Thursday, September 6, 2012

April emails from oldest to newest

Generally, a great Conference!  [sent on 02 April 2012]

Dear Family,
it was such a thrill to watch conference and see the tulips on temple square. It looked really warm and sunny. Are you sure that you had winter there? What a wierd year. Is it heating up, or it is still a quite cool and rainy spring?
Here it is still raining. Last week, we had a car intentionally drive by and splash us. My companion went to say a few choice words, but then looked at my dripping ponytail, and decided that it was funny. It was funny. I can chalk it up to mission experience. And so the sister missionaries had a baptism this week,  OURS! If only that was where our bad luck stopped, the next day my companion, bless Sister Moda´s heart, face planted while we here crossing the street. She really banged up her knee. The next day she was walking along just fine, and then I asked how her knee was feeling. THEN she started limping again. Well, she has mended well since then. I am pretty convinced that the
Lord gives us super healing strength on a mission for the normal bumps and bruises.
I loved conference. Especially Elder David Evans talk when he mentioned writing letters to missionaries. That was very appropriate. I heard a lot of counsel on how to raise a family, and I thought of how I indeed have a testimony today because of the priorities my parents had when I was small. I just cried during Elder Anderson´s talk about the miracle of those three children. Elder Rasband´s talk
too, but  they were good tears:)
It was interesting to hear the talks about forgiving others in our families and how disputes just aren´t worth it. I have no disputes, but I can certainly improve when I want to hold grudges. I love conference, I can´t wait to read the messages over and over again.
I have a testimony of Prophets. I know that President Monson is our prophet today and what a blessing that is! What a life saver.
I love you all and wish you the very best of weeks in the midst of post conference glow.

Eye single to the glory of God  [sent on 09 April 2012]

Dear Family,
What a week! First of all Happy Easter! I hope that everyone had a great Sunday. I heard that everyone liked the easter egg hunt at Grandpa´s house, I am already looking forward to next year when I can help the little ones dye eggs again:)
Our Easter here was calm, Friday before is some kind of big deal in the Catholic religion, All Saints day? is that correct? But nobody can play music, and nobody goes to work. The streets were DEAD. It was so weird to walk aroud without samba music.
We baptized two people this week. Yay! I didn´t fail as a trainer, we baptized! I can´t even tell you the relief that I felt after the baptism. Elizângela was baptized, she decied on Thursday. We were talking about another baptism, and she asked, when is mine? Um... asap:) and it was. On Sunday, and it was great. I love baptisms because the spirit is so strong. We also baptized Vitoria, the young girl who was just ready. What a great Easter gift.
On Wednesday night, my companion walked into our room and said that she couldn´t see anything in one of her eyes. She literally went temporary blind in her right eye. This of course happened at 11 pm when we called President Dias. After 20 minutes her vision returned, but it was scary! The next morning she had an eye exam and everything
was normal. The doctor asked her if she had high cholestorol, because sometimes fat in the blood stream will pass in front of the eye. hmm, never heard of that in my life. Anyways she´ll have a blood test this week, but other than that, all is well.
After the fact, I asked her if it is easier to have your eyes single to the glory of God if you only have one that works. Hence my subject line. I am such a compassionate companion.
But I am so glad that she got better. Bless her heart. I can only imagine how her mother will react. oh sickies on a mission are the worst!
Our week has been eventful needless to say.
Well I best be off, I love you all! have a great week!
Sister Smith

We have our eyesight back!  [sent on 16 April 2012]

Dear Family,

I cannot believe that April is already half over, time is really beginning to fly by. We are now in our fourth week of our second transfer in Sobral 1. Time stops for no man, huh?

How are things at home? how is the weather? I still think about tulips and how I am missing them this year.

I am glad to hear that Xane got a scholarship to byu -- congrats! And Korin is really tall (this was inevitable)

Tomorrow we have interviews with our mission president, I am quite nervous as this is my first interview with him as a trainer and as a senior companion. Since I have all the responsibility, I also have the opportunity to be corrected... A LOT. I am nervous. But all I have to do is cry, sister missionaries are good at that:) We are all in a tizzy here because sister borges is going home on May 1st. She is getting ready to go, buying her last minute souvenirs and having all sorts of fun in her area. Oh boy, my companion is going nuts because Sister Borges is going home to São Paulo, so close to where she lives! I remember when the american sister I lived with went home, it nearly killed me too:)

Yesterday, Elizangela was confirmed, I sent a picture of her today with the email, thanks to my companion. Her baptism was such a miracle, I am so thankful that I was able to be here to see it. Everytime we visit her, there is a marked change in her countenance. That is why I am a missionary!

