Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 25, 2014

This week was so awesome for us! We taught the most lessons this week and found some really amazing people to teach! We had transfers today and me and Sis Downs will stay together for one more transfer! I´m really glad! I´ve learned a ton from her and I know I´ll learn even more these next 6 weeks!! On Monday when p day ended we taught this girl we met her a few weeks ago. Shes 13. We taught her and her mom and it was a good lesson! After that we had family home evening with Tatiane and her family, Cristielen, and the Sampaio family! It was awesome! We played memory and my team won. I learned that I'm still pretty competitive when it comes to games :) Afterwards we had another family home evening with a family in the ward and Neto. It was cool because after the lesson the member was talking with Neto and telling him how he served a mission 1 and a half years after joining the church. he showed Neto his old nametags and I think it made Neto more interested in serving a mission! It was sweet, he left their house with  a huge smile on his face, just super happy!!

Tuesday we taught Luiziane.  After that we visited Fabricio, another recent convert who isn't able to attend church much. We talked with him about the priesthood which was great! We then went and taught Neto with a member. It was Neto's 21st birthday that day so we brought him some cake! He was super happy. and he told us that ever since he received a blessing he hasn't had any temptations. So awesome! We taught him about the preisthood and how that is the power that was used to bless him and how after his baptism he can have that power and help people the same way he was helped. It was a great lesson. We then taught Francisco and Rizangela. they are doing really well! They are reading from the Book of Mormon and praying and they said if they knew the church was true they´d be baptized for sure. They are travelling the next 2 weekends so they won't be able to come to church, which is a bummer, but we´ll see what happens! We ended the night finding this really cool family! The girl's names all start with Rose haha. One of the daughters knows a member and has visited the church before! One of the sons is about 8 or 9 and I dont think he's ever seen Americans before because he couldnt stop staring at us. When his mom came into the room he was like ´´look mom! 2 Gringas!!!´ haha it was great! 


On Wednesday we worked in a part of our area that we have never worked in before. It's farther away than the other parts of our area but we need to start working there more because there are tons of people and they need to be taught too! We knocked on this one door and hesitated because it looked like an apartment complex or something. But this guy answered the door and told us it was a house. He told us he worked there. So we explained who we were and he told us hed always wanted to visit our church but he didn't think he was welcome and he didn't want to enter such a beautiful building with the clothes that he has. It was so sweet! We told him that he definitely can and should visit and got his address for the missionaries in his area!! We taught Neto later that night and it was great! He's still staying strong, and I think he will be baptized in 2 weeks as planned! 


Thursday we took a member to our lesson with Carolina and it went perfectly! She shared her conversion story with Carolina and her and Carolina just became friends instantly. It's good that she will have a friend to come to church with! In the afternoon we knocked this door and were teaching this family. The mom asked us if we would like to try a dessert. We said sure! I´m not sure what I ate, but it was not sitting right with me...I literally thought I was going to throw up!!! I think it was made with figs...seriously, traumatizing! That night I lost my planner which was really depressing because it has everything I need to know in it! But i still have Sis Downs who has all the info too so all is well! We had a lesson with Raimundo and Susana in the evening and it went well. It's just hard because he works a lot on sundays and he just doesn't understand the concept of why authority is important. So we will see what happens. We ended the night teaching this guy, Alberto. we met him on Wednesday night. He saw us in the street and asked if he could buy one of our pamphlets. We told him he didn't have to buy them. We gave him one and set up an appt with him.


Friday was an awesome day! In the morning we helped Lucas, a recent convert, make plans to serve a mission. We used the church website and wrote down all the stuff he will need to do and when he can do it. He promised us he will serve a mission! Afterwards we taught Claudiana. She is still doing really well and still wants to visit the church. We left her with the book of mormon to read, so we will see how that goes! In the afternoon we taught Cleviane again. She was baptized about 3 years ago but didnt understand a lot of what she was taught. So we watched The Restoration with her and talked more about the book of mormon with her and how it compliments the bible. She really has a lot of potential to be a strong member! Afterwards, we taught Neto. Great news,  he found a new job where he won't be working on Sundays! Then we passed by the house of another investigator and he told us he left his job and will not be working Sundays anymore so now he can visit the church! This is a really big challenge here so its awesome that the two of them can for sure come to church now! 


