Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

Wow!! this week was so amazing! and soo fast! seriously..i thought that the last 6 months of my mission would be super slow, but they are going by faster than the beginning! its terrible and great all at the same time...but really there were tons of miracles this week and I'm so excited to tell you about them!!


Monday we spent most of our preparation day just relaxing! It's different here because they have tourist attractions and stuff but we can't do anything because its too dangerous. A lot of people get robbed when they are doing touristy stuff so its against the rules. Napping is always a nice thing to do on "P" day, so I enjoyed that!! When p day ended we went to the house of a family who was baptized recently. They have a 10 yr old daughter and we are helping her do stuff to get her Faith in God award. We are memorizing all the articles of faith with her and its a lot of fun! They are a super sweet family so we had a nice visit with them. We then went to a family home evening that a sister in the ward planned. She invited a lot of her family and friends. It was really cool! Definitely the most organized family home evening I've seen here yet! It was a lot of fun! 


Tuesday morning I woke up feeling really sick. I wasn't feeling great on Monday night but I wanted to just wait and see how I felt in the morning. I ended up having to take some medicine called leite de magnesium. It worked like a charm! That afternoon we went to our appointments. The fist visit one of the ladies was sick, so it wasn't the best visit. We talked to lots of people on the street that day and had a pretty good amount of success! We taught a lady named Darlyene. Shes really really cool! Last Sunday was her first time in church after 5 years. She was planning to go on a mission but some things happened and she stopped coming to church. But she really wants to come back now and is an amazing person so we are excited to help her!  We had a lesson in the evening with a man named Luciano. We brought his son's primary teacher with us so we could explain the blessings of primary. It went really well! It was our last lesson of the night and when we left it was raining. The member who was with us walked all the way home with us just to make sure we'd be safe! He lives on the opposite side of town from us and had to work early the next day so it was so nice of him to do that! I love the members here!! 


Wednesday was good! A little rough but thats life!! We had zone and district meetings which were great. In the afternoon we had a lesson with an investigator. We marked a date for baptism with him for August 3rd, which just so happens to be his birthday!! And we didn't even know that before! He's excited and it will be a great day for him! After that we taught a girl who we met last week, PAMELA!! I got so excited when she told me her name! She's really cool! She's 14 and really, really sweet.  We then taught our investigator Angelica. She has a baby due in September and has a lot of interest in the church. We then had a lesson with a guy we met on Tuesday. The member we brought lives next door to him so at least now he has a friend in the church! After that we had a family home evening. A ward member invited us on Sunday and we really had no idea what to expect. We planned on teaching about missionary work since we thought it would just be he and his family. Well, we got there and he had the lesson all planned. The Patriach of our stake was there along with a guy we didn't know. It was a very simple and sweet family home evening! The family was baptized about 3 years ago and they are still learning how everything works. Funny story, the patriarch has a really great singing voice and he sings SUPER loud! So all of us were singing normally and the patriarch wasjust belting the hymns. It was so cute! It was cool because at the end of the lesson we set up a lesson with the guy we didn't know. So now we get to teach him! We ended the night contacting a referral we got from a member. her name is Carolina. she is 17 and had a baby about 3 weeks ago. She's really sweet and so we just set up a time to go back and teach her since it was pretty late. 


Thursday was great! We went to the church early in the morning because one of our favorite ward member´s son passed away and we heard the funeral would be that morning. Sadly we got there and it had ended. They do things so differently here in Brazil!! But we were able to see the members and give them our love and support. Afterwards we came home and studied for a bit and then left for our interviews with Preisdent Bonini!! Before interviews we ate lunch at Burger King and it's never tasted that good before! Or been that expensive...seriously its like 40 reais for a meal. But the interview was nice! President Bonini talked a lot about his vision for the mission and for every missionary, so it was really cool! After the interview we went back to our area and it was raining like I've never seen before! It was pretty cool! We taught a member who would cme to church every week, but she always has to work on Sundays. After that we taught an investigator,  Rosalene. After that we taught a person who was baptized recently. She is trugling with different things in her life right now. Hopefully our visit helped.


Friday was sooo incredible! In the morning we went and taught Carolina, the referral we got from a member. She is seriously GOLDEN! And she's just super sweet, so I am really grateful I get to teach her!! The lesson with her was unlike any other lesson I've taught in my mission. She was listening so intently and she had tons of amazing questions! After teaching her about Joseph Smith and how he was so confused about which church was true she asked ´´So which church is true?´´  And then she started asking all these questions about baptism and asked ´´What do I need to do to be baptized?´´ It was just like the stories in the Ensign!!!!  It was so cool! She's so sweet and she really just wants the best for her new baby son, so it's amazing to get to teach her! We marked a baptism day with her in that lesson for the 3rd of August but she didn't come to church on sunday so we have a new goal for the 10th of August. After that we taught our investigator Neto! We brought some members with us and they helped so much !He is still apprehensive about baptism, but I think that everything will work out and he will be baptized this sunday. We did a ton of contacts that day with not much success. We visited the members whose son passed away and had a really great visit with them. We sang some hymns and talked about the plan of salvation! I'm so grateful I have knowledge of that plan! They have a son on a mission right now. They were worried if they told him about his brother he would want to come back home. It's a tough situation and one I dont want to imagine! But we told we both would want to know if something like that happened. 


