Tuesday, November 26, 2013

AHHH!! Batata no Banheiro!!!!!

Oi Minha Querida Familia!!

How is everyone?! Things are good here! It´s been a good week. We have worked SO hard and have also had SO much fun! 
This week was really special. We had the baptisms of Jimmy and Erica! They are so wonderful. Jimmy is 13 and Erica is 9. Their mom is getting ready to be baptized too, and hopefully their dad will continue meeting with us as well. It was a very simple baptism, but the spirit was so strong. These kids knew so much already without ever having been taught. It´s pretty amazing. We´re lucky missionaries to get to work with their family! (and I´m lucky to finally have names I can pronouce! haha)

One day this week, my companion went on a transfer to Santa Cruz and I stayed in our area with Sister Alves. We actually had to cover both areas... long story... and it was really tough. Sister Alves doesn´t speak much English so we struggled communicating a lot. It made me grateful for President Wright putting me with both a native Portuguese speaker and a reeally good English speaker. haha It was a hard day and I was EXHAUSTED by the end, but I think Grandma was probably there helping me with my acting skills. We did Charades a lot that day. haha Also that day, it was POURING rain. So I didn´t put on sunscreen. Bad idea. I got so burned! haha It was actually kind of embarrassing cuz everywhere we went people were like "woah." And now I know the words for "You are very red!" in Portuguese haha Ooops. I will never forget sunscreen again!

Picture of my crazy sunburn
This story is actually from last week, but I forgot to tell it, and it´s a little too good to pass up. haha! Anyway, we were teaching someone new and I didn´t understand a single word of what was happening. I thought it was going fairly well tho - I´ve gotten pretty good at reading expressions. haha! It all went well (I thought) and we said the closing prayer and stood up. Suddenly, the man started bawling. His wife came over to him and she was crying too. I had NO idea what was happening. Then, he got really serious and pointed his finger at us - and ran into another room. I was looking at my companion like "umm... translation?" But she didn´t say anything. Then, the man came back - walking towards us... with a sword! He pulled it out from the sling and I nearly started running. For a split second I thought we were in trouble. But then I remembered this isn´t the 1800´s and... if he was gonna threaten us it wouldn´t be with a sword. Also, my companion didn´t seem to mind it. So I stayed. It´s fine. Turns out... he dreamed he was the captain of a French Army and in it he saw this sword... which he was awarded with later in life after being in the real army? I´m not really sure... it was all very confusing, but my companion got a really good laugh after she heard my side of the story! haha ooooh language barriers...

This is our neighbors kitty. He is so cute!!!!! There are
two of them and they look exactly the same

Also, I had a really good Portuguese mess up this week!! Ready? So, I freaked out one day because a saw a HUGE cockroach. Seriously, biggest cockroach I´ve ever seen. Sister Alves taught me the word for cockroach. Which is "Barata." A few minutes later I was trying to wash my face. I looked up into the mirror and saw this HUGE cockroach was now in the bathroom with me - staring at me. I screamed and yelled "AHHH!! Batata no Banheiro!!!!!" And came out of the bathroom yelling "Batata!!!" Everyone nearly died laughing. Turns out I yelled "Potatoe in the bathroom!!!!!!" And ran thru the house screaming "Potatoe!!!" hahahah no wonder they didn´t do anything! haha good times...

Allergies to the
 mosquitoes here. 
I have so many of those huge bites it´s gross

Things were good this week. We work hard, and we´ve sure felt the blessings of hard labor. My companion and I are always laughing. I love it so much! Sister Furtado has taught me so much and I´m grateful to have her. She´s a powerhouse missionary and an amazing friend. I´m grateful she keeps me laughing. (:

Our first weeks pizza party!!

Well, I hope you all have wonderful Thanksgivings this week! We don´t really have thanksgiving here, but I want you all to know how grateful I am for you. I have the best family in the world and I am so grateful for each of you and for all you´ve done for me. I am so grateful to know that we get to be together forever! That is the happiest thought there is. I love you all so much!!

Sister Drea

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

First Week in Brazil!

Oi Minha Familia! Tudo Bem?

I´m in Brasil!! And wow, this keyboard is really weird. I don´t know how it works yet, so pardon my misspellings. haha AHHH I´M IN BRAZIL!!!! And I´m loving it. Brazil loves me too. You can tell by my 33 mosquito bites and massive sunburn. haha!! Seriously though, this is great. :) It has been the longest week of my entire life, I´m pretty sure. I can´t believe it´s only been a week since I left the states. It seriously feels like it´s been FOREVER. 

