Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Was I In the Middle of a Rainstorm?

Well I gotta make it quick but some fun things happened this week as well as spiritual ones and some toughies haha. But what would life be like without opposition? Pretty easy and not worth our time.....but anyway!

The storm story is funny. We wanted to get to know a farther part of our area, and made our way there in the BLAZING sun...but then the clouds starting to roll in (the usual Brazilian summers here; super-hot then loads of rain) but that didn’t stop us from taking a quick visit to the Batman’s alley! Who knew! As we were getting to know the streets and orienting ourselves, there’s a sign, Batman’s Alley this way and I’m like, we gotta go sister!  Let’s just say it was a little road with a bit of cool art and only two things of batman haha love Brasil. Then we got to try and contact a less active but they closed the window cause of the sudden rain! Yup...my little umbrella helped us not one bit...this rain just came pouring down and sideways upways...with wind and I swear little birds lost control of their flight path cause it was so strong. We were also pretty close to the lightning cause we were in the highest part of our area. Well planned on our part. But luckily after hunkering down in front of a school, the guy let us in to take cover. We waited about 20 minutes until it calmed down and tried to teach an investigator, who let us in (thank you!) and gave us fruit (double thank you!)  but then she opened up about her life and I felt blessed to be able to share my testimony and teach her a few parts of God’s plan. As I said the closing prayer I could hear her crying but I know they were tears of comfort, because the spirit was there. The words coming out of my mouth weren’t mine but the Lord’s. How amazing it is to be a part of the Lord’s work.

I thought this was gorgeous....

Some interesting things I have learned or heard this week were, "the church is true because thousands of teenager missionaries with all of their mistakes or craziness haven’t managed to destroy it yet." I loved reading 3 Nephi 17, about Jesus blessing the sick, children and giving one last family prayer. We should emphasize this scripture more often! We got to visit Invanildo who so lovingly shared his fruit and time. He’s a bit stressed with all the kinda cranky customers he has (he sews and fixes clothes) and they show up late, or they don’t show up and he is a bit frustrated with them. But we are trying to teach him about love and faith and he is progressing so well :)

This is us and Ivanildo, a recent convert who sews and sells clothes! he always gives us fruit and is helping me stay so fit and healthy haha he also learned how to read cause of the Book of Mormon! love this guy!

Some study moments or phrases of the week are : the richer we become, the more we must save. Teach to include not to exclude. O Senhor ama o Pecador, não O Pecado (the Lord loves the sinner, not the sin). It’s not just the difficulties that hurt our spiritual progress, but the facilities that surround us. How easy is it to sin nowadays? Great leaders suffered great difficulties but because of their great faith, God turned their great difficulties into their greatest strengths. God knew of their greatness and invited it to come out of hiding. With this idea I think of all the amazing men of the church, prophets etc. who have gone through so much adversity but remained faithful and that’s how they became our leaders. Not from facility but difficulty. And I’ll just end with a funny little phrase that was painted on the wall. "If you didn’t exist, I’d invent you" haha loved that! It’s true. God invented us so we could become something. Learn and find out why God invented you :) and what exactly did God invent when he created you? A person who blesses the lives of others? Who takes advantages of this time on earth? Who laughs? Cries? Prays? Let’s find out just what invention we are :) Children of God with quite a few cool features :) haha I am so cheesy....yikes.

Have a great week!
Sister Oldroyd- who had a happy conversation with a woman in the street cause her lingerie store didn’t have electricity, so I invited her to church cause she was outside sitting on a bench :) Blessing for power outages.

this is maracujá, it got reaaaaly ripe and so she made us juice from it :) yay!

me having fun with the bubbles...like my awful tennis foot tan? its gonna get better :) haha

my zone! perdizes!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Syd Amongst Skyscrapers

Now we are talkin!  Well I am definitely not in Caucaia anymore....I am surrounded by buses, cars crusin’ around, crosswalks, tall, tall buildings, homeless people, fancy rich people and hippies. There are many huge shopping malls hidden among the apartment buildings and little bars here and there. I just suggest for you all to google Avenida Paulista and Avenida Faria Lima. Av. Paulista is a part of the Elders’ area but we live in the Elders’ area and have to ride a bus every day to our area. But Avenida Faria Lima is where we go to every day. Oh and I forgot to say that we use the metro as well. The only bummer is the constant wind...and you know what happens when you put wind and skirts....I had the blessed experience of walking over one of the vent things in the side walk. Whoosh!!!! We work more in the neighborhood, Pinheiros.

