Monday, December 30, 2013

FAMILIA!! :) How was your Christmas? :) It was so good to see y'all on Skype even though y'all were all a blur hahaha and you were looking up my nose half the time lol! Sorry about that! It was so funny because I told our district leader before I called, just watch and see my family will be arguing about something the first 2 minutes I call, so when it happened I was like look and he was busting up the whole time lol... he is the only one who could understand English so it's all good lol he got a good laugh out of it!! So what did y'all do after I called?? Tell Granny and Steph thanks for coming to talk to me and sorry I couldn't talk to them much :/ And so how was the engagement of Greg and Nicole? I was waiting for photos... haha y'all probably don't have a signal at Grandma's house so I will let that pass as your excuse for not writing me today haha :p oh and ask them if they received my card for Christmas I sent to them? And please take care of all my baptism photos, photos with companions and all the photos I have sent... I am going to take my card to a place today to see if they can restore my lost photos.. I pray they can because I want to send you the pictures of the baptism of Matheus and Alex at the beach.
So my Christmas day I talked with you all :), rode on the bus for 3 hours, took pictures in a park and near the beach with my companion, went to the hospital to visit people with cards and sweets the people in our group made but there were only 3 people there...( its a lot different than hospitals in the US, but it was sad to not have  a lot of people to visit but at the same time I am glad there weren't many people in the hospital on Christmas) and then we taught some lessons, watched a Christmas church film and ate lots of food and slept :) So it was a pretty good day! :) Much different then Christmas with all of you but still was a great day to reflect on my purpose here and the day Christ was born. 

Things have been pretty good here :) We had 4 investigators at church yesterday :) and all seats in our small little building were filled :) One of our investigators is an 11 year old boy and he is so cute and he loves the Book of Mormon, his Mom can't read so each night he reads a little for her :) aww I just want to squeeze him... he has much more faith than I had at 11 years old! Oh so you wanna hear something pretty amazing!!?? :) I know you do! haha So our mission baptized 183 people this month of December!! That is so crazy!! Our goal as a mission for January is 282 people!! The church is growing and it is such a blessing to see and to get to be a small part of the work that is happening here in Brazil! :) We are hoping for the baptism of our investigator Fatima this Sunday so pray for us that things will work out :) Well I hope you all have a wonderful New Year and make lots of goals!! I know I am haha... nothing like a fresh new start!! :) Well tell everyone hello for me!! :) Love and miss you all lots and lots but am so grateful to be here and to grow in countless ways!! :) oh and we can watch the fireworks here at midnight from our back porch hahaha this is good news for us lol- festa!! :) Take care! :)
Sister Mattei :)

Monday, December 23, 2013


So sad news I think trying to upload pics I might have lost all my photos from my mission!! I want to cry... but I am keeping calm... I will check on my camera later... but this is why I do not like sending photos.... so any photo you have from my mission please save it and keep them somewhere safe and make sure they are saved!! I had pics I wanted to send you from our baptism we had yesterday :( Alex was baptized!! :) He was so happy and we were too!! I wasn't sure if he was going to be able to be baptized this week because he works so much and it was hard to schedule a baptismal interview but it all worked out well :) he had his interview yesterday morning and was baptized after church :) After the interview he was like so can I be baptized today?? And we were like yep and he was super happy!! We had the baptism at the ocean again!! It is so amazing to see how people change with the gospel and just how much happiness they have after baptism!! :) His smile afterwards just made my day!! Many times I wish I could remember my baptism better!!
I don't have much time today but I wanted to tell you about the baptism at least and I will be talking to you in 2 days so I will explain everything going on here on Wednesday! :) I am so excited to talk to you all!! :) Tell Meagan congrats!! I loved the pictures of their engagement and of the Murder Mystery Party!! Looked like it was a real good time!! I miss the feeling of Christmas at home and just how festive everything is with the decorations and just the holiday spirit. I love it here but Paracuru is a bit different for the holidays!! Well love you all lots!! Thanks for all you do for me! Miss you and I will be talking to you soon!! :):) Keep the Christmas spirit!! :) MERRY CHRISTMAS!! :)
Muito amor,
Sister Mattei :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Oi!! :) So I am glad to hear y'all are keeping busy but sorry you have been a bit stressed with all the stuff to get done during the Christmas holidays! Plus it is cold there... it is definitely not cold here but I do miss the snow! I enjoyed reading you and Dad's emails to me... they were very encouraging and brought tears to my eyes so thanks for the uplifting words and just supporting me in all that I do :) This week was really good!! We had Christmas Conference with all the missionaries so it was nice to see everyone again and we had a talent show and yummy food!! :) It was just nice to feel the spirit of Christmas and have music playing because in Paracuru people aren't very festive and there aren't many decorations :( This week was a little harder though because we lost 2 days with Conference and meetings so our numbers were lower than usual and only 2 investigators were at church! Our investigator Alex is so great and I think he will be ready for baptism really soon maybe this Sunday or the next... but he understands the importance of church and that is something that a lot of people lack... even our members show up super late sometimes and our group is so small so it looks bad and then our investigators think it's fine to show up late too... the members here need to be better united because they all nit pick at each other and it just makes it harder for us but things are getting better and I love everyone here, I just wish I knew how exactly to unite everyone and make the situation better!
So yesterday was so awesome, after church Alex asked if we could teach him, and we had an appoinment for Tuesday so I was like can you not meet up on Tue. now and he was like no I still can but I want you guys to teach me today too... he is so awesome and is so willing to study and learn :) and then Matheus was with us in the lesson too ( our recent convert) and we all watched a film about faith in Christ and after he said I have felt the spirit 2 times already today; at church and during this film... I was so happy to hear that :) Made my day!! We have an awesome member we found about 3 weeks ago and she is so great with helping us teach people and giving us references! Seriously any friends you have, help the missionaries out and give them references, it really makes such a difference :) and they will really appreciate it!! Seriously even Granny and Pop Pop! I think they should at least give them one shot :) Well I don't have much time left but I hope you all keep the spirit of Christmas even when times are difficult and y'all are stressed out!! I will definitely be missing you all on Christmas day but I am so grateful for the experiences I am having and how I am growing!! I won't lie, it can be hard at times but the blessings make up for the trials!! Always remember to pray :) and that He is always listening, whether it be something big or small, he is always there! :) Well LOVE YOU LOTS!! :) SMILE!! :) For today is another day! :)
Muito amor,
Sister Mattei :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

