Monday, October 15, 2012

Week Fifty Three.

Hello there everyone,

Another week has come and gone and here I am writing you guys again. This week has been very rewarding, but the rewards came after a ton of hard work! The start of the week was pretty hard. It is differently entering into summer here and we had a few days of super-hot sun with walking a ton and some of our areas are really far away. I forgot to use sunscreen, so I got pretty nice sunburn too! So because of all that we were both pretty pooped the rest of the week, I was finally able to rest a bit today. But we have really been wanting some baptisms in our area especially because this week is the last week of the transfer period, so we are trying to push through. We have been praying a lot and trying to put in a lot of sacrifice. Because of that we were able to find some miracles this week too.

We were challenged to invite people to be baptized at least once every day, and because of that we were able to get 3 baptism commitments!!! 2 for this week and one for the week after. We were truly blessed. There is an ex-pastor that we have been trying to teach who has been going to church for over 5 months, but in a different ward! It is always super hard to find him in his house. But we were passing by there and decided to try, and sure enough he was in there. We still hadn´t invited anyone to be baptized that day so we decided to invite him. And sure enough he accepted! And will be baptized this week. We were so excited. We then received a reference that the elders gave to us. We called him met with him the following day. He is dating a girl in another area and has been going to church for at least 2 months now, and wants to be baptized before the 4th, we were like: we can make that happen, how does next week sound! (This was the day following the other baptismal commitment) So we were pretty excited. He has a ton off questions and is more gospel literate than a lot of members that I know. The other was at church where a member said his nephew wanted to be baptized! So we set his baptismal date for next week. What a week of miracles we are so excited! We really tried to do everything that we could this week, and because of that we were able to finally commit some investigators to baptism, and we were able to meet all of our goals.

This Sunday Our mission president came and visited our ward, we were not advised beforehand, and were in a state of panic. Our investigators were visiting other wards and we didn’t have investigators in our ward. So we snuck out and started calling everyone. WE had some investigators that lived super close and we went to their houses to get them to come to church, but none of them were home. We then started inviting everyone that we knew in the street to come to church. But sadly enough no one came; we realized we just had to face the truth. But the president met with us after wards and really just wanted to know how the ward and the area was doing, so it was all good.

But this week was very hard, but I think it has been the week that I have seen the Lord’s hand and received more  blessings than anytime previously in my mission. I am very grateful to be here serving the Lord. Thank you everyone for all your support and your prayers. Next week is transfers so we will see if anything changes, until then, I hope everyone has a great week.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, October 8, 2012

Week Fifty Two.

Hey there everyone, 

This week was again pretty uneventful, but there was general conference this weekend, so it threw a mix into things, which was pretty great. But this week, we were finally working back to normal speed from my companion being sick, which was great. But it was a pretty normal week. We were just trying to get back into the swing of things from not visiting people in about 2 weeks, so we were just trying to get out there and visit people. The Elders even came to our area to try and help us find new people. But we are really trying to push for getting some baptisms here in this area, my companion and I are really trying, so we are going to work really hard these next two weeks.

But this week was general conference. It was pretty interesting this time because we had to go to the stake center, but the stake center is a bit far away and its super hard to ride a metro bus into that area. We went there for the first session and just stayed until the second session finished. On Saturday not many people were there. It was mainly the missionaries and some of the people that lived close by. But we were all shocked about the age change for the missionaries, especially for the sisters. But between the sessions some of the elders had a baptism. Right before it started they asked if my companion and I could sing a special number. I said sure. But I was dreading it a bit, because I knew that my companion does not sing, so it would be mainly...ME. Well she said she would, we quickly picked a song and went up there to sing. When we started I was the only one singing, she started to chicken out, but joined in on the second verse. I was so nervous; I have never sung a solo in front of people, until then, ha-ha. But I thought it went well. After the last session ended (which was 7pm here) the elders took us to the bus stop because it wasn’t in the safest part of town. Well right in front of the bus stop was a huge fire and we were all being smoked out, couldn’t see or breath very well. We gave up waiting for the bus (which only passes once an hour, and one passed right by us without stopping) and called a taxi. It was quite a night.

Sunday was a lot more relaxed and had a bunch more people attend conference. However it was Election Day here in Brazil, and everyone here is required to vote, so everyone goes crazy. There was little paper fliers ALL over the ground. When we got home at night after conference everyone was celebrating the winners of the election. There were people drinking in the street and it was like one huge party with fireworks and a ton of honking horns and everything, so we went right into our house. But conference was great yesterday; a lot more people were there too. During the break I went and played with a lot of the little kids that were there; it was pretty fun. But that is pretty much my week. This week we are going to continue to work hard and make things here in this area. Hope all is well with everyone else. Until next time.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, October 1, 2012

Week Fifty Two... ONE YEAR!

Hello there everyone,

So this week I have a bit more time to write, but unfortunately I still don't have that much to say. My companion was still on recovery and still a bit sick. Some of the days we were able to leave but we were working at less than half speed and only visiting the most important people. So work this week was pretty slow. But I have faith, and I know that it will get better. :)

This week both my companion and I, sister Rodriguez completed one year on our missions. I cannot believe how fast the time has passed. Time has just flown by, like really I do not know where a year has gone. It is super crazy. We were both excited and sad at the same time completing a year, because we don't want it to be over in 6 months. But it was good, I made a cake for us and we celebrated a bit.

Not much has happened in the last little while since I have emailed you. We went to the temple and brought with us a less active member that we are reactivating. She and her little son loved it, we played around with them for a while too on the temple grounds. The temple in Recife has such a calming spirit to it. The city is super loud and even smelly, but the moment you walk in the gate it all goes away, seriously (all but the occasional siren). I love going to the temple here. I stayed in there for a long time this time when I went in. 

Other than that we were able to make a few visits here and there and the other half of the time my companion was resting and I was studying or catching up on stuff that needed to get done. We helped do a blitz in another area, where we went with members inviting less actives to the ward conference. I went with this lady who had served a mission a little bit ago, and it was way nice talking to her. 

Yesterday we were able to watch the woman's session of conference. It's weird here because they broadcast it live, so it was actually super late at night. It ended at 10pm, so everyone watched it the next day. We have to get on a bus to go to the stake center to watch all of conference. All of the Brazilians say it's fun because everyone stays there and its super fun. II really enjoyed President Eryings talk. 

That is about it for me, I hope that everyone is doing well. Send my best wishes to everyone.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Week Fifty One.

