Monday, January 31, 2011

Clair´s baptism!

Each week we receive an e-mail from the mission with the statistics of how many baptisms there were last week. You can´t help but feel such pride and satisfaction knowing that at least one of those numbers was from your companionship! It is a wonderful feeling. Clair was baptized on Saturday! It was such a wonderful experience, couldn´t have gone better. Of all the people who came, I was most pleased to see that her daughter and grandaughter had come to support her!!!! Her entire family, as is usual, has been so against her decision to join the church and Clair was certain no one from her family would come even though she had invited everyone. Of course her family received a wonderful impression about the church and were very impressed with everything. They asked a lot of questions and seemed genuinely intrigued! Even if THEY`RE baptism isn´t tomorrow, hopefully now they be more open to the gospel. I love the scripture "By small and simple means, great things are brought to pass." Clair, a 73 year old woman, really was the first of her entire family to make this step and who knows where it will go from here! She has opened the door for miracles to occur in her family, both those who are living and those who have already passed. She is very excited about geneology work! Her enthusiasm just astounds me. For example Sunday morning was a big birthday party breakfast for her granddaughter but she had to tell her family she would be late as she would be receiving the Holy Ghost in sacrament meeting and it was imperative that she be there! What faith! I am so impressed with her and her strong testimony. At her baptism, as soon as she came out of the water she burst into tears. So did Sister Steinbeigle and I. We ran and embraced her. She felt bad for getting us all wet, but truthfully it felt really good since it´s so dang hot here! Anyway everything went perfectly. I am so proud of her. Sister Steinbeigle and I sang a beautiful arrangement of Joseph Smiths´First Prayer to the tune of "Come Thou Fount" and that was realy a moving moment for all of us. I can´t take any credit for Clair´s baptism, really. She was already ready! We would just teach a principle and her spirit would instantly recognize it as truth and she would accept. I am mostly grateful for what CLAIR has taught ME. Patience, faith, the power of the Atonement and the desire to change, etc. She is a wonderful lady and I am so grateful to know her!

That was basically the highlight of my week if you couldn´t tell. We had many little daily miracles that happened this week that help remind me that the Lord is truly involved in this work. I feel like after all the miracles I shouldn´t be surprised any more, but I am always surprised! And always grateful. Pay attention and you will see them, all around you, every day and every moment!

It´s been very very very hot this past week so to pass the time as we walk in the street making contacts we are playing/singing memorizing games by! For example we´ve already memorized all the prophets, all 50 states, and the countries of South America. Our next goal is to memorize the 13 articles of faith in Portuguese and all the countries of the world! Sister Steinbeigle REALLY knows a song with ALL the countries of the world! Crazy right? Anyway its been really fun. I love my companion. I love my area. I have never been happier! Hope everyone is doing wondrefully! Have a super week!

Com amor,
Sister Peck

Monday, January 24, 2011


New Sisters, They're so clean!!!

We did a service project and helped Paulinho clean his new office he is moving to! Do you know that song "Walk Like an Egyptian"? I always sing "Clean Like a Brasilian" :D They´re INTENSE when they clean! Not kidding!!

Paulinho has my nametag on. lol

Hello Brazil

Elder Dallon, Elder Banner, e Elder Lattin from the CTM!!!!! Milagre!

It's not an animal. ITS A FRUIT!!!!

Right place at the right time? Or part of the plan....

What a good week we had! First of all we were to find out that neither I nor Sister Steinbeigle was transferred. We both stayed here! It´s pretty rare to have two Americans together at all, let alone for this amount of time! At this rate, I´ll never speak perfect Portuguese! haha, just kidding but it looks like she might end up "dying" here, or in other words this may be her last area since she only has one transfer left after this! That will mean she will have had only TWO areas on her mission!!! (I guess three if you count Tennessee when she was waiting for her visa lol) But we are both content. We get along super well and love this place and the people so much that it´s not like we can complain!

