30 December 2014


     I got transferred today! You can tell the Lamberts that now I am in Bertioga! All four sisters from Bertioga were transferred. We showed up today and as we descended from the bus, it started to rain. We laughed and started to lug our suitcases in the direction of our new house. What a joke! Soon we had an elderly woman, her granddaughter and two men helping us. That was a big difference from Santos. When I got there, I carried all of my stuff....completely alone...past a huge group of men and they all watched me as I struggled and sweat streamed down my face, but I got a great workout! Anyways, it seems like the people are much friendlier here. We all got absolutely SOAKED! Including all of our stuff, but that´s okay. WE´re missionaries and that means we can handle anything. Sister Vergara got the address of the woman and her granddaughter, but the two men were from São Paulo. They reminded me of Mike and Spatty. Needless to say, getting to our house made a big messy scene. Sister Vergara´s suitcase is pretty much useless now...but it was already on the way out. But we had a great time! 
      When we got to the house, we discovered that one of the companionships that was serving in Bertioga had been working hard and the other hardly working. It was sad to see, because this is a huge area and there are so many people waiting to hear the word of God. Well, don´t worry, because we've got 4 hard workers now. WATCH OUT BERTIOGA! HERE WE COME!

      It was sad to know that I won´t see the baptism of Durvalino (one of my English students) and Loretta (his wife), but I know that Sister Ermácora will take good care of them. It was the coolest thing. When we invited them to be baptized, they said "Absolutely! Thank you so much for the invitation. We´re so honored." We left thinking maybe they hadn't totally understood. Of course they understood! That´s how they should react. They are such an amazing couple! They already study the scriptures together every day! LIke, that started way before we met them and they devour (carefully study) everything we give them. It´s so amazing to pause and see how Heavenly Father blessed us  and them for all the stress and hard work of English class. They will be the 2nd and 3rd baptism from our English class! We are inviting their classmates to the baptism too! There were a LOT of difficulties in Embaré, but with all of these, we also received many blessings.
     Wow! Okay, there is so much to tell, but I have to go soon. Our p day is going to be new years day, but they let us email for an hour today. The LAN house won´t be open on 1. Jan. so you´ll have to wait for the next week to hear more about Bertioga. My companion is Sister Dominguinhos! She seems cool!
     Side note:  I think new years resolutions are dumb, because you should change what you need to when you realize that it´s wrong. But, now is as good a time as any to do an evaluation of the things that you had hoped would happen this year and see what you need to work on next year.

I love you!

Your LIttle Missionary!

24 December 2014

Merry Christmas! ...wanna know what drives me crazy?

Wanna know what drives me crazy? I can sing my solo perfectly and strong and it´s really the bathroom or one of the classrooms when I´m warming up, but when I walk up to the pulpit, it comes out so weak. It´s so sad, because I´m trying my heart out! But it just isn't working!
Our Little Piggy

Okay. Now I will tell you about the amazingness that is happening here, starting with our new little missionary! Sister Paige arrived Tuesday. President Cabral called and asked if she could stay with us until the transfer. We're still waiting for the transfer, but it can wait as long as they want, because Sister Paige is so flipping awesome! We love her. I´m not sure why Sister Ermácora calls her Piggy. I don´t know, but she's so great. She´s not afraid of anything. We practice before we teach, but sometimes we don´t have time, but she always teaches and it's so surprising how much she understands! I think she´s very good for Sister Ermácora and me. We needed some kind of change. Also, finally I can run again! I was telling Sister Paige that when I say "second mile" we have to run our brains out until we get home. She understood "We´re in the second mile. Now we have to run our brains out until we get home." It's the biggest second mile I've ever run. She rocks and doesn't complain. I could keep her, but that's not my decision.

English Class choir. There were at least twice as many,
but these are the die hards.
      This Sunday our English classes sang in sacrament meeting. Only nine of the students showed up, but they were all very well dressed and they were all very impressed with themselves and I was very impressed with them. Everyone in the ward was very impressed too. There were a million reasons that it could have gong horribly wrong, but in the end it went very well!
      We have a new investigator, Esther! She is amazing! She has so many profound questions and is really searching! She said when her son was younger, he visited the Mormon church and she was so worried about him. She said "but this is what I believe." 
One of the members has this beautiful manikin in
her house. Her son (18) puts his arms in the sleeves
and runs around the house talking to people.
     I will send pictures of Christmas eve and Day with the Cabrals. I have to go!
Finally a running buddy! What a powerhouse!