We just started teaching this guy named Ailton. His wife is already a member. She was baptized as a teenager, and had a boyfriend who was a missionary. she waited for him for 2 years, and then married Ailton instead. but now Leiliane (his wife) wants to come back to church and they are both super jazzed about the gospel. I am so excited for them, it is a priviledge to see them grow. I love being a missionary because I can see the potential of those I teach. I can imagine Ailton in five years, with a shirt and tie, and a calling helping the ward grow. this is how Heavenly Father feels about me, huh? He sees my potential with an eternal family, growing in the Celestial Kingdom. I don´t understand what it like to be a parent, but I do love helping people realize their potential for happiness here.

Saturday was my companion´s birthday. The ward here was really sweet, everybody told her happy birthday yesterday at church. Even our dear stake president, who doesn´t even like us, came up and told her happy birthday. (short story, when we ate lunch at his house, we ate, left a message and even shortly visited with him and his family ... all in 23 minutes. What a record) No, I love our leadership here. Sister Moda had a great birthday, the other sisters surprised her with a delicious brownie cake thing. I love having companions who have birthdays - I get to eat cake too!

Well, my time is about up, but I love you all!

Have a GREAT week!



lucky 13  [sent on 23 April 2012]

Dear Family,
how is the weather in April? Aunt Rae said that it is time for sandals and warm 80 degree weather! Phew I feel like I need my sweater when it is 80 degrees. I am glad to hear that there are many yard projects in full swing. I imagine that Uncle Brad is getting ready to plant Mother´s day flowers soon!
Brazil doesn´t have marigolds or petunias. But there are lots of beautiful flowers and fruits here. Has anyone ever seen a passion fruit? Man are they UGLY and SOUR. but with lots of sugar the  juice is delicious. And it makes you sleepy. Imagine a meal of rice and beans (just carbs) with Maracujá (passion fruit). it is hard to survive without naps some days:)
Well this week we baptized Isabely. She is such a great kid. I am somewhat ashamed to announce that I have  participated in the baptism of another minor, but what are you going to do? Isa has a brother who is already a member, and she is very excited to go to church. She really likes her primary teacher. Her mother has four children and her
father is in prison, and will be for the next three or four years.
Their home is very humble, but all are very accepting.
This upcoming week we are going to baptize Ailton. His wife is a member and she explains everything for him. She has even told him to stop with his coffee addiction before we taught the word of wisdom. Yesterday, in Gospel Principles, we learned about the priesthood. He was really interested, and liked the idea of being able to serve his future family. (can you spell PREPARED?) so that was pretty awesome.
We have transfers next week, so we will see what happens. We have three sisters going home and three coming in. When you only have 12 sisters, that is a big change! so, i´ll keep you posted.
Have a great week, I love youall!
Sister smith

will I stay or will I go?  [sent on 30 April 2012]

Dear Family,
I always forget that transfers come at the end of Pday, and so I still don´t know what is going to happen! Sister Borges went home today, she grabbed a bus at 3 am to go to Teresina. Phew! But being in the same house after living with her for six months is downright depressing:) a silly reason to disire a transfer. but no, I am doing great. If I get
to stay in Sobral, I know that we are going to have a lot of blessings and wonderful experiences. and if I get transferred, well then, I will learn a lot too!
We had a really cool experience this week with a reference of a member. We met a lady in another ward who wanted us to visit her younger sister. So, away we went to find that the road wasn´t where we thought it would be. We got lost. On to the next! But the next day, we stopped to eat something close to where we would have a lesson and the waitress started to talk to us. She asked if we were Mormons and if we
knew her sister. You guessed it, it was the very same  Caroline we had been looking for. Tummies can lead us to find people too:) I just know that we are directed in everything we do, and if I just follow my feet, and keep walking, the Lord will put people in my path.
I have reached an all time low with Coca-cola. We drink a lot. It is embarrassing how many empty bottles we throw away each week. I t is my goal to only drink soda once a day. By the way, Brazilians think it is terrible manners to serve lunch with water. it is always soda or juice. And the members know we like Coke. Oh dear. haha. they are too
good to us. Anyways, I really miss water with my meals, when we eat dinner at home my companion asks `´ are you really going to just drink water with that?!``
My companion and I spoke in our ward yesterday. I spoke first and I only spoke the perscribed 5 minutes. My companion gets up to give her prepared 5 minute talk and the counselor of the bishop leans over and says, 15 minutes, okay Sister Moda? she did great at expounding the word. What ever a missionary says about missionary work is good stuff and members will eat it up.
Reactions to emails : who caved and let Taci have a cat?
xane graduated and likes BYU, Xane you are old.
Grandpa likes spring. I miss spring because I miss the smell of freshly cut grass too:)
I love you all! Have a great week!

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