Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week Nine!

Best Week Ever!!!

            This week was insane!!!!  We have been teaching a family of 5 for almost two weeks now and we had been fasting and praying for them.  Right when we met them we were like THIS FAMILY IS PERFECT.  They already were married in Brazil, which makes it a whole lot easier.  (Most people don´t get married because it’s to expensive and takes a lot of time, so they just live together instead).  The only problem they had was drinking coffee.  When we taught them about the Word of Wisdom they promised to obey it, so we took their coffee away.  Everyone in the family has kept their promise to not drink it and they haven´t!  WOOT WOOT!!  The family prayed about getting baptized and they felt that they should!! 

On Tuesday night we went to visit and only the mom was there with her son.  We were confused because usually the whole family was there, but they were at the church playing soccer.  So we taught the mother and she was having a lot of doubts and said she wasn’t ready to be baptized this Saturday.  We were so confused and asked her if she had any questions or if there was something we could do.  She said “no”.  Then sister Amaral got emotional and told her that we pray for their family everyday and she pictures their family all in white standing in front of the temple ready to be sealed.  Then I got emotional and pulled out the pictures of my family and expressed my love for them and how grateful I am that we can be together forever.  I told her that this gospel and church as brought more happiness, joy, and blessings than I can express.  I told her that I know she loves her family too and wants to be happy and be with them for eternity.  She didn’t really say anything and then we left.  Sister Amaral was crying saying we need to humble ourselves and pray and pray for this family and ask Heavenly Father to soften their hearts.

The next day we went over to their house and the whole vibe was different. The family was all present for the lesson and happy and we asked them if they´d be ready for baptism on Saturday and they all said YES!!!!  The dad of the family said that his wife told him what we said the day before about families and how she didn’t feel ready.  The dad told his wife, no this is good, I think it would be a good thing for our family to get baptized.  MIRACLES HAPPEN PEOPLE!!!  Sister and I were on cloud 9 for the rest of the week!!  We thanked Heavenly Father for this miracle.  I know he hears our prayers and prepares people for us to teach and baptize.  Their baptism was a day I will never forget. Sister Amaral said, one day Luis (the dad) will be a bishop and their sons (ages 14 and 9) will serve missions.  I started balling when she said this!!  I am so grateful to be apart of this wonderful work (:

-Sister Smith

Luis and Regina and their 3 children's baptism 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week Eight!

What a Week It’s Been!

     So many people in this area are ready for the gospel it’s so awesome!!  Sister Amaral and I feel so blessed to be in Rio Verde having these experiences, talking and teaching so many people!

Okay, I know I already said this but I LOOOVE BRAZIL!!!  The food, the people, the culture like holy cow I feel so blessed to have been called to serve here. The people here are super chill, friendly, give us water when we pass by their house and let us use the bathroom.  The fruit here is unbelievable!!  Don´t worry I only have found one tooth in my meat and one hair, its going good so far. 

     Sooo just when I thought lizards replaced rats and mice here...I was wrong.  Last P-day I was taking a picture and wasn’t paying attention then sister stopped me and had me look at what was right in front of me on the road...a pile of dead rats.... I literally started screaming and running down the street.  Sister Amaral and a member we were with were laughing their heads off...I didn’t think that was funny at all.

     Sacrament meeting is incredible! Literally everyone gets up and the bishop has to stop people to end the meeting. I bore my testimony...again, I was like sister, why are we on the stand I bore my testimony last week.  She said, “welcome to missionary life” hahaha. 

     Good news I saw a dog today!!!!  Bad news, it got hit by a car!  It was soooo sad, I like screamed when it happened! Then it got up after and limped off! 

    Our investigator Julio can’t get baptized because he killed a man 3 years ago. 

Love you bye,

Sister Smith

 Missionary Feet
My Favorite member Carol (she's been a member for 6 months)
One of many Gecko's in our house

Street in Brazil
 Where I live!

Our Bedroom


 Laundry Station

 The Fruit in Brazil is Delicious!

Eating the best food in the world at a members house.

 One of the members had a chicken and
 the elders were pretending to eat it.

 A member cooking food for us.

Week Seven!

Two Baptisms this Week!!!

     Family, friends, and anyone else reading this! Wow, what an incredible week!! Last week I didn’t get to talk much about our investigators because it would take too long! So, now I will talk about them and how incredible they are! 

