Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Not Transferred to a New Place....still in Natal.

Hello Everyone!
I wasn´t transferred! I´ll be staying in this area for 6 more weeks. Which isn’t a bad thing! My companion and I will have served almost 5 months together after this transfer! But she says she´s not getting tired of me, and I like her, so it all works out. I think the church is trying to change the feel of missions around the world. They want us to start working a lot more with members, and in order to do that we need to gain their trust, which takes time. They told us that we can count on being transferred only if we will be leaving for home (or our companion), getting called to a position (like trainer or something) and one more thing I can’t remember. So missionaries will be staying with companions in the same area for long amounts of time now. This could be good, or horrible, depending on your companion and the area. For me, it’s fine. I have work to do here, and people I love, so I´m happy!
What else is new? I am just really happy with what they are telling us to do here. They want missionaries to be kinder, loving, and down to earth, spend more time with people and listen to help them. This is exactly what I want to be doing, and hopefully already am. People too often `cut` (or stop visiting) people here if they don’t keep their commitments after one time or two. Sometimes I think that is sad- but we are working on being better!
What else happened? My mind is blank. We bought a blender today, and I am so happy! I feel like it’s Christmas! I RECIEVED LETTERS TODAY!! Finally! It´s been a month since I´ve gotten letters. Thanks to all who wrote me letters- family (all my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins!) and friends. They made me so happy! Keep them coming, and I will try to write back asap. I loved them! Seriously, letters make our world go ´round. (Who´s we? Me and a mouse in my pocket!?)
What happened this week? One cool little miracle. Lourena (our good friend that we baptized) has been having problems with her father. She is 25, living at home, and he has a little problem with her going to church, I don’t know why, well I do but it’s hard to explain. Anyway- Lately, we have been talking to him a little here and there, because he is really nice to us. The other day we were sitting in their kitchen conversing with her when her dad came home. He started telling us about stuff in his life and then sat down with us to chat some more. After talking for a while, we started talking about tithing in the church. He said he doesn’t believe that a bishop doesn’t keep some tithing money for himself in our church. I promised him that I KNOW that bishops don’t receive money, because my dad serves as a Bishop and gets nothing! Ha-ha We then were able to teach him more and he was really receptive. After we left, Sister Pozete looked at me and said `Can you believe it? I prayed so hard last night that we would have an opportunity to teach him today. And when he came in and sat down with us, I knew it was my answer`. I am so grateful for these little moments we have all the time. The Lord is watching over us and helping us find these wonderful people here. We have a lot of people to teach and are always having fun. I just love the people here! My testimony grows every day.
Another funny story, we are teaching this guy named Francisco (he´s really old) (not to be confused with the young man we just baptized). He is a drunk. He´s a referral from a family in the ward, and so we work together with that family. A few weeks ago things were going really well. He had stopped drinking, come to church and all was well. The week after, we found him drunk almost every day. He would yell `Irmas! (sisters!) Irmassss!!` Loudly as we walked away from talking to him drunk on the street. Really sad. The Elders told us to use the authority we have with him the next time we saw him. So, we did. We found him drunk in his house, babbling who knows what, and we began to tell him what would happen if he kept on drinking. We told him he was a child of God, and as Representatives of Christ, we were here to tell him to stop drinking. We were really firm with him, and very forward. It was actually kind of fun! Ha-ha I was laughing at Sis. Pozete as she said some pretty harsh, but true things.
So the next time we visited, he had stopped drinking. He says he doesn’t remember what happened, but I know that he felt something from that night. Now he is going to church and reading the Book of Mormon every day. I hope things continue to go well. Keep him in your prayers! He now just has to work on not smoking cigars every now and then, and drinking coffee several times a day. Just that! Ha ha.. goodness..
I have decided that its officially beginning. The sister “mish” (missionary) look is coming my way. Every day I wake up, look at my clothes and think `wow- what should I wear today? The same thing as yesterday, and the day before, and the day before...` Or what should I do with my hair? Hmm- It´s extremely hot outside, so let’s just say a ponytail will do. Trying to look good here on the mission is IMPOSSIBLE. When you have sweat running down your back after 3 min of walking, I´m sure you would give up looks too.
Well, I hope everyone had a great week. I hope these are fun to read! If anyone ever has questions, ask away! Please! It makes these a little easier sometimes.
Keep writing, praying and reading your scriptures. I love you all and hope you continue doing well!
-Sister Gordon
P.S. I have to admit that I was pretty proud of myself when I saw the new sister missionary that just arrived. An investigator ran into me at the bus station, and I talked with them for a while. The new American sister missionary just sat there looking at me with that face that I used to have, thinking `goodness! I want to speak Portuguese!` I have ALOT to learn still, but I was so happy.

