Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Few Moments in My Comfort Zone

Oi Minha Familia!!

Oh how I miss you all. This has been a trying week. But I survived. :)

First of all, the ward here is SUPER involved. It´s pretty wonderful. We´ve been doing a reach out for the past few weeks to all the less actives in the ward. Our ward has about 1500 members with about 200 active. So, they´ve divided up the list to the entire ward (well... those who will participate) and are doing visits every sunday until April. How cool is that? It sure helps the missionaries know who to go visit more!! Also, this week we had what they call a Gincana. What is that, you ask? Well... I´m still not exactly sure. I looked it up in my dictionary and it said "Auto Rally" but I´m pretty sure that´s not what we did. haha basically we just divided the ward into groups and had everyone bring friends - we brought people and played a bunch of competitive games. Thankfully for me - the missionaries couldn´t participate (sack races don´t exactly mix with skirts) so we helped the other teams and I filmed it all. I say "thankfully for me" because man... large groups of people competing are already a little intimidating for me... (unless I´m watching from a distance) but for some reason it´s all just scarier in Portuguese. It was a good activity... I just kind of wanted to hide. But I didn´t. And I´m grateful for such an active and excited ward. They are embracing the work and I´m lucky to be here.

This week also we found an 81 year old man, Alcides, with a 10 year old son, Henrique, who are absolutely incredible. When we gave a baptism invitation, Alcides leaned over to Henrique and said "We need this. We need God in our lives. Baptism will bless us!" haha I thought it was adorable. We´ll hopefully get to work some more with them over the next few weeks. :) We didn´t get to teach Geyciara this week but, hopefully soon.

I had a cool experience yesterday. I was at church - still feeling a little overwhelmed from the Gincana on Saturday and ... church is always pretty stressful. We have sacrament meeting last and I was thinking about how much I miss my comfort zone. I know I probably shouldn´t have been thinking about that, but I was just having a tough time. I only so much as thought in my mind "Man... how I´d give almost anything for a few moments in my comfort zone." and at the end of Sacrament meeting, I heard - in perfect American English "Where are you sisters from?" I turned around and saw an elderly man who just returned from serving a mission with his Brazillian wife. They live in our ward and he´s from Idaho!! I almost cried, I was so excited to talk to someone in English. We talked for a few minutes and ... well... I was given a few minutes of my comfort zone. What a blessing that was for me. I´m grateful the Lord hears and answers the prayers we don´t even consciously pray. Tender mercies. :)

Well, that´s about all this week. We´re having a TON of rain which always makes me happy. :) I hope all is well with you! I think of you all the time and I miss you like crazy. I love you!!


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I love my family

Oi Familia!

Well, another week gone by. And again I don´t have a lot to say. haha :( I guess it´s that time of the mission when everything is blurring together and nothing seems new. But... it´s good. haha
Sister Pasini's birthday!  Bishop brought a cake and birthday
hats so we had a little party! :)

This week we found a girl named Geyciara. Someone gave us "their" address which was not actually their address but turned out to be the home of Geyciara and her family. She´s 20 and lives with her mom and younger brothers and she is SO COOL! She´s studying to be a Speech Pathologist... and maybe that´s why I love her. haha But really, we´ve met with her twice and we´re pretty excited. I don´t know how things will turn out, but if nothing else, she´s a bright light in Passo Fundo and that´s happy.
We took Sister Pasini bowling on Pday

The work this week was slow. But, I´m learning that when it doesn´t look like you´re doing anything good, when every day starts to blur... you can either get down and droopy - not excited about anything, or you can find joy in the little things. Like meeting someone in Brazil who is studying Speech Pathology. :) And finding 14 coke caps on the street in one day which all have points on them that you can trade for little Copa Do Mundo (world cup) prizes. :) haha yeah... that was fun.
Fun Stuff!

