Monday, May 27, 2013

Oi Mae!
I hope Katie and Grandpa and Daddy had great birthdays this week, tell them I love them and I say Happy Birthday!
This week has been good. First, I'll answer your questions, no, Rui does not do tours, he's old and retired, half of the island is named Rui and João;). We did get hot water, we tried everything and we couldn't get it, we talked to a bunch of neighbors, and the elders tried to come look at it, and then we asked our other nex tdoor neighbors, Debra and Maria, adorable little old ladies who said they would help us with anything we needed (we're considering asking them to help us with the washing machine because we are having a fun time with it) and they were able to fix it, even though the other neighbor was saying it was a man's job;). We have a ramo, meaning a branch, and they're fabulous. This week they fed us once. We ate with the Pinto family! We ate fried catfish, which I actually liked because anything fried is tasty, and so I ate seconds, and some really yummy desserts. Desserts here are fabulous. Remember the sister that I met at the MTC and then we saw at Temple Square right before I left? Well, it's her family! They're great, though the older brother is a flirt and it's obnoxious, he's always texting us, and he even was outside of our apartment the other day because he wanted to go running with us. Irmã Pinto and her other son Manuel are great though! Irmã Pinto served a mission in Portugal which is rare because most of the people here are first generation Mormons. The rest of the ward is great also, they help us a lot with teaching and sometimes they give us snacks. Sister Davis says she's never received so much food on the mission, I told her it's because I attract food, which is what Sister Hayes, my companion in the MTC said:). I didn´t have to lug the 100 lbs of luggage anywhere because flying to the island meant that I had to repack and leave one bag at the mission office, so all I have is one fifty pound bag and my carry on, which the zone leaders, who are awesome, carried for us to our apartment when we met with them. It's not really that pretty of an island, haha, I don't know what you're looking at online, but there are lots of little ghetto houses all squished together and a little bit of cobblestones, LOTS of cows (there is a field across the way from our apartment that I always look at when we study, it's really pretty and the farmer is a great guy, he's old and his name is João, we talked to him, and he said we could pass by this week!), the ocassional gorgeous flower, LOTS of hills (this makes running interesting), lots of rain and wind (which is actually awesome because I didn't want to go anywhere hot or anywhere cold, and this is perfect!), and lots of great people that Sister Davis says are more willing to listen than any other place she's been too. No, the elders do not kiss girls on the cheek and we do not kiss men, though funny story, the first time someone tried to kiss my cheek, Celia, one of our investigators, I had no idea what was going on and she just stood there awkwardly until I figured it out and the elders snickered at me. This week we went with the elders again and snotty Elder Semedo from Cape Verde (he's not really snotty, he's awesome) was like, So Sister Wach (Andar tends to be what I go by because it's easier, a lot of people make the connection) finally figured out how to greet people. Muito rude Elder. Haha. You know I´m not drinking milk, I hate the stuff:P. I haven't had any pineapples yet, or seen any grown, but I did see a tree growing bananas in the Pinto's garden. I haven't seen any fresh fruit yet, São Miguel isn't known for it's fruits, it's known for it's milk and butter because there are lots of cows here, take the number of people who live on the island and divide it in half, and that's how many cows there are. The food as far as I can tell, is good, I haven't eaten any Portuguese food other than when I ate with Bruno last Sunday and then the Pintos, mostly, I eat Brazilian food. Haha, tell Dad he should be jealous;). All of Sister Davis' past companions have been Brazilian, so she cooks Brazilian food, and I wash the dishes. We had some pasteries from a place called Pão de Reino the other day, and it was super delicious and super cheap, think that French pastry shop downtown that we go to when we go for conference, and it's like that, only way cheaper. We got 4 desserts for 2 euros. There is a fast food place that I want to eat at though, Ernesto, a member says that it's not really fast food and that they have some great meat, which I can tell when I walk past, because it smells ridiculously good:). I don't know what people do for a living, when Sister Davis asks them, I can't understand the reply, so I have no idea haha, but most people live close to where they work, so I'm going to assume menial jobs in little shops, and farmers because they don't have cars. Portugal is also in an economic crisis, and so a lot of the people don't have jobs. The language really isn't coming, at least not speaking wise. I can understand pretty much everything Sister Davis says, but the accent here on the islands are super hard to understand. I can't understand most of it, but the more we talk to certain people, the more I understand what they're saying. I know a lot of words, but I can't form really good sentences, and so I'm having a harder time speaking. It's a little frustrating because I want to say things and I feel bad because poor Sister Davis has to teach EVERYTHING. It'll come though, eventually, I hope;). No, we don't have a car, there isn't one on the island for missionaries, so we just walk lots and ride the bus a little. The weather is rainy and windy, but not hot or cold. Sister Davis and I run everyday first thing, though usually we're so tired and there is so much running uphill that we don't run too far, since we only have a half hour. I didn't really say much to President Fluckiger, and he just told me that's where I was heading. I haven't gotten to meet with him other than take a picture because there were too many people who came in on the same day for us to get to have individual meetings. But he comes every transfer, so we'll get to meet eventually. We also don't know our address, we need to figure it out. We get mail once a transfer on the islands, whomever comes to visit us brings it for us, so I haven't gotten any mail, and I'm not worried about it:) Next time I email I'll let you know our address. Supposedly though it only takes like a week to get mail to and from Portugal. Know anything about a cave one the island? The cave is somewhere near our house, tourists walk past all day to it, so we'll have to go see it someday soon.