One of the blessings about serving in this area is getting to host the new sisters for their first night in the mission field! I LOVE IT!!!! Last week our mission got one American and one Brasilian. It was pretty fun going in and out of Portuguese and English since we had to translate EVERYTHING for one or the other. We brought both of them to meet Paulinho and had them each teach a short principle. Then we did divisions and I went with Sister White. She is from California and is SO cool! We went and taught Clair and had a great lesson. Sister White really couldn´t understand anything that was going on so at the endIt I asked if she would like to bear her testimony. In her broken Portuguese she repeated "FÉ! TEM QUE TER FÉ!" Clair was like "I get it! i have to have faith!!" hahaha it was so cute! I was simply beaming with pride and excitement for Sister White. I think she must have gotten sick of me saying how excited I was for her to be begining her mission, how I remember my first day, blah blah blah. it was such a neat experience, for me anyway! I remember being in those shoes. not really being able to say much but still wanting to get my point across and she is right! We do need "FÉ!" :) It made me REALLY want to train someday badly!!!! I sure hope I get the opportunity to do so!

The next day, Wednesday, was transfers and we took the new girls to meet their trainers at the mission office. Sister White is being trained by Sister Santos!!!! HOW FUN IS THAT?! I am so excited for both of them!!! Should be a great experience. The best part came when Sister Steinbeigle and I were walking back home. We passed in front of the temple and who did we see walking around on the temple grounds but CLAIR and a member from our ward! He was giving her a tour! Of course we took advantage and went and spoke with her.She thought Eduardo, the member, had set it up but we told her it really just "right place at the right time." SHE corrected US and told us that it had to be part of the Lord´s plan. We told her that is exactly what it was and good for her for recognizing it. We went inside the waiting room and had an increddibly spiritual lesson with her. She even cried and bore a powerful testimony. I don´t even know how to describe how amazing it was. Definitely a highlight on my mission so far. We felt inspiried to move her baptismal date up to this Saturday! She accepted and will be baptized this coming Saturday!! I can´t wait!!!! She is one of my all time favorite people! She is going to invite her whole family too. Her faith amazes me. I love her!

In the middle of the lesson an Elder walked into the waiting room by accident and quietly excused himself when he realized we were teaching. It happened to be an Elder from my district from the CTM who is serving in another misison!!! After the lesson I went out and ran into the three of them who are serving in the other Sao Paulo mission!!! WHAT A BLESSING!!!! Again "right place at the right time"? Who knows? ;)

I gave a talk on Sunday in church too. My first REAL talk in Portuguese! I think it went alright. I felt pretty good about it. I talked about sacrifice and how it is required of all of us in different ways.

Other than that things are great as always here! Don´t get me wrong, we do have up days and we do have down days. I just don´t like to think about the downs (the blazing heat for example), only the things that make me happy! My progressing investigators, wonderful companion, two increddible and supportive wards, and basically just being in Brasil! Today, P-day, we explored one of the chiquest areas in all of Brasil, its called Morumbi. It´s in our zone and it was way fun! We went to boutques, a professional cake shop, scrapbooking stores, Starbucks and Subway! hahaha it was a blast! I LOVE IT HERE!!!! I hope everyone has a super week! Keep up the good missionary work! Beijos e abraços!

-Sister Peck

P.S. Check out the cool thunderstorm pictures!!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Adoro ser uma missionária!

