Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Rabbit? Quail?

So folks I totally forgot to tell you guys that I ate rabbit last week! Without knowing it. So we were just eating our lunch like normal and then the irmã goes “How’s the rabbit?" and an Elder goes “Rabbit? But in Portuguese its coelho...I totally thought the rest of the lunch it was quail. I thought all birds taste the same basically but then my brain kicked together when someone said rabbit...well now...that changes things. It was pretty good. The same as chicken just a bit stiffer.

We learned how to make paçoca last pday. 
It's this delicious peanut candy!! Yummy stuff

This week we had a great fhe about our 'first testimonies' where we actually started believing that this was the true church. I got to share my experience about when I was turning 12, and went to Women’s conference with my mom and some other family members. I distinctly remember sitting there antsy for it to start, chatting with my mom and cousin when all of a sudden it went silent and everyone began to stand....I turned to my mother to ask what was going on. she explained while pointing "He's coming in" as I turned my head to see, the spirit overwhelmed my little body and heart as I saw President Gordon B Hinckley slowly entering the conference hall with a smile on his face. I knew in that moment there was no other man chosen by God as his living Prophet. That silence and focus was the best we could do at that moment to show our respect and love for all he did. I was only 12 but I will never doubt that we have living prophets today. The spirit testifies of truth, even to 12 year olds. As I have thought about this it has made me think of all the other special moments where I have felt the spirit and my testimony was strengthened. I invite all of you to try and think of your 'first testimony' and maybe write it down or share it with someone because that first moment is key to where we are today and who we have become because of it. Think also of all the other testimony moments. Aren’t they just amazing Godly moments? We are so blessed to have the ability to feel the spirit.

This week we also got to paint someone’s front room and the front of their house! First paint job on the mission! Finally, it’s about time after all the offers we have given to the people after we each lunch...."can we do anything to help? Wash dishes? Paint walls?"

So transfers happened and we are staying together at least on more! I am so excited to keep up the work. We are slowly getting to know our area better and marking more family nights to strengthen all the new members and to find new investigators. I am so blessed to have a healthy body and a companion who is willing to walk at my pace. Know that I am well and starting to put on sun screen...it’s getting a little hotter day by day but I think the rain will come back...

Some questions I have asked myself this week have been...Why do wounds take so long to heal? What are my works worth? What am I paving for my future family to follow? Am I putting all my heart, might and strength in the work? Why is sleeping so amazing? Why have I been blessed with such a great metabolism? Am I a keeper of the covenants? Anyway, my mind has thought of a lot of things haha.

Have a great week! Enjoy every minute.

Sister Oldroyd- the sister who sometimes gets really hyper cause of sugar.....thanks to soccer candy fasts haha

Monday, August 22, 2016

Multizona, Carta Trunky, and FHEs

This week was a blast! So much went on and I am so happy. This week we got to show the other missionaries here in Caucaia where L. lives. They had the privilege of making the hour walk with us so she could give us lunch. Then we had multi-zona where we learned so much and got to get up at 5 am to get 'ready' (I threw on the outfit I already had picked out, put on extra makeup which was eyeliner, outside of the usual mascara) and we were off to get the bus leaving at 6 am from Caucaia. There we were inspired, spiritually uplifted and helped by the words of various speakers and our beloved President and Sister Thomas. We were reminded about health and stress things on the mission and the best part was....me getting my 'carta trunky'! Woohoo! When he handed me that paper I couldn’t believe it....January 3rd! Woah! I will be on a plane home that day??? Anyway, I only smiled real big and put my hand in the air while hugging my buddy and jumped up and down. This does not mean I am happy to leave the mission, but finally I know the date. It was a mystery that was killing me.

I am so blessed to be here in Brasil and this week proved why. This week was great because of a few amazing family home evenings that happened. Monday we had a great lesson about our labors on earth and how it is our preparation to meet God. We did an activity where you had to light a match and say everything you would hope for in your future before it went out. I did it in English for kicks and cause I would be able to say things faster...I was wrong haha but it was fun to try. It was hard! I got out, returned missionary, married in the temple, happy, shoe designer, keeps covenants....then poof; Had to stop. It really made me think of how important this time on earth is and how we just need to trust in the Lord. Another family night was a great one! It was about the fruits of the spirit from Galatas. And how the spirit truly blesses us in so many aspects; not just protection, and answers but comfort, remover of pain, bringer of joy. God is so wonderful.

