Monday, November 24, 2014

My Last Transfer

Well - week one is OVER!!!!! Man I´ve forgotten how slow the weeks go when you´re totally and completely lost. All the time. And don´t know anyone. Farroupilha already feels like a dream and it makes me sad. I miss that place. hhh... anyway. Things are good. I really am enjoying my new area, new companion and everything... it´s just been a loooong week. haha

Well, for transfer day, Bishop and Nice took us to Caxias to catch the bus at like 5 AM. Transfer time changed from 11 AM to 9:30 AM so we had to leave a lot earlier. It´s crazy. Anyway... they were wonderful and helped us get there in time and oh I was sad to say goodbye. But, it was "goodbye for now" so that is better. haha I got to the Rodoviária in Porto Alegre and met a Sister - Sister Phillips who waited for her visa for FOURTEEN MONTHS. Yeah. That´s insane. But the even more insane part was that she served IN SEQUIM!!! I wanted to hug her just to hug something that´s been to Sequim more recently than I have. I forgot how much I miss home. But anyway, it was fun talking to her. She said she saw my plaque, mom and dad´s plaque and even saw our old house!! She said people still talk about us and... that made me happy too. haha It was cool. That poor thing tho - only 4 months in Brazil. I don´t know if I would have switched that close to the end.

Time is just a crazy crazy thing. Everything feels so incredibly fast and slow all at the same time. At transfers I met an Elder who I served with in Passo Fundo. He was in his first area there (here on the mish we say "I watched him be born" AKA... I was there when he came on the mish) and told me he's at almost a YEAR!!!! My mind was completely blown. haha he just got here!!! I JUST GOT HERE!!! haha The time sure flies when you´re looking back at it.   Anyway...

I guess I should prolly tell you all where I am now, right? Yeah, so I´m in a city called Novo Hamburgo I´ve actually always wanted to come here so I was pretty happy. (Novo Hamburgo) And that´s about all I know. haha BUT the crazy part? I´m in the dead center of the city AGAIN!!! That makes five out of my six areas in the dead center of the city. haha ooooh I love the city. My companion is Sister Rodrigues (eyyy Hannah!) and she´s really cool. She´s from São Paulo, and is just returning to the mission after being home for 6 months recovering from a shoulder injury. Or something like that. She was trained by Sister Loss and was living with Sister Cleveland right before she went home so - we have some fun connections. She speaks absolute perfect English so she´s decided her new mission is to break me back into English so I don´t make a million English mistakes when I go home. haha BUT. I already speak English good so... hahah

The ward here seems pretty fun. It´s weird to be back in a real chapel. They have a REAL PIANO!!! I almost cried. haha it´s so weird to see a real piano. Anyway, I got asked to speak yesterday... during the meeting. haha But I had fun. It´s gonna be weird having to speak in English again someday. We're teaching a really fun family, Ketlin and Tiago, and their three kids. They´re so much fun! Ketlin and Tiago will be married just shortly after I leave, and so I get to plan a wedding again! I won't be there to do her hair, but I get to be a witness in the civil part... er something. It´s confusing. haha but anyway, they´re the only ones I´ve really gotten to know, but we seem to have a good group of people to teach. There´s a lot of crazy steep hills here too so... hopefully I wont come home too fat! haha 

Being transfered is a funny thing. I´ve forgotten the things that always happen at transfers. 1st of all, everyone ALWAYS thinks you´re in your first area. And they talk to you really slowly if they can tell you´re American. Then, when I start speaking back they´re like "Woah! how did you learn so fast?" And you explain you´ve been living in Brazil over a year and THEN they realize it´s not your first area. haha Also, I think I´ve said this, but everyone always says I have a Portuguese (from Portugal) accent and it makes me so happppyyyyy!!! Sister Furtado went home this last week and she said the same thing when I went to say goodbye to her. mwahaha! I love being trained by a Portuguesa! And the third thing I get every time I´m in a new area is "why aren´t you sister queen?" And I have to laugh every time and pretend I haven´t been hearing that since the day I was born. hahahahaha. ha.
Two other questions I always get when I get to a new area: "Do you know how to make brownies?" and "Are you rich?" which is a really tough question cuz if you say "Yes." Then you´ll probably get robbed. But if you say "No." They argue with you and say "yes you are!" hahah oooooh this place is weird.

Anyway, it´s been a good week. I´m living with Sister Lima and Sister Cook (actually, funny story. I was living with Sister Cardoso at the beginning of this week. She´s going home around the same time as I am. She stayed in Novo Hamburgo a grand total of 3 days and was transferred again! OH my goodness. It´s crazy. So, Sister Cook is here now and she´s cool. Anyway...) I´ll make the best of my time in Novo Hamburgo and I will definitely keep you all posted. :) I love you all so much and hope all is well!!!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Another piece of the house to build

I woke up this morning excited cuz I knew this would be the last time I´d ever have to stress out about transfers. I really don´t like transfers. Especially this one. *sigh* I´m leaving Farroupilha and I`m sad to spend my last four weeks with people I don´t know, in an area I don´t know, with members I don´t know... no one to send me home... Que Maldade.