Sharing the Gift.
Love, Your Little Missionary

The sweet benefits of being a teacher! Maura loves me!
Liv makes ornaments with messages inside every year
for CHristmas. She writes about Christ.
Her kids can only read them after she´s dead.
HOW COOL! I´m totoally gonna do this for my kidsl.

15 December 2014

In the mission, you can do all impossible things

My English Class came to the Pageant! Paulo, Oscar, Maura, Sister Ermácora, Me 
Dearest Friends and Family,

     In the mission, you can do all impossible things, like read the Book of Mormon in 30 days in Portuguese and memorize the Living Portuguese...and finish Sister Cabral´s studies before Christmas....okay, well the third one is still just a thought, a worthy goal, but um.....there are 11 of them left and Christmas is in 10 days. I think I will do it before the new year...

Marina! A recent convert from my last area...who walked
to the Christmas Pageant in my new area!
     So let me tell you about the Christmas...Pageant? in our ward!!! It was so amazing!!!!!!! There were so many people! There were a lot from our ward, but they brought their friends and family members. There were so many that, after spending the whole time afterwards talking with people who came to see the pageant who weren't members, we still had a few members come up asking where we had been, because they wanted their family to meet us! Well, it´s sad that we didn´t get to meet them, but there were so many people to talk to. SO MANY PEOPLE! Four of my English students came, at least two of Elder Stokes´, Marina, a recent convert from Ponta da Praia WALKED there! (it´s kind of far, but she´s just the most amazing 78 year old woman I know) 

Results of the Christmas presentation in Embaré
...these are names of the people who asked us to
bring them church material!
Funny story. I broke a glass in the church and cleaned it up like an hour and a half before we were going to perform, but exactly when I stood up to go to the pulpit, a piece of glass started stabbing me in the foot. I dealt with it, but took my shoe off when I got up onto the stage. Only the choir could see, but they must have thought me quite strange when I went to sing my solo with only one shoe.

      We are going to visit the people that came to the Christmas presentation today and we are so pumped! 
Have you shared the gift yet?

Still at it. What did I break this time? It was a
mug. I was washing it and it just flew out of
my hand...onto the stone counter top.....!!!
I think I should let others wash the glasses.
...and I might buy myself a plastic cup.
    I discovered last week that I have been overpaying my tithing my whole life. Apparently you only have to pay it on income. I thought it was any increase, including gifts, but I've been informed that that is not the case. Oh well. Maybe that´s why I've been so incredibly blessed financially. Who knows. 
     There are too many things to think about this week! So much to do! I am learning how to really dive into the scriptures! It´s so amazing. I studied 2 Nephi 9:1 for like 2 hours today. It was a little extreme, and I will have to study the rest of the chapter much faster, but it is amazing to see what is in just one verse of scripture! 

We are going to work our butts off this week, because last week we were so busy with the preparations for the Christmas presentation. Are you still reading this? Wake up! It´s over. Sorry for the suffering. Just kidding.  

 Your Little Missionary.

10 December 2014

A little crazy, like me. But you love me anyway!

Hi! I love you! You are amazing! 
On the bus to the musical fireside in Bertioga.
This email is a little crazy, like me. 
Sorry. But you love me anyways!

      We had a really cool experience this week at the musical fireside in Bertioga! An orchestra! The local orchestra played the prelude in place of what we usually do as an introduction. It was sooooooo cool! I was so happy that there was a trumpet! I wanted to ask him if I could play it afterwards, but I don´t know if that´s weird in Brazil. Also, we literally had to run out the door to catch the bus after the show and I don´t think President Cabral would have approved...but I could be wrong.... 

    Has it snowed yet? It´s getting pretty hot here. On the first hot day I kinda died. I had no energy. Everyone was like "Are you okay??" and I said "I will be. This first day´s just kind of like a punch in the face." Then it rained,so I haven´t gotten used to it yet. Oh well. I´m not gonna complain about that.

