Monday, April 28, 2014

TRANSFERS! So I am staying in my area in Conjunto Ceara but Sister Fernelius left me :( She was super fun and we had a lot of good times together!! Probably one of the happiest and most loving people I have met! She will do wonderful things in her new area! :) I will definitely miss working with her but transfers are a part of the mission life... She is now companions with Sister Twitchell (my 1st companion in the MTC and who I lived with for almost 8 months) so they will have a lot of fun and success together!
So as for me, I am happy to be staying and my new companion is Sister Zombrana :) Before I was Sister Training Leader, I had splits with her so we have already worked together a little bit! :) She is very sweet and is from Utah! Transfers are always a little sad to leave an area or a companion but I love meeting new people! I am excited to get to know her better over these next several weeks! I have truly loved working with all of my companions so far and I have learned A LOT from them! :) Everyone has their different talents, personalities and gifts so its pretty sweet to get to know people individually and see all they have to offer!

So I will start off with the sad news of this week... one of our new investigators passed away this week. We had taught her 3 times and she was only 18 years old. She was very receptive and truly understood everything we taught. She was in a motorcycle accident and she wasn't wearing a helmet and she hit her head on the sidewalk and doctors tried to do surgery but she passed away 5 hours after the accident. It was super sad, seriously everyone in this city knew her, she was practically famous here. We passed her house the night of and there were so many people crying and screaming, I seriously felt so depressed and sad for these people. I can't imagine how her family and close friends are feeling. One of her friends that we are teaching as well sat with me on the bench and she sobbed on my shoulder and told me how they had gotten in a fight the day before and how bad she felt. I was quite the mess that night. I literally have tears running down my face right now as I write about that night. We talked with some of her friends this week and we have been teaching many people The Plan of Salvation. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have that families are forever and that we can see the people we love again if we choose the right and are following in the Savior's footsteps.
There are so many people that are suffering, we have investigators that lost family members and close friends and I can't even fathom their thoughts and feelings. I know the message we have as members of the church can cure the broken heart and heal those that are mourning. I have realized how grateful I am for you all and for the friends I have. We never know when our last day is so we must strive to live righteously always and to love our neighbor because each day is a mystery, we never know what will happen. SMILE each and every day and count the many blessing we already have.So after all that, you probably want some good news, and I have some :)
We have Laudiceia's baptism planned for this Sunday :) This Sunday is Stake Conference so next week might be better... we will see what happens. Also, we have the baptism of Emilia, Raquel's sister, planned for May 18th! :) Oh and today at Transfers we found out that Elder Anderson will be visiting us May 19th!  So I am pretty dang excited!! :)
Oh and since Dad likes to know the weather here, it has been raining a lot lately. We seriously walk in puddles of rain haha some parts are like a pond haha, it's kinda fun getting soaked by cars that pass by! Rain or sun, we work! :) Well I don't have much time left but I love you all lots and miss yall!! I am excited to talk to yall on Mothers Day!! Time is flying! Tranfers pass faster and faster! Well take care!! I am glad to hear everyone is well and busy!! Tell Mark to email me! I want to hear all the details haha! :p Have a wonderful week!
Sister Mattei :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter!! :) Hope all was well and yall ate lots of chocalate! :) Here, holidays aren't the same... people celebrate but not really...they don't have traditions like we do, so I missed the excitement of Easter morning and eating a big meal together... here it was just like any other day, but church was good! :)
Yesterday at church, Laudiceia was there! :) Our last few lessons with her have been super super good and she can see how the Book of Mormon completes and complements the Bible and helps us understand the meanings of everything! Her husband is already a member like I mentioned before and they been at church the past 3 weeks! :) She told us she has a desire to be baptized but that she knows it will cause a bit of trouble in her family but she is very humble and wants to learn and understand the truth! :)
Oh and Dima and Fonteles!! I haven't told you about them yet but they are a wonderful family seriously I LOVE THEM!! :) They are my parents here in the mission haha! So they are members but they are less active and starting to return to church :) Their son passed away a few years ago and after that happened it was difficult for them to go to church because of all the memories they have there with him... It is a sad story and they have gone through a lot... I can't imagine that feeling of losing a child but they are planning to go to the temple soon in the US since their daughter married an RM who baptized her parents and brother and lives in California! We talked to her a bit over the phone!! She is so funny! One day I will go to Cali to visit her :) Dilma and Fonteles want to move to the US to be with her and their 3 grandkids!! :) In the end they're amazing :)
Oh so something kinda funny yesterday and strange to say the least was there was a crazy guy jumping on the walls of the church during our meetings hahaha! This was the 2nd time I have seen him doing this and he just looks and stares in the windows at all of us and blows kisses hahaha! All I can tell you is I have met some of the strangest people in my life, here on my mission hahaha! We nick- named him Spider- man :)
Well I don't have much time left! I love and miss you all!! Being here I have really learned to appreciate all I have :) I love the people but the economy is much different and we really have a lot to be grateful for! Our recent convert, Italo, said to us the other day after searching our houses on Google Earth... `Now when I look at our roads here I feel sad`.... but I can see what he is talking about... just the fact we have nice paved roads outside of our house is a blessing that we don't often recognize!  So remember to count your blessings!! LOVE YOU :)
Sister Mattei :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hello, hello Family! :) Another week has flown by here in Brazil! Seems like the time just flies by faster and faster... soon I will be heading home!! I am super happy yall got my card and pictures :) Raquel told me and she said you were very happy with the letters and the recording you asked me to do haha! Raquel is very, very sweet, seriously, an angel lol I don't think she has ever done anything wrong in her life lol! She learns something and then she does it! Like last week we had General Conference and she had family and friends who were traveling and taking a trip and they invited her and she told them she couldn't go because that week at church was something really special and a rare opportunity! She is willing to make whatever sacrifices she needs to to be better and do what is right! Yesterday she bore her testimony and our bishop at the end was telling her how impressed he was with how strong of a testimony she already has. Oh and we have been teaching her sister, Emilia who has a date to be baptized May 18 :) I love her family, everyone is just super sweet and welcoming!
So for the last 2 weeks we have been teaching a man, Wellington, who doesn't believe in God... he is super stubborn about his beliefs but a really good guy with a really good heart! He treats his wife like a queen... which is how it should be lol but you can just tell he is an awesome guy and has a lot of potential. So yesterday we got him and his wife Fatima to come to church. The first 2 hours were normal and nothing too special but we told him that sacrament meeting would be different, and it was! :) All the testimonies borne were awesome and the spirit was super strong, and then at the end we sang I Know That My Redeemer Lives and that was like icing on the cake :) During that song now, I almost always have tears in my eyes! At the end he told us he liked it and smiled and patted us on the back... tomorrow we have a lesson with him, so I hope he felt what everyone else felt. He will probably be someone we will work with for a long time but he has a lot of potential and every time we teach him, even as stubborn as he is, I always feel good about our lesson at the end! We're just waiting on a miracle to happen :) He says it's impossible for him to have faith but that's just a myth made up in his mind! His wife Fatima is Catholic and she is super sweet! :)
Also Brenna, a 9 year old who loves coming to church with us, bore her testimony yesterday! It was very sweet and simple! :) But overall this week was super good and we have 3 dates set for baptism. Some are a little farther off but Laudiceia who I talked about last week has a date set for the 27th of April! I will fill you all in more next week with everything :)
So some funny things that happened this week...
We passed a dog in the road who was chasing its tail literally for 5 minutes straight, we just stopped and laughed! Oh yall should see some of the dogs that live here in the roads... it's super sad... they are pathetic... Todd would cry! I feel bad for them.
So we knocked on a door and a man started screaming super loud... we couldn't even understand him hahaha but he kept going for like 2 minutes... we didn't know whether to stay or leave... hahaha we were a little scared and were about to leave until he opened the door and saw 2 young women in skirts and dresses and then immediately changed his voice and attitude haha it's super funny how people react when they open the door and see us...
Oh and something annoying and sad that happened this week was we found a young girl, 17 years old who was super receptive and had super good questions for us and was just interested to learn more... so we returned 2 days later and she had done some searching on the internet about Mormons and she read things that weren't true and that we have a different God than other churches... blah blah blah... things that are absolutely not true :/ and she was firm that she didn't want more with us... so we just bore our testimony and told her that these are just things that people say... and that people will deny us just like they denied Christ many years ago... I have hope one day she will search again and find truth and know that those things she read are lies and that the true church is really here on earth... it is super sad to see how Satan works with people when they truly have an interest to learn more and find truth... Oh how he is terrible... just be grateful for the knowledge we already have and for the opportunity to continue learning each and every day..
Well no time but I miss and love yall lots!! :) Have an amazing week!! :) I enjoyed all the photos! The place Nicole and Greg will have their ring ceremony is super pretty!! Oh and tell Becky Congrats for me!! Her baby boy is super cute :)
Muito amor,
Sister Mattei :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Oi :) So General Conference yesterday and Saturday were super good :) I loved the talk of love from Thomas S. Monson and just everything in general and all the stories that were told! The story David A. Bednar told about the truck and milk was super funny! Raquel and Italo, our recent converts, were able to attend! :) We also had 3 other investigators. Everyone really enjoyed it! :) I learned a lot and have lots of goals to work on now! :) Always, after General Conference, we realize what more we need to do and how we can become more Christ- like. It is definitely a good reminder :) 

