Friday, July 30, 2010

Com fe em cada paso!

We have a baptism this week! Her name is Jenifer and she is the girlfriend of a member here. We started teaching her and she accepted everything so naturally! Of course she is familiar with the church because of her boyfriend, but we felt that she isn't baptized only because no one has invited her! She is a great young woman and I´m so excited for her! We marked two more baptismal dates with the mom and brother of a member in our ward. It really appeared to be the same thing! No one had invited them to be baptized! It really strengthened my testimony and understanding of how important it is that we constantly share our testimonies and the gospel with others! We don't want it to be on our shoulders in the next life that our closest friends and family simply say "Well no one asked me!" That's why we as missionaries seriously talk to everyone!! As we pass people on the street I always think of this "future situation". We seriously never know who is ready and prepared to hear and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ!

I had another great experience this week. I had a really bad migraine on Sunday, that wasn't so great. But we had to go to a fireside all about missionary work. I was absolutely dying and one Irmao, who apparently knew I sang, approached me and asked if I would sing "I´ll Go Where You Want Me to Go". It was difficult to say yes under the circumstances of my health. But I agreed. I said a silent prayer and the Lord blessed me with health and strength yet again to bear my testimony through song. I was really surprised how it went and could tell others were touched by the Spirit. I of course knew it had nothing to do with me but was all the Lords doing. The words to the song are truly how I feel too, and I was honored to get to sing. As soon as I was done the headache came back with full force, but I was so grateful for the Lords answer to my simple prayer it didn't even matter! I know He hears and answers us according to our faith and His will. I was reading in Jesus the Christ today about the importance of prayer. One passage struck me in particular. It said something along the lines of "God will continue to be God if man ceases to pray, but without prayer, man is nothing." Something along those lines. It was really powerful! And so true. Prayer is for us! The Lord hears and acknowledges even the most humble of prayers. It is such a blessing and I am so thankful for it. Dang, I wish I could teach this way in Portuguese.... :)

Other than that things are pretty good here. Just living with the dogs and eating rice and beans! We had a Festa Julilhas the other Saturday at the church which was really fun to be a part of. Its a red-neck party where everyone dresses up like theyre from the country! usually involving beer, but obviously we had none. We had a lot of investigators come and a lot of help from the members, thank goodness. We had this idea to set up a board with holes in it for faces (I forget the name in English) and take pictures of all the investigators. We wrote down their addresses to "deliver the fotos we took for free" haha. Em serio it was a great way to get contacts! Legal nao e?? haha. I'll see if I can attach some pictures. Anyway things are great. Hope all is well at home! Have fun at the family reunion!!! Wish I could be there, but actually I´m quite happy where I am. Please take pictures and send them to me!!! Also from the 24th of July celebration! I want to hear how that went too!!!! Beijos e abraços!!
-Sister Emily Peck

Sunset and Coconut Pictures

First time drinking a coconut! This ones for you Mom! lol....just dont think of Hawaii. Apparently its supposed to be really good for you?

Also I´m completely obsessed with the sunsets here....

Friday, July 23, 2010

Boa Tarde! July 21, 2010‏

Today we had an activity for our zone, pretty fun except that we played an intense version of volley ball where you purposefully try and hit the other person. I´m still a little afraid of volleyballs flying at me, although Sister Przybyla helped me out a ton in the CTM so I didnt look like too much of a dork today. But it was fun! We had hot dogs, the elders brought their guitars and sang, and most of all I got to wear normal clothes!!!! Right now we are on divisions with the other Sisters in our Zone. My companion went to the other area and I stayed here with a new sister who just arrived on Monday!! She is serving a corto praso which means she is only a temporary missionary, possibly staying only until the end of the transfer. But that means I am senior companion for a day and a half which is pretty dang cool! I am excited to see how the next hours we have together go! Shes really sweet and speaks portuguese (duh) so I´m not the least bit concerned.
In other news....our baptism with Luiz fell through, again. Yeah the night before. It was super discouraging. We did all that we could to ensure that he was ready. Even our district Leader Elder Caldwell sad he felt something different about him this time and that all was well! But Luiz said "he just lost the desire to be baptized". I know we certainly cant blame ourselves but its just difficult when you spend time and energy and grow to love the people you teach--and in the end the choice is theirs. I would like to see one of our investigators progress and be baptised--not for me but for them! Seriously. The blessings of choosing a righteous life are so tremendous. But in the Lords time, right? We can take comfort in the fact that the Lord has a plan and a purpose for each of us and is aware of our needs. So we have spent the last few days finding new people! Hitting doors and talking to people in the street!!! There are wonderful people in this area! We just have to find them!!! I know the Lord will bless us for our efforts. I´m still as happy as ever and still excited to work everyday, though its getting harder and harder to get up in the mornings. ...I think its the dogs we live with..keeping me up all night! I love being a representative of Jesus Christ and feel it an honor to get to preach His gospel every day! He suffered and died for us and gave us the freedom to choose Him. I have so much to be thankful for, especially for my mission right now. Its easy to complain sometimes but I am trying really hard each day to just be positive, live in the moment, and let my light shine! I love the song "Faith in Every Footstep" because it truly describes missionary work!! I have it going through my head all day long usually as we´re walking, although its in Portuguese ;) Anyway thats about all I wanted to say! Lovin life and things are super! Eu espero que voces estejam bem! Eu amo voces e sinto seus faltas! Ate o proximo quarta-feira!
-Sister Peck P.S. We just found out that our P-day will be moved to Mondays starting August 9th! crazy huh?? just so you know!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Em on the Fourth