Making funny faces!

More than 5 servings of fruit a day!

Making lasagne

Cooking with a Brasilian member



Alice, the french frie lady, enjoying church...he,he,he

The Youth at church

Scarry tomb..........eeeekkkkk!

Letters, wonderful letters!

Grocery store.....wanna buy a goat?!

How about some meat for dinner?!


Alice at her french fry stand

Monday, August 30, 2010

Loving the Work!

Hello from Brazzzziiiiilllll!!
I have some fun things to talk about this week! I would love to attach photos, but the computer USB isn’t working, so next week! I also have transfers next week, so my prep day will be on Wednesday.

So we had another baptism this week! My fourth one here in this area. I’ve been talking a little about him, his name is Francisco. He is 18 and has a strong interest in learning and being closer to God. He always has questions, and is excited to serve a mission! He was dunked in the water 3 times until the priesthood holder got the baptismal prayer right, and it was so funny! But he was really happy about his baptism. I am so glad that we´ve been able to baptize people that have strong testimonies, and that I can almost have a certainty that they will all continue on strong in the church. It´s wonderful!

Just a few culture things. I can´t tell you how popular Justin Beiber is here. Seriously, I hear the song `Baby!` almost a few times every day while walking on the street. People play it loud, are singing it, it’s so funny! It’s even funnier because they don’t know English, so they just sing jibber jabber and think they are singing in English. I love it! We also always are hearing music on the street. One thing that is so different here is the election propaganda. They pay people to drive around with huge speaker things on their cars and play musical propaganda for these governors, senators and stuff. After hearing these over and over again, day and night, you start to sing their little catchy 30 second songs! It’s actually really annoying sometimes, but so different from home!

I’ve been trying to think of cultural things to share, but I can’t think of too many. I have pictures that explain better, so I will talk about it when I can attach the pictures.

This week it has been getting hotter. I am just getting used to having sweat run down my back constantly. It´s soooo hot! You are just constantly sweaty, and there is almost no relief. I would say that the wind here is my biggest blessing on the mission. It’s the only way I can get by!

1. What is Seminary (early morning class for high school age teens) like in Brazil? - One ward I work in has it at a member´s house at night, and there are maybe 5 students. The other ward has it at the church building at 5:30 in the morning, and it isn’t close to the houses of the students. I am amazed at the strength these youth have who wake up at 4 just to get ready and walk to seminary on time. I thought 6:10am was early for me!

2. Receiving mail- I haven’t received any mail yet because of this; Just so you know what happens with the mail. Whenever anyone sends mail or packages, it goes to the mission office, which is in João Pessoa-2 hours away. I am in another city, Natal. So the mail just sits there until we have some sort of conference or meeting where elders/leaders travel there for a reason, and they bring the mail here. So the package/letters could be sitting there for a month until I get them. Make sense? Ha-ha- so it’s really hard for me to know how fast things get here, because they could arrive fast, but sit in the office and take forever to get to me! BUT- WE HAVE TRANSFERS NEXT WEEK, SO MY EMAIL/PDAY WILL BE NEXT WEDNESDAY. I will get mail then!

3. Have you baptized anyone? Yep! 4 people. Lourena- 25 yrs old and is strong in the church. She is a great friend. Alice- 72 yrs old and she makes the BEST French fries. She sells them in front of her house ever night. She has a strong testimony and tells everyone to go to the church. She is way funny and chill. Laura- 14 yrs old. She has a strong testimony and has already shared the gospel with her friends. Neat girl. Franciso- 18 yrs old. He is really funny, and always has a lot of questions. He was just baptized yesterday and can’t wait to serve a mission. He will be a good missionary. He was a reference from the girl Jaine.

4. Have you had to get new shoes yet? I haven’t had to buy new shoes yet, but I pretty much only wear my sandals every day. We´ll see how long they last. One pair of my shoes already broke!