Hello there everybody,

Sorry that I am sending this email a bit late, but we moved our p-day because we went to the temple today for the first time in 3 months, so it was pretty exciting. But really there is not much to tell for this week. Not too much has happened this week, because my companion has been sick almost all week long. We started off the week super good, teaching a ton, finding lots of people and all of that. Then Tuesday night my companion, sister Rodriguez, started to feel sick, so we just stayed in the house pretty much all week long. She had a fever that came and went and her whole body was hurting. We then thought that she had yellow fever or something. So Saturday we went to the free 24 hour public health clinic and were there for about 6 hours, until midnight. We then went back the next day after church to get the results of her exams. The President got concerned and came with us. They then found out that it is some kind of pinched nerve in her spine, that is what they are thinking, but we don't know for sure. So that is all we know for now. We are trying to get it cleared through the mission to go to a specialist. But we are just taking things super easy.

As for me I have had a lot of time to study. But when sister Rodrigues was awake we had time to talk and study together. But a few of the days I spent a lot of time cooking. I have discovered here on the mission that I really enjoying cooking, and it's not too bad. I have gotten really good at looking at our bare cupboards and throwing what we have together into something that is actually pretty good. But this week I have made lasagna for the first time, just throwing things together making up my own recipe. I made kiwi pavê, and some other things. I really enjoy cooking, and I am trying to learn how to cook more Brazilian food too, still lack the beans. But this week it was really good to get in all the studying. My companion felt bad keeping me in the house almost all week. But I told her not to worry about it because I actually never was board or anything because there was always things that I wanted to study and didn't have enough time to study them. 

We are still trying to prep one of our investigators for baptism. But she still needs to stop smoking, we are setting new goals with her, so hopefully it will help. She is really determined to succeed. 

But that was my week. I hope that this week I will have more to tell you. I hope all is well with everyone. until next week,

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, September 17, 2012

Week Fifty.

Hello there everyone,

I don't have a lot of time to write today, so I will try and make this fast. Today we went to Recife, in the old part of the city and brought a members brother who was a history teacher, and knows a lot about the history of the city. We basically got a free tour of some of the historic sites of the city, it was very cool. I liked it a lot! I will have to send pictures next week. This city has a ton of history to it and a very diverse culture. It is very interesting. I love this city

But not much has happened this week. It was pretty normal, didn't have lows or extreme ups either. Just..normal. :) But We are going to be preparing a person to be baptized this week, she is a bit nervous because she is afraid that she won't be able to stop smoking. She has basically stopped but is afraid that she will return begin smoking again, and wants to know more about the church. But we know that she is ready! This week the assistants came and visited us to see how we were doing. They didn't give us any warning, it was quite a surprise, but good. 

Yesterday, I felt like a member again not a missionary, because I was at church almost the whole day and I just came home to eat, ha-ha. There was a stake women's conference yesterday, and wow it was amazing, I learned a lot. The theme was guardians of the home. There was a spiritual part, then a workshop part, it was very well planned. 

As for me and am doing great, I keep working hard and am trying to do my best! I am now seeing and feeling the toll on my body after a year of working and walking. I am starting to feel more tired as the weeks past. But yet I am loving it because I know that I am happy doing the lords work and that he will bless me after. 

Well that is about it for me! Sorry that this is short this week Love you guys and hope all is well.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, September 10, 2012

Week Forty Nine.

Hello there everybody,

So this week was really good! A lot better than the past week when I was sick and we weren't able to do much. We set some high goals this week for number of lessons, contacts and people at church, and guess what! We were able to complete all of those goals! It was a hard push at the very end, but we were able to do it! Sunday night we were only short a few contacts and a lesson, nothing seemed to be going right. Finally we were able achieve the goals that we wanted for the day and ended up with a great week! It was so fantastic. One of the biggest miracles was the number of people that were at church! After having a month with no one at church we were able to have 7 people at church, and 3 of them were there for the first time, it was amazing! We were so happy. We will soon be preparing some of these people for baptism. It truly was a miracle to have these things happen this week. It really was a stretch but we were able to pull through with the Lords help!

We are continuing helping Nací prepare for baptism (hopefully next week), she just has a few problems she needs to sort out, but she is amazing. We have been teaching her for a couple of weeks now, but her daughter said that her mom has always been looking for a church but has never been able to find one. She said her mom has been super happy about this church and always talking about it. She is a miracle and will be ready for baptism soon. We have been able to see a bunch of small miracles here this week and are finding a bunch of new people. 

One of the things that has happened this week I really loved was the interview that I had with the mission president. He asked how everything was, he thanked me for my work and thanked me for everything that I was doing. I talked to him about service, and he said something very interesting. That the atonement of Christ is one of the most important things in our life, but usually we never give thanks for it, the same thing is in life. A lot of the time we give and see nothing in return. After my companion and I had our interviews we both changed a lot!  He said something to both of us about our companionship, and we knew that we were going to stay together for this next transfer. So Transfers were today and we are together for another month and a half. But we are continuing learning, growing and serving one another and this transfer will be different!!

But that is about all for me this week, I hope that everything is good everyone. You will hear form me again next week.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, September 3, 2012

Week Forty Eight.

Hello everyone,

So this week was a bit interesting. I was sick almost the whole week. It was nothing bad, so don't worry. It started one day with just my throat hurting, then I lost my voice and got a bit of a cold flu thing. On Tuesday my companion told me that I need to at least take a nap for a bit and that afterwards, if I felt better, we can go and work. I ended up sleeping the whole day! I was a bit out of it. But I then started feeling better, but my voice was not. There were several days where I didn't really didn't have a voice and couldn't talk. When my voice became really bad my companion made us go back home and gargle with salt water. (I found this to be good way to diet because you never want to eat after that, ha-ha). But now I am almost back to normal, so things are great.

But because I was sick there was a few days where we weren't able to work or worked part of the day. So we weren't really able to teach a whole lot. Also when I was good to go out, we found absolutely no one in their homes, it was probably the weirdest week ever. But through our trials we were able to see miracles! We got to church and one of our investigators came to church on her own, we were so happy. The other called saying that she woke up late, so we went with a member who had a car and brought her to church. We both were super happy. We even set a baptismal date, the first in awhile. We are helping her to stop smoking and with other goals, so that she can be baptized. She actually said exactly some of the same things that one of my investigators said to me in my last area, and she was baptized. So it was like reliving the experience over again, it was pretty neat.

This week we had a Zone Conference with half of our mission and it was really good. I was able to see some of my old companions, and met some new people too. The president gave a ton of good advice, my companion and I were quick to put it into practice. We are excited to see our area progress. I am so grateful to be here on the mission, it is passing by so fast, and I am trying to make every day worth it. I hope you all have a great week.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, August 27, 2012

Week Forty Seven.

Hello there everyone,

So this week was another good week, we just keep trying to work hard and we know that someday our work will pay off. We are continuing to work hard, but the area is still a bit hard, but it is progressing slowly but surely, haha. This week we were able to meet a lot of our goals that we had set personally and as a companionship, so we were pretty excited. We were able to have another new person at church! Three weeks in a row with new people at church, but they need to go 2 weeks before they can be baptized. But that will come eventually. This week was good too, she was very welcomed by everyone and she said that she would come back next week with her daughter also.