Saturday was another great day! We taught Carolina in the morning and it was an equally amazing lesson as the one on Friday! She told us ever since we started visiting her she has felt something different in her life! It was so exciting! Afterwards we taught english class which is always fun! The afternoon was pretty rough! Almost all of our appointments fell through so we were just talking to everyone but no one seemed to want to listen. We had a good lesson with our investigator Angelica and taught her about the plan of salvation which was cool since she's having a baby soon! I think it was extra special for her to hear about this plan when she's about to bring a baby into the world! In the evening we knocked the door of a house that Sister Downs had felt like she needed to knock on for weeks. We met a really sweet family and we are going to go back and teach them later on this week! 


Sunday was good, but rough! Nobody came to church which was so sad because we really really thought that they would! But people have their agency...thats just life! We taught gospel principles and it was fun! My first time teaching a class in Portuguese! I think it went pretty well! In the afternoon we taught a girl who was baptized in 2009ish but stopped coming to church. She's super cool and her husband is not a member and is a really sweet guy so we set up a time to come back and teach the whole family next Sunday! They are a really sweet couple and I feel like the husband will accept our message! We also taught Darlyene and made some goals with she and her daughter to get them started on the journey back to church! That evening we had some meetings in the church and then went to teach a lady Wanderley. We found her that afternoon because we were looking for the house of an investigator we had planned to teach but both Sister Downs and I wrote the wrong address!! But it turned out to be all right because we knocked the house next door and met a lad that wanted to have some lessons. She was baptized about 10 yrs ago and stopped going to church. Honestly, I think last night was the saddest lesson I've ever taught. We talked to her about her story and history in the church and she said that she loved the church but that she was always fighting feelings of unhappiness. Everyone said to read the scriptures and pray but she never could shake the feeling of not feeling completely happy. We asked her how she is now, if shes happy. She just cried and cried and said no. I think she has depression but they dont really diagnose people with that here, so its so hard! I felt at a loss for words because I know the gospel has made me happy. She told us she will return to church eventually but shes just not ready right now. It was the saddest thing! She doesn't want us to come and visit her but she appreciated us stopping by. Agency is definitely the hardest part of a mission!! 


So yeah, that was my week! I am loving my new area, loving my new companion! Loving life! The language is still hard but I feel like I'm really learning a ton! People can understand me most of the time. I'm going to start a count of how many people tell me to wear sunscreen. I wear sunscreen every day but I also sweat like crazy so I'm always a little red! 
I hope you all have an amazing week!
I love you so, so much!


Sister Pehrson

Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 21, 2014


Yet another monday has arrived! :) I am super excited to tell you all about my new area!

So the first day was a little rough for me... the house we have here isn't quite as nice as my last apartment. It doesn't have closets and desks and stuff to organize with, so I just felt a little overwhelmed with the newness of everything. Eventually I figured it all out and have my own little system of organization now! Who knew I'd ever be wanting to be organized?! I realized that so many people live with way less than I have! And after a week in this house, it really feels like home for me! I'm happy to be learning these lessons and getting a new perspective in my life. Monday night we taught a lesson to girl. We had a family home evening with her and a family in our ward. Together we are trying to help her out. The family we taught her with, familia Sampaio, have a son on a mission and they are on fire to do missionary work so we love working with them!

Tuesday was awesome! We did weekly planning in the morning which was nice because I got to hear all about the area and the people here, etc.... We set some goals as a companionship which made me super excited for the transfer! Sister Downs is awesome and I know we will have an amazing transfer together. After that we had a lesson with our investigator. He's 20 years old and he is genuinely seeking for truth and is amazing to teach! We taught him with our ward mission leader, Mateus. Matues is he's 22 and is thinking about serving a mission himself.  We are working really hard with him to help him see the benefits of serving a mission and hopefully inspire him to go! We also had the opportunity to teach an older lady named Margarita, (which actually means Daisy in Portuguese!) After that we went and saw a ward member who is probably in her 80s or 90s. She asked Sister Downs the past Sunday if we could come and have a family home evening with her. She had big plans for us to watch a church movie and discuss it, and then to have testimony meeting, and then to eat cake. We told her we didn't have time for the movie but we could certainly share our testimonies and eat some cake. She had her grandson there and his mom over too. It was really amazing! The grandson went with us afterward to teach someone but they weren't home. He's 16 and is always going on visits with us and when he goes with us he learns the names and addresses of the people we teach and then goes and visits them on his own! He's so awesome!! That day I had a nasty fall in the street. I was walking and there was a chain that was pretty low so I decided to step over it. My first foot made it but my second caught on the chain and down I was really embarrassing but it was also really funny!