5. Do you speak Portuguese fluently? Depends on what you think is fluent. I can understand almost everything, and can speak back to people. I have SOO much to learn still, but I can talk to people, teach people, and more. My companion says that I speak really really well for only having 5ish months on the mission.

6. Can you read in Portuguese? It´s a lot easier to read in Portuguese. Of course, there are still a lot of words I don’t know, but I can read and mostly understand. I am reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese right now and can understand!

Anyway- I love you and thanks for your emails every week! I miss you guys, but I am really focused on the mission and am loving every minute. I can’t imagine what I would be like without my mission already, because I am learning so much. Thanks for your love and support.
Love, Stephhhherss

Monday, August 23, 2010

Does America Have Apples?

Oi everyone!
This week was a week. Nothing TOOO special happened. But I’ve been trying to think of fun things to say to keep you all entertained and still wanting to read these letters!

So we had this young man stop us in the grocery store last week saying he was really interested and had seen us always passing by. So when we visited his house, we found out that his father was a preacher. We talked a little, then set another time to come back. When we returned, his dad was there and ready to talk about the gospel. He had his other son, (a preacher/historian or something), a member of the church and this guy we already met. We talked for about an hour and a half trying to explain the gospel principles correctly and clear all the bad things they had heard about Mormons. Of course, everything we said, they had a bible scripture to go against it, but whatever. It wasn’t too tense or anything, but just straining and sad. In their opening prayer, they said `please help us find thy truth` and all this other beautiful stuff. I was thinking `We are RIGHT HERE!!!!` BY the end, I just bore my testimony and explained that if they were searching for truth, and they had faith in Jesus Christ, they should read the Book of Mormon, that ONLY testifies of Jesus and teaching his gospel. I said that because they have faith, they could pray and ask if it was true, and they could know from God that it is.

I don’t know what will happen, or if anything we said will make a difference, but I did learn one thing about myself. That I have NO DOUBT that this gospel is true. That I KNOW the Book of Mormon is true. I am NOT AFRAID of telling people, even in another language. I know that my testimony is being recorded, and I want to stand tall and tell EVERYONE that this is the right path! I think it is absolutely beautiful that people can pray to find out for themselves, and not just us. It just saddened my heart to see people so confused and set in their ways, that they don’t see the truth when it is right in front of them. But, it happened when Christ was here, and they rejected him, so Who am I to think that everyone will listen and believe me?

On the other hand- that 18 yr old Francisco I talked a little about (did I?) last week, is doing wonderful. We visited his house and started teaching his older sister. As we were teaching, he came home and had a smile on his face. He started testifying that he knew Joseph Smith was a prophet and that this gospel is true. We had huge smiles on our face as he told her these things and shared his testimony. He had read nearly all of the Principles of the Gospel manual and was just eating it up! It was so wonderful. He will be baptized this week, and he wants to serve a mission. It’s so great!! The power of prayers being answered is an incredible thing.
(there is a creeper Brazilian teenager just staring at me right now as he sits next to me. Weird.. I’m so tired of people staring! Ha-ha. He can’t read this too- he he he!)

So, some quick culture things. I’ve been writing them down this week so I remember! Because these things have just become a way of life that i don’t remember that its different.
- The buses here are crazy. They will stop for anyone, you just need to wave your hand! O what they will do for $1. The other day it was so packed too, I felt uncomfortable, but whatever. That´s life!
-We just walk on the street here. We hardly use sidewalks, because there aren't many sidewalks! It was scary at first, but now it’s just normal. It’s just easier! But cars don’t stop for you, so we are always careful.
-There are always street vendors out walking. They either are selling food or cd´s. The cd guys are always blasting music from their little cart. I’ve just gotten used to it, and am starting to think it would be a great job! You just walk all day, which is good for your health, and listen to music as you go. Who wouldn’t want that job?