I´ll start from the top. Leaving NYC was kind of hard. I only had 3 months there, but I so loved being there. I got a King-like goodbye from my zone as I left to the airport - they all lined up on the street and waved as my car drove off. And I bawled. haha It was also very strange to be in a car again. I got to the airport and had like 5 hours to kill, so I walked around for a while trying to find a payphone. Instead, I found someone with a BYU shirt who let me use his phone to call home!! It was SO fun getting to talk to you!! ahhh I´m so grateful to the kind member who let me use his phone and then bought me some dinner before my flight. People are SO kind to missionaries. I felt so blessed. I felt so blessed again as I opened the package from Jen with all your letters in it and coloring pages! hehe ahhh that made me so happy!! Thank you all so much for doing that for me! I have the best family ever. Seriously, that made me so happy! And it was the perfect plane activity! haha I slept most of the way, thankfully. I was SO tired. I arrived in Sao Paulo and had no idea what I was doing. I realized I had to find my bags and check them to my next flight, but I didn´t know what my next flight was. I kind of freaked out a little, but then I saw someone waving an "LDS TRAVEL SERVICES" sign at me and I almost hugged her. haha She helped me to my next flight and off I went to Porto Alegre! 

In Porto Alegre, I met Sister Wright (Mission President´s wife) and my new companion, Sister Furtado. They´re great. :) We went to work immediately. Transfers are on Tuesday, so there´s not really time to unpack or anything because it´s not P-day... which is a little strange. But... it was okay. Sister Furtado is GREAT. She´s from Portugal, so I don´t understand a single word she says. But apparently it´s portuguese. haha She speaks English really well tho, so at least I´m not completely lost. I live with her and 2 other Brazillians and it has been SO much fun. Seriously, I have laughed more this week than I have my entire mission. Mostly because I´m horrible at Portuguese and I make silly mistakes. Like that one time I told my companion I was "very married" when I meant to say "very tired." bahahah (Consado vs. Casado... I think.) Thank goodness it was just my companion!  Another time I told someone that their lives would be "so much older" if they read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it. hhh... I meant to say "so much better" (Melhor vs. Velhor) haha it´s been an adventure I tell you what. But I have definitely loved it.
My first Brazil Mango!!! SO GOOD

First try of Chimarrao (Brazilian drink... people love it.
I don´t know how to spell it. But I´ll try again later)
My first Brazilian Pao de Queijo
Sister Furtado and I are white washing an area right now, which means that we started with nothing. We´re both new to the area so we don´t know where anything is. We started with no investigators... nothing. And we´re serving in the heart of Porto Alegre. I think the Lord is trying to get me to be a city girl. haha THIS city, however, is nothing in size compared to NYC. haha it´s so peaceful here. Kind of. Anyways... I LOVE Porto Alegre! It has been less than a week, but we have 13 new investigators. WHAT? haha I don´t think we had 13 the entire time I was in New York! We have seriously worked SO hard. We go contacting, but we actually talk to pĂ©ople, and we have to record how many we talk to. This week we talked to 151 people! And by "we" I mean "Sister Furtado." But I´ve mastered "Temos um convite para voce, Bem rapido! Nos somos missionarias... (and so forth)" I don´t know if that´s right in spelling... I just know how to say it. haha anyway, it´s been fun and I´m starting to be comfortable just talking to random people everywhere. After 151, I´m finally starting to feel comfortable. haha We never did that in NYC. Jimmy and Erica (new investigators) came to church with us on Sunday and Jimmy asked to be baptized next week! We´re pretty excited. I´ll let you know how that goes. haha The Portuguese is hard though. I am starting to understand people more, and I get bits and pieces of what they´re saying. I can respond very slowly. I´m just trying to not look too lost while Sister Furtado is teaching. 

Anyway, things are good here. This mission is a lot more strict than New York and ... I´m trying to be okay with it. I have to be okay with it. haha But the work is good. It´s still really weird for me to wrap my head around the fact that this is MY mission and that I´m not waiting for anything anymore. I´m hearing about other areas and my first reaction is "oh, I´ll never serve there." And then I´m like "WAIT. I might serve there! This is my mission!" haha it still hasn´t really hit. 