We also had the privilege to have a mini sacrament meeting with F. remember her? We got the elders in on the idea and went over there with a mini sacrament meeting prepared with a few talks. She had already selected the hymns and I got to lead. It was so simple, but you could see it meant the world to her when she had that time during the sacrament to ponder, to pray, to converse with the Lord. It’s been a long time since she’s been able to go cause she takes care of her husband but tears filled my eyes as I got to sit there during the sacrament’s silence, while in her humble living room and remember that Christ would have done it just for her. That is why we are gathered here. The one matters. After the meeting, we chatted and drank warm milk and sugar with some bread (and mayonnaise but I just ate bread haha)

We also had a great FHE with BIS (a very delicious chocolate wafer thing). Sister Borges and I thought of this as a great way to get to the youth. So Thursday night we challenged them to open a BIS with a sock on the left hand using a dull knife to try to open it, while the others rolled my two eraser dice in order to get doubles. There was yelling, shouting, happy cries when they were able to get one open and we had a fun time explaining the importance of enduring to the end. We know the prize. We don’t stop trying to open the BIS because we know how delicious it is. We know how delicious the fruit of the gospel is, then why do we at times desist? We can’t! We need to strengthen the other, root him on that yes, you can open that BIS with your left hand that’s covered with a sock and weakly trying to open that tightly closed chocolaty goodness. We are all on the same team and those who don’t know BIS is delicious; we better tell them so and share the goodness. Share the gospel. Don’t leave anyone hungry. The Lord wants all of his children fed.

Some funny things this week: It’s politics time here in Cotia/Caucaia and their propaganda is homemade music shouting their numbers, but they are quite catching...you may have found me bouncing around trying not to dance. I also had the privilege of trying a top ramen sandwich that had ham, cheese, egg, lettuce, tomato and the seasoning....it was amazing but it was very difficult to finish my second one.

This week has been great!  Thanks for everything. I am doing well, braving the cold, trying to still pick out my outfits, eating trufas (amazing flavor filled chocolates) teaching well with my great companion! and pondering a lot about life. There’s so much to think about right? Anyway, that’s all I have to say. Already said a ton.

Love you all- Tchau beijos
Sister Oldroyd, the sister known as Android or in Portuguese Androigde   haha

Monday, August 15, 2016

Who is Jesus Christ to you?

Can I hear a woot woot for one year and one month today!!! It’s been a blast to see how far I have come, and not just by plane but by the spirit and by the bursts of faith.  This week has been great. Me and Sister Borges are teaching so well together and finding some great people. We’re doing our little practices every morning that "12 semanas" requires or Sister Borges training thing.

I just love waking up in the morning for another day, it still takes me a good 5 minutes to actually wake up but I’m up and ready! My mind just takes a while to function, so the Sisters find me staring off at the wall often. The joke is that I am capable of sleeping with my eyes open.....who knows. We have had some great references from the members and we have been working like crazy with all the recent converts. Unfortunately they live far away from each other but we are learning how to plan better :)

I just want you guys to ponder on a question real fast. Who is Jesus Christ to you? Let that sink in.

Something funny this week was our visit with F., a less active member who loves our visits but doesn’t show it on the outside haha. She yells, has a strong personality, and sometimes swears but she just needs some love and we are here to give it. She has given me the nickname Carne Seca (or beef jerky/dry meat) cause I need to gain weight. I rubbed my eyes at the end of our visit, but she then turned to me saying "What is it carne seca? Why are you crying??" and I was like...um I’m ok!  But I finally was able to convince her I was fine and just tired. She said "You scared me. I thought you were sad! And I didn’t know what to do for you!" Man I love F. Yes she smokes, yes she swears a ton (thanks to being not so fluent in Portuguese swear words it doesn’t bother me) But she is a daughter of God and she has talents. She knows how to put a smile on someone’s face. She knows who she is, and she knows who God is. I’m grateful for our visits.

