Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My Family Night by Candlelight

These weeks fly....hmmm maybe it’s because I am in Caucaia do Alto, Brasil where the power goes out in a whole neighborhood cause a neighboring monkey got hungry and chewed the power line for breakfast....the poor thing died from electrocution and the guys didn’t get the power back on until late that night but it didn’t stop us from having a great family night. We had planned to getting a lesser active family involved with a more active family but one of them called me telling me about the energy accident....she said their little dirt street was blocked by 3 huge power trucks and not any cars could get through...I was stumped for a second but felt that everything would work out. We got to the other family’s house and drove until the opening of their road, got out and walked. We made our way to yes, three big trucks cutting down branches, and trying to solve the problem. One of the workers joked with us about not stepping on the dead monkey. hahaha very funny...not! How sad...we finally got to their house to find two candles lit and set in the middle of the table. Boy did this make me feel like a pioneer (not that candles are only a pioneer thing but...

I’ve recently been studying Our Heritage and I was in the mood) so I felt impressed to recount Joseph’s first vision. We sat in a huge circle and chatted a sec, sang an opening hymn and had a prayer, then I read a little from Joseph Smith History about his confusion but that he decided to follow God’s counsel in the scriptures. I asked them if they had any experiences where they followed the Lord’s counsel. Then we had a few of the members share their conversion stories which was wonderful. We finished it off by reading the first vision where the spirit overcame me as the room silenced and the repeatedly read words came from my mouth. I am so grateful for Joseph and how he was capable of helping Jesus Christ restore this truth. It was not easy and Joseph knew the price he needed to pay, but the strength he received from the Lord kept him going. His faith and hope lead him on....a quote that I read in Our Heritage from President Kimball is "we must lengthen our stride" and Joseph, along with many saints did just that. My hope is that I can do this with my life. That I can lengthen my stride and walk as Christ walked. Become who He is. After the great message we played murder in the dark where you blink and kill people. It was hilarious cause the Irmã thought my normal blink was the killer one...so she kept dying when I wasn’t even the killer.

Also this week we had another division. It was so fun to be with Sister Cellurale again. We are buddies from the beginning moments of our missions. We learned a lot together and found some new investigators. We chatted about how we were feeling and how it’ll be when only us two will be going home on January 3rd. Yup, only us two...no one else. We will see how that goes. Talent show at the FHE with President? yup, done in three minutes haha. I’m thinking of maybe suggesting an aquarium trip to switch things up :) haha just kidding, but it was fun to stay with her for a couple of days.

We also had the privilege to meet a woman with cancer who is still the happiest lady ever. We finished teaching a girl and her boyfriend when she said, do you think you guys could talk with my aunt who’s sick? We were like....of course! There we were able to chat with her and see how even in this difficult time of cancer treatment, she had a smile on her face and not one complaint left her mouth. Also, the other really religious aunt said that she at first thought we were Jehovah’s Witness and almost left without saying anything but saw a light in our faces and wanted to stay and talk to us. She congratulated us for the path we were on and that we are doing what the Lord wants. I love those moments when people stop and say, "You’re Mormons aren’t you? I can tell by the happiness and light in your face." This moment happened again with this lady.

The Lord is so merciful. We have diligently been working and he gave us a miracle. A less active brother wants to bring his girlfriend to church and get married to her. We have made goals with them and they are going to work on being active and happy in the church.

Know that I am doing well because I am in the service of my God. Another quote I loved from the end of Our Heritage was from President Hunter, "We will not be tempted beyond our ability to withstand. Our detours and disappointments are the straight and narrow path to Him." How true this is. It is straight and narrow to see who is willing to tip toe, scoot and crawl at times to continue on the path. It can’t be wide and spacious or every type of person would make it back. Many are called but few are chosen, and guess who chooses? We do, God has given us everything. He is just patiently waiting for us to choose Him. He has always chosen us and has Faith. I am great! Have a wonderful week, and choose to see your difficulties as a sign that you are on the straight and narrow path. Will you continue? It’s your choice :)

Love Sister Oldroyd- who’s lovin life, even with allergies haha

While we were waiting for the bus to come get us after lunch, this little guy was whining his little head off. I couldn't just stay there at the bus stop...I went to his rescue and tried to keep him company through the gate, but he was just a little lonely puppy with no one there to love him....
it was so sad..... 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Chicken Foot/Toes and Sugary Avocado...

