Monday, August 31, 2015

From MTC to my first area Cotia

Oi Tudo Bem??? No somos missionarias da Igraja de Jesus that is Portuguese for ya! we say that hmmmm probably 50 times a day haha how are you guys doing??? It’s been too long...oh I know why, I’m in the mission field and didn’t have time to email last week!!! What??!! Really??!! Yes!

I’m here in Cotia (Cochia) with Sister Rodrigues as my trainer and she is beyond fabulous. I’m the first companion she’s had who is taller than she is. Brownie points for me I guess :)

Sister Silvera (roommate at MTC)

So quick run-down...leaving the MTC was weird. The last day we were in classes and were told the same thing we heard in the 6 weeks not much prep to find your way around Brazil, how to not die, how to talk to REAL people.

At the Sao Paulo Temple

Anyway, we left Tuesday morning at 7 and got to the mission home, say down, looked around and were given a pretty long orientation about what the secretaries/assistants do, after that we had lunch and were introduced to our trainers! Sister Rodrigues (r is pronounced like an h) anyway...we make it to our area Cotia where sis R had been to before earlier in her mission so that made me feel super comfortable. bought some groceries, settled in etc. since then we have been street contacting (well sis R had mostly).

Sister Rodrigues

I honestly don’t know what to say most of the time, she’s done it so many times I know what she’s saying but I don’t have the vocab to participate yet) we visit members every day for lunch...lunch here is huge! Lots of beans rice meat juice and other stuff. I’ve learned how to pace myself so I’m not just sitting there while they are still eating. We have taught some lessons and I’ve actually talked! Yesterday I even invited to be baptized and they accepted! Boom here comes Sister Oldroyd with the memorized phrases in Portuguese.

The members are super patient and very loving. I’m getting the face to face kissing thing down pretty good too. Sometimes the lights go out so we use candles to study. Sorry for topics all over the place I want you to get a feel of Cotia! The roads are very small and usually don’t have sidewalks....trash is everywhere and so are dogs which makes me really sad....lots of different churches here. Some sing....weird stuff. Lots of motor shops and the buses here are insane! It feels like the bus in that harry potter movie. Seriously! It’s been a huge blessing I haven’t gotten sick yet. Tender mercies people, they’re real. Our first district meeting was in English because President Del Guerso wants them to learn English so that was a shock when we sang in English and he conducted in English. I’ve learned a lot family and friends. I’ve learned how to be patient with mostly myself and Portuguese.

I’ve learned to rely on my Savior and Heavenly Father and really focused in on the lessons we teach because I need, really need to have a testimony about this or else I can’t explain my thoughts! Anyway, I’m running out of time but I love it here, even when it’s hot and then cold, my feet hurt...etc. I can always find happiness in knowing that I have this knowledge, I have this blessing in my life and I really don’t have to worry. The Savior is watching out for me and this life was created for my benefit. We teach people how the gospel blesses families and it truly does.

What a great blessing it is to know our purpose and to not be afraid of what lies ahead. I can’t wait to speak this language better but obviously I need to put in my I will continue to talk with my comp about everything! Even movies :) I love you all. Keep blessing those around you with your smiles and testimonies and find those tender mercies God has given you. Whether it’s having a sweet little Brazilian girl play with you and her toy phones and not care your Portuguese is choppy or that the moon was a slight orange last night. The gospel is a light that we must seek and share. Obrigada, I feel your love and support every day. Sister Oldroyd out from Cotia, a beautiful bit of heaven

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Come Follow Me

Hey folks!!!

Another week has passed and I can’t believe it. Am I really leaving for my mission on the 25th??? Yes! Crazy!!!

I gotta first share about a great Sister Smith language moment. She had been practicing super hard at transitioning the lessons into a word of prayer on our knees but instead of saying, “can we please end with a prayer on our knees,” she said, “can we please end with a prayer on our sons.....” After she said sons I immediately corrected her but it was too late. Our investigator and I started laughing our heads off! It was a great try! The next day, word gets around with the teachers and our other teacher joked with us about it. Gotta love it.