     So my first full day in the field me and Sister Amaral were walking down the street and saw a cute old black man sitting in front of his house. (All Brazilians sit on chairs in front of their house and chill) It gives us a great opportunity to talk to them because they are already sitting right there ready to listen haha. So we sat down and talked to this man named Julio.  He was really quiet and shy and didn’t say much.  Sister Amaral talked about keeping the Sabbath Day holy and then asked me to bare my testimony.  The spirit was so strong and he was really trying to pay attention to what I was saying (since I can’t speak very good) and I got emotional...as always haha.  Then Sister Amaral invited him to be baptized and he said YES!!!!  It was amazing....after Sister Amaral was like sister that testimony was amazing and really brought the spirit.  That experience was just what I needed to start out in the field. We continued to teach him every week.  

     One time we taught him we had a member with us and Julio had a friend listening to our lesson.  The lesson was going so well and the spirit was so strong, but I hadn’t said anything or contributed to the lesson in anyway.  I wanted to speak soooooo BAD!!!! I wanted to bare my testimony that this church is TRUE!! That I came to Brazil to share the good news!  I was praying Sister Amaral would ask me to share my testimony.  She did, and in my broken Portuguese I cried and poured out my soul.  And I could tell everyone was a little shocked because I was crying, but the spirit was just so strong.  Every time we teach, I think, you know, I may not know this language right now all the way, but what I do know, is that this church is TRUE!!!  I HAVE A TESTIMONY OF IT AND I WANT YOU TO TOO!!!!  It’s so awesome!! We invited him to church last Sunday and he came and said he loved it but then after he asked if he could have money for food.  We talked to the Bishop and he said “no” and then Julio just left.  I felt crushed inside because I didn’t want him to just leave and we didn’t know if all he wanted was money for food or if he truly wanted to be apart of this church. 

    Last Monday night we were walking down the street to his house and I got this overwhelming love for Julio.  I loved this cute old man and I wanted him to be happy and know this gospel is true.  When we got to his house, he was crying.  I didn’t know what he was saying because he talks really quiet and kind of mumbles (a lot of Brazilians do and they don’t have teeth so the whole time I’m like okaaaaay...sister take over I don’t know what they just said haha) Anyway Sister Amaral kept saying para bems, congrats.  I started crying because I knew it had something good to do with his decision to be a member of the church.  So after we were done I asked sister what exactly he said.  She said he heard his mother, who had already passed away say to him in his dream, this church is the right way, keep going.  He said he couldn’t pass up this opportunity to be baptized, he knows he needs to.  After sister told me that, I busted into tears!! SERIOUS????? I was seriously so happy we knelt down and thanked Heavenly Father for giving him this experience to know its true. Can’t wait for his baptism!!

     So one night we were lost and I was like Sister Amaral lets ask this guy for help.  This black teenage boy was holding a little girl and was talking on his phone.  We asked him for help and then introduced ourselves.  We asked him if we could share a message with him and he said yeah.  He had already met with the missionaries a couple times. But we began to teach him and became friends with him.  He is super shy but super nice and really wanted to get baptized. He had a drinking problem but stopped after our lesson about the Word of Wisdom. woot woot!! He told us he had a dream about it and he came to church with us and on Saturday HE GOT BAPTISED!!! YEAH FOR LUCIANO!!!!! WOOT WOOT!! I love that kid, he rocks!!

     Okay, the sisters that were last in this area met with this awesome old man named Noguerria.  So we visited him and he is a hoot! He is seriously a crack up and loves me since I am from the US hahaha! He likes to tell everyone about me! And prays for me to learn Portuguese! I love him!! He reminds me of grandpa Headman. He also got baptized on Saturday!!!
them next week!!!

Love You All,
Sister Smith
 Sister Amaral and Sister Smith
 Luciano and Noguerria's Baptism Day!

My district. I love them!

Week Six!

Goodbye Brazil MTC -- Hello Goiania!

So much has happened I don´t know where to begin! 
So for the last sacrament meeting in the MTC they called on me to give a talk.  I had prepared one and of course it was in Portuguese, I was sooooo nervous.  I practiced and practiced over and over pronouncing the words right.  And right before I went up, I asked Heavenly Father for help and for me to just have peace and let him do the rest.  It was the most amazing experience I have ever had.  I got up there and wasn´t even nervous and spoke without any trouble and started getting emotional.  I knew that I could not have done that without Heavenly Fathers help.  He is seriously amazing!!! Aww I love him so much!  After my talk I sat down and bailed and said a prayer of thanks to Heavenly Father for helping me.  That was a really special experience.  I talked about the atonement and how we can become clean of our sins. I shared an experience when I was truly sorry for something I did and promised I would never do it again and after I truly felt in my heart that he forgave me.

