting starts a little before 6pm. It is just about the same time as when the sun is seting this time of year. We have sacrament meeting in the front of the casapela so we just have a roof over our heads but there aren´t walls or anything. It is so pretty and spiritual! It was alike testimony meeting at girls camp. I loved it! 

I feel so blessed to get to end my mission in this area. Of course there are challenges, but I feel like I´m really in heaven! 


I hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving! I think I will try to make some mashed potatos on Thursday. That´s when Thanksgiving is right? Love you tons!

Sister Pehrson (or sister Percy Jackson. That´s my nick name here...haha) 

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014

This weeks message is gonna have tons of exclamation points because I just found out that I´m being transferred for the interior!!!!!!! This has been my dream ever since I got here! The interior of Brasil is way isolated and they don´t have all the big buildings like they have here in the city! It's all trees and BEACH!!! I´m so excited! I´m sad to leave Jardim America, but I really am excited for this new opportunity! The area I´m going to is called Pecém. I´ll serve with Sister Cabana, she´s a new sister in the mission!! I´ll be serving in a Branch, which will be way different!! Crazy!! I thought that I would be staying in Jardim America for the rest of my mission! But the Lord has different plans for me! 

This week was really awesome!! It was so cool to see that the 2 best weeks in this area were the weeks when I fasted the Sunday before. It wasn´t anything super miraculous that happened, We just had faith to keep working hard and that made all the difference! 

Monday was pretty crazy. Sister Machado had a really hard time emailing home because she found out that her mom has just been at home alone because all of her siblings are either married and don´t live at home anymore or work a lot and can´t be with her. She was feeling really stressed out and like she needed to be at home to help her mom. I gave her the best advice that I could and then she ended up calling President and talking to him for a really long time about everything. After the week we had she was feeling so much better and she knows that here is the best place for her to be right now. 

Tuesday we worked like crazy!!! We didn´t get to teach a lot but we marked a ton of appointments for later in the week. It was so cool to see how many prepared people there were in this area that we had never talked with! We taught a girl, Vitoria who is returning to the church right now. Everyone in her family is a member of the church, but none of them are attending right now. We talked to her about personal progress and helped her get started with setting some goals. We also taught our investigator Lorena. We had to focus a lot and asked her questions, to make sure that she understood what we are teaching and to see if she is really interested or not. 

Wednesday was amazing! We only had one appointment that fell through! Our first appointment of the day was with Regina, a new lady that we had met the day before. She said it was amazing to hear about Joseph Smith and the Church that Jesus Christ had established when he lived on the earth. She has a lot of potential! After that we went and taught Michelle. She had read the Book of Mormon and had questions about what she read. It was an awesome lesson! After that we taught Liduina. She´s very strong in her own religion and so she had questions about everything that we said to her. But she wanted us to come back and teach her so this next week the Sisters who are still in the area will teach her.  


Thursday was amazing, sad, weird, awesome, roller coaster day! We had our misssion conference, the last one of my mission! It was amazing because I got to see all my old companions and friends from the mission! I was sooo happy to see Sister Egbert! She´s doing really great and loving Brasil of course! Seeing everyone just made me so happy and grateful for everything I´ve been blessed with as a missionary. My mission has been exactly what I needed. I bore my departing testimony and that was the weirdest feeling! It felt so good and made me so grateful for the choice I made to serve a mission. There are so many people I´ve met, especially companions, who have impacted my life and taught me so much. I can´t imagine my life without all the experiences and friends and knowledge I´ve gained on the mission! I´m so blessed! After the conference we taught Lorena and that night had a ward activity. Activities here are difernet than the ones in the U.S.! The activity is usually about 30 minutes long and then everyone just leaves, nobody stays and talks!

Friday we spent the morning and the afternoon and basically the whole day doing contacts! But it was great because we met some people who were really receptive! We taught a lady whose 18 year old son passed away last year from cancer. It was so powerful to teach her the plan of salvation! We taught Vitoria again and got to know her mom. Her mom is awesome, but she can´t come to church because she´s always working. It was good to see how we can help Vitoria and her family and I hope that her mom will find a way to come to church! 