Wednesday we had Zone and District meetings! All the missionaries in my zone are super nice and welcoming! I'm excited to get to know them better! We then visited Luisiani. She is about 15 and was recently baptized. She loves the missionaries!! Shes really fun to teach. Every time we visit her she has a little letter she wrote for us haha. After seeing her we went searching for a referral. The problem is that we didn't have an address. We talked to the lady who lives in the 1st house on the street. She didn't know the guy we were searching for but we got to teach her! She moved to this house about 5 years ago and before she moved, her son was taking the lessons from the missionaries. She said he was interested in being baptized but when they moved, he lost contact with the church and hasn't been back since! We set up a time to see them this coming week! After that we went looking for new investigators. We found a really cool family! They were all standing outside because someone had just gotten robbed. The police were all there and so we asked them what had just happened. They told us and then we explained who we are and we were able to teach them! The grandma had tons of questions and the mom of the family was listening really intently, so they definitely have potential! That night I also tried din-din. Its a brasillian popsicle type of thing. They mix the popsicle ingredients and then put it in a little plastic baggy and then freeze it. it was pretty delicious!

Thursday we had a meeting in the morning with the primary president, who just happens to be the Bishop's wife, and they just so happen to be our next door neighbors! haha. We talked with her about some of the recently baptized kids in primary and how we can help. That afternoon we taught a lady, Zilma. She's preparing to go to the temple. She's been a member for about a year and hopes to go in August!! After that we picked up Luisiani and went to an appoint with Lucas. He was baptized recently and we talked to him about general conference. Luisiani stayed with us til about 4, so she basically tracted with us for 3 hours! She's so awesome! That evening we visited  a teenage girl named Brenda. Shes a really amazing person! Her mom passed away about 3 years ago and her dad is living in another city, So she lives with her aunt. She has a really rough life, but shes always smiling! We helped her with some personal progress stuff that day. We knocked on doors and didn't have much success. It's hard because here people will talk to us because were Americans and they think its cool, but they don't have a lot of interest in the church, so we really have to search to find the people who really want to learn!

Friday was great! In the morning I studied some really cool stuff that helped me realize how I can more fully fulfill my purpose here and how I can overcome my fears of speaking the language. I read a quote by President Hinckley talking about recent converts and then the manual I was reading talked about how my experience of living in a new country, speaking a new language with new people can help me have empathy for people who were recently baptized. I thought that was pretty amazing and it helped me see that even though this is hard, there is always always, ALWAYS a purpose in our trials. I read some stuff that helped me see how I can study the language better and it was just really good. Then in comp study Sister Downs told me that my portuguese is really a miracle because she didn't speak at all when she got into the mission and that I'm doing really well. I felt a lot better about everything after that! The rest of my day was super awesome! I felt the spirit so strong when I taught! Before, I was so nervous that it was keeping me from feeling the spirit, but now I can really teach people and communicate what I am feeling to them. It's amazing to see how powerful the spirit is because without it, I literally can't teach people here! That day we taught a family we had met Wednesday night. the son is 15 and has tons of interest but his mom said he can't learn. It was seriously so depressing!!! I dont know if I've felt that sad about not being able to teach someone before. I could just see how prepared this boy is! But the good news is that we teach an english class here and his mom said he can go to it. So the seed was planted, I just need to have more faith! We then visited a family who was baptized in December. We are going to help their daughter with the Faith in God program! That night we taught them how they can study the scriptures as a family. It was really cool! We then went and taught the family we met Wednesday night, but sadly they didn't have very much interest. They were more excited to have Americans in their house than anything else. But there was a new guy there who is 18 and he actually has a lot of interest in learning. He lives in another area so different missionaries will teach him, but it was still good to see that there was a reason we were led to talk to them.

Saturday I got to teach my first English class!! It was so much fun! We teach with 2 other American Elders. We taught about telling time and numbers. At the end of each class we practice singing in English and the students sang a song called The Great Pretender by Queen. It was pretty entertaining! In the afternoon we taught a man named Marcio. He's a neighbor of a member and we taught him in the member's home! His wife left him recently with his 2 sons so he really needs help right now. This member is super awesome and helped him see how the gopsel will help him out! We will teach him in 2 weeks because he has to travel for a bit but when he gets back he wants to meet again! That evening we had a Relief Society activity about missionary work and then we went and visited Larisa. She has a strong testimony. We are helping her with her personal progress. She's super sweet and we helped her plan a family home evening lesson so we are going back tonight and shes going to teach it to us and her family!

