Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 15, 2014

This week was awesome!! Well, really it didn´t seem all that great til the end of the week, but it all went well so that´s what matters!! I think one of the most interesting things about the mission is that there are days and weeks that are really, really rough and hard things happen, but you always just remember the good stuff! This week really was great, so I´m excited to tell ya all about it!

Monday night we had 2 Family Home Evenings. The first was with a member and we brought a recent convert with us. It was awesome! This member is always, always, ALWAYS helping us out! I want to be a member like him when I get back home! After that we had FHE with Darlyene. She had a friend there who wasn´t really talking with us all that much but when we were getting ready to leave she asked us where we live and if she could walk home with us. The whole way home she talked our ears off and really opened up to us so that was pretty awesome! It´s interesting how much people trust you as a missionary. I know I´ve learned a lot in the past months, but I´m still just a 21 year old. I am grateful for the people that are willing to trust us!

I don´t know what it is about Tuesdays lately, but the past couple of weeks Tuesdays have been rough! It started out great. We taught a lesson about the restoration. The person said she is just really confused because she was taught differently her whole life and now we´re here, telling her that the church we represent is actually the truth. But we talked about how she can receive an answer because she has never really gotten an answer to prayer. In the afternoon we taught a young man we met last week. he´s 13, but he´s a really thoughtful 13 year old! He has lots of questions about religion, He feels like he´s still too young to choose to decide just one church to attend. The lesson with him was pretty awesome! His Pentecostal cousin was there and was pretty cool. I learned one thing that day: Get comfortable when you ask a Pentecostal pray. His prayer was about 15 minutes long and he was talking really fast and shouting. Now keep in mind, I´m a missionary! I should enjoy praying! After that we taught Neto! Definitely the highlight of our day. On Sunday, after his baptism, we told him that he should write about his feelings and experience at his baptism. Today he shared with us what he wrote and it was so sweet! I´m so grateful I had the opportunity to teach him.

Wednesday we taught a family that we met a few weeks ago. We only met and taught the mom and son, but Wednesday we taught the dad too! It was really awesome because he´s definitely the leader of their family, so if he acts, the rest of them will act too. He said they´d come to church, but only the son ended up coming on Sunday, but we´ll keep trying with them! After that we taught Michelle. She has not been coming to church lately. She feels like everyone at church will judge her because she hasn´t been there in a while. So she doesn´t want to come back. It's a tough situation. Teaching her was really good because I felt so much love for her as we taught her.  I realized that she´s just a human with weaknesses just like the rest of us. It made me want to help her a lot more. that night we taught Alberto (our investigator who bore his testimony last week) with his wife. We taught him with some members and it was so awesome! In the middle of the lesson the member invited him to Family Home Evening this coming week and we didn´t even tell him to do that! Members are the best!

Thursday was amazing! We had the most incredible lesson with Florêncio in the morning. We really weren´t sure what we needed to teach him. He's reading the Book of Mormon and progressing super well. So we really had no idea what we´d teach. We got there and he provided the topic for our lesson! It was sooo cool because he found a page in the Portuguese version of the Book of Mormon that we didn´t even know existed! It´s the introduction to the guide to study the scriptures (they don't have topical guide, bible dictionary, etc. in the Portuguese scriptures. It´s all together and is called ´guia para estudar as escrituras´) and it has an example of how to study the scriptures. The example was for eternal marriage. We had shown him the temple and talked a bit about eternal marriage, But he found the definiton in the scripture study guide and when he was talking to us about what he read, he started to cry because he wants his family to be forever! It was so sweet! We know for sure that he has tons of potential, and we have to start teaching his wife too! Seriously coolest lesson ever! The other big news was that that night when I got home I got a phone call from Sister Evans, the Senior Sister in the mission. She works in the office. She first asked which airport I´d  be flying in to when i return home. I told her Hawaii... I hope you guys are okay with that? ;) She told me that President is giving everyone in my transfer the option of going home on the 15th of December or the 29th like it was planned. She told me everyone else was going home the 15th, so I jumped on the bandwagon and...I´LL BE HOME FOR  CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! December 15! Can you believe it? It´s so crazy. I can't believe ther eis only 3 months left on my mission! I feel like I just started! But yeah, I´m so excited to be home with you guys, but also grateful that I still have 3 whole months to be a missionary! :) The other weird thing about that phone call was that it was in english (Sister Evans doesn´t speak ANY portuguese, her husband was the 1st missionary here in Fortaleza!! How cool is that? ) Talking in english was so hard! It's different when we´re teaching english class because we don't have an actual conversation. But I had to really think and I wanted to respond to everything in Portuguese! ahh!