Survived the Porto Alegre rainstorm!!
And my shiny - sunscreened face to prove I was wearing sun screen. haha

It´s really nice here tho. This definitely isn´t the Brazil Aaron served in! We have a washing machine in our apartment (we didn´t even have that in NYC!) and a heated shower head, so our showers aren´t ice. I´m so grateful for that heated shower head. Cuz it goes out fairly frequently and when we have to take ice showers I kind of want to cry. But thank goodness at least half my showers are warm! The house is fairly nice, there are millions of mosquitoes and especially when it rains. OH - the rain!! Guys. This isn´t rain, this is like... hurricane. I love the rain, but rain as a missionary kind of bites. HOWEVER, for the first time in my life, I love the wind here! It´s SO hot sometimes (though I was still freezing in church. That must be universal!) that when the wind blows, Sister Furtado says "Seester, that wind. She is sent from heaven!" haha I love it. It cools off a lot at night tho so, I still get to sleep with all my blankets. :) Really though, the house is nicer than I thought it would be and living with 4 people is SO MUCH FUN!! Especially when they´re Brazillian/Portuguese. haha I love it.

A family we´re teaching - Jimmy and Erica are the kids :)
They´re helping me learn Portuguese and I love them.

This is a long email... I better send it off cuz I´m just rambling now. We had a lot to do today so we don´t have a ton of time, and next week we get to go to the temple!! So, our Pday will be on Tuesday (Temple is closed monday) and we´ll probably write in the morning before our session. 

This park is called Finland!! I found Finland in Brazil!
It´s a bad picture... but it will have to do. haha

My mission mailing address is:

Sister Andrea King
Caixa Postal 13008
Porto Alegre - RS
CEP: 91010-971

I love you all SOOOO much!! I hope everything is going well!! I miss you like crazy. Thanks for being so wonderful!

I love you!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Safely in Porto Alegre Brazil

Sister King with President & Sister Wright

Andrea made it safely to Brazil!! :)  Since we (her Mom & Dad) are a bit hard to get ahold of because of being in Africa on a mission, I (Drea's Mom) wrote a message to the mission to see if she made it safely: 

Dear Brazil Porto Alegre North Mission,
We are just inquiring to know if our daughter, Sister Andrea King arrived safely yesterday from New York City.
We have been very happy that her visa came and she’s so excited to be there. 
We hope all is well in Porto Alegre.

Many blessings, 
Elder & Sister King
Africa SE Area Mission
                                We got a prompt reply from Andrea's sweet Mission Mom:
Good morning Dear Sister King,
I was actually going to call you directly this morning and let you know that we had a delightful visit with your amazing daughter yesterday.  Thank you for making contact with me!  She looks great. 

She is incredible!  And she shared with me about the faith and diligence of her parents and her siblings.  We met her at the airport, she met her companion, and we took her to her area.  For now, she will be serving in Porto Alegre.  She was the last of 5 flights that arrived yesterday.  Our Pday is Monday and she will write more than.  

Elder and Sister King, your story has inspired us and strengthened our faith.  We feel very blessed to have your daughter serving with us!  She is very prepared and has great faith and diligence.  If you ever have any questions or concerns, please write immediately.  This is my personal email and I will respond immediately. Could you also tell me our time difference?  I usually call the parents when the missionaries arrive, but neither she or I knew how far apart our time was.   

May the Lord bless you for your selfless service and sacrifice!

Warmest regards,
Sister Wright 

Monday, November 11, 2013

A few final NYC pictures

                                                         Some Final NY Pics!

Elevator pic of my zone. haha

Us in Washington Square Park

Aimee!!! and Kade!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Visit from Family

Andrew and Hannah drove up to Albany and then rode with Victor & Jennifer into the city.  Saturday they all went to dinner together and they went to Andrea's ward the next morning.  What a great send off to Andrea just before she leaves for Brazil.  What a kind hearted President Morgan for giving permission for this family visit.

Here is Jennifer's description:
Seeing Andrea as a missionary was an incredible experience. Not many people get the opportunity to see "their" (parents, siblings, or children as) missionaries in action: I have always known Andrea was strong, but I couldn't otherwise have known that she is -this- strong.  When Andrea taught and testified about principles of the Gospel, she spoke with tremendous strength and conviction. As we sat at Olive Garden Saturday night, Andrea, fully enjoying her time with us but also watching the time, finally said it was time for them to share a message with us. She challenged us to watch for miracles in our daily lives and to write them down.
She hasn't been in NYC for long, but on Sunday we could see that she has very obviously already made a difference in her ward and with those she has helped teach. The ward was sad for Andrea to leave. One man, who Andrea has helped teach, very eagerly introduced himself to all of us -- her family and loved ones -- and couldn't stop singing her praises. Since it was her last Sunday in NYC, she had ward members handing her notes, cookies, and other gifts of love and appreciation. I think she has already made many life-long friends!

Andrew & Andrea

Andrew, Andrea, Hannah

Twins forever
Andrew, Andrea & Jennifer

Goodbye to Jen

Goodbye to Andrew

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Five Days till Brazil!