Sunday was great! The ward here is awesome. We had our investigator, Neto attend church today for the 2nd time. We also had a lady come to church who has not ben coming for 5 years, but that day she decided to return! It was really cool to see. We taught our investigator Luceane in the afternoon. Shes really cool! Her aunt is Mormon, so growing up she always saw the book of mormon but she never went to church or learned about the gospel. Now we are teaching her and she's really prepared! We left her with the book of mormon and she's super excited to read it so we will see what happens! That evening we had meetings in the church and one of the members who is 28 is trying to decided if she wants to serve a mission or stay home and keep dating the guy she's with right now. She received her patriarchal blessing that night and when we saw her she came running up and crying and said she will serve a mission! It was so cool!!

I am so happy to be in this area! It's a great ward and I have an amazing companion! I love you all tons and tons and hope your weeks are amazing!!
Sister Pehrson

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 14, 2014

This week was awesome!!! Bittersweet because I got transferred! but I know there are great things ahead for me! Monday night we got invited to go to family home evening with the bishop. We brought Aldenora with us and it was wonderful! We are trying to help her make new friends, so having that family home evening was really good for her. The other sisters had an investigator there too and there was a ward member so it was a lot of fun! Tuesday was a good day! A little rough since Brasil had a game but we still got to teach one lesson! We taught our investigator Francealda. She didn't read the chapter we asked her to because she didn't remember what it was, but she read the intro to the Book of Mormon and a few other parts, so it's still awesome! She has a strong desire to learn and is really starting to change. Wednesday was awesome! In the morning we had zone and district meetings which were great! After lunch we had to drop Sister Lugen off at the Mission Office to do some visa stuff. While she did that we had a lesson with our investigators Elvira and Clara. We basically ran from the office to our appointment, so when I got there I was SOOO sweaty!!! I was really embarrassed, it's probably the sweatiest I've ever been on my mission haha! But the lesson was great! We taught about the Lord's Law of Chastity. After that we had another appointment with an investigator who the other sisters in our ward have been teaching a little. Her sister is leaving in a week or so on a mission. It was a good lesson and she will continue learning from the other sisters serving in our ward! After that lesson we had a lesson with our investigator Eylla. She is super awesome! She is engaged and we haven't met her fiance yet, but we really want to teach him too! They have a super strong relationship which really isn't common here in Brasil! Eylla said that her fiance wanted to date her for a whole year before she ever considered dating him, but once she really got to know him she liked him. It would be awesome if they joined the church because we need strong couples like them here in Brasil! After that we stopped and saw Hymudinha. We talked with her about agency. She is understanding better the more that we teach her but we still have to teach very simply, sort of like we are teaching a child. After that we saw Aldenora! We went over some of the vocabulary we use in church to help her understand more! She is still super strong and doing awesome! Thursday was good! A little rough in the afternoon but it all worked out! We walked and walked FOREVER and no one was home!!!! We were finally able to see Marlene, who was baptized in May. The sun was so hot that day and Marlene's apartment was nice and dark with a little breeze. We were all struggling to stay awake. I really don't think I've ever been that tired before in a lesson!! After seeing her we saw Francealda! She's doing really well. We read a little from the Book of Mormon and it was great! Her husband's Aunt, Maria Teresa, was there too. She lives with them and is pretty old and doesn't hear very well. At the end of the lesson I asked if we could pray. This is how the conversation turned out: me: ´´podemos orar?´´(can we pray?) maria teresa: ´´sim! chorar.´´ (yes, cry!) missionaries: ´´nao maria, ORAR.´´ (no, maria, pray.) It took us about 2 minutes for her to finally understand haha! She is a cutie. After that lesson we saw Thais and Aldenora. We talked about agency and responsibility. Thais is 16 and is a really good girl. We are trying to help Thais see the purpose of why we are here on earth. She understands what we teach and always loves what we share, but she also loves her friends that have different standards and its hard for her to change when she is hanging out with them. We´ll see what happens! I hope she can choose what is best for her! After that we took Aldenora to a lesson with us! It was awesome and she was able to share her feelings about her baptism and share her testimony. We then had a meeting with our ward mission leader and afterwards had a little party for one of the Elders birthday's! The Bishop's wife made a ridiculous amount of food and we had a blast! Friday afternoon was worse than Thursday teaching wise, but thanks to my awesome companions we had a blast! We were only able to teach 3 people but that's better than no one! Days like that day help me realize how important it is to have a positive attitude. Friday could have been miserable but we just all talked and laughed and enjoyed the moment! If we let the things around us determine our mood and our happiness, we will never be happy! But if we choose to be joyful and have fun we will have true happiness and life will be way more fun! Saturday was awesome! Especially for a day with a cup game. We taught one of our investigators, Sandra. We were thinking she wasn't super interested, but she was just really busy. We had a good lesson with her and then tried to see Francealda. When we stopped by, Maria Teresa told us that Francealda was in the hospital with her youngest son! So we went back to our apartment during the World Cup and after it ended we checked on Francealda again. Thankfully she was at home and her son is doing better! Sunday was crazy!! We talked to Thais earlier in the week and asked if we could wake her up for church on Sunday because whenever her mom tries to wake her up she doesn't! But when we went to go wake her up Aldenora told us she had been out until 5 in the morning so it would be pointless to have her come to church because she wouldn't have a good experience! So we went and picked up 2 other investigators and headed to church! We had lots of the people we are teaching come to church, which was awesome! Afterwards we taught our friend, Priscilla. She was baptized in March but stopped coming to church for a bit. Now she's coming back! The lesson with her was super cool. She asked us about the atonement. She hears the word a lot in church but didn't actually know what it meant. When we explained to her that Jesus suffered all the pains that all of us have she couldn't stop crying and she was just in shock that he would do that for us! It was really powerful for me because I grew up with this knowledge! It's definitely still amazing to me, but to see her reaction was so powerful! I am grateful I get to teach people the gospel because it reminds me of how blessed I am to have the knowledge that I do!! After that lesson we were able to see a few more people and then we had to come back home for transfer calls. We found out Sister Twitchell and I would leave the area and Sister Lugen would stay! So that brings us to today and where I'm at now! I'm serving here in Jardim Guanabara with Sister Downs! Shes an american too! She's been here for about 8 months but served in Denver North while waiting for her visa! I'm excited for the adventures that I'll have here and for all I will learn!! Portuguese is still pretty rough, but I do feel like I'm improving! It's weird because sometimes I feel like I can understand and speak just fine, but other times I'm just completely lost!! I love you all sooo much and hope your week is great! tchau! Sister Pehrson