So now for an overview of the week:). Right now we're teaching a few interesting people. We're teaching Eduarda, who is a less active, because there was a big scandal in the ramo with the ramo presidente. Some sort of affair or something like that. Eduarda is interesting, and she calls me Sister Andar, we went with Irmã Lordes from the ramo and we taught her, Irmã Lordes is a spiritual giant. She's only been a convert for a few years, but you wouldn´t know it, and she made us some awesome cookies. The ex-ramo presidente is actually coming back to church now, and bringing the woman he lives with, whom we're teaching, Lordes, and her cute little son, Manuel who is like three or four. They just need to get married. They live really far away though, in Relva. After, we taught Rui. It went really well, sometimes teaching Rui goes okay, and sometimes it doesn't. He's a nice guy, but his brother Pedro is a little hard to deal with. Pedro was in some sort of accident and it's messed up some part of his brain, so he's a bit like a child who drinks lots of alcohol. I hate teaching when he's there because he doesn't invite the spirit. Rui says he knows what we teach it true, but he won't come to church and he's a really heavy smoker. The second time we taught him, we taught the Palavra de Sabedoria, and Pedro was there, and Irmão Ernesto (the husband of Irmã Lordes) and it was just really interesting. There was a woman at the house, a friend of Pedro´s, and so we got to go inside. We were talking about the PdS and they were all lighting up their cigarettes! It was chato. Pedro kept talking and freaking out, he speaks fluent English and insists on talking through the whole lesson about his dog and his work and giving us soup and etc. He means well, but it doesn't invite the spirit and Rui is so busy being distracted by him. Plus Pedro always tries to touch us and he calls us every night at 12:22 am. It's really obnoxious and a little creepy. Oh, and the lady that we went into the house with, she bailed, turned out she recognized Ernesto, who is a barber, and she'd stolen from him, so she left, with us still in the house! If Irmão Ernesto hadn't been there, it would've been pretty interesting. Last night, we taught about the Plan of Salvation. I used my puzzle. It went well, at least better than other times because Pedro wasn't there.
Guess what I did this week. I flooded the kitchen and laundry room in the house! Something is wrong with the washing machine, which we didn't know, and I was washing my clothes, and they were done and I went to open the door to the washer, and a flood came out! We can't figure out how to get the water to empty out of the washer, so Sister Davis' clothes are currently molding in there;). It was fun to clean up, and we thought we had an appointment at the capela at noon, and so we had to run to the capela after we cleaned it up. Turned out the appointment was the next day. Oops. But we run all day around here. The man the appointment was for, his name is Antonio, and the elders were teaching him when we got here. We taught him, kind of. We couldn't get a word in. He just kept going on about ``Preparaçao!`` and how he needs to prepare before he can be baptized, but he won't let us teach the lessons, so I'm not sure how he's going to prepare. He comes to church every week though, and talks about preparation during every lesson. I have no idea how the elders taught him. He is a cute little old guy though.
We're also teaching Margarida. She's older and she smokes a lot. She works with computers. This week when we went to see her, she'd read more of the LdM than we'd assigned, and she had questions about the words, and so she looked them up on Wikipedia! Haha, we gave her the church website this time. She has the creepiest cat. He had cancer in his ears and so they were removed. It's super creepy. She's a great lady, though. She does have a smoking problem, so we gotta work on that. Then we're teaching Paul, who lived in Rhode Island for 31 years but got deported because he did something wrong. He speaks fluent English, so we teach in English, which is really hard. I could hardly pray! He's interested though and he said he wanted to go to church before we even asked him, and he has a desire to know if it's true. Plus he called us to see if we were still coming! No one ever calls us back, or answers our phone calls, so that was weird. He didn't come to church though, so we think something must have happened. Then we're teaching Frank, who we were also teaching last week. Then Suzana and Manuel. Manuel is a very old man who has about as many teeth as Gollum, and a dozen earrings in each ear. He's always really excited to shake my hand and winks at me a lot. We met Suzana through him because she's the girlfriend of a man that lives in the same house as Manuel. She was really interested and we're teaching her again this week.