Saturday was great as well! We taught English class which is always a blast! This member brought us some candy they have here called paco quito and its almost like peanut butter! I will definitely be bringing some home with me for you all to try :) He also brought us this fruit called tamarina. It's the weirdest fruit ever...it has a shell like a peanut that you crack open, and the fruit is really chewy and sour like a sourpatch kid, and in the middle it has a big seed. I definitely tried some interesting food this week! In the afternoon we found a really cool family that we are going to go back and teach this week! We also taught Cristielen. she invited her family to church on Sunday which was awesome! I really believe that they will all be members some day. Later in the night we were going to an appointment and we were passing this house and I was thinking I wanted to talk to the person who lived there, but we were running late and so I didnt say anything. The appointment fell through and we were passing the house again so I told Sis Downs we should knock it. We met this guy, Joao. He's not religious but believes in God and prayer and the bible. We had a really powerful lesson with him. He has a ton of doubts because he's been let down by a lot of people in different churches, but he promised he'd pray to know if what we shared is true. As we were leaving Sis Downs told me she wanted to knock the door the first time we passed too! So we will see what happens, but Heavnely Father definitely wanted us to knock that door and meet Joao! 


Sunday was the best day ever!! wW had lots of people at church. Tiago came, Neto came, Alberto came, and Cristielen and her family visited as well! It can be a little stressful having lots of people at church, but everything worked out well! In the afternoon we taught Cristielen and talked about her baptismal interview and made plans for her baptism. There's a member here who has a guitar so I'm going to sing and play at her baptism! Later that day we met a really sweet mom and her son. The dad was at work so we didn't get to meet him. But we asked them if we could start our visit with a prayer and if they needed anything special that we could ask for. Turns out the husband went to the doctor the other day for something in his eye and the doctor told him he needed a biopsy, so they are really worrying about that. We prayed and had an amazing lesson with them. its interesting, we teach A LOT of people here, but there are certain people that you teach that you just feel something special when you´re with them. I felt that way with this family. The son is 10 and is so cute! They don't attend a church but he knows a ton about God and religion. I'm excited to teach them more!! 


I'm really happy to be staying in this area with Sister Downs! I feel like the last 6 weeks I'ive learned more about being a missionary than any other transfer! I'm excited to keep learning and meeting new amazing people here in Brasil! I hope you all are doing well! I miss you guys tons but I'm so happy to be here right now! Every day I have moments where I think about how blessed I am to be doing what I'm doing!


amo voces!!

Sister Pehrson

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014



Greetings from Fortaleza :) This week was full of adventures...Good,(like finding new great people to teach!) and bad (like having cockroaches in my bedroom)! 

Monday was great as always! In the evening we taught a lady we met last week, but she wasn't willing to change so we won't be teaching her anymore. I think that's one of the hardest things as a missionary, especially here in Brasil. We have tons of people who will listen to our message, but only a few are really willing to sacrifice and change their lives. It's sad because I want everyone to have the happiness I do! But you just have to believe that everything will work out one day. After that we had FHE with Darlyene, who is returning to the church, and a family in our ward. The family has this little girl, Belinha, and shes the cutest toddler I've ever seen! I'll be sending you guys a picture of her. It's just impossible to describe her. During the lesson she had a cup of water and she would dip her hand in it and then rub the water on my legs and arms, like she was giving me a bath. Her sister gave the closing prayer and it was super long and Belinha kept saying ´´Amen´´ because she wanted it to end! It was so funny!


Tuesday we went to teach a lesson in the very end of our area. We got there and we ended up not being able to teach the guy because he was locked inside his house. haha. His mom had the keys and wouldn't be returning for a while so we just marked for a different day. Definitely the weirdest reason I've had for not teaching someone during my mission!But it turned out perfect because we checked on a member who hasn't been to church in quite a few years and ended up getting to teach her daughter! She had tons of questions and thought the story of Joseph Smith was really cool. She doesn't live in our area, but we gave her address to the Elders there, so now she´ll be taught! After that we taught a lady that always comes to English class but I never knew that she is a member of our chruch. She was baptized a few years ago but stopped coming. She has a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon, and after our visit she agreed to start reading it again, so we will see what happens! Afterwards we went to teach Neto and when we got there he was sitting by his grandma crying really hard. He had just found out that his 2 year old neice died :( It was so sad and he was really upset), but we had an incredibly spiritual lesson with him. he invited his whole family to come out and hear us talk about the plan of salvation. It was really great to be able to share my testimony of this plan with their family! Afterwards, we were passing by Anderson and Josy´s house and saw that they were in the middle of moving, so we ended up helping them out for the rest of our night! It was awesome because generally Brasillians won't let other people help them out. But it was perfect! Sadly they moved out of our area, But the Sisters in their new area will keep teaching them, so it will be great! 