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7, 2014

olaaaa familia!!! Thanks again for all the emails and love! I always love to hear about what is going on with you all! Things here in Brasil are awesome! I feel like I´m sort of getting into the hang of things here and I´m having so much fun!! This last week was really awesome! on Monday after emailing we didn't do too much, which was really nice because I needed to catch up on my sleep! We had a really awesome lesson that night with Aldenora. We had it at a member's house and did FHE with them. It was perfect! The members testimonies are so strong and really helped Aldenora. the cool thing is that Aldenora's daughter came to the lesson too. She really felt the spirit and commited to go to Young Women"s on Tuesday! Aldenora said something about how awful my Portuguese is and I felt really bad! My companions were supportive and told her I'd only been here a week, but I was feeling a little down. The message we shared with Aldenora that night was that God is always there to help us. Sometimes as I teach I think the lessons are for me as well because even though I preach this truth to people every day, I realized I'm not exercising my faith as much as I can! When things start to go a little sour I panic and forget that I have a loving Heavenly Father who wants me to be happy and he´s in charge of everything!! It was a very good reminder for me to practice what I preach :) Tuesday was really good! We ate a members home It was great! After lunch we walked and walked and walked some more in the sun until we found some people to teach. We found 3 new investigators and one is really really receptive! We also taught Diana, who the sisters have been teaching for quite a while. She´s understanding everything really well! Our lesson with her really helped her see she is getting things! After that lesson we went and saw Aldenora. We went over all the questions in the Baptismal interview and it was awesome! After that we went to mutual! Aldenora didn't come which was sad but we had a good time. The young women invited us on Sunday to come to their activity because they were going to visit the less active young women in the ward. It was cool to see that even in a different country mutual and the young women are the same! it was a ton of fun! Wednesday was so awesome! We had a conference to get to know the new Mission President and his wife! It was sooo great! They are amazing and a lot of fun! I´m really greatful I get to serve with them here! President and Sister Bonini are converts of 23 years. Sister Bonini showed us their first copy of the Book of Mormon! It was so cool! They started learning about the church because Sis Bonini saw an ad in the newspaper to order a Book of Mormon and she decided to order it. A while later some Sister's showed up and taught and baptized their family! They truly love the gospel and love missionary work and I know they are exactly what this mission needs! It was fun to see all my MTC friends again. It was a lot more enjoyable with a decent amount of sleep and a week's experience :) After the conference Sis Lugen, Sis Luna, and I headed back to our area. Our companions stayed for a special leadership meeting. The afternoon started out pretty slow but after a little while things picked up! We met some great potentials and then had a really powerful lesson with one of our newer investigators Francealda. She has 2 beautiful little boys and is a really sweet lady! She's willing to listen to the lessons and I know that will help her a lot! After that lesson we headed to Sister Luna's area. We stopped to pick up a member who had a referral for us. Our night with her was quite the adventure!! She took us to the house of this family she knows and I think she took us through some scariy streets and neighborhoods in Fortaleza!!!! I was fearing for my life! But we survived and had a good lesson with her friend! Thursday was awesome! Full of miracles like always! We found 2 new people to teach that are really sweet but we aren't sure if they are super interested...time will tell! We also visited Patricia. She's in the process of returning to church. She's really awesome! We had a cool experience with her that day. We talked with her about missionary work and at the end asked if she knows anyone who she can share the gospel with. She started off saying no but then mentioned a family she spends a lot of time with who recently lost the mom of the dad of the family. She taught then the plan of salvation and has been inviting them to church. She explained where they live and Sis Twitchell actually contacted them about 2 months ago! They were really promising but were always busy taking care of the husband's mom! Sadly she passed away but now they have more time and are ready to hear the gospel!! So Patricia is going to talk to them and set up an appointment for us! So cool!! After that we went and taught our investigator Hymudina (I still dont know how to spell names in Portuguese..its super hard haha!). It was cool because she now really understands our purpose in visiting her and I think she will really progress now! After that we went to pick up Aldenora for her baptismal interview. It went sooo well! President Bonini is amazing!! It was fun because we got to talk with Sis Bonini about their mission in Mozambique while Aldenora was being interviewed. Aldenora said that President