Monday, December 30, 2013

1- Baptisims!
2- SO much Panettone!


MINHA FAMILIA E MEUS AMIGOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So this week... was crazy hard and stressful, but we had some pretty amazing miracles too. Let me start off by saying that we had two baptisms yesterday!!! YAY! Satan definitely played his part too... Here is the story:
Last week at church we saw this new family. (Usually investigators have to come to church two sundays in a row before they can be baptized.) But we talked to the branch president, who told us that this family is spiritually ready and can get baptized before that. So we went to their house this week to teach them... well they already knew some doctrine, but we taught the restoration SUPER fast (because we had to catch the bus...) Anyways, we asked the mother to kneel down and pray for us and ask if the restoration is true. She did. It was the shortest prayer ever, but afterwards, we asked her how she felt, and she said soo good. She even showed us that she had goosebumps! 
Well here is where we start having problems. This family is poor. Absolutely poor. They actually were living on the streets for a while, and now their house is not even a house- more like a corner... and there is no way that the mother and father are married (because it is expensive to get married here in Brazil.) so she couldn´t get married, but her two children could, so we invited them to get baptized on Sunday, and they said yes!
So on Saturday we had the interviews scheduled. Well, our district leader had some other serious commitment , so we had to figure out a way for the zone leader to come to our city. He made it work out, and was able to come. Well, our plan was to pick up the kids via unibus and meet the elders at the church. Well, we left our lunch appointment but somehow couldn´t find the unibus or something, so we ended up asking a recent convert, Marilio, (and his mother who lives with him) to drive us. So Marilio drove us, picked up the kids, and took us to the church where the kids ended up having their interviews. 
SO Sunday- Batism day. The family never showed up for church!!!!!! WE called the member who was going to give them a ride, but she said that for some reason she didn´t have her car, so she was taking the unibus to church. But this family with the kids getting baptized is so poor, they couldn´t afford the unibus. So, we scrambled around trying to find a memeber with a car who could pick up this family. We finally found a brother, but there would be no way he and his wife and us and the family could fit- and he didn~t know where the family lived. WE had a serious problem. BUT guess who showed up a couple minutes late for church and walked right into us? Marilio! So, the member and Marilio went to pick up the family, and Sister Finlinson and I went to turn on the font. BUTTTTT the faucet was broken and we couldn´t get the water to come out. So we found a different brother who knew some mechanical stuff, and after about 15 minutes, we finally got the water, and 10 minutes later, the family showed up. And the rest was good.

SO- I have defintietly learned a lot about hard work and the need for faith. I have streteched my faith this week, but I have also grown. Heavenly Father´s plan will always prevail.  It was such a blessing to see those batisms yesterday! 

Other news: Mom- It´s funny you would assume that my apartment is better than Tyler´s (Porto Alegre North mission.) Ummmm I dont know. The sink doesn´t have a pipe, so we use a bucket. Obviously we don´t have hot water. And oh get this- we have to keep the windows closed at night (SOO HOT) or else bats will come in. YEAH....  but hey, it functions, and I sleep well every night. :)

I love you all. I love this work- it is so hard sometimes, but I am learning so much too. THis church is true, the book is blue, and God is a Mormon! (hehe something people say here!)

Sister Eliason

Monday, December 23, 2013

Primero Semana!!!!!

I LOVE BRASIL!!!!!! I´m so glad I´m here! My area is a city called Campo Morão, and I love it. buttttt let´s start from the beginning. Traveling was fine- about 30 hours, but tudo bem. I had a layover from São Paulo to Londrina, and the airport was kinda of crazy. They assign about 5 different flights who leave at the same time to one gate, then you have to listen to the overhead speaker to see if your plane is the one at that gate or if your´s was moved. And my plane moved, so that was fun listening to that in Portuguese... haha oh well, I´m here. I have the greatest companion ever, Sister Finlinson!!! She is American and we actually look a lot alike. People ask us all the time if we are sisters... Anyways, she has 10 months here in Brasil and whenever I ask her a question about Portuguese, she´ll explain in portuguese, and then if I still don´t understand, she will say it in english. We NEVER speak english. She´s banned me. I´m not allowed. hehehe this is the most I´ve thought in english in a long time! 

Anyways, we went straight to the mission president´s house and had dinner then left to a house where other sisters were staying. I had to stay in Londrina for a couple of days while we settled all the visa stuff. The second day we had a Mission Christmas party where most of the misssionaries in our mission came. It was pretty crazy.... everyone was so excited to see each other and spoke soooooooo fast!!! We had a couple of talks that I hardly understood and then played some games. For the next couple of days, Sister Finlinson and I stayed in Londrina, and did a lot of contacting for the other sisters. And holy cow, the people here are SO ready to hear the gospel!! Most people we talk to agree to have us come and teach them about Christ in their homes. They are so open and so kind and generous, I love Brazilians. 