E aí gente? Tudo bom?
Well I don´t hvae a lot of time but here´s a synopsis: This week went really well and we are feeling very pleased with the way things are going. Right now we are waiting in anticipation to find out about transfers!!! My guess is that I will stay and Sister Steinbeigle will open and area and train! We'll see what happens. Guess you guys won´t know until next week!
So the other day, after an incredible lesson with Claire, were able to mark a date with her for the 5th of February! She is very excited, as are the members! It seemed that once the date was set, word spread quickly and now the entire ward knows and is preparing! I´ve never really seen anything like it. Everyone is just so excited and eager to help and support. WHAT A BLESSING! She is being very well taken care of and is progressing faster and stronger than we could hope for.
Paulinho is also preparing for his baptism...without a date? This also has never happened to me before. He has asked someone to baptize him and has even chosen the hymns he would like to be sung! It will be soon...we just can´t get him to tell us when! Not sure if he wants it to be a surprise or quite what. But either way he is so great! I am still very impressed with his efforts to quit smoking and willingness to change.
We also had an entire family come to church yesterday as well! They loved it and are planning to come again next week.
Last week I was feeling very inspired and had lots of spiritual things to write about. This week, I've really got nothing coming. Yesterday my cute companion gave a talk in sacrament meeting and we also sang together a beautiful song. Can you guess our topic? Yup! Missionary Work! Her talk was great and very inspiring! Basically as a missionary I am learning so much about how to be a better MEMBER. There are so many things that we can do that I never even thought of! We have a list of 101 ways to do missionary work as a member. When I read it I thought "Wow! What a great idea! Why didn´t I ever think of that?" If you would like a copy just ask and I will send one to the states! ;) I guess the only thing I can recommend to you is never cease to look for opportunities to act as the Savior would act--do what He would do. Reach out in love to those around you. Without members AND missionaries pretty much nothing happens. I am serving in two incredible wards right now and I feel so so so privileged. They just "get it". It´s pretty neat. Yesterday in ward council the whole hour was about missionary work and the ward mission plan. At the very end just as we were about to close the bishop said something cool like, "Sometimes its hard to begin to do missionary work, but if you want a good place to start or at least a good pump up, GO OUT WITH THE MISSIONARIES!" Then everyone started joining in and saying how neat it is to sit in on lessons and bear testimony and see what we do, etc. Ex missionaries get to re-live the mission and those who never served missions get to see what its like! And the investigators get to know members and we get lessons with members, so really EVERYONE benefits! Go out with the missionaries in your ward. Please! It is SO much fun!!!!! Way worth it I promise. Make goals to go at least once a month and I promise you will see blessings happen.
Well that was a lot longer than I intended and now my time is up! But I love you all and wish you a great week!! :) Keep up the good work at home ;)

Com amor,
Sister Peck

P.S. I forgot to mention during the summer here it rains every day. Not just like drizzle, I´m talking like tropical RAIN STORMS! They are incredible and absolutely stun me!!!!! Sometimes I can´t believe I am actually in BRASIL! :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Esta semana maravilhosa!‏

Oi gente! Como vai? We have been getting out and about a little more which I am SO thankful for. Being a missionary and staying inside is really not that fun. It´s not like we have a TV to watch or facebook to use! I have this like cabin fever to just get out and WORK! We have decided though that having this ankle issue has some benefits. For example, even though its super annoying trying to organize rides everywhere from members when you don´t have any credits on your cell phone and the nearest phone booth is not at all near and the only people who drive are men and we can´t be alone in the car with men, *deep breath* does give us more of an opportunity lets say to invite the members into our lessons with us! Thus having, more lessons with members! Isn´t that great?! We really did have a super week though. Did I mention Clair in my e-mail last week? I can´t remember. She is a sweet old lady who lives alone and has been invited by her neighbor for months and months to go to church and always declined. Finally she went and loved it (of course) and now we are teaching her! We have had two incredibly super lessons with her. I am amazed how she just connects the dots and understands everything perfectly. After our first appointment with her she had already read 3 chapters of the Gospel Principles book, 20 chapters of the Book of Mormon, watched the Restoration film, stopped drinking coffee, and was thirsty for more. After we taught her the Plan of Salvation I was touched when she said something along the lines of "My whole life I knew there was something missing but I never knew what. I would fill it with what I thought was truth or thought would make me happy but now I know. It´s this." We invited her to be baptized and although she has a desire, she like all of our other investigators, wants to make sure she is ready and truly has an answer. We felt prompted to sing to her "His Image in Your Countenace" (in Portuguese obviously) and both she and the member we were with cried. The spirit was incredibly strong. She looked to us and said "This is the Holy Ghost isn´t it? It´s my answer." Pretty powerful moment for me and my companion. She went to a baptism for a little boy in the ward on Saturday and talked all about her baptism and how shes going to invite her whole family, etc. And basically I just love her!

