Monday, October 28, 2013

Hey Mãe!
I bought myself some really ugly rain boots this week. The next time
that you send one of those flat packages, do you think that you
could send the church magazines for November? It takes a really long
time for us to get them here, and I'd really love to read the talks
again, plus I miss the New Era and Friend:). If not, no worries:).
Jessica loved the stuff that you sent and she was super excited about the ring, Jessica's friend in the ward, Bruna, she just
turned 8 and was baptized yesterday (more later on that) and so I gave her one also. They love them. Sister Briggs did get transferred, she's now in Viseu, and my new comp, is coming from there, her name is Sister Stokes (I think) and she only has one transfer less than I do. I haven't met her yet because right now I'm waiting in the area of Lapa (the area where the cruise ships dock) with the sisters for her to get here from the 4 hour bus ride (can I just say that I am jealous of four hours to sit and do nothing? haha). I'm hoping that we'll be good friends.
Well, this week was good. We had another rough one, but it was still
good. It rained lots, and it's starting to be a little cold. I don't
think I've ever been as wet as this week. It was like once a day there was a flash flood. I even, as I said, bought some really ugly
rain boots. It's good though, only the elect walk in the rain:). Oh,
remember last week how I wrote about that weird phone call that we
got? Haha, well he called back on Tuesday morning and I answered
because I didn't save the number in the phone, and oh man, hilarious, and awful:). I couldn't really understand him the first time he talked on Monday, but it was super easy the next time. It was a wrong number, a really wrong number. He was really surprised that our services as missionaries were free and he wanted to meet up at night on Thursday. I don't know if that got the point across to you, but Sister Briggs and I had a good laugh. He was Brazilian, and he kept calling us "raparigas," which is no big deal in the portuguese that I speak, it just means girls, but in Brazilian Portuguese it doesn't mean that haha. Oh, and one of the recent converts from our area, he came to a class that the ward members do every week... drunk! Way drunk haha. It's so interesting that I had no idea how to tell that stuff, and now... the stuff you learn on the mission:). He's a good guy, he comes to church every week (sometimes drunk) but he'll figure it out, he's just going through a rough patch. So, not much else has happened this week, I really have no idea what to write about, a lot of the mission is the same. Like I said above, one of the ward members got baptized, so that was really cool. Her dad was in charge of everything, and the
poor guy had no idea what he needed to do. We offered to help but he
said he had it under control (then, 15 minutes after the service was
supposed to start, he asked us to make programs for it haha, and
nobody turned on the font because they didn't know how and so I did it during the second hour of church... good thing she's small:)), it
turned out really good though, he even cried, so that was awesome to
see:). They've been members for about three years, and the whole
family was baptized:). They're going to go to the temple in December
to be sealed. The older brother baptized Bruna, so that was cool too. As missionaries, we can only hope that the people that we baptize will stay, and I hope that the elders who found this family know what an asset this family has been to the ward:). I hope that I can find people like that also:). They asked Sister Briggs and I to do a special musical number right before, so she played the guitar, and I sang, we sang Secret Prayer (I think that's what it's called in English, in Portuguese it's Secreta Oração), it turned out good. It was really cool to get to be there and see that, especially since so many people are converts, it's awesome to see the next generation:), and to see the way that this gospel changes lives. It's amazing to see the miracles in peoples' lives. On Sunday, during the baptism, a woman spoke, and she asked why didn't she receive the gospel when she was younger, and she wished that she had, and then the next speaker said the same. I just think about how spoiled I've been, to be born and raised in a family that really values the gospel, where I never lived in another way. I've been truly blessed, and I'll never take that for granted again. This gospel really is true, and I'm so grateful for all that it's done in my life. Well, today has been really nice so far. The office elders took me to Lapa to stay with the sisters there (Sisters Hayes (my MTC comp) and Baird) and it's just been so refreshing. They're like a burst of fresh air:). I love you all! We're gonna go to a German store and I'm super excited because I hear that they have some great stuff, Sister Sandholtz always talked about it and how I needed to go there, and now I finally will:).
Love ya tons! Thanks again for everything!
Love always,
Sister Wach