The last few weeks we have been trying to make a lot of contacts, to find new people, in other words trying to find people we can baptize. One day was very interesting with our proselyting. The last contact that we made, had probably the worst reaction to us that I have ever seen. I knocked a door, a lady answered and I explained who we were and asked her for her name. She then yelled at us saying that she doesn’t like Mormons, told us how she has studied our church before and knows how wrong it is. She proceeded to yell at us to leave! I then nicely responded “have a good night” she then yelled us that we were going “down below”. It was quite interesting, probably the worst response I have ever had. My companion and I looked at each other and just had to kind of laugh. It was a bit funny. But one of the first contacts that we made that same day was an old lady, she invited us into her house to show us all of her “projects”, so we went in and there were quilts everywhere, crocheted things and crafty things. It kind of looked like a JoAnn´s exploded in her house. She does a bunch of patchwork quilts and they are really good!!! It was quite amazing to see. It felt pretty cool that at least I new a bit, and told her that my mom quilts sometimes too. She was pretty excited. That was probably the coolest contact that we made. So it has been a bit interesting.

These last couple of p-days Sister Rodrigues and I have been going into the center of town to do a few things and has also been showing me a few of the tourist things also. Because her whole mission she has been in or close to the center of town, so she knows a lot here. We haven’t had a ton of time, but each time we see something new. This city has a bunch of old history to it and it is pretty cool. I like it a lot. I need to send more photos, but yet she always tells me to hide my camera to not look like a tourist. It’s a bit hard, ha-ha.

But we are continuing strong and working hard. We both have woken up every day this week completely exhausted but we keep working hard. It is great I love this work, and I love the people that we met here, even the interesting ones. Ha-ha. But I hope that everyone has a good week. Until next time

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, August 20, 2012

Week Forty Six.

Hello there everybody,

This week was better!! Finally no one was sick, so we were able to get some work done. We had an amazing week; we were able to teach a lot of lessons, knock on a lot of doors, so we found a lot of new people! We set some pretty high goals and were able to get pretty close. This next week will be even better.

Finally I have some stories to tell you. One of them is about a girl we brought to church this week. We found her the other week knocking doors; she was at the last door that we knocked on that day too. She promised to visit our church, but had a few other things going on. We were finally able to teach her this week, her name is Myara and is about 23 years old. She is going to another church from time to time, but nothing serious. We were teaching her the about the restoration and the first vision when her friend from the other church came to get her to go to their church. However, her friend stayed and listened to our lesson. They both were moved by the lesson and my companion’s testimony. It was great! Sunday, when she showed up to church, she found that she knew a few of the Single Adults in the ward too. One of them who is a recent convert who had been attending the same church that she is, so it was perfect. They quickly talked and became best friends. They plan, together, on going to institute and to church this week together. After church was over we looked around to see where our investigator was. We found her leaving the building with a member laughing and everything. We at first were concerned that she had left without saying bye, but were then were thrilled at how fast she made friends here in the ward. Friends at church can make it or break it for people!

We were able to find lots of people this week by knocking doors. I think the most interesting was an old man. When I asked him his name he grumpily yelled at me “what do you want”! I then, in as nice as a voice as I could, responded who we were and our purpose, He then muttered some things under his breath waved at us to go and walked away. It was kind of funny.

We then found a lady who was in a time of need. My companion had decided that we should knock on one more door, even though we already met our goal for the day. The lady let us right in and started crying, asking us “how did you know to come here”. The answer was simple. But we were both very happy to find someone who needed help. We had several other experiences like that this week. This week truly has been a lot better than previous ones.

Our companionship has been getting a lot better. My companion and I didn’t really mesh that well at first, but we are now becoming not just companions but friends We still have our ups and downs, but we are doing a ton better even though she is crazy sometimes I like working with her. I am learning a lot, and a lot about myself too while I am here. I love this work. It is very hard sometimes, but I love it for everything that it is! I am so grateful to be here. I hope that everyone has a great week.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, August 13, 2012

Week Forty Five.

Hello again everyone,

I hope everyone is doing well. So this week was interesting. I will just tell you first, that I have been praying a lot to better my relationship with my companion, and then... she got sick and hurt all this week. I don’t really know if that was an answer to my prayer exactly, but hey, it worked.
Last Tuesday morning Sister Rodrigues woke up with her eye hurting a lot, it was all pink and swollen. So after our meeting and lunch we went to the local free health clinic. They didn’t have anyone there for eyes so sent us down town. Well we went there and they said that because she was over 21, anyone accompanying her had to wait outside (in the street, at night, downtown). So we tried to explain that we had to stay together, about the mission and the rules. He said she was 24 and could handle herself. So... I ended up waiting outside in the street, at night, in the middle of the city (I am an American, and everyone always thinks that we have a lot of money). So I was a bit scared, and alone, but talked to a nice lady who was also waiting. It was very weird. As it turned out that my companion had something like pink eye, but that it takes away the protective layering of the eye. It burns and feels like your eye is popping out. But I had to put eye drops in her eye every 6 hours. Oh, and this is super contagious, so I have been washing my hand a lot, and getting after her to wash her hands too.
The doctors told us that she has to rest the next day. That day we tried calling everyone to see if someone could make visits with me and someone else stay with her, well no one wanted to catch what she had. Sooooo... We ended up staying in the house. But our nice Zone Leaders came to our area to help us out (because the area has been struggling a bit). So I made them brownies, or tried with this recipe. They don’t have brownies, but because all the Americans talk about them, all the members and missionaries know about them and want them. But it’s really hard without a simple brownie mix and other things. But they turned out pretty good. But the next day she really wanted to leave the house, so as we were leaving our apartment building, she fell down the stairs (one elder said because she was blind from her other illness, :)) But she fell and ended up sitting on top of her foot, It was a pretty bad fall, I saw it. So.... She then couldn’t walk very well for the rest of the week, and it actually is still hurting.
However we were able to work some this week. But the time that we spent together this week has strengthened our relationship, and I am very grateful for that. When we were able to work this week, we accomplished a lot.  Not only do we have a problem with the amount of baptisms, but were are having problems just getting our investigators to church. A lot of people told us that they would come, but because it was father’s day here in Brazil, it all fell through. Iwas not going to go another Sunday without any investigators at church. So we were calling some of our investigators and one of them kept saying that she was coming. It so happens that she lives just across the street from the church building, so I left the building went to her house to go get her. It turned out she wanted to go but was embarrassed. But we brought her there and she really liked it. So things here are improving slowly but surely and everything is good.