Saturday was another awesome day! We went back to teach a guy, that we´d met the day before doing contacts. His brother and sister in law were there and they ended up being really interested in our message! Later we taught Michelle. Our lesson with her went really well! We talked about the Plan of Salvation and where her son who passed away is right now. We also talked about how little kids don´t need to be baptized because they aren´t capable of sinning. This was really good for her to hear because she was afraid since her son died before being baptized. We also taught the mom of a recently baptized member! We helped them a few weeks ago when they were moving so the mom invited us over and made some food for us. She's really happy with the change she has seen in her daughter. I hope in the future she will want to learn more, too! Saturday on the mission is always the day to get everyone ready for church on Sunday. So we spent a lot of time making sure people had a way to get to church and that they remembered the address and everything. Michelle and Lorena both said that they would be there the next day,but sadly neither of them came! 

Sunday morning we got a text from Lorena saying she wouldn't go to church and then we called Michelle and she also said she wouldn´t go. it was so sad!! I think one of the hardest parts of the mission is just accepting the choices of other people! I want so badly for them to be happier and have better lives, but they have to make the choice to do so.Tthe good news is that Vitoria went to church and had a good time! Church was so good for me yesterday! I was feeling so bummed out that Michelle and Lorena weren´t at church, but at church I got a little note from one of the young women that I love in the ward. She wrote how much she admires me and how she wants to be a missionary like me someday. It was so sweet! Heavenly Father always knows when we need to feel loved! Also, Leonardo blessed the sacrament for the first time yesterday! He told us later that he was shaking the whole time and had to say a prayer before that he would actually have a voice to be able to bless the sacrament haha. I love these moments as a missionary where you see someone you taught becoming stronger in the gospel. There is nothing better!! 


I felt so blessed by Heavenly Father this week! It was like the minute that I decided to really trust him and put more faith in him, he immediately blessed us with so many opporutnities to teach and do his work. I´m glad my time here ended on such an amazing note!

I am excited to tell you all about my new area and how gorgeous the beach is here next week ;) 



Sister Pehrson

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014

Another awesome week has passed by! This week was a lot of work, but was amazing as always! 


On Monday we went to the market in the big city where they have tons of shops and touristy stuff. It was a ton of fun! We found a place close to the beach with an AMAZING view! But of course nobody had a camera because we don´t want to get robbed, so it will just be a nice memory for me! Maybe one day we will all come back and see the beach here. From what I´ve seen it´s so pretty! After p day ended we did tons of contacts as always and then had a family home evening with some members and a recently baptized member. It was nice because one of the members gave the message, so it was just like I was having family home evening back at home!


On Tuesday morning we found this awesome new girl to teach! She was pretty shy at first, but by the end of our lesson she had opened up to us completely! We had to ask a lot of questions to really get to know her and know about her life. We asked her if she reads the bible and she said "yes", and that she first read it last year when her son was still born. After that we taught a lot about the Plan of Salvation and how she can see her son again. One good thing about not having tons of lessons to teach here is that I appreciate the lessons we do have and feel the spirit so strongly when I'm teaching! So I will count that as a blessing. :) 


Wednesday was awesome! We had district meeting and it was so good! We were talking about our areas and the struggles we have and how all we can do is give our all and really have faith and the miracles will come. One Elder talked about how he spent 7 and a half months in one area and he hardly taught anyone, but looking back on his time there, he realized that he was able to help one family in particular and that that made it all worth it. It was a good reminder that it´s not always about the quantity of people we´re helping, but the quality too! We ate lunch that day with a Sister in the ward who is sooo fun. She and her husband were Mission President's in Brasil and just got home four months ago. She was showing us the hula hoops she has and she showed all of us up by hula hooping for fifteen minutes straight!!!!!! This lady is 65 years old! haha! She is great! In the evening we taught one of our investigator's. We talked with her about baptism and she said she wasn´t sure because she still hasn´t come to church yet. She feels like everything we´re teaching is true and she just wants to go to church to make sure that it´s really what she wants to do. She also said that her mom isn´t a fan of the idea of her being baptized, but that she would be baptized for sure if she liked the church! We ended the night teaching Leonardo. He is so good! He said that ever since his baptism, things at his house have been going really well and there´s way more peace there. I´m glad he´s seeing the blessings of his choice to be baptized!