Friday was really good! In the afternoon, we taught Eduarda. She was taught by some Elders in São Paulo years ago and visited the church a lot, but is still not a member. We taught her about the restoration and it was a very interesting experience for me. Eduarda LOVES to talk! As a missionary after you´ve spent all day in the hot sun, you get REALLY tired. It can be a big temptation to just zone out when people are talking a lot. I tried my hardest to focus and she ended up telling us how she understands everything the Elders taught her except for Joseph Smith! So we were able to know exactly what she needed to be taught. It's funny how little things like listening make the biggest difference. In the evening we taught Ed. We met him a while ago and he has a cousin who is a member, but they were both really busy all month. This week we finally got it combined to have a lesson with them. It went well! Ed is still more curious about the church than actually having interest in being a member, but that can always change. And he has family in the church so that also makes a huge difference! Another highlight of Friday was eating pão de cóco at this bakery we really like. pão de cóco is one of the most delicious things ever! It's kind of like a roll but sweeter and it has coconut on top. Brasillian bakeries are definitely a win!

Saturday made the rest of our week all worth it. We really weren´t having luck teaching lots of people earlier in the week, But saturday everybody was in their house and we taught some really amazing people! In the morning we taught English class and it was a ton of fun. We taught about height and weight since its measured differently here. Everyone got upset when we did the weight because kilograms make it look like you weigh less than you do in pounds. For example, if you weigh 60 kg, you weigh about 120 pounds. So everyone was all upset and thinking they were fat after they did the math and found their weight in pounds, haha. I love teaching English! It's so much fun! In the afternoon, we taught Maria! It was the most awesome lesson with her! We brought a member with us and she was perfect for Maria. Maria is a little slow to understand, but once she understands, she really gets it. She asks a lot of questions too which is super nice for us! But we taught the plan of salvation and it went awesome. In the evening we were going to teach a family but we felt like we needed to stop by Florêncios house and see if his wife was home. She was and we got to teach her! It was such a blessing because before Florêncio was telling us that his wife thinks what he´s learning is weird and all this stuff, but we talked to her that night and taught her the first lesson and she was so sweet and really liked what we taught! I think before she didn´t trust us very much, but after that lesson she realized that we are trying to help them and she committed to come to church the next day.

Sunday was awesome because we had a bunch of people at church for their first time! Florêncio and his wife came, Alberto and his wife were there, and Eduardo. Eduardo is 12 and is just awesome. I gave my first talk in portuguese!! I was really nervous but I think it went well. The members said they liked it, but I´m not sure if they just said that because they like me or if it was really good. but I didn´t forget any words or say anything offensive, so I´ll count it as a blessing :) In the afternoon, the other sisters in our ward had a baptism. We passed by Maria´s house and invited her to come. We told her we´d pass by again and walk with her to the baptism. When we came back she wasn´t there so we assumed she didn´t want to go. But we got to the baptism and she was sitting there and she had her boyfriend with her! We set up a lesson to teach both of them next Saturday!