Today for our P-day, Sister Rodrigues showed me some of the cool things in the center of Recife. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to look at some of these things. We are planning on doing more things now on our p-day. We looked at a lot of flea markets, where things were super cheap! We then also went into an old prison where they made it into a tourist shops. I went into one shop and she asked if I spoke Portuguese, ha-ha, I have actually never gotten asked that before. It was funny. But then she kept giving us samples of sweets too. A hippie stopped us on the street and made a ´´art´´ metal ring for us, it was pretty cool. But during lunch we were able to talk to this funny old guy and shared a lot with him about the church. So things will turn up here. I continue strong, and thank Heavenly Father for all my blessings and my struggles. I hope that everyone has a wonderful week.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, August 6, 2012

Week Forty Four.

Hello there everyone,

So it has been another week in Várzea. Wow how time flies by so fast, I cannot believe that we are in the month of August already! But this week was another challenging week, another week to test our faith. We had a meeting at the beginning of the week with all these goals and plans to do stuff. We then went out that day with "fire in our bones" and accomplished all our goals and more, it felt great! Then... Sister Rodrigues got sick, so for the rest of the week it was hard to work. But it was funny because she would lay down and wake up a little while later trying to say that we needed to work, but she couldn't. So the rest of the week we took it easy, and worked to the limit of what she could do. We ended the week on Saturday on a more positive note, Sister Rodrigues  was feeling better and we were finally able to teach a lot of people. Again we had several investigators promise that they would go to church but no one did. We however are doing our part, just need to keep trying. Maybe... it's because all through my mission I have prayed to the Lord for patience and he is now testing me. But it's all good. All these experiences let me learn and grow as a person.

So again, I am sorry I don't really have many experiences or stories to tell you this week. But there was one that really touched my heart. We were walking with one of the sisters in the ward after lunch and we happened meet one of her neighbors as  we were walking down this street (actually a very muddy hill) and the neighbor with her hands full of groceries and two small kids in tow; was just starting up muddy hill. My companion and I helped her back up the hill to her house with her groceries and children. She invited us in and we were able to talk and visit for a while. Her little daughter, who is 3 years old, has leukemia. They moved into the city so she could receive her treatments. This young mom who is going through a lot of trials, was happy to hear our message. During the discussion I took notice of this little girl, what a positive and happy spirit this little girl has! She interacted everyone: laughing, playing, joking. You wouldn't know that she was really very sick, but I noticed that she was filled with the Spirit of Christ. Seeing this little girl;  and being able to talk and play with her really touched my heart and gave me a better appreciation of life. It is amazing the positive effects that examples of others can have on you. We need to remember to look for these fortifying examples in others, because they can strengthen us when we need it.

But as for me I will just continue working hard, doing my best every day, doing the Lords work. I truly am blessed to be here and grateful for this opportunity. I am thankful for all of the experiences on the mission to and the chance I have to learn and grow from them. I hope all is well with everyone. Until next week.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Week Thirty Five

  EDITORS NOTE - Due to major life events the Editors (Katie's wedding and Krista's new job / Misaligned Software access) they have not been able to sit down and edit or access the blog.   Looks like we have cracked the code, and we are on a new learning curve to start updates again this week. Patience with us newbies as we learn.
Yes readers Rebecca is alive and well - Still in Gravata for a few more weeks, and sending notes in mixed English with Portuguese grammar (requires major editing) weekly to the Family.  More to come!
New Pictures - Rebecca  and Sister Corrêa in a tourist information house here in Gravatà. These women statues are very poplar here. 

A bridge here in Gravatá. Translation = Smile, you´re in Gravatá, the place of happy people.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Week Thirty Three.

Hello there everyone!

So we had some changes in the area. Our mission president called Monday night and told sister Corrêa that she was going to be transferred. And open an area with Sister Harris (my M.T.C. companion). So sister Corrêa and Sister Harris opened an area, in the same zone, it is in a super small town. They said they knew everyone in one day, and you can walk from one side to the other in 20 mins. But she is in a new house and I got to go with her and get her all set up, I felt like a mom sending my daughter to college or something. It was very hard to see her go, and I do miss her. We worked very well together and we became very good friends. But we both still have a lot of time left. 

But now I have a new companion, and am in the same area still, I think I will stay here for the rest of this transfer (4 weeks) and one more. Her name is Sister Sheewe, and she is an American, form North Carolina. But this is her last transfer here; she now only has 4 more weeks of her mission. So it is very different being companions with Sister Corrêa at the start of her mission, and being with Sister Sheewe at the end of her mission, different views on things. It is weird; now in our house we have 3 Americans and one Argentinian, not one Brazilian. But everything is good. Sister Sheewe, is a very hard worker, and a lot different than what I thought she would be like. I like working with her a lot. She wants the last of her mission to be the best weeks of her mission, so we are trying to work hard and teach a lot. It is good to be with someone who has more experience then you do because they have a lot of different idea and ways to do things so I am able to learn a lot with her.

We were able to start teaching a lot of new families this week and i have a lot of faith that we will be able to baptize this transfer. We will continue to work hard and do everything that we can to bring our brothers and sisters unto Christ. 

(I now don’t have any more time to email, sorry..)

I hope all is well with everyone.

Love you all,

Monday, May 14, 2012

Week Thirty Two - Photos

All the American Sisters in our mission (before sister Dickson, but 2 leave at the end of this transfer)
Our Family in the mission: Sister Kikuchi(my grandma), Leite (my mom), me, Corrêa (my daughter) (the “family” line of training)
Sister Corrêa and I at the temple
Us at the temple, Sister Sampyo, kikuchi, me, and Corrêa

Week Thirty Two.

Hello everybody,

So yesterday was mother´s day, and I got the fine privilege to talk to my family! I loved it. So this week was different, but it was good, we were able to see a lot of miracle happen, finally our hard work is paying off. But first there were transfers last week, and Sister Sampayo, the sister from Argentina, is now training, and she is training an American, Sister Dickson, she is from Gig Harbor, Washington. What are the odds we live so close, know some of the same people, and are now serving a mission on the other side of the world. But she is a joy to be with and has such enthusiasm for this work. It also gave me a boost confidence with my Portuguese, because all week I have been the translator, and I realized I know a lot more then I realized I did. But I am glad that I am able to be here to help her. I think every dad me and Sister Corrêa are strengthening our relationship, not only as companions but as lifelong friends. I am so blessed to have her and we work very well together and are always on the same page. It truly is a blessing. 

But this week we decided to change things up a bit and try and move our teaching group. So we made even more contacts and got references from people. So we started visiting a few new people this week. And we have had a bit of a problem getting our investigators to church; they say that is usually the hardest thing to do in the mission. But some of the people that we started teaching this week, and have only made one visit with were already at church yesterday. It truly was a miracle, 3 of the new people we started teaching were there, and a few others. It was great, we were super excited. We truly have a testimony of prayer and fasting. Some of these people are very good too. They said they really liked church and want to come back next week already. 

