Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 13

This is thus far my most favorite letter from Makayla.  Reading this letter the spirtit was so strong.  I think I am feeling Makayla beginning to settle in and begin to feel a conection and love for the people.  I am so grateful for her companion; Sister Lima.  I wish I could give her a big hug and thank her in person for taking such good care of our girl. I was also touched by Makayla's experience with her mission president, just knowing that she is in his watchful care is a big comfort. 

Estou feliz que vocês estão bem! 

I have learned a few more things about Sister Lima.  I don´t think her life has been ... easy.  I have a great respect for her.  She's actually pretty old, I think 28.  But she is here because Heavenly Father wants her to be.  She is so caring, always buying dog and cat food for stray animals.  

We actually had interviews with President this week.  My interview was great, but simple (I don´t have too much to say in Portuguese).  He is such a great man, and I know that we will always be cared for and safe with him. 

I have given a testimony in church a couple of times.  I like church here, because it is familiar (even so far away from home).  Most of all, it is wonderful when members are willing to serve and work with us.  Members are truly so important to missionary work.  And my shoes are doing well, although dirty :)  
 
Time really flew this week!  I am always finding more things that I love about being a missionary in Brazil.  This week we had two baptism, Milka and Leticia (8yrs) (mom and daughter).  We met them a day or two after I arrived in the field.  So it was wonderful to finally see them get baptized.  It seems that my "happy moments" here are getting happier.  

I also have to say that we receive so many acts of love from the people here (usually in the form of food or a ride, haha).  The people here have such great hearts!  For example, you might walk up to a vendor to ask him how much his ice-cream costs, and the other customer will just buy it for you :O.  

I also just want to share something I found in 1 Nephi 1.  Since it is the "most read chapter in the Book of Mormon," I knew there must be a special message within.  I found something 3 times: Despite difficulties, if we come unto Christ, we will have joy and strength (vrs 1, 13-14, and 20).  I Know this to be the wonderful message of the gospel!
  
Have a wonderful week!
Lots of love, Makayla

Wow, there is something really beautiful about this mural! I think I simply love the culture of the area. 



Love the day to day living!

Anyone know what this is?  I think it is a fruit...

Monday, August 22, 2016

Week 12

If you all remember some areas of the world were given slacks to wear in place of skirts as an option to help protect from the elements of their area.  Makayla's was one of those areas.  We were wondering is she had worn hers yet?
I have not worn my slacks yet, it is too hot!  And yes, a hat would do no justice.  We use our umbrellas all day.  

Last week Makayla accidently ordered tongue instead of sausage!  
No, I did not actually eat the tongue, but got another meat.  But I did eat a fish eye ... 

I keep finding out about new fruits that exist in this world.  I am convinced that Abacaxi is "food for the Gods".  
(I think it is similar to pinapple)

The Olympics...
We were walking in the street, and everyone was watching the Olympic men´s soccer game.  It was pretty easy to see what was going on, because you can see just about every TV from the street.  It was towards the end of the game, and super tempting to stop and just watch.  We ended up arriving at a members house just as the last winning goal was scored by none other than Neymar!  Needless to say, there was an eruption of excitement, haha.  We were with two elders, and one even cried.  

Mission... 
The goal of our mission is for everyone to have 1 baptism a week.  This week we had one lined up, but sadly it fell through. 

Many times I have felt discouraged about the language - about what I can´t understand and can´t speak.  I had a thought hit me pretty hard this week,

 "You haven´t even thanked Heavenly Father for what things you do know!" 

I love the principles of Gratitude, patience, and faith.  I think that they are strongly linked.  My studying this week all seemed to point towards the principle of faith.  I think that having faith in Christ is willing to act in whatsoever is praiseworthy and good.  There are great blessings promised to those who have faith, in fact all.  D&C 78 17-19... is wonderful - check it out!
17 Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;
18 And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.
19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.

I love this gospel and all that it has to teach us, and the power that it has to lift us.  This power is the atonement of Jesus Christ.  I testify that He lives and loves each of us individually.  

Love you all so much,


Makayla 

Makayla's newest / favorite fruit... "abacaxi"

A member made her a book / scripture cover.

Wow - Portugeese Scriptures!

Homemade planner covers. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Week 11

Daily life…  
Today my companion and I went to a restaurant for lunch.  Sausage is Linguista, and tongue is lingua.  Well, guess what I accidentally asked for… tongue!  We had mango juice - heaven!  I also sat on our porch, peeling an orange and looking out at the jungle.  I thought to myself, “It is a good day to be alive.”  

I saw two green parrots for the first time the other day.  They were so bright & beautiful!  Wherever we go, Heavenly Father has prepared things for us to find joy in.  He is so loving and the gospel is so joyful. I wonder what you would love here?... Probably the greenery, sometimes I see little blossoms of the richest pink, the orange juice, the markets (fruit & fish) and the people.  You would definitely enjoy the relaxing atmosphere here!  And they sure know how to BBQ!

I am trying my best to he happy, grateful, feel the spirit always, learn from the scriptures (find gems) each day, love, and learn the language.