I feel like this week was a huge test of diligence for me. There were times where nobody was home and it was so hot and I just wanted to sleep! But we kept working and it wasn´t until the very end of the week that we saw the fruits of our labors. There are times on the mission where we won't see any fruits at all, but the important part is that we just keep on going. I am going to do my best to remember that 3 months is so short and I have to make the best of the time I have left to serve here!

I love you all soo much! I am so excited to see you in December, and am so grateful for the help you´ve given me as I´ve been here. A lot of times my family is what I think about when I am having a hard time getting motivated! I know the happiness our family has, and I want everybody to have it!

I hope you have an awesome week! Love you all to the moon and back!
Sister Pehrson

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 8, 2014

Ahhh I´m so excited to write you all about this week! Seriously, it was perfect! There was no throwing up during lessons, we had a baptism, and it was just awesome! :)

Monday: Once p day ended we knocked a few doors and met this guy who has a ton of potential! We´re gonna go back and teach him tomorrow night and I´m super excited! He knows a lot about religion but never studied ours, so I´m excited to see what will happen! After that we stopped and saw Tatiane. She visited the ward where Cristielen will be attending and found a house there. They will probably be moving in the next couple of weeks! Of course I´m sad to see them go, but I´m really excited that it will all work out so Cristielen can be baptized! After that we had family home evening with Igor. It was his 17th birthday and all he wanted to do was have family home evening with a bunch of his friends and us, the missionaries! There aren´t many 17 year olds in the world like Igor...that's for sure! After that we had one more family home evening with the family of Irmão Antoni and Neto! It was awesome because Antonio´s nephew gave the lesson and I think it helped him (the nephew) gain a stronger testimony so that was cool!

Tuesday was one of those days where you just walk. and walk. and walk and walk and walk....and don´t teach much! BUT the lessons we did have were awesome, so I will count my blessings! In the morning we taught a lesson with 2 ladies. One has been acting uniterested since her family started saying stuff about the church. But on this day she told us she's just been upset at her families reaciton to the church because she wants them to have the truth too. She said she's been trying to share what shes learning with them, but they won't accept it. It was good to hear that she still wants to be baptized and knows this is true. We talked to her about how she can be an example to her family through her actions. In the afternoon we taught a lesson with a person we have been teaching for quite a while. It was funny because we taught him about missionary work and how we should all preach the gospel. We asked him how his life has changed since we started teaching him and he said that before he littered a lot, but now he doesn't like to throw his garbage in the street. Haha! Good to know he´s learning something from us...Another funny story from a lesson this week is that we were trying to tell a man what he needs to wear UNDER his clothes for his baptism, but we didn't know the words in Portuguese. So Sister Downs used the word she thought was underwear but it turns out that there is a word for boxers and a word for little girls underwear.Sis Downs used the word for little girls underwear so he just started laughing at us. Oh the joys of speaking Portuguese.

Wednesday started out a lot like tuesday. We kept trying to visit people but weren't having much luck! But like always, a miracle happened and everything worked out amazingly! We knocked this door and a lady answered. Without even asking who we were she opened her door and let us in. Within the first few moments I just knew she was a special person! Her name is Net. She knows a few people that she works with who are members of the church, but she doesn´t know much about he church itself. So we taught her the Restoration and she told us how she knew God sent us because that morning she was listening to the radio and a pastor was talking about baptism. She felt like it was God reminding her that she needs to be baptized. So when we showed up that night inviting her to be baptized, she knew only God could have sent us! She is seriously amazing!! She has a really crazy schedule so we can't teach her a ton during the week, but she has set a baptism date of September 28 now so we will see what happens!!

Thursday was awesome! In the morning we taught Lucas who was baptized recently. It was an awesome lesson! We are helping him prep to be a missionary so we started a new thing where we leave a part of preach my gospel with him to study and the next time we come back, he will teach it to us! In the afternoon we taught a mom and a son we met the other day. They are really cool and receptive, but they aren´t the most willing to act, so we will see what happens! We marked a baptism date with them, but I´m not sure if it will happen when we planned because they didn't come to church Sunday. We also taught Neto that day and prepped him for his baptism interview! He was so excited to be baptized! That night we ended up visiting a lady in the Ward. It was really good because she shared some stories about her life and the struggles she's having right now. We set a goal for her to go the temple. I´m excited for when that will happen!!