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hey Mãe!
Thanks so much for the package! It was great! I couldn't eat all the candy, so I ate a bunch and shared a bunch and then tucked the rest away into one of my suitcases so that I can eat it later in the mission:). I'm making a list for my Christmas package, so just let me know when you want to know what's on that list haha. Don't worry, it's a short one:). I just got the second package, thanks it was great also. I'm excited to give Jessica the stuff, she'll love the ring. She is so adorable, you would love her. She was confirmed yesterday and so we had someone else bring her to church instead of us (we're gonna leave eventually so someone else has got to take care of her) and we walked in and she was there, said a quick hi and then ran off to Primary, where she was the first one there and she sat in the dark and studied her scriptures. She's the best. I've now baptized two AWESOME people. If it was just those two I baptized (I hope I baptize more), but if it's just those two, at least their absolutely amazing. The baby, Nuno, he's still in the hospital. He caught a cold and so he has been having trouble breathing and he also isn't eating. He's the tinest thing. Truthfully I'm worried that he might not make it, he's just struggling SO much right now. I think that'll break Asto's heart. 
Sounds like things are going well at home. Sounds busy. Being busy is always better than doing nothing, that's for sure. Can you believe that it's almost Halloween?! Are you partying already? I know that's your favorite holiday. Halloween doesn't even exist here. It's sad, though they are putting up the Christmas decorations.
This is the last week of the transfer, but I think it's really really unlikely that I will be transferred from here because I've only been here for one transfer. I think Sister Briggs is more likely to go to another area that I am. Transfer calls are this coming Sunday, but you can keep sending letters to the Rua Jorge Barradas address because I'll get them no matter what, even if I am transferred.  
Well, this week was good. As always, the weeks are a little rough, but they're always good. Last Pday we went to Lapa and we saw this cool statue and we saw the sisters from our zone there, so that was cool. There's also a castle and a bunch of cool stuff there, but we didn't go because S. Briggs had already been, so I'll just go with my next companion. It was fun and I'd imagine that's probably where the Hutchins were docked when they came because there was a cruise ship and I have never heard so many people speak English in one day! I also met some Brazilians from Port Alegre that I talked to and told them that dad had served there. It was really cool, my art history teacher would have been really jealous;). Today, we went out to eat with the elders in our district (we go with them like three times a week to eat) and the restaurant we went to was near a monument and a monastery, so they let us stop by and it was really cool also. It's a monument to Christopher Columbus and it is placed in the exact spot where his ship took off. The Portuguese are really funny about him. They love him and have lots of pride in him, there is even a mall in our area named after him, but the funny part is that they rejected him and said he was crazy and they wouldn't pay for him to go on the voyage and yet still have so much pride in him! The rest of the week was pretty normal. We worked with the members a lot more this week so that was great. I'm finally getting to know them and they're really awesome also. I think the members are one of the things I really love about the mission. They're just such great people! We're also teaching two really cool Brasilians, Ramo (yes, his name means branch) and Lilian, who we've only taught the first lesson to each, but we're supposed to teach them both today after Pday ends. On Saturday, it was pretty cool, the phone rang, and it was a number that I didn't recognize and so I answered and the person asked if I knew who it was, and I thought I knew who it was, but I didn't think it could possibly be her because it was pretty much impossible, but it was! It was Cátia, from my last area.  She's awesome, I miss her and Anna tons! Sunday though, was the fun day. First, we  had Relief Society and then Gospel Principles, and then the fun part, Sacrament. When we sat down, the bishop came up to me and he was saying something that I wasn't understanding and when I finally understood, he was telling me that one of the speakers hadn't shown up and he wanted me to speak!!! I asked him what about and he told me missionary work. Pois. I tried to prepare a little something (Elder Fuller helped me a little, he's a lifesaver) and then when I got up there, I didn't use any of it, but I think it went well, who knows. I'm gonna be good at public speaking without reading it off of paper. When I get home, I won't have any problems, well as long as I do it in Portuguese...;). Then, I sat back down after, and one of the members granddaughters came and sat next to me, she kept putting her head in my lap and on my shoulder and rubbing her head on me and I just had this sudden thought "look at her head" and I looked, and she had LICE ALL OVER!!! Hardest sacrament ever. Afterwards, I went home and I changed all my clothes and I covered all my hair in cooking oil and then I took a shower. I'm paranoid, I'll admit it. If I get lice, I'm getting a really good haircut. Then later, we went to a devotional with some of the youth and afterwards we were talking with some of the members (it was all the members in our stake and the Amadora stake) and I was speaking to one and Sister Briggs was speaking to a recent convert from April and I looked over at her and he was whispering into her ear that she was beautiful!! Boy did I pull her out of there fast and I was not happy with him, and then I realized he was WAY drunk! Oops. We get told that we're beautiful all the time by weird people. Today, the phone rang while Sister Briggs was doing her computer time, and so I answered and it was some man named Pedro and I couldn't understand a word he was saying (our cellphone is REALLY awful) and so I had no idea what he was saying except for that I had a beautiful voice haha. Then I took the phone to Elder Fuller who told him off and the man tried to say that he had the wrong number but afterwards he called again. I have no idea what he was saying, but for once I was glad the phone doesn't work very well because I'm pretty sure it was crude. Men are pigs. Elder Fuller says that we should just walk away from any man who says that kind of stuff to us, and I told him then we would never talk to any men haha. 
Also, I keep forgetting to tell you, remember how you were telling me that Harry Potter was based off of a school here in Portugal? Well, that school is in my area and so I get to see people in capes all the time. One time, one saw us and he asked if we were Mormons, Sister Briggs was trying to be funny and so she said "Yeah, wanna get baptized?" Boy, did he run away so fast! She felt bad, but it was hilarious! 
I've also learned a lot this week. I'm happy for my trials. They're hard, but I would never have become who I am without them. We don't change and grow when things are easy. I've been trying to pray and say thank you to Heavenly Father for all the trials, aches and pains, and things that go wrong in a day, and it's been making me feel so much happier. It's amazing the difference a change in attitude makes!
Well, I love you all! Thanks for everything!
love always,
Sister Wach

