Thursday, June 30, 2016

Don’t run more than you have to

Wow fam and friends...let’s just say we need to celebrate Festa Junina like they do here! Every weekend they have one going on! It’s basically just celebrating the month of June and the traditional things that the northern Brasilians used...corn. It’s corn, corn, corn! So many sweets made of corn! And peanuts :) All the kids are so cute in cowboy and cowgirl stuff. They play in plastic ball pools, trampolines etc. There was a really tasty grape (generally wine) cider juice thing, and lots of Paçoca treats. One of our investigators and her husband came a little later and participated in the dancing! They loved it and I was so happy they came!

S and her husband came to the Festa Junina! They danced!  woot woot they are investigating the church a bit with us :)

This week has gone by quick and I have loved every minute, even in the cold, even with tired eyes (and you know it when basically every lesson someone comments on us looking’s not our fault...we're working walking missionaries kk) This week I was reminded of a simple basic I learned from beloved soccer. A wise coach once taught me, "don’t run more than you have to, hold onto the ball, use your teammates, and together you will score a goal. Don’t make irrational decisions (or passes)" This totally has to do with missionary work! I don’t need to run around working, finding people, teaching, more than I need to. I can use my companion, ward members, and most importantly the Lord. When you think about the teammates we have on our team, it’s pretty awesome. We've got Heavenly Father, Our Savior, the Holy Ghost, Family members, ward members, companions, the scriptures...etc. Anyway, this scripture made me think of all this, in Mosiah 4:27. Isn’t it just amazing what we can each individually get out of the scriptures? This scripture to my mom, probably wouldn’t bring soccer metaphors to her mind :) Everything has their order and way to the Lord. And God can’t give us direction if we aren’t paying attention.

I love this lady! she is so sweet and makes me think of Grandma G! :)

This week we were able to have a great family night with R and her daughter A. I had a fun idea of playing the chocolate bar game, with dice and breaking it open with a dull knife and a glove etc. In the end I wanted to teach about enduring to the end but we got more out of it as they shared their ideas. I love learning from other people and what they think. Once we taste that reward of the chocolate, we wanted others to taste a bit of it, just like Lehi. Something I’m trying to do better is to seek for the truth and goodness of things. It is everywhere. I just need to look a little closer and more openly. Let God show me His goodness :) I’ve loved some phrases in the hymns like "Help me dear Father, to freely forgive. Help to live nearer, nearer to Thee". That’s our goal! Earn His trust, live closer to him.

This week was great because of another fast we did to find new people and have the few we have progress. Things are coming along but the Lord truly blessed us with allowing us to enter a few condominiums that are hard to get into without an appointment. So me and my comp laughed a bit when they said, “yeah you can come in”....we were like what? Thank you Lord! We were so happy! The little things in life. We weren’t able to teach them but we were able to leave our number :) that’s progress :)

Our new president is coming this Wednesday (yesterday) from California! Pres Thomas! We are going to sing for him. Let’s see how that goes without a piano kkkk.

 I love you all! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I’m doing great and learning a lot. I love how the mission is making me into what the Lord planned, at least I hope I am :) Keep working on recognizing the spirit, it’s a great mystery for us all sometimes.

Boa Semana! Beijos-

Sister Oldroyd- the sister who isn’t afraid to give the thumbs up and start walking on the crosswalk to try and get the rushing cars to stop...let’s go companion...they stopped!

this dog made my day!!! I just couldn't resist taking a pic...luckily I had my camera! he is huge!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

11 Months and Fasting Miracles!

Well is anyone else surprised that 11 months has already made its way into my life as a missionary? I sure can’t. Well you all probably knew that to celebrate my 11 month mark, I bought a decked out hot dog :) It was delicious and went great with some onion rings and mango juice. The other tender mercy on that day was a member came up behind us and paid for our lunch, saying "I have a son out on the mission as well." We sat with him and talked to him about his life. Really fun way to celebrate right? Also, got a sundae at Burger King.