OI!! :) So I hope all is well! I didn't receive an email from you guys so that is a little worrying!! Hope y'all had a wonderful week!! It is crazy that Christmas is just around the corner! :) So yesterday our investigator, Matheus was baptized before church and then confirmed during sacrament meeting!! :) He is 17 and he accepted the gospel super fast Only had 2 times at church and then this week he was baptized!! :) He was baptized in the ocean! It is a neat experience at the beach but I won't lie it is definitely a little irreverent with them having to jump over tons of waves and then when trying to perform the baptism and a wave takes them down... but he was baptized:) and he was super excited!! :) Church yesterday was good; we had 47 people in our little apartment! :) But our President of the group and his wife speak every week and so it looks like he is a pastor... I understand we don't have a ton of members but our recent converts should give talks too and other members are annoyed... we need our small group to be united so stuff like this can be super difficult at times!! This week was good though! We had lots of good lessons and found some people that really seem interested! Paracuru is small so people know who we are now! 

People will stop us sometimes and try to talk to me in English and it is the weirdest thing to switch from Portuguese to English! Missions are pretty funny when it comes down to the people you meet at times! A guy the other day asked if we were angels haha but he was being serious lol, and then people will just walk up to us and shake our hand and then leave haha... It has been such a great experience and a journey!! :) I love getting to meet new people and a new culture :) at times I miss certain things from home but I have really been humbled and seen miracles happen! I have learned a lot about myself and have strengthened my relationship with Heavenly Father  :) He has helped me through the hard times and has let me see all the blessings and miracles that are happening around me! Well I don't have a ton of time today! This week we have Christmas Conference! :) So we will all have a festa and unite together this week with President and all the missionaries here! We will lose 2 days of work though so it will be hard to make up for those days this week!! But tudo bem!! :) It will be a great week!! :) I hope y'all are safe and are enjoying the Christmas season and serving others!! :) Love and miss y'all like crazy! :) but am enjoying my adventure here!! :) Better enjoy it while I can because time flies in the mission!! 

Sister Mattei :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Oi Familia :)


