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


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 20, 2014

Oh my gosh this week was SOO amazing!!!!! I´m so excited to tell you all about it!! I seriously was just thinking the whole week that things couldn´t get any better than they were and then BOOM! another miracle came. Heavenly Father is so good!!


Monday after emailing we went and played volleyball at our church. It is so pretty! After that we took a nap and then got to work! I was a little nervous to go back to work because I really had no clue what we´d do, but things worked out so well! We had some really good contacts and ended up teaching this really nice lady, Mary. After that we had family home evening with a really cute family in our ward and Carina, who was baptized a few months ago. 

On Tuesday morning, Jessica, a girl in our ward went on splits with us. She recenty got off her mission (and got married!). We didn´t have any appointments, so i decided to visit a guy we met last week. We met his wife on Tuesday and had an awesome lesson with her! That morning in my studies I was studying all about working with members and how to help them so during our split. I was trying to put into practice everything I had learned. Well, at the end of our visit I asked the member if she knew anyone who we could visit. At first she said no, but then she remembered one neighbor she´s talked to quite a bit and said she´ll invite her to FHE at her house with us! It was so awesome! Later that afternoon we taught Ricardo. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and at the end of the lesson asked if he had quesitons. he was like ´´Yeah, how do you think God is going to speak to me if I ask him a question?´´ Such an awesome question! The member we had with us then invited him to seminary! After that, we met up with a member to go teach with us. Before we left her house she gave us a drink called cevada. I´m not sure if you guys have heard of it? It was pretty tasty! Afterwards we taught a lesson to Terezinha. The member we brought with us was so perfect to teach her!  It turns out they had already met before! It was awesome. The best part of the day was at the end of the night when we were doing contacts, but not having much luck. We saw a the girl who was recently baptized. She and her family were moving! Before I explain the rest of the story, I just have to tell you how moving is here. Lots of people will move into a different house on the same street, but they won´t get a car or truck to do the move. They do it all by hand. It happens very quickly a lot of time. You´ll be talking to someone one day and they´ll say they´re thinking of moving, and the next day they´ve moved out of their house! So we ended up helping them the rest of the night! It was so awesome because I´d been praying for an opportunity to do service here and Heavenly Father just placed that opportunity right in our path! 

Wednesday we met this super amazing lady! She opened her door up to us right away and let us in. She had missionaries visit in the past! She was married for 9 years and then she got really sick. So bad that she couldn't walk. Her husband decided that he didn´t want to help her out, so he left her with 3 young sad. The whole visit we were a litle worried because she said that her mom is super religious and doesn´t like it when she goes to other churches. She really wants to visit our church! At the end of our lesson the mom walked in and Sister Machado looked at me with huge eyes like ´´I can´t believe this is happening!´´ After we left, Sister Machado told me that she knew her mom because her mom had stopped Sis Machado and her previous companion in the street one day and told them about her daughter and how rough of a time she´s having and said she wanted them to come visit her!! They gave her ou phoner number but she never called! And this week we found her daughter just by knocking on the door!!!!!!! Can you believe it?!! I´m still just freaking out at how awesome it was!!! Miracles still happen people! :) The other miracle of the night is that we went to the church after that to have a meeting with our WML and our investigator, one of investigators was there waiting for seminary to start. He´d only been to seminary one time. It was when we were going to teach him at the church, but ended up showing him what Seminary is. Well ever since that day he´s been going to seminary by himself! After seminary and our meeting, we taught him and he accepted the date to be baptized! It was such an awesome lesson and he is SO prepared!! 


Thursday we went on exchanges and it was really good for me! I got tons of ideas on how to help my area. I got lots of good adivce from the Sister I served with. One cool thing that happened on the exchange is that we talked to this lady in the street and talked to her about families. She all of a sudden just started crying and told us her 15 yr old daughter is addicted to drugs and she knows God sent us there to help her out! Such a cool experience! 

