Monday, May 26, 2014

Hello, hello!! How are y'all doing?? :) I hope everyone is doing well and keeping busy as always!! The kids will be out of school soon!! It is summer already!! Here it is pretty much always summer lol... winter is when they have rainy season which is right now! We walk in the rain soaked at least 1 or 2 days a week haha it keeps things fun and adventurous! :) So this week was super good!
The last 2 weeks were a bit hard and stressful but this past week the Lord blessed us big time! :) Seriously Sister Zambrana and I were like what is going on this week... because everything was going so well. We are still waiting for someone to tell us everything was a big joke haha. So this week we had 5 investigators at church, Brenna was baptized, we found golden people... We had a lesson last week with a 17 year old girl and she didn't seem that interested and said that all churches are right... we bore testimony, asked her to pray and left the Restoration pamphlet for her to read. So we showed up 2 days ago to have another lesson and we started to ask her questions... It went like this literally.
Did you read the pamphlet? Yes, all of it. 

Did you pray? Yes
How did you feel? Super good.
Do you feel that this was an answer from God that this church is true? Yes
So how would this gospel and what we are here to teach change your life? It would change absolutely everything...
Sister Zambrana and I were like is she understanding everything we're saying.. because usually these questions don't go so smoothly and they usually have a doubt, question or didn't pray, read....
Then I asked... Do you believe Joseph Smith was a prophet and restored the church of Jesus Christ? Yes.
Having this answer from God will you be baptized in His church June 8th? Yes.
Then we bore testimony about baptism and the blessings she will receive and then she said the prayer and we left. We seriously left thinking was that a joke?... she was seriously golden! The Lord answer our prayers! :)
So that was just one person...
We have another woman who is about 53 who is preparing to be baptized this next Sunday, she just needs to quit smoking completely... she is almost there :) So she is reading the pamphlets and the Book of Mormon. She even did the Additional Study questions at the end of the pamphlet. So on Saturday she said ´I am studying a lot because I want to know how to answer people's questions about our church` I love that she already said our church. Yesterday was her first day at church with us but before she had even been to church or was baptized she referred to it as her church. She is seriously so awesome and funny!
Then another woman this week who was also at church yesterday  asked us on our first visit at her house how she can participate more... We were like alright let's start teaching haha :) People are amazing! We went to pick up another woman and she was all ready for church and everything but her little girl started throwing up after lunch :/ so wasn't able to go. So there you have it the Lord is always listening and hears our prayers :) because seriously the last few weeks we were working so hard but everything was going wrong and falling through and people were having marriage and work problems that conflicted with going to chucrh and being baptized... so this week was super refreshing!! The Lord is a miracle worker :)
So a little more about the baptism yesterday... So Brenna the young girl I talked about last week was baptized! Her mom said she would go but didn't and I felt super sad for Brenna. She is seriously amazing for being so young. She helps her grandparents so much with her younger brother since her mom is always working and not in the house. She calls her Mom by her first name it's super sad and calls her grandparents Mom and Dad. The other day she was on the phone with her real mom and she accidently said Hi, Mom and was like sorry I meant... and then continued to call her mom by her first name. The Lord will bless her for all she does! She loves church and said she never wants to miss a Sunday :) I will send pics in a card this week :) Our Zone Leader baptized her because she thinks he is cute and really nice haha. We planned the baptism for 2 o'clock and the other Sisters had a baptism too. All of us and our members showed up at 2 for the baptism but our Bishop didn't show up until 2:35, and he had the keys to the building and the baptismal font wasn't filled yet... it was a huge rush because church starts at 3:30... our Bishop isn't the most organized person. I like him, he is cool and all but he tells jokes the whole time he speaks in sacrament meeting and he shows up late to chucrh and to baptisms and what not... it is a bit ridiculous. So that was a bit stressful for us missionaries but it all worked out in the end :)  So some funny things this week... Wow I am writing a lot y'all should be super happy with me haha :) So we have a guy here who is always in the road and tries to talk with us. I think he is like 30 and he is bald with braces and has a crazy smile haha... so we see him everywhere and he always shouts stuff to us... so we try to avoid him cuz he is a bit creepy... he isn't harmful but just a bit of a weirdo lol! So we were walking on the road at like 8:30 at night and he was on our side of the road so I was like Sister we need to go to the other side or we will run into him... we switched sides and so did he... he then  asked why we switched sides haha... and then we talked briefly and I gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet so we could leave... he then asked if we will marry... well I thought that was what he asked... I replied one day. The problem was that I wasn't paying well enough attention and he asked me if I would marry him hahaha and I said one day... he then tried to kiss my hand but I pulled it away and we left laughing super hard. The next day we had a member with us, Allana and we saw him again... Allana is super funny! She is 20. We passed him and he was forming a heart with his hands as we passed... he said when will we be married and Allana said you can't marryu her until after a year and a half haha and he said alright I will wait! hahahaha oh my life, I am a dum dum but I have to admit we got a good laugh out of it! Just plan on coming here for Brazil in a year and a half for my wedding lol ;)