Tudo bem!! :) So I am glad to hear that you all had a great Thanksgiving and got to visit with family and friends :) I definitely missed having mashed potatoes and eating all the yummy food and just visiting with family! Thanksgiving Day was Zone Conference for us, it was good and I definitely learned a lot and how to be a better missionary and teach more effectively. Sometimes it is hard to train when I feel I barely know what I am doing in some situations. It has definitely been a humbling experience! I like having responsibility but it can be a bit stressful at times, I can't imagine being a zone leader or assistant because they have more stress. Right now we have really high goals so it is a bit frustrating at times, they want us to have lessons of 15 to 18 minutes and have 30 or more new people each week. It is hard to find the time for 30 new people and to focus on our progressing investigators at the same time. We are hoping to set a day for marriage for our investigators this week because last week was difficult to talk with them. Matheus, our investigator wants to be baptized on Sunday but we need to talk with his parents first and it is hard to find them in the house. He is 17 so we need permission. They don't know much about the church but are very active  in the Catholic religion so pray that his parents will allow him to be baptized. Also this week we switched churches so we have a house that is a little bigger :) We need more chairs at church but we also need more investigators to come. So many people say they will come and then only 3 people show up :( and I don't know how many times we should to teach someone if they wont attend church...
Training has really been a great experience and I have  learned a lot and I love my companion!! But I am so happy I still have Sister Twitchell here with me to talk with when times are stressful and we just need to sit down and have  a good conversation and laugh a bit :) I love our investigators but I just wish some of them would act and give church a try! Acting and showing our Faith is the only way we will receive an answer. We need to show God that we truly have a desire to know these things for ourselves. Just pray for us that we will find more people that are truly interested. We have one lady Amanda and I love her and her husband! She is reading so much of the Book of Mormon and is truly interested! Her Husband Auton gave me homework to translate one of his work papers in English for him for a presentation haha good luck for me lol!! They are so awesome though! So the other day we were walking and a man was just peeing on the road in front of everyone, I am glad he was turned around... oh sometimes I just have to laugh at the things we see.. every day is a new adventure!! I truly love my experiences here, whether it be an easy or a hard day, I am learning and growing so much! Oh and I ate a huge steak the other day, I wanted to throw up it was so chewy... but with Faith anything is possible :) haha!! Well I have no time but I love you all so much!! I sent some pics in the mail and a card!! :) I will send a present for dad soon :) Thanks for all you do for me! You are all in my prayers! I Love you so much!! :) and miss you! I will talk to y'all soon on the phone :)
Muito amor,
Sister Mattei :)- that crazy child of yours :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Oi familia!! :) Glad to hear things are well with the family!! It will be sad not having Thanksgiving this year but it is all good!! :) Honestly, it slipped my mind until y'all said something about it!! I hope it will be a great day and I will be missing all the yummy food!! I already do miss food!! I miss my Taco Bell runs every week, more like every day lol... People don't even know what Taco Bell is here hahha que isso?? But to answer some of your questions Dad. We are still in the same area, so I am in the same house and everything... the weather is hot and it is only getting hotter but at night the weather is perfect... we spend our days working and proselyting from 1pm until 9 pm at night! Our area is safe but there are lots and lots of tourists during this time of the year so we have to be more careful! I have even found some people who speak English lol... but yes I feel very comfortable walking around... occasionally they have scorpions- young guys... and they whistle and make weird sounds when we walk by... or they try to speak in English which is pretty funny... but our area is very tranquilo and safe.... we walk everywhere but take a bus for district meeting and for other meetings we sometimes have because we are 1 and a half hours from Fortaleza... to answer Thomas's question we don't have air conditioning in our house but we have fans :) It is very humid but the wind makes it possible to walk around and not die!! :)  I am going to miss the snow and the feeling of Christmas in the states... it will be much different but awesome :) And so the people here are usually Catholic or Evangelical... the Evangelical people are usually a bit more open minded to hear us but everyone is very sweet... sometimes in lessons though I think the investigators talk more than we do hahahaha... people definitely like to talk and tell stories here... and sometimes the stories are strange haha! The other day we knocked on a door and a 18 year old boy came to the door only in like tight little panties and my companion started laughing and I was trying to present ourselves and say we were missionaries but I couldn't talk because Sister Daniele was laughing so much I started busting up laughing and tried speaking 3 times... I took a few deep breaths and apologized and then finally set a day to return and visit his family but his dog ran out the house and he was just running around in the street chasing his dog in these tight little undies hahaha... oh I love the people here... so funny and so open about things sometimes lol... Oh and so I will be in this area for 6 months or more.. Since I am training, I will train my companion for 3 more months here in Paracuru and I hope by then my accent will be better, it already is, but still needs some work lol. So i don't have a ton of time but I hope I have answered most of your questions! :) We have some great people in success here and I am hoping a family will be baptized in 2 weeks! Then this boy Matheus, is awesome!! Seriously he is already reading the Book of Mormon a ton and has a testimony! I can already see him as a missionary and I told him that! He is 17 though and his parents aren't very fond of the church so we will talk to them this week about baptism.. I am praying and fasting things will go well!! :) Well no more time but I will have more to say next week and photos hopefully! Plus I am sending a letter today with photos :)( Have a great week!! :) Love you!! :)
Sister Mattei :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tudo bem!! :) So it still sounds like everyone is keeping busy with school, the holidays, traveling and what not!! :)  So about this week!! So when I found out I would train I literally felt sick the first couple of days because I was so nervous and could not eat! I lost 4 pounds in a week! And to answer your question Dad, I haven't really gained or lost weight, besides that circumstance. I think I am about the same size and I hope to return the same size lol... if I keep eating all the cakes they have here and all the food they serve at lunch, y'all might not recognize me when I return haha. So the big news :) My new companion is Sister Daniele! :) She is from Argentina, and is very sweet! Sister Twitchell's companion is Sister Galarza and she is from Argentina as well! :) We have Spanish, Engish and Portuguese in our house haha! Training has actually been a lot better than I thought! We are having tons of great lessons, and meeting lots of new people and I have more confidence in my teaching now. I still have a lot more to learn but I can teach lessons fine and I understand the majority of what the people say so I can actually respond and ask questions to their needs. The gift of tongues really is real and even the old people we have taught are understanding me now. They have to pay closer attention because of my accent but it is a miracle because no one is asking me to repeat myself during lessons... plus I can see the difference in my speech in lessons and then when were just walking and talking casually... I am much more fluent while teaching, oh how I love the spirit :) 