We also got to visit L. and have her start the Book of Mormon; This time with a question in mind. She wrote it down and every time she goes to read she is going to remind herself of the question. We will see how it goes. I am doing it with her! It’s been fun to find the answers in this true book from God :)

This week I have also had a lot of time to wash the lunch dishes and just ponder. Washing dishes is so relaxing and fulfilling cause you can see your work being done in front of your eyes and it feels so great to see the water washing away the rice and bean residue.

We had a great FHE where we talked about who Christ is to them and how I have realized, Christ is REAL. HE isn’t some story. He isn’t some legend. But HE existed and exists today. HE is my brother and I am so grateful to be saved by Him.

This week the sacrament blessed me. As I drank the little cup of water I could feel it entering my body. I could hear myself say, "clean me" remove the wrong. That’s what the sacrament should be to us, a renewal, a Christ cleanser.

This is 'caldo' or broth that they make here. I bought the potato 
and meat one with cilantro, thought of mom. Every Friday night they 
have the farmers market! Can anyone say Mangos and bananas??

It’s raining right now for the first time in about a month and a half. It’s been a while. It’s been cold but it hasn’t rained. Rain brings such a cleansing feeling. It always makes me think of that primary song. (I can’t remember the name at the moment but you know what I mean). I love the power Christ has and how he lovingly gave us the priesthood too. I love my mission. I love my life. And this week I had the epiphany that with a perfect body after the resurrection, that could mean drinking boiling tea wouldn’t hurt me right? Cause my body would be perfect and not feel pain? I am so impatient for waiting for the tea to cool down a bit...and a burned tongue just doesn’t work....I love drinking a hot cup of tea in the morning, (without breaking the word of wisdom).

Have a great week in August! Can’t believe it!

Sis Oldroyd- the sister who made our District Leader a balloon hat for his bday, maybe industrial design is for me :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Visit to Cotia!

Well everyone this week was a special one!!! I got to go back to my first area! But let me start from the beginning. Monday was a normal pday where we weren’t able to use the free government computer place so we had to walk a bit to the other one. Then I bought a couple groceries and snacks :) pastel! Basically pday is my eat more day....then we chilled at home cutting pictures and words out of the liahona and sticking them on the wall...the classic mission craft. I wrote some cards that’ll take me forever to send cause there isn’t a post office here. I listened to my same 300 church songs....until we had a family night with a less active member who made us cake ad juice :)

In honor of dad, found this after our lunch on Sunday. 
Does not compare to yours at all.

Tuesday was a normal day with a few lessons and another fun family night! Where this family lives is a little complicated but with prayer, flashlights and silence we were able to make it down the dark dirt trail road to their place :) They also made cake and a whole dinner. We decided (us four) to leave them the Christ box message. I love this message. You grab a box and put a bunch of Christ pictures in the middle. Then on the outside you have them write difficulties, things that make you mad, sins etc. and you have them stab out their anger or sadness. Then you explain how we don’t have to pass through all these things alone...but one knows EXACTLY how we feel. You open the box for them to see Christ’s pictures a little ripped and torn. This usually almost makes me cry, but that night was great for this family to remember this little truth. Actually quite a big one, Christ’s suffering isn’t just some side detail. 

Wednesday we had our zone meeting where we got some more counsel from President Thomas about focusing more on baptizing converts, and teaching more in depth. From Wednesday to Friday morning I was in Cotia! Sister Borges stayed here with our STL and I went to Cotia to be with her companion. It was so much fun! That night they had their usual meeting with the LMA, so I got to see lots of members in the church that night! Then Thursday we got to work and went on a few trails I never went on in my days there. New houses had been built in some places and walls painted different colors. Even the milkshake stand is now a shishkabob stand! Sad day....but I loved going back. I even got to see a less active member A who I got to find when being in Cotia, who now is active! 

