Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Happy Winter!

Another week down here in Águas Claras, Brasil: DONE. This week went pretty good but I'm literally dead. We've been working our butts off. Thank goodness for P-Day. I rolled out of bed (not the best idea because I sleep on the top bunk) and read the New Testament for 2 hours and then jumped right back in bed for a good 4 hour nap! I still don't feel fully recovered from this week. We've been working hard. Our goal for the month of June is to hit the standards of excellence twice in the month because it's really hard to do and if you can you get a super spiffy certificate from President! So this past week we've been getting everything set up so that we can hit those numbers! The highlight of the week was going to the Porto Alegre Temple!! Not going to lie, I felt pretty comfortable going through a session in Portuguese - wasn't too hard! I love being in the temple. What a blessing it is to have Houses of God here on the earth that we can enter and feel His spirit so strongly. I felt a lot of peace there. It was like a recharge for my spiritual battery. The temple grounds are SO sweet! It's probably the nicest piece of property here in Rio Grande do Sul. Other highlight of the week was when we discovered that when you pour salt on a snail, they foam up and explode. But yeah, other than that... all is well!  Wish me luck in this cold! I'm currently wearing my Columbia fleece jacket and a sweater under! BRRRR. Tchau!

Monday, May 19, 2014

This week was pretty intense. We worked like crazy! We were able to mark 10 baptismal dates, have 6 investigators in church, and explore a new part of our area and find new investigators! So yeah, I'm out here with my new comp, Elder Buhler! It's pretty funny because I'm friends from BYUI with his twin sister! He studied at BYU Provo so we do a lot of talking about college! He's loving the area - a big change from where he was before, the center of Porto Alegre. I've stepped out of my comfort zone this transfer and am speaking a whole lot more! It kinda helps that we have a Brazilian that lives with us. We also have a greenie fresh out of the MTC from Chile! He's a character - super fun to live with. But yeah, this week was good. We've been busting our butts out here. Hard work actually makes the time pass way fast.  This transfer is 7 weeks and I realized that one week after this transfer I'll hit 6 months! Everybody says once I make it to 6, the time flies so fast. It has been going pretty fast as I look back so I can't imagine how it's going to be. Yeah, this mission is very hard but I'm so glad I'm out here. Like Uncle Richard always said, "It may not be the best two years OF your life but it is the best two yours FOR your life." That's so true because I've already been noticing the huge changes taking place in my life! :D

Goodbye for now, Elder Jackson!

New comp, Elder Buhler

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day Skype!!!

Well, this was our first big call with Elder Sanok since he left on his mission.  We were so excited to be able to Skype with him on Mother's Day!  It was funny when he called and first saw us on his screen, he just laughed and laughed -- either we looked really funny all sitting there on the couch or he was just so excited to see us after so long (I like to think it was the latter).  Anyway, we really enjoyed talking with him and it was fun to watch him turn to his side and speak in Portuguese to his companion and to the family that was letting him use their computer to Skype with us!  He told us some fun stories about his adventures in Brazil.  At the end of our Skype call he even said a pray for us in Portuguese - What a special blessing!  We did not know what he was saying except the spirit was very strong that we felt and we could feel his love for us and when he said "familia" and got choked up it was a very tender moment.  

His P-Day email was very short this week.  We had talked about so much the day before.  His companion is getting transferred and being made a zone leader, so they were able to go say "Tchau" to many new friends he has made.  On Thursday night, he was able to call us from a pay phone on the side of a dirt road and let us know what time he was Skyping on Sunday.  As we mentioned we were feeding pizza to the missionaries here, he said "we want pizza too" so we treated them to some, and he and his companion enjoyed their favorite pizza!!!  Looks like they were pretty excited about it :) 

Monday, May 5, 2014


So let's start this week where I last talked to you: Monday. After email, we went back and relaxed for a bit until we headed down to fill out some baptism forms. Afterwards we were heading to a member's house for family night when we saw a van on the side of the road that ran out of gas - a man was steering the van while the woman was pushing, so of course, we ran over to help...not knowing that we'd be pushing for about 3 kilometers to the nearest gas station (you have to remember that we are in the middle of nowhere).  As we were doing all the pushing, our motivation was "THIS IS FOR MY FUTURE WIFE!" Lol, but the story has a pretty cool outcome because it turns out that the couple is from a different city who have been in need of help so we got their info and sent the missionaries in that area to them! On Wednesday, I found my Dad, haha!  We were helping the elders in our district out in their area doing divisions with them to get some work done. I was with an American who only has been on a mission 7 months and an 18-year-old member who just got his mission call to Curitiba. It was a learning experience for all three of us - 2 Americans pretty new in Brazil who don't have a great grasp on the language and a member getting ready for his mission who doesn't really know how to teach too well.  As we were walking, we passed a bar and some drunk guy starts yelling out to us.  The other elder and I kept walking because we didn't know what to say or what he said, but the member didn't know that so he stopped to see what the guy wanted.  He came up and shook our hands and when he got to the other elder he just paused for like 3 minutes, wobbling side to side - "can I say something?" ...still holding his hand... "I'm your father, and your father, and your father." "uhhh... no, my dad doesn't drink. Tchau!" Hahaha, only on the mish... Thursday, I stayed in my area doing divisions with one of the Zone Leaders to do the baptismal interview. The power went out in the middle of the interview...awkward! I was babysitting her little siblings while they did the interview.  Friday was the baptism!! It was wonderful! Elder Jackson did the baptizing (thank goodness because I would have frozen to death!)   Having a baptism makes all the hard work worth it - like a rainbow after a storm. Sunday, we did the confirmation of the Holy Ghost - I had the privilege of being the one performing the ordinance...SWEET STUFF! My Portuguese isn't the greatest but it really is amazing that it's good enough to do things like that! All is well, all is well.  Peace out!  Tchau!!