So on Sunday I gave a talk at church, it was alright, it is a bit crowded and we have no microphone so I think it was difficult for people to hear but we have investigators there so that was awesome!! :) It is so difficult to get people to come to church, and our mission is very big on numbers, I know numbers are important but it is the quality that counts and if we are working hard and trying our best. And I know we are working hard and being obedient! My companion can speak Portuguese well, Spanish is very similar, sometimes it is hard for me to understand her accent but we talk quite a bit and she comes from a group of 25 members in Argentina so she is used to the small amount of people! So this week we are teaching the brothers of a member, Rogelson, that we found a couple weeks back. Rogelson is 16 and he has 2 younger brothers that aren't baptized. He was baptized in Fortaleza. We also found a great family that is married and everything. In lessons, it is the best feeling ever when you can truly see a persons eyes change when you say something and it is like something marvelous just clicked in their head and their eyes just glow!! That happened with a woman this week we were teaching! So food Dad, I like to eat some of the cakes here and I like rice and beans, we eat it like every day!! :) I don't have much time left, but things are good and my first week training has been good! :) It is a bit stressful at times because I have a lot of responsibility in a country I am still trying to get to know, but tudo bem! The Lord is blessing me and helping me a ton so I a super grateful!! :) I have lots to learn... but that is why I am here!! Remember to always have faith and patience during the hard times!! :) LOVE Y'ALL LOTS :)

Sister Mattei :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Oi familia! :) So I am glad to hear things are pretty normal with the family!! :) Everyone seems to be keeping busy! Time flies! So the pics on FB from Geymeson were from a party we threw for Sister Sowa's birthday!! But I love their family!! So the news!! I am officially done with training!! So crazy and so fast!! I will be staying in the area we opened in Paracuru with Sister Twitchell. Sister Sowa and Sister Alcantara left our area. Sister Twitchell and I will be training!! So crazy because we just got trained!! I have faith but I will not lie I am a bit scared and nervous because I still can't understand everything and some people still can't understand me, usually the older people... it is interesting because some people I can understand each word and they can understand me clearly but others it is a totally different story! We will get our new companions tomorrow so I don't know if she is Brazilian or American or what... So it will be a surprise!! This feels like a ton of responsibility for me because I already feel so lost sometimes... it's a new world here.. but with prayer and patience and hope things will work out!! Optimism is the key!! :) So yesterday was so great but really sad because everyone was crying because our other sisters were leaving and that it wouldn't be the same without all 4 of us but I know they will love the next companions we have as well!! Plus the spirit was so strong and Sister Sowa sang a hymn in Portuguese and it was so perfect and it brought almost everyone to tears! She truly has a musical gift and it was very touching!! PLUS :) We had almost 50 people at church and we had no chairs left in our tiny building!! We need a new house and more chairs lol but this is a good problem :) 

So food is normal to me now,sometimes we have some things that are a bit different but it isn't too strange! I eat a lot of pasta still and cereal! Oh and Mom thanks for the mac and Cheese they don't have that here!! I loved the family album and I look at it often!! I am also glad Granny got my card!! I am writing one for Grandma and Grandpa so I hope they will actually get this one!! So things with the members are good and the food is fine and the language is still coming, much much better than it was! When the boy from here said my Portuguese was different it is because I have a really strong accent. Sister Alcantara and some people understand everything but I think it is because I have a bit of a southern drawl in my voice!! So I will be sending a letter to yall this week as well and I will fill you in with everything!! Sorry I don't write a ton on here but we really dont' have a lot of time and then I try to write a bunch of emails for people and my President too so it just all adds up!! We have found more members who were baptized in other areas and then moved here so this is always such a blessing!! This little old lady here is so cute she is a member we found and she was baptized a year ago in Fortaleza but didn't know we started the church in Paracuru so she was so excited and she is just so darling and tender!! I love her!! Her grandson and her son are members as well! And we are teaching her daughter! Well I need to get going but thanks for the long email I love hearing how everything is going at home!! I love yall so much and am so grateful for this experience here!! It is hard but it is such a blessing!! :) Love you guys!! :) have a wonderful week and keep smiling even when life is stressful!! :) Oh and tell Ben and Becca congrats!! :)I had tears in my eyes when I read that!! That is so exciting!! :)
Muito amor,
Sister Mattei :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Oi!! :) So this will be super short! So this week we set a date for marriage for a couple here in Paracuru :) Their daughter Stephanie will be baptized this Sunday :) So yesterday was perfect at church... all seats were filled with members and with investigators of the 4 of us!! The testimonies were so powerful and strong and the spirit was really felt. it was the best Sunday here yet! :) Lots of people and just filled with the Spirit!! Plus we had a flour fight in our apartment after a long day!! We also found other members here who were baptized in Fortaleza :) Well no time, but love you lots!! :) Have a great week :) Miss y'all! :)

A little more... you can add this in lol... So the member we found was this 16 year old boy and in our lesson with him he was so awesome and we were teaching his Mom. He and his Dad are members but not his Mom. He was baptized 3 months ago. So when he prayed the spirit was so strong and he was so sincere about having his Mom know the truth of the gospel. It was adorable :) While he was praying I had tears in my eyes and was thinking about what a great missionary he will be one day :) For a 16 yr old it was so touching... I don't think I prayed that way at that age!! Well really have to go now :) Love yall :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Oi familia!! :) 

