Monday, February 23, 2015

I’m pretty sure my comp is really an American!

Whenever you get a new companion it can always be a little nerve wracking. Most of the time you never had much contact with your comp and 100% of the time you are with this person for a learn or practice something. With Figgy, she really helped me less stressed. The last few weeks, as the other transfer was ending, I was praying to practice not being so stressed, being happy, and being patient. Within the first day of being with my comp, Sister Aquino, I was sure that my prayer had been answered and I was about to start practicing. She had only heard about how hard the areas near the city are and how you don’t have much success. Well that’s true, if you want it to be true...but something that Sister Mitchell taught me was that every area is Zion...but it won’t be Zion until you make it Zion. Well, after getting home on Tuesday and the days that followed I could see that she was sad, had cried, and was not happy. I tried being the positive example for her, but it wasn’t working. So I started leaving notes and candy on her desk; still not working. Ok, so I was out of ideas...and the last thing I wanted to do was try to talk to her about it because I haven’t known her that long and I really don’t like trying to get people to talk. So I did the next best thing...I prayed to my Heavenly Father asking for help! And then everything changed! Friday during our studies we both read talks about being happy in your situations. I read an article, "Act upon this land as for years" in the Liahona of August 2014 and she read a talk given by Elder David A. Bednar in the April General Conference, "Carry your burdens with Ease." Then it was my day to share first, and all I can say is that these studies were totally guided by the Spirit. The article talks specifically about how when we are expecting certain things to happen and in the end they don’t happen the way we want, we beat up our faith and take our anger and frustration out on God. When we do that we insist on doing things according to our own timeline and ability and stop trusting in the Lord's. Elder Neal A. Maxwell said "When we are unduly impatient with an omniscient God's timing we really are suggesting that we know what is best. Strange, isn´t it that we who wear wrist watches seek to counsel Him who oversees cosmic clocks and calendars." It is hard to avoid thinking we know best...our natural man gets in the way of our humility, but our positive perspective comes when we faithfully and humbly follow the Lord with optimism through our own rough spots. After she shared what she studied and learned, she then told me that lots of times she thinks, "I’ll be happy when "blank" happens or when I have this." It is hard for her to be happy and positive in the moment she is in. Sister Aquino promised that she will work on that, and of course I will be helping her too.
After this comp study things changed!!! And we worked together super well!! We had so much fun Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! We even saw a few milagres juntos! Leia finally went to church!! And she has a member friend now!!! We found 5 new investigators in 2 days and we are so much alike in our work ethic it’s easy to work together! The way she acts is soooooo American I’m convinced she is an American who has been in Brasil for a looooonng time! Ha; and this week we are going to be singing and playing the ukulele and guitar for the Young Women New Beginnings program!! YAY!
I know my dad is happy to finally hear that today I MIGHT be buying new shoes...but who knows… I’ve walked so many Brazillian miles in these ratty old shoes it’ll be hard to find a more comfortable pair...we shall see!
Time and time again my testimony of the power of prayer grows! I have no doubt that our Heavenly Father wants nothing but the best for us and wants us to grow each and every day! Things can be a bit hard...but you can always be positive and trust in your Father that one day your journey through the wilderness will lead you to a super nice beach! Ha,ha,ha (oops‪#‎trunkythought‬)
And to end this email, I will close with this scripture in D&C 67:13-14
“Continue in patience until ye are perfected. Let not your minds turn back; and when ye are worthy, in mine own due time, ye shall see and know”
Com muito Amor!
Sister Perez
Saying goodbye to Pontes and Gonzalez

My new comp!! Sister Aquino!

my favorite family!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sister Perez vaiiiiiii.......Ficar!!!!

Last week was the last week of the transfer...and we worked like there was no tomorrow!! And then we realized that it was the start of Carnival and no one was home. Mas tudo bem! We also ate like there was no tomorrow yesterday, as we stopped by all the members. We went to a noite familiar and they made chili!!!!! wow it was sooooo good and reminded me so much of home!!! And then at 6:30, which is super early, we got the transfer call. (at this members house) and it went like this "Sister Gonzalez vai embora com Sister Pontes e Carranza. Sister Perez ficou (stayed)" I was so happy I stayed...but then I got a little nervous because 2 new duplas (pairs) were gonna come into the house. But then we got a call and they said that the transfers were wrong....heart dropped...but the glitch was that Sister Carranza went back to her old ward and stayed with me in the house!!! And tomorrow I will pick up my new comp!
We kept trying with Diego and Vivian. I wasn’t going to give up this fight. And every time we went back it was more doubts and more questions. How did we answer her questions...the only thing I can say is that it was totalmente by the Spirit! But no matter how hard we tried...nothing changed. Finally on Saturday we called to see if we could do a noite familiar and she said no...and that they don’t want to continue....uhhhh my heart just broke! Why!!! They felt the spirit! They had received answers!!!! They accepted baptism!!! It’s sad...but maybe right now isn’t their time. But one day, they will be wearing white!!!!
The area book is gold...sometimes...but a while back Figgy and I found a teaching record of a guy who seemed super eleito...but it was missing the address. Finally, last Monday I took it to the office and gave it to Elder Lee (he was one of the Elders who found this guy) and after a day he got us an address!!!! When we went to visit this kid, Rafael, he wasn’t home. Then one day we were in the bairro and we saw him leaving his what did we after him and marked for the next day!! When we went back we did a little get to know and then invited him to baptism and to church!! He said yes to both...but he didn’t go to church!!! Its ok...we will get him this week!!
I can’t believe that I am already in Alma 37! But the Book of Mormon just keeps getting better and better!! This chapter is just a father reminding his son about their ancestors and what to do to receive mais blessings. I just love the part where Alma starts to talk about the Liahona and how by faith it worked. We have our own Liahonas, the scriptures, the words of modern day profetas, and our benção patriarcal (Patriarchal Blessing). When we read or listen with faith, we will be guided in our life. They will help us with spiritual things as well as temporal things. However, like in verse 46, we cannot be slothful and just sit on our bums after we look at our Liahonas...we MUST act! And if we act de acordo com nossa Liahona, we will be guided by the Spirit into our promised land!! (Alma 37:38-47)
Well, I love each and every one of you!
Com Amor,
Sister Perez
In case you ever wondered how missionaries celebrate Carnival...this is how!

