Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014

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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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

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

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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



Sister Pehrson

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Sister Pehrson


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 3, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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


I love you all and thanks for being so amazing!

Sister Pehrson