Monday, September 26, 2016

Month 4!

Time for transfers again.  Every 6 weeks missionaries can be reassigned within their mission...  
Sooo ... Sister Lima is headed for Acre to be the Sister Training leader of the Zone there.  I get to hold down the fort ... and train a new sister from the MTC ... :O.  Let´s just say that I am about to learn a million things at once!  Luckily she speaks Portuguese, though.  I got your package today!  It was just in time to give Sister Lima her toothpaste, haha.  It was sad to say goodbye, she will always be my mom on the mission.  

Now I get to wait with other sisters who will train until Wednesday when the new sisters will arrive.  We get to go to the temple and everything with them!  This is going to stretch me like crazy, but I am actually very grateful for just that.  I look forward to growing in many ways (the language, people skills, faith, etc.).

WOW!!! So early in Makayla's mission & soooo much responsibility.  You've got this Makayla!  We sent Makayla a package just a couple of weeks ago, a letter takes about 3 weeks.  We wanted to do something nice for Sister Lima who took such good care of Makayla and got her acclimated to her mission.  We sent her some requested "American" toothpaste and other fun little snacks. I am so grateful it got there before she was transfered!

We had a baptism this week (our last week together).  We had invited Jhonaton to be baptized before, but he declined because he was waiting for the right time.  But we knew that he knew the gospel to be true.  We brought the Elders to his house on Saturday to chat/conduct an interview.  Afterward, he told us that he still wanted a little time to pray about what he should do.  We had some juice, and before we left he made up his mind.  He wanted to be baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  He is one of those people who truly loves seeking knowledge, and I really think that he will be strong in the gospel. 

Makayla, do you have any advice for someone who may be preparing to serve a mission? 

My advice is to learn to love the scriptures, how to study them, how to be happy in any situation, and how to follow the spirit.  I once heard a sister say this, and it couldn't be more true.  
Love you lots and lots!

p.s. I will send lots of pics next week. 

p.s.s. Is time going fast for you, it is for me.   

Ha! Time seems to normally be passing by.  I also would never wish this time away for I know what an amazing experience this is for her and a blessing to the people of Brazil.  I love being Makayla's mom and witnessing her mission.  I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 16

Last week Makayla mentioned walking in her area up hills and it occurred to me that her feet may be wearing and wondered how they were doing?
My feet are doing well.  I never thought that I would think much about nail polish on the mission, but I am finding that it is a great, and cute protector.  My feet don´t hurt or anything, they are just always super duper dirty!  But that´s life here.  I don´t really need anything specific.   We asked how breakfasts were...a banana smoothie, and a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, haha.

One difficulty here, is that people most people don´t have cars, or much money for the bus (it´s quite expensive for a family).  For some members, I think the walking distance is like an hour in the sun.  Thankfully, the chapel has air-conditioning!  

Speaking of air-conditioning ... in our house we have a little air-conditioner and fan in our bedroom.  I was minding my own business this week, when the little power/switch box on the wall started shooting sparks.  There was all this smoke and everything.  So we lost our power for 3 days.  When it happened, we went and told the family below us, who own our house.  They were truly wonderful and helped us out in so many ways.  I think he may have basically rewired our house himself.  They even let us sleep in one of their rooms with air-conditioning (we had permission from the mission president), because I don´t think we would get much sleep without it.  

We had a fun little service project this week helping the bishop´s wife set up Tiago´s birthday party.  They are kind of like our second family away from home (actually we have various families aways from home).  Remember those candies at Brook´s wedding - Brigadeiros?  Super good!  Brook & Bruno Silva...I don't know how she remembers! 
"There is a great Brazilian sweet that is like a bonbon and extremely scrumptious and delicious called brigadeiro! This is a great type of sweet that is loved here in Brazil!

We also had the baptism of Andreu!  He was actually the first investigator that I saw.  When we were arriving late at night, he was in the street and I thought he looked pretty shady, haha.  I remember him cracking up at my Portuguese when I was trying to bare my testimony.  But, it was great, especially because it brought his family to church. 

We also had a wonderful time at the temple!  I truly felt the love of God so strongly.  There are so many things that I want to improve in my life, yet when I am in the temple I know first and foremost that He is my Father and that He loves me.  I know this to be true for all of us, no matter the weakness and mistakes in our lives.  I know that our Savior lives and that is the greatest message of all. 

And I bought this wonderful CD, and tiny Book of Mormon to carry around during the day.  