Then we're hoping to teach a few others, one is Evanston. We met him yesterday. He's from São Paulo, and I can actually understand what he's saying because he doesn't have the strange São Miguel accent. He seems really awesome.
Not much else happened this week. We just walk lots and talk to lots of people. Though, Sister Davis says I do speak Portuguese in my sleep, which would explain why I'm still so tired every morning;). I'm gonna try and send a few pictures, but I don't know how it will work. I wanted to take more today because P-days are the only day we can take pictures, but the whole island is covered in a misty cloud and so we can't see anything. Of course.
Well, I hope all is well. I love you all tons! The gospel is true!
Love always,
Sister Andar!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hey Mom! Thanks a ton for helping Sister Davis' family! That was really nice. Sadly, we didn't get to use it:P I guess that it's a holiday here (something about the Holy Ghost? It's a Catholic holiday) so the cafe we were going to use is closed:P. But funny story, we were walking to an investigator's house, Lourdes, and we didn't know how far it was (two hour walk there and hour back, it takes a long time to get anywhere as a missionary because we talk lots while we walk), but it was late and we were really hungry, and this Catholic festival parade in Relva (the city the investigator lives in) passed by and they gave us bread! The Lord provides for his missionaries, even if it's Catholic bread;). I LOVE the mission! It's amazing! I don't speak a lot of Portuguese, but my trainer is GREAT! Thankfully she helps me a lot. We try to speak Portuguese all the time on the rua, she speaks Portuguese to me and I try to speak back. I have learned a lot these last few days. It's my job to pray and bare testimony because that's pretty much all I can do right now:). The Portuguese here is REALLY strange, they speak Portuguese with a French accent! I could understand on the continent, but not here, here I can only understand some. The ward is great, yesterday we had church and I almost feel asleep because I was so tired and I couldn't understand a thing:). They even have a capela and a roma of 50+ people. Then we ate with a member, Bruno, who speaks amazingly fluent English, and we had Bachalahu, the dish we get fed the most, which is CODFISH! Yuck. Eu não gosto. It was fun though. Our apartment is AMAZING! We won't be there for long though because when we get senior missionaries, they will take it. It's bigger than all your house put together! Though we don't have hot water. It stinks. I haven't showered in 3 days, though I did try to take a cold one. I'm now forever scarred because of it;). It was also new so we had to buy all new stuff, in fact we have to carry it back after this! It's probaby 100 lbs for each of us and we have to carry it up hill because Ponta Delgada has LOTS of hills. Lots of cows too. We have lots of them outside our window. I love teaching. It's great! Right now we're teaching a few people. Antonio, Lourdes, and Celia were given to us by the old missionaries. We went to visit Celia, it was my first lesson, and I almost forgot to kiss her! She was standing really close to me and I couldn't figure out what was going on! It was embarrassing, even the elders were embarrassed for me (they went with us to introduce us, because they found them and then they split their area so that we could come). It was great. We're also teaching Frank and Rui. Rui has a serious palavra de sabedoria problem, so that's great. Frank is awesome. He's from Angola, but yesterday when we went to pick him up from church, he didn't answer, we think he's ignoring us. It's great. I LOVE it here! Love you tons! Talk to you later! I'm sorry I didn't call in London! My calling card didn't work, it only worked from the US to other countries, not other countries to the US:P Lame!
Love you all!!!
Sister Wach

Friday, May 10, 2013

Oi Minha Familia!