Wednesday was good! In the morning we had District Meeting. In the afternoon we went and taught Tiago. He told us he had visited our church on Sunday! We were all confused and thinking he had visited the wrong church, but he described exactly how our church looks on the inside. He said that he got there about 10 minutes before the meeting started and he looked for us but we weren't there so he just left haha. We weren't there because we were waiting for Neto to finish getting ready! But he said he wants to visit the church even more now than he did before! So thats a plus! Afterwards we went to teach Neto. He was just acting really weird. It was sad because we had an awesome member with us who had experiences to share with him to help him but it didn't work out! The good thing is that we took the member with us to visit other investigators, Francisco and Rizangela. It was such an awesome lesson! They have been reading from the Book of Mormon but they weren't understanding a whole lot. So we taught them more about the book, read with them and told them how they can know if it's true or not! They are a really great couple. They have a lot of love for one another, which isn't super common in couples here in Brasil, so I'm super excited to keep teaching them! We ended the night finding a really awesome family! The mom's name is Senate. She has attended lots of different churches in her life but still hasn't found ´´the one´´. She feels like everybody teaches the same thing and there's a lot of hypocrisy in religion. But we taught the restoration and it was really powerful! We´re going to go back and teach them this week.


Thursday morning we found this awesome lady. She's been a little disillusioned by religion but she has a lot of faith in God. She has attended and studied lots of different churches, but never ours! We taught her the restoration and she thought it was pretty amazing. I feel like this week especially, I have seen a lot of people who ´´are kept from the truth because they know not where to find it´´. Every time I teach them the restoration I just get so excited because they don't have to search anymore! In the afternoon we were able to teach one of invetigators. We created a plan with him to help him quit drinking so we will see what happens! He told us he really wants to quit and is ready now. I sure hope so! We also chose a new date for his baptism so that made him more motivated as well. The good thing is that he really does want to quit, he just doesnt know how. So we´ll just keep working with him! In the evening we taught a man who was baptized in May. He received the Priesthood on Sunday and is pretty excited about it! We talked with him about the temple and how there will be a temple here soon and that we want to help him prepare to go there with his family. It's a little hard because he is super strong but his wife isn't doing very well right now, so we will just keep working with them until they are all strong and ready to get to the temple! 


Friday was a really, really good day! I was feeling a little down in the morning because I was just thinking about the fact that I have worked 13 months as a missionary now, sometimes I feel like I would be helping more people if I had stayed in the U.S. The language is still super hard for me and there are lessons where I feel like I'm not doing anything! I was talking to Sister Downs about this and she helped me a lot. She shared some verses from Ether 12 when Moroni was talking about our weaknesses. Everybody always talks about verse 27 but she showed me the verses before and after which really helped me out. Moroni was talking about how the Lord asked him to write the record of his people and he felt really inadequate. He was worried that people would read what he wrote and make fun of it because he wasn't good at writing. Sister Downs pointed out that it doesn't matter if I'm not speaking as well as I'd like to or if I don't feel like I'm doing any good or helping any one. What matters is that God sent me here and if I'm trying to do all I can and being obedient and just trying, then that's enough! There is always purpose in our struggling! I don´t know why Heavenly Father sent me here for only 6 months, knowing that I wouldnt speak the language very well in the start and maybe I will never speak like I want to! But I know that he sent me here and he sent me for a reason! I just have to be patient and keep on trying!! The rest of the day was awesome after that pep talk! :) It wasn't the most successful day because it was holiday here and almost all of our appointments fell through. But in the evening we taught a couple we met last week. We took the Patriarch that lives in our ward with us. The husband of the couple has a lot of interest, but a lot of doubts too. Especially about the Book of Mormon! But the Patriarch helped us out a lot. He knows the bible really well and was able to help the man overcome a lot of his doubts. 