Glad to hear  things with Mom are better and you are all home now! Last P day was a bit rough for me after hearing about that but with faith, hope and prayer the Lord truly blesses us!! :) But tell all my lazy brothers haha to help Mom out more haha :p I can't talk because I didn't do as much as I should have either before I left... I am glad Heavenly Father has a great heart and is willing to forgive us of our stupid mistakes :) Being on a mission I have realized so many things I want to be better at and work on so I pray I will take these things I am learning now back home and some day into my future family! :) 

So yesterday we had 6 of our investigators come to church which we were super excited about because sometimes it is hard to even have one show up. After there are a sufficient amount of members here they will build a chapel but the people here are so great because they come to church and attend church in a tiny house with no air conditioning. The people that are being baptized here have so much faith and will be taking on callings and much responsibility with so little time as a member. We are hoping Josue will be baptized next week, he is so awesome and during church he read like 30 pages of the gospel principals book so we gave it to him to take home. He has such faith and is such a great Dad with his little girl. He is very interested in the church but his wife has a lot of doubts but is still wanting to learn :) Also, we have another family but they are not married so we are hoping to set a date for them to be married this week :) They have the cutest little boy! :) Lessons are great and teaching is getting easier and easier.. I can have very casual conversations now with my trainer and this week since it is my last 2 weeks of training I will be senior companion and will lead all of our lessons... so good luck for me haha :) In my companionship with Sister Sowa before we switched leading lessons so it probably won't be much different.
So you asked about P days and what we do... Well sometimes we shop for a new skirt, we buy groceries, we watch Disney movies (we can in our mission) last week we watched Lion King- I thought about Mark lol! We write cards and eat food and just relax :) But today with some of the young women that were recently baptized we are going to have a shaving cream and water war :) I am pretty excited :) And I will be sure to take photos! :) I never have time to send photos... so I will next week but my email will be shorter... Oh and on Wednesdays we always take a bus for an hour and half to go to our district meetings... we leave our house at 6 or 6¨30 am... So I am always a little more tired on Wednesdays but it is fun to practice teaching with our district and socialize a bit. I think I may have talked about that last week... I can't remember! Well got to go, but love you lots!! :) I am always praying for you all!! :) Remember to have faith and hope in all things!! :) Smile :)
Muito amor,
Sister Mattei :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I don't have a lot of time since it is not P day but I got permission to check my email. Thanks for the pics of the cruise- MOM. And I am super glad everything is okay with her heart and that all is well now because I was pretty worried about her needing surgery or something crazy...Hopefully this won't cause any more problems and it was just a one time thing! But like you said prayer is real and the power of the priesthood is such an amazing gift we have in this gospel! Oh and I already received my package!! thanks MOM :) had some funny pics in my photo album lol... I was surprised to receive it so fast! Sis Sowa still hasn't received hers and her mom has sent 3 all before mine... seriously putting Mary on the packages really works because her mom didn't and I think that might be the problem is that people stole them... but thanks for all the goodies and love!! :) As always I will continue to pray for all of you!! Take care and Mom no more heart attacks! :p Have a great week!! :) Love and miss you lots!! :)

Muito amor,
Sister Mattei :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

So I don't know how to really start this email. I am crying at the computer because I was expecting to only hear good news about the cruise and not that Mom had had an heart attack. I am glad that you all had fun on the cruise and that it was relaxing! You all deserved a relaxing trip away from everyone! That is great you got to spend time with the Hoyts and Robinsons also. I am glad that Mom was able to make a joke about it all and say she had so much fun on the cruise that she had a heart attack lol... Way to be optimistic Mom :) and good thing it was after the cruise! She has permission to be a slacker with my blog lol...I will definitely keep you all in my prayers, especially Mom and ask for permission to check my email for information. If something really serious happens or I need to know you can contact my Mission President. I don't know what all to say but I am definitely in a bit of shock and hope it is a minor problem... and not something that will cause more problems. I will work super super hard because I know the more I work and am obedient the more blessed I will be here but also the more blessed you will all be as well. 