This week we got a few references from less actives. One we have now reactivated, and we started teaching his mom. But the other, there was some problems at church where she doesn’t want to return to this ward, but has an amazing testimony. She said that a lot of people have visited her before and she hasn't had much interest and knew that they just want to reactivate her and didn't really care about her, but she told us that the last time we visited her she felt the spirit so strong and that she told a lot of people about the experience. (Our visit we were all laughing, praying, baring our testimonies, it was great). And she said that she wants to come back and she will work on it. To see how we touch some people’s lives like that means the world to us as missionaries. That is what we live for is experiences like these. 

This week we were able to help our ward a lot. They had a lot of activities, with mother’s day a dance (we didn't go but help set up), that we were happy to help serve. I ran into George, my second baptism again. I think I have mentioned how he is now at military school, but when he is home, he is always at church. He truly is a miracle; he just needs to serve a mission now. But we happened to have the same birthday, in about 2 weeks, but the problem was we didn't know if we would both be here or not. So he told me to hang on and wait at the church. He went and bought a cake and we celebrated our birthdays early with the people who were there at the chapel. It was very nice, and the first time people sang happy birthday to me here.

This week has been great, and I have a ton of faith that these weeks are just going to be better. I love this mission, all of the experiences that it gives me. I hope everyone has a great week.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, May 7, 2012

Week 31 - Photos

Week Thirty One.

Hello there everybody,

This week was pretty tiring, mainly because we were traveling, but this week was pretty great. First we had transfers today, however I am still here in Gravatá. So basically everything is still the same, and one of the two other sisters that we live with was transferred.  We will have a mini-transfer in two weeks, and I might go then, we never know. So I think for now if you will send anything to me here it's better to send it to the mission office.

This week we went to Recife, and had a conference with half of our mission. It was pretty neat. We also were able to go to the temple. It was the first time that Sister Corrêa went to the temple. They first told us that we were going to the temple Wednesday and the meeting would be Thursday and we would sleep there. So we canceled everything, because I tend to plan ahead, well this is the first time where planning ahead hasn't worked for me, ha-ha. They moved the day, so we were here for Wednesday, and then couldn't find anyone. We walked everywhere, and it was the first time on my mission where my feet were actually hurling. But it was worth it because we got to go to the temple. We left for our meeting Thursday and were there for a good part of the day. Heard from the president and his wife and the assistants, I learned a lot. I was also able to see some of the other sisters again, it was nice to see them all.

Afterwards we went to the temple and we wanted to sleep there, but we were informed that they had no room because the temple had just opened two days previously, but We tried anyway. We asked if they had any room at all, even a mattress on the floor. They said they had a nursery room. So we went in a room with cribs and everything. but they were very kind and brought in mattresses for us. So we slept on the floor but it was all very good, and we were grateful they gave us the room. But at night we were able to go to the temple. I love going to the temple. The next day we had breakfast with one person and lunch with another. So it took us awhile to leave. We then took a metro bus, to a train, then to another bus, it took us about 3 hours to get home. By this time my companion and one of the other sisters weren't feeling good. But the other set of sisters had baptismal interveiew. So I quickly ran with the sister that wasn't sick to the interviews, it was a very busy day.

But some miracles happened this week. At church, a family that we have been teaching for awhile, but whom needed to go to church, actually showed up. We even tried calling them in the morning and they didn't answer, but they showed up to church! Sister Corrêa about had a heart attack. it was great. They were even able to see one of the baptisms after church . They really liked it. We will see what they think now!!!!!

Another miracle that happened this week. A member who always helps us, was going to bring a friend to our English/Spanish class. However it was a holiday so we weren't going to have it, but he asked us to be there anyway. When he brought a person to the chapel we explained that we were sorry that we weren't going to have the class, but then we talked to him for a bit over an hour and started talking to him about our church. We also took him on a tour of the building and explained all the stories relating to the pictures in the hall with Christ. But towards the end I told them that we were practicing a song before he came and wanted to share it with them. We sang  I know that my redeemer lives first and second verse in Portuguese then the last two in English. It was quite amazing. Later he told his member friend that he loved how we explained everything to him and loved us singing. He couldn't come to church this week, but promised next week. We are quite excited to see how it turns ou
t. It was a spiritual uplifting experience.

I love the things that happen here on the mission, whether for good or bad I love them all.

Love all,
Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, April 30, 2012

Week Thirty!

Hello there everyone,

So this week was pretty normal, but at the same time it was a bit interesting. The week started out a bit hard, but by Wednesday, the middle of the week, things turned around! So it was good to see. But from my experience these last couple of weeks this always happens. The week will seem to be hard and then it will turn around and be amazing. I know the Lord puts these challenges in front of us for a reason, sometimes I don't know why, ha-ha, but I do know they are to always help us become a better person. I know that one of the things that I really have been working on this week is trusting in the Lord´s timing. But I think that will be something that I will also work on my whole life, and with patience.

But we started teaching some good people this week. One of them is a girl, 15 years old, who takes care of the bishops children, they told us that we should start teaching her, we have only taught her once, but she was very interested. And it was very good. She promised to go to church. Another one is the father of my first baptism, we started giving him the lessons this week, and he was super interested as well. He said he knows that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. One day when we went to visit him and he told us; do you guys know, that God sent you here today to help me. We came right in a time of need for him. It was amazing. We were also able to set a baptismal date this past week for Isllam, the young man we have been teaching, actually we have only taught about 2 times, but he goes to church and even seminary! However we will wait until about May 21st, because he wants to be baptized on his birthday, which I think is pretty neat, but I don't know if I'll be here, or not. This week I also ran into George, my second baptism, who was our miracle. He has been gone these last couple of months at a military school in another city, and very rarely comes home, and when he does its for less than a day and never on a Sunday. But he came to church and I was able to talk to him, he is still very firm in his testimony and is super excited about everything with the gospel and missionary work. It was so good to see him again and see the fruit of my labors, and how the gospel has blessed his life.

We had lunch at Brother Lemos´ this week. It was I think one of the best lunches that I had with him. We four sisters went there together again. We always love lunch there and enjoy the conversation, and we always learn a ton when we're there too (he is the one who translated the scriptures and has worked with General Authorities for the past 30 years). But this week he taught us about the worth of women, and showed us all these scriptures, and things that we should look for in a husband. We just learned so much! (I think that is when my week changed, was after lunch with him and his wife that day). But he and his wife, Gé said that we are like family to them, their daughters ( I think by this point everyone at the table was crying) and that they prayer for us every day. It was a special experience. I really do love this mission and everything that I learn from it, and the relationships that I build with everyone here. Especially I am thankful for my companion. I am so grateful to have her. We are also very similar, which is good, but sometimes a bad thing when neither of us like making decisions on things that don't matter (like where should we eat), or talking on the phone, ha-ha. But I am grateful that I have had the chance to train her. We have some of the best experiences together. And I have learned so much from her, and her testimony as a recent convert is very strong, and she is able to touch people with this testimony that others can't. I love life. I love the mission. And I love every single experience that I have here.