Saturday was good! In the morning before English class we taught Carolina, a young mom. She is doing great! Her baby is sleeping more, so she will definitely be able to visit the church here pretty soon! After that we had English class! I am learning a lot about the patience that Heavenly Father has! Learning a new language is hard. We mess up time and time again and yet he still loves us! I am just trying to follow his example and not get upset at myself and others for our weaknesses! We taught Cristielen, who is the neice of a member that night and the lesson went really well! She is 9 years old and is really excited to learn about the gospel! She's really fun to teach!


Sunday was so great! Both Neto and Cristielen came to church! When church ended we were walking in the hallway and we saw Neto walking into a room with the Patriarch and another member. We asked what they were doing and Neto told us he was getting a blessing. The Patriarch gave him a blessing and it was perfect. Neto got really emotional and asked if he could give the patriarch a hug. It was so sweet!  It was good to see that he learned that he has people in the church who will help him out. We were talking with the member afterwards and he told us Neto had asked him for the blessing. We haven't taught him about blessings or ever talked about them before, So I'm not sure where he heard about them but I'm glad that he got that blessing because it was a really powerful spiritual experience for him! In the afternoon we taught Cristielen! She loved church and is going to invite her parents to come to church with her next week!

So that's my week for ya! The weeks just keep flying by and they are full of miracles and challenges but I love every minute of it! I'm sweatier than I've ever been in my life, but I'm also happier than I've ever been! :) I love you all so much!!!

Boa semana para voces!


Sister Pehrson

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014

This week was awesome!! A little intense and crazy, but awesome nonetheless!! 

On monday after we finished emailing we went and taught Neto! We taught him about the word of wisdom and we thought it would be a piece of cake!But he had a hard time accepting the whole no coffee thing. In the end he decided he could give it up! It was so funny that day when we taught him he was thanking us for our visits and he said he really likes our visits, and not just because we´re pretty. haha! He is awesome! Our night was really awesome too! We had a family home evening with a lady who works on Sunday's so she doesn't come to church much. We taught about temples. It's a little hard to motivate people here to be worthy of a temple recommend. The closest temple is in Recife.  Not everybody has the means to go there and the temple here probably won't be finished for another 5 years. So it's a little hard, but we are working on helping people reallly have a vision and desire to get to the temple! I remember before my mission when I heard they were building a temple here. I was super excited and thought it was really cool! But now i am so, so, SOOOO excited to have a temple here. These people need it!!! I hope I can come back for the dedication! After that lesson our other appointment fell through so we worked on setting up our appointments for the next day. Lots of our appts here fall through because people just forget, so it was good to be able to stop by and remind them that we´d be coming the next day!


Tuesday was super good! The family we ate lunch with has a son who is always visiting people with us and helping us out. On Monday he told us he had a surprise for us at our lunch. We were thinking it would be some sort of food, but when we got to their house for lunch we found Neto sitting there!! The son had invited Neto for lunch!! It was seriously the greatest thing ever!!! I'm definitely going to do stuff like that for the missionaries when I get home! After lunch we taught Neto. We decided we would give something up to help him with his decision! I chose soda! It's super hard because EVERYONE and their mother here gives us soda, but I´m 6 days without soda now and stayin strong :) And now I will really know how it is to quit something you really, really, really like!! It will definitely be good for me! After teaching Neto we taught Tiago. Lessons with him are so interesting. We literally dont teach! We read a few verses with him and he understands everything! He can never come to church because of his work. But he will visit some day! After that we taught this man and his wife who we met last week. they turned out to be pretty solid! They had really good questions and have a lot of interest in the gospel, so we will see what happens! After that we helped some people who were recently baptized learn about family history! It was really fun!


Wednesday was awesome! In the morning we taught Neto about fasting and tithing. Not only did he accept fasting as a commandment, but he's super excited to try it out! haha being a missionary makes me realize that I should be way more excited to do things like fasting! After lunch we taught Luiziane! She's super sweet. She was baptized recently and doing her best to stay strong in the gospel, and we are helping her out! Later that night we had the coolest lesson with a girl named Brenda. She was baptized when she was 8 but stopped going to church for awhile. The sisters here have been working with her to help her come back and right now she's doing super well! She's studying the scriptures and going to church and praying! She's so awesome! She's also preparing to receive her patriarchal blessing!! So we talked with her about that and it was really special. It was one of those lessons where youre teaching but you're also learning! 