BUT. Tis this mission life I live and I guess I better have a good attitude about this or the end of my mission is just gonna be sad. And I don´t want it to be sad. I have had SUCH an amazing six weeks with Sister Ribeiro and... I´m so sad to leave her too, but I´m grateful I got to be with her here and that I got the time I did. We´ve been through a lot together, and I truely needed her during this time in my mission. In my life. Farroupilha has been a home away from home and, though I´m so sad to leave, I´m comforted recognizing that 1) I´ll be back here in just a few weeks and 2)... it´s all in the hands of the Lord right? Maybe it´d be too easy to stay.

This last week here has been incredible. Last monday we had FHE with an awesome family here. We taught her to make brownies and she taught us to make Pasteis. MMMM... so good! I ate 7. 

Learning to make bread with Irmã Lourdes

Pasteis with Rudineia

THEN I hit my one year mark in Brazil and Nice, Bishop, Jen and Tiago took us all out for pizza!!!! It´s Rodízio pizza which means it´s all you can eat and pretty much delicious. I ate 16 slices. And I´m pretty sure I gained like 3 kilos just this week. haha woops. It was an awesome way to celebrate the survival of an entire year here in Brazil! haha

Sister Amorim made me a cool 1 year poster

I did her hair.
Friday, we got permission to go with Amanda to pick out her wedding dress in Caxias and we spent the day preparing everything with her. It was SO much fun. I just love her so much. Saturday was the big day and Oh I cried like a little baby. I just love that little family and I am so so grateful I got to be here for their wedding. I´m so grateful the Lord let me stay at least a little longer here so I could see this part of their story. I got to do her hair, Sister Amorim did her makeup and it was a beautiful, beautiful day. That night, Rodrigo received the Melchezidek (I still can´t spell that) priesthood and was sustained in Sunday´s Stake Conference. :) 
This is a double intertwined french braid and Yes, I´m a pro.
The happy couple

The happy family!!

What a week. :) I feel so blessed to have gotten to stay three transfers here in Farroupilha. Though I´m sad to be leaving now, I am just glad I got this third transfer here. This has been one of the best transfers of my mission and OH I wish this transfer didn´t have to end! haha but... I need to start getting excited for what lies ahead. All the new people I`ll meet, the new friends I`ll make and ... well... who knows. I sure don´t. But Jen sent me a good CS Lewis quote this week that I´d like to share with you all. It describes pretty well how I feel sometimes as a missionary. Like just when we feel like our house is built and thriving, He sets fire to it and makes us rebuild, higher, stronger, and better. That came out a little more pyro-maniac than I wanted it to, but you get my point: 

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” 

So - off I go again. Another adventure, another piece of the house to build. I love you all and I thank you for your support and prayers. I hope you are all happy healthy and strong and ... I´ll keep you posted. :) 



Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 5

MY goodness how the weeks are flying. I can´t believe we´re already in the very last week of this transfer. Next week we´ll find out where I`ll spend the remainder of my mission and boy am I nervous!!
Cartório with Amanda and Rodrigo!

We started this week in the Farroupilha Cartório... the place where you get birth certificates and... mark weddings!!! Amanda and Rodrigo will finally be married this saturday at 10 AM and I am SOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!! An unnamed member in our ward paid for everything and I pretty much bawled my eyes out when I found out. Totally teared up at the cartório and ... I´m just hoping I don´t make a scene at their wedding cuz just thinking about it makes me cry! haha I`m so excited. My entire mission I´ve wanted to help with a wedding, but I always had to leave the area just a few weeks before. But this time... NOPE!  :)  Anyway... Twill be good. 

My Zone

We continued the week as normal, and Saturday we had another Mãos que ajudam project. Which is Helping Hands. We went to Bento Gonçalves for this activity and it was super cool. There was SO MUCH preparation that went into it and hardly anyone showed up. They had a health center that you could do different health tests, a financial adviser, beauty salon, missionary work room, nutritional advisor, and other cool stuff too. And the members had a great time. haha all the missionaries went out on the street inviting everyone to come in. I invited prolly 40 or so people on the street and no one came. BUT - twas a fun activity and afterwards the let all the sisters get their nails done. haha

Mãos que ajudam

THEN! Sunday, Milena was baptized! She is someone who was taught by the Elders a while back and our ward mission leader remembered her family and brought them to church again a few weeks ago! So cool. The rest of her family is also preparing for baptism. :) She´s awesome tho. She´s 16 and I just love her. 