Hope all is well with everyone. Until next week.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, April 23, 2012

Week Twenty Nine.

Hello there again everybody,

Again another week has passed by so fast. I keep forgetting that we are in the month of April and here we are at the end of the month already. I can't believe it! But this week was another good week. And at the end of the week we were able to see the fruits of our labors. Each week at the end of the week we tally up our numbers for the week as in the number of lessons taught and contacts made among other things. This week our numbers weren't that great, but we knew that! We had an amazing week anyway! Like I have said, these weeks we have been working more with less active members. Some of them are very good. We started visiting more this week. One of them, a young man, never knew any sister missionaries (sisters have been in the area for about a year and a half), so he hadn't been to church in all that time (he only said a few months). But he has been very grateful to see us and accept our visits and he came back to church this Sunday :) and will start seminary, and he wants to start preparations for a mission! It is great.
We have also been visiting another family, which consists of a mother and two boys. The mom wants us to prep her youngest boy for baptism, and they started coming back to church again too.
Another member we will really have to work with to come back to church, has strong testimony of the gospel, but something happened at to her church with some members, so she doesn't want to came back to the ward. But She has the strongest testimony ever! We visited her at home for the first time this week and she has pictures of the temple and the family proclimation, and all the church books and DVDs on a book shelf, and her daughter knows all the articles of faith. This family is sooooo amazing. We know that one day we will be able to change this family. It may take time, but we know they will be blessed.
This week we started teaching a young man who is a friend of a member. He was very resistant to receiving missionaries for a very long time. But we finally were able to teach him! And during the lesson he started asking a bunch of questions! And Sister Corrêa then got really excited because finally she knew all the answers to the questions. I think she has finally learned how to truly listen and respond with the spirit.
Then there is this family that we have been seeing for awhile I think I talk about them every week. The husband suffered an accident and can't walk very well. Well the wife this week went out and bought a shirt to wear to church and got the phone number for a taxi service and everything, then his brother moved his plans and wanted to visit Sunday, so they weren't able to came to church again! But it was funny because when we were talking about clothes, we asked Carlos, the husband what he would wear to church, and he said his normal clothes and that he wasn't going to dress as a Mormon. Then we asked him, and when you´re Mormon... he then responded with a smile on his face, then of course I will dress as a Mormon. This family really is amazing, and treat us almost as family. We always try to find ways to help them. We can see that we will have baptisms in the near future with some of these people.

On another note: Other things that we did this week. We had a zone meeting in another city which has a super huge flea market. Mainly it is just clothes. But everything is super cheap. So we decided that we would go early before our meeting, about 5 am and go to the flea market. Wow it was something different. A small city of booth! It was huge!!!! I spent about $60. And that went a long, long way. I bought a skirt, 6 dresses, and 2 soccer jerseys, and 2 shirts. A little money there went a long ways. Some of the things in the flea market aren't of the greatest quality, but if you are persistent you can find good quality items. I bought things there, because now I look more like a local and people will not think I always have money. I wore a dress yesterday to church and one of the sisters said wow you look so much happier and not so serious. I didn't know clothes made such an impression here. We also went to a lunch with the other sisters this week and got to see the other side of the city. Which it totally hills!!! It was way at the top of one of the hills. Next to the Christ statue, so we visited it again. One of the problems we have in this small little town is we almost never leave and there is nothing to do on p-day. So we always create our own things to do. This morning when we were cleaning we created a slip in slide... in the house. Every p-day morning we clean the house. One of the sisters started throwing a little water at another sister. (All the floors here are made of tile so we clean them by throwing soapy water on the ground). But then we realized we didn't have a squidgy or mop. So one of the sisters was trying to use her body and then realized we can slide around. We have a big tiled hallway, threw down water and soap/shampoo(because its more slippery) and had a slip-in-slip in our house. It was a lot of fun and after that everything was all clean!
But I do enjoy my mission here. I love everything about it, the good and the bad. This really is the Lords work. I hope everyone has a good week.
Sister Nelson

Monday, April 16, 2012

Week Twenty Eight.

Hello there everyone!

This week was a great week for the missionaries in Gravatá. We started off the week a bit bummed because last week was hard, but it quickly turned around. And we had an amazing week. And we were able to see some miracles happen. We started counting some of our miracles, and were going to try and get 17, like in 17 miracles, but yes, we fell just a bit short. Ha-ha. But yesterday we were able have our last baptism finally confirmed a member of the church, after a month! We have been working with him a lot this week encouraging him that he needs to complete his baptism with receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The problem was he goes to his grandma’s house every weekend. We were able to get someone to bring him to church, and he was finally confirmed a member of the church. We were both so happy.

We started teaching a boy who is a friend of a member. We taught him Saturday for the first time, and he already wants to be baptized. He has been going to church and has even been attending seminary (here, seminary is at night), but he is already more active than some of the members in the ward. He will be great. He asks good questions and wants to learn more about the gospel. He was another miracle that we had this week. We will mark a date for his baptism this week, we hope.

We were able to visit a couple this week who expressed to us their desire to be baptized too. But the problem is that they are not married, no one here is legally married. So we will be able to work out this problem in these next few weeks, and they too will be able to be baptized.

Our mission has started a new project here, about a month ago, where we work a lot more with the less active members here. This week it worked out great. A member went with us yesterday and was able to show us the houses of were these people live and make visits with us. We were able to visit a lot of new people. Some of these people are really good and I know that they can return back to the church and become firm in the gospel again.

This week I started giving English classes in the chapel. I never know what to teach, but I think it worked out good. The last thing I taught them was parts of the body and then I had them all do head, shoulders, knees, and toes. We started off slow and then got faster it was very funny and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.

So this was my week, nothing too exciting, but we were finally able to see people’s hearts change. I hope everyone has a great week.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, April 9, 2012

Week Twenty Seven.