Well I gotta get to the wonderful part of week!! We were really trying to study hard and prep for our lesson and I had the idea of singing a bit of a hymn for our investigator who is preparing for baptism because I wanted her to get a feel for all the songs we sing in sacrament and at baptisms. The lesson was going like normal, and I explained that we were going to sing just one verse of Come Follow Me and right as soon as we finished, I went to start talking again and it hit me.........the tears started flowing and so did the spirit. A wave of love and concern and gratitude for Andressa (our teacher/investigator) just hit me. I was so happy for her progression and felt so much love. I kept crying and trying to talk but words barely came out. Andressa was crying as well and I luckily explained that music always does this to me and that she was feeling the spirit. I didn’t want to continue talking/bawling so I looked/nudged Sister Smith to say something. She said a few things and teared up as well. Luckily I composed myself enough to talk quickly about following the prophet but what a great experience that was! And on my 1 month mark no doubt :) I had always heard about these amazing spiritual experiences with investigators in the MTC but I hadn’t really had any until now :) I think it was a blessing from Heavenly Father to spiritually revive me and keep me going strong! Sometimes you get in the motions here but that certainly woke me up and made me realize just how much I love these people and the message I’m here to share.

Other times when I felt the spirit was during our devotionals and Sunday meetings. How refreshing those meetings are too! Who would’ve thought that I’d just love going to meeting after meeting after meeting? I wouldn’t have until I realized how much you can be spiritual uplifted and strengthened through the words of the teacher through others, and the spirit.

Today in the Campinas Temple, I was enjoying the Celestial room again and saw the chandelier. Remember that? Well this time there were many different colors spread out and it made me think of you all! How grateful I am to have your influence and that I’m not the only purple person, but there are greens and yellows and reds etc.

I also felt the spirit while playing the piano last night for the devotional. I played Love at Home and I pictured my Heavenly Father smiling down, and saying “Way to try again even though last time was awful!” I love music. I love mission life. Most of all I love the relationship I have with my Heavenly Father. What a blessing it is to have an all knowing Father, who wants the best for you, who always knows what’s going on. When I don’t know how to express something in writing or in words, I always take comfort in knowing that the most important thing is that He knows. He can see into my heart and that’s all that matters.

I love it here, even when our roomies get up at 6 am to get ready for some reason, or when there are super SUPER loud fireworks going off outside at 11:00 pm and you think they’re gun shots, or when you only get a juice box and a little granola bar for lunch time, or when you can barely understand what the teacher is saying and is laughing her head off so you chuckle with her......that happens all the time :) These things aren’t that bad really but it’s what makes life fun and different! It’s what helps me learn and grow and experience the unknown. It’s what reminds me I’m in another country! Another world! I’ve been called here for some reason. A reason that I hopefully will know soon :) I’ll let you know when that happens.

Love you guys! Keep shining bright and never forget what a wonderful plan you’re a part of. Next week I’ll be in the mission home! Talk with you then. Tchau.


Sydster Oldroyd
The spiritual song singer sorta crier :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Giving away BOMs in the streets of Brazil

Hey fam!  There’s a Plumeria tree on the MTC grounds that makes me sooo happy! There aren’t a lot of flowers but I love find ones that have fallen and smelling them. Oh and we get snacks every night around 9 o’clock since lunch is the main meal!! It’s the best thing ever...usually a juice box, a chocolate bar and some crackers or muffins or Twinkies. I’m livin the life over here. Oh and I played the piano for a devotional! It wasn’t too good but oh well. I felt as if Heavenly Father was chuckling to himself as I played away and as the Brazilians tried singing a song they didn’t know. Chuckling in a good fatherly way as if to say, good job Syd, way to use your talents. It was a great feeling :)

What’s happening with my fan section this week???? Oh I don’t know, maybe just some awesome stuff!  Where to start.....well with our two Brazilian roommates. It’s hard to communicate completely and coherently so I, being the Sydney that I am, try to think of ways to make them laugh or like me through other ways besides talking. And what pops into my head??? Sing the "lonely, I am so lonely, I have nobody for my own" song in my high pitched cartoon voice for them (haha) and it worked wonders! They loved it! They even videotaped it on their cameras which now I’m regretting because then all these people later came up and would sing, "lonely" and ask me to sing it.....and then right before class an elder pops his head into our class trying to explain that he's my fan. It was great but I’m gonna work on just talking Portuguese with them. Which reminds me....they’re gone! They left this last Tuesday for their missionas cause they’re only here for two weeks. Super sad. I wonder what our new roomies will be like. I’ll keep you posted on that.