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hey Mom!

Thanks for the letter, and for the package. I got the package today. Tell everyone I said thanks! It came on Friday but the laws here in Portugal are really awful when it comes to packages and so whenever a package comes it pretty much always has a fee that has to be paid and normally the mission pays for the fee and then we pay them back (so they can hold the package for us) and so the elder who was picking up packages didn't have enough money to get mine too and so he left it there at the post office. Thankfully, the elders said that my package had a really cheap fee compared to others. Some of the people have to pay over $100!!! It's kind of ridiculous because if they can't refund the mission then the mission doesn't take it out of the post office and so it just gets sent back to the parents, then they've wasted however much money it was. So, I had to wait the weekend to go and get it. I went and got it this morning:). It's great, thanks a ton! I'm wearing my new skirt right now and I'm excited to eat all that candy, you guys are the best:).

My comp and I are doing fine. She's a nice girl. She's a hard worker. Jéssica and her mom are okay. The mother Asto, scheduled a hair appointment for during church yesterday and so Jéssica didn't get the Holy Ghost and we got in trouble with our elders because the last three of our baptisms haven't gotten it (I was only here for Jéssica and I have yet to meet the other two people). It's really sad and it makes Sister Briggs really stressed out because the others aren't answering our calls. One of them, she got offended, and then the other, he got a new job and now he works on Sunday (he also almost backed out of his baptism, so we're not sure what's going on with him) and we have no idea where he lives (don't ask me how that happened) and his phone doesn't work anymore. It's so sad to see when that happens, when the people miss out on blessings or when they receive trials or blessings to show if they really are committed to the gospel and then they decide to stop coming to church. The church is true, and that should be all that matters, not whether or not they were offended. I think that's one of the hardest things here. A lot of people are offended. The Portuguese people just have a lot of pride, in their nation and in themselves, which of course can be good, but it can be bad also. No worries though, Jéssica will get the Holy Ghost next week if it's the last thing that I do! The baby, Nunu, isn't doing to great. He came home from the hospital (he's stinking adorable) and then he had to go back because he caught this nasty cold that's going around. It's a bummer because Asto wants to be baptized, she's just never home for us to teach the lessons or to come to church because she's always there. I hope he gets better soon so he can come home.