Friday was seriously unlike ANY day I´ve had on my mission thus far...I went on exchanges to another area with one of the Sister Training Leaders. literally the whole day, ALL of our appointmentsts fell through. EVERYTHING!! It was ridiculous!! I´ve never had such terrible luck! We had a member with us who knows ALL the Sisters in this mission and is very blunt about who she likes and doesn´t like. I don´t think she liked me very much. The whole day I felt like the third wheel while she talked to the sister I was with. It was pretty miserable. I was feeling a little sad because this member didn´t seem to like me much and I was just thinking about how it's hard for me to really befriend the members here because of the language and culture barriers and everything. But we went to the last lesson of the night it was the only one not to fall through. We taught the restoration and it was SO powerful. I got to share the first vision and I felt the spirit so strongly as I taught about Joseph Smith´s experience. As we were leaving, the lady we taught told me that I have a special spirit of calmness about me that is unlike any other and she was so happy I shared it with her. It was, honestly, exactly what I needed to hear and be reminded of! I just need to be me and fulfill my calling and the rest doesn´t matter! There will be people who don´t like me, but if I change for every person that doesn´t like me, who would I be? So that was really cool to learn and see one of the gifts that God has given me and how it is helping someone here! Even though the rest of the day wasn´t the greatest, I at least learned a ton and had that spiritual experience!

Saturday was awesome! In the morning we taught english class which is always a ton of fun! Saturday was especially great. During the class, Neto was interviewed for his baptism and everything went perfect for him. So that was awewsome! In the afternoon we met up with our ward mission leader and planned stuff for the baptism. He is so awesome! He continues to learn about his calling as he goes. He has never served a mission or anything so this was all new to him. But he is so humble and teachable, so he's great to work with. He was doing everything possible to make this baptism great for Neto and I´m so glad we have him in our ward! In the evening we taught a family. We brought along a member and he was the perfect person to bring with us. Then we taught this lady and her family who we met in the street the other day. Their house is on top of another house, and they were all hanging out on the deck. It was so perfect because it was night time and their house doesn´t have lots of street lights nearby so the stars and the moon were sooo pretty! We taught the restoration and the whole time the entire family was just full of great questions. It was an amazing lesson!

Sunday was seriously the BEST!! Tiago, our investigator whose real name is florencio, (we found out we´ve been calling him the wrong name the last 2 months..not sure how we got Tiago haha!) came to church, as well as Alberto. Alberto bore his testimony haha! It was awesome! After church we had 2 awesome lessons and then had Neto´s baptism! I honestly think this was my favorite baptism on the mission. Maybe it's just because it was most recent, but really everything went so perfectly!! It was so awesome to see him in all white! His jumpsuit was huge and he looked like a little kid wearing his dads clothes, but it was one of the most beautiful things I´ve ever seen! He was so happy!! His Aunt, Grandma and Cousin were all there with him and TONS of ward members were there to support him too! The talks were amazing and I got to do a musical number! I was so nervous because I´ve never sang in public in Portuguese, but before I sang, I prayed that it would bring the spirit and when I finsihed, I looked up and Neto was crying! It was so sweet and I´m so happy he was able to feel the spirit so strong! The spirit was strong during the whole baptism and I just felt rejuvenated and ready to help more people change the way Neto did. It is such a good feeling when you are helping someone you love SO much grow closer to God! There really is no greater joy I´ve felt than this, and I want to fill my final months here with more experiences like yesterday!
Here is a picture from the Baptism:
This is our Ward Mission leader withNeto, his Aunt, Grandmother and Cousin
 This is Igor, Neto and Antonio

So that was my week. Our plan is to keep on doing the Lord´s work! I feel so blessed to be here and to be helping people out as well as learning so much myself!

