January 21, 2014

Week 23 (20 January 2014)

This week was good.

Segunda- I took a nap again today.  Miracles of miracles.  I love sleep.

Terca- We had made a contact last week and finally were able to track this couple down and teach them a lesson.  They are an interesting couple and we found-out that both of them have had serious medical problems.  It is crazy to hear about miracles that have happened to people in the past, that they were able to survive and now are having the opportunity to learn about God's plan for each one of us.

Quarta- We had a noite familiar tonight at G~'s house (a recent convert that is always helping us).  J~ and her brother (who has a baptismal date for the 25th) and her sister were there as well.  We got to talk to J~ alone for a few minutes and she said that she wanted to get baptized and that everything was on for Saturday!  I will get to see her baptized finally.  She was almost my first baptism in Panambi and will be my last.

Quinta- Sister K~ (one of our Sister Training Leaders) came and did splits with Sister P~ and me today!  It was a lot of fun.  She is from Salt Lake and I used to read her blog before I came out to Brasil.  We had a lot of cool teaching experiences.  I love teaching with different missionaries to see how they teach the lessons and follow the spirit to ask inspired question to people that they have never met before.

Sexta- I AM BEING TRANSFERRED!  I am super excited, sad, and anxious all at the same time.  I love Panambi and have learned and grown so much here, but I feel at peace and know that I am needed in Camobi.  The cool thing is that I will be living with Sister Gold still!  We are going to spend half of our missions together.  It is going to be sweet!

Sabado- I said goodbye to one of our investigators today who has recently gained a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true.  It was hard to say goodbye, but it has been such a good experience to see her gain a testimony and act on her faith and be an example to the rest of her family.  She still needs to go to church, but I know that she will get there eventually.  I love missionary work!

Domingo- We helped a less active (18 year old) come to church today.  We literally pulled him out of his bed (with his mom's permission).  It was super funny.  Haha.  It is cool to teach people about the gospel for the first time, but I just love seeing people who have been away from the church for a while revive their testimonies and find joy in the gospel again (especially youth).

I will miss Panambi, but am super excited for the next adventure I am going to have!

My new address:
Caixa Postal 0339
Centro-Santa Maria-RS

-Sister Phelps

Week 22 (13 January 2014)

This was a great week full of miracles (that I need to write in my journal). So much for New Year's resolutions... haha.  Anyways, I am so glad to be a missionary and that I have the opportunity to share the gospel with the people here in Panambi.  I will find out this Friday if I will be transferred and know that whatever happens it will be for the best.

So... tender mercies.

Segunda- Got my hair cut today.  I thought that getting my hair cut in a foreign country would be a traumatic experience, but it all turned-out okay.  I actually really like it.  My hair is just above my shoulders now when it is curly, which is great for the hot summer we are in the middle of right now.  I actually talked a lot with the woman who cut my hair and even got her address so that we could go and teach her.  Wahoo!  Experiences like that make me feel like I'm living in The District... oh wait.

Terca- I SURVIVED 5 MONTHS IN BRASIL!  I celebrated my 5 month mark today and cannot believe that it is already here.  This last transfer has flown by and I seriously have no idea where it went... wow.  5 months.  (To celebrate I made french toast because my companion is IN LOVE with it.)

Quarta- We taught a family today that I have been teaching since my second week in Panambi.  They haven't really been progressing lately, but we love them so much and want to keep teaching them so we did something new.  We all prayed at 10:30pm together (in different locations) so that their prayers and questions would not only be heard and answered, but that they could understand the response that they received.  It was a powerful moment for me and I think I will do this a lot more because of its power.  We also went to Cruz Alta today to start paperwork for V~ and J~'s wedding!  But... dun dun dun... they won't be able to get married until March... MARCH!  What is this!? I'm not angry because I know that some miracle will happen and it will all be okay.  But we got to hear them bear their testimonies and that was the best part of the trip.

Quinta- It was a busy day full of teaching and being chased by rabid dogs (I'm just kidding about the rabid dogs), but there were so many tiny miracles today I don't know where to begin.

Sexta- We went back to M~ and N~'s, and C~ RECOGNIZED HIS ANSWER!  He knows, without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true!  He is only 10, but he knows it.  Yay!  The rest of the family are still having some doubts, but we are working with them.  Aww, I love the people here!  Another miracle.  For about two hours today I thought I had the flu.  It was pretty bad, but after a quick shower, lots of praying, and a nap (authorized by my District Leader of course) I was better than new!  It was awesome!

Sabado- We had an activity tonight that was a great success!  Pizza Night!  Everyone likes free pizza!  And who like making pizza? This American. :)  I made 12 pizzas in 2 hours and it was great!  I have the recipe down and even had to translate it for all of the people in my branch who want it.  We had so many less-actives and investigators at the activity!  The Lord is looking-out for His missionaries in Panambi.

Domingo- We knocked on a house to contact a reference that we have been trying to contact for the last two weeks, and finally someone was home.  It was a mom (A~) and a daughter (C~).  They were wonderful during our lesson and had perfect answers and insights for everything.  At the end of the lesson C~ mentioned that she has visited our church.  As we talked to her more we found-out that she had not only visited our church and going to get baptized but her grandma forbid her (she was 9 at the time).  She still wants to be baptized!  Miracles!  Wahoo!