     I wanted to correct something about the reverence project. The children are not the problem. As far as the children are concerned, I've never been in a ward that was more reverent. In most of the other wards, the children do laps around the pews and pulpit. The children here are very reverent. I like the idea of giving the card to everyone while the children sing the song. Maybe the bishop will accept that. This week, the relief society president gave the lesson and it was on reverence. We discussed how it can help us to feel the Spirit and how we need to first be worthy of the Spirit if we are ever going to be worthy to be in the presence of Jesus Christ. Some worried moms talked about their difficulties in just getting their children to church and everyone agreed that they do have a hard job and that it´s okay if they´re not always totally silent. I think maybe they´d just forgotten why it´s so important to be reverent. In the sacrament meeting that followed, almost everyone was quiet. It was so nice to see that really when you teach what is correct with love, those who are trying to follow Christ change to do what He has asked.
our little hotel

     I hope you are having a very Merry Christmas! I can´t believe it´s already December 8. I have to finish memorizing the Living Christ in seventeen days! Did you accept that challenge? It´s a bummer I won´t know it in English, but at least I will know what it says! I´m excited! I hate memorizing, but this is okay, because it´s so powerful. Pure testimony! 

      There is a song in the fireside that says " I know He lives, my savior and king. I know that He lives. I will sing with jubilee. Because He lives, I too will live again. He lives, my Savior and King." 
I know that Jesus Christ lives and that everything He did, He did for us. His love is infinite and when we learn to be like Him and to love Him, we will be more complete, happier.


Your Little Missionary!

Love this one!

04 December 2014

It´s like camping. You always have to leave the place better than you found it.

We had lunch with Luiz today. He is such an amazing man.He said, "it´s funny that I am so much older that you. I could be your grandfather, but you four missionaries are more like ´parents to me, all that you do for me, you  don´t even know how much it means to me." It is crazy how much the people we teach really trust in us. Most of them are older than us, but they look to us to know what to do. We teach them to converse with Heavenly Father and find answers in the scriptures. It is amazing to see the light in their eyes when they really get it, or the pure gratitude on their face when they talk about how their life has been changed. I really love these people, and I hope the members in their ward can also see how amazing they are.

Today in my personal study, I came across this scripture. I really like it, because it makes you think. Well, all of the scriptures make you think, but this one makes you think and makes you want to change. 

47 But behold, my brethren, is it expedient that should awake you to an awful reality of these things? Would harrow uyoursouls if your minds were pure? Would be plain unto you according to the plainness othe truth if ye were freed from sin?
 48 Behold, if ye were holy would speak unto you of holiness; but as ye are not holy, and ye look upon me as teacher, it must needs be expedient thateach you the consequences of sin.
Well, it´s a little hard, but the truth is hard. This week, we tried to implement a project to improve the reverence in our ward. We presented this plan to the bishop and he looked like we were saying we wanted to go around with a cattle prod to punish those who were not reverent. I think sometimes people lose sight of the importance of what we learn in sacrament meeting, because it happens every week. But really, it is an amazing opportunity to receive personal revelation! I have recognized so many answers to my prayers by listening to the talks in sacrament meeting and paying attention in the other classes. I think I probably would have realized that I could benefit from being more reverent if a cute little kid with a badge that says "Guardian of Reverence" handed me a picture of Jesus with this hymn on the back:

  1. Rev'rence is more than just quietly sitting:
    It's thinking of Father above,
    A feeling I get when I think of his blessings.
    I'm rev'rent, for rev'rence is love.
    When I'm rev'rent, it shows in my words and my deeds.
    The pathway to follow is clear.
    And when I am rev'rent, I know in my heart
    Heav'nly Father and Jesus are near.
  2. CHildrens SOng book
We have been working a lot on ways to improve our ward. It´s like camping. You always have to leave the place better than you found it.

This Sunday one of our investigators surprised us by showing up at church and then actively participating in Gospel Principles. He is so funny. Sometimes the things he says and does just surprise us a lot. It seems like he´s not understanding and then he bears his testimony of how he already knew and lives this principle. Oh Pelé! He´s not the famous soccer player. That´s just his nickname.

Is everyone else totally excited that it´s CHRISTMAS TIME?!?!?!

I have to run! LOVE YOU SO MUCH! 

Your LIttle Missionary