Anyways, the third day, we were doing some contacting, and I walked under a tree and a bird pooped on me. It was a good shot too: On my hair, my shirt, my skirt, my leg, and my shoe. It don´t know how it was possible, but it happened. Welcome to Brasil!!! Also, there are more dogs than I´ve seen in my life!!!!! SOOO MANY! stray dogs. they mostly lay on the ground and nap because it´s so hot. 

SOOO, on Friday we got to Campo Morão and went to our apartment, which is in the VERY MIDDLE. There are two sets of sisters in our apartment. They cover half of the city, and we cover the other half. Well, the other sisters are brazilian, and speak SSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO fast!!!! They always have to repeat for me. Saturday, we walked. EVerywhere. Because we spent so many days in Londrina, we wanted to talk to as many investigators as possible. And we have SO MANY. It´s a good thing, but I can´t keep track of it. WE would walk to a house, stay for 10-15 minutes, then leave and walk. Yesterday was church, and it was definitely interesting. Well, we left about 5 minutes before church started with the branch president to go pick up some investigators- some who were there, some who weren´t. We got back an hour later in time for sunday school. then in sacrament meeting, I bore my testimony. (I wanted to.) and I´ve borne my testimony soooo many times before, but when I got up to the pulpit, I forgot like everything. It was bad. Then some member, (who had some southern baptist in him) would hum loudly and say the typical "amen" or "hallelujah." kind of distracting. Well, I can only go up from here. 

 AHH I´m out of time!! Its hard (especiallly because I cant understand almost anything), but I love it! 

Amo vocês!!!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, this week:

I GOT MY VISA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS MEANS I'M LEAVING FOR BRAZIL ON MONDAY MORNING!!!!!!!!! I'm done with the MTC, so I'm going straight to my mission!!!!!!!!
I am seriously so blessed! It was crazy though, because my companion got her visa on the same day, just a couple of hours earlier than me!! (she's going to porto alegre north, where my bro Tyler is at!) SOOOOOO, we're super stoked!

ON Tuesday, guess who came to speak at Devotional? Elder Quentin L. Cook!!!! 3rd apostle here!!! It would have been 4, but the snow prohibited Elder Ballard from coming. Anyways, HE WAS SO AMAZING! I think more than ever, I could feel his apostolic power, and I just KNEW that he is an apostle called of God today. One of my favorite things he said was that most of our spiritual experiences and impressions come when we are trying to bless the lives of others, not ourselves. SO powerful! He also said something that Elder Russell M. Nelson said when he came: when you get to your area, the first thing you should do is make friends with the bishop, ward mission leader, the family history consultant, and earn the trust of the members. SO important if 2 apostles said that within a month of each other, right?!

Ok, yesterday we had this thing called "in-field orientation." WE went to a ton of different classes and had some pretty amazing teachers. (One of my instructors, Sam Anderson, said he knows cousin Derek Asay! super cool- such a small world...) anyways, the best part was when some people did a "play" of what missionaries should do in the field and how they should interact with members. Well, one of the missionary actors was ELDER CHRISTIANSON FROM "THE DISTRICT"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was my favorite missionary in "The District" because he always really thought about what the investigators had to say and asked the most inspired questions! Whenever I think of how we should "teach people, not lessons," I think of him. I'm not kidding! He's like a huge celebrity here, so that was pretty amazing. We didn't get to meet him though :( Oh well.

So, we had to say goodbye to one of our investigators, Silmara, this week, and it was WAY harder than I imagined.  WE walked in to our appointment, and she was so excited because she said she finally found an answer, and that she knew God loved her and cares for her. Well, we talked a little about enduring to the end, and then asked her to be baptized. She said yes and we set a date! Well, then we had to tell her that we were being "transferred" and other missionaries would finish teaching her. Oh my goodness it was so hard. She was almost begging us to stay, and to be there for her and her baptism. We had to explain that although we really wanted to, we couldn't. We talked about how her baptism was to the Lord, and not for us, the missionaries. Oh wow, I could just feel God's love for her so much, it was simply amazing.

Well, I love you all, and I'm soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo way beyond excited to get to Brazil! 

Sister Eliason

P.S. My dear brothers, I am officially disappointed in you because you didn't send A SINGLE dearelder letter, and now it's too late to do it for free. :(

P.P.S. Tanner how many colleges have you applied to? which ones?


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

it's the most wonderful time of the year!!

But really... It is so lovely this time of the year. Except it gets REAL cold. Like around 0 degrees in the mornings and around 10-15 for the high. I'm looking forward to Brazil every day. This week definitely had some ups and downs though.