gave her lots of good advice! After we took her back home we visited Marlene. She was baptized about a month ago and is the cutest, sweetest, thing! . She has such a strong spirit! Friday was great!! Even though I wasn't in the USA there were still tons of fireworks for Brasil's Wrld Cup game that day. It was here in Fortaleza! Sadly we didn't get to work much. The game started at 5 and we had to be in by 4. But we still got a little work done and had some awesome experiences!!! We ate lunch with a couple who were counselors to President Souza. They had their son there and also invited the senior couple who is serving here. The son started talking with President and Sister bonini. He found out where they are from and he asked if they new a missionary, Sister Dias. President said "Yes, that's the sister who taught our family.´´ The guy started to cry and said ´´That is the daughter of a family I taught and baptized on my mission.´´ HOW AMAZING IS THAT?!?!?!??! Seriously the spirit was so strong and it was just amazing to be there. It is such a testimony of the fruits of our labor as missionaries! We can never think that our missions were a waste of time! If we really work hard to teach people to be powerful members, we will have greater things happen than we can even imagine and our work will impact so many more people than we think! It was such a powerful experience!! After that we went and taught Aldenora. We had a nice visit with her and she was super excited for her baptism the next day! We literally had to run home to get back by 4 00. Our area is pretty big and the investigator who lives closest to us is a 45 minute walk if we are walking fast!! So we booked it home. At one point a guy stopped and offered us a ride, haha. I am sure we looked super ridiculous! It was such a blast though! The rest of the day was nice. We wrote letters and studied and listened to music and baked an apple pie to celebrate the 4th! It was the most American thing we could think of :) It was a great day. Saturday was awesome! In the morning we had to go fill up the font at the church. It has a leak so it took us almost 2 hours to fill and we also had to clean it out before we filled it! It was an adventure! After that we had our first appointment of the day with Graca. We then had a lesson with this really cool girl, Rosani. She has never really gone to church but she feels like now she wants to start. She was asking us how we receive answers to questions and why we go to church. She is someone who is genuinely seaching for the truth so it is awesome to teach her! After that we saw Francealda. She talked to us more about her difficulties that day and we talked about how we can receive strenth to make it through hard times. It was very powerful! My heart really aches for her. It was a good reminder to be careful who I choose to marry and make sure that he is someone who will make my life better, not worse!! After that lesson we picked up Aldenora and headed to her baptism!!! Her daughter came which was really special and important for Aldenora. The baptism was perfect!! Our Bishop spoke and everything he said was just what she needed to hear. I love the spirit that I feel at baptisms! Sunday was a good day! A little rough, but good! Besides, what's life without some hard days?? Boring!!! I really struggle with understanding the language in meetings. So church that day was hard and so was our correlation meeting in the evening! I go for a while thinking I'm starting to get stuff down and then I go to a meeting and feel like I can't understand anything! It's frustrating, but I know I have to remember I've only been here for 2 weeks and I need to be more patient!! BUT on a brighter note!! Aldenora was confirmed that day and it was great! She is just glowing and feels so happy! After our lunch we visited Francealda and had a great visit with her. She didn't come to church because her Aunt that lives with her was sick, but she is really starting to change. She loves having us visit and is studying the assignments we give her. I am excited to see the change that will happen in her life because of the gospel! After seeing her we stopped and saw Aldenora, hoping to teach her daughter, but she wasn't home. We then had a lesson with Elvira. Shes been taught for about 2 months now. She travels a ton so its hard to teach her. But yesterday we chose a baptismal date with her! She won't be traveling much this month so she will progress a lot from here on out! After seeing her we saw Aline. Shes a member but doesn't come very much. She's been sick for a while and we talked to her about Priesthood Blessings. She didn't know what they were! I am excited because she's going to get one tonight and I think it will be really really good for her! I do feel like I am understanding more and getting more into the routine of everything here! There are still things that I don't understand and that I struggle with, but I really am loving it here! Between the dirt and sweat, bugs and rice & beans, there is a people who are so full of joy and love! They are so optimistic and charitable! I am really greatful that I get to be here teaching them as well as learning from them! I love you all sooo much! I hope all is well back in the states!!! 3 days until my year mark! I cant even believe it...its going way too fast! :( thanks for all you guys do!! have an awesome week! Love you! Sister Pehrson

