Monday, February 24, 2014

Hello, hello!! :) How are you all doing?? :) Mark wrote me today!! It was good to hear from him!! I am writing you all letters right now :) and will send them off this week!! So this week Sister Twitchell and Sister Galarza had a baptism of a young mom, so yesterday we went to that!! Also, Sister Daniele and I had 3 people at church! :) We are teaching a woman, Atilani, she is 26 and she has never been active in a church or known much about religion but is interested in learning and already has a baptismal date marked for March 9th :) She is very sweet and  a bit shy! Her Mom is sick and she has been super worried about her! Many people these past 2 weeks have been very emotional in our lessons so it has been an amazing opportunity to share the gospel with them and let them know that the trials we have now will strengthen us for later and that during these difficult times we need to put our Faith in the Lord and move steadfast with hope that things will work out as they need to! I have learned so much already on my mission and I still have much more time to keep learning :)

Oh so crazy stuff will be happening this week! So here in Brazil they have a Holiday called Carnaval, other countries celebrate this as well. But it lasts for 4 days and 4 nights non stop! Here in Paracuru is where everyone comes to party because here they have the beach and a strip!! All of the members say it is nuts and the roads are full of people doing crazy things... you can only imagine and that no one sleeps and they have music blaring all day, all night! So we thought  for sure we would go to Fortaleza and work there for 4 days with other Sisters because everyone was like y'all won't stay here it's too crazy... so the news is we are staying hahaha! This shall be quite the crazy adventure!! President wants us to stay because we will still have church on Sunday so it's important that we will be here! We have rules that we can only leave if we have marked appointments with people andn we have to return to our houe each night at 6. He said if things are too crazy to just stay in the house and not leave and to use our heads! Everyone says people are drunk throwing water balloons and flour on anyone that passes so I am sure I will be taking some pictures at the end of each day lol! I think we will only be working 3 hours each day... if that. 15 thousand people are expected to show up here in Paracuru!! I feel like it's going to be like Bourbon Street the night of Mardi Gras but for 4 days straight! People are selling masks and beads like they do for Mardi Gras.

Well besides the craziness, it has been so awesome to see our recent converts grow in the gospel. Matheus and our other youth have started seminary and are very active in the church! President Eduardo is always talking about the comments Matheus has on FB about the Book of Mormon and then when we ask them, "so we will see you on Sunday at church? and they always respond why would I not be there"... aww it's the best feeling when you see people taking on callings, duties and responsibilities with honor and doing it happily!! The people here are truly awesome and I feel so blessed to be here!! We have our crazy, difficult moments here in Paracuru but the good memories make up for it all! :) Well I have no time left but I love and miss you all!! I will let you know how Carnaval goes next Monday!! Have an amazing week! :)

Muito amor,

Sister Mattei :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

HELLO :) Sounds like you are well, a little sick and cold but well!! I will pray it will warm up there!! It is so freezing cold here!! I am dying hahah.... jk It is blazing hot but I have some pretty cute tan lines so it's all good LOL :) So this week was good but yesterday was a bit disappointing because none of our investigators were at church :( but on the positive outlook this was the first time in 13 weeks so I won't complain and am grateful for the people who have a desire to learn more and are truly progressing!! Those Sundays with no one there are the worst and your heart just sinks but you just have to get back to work and try your best that next week around! So I will answer some of dad's questions :)
Weather: the weather is hot and sometimes humid after it rains... it usually rains only in the morning for 20 minutes and then sprinkles during the day
Animals: So the other day we saw this small little monkey in the trees, there were 4 and they were super tiny. I thought they were cute but my companion thought otherwise lol! We see chickens, donkeys, horses.... in the road on a daily basis... oh and people here eat chicken feet, yuck lol!
So the group is growing little by little :) We usually have 35 people at church! Our recent converts are active... they miss every once in a while but are active and our youth have started seminary :) and they will be going camping soon :) Our recent convert, Alex, has work a lot and on Sunday now so it's difficult for him to get to church and he can't take off so that is a bummer :(
Teaching is good and we have a lot of people with potential it is just difficult to get people to church so that's what we are working on :)
My Portuguese improves each week and usually people don't have too much of a problem understanding... sometimes I need to repeat a question but for the most part they understand everything... I am still trying to learn more vocab and not just the daily and gospel vocab. My accent is strong but I think its because I have a bit of an accent already and it's difficult to lose it so I will see at the end of my mission how different I speak! 

I have learned a little Spanish but not much... it is very similar to Portuguese so I can generally understand her and Sis Galarza when they speak in Spanish... it just depends on what they are talking about... Reading is easier because things are spelled almost exactly the same as Portuguese and I remember vocab from high school.

