Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Spiritual Sacerdócio (Priesthood) Semana (Week)

My people!!!!

I’ve promised myself to tell you guys more about the work here. First lemme start with a fun adventure we went on this last p-day;  Brás (bryce) where it’s crazy filled with clothes and people. We journeyed there by bus and then the metro but made it there safe and returned safe :) Obviously the only thing I bought on this journey was food :) and ice cream that was unfortunately a bit sour....

(not the ice cream, but some flan a member made)

 . . . but back to the spirit side of this email!

Tuesday we had a district meeting that just lifted my spirits immensely! I gave a quick talk about how we can baptize 3 children of God not just 3 random people so we can make our goal. We need to be filled with love and a desire to be like Christ! Then during our practice and training as a district, I just had a feeling and thought to ask for a priesthood blessing. I didn’t know exactly why but part of it was just to receive a confirmation of the priesthood power. My Lider de Distrito gave me a wonderful blessing. He has been such a great leader so far! During the blessing I felt so wonderful and filled with the spirit! My companion then asked for one as well, and during her blessing I just felt the thought, "you can’t deny this anymore" "I’m real, you know it" and I just started bawling. I want everyone to know that, my doubts, my little thoughts of, "why am I doing this, people aren’t going to listen" are gone!!! Every time now I remember this confirmation I am more converted than ever. I KNOW why I’m here and I know it’s the best thing I could be doing. I know He lives and I know because He is so merciful and patient, He continues to give me these confirmations of the spirit. He waters my spiritual seed of faith with the refreshing spiritual spring.

We have been teaching Maria, who cares for her father who is 88 years old, very frail but still has a bit of spunk. We have been trying to help her feel the spirit and have had some great lessons. She has come to church twice and an activity. Her father is such a trooper and made it through all three hours of church yesterday. Let’s hope she is able to progress for this Saturday! If not, the 6th!!

Another thing was the mission wide transmission, we watched it together as the São Paulo Oeste mission last Wednesday and enjoyed it! It was awesome to see everyone again and receive great counsel.

Another investigator is Sisera, who has become very receptive and willing to listen but hasn’t made it to church yet...but has made us cookies (a rarity here) and mint tea that were delicious! She feels as if it wasn’t a coincidence that when she started to doubt her purpose and why so many different people in her family frequent different religions that we showed up. That we didn’t even knock on her door to talk with her but her relative! Cross our fingers she will muster up the courage to come to church with us!

During the chapel open house thing, two young women came in and I got to take them around the church with an RS sister. She explained some things and I did as well until we got to the cultural hall and there we just explained so many things because they had so many great questions. This week we are going to pass by their house! The other day of the open house, Sis Lozano and I tried our best to find people to bring in off the streets but were having no luck...until I felt prompted to stop and talk to a man real quick who was in his garage, giving time for sis Lozano to talk to a girl walking behind us. After I was done sis Lozano was still talking with (Bruna) and I saw a few tears in her eyes. The more I listened the more I understood the complexity of her situation. She explained her religious background was mixed up because of her parents not raising her amongst Christ’s teachings but more Witch stuff until a year ago her boyfriend introduced her to "Christ". She was on her way to talk with her parents about her beliefs and she was so nervous because this discussion would determine their future relationship. If they would ever talk again etc. I could tell she was very uneasy and so Sis Lozano asked if we could pray together. She gladly accepted. Sis Lozano prayed fervently that the right words would come to her mouth in this important discussion, that they would recognize the intents of her heart. After the prayer Bruna just embraced sis Lozano like it was her last hug in the world and me as well :) I was so grateful for this opportunity to find Bruna and pour a little hope into her heart that was drying out from despair. We may not have been able to show her around the chapel but we were able to lift her spirits and show her she isn’t alone, that the best decision she could make is believing in Christ and standing up for Him and what He represents. I don’t know what happened with her and the family but I know we were there in the street to say a simple pray with her.