this is what i see when we leave our door from our apartment... 
It's dirty looking but its the beautiful brasil twist that i like :) 

I absolutely adore my new companion Sister Alves de Souza! This will be her third transfer in Cerqueira; her first transfer after the 12 week training :) She is so great and knows the area so well and is just so spiritual. She is 21, is the only member in her family and mostly grew up with her aunt and uncle because she doesn’t know her biological mother and her father drank a lot. She is such an example to me and is so dedicated. I couldn’t be more blessed at this point of my mission to be in this maybe 'difficult' area to come but am seeing with her eyes and am seeing this area as a gold mine :) I am so excited to work with her!

The members also are great :) they accepted me so well this week and complimented me so warmly. I got to bear my testimony Sunday but had no idea until the Counselor announced it. 'Yes, we would like to invite Sister......Oldroff to bear her testimony.' I just smiled and went up. He tried and I have learned it’s quite a tough name, even for Americans haha. I am going to love it here :)

There are quite a few recent converts that we are teaching and helping out. Oh and you guys should look up MASP. It’s a really cool museum that is on the Avenida Paulista. I walked right by it...when we were going to lunch. We don’t walk with our cameras during the week to be safe so I don’t have many pictures but Google can sure help you guys see where I’m walking here in the center of São Paulo :)

We had the coolest experience this week. We were planning on doing a few more contacts before getting on the bus or metro when we stopped to talk with Vinicious, a young man seated on a bench in the center park area. We invited him to church, and said “We will make this quick cause we know you are in a hurry” and he goes “I’m not actually.” I was thinking, great! let’s leave a message with him real quick! So I ask if we could sit with him and teach him something real fast. Something I’m so happy the mission has taught me is to look past the outside of the person. Vinicious had some piercings and a bling nose ring but he is such a sweet guy. He was waiting for his friends to pick him up, and had been waiting for 2 hours since he didn’t have any communication with them. We were able to teach him the restoration, and it went so smoothly. I asked him if he had any questions or what he thought to know we have a living prophet today and he goes “Well I just wanted to ask why he isn’t more well known,” and that stopped me right there....hm....good question. At that moment I realized that’s exactly why the Lord calls missionaries. I explained that’s exactly what our purpose is; allow and help others know the truth. There are so many people on the earth but few pay careful attention. I was so grateful to have had this special lesson with Vinicious. He doesn’t live in our area but my hope is that he really does pray and look for the missionaries closer to where he lives. These small moments mean the world to me; Little lessons or small contacts that just feel sincere and accepted and spiritually keep me going when the other silent or cold rejections hit me down. They keep my testimony lit and strong when the enemy tries to weaken me. I just feel so helpful when it seems like they actually accepted our invite to church or listened to our lesson. I also jump for joy when someone asks us where the metro is, "It’s right there! Oh and if you would like to learn more about the church...." man, I am so happy :) I just feel so uplifted by the spirit and so strengthened by it. My testimony has grown so much. My trial resistance is slowly growing but I’ve realized that’s why we have a companion, to help us relax, be happy, talk to, have as our back up, especially when they are Brasilian and can explain to me things before I embarrass myself....haha. Oh so many times I have thanked the Lord for giving me these companions; These blessed daughters of God who have touched my life in so many ways.

Stay strong folks! Our life is just beginning...Eternity awaits us :) haha so cheesy...but so true. Are you living a life that’s worth living for an eternity? If not, what needs to be changed? And what are you guys doing with the special knowledge of having a living prophet? Taking advantage? I hope so, cause it truly is amazing!