This week went by so quick! Two days we made our way to São Paulo from our little Caucaia town. Tuesday was temple Pday so we got to leave way early and enjoy the temple. We also got to teach some great people. We have A. and J. marked for baptism and A. is really showing interest. We taught the 10 commandments and left some readings in the Book of Mormon. They are great and J. is 17 and has a little girl Y. who is 1 and A. is her brother. They are great! We have also been able to help out a less active sister, L. feel a bit better. She fell away because of the tithing situation and her husband passing away. We are trying to help her understand the blessings that tithing brings and that her husband would want her to return to church.

Also this week we made our way back to São Paulo to participate  in a great sister’s training that happened in President’s apartment! I got to go back to Ferreira! Only for a few hours...but still. We learned so much in that training and it was so wonderful to see the sisters again. In Caucaia you don’t leave or get around much in other parts of the mission so it was wonderful to see all the sisters and see who is training and get to know the new sisters. All of them are so sweet and in the right place if I do say so myself.  Serving a mission blesses everyone. There we were taught by many of the couple missionary ladies....Sister Cox, Sister Hart, Sister Burke, and Sister Sonderreger. They each taught something and were all very inspired. I got a kick out of Sister Hart’s humor and devotion in speaking in Portuguese. (the poor thing served in Venezuela 41 years ago and was mixing so many things up but we were so happy because of her contagious smile and laughter and dedication...she also was talking to me after and said something about My Big Fat Greek Wedding...and I just had to say "yes...it was my twin.." and we died laughing together haha. She told me there is a second film! Is that true?) Sister Cox shared a cool insight, and showed me how important it is for us as woman to be intelligent and study. She was a BYU professor and shared how she always thought that she worked 'for' the lord until she read a scripture in Jacob 5: 70 where it talks about us working 'with' the Lord. Sister Sonderreger talked about what is a woman of God. She shared a few examples, Sister Thomas, Her mother, Esther, and Sister Cox. We all can be woman of God. Some things I learned were, ' it isn’t the easy experience that makes us grow, but the difficult one" 'my mission is helping me know how to properly treat people' 'be the first one to get your hands dirty' 'be a hidden miracle'.

Anyway, this week was crazy with food too! I got to try chicken foot and an investigator gave me a plate with avocado and sugar...it was great :) but they all freaked out when I said I was used to eating it with salt haha gotta love missions. I am doing well! Have a great week!

Sister Oldroyd- who always has a couple tissues in her bag just in case a bathroom doesn’t have toilet paper...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wow I Am Great

This week went by greatly!! Some quick happenings cause I only have a few minutes left.

This week we had another division, so I got to stay in my area with another sister. Then we had a zone service activity on September 7th (Brasil’s Independence Day!) where we chatted and gave an old folks home some company. I loved every minute of it. We had a great FHE with some recent converts about our decisions and how important they are. A funny thing this week during all the politics going on, was we were teaching someone on their porch and this political man comes and interrupts our lesson and starts flaunting about himself and how no one else goes door to door and he looked at us for approval and I ignored him because of laziness....and he just goes...uh huh. ..then kept on talking. I was bummed and a bit annoyed so we excused ourselves rather than wasting a good 40 more minutes. We had a great ward FHE where I participated in finding the 7 hidden mistakes in the pictures. It was so fun!