This last Sunday 4 people came to church, and 2 are progressing! We are seeing the blessings from our priesthood blessing and from our labors. I’m so honored to represent my Savior and feel the spirit every day. I’m beyond grateful for all you guys are to me. Prayer is so powerful! The Priesthood changes lives. Just as I hugged Bruna and felt of her love, know that I cannot wait for His Hug. He awaits to embrace us, but only if we open our arms and receive him. Receive his blessings, tender mercies and children as if it were Him in the flesh. This was a wonderful week. I hope it was wonderful to you as well. Are you seeing it as such? It’s up to you :)

Love Sis Oldroyd, the piano playing priesthood blessing asker

Sis Santos wanted to do my makeup for the mission trasmission thing

Monday, January 18, 2016

Rocky, Wile E. Coyote and Sydney

Rocky, Wile E. Coyote and Sydney :)

Well this week was great! Still trying to take pics but not get robbed or look like a tourist. I found some awesome graffiti/wall art this week, hence the title. It was Sis V's bday this past week and we threw a surprise party and told the whole world it was her birthday. Well, she did little hints here and there for members. It was hilarious and the reason we got so much cake: some carrot with chocolate frosting and some chocolate chocolate. It was awesome and a great breakfast substitute for a day or two.

Now the elders know I play the piano/sing so I’ve become the chorister/pianist person which is chill I guess but this week I have to give a talk for our district meeting, woohoo! During the District meeting we each took a turn introducing the BoM to a family of four siblings and I just started talking about how the BoM truly is for families; that it is ABOUT a family taking this crazy journey for their well-being and because they listened to the Lord. I felt pretty great about that dist. meeting practice ;) This book also is the best study guide to a better life and a better relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ. I want to recognize Him when he comes, so it’s up to me if I will be prepared and know WHO He is and what He's all about!

Sis V and I have been working like crazy here in Novo Osasco. Luckily we found two families! So excited to work more with them.  We also were able to find a very less active member the other day (baptized at 13 years old and barely remembers anything and now is 23) and his wife (20 years old who started "dating" him at 15 yrs.) Unfortunately she is very Assembleia (different religion) but received us well and thought it was cool with our purpose as a missionary. With time, she’s going to love us even more :)

I also hit my 6 month mark this past week! The sisters surprised me with PARABENS as I left the bathroom!  Haha good stuff.

We have been working on an activity here in the ward, an Open House with the new chapel because it was under construction for a year, and now has an elevator, 3 floors etc. We are going to do it for two more weekends. We kept pulling in people from the street and asking for addresses. it was awesome :) Some have awesome potential and its always interesting to hear what people have heard about "The Mormons" like "I thought only members could enter the building" WHAT? Enter, right now! You are totally welcome anytime :)  

Another great thing, I found an abandoned Batman kite!!! or "pipa" in Portuguese. The kids here kind of battle with them, sort of cut the other one off which is why tons are caught on the power lines and stuck in trees. Part of the string is rough so if you pull hard enough it can cut the others’ line...kinda crazy but I’ve always wanted a kite.....

I hope you all are doing fabulous like I am: Drinking juice, eating rice, walking everywhere and weeping for joy on the inside when we are given a ride haha sleeping great, loving electric fans, getting a little redder and loving every minute. I’m so blessed. I don’t know what I did to deserve all this. All I know is that I agreed to go with Christ’s plan. I agreed to have free agency, to have a family, to experience hardship and best of all experience the blessings of the Atonement that literally takes the pain and weight away. I’m so grateful for the courage and faith of Joseph Smith, for the blessed scriptures that all testify of Christ, and all the things we need to do in order to return to Him.

Until next week,

 I’m Sydster Oldroyd, someone with unbelievable blessings.

Know that I’ve felt the spirit many times as I have testified of the BoM truth or Joseph Smith or Families can be together forever, or when a blind recent convert sang us a hymn she wrote....such good things are happening.

P.S. There are so many different insects that enter our home here . . .

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Eating an Americano

Eating an Americano???

Well to explain the title, last P-day I ate an "Americano" for lunch. It was an awesome warm ham and lots of cheese sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise with a nice fresh bun.  So apparently we aren’t hamburgers to these people but ham and cheese. That’s good to know right?

This week we had a great district meeting about trying to ask simpler questions that get the investigator to think and so we can find their necessity. It really is important for us to know what they really need and for them to answer questions that aren’t simply Yes or No but Who is Jesus Christ to you? How do you think we return to Heavenly Father? Why are we here?

Funny story this week; I’ve never been a huge fan of yelling the name of the person at the door (or broken gate) and prefer clapping really loud :) but this one person just wasn’t responding and the people sitting outside down the street just laughed cause it just wasn’t working. They counseled us that this one person lived way hunkered down in the back of this house so....I decided....to YELL.....RUTHY! (Huchie) through the mail hole.....still no luck...but i got a good response from the people sitting nearby :) we started to walk away when to hear them laughing even louder, turned around and there's a confused woman peeking outside her gate....we bolted back talked with her and found what we were looking for. blessings for my loud voice. This transfer our goal as a mission is to have 3 baptisms and do 1000 contacts, we have destroyed with contacts but we are working really hard to get those 3 baptisms. every Sunday we have had 3 people in the church but they've been different people every time! we need them to constantly come and progress! gah!

