Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Sister Pumpkin :)

Well the title has nothing to do with anything besides my birthday! Just wanted to quickly say thank you ten billion times for those of you who wrote a memory or two in my memory book. It brought me such joy and has been by far one of the best gifts I’ve received. Who knew turning 21 would feel so normal and yet so weird at the same time? I continue to realize that I spent my whole 20th year in Brasil and will spend a part of my 21st year in Brasil. I am so blessed :) Only more happy memories to come.

thank you thank you thank you! i cried, laughed, smiled and 
got to reminisce about how wonderfully filled my life is with you guys! 
thank you for making me who i am! 

This week was really cool! Tuesday we had interviews with President Thomas as a district and while waiting, Sister Thomas wanted to take pictures and hear everyone’s conversion story. Sooooooo....that meant I got to help translate them for her. It was such a privilege to be seated there with her and the Elder or Sister and explain to her how they were converted or how they are still finding their testimony right now. We got to know a bit about their family and asked them how they obtained a testimony and how they knew they wanted to serve. Some were quickly given while others were filled with a few tears. It was one of the coolest experiences to get to know these missionaries even better by only talking with them for 10 minutes. It made me think about how much better I could get to know people, like my neighbors, relatives and friends if I truly just sat down and talked with them and really asked them questions and really listened. Wouldn’t you like it if the person asking you questions actually wanted to hear your answers? It kinda makes me frustrated when I feel like the other person only asked me the question cause they were obligated....it feels so much better when you can see them processing everything you’re saying. Anyway, just an idea.

an elder (the blue tie cut off head one kkk) kept saying i was the famous 'cookie' sister when i had never even made them yet on the mission haha i can take a hint elder...they weren't fabulous, but i patted myself on the back for how they turned out, and not having had the proper cooking tools haha i wung it! thank you cooking shows :)

I thought this quote I saw in the street was cool "Be as you are......everybody else is taken”. Well I thought, that’s true haha such wisdom casually written in the street. Who knew graffiti or store logos/names could be so uplifting?

A really cool moment was when I saw a lady at the bus stop with a huge rounded yellow bag that said 'smiley'. It was just calling my name! So I went up to talk with her and she goes, “I don’t speak Portuguese very well”...and I stop, “do you speak English?' she goes, “yeah..well I’m Hungarian so I actually speak Hungarian, and English cause everyone learns it there in Hungary cause very few people speak Hungarian and French and now Portuguese". I thought wow! You go girl! Get that brain a working haha. I only had a bit of time to explain and respond to a few of her questions before her bus got there but I felt so happy for how she accepted me and talked with me. I hope she reads that restoration pamphlet and gains a testimony :)

We had two fun family nights this week, one with a recent convert who works for facebook as an engineer so he is always traveling and we took advantage now that he is in town. We took over a young married couple with us and had a lesson on testimonies. Each of us bore our testimonies and it was so great to see the difference in each one, but to be able to feel the spirit in all of them. Our testimony truly is a declaration of what we have found out to be true. Another family night was with a family who are all members besides the daughter and we decided to show a video and share about Christ’s role in our life. I got to share a scripture that I had never even realized until now, but unfortunately I can’t remember, it’s in the end chapters of Third Nephi about Christ gathering everyone to pray and then saying that he cried. I shared that yes, our lives are quite blessed by the gospel but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t cry, for even Jesus cried. That it plays a part in our progress, which explains why Joseph’s name isn’t written directly in the bible. Or who would truly be converted by the spirit if it were? A lady firmly questioned us, 'but I want you to show me exactly where this man’s name is in the bible so I can study it and ask my pastor" and all we could say was to pray and showed her a few scriptures that explained the restoration.  We repeated many times that she should ask God and not her pastor. Just like it says in 3 Nephi 26:11, God is testing our faith by not giving us all the details. But He promises to make everything clear when we ask in faith.

family home evening with pizza! it was so much fun! and this irmã makes me think of elfiba from wicked every time haha shes there in the back, dont you think?

There was also a sweet story a recent convert told us about her 11 year old daughter having to explain to a boy wanting to be her boyfriend that she couldn’t until the age of 18 (I explained that she could date at 16 haha ) and that she was going to live the law of chastity and was planning on serving a mission so she couldn’t be his girlfriend. The boy with a puzzled look on his face asked, what is the law of chastity? And what is a mission? Oh how I love C. and hearing these wonderful stories of her and her example at such a young age!

Also I’ll quickly just say that sometimes being American has its down sides haha like a contact I did with M. I asked him the name of a street and he didn’t know but he was fascinated with my little accent and talked with us a while about religion then finally at the very end as I went to shake his hand, he took it and pulled me in to give me a huge kiss on the cheek. Let’s just say I tried to say no and pull away and my companion was just in shock…(poor thing haha I think that was the first time that happened in front of her eyes on the mission) ugh.....why me??? Sacrifices to preach the gospel I guess. God will forgive me....anyway, that was my week basically!

Happy living for you all :) Know that I’m great and am trying to wake up every morning excited to see what God has planned for me!

Sister Oldroyd- who’s going to eat endless sushi for her birthday with the whole zone :) yesss!!!! Oh and Sister Thomas called her to sing her happy birthday. Cutie :)

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