Oh and the other day we knocked on a door and a young man opened the door and I dropped my pen so I went to pick it up and he did at the same time, and we bonked heads super hard haha it was super awkward but funny!
Well I have no time left but I am loving my experiences here, the funny ones just as much as the spiritual ones!! :) Well have a wonderful week, love yall lots!! Take care! :)
Muito amor,
Sister Mattei :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Tudo bem!! :) So today we saw Elder Neil Andersen :) He came to speak with us! He is such a sweet man! He speaks Portuguese....he lived here for 4 years... I didn't know that. He speaks I think 4 languages.. pretty impressive!  We could tell he was trying to remember all the Portuguese words and how to conjugate them but he remembered well and we understood plus they had a translator there to help as well. Made me feel a little better... I was thinking it's not the words and understanding that is so important but more the spirit that is brought and the spirit was there so that's what counted :) His wife is so sweet... she told some wonderful stories :) She spoke what she could in Portuguese with us and it was super cute :) He spoke a lot about the Atonement and just about the love they have for the missionaries all around the world! It was a great experience to say the least! :) He shook each missionary's hand and we all took a mission photo with him. We had 2 missions there so there were about 400 missionaries!! I took lots of good notes :)
So that was the highlight of this week! :) This week was super good but yesterday- Sunday- was quite the day hahaha! So my companion Sister Zambrana and I gave talks. Our bishop told us May 25th and then announced our names yesterday the 18th in sacrament meeting.... so that was a huge surprise and we just had to wing it! Things here aren't organized like they are there. We have programs for sacrament meeting and here I think they don't exist haha. Things are done at the very last minute most of the time... but it always ends up fine in the end! :) It can just be a bit stressful in the moment, it's a good thing I was a procrastinator hahaha I learned to deal with stress well. Oh talking about stress when I get home I am going to get a massage lol... I think I have Moms back now lol... everyone tells me how hard my back is and that I am super tense haha.... I don't feel pain though :) Hmmm... what else happened yesterday? Oh so the last 2 days we went without water in our house... so we couldn't take a shower for 1 day and then the next day we went to a member's house.Most of Fortaleza went without water for 2 days straight and only some houses still had water to shower, cook and use the bathroom. It was an adventure :)
We also had to pay for 2 taxis to take us and our investigators to church because all the members with cars who we planned for fell through.... But we had investigators at church so that was good :) In few words, it was an adventurous and a bit of a difficult day for us but we just laughed everything off and continued on :) Oh and we think one of our investigators who was planning to go to church with us was drunk when we passed by yesterday...
But today is a new day!! :):) and Brenna, the young girl who was on Skype last week will be baptized this Sunday :) She has a difficult family life so we know the gospel will help her now and in the years to come :) She is so sweet and writes us a lil card every week! :) She is super smart and understands everything for being as young as she is. Well I don't have much time and I need to get going but I am super excited for my packages to arrive!! :) Thanks for sending them!! They got here super fast if they really already passed through Customs! YAY!! :) Thanks for all y'all do and your examples!! Love and miss y'all lots!! :) You're always in my prayers! Tell everyone hello for me! :)
Muito amor,
Sister Mattei :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

HELLO!! :) So for starters I was super happy to see y'all yesterday!! Y'all seem to be doing well and look good! Tell Todd hello for me and that I love and miss him! Oh and Angel is still living so I was happy to see her!! I hope she makes it until I return! :) Hope Mom had a wonderful Mothers Day and Granny and Grandma too! :) Yesterday was the highlight of my week, going to church and talking with y'all because seriously 2 of the baptisms we had planned for this next Sunday fell through :( One of the ladies is having marriage problems with her husband who is less active but returning and they had a fight and were screaming at each other in front of us in the middle of a lesson... Goodbye spirit... She said she wants to see a change in him first before she is baptized because he doesn't always act exactly how a ´Mormon` should. After that, things exploded! It was super sad to see people fight like they did... he has done some things in the past to lose her trust so things are still rocky and just a big mess... I felt like a marriage counselor... we made and wrote goals on how they can strengthen their relationship... I had to tell him to stop screaming at his wife... and that they needed to see one another's side and perspective... it was terrible, she ended up crying and he threw the cell phone on the ground super hard trying to break it... and then at the very end it was a bit better and we bore our testimony to try to invite the spirit and I said a prayer... all I can say is that I DO NOT want a marriage like that... but that I truly know repentance is real and people can change with the gospel... but first they have to have  a desire and be willing to change and put what they know is right into practice. Despite all that happened I still have hope for their marriage! :)
And then our other investigator can't go to church every Sunday because of work so feels she shouldn't be baptized if she can't go absolutely every Sunday and keep the Sabbath day.. we explained to her that we understand her situation and it would be better to be able to go every week and have  a new job at some point but that shouldn't stop her from being baptized... I think it's more than that though... I think someone might have said something... because seriously they were both excited about baptism... Satan is terrible... he always works with people right when they're so close to doing what's right...
So after all that I don't have a ton of time left, but this week we will be teaching lots and lots of people to try and find people who are ready to hear about the gospel. We hope Brenna will be baptized soon if her mom signs because she is only 9 but wants to go to church every week and is always ready when we pass, with a cute dress and The book of Mormon in hand. She has a rough situation at home so I think the gospel would really help her. She has been to church for 5 weeks straight... y'all met her yesterday on Skype... oh and Raquel loved seeing y'all... she said she even teared up a little because she was so excited! She is so sweet! :) Well I will keep on having a crazy adventure here in Brazil!! I learn something new every week and always meet either the funniest, strangest or best people ever haha! A mission is a crazy ride full of miracles and those stinky bumps in the road... haha! well love y'all lots!! Have a great week! :) SMILE :)
Sister Mattei :)