Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sister Mattei, Sister Daniele, Sister Twitchell, Sister Galarza

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tudo bem!! :) So it sounds like y'all have had lots of snow and things have been pretty busy!! Congrats on the new job Dad!! :) I am very happy to hear that and that you won't be as stressed!! Heavenly Father is always listening to our prayers!! :) That is great y'all had Family Home Evening :) I know it can be difficult at times but it really is so important :)

So transfers are this week ahhh... where has the time gone ?? Time passes so fast... faster each transfer!! We had interviews with President and I have no idea what will happen... it sound like I have a good chance of staying so we will just have to wait and see!! I will seriously be so sad to leave!! I love these people!! I was starting to think about it the other day and I got all teared up... plus we have so many people progressing right now! :) we had 7 investigators at church yesterday!! That feeling is seriously the best when you enter church and the people you are teaching are there :) 

So a cool experience and rather embarrassing moment I had yesterday was we were walking to church and our church is on the third story of a building and I saw people waiting outside of our church apartment and I was trying to figure out who it was and so I was looking not paying attention to the road and waving to the people up top and while doing so I tripped on the curb and fell in the road haha and everyone saw lol... but the person who I was waving to was Jefferson which is one of our investigators and I really didn't know if he was going to come to church again this week cause when we were like Will you go to church again? He didn't say anything and we explained the importance and why he should go and left... we then left a note the next day just saying we hoped to see him at church and He was there!! :) Seriously I think the main reason I fell was because I was seriously so surprised when I saw he was there... It was a good lesson to me that I should never have the thought oh they want go so I am super glad he proved me wrong and was there! It was a very humbling experience for me and everyone got a laugh when I fell... this is the second time I have fallen in the road and scraped up my leg lol!! Oh and he went to church alone without his Mom or brother!! Oh how people are awesome :)
Also, this week we had bats in our house I am pretty sure they live in our house!! He was sleeping in our sink and we had to capture him and throw him out cause I think his wing broke or something... they are very ugly little creatures lol!! But we threw him off our third story apartment and this old crazy lady started beating him to death with a broom... it was quite sad but at the same time a bit funny because this lady is just crazy and was murmuring lots of things and taking her anger out on the poor little bat... we also have birds in our house and it pooped on Sis. Daniele's pillow the other day lol I was laughing hahhaa!! 