Sorry about having a crazy week! Tell Katie to brush those teeth!:) Don't worry, I think I have some too (cavities). Dag gummit. That lipgloss sounds gross, but it looked beautiful on Jacob. Tell him he should wear it everyday. Poor baby Katie, tell her I love her:). Oh, and about the messiness... you would be surprised how much the mission changes that... I'm OCD now about cleaning. I absolutely hate when there are dishes in the sink or when the floor is messy. I think I've gone crazy. I always put all my stuff away too. You wouldn't believe it haha. Oh, and I made that chicken recipe you sent me and the cheesecake. The elders like the cheesecake alot, though I didn't have vanilla wafers and so I tried to use these super cheap Portuguese cookies called Bolachas de Maria, and it was gross. They burned. The chicken was great. I made it first on chicken that was boneless (boneless chicken is SUPER expensive here) and it was delicious. The second time I made it on a whole chicken (they come like that here, with the neck and little hairs on the skin and all) and Sister Briggs said it was delicious. I couldn't stomach it. Though, she's trying to make me fat, she makes this Brazilian food called Pão de Queijo almost everyday and man, I can't help myself, they're just SO good haha. Will you please send me the recipe that dad used to make the Brigadeiros in the microwave for Christmas? They're Sister Sandholtz's favorite and so I wanted to make some for her and send them with someone who is headed to the islands. I asked all the Brazilians in the ward, but I think they've been in Portugal so long that they forgot haha. One said he would bring it to me, but I think he forgot also.

Well, this week was good. We walked lots, and talked to lots of people. We're a little dry in the teaching area because none of our investigators are progressing, but things are still good here. I'm happy to be here all the same:).We've met some good people this week in the road, so we're just hoping that they'll turn into investigators. We had a family in church this week, so that was good. I just have to humble myself to teach them. They're nuts about they're religion. They're spiritualists or something like and boy, do they know how to talk! Good people though, with good moral values, now we just have to get them headed in the right direction because Satan has got a good grip on them! Oh, tell Sister Rodrigues that Inacia is doing great, she's a cute little old woman and that Adão brings her to chuch every week, and that she's still telling us that her neighbor is a witch. Also, that Irmão Edson took her to his house this weekend and all the primary kids were there for an activity with Irmã Zíla and so they learned how to sing I'm a child of God and they sang it to Inacia. I think she had a good time, and now the ward knows about the state of her house. No one should leave a 92 year old to live alone. That's the problem with Benfica. Lots of old people. It was probably hopping in the 1950's, but now all those people are old and they didn't have any kids to take care of them. One day, the streets will just be deserted here.
Inacia is pretty good at doing stuff on her own though, at least for a 92 year old. She still walks after all:). Also, tell Sister Rodrigues that Inês still hasn't gotten the Holy Ghost and we try to meet with her every day, but she says she's too busy for us. She got offended at a JAS activity and now doesn't want to come back. I don't know if she can do anything about it, but maybe she could try and contact her on Facebook?

The church here is young, and the members are different than in the states, but wow, if you could just see the youth here! They're amazing. A lot of them were baptized without their families being baptized also and they come every week by themselves. They're amazing. One of them, she's an orphan, her name is Marisa. We went this week to where she lives (we had a CD from Portugal EFY for her, which is a great CD by the way, I don't know what it's called in English, something like Stand in Holy Places probably), and she lives in a CATHOLIC ORPHANAGE like forever away. Sister Briggs saw her first nun, she was pretty happy about that. Marisa is fabulous though. There are lots of them. Another that I like a lot is Kemmer. His mom and sister were baptized also, but he was baptized first. One day the missionaries talked to him the street and they asked him some serious questions, that got him thinking and he went home and talked to his mom about them, next thing you know, they're talking to the missionaries and he's baptized! They're great members, they're like a light in the dirty bairro:), now if only the dad would get baptized. We've been working with him, but he doesn't have a desire which is a big bummer. Irmã Odete says she knows he´ll get baptized later. I sure hope so. There are just a whole bunch of them. I'm really glad that they're the future of the church here. Now if we can just find a few more to strenghten them too. 

Well I have no idea what else to say, but I love you guys! Also, keep up the missionary work, Loretta will get it soon. Do you go to a weekly meeting with the missionaries and the ward mission leader? If not, you should ask the ward mission leader about it, because you should have one every week and you should be there to know what they need. They'll give you a paper with all the numbers and addresses on it of the people they're teaching, and it's your job to call those people and fellowship them. I know it seems kind of awkward to call random people, but one of the hardest things for us as missionaries is to get the ward to participate, and yet the work is 1000 times better with their help. The people the missionaires are teaching will need friends in the church to help them to stay firm and to learn more. Keep working hard, you'll recieve lots of blessings for it:). This is a great time to do member missionary work. The work is hastening and all the energy of the church is now being put on missionary work (did you see the Friend and the New Era?! Awesome) and as members it's our job to jump in and help! Think of someone that you could share the gospel with and do it!

