29 November 2014

We have a huge responsibility to love everyone and to give all that we have to help those we find in our path and that we seek out


     I hope you are well! I guess you were probably really busy, working somewhere without internet or fighting off a pack of wolverines with your bow hunting skills. I´ll just have to take extra time to read your report next week.
     My solo is getting much easier! I can almost breathe normally as I approach the microphone and start to sing. The other missionaries say it´s getting better. Some of the members who watched the last presentation said they didn´t even note an accent!" Wahahah! The dress that a Sister gave me to use for the presentation makes me look like Mrs. Clause. That´s okay. It adds to the Christmas spirit, right? Speaking of CHristmas Spirit, have you heard of  "He is the Gift"? It´s a Christmas thing to spread the good word. Just go to Here you can learn more about Christmas, watch a Christmas video, share what you learn and talk to the missionaries. I don´t actually know that much about it, but you should check it out! I think in our zone meeting we will learn more about it.
Mrs. Clause (Lol! Karynne doesn't know that we
actually have pictures of the dress she mentioned;)
     I LOVE YOU!!! You are so amazing and I`m going to start a program to help the members take care of recent converts the way they should. It´s called "be more like Sister Arthur´s mom, so that the new members  won´t want to cry when they go through hard times"....okay. Maybe it´s not exactly like that, but I wish more people had a heart like yours. I think it´s a lack of understanding of the doctrine of Charity. We shall teach them charity, because "charity never faileth!" I think it´s so cool that that´s the Relief Society motto. It´s perfect. Really, as women, we have a huge responsibility to love everyone and to give all that we have to help those we find in our path and that we seek out. I love the part of "As Sisters in Zion" that says "the errand of angels is given to women." How amazing is that? Look at how much Heavenly Father trusts in us. Yes, we all have to be like Christ, but we have an amazing natural ability to love and to care and to lift up the heads that hang down. How great it is to be a woman! Here in the mission, we don´t participate as actively in Relief Society as we would at home, because we participate in everything, but I`m so proud to be a part of this amazing organization, and I hope we as members of the church can always help each other find these opportunities to serve! It is only when we lose ourselves in the work that we discover who we really are.
     So, I may have mixed up the message from Sister Cabral... the word for repent is very close to the word learn in Portuguese. Oh well, both are valid, but this way makes more sense, because you haven´t truly repented if you don´t change.
Learn + Change + Go Forward with Faith in Christ!
Okay. I hope you have an amazing week and put this in practice! Don´t think of it as a burn. Everyone needs to repent daily. It´s just part of life.

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!

Your LIttle Missionary.

P.S. Happy almost Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We had four turkeys!

Lots of food...but I didn't see pics of Karynne
anywhere for a while...
...until I saw the kitchen crew!
There she was serving her fellow missionaries by putting
on an American Thanksgiving for them.

Our Thanksgiving feast was very fun! We had four turkeys! Only two of them had stuffing, because it was arranged by a Brazilian.... but I would have died without stuffing, so I made it. I didn´t have most of the things in the recipe, so I improvised a lot, but I think it came out well, because I just knew in my heart that even if rosemary wasn't in the list of ingredients, it just had to be included in the stuffing. Haha. It was very fun trying to figure it all out.  The gravy was interesting too, because the turkey didn´t have any strange. Carol said that´s because the turkeys here are much leaner. Whatever the reasno, I made chicken gravy, but everyone was just so happy that there was gravy that it was gone in a flash. Should have made more. And more stuffing. Oh well, all that matters is that we had a great time. 
Custom made stuffing. No idea what's supposed to be in it.
Watermelon?'s summer here.
...but I knew it had to have Rosemary.
     I asked Sister Cabral why she wanted us there at 10:30 if we were only going to start eating at noon. She said "I don´t know. What is it that you do on Thanksgiving before you eat?" The answer. Nothing! You cook and then you eat. Then you die a little, but you manage to resucetate enough to eat some more and then you laugh at the superbowl commericals and laugh with your cousins and play pranks on your uncle who only just managed to make it to the couch before sleeping ( you know, the one from Portugal... ;) and then you eat some more and play some games until everyone eventually goes home. She was like "Really? You don´t do a big FHE or anything like that?" Well, maybe we will now, but I don´t think anyone ever thought of that before. Haha. So, to have some good entertainment I showed them the Christmas eve game that my grandmother plays with us every Christmas eve. It was such a blast!!! It´s just a pity that the surprise didn´t make it to the end of the game intact.....