Love you all!!!!
Sister Pehrson

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September 1, 2014

Happy Monday to the best family in the whole wide world!!! 

I hope your week went great! Mine was full of adventures as always!! Some good, some not so good, but thats just life! :) 

Monday after p day ended we taught this family we met last week, Paulo and Cristina. they have a little girl who is 2 years old. Paulo is very well educated! He studied theology and stuff like that so he thought the story of Joseph Smith was pretty awesome. We left them with the challenge to read The Restoration pamphlet! After that we had family home evening with our investigators Alberto and Neto in the house of one of the ward members. They had invited a bunch of other members too! We talked about Christ and how he is our perfect example. We played gestures, we wrote our favorite thing that Christ did, like one of his miracles, on a piece of paper and one person had to read it and then act it out and then we had to guess. Well, I wrote out this really detailed description, and I still don´t write very well in Portguese. so our investigator Alberto chose my paper and he had to act it out. No one could guess what he did and he was not sure what to do based on what i wrote! haha i felt so bad. But it was fun! After that we had another family home evening with Darlyene and her family.  Shes come to church about 3 weeks in a row now, woohoo! she made  a ´´vitamina´´which is basically a milkshake. best thing EVER! 


On Tuesday morning we taught Neto! He has been reading in the Book of Mormon, but wasn't understanding a ton of what he was reading. so we read with him and helped him comprehend more of what he´s reading. We spent from 1:00 til 6:00 knocking doors and talking to people in the streets. We went to the very end of our area and discovered that we can see the beach!! ITS SO PRETTY!! We knocked almost every door on the street we chose and met some really awesome people. One of them is Ed, which here in brasil is pronounced edge. He is probbaly in his late 20s. He doesn't go to church but believes in God. We were talking with him for a long time and then he said, ´´Oh! i think my cousin goes to your church!´´ We asked his name and turns out his cousin goes to the other ward that attends in our chapel But we know him really well and he's aewsome! So that was so amazing and he said he'd visit the church with his cousin! So I'm excited to see what´ll happen with him! Later that night we taught Lucia. She's an awesome person! She works almost every Sunday so she isn´t able to come to church often, but she definitely has a testimony. We will follow up with her this week! It was a cool experience when we visit with her because it showed me the power of the spirit in teaching. We can't just teach whatever lesson we wanna teach. We have to teach what the spirit tells us to because thats what the person needs to hear! 


Wednesday we had district meeting in the morning! My new district leader is the same district leader I had in the CTM in Provo!! Elder Tenney! It's so much fun to be in the same zone as him. He is a great missonary! We have lots of awesome people in our zone and that  keeps me excited! In the afternoon we talked with a ton of people but nobody wanted to talk to us haha. The most difficult hours of the day here are between 1 and 4 because everyones napping. I don't know why we don't get to nap because we´re the ones who need it..but whatever ;) In the evening we taught Neto. Afterwards we had a meeting with a member of the Ward Council, the Bishop, and our Ward Mission Leader. The high council member created a plan with the stake presidency that he's been showing to all the ward mission leaders and bishops here. The plan is to help the missionaries work with members more closely. So he helped us all see how we can work together better. He had tons of good ideas for us to try out and he's going to help us with the work in our area. I'm excited to work with him and get the ward even more involved. We´re definitely blessed in this area because we ALWAYS have help of the members, but it can always improve! 