Well I don't have much time but know I am praying for you!! :) Pray that the 2 baptisms we have planned will work out this week :) Oh and next week I will tell you all about Lucio!! He is an old man and he is Italian and is 89 years old but married to a lady who is 43!! He speaks no Portuguese but he is progressing and going to church!! :) And is quite a funny old man lol!! Well love y'all lots and miss you tons!! :)
Muito amor,
Sister Mattei :) 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hello hello hello :) How are y'all ?? I am on earlier today so sorry!! But I hope you are all well!! Things here are good!! :) Ana Angelica was baptized on Saturday and confirmed yesterday!! :) We taught her for 5 months!! Her Mom finally allowed her to be baptized after the third time of talking with her!! :) Woo!! :) It was great and she was so ready! After the Elder had an interview for baptism he was like dang she knows everything haha!! She is super smart and very mature to be 15! :) This week at church we had 4 people which we were very happy about :) still hoped for more but it's not easy getting people to church. We are teaching this boy Jefferson and his mom Claudia. He is 19 and the first time we taught him he was just so receptive and just his eyes and the way he took the lesson in I was like he will be baptized...  it was one of those times when you just feel you have already met them before... but we will see!! I have faith he will be baptized before I leave but I really want him to feel and be ready!! :) Brazil has so many baptisms but something I have learned is that a lot of these people fall away so fast so it is so important as missionaries that we truly prepare them for baptism and that they are truly converted to the gospel and don't just like the gospel... because we need our members to be firm and endure to the end!! :) So at times when people are pushy on numbers I always have to remind myself that it is not about quantity but the quality :)
So some funny experiences Sister Daniele and I have had this week:
So yesterday we taught an old lady and it's really difficult for old people to understand us at times... so I was praying and in the middle of my prayer she was talking to her grandson saying I can't understand a thing she is saying hahhaha
Then another day a lady told us that we can't speak in English with people in Brazil  because they wont understand ( we were speaking in Portuguese with her but she thought because of our accents that we were speaking in English) the funny thing is she was responding and could understand but thought we were speaking in English.. I told her 3 times that we were speaking Portuguese with her lol... she then went on to tell us that if we want people in Brazil to understand her we need to speak in Spanish hahha- Sis. Daniele spoke in Spanish and she understood nothing lol... oh people
We met a man/ woman( I am not sure what ´it´ was... lol) and I didn't know whether to call her/ him Senhor or Senhora haha... I also called a man the other day Senhora and Sister Daniele was busting up... oh the fun stuff about learning a new language lol!! It has been a difficult but funny and great experience :)
We have drunk people say weird things to us and they kiss our hands and heads a lot hahha... and just are like you are all so blessed lol
But so these upcoming weeks we are hoping for 3 or 4 baptisms! I hope we will reach our goal!! One of the ladies we have been teaching for a long time now has 3 times at church and she believes everything but she doesn't want to leave the church she is comfortable in for our small tiny group here in Paracuru.. I feel like we have explained everything to her so many times and our last 2 lessons with her have been some of the most spiritual lessons I have had in my mission; talking about separating what we want for what Heavenly Father wants... and I know she already has an answer that the church is true but she is stuck in this funk and I don't know how to get her out of it... ugh it is frustrating sometimes because when you love someone and you truly have gotten to know them so well and you're trying to help them but they won't budge... ugh it's the hardest thing ever to see... and she wasn't at church on Sunday :/ and I was like if you want an answer first you have to show Heavenly Father you truly have a desire to know and you have to act... and she wasn't there :( and I know she is busy with work right now but it's just one of those hard situations :( But as for the weather and other investigators and things here with our group things are really good :) We have  a new President of our group now and things are more organized than before and he is a super hard worker!! He lives in Fortaleza but he travels here 2 or 3 times each week to help us!! He is awesome!! His name is President Eduardo!! :) I am going to be sad to leave Paracuru and I probably will in 2 weeks... I will just have to wait and see what happens!! But I truly love all the people here even though the members can be difficult with one another at times!! I have been so blessed and I am so grateful for our members and the investigators we have :) well I have no time but I need to get going!! Have  a wonderful week and count your blessings!! Love and miss y'all!! :)
Muito amor,
Sister Mattei :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Familia!! :) So glad to hear it is a bit warmer today!! :) I sent a package for y'all about a month ago so I hope it will arrive soon!! And thanks for the package and yes Mom, I got the cards from Mark and Greg and Nicole!! :) Tell them all thanks!! Oh and Garrett :)