Those are just a few things. I’ve been realizing more and more how many people don’t know anything about Americans. I think some people just want to talk to us because I am American. They don’t know anything about America- which is crazy because pretty much all of their movies and stuff come from there. Someone asked me if we have apples there... my goodness. Ha ha! But i am trying to take their interest from America to the gospel, and use my fairness as a tool.
Well, I hope everyone is doing well! Please keep me updated and sending letters! I am always thinking about you. The funny thing is, when you are a missionary, you are still the same person! I still remember ya´ll and wonder how you are. So please ease my mind and write!
Have a wonderful week, and keep praying and reading your scriptures. Love you all!
-Sister Gordon




Monday, August 16, 2010

Four Month Anniversary

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone had a good week! I did! They go by sooo fast- seriously. I had my 4 month anniversary this week- It was so cute. I went out to dinner, then saw a movie, after got some ice cream and walked along the beach. HAHA- I wish! Naaaa- I worked, and that’s even better.

Let’s see what happened this week. This Saturday we had Laura´s baptism. I was a little worried for a minute, because she had a friend talk bad about the church to her and prove all these crazy things that were wrong with our religion. She said she was just confused and didn’t know what to think! But we helped answer her questions, and asked her `do you think that confusion and doubts come from God?` She said no, and we challenged her to pray again to know if her decision was right. She was happily baptized and brought into the church with loving friends and a smile on her face. It was so great! The missionaries had been teaching her for about a year- crazy huh!

OOO- One thing I forgot to share with ya´ll last week was one of our new rules. They announced last week that we could only listen to Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and on Pdays we can listen to EFY music. MY HEART STOPPED. I literally had to hold back tears during the meeting... Music was one of the things keeping me sane! And if you know me, you know that I don´t like Motab (Mormon Tabernacle Choir) one bit! But- I have thought a lot about it, and decided that this is my challenge. I decided that I will not only listen to MormoTabby, but I will know EVERY WORD to EVERY motab song I have (and I have a lot because I was prepared!) I will know that the guy in the third row, 10th from the left was a half pitch off tune during the 3rd verse of my 76th song. Mmmm Hmmm... Bring it on! Ha-ha And after 2 weeks, I can tell you that I will officially be singing in an opera voice for the rest of my mission, because I have to sing along. Oh goodness, what a great time of life. :)

The mission president visited this week. One night we took him to some of our investigators and Recent Convert´s houses. He, his wife and daughter really enjoyed it, and so did our investigators! I had to teach a lesson in Portuguese in front of him, and it was so intimidating! I only have 2 months of the language, and I know I speak incorrectly a lot, but he said he was impressed with my speaking and thinks I´m doing well. His family is learning too, so it wasn’t too scary, I guess. I really like my mission president and am way excited to be serving with him this next year and 2 months.

So you wanna know more about the culture. Hm.. Well I don’t know what I have already said, so forgive me if I repeat. They don’t have HUGE stores close, like we do at home. So we buy food at little grocery stores, or little shops out of people´s homes. The kids here have school either in the morning, or in the afternoon. I think their high school ends a little earlier than ours, and they all attend `college` which is paid for by the government. There are always people sitting out in the streets, or in front of their houses. In fact it´s really weird if people aren’t outside. There are a decent amount of cars here, but only richer people have them because they are way more expensive to buy here. So people walk or take the bus. Also- technology is way expensive here too! So many people don’t have high-tech things. But of course, everyone has cell phones. Silly. I have to be careful when I want to take pictures, because I don’t want to get robbed. We also work in a somewhat dangerous area, and my companion worries about me because I am soo white and might get robbed or something. I’m not too worried, because we stay in safe places and we´re being watched over by someone pretty powerful.
I hear so many cat calls every day, or people trying to speak English to me. I am tired at being looked at like an animal, but there isn’t much I can do about it! Everyone stares at me, probably because you don’t see ANY Americans or ANY white people around. There are some days when I just want to look at people and say `Don´t look at me!` Ha-ha! But, I can’t. Probably because they don’t speak English, and you know, I´m a `loving` missionary. But it gets tiring.

I will try to think of more culture things this week. Something funny happened; this will give you a little insight to my life here. We were at a member´s house for lunch, an old lady’s home, and when she handed me my plate there were little ants running around on it. So, when she wasn’t looking, I brushed them off with the tablecloth. But, that was stupid because I then started finding them on me! So I couldn’t sit very still during lunch, because I was worried about ants in my pants! And also worried about the food... because who knows what was in it if she can´t see very well. I survived though!

