Monday, November 30, 2015

Hey Pilgrims

Hey my Pilgrims, Indians and such. 
It’s been a great week. Obviously my Thanksgiving wasn’t the usual but it was still great! I’ve got some metaphors, stories, and insights for you! Be grateful (hehe). 
 First lemme just say the work here is progressing so well! An investigator who went on vacation for a month came back. We had difficulties finding a time to visit him but found him while walking in the street and talked with him. Then he came to church that following Sunday! Yay for R! Then a random contact we tried talked about how interested he was in the Book of Mormon and we marked another time to talk more in depth with him about it and give him one. Snaps for T!!!  Lastly M has been receptive from the start. She loves the idea of the plan of salvation and came to church! She has been invited to be baptized on December 19th where our goal is to have a white Christmas and she accepted! (I hope you all understand that goal :) A question M had which I thought was interesting was, "why have you come to me now with this message? I feel as if I have lost 50 years because I didn’t have it before" (it was mostly in respect to the plan of salvation and how right now is our time to prepare to meet God) I tried to reassure her that we all have a purpose, that it’s not how much time we have but how we decide to use it. It reminded me of a parable (don’t remember where) that’s about a worker who works for the person years and years when along comes someone else looking for work as well, in the end, if I’m correct, they are paid the same amount. I believe this to be true in concern of M. It’s about our testimony! About our gratitude and action in this worthy cause. Christ is never going to cut someone short.  
Thanksgiving lunch was great! For dessert we had these homemade ice cream Popsicle things...super good especially cause you get to rip/break the little plastic cup off to eat the ice cream.. 
Some insights for this week: "you can’t buy something that isn’t for sale" this is about repentance and the atonement! Christ can’t pay for our sins if we aren’t willing to give up, or post a for sale sign. I never even thought of it that way before.  Some sins he isn’t able to pay for because we are either stubborn, ashamed or haven’t completely finished the repentance process. Use the atonement, it’s there. He's there! 
Lastly, during a prayer someone used the word "piece" which made me flashback to the movie Monsters Inc. where Mike repaired the shredded door until there was only one piece left, and guess what happened when they put the very last piece in? The light turned on. It worked and was ready to be opened. This made me think about, what’s that one piece forbidding me to open? Or we could have everything in line, all the principles of the gospel are firm and there in our testimonies but we aren’t applying the atonement. We are forgetting that Christ is the center to us all. 
This thanksgiving was wonderful. I had the opportunity to bear testimony in Sacrament meeting for our missionary work themed Sunday and even was talking too much that our ward mission leader who was directing it waved for me to end which made me smile. I am so grateful for this opportunity, my family, friends, testimony, health, personality, Savior and knowledge that I am a daughter of God. Let us put into place what is missing and be prepared to open ourselves in order to receive the greatest blessings only God can imagine. 
I love you all. 
Sis Oldroyd
(editor's note: Syd was not able to send any pictures this week. Next week)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Feel the Faith

Life continues to be so kind to me. By life I mean Heavenly Father and Christ. I’m learning so much, seeing the hand of God every day and doing things I will probably never have the opportunity to do again. We have so many new investigators, references, and a crazy outdated area book that we have worked like crazy trying to catch up this transfer. We often stop by at a garage mini super market to buy a little loaf of bread or a "doce" (candy) or popsicle or Açaí to keep us going. Summer is starting to approach, which means I really have to start applying sunscreen or I’m surely going to die of cancer.....(I’m already a little red) 

We had a great district meeting, and meeting with all the sisters in the mission this past week! It was good timing too because this past transfer we got 12 new sisters! How awesome is that! We are a little low on sisters so it feels good to have a few more sisters to increase the feminine power! 

In the sister training and I got chosen along with another sister by President Del Guerso to do a baptism invite. Obviously I was nervous but after many of the new Brazilian sisters who arrived this last transfer thought I was almost done with my mission because of my Portuguese! I think that’s good right? I’ve really been blessed with the gift of tongues as I realize how much I’m able to understand and speak. If I were doing this for school that would be a different story but speaking about this gospel and trying to be like Christ really helps me open my mouth. It’s not how fast I am speaking that matters but how my words feel. It’s like the title for this email, feel my faith. Is it artificial or the real deal? (I thought of Confessions of a Shopaholic when I said this (haha) Kirst remember the coat thing?) Anyway, try to have real faith that feels genuine and worth something or is even priceless.

My goal is to buy a ton of different jerseys!! Woo Hoo Palmeiras!