We have some great investigators and are seeing lots of progress in the recent converts in our area. We were able to do a personal fast this week to see what we need to focus on and so I was able to do that. Heavenly Father is the best. I am so grateful that he is allowing me to serve here. Yesterday I was teaching about faith and thought that He must have the biggest faith of us all because he believes in us every day that we will make it back to him, that we will trust in him. He is the best example for everything. I’m so lucky and so blessed. Never forget your blessings. They are there :) This is a short one but shortness doesn’t mean it’s worthless! Words cannot describe these everyday activities and the spirit we feel. Sorry for the rush but I wanted to get something out!

Love you all! Yes, I’m alive!
Sister Oldroyd who now has to start putting sunscreen on again...woe is me

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Everyone Has Those Days....

I loved this week :) The Lord blessed me with a tender mercy (a phrase that I have been teaching all the Brasilians cause they don’t have it!). On Monday we had just finished a lesson and moved on to our next family night but as we were walking, we were going to pass by an investigators house. I thought to myself, do we have time to stop by? Hmmm not really but if I see that her light is on we will go visit and mark another day with her. When we got in sight of her house, the lights were on, I turned to my comp, just real quick we need to visit M. So off we went and found her son C. (who is adorable and calls us his aunties) He said, do you want to come in? I said, go see if it’s ok with your mom first. He came back telling us she was coming. There we were able to see that she was not ok. She said, man you came and found me crying. We were then able to comfort her because she had recently lost a loved one. We shared a scripture and said a prayer with her. That for me was a tender mercy of the lord because he showed me that I am capable of following the spirit when at times I feel that I’m not. We were able to change our plans a little to make a bigger difference.

This is Nhambuca, or a neighborhood where we work sometimes 
but this is the first road that leads to the rest of the littler streets. 
obviously it depends on the day and if it rained or not...
I wasn't warned of any clay roads so i didn't come prepared with boots haha 
but its all good. this is where we saw monkeys :)

Also this week I had one of those days....haha a day where after lunch I was playing with her nephew and happened to not gracefully catch the ball but spike it up over the neighbors wall....he kinda got mad haha cause the neighbor wasn’t going to get home until later that night. Then I tried tuning a members friends guitar and managed to break one of the strings (cause they had improperly put on new strings and had cut off the extra string too early but I’m not blaming that...I had a thought to stop twisting and didn’t listen). Then I almost managed to spill the whole pitcher of juice....then a moth landed next to the cake and I tried to grab it but then it flew under the cake.....no one believed me until after almost every piece I had skillfully turned over to check did I find it under the second to last piece! But I’m not sure that was a victory on my part. It was a great reminder that these bad lucky days help us appreciate our great everyday lives. Or our normal lucky lives!

there were so many members at this lunch! about 20 people 
but all you need is one huge pot of rice, 
and beans and meat and three huge pans of salad...
her mustard dressing was delicious. i only repeated salad 5 times haha

This week during studies my comp and I did practices on teaching and leaving the BoM with people. She taught me and I just really felt like I was learning about it for the first time and got so excited to read, ponder and pray. I obviously accepted the invitation to pray to God to know if it is true. I invite you all to think about things from an investigators point of view. Pray to receive answers again if a principle isn’t solid. We also had two great FHE’s about choices where I threw in the ideas of puzzles. The other was about love and pride with using water bottles. Pride makes us weak and vulnerable like an empty bottle but love fills and completes us like the strength of a filled water bottle. I have had a great week of learning, of walking, of testifying and of feeling the spirit. Hope you have the same. Get out and walk. It does good. God has made me such a happier person by sending me to a foreign country but day by day it doesn’t seem like a foreign country anymore. It seems like home. And where we are with God, it is home. He makes it so :)

Sister O (the sister who is so good at rhyming and spelling haha)

Irmã Bel, She got so excited to show us her little crafts that she does.  It really makes a difference when you listen, pay attention and show  interest in the lives of others. Wouldn't you want someone to be interested  in your nifty eraser collection, or gum wrapper art? yes!

J and her little knife that she carries with her when they accompany us to the end of their street haha

So many hills. . . . on our walk home