Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Its a White Christmas in Brazil

Puxa vida (= wow, or Oh my goodness), Kat has been out 6 months. One
year to go.

Hi Family!!!!

Merry Christmas! Here on the mission we're not exactly having the white
christmas that we all know and love from skiing in utah and eating fudge
at grandmas house, but its still a white christmas. White with baptisms
= way better.

I dont know if my email from last week worked out to be sent last week,
but we had a nice little baptism of a lady named Vanderlanda. She is
about 150 years old and very nice. She makes us food (aka she fries up
whatevers in the fridge). But her baptism was last week, and then this
week her son, Eduardo got baptized. He is a great guy, and a great dad.
He and his wife are separated, and he's been through a lot of rough
times in his life, but now he is doing really well. He is definitely one
of those "right time right place" kind of baptisms. In his own words, he
was saying one night how if he had been introduced to the gospel a few
years back, he probably wouldnt have accepted it, because he like to go
out, drink, and do his own thing with his life. But now with a little
more maturity, he says that he knows that this is the right direction he
needs to be heading in his life and that this is the right time for him
to accept the gospel. And he loves learning it. He has a lot of earnest
questions and he is really smart, so its great teaching him. (Except for
my limited portugues, and sometimes i dont know what he's saying because
his vocab is way higher than most people we talk to, so thank heaven for
the members who are helping us teach because... well you know, they know
portuguese and the gospel and stuff...)

Anyways, we also have a baptism lined up for this Sunday, of this guy
named Neto. baha his name means grandson in english. Anyways, he's a
good guy and I love when people will actually open up and let the spirit
touch their hearts and be changed. Christmas is SUCH a great time of

Sister Lindenlaub and I have been working the Christmas card for all its
worth, and things have been turning out well the past week. We just go
from house to house and sing christmas songs for EVERYONE. Then we share
a really short christmas message, say a prayer, and ask who else would
like to hear a christmas song sung by americans with funny accents.
(haha sometimes after we sing people are like, "oh sorry i didnt
understand anything because you were singing in english." and we're
like, "oh no, actually we were singing in portuguese the whole time."
then i laugh.) And it is the strangest thing because people honestly
dont know the christmas songs here! we'll sing Joy to the World, and
they're like, "hm that was pretty, i've never heard that before" Or any
other christmas song in the hymnbook, and they dont know it. the only
one they ever recognize is Silent Night. crazy. Jette, these people need
you to come and sing for them. puxa vida, you would blow. them. away.

Anyways, love you a whole bunch.
This is the last week in the transfer and i hope SO MUCH that i stay
here in this area. next week if I get transfered, i dont know if there
will be time on p-day to write an email, so if thats the case, I LOVE
YOU SO MUCH AND MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS. I know that Christ lives, that He
is our Savior, and that He loves us. He is the way to be happy during
the WHOLE YEAR. The church is SO true. if you have questions, ask the
missionaries, or juliette :)

AAAAAAAAAAAAAND i'm stoked to talk to you guys on the phone. december
25, hurry! and i have no clue about when/where/how any details
whatsoever. Whats the time difference? like 4-5 hours? mmm dont know.
but i think our mission is pretty strict on the rules so i think we only
get to talk for 45-ish minutes. ah welp. bummer. there's always
christmas 2010 when i'll be at home.

Sister Wardle

Sunday, December 13, 2009

oh hey, have you heard its already DECEMBER?

Hello my wonderful belovable family!

Happy belated Thanksgiving, and an EXTRA Happy first Day of December!

I'm sorry I didn't write last week, the computer got messed up. Anyways,
this week was kinda rough. We had these two firm baptisms, and we were
all pumped up all week long and things were going great. Then on Friday
one of them fell through because of a problem that was discovered in the
interview, and the other one decided that he just wouldn't leave the
catholic church. So by Sunday afternoon when we were baptism-less, I was
pretty bummed out - dare I say it, discouraged. (Not to mention I was
wearing the wrong shoes that day, and my feet were killing me so that
didn't help a bunch.) Then I remembered this conference talk about faith
from last April that I had read a little while ago. It said that
'discouragement and despair are the very antithesis of faith...' and
that 'disappointment is an inevitable part of life [missionary work],
but it need not lead to doubt, discouragement, distraction, or lack of

So my companion and I stopped and sang a little hymn and said a prayer,
asking to have the spirit with us again, and to keep working hard and
increase our faith. Afterwards we headed over to this lady who went to
church with us for the first time that day. (Its kinda cool. We were
walking by her house on saturday, and she was sitting out front and we
just said, "Hey do you want to go to church with us tomorrow?" Sunday
morning we passed by, and walked with her to church. That's it. We
hadn't taught her anything.) This brings us to Sunday afternoon when we
went by her house to follow up and see how she liked it. We taught her a
lesson about the gospel of Christ and invited her to follow His example
and be baptized in His church. She said YES. It was sweet. And right
then we marked the date for this next Sunday. We taught her how to pray
and then asked her to say the closing prayer. She did and then I asked
her how she felt and she goes, "I feel really really happy. I feel like
I have wings, and like I could fly." (And then picture me and how I felt
at that moment) So this was definitely God's answer to the prayer we had
made 1 hour earlier.

I know that there is so much power in prayer and I just need to have
faith and patience in this work and in my life. I know that even when
baptisms fall through, there are SO many people that Heavenly Father is
preparing to receive and accept the gospel. So the experience with
Joelma was a big pick-me-up that I needed. I'm thankful to be here as a
missionary and to learn these lessons.

In other news, this area is f a n t a s t i c. I am LOVING the ward, and
the area. Right when we got here, I was in love with this area, and I
told sister lindenlaub how the only thing that this area doesn't have is
good sidewalks or buses. And how it's way awkward to try and walk side
by side but you cant because there are crazy drivers and no where to
walk on the main road. The NEXT WEEK we saw these construction workers,
and I asked what they were building, and they're making SIDEWALKS!!!
Yayyyy. What blessings! And we found out that there is a metro station
kinda close, that works way better than buses for when we have to go to
meetings. Yes, this area is getting better and better.

The only downside - bug bites. I never really see the bugs, but then I
just have bug bites everywhere. And then I scratch them all the time,
and then they bleed, scab, and turn into little bumps or scars or
whatever. So my arms and legs are covered in little bug bite scars and
bumps . If I run my fingers over my skin, its like reading Braille
because there's so many dots. (now I just need to find a blind
Brazilian who knows Braille to translate the message for me.)

So things are good. I'm a little thrown off this year for Christmas. It
does NOT feel like Christmas at all. Its super weird. On the one hand,
I'm trying to remember that its december, but at the same time I kinda
don't want to because I don't want to be trunky or miss home or any of
the joyous Christmas traditions that are happening. So it all evens out.
Basically we sing Christmas hymns and that's about it. But I'm happy
that its Christmas in America!!!!!! And I love you and want to hear
about all the fun and happy Christmas things that are happening at home.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you so much.

Sister Wardle