Thursday was so good! We went back to teach an investigator. Her husband was there and when he saw us he was like ´´I´m a member of your church!´´ He was baptized when he was about 16 or 17 but stopped after one year. He said he really misses the church and wants to go back with his wife and son. It´s so cool to see how the Lord is working with them! They didn´t get to come to church this Sunday, but if he´s not working next Sunday, they will for sure come. I´m so excited about them! After that we visited a lady I´d never met before. She is a member but isn´t attending church. She always sends her 10 yr old son to church though. At the end of our visit we asked her if we could help her with anything and she said she was really needing our visit and that it helped her so much. That was so good to hear! In the evening we taught a girl in the Ward. Her dad saw us in the street Tuesday night and told us his daughter was a member and he wanted her to start going to church again. We went to teach her and turns out the entire family are members! As of right now she is the only one with a desire to come back to church. We´ll keep working and with time they will all come back for sure! 


On Friday we had an awesome lesson. We taught about the word of wisdom and miracle of miracles, she doesn´t have a problem with anything! Not even coffee! Here is a funny story: We were using the pamphlet to teach her and showed her the picture of Joseph Smith. She was like ´´Wow! He's so good looking!´´ We just laughed and she was like ´´seriously, you guys don´t think he´s attractive?!´´ I´ve never had anyone think that Joseph Smith was attractive before on my mission. haha. She told us that night that she´d for sure be at church Sunday, even if she was sick and in a lot of pain! 


Saturday there was an activity at the church for the community. They had pediatritians, dentists, people to cut hair, and a lot of other services for people. There was also a big event at this government building across the street from our church, so we went there and did contacts in the morning. We met Joseph Smith there! We stopped this guy and were talking to him and he was like ´´Ask me what my name is.´´ So we asked and his name is Joseph Smith. haha turns out he is a member. In the afternoon ALL of our appointments were falling through. we were also trying to find a member to go with us to a lesson and so we decidd to try Irma Claudete. She was cleaning her house and at first said she couldn´t come. But I think she saw how desperate we were. So she said to just give her fifteen minutes and she´d finish everything and then go with us. I mopped while she did the laundry and Sister Machado rested on the couch because she wasn´t feeling good. We went out to our lesson and it was awesome! It was with this new lady we met. She already goes to a church where she´s pretty active, but she said she´d like to learn more and visit the church! After the lesson Claudete told me that my portuguese is so good and that she understood everything perfectly! It made me feel SO good! I still have tons to learn and improve on, but I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father has helped me pick up the language.


Sunday was really really good, but a little discouraging at first! First of all, one of our investigators didn´t come to church. We went by her house in the morning and her mom told us she was sick so she wouldn't come. We went back later in the afternoon and had a really good lesson with her. We talked about our purpose as misionaries and that now she just has to act on what she has learned, because that´s the only way she´s going to know if she should be a member of this church or not. If she doesn´t come to church this next week we will have to stop teaching her.


This week I learned a lot about my true purpose as a missionary and how to strengthen my area. It´s been a great transfer, but a hard one too! At the end of each week and each day I´ve been wondering why we haven´t been seeing very many results of all of our work and if there was something that I was doing wrong or something that was missing. Yesterday and today I read 2 really awesome articles that helped me out. The first one was about this sister missionary who was basically in the same situation as me and what she learned during this time where she wasn´t seeing much success on her mission. She learned to look for the small miracles in every day and really thank the Lord for all He is doing. She also learned to just give her all and give the rest to the Lord. This transfer I´ve been feeling so stressed out and like I have to be this perfect missionary because I have been out a long time, and so, of course I should be perfect by now, right?! But there really is no such thing as a perfect missionary, or a perfect person (besides Jesus Christ). All that I can do is honestly give my all and seek to bless and serve others, and the rest is all up to the Lord. I realized that I can´t be frustrated about the results of my work because it isn´t MY work, it is Heavenly Father´s and the results are up to Him. I love this quote that the article had from President Hinckley. ´´Do your best, your very, very best. say your prayers and work hard and leave the harvest to the Lord.´´It´s so simple but it´s hard to remember when you´re a stressed out sister missionary :) So this week I´m going to focus more on really developing my faith and trust in the Lord and His will! 