This last week we went proselyting! I’m not too sure I’m spelling this word right but who cares! You get the idea! Our district was terrified but we all grabbed 3 BoMs and headed out to the bus station with our teacher and rode into town. I’m pretty sure we did it in my mission! We probably looked super weird with 3 books in hand, name-tags on, church clothes, and young kids clustered together terrified to say anything to anyone. It started out well with two Americans who served missions, one in Brazil and one in Poland. They really boosted our spirits. Then our teacher said, I’m staying right here. Only walk up and down this street so I can see you. You’ve got 30 minutes! Go! WHAT? My comp and I have 6 BoMs that need to be handed out in 30 minutes......little did we know, we’d finish first, in 20 minutes. It was awesome!! Brazilians are soo chill, and a lot kinder about refusing than I thought they’d be. I went first, and talked to a guy who said nothing but just nodded his head and took the book. Then Sister Smith tried and the lady automatically shut us down when she heard her say missionaries. But we continued to conquer! I gave another to an old man who literally jumped for joy when I said it was a present for him. It’s very important that you tell them you’re giving it to them for free. I finished us off with a younger lady, who was really nice at listening to my choppy Portuguese. The poor elders! They took almost double the time. One even had to walk back to the bus station with a book and gave it there cause they had been shut down so many times. Let’s just say being an American woman is a plus :)

What else to talk about...... we watched a recorded devotional last night that was from Provo on Aug 5th! I saw some friends!  It was of President Nelson, and he did a great job talking about how much the church has progressed and how we need to continue its progression even in this day and age.

We learned in class about how to introduce the BoM better to our investigators and it really strengthened my testimony for it. I love it so much! It’s so true how two testaments are better than one, and the BoM is that second testament. It may not be about people from our time, but it was written specifically for us! I challenge you all to try to use the scriptures more when looking for an answer to a question.

I love to pray too!  I’m just turning into a walking, talking typical sister missionary and I’m ok with that! I’ve been so blessed to be here and meet all these people! I don’t know what I’d do without these people and it’s crazy that I might see some of them at BYU after!

I’ve started writing some of my journal entries as if I'm talking with Heavenly Father and let me tell you, it changes things. Obviously in a good way, but it just means more. I feel as if I can say what is really going on in my heart and that He is listening. This has really strengthened my relationship with Him. I think I’m out of time but know how much I love this life and appreciate the prayers and emails and fun memories that pop into my head at times when I’m studying or going to class. Last night we shared pictures and stories about our families and it felt great to tell people about the amazing place I came from, and about the amazing people who led me to this point in my life. Thank you all for your wonderful testimonies, examples, personality traits, strength, and love;  For the lives you are living and for the people who are a part of it. I have most definitely been blessed and I hope to come back and repay you all! Remember that there’s a sister missionary in Brazil who loves you and is coming back fluent in Portuguese and hopefully in the language of the spirit, because that’s the most important language isn’t it? Being able to communicate with not only our Father in Heaven and Christ, but with others through the spirit :) nothing feels as good, as when a person bears testimony or just lives their testimony and it hits you to the core. That’s the way I want to communicate when I come home. I want to radiate. I want the spirit beaming out of my heart. I want anyone and everyone, no matter their religious background to feel it, and think “Why do I feel this way?” “What’s different?”  They'll just have to ask me why.  I in turn will say, "I was hoping you'd ask. Why, I’m a daughter of God. I’m loved by the most all-knowing person and He loves you too." I hope that didn’t sound extreme but it’s true! He loves us all! If I can help in telling people this then I’m off on another journey!

Tchau for now.  

Love is coming your way from Sister Oldroyd’s heart and soul!