Sunday was fast sunday, so we had meetings ALL MORNING! Hey dad, I kind of know how you feel with all your bishopric meetings you had. but on a smaller scale. But seriously, 3 -4 hours of straight meetings. Don't get me wrong, I love being a Sister Training Leader, but I seriously don't have any open time on Sundays.  Oh well. :)  Also, there are only 2 districts in our zone, which is also our branch. And 3 elders in the other district got their visas so they are in Brazil. So there are only 17 people in our branch. For sacrament meeting, we just went down the 2 two rows and each bore our testimonies. I hear that we are getting new missionaries this next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

So on Tuesday, it snowed. and snowed. and snowed. and snowed. It was awesome until we went to devotional that night and learned that ELDER M. RUSSELL BALLARD was supposed to come and speak! BUT he couldn't make it "due to weather conditions." I'm guessing he was flying back from somewhere in the world, and his plane couldn't land.... oh well, the man who spoke instead was really good, and I think it was exactly what I needed to hear that day.

So we have the SUPER LEGAL (cool) experience from this week on until we leave: we are all pretending to be investigators and teach each other. This is a WAY awesome experience. We each picked someone we know who we think could use the gospel, and pretend to be them. It is amazing how real it feels. (and I'm not telling who I am...) 
Anyways, a bunch of you asked if the investigators we teach are "real" investigators. Answer: yes and no. So technically no. Right now, our other investigators are our teachers pretending to be the investigators. However, they each have chosen people they know from their missions who they taught. And our teachers act like them, and follow commitments like them and seriously, it feels SO REAL. Example: my teacher irma Tirrell, is super outgoing and very excited about everything. She is always so happy and just sooo amazing. Well, she is our investigator, Silmara, who is so shy, whose husband was a memeber but he died. She has a couple of kids, and is just really sad. She doesn't think that God loves her or answers her prayers, and it is apparent she feels lonely. We take these lessons very seriously because they are.

So this week,our district was supposed to HOST. This was when we welcome the new missionaries and take them to get their stuff and find their classes. But we didnt' get the letter that we were supposed to do this untilWEDNESDAY NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! uuuuuuuugggggggggg! Kind of frustrated. oh well, maybe I wasn't supposed to host because I would have seen my family who was dropping off Serino. And tudo bem por que nos estamos hosting next week.  sorry, (it's all good because we are hosting next week.) My portuguese and english run together all the time. kind of like spanglish, but portugish... 

But speaking of Serino, (I mean Elder Serino (woah that's weird to say)) I haven't seen him at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been looking everywhere for him, but nada. I also have been on the look for a mustard brown/yellow parka, but I haven't seen any of those either.... If I see him, I'll try to get a picture. 

Random fact: Did you know the Iguassu Falls is in my mission?!?!!?!?!:!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!? Like I've been flippin' out!!! Yeah, My mission touches Paraguay and Argentina, but the falls is in my mission!!! I seriously hope that my mission pres. will let us go!!!!

I love you all, and I love getting letters from you! THanks! Keep them coming!! I know that this work is the work of the Lord, and I love being his servant. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints is the same church Christ established, and I'm grateful to be a part of it.

Sister Eliason 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

THANKSGIVING - guess who we saw?!?!

Any guesses?! Well, *drumroll please* Elder Russell M. Nelson came!!!!!!!!  It was really neat to see another apostle and to hear waht he had to say to just us missionaries. What suprised me the most was that both he and his wife talked about how our future-investigators' ancestors are praying for us. They are on the other side of the veil praying that we will teach the gospel to their decendents, so that their ordinaces can be done too. Isn't that such a neat thing to hear?! IT was so great.  Also yesterday, we did a service project for kids in Utah who don't have food. We made soup bags, that you only have to add water to. As an MTC we made 350,000 bags! So cool right? AFter that, we had a special treat where we watched "Ephriam's Rescue." It was the first time that I had seen it, and it's realllllly good. I highly recommend it.
Well, this week: it was pretty good, a little monotonous, but still good. 
Funny story: One sister in my district received a package this week. Well I guess her dad is kind of strange because he put a packet of SPAM in it!! Ew! Like why?? Well anyways, we decided to have a mid-MTC district initiation. So we all had to eat some cold, rubbery SPAM at the same time. The texture was the worst. 

So there are these people who walk around the MTC with gold tags. We call these "gold-tag-investigators." Well one sat next to my companion and I at lunch one day, and we talked to him for a while about the gospel. He's from Guatamala and has had such a hard life it's  unbelievable. I don't have the time to descibe it, just know that we are soooo blessed with our lives. He wants to learn more, so we have an appointment with him in just a couple of minutes, so I don't have that long on the computer. 

One elder from the other district that just came got his visa and he leaves on Monday! He's also from Virginia, and it seems like everyone I know who has gotten their visas lately have gone through the Washington DC consolate.... I don't want to jinx anything, but yeah....

Portuguese is muito bem. Getting bettter every day!

Amo voces!!!
Sister Eliason