I noticed in a picture Makayla sent last week she was wearing a skirt that I didn't recognize...
This really cute, animated lady who likes to praise Jesus in every conversation gave me the red skirt.  Her name is Maria do Carme, and she lives in what looks like a fisherman´s shack.  It´s pretty cool.  

How is the teaching going?
Also, to answer your question, teaching is going well.  I am learning the lessons, and finding more ways to speak from the heart :)

Love you lots, have a wonderful week!
Love Makayla

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Temple In The Amazon!

This video shows the beautiful people of Manaus getting ready for the temple they recieved in 2012.  Every time a Temple is built the community has a celebration leading up to the dedication of that temple.  I hope that you can feel the strong spirit and love for the gospel and dedication these people have for attending the temple. 
You can view this video here:
Our Temple In The Amazon

Makayla has now had 3 opportunities to attend the Manuas Temple...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Week 15

Makayla shared a while back that she was concerned about people who are baptized and then may not remain active, espically if they were without the support of other family members.   

   Sister Lima and I have thought about organizing an activity, but haven´t thought of anything yet (It´s actually really hard to balance everything that we have to do).  However, we most definitely do follow-up lessons after baptism.  We also end up pretty sweaty Sunday mornings, trying to bring everyone to church!  

Fasting - as a general rule we at church fast the first Sunday of the month...for a period of 2 meals with a purpose in mind along with prayer.  It is a special focus on a need that we ourselves have or for a loved one.

   I want to talk a little bit about fasting.  Before the mission, fasting was ... not my favorite thing :)  But, my testimony of fasting is really starting to take root.  Some of the other missionaries have told me stories of fasting miracles.  So, I wanted to gain this witness too.  The goal for our mission is actually to fast every week.  This isn´t easy in the sun (we are in the hottest month of the year), and our area/walking distance is actually pretty big with hills.   Yet, I´ve actually come to look forward to fasting.  This is because I can see where we truly have need of the power of God on our side.  This week we fasted, and guess what came of it?  One investigator who we have been working with the entire time (her baptism fell through before), called us and asked to be baptized!!!  We also brought a new investigator to church, and afterward he asked if we could teach him about tithing because he wants to pay it ... :O!!!! My testimony of fasting, and all other sacrifices on our part, has skyrocketed.  Big sacrifices bring big blessings.  


   Also, we met some "jungle hippies", I guess?  They were just chillin on the street, selling their "crafts" (some pretty wild looking stuff).  One of them decided to make us a gift to remember him by, and I´ve attatched a picture.  They were covered in animal tatoos, had snake skin bags, teeth/horn piercings, etc.  No worries though, we were in the big city, with lots of other people.  
Love you, lots! and lots and lots!

More of the exotic foods of Brazil!

Cashew Apple...It has an unusual flavor that is popular as a juice. The top of the fruit has the cashew nut inside. The fruit itself has much more vitamin C than an orange but can be astringent. Usually people put the whole fruit in their mouth, holding onto the end, and suck the juice out; once the fruit becomes soft, it can be eaten if it’s not too astringent.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 14

 Daily Living in Manaus... 

Something funny that happened this week:
We were eating dinner when a 2 inch cockroach with a 2 inch antenna ran into our house!  My companion threw her flip flop at it, and it ran into our bedroom ("oh great!").  I knew we had to capture it and let it go, because everybody says that they don´t die easily.  So we went on a cockroach hunt ... that was fun, haha.  

Also, my companion found my used toothpaste in the trashcan, cut the bottom off, stuck her toothbrush inside to scrape out the remaining toothpaste, and tried it for herself.  She told me this while she was brushing her teeth, and asked if you would include some more in a package if you ever send one.  I laughed so hard!!!
I am so grateful they can communicate, hooray Makayla! We shall send some right away!

I love reminding myself just how neat it is to be serving a mission.  To be learning another language, and to be fully participating in the greatest work!  We watched the video "Missionary Work and The Atonement" (the name is something like that).  It is wonderful, you should check it out.  Learning about the Atonement is truly a life long pursuit, and if we want to know the Savior we have to strive to be like Him.  I just want to bear a simple testimony that he lives, that the Atonement is perfect and complete, and because of it we have reason to rejoice in every aspect of our lives.  

Love you lots and lots!

P.S.  If we have an unexpected temple trip during the week, my p-day will be moved.  We get to go once a transfer!  So, if for some reason, I don´t email, know that I´m just going to the temple.  We got word that yes she will be going to the temple next Monday.  Her p-day has been moved to that following Wednesday. 


Streets of Manaus

Makayla's companion Sister Lima standing in front of their appartment.  They are on the second floor.