Monday, June 30, 2014

Oi Familia!

Hello Family!

This week has flown by. Walking here I asked Sister Colitti if anything exciting happened this week and we both just stared at each other not remembering anything. haha All the days just look the same. My journal entries get shorter and shorter and I write the same things every day. haha I will try to remember something...

Well, actually, we went on splits with the Sister Training Leaders for my very first time since coming to Brazil. haha! I don´t know how I avoided that for 8 months, but I actually really enjoyed it. I had an American companion for a day! haha But, it reminded me of Sister Khong and NYC and I missed them. But no, we had fun. Our apartment is TINY so when they came to spend the night it felt like a huge slumber party - everyone trying to find space on the floor. haha 

Almost all of our investigators cut us this week so... that was kinda sad. This area has proven pretty tough but... we´re hanging in there. Little Bruna came with us to teach some of her neighbors and she called me her "very best friend", so that made it all worth it. haha

Besides that, we bought pizza on Saturday!! haha you know its been a slow week if I´m telling you about the pizza we bought. It was really good tho. yep. 

Anyway, sorry for the lame email. haha twas a pretty normal week. We had a hard time discerning the screams of Saturday´s World Cup game - but made friends with a neighbor kid who lives across the street and comes out to give us thumbs up everytime we do something good. haha! That was fun. 

I hope you are all doing well and are happy and healthy. I love you all so much and I miss you!!


Monday, June 23, 2014

15 Centavos (and other great stories of the week)

Greetings Família! From São Luiz, Canos, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil!

What a week it has been! We have had the most beautiful sun the last few days. It´s been a good break from winter (and my tights). haha BUT today we´re back to rain. So... at least it´s Pday. haha It´s been a good week. 

I had a funny moment last week as I sat at home during the Brasil game and tried to kill the mosquito that was humming around the room. I was sitting on my bed and saw the mosquito stop on the wall right next to me. I slowly raised my hand and slapped the wall with every force I could possibly muster - not thinking about how little force you actually need to kill a mosquito - and nearly breaking my hand off. I didn´t get him - he happily buzzed away as I yelled in my best wicked witch voice "I`ll get you my pretty!" then the 45,000 dogs that live outside started barking and I finished my phrase "and those little dogs too!!" And THEN I burst out laughing at how perfectly that all worked out to quote Wizard of Oz. I looked at my companion who was very clearly terrified of my random outburst and laughed until I cried. OOohhhh I´m tired.

Another funny movie moment happened as we were stopped on the street by two men from another church who just wanted to argue. We don´t argue, so we listened. And listened. And listened till we realized they would talk until next week if we let them. I tried to bear testimony so we could leave, but they just kept cutting me off. I asked to say a prayer with them, not wanting to just walk away I guess... and just as I started, Other Side of Heaven flashed in my mind as I proceeded to give a prayer teaching the entire first lesson. "I´m so grateful for a boy who had a question, who saw God the father and His Son. I´m so grateful for the knowledge that the power of God was restored on the Earth once more and that today we have a living prophet who leads and guides us." something like that... haha I thought I was pretty funny - but it was seriously the only way they would listen! Here on the mission we call that "Dar um jeito" haha anyway... it was definitely an interesting experience. haha 

A few days later, we were feeling pretty overwhelmed with the amount of street contacts we needed to do that day. We walked into a little store thinking maybe a snickers would help, but instead found Açaí!! I haven´t found that yet in this city so I was pretty stoked!! We pooled alllll our money and found we were 15 cents short.Quinze CENTAVOS!!! I said we must need to do contacts so we could find the 15 cents on the ground and come back later to buy it. We set out suuuper motivated to do contacts, all the while watching the ground for our 15 cents. We only found 5 cents and were kind of disappointed as we walked back to the store (all of our contacts done, btw), but we decided to get in line anyway and see if maybe they´d let us come back later with the 10 cents. The lady at the checkout spot proved to be pretty mean to some people in front of us and we saw our hard earned Açaí slipping from our fingers. haha Sister Colitti put the açaí on the table anyway and seriously, AS the lady was counting the money - Sister looked down and grabbed 10 cents she found on the ground, and put it in our money pile. I was completely shocked. We felt pretty spoiled that day. Açaí never tasted so good! Missionaries are provided for. ;)