I heard a scripture this week that I loved. 2 Nephi 31:20. "Wherefore, ye must almost press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having an almost perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of almost all men. Wherefore, if ye shall almost press forward, almost feasting upon the word of Christ, and almost endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall almost have eternal life." Now, obviously that´s not how the scripture goes. :) But I liked the meaning that if we feast on the word... study our scriptures almost every day, love almost all men, almost press forward in faith and hope... we´ll only almost get Eternal Life. And... almost eternal life isn´t eternal life. haha We must whole heartedly press forward doing all we can to endure to the end and only then can we receive actual eternal life. :) 

I love my family. I can´t even tell you how much I miss you all. I hope you are happy and healthy and that all is well. Thank you for your emails!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Talk about the Weather!

Well, another week come and gone! This week was a fun one. :)

And now I´m going to talk about weather (like I do in EVERY EMAIL) because the weather is what made this week fun. haha! I decided I´m a weirdo because I absolutely LOVE storms. This week we had a HUGE storm. They have a word for it here but... I can´t remember. They don´t have storms like this in Porto Alegre. Nor have I ever witnessed a storm such as this. But this was EPIC!!
and a shot from the street after the storm...
not as cool as some other streets,
but it´s the best I could do. haha

We were in an investigators house, and when we came out the sky was black. Not like... grey black. It was BLACK. At 5:00 in the afternoon. Sister Pasini started saying that it was going to be bad and we needed to head for home. I kind of laughed and mumbled something about how I can handle a little rain. She called the other sisters because they´re both new here and told them to head for home. I was kind of laughing still and then I almost got hit in the face with a tree branch. Seriously the wind picked up and in 3 seconds I couldn´t see ANYTHING. Dirt, leaves, pieces of houses... everything was flying around and my companion was yelling "fecha olhas!" (close your eyes) cuz she knows I wear contacts. I grabbed her arm (cuz my eyes were closed) and we starting running and laughing hysterically and trying to find a members house we could hide in. We arrived at a members house only to find they weren´t home, so we continued onward. Only now, it was POURING rain. Like... we were completely drenched. I opened my umbrella but it was broken before it even got all the way open. The second umbrella I´ve broken since coming to Passo Fundo. haha!!
Yeah... the two umbrellas I´ve broken since coming to Passo Fundo 

The wind ripped my nametag off, it ripped Sister Pasini´s hair tie out of her hair, and ripped the phone out of her hand before she could hang up with the sisters! We ran down the road trying to chase my tag and the phone and wow. So crazy. As we ran to the next members house we had people yelling at us from inside their houses "Cuidado Meninas!!!" (careful girls!) and we were just laughing the entire time. We made it to the next members house and arrived as two completely sopping wet, hair astrewn, nametag-less missionaries and OH it was amazing! haha When the storm died down we set out again and I couldn´t believe how many trees had fallen - street signs were on streets they shouldn´t have been on and oh man! What an adventure! haha I´m glad Sister Pasini knew to head for shelter cuz... I would have just enjoyed the "breeze" until I knew it was more than just a little wind. haha Seriously, it was ridiculously fun. And it gave us like an hour of cool weather!! Anyways... sorry... I need to stop talking about weather but it was so cool!

The beautiful Passo Fundo right after the storm!!

The girls I live with

Also this week we had stake conference! (I have been in 3 different wards on my mission and I have had stake conference and the primary program in every single one! hahaha Well... I haven´t had the primary program here yet. We´ll see. Anyway.) President and Sister Wright came to Passo Fundo and spoke. It was good. :) 

The Elders in our ward

The work here has been slow. We´re teaching a lot, but no one is progressing. We actually had a baptism lined up this weekend - kind of a miracle story where she told us she went to church for 3 years, but on the day of her baptism no one came to get her so she was never baptized. She said it´s always been her desire to be baptized so we said "How bout saturday?" and she was SOOO excited. haha Unfortunately her mom refused to sign the papers and it fell through. Sad. She doesn´t have long to wait before she is allowed to make the decision on her own, but we´ll keep working with her and her mom. :) Besides that, we´ve been "knocking" a lot of doors and doing a lot of contacts. Hopefully the rest picks up soon. :)

ALSO this week as caixas chegaram! I got THREE packages!! haha President and Sister Wright brought them up when they came for Stake Conference! Two from Mom and Dad and the family calendar from Jen!! THANK YOU SOO MUCH!! Twas a Merry Christmas indeed! :D 
A picture of me with all my packages!!!
YAYYY! :D Thank you so much!!!! 