I hope you enjoy our pictures. It´s sad, but sometimes taking goofy pictures is the only thing we can do for entertainment. What do you guys think of the blonde? The color is blech, but I don’t have time or resources to fix it, so O well!

I want to finish by being a smidge churchy. I have to say that I am learning and growing soo much. We were teaching an 18 yr old boy last night, and he said `I don’t understand how you guys can live far from home like this and teach people that don’t want to listen.....Sometimes, don´t you think it´s a waste of time?` I looked at him and said, `No. It´s not a waste of time. I am far from home, living a completely different and difficult life, and at times it is really hard. But, I am learning. I am learning a new language. I am learning how to teach and love people. I am learning how to be a better person and closer to my Savior. I am giving up my wants and desires for the Lord´s wants and desires, and as I do this I get more out of my time than doing anything else with my life` This is true.

I have to say to all the people preparing for missions- PLEASE READ THIS. The mission is amazing. The mission is hard. The mission isn’t about you, but at the same time it is all about you. Please, before you leave, KNOW why you will serve. KNOW that the Lord wants you there. HAVE a testimony that this is right. You don’t need to be totally ready, or perfect at anything. Just KNOW that you are supposed to be there at that time. Then when the hard times come, they are nothing, because you know why you are there.

I love serving. Every day I feel so insufficient, but If i can make someone happy, or make a small difference in my life and in Brazil, It´s worth it. I KNOW i am supposed to be here. I KNOW that my Savior loves me. I KNOW that the things I am teaching are true. And the best thing is, is that I am not here to convince people that these things are true, I am here to help them know for themselves. It´s beautiful and so simple. Please know that I love my Savior, and this Gospel. I am so happy to be here. I am SOOO Grateful for my testimony and that I have a desire to follow the Lord. So many people don’t have this- It´s incredible and sad! In fact, it´s incredibly sad! But, I hope something I said will help you recognize how special this gospel is. I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
-Seester GOrdon


Welcome to the mission life!

Laura's Baptism

American Candy

My tan marks on the tops of my feet

Monday, August 9, 2010

McDonalds...A little piece of America....

Hey ya´ll!
It´s August, can you believe it? Time really is passing fast! The harder I work, the faster time goes by. I love being a missionary and trying to enjoy every day. If time goes by this fast, I need to appreciate every day- So I am!
Let´s see- what happened this week? You get to a point in an area where things aren’t new anymore, and you run out of cool things to take pictures of, or to talk about. But I love this area! I GOT TO EAT McDonalds THIS WEEK! Hahaha! Silly, I know.. And at home I really don’t enjoy it THAT much, but here?? It´s heaven! So far it´s has been the only food that tastes like American food. (Sad, I know..) Ooo my goodness, we had a hamburger and a McFlurry, because that´s all we could afford, and just savored every tiny little molecule. It was Wonderful Mcfunderful Deeelunderful!! Ooo minha nossa- I hope I will return!

We are working hard to find more men and families to teach. Like normal, people say they will do things, but actually never do them. Sad! Too bad for them, because they are missing out on an eternity of happiness! And there is nothing I can do about it! But things are going pretty well. We have a baptism marked for next Sunday. Her name is Laura, and she is 14. She has had elders teaching her forever, and even teaches people about the gospel at school. (Did I talk about her already? I don’t remember...) Anyway, another young woman was even baptized because of her. She is truly an amazing girl, with a strong testimony, and we get the privilege to finally baptize her. I think she just needed the right timing and the right people! So I hope it all goes as planned.

Hmm... What else? I feel so boring now! Of course, the usual bug occurrences happened this week. Things here are starting to feel normal, that I don’t even realize what is so different about the culture. I LOVE eating all of the fresh, juicy, sweet fruits here. They are so cheap and so wonderful. It´s great to eat healthy, and enjoy every bite. The church members usually have freshly made juice at lunch, which is wonderful. I wish I could bring some home for you guys to try!

So after church yesterday there were two American return missionaries visiting our chapel. I was able to talk to them (in English!) for a while! They were really nice and gave me some good advice. (They also gave me some American candy- awesome!) It was so nice to talk in English! I forget how fast Americans speak! Anyway, it just felt really refreshing to be an American again. I love being an Albino Brazilian for now though :)

Well, I took a lot of pictures with my companion, but my camera died as I arrived at the internet place and I can´t upload them. Next week! Although I do think I might have some old ones, from last week. They are my hideous sis. mish photos.