My last story of the week is a silly story. But I will tell you anyway. One night as we were walking to the church, we were accompanied the entire way by a cat that looks JUST like Nimbus. He wound in and out of our legs and meowed like crazy. I picked him up and he purred and was so happy. He tried to follow us into the church, but we had to leave him outside. Like 5 seconds later, he was meowing at the bathroom window - having found us on the other side of the church. We went out to play with him again a little, then came back in for our meeting. The ENTIRE meeting he meowed at the window waiting for us to come back out! haha he followed us home and I wanted nothing more than to bring him inside and take him as my own, but... tis against mission rules. haha So, I very sadly left him outside only to be greeted by him the NEXT DAY. haha!!! What?! It was crazy. And now I want a cat. Anyway, that´s my story. Random, sorry. Buuut... The cats love me here. It´s ridiculous. haha

I love you all and miss you like crazy! I hope you are all happy and healthy and doing so well!!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Famiwy! :)

Hello Family!!

This week has been an interesting one. haha It all started with the world cup! :) That day was definitely a fun day. It felt like christmas or something cuz everyone on the street was SOOO excited! Everyone was yelling to each other and waving Brazil flags and everytime people heard my accent they were like "Buuut... you´re cheering for Brazil right?" hahah and no one with any sort of a brain would even think of responding "no" to that question if they value their life at all, so my respose was "com certeza!!" haha it was pretty great. The streets were decorated with Brazil flags and everything in green and yellow, so we got some pretty cool pictures! haha it was a fun day. We came home at 4:30 to stay safely off the streets for the 5:00 start of the game, and put on all our Brazil gear to feel like we were still part of the team. haha My poor companion was dyyying to watch it! But it was pretty obvious what was going on because EVERYONE was watching it and screaming  "GOL!!!" everytime we scored. haha The next day on the bus, we asked someone what the score was and the man FREAKED out at Sister Colitti "you didn´t watch the game?!?!?!" loud enough for the entire bus to hear. We got some good glares and finally, the score. haha what an adventure. :)
Our Brazil gear

I made cookies to celebrate!

The other very exciting part of our week was lunch yesterday!! I need to stop talking about food, but seriously - - SO GOOD. A family in our ward has a Gaopão - a traditional Gaucho/Southern Brazil house with a churrascaria and... lots of cool traditional stuff. They made us THE BEST churrasco I´ve ever had in my entire life!!! It was soooo good and so much fun cuz they were all in traditional clothing and... I don´t know... it was just awesome to feel all a part of the culture! haha we got good pictures there too. :)

Sister Colitti and I are having a lot of fun. Did I tell you yet that she´s my niece on the mission? AKA trained by someone who was trained by Sister Furtado. haha people make family trees with great grandma, grandma, mom, sisters, aunts, nieces, cousins, etc. It´s pretty crazy. haha I just have 1 niece and a million sisters! Sister Furtado has trained every single transfer since I was with her. haha! It´s crazy. Anyways... it´s weird. But I love Sister Colitti. The weather here has been absolutely insane - one day its raining and FREEZING and the next it´s too hot and we´re dying and burning in the sun! haha needless to say, we both got hit with a pretty nasty bug this week and didn´t get to work much. It was kind of sad - but we´re feeling much better now! But I don´t have a ton of stories to tell this week, just more talk about food! haha 

This week there is another Brazil game tomorrow so we´ll be home early, and then next monday we´ll probably be emailing early because there is a game here in Porto Alegre so we have a full Pday!! But we have to be home earlier than normal. So, watch for earlier emails! haha 

Thank you McFarlands :)

I love you all so so much! I am so grateful for all your love and support - for your emails and for keeping me in the loop! You make me so happy! I miss you all like crazy!!!


Monday, June 9, 2014


Hello my dear family!!!

Oh how I miss you all!! It has been a good week. I think the Lord must have a sense of humor because I have once again been given a companion that I already know! haha My new companion is Sister Colitti - who I lived with in Passo Fundo! It was a pretty great surprise. :) I had to stay here in Sao Luiz with the other sisters who had companions leaving and we all anxiously waited for our companions to come back on the trains. It was so weird. But anyway, I saw Sister Colitti walk off the train and I totally freaked out. haha I was talking on the phone to someone in the ward and couldn´t even talk I was so in shock! haha we´ve had a lot of fun this week - it´s so nice to not have to start completely over! We were already friends and well... it´s pretty great. :) We´re working to find new areas in our area that haven´t been overrun by the missionaries and we´re traveling to the outskirts of our area every day. It´s a lot of walking, but I hope it will start paying off. :) 
We have to get creative on the mission.
Can openers don´t really exist here. At least not for missionaries. haha

Sister Colitti is from Sao Paulo and has been on the mission about 4 months. She is actually from the same stake as Sister M. Silva and they were companions in the MTC! haha small world. She will turn 21 this transfer so - we´re excited to party. haha speaking of party - the world cup starts this week! Sadly, the missionaries have been forbidden to watch or listen to any of it. My companion is dying. We´ll be going home early most days of the world cup because there are a lot of games here in Porto Alegre and well... it´s gonna be crazy. haha I´ll keep you posted.