 So this week was Easter, or yesterday was Easter. Here in Brazil it is really big, because it’s very Catholic here. So people start celebrating Easter a couple of days before. Some start drinking a couple of days before. This little city of Gravatá had a ton of people! Everyone came here for the holidays. A lot of people in Recife have a house here, so they come here during the holidays, so the streets were crawling with people and cars. There were more people here then there were during Carnival, which is weird. So again we had to return earlier to our house. Here in Brazil they don’t do Easter baskets but they do have chocolate eggs. Everyone buys these huge chocolate eggs, or an egg with chocolates inside. They are pretty expensive. All day yesterday people asked us if we had been eating a lot of chocolate, but no one had given us any. Finally during lunch we were given a bit of chocolate. One of the girls in the family felt bad that we hadn’t been given any chocolate, so she gave us the last of her half eaten chocolate bar, she had already eaten a couple. So we were grateful for that. haha. Both of the wards here had a fireside together or a devotional for Easter. They had speakers, and we as a choir sang, it was about 2 hours long, but it was good. This Easter we just focused on the purpose of the holiday.

This week on Friday, the start of the holidays here, one of Sister Kikuchi´s baptisms came and visited from Recife, they too have a house here in Gravatá. They invited all of us for lunch. We had Brazilian barbeque! It was pretty good. Our lunch was a bunch of different meat that was cooked over the fire. It was super good, but weird because I haven’t eaten that much meat in a very long time. Their house was huge too. They had a covering in the back of their house where we ate with a built in BBQ, ping pong, pool table, and fosse ball, so we had fun. After we ate, we then had a water balloon fight! In the hot weather it was very nice, and with these sisters they are all really cool and easy going so we had a fun time, but were then super tired after it was all over.

This week was also a bit hard because Sister Corrêa was a bit sick, fever, headache, eyes pounding. Our president’s wife said it sounded like something, but then we found out that a lot of missionaries were getting this same thing, a lot. So she wasn’t alone, I think it’s a bug that’s going around here. I continue taking my vitamins.

Things here this week were a bit difficult with teaching, but we were able to have fun. Sister Corrêa and I worked a lot this week and were not able to see any progress. We know that if we do not see the fruit of labors now, that we are planting a lot of seeds for future missionaries, but we know that this is the work of the Lord and that we sometimes have to trust in his timing! I do love the work here and the people. Right now I couldn’t have asked for better people to share this experience with then these sisters here and my Companion.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, April 2, 2012

Week Twenty Six.

Hello there everyone,

Well not much happened this week. We have found out that your body is programmed to work for 6 week intervals. (6 weeks is one transfer here in the mission field). At the end of the six weeks your body is wiped out and it’s hard to keep going. But even when you stay in the same area and you start a new transfer your body is recuperated and you are ready to start a new journey. We started a new transfer here this week, but nothing moved. I am still in training with Sister Corrêa, so we knew that nothing was going to happen, the sisters that we live with too. So we will continue on with our adventures.

One of the adventures that we had this week was a Family Home evening with us four at the end of the day, one of the days in the week. Sister Kikushi shared a spiritual message, on how we can become better missionaries. We sang hymns, and then played some games. One of them was putting your face in a plate full of flour trying to find a ring, but there was candy in there too, so you didn’t know what you were getting most of the time. The other game was us trying to guess what our companion was acting out, if we got it wrong we both got a pie in the face, which was silly foam spray. But if you got it right you got chocolate, very extreme opposites. So our games were pretty messy, it then lead to us, I’ll just say, getting messier and then staying up and cleaning up our whole house, but we needed a relief break.

Another break that we had this week, a spiritual and uplifting break was General Conference. Here the sessions were at 1pm and 5 pm, because they were broadcast live. That also meant that the priesthood session was at 9pm. Pretty different then at home. But always the first session of the say was right after lunch and we had to get investigators, so we ended up being late to the two first sessions. The very first session, the video feed wasn’t working, and it didn’t start until about 40 mins after conference started, so we will have to read them later.  It was my first conference in Brazil. It was interesting because I could usually always hear the talk in English at first and then they would start speaking Portuguese, because it was a live translation, so I got confused a bit on what language to listen too, haha. But it was good, and I learned a lot.

Something funny that happened this week is people here sometimes insist on feeding us. So this week one day every house that we went to fed us food! We even had two dinners, we were so stuffed. And the problem is my companion, Sister Corrêa doesn’t eat a ton, she is super skinny, so if she couldn’t finish it she always discreetly gave it to me. Also one of the culture things here, in the part of Brazil, none of us are used to. Is that if you don’t take seconds they think you don’t like the food. And always if you finish before them they keep dishing you up food, so for me, who I always eat fast, it is sometimes a problem. Lunch here is big, let’s just say that. A few times this week the sun was suuuupppper hot. Just walking to and from lunch we both returned with a big line on our arms and chest from the sun. The sun here sometimes is not super hot, but it is very strong because we are so close to the equator.

But these are more our less my adventures for this week. This week is Easter, and it is hard to imagine but this little town I am in, Gravatá, is a tourist town. So there will be a ton of people. But I hope everyone has a good week, and a good Easter.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, March 26, 2012

Week Twenty Five.

Hello there everybody,

Well things here in Brazil are pretty much the same, hot, a lot of sun, teaching and converting people to the gospel. Nothing that eventful happened this week. In fact I don’t really remembered what really happened. If feels like yesterday I sent out an email to the family. The weeks here are starting to feel like days. It is pretty crazy. In three days I will reach 6 months on my mission. I can not believe how fast time flies by. It feels like yesterday I arrived in Brazil, and here I am with less then a year of my mission, and I have so much I want to do here. So many more people I need to teach and bring to the gospel. The work of a missionary is never done. It was a bit interesting this week almost every day we returned home and looked at our numbers we were always satisfied but always thought that we could do better, teach more, and find more people. But we are trying with all our strength. I am learning so much with Sister Corrêa she really is an amazing companion, I am blessed to have her. We are able to learn so much together.

This week we were able to start teaching 3 new kids this week that have a strong desire to find a church. Two are sisters, and one is a friend of our last baptism. The two sisters we only started teaching Saturday, but they came to church on Sunday. But it was a miracle because when we went and picked them up for church their dad really wanted to go too, but he had to work, but he promised us that he would come the next week. They really are two special girls. We are also teaching a family and they are all really amazing, but they can’t come to church yet. He suffered an assault and got shot 6 times. A bullet is his spinal cord, or near there somewhere. So it really is a miracle he can even walk. But he is recovering from the surgery and has problems walking. But just in the little while that we have been teaching him we have seen such improvement, and know that he is a miracle. So we invited him to be baptized. He said once he is better and can walk, and visit the church he will. Some of the people have such faith in us. Of course there are those that don’t. We also invited someone else this week to be baptized, because in the mission here, they encourage us to invite people to be baptized in the first lesson, well we did in the second lesson, came back later that week, and she told us that it would be better if we visited other people. After that is was super awkward. Everyone has their agency. For the most part everyone here has a lot of faith in us and our message, but just is afraid of commitment sometimes.