Thank you for the love and support. I love it here every day, even when I have to eat more at lunch and I am completely stuffed but they continue to say "come mais sister" and I listen.


From Sister Oldroyd  

Monday, November 16, 2015

Ultimas Dias

Just had transfers and I’m going to stay here in Cotia with Sis Limiro until December 28th and we'll see what happens after that!

I’m finally a little more Brazilian cause I bought a kinda cheap but awesome jersey of the SPFC team! I also am not a "new" missionary anymore, done with Doze Semanas! I had my last training near the temple and had a great time with some of the new sisters and buddies in my group. We played jeopardy and tested our skills with PME and the scriptures etc.

I had my first dream in Portuguese!! It was awesome, me talking (mostly trying) to speak in Portuguese but there was Portuguese in the dream, I’m counting it. haha

I have so much more respect for the prophets and people who kept the records for the BoM because I can barely sum up one week on the mission and I know the Nephites and Lamanites had way more going on than an American Sister living in Brazil preaching the gospel who is eating a lot. Props to them, I love the BoM even more.

My friend Maria

Because sis Limiro likes fast food, we've visited Burger King about 4 times this week so she could use her coupons. The ward had a great talent show! I was so surprised with how many people participated, especially the youth. They had acts, songs, dances (which made me want to dance so bad, especially when a member busted out Thriller!!)

Right now we are teaching J (who has serious spine problems and is a bit slow mentally as well) & J they are married (miracle) and are very sweet,. They always offer water and we are trying to help them make a visit to the church but it’s hard with J and his health. A & J & M (who has Alzheimer’s) they are so sweet as well. They came to church! We found them a ride and they came to the sacrament portion. After we had a priesthood holder give M a blessing. I’m so  grateful for the Priesthood.

Funny/interesting story: we were walking back from the bus point and I passed one of the many movie, video game vender carts and the first DVD in the pile said "Porno" messily written...I let out a surprised chuckle gasp thinking, "Really!?" We are truly in the "Ultimas Dias"(Last days) everyone take cover and get ready because this world is only going downhill unfortunately but guess what other metaphor I thought of this week that goes along with this sad DVD example? Good old Forrest Gump came to mind during church where he says,"Life is like a box of Chocolates" and it’s so true we are all "IN" the Box of chocolates (or the world) but we are not "OF" the same flavor (or physical and spiritual stature). 

We are living in a very dark world but somehow are surviving, we are staying strong when everywhere else is crumbling. I love how firm and bright this gospel is because of Christ. Don’t lose sight of what is really important and strong. Thanks for the love and support! Until next time!

Sis Oldroyd  

Monday, November 9, 2015


Every week seems the same but it’s not when I look back! This week I want to break the email into sections again.

1. What did I teach or types of lessons? We teach a lot of lessons about the Restoration, Plan of Salvation, gospel of Jesus Christ, and Word of Wisdom. In a trio we have the opportunity to try and teach smoothly and equally in three parts and in three different perspectives. It really means a difference when the investigator asks questions,  looks interested in the lesson and keeps their promises (read a scripture or prays). I get to also help them pray sometimes by having them repeat phrases and then say what they would like in between. Sometimes lessons are on the side of the road and noisy distracting cars or motorcycles drive by but that’s missionary work. Other environments are quiet; sometimes they have a sweet little child who decides to be quiet the whole lesson until the last prayer. But lessons are still great.

2. When did I laugh? I laughed a lot as Sister L and I "talked" English. Sis L randomly would say, "Let’s talk Sis Oldroyd" and she'd go off in her broken English about her tired body or boyfriend or whatever word she knows in English. Another moment when she tried to outrun me up a hill....we had to take a break after that little jaunt and catch our breath and during this Sis R would chime in or laugh along with us. We have some good laughs :)

3. What do I love? I love the smell of the fresh flowers, churrasco, almoço (lunch). I love the member’s support and love. I love the random reminders that pop into my head saying, "You're in Brazil!!" and other memories or movie quotes or things that resurface as well which put a smile on my face. I love my companions, and the investigators we are trying really hard to work with. I love how after a couple of weeks my legs and body are accustomed to the hills of Cotia and I can "climb every mountain..." (Sound of Music anyone?) I love bearing testimony about whatever topic we teach, and feeling the spirit.

