Thursday, September 12, 2013

first look at Brazil....

Happy Birthday #20!!!!

September 9, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,
another fast week here in Capanema! We received two new sisters and divided the area. I love them so much and have learned a ton from them. One is from Chile and the other is from the south of Brazil. They are great, and yes I am the strange Americana haha.

cultural things
1) All juice here is fresh tropical fruit juice.... sooooooo amazing 
2) "bom bom" is the name of many different kinds of chocolate here 
(my favorite is "sonho de valso" dream of the walz) 
3) the mosquitos here are huge and "forte" very strong
4) lots of wild dogs, cats and horses everywhere 

This week I grew a lot in many different ways. My portugese jumped forward a ton and many people comment on it. One month in Brazil and I can communicate everything I want to say and understand almost everything people say. It is mind blowing! I know that I am not alone in my learning. When we are serving the Lord, he will provide a way for us to accomplish our calling.

A scripture I love in The Book of Mormon is in Mosiah 3:19 "For the Natural man is an enemy to God and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Hold spirit and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." I love this list of attributes. I think of my sister Nicole and how she is a great example of this; she knows how to love with a perfect love. Here in brazil i am striving to become "like a child". It is a process and requires lots of prayer and effort, but I know that when we humble ourselves, the Lord can work miracles through our hands. 

I know that this work is important and more importantly, I know that it is true. It blesses lives and brings people closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. 

I love Brazil and love my mission! I love all of you and am very grateful for your thoughts and prayers. 

Love Always,
Sister Sender 

September 2, 2013

Family and Friends!
I hope everyone is doing well and had a fantastic week! This week was the final week of my 1st transfer in Brazil. I am staying in Capanema with Sister De Lima and we are receiving two new sisters as well. (we are making room in our apt) We will be splitting the area and the goal is to create a district of sister missionaries with a sister district leader. The work is moving along :) I am excited for the changes, but also a little nervous. Change is good, but sometimes difficult at first. 

Cultural things
1) every meal we eat rice with spaggetti noodles and beans. usually white beans or black eyed peas... i think haha 
2) every house has a gate with a lock in front of the front door and then a second lock on the actual door. 
3)  We hug and kiss everyone here. People are very warm and friendly and very touchy feely. 

I feel like this week was centered on families. We have been teaching a lot of our investigators about eternal families and the importance of families. God gave us familie so that we can learn, grow and have joy in this life. At a family night this week with our investigators, a member asked me to share something about my dad that had helped my life. I told them that my dad joined the church when he was a teenager living with some members of the church. I told them that he worked really hard to provide himself with a good life and future. Because of this, i was able to have been raised in the church and taught the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I continued and said that my dad is the hardest working person I know. He taught me to always work with all of your heart in very aspect of life. This is my goal in my mission. To work with all of my heart. I am so grateful for my family. Serving a mission has made my love for them expand even more than words can express. I am grateful for their examples of self-less service and love and am so honored to be a "Sender"! 

I had another very humbling moment this week. I was having a bit of a difficult day yesterday and was thinking about myself (first problem). I was walking with my companion and saw a woman holding a baby. I told Sister De Lima that we should go talk to her. We stopped and talked to her. The baby was actually her ten year old daughter who has many health problems. She is ten years old, but has the body of a 3 year old. I could not help but smile at her, she was beautiful! We talked with this woman for awhile and set up a return appointment. Sister De Lima shook her hand and said goodbye and then I started to shake her hand as well. I felt a really strong impression to shake her little girls hand also. It was a life changing moment. The little girl lit up! Her smile was huge and her light was radiant. I smiled and told her that she is beautiful. Her mom had tears in her eyes and I felt an overwhelming love for this beautiful family. I know this is how our Savior feels about each of us. It is an extraordinary feeling of perfect love. As i walked away, I couldn't help but think "how can I be so selfish?" I am constantly wanting blessing and thinking about myself. She taught me something huge yesterday, Forget Myself! I have a normal body, I am able to feed myself, walk, talk and live normally. Even with hardships and moments of dificulty, life is beautiful. I saw this beauty in her face. When I took the time to recognize her and share a moment of love; heaven was near. 