just doing my thang on the ukulele!

When you're all out of money for do what ya gotta do! #guavapicking

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sister Bright Side

I’m not going to lie, this week was just sad. Sister Figgy was really sick this week and we barely went out. Then she went and talked to Presidente and he told her that she was going home on Saturday! Ughhhh...yes I cried! Then Diego and Vivian dropped us. Vivian’s family told them all sorts of crazy things about the church and it scared her....It was like everything that could’ve gone wrong, went wrong. So with all these things happening, I just got super down...and turned into one of Nephi's brothers and murmured a bit. But as I tried finding the brighter side, I had this super strong desire to talk with my Heavenly Father. I remember feeling how I just needed to feel like he was there listening and that maybe somehow, if possible, I could feel his arms around me. Finally one night I went to the room where we keep our clothes and just knelt down and looked up at the night sky. That’s when the tears just started coming and I couldn’t hold anything back and I told Him everything that I was feeling. I think I stayed there for about an hour just talking to Heavenly Father. And the two things that I so badly needed, I felt. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us a lot. We are his children and he wants to know what is happening to us all the time. He is always there to hear us and help us. He is just waiting for us to start the conversation.
It was hard seeing Sister Figueredo go home, but I felt the peace I needed that she would be ok. My new comp, Sister Carranza, and I went back to Vivian's. We bore our testimonies for her, and the Spirit was there. She felt it, and she said she would pray to know the truth.
Sometimes we have to go through dark paths to be grateful for the bright sides. And we have dark sides to see that we need our Father in Heaven.
Don’t forget to talk to your Father in Heaven. He's there, waiting.
Com amor,
Sister Perez
P.S. We went to the temple today!!! It was sooooo beautiful!

love is blind...haha

Saying goodbye to Figgy

My new comp..Sister Carranza

We were one united district

Monday, February 2, 2015

Sorry...we don’t eat gluten...

I’m just sitting here and trying to think about what happened this week...but nothing is coming to mind...hmmmmmm
Oh yeah! This week when we went to visit Diego and Vivian, Diego told us "Oh, we just want to let you guys know that we have decided that we are going to attend your church".....I think we just sat there thinking about what he just said for like 3 minutes...and then we invited them to officially be members by being baptized and Diego just kept nodding his head and they both accepted a date!!! Seriously, guys, they are my favorites!!!
I really don’t remember much; just that we worked a ton...
Sister Figgy went to the doctors...and we told him that we think it’s a problem with gluten. He said could be but she would have to do more tests to find out. So, in about 2 weeks...we think...she will be going home to take all these tests and then she will be coming back...we hope. But seriously we cut all gluten and she hasn’t had any pain!!!! But we are eating a ton of meat, salad, and fruit and that doesn’t fill you up that much...And of course I’m eating like her...she is my comp and I won’t let her be hungry alone!!
I was thinking about how we have such great potencial....but because we try to be independent we don’t reach our true potentical. We forget that we having a loving Heavenly father who wants to help us and guide us...but we have to let him. For example, my plan had always been to finish college and then go on a mission. This was a good, righteous plan...but I forgot to check with my Heavenly Father if it was the plan I should take. I was probably still going to reach my potential, but maybe at a slower pace. Then my dad told me to think about a change to my plans, pray and ask God about a mission now. So, look at me now...I’m on the fast track to reaching my true potential. We are so blessed to have this knowledge that we are Children of God. That one day we can be like him. But to be like him, we have to get outside of our boxes and we have to be humble enough to rely on and get approval from our Heavenly Father.
Take care and be strong meu povo!!!
Com amor,
Sister Perez
When life gives you coconuts...spend like 30 minutes trying to open them with a dull knife