But the work is great. We've been teaching a lot and eating a lot of baked goods :) fresh donuts and bread at the local bakery anyone? They're only 50 cents! I cant resist haha We have also been able to find some less actives who have been receptive. another funny experience was when we went to find our investigator, instead we found his pastor mother (of a different church) who was a bit confused and rough at first but let us in surprisingly and ended up liking us haha making us dinner, telling us about her life (mostly about a dream she had from the holy ghost that she needed to travel to heal a woman) it was interesting but she wants me to stay in her house when I return to Brasil after the mission. I told her I'd think about it haha Anyway, know that I'm doing very well.

This summer rain isn't stopping me. The running around trying to find new investigators, finding rides to bring them to church, and trying to maintain a clean healthy appearance isn't slowing me down! This hard work only means a great nights sleep for me :) a hot nights sleep but a great one. I love you all. God exists, He's real. We were made in his image and are literally His which means we have the potential to become just like Him. Keep strengthening that spirit! its a new year! go to the gym! neh? kkk

love you!
Sis Oldroyd
the Donut Adorer :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

I want you to know

Hey gang!
Happy New Year! Novo Osasco is awesome! A few less hills and a few more cars and busy streets than Cotia. There are also a few less patches of forest, and just patches of apartment buildings instead. The members are so great here as well. I am so blessed! We live in a small house that is located within a big house where 4 other families live separately as well. Almost all of these families are members so that’s been helpful. We live closest to the sweetest grandma member who has already made us Cuz Cuz and meat for breakfast.

 The work is progressing. My new comp Sis Valdera is from Argentina, has about 7 months on the mish, 9 siblings and is the 2nd to serve a mission. She likes to randomly sing in Spanish, Portuguese and English (like two words haha) and use a pretend microphone. I just smile and let her do her thing. The chapel here was being renovated until about two weeks ago, has three levels, an elevator and starts with RS, then gospel principles and ends with the Sacrament;  8:30-11:30 different hours but still great :) I’m starting to become a morning person...sorta.
 New Year’s here was awesome! Obviously the Elders delegated us four sisters to the food duty of the day. Their request: 2 lasagnas and lots of meat! Hmmmm. . . we are missionaries, not cooks haha but with a lot of help from our neighbor who drove us around to find the ingredients (one place was the local farmers market where we tried various fruits and bought pastel (a fried square meat filled scone thing))and donated her kitchen, we conquered our challenge!

The food didn’t taste too bad :) We chilled together as a zone from 7-9 doing a talent show, chatting, and eating.

After that we left the elders to clean up and went to a members house (with Presidents permission) to play charades and eat cake until 10. Got home and sat on the balcony of our neighbor until fireworks just went crazy! I tried my best to take pics but you should’ve been there. The fireworks left lots of smoke in the air making it look even cooler. At 12:15 we were in bed haha and thankfully got to sleep until 8 am! Woo hoo!

 Just want to say I love these people! Already best buds with the Bishop’s daughter who loves Lord of the Rings and Studio Ghibli. and played a member’s pink guitar.
 This week I got a package from the primary and one of the cards really hit me...they got to write whatever they wanted after the phrase "I want you to know . . ." and this one almost made me want to burst into tears. Actually it said "I want you to know I know the church is tru". This was from a sweet 8 year old! Out of all the things he could’ve told me he had the spiritual capacity to think about the gospel and his sweet testimony. This was certainly a highlight.
 Another highlight was thinking about Heavenly Father and his perfect body which made me realize, A Perfect Body means a Perfect Heart. He loves us so much! Do not Doubt this! He has given us everything through Jesus Christ. No matter our mission, He is listening and loving us every step of the way. Let’s start this New Year with love and a desire to help others to see their potential. Make Goals, and try to make this the year others will remember for the rest of their lives because the Savior and Heavenly Father was a part of it. "Don’t shine so that others can see you but Shine so that through you others can see Him" (Don’t remember who said this...someone wise!)
 I love you all and I am ready to grasp 2016 as best I can.

Sis O-Who's excited about everything involving Christ and this coming year!