So this week, Wendleson was baptized. He is 14 and the brother of Geymeson. He was also baptized in the sea and next week as well we will have another baptism for Eduarda, a 14 year old girl, she is so sweet but very shy. We had a family in our other area here in Paracuru baptized 3 weeks ago and Eduarda is friends with them. We have the Paracuru area split into 2 divisions but this family is so great and I love them and they are already feeding us lunch as members :) Then yesterday Diasis was confirmed. He is the best, he is 40ish and he has such a desire to do good in the world and to become the best he can be! He is so sweet and gave me a book of poems of people in Paracuru that he wanted me to have. The people are just so great! We found new families this week but our problem is getting people to come to church. This week was a bit disappointing because only 1 of our investigators came to church. It is heartbreaking when you work so hard and the people say they will come and then Sunday rolls around, and no one shows :( but I know as we keep working hard and having faith we will continue to have progress and baptisms here :) I have learned so much here already and I only have 3 months in so I am excited for my knowledge , understanding and testimony to grow as I continue on in this journey! :) The language is getting better and working with Sister Alcantara my Brazilian trainer has really helped me to understand the language and to speak better. It is really funny though because like every lesson we teach, people ask her if she is learning Portuguese because she has a bit of a Gringo accent haha... she says before she taught with me no one said this haha so she is picking up my American accent a little lol... My accent is a little stronger I think because in MO we say some words different already and I probably have a little bit of a southern accent to my voice.... It is funny though because she is like I am from Brazil and people think I am learning Portuguese hahahha... Oh and also this week we came home one night ad Sister Sowa and I had dead baby birds sitting on our beds... We took pictures and I know you all are dying to see so I will try to send those soon. But it was so sad and pretty gross! It is because we have birds in our apartment sometimes... they get in through a little hole and they had a nest in our rafters and I guess the babies fell on our beds... poor birdies! It was funny though because Sister Sowa was freaking out about her having a dead bird on her bed and I was laughing and then I entered my room and I had one too haha.. karma lol! Hopefully we won't have more haha! Well I need to get going!! I will be praying for you lots and if you really need to get in touch with me talk to my mission President but I pray nothing will get that serious!! I love you all so much and I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord and to have the gospel in my life!! We truly have much happiness because of this and are so lucky!! :) I am praying for you all!! :) Love you lots!! :) Tell mom I hope she feels better but to keep being optimistic :) and have faith :)

Muito amor,

Sister Mattei :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Oi!! :)

I loved the photos!! :) Thanks for sending those!! :) Everyone looks great!! Tell Grandma Happy Late Bday for me when you all return from your cruise!! Tell the Hoyts and Robinsons hello as well! 

So yesterday we had 2 baptisms in the ocean! Geymeson was baptized, the 17 year old boy! :) And Diasis was baptized! :) He is so great and has a huge testimony and he said when Thomas S Monson spoke at conference he knew he was a prophet and wanted to cry! :) He is just so great and he is already giving us references and tells everyone they need a Book of Mormon and need to read it. He is a missionary already! :)

 So this week I started working with Sister Alcantara and she is now my companion, we only have 4 weeks left and I miss working with Sister Sowa but I love working with Sister Alcantara also!! I am understanding a lot more and we can have real conversations and talk as we walk so it has been a blessing! In 2 weeks we have interviews with President Souza and we have to teach him so I hope I do okay! I am a bit nervous but I am sure it will be fine! Oh so funny story, the other day we were teaching a lady and I accidentally said Joseph Smith is our Redeemer instead of a restorer of our church. My trainer smiled and laughed and just gave me this look and I immediately realized what I said. The language is getting better though :) And I am starting to have pretty good regular conversations too and my knowledge is expanding! :) Another funny thing is people here call Sister Twitchell and I dolls lol... because they say look like baby dolls haha! 

Well, I don't have a ton of time to write today but this week was great and an awesome thing about his week was Sister Alcantara and I taught a group of 20 young men the Restoration. They were about to go play soccer and I was like look 20 new people to teach joking around, but she was like seriously we are going to teach them. Not going to lie I was a bit nervous to talk to such a big crowd so she talked most of the time plus speaking in Portuguese really loud is more difficult lol but it was an awesome expereince and who knows maybe they will all be missionaries one day!! :) Oh also on Saturday was the Day for Kids. This is a holiday they have in Brazil! All kids were out eating candy and just having festas on the street. We took some funny pics looking like babies lol! Well I will write more next week but I hope you all had an amazing cruise :) I pray for all of you often and am grateful for your examples and you do for me!! :) Love you lots!! Tell everyone hello for me and remember to count your many blessings and to smile even in the hard times!! :)

Muito amor,

Sister Mattei :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Oi familia e amigos!! :)

Como esta?? I will keep Mindy in my prayers! I hope everything is okay
with her. I hope you all get over your colds as well soon!! That is
exciting you and Dad will be going on your cruise in less than a
week!! I am so jealous but I am living in another country experiencing
life in a new way so my life is pretty sweet!! :) I do want to go on
another cruise when I return though :) This email will probably not be
super long because I don't have a ton of time today. So we have 2
baptisms this next week with Geymeson and Wendleson. They are both
brothers. Geymeson is 17 years and Wendleson is 14. We thought
Geymeson would be baptized yesterday but I think he wanted to wait and
do it with his brother. We hope the week after this their other
brother Emerson and cousin Nicole will be baptized. They still need to
attend church twice so they are a week behind Geymeson and Wendleson.
They are all ready for baptism though and they have so much faith and
are so awesome!! We will eat lunch today at their house! :) Emerson is
making the food for us!! They are so sweet!! Nicole's mom also is
always buying Sister Sowa and I things for our hair or jewelry and
they like to feed us a lot too. They are all so great!! So earlier
when I was sending this it wouldnt work and it didnt save the whole
thing in the draft so this will be even shorter.Sorry :/ But things
were good this week I will fill you in with the rest next week because
I ony have like 5 minutes! But Conference was great, a bit different
because we were at a member's house and there were about 15 or 20 of us
so I was pretty sweaty haha and trying to focus and pay attention in
Portuguese was pretty difficult but I still took quite a bit of notes
and enjoyed the talks. I cant remember everything I had written about
earlier in my email... but our baptisms next week will be in the ocean
so i am super excited for that! :) Oh so a cool experience Sister
Sowa and I had was we were teaching a lady and I felt impressed to
share a scripture with her and I started reading this scripture in 
Nephi about enduring to the end and Sister Sowa had wanted to share
the same scripture and had flipped to the same page in the Book of
Mormon. It was pretty sweet! Teaching is getting easier and the
language is coming along but I try not to think about it alot and just
try my best and let the Lord do the rest. I want to finish the Book of
Mormon in Portuguese before I am done with training so I have 5 weeks
to finish. I have faith I can and I hope I will be almost fluent by
the time I finish. I really want to just work hard on everything and
be better every day. Each day I try to find a new thing I am grateful
for and something I need to work on.