As a zone we decided to do a fast after that lunch so I began my fast as I was on a division with Sister C. Silva. We set off and had some ups and downs. Trying to do some contacts and enter some buildings when we got to the house part of my area. We went to a marked lesson with S. and she was there! Let us in and we were able to teach the first lesson! She also said, sure, when I asked her if we could stop by Sunday morning to go to church together! Yes! Score for fasting! We also were able to teach P. again in the church and it has been so wonderful to see her progression. She’s said that the transition has been hard and she realizes that after a really right choice is made, usually Satan tries his hardest to sway you from your confidence. He tries you and she knows that! But she’s not letting go! Which I’m so proud of her for realizing :)

Our English class this week was small but very uplifting because I got to explain the Book of Mormon to M. a little bit more. He was asking a couple questions and trying to understand the situation better. We are going to teach him and his wife A. tonight :) I’m excited!

This fast also brought 2 more new investigators! K. and M. K also lives close to the church and let us in. I found her name in the area book and saw that she had been taught a while back. Later to find out she had passed through a very hard experience of losing her son so she didn’t want to know anything about the church until now. She’s very sweet and has some back problems but wants to learn more and we are going to see her tonight :) M. was another miracle. We were walking to pick up our lunch money when we stopped to do a contact with a lady and her son. She goes "What do you want?" We explained a bit more and she said "Wanna come up to my apartment?" We were shocked. Still hadn’t eaten lunch yet so said we would be back in about an hour.  After lunch we rushed back and were able to teach her the first lesson and give her a Book of Mormon! She’s hilarious, basically gave me all this advice about marriage etc. cause she saw we were only 20. But it was interesting because around the end of the lesson when we introduced the BoM, she goes..."You’re Mormons?" We say, yes but that the name of the church is....The Church of Jesus etc..." and she said we were nothing what she had imagined as a Mormon. So many people make up things about us and she was happy to see that we were normal people haha. Anyway, it was a great week with miracles and I can truly testify of the power fasting has. I don’t know what our week would have been like without it. This area is led by the Lord and He helps us know who is prepared in this area to be taught. I’m so grateful for the basic principles that are finally clearing up to me.

A little adventure that me and my comp did (as two Americans it was very daring :) We went to 25 de Março! It’s a street here that is just lined with stores and stores and places to buy random things :) We got permission, only took a bit of money, our bus passes and our phone. First got on a bus, then got on the Metro and walked our way there. I found a few fun items. I didn’t really know what I wanted but got a cool Rio 2016 Olympics shirt :) sweats and a soccer hat haha you know me. I gotta be comfy and Brasilian at the same time. We eventually made it back safely as well! So glad I was able to go! I’m not sure if the new president will let us go so I had to while I still had the chance :)

Know that I’m doing fabulous. I’ll put a few phrases I’ve written in my study journal for you to soak in (only if you want).

1. "All revelations and responses from God should be written down like Holy Scripture. It strengthens your testimony, preserves who you are and shows God your humility to listen and learn"
2. Apply His healing power!
3. Perfection doesn’t necessarily mean "without scar", for Christ’s perfect resurrected body remained marked as a sign of His special sacrifice.
4. The prophet models Gods Fatherly Figure and Role.

Something else new in my studies is picking a hymn to study and read :) Did you know each hymn usually has a few scriptures? I’m lovin it as a part of my study. Hope you have a great week just like it will be for me! This last week was! and the next one will be even better, it just depends on our perspective and if we are willing to laugh off the hard stuff and take on the blessings. Lovin it!


Sister O- the Sister missionary who still hasn’t used pants on the mission...I’m afraid....not really but it’s so different.

this was all free! so lucky 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Coldest, Cup of Tea, Compass Week!

Well as you can see I was able to cram three events of my week in the title. Lemme explain. This week was very chilly!!