As time goes by, I keep thinking about all I have learned and am still learning on my mission. I can´t believe how many things have changed and how blessed I have been during my time as a missionary! Everyone thinks of a mission as so much sacrifice and work, but when I look at all the blessings I´ve received and will receive, I realize that I can never give enough, or thank Heavenly Father enough, or work enough to really show how grateful I am. Heavenly Father is so good! My family is so good! My life is so good! I don´t know how I ever have a reason to complain! 


I hope you guys have an amazing week! Love you all so much!!

Sister Pehrson


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 3, 2014

This week was crazy...not what i was expecting at all! But it was amazing as always! 

Monday was super cool! Leonardo, our investigator who had a baptismal date for November first, is only 17 so we needed to talk to his mom to get permission for the baptism. And to also see if we could teach her! We got to her house and she was SO nice and is an amazing mom! We seriously only said like 3 words the entire time and the rest of the time she was just telling us her life story and telling us how she doesn´t want Leonardo to be baptized if it's something he isn't going to stick to. We had a member with us who is 21 and was baptized just a while ago and he was telling her that he really understands how it us to be a young guy and you´re always looking for new cool things to do, but that when he found the church it was so different than anything else and that he knows it's something he will stick to for the rest of his life. It was so perfect and after that, Leonardos mom gave us permission for him to be baptized and said that she wants to visit the church and learn what's going on in his life and what he does there!! So awesome!!!

Tuesday went so good! We taught some former investigators, they were awesome to get to know.
We also taught this 11 year old who was baptized last year. She can't come to church because she doesn'thave a way to get there, but she still reads the Book of Mormon every single day! At the end of thenight we went to the church to teach Leonardo. When we got there they were having a baptism so Leonardo got to see it! He really liked it! That day he also gave us the news on how wonderful he has felt ever since he receivd the Priesthood blessing he got! I´m so grateful for the Priesthood!

Wednesday we found a new investigator. She´s a young mom and is really sweet! She´s visited the church before but it was when she was a teenager and she wants to visit again! She has a pool in her backyard! It's weird enough to see a backyard in Brasil, but with a pool?! chique demais! We also taught a girl who was baptized a few months ago. We´re helping her finish her personal progress! She was super motivated in the beginning but has sort of lost the desire to keep doing it, so we´re going to help her get her medallion. By the way, thanks mom for motivating me to get mine :) We taught Leonardo and that night he gave us the paper work with his moms signature saying he could be baptized! 

Thursday we had lunch with one of my favorite irmã´s in the ward, Euzenir. She is always always, always helping us and feeding us missionaries! She is amazing! We did lots of contacts that day but sadly, didn't find anyone with a lot of interest. We were finally able to teach one of our investigator's that night too! It had been about a week since we saw her. She was super happy to see us! We were following up on how reading he Book of Mormon is going and it turns out we only explained the Book of Mormon to her. We didn't have a Book of Mormon the day we taught her, oops! We taught her what the Book of Mormon was and left it with her to read! That night we had our first ward activity!! It went well but the next time we want to do something a little more exciting and do a better job of inviting ALL the members to come and get them more involved with each other. It's hard because a lot of members have work and responsibilities but we want to make sure they know the missionaries and our investigators. Next time will be a lot better! The picture above is of me in my halloween costume at the activity - I am Red Riding Hood.