Well I dont have much time but know I love you all so much and am so
grateful for everything you all do and this opportunity I have to be
here and serve the Lord! No time but much love!! :):)

Sister Mattei :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Oi!! :) So things have been good this week and things are progressing in our area. I sent 6 photos last week but I guess you all only got 2 :/ Anyway, we have general conference next week so we are trying to get all of our investigators to attend it with us at a member's house. We will be crowded but it will be a great experience! :) Geymeson was not baptized this week because on Sunday he left with his family to go to Fortaleza because his uncle was in a bad motorcycle accident so we are praying for him. But he will be baptized the week after next. His brothers Emerson and Wendleson and cousin Nicole are also planning on being baptized so it will be a pretty exciting day!! :) Their mom said she wants them to be baptized :) She is Catholic but she believes everything we say but I am not sure she is ready for baptism. We are also teaching Nicole's mom and she is very interested. We have had a total of 3 baptisms so far. Opening a new area is not easy when you have no church and few members and the people have never heard of Mormons... A lot of people think with are Evangelical so we have to explain how we are different pretty much each lesson. Lessons are getting easier to teach and the Spirit helps us a lot. The language is getting better but I really want to be fluent by the end of my training in 6 weeks. Oh so weird thing here in Brazil is that for the Word of Wisdom people only cannot drink black tea. So everyone can still drink tea even if it is from a tea plant just not black tea. I find it really strange that the rules are changed in a sense for a different country but it states black tea in our pamphlets we teach from and all the members say tea is fine just not black tea, so fun fact for you!! :) I think Mark actually told me about this but I didn't believe him hahaha!

So our members here are great, all 15 of them lol! They do so much for us and oh to answer your question we usually eat chicken, beef, rice, beans and even pasta :) So nothing too strange but one day we had fish and bananas, that was a bit different. Desserts are different here and I miss our cakes and cookies but they are still really good! I eat all the time I feel like but I haven't gained any weight yet and I hope it stays that way lol!! :) 

So day to day we usually teach about 5 to 8 lessons and we look for new contacts by going door to door. It is more difficult for the old people to understand us but the young people usually can and it is getting better, Sis Twitchell and I just have strong accents haha. I am a Gringa for sure but people are entertained by our mistakes and it always ends in a good laugh!! I still have my crazy moments of laughing until I cry usually when I am tired lol so my Brazilian companion Sis. Alcantara always gets a good laugh and she is like you Americans are locos. haha She is so great!! It is hard at times to understand everything and to communicate the way I like but each day I try to ask questions and get to know her better. We all can joke around a lot more and just talk with each other each night as the language gets easier!! :) I don't have a ton of time but just know I think of all of you often and I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord and his people. He could easily do his work without missionaries but He gives us this opportunity and the chance to learn more about ourselves and others and His gospel by serving missions. I am always praying for you all and I am learning so much every day!! It is not easy but it is so worth it. I never realized how hard things would be until I was actually here doing it myself. Everyone always says it's not easy and that really sank it when I got to the field and was faced with many trials but Tudo bem!! :)  I love this opportunity!! :) Hope you all have a great enthusiastic week!! :) Remember to always smile and count your blessings!! :) Love you lots!! :)
Oh I received Granny's letters and one from Becky McGinnis! Tell them thanks for me!! They were so sweet and I will send a letter to them next P day!! :) Letters are so nice to receive so I really appreciated it!! :)
Muito amor,
Sister Mattei :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Tudo bem!! :)

So this email will be a little shorter than the rest so sorry but I have no time to write today :( I am glad to hear everyone is doing okay and that things are well at home!! Things have been really good here this week!! Things are getting easier each day!! :) So our President of our group here ( it isn't even a branch) moved away because he had to take care of some stuff back in Curitiba and his family was like 10 of our members so we currently have 15 members here and we changed our church to a different house. It is really tiny so hopefully we will have a newer place soon!! So my companion is Sister Sowa but most likely after our 6 weeks together in the field are up we will switch it up and I will be with Sis. Alcantara, my trainer for the other 6 weeks of our training since training is 3 months.