Sister Oldroyd- who ate a wrap like Costa Vida for lunch in the mall one day! I was happy :) but kinda ran into a panic when I saw how many people were there in the food court. It was so loud...we barely found a spot to sit and I was reminded that not everyone lives the tranquil, peaceful life of a missionary....pray for me haha

I love living in apartments where before it had elders...
Actually I have never liked it until now....a left-over soccer ball! yesssss

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I'm On My Way :)

I can’t believe two transfers have flown by and I found myself saying goodbye to these amazing members of Caucaia do Alto yesterday! This last week was amazing and so many miracles happened :) This week we had so many great lessons with members and the Lord was truly showing us the fruits from our labors. Unfortunately I will be leaving just as we got the work flowing but I am excited for Sister Borges to stay and take advantage of these great people and members :) I will miss the amazing blue skies with bright white poofy clouds and the great heavenly sunsets. But I’m sure the sunsets are just as beautiful in Cerqueira César! which is where I’m headed to stay with Sister Alves de Souza, who got here the same time as Sister Borges, so she just ended her training and will get to show me a bit of the area. I can’t wait to work with her :) I’m going back to the city but I am so happy I got to work in Caucaia for two transfers. I am so grateful for the moments I forgot my fear and spoke with people I was sitting next to on the bus and how the Lord blessed me with the right words and a strong stomach (cause I still get car sick my friends...thankfully never to the point of throwing up but dizziness yup.) I am so grateful for the cute family nights we have had here, for the amazing families we have been given through references and having a couple wanting to get married and become a part of the church. Just when everything seems to be falling into place I am leaving but I know that must mean I did what the Lord asked of me and that I am needed elsewhere, or that I learned my lesson in Caucaia and need to learn another in Cerqueira César. We shall see :)

Bishop Poça D'água, so cool and his hands reminded me of dads. 
Don't know why haha
bye Caucaia!

A funny story that I think I haven’t told yet was about us taking copies of a few cool talks, and then afterwards realizing that he had done the math wrong. We had paid 8 when it really should have been 13.40. So we went back and told him and even showed him the mathematics of it and he said, "Wow, you’re right. You guys truly are of God for coming back" and I chuckled and said, 'We are.' What a privilege it is to be a person of God. We are His children and should act as such. As we live do others know who your Father is? Are we acting accordingly to where we came from? My hope is that we can act in accordance to God’s heavenly vision every day, and every moment we get up in the morning. Ask yourself if your day will be for you or for God? Are you living in hopes of making God proud? Another little side note I had during a long bus ride was how easy it was for me to hear someone’s cellphone go off. And the question came to my mind, why don’t we hear the spirit as well as we hear our cellphones ringtone? Would I be able to hear my cellphone if it were programmed to the 'still small voice' ringtone? Many times we hear our phone better than the sweet whispers of the spirit. It then made me think of how we carefully treat our cellphones. We keep them close, we constantly keep them charged, they are protected with cases and they are constantly updated with the latest and fastest hardware. Afterwards I put these components into the spirit. Do we carefully protect Him with our clean thoughts and a prayer in our heart? Do we keep Him charged by our consistent scripture study, daily prayers and service? Do we keep Him protected by going to church once a week to remind us He is there? And do we update our testimonies so He can continue to remove the veil of forgetfulness? All in all, what do we do with our phone that should be done to the spirit? Give him your attention and love! The spiritual messages we receive through him are so much more vital than knowing what your friend ate for lunch on insta. Now forgive me for my out datedness if there’s a new app or something or if I stated some techno term incorrectly but please don’t allow a manly made object replace a heavenly created communication that has existed for thousands of years!

My birthday package!

I love you all and I’m having a great time here in Brazil! Know that my mind is being illuminated every day, little by little, from my successes and normally from my errors. But whether it’s from an error or a success, I ended up learning something :) that’s what matters. Have a great week :)

Sister Oldroyd- who’s so grateful the only special feature on her phone is a flashlight kkk

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

So then who is the living prophet?

Wow friends and family. I don’t think there are words that can describe this week and all that happened. But obviously I have to try :) This week was pretty normal, with lessons, walking a lot and then it all changed. One day we saw monkeys cross the street, don’t ask me why they did, but it was when we tried to explore a really long dirt road in our area. We were unsuccessful in finding some of the houses but got to teach two cute really old people. They invited us to teach them in the shade in front of their house, bless them. I’m not ready to be Rudolph just yet. Another day we got to teach a wonderful reference given to us by an Irmã. We found her cleaning her house cause it was her off day but she gave us all her attention (a good sign) and then her cute daughter wanted to show us all her toys. After going on her room toy tour, trying to drink down the coca cola she gave us and eating a wonderful piece of homemade bread, we got back to the living and invited her husband to participate with us. We then began asking questions, getting to know them, explaining a bit of what we do and gave one of the best restoration lessons we ever have. They asked the best questions and looked so involved. I truly could feel the spirit and already got my imagination flowing...A. (the husband is totally going be the best priesthood holder! and C. is going to be great in the Primary!) haha. The member Irmã already gave them the primary cds and they listen to them before bed. Go member missionaries. At the end of the lesson A. asked, ”So then who is the living prophet?” Ten points to A.! We then explained the blessing of conference and the modern day revelations we receive because of the restoration. We left them a Book of Mormon and are crossing our fingers that they were able to watch conference in their home.