Sunday, July 6, 2014

June 30, 2014

I am so excited to be writing you guys right now! I had to wait almost 2 weeks to write! it was torture! okay it wasn´t that horrible, but i really did miss writing you guys! So much has happened! I don´t even know where to begin! but I´ll do my best to give you a good update! The rest of my ttime at the Brazil CTM was great! I am so grateful that I got to go and learn more of the language there. I think it helped me a lot not just with the language but spiritually as well and helped me remember what my purpose really is as a missionary!! On June 24 I woke up bright and early at 1:50 am so I could get ready and finish packing and be in the CTM parking lot at 3am to catch my bus to the airport. There was an elder from my district coming to the mission with me. So we traveled together and I felt better getting lost with someone rather than just by myself, haha! Our flight left Sao Pualo at 6:15 and landed in Salvador, Brasil at around 8am. We waited there for 2 hours until our next flight left to Fortaleza at 10:30. We got to Fortaleza at 12:45 and President Souza and Sister Souza picked us up and took us to their house for lunch. We ate with the assistants in the mission. I really wasn´t hungry at all which was sad because the food was really good! I´m still not realy hungry. I think it's all the changes and the heat! So hopefully my appetite will return. Who knows! Anyways I came into the mission at SUCH a weird time. President and Sister Souza are finished serving and as i write, they are home now. I had 3 days with them as my Mission President and now I have a new one! So it was a little weird, but they were still super sweet and welcoming even though they knew that they were leaving soon. I spent most of the day in training, learning about different health stuff and then having an interview with President Souza. Then I got to meet my companions! Yep another trio...for now. Transfers are in 2 weeks and they are thinking I´ll probably leave. Not sure though! My companions are Sister Twitchell who was in the mtc in provo with me for 2 weeks until she got her visa, and Sister Lugen who is being trained by Sis Twitchell right now and shes from Paraguay! Shes such a sweetie! We live with 2 other sisters. One american from Pensylvania and a sister from Argentina! We put some of my stufff away and then got to work! We serve in the same ward where the Mission President lives and it's pretty big. There are four other elders in the ward and a senior couple! Our section of the area has a lot of apartment complexes that you have to know someone to get into so we do a lot of walking, Which i expected to do here so thats great! We visited a girl who has been taught the first lesson. We ended up getting to teach her whole family! After that we visited a family in the ward. It was a good visit! After that we came home and the sisters we live with made me a cake for my birthday! We ate dinner and planned and then I took my first shower here which was cold!!! It felt really good and really bad at the same time, haha. My birthday was great! I dont think I´ll ever have a birthday like this one ever again. We had a conference with the whole mission since President Souza is leaving. It was a really nice gift for me because I got to see all my friends from my Distrcit in the Provo MTC!!!! First I got to see Sister Allen!! ahh, i am so so grateful for her! She is the sweetest! She just hugged me and helped me feel so much better about all the changes and reminded me that I am where I'm supposed to be! She is the best!!! I´m so grateful I get to be with her again here in Fortaleza! She's actually in my zone so its really awesome! The conference was really great! It was weird because I don't know President Souza, but I can just tell what an amazing President hes been! Everyone was so sad! The conference taught me a lot and there were plenty of things I needed to hear in all the talks! The meeting started at 9am and ended at 7pm!!! We got home just in time to do our nightly planning. Thursday was my first ´´real day´´ in Brasil! It was intense and amazing! Sis Twitchell is a sister training leader and so is the other sister we live with so they went on exchanges and me and Sister Lugen worked with the sister from Argentina that we live with. We ate lunch with a member at a restaraunt that they own. I have to admit that my first meal here was terrible....I ate liver and it was so awful. haha! but I suffered through... We didn't get to teach much that day. The schools here take a break for the World Cup and tons of people are traveling. But we got a few awesome lessons in! At the end of the night we bought these things called pasteles....serioulsy one of the most delicious things I've EVER eaten! I cant decide if the water I drank was better or the pastel... its important to drink a ton of water here in the morning before we leave the house because once we leave we usually dont get more water. When we got home we looked at my legs and discovered I had a GIANT heat rash! It didn´t hurt but it looked horrible! Luckily with some medicine and a few days of adapting my legs are back to normal. Friday was great! My first day working in my area with both my companions. It was fun and we all got to know each other better! I am happy to report that the lunch we ate that day was really delicious! I