Enjoy! I hope they make you laugh.

Thanks to all who are sending letters and updates. I miss you all and am glad to hear that things are going well. Keep praying, keep reading your scriptures, and keep going to church. I´m so grateful to be here- I can´t describe to you how much I have changed already. The mission teaches you things you can’t learn anywhere else, and as you give your all to the Lord, he makes you amazing. This is what I try to do- just constantly think `what is the Lord´s will? Not MY will, but the Lord´s?` When you think like this, you don’t miss home, you don’t want your old life back, you are filled with love and happiness. Don´t get me wrong, the sun is shining strong here and starting to get hot, and it´s hard! I get mad everyday because it’s hot and have sweat running down my back. But, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is the blessings I see in my life from following the Lord. I love this work!
Have a wonderful week! Love you all!

Seeester McSteph


need i say more?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Another week going good!

Hey ya´ll!

I don’t really have too much to say about this week. I wish I did! Just one thing though- I decided to go BLONDE. Crazy, huh?? I´ve been thinking about it for a while, and finally did it! My goodness was it a lot of work! My companion and I went through good times and bad times with this experience, but I think it´s almost done! I might have a picture, but I don’t think the color is right, so don’t judge, okay? It feels weird, and I don’t know what to think. After about 5 years of having dark hair, I feel weird! But with sunshine and time, maybe it´ll look good!

Changing my hair color this week turned out to be perfect timing. Everyone at church didn’t recognize me- they thought I was a new sister or something because of transfers! We even totally faked out the Bishop and his counselor saying that I was a new sister, the twin of sister Gordon. He totally believed, introduced himself and asked if this sister plays piano too! I kept it going for a minute and said ´no, just my sister´. Ha-ha! But we told them the truth right then, and they got a good laugh out of it!

The rest of this week was normal... We have enough people listening and interested, but no one follows through with things. It´s really sad- how can we help people if they don’t want to work for it? The key is faith WITH works. As it says in James 2, Faith without Works is DEAD. So, basically our investigators can´t progress at all without doing things. So remember, it´s great to have faith, but work! Look at your life and think- In what areas do I have faith but not works? So get to work!

It´s been rainy on and off this week. Rainy days are a little frustrating, not just because you´re wet all day, but because the work stops. People are normally on the street and easy to talk to, but rainy days, no one is anywhere! It’s just kind of depressing, but o well. We just think of it as a test!

The bug update- I have something every week! Unfortunately! The bugs were gone for a while because we cleaned and bug sprayed our house like madwomen. But, last night while Sis. Pozete was packing a package, she began screaming and pointed to a nasty cockroach on the floor. It was on its back just going crazy! We have no idea how it got there, but my friends, I am getting so tired of this! I hope something can be changed soon because I am not sleeping well at all! Almost every night I have a nasty, creepy bug dream and wake up not refreshed. Ugh. So please everyone, be SOOOOOOOOO Grateful that you don’t have bugs anywhere in your lives. Be grateful that your food is safe. Be grateful that your house is safe. Ooootay?
Everything else is doing alright! Keep me in your prayers! I miss ya´ll and hope you are doing well! Love ya- Tchau!

~Sister Steph

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hello from the Bug Eater!!

Oi familha e amigos!