Milena's baptism

Besides that, we just worked our brains out, got nasty sun burns on our heads, and oh, it´s good to be a missionary. :) Vou aproveitar meu tempo aqui porque sei que não tenho muito mais tempo. 

I love you all so much and hope all continues to go well!! Thank you for your emails!


Monday, November 3, 2014


Hello my dear family!!!

This week, once again, has just flown by! I can hardly believe I´m sitting in the LAN house again and that we´re already in week 5 of the transfer!! My goodness. I won´t have another week 5. haha!!

This week was good. It started out so ridiculously hot I thought I might die. I am pretty sure you´re all so sick of hearing about how cold it is, then how hot it is, how rainy it is, then how foggy. I´ve had a cold for about 10 weeks now... along with half the population of Farroupilha. haha weather constantly changing is kind of tough on the body I´ve decided. But anyway... This week started SOOOOOO HOT. Like... I´m looking more and more Brazillian every day. I was taking cold showers BY CHOICE because any sort of heat in the water just hurt. And then... out of no where... It got COLD. We pulled the heater back out and everything. This place is crazy.

Tarcisio and Irmã Lourdes made us burritos! 

So, halloween here doesn´t really exist. Except for... it does. It´s still called Halloween cuz everyone knows about the holiday in the states. It´s kind of funny. And there were little kids dressed up everywhere. Apparently it´s starting to be more and more of a thing here. Anyway... we were walking to district meeting early in the morning and we saw a huge group of adorable little kids dressed up in adorable little costumes. We stopped to say hi and they came and GAVE US CANDY!!!! haha I got a little teared up missing kids. It made me really happy. 

Also, two sisters in our house finally got beds!! I´m still on the floor... but it´s a start! In our effort to set up the beds, we also decided it was time to throw our couch away. I don´t know if I´ve talked about that couch but lets just say it was making the entire house smell bad. And we couldn´t take the cover off completely cuz it was glued by mold to the couch. So we threw it away. AKA just put it outside our apartment complex and on halloween someone came by and burned it!!! Burned it to the ground. So yeah... they do halloween here too. And they did a favor for all of Farroupilha burning that couch.

I realized this last week one of the many perks to getting to stay in an area for mais tempo. woah. More time. There are many many perks. But, one of them is that I know EVERYONE! haha the LAN house guy waits for us Monday mornings and reserves two computers next to each other (rules), we go to the photo center... not to print pictures but because they let us use their bathroom for free cuz they know me! I know the pharmacy workers... I know half the people on the streets cuz I´ve done contacts with all of them more than once. haha oops. But the best is at the store. I know the checkout lady by name, we´ve been to her house many many times, she had a birthday on the 1st, and the girl that bags the groceries is a buddy too. Then we leave and yell a goodbye to the guard and... we´re all just friends! haha I just laughed last week realizing I at least know people on the Pday route by face. Many by name. I love Farroupilha.
Mmmm, lunch at Bishop & Nice's house

Zone Conference

I also forgot chocolate chip cookies existed this week. I used to by a cookie mix that was chocolate cookies with chocolate chunks. A few weeks ago they changed the mix to be ... non chocolate cookies with chocolate chunks. AKA chocolate chip cookies. But I was sad. And I refused to buy it cuz "who wants cookies that aren´t chocolate?" I finally caved in last week and bought it and came home and made it... still a little sad. And then... still eating it a day or two later I realized that "Man... these cookies are really good! They kind of remind me of something..." ... few minutes of thinking... "They kind of remind me of chocolate chip cookies... CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES!!!!!!!!! They ARE chocolate chip cookies!!!!" haha my mind was blown. And then I was sad feeling like I betrayed chocolate chip cookies for so long that I forgot about them. *sigh* That´s what (almost) a year in Brazil will do for ya. 

Defrosting the freezer.
I think it had been like 10 years since that happened.
It was frozen almost completely shut. This was after an hour of work. *sigh*

Anyway I love you all!! I hope you have wonderful weeks and are all keeping happy healthy and strong! Thank you for the emails!!!!


PS. I missed google yesterday (It´s been a long time without thinking of google) because there was a bug that flew into our room. It was FLYING and HUGE so I killed it cuz I didn´t want to sleep with it. Cuz I´m on the floor, ya know? Then it looked like a cricket and I felt really really bad. But it was black and also looked like a cockroach kind of. And I didn´t think crickets could fly. So I wanted to look it up on google. Do crickets fly? Then Sister Jaramillo told me it was a cricket and I killed it so I´m gonna have bad luck for 7 years. And then she started chirping. *sigh* I told her it was a crickroach and I just saved her life.

Also, Bishop heard my cockroach/ barata story last week and laughed so hard. This week we ate lunch with them 4 times (woah) and he told me one day that Nice had made her special "Puré de barata" hahahaha!!! Like... mashed cockroaches. Anyway... I thought it was funny.