Transfers started off great with that. I got to show Sister Harris around Ferreira a bit and have some great adventures. This week we also had Conselho (or the leadership meeting training thing) on the church’s recreational site in Caucaia do Alto. Wednesday morning we made our way there at about 7:30 and got there at 9ish. We were so blessed to have a bunch of sun that day :) There we talked about May and how it went and how we can better prepare to receive our new President who should be getting here on the 29th of June! We have a new calling system with accompanying the sisters/district etc. and have a few other changes so we can be more efficient for President Thomas. Another activity we did was with a compass. The whole instruction thing that the military man gave was going over my head (but that’s not completely true, I understood some of it but it’s been a while since I have talked about math and such and I haven’t really studied Portuguese terminology like that!) Anyway, we were put in a group as STLs so the Elders could do their thing in their groups. He gave us maps with coordinates and said get going! I was designated as the compass holder person which was fun! We ran around, found some targets before others, got lost, but we remained together and finally made it to every spot. Obviously we came in last but we stuck through and were able to complete it together. After we were able to talk a bit about the activity and how it relates to the scriptural compass we have or about the guidance we receive from the Spirit. But like in the activity, we forget to take our time, find the right coordinates, stick it through but rather just start running around like crazy the minute we know the direction. We have all the proper tools in front of us but are we asking the Lord for the direction? Are we running too fast to see that, yes, we had headed in the right direction but have already passed our destination? It’s fascinating to me that the Lord has put everything we need to properly navigate our lives correctly, but we constantly lose our way. He's even there patiently waiting for us to cry out for help so He can give us the answer or the needed direction once again. I loved that activity not only because I got to wear normal clothes (which by the way was a miracle that I had jeans that fit...barely) but that I could be reminded in a simple recreational activity of the simple eternal truths the gospel contains. This life is meant to be fun, and meant to be navigated properly through the compass God has given us. Find north and get going :) I loved that day! 

So some other fun things this week were having an FHE with a family and getting to invite them to leave a book of Mormon with a friend of theirs, and we totally got a referral out of it! Blessings :) Then one day we decided to go to the really far neighborhood in our area to try and find new people and increase our teaching pool. Even though everyone was basically at Festa Junina, (this awesome cowboy, cowgirl activity they celebrate every June, with corn, dancing and peanuts etc.) We found some new people! We had some lessons! The blessing of that day was C! We were about to head back after teaching a couple of people cause we were getting very cold and it was getting dark (it gets dark very early here around, 6:00 it’s already very dark) but we passed C and her beaming smiling face just made us stop to talk with her. She immediately said, "I have a nephew doing what you’re doing!" We were surprised! Really? She invited us in to have some cinnamon/ginger tea, and chat about how she knows the church. Turns out she already had a BoM cause of her two sisters (one lives in Brasil and the other in Australia) and that they’ve talked to her about it a lot but she had no idea that girls could be missionaries too :) It was so wonderful to sit there with her, drink her nice warm tea, eat goiaba cookies, and discuss a little more about what our message contains. We were able to leave her with a part to read in the BoM and we marked a day to come back :) How wonderful it was of the Lord to put her in our path right when we were about to leave! That experience warmed our souls not just cause of the "Chá" or tea but because of the sweet spirit we felt as we testified to her. 

I love my job :) Yes it has been freezing but I’m loving it all. I’ve started wearing tights....woah. I know. Can’t believe it myself! But this weather is askin for it! Anyway, this week has been great! We also got to pop in and leave a few BoM gift packets with some of Sister Del Guerso's (Mission President’s wife) mother’s friends (don’t know if that made sense). Sister Del Guerso's mom is moving and they threw a party and President invited us to come to his house and leave a few BoMs for them. It was very nice of President to include us with something like that and very funny to see him behind the scenes cooking, baking, and wearing an apron.  

Let’s just say it’s been a great chilly week. Thanks for everything you do! Every day should be a blessing because it’s a new start, and a new opportunity for God to show His Existence. Open your eyes, step out the door, and just soak it in. He's there. Can you see Him? 

Sister Oldroyd 

The chilled to the bone but spiritually warmed sister :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

9 pieces of pizza.....maybe some juice too

Well this week flew by again as usual but this time it flew by with a full stomach :) It seemed like every house or situation was filled with food options. One day we not only ate one lunch but two.... was stuffed that day. Then we were taken to a pizza place for lunch on another day and it was all you could eat where they bring different ones around and I ate 9 pieces! 1 Maracatú, 1 Frango/catupiry, 1 pepperoni, 1 Americana, 1 Bacon, 2 Alcaponi, 1 chocolate, and 1 was such a miracle. I sure felt good about getting my money’s worth haha. The member was pretty happy too :)

So this week was our last district meeting! Took some great pictures and had to say good bye to some great people....We had another great little lesson with N and she said that she was able to have a little missionary experience where she remembered a scripture I had shared in the Bible and that she was able to tell it to her friend. She said it just popped into her head and felt like she needed to tell her friend about Christ’s peace overcomes the temporary moments of peace that the world brings (John 14:27).  I felt so happy for her!