Because we're never "lonely". We've always got someone. You know who :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Am I in Brazil?

Am I in Brazil?????
I guess so :)
There are beautiful trees and tons of buildings everywhere. The temperature is amazing and not nearly as cold as I thought it would be. I'm colder in the classrooms cause the elders have the AC blasting at 20 degrees C (or something like that...its just really cold) and the food is really tasty here! Lemme just compare a couple of things to Provo.

1. The food is better. its prepared fresh everyday and is awesome. freshly made juices from unknown fruits, delicious chicken every meal and rice and beans obviously. Oh and they make the most amazing mini loaves of bread! I have two every morning for breakfast, they always feel warm in my hand. amazing stuff people.
2. The rooms and beds are better! I sleep like a baby here haha and my Brazilian roomies are the greatest! they help us with Portuguese all the time and have memorized the phrase "I like you" in English and say it with a high pitched voice. makes me smile every time. one sister is engaged and the other has a serious boyfriend. its great to hear about their stories :)
3. Physical activity here is better! the track is tiny and you have to do 5 laps before doing anything else but its really helped me run a little more then in Provo, I also love playing volleyball with the Hispanic elders and sisters. The sisters try so hard but they just have no idea how to hit the ball. I've successfully helped one sister serve correctly and now she adores me :) what can I say, I'm meant to coach! just kidding.
4. No pictures or cameras except for pday. I can't take any pictures unless its inside the CTM and on my pday. which is alright. I don't wanna look like a tourist. except, get this! two sisters have told me I look Brazilian! pretty stoked about that, unless that's a bad thing. not sure, I'll let you know later if that is.
5. Everyone HAS to be in the ctm choir. Its hilarious! all the sisters sit in the front 3 rows and the rest of the elders in the back. A senior couple here at the CTM are in charge of this and she is awesome! super hilarious and knows just enough Portuguese to lead it all. I love hearing them sing, even if they cant hold a tune! music is the best!
6. Its way more strict here! specifically concerning speaking in Portuguese because they think its sad if we talk in  English. Its hard to explain but they have super high expectations for us. In our district we have had a teacher call us out a couple of times reminding us that we are here to teach in Portuguese not in English. anyway, I appreciate these reminders :) and because of this we had an English fast yesterday which was very difficult but showed me how much Portuguese I knew!
7. There are about 200 missionaries here compared to 2000 over in Provo :)

I'm done with comparing the mtcs and will just chat now. Lessons are going well. I feel like we are always in class preparing for them and then I forget everything I was just practicing! We are also doing TRC which is great! lessons with members. This Friday, in about 2 days we are going proselyting! I am obviously terrified. I just want to memorize the line "free book"
cause each of us has 3 BoMs to give out.

Oh good news! Sister Habel is here! yay! Saw her today and it was great! Sadly we aren't in the same district or branch but I will see her occasionally. Today we went to the Sao Paulo temple and it was amazing! A little smaller then I thought it would be but still the house of the Lord. since there was so many missionaries they held the session in English. It's a beautiful temple, and I can't believe I'm basically in my missiona already! the whole time we were driving I thought, is this my mission???? such cool stuff. In the celestial room, right before we left, I looked up at the chandelier (very pretty by the way) and noticed one crystal was purple while the others were white. It made me laugh because I had a comforting thought that I might be some crazy purple person, but I'm still a part of God's chandelier (a part of His family) and he loves me for who I am no matter how I look or how I comprehend things, or work. He can see my intentions and see where my priorities lie. Weird metaphor, but I've been thinking deeply lately, hoping to continue my conversion as a member of this church.

Another time I felt a huge burst of comfort was during our devotional last night when seeing my Brazilian roommates putting their arms around other sisters. I'm not a very touchy person but when I see things like that I get all mushy because they are such sweet spirits! They are converts. They are people from other countries who have fought for what they believe in and are here on a mission! I feel of their love even when they aren't hugging me! I hope one day I can be like them. I hope I can love something so much, that people just know. I am a missionary of A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Ultimos Dias. Life is great! thanks for all the support. Love you all, have a great
Sincerely Sister Oldroyd "the purple crystal sister"