So this week was pretty good; I had divisions one day and went and worked in Fortaleza with another Sister so it was good to work in another area for a day! :) But seriously if I will leave Paracuru this transfer I will be so sad!! I have really come to love the people here! Sometimes the members are a bit dysfunctional and talk about one  another haha but the Stake has been helping a lot so things are getting better :) One of the less active members that was baptized in Fortaleza finally came to church this Sunday! :) We ate lunch with them and then walked to church together with him and his wife! :) I ate BBQ!! You should be so proud Dad lol- I still don't like the taste of meat but I have gotten accustomed haha! But so this is the situation with this family... he was baptized in Fortaleza and he and his wife have been together for 26 years... and people here say they are married when they live together so we have to be very specific to see if they are actually married legally... because he was baptized by Elders a while back and then we found out this week that he and his ´wife´ aren't actually married... ahhh!! but tudo bem!! We are trying to set a date for marriage with them this week!!
So this Saturday Ana Angelica will be baptized!! :) She is 15 but so matrure for her age!! I would have thought she was 17 or older! But she is so awesome and she has such a great testimony! We have taught her for a good while now like 5 months and she has wanted to be baptized but her Mom didn't give permission in the past so this week was the 3rd time we talked with her Mom and her Mom signed!! :) Her Mom still wanted her to wait because she doesn't want her to join a church and then leave and I can understand her concern but I told her Mom that I truly know she wants to be baptized because I didn't even have to ask her again. Last Sunday Ana Angelica said Sister Mattei I want to be baptized the 19th of January if my Mom will sign and I was like alright :) we will talk to her again... it has been such a blessing to me to see people make changes in their life and to truly have  a desire to be baptized and to be firm and take on callings and responsibiity so new! Alex our recent convert of 3 weeks will likely start teaching Gospel Principles!! :) And Dad thanks so much for sharing your story about prayer this week and the heater and also about having faith that we may see the gifts we have and then use them!! :) I needed to hear that!! :) We have a lady we are teaching and she believes everything we have taught but she doesn't want to leave her other church that she is so comfortable in, she has a date of baptism this Sunday so I am hoping that we will see a miracle and that she will be baptized as well!! :) Well I have no time and need to get going but I love and miss you all so much!! I am praying for you all!! :) I will send a letter soon!! :)
Muito amor,
Sister Mattei :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Feliz Ano Novo!! :) How are y'all doing?? Glad Louisiana went well, and the proposal!! Tell them Congrats!! So it sounds like you are all well but very cold... I can't say the same but I can say the opposite lol I am very hot here!! Oh and I dyed my hair brown... crazy huh?? It doesn't look bad but I still like it better blonde :) I am already thinking about switching it again haha... well about things more important than my hair.. Alex, our investigator who was baptized 2 weeks ago was confirmed yesterday :) He was supposed to be last Sunday but he arrived during sacrament so he had to wait till the next week. He is so awesome though!! He truly understands the importance of the covenant he made with Heavenly Father and understands that we must endure to the end and that after baptism it is not just some free ticket but that we need to continually live the gospel and ask for forgiveness when we do make mistakes. I can see him helping the church here in Paracuru so much! Yesterday he even said the prayer in front of everyone after sacrament! :) I was so happy!! :) Not even all of our members with more time as members feel comfortable praying at church yet. He also received the priesthood and Matheus did too so I am excited to get to see them pass and bless the sacrament soon! :) I have already seen such a change in them and know they will be great leaders and examples in the church!
So for New Years we watched fireworks from our house and just stayed up and talked!! :) My companion Sister Daniele is super funny and a sweetheart! We get along super well! :) And I am pretty certain that me and Sister Twitchell will remain friends for a super long time! :) At the end of this transfer we will have lived together for more than 6 months!! :) I seriously love her!! :) Transfers are in 1 month so we only have a short period left together... I think we will probably be transferred to another area! I will miss Paracuru, the members and the people we have met so much!! They have seen me grow and have helped me so much in my progression!! They were here to see me when I talked like a baby hahaha and I hope I will leave here at least speaking like a 12 year old lol! The language has gotten a lot better and I can teach well and get my point across but I definitely  still can improve in some areas. That is something I have learned a lot on my mission.. is that there is always room for improvement :)

I don't have a ton of time left but to answer some of Dad's questions...
We have traveled to Fortaleza in a couple of different parts and then Paracuru. Some cities are Caucaia, MonteCastelo....  so the other day we were traveling on the bus and the driver almost drove us into a ditch... he swerved and everyone was like Nossa!! hahaha I won't lie, it was pretty scary but at the same time a bit fun lol... something a little exciting in our day to talk about and everything was fine in the end :)
So the people we have baptized have remained strong in the church... people arrive 30 minutes late sometimes or have missed a time or 2 in the past but the bigger problem here is that we have less actives who were baptized a while ago in Fortaleza and we are trying to get them active again... it is definitely a process but it has made me realize how important it is for us as members to be converted to the gospel.. I love the people we are teaching so much and we are trying to help them but it is hard when they have gotten accustomed to the ways of the world! All of us fall at times but all of us have the potential to rise again but we must have the desire to change... It has been a wonderful opportunity to teach people and realize that we all have our individual strengths and weaknesses! Well no time but LOVE AND MISS YALL!! I seriously love reading your emails!!
Muito amor,
Sister Mattei :)