I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that as we strive to give Christ-like love and service we will feel the presence of Heaven in our lives. 

I love you all!

Love Always,
Sister Sender 

August 26, 2013

Olá! Bom Dia!! This week was wonderful and even faster than last week! I can't believe it is almost September and everyone is starting school. Here in Brazil, school is all year around except in June, but the school days are half as long. 

I thought I would add a bit of cultural info into my emails every week because I tend to be very spiritual, but I want you all to know I am still a normal human being haha 
1) Almorço (lunch) is every day at 12 and it is huge! It is equal to our dinner. The whole family is home and eats together. They eat Jantar (dinner) around 7 or 8 and it is small and quick (equal to our lunch)
2) everyone sleeps after almorço for 1-2 hours (makes missionary work a little difficult)
3) everytime a car passes another car, motorcycle, or person they honk their horn. so all day I hear honk honk honk. The motorcycles drive like a person walks so the style of traffic is intense 
4) We dont flush toliet paper in Brasil... enough said
5) They shower 3x a day because of the heat

also my zip code is different now as of this week 66035-135 
(I dont think this is a problem with my packages.... not sure)

This week I learned a lot about planning and working with the members of the ward. My companion and I plan every night and set goals each day, but this week was different. We would have days where we taught eight lessons and others where we taught one and I noticed it had to do with our planning. Yesterday we had a really cool experience with this. Saturday night during planning, I was thinking about a family at church and felt we should visit them. I didn't say anything, and about 30 seconds later Sister De Lima said that she thought we should visit that exact same family. So During church, i talked with the sister and asked if we could pass by later that day and talk with her family. We learned that only their children are members and that she has been waiting for seven years to be baptized because they are not married. They both have testimonies and know the church is true! Sister De Lima and I were able to teach a spirit filled lesson and set a wedding and baptismal meta (meta=goal). It was incredible! 

i also know that members aer powerful in missionary work. When a member teaches I can always feel and see a difference. Missionaries are "strange" and members are "normal people". Help the missionaries!!! 

I know that this church is true and that through the gospel of Christ we can have perfect Happiness. 

*If you want to find happiness in life and have many of your deep life questions answered, ask my family! They can get in contact with the missionaries who would love to share information about "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints" It will be worth it! 

I love you all!! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers! 

Love Always,
Sister Sender 

August 19, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,
Crazy to think this coming week is full of landmarks!! On Wednesday I will turn 20!!! ahhhh haha No longer a teenager... I am not sure if I am ready, but the day is here. Then on Thursday I reach my one month mark in Brazil! Muito Legal! (very cool)
This past week was a whirl wind! Way too fast! I feel like a wrote you all yesterday. This week was a challenging yet good one. We taught lots of people and are moving forward. I think the hardest part is getting people to church. Church is at 9am and people here love love love to sleep, and will not wake up a sleeping person. So that is a little tough. We have been teaching a 15 yr old boy named Khonatan and he is incredible. We met him at church last week and he wanted to learn more. In a lesson with him, we were talking about the doctrine of Christ and the five principles the savior taught. 1) faith 2) repentance 3)baptism 4) receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost 5) enduring to the end. We talked a lot about faith. What is faith? The answer is found in the Book of Mormon. Alma 32:21 "faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." Faith is a belief/knowledge of things you cannot physically see, but are true. We used the example of wind. You cannot see it, but you can feel it is real and truly there. We have never personally seen God, but I know He is there. Faith is a wonderful thing and when we have faith, everything falls into place. Faith leads to action. I rely on faith everyday on my mission and through faith, I am able to become closer to my Savior Jesus Christ, and also help others turn to our Savior.
I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week, and remember to tem fé (have faith)!!!
Love always,
Sister Sender