Some other exciting things were multizona on Friday. Got up early, made our way there but not before we made a stop in the bakery :) Multizona was great! Filled with the spirit, revelation and reminders on what I can improve. All was going well until I went up to lead the supposedly 'easy' hymn, said assistant Elder Johnson, to open up the hymn book to see 6/8! Why???? haha I just love winging it and acting like I know how to swing my arm/hand six times every measure....I’ll be practicing. Then the closing mission hymn almost went smoothly but then the pianist played a longer intro than we are used to so I lead them all into it to find myself stopping and turning to the Elder...haha I just smiled and gave the crowd two thumbs up (as they all chuckled) until he finished his intro. I am just not cut out for leading music folks.....but besides that multizona was great! I wasn’t even planning on it but got letters, my birthday package and my birthday box of chocolates and a pic with Sister Thomas! We also ate at the restaurant next door and I ate a bunch of pasta, meat, and pastel...oh and fries :) Gotta love multizona.

Then the conference days came to me! I say three days non-stop because I was literally taking notes, being inspired, making up metaphors, and catching phrase for three days in a row...my brain is little weak with exhaustion. It’s weird to think that I get more tired after mentally exercising than physically. Lemme just say I adored conference. Words cannot describe the realization I had to think it was my last Brazilian one.....I took advantage of it all. I just loved trying to sing the congregational hymns in Portuguese when the beat was just not flowing the same in the English transmission haha. Let me try to leave some highlights or thoughts I had. Thought one:  watching conference helps me feel so connected to my family. As I watch, I know they are watching it at the same time and that we are all being uplifted by the spirit. I loved this question: “If we loved the Lord more, would we suffer less?” My question is, “Are others able to endure to the end better cause of me?” I loved the idea that I need to pay more attention to the Lord’s voice for he always listens to mine. Can anyone just guess how wide my smile went when Elder Andersen gave a puzzle theory talk! Yay! Let’s go gather Israel together! piece by piece ;) Nothing falls into falsity because of the Book of Mormon (don’t know if that is grammatically correct, sounds correct to me :) Don’t allow virtual screens take your focus away from the spiritually filled pages of the scriptures. Have His Heart. My little reminder moment: "This will be my last conference as a full time missionary and my last chance to be in this position. Every talk, every person, every time they mention missionaries I feel their word directed towards me. How privileged I am to be in this place, in this calling." I also just freaked out inside when the Brazilian taxi driver in Rio was mentioned :) I loved President Uchtdorf and his talk on faith and how 'with faith, all will make sense.’ I need that. Boy do I need some clarity in my life. Let’s go faith. Also, true worship turns us into true disciples. Missionaries are fishers of men. Don’t forget your inheritance. I thought, "Children feel and follow the spirit best because of their purity and trust. They don’t doubt or question what they feel but as adults we start doubting as our intelligence grows and complicates. The spirit isn’t complicated." Also minimizing our mistakes only makes change that much harder. Confront your wrongs and make it right.

My last bit of the email goes to my parents. That talk about the dedicated mother reading the scriptures daily to her children touched my heart. Mom, dad, you don’t need to worry about losing me. I know Christ lives. Be at peace and don’t worry about me :) He has reminded me time and time again, as have you both. Thank you for always teaching the truths of the gospel. I am indebted to your faithfulness and devotion to the Lord.

I hope you all learned as I did. Keep those revelations close. They should be precious, for they came from our Father in Heaven.

Love Sister Oldroyd, the mentally exhausted but spiritually strengthen sister

It was a pretty chilly day and ice cream was our dessert! Well that didn't stop us :) but Lourdes put this on my shoulders cause I apparently looked cold haha i then put it on my head.....good times

We started an English class every Wednesday....everyone there was a member...we are hoping with more time and invites that investigators will come :)