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