I could go on forever talking about our golden investigators that amaze me. I seriously stand in awe of each of them as they progress on their own because THEY want to! They have a desire to follow our Savoir Jesus Christ and obey His commandments. It´s tough! There is nothing easy about it. One irmão in sacramament meeting yesterday for example said "We are definitely a people of sacrifice. Anyone who has truly repented will tell you its not easy, but was truly a difficult process." I read a talk yesterday about humility that said "Many other faiths have signs that say "Pare de sofrer!" or, "Stop suffering!" When really we know that for the Atonement to truly be applied and to have a true change of heart, its going to hurt, its going to take time, we ARE going to suffer, maybe just for the moment. But we have the Lords promise that "His Kindness shall not depart from Thee [us]" I think of Paulinho. I am so orgulhosa dele! (Proud of him) Today will be 10 days that he hasn´t smoked. 10 days!! It may sound insignificant to some, but after 12 years that is SUCH an accomplishment. I can see how hard it is, how much it hurts. And I want to do something to help him, I want to take the pain away. All I can do is encourage, pray, fast, and the rest is up to him. He is experiencing the Atonement and repentance process profoundly in his life right now. His courage and stamina truly stuns me. He goes to church come rain or come shine, reads the scriptures (he even downloaded the Book of Mormon onto his Mp3!), listens to church music and watches church films, etc. He is preparing himself to make the sacred covenant of baptism with His Father in Heaven. I am so happy for him. This mighty change will bless his life and the life of others forever, more than he can even comprehend right now. How grateful I am to know him and to feel like I am even an insignificant part of this process.

I know I could go on forever talking about each one of our amazing investigators. I don´t know why the Lord is blessing us so abundantly with such elect people. Truly I don´t feel like we´re doing much! They´re just ready! Whats amazing is that each one of these people live in VERY nice apartment complexes in our area which are extremely difficult for missionaries to enter and work. This really is a BIG deal! Just imagine the work that is going to flourish now! They are all already doing missionary work by inviting their friends and family to hear the lessons with us! I love the gospel and love being a missionary. There is no where else I would rather be, besides on the street instead of inside my house ;) Thanks for the words of support and constant prayers. I know I always say that but I do want each of you to know how grateful I am and how much it really does mean to me. I dont just say it to say it. We can feel the spirit and love from the memebrs from all over the world. Have a great week! Até mais gente!

-Sister Peck

Friday, January 7, 2011


Feliz Ano Novo!‏

Well this week has been pretty much the same as last, staying inside and resting my darn ankle. We decided to call it our "Winter Holiday" (since we have to be politcally correct right?) Thankfully we get LOTS of studying done and LOTS of companionship bonding time! haha. But we were able to leave and get some visits done thanks to rides from members. We taught Paulinho and Fabiola who are doing great! Both have stopped smoking and are just progressing wonderfully. Same thing with Pricila. She is just WOW. Every missionaries dream. She is 29 and very sucessful in her job, which also means shes very busy. So we only get to meet with her about once a week. We went to go teach her and she was pracitcally beaming with enthusiasm!

She told us how much she loved the Gospel Principles book and how much she is learning. Her very nice Dad Leo, who is catholic, came in the room as we were speaking to her and she decided to ask him some questions. SHE began to teach HIM about the council in Heaven, the Holy Ghost, the Atonement, EVERYTHING in perfect detail. My companion and I just sat there with bocas abertas (open mouths). Then I handed her my nametag and told her she was more qualified to teach than I. hahaha! She explained to him that church is like a school where we can learn and ask questions and she was facsinated by that. I began to think of just HOW lucky we are as members of the church. Truly we take the things we have for granted, seminary, institute, sunday school, mutual, everything! We truly do have all the opportunities to learn and grow and progress right at our fingertips! These individuals are just incredible. They astound me! They make me so happy! We have tried various times to mark baptismal dates with them but they both tell us to calm down and not get too hasty. At least they know thats what they are working towards. We´re really hoping that we will be here to see them get baptized as the next transfer is only 2 weeks away! Lots of fasting and praying. Since I actually get to leave the house now, we are so excited to work hard this week and find more people to teach! Thank you for your prayers and support! Best wishes for this new year and all my love!

-Sister Peck