On Friday, I went back to my area, a litte nervous to apply all that I learned. But the day went great! I’m having to be way more decisive and assertive in all that I do. My planner has to be so full of stuff to do so that there is never a moment where we have to ask ´´where or what next?´´. It’s not my personality to be super decisive and direct with everyone, but Heavenly Father is helping me a ton with this! We taught the miracle lady that day. She told us she has to move and we are hoping she will stay in our area! At the end of the lesson she asked us again what time church was and said she was really wanting to go! The other cool part of our day was visiting a lady we have been trying visit, without success. We originally talked to her through an intercom at her house last week and she said to come back later. Well every time after that she either wasn´t there or couldn’t come to the door. This time she opened the door and let us right in! She is super spiritual and such a sweet lady! During the lesson I pulled out a pamphlet to show her something and she said ´´I’ve read these pamphlets before! I didn’t know they were from your church! I aways wanted to know which church they were from!´´ She had someone at work give them to her! It was so cool!! We are going to go back and teach her later this week!

On Saturday morning our 2 appointments fell through but we ended up finding this new street. The first door we knocked we met a wonderful lady. She also invited us in right away and told us her whole life story. We taught her about the church and she said she´d always passed by and wanted so badly to go inside, but wasn´t sure if she could. She´d also seen missionaries and thought the work we do is so cool! At the end of the lesson we invited her to pray about what we´d taught and she was like´´´I don’t need to pray! I already received my answer. This morning I was praying and then you guys showed up at my door!´´ Greatest words ever spoken! We invited her to be baptized and she said she just has to visit the church first to feel prepared! Such a miracle! Later that day we went to Insitute to see if we could meet up with a girl who hasn’t been coming to church. There I met a guy who knows Jacob Flake from the mission! So cool! But the coolest thing was that we walked into Institute and saw Leonardo sitting there. Somebody had told him about Institute and he once again just went there by himself! He´s so awesome! We taught him the Plan of Salvation and at the end of the lesson he was like ´´so what time will my baptism be?´´ I just love that guy! 

On Sunday Leonardo was the only one of our investigators at church, but it was great that he was there! In the afternoon we taught Terezinha. She’s been having a lot of health issues so we invited some brothers from our ward to give her a blessing. As soon as they started the blessing, the spirit was so strong!! Terezinha was really grateful for the blessing she received! After that we taught a member who was baptized a few months ago and then taught Leonardo again. We taught him about the Word of Wisdom. We had lots of member’s there and they all helped teach the lesson by sharing their own experiences! The only thing that is going to get in the way of him being baptized now is his mom’s permission, so please PRAY that it will all work out. He is so ready!! 

This week was just so humbling! My first few days here I was a little disappointed to be here in Jardim America. I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t have a lot of faith ! But I changed my attitude and started studying more about faith and prayer and Heavenly Father DEFINITELY listened! I sometimes just forget how amazing Heavenly Father is and that it´s really His work I´m doing. I don't think I´ve ever prayed so hard to know what to do and where to go! I´m so grateful to be here and to be learning all of this! I hope your week is as amazing as mine was! I know you guys were all praying for me too, so thanks so much! 


te amo DE MAIS!!!!!!!!!!

Sister Pehrson


Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

It´s soo good to write today! I feel like the weeks where we have transfers or something new, our preparation day takes forever to get here. My new area and companion are awesome! Way different than my other area and other comp, but awesome nonetheless!

I´m going to change the format of my emails now and you´ll understand why when I tell you more about my new area. Normally I would send you an email with what we do every day, but I think you guys would get tired of reading about knocking doors all day!!

So, Jardim America. It´s the smallest area in the mission. We´re here with 1 other companionship of sisters (who I LOVE!!). Because it´s such a small area and there have been many, many challenges. President Bonini was going to close the area this transfer. He told Sister Machado (my new comp) to make a really detailed record of everything and that he would be closing the area. But then when transfers happened, Sister Machado got the email that she was going to stay, and the other Sister here got an email that she´d be training a new missionary!  So we´re all here now and we know that there has to be a purpose for why we are here! There has to be at least one person we can help!

Now onto my companion! Sister Machado. She´s from Southern Brasil. She´s full of energy really fun to serve with! It was a little hard to adjust to at first, but I am really loving serving with her. She has been out 7 months on her mission. She´s an awesome teacher and her attitude is really helping me stay positive! She really believes there is someone here for us to help! She speaks English fluently and loves to talk in English. I think I speak more english with her than I did with Sister Downs! The other sisters in our house are Sister Galarza and Sister Vicente. Sister Galarza is from Argentina and is a convert to the church! She is training Sister Vicente who is from Peru. She went to BYU and  speaks English really well! We are having so much fun together!