am a lot less worried now. Brasil is such an interesting place. There are parts of Fortaleza that are so beautiful and the buildings are super fancy, and then you turn the corner and there's are dirt streets...its strange, but i love it! During the afternoon we didnt have much success. No one was home! We met a really cool girl named Naomi who we taught and got a return appointment with! In the evening we taught a few more families. I am struggling with the language but I´ve noticed that when I just open my mouth and don't worry about what I'm saying things go so much better and people can feel my testimony. It's hard because there are times where I really want to say something but i have no idea how! And the things I say are so simple and not really what I want to say! but in time I will have it all down! back in DC I felt like I had a lot of things figured out and was capable of doing lots! Here is a whole other story! EVERYTHING I do i need the Lords help with! I know in DC I needed His help just as much, but I didnt recognize that. I'm grateful for the time I have now to figure this out and to learn what it means to truly rely on the Lord! Saturday was my first experience with a World Cup game!! When Brasil is playing, we arent allowed to go out and proselyte until the game is finished. We ate with some members and left just as the game was starting and the streets were seriously empty! It was a little creepy! During the games we just stay in the apartment and do whatever we want, so I took a nap. I have a cold that I tihink I got from my MTC companion, so the sleep was really great! When I woke up it was CRAZY! People were running through the streets screaming and honking their horns and shooting off fireworks! It was nuts!! The worst part is that this Friday there is a game that Brasil is playing in and its here in Fortaleza....I dont think we will get much done that day! The rest of our Saturday was pretty rough because of the Cup! Tons of people weren't home because they went to parties for the Cup, and if the were home they were leaving their house to go to a party! Ridiculous haha. Finally at the very end of the night after all our plans had fallen through, we were able to see a member who we had lunch with the next day. She really opened up to us because she's struggling with a lot of things right now and it was awesome because we were able to know exactly what we need to share with her the next day! Sunday was quite eventful! Church starts at 9 here so at 7 45 we started our trek to pick up an investigator for church. The ward was super shocked to have another sister! All the members are awesome! Here we have relief society first, then sunday school, then sacrament meeting. One perk of being in this ward is that it's the same ward the Mission President is in, so we got to meet the new President, President Bonini and his wife! They are super sweet and I'm excited to know them better! After church we went to our lunch with the member and taught a really great lesson! Yesterday was the hottest its been since i got here and i was DYING! The nice thing about Fortaleza.... there's always a breeze, so even though its super hot, I'm not about to keel over and die (usually) ;) We taught a lot of lessons and then had a meeting with our ward mission leader! it was great!! I am coming into a mission at a really hard time. A lot of the missionaries are wondering what changes will take place with the new President. They are hestitant about the new rules he will make and different things like that. I feel like I was meant to be here to help the other missionaries know that he really is called to be our President! So we will see how that goes! I also feel like all the member work I did in DC really is helping me here. The missionaries here don't know how to talk with the members. We all eat lunch together at a member's and usually the msisionaries just talk with each other and the member's talk to their family. Today in comp study, my companions said they want to talk more with the member's so its cool that I had all that experience in DC so now I can help them out! It's weird because I feel like a new missionary again but at the same time I know how to teach, I just don't know how to say what I want to and I dont know my area well or anything...its such a weird feeling! But I'm really enjoying it! Just taking it one day at a time. This morning I killed my first spider in the shower so I'm making progress every day! :) I'm SO sweaty all the time and i just love it! I feel very blessed to be here. There is a new rule the church created that President Riggs told me about when I left. Missionaries who have been serving for half their mission in a reassignment now have to choose at that point if they want to stay in the US mission or if they want to keep trying for their visas. They are encouraging the Sisters to stay in the US. I feel like this is a huge sign that Heavenly Father really wanted me here in Brasil! Also, they aren't calling any more Americans to Brasil until they figure out the Visa issues! CRAZY! Heavenly Father has a plan for each and every one of us. If I've learned anything on my mission it's that! I love you guys soo much! I hope youre not worried about me or anything because I am doing fine! I know in a month or so I'll be all settled in. eu amo voces!!!! Beijos!! Sister Pehrson