Friday was pretty intense. We had interviews with President Bonini and my interview went so well! President gave me a lot of good advice that I was needing. After that Sister Machado had her interview. She was in there for a really, really, really long time. When she came out she said President needed to talk to me again. He told me that Sister Machado's mom found out this week that she has cancer and will start chemo this week. My heart just broke for her and afterwards I hugged her and cried with her for awhile. One of my biggest fears while being on the mission has been that something will happen to one of my family members. Ever since the interview, I've just been praying to know exactly what to do and say to help her. It's been a really good thing for our companionship. This whole transfer I've been praying to know how to serve and love her and now she has this huge trial that I will be able to help her with. She is doing really good for the circumstances shes in. We are going to go to this market in Aldeota, the big city here and eat subway and ice cream and just spend time with her. If it was me in her situation, and I had been out for 8 months on the mission, I think I´d be on the airplane home! She has so much courage to be here and I´m learning so much from this experience! The good news from Friday is, that night Leonardo had his baptismal interview and everything is good to go! So after that we had to confirm and organize everything for the baptism the next day!

Saturday after lunch we did service for a woman in the ward for a few hours and then taught a lesson to one of our investigators with a ward member! It was so cool because when we got there, Lorena and the ward member already knew each other! The lesson was AMAZING!!!! Lorena still hasn't been to church because of her health, so we had to make sure that she is reading in the Book of Mormon to confirm if she is really interested in learning more or if she just likes our company. She said she read and loved it!! The member we had was telling her how much the gospel is going to bless her life and help her in ways that she can´t even imagaine and Lorena was like ´´I know, I already believe´´. We invited her again to be baptized and will set a date with her this week! When we left the lesson in was 5 and the baptism started at 6 so we BOOKED it back to the apartment to get our cameras and everything and then literally ran to the church for the baptism! Running like a madwoman through the streets of Brasil with Sister Machado reminded me how much I love the crazy life of a Sister Missionary :) tTe baptism went amazing! Leonardo  was so happy and his mom cried the whole time. At the end she told us how grateful she is that he made the choice to be baptized and that he isn´t into drugs and all that crazy stuff. It was such a blessing to have the baptism today! We needed some happiness after Fridays sad news. Here are some pictures from the Baptism.



Sunday was great! We had a member work with us during the afternoon. Her name is Elen and she's 14. She told us at the end that she really wants to serve a mission and be a sister someday! iIlove it when the youth see how amazing missionary work is! The other sisters in the ward had a baptism that night so we went to that and then came home and planned our week! 


This week we are going to need lots of prayers! We aren´t having much luck finding people to teach, So pray for us that we will be able to have lots of success this week! It's so weird thinking that I only have 42 days left! I gotta make the best of it while I´m here!


I love you all and thanks for being so amazing!

Sister Pehrson


Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014

bom dia!! 

Every single preparation day I can´t believe thats it's prep day again! The weeks go by so fast...only 7 more of them now, but who´s counting?! :) This week was an adventure as always! 


Monday we went to Aldeota, the part of Fortaleza that has all the good, cheap shopping! I bought some cool stuff...but as dad would say ´´don´t ask questions before Christmas´´ :) When preparation day ended we were getting ready to leave the apartment, and Sister Vicente was not feeling well, so we ended up staying in our apartment to help her all night! It's weird to be the old, ´´experienced´´sister helping the other sisters now!

Tuesday we went and taught Maria, the lady we met last week who was praying the morning before we knocked on her door. It was an awesome lesson! She apologized for not going to church due to an important conflict and said that she would go to church this Sunday. Sadly we tried visiting her every day since Thursday and she hasn't been at home, so hopefully we´ll find her and be able to help her more this week! After lunch we taught another lady. We had planned on teaching the word of wisdom since she has a baptismal date and we need to know if we need to help her with anything specific. Well when we got there she only had a few minutes so we decided to just share a scripture and follow up with her reading the Book of Mormon and everything! We had a member with us and she was talking with the lady and all of a sudden out of the blue she was like ´´do you drink coffee´´  She said "no" that she doesn't drink coffee or smoke or drink! It was so cool that we still were able to figure out exactly what we needed that day! Members are great! After that, we taught another lady the Plan of Salvation and it was such a powerful lesson. She appreciated the message as she has so many struggles in her life. I loved sharing that she is not alone! At the end of the lesson, she committed to be baptized! She chose the date of November 2 but she didn't come to church yesterday so she it will be the week after now! That night we taught another investigator and he told us he quit drinking coffee! This was a huge struggle for him so we were super happy to hear it!