And Sister Daniele is good:) She is a lot of fun to work with! :) I have learned a lot from her! We can joke around but be serious at the same time so it's been a blast! She has 3 siblings and 1 served in Texas and another is here in Brazil as well! But she is awesome and we have fun together!! Lots of funny moments and lots of good spiritual experiences so we have bonded pretty close :)
Well I dont have much time but I LOVE YOU ALL :) Thanks for all you do for me!! Have an amazing week and take care!! :)
Muito amor,
Sister Mattei :)
Mom and dad read the talk on Dear are the sheep that have Wandered- this talk is super good I thought yall would like it :) 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Oi Familia!! :)

Tudo bom :) So I am glad to hear everyone is doing pretty well!! Congrats on losing weight and Dad on the new job!! :) So this week was good!! Our group was glad to hear that all of us are staying for another 6 weeks :) Edijane and Aline were confirmed yesterday! They are very sweet girls! So the situation with Aline was that her Mom passed away a while back and she lives with her Grandma and her Grandma wouldn't sign the baptismal form, but her Dad who is always traveling and not in the house gave permission for her to be baptized so we had to talk to our President and then have her Aunt sign it and it was just a huge mess but everything worked out well and she was baptized last week!! :) She is Ana Angelica's cousin who was baptized about a month ago. Edijane is 17 and she is very quiet and cute! Her Mom had told he she needed to wait till she was 18 to be baptized but we talked with her mom and her mom signed and went to church last week :) 

Things have been good but we only had one investigator at church on Sunday so that was a bit disappointing but it it is better than no one so we were still happy :) We have an investigator who I talked a little bit about in another email. His name is Lucio and he is 89 and his wife was baptized a long time ago in Fortaleza and is less active now but she is 43 years old! Crazy huh?? hahaha But I love them they are always making us juice and he wants to bring us to Italy with him lol! They live here for half the year and in Italy for half the year. He speaks no Portuguese so as you can imagine it is difficult to teach him. We teach and his wife repeats in Italian. It is very interesting and a bit funny but he went to church 2 weeks ago and climbed up 3 floors of stairs so he is still in good shape for having 89 years! The only problem is he is scared of water so baptism is going to be a problem to solve. Hmm... what more?? 

Oh so we have baby birds in our house AGAIN!! I don't even know how the birds enter but they have made a nest and we can hear the babies in the rafters... seriously I hope I won't have a dead baby bird on my bed again... it was seriously so gross lol! Oh and then the other day Sister Danielle and I were teaching a lesson and at this house they have 2 huge dogs and Sis. Daniele is terrified of many things.. so were teaching and they had the dogs inside and we were teaching on the porch but the window was open and the dog jumped out the window 2 times haha and she was freaking out... her reaction was so funny! She gives us a good laugh all the time and she is so innocent I love it :) The couple we are teaching are super good though.. Faviula has prayed and is reading the Book of Mormom and when we showed up the first time she told us how she was looking for a church. They just need to get married! :) and they said they would be at church yesterday and they weren't :( so that was a bit disappointing. But Oh to answer your question we do have a new President here in Paracuru. His name is President Eduardo and he is a hard worker and things are better here in Paracuru. Things were fine but it was difficult to have meetings with our other President so things are just a bit more organized now! We also started seminary for the teens here :) And Matheus, our recent convert, gave a talk already this Sunday and he has been blessing the sacrament. It is super cool to see the people we taught fulfill callings and duties in the church. Oh and I think I forgot to tell you but he baptized Ana Angelica :) So that was super cool to see!! :)

I truly love the people here and teaching and just having these great experiences :) I can't lie and say it has been easy but it has been a great learning opportunity!! There are times when I feel trunky and I miss just going out and doing fun things and being with family and friends but I have learned to just take in the moment and enjoy every second we have as missionaries and servants of the Lord! I am hoping to have baptisms soon and to find families so please pray for us that we will find these people who are ready and prepared :) Well I don't have much more time but just remember to keep your heads high in times of trials and to always count your blessings!! That is what has helped me a ton here in the mission!! :) Well I love you all so much and miss y'all!! Tell everyone hello for me :) Have an amazing, super, fantastic week!! :) 

Muito amor,

Sister Mattei :) 

Monday, February 3, 2014

No email this week.  Instead answers to questions:

So we had 2 baptisms this week :) Their names are Edijane and Aline :) I think next week I will send pics of all the people we have baptized! Oh and guess what I am still in Paracuru with Sis Daniele and so is Sis Twitchell and Sis Galarza!! :) I am super happy to be here for at least 6 more weeks!! :) How's the family?
My day to return is the 6th of Jan but I'm sure it'll be before.

Aww well I hope you feel better :) I haven't been sick not once on my mission sucha blessing :)  And ya I will be here for like half my mission and will live with Sis Twitchell for half my mission!! We have become super super close and will def hang out when we return!!  So this week it was pretty sweet Edijane's mom told her she had to wait till she was 18 to be baptized but we went looking for her house and we found it and talked with her mom about everything and how she had a desire to be baptized and she allowed her to be baptized on Sunday and even came to church with her :)