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for your wonderful emails! I loved them so much! It's been a good week. It's been crazy though. I can't believe I only have 5 days left in the United States! haha It blows my mind! But I'm SO EXCITEEEDDD!!! :D The other day I was awakened by our neighbor who was gagging and coughing. This wakes us up every morning. It's lovely, really. But anyways, I woke up Sunday morning to those horrendous noises and said to myself "eight more days." Then jolted out of bed "EIGHT MORE DAYS?!" in nervous energy cuz I had totally just scared myself. haha It's pretty crazy.

This was a good week though! First, we had Halloween!! Halloween here in the city is CRAAAZY! They quarantined us at 5 PM because apparently the Halloween parade gets a little out of hand. People were everywhere though and everyone was dressed up. We were on the train in the morning and I had the thought that people might think we were dressed up too! JUST after I was thinking about it, I heard someone say "Mormons." after a second, his friend leaned over to him while completely staring at us and whispered "Do you think they're real?" BAHAHAHA!!! It kind of made my day. It cracks me up how often people see us and just say "Mormons" and move on. haha weird. Being quarantined was fun tho. We did our weekly planning, then went downstairs to the Spanish Sisters' apartment (they live right below us) and watched the Testaments and... relaxed? Is that what we did? haha That's a rare commodity on a mission. It was pretty wonderful.
Halloween Party watching Testaments!

Then on Saturday we worked in the Bishop's Storehouse! Aimee, our investigator, signed herself up and asked us to come with her! haha She's incredible. Everyone was like "You're investigating, and you're volunteering here?!" Then they'd see us and be like "Oh, your missionaries brought you." and we'd be like "Nope. She brought us." haha it was so much fun though! What a cool opportunity! I had never seen a Bishop's storehouse (that I remember) so volunteering there was fun. Especially with Aimee. I'm gonna miss her. 
We decorated the sisters' window from our fire escape...

And we decorated the wrong windows.
So our Chinese neighbors know we love them! hahahah

We decorated the sister's windows to surprise them... But we're tired missionaries. And by tired I mean we're just unintelligent. And we decorated the wrong windows. So our Chinese neighbors know we love them! hahahah So we had to take the sisters on our fire escape and show them our beautiful art. :P OOOOPS.

This week, Travis accepted a baptismal date for November 30th! We've been teaching him for about 4 weeks? He just showed up to church one day and asked to know more. haha! Every missionary's dream. I'm sad I won't be here, but I'm grateful I was able to learn from him before I left. What a blessing.
Payson Street!!

Also this week, one of our members (Sister Murdoch, from Grace, ID and Bishop Holloway's niece) took us to Thai food!! But, first we met her at her work - Dean & Deluca! Have you heard of that place? I hadn't heard of it, but it is SO cool! It's been in a few movies (Julie and Julia, and The Devil Wears Prada) and just has the coolest set up. They have super expensive import stuff from all over and more cheese than you could ever comprehend. Dad, when we're off our missions, let's go back there. You need to see this cheese supply! It was kind of a fairy tale land. haha She let us taste Truffle Oil (Truffle stuff is HUGE this year cuz it's at an all time 'cheap' price. Only $5,000 per pound. The fungi not the chocolate) and some aged balsamic vinegar! It was good. But also nearly $300 per bottle. Not even bottle. Flask. It's crazy. Crazy good. Such a cool store. Then we went to Thai food and it was so good. I got massaman curry. So happy. The bathrooms were made of two-way mirrors. So from the outside it looked like mirrors, but while on the inside you could see everyone. And you could see whenever someone was coming up to knock on the door. So weird. Is that a one-way mirror? I'm not sure. But it was so weird. haha
Dinner with Sister Murdoch at the Thai place (Sister Murdoch is in the middle)

Then, last night as we were walking home, I heard a cat yowling. It was very sad. I looked around and found her up on this high rafter thing. We stood there until curfew trying to think of ways to get her down but she wouldn't jump (even when I sang Soft Kitty). We had to get home so we had to leave her. But this morning there was a fire engine there and she was safely running around. She ran over to me and rubbed against my legs. haha Apparently fire engines saving cats is not just a thing of the movies! (I guess fire engines never save cats. It's probably the fire fighters.) :P I was glad tho. (Even if fire engines are scary. I've seen 6 just today. That's a lot of fire engines.)

Anyway, it's been a really fun week. :) I've had some good New York experiences and I'm gonna live it up. I can't wait to see some of you this weekend! My next email to you will be FROM BRAZIL!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHH. I'm so excited! :D I love you all so much and I hope everything is going well for you! I think the Pday for Porto Alegre North is Monday, so I may not get to email again until the 18th. But hopefully you'll hear from me before then. haha I love you all so so much! Hope all is well!