This week has been a crazy one! We've had like senioritis all week, only MTCitis! We're ready to go! We have not had a normal day this whole week! Our lessons have gone really well, but other than that, not much has haha:). Monday we had a shakeup day on accident:). Sister Hayes and I got up late! We have to be up at 6:30 and ready at 7:15, but we had set the alarm for 6 because Sister Hayes wanted to get up early, but then she didn't and so I thought I was resetting the alarm for half an hour later, but instead I reset the clock time for half an hour later instead! Thankfully Sister Hayes woke up at 7 and we were able to get ready, and even look presentable! I would say it was probably the best we both looked, and we were still on time to breakfast at 7:15, in fact we were the first of our sisters there! We found out one of the sisters had respiritory flu, which is super contagious, and so we all had to go and get Tamiflu! While we waited we had class in the doctor's office! Lot's of fun. Then I had a doctor's appointment because I have another sinus infection. The doctor was dumb and made me get some like prescription strength Sudafed, which then made my nose run and my head hurt worse. I went back another day though and I got a Z-pack. I feel much quite a bit better now:). Then during my appointment, everyone else went back to class, and so when Sister Hayes and I went back, no one was there! The computer in our room is broken, so we always have to find somewhere else to have class, so we decided to walk around to all the usual places we go for class, and while we were walking, the coolest thing happened! There were these two elders walking by us, and they said hi, and Sister Hayes said oi, and so then one of them started speaking to us in Portuguese. Turned out he was from Brasilia, Brazil! Guess who he knew of! A certain Elder Jacobson happened to be serving in the same wardhouse that their ward met in, only he was in the other ward in the building! It was pretty cool:) We didn't get to talk to him other than that though because his companion wanted to leave:P. Then Sister Hayes and I got to leave campus to go and get my drugs! It was weird:). Then in the evening, in the second class, Sister Radvansky started to feel sick, and since her companion was in quarantine, and she needed someone to go back with her, I offered to go back. I really didn't do anything, in fact it was boring, but it was nice at the same time:). On Wednesday I got to host for the new missionaries who came in! It was really fun! The first Sister I did, her name was Sister Ha, she was from Korea and she was headed to California, because she hasn't been able to get her visa to come to the US up until now, she's already served as a missionary for 4 months! The second one, her name was Sister Paxton, and she's headed to Bulgaria! She's the only Bulgarian speaking sister in the whole MTC! Poor thing, she just cried as her family drove off. Thursday we got our flight plans changed! We're now leaving the MTC at 9:30 (we're taking the Frontrunner to the airport!!!!! Crazy!!!), then leaving the airport 2:30, and then to Houston, TX, and then to London and then to Portugal! I'm super excited, but super stressed also!
All in all, it was a great week! I won't be able to write again until my P-day in Portugal! Ahhh! Thank you everyone for all your support, letters, packages, and love! Aunt Cherie, all your popcorn is gone again, my district loves it! Thank you also for the skirt! I'm wearing it tomorrow since I got to wash it today! Thanks for everything else you've sent! Thanks Grandma for the treats! I love them! I'm going to try and figure out how to get them with me to Portugal as I have way way way too much food hanging around! Thanks Sister Pedersen for the brownies! Mom, thanks for EVERYTHING! The brush is fabulous, and all the lemon stuff is gone, one of the Elders in our district (he wasn't originally in our district, but he couldn't leave the MTC for who knows why, so they put him in ours) called your cake a cake from the Reino Celestial (meaning Celestial Kingdom) haha, if that isn't a compliment, I don't know what is! I hope you all have a fabulous Mother's Day! I love you!
Love always,
Sister Wach


Friday, May 3, 2013

Oi Familia!
The last few days were good! I forgot to write about the awesome prank I played on Sister Hayes! Two Tuesdays ago, after I wrote, we were getting ready for bed and we were pretending to fight, and so I wanted to pray so we could get in bed but she said no, she wanted to go to the bathroom first, and so she left, and I decided to be mean (ish), and I grabbed my key and went and hid in one of the sister's beds in the room nextdoor that belongs to some sisters in my district, and so Sister Hayes came back and she thought I was angry with her and wouldn't let her in! Hehehe she was pounding on the door and telling me to let her in, and then she tried coaxing me out with food (that woulda worked if I'd been in there;), that is after all, the way to my heart;)), and so it'd been about ten minutes of her trying to get me out, and she's like "Sister Wach, you're making me be disobedient!" and like freaking out haha, and so then she came into the other room and she was talking to the other sisters about me not letting her in, and I just like sat up and we all just burst out laughing, and she almost killed me;)! I'm scared now, because I have to be prepared for her to try and get me now! She says that it's fine though because that's how she knows that I love her;).
Also, we actually had our first fight! Haha, we almost killed each other! We worked it out though, and we're good now, but we almost killed our new teacher, Irma Dangerfield (who is absoluetly wonderful and gives us hugs!), in the process;). We were just sitting there stewing and she came over with a topic for us to study and it was on the thing we were having problems with, and we just both snapped, then we went out and talked about it and then it was all better:). I'm glad to have a companion that we can get along so well for so long, and then when we do have problems we can fix them really quickly! Love her!