I also don’t know if I have told you guys but we were able to take our recent converts to the temple. To see of their progression is amazing. We were able to see G and A up at the front blessing the sacrament together yesterday. It was such a tender mercy to see them and know how far they have come. President and Sister Farnes (of Sao Paulo Norte mission) said "Congrats. It’s like watching your children up there!" and it’s so true. We were smiling ear to ear as we watched them up there. The Lord is so wonderful and knows exactly what He’s doing with all the steps and progression we can make in the church.

This is our awesome princípios do evangelho class! We are such a great big family now! 

So I would love to hear from all of you about what scriptures means the most to you or what you would think would be a great one to share with someone. I’m all ears because there is always one more scripture to get to know. The more we learn of Him and His doctrine the better a disciple we become.

Transfer happened this Sunday and I will be staying here with Sister Harris! Yes, another American! woot woot! We will see how it goes :) I’m really excited to work with her.

Also this week we had a couple of FHE experiences. Some with games and the other no but all in all FHE is so important! I tried to do the flour tower with a penny but it kinda failed but it was worth a shot.

Something I studied this week was about the leper who needed to wash himself 7 times in a really dirty river. It made me think about how patient and just the Lord is with giving us the simplest of ways to cure ourselves. He doesn’t just hurry and cure us when we ask, not because He doesn’t like to see us in pain but because He wants our faith to build and better itself through action. Think of how simple washing off an illness might sound, just wash it off? What? There’s no way....but he trusted in the Lord and went in faith. Can you imagine what he was thinking as he was on the 4th then 5th time? He must've just been hoping and hoping as it got to the 7th time and to see the wounds wash away. It must have been miraculous and the proof that followed his faith. Imagine folks! We have that same promise to see these miracles, but they come after our faith :) Another principle that I want to better understand is repentance. Repentance to me is a new vision after we have asked for forgiveness and want to be better. We change our vision or where we are looking. We decide to look more towards the path of the Lord and have removed a bit more of the fog that’s in front of our eyes. Also, repentance prepares us to live in God’s presence. Fix your eyes on the glory of God.

Know that I’m learning every day. I might not be having a ton of lessons or a ton of baptisms but the Lord for sure is filling my days with opportunities and miracles. He is my helping hand. It’s a miracle for me to see so many of His children progressing. I’m so blessed to be able to know these Sister missionaries better, to know members, recent converts, myself and the Savior better all because He allowed me to serve. He allowed me to represent His Only Begotten Son. All I can say is wow. Words cannot describe everything. Just know I wish I could write into words the feeling I get when I bear my simple testimony in front of the ward on Sunday or in the street. Wherever I am, it is the same. My testimony is me and my testimony is centralized on Christ, so I’m hoping to become more like Him day by day. I will get better one day at explaining our day to day happenings but just try to imagine waking up every day at 6:30 knowing that today the Lord has promised miracles if you work diligently, worthily and obediently. Just imagine seeing the tears in someone’s eyes when you know they’ve felt the spirit. Just imagine getting splashed in the street but laughing about it because it’s only gutter water and will wash out but that you don’t get mad because you are in Brasil, serving these people, experiencing life there with them and just imagine those rough contacts in the street where they brush you off or don’t respond to you and your invite because Jesus Christ was rejected as well. He knows exactly how you feel, to any point. Even to the point of bleeding from every pore. I don’t think I will ever make it to that point, but how grateful I am that He did so I wouldn’t have to. I only need to endure the little things in comparison. I love you all so much! We are truly one big happy family! Woo Hoo! Have a great week.

Sister Oldroyd
The big eater but more importantly the bigger hearted person :)