Happy 38th Anniversary to Mom and Dad this week!! I love you SO much and I´m so grateful to you! 

I hope the family is doing well. Thank you all for your letters, the packages, and for being my family. I just love you all so much!! I hope you have a wonderful week!!!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Sister Pasini is staying!

So, I refuse to believe what anyone says anymore. About transfers anyway. haha People love to guess what transfers will be, but obviously no one knows until well... transfer day. I was told that Sisters NEVER stay together more than one transfer - but I got two transfers with Sister Furtado! And I´m still so grateful for those transfers. I miss her. Anyway, I was also told that Sisters NEVER stay in an area more than three transfers but - Sister Pasini is staying for her fourth! haha never say never...
This week was good. Actually it started rather crazily. haha So, I had my first visit to a Brazilian hospital! Sister Pasini got pretty sick a few nights ago and wasn´t getting better so we took her in. They didn´t really do anything, but she´s better now so ... that´s good! It took forever and was a really freaky place. But I´m glad she´s feeling better. After we got home, a wonderful family in our ward brought us lunch and clean water and oh what a blessing that was! I´ve been helping the Irmã with English, as she´s studying to be an English teacher. So we´ve become good friends. :) It´s cool teaching English in Portuguese. haha Also that day, I started and finished the book, "Our Search For Happiness" (which is really good if you haven´t read it.) I studied a TON of Portuguese, and made it to Mosiah 21 in my Portuguese Book of Mormon. Whew!
This little girl was baptized on the same day as Kayda!! :)

We´re working with a few families here, which has been fun. All of them need to be married before they can be baptized. So, hopefully we´ll see some weddings during this transfer! One family in particular has been just so wonderful to us. They always feed us and are so excited to be married and baptized. I´m excited for them. The work is moving forth!

As of today, I´ve officially been in Brazil the exact same amount of time as I was in New York. Isn´t that crazy? My time in Brazil has just been flying by! I am excited to see what the future holds. I´m excited to continue learning Portuguese so I can try to do the work the Lord has asked me to do. It gets hard sometimes, wanting to be able to do more, getting frustrated with not being able to communicate in the way I want to. But I know the Lord is in charge and knows what he´s doing. It´s a good thing to know, and sure brings peace.

This morning I listened to Elder Holland´s Safety for the Soul. If you haven´t listened to it in a while - DO IT! Seriously, it´s so good. It helped me get excited again about why we do what we do. 

I hope you are all doing well and that you are happy! Thank you for your wonderful emails!!



Saturday, February 1, 2014

Letter from Andrea's "mission mom"

Good morning Elder and Sister King,
I like to send personal notes to the parents of our dear missionaries, but in your case I hope that you will forgive me for doing this by email.

I wanted to express to you our gratefulness for having you daughter, Sister King, serving with us in the mission.  She is amazing!  It is always an adjustment for our dear visa waiters to come into the mission.  We have a deep respect for them as they begin again to learn the "heartbeat" and "rhythm" of a different mission, in a different culture and a different language.  It can be a challenging journey and we try to do all we can to strengthen them.  

Your dear daughter has had an incredible positive attitude of desiring to immerse herself in everyway.  She is an inspiration to many of our sisters.  I have had the blessing to study with her and also to make contacts with her on occasion.  She is bold and without fear, but also filled with love for these people and for her fellow sisters.  She has a very pleasant dry sense of humor that can turn even the most tense moment into a "memorable" experience.  Even the Elders comment on much respect they have for her. (Which is quite amazing!) She has not backed away from difficult situations and has great faith and maturity.  

I consider her one of the great blessings for us on this mission!  and more especially for me personally.  Thank you for preparing such a faithful and spiritually grounded missionary to share the gospel.  We have immense respect for your family as she has shared with us your great faith and valiant commitment to the Savior in selling your home and entering the mission field yourselves.  YOU are also an example to us!  May the Lord bless you in your selfless service to Him.  Thank you for your support and sharing your precious daughter!
Warmest regards,
Sister Wright