My Portuguese is coming along (that's what part of our fight was, I didn't give her the opportunity to speak a lot during the lesson, but I didn't know she wanted too), and I'm getting to the point where I can form very simple sentences, and I can understand and read most of what is put in front of me based on context. I couldn't tell you what my favorite color is, but I could give you the first lesson on the Restoration;).
Oh! Guess what!!!!! We got our travel plans!!!!! We fly out of Salt Lake on the 14th at 8:30 am! We leave the MTC at 5 am! Then we fly to Atlanta, Georgia and get there at 2:19 pm, then from there to... are you ready for this... Amsterdam, Netherlands! We leave Atlanta at 5:30 pm and get to the Netherlands at 8:25 am on the 15th! Then we head to Portugal from there at 12:40 pm and get there at 2:35 pm!!! Super super crazy! I'm so excited! I'm gonna look so nasty by the time we get there haha:) But I'm so glad that we're going! My excitement for the mission definitely increased since I now know that there really is an end to this place called the MTC!!! AHHHHHHH!!!! Poor Sister Hayes was pretending I wasn't her companion when I was dancing all around after we got our plans!:) I feel bad for some of the people in our district though:( They're going to Cape Verde and they got their plans also, along with a note saying they were only allowed one bag that weighs 70 pounds! They don't even get a carry on bag! They have to get rid of tons and tons of stuff! That is so awful! They should have told them before they got here. Of course, not any of them are from Utah, so they can't be like come get my other suitcases and like 70 pounds of stuff:(. They're taking it a little rough:(. I don't know what I would do!
Well, Love you all!
Talk to you next Friday!
Write me letters!!!
Love always,
Sister Wach

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Oi Minha Familia!
Como vai?! So we will get two email times this week due to getting our Pday changed to Friday! I had to wash laundry today because I was going to be double wearing my underwear, and that would have been really fun...;). Not much has happened this week other than getting our pday changed. We taught out investigators and went to class, no big deal. I did have kind of a cool experience with one of our investigators. We were going to teach about baptism to both of the investigators, and we did with Irmao Porter (yes, he committed to be baptized, he was a dream investigator, which was lame, if you're gonna make up characters, at least make up good ones;)), but when we got to teach Irmao Olson, he started telling us he was a prophet because he had had a "vision" while he was sleeping. He told us that he was walking in the desert and he'd seen a tree covered in light (does this sound like Lehi's dream to anyone? Real original;)) and at the base of it was the Book of Mormon and so he knew it was good and he invited all of his friends and family to come get it. So he was telling us he knew that the church was good and true, but that he was a prophet. So we did a 180 on the lesson. In the lesson before with Irmao Porter I had forgotten to use two of the scriptures that I had planned, and so for this lesson I just opened right to them, and they were about the Holy Ghost and how he puts thoughts into our hearts and minds and so I added in that that also involved dreams. It was great! I think he understood he wasn't a prophet, so that was good;). Then we just discussed it and I stuck in there that we could always have the Holy Ghost with us if we were baptized and then to poor Sister Hayes' surprise, even though she hadn't wanted to, I invited him to be baptized, and he said yes;). He talked about how serious it was and he wasn't ready, but I told him we would help him prepare, then he wanted to baptized right away and I had to convince him to wait until May 5th haha. Yes, I did say that in Portuguese, don't ask me to say it again because there is no way I will be able too;). We taught the same teacher yesterday for the last time (he's going on vacation until May 12 and when he gets back he's getting a new district instead of staying with us) and he always does crazy things when he prays, even though we've taught him over and over how to pray, and while he was praying, he looked up and I guess Sister Hayes was giving him a super scary glare and they just burst out laughing and we had to pause because we were all laughing so hard! I wouldn't want to be glared at by her! She's awesome, but when she's unhappy, she's super scary;).
Today we get a new teacher, her name is Irma Dangerfield (I don't know if she has any relationship to Ms. Dangerfield the teacher, Mom, what do you think? She served in Brazil.), and we haven't met her yet, so it could be interesting. I'm sad that Irmao Olson is leaving. He's pretty entertaining, he always slaps the walls and the chalkboard (usually so hard that he leaves handprints and the chalk comes off on his hand!) and throws stuff. He's a great guy haha.
There's not much else to say, it was a pretty boring week, though we did enjoy the sun, it was great to study outside rather than in! I'm sure I'll think of something more to say on Friday when I email again. Thank you all for the letters and packages! The lemon cake is all gone and most of the bars, I love lemon! It was all delicious and I might have to request more of that cake;). Have a great week! Love ya!
Love always,
Sister Wach