This week was fun - The sister from our ward took us to that amazing restaurant again and OOOH it was wonderful!!! I was in heaven, and so was my new companion. haha I don´t know if I`ll ever stop talking about that restaurant. Anyway - it was so so good. :) Also, that same day, all of southern Brazil had a helping hands activity! All the stakes did something different, but everyone did it at the same time. haha it was cool. And our shirts were in Portuguese and I was stoked! haha anyways... Our stake had pretty extravagant plans, but unfortunately no one really showed up. *ehem* except the missionaries. haha soooo we passed out trees to people on the street. I`m still not really sure why. But it was fun! haha

This was our helping hands activity! Twas a fun day indeed. :)

Another fun thing this week is that Sister Colitti speaks REALLY good English. So we´ve been going half and half with our conversations in both English and Portuguese and we´re always switching back and forth. haha I am constantly laughing because we can´t stay in one language! At one point, we were in the middle of a lesson and Sister Colitti was teaching and she leaned over to me and was like "Sister, how do you say Against in Portuguese?" I said "contra" and everyone burst out laughing cuz she couldn´t remember the word in Portuguese! Later, we were telling the story and I got to the word she couldn´t remember and could only remember it in Portuguese and she had to help me find the English word again! hahah it has been pretty fun. :) Also, it´s nice having someone to help me with English class. haha

Anyway, it was a fun week. I´m excited for the start of a new transfer, for a new companion who isn´t completely new, and for being in Brazil! haha I love you all so much and hope you have wonderful weeks!!!!


Monday, June 2, 2014


Oi Minha Familia!

This week was good. :) It just flew by tho - I can´t believe the transfer is already over!!  It was a short transfer, so that helps. But still. Super fast. I´ll be staying here in São Luiz, and Sister M. Silva will be leaving the area. It will be a little strange to be taking over the area after only 5 weeks here, but it´ll be fun. I hope I don´t get too lost. haha 
Our district party with brownies with peanut butter and fooood! 

This week was good tho. We started off with a fun district meeting! My district only has 6 missionaries so it´s pretty tiny. But everyone brought food, and I made BROWNIES!!! haha I was pretty thrilled that my brownie making skills still work after 10 months of not making brownies. It´s just so funny here because seriously, when people find out I´m American, one of the first things they ask is "do you know how to make brownies?" and get suuuuper stoked when I say yes. hahah So, I finally proved myself and made brownies and put peanut butter on top. And well, that was definitely a week highlight.
District pictures - this one has one of our members that snuck in... 
Mmmm, they loved the brownies! :)

Another funny week highlight was me trying to speak in English. My companion asked me to pray for us in English so - I tried. Not 10 words in tho and I found myself speaking Portuguese again. I spoke a few sentences in Portuguese and heard my com snickering (bahhhh now I want snickers) and finally realized why. haha I switched to English again and couldn´t stop saying "e" instead of "and" haha OH how it is hard to pray in English! haha it actually made me really happy. And that´s why I´m telling you all because I just am kind of delighting in Portuguese right now. haha Everyone tells me I have more of a Portuguese (from Portugal) accent than an American accent. And that makes me really happy too. And then it makes me miss Sister Furtado. haha Anyway.
Cute dog in a box! It was just a very perfect picture spot. I loved it.

The last few weeks we´ve been teaching a few really cool families. We decided to use some of our videos that we never get to use and a few weeks ago, Dad reminded me of the film Together Forever. I don´t know how long it´s been since you guys have watched it, but oh that film is wonderful! It´s pretty trunky for missionaries to watch... especially the part where the lady appears with a Washington Huskies sweatshirt just as the best song of the film comes on. But anyway - I have loved using that film the last few weeks and our investigators really like it too. As a missionary, that message - that our families can be together forever - is definitely my very favorite message to share. It brings so much joy to my life and I`m so grateful for that knowledge. Life would be pretty sad if I didn´t know I could be with my family forever. I just love you all so much and I´m so grateful for your support and emails and ... for everything!! I LOVE YOU!!