July 14, 2010

Not too much to report here. Unfortunately Alfonso´s baptisms fell through. We showed up at his house on Sunday and he was all ready to another church!!! I don't understand. This week we had a member go with us to teach him who had also been a member of the Quadrangular church and knew Alfonso way back when. Now he is serving in the stake presidency. The lesson was soooo great and the spirit was so strong! But, as we know, we all have our agency. We are teaching a lot of other people and have made other baptismal dates so I´m hoping they will go through too!!! The worst feeling is when an investigator stops progressing. But like I said there is not a lot we can do. Only teach, pray, and be obedient. It is the investigators responsibility to prepare and accept the important and crucial step of baptism. Inclusive in one of our baptismal dates is Luiz, again. Remember him? The other day we were walking by his house and I suggested we stop by. I don't know why I just felt prompted I guess. What was going to be a short introduction to my new companion, turned into basically "We are here to baptize those who are ready to receive this gospel. You have had a witness 3 times now (three sets of missionaries and three dates) what are you waiting for? We know you know its true. Will you be baptized this Sunday?" Wow my companion is bold!!! When I turned to look at Luiz he was in tears!!! I have never seen him cry before. The spirit was definitely penetrating all of our hearts and he accepted the date, again. I am so so so so hopeful. Again all we can do is pray and have faith and help him the best we can. He is ready, he just needs a little faith! I love getting to share this gospel every day. The plan is so simple and perfect! Sometimes I wonder why everyone doesn't just accept it, but as I said, patience is something I lack and something I am definitely learning!
What else?? It rained for the first time in like 2 months here in Sorocaba. Apparently its really hot and dry, as if I didn't notice. This is the third time I have seen it rain since I've been in Brasil. I definitely prefer rain to the HEAT! Although it is a total bummer having water in your shoes all day long. Congrats to Joel and his mission call!!!!! That's so great! And Happy Anniversary to Chase and Emily. Wow a year already? Seriously cant believe it. I really don't have much else to say. Oh! I wanted to mention that this week we're doing EPJ or Especialmente Para Jovens (almost my initials, huh?) a knock off of the Especially for Youth program. Its so fun!! Every night there is a different activity. It makes me miss being an EFY counselor so much!!! Anyway that's about all I got! Hope all is well! Beijos e abraços!

Oh, one more thing...remember when I made a bad decision and dyed my hair black? Thank goodness I vowed to never do anything extreme again and it is back to normal...oh wait! To make a long story short, I met this guy a few weeks ago who stopped me because he loved my beautiful white backpack! He speaks English and is really nice. He does hair and makeup for a living. He works in a store we pass by all the time and keeps telling me to come by to have my hair and makeup done for free! Every P-day has been super busy but I keep promising him I will. Well, the member we live with has a granddaughter who is a hair dresser, she's 15, and she said she could trim my bangs! Why go to a salon? So against my better judgment I let her cut my bangs last night. I showed her a picture of how they normally are just to be on the safe side and she seemed confident enough. Next thing I knew she took regular scissors and chopped a huge chunk of my hair off straight across. SHORT SHORT SHORT!!!!!!! My comp screamed and burst out laughing. And Lauren, the 15 yr old "hair dresser" immediately started apologizing. So oh well. I wish I could say I'd learned my lesson the first 5 times, but I guess I am just trying to be trusting in people!!! Anyway its really really really bad because its a lot of hair. And I cant just pull my hair back every day because I SEE her everyday!! She will be offended for sure. I hope my hair grows fast. In the mean time I am going to go to see Rafael in the store and see if he can help me some how.
Other than that nothing too exciting to report here. I also discovered a nifty little tactic to meet people. As we're walking down the street I help my Brazilian comps learn English loud enough for other people to hear. It always sparks attention and is a great ice breaker! We are able to invite them to the English class I teach and then hopefully teach a lesson after! We met a wonderful family this past week, a grandmother, mom and two daughters. One of the daughters, Gabrielli speaks English practically fluently just from watching American movies and listening to music! She and her sister Fernanda came to the Aula de Ingles and church on Sunday too! We set a baptism date for them for the 24th and are working with Liliani, the mom as well! They are pretty involved with their church but we are hopeful! Its truly inspired to send Americans to Brazil! The people love everything about our country! We actually have a few members in our ward who joined the church through coming to the English class! Pretty cool huh?
Anyway that's about all I have to report! Hope everything is well at home!! I wore Red White and Blue for the 4th of July but I don't think anyone noticed!! ;) Sempre, -Sister Peck