     So, I woke up at 4 am and said goodbye to Sister Oldroyed and headed off to the airport with 4 other Elders that were also going to my mission.  We got on our flight and I sat by 2 Brazilian Elders and they talked to me the whole time (well tried to) haha but they were so nice. Then, we get off the plane and BAM!!!!  That hot dry air hit me hard and I knew that Goiania really was hotter than Sao Paulo.  Goiania is seriously sooooo stink pretty!  There are farmlands and then big cities.  There is red dirt and lizards everywhere...I love it!  They´re even in our house!  Anyway, we get our bags and meet the President and the assistant’s to the President too! They were so nice and welcomed us and packed our bags in a van.  Then we went to a hotel and I got put in a room with 2 other Brazilian sisters that were so sweet and helping me with the language.  Oh, by the way, I was the only American sister, but the other sisters would still try to talk to me and hug me and include me. Then we walk to the Mission Presidents house which is sooo beautiful let me tell you!  And we all sit on their couches and he goes off speaking to us in Portuguese about who knows what and they he turns to me and says Sister Smith what about you? (Still in Portuguese) I was like, what?  Then he says something and I’m like yeah and then he looks confused and people are laughing and I feel dumb because I don’t know what he said. Then I turn to the American Elders and they are like say yes!  I was like I did?  It was so embarrassing, but whatever?   After that we ate the most amazing food!  Ahhhh!  And I thought the MTC food was good hahaha!  Then after we ate they set up a big circle in the living room and asked if a Brazilian Elder would volunteer to bare their testimony, an American Elder too and a Brazilian Sister and then an American Sister...oh wait I’m the only American Sister! Haha so I bore my testimony..that was interesting.  (No, it went good my Portuguese wasn’t good but I cried...of course because the spirit was so strong.  So then later that night we had like a big meeting and found out all the rules of the mission and our areas and companions! 

     I feel so extremely blessed.  My companion is one of the Sister Training Leaders!!  And of course she is my trainer too...she has 2 callings!  Her name is Sister Amaral.  All the Elders kept telling me she is so amazing and is a hard worker and I’m spoiled to have her.  Then they told me the area and its called Rio Verde popular and I asked if popular was part of the name or if it really is popular and they said it is. Apparently it is the best area to serve in.  I was like THANK YOU!!  I kept praying thanking Heavenly Father!

     So the next day, I met my companion.  Okay, let me just tell you I was confused when I saw her because she looks American.  SHE IS GORGEOUS!!  My friend Elder Banz was like, okay Sister Smith you are so lucky!! Sister Amaral doesn’t know very much English, which is good but hard too.

     So we get to our house and it is kind of old and broken.
Okay I’m running out of time but some highlights (important/funny stuff)
- I have never made so many mistakes in all my life.  Not only with the language but with stuff in general. 
- I closed a door without a handle on it and we were stuck in our bedroom in the morning for 2 hours.
- I almost broke the front door too.
- After we left the house in the morning I forgot 3 things and we had to walk all the way back.
- We are hoping to have 5 baptisms by the end of this week.
- The people here are like soooo incredible, I can’t even explain it.
- I feel like I’m in a movie walking on the streets in so much poverty, Oh mom and dad, if you could only see me now! It’s so cool!!
- The water here is soooo clean, no worries with the water. Everyone uses cleaned water in these big jugs.
- A lady told me I had the eyes of Jesus Cristo
- I randomly was called on to bare my testimony in sacrament meeting, everyone in the ward gave me hugs and kisses after and said I speak like a Brazilian...that was nice of them, but noooo hahaha!
- My companion is the biggest blessing EVER!!! She is soooooo extremely patient and loving with me.  She always knows what to do. Has my back all the time.  Is the most obedient hardworking person I have met on my mission.  She walks faster than lighting.  She is so beautiful and not cocky or rude to me.  Sometimes though it can get frustrating because she trys to tell me stuff and I don’t understand what she wants me to do!  But that’s just part of the experience.  - I can see why a mission is hard now.  It is really hard, but those moments when I share my testimony to someone on the street and they feel the spirit make it all worth it. 
-We walk until our feet our numb and then we keep walking!

I love you all!!! 
I love my mission!!

-Sister Smith

Jessica with her Mission President David Kuceki and his wife Sister Adelaide M. Kuceki