Love you tons!


Sister Wach

P.S. Tell people to write me paper letters, the kind you send in the mail. I'm needing some letters!;) 

 Ricki – If anyone wants to send her a paper letter let me know I can take it to the post office for you.  It usually cost $1.10J The address is on the blog:)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hey Mom!

Things here are great. We're working hard. We're a little dry when it comes to investigators, but we've got some really great appointments with some this week. All Brazilians. I have a hard time understanding Brazilian Portuguese. It's SO different. The accent is just SO different. We talk with lots of shhhing noises and the words are said as if you were saying them like they're read, so noite sounds like 'noit' with a silent e like we would do in english. But it's going good. I still speak with an american accent, but I'll get it soon enough. 

The weather has been nice again, so that's great. I don't really know what we've been up too. The days all just blend together, but the last few days have been awesome with conference. Earlier this week I got to do some training with the Sister Training Leader, Sister Santos, and that was awesome. Turns out she was Sister Davis' last comp before me and so S. Davis talked about her a lot. It was funny because S. Santos (de Brazil) and I do like everything a like (because S. Davis was her second comp, you kind of find your way of teaching with your second comp), and so it was hilarious to notice all the similarities! Saturday we watched the Relief Society broadcast in the morning and then we got to go to President and Sister Fluckiger's house to watch conference!! It was so awesome! It was from 5-7, the first session, and it was great. I felt like the whole thing was about member missionary work. Sister Fluckiger made a delicious dinner too, which was awesome. We had barbequed hamburgers. It was like being in the US. It was cool too because there was also an RM there with her fiance. It just happened to be Sister Gangee, the trainer of Sister Davis, which then makes her my grandma in the mission (if that doesn't make sense, ask Dakota or any other missionary)! That was cool. She's marrying one of her converts from the mission. He went inactive when she left his area and has been for a year, but now he's going back to church because of her, so at least that's good. The power of women não eh?. Then on Sunday we went and watched the Priesthood Session in Portuguese with one of our investigators, André, who is moving to Angola this week, so that stinks because he loves the idea of the temple. Then we watched the Saturday afternoon session and the Sunday morning session at President's house again and we got to eat more delicious food. I brought Tarte dos Três. It was a hit and S. Fluckiger wanted my recipe! Oh yeah! There was the cutest little recent convert there, and she felt just SO privileged to be there! She is probably 70 and she was just shaking with excitement and amazement at the beautiful house the WHOLE time. Darling~.

Today we went to the ZOO! You know how I feel about the zoo. No thanks. But they have DOLPHINS. It was super expensive to go, but the dolphins made it all worth it. I'll show you the videos in a year. They had an awesome dolphin show. We went with the elders in our district, the office elders, so that was really fun, and before that we ate at the Brazilian restaurant. I don't know how everyone here has been eating there for three transfers. I can't eat there anymore. Haha. 

Well, got to go! Thanks for everything!! Love you tons!

Sister Wach

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hey Mama:)
I don't have a lot of time left, but I just wanted to say that this week was good and that we had a baptism this week! The little girl that I said that I found my first day here with S. Davis, she was baptized. It was the coolest thing ever. She was just so happy and I'm hoping that it will help kick start the mom so that then she'll be baptized next. She said she wants to be, she just doesn't feel prepared, which is our job of course. I ate at another Brazilian restaurant this week and we eat at the buffet owned by the member every week. I think I have eaten more Brazilian food this transfer than Portugese food, especially since the two members that have feed us this past week are Brazilians too... haha. Brazilian Portuguese is so hard to understand! I understand the Africans and the Portuguese but when it comes to the Brazilians I have to listen really hard and make them repeat themselves sometime haha.
I'm glad that you're having fun. I'm sad that I missed out on going to conference with you guys. I'll be there next year! Crazy! Tomorrow is the day that I will officially go home. It could be earlier than that, but it can't be after the first of October, so after tomorrow you can know for sure that I'll be home by then:).l I can't believe it's already been six months! Fastest six months of my life. Especially September and August, they just FLEW.
Keep being a good example and a good friend. Watch for opportunities to share the gospel. It will bless their lives, they just don't know it yet.
 Tell everyone that I said hi!
Love always,
Sister Wach