The mission…
So this week we had transfers. This is an opportunity for the missionaries to change their area of service and receive a different companion, this happens about every four - six weeks  Although, there are no changes for me and my companion, apparently our president is the kind to keep things still.  I am grateful for this, because I would feel lost without her.  Thank you, Sister Lima 

I feel that as I understand the language more - I am able to get a better grasp on the work and take on more responsibility.  It is very slow, but I think that I will grow much faster this transfer.  It is nice to have one under my belt.  
We have had 6 baptisms total!  We have baptized a few children without their parents (They were not baptized as a family).  It is difficult for them to do things like read in their scriptures daily and understand a little something, without parental support.  There is an interesting balance to the whole thing, because if they are willing, then let them be baptized but I think we need to make sure that they have a good foundation.  Many people here have been baptized one or two times into other churches.  We teach both new investigators and reactivate ...those who have previously been baptized but have not been to church in a long time.  

Often times (well let’s be honest – all times) we are facing a difficulty in life-something that makes us sad, or something we need to fix. The truth is, that’s the way life is supposed to be.  What’s important is that we choose to work hard, be happy, and improve ourselves.  And the thing is, there are usually more good things in our life than bad.  We have the power to look for the good and find it, or to grow from life’s challenges.  But we don’t have to do this alone.  Pray and look to family & friends, cherish them.  I spend all of my time sharing the happiest message, that Jesus Christ has paid for our sins and has prepared the way for us to be with our families forever!

Love you all, I hope you have a fabulous week,

until next Monday!


There are just some things we are going to have to wait until she is home to ask ...

A trip to the Manause Temple (I think)


Currency

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Weeks 9 & 10

August 1, 2016
As Makayla continues to learn the language here are some questions and answers about her expeirence getting to know the Brazilian culture...

How is the heat compared to our Utah summer?
  •  Funny thing is that the heat didn´t really hit me in the beginning, I think I was just thinking about other things.  Now, it is really starting to hit me.  Although September (& October) is supposed to be the hottest month, so it will continue to get hotter ... it´s hot.  I have most definitely given up looking nice and presentable.
How have you been doing with the "bugs" that we always heard about?
  •         Honestly, I haven´t seen many bugs other than the ants.  They will get in your house and everything, but it´s just kind of whatever because there´s nothing you can really do about it.  They´re pretty small.  I´ve also seen some big cockroaches.
  •      I killed this centipede the other day in our bathroom that was like 2 inches long.  I had to wack it like 4 times AS HARD AS I COULD.

How often does it rain?
  •          Not very often.  When it does, it is quick and crazy heavy.  If it rains at night ... wholy cow it is loud.

How are you sleeping?
  •          Great because I am always tired!
Has your stomach been adjusting ok?
  •         Yeah, I haven´t been sick or anything.  Although my stomach has had to adjust.

How are you doing with the language?
  •          Oh that?  The language, at least for now, is the most difficult part of the mission.  It is getting better, but very, very, very slowly.
  •      I am definitely feeling more at home here.  I feel like once I have learned the language, I will settle in all of the way. 
  •      A neighbor of ours says having a companion who only speaks Portuguees is the best way to learn the language, she should be able to understand it well within 3 months :) Just over 1 more month to go!

What is it like to have the sun setting at 6:00 pm?
  •          I haven´t thought about it, ha,ha.  So apparently it is great.

August 8, 2016

Have you witnessed anything concerning the Olympics there?
  • Yes, there are lots of little market/ shops along the street, where there are t.v.'s.  They are also in member´s homes as well, so I have caught glimpses of the Olympics.  Honestly, I am dying to sit and watch them, I love them so much!!! Remember watching them on vacation ... in Tahoe I think?  The Amazon is pretty cool. 

 Are you getting along ok with money?


  • I spent 10 Reais (1 Brazilian dollar to .32 US Dollar) with my credit card this week.  I wanted to tell you so that you know it was me.  I have tried getting cash out of the machines at the bank with my credit card, but it hasn´t been working.  Should I be able to? 

Let me tell you a little about the food.  
  • Everyone drinks out of tiny cups ... always.  Sometimes they give my companion and I one cup to share (if the family is pretty poor).  At lunch, we always drink Guarana (Baréor juice (I love both).  There is always (as you know) rice, noodles, and meat.  Usually if the family has a good amount of money, they might have a salad (otherwise it is fruit).  The food is honestly so delicious, and there is always more than plently.  We also get fed cake ... a lot.  It is always in the form of a bunt cake, with sweet’n condensed milk. 

Fun Fact: The Baré soda (guarana flavor), was named after the tribe of Indians Barés, in the region of Manaus.

My favorite fruit is cupuaçu!


 

They are crazy about Açaí  and Coke. 

Makayla closes with this final thought... I know that going to a country different than all you have ever known and with a lanuage that is spoken all around you and you don't understand must surely be difficult but I have faith that she truly wouldn't be there unless a loveing Heavenly Father has a beautiful and meaningful purpose for her.  I also know she has a strong heart, mind and faith - she will adjust and thrive!
    
In the beginning of the mission, it was tricky for me to want to be in Brazil.  This was because things were so different, and I felt lonely because I couldn´t speak to anyone.  But now, I am more comfortable, and I want to stay because I know what great things are to come.  I can see them coming, and I wouldn´t want to miss them.  Love you lots!