So right now we are teaching a woman, Laudiceia, and she is the wife of a less active member we have been visiting. They both have been at church the last 2 Sundays and she is liking it a lot! All of her family is super active in the evangelical church but she told us she doesn't agree with all they believe and knows that the church has errors. She is super sweet and super pretty. I will have to send a picture soon! Her husband served a mission and joined the church at a young age. So he knows everything is true, just needed that push and motivation to get back to church.

Also, Angelica, a woman who was baptized at age 15 and now is 30 went to conference this week, this was the first time she had been back to church  in 14 years! :) So that was pretty sweet and we were super happy to see her! I love teaching less actives and just reminding them on all they are missing out on and what they can be experiencing and what blessings they can be receiving. Some people just need that reminder of the promise they made with God during baptism :)  

Oh so to finish explaining about some of the members here we have an Irma who is quite old and every lunch we have with her she recites the Articles of Faith for us and then in Relief Society she does the same thing in the middle of a lesson and other members have to get her to stop talking hahah cuz she will talk forever lol! Oh and when she is sick she has a bunch of snot in her throat and she is always making that sound like she is about to hock a lugie lol... I don't know how to spell that hahha but she does it like 20 times while we are eating, us sisters are always a bit grossed out haha but it makes for a story to tell :) 

Oh and so I live in Conjunto Novo Ceara, if you look that up you can find my area. We live in an apartment. Our church is 30 to 40 minutes away from us walking and not many people have cars, so be grateful for what you have :) We usually get to ride with an Irmao here when we're lucky! :) Well I don't have much time to write but I hope yall have an amazing week and remember to make some goals from what you learned yesterday! I am always learning how I can be better! It has been a humbling experience!! :) Love you and miss you, thanks for the package! :) It was great! :) I hope you get my card soon :)

Muito amor,

Sister Mattei :)