2nd Thanksgiving together....
Last year we were in the MTC together!


The Christmas Eve game...played at Grammy's house every year
The lady in charge

The winner...accidentally ripped the prize
What R U looking at?
I'm taking the pictures here.

Clean up crew

19 November 2014

What we needed to change was very obvious, Everything.

    I have a new companion, Sister Ermácura! She is from Argentina and has been in the mission just a little more than I have. It´s a little bit refreshing to be working with someone more experienced than I am in the mission. She´s such a powerful missionary, and she´s wicked funny. She speaks English pretty well, because she watched a lot of movies from the US.
Choir Practice
Christmas Program Performance

Sometimes she just says things that I´m like "Oh my goodness. How do you even know that word!" The other day she said. "Sister, don´t you think that´s a little synical (No idea how you spell that...)?" Did I mention she´s super funny? We just laugh all day long. We have so much fun together. Because she is learning English, we speak an absurd amount of English. This helps me prepare for English class, but I end up saying things in English to everyone who has a nametag. It´s rediculous, but I think it´s helping her.
     This week has been so full of learning! SO MUCH LEARNING! Sister Ermácura, is absolutely amazing!  Ever since she got here I have learned so much about how to improve the work here in Embaré. Our ward has some problems, like any ward, but we don´t know exactly what to do about these problems. We decided to do a "40 days of purification." You start by fasting with the purpose being that Heavenly Father will show you what it is that you need to change in your conduct, in your thoughts, in your habbits, anything that´s not going to help you be a better missionary. We fasted and when we ended our fast, the answer came very fast and clear. The next day was zone conference. President and Sister Cabral taught about the way we need to teach. We are not filling up a bucket with information (at least we shouldn´t be....). We are turning on a lightbulb or inviting the Spirit to teach them. When we feel the Spirit, we need to say a prayer and leave, because what the Spirit will teach in our absence is what will help them to be converted, not convinced. As Sister Cabral was explaining what we were not to do in our lessons, or after our lessons, Sister Ermácura and I just looked at each other in horror. It seemed like she´d actually been in our lesson the day before.

     The answer to our prayers about what we needed to change was very obvious. Everything. We haven´t been teaching by the Spirit and no one will recognize us as representatives of Jesus Christ if we continue this way. No one will realize that what we are saying is true if we keep this up. We took to heart the next part of the training from the Cabrals: Abandon traditions. Change. Keep Going. This is a little painful. Seriously when you go about doing what you think is right only to hear that it´s actually not at all how it´s supposed to be, it´s quite a bummer, but we have the comfort of knowing that we can start right today. Every day that we wake up, we have the opportunity to do everything completely different. We don´t have to ever be the same again. That is the miracle of the atonement. So, we are working on doing absolutely everything differently. Sister Cabral sent this comparison on teachign that I really liked and I am going to put it into practice for both my missionary teaching and my english class.

      This week has been so full of change. I can´t believe I have already been here for so long! I´ve decided to stop counting, because it´s too sad.


Sister Arthur
Karynne had a solo and a duet.

Super Yummy! It's a caca collector!!
nailed to a tree.

Healthy Cookies! Well sort of...we made them healthier.
Blister surgery..the fluid leaks out through the string.
(Heather here...sure wishing she got that package with
all of the great shoes in it.)

10 November 2014

When you are seeking to invite the Spirit, you can overcome any differences that you may have.

Chicken Cor Don Bleu (An Arthur family favorite)
Lunch with the missionaries from Embare'
My companion got transferred to Casqueiro and now I have another Argentinian companion. I don´t yet know how to spell her name, because we haven´t made the switch yet, but I am staying in Embaré! I never thought I'd be excited to stay in a city, but we have so much to continue that I couldn't bear to see it all fall apart if everyone got transferred, but seeing as we are getting all the members involved, that wouldn't happen anyways. Our English classes are going to sing in the Christmas sacrament meeting! We´re going to sing "Joy to the World" Sadly, no one knew hardly any of the Christmas hymns. They said it´s not a big thing in Brazil to sing at Christmas time. HOW SAD! I said "That´s okay. We can change that." They seemed to be happy with that response.