So this week I asked 3 people to prepare for baptism and they are all preparing. Geymeson, I think I told you about his last week, will most likely be baptized this Sunday because he wanted a little more time. He is ready though and he is so awesome!! We have some pretty great investigators!! :) Our time for church was 9 am but we changed it to 5 pm now because it fits the peoples' schedules here a lot better so we are hoping more people will come to church with the new change because it is hard sometimes to get people to go to church.

 So people here are baptized in a swimming pool. Pretty sweet. Oh to answer some of your questions Dad. We walk everywhere and we have about 40 investigators with the 4 of us together that are progressing. Some much slower than others but if they are progressing then it is a good thing! :) I live with Sis. Sowa, Alcantara and Twitchell. I am in a room with my trainer, Sis. Alcantara. The typical day is we wake up at 6:30 woo hoo :) and we get ready, exercise and then have personal study for an hour and then training and practicing for 2. We then have language study and go to a member's house for lunch. Here we eat lunch with a member, not dinner.

The members are awesome and we have all gotten super close with all of them since there are only 15! They always are feeding us and helping us with references and teaching! Here, a lot of people don't have a lot of money but there are some really nice houses and people who are more well- off than others but it is a really humble area and the people are really nice. Here, I can still say there are lower, average and higher class but it is mostly lower class living but the people are so happy nonetheless so it is a pretty awesome to see!! 

Well I have no time and I need to get going!! Sorry it is so short! I will continue to answer your questions next week!! Oh and ask Grandma and Grandpa if they ever received my letter in the mail. I sent an email last week too but I sent them a letter in Provo. Well I am always praying for all of you!! Tell everyone I say hello and I love them!! :) Have an awesome week and always count your blessings!! :) I have realized how much I truly have being here in Brazil!! Well I love all of you!! :) Stay safe and take care!! :) Thanks for writing, Dad! :)

Muito amor, 

Sister Mattei :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Oi familia!! Tudo bem!! :)

So I do not have a ton of time to write because I want to try and send pictures and such so we will see how all this will go!! So how are you all?? It sounds like you all are well and that things are going pretty good!!  It sounds like everyone is keeping´pretty busy!! I am jealous about you and Dad going on a cruise!! I am sure you will have a wonderful time and it will be nice to get away!! Good luck for Grandma and Grandpa taking care of Garrett for a week haha jk i am sure he will behave for them! I hope :)

So each week here gets a little easier and I am progressing in the language!! Understanding at times for me is the more difficult part because people talk so fast and cut off the ends of their words so it can be really difficult to understand but my trainer is awesome!! Oh and to answer Dad's question, there are 4 of us and we split into doubles. Sometimes I teach with my trainer and sometimes I teach with Sis. Sowa or Sis. Twitchell who arrived in the field the same day as me and were my previous companions in the MTC. Teaching alone at first was more scary but all this week our lessons went really well and we were able to understand our investigator's questions. We have a new teen we are teaching and his name is Gameson and we are hoping he will be baptized this upcoming Sunday. Things with Ellison are progressing but more slowly but everyone moves at different rates and as long as they are progressing I am happy! The lesson Sister Sowa and I taught to Gameson though was probably our best lesson yet! The Spirit was so Strong and we were teaching him, his 2 Brothers and his Mom. They were all interested and his Mom agreed with everything we taught as well. Gameson was the only one who attended church this past Sunday though. We have a lesson with all of them again today so I pray it goes well!

So here on P days we get to watch Disney movies!! Pretty sweet huh? :) Last week we watched Rio and Madagascar 3! We all put our beds together and ate popcorn and were in our PJs!! It was relaxing but the work here is so great!! It is hard since it is a new área and we have no chapel and very few members and I don't know the language super well but i wouldn't want it any other way because we learn through opposition and trials!! I learn so much every day!!

Dad, our house is nice and we have fans to keep us cool at night. We get cockroaches a lot and I kill them lol :) Here, there are constantly bugs in people's houses or flies but it feels normal now. The weather is perfect and we live near the beach but not on it. Sister Twitchell and I get stares sometimes because of our hair lol and we are called Barbies lol pretty funny how people react... I am Reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese which takes a lot of time but it helps me learn about the gospel and the language so it is a blessing!! Well I need to get going but things are good here on the mission and we have spiritual and crazy experience each day!! I can feel our Savior's love more now than I ever have. I hope you all take care and have a great week!! I love you a lot and am grateful for all of you :) Oh I will end with another funny experience!! :) So sister Sowa and I were knocking at doors(clapping) and this one old guy just kept talking and talking about I have no idea what... God, one second and then about George Bush lol... He touched my face and was just a little bit creepy lol... so finally we were able to leave lol... well then later in the day we were knocking doors again and we accidentally did the same guy's house... I thought it looked familiar and then Sis. Sowa was like it is him because she saw him in the house. haha So we ran and hid in the neighbors' doorway hahah... We pretty much ding dong ditched on our mission lol... who would have thought?? We felt a little bad but he really was creepy haha!! Well I hope you all have a great wonderful week!! Tell everyone hello at Kidsplay and all our friends and Family!! Love you all!! :)

Muito amor,

Sister Mattei :)