This week was great! I have so much to say because it was a longer week than normal. First- I wasn’t transferred! I am so glad too! There is still so much to do here in my area, and so many people to teach! Our investigators and members were even praying that we would stay here! Ha ha ha!
This week in short:
-Last prep day, after email, we went back home and made cookie dough. While we were eating it, sis Pozete paused and looked at it weird. We pretty soon discovered that THERE WERE BUGS IN OUR COOKIE DOUGH!! I ATE BUGS. Grossss! Ha ha, they were in our oatmeal, then in my stomach. Where haven’t these bugs been??
-We had Alice´s baptism this week. She is 72 (?) years old, and the funniest lady. It was a cold and rainy day and even colder in the AC church, and Sister Pozete told her that the water was really cold. She said `no! it will be fine!` When the priesthood holder stepped in, he said `wow! It’s really cold!!!` She got in and said `Fria? Fria nada! Essa agua é boa!!` (cold? cold nothing! This water is good!) Then after, when the bishop was congratulating her, he told her how he remembered his baptism and how he cried. In front of everyone she said `you cried??` Everyone, including the bishop started laughing! It was really funny. She is awesome!
Anyway, I am so excited to be here right now. I am truly loving the work, and time is flying by! I love my companion, and we spend the day working and laughing. She´s great!
A quick experience- This week we checked in on and investigator. She didn’t read or pray and just said `I don’t have time! I don’t even have time for me!` When I heard that I couldn’t believe it. So people, please, don’t act like this. It is so ironic! Please take time talk to your heavenly father. I will repeat: TAKE TIME TO TALK TO YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
He is listening and wants to hear from you! So say a little better prayer this week. Converse with the Lord. Tell him how you are doing, what you are feeling, and what you are so grateful for. Then listen- how can he talk to you if you don’t listen? Please remember this and try a little harder. You always have time for the Lord, okay??

Well, sorry I didn’t have much time to write this week. I love you all and am so grateful for your prayers. I can truly feel their influence here! Have a wonderful week!

Seester Bug Eater

District NATAL!

Me and my little lamb, just preachin the word.

Midget bananas!

A little boy Ricardo we are teaching. The first time we taught this family, he was crazy! But now he gets his little chair and sits and listens while we teach.

He wanted to pose like this for the picture. So cute.

Haven't we taught him well?

Alice and her 'batatinhas' or little french fries. Tooo bad you guys can't try these, because they are the BEST!

I just LOVE her!!
p.s. look at Sis. Pozetes feet tan lines- crazy huh?? Maybe one day for me... (haha yeah right..)

Alice's baptism!

Lucia (RC) and I- oh, and the view!

I love these designs- they're sweet!


Crazy elders....

District Macaiba

Natal and the bridge behind me. Look how green it is! B-E-A-UTIFUL!

A cute design a member did on my nails.

Zona Natal

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ants, Roaches...Oh MY!

MY GOODDNESS. I have to start out by sharing an experience maravilhosa this week. So, after a long day, Sis. Pozete and I arrived at home like usual. I am at the sink washing my hands, and she all of a sudden screams so loud and starts freaking out. She screams `Barata!!!` in English `Cockroach!` I, of course, try to remain calm until I make it safely to the bedroom. We have a little part of our house that´s outside, just a little cement room with a sink and stuff, no roof. It was walking around in there, probably flew in, and was HUGE! So, Sis. Pozete saw this thing on its back, and supposed it was dead. She said not to worry, It´s dead, but when we looked again, it was gone! Our poor neighbors! We were screaming, and screaming! Ha-ha! She grabbed the bug killer spray and a broom and marched into battle. O my goodness- this thing was HUGE, and they can fly! It took forever to die, and was so nasty. I couldn´t get over how big and ugly that thing was. My goodness people! Keep me in your prayers. If I have to deal with more of those, I don't know what I´ll do!!!


Then- it gets better- We decide to cook the cookie dough we made. Our oven doesn't work very well, so we don't use it very much. But, we decided to try. A few minutes later after turning it on, we looked over and saw a multitude of ants, running for their lives! There were so many! They were running out of our oven and gathering together to save their eggs. It was so gross. Let me just say that I was the mass murderer that night. I sprayed those things to death, and it looked like the plagues themselves had passed by. I want to scare these ants SOOO bad, that rumors will spread among them. Mother ants will say to their children `Don´t go to that house, whatever you do!!`. I want them to think of my house as the place of ant death. The Ant Graveyard. Haha! (We spent time cleaning the bejeezers out of our already clean house, and sprayed the bug killer everywhere, so hopefully they don't return!)


Well- The rest of this week was good. We have a baptism marked for next week! It´s actually a funny story how we met Alice and her family. She is 70 something years old, and really sweet. Last week we were walking home from church with some youth from the ward. We saw this dog walking really weirdly and it looked like it was dying! We wanted to help, but Alice appeared and said it was fine. So after talking about this limping dog, we told her about the gospel and set a time to teach her. When we returned the third time, she had read some of the Book of Mormon and was beaming! She said she felt so good, and she re-read it. She is so sweet, and loves listening to our messages. Her daughter and granddaughter are interested too, so we´ve been teaching them. Alice and Larissa (the granddaughter) came to church yesterday. We have sacrament meeting last, and I was busy playing intro music, while Sis. Pozete sat and talked with them. She told me that Alice leaned over to her, and said `Sister. Thank you for bringing me to the Lord´s House`. She accepted to be baptized next week! It´s so amazing and makes me so happy! Plus, there is a perk. Every night, her son-in-law makes `batatinhas` or little french fries, and sells them out front. I LOVE them, so I buy some every so often. She told us we can stop by anytime and have some for free! YUM!!