4. What did I learn? Well since we study every morning and teach every day, I am so blessed to learn a lot. But I'll save you the time and sum it up. My title this week is another metaphor I thought of as we walked in the rain (with our umbrellas of course, though often times I wanna just get super wet and not have the hassle of weaving the sidewalks with it) but I thought of how the little (or big) streams/rivers in the road or the peaceful rivers near the city, are started by millions of raindrops. A grand river had to start with a bunch of little raindrops before it had the power to cut through the earth or carry a current strong enough for a raft full of people to enjoy themselves. This is like our testimonies. We must allow the rain to fall in order for our rivers to grow and strengthen in size. Little moments of despair or flash floods of the spirit are all different types of raindrops that we can either add to our rivers or decide to have the earth soak it up instead. Take advantage of the times storm clouds come, whether our testimonies are in a drought and thankfully soak it up or if we think we are grand enough and don’t need more. I think we can always use a refreshing bit of rain, and we can always use a bit of spiritual inspiration from our Father in Heaven but since He works in mysterious ways it might be through a trial or it might be through a friend and in a way we might not necessarily recognize. Thank you for being this refreshing rain which helps me turn into an ever growing raging river! I’m loving every minute and can feel the power of this gospel every day. Be a needed rain storm and relieve another’s drought. Offer the Living the Water which is Christ.

I love you all. Have a great week and don’t forget to be refreshing!


 Sister Oldroyd , the Raindrop Receiver.    

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Thrust in your Trust with might

I'M 20!!!!! I’ve been practicing on how I should respond to the how-many-years-do-you-have question, 20. yup. Real quick my week was this: had a great district meeting and small bday party with the group. The elders had a member make a big cake. Oh elders. 

I had a divisão with sis B and had a great time with her in lessons. Once of which I felt the spirit real strong and was able to teach with him. Luckily the investigator felt it as well and teared up a bit. What a miracle that was. We then returned to her apartment to find a cat. which after taking pictures with it sent it on its way only to find out later that it had taken a little dump in the bathroom (another miracle to have it near the toilet I had the great job of cleaning it up :) 

lots of lessons on the plan of salvation, and word of wisdom. which help me appreciate these simple truths more and more. Being in a trio again is pretty awesome. More chatting, every night feels like a mini sleepover its fabulous, and a few times we were able to have a member join one of us to go in two different directions and cover more ground! my birthday was...fabulous! Friday the sisters and members threw me a surprise party which I had no idea about, especially cause I was a little antsy Friday when we were randomly waiting on the side of the street for 30 minutes for the other sisters to join us before going to our family home evening. I kept asking why we couldn’t just meet them at their house....poor sis R and Sis L. I had no idea! They were too kind. So many decorations and salgados, and cake! They are the best! 

So glad I could have my bday here in Cotia. My actual bday was great too, bought a mini pumkin for 5 Reais! and kept the carving tradition going by trying to carve the brazil flag...

it’s difficult without the proper tools but the knife I had was all I could find. a pizza replaced a cake and I was Elder Bieber! who could’ve guessed? 

The sisters didn’t believe my secret talent and I just had to prove them wrong.  I made a tie, put up my hair and drew on the eyebrows they were pretty much astounded. We had the great opportunity (because it was Dia das mortes) to do contacts in front of the cemetery...let’s just say it was rainy..lots of sad people...and us trying to stop people to talk about the plan of salvation. Our pday was a bit different this time cause we got to go to the temple! I had no idea how much I missed it! My spirit felt such relief and rest in the house of the Lord. Thank goodness the temple is so close. Please go as often as you all can! Its such a wonderful opportunity to do service and receive blessings at the same time! the session was in Portuguese but I almost understood everything (thanks to the many times I went with the fam before the mission but obviously because of my Portuguese skills as well :) Anyway, I’ve really tried to be a diligent missionary. One who loves every minute, no matter the outcome.  A few phrases I thought of this week. Thrust in your Trust with might. Others are trying too, don’t think it’s only you. Stay steady until the end. Pray to Him, Know Him, and return feeling like you never left. All these have something to do with what I studied this week. I love prayer so much and that it’s up to me with how I want to end this earthly experience. Don’t abuse this privilege we have to talk with our Father in Heaven and blessed gift called the Atonement from our Savior who knows us and loves us. Trust them, they know what they’re doing. Know that I am enjoying everything. the food, crazy bus rides, sore feet, sudden rain showers, slow/fast progressing investigators, waking up at 6:30 am, and feeling the spirit and love of God every day. I pray for you all every morning and night and I know He is doing the same as well. 

Tchau from Sis Oldroyd 
who has one more year but many more to come, which I am so grateful for.