Luiz, one of Elder Stokes English students, got baptized Saturday. He said "I don´t want many people at my baptism." My companion was absolutely not okay with that, so she told every member we came into contact with. The turnout was alright and Luiz was very happy with the warm welcome to the ward. 
Sunday he showed up in a suit and everyone was like "Are you sure this is the same man that was baptized yesterday?" It seems like he´s a lifelong member. Some people just come prepared. He is the one who said he wasn't actually looking for an English class, but an opportunity to get to know the church. He introduced himself to the missionaries. On his baptism day, he gave each of us a keychain so that we will never forget him. We had just told him about transfers, but I can promise you that none of us will need a keychain to remember Luiz. He's just that amazing.

Last week, Sister Tabraj and I gave a training on how to invite the Spirit when you teach and I think we learned more than anyone present and it helped us to have a more enjoyable last week together. Really, when you are seeking to invite the Spirit, you can overcome any differences that you may have. It´s still not easy, but I know that the Lord is on our side.

This Sunday will be our first Christmas presentation! Gulp. It´s gonna be great!

Have a great week! Oh my gosh. Thanksgiving hasn't even happened and doesn't even happen here, so they just go straight to Christmas at the end of October. No lie. It´s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,....except for the palm trees and the heat waves that can be seen rising off the sidewalk.... but there´s red and green and sparkles.

LOVE YOU!!!!!!
Sister Arthur

03 November 2014

Can't we all find Something to be happy about?

       This week was very hard companion-wise. After sharing the experience that I wrote in the blog letter last week with Sister Cabral in an email, she said And I love you so much! You are the perfect companion to Sister Xxxxx! Your faith and work will change her life forever! She needs you more than you can imagine! 
With President Cabral
Sometimes it is really hard to be her companion. I don´t get why she is always mad when people haven't done anything to offend her or why she gets mad at people for misunderstanding her, but never studies Portuguese or how every little thing bothers her and it seems like she´s never happy. Sometimes I think about praying to ask if Heavenly Father will transfer her next week, but then I worry that she will have another companion like the ones she´s had in the past who didn´t have any patience with her and didn´t care how she was feeling, but just worried that she was messing up what they wanted to be doing. It is hard that she doesn't run at my speed yet (she needs to sit down and take a break every once in a while and she can´t eat and run because she gets sick and the heat makes her go slower and her feet are always killing her.) but I see how hard she tries to do more every day. One day last week, we got home late and I was so mad at her, because she refused to run, but I didn´t say anything, because I´m not a yeller. The next day she apologized and told me how much her feet had been hurting her. She apologized for being so rude when I told her that she should be happy because she is representing Jesus Christ. She apologized and told me that she knows that sometimes she´s hard to work with. I know she wants to be better and I hope that my example and teaching can help her.
      Every day in my personal study, I look for things to share with her that can help her to progress and develop into the missionary she wants to be. She hasn't had an easy life and I am so impressed with where she is today. I have never had a companion as difficult as her, but I know this is helping me to grow as well. I developed a lot of patience in my first area and now I am learning to extend it. I am learning to be more sensitive to what she needs and what makes her unhappy. I'm also trying (and generally failing) to give constructive criticism in a way that it doesn't offend her, but helps her to see that I'm concerned with her well-being and want to help her to grow.

I wanted to send a picture of zone french toast and blister surgery and planning (all separate) but my new camera card is a major hater. I tried to buy the one that isn't a micro SD that fits into an adapter, because I know that the adapter only works for a little while, but apparently they don't make regular SD cards any more. I knew it wasn't the same, but I bought it anyways. So now I have pictures, but it´s seemingly impossible to do anything with them. How joyful. Oh well, at least I can take pictures again (& Mumma will probably insert some from the Mission page for you.)

Your Little Missionary