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 :)