The work here is very different. I´m not sure why, but the people here just don´t seem to be as open and interested as in my other area, but we keep trying! We´ve aready been able to teach people that were not willing to listen before, so I have a lot of hope! We tract a lot. At least 3 hours a day, but most days tracting is all that we do. We have some awesome investigators right now though! One is Terezinha. She is so sweet! She´d only been taught 2 times before I got here and has a ton of potential. She´s wasn´t having a lot of faith in God before we started teaching her. Yesterday in our lesson she told us how happy she is that we met her and that she knows God sent us to her. She works on Sunday mornings when we have church, so she goes to the other Ward that meets later in the day. We are working on helping her find a new job so that she can attend church in our Ward every Sunday. Please keep her in your prayers that she can find a new job! There's also Edilma and Sámia, who I´ve only taught once but it was an awesome lesson! Edilma is married with 2 little girls and Sámia is her neighbor. Sámia lost her mom when she was younger and has a lot of questions about after this life. We taught her the restoration and towards the end she was like ´´I have a questions. how can I know what church really is true and what path God wants me to follow?´´ She´s awesome and I´m excited to be able to teach her!

The ward here is awesome!! The members are always trying to help us out and they really love the missionaries. Our bishop is CRAZY about missionary work! His name is Fernando Araujo. He´s been a General Authority (70) and also a Mission President. He´s so cool! He and his wife are always helping us out and lunches in his house are delicious! He buys his food at Sam's Club so he has american stuff like peanut butter and Hershey´s Syrup. They gave us a box of pancake mix this week too! I need to be careful here, haha. Yesterday in Fast and Testimony meeting, 44 people bore their testimony. FOURTY FOUR! I´ve never seen anything like it. As soon as Bishop announced that it was time to bear testimony, there were about 15 people aready getting out of their seats to bear testimony. It was so cool! I´m excited to be working here.

My first days here were rough. I was so stressed that we weren´t teaching many people and that I wouldn´t really help anyone here, but after a few days I saw that even though I may not help as many people as I would in a different area, I´m still going to be able to bless the lives of people here. It´s the quality, not the quantity that counts, right? I´ve been studying a lot about faith this week and I was reading a lot in Ether 12. I especially love in Ether 12 :4 which says; 
´´Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.´´

If I really believe in God, I will have hope and not get discouraged! I´ll work my hardest, even if I don´t see many results at first. This week just reminded me of how blessed I am to have the scriptures and prayer. I wouldn´t survive with out them! Whenever I´m feeing down, I just read a few verses and forget about everything that I felt was going wrong.

Being here has reminded me of how much I have left to learn! Even though I only have 9 weeks left (but hey, who´s counting!?) I still have so much I can learn and so much I can do to bless peoples lives, including my own. I don´t want to just shift into neutral because I´m on the downhill slope, I want to keep working super hard until the end!

I love you all so much and thinking about you helps me stay motivated and focused. I remember how much you guys are sacrificing to help me here on the mission and how missionary work has blessed and influenced our family and it helps me stay positive and keep on keepin on! Have an awesome week! Pray for me! Love you tons!
Sister Pehrson

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014

Ahhhh this week was so amazing!! General Conference, awesome new people to teach, and lots of new things learned!! I also found out this morning that I´m being transferred to a new area tomorrow! I´ll be serving with Sister Downs old companion, who is a brasillian! my 1st Brasillian companion! I heard the area I´m going to is super small. We´ll see!! I´m excited, but also sad to leave this area. There are so many people here that I love so much! But it will all work out :)

So Monday night we had family home evening with Alberto and his son and some members! We taught about Conference and talked about how we can prepare for General Conference. We tried to play pictionary but nobody understood the rules besides us, so it didn´t go as well as planned, but it was still fun!