Wednesday was really good. I finished my fourth journal of the mission!! woohooo! My future family better be grateful for all I´m writing, haha. In the morning we had District Meeting and it was awesome! We talked about the struggles we have and how to help overcome them. We also watched this awesome clip from a talk that President Eyring gave. It was so amazing! He was talking about the power and authority we have as missionaries and how we really won´t know how much of an impact we made on our missions until the next life when we see and talk to all the people we taught on our missions. It was so cool! It was a good reminder to just keep going, even when its really hard! There are days, weeks, transfers on the misison where you really wonder if what you´re doing is making a difference for anyone. The answer is always YES! Even if it's just for your future family and future life...this time makes such a big difference! That night we had a little time before our meeting with the Ward Mission Leader so we decided to do contacts on the street of the church. We saw this lady passing by staring at the church, like she wanted to go in and so we talked with her. She turned out to be really great! She has a religion, but she was teling us how she thinks missionary work is so awesome and asked us to teach her more about the church. After the meeting we had a lesson with one of investigators. He is having a really hard time giving up coffee so we made plans with him to get a blessing the next day. He said he can be baptized Saturday, so that was awesome to hear! We made an appointment to talk to his mom tonight, so please pray that everything will go well! 


Thursday we weren´t having much luck! All of our appointments were falling through in the afternoon. But we had a member with us and she asked us if we wanted to visit her brother, who is receiving treatment for brain cancer. It was such a nice visit! We shared scriptures and just talked with him about life in general. He is only 49 years old which is so sad. It was a really cool opportunity to serve him! In the evening we taught another investigator and just helped him come up with ways to quit drinking coffee and things he can drink instead. Afterward, the Young Men's President gave him a blessing and it was so cool! They were having mutual that night so all the young men were there. They all sat in on the blessing and one of them who had received a blessing last week shared his experience. Afterwards all of them gave him a hug. It was so awesome to see that he already has so many friends in the church! 


Friday and Saturday were trials of my faith..haha. It can be discouraging to be the new sister in the area because 1, you don't know all the members and 2 your comp has already been working a ton in the area and knows what she's tried and what hasn't worked or what has worked. So I spent a lot of time just praying silently that I could stay excited and keep doing the work and to see miracles! These past few weeks of the transfer have been teaching me so much about what sincere prayer is and that Heavenly Father truly listens and helps us, But it is always in His timing! Saturday I went to bed feeling a little discouraged and just praying to know what to do the next day. Sunday we didn´t have anyone in church because of the elections here! There were tons of members who weren't even at church becasue everyone has to vote in a certain area, so some of them have to travel. It's a way bigger deal than it should be! But next week I know we will have people there! Sacrament was so awesome for me yesterday. In my prayer I just asked the Lord to help me know what to do and to help me feel more positive about everything. As soon as I had taken the sacrament, I really truly felt all the weight of my worries being lifted! I know that the sacrament isn´t just a ritual that we do every single week, but it´s something that we really need! After that, the rest of our day was really awesome! We taught a couple we met last week. We asked them in the beginning of the lesson if there was anything we could ask for in our prayer that they were needing. The wife started talking about how her husband has problems with drinking and sort of went off on a tangent about that. So it was a litte tense at first, but by the end of the lesson he admitted that he honestly wants to quit drinking and that he wants our help! That night we had weekly planning and me and Sister Machado just talked for a long time about our missions and about our companionship and everything. It was so good! It was exactly what I have been praying for. Once I understood how she was seeing things, it became so much clearer what we can do to work even closer together. I love my companion!


I´m super excited for this week! I´m gonna rest up today so I´m all  set and ready for the work! We have interviews with the Mission President on Friday, which will be awesome! I love you all tons! Thanks for the prayers and for being so easy to love.   :)


Sister Pehrson