We also have many investigators, but most of them are pretty mole. It´s so difficult to get people to read and pray, which is the most important thing! When they do this, they can feel that this gospel is true for themselves, and how can God tell them that when they don´t talk to him? Fortunately, we have some promising people this week. Something funny- we were teaching this husband and wife. After teaching, while we were saying goodbye, the husband (probably 50 yrs. old) he shook Sis. Pozete´s hand and tried to kiss it. She pulled away really hard and said `no! No pode Senhor!` or `No! You can´t Senhor!` Ha-ha! He was so shocked! We explained that we are sister missionaries and can’t, but he went for it again with my hand! Ha-ha! So funny. One thing that I love here is that people are very touchy. We are always giving women hugs and kissing cheeks, and shaking men´s hands. I love it! It´s taken some getting used to, but I think it is nice. The funny thing is that when people talk to you, men or women, they stand really close and constantly touch your arm. I don't mind it, but sometimes when men do this, I kind of back off! They do it with everyone, but its taking some getting used to!

Another funny thing this week. We were eating lunch at a member´s house, and they had this really yummy, fresh juice. I drank two glasses full, then found out it was passion fruit juice! I had heard stories of passion fruit juice in the CTM- it makes you super sleepy! That afternoon I was falling asleep while walking. It´s pretty funny! But so yummy. The typical food here that we eat pretty much every meal is beans (not like refried beans, more soupy and individual) spaghetti, rice and some type of meat. I don’t mind it, but its sometimes funny to copy them and eat macaroni with beans all together. It could be worse though!

So the nickname I have this week is `porcelain doll`. So many different people commented this week that I look like a doll! They are all so sweet. It´s so funny the reception I get here with my blinding whiteness, but I have to say I´m getting a smidge tanner!

Lastly- I have to say that the members and teenagers here are wonderful. They are constantly helping us and trying to bring others to the gospel. They will accompany us all day and bring us to their friend’s houses. They have so many family home evenings and try to invite the neighborhood. They are kind, giving and love the gospel. It´s great! They also really take advantage of the Liahona (Church magazine) like you wouldn´t believe. They use it for everything and try to follow the words of the prophets. It´s really neat. They are great!

To end, I have to be a little churchy. I love being a missionary! It is so inspiring! It´s so wonderful to teach about the truths of this gospel. It´s really sad when people don´t want to listen. I keep thinking, `you are searching for the truth and it is right here in front of you! All you have to do is ask God!` People reject us, preach to us, try to confound us, and so much more. But it doesn’t matter. We have the truth, it´s so clear. I just can´t imagine what Christ felt when people were trying to preach and correct him with his own gospel. So ironic! But it´s okay, we are here to bring the hearts who are ready. And I´m happy! I love this gospel, and everything that makes me happy in my life is because I have this gospel. So follow it. Cling to it. Refresh your testimony. Live a little better and closer to your Heavenly Father. He is just waiting on you, for you to draw closer to him and receive more blessings! Isn’t it beautiful!. And I get to see and experience a piece of this beauty when I help bring people closer to Him.

Thank you for your prayers and support. I can feel them helping! (Pray for no more cockroaches! Ha-ha
Love you all and hope to hear from you!

-Seester Gordon

Preach to all creatures! (ya... I don't know what face I'm making..)


Me with my new mission president and his wife! They are great!

I love purple! :)

(from left) Riane (pronounced hi-on-ee; a young woman here) Me! Lourena (my baptism goin strong!) and Sis. Pozete!
Isn't she sooo cute?! This was at a ward party for some festival of July. I don't really know.. haha

Kissing my invisible Knight in Shining Armor. (Is that breaking mission rules?) :)

Where is my handsome prince??

First baptism!