Thursday was soo amazing! First we had our zone conference which was great! The assistant's shared a really inspiring message about developing Christ like attributes. They challenged us to choose one we want to work on and I felt like I should work on charity! I'm nice to people to their face a lot but sometimes I dont have the nicest thoughts about them and I don't go out of my way to serve others like the Savior did, so I'm going to work on developing this attribute and really following Christs example. I also started studying the new testament so I can see how the Savior showed his love for others so I can follow his example! After that President Bonini spoke and man was it powerful! I have no doubt that he is called of God! It was really cool! He talked about good families, better families, and the best families to teach and how if we want to teach the best families we have to be the best missionaires. The qualifications for the best missionary weren't what I thought they'd be. It was all about doing good and then inspiring others to do the same. I'm really excited to work on becoming the best missionary I can be and really implementing the things he talked about into my service! After the conference we taught Neto. We spent an hour talking to him about repentance and about God's love for him. The spirit was so strong!!

On Friday we spent all morning studying and trying to figure out what we could do to help our investigators. We went to our lesson and found the person very sad. We shared a few scriptures. I never saw that person more sad than I saw him that day. He gave us all the alochol he had in his house and we threw it out. He also told us that day he had lost his job, so he didn't have that to distract him anymore! That entire day I was so worried about him. It's interesting how as a missionary we don't just have our own lives to worry about but were constantly worried about what the people we are teaching are doing and their sadnesses become our sadnesses too! It's a weird feeling. The rest of our day was great! We were able to teach some awesome people who are really prepared to hear our message! The adventure of the day was that on Thursday night we didn't have water again. It's normal to not have it at night sometimes but we woke up on Friday and still didn't have it! We came home that night and expected to have it, but we still didn't have it!!! We finally got to shower on Saturday morning and it was the best feeling of my life!! I probably looked and smelled a lot like Mom and Dad did on trek :) 


Saturday was so awesome! We had english class and Neto came!! I was so, so, so happy! The bad part was that he was not feeling well at all. He was super dizzy and could hardly sit still. He looked soo miserable! But I'm happy we get to help him! In the afternoon we taught some awesome people! One is Maria, who is in her 50s. She has a church but she said she's never really felt anything there and that she's never had an answer to a prayer. I'm excited to teach her more! Also we taught Francisca, who has the fattest, cutest baby ever! His name is Mateus. One of the hardest rules as a missionary is that we can't hold little kids :(That night we had a really cool experience! We were standing near a bus stop and this lady asked us if we were waiting for the bus. We told her no and she looked disappointed and said she didn't want to wait there alone because it's dangerous there at night. We told her we would wait with her! We waited and waited and waited and her bus never came! But it was awesome because we got to teach her and she basically told us her whole life story. She's definitely prepared to hear the gospel! She doesn't live in our area, but the elders will teach her! It's cool to see how God works and places us in the paths of people we need to talk to! Nothing is ever coincidence! 


Sunday was good! Like most sunday mornings it started out a little stressful. We were doing our Sunday morning church round up and NO ONE was answering their doors!! We were a little bummed out and when we got to church Neto wasn't there. We quickly ran to his house and had to wake him up. We waited a bit and he got ready and came to church. And church definitely helped him out. After church we had lunch and it was our 3rd time in a row eating lasagna. the lasagna here is good, but super heavy! I couldnt eat it all so I had to hide some of it in my napkin. In the afternoon we were teaching a family who had a bunch of pet birds. Their cages were on the ceiling and I got pooped on during the lesson. Sacrifice brings blessings, right? :) That night we taught Manuele who was baptized a while ago. She has a boyfriend who isn't the greatest guy and she was asking us what she should do so we talked to her about personal revelation and it was a really good lesson. She was a little upset with us because we asked her what she would do if the Lord told her to leave her boyfriend, but in the end she said that she would do whatever god asked her to do! So we will see what happens! 

I love my companion! She's teaching me a ton and I love serving with her!

Keep Neto in your prayers this week!

I hope you all have an amaaazing week! Love you all so much and am so grateful to have a family like you!

amo voces!!! 

Sister Pehrson