Tuesday was SO awesome!! Everybody was home!! This never happens!! wWe met this really cool old man, Braz. We were walking in the street and we heard ´´sisters´´. So we stopped and asked him how he knows baout the church and he was like ´´Oh i was taught by the elders a long time ago. I was almost baptized but I changed my mind at the last minute!´´ So we taught him and he is the coolest guy ever! He was a marine and so he´s travelled everywhere and seen lots of things. He has a Ham radio set in his house that he uses every night to talk to people around the world. It turns out that he didn´t understand everything about Joseph Smith. When we told him this he was like ´´Oh if i would have known that, I would have been baptized!´´ We told him he can still be baptized and we´re going to teach him this week! well..Sister Sowns will..I´ll be in a new area. But that was super cool! At the end of the night, we taught Alberto. We had left the word of wisdom pamphlet with him in our last lesson and so we asked if he´d read and he told us he´d read it and that he was really needing this lesson because he wants to quit drinking coffee. Nobody says that in Brasil! He is so awesome!

On wednesday we taught a new investigator, Ruth. She´s  a really sweet person and wants to know more about God. After that we taught a new referral we got from a member! There were 4 people we taught, Gracyele and Gracyele, who are twins. They have the same name but you pronounce each one just a little differently for each girl, and 2 guys, Rena and Gabriel. They are all in their early 20s and they were really cool to teach! They all have different beliefs and backgrounds, but they are all really interested in the church and learning more. They all had tons of questions and were awesome to teach! We also taught Alberto again that night and talked about the Law of Tithing. It went very well.

Tursday morning we taught Itamar, the investigator that came to church in his suit! It was an awesome lesson. He read the intro to the Book of Mormon and is really excited to read the rest. We talked a lot about how to receive an answer from God and he said he will derfinitely pray. He already knows SO much of the truth!! We arranged for some members to read the Book of Mormon wit Neto during the week. It can be hard to understand everything as a new member of a church. I think it's a little like being a new missionary in Brasil, learning Portuguese. After a little while you expect to know more and to understand more, but you get discouraged because it´s not coming as fast as you´d like it to, and the challenges that at first were funny, become really frustrating! But I´m glad I have this experience of learning a new language because I feel like I can better understand how it feels to be a new member of the church! It was so awesome because Neto told us that night that he has been thinking a lot about serving a mission!! that would seriously be the COOLEST thing ever! We taught Alberto that night too about eternal marriage and read the family proclamation with him. Lots of his questions are about the family, so I think it´ll really help him! While we were teaching a lesson that day, there was a GIANT rat running through the house. It ran past us about 4 times during the lesson and the person didnt even notice. I came to Brasil afraid of snakes, but I see more rats and cockroaches than snakes... another great thing about Thursday is that we ate at SUBWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man i love American food... subway has never tasted so good, that´s for sure!

Friday we taught Danielle. We invited her to conference and she said shed love to come! She is trusting us more and more each visit and I´m excited that she wanted to watch with us! That night, Alberto´s son went to seminary for the first time! We introduced him to a member the other day, and ever since then they´ve been really good friends. I´m really excited to see what´ll happen now! We taught one of my favorite families that night as well. The mom visited church for the first time last Sunday, and she said the only thing she didn´t like is that it starts at 9 am. She´ll get used to that! We mainly taught the mom and read through the family proclamation with her to help her see how the gospel will really bless her family.

Saturday and Sunday were SOOOOO amazing! I especially loved the Saturday session of conference. I got to watch these sessions in English, which really was a blessing. The only one we watched in Portuguese was Elder Gogoy! I loved his talk and even though I didn´t understand everything, I think I got the main point of it! Our stake president is American, so he watched with us. It was so cool to be watching with all the other American missionaries! I got so many answers to my questions, and there were so many things that were said that our investigators needed to hear. Sadly not everyone came who we invited, but Alberto´s entire family came so that was a blessing! It´s funny because I loved watching conference when i was serving in the D.C. South Mission, but as a missionary in the U.S., you are constantly working with members and feeling of their spirits. here, we leave our lunch appointment and it can sometimes be a little lonely. I feel like we´re exposed to a lot more of the world than we knew existed, so watching conference made me so happy! I loved feeling united with the rest of the church members around the world and thinking of all you guys watching with me! I didn´t eat scones, but we did have some Pringles and Doritos to feel a little more american..haha

I´m not gonna lie, I´m  nervous about this transfer!! I have loved working with Sister Downs and have loved this area. I know that Heavenly fFther knows what´s best for me and that He has people prepared for me there and lots of work for me to do!! I hope you guys have an amazing week!
I love you soooo much!

Sister Pehrson