This week we were able to have lunch at Brother Laos’s house. He worked translating for apostles for many years, and knows so much doctrine. Any questions we every have we always ask him. He is also the one who knows English. On our way back from his house we stopped by one of his neighbors who grows flowers for weddings. Wow they have a ton of flowers, it was very pretty.  They also live on a hill over looking the valley. But they then gave us a bunch of fruit to take home. It was the first time that we have ever met them. So  we returned to our house with a bunch of mangos, bananas, and a fruit similar to a cherry. People this week have all wanted to give us food and feed us. Many times it is then hard to walk home after eating. Here part of the culture is you have to dish up seconds. They think if you don’t repeat you don’t like the food. But sometimes they put so much food on your plate the first time, you can’t eat any more. But I am slowly learning how to cook all the food here. Sister Corrêa says I cook rice better then most Brazilians now. So I got the rice part, haha. But I am starting to tell that I am going to miss rice and beans when I go home. I am starting to appreciate every aspect of the culture here more and more.

I truly love my mission, and love this opportunity I have to serve the Lord.

-Sister Rebecca Nelson

Monday, March 19, 2012

Week Twenty Four.

March 19, 2012

Hello there everybody!!

So this week was a bit different, but good all the same. This week we had a baptism! His name is Mailson! He is 12 years old. He is the cousin of my last baptism. He has wanted to be baptized for a bit of time now. We were able to talk to his mom and teach him all the lessons. We taught him super fast. This week we taught him two lessons in one visit, because we needed to teach him before he was baptized. It was the first baptism where I was the senior companion, so I was a bit stressed out trying to find people to help and get everything in order. But he was super excited. The problem is he didn’t show up to church on Sunday, so he didn’t receive the Holy Ghost, sooo.... it wasn’t complete,,,, yet. We will talk to him tonight. So stay tuned to see what happens. With his baptism we had the opposite problem with the baptismal font. Instead of it not draining, we couldn’t find the plug. So we were trying to find things in the chapel that would work as a plug. We finally resorted to a wadded up sponge in a plastic sack. The thing was it was really small, so when I had to pull the plug I had to go all the way into the font and reach down and get it. That was just this morning.

This week we also had interviews with the president. We went to Caruaru (an hour away) again, for our interviews. We got a car to go there, but the driver squished us 4 into the back seat, so Sister Kikuchi was practically in the front seat. We got there and had training with the president, about a mission project in this state, where we will start working more on reactivating less active members, so we were pretty excited, it was a lot of information. Afterwards we had our interviews with the president. The interviews with him are always very fast and to the point. But I like them. It was a bit intimidating because he was at a small table in the way back of this huge room. So it was a long walk silent walk to and from the table. Afterwards the President bought us all pizza! So we all ate lunch together.

This week was a bit interesting because at the beginning of the week we were working very hard, and were getting a lot of lessons in, and our numbers were looking great. Then the last three days we have had meetings almost all day. So there went our numbers. But it is all good. We had a baptism and have seen progress finally in our area.

We continue working hard and learning lots together.

Sister Rebecca Nelson

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Week Twenty Three.

Hello There everyone,

Another week has passed by, can you believe it? Sometimes the days here are very long and very tiring, but the weeks always seem to fly by. This week was another hard week. With the hot sun beating down on us and having to walk to what seemed like the end of Gravatá with no water, we were just barely putting one foot in front of the other and sometimes did not find people in their houses to give anyone their scheduled lesson. Our weeks seem hard at times, but this week has been a week of miracles also.

Yesterday we were out walking trying to find a reference after lunch that was way at the end of town. We didn’t really know where we were going, and we were just talking and kept walking. We finally stopped in front of a restaurant, which by the way was way past the person we were trying to find, and realized that we had been trying to find this restaurant for the past two weeks.  We had made a contact with someone who said they lived by the restaurant. Well the addresses here, are super great sometimes, you don’t know what street is what and people just tell you “I’m just across from this place and you go a little ways down and I live on the first floor.” Well.... I’m sure you can imagine how easy it is to find houses here sometimes. So we were at the restaurant, and now all we had was the number of the house. So I happened to pick a street and we started walking. We saw that the numbers were close (and oh sometimes the numbers here jump twenty and then go back down and then repeat, which I don’t understand) and then the houses didn’t have any numbers. So we picked one of the houses that didn’t have a number, clapped our hands (you don’t ring door bells, you clap your hands loud and shout the persons name), and the lady we had made the contact with answered the door, and was very happy to see us! During the lesson she was crying, she didn’t tell us why, and we didn’t want to pry too much, so we asked if we could visit her again, she said “Of course, please!”  We then left and knew that the spirit there was with her, to testify of our message. We will see what happens... but we were led by the spirit to bring her a message in a time of need.

We also started teaching another family, a set of grandparents, a mother, father, and son. They are an amazing family! The grandpa says the funniest random things though, Everyone starts laughing when he talks. The father is recovering from a really bad surgery, and can barely walk. Just in this last week we have seen so much improvement in his ability to walk, and we all know it is a miracle. We gave them a Book of Mormon, then we returned later that week, and the father was already in Jacob! It is crazy to see how fast these people embrace the true word of God.

Another person that we visit, she is so very strong and wants to get baptized so bad, but the man she lives with doesn’t want to get married. But wow, she has such a strong testimony. When she talks and bears her testimony it strengthens mine.

Some of you have been asking me about my language... well it’s hard for me to judge, because I tend to be a perfectionist at things.  I have come to find a mission is far from perfection, you are always stumbling along learning new ways to do new things with the help of the Lord. I don’t know if I’ll ever really say that I am fluent, but... almost. As far as my understanding, it depends on who I talk to. but that goes for my Brazilian companions too (sometimes they don’t understand the accents here). For the most part I understand everything that my companions and other missionaries here say.  For the people here, I usually understand most everything. But for my speaking I can express everything and I am just talking without having to translate things in my head. Just talking, my thoughts are transitioning over to Portuguese too. My problem when I got here was that I spoke very slowly, but because I naturally speak a bit fast and I am now completely comfortable speaking people.  Sometimes they say that I speak a bit fast at times. I also think sometimes I am just excited to talk to the people and want to share my message, so I talk faster, but I do feel I am almost fluent. I of course don’t know all the words, so sometimes when people talk about food or other categories where I don’t know a lot of words I am sometimes lost. Usually when people are talking, and I don't know the word, I can usually understand the significance from the context, but I find I need to hear the word a lot more before I start using it in my own vocabulary. My companion is helping me a lot. I tell her that when ever I say something wrong correct me. So some of my conjugations where I have become lazy she helps me, and she has also has been helping me with my accent too. I want to really learn this language inside and out. The problem I sometimes have is with reading, especially reading the scriptures and writing. So we have been working on that these past weeks, and it has gotten a lot better.

But this is my life in Brazil on my mission, and even though times are hard, I live to see the miracles that happen here and the way our message changes the hearts of the people.

Sister Rebecca Nelson