Friday we got to find our way (me, Borges, Covey, Correia, Cellurale and Chagas) to a church for new missionary training that we have never been to. It wasn’t in the usual church next to the temple but we got instructions and found our way to it. There we learned some more things, did a relaxing exercise with Sister Thomas, did a few practices and played a game to see how well we knew our companions. It was super fun but we got home at 8:30 cause the thing ended at 5 oclock ish and the bus was late and had traffic so a 3 hour bus ride! Standing up :) woohoo and did I forget to mention that after the division on Friday went straight to the training so I got to lug my little backpack around? Yup, fun times. I am so blessed though :)

I learned a lot these last couple of days. Just want to share a few phrases of knowledge. 1. “Seek first to be a friend not a foe”  2. “To know it is true, it won’t just be given to you, but a sincere prayer is all you must do” (did I try too hard? haha) 3. From President Thomas: 'How awful it would be if I had to be married to myself; How grateful I am for my wife" haha laughed with that one 4. “Be God made”, we may work our best and end up with no one prepared but really what the Lord was doing was better preparing us. 5. “Correction is inevitable” why would someone take a test that wouldn’t be corrected? We chose to be a part of God’s test. Obviously He needs to correct us or the test has no worth 6. “Return through Repentance.” These are a few of my thoughts this week.

I have been so blessed by partaking of the sacrament and prayer. I was able to bear my testimony yesterday in Sacrament meeting and testify of how grateful I am for the gospel’s simplicity; And that because of Him I can be bettered. Love you guys ;) Have a great week of life! I will try not to look at many TV screens! Curse you Olympics! haha Just know that my Olympic coin collection is progressing, I’m up to 12 now! Yessssss!

Sister Oldroyd - the sister who had a dog friend for the day cause she followed us everywhere for 3 hours.

Monday, August 1, 2016

A Week of Walking

I am loving it here! But I must say....it requires a lot of walking. Every day we need to plan in what neighborhood we want to work in, depending on where we are at lunch so then after we can get to work faster! We have a recent convert who lives an hour and half walk away....but we are getting used to it! And making sure we head home at about 7:30 with our flashlight. Fun stuff ;) Dirt roads are my thing!

This week we found some new investigators, one was M who immediately left the room, came back and talked forever about religion and how it’s all lies...then we talked a bit with him....he finally sat down, participated, softened up and ended up offering a snack haha it was awesome! I love how just being calm, confident and sincere in the work, the spirit touches the hearts of others.

their one month mark! I stepped up my game and made her (them) brownies 
and put a one candle on top! yesssss

We had a fun guitar playing singing pow-wow after lunch one day with an Irmã. It’s been a while! I have loved also getting to know all the members, especially those who live in our area. We haven’t had addresses but a general direction on where they live and have been blessed by the Lord to either find one in the street or pulling out in the car and inviting us in. The Lord is really leading us in the work! Prayer is so powerful! I am so grateful for the opportunity to live in the "mato" or jungle forresty part of Brasil and feel even more powerfully of His existence.  The sunsets and rises, the trees and happy people. My heart is totally softening up, and that’s a good thing! The easier it is for me to write/engrave Christ’s name upon it. And the easier it is for others to read it, to see it in my eyes and to feel it from my actions. (Mosiah 5:7-8, 12). I don’t want just a happy heart, but Christ’s. And we are capable of it. Just read all of Mosiah 5

We live above an ice cream place! this was 2 reais (61 cents)! haha pistacio haha

A fun moment was seeing a hummingbird come back to the member’s bird feeder, after patiently waiting with my camera, I got a pic! Thought of dad the whole time and then the name of it was 'bejaflor' or "kissflower" I love language connections! I love the simplicity of life because of the simplicity of the gospel :) It wasn’t meant to be complicated.

Thanks for the love! Know that I’ve eaten a few churros, pasteis (pastel), rice and beans and that I get so excited to eat every day! I am becoming Brazilian, even other people think I am. woot woot. I am so blessed by knowing more children of God. Through them, I am able to get to Him. To know Him.  Boy, he is pretty amazing :)

Sister Oldroyd, the sister who looks for monkeys at a certain part during our walk