I´m not gonna lie, Thursday was just rough. There are just days on the mission where you feel like nothing is happening and nothing you are doing is helping anyone out. its completely illogical to feel this way, but there are just days like that. So Thursday was not my favorite day haha. but there was still good parts. the high lights of the day were that we saw the ocean again with sand and everything and we also taught this really cool family that the other sisters told us about. They don't have a religion or anything but they believe in God. We taught them the plan of salvation and will go back and teach them this week! The other part that was super sad about thursday is that we found out Cristielen cant be baptized in our ward. she doesn't live in our area. We knew that. But we thought it would be okay because she always spends the weekends with her Aunt, who lives in our ward. So we figured that since her support system in the church was in our ward, it would all work out. President Bonini felt like we would be best to attend the Ward in which she lives. I get it but it was still super sad! So we are working on getting things figured out with the Elder's in her area so she can be baptized over there.


Friday was awesome! We had a conference in the morning with Elder Mazzugari (not sure how to spell his name). but it was great! I always feel super inspired and ready to work even harder after transfers. It was cool because I went with a specific question in mind and he talked specifically about the question that I had. I love it when that happens! After that we went and taught Cleviane. She´s the girl who was baptized about 3 years ago. We talked about the Book of Mormon. She's really working to gain a testimony of it. Afterwards we taught Paulo and Cristina again! It was so awesome!! We talked about the Book of Mormon and they were both really excited to read it. Paulo said he really wants to know more about our church. He knows we wouldn't just leave our families and coutries for something we really didn't love and know is true. I thought that was pretty awesome! After that we went and told Tatiane, cristielens aunt, about the baptism change. Of course she was sad, but she ended up telling us that she is planning on moving and she thinks she might move to where Cristielen lives. So turns out that this really was a part of God´s plan and that one way or another Cristielen will for sure be baptized! I just want what's best for her! So we are just praying that all will work out and Tatiane will find a house over there. That was a really cool experience because really it was hard to be obedient and trust in President Bonini´s decision. But really if we are obedient and just trust in God, everything works out! After that we taught Neto! It was so cool because when we got there, Irmao Antonio was there with Neto. It turns out he had just decided to spend the day hanging out with Neto. It made me so happy that we have members here who help us with the work and who are really friends with the people we teach! I know that Neto will be so strong in the church after his baptism because he has tons of support from the members! 

 Saturday turned out way different than what I expected it to be. I woke up with a horrible stomach ache and had my first experience with South American Revenge! I can say I have officially served in Brasil now. I kept getting ready after that and I was still not feeling good at all. I laid down until our first lesson at 9. I didn't want to miss any appointments that day because we had tons of awesome people to teach! So we got to our first lesson and our investigator started telling us how her family isn't supporting her in her decision to join the church and she's thinking about giving up. It was super intense and the whole time I was sweating and starting to get light headed. I knew I was gonna throw up. I asked her if I could use her bathroom because I thought was feeling sick. I ran to the bathroom and threw up! haha definitely a first in my mission!! After that I washed my face off and cleaned up a bit and then we finished teaching her. I guess you could say it was a pretty sick lesson.. ha :) After that we had to teach English class. Then we came home and called Sis Bonini because Sister Downs was feeling sick too. She told us to stay inside until we felt better. She didn't throw up but she had the revenge issue. We think that we drank some juice that was made with water from the faucet when we were at a teaching appointment on Friday. Anyways, this "bug" knocked us out for the whole day! It was so sad because we literally had NINE APPOINTMENTS set up! :( But it will all work out. I am feeling much better now. I still can't eat very much but ´´this too, will pass´´.

 Sunday was great! Neto came to church but none of our other investigators came! We are still grateful that at least Neto was there. After church and lunch we taught a lady whose son was investigating the church for a while. We will go back and teach him later in the week. Then we went to teach Darlyene and she had a friend there who wasn't a member! We taught her the first lesson and it went great.  She doesnt live in our area (this always happens to us haha) but we are working on setting things up to get her taught in another area! Sunday evening is now reserved for weekly planning, so we spent the rest of our night planning! 

 I'm so excited for this week! Neto is set to be baptized Sunday, so please keep him in your prayers! He has worked so hard to prepare himself to be baptized.  I know he's ready, but he will definitely be tested this week!!  I love you all tons and am always praying for you!


Sister Pehrson