I love Panambi!  I love my companion!  I love the mission!  Thanks for all your support and prayers!

Te Amo!
-Sister Phelps

January 1, 2014

Week 20 & 21 (30 December 2013)

So... I am going to give you the tender mercies for the last 2 weeks because I didn't have time to email last week BECAUSE WE GOT SKYPE!!  Wahoo!

Segunda- I got a letter from the coolest Elder in Vegas!  It brightened my day so much because that dude can write and draw with such humor.  Miss that kid.

Terca- We went to Santa Maria today for our Conferencia de Natal.  It is starting to feel a little more like Christmas now.  It was nice to get out of Panambi for a little bit and to just have a change of scenery.  I love Panambi, don't get me wrong, but it is nice to have a break every now and then.  Sister G~ and I did a special musical number.  She can make this cool noise with her mouth (I can't explain it over email) and I "played the trumpet."  We got up there all serious and started "I Am a Child of God," the whole time trying not to join in the laughter that filled the cultural hall.  About half way through we gave in and were laughing so hard it hurt.  Then of course they wanted an encore so we did one last attempt and almost, almost made it all the way through.  Needless to say I love that girl.  It was a lot of fun. :)

Quarta- (I don't remember anything specific about today)...

Quinta- So Sister P~ and I were knocking on doors and almost everyone that we talked to were old people.  (There are so many old people in Panambi it is ridiculous).  We decided to knock on one more door because we saw a middle aged man in the house and wanted to talk to him.  As I started clapping my hands the door opened and who was standing there?  An old woman.  She let us in and made us juice, gave us cookies, and accepted our message.  Heavenly Father taught us a very important lesson that day... not all old people are too proud (or Catholic) to accept our message.  (This was not written to offend anyone who is "old."  Sorry.)

Sexta- We painted a house today!  Iwas a lot of fun and I just realized this morning (more than a week later) that I still have a drop of paint on my glasses.  Service is AWESOME!

Sabado- The other Sisters in Panambi had two baptisms today.  The first one was a middle aged woman who is the mom of a part-member family in our Branch.  The other was an 8 year old who is the daughter of a family who was recently reactivated.  So the person to baptize just got the Priesthood a few weeks ago and is one of the 4 worthy Priesthood holders in our Branch right now. 

Domingo- We ran into a family of 7 who had been baptized in another city and then a week later moved to Panambi.  After a year of living here the missionaries finally ran into them.  Hopefully we can baptize their kids and help reactivate them.  Wahoo!  A family of 7!

Segunda- We have the best District leader and Zone leaders EVER!  I love those guys!  They are spiritual powerhouses and I am so grateful for them!  (When we ask for chocolate they give it to us without a second thought...) hehe

Terca- Today being Christmas Eve and all, Sister P~ and I went to this cute little park that is all decorated for Christmas and made contacts and sang and sang and sang CHRISTMAS MUSIC!  I think one of the hardest parts for me this year was not having my family (of course) and not have Christmas music playing.  Luckily Sister G~ had two Christmas songs on her iPod, but we needed more variety for sure.

Quarta- CHRISTMAS!  CHRISTMAS!! NATAL!! Wahoo!  SKYPE WORKED!  It was truly a miracle.  Really.  A MIRACLE!  I loved talking to my family including my little bro in VEGAS!  Aww!  I love y'all.

Quinta- So we taught the Law of Chastity to a couple and right then and there he proposed to her.  It was SO CUTE!  I hope everything works out for them.  I love seeing people get excited about keeping the commandments.

Sexta-  We taught another family about the Law of Chastity today and there was a young man there who seemed concerned.  After we told them about this commandment he went in the other room (and we could still hear him), called his girlfriend and started telling her about the law of chastity.  It was so cute!

Domingo- WE GOT A NEW MEMBER IN THE WARD!  HE IS A PRIESTHOOD HOLDER!  AND A RETURN MISSIONARY!  PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED!  Really though, I have never been so excited to have a new member before.  God blesses His missionaries.

Week 19 (16 December 2013)

Tender Mercies:

Segunda- I had enough time to write seven or more letters, the only problem is that I already ran out of money for the week so I will have to send them next week.  (That means that they won't get there in time for Christmas...)  Sorry everyone.

Terca- My first companion switch in the field went well.  I am already missing Sister C~'s little quirks and our inside jokes, but I have a feeling that Sister P~ and I are going to have great success together.  We get along great and she wants to end her mission with a bang (she has one more transfer after this one.)  I am super duper excited for the next five weeks (or more) that I have with her!!

Quarta- Almost ALL of our plans for today fell through.  We were getting a little frustrated because I should know the area a little better than I do so we are both feeling kind of lost at this point.  As we began to walk home to grab a snack (the hills here take all of your energy in no time) we ran into a couple who Sister C~ and I had taught a while ago and were never able to find them home after that.  We were able to teach them and feel the Spirit so strongly in our lesson.

Quinta- We went over to a recent convert's house who decided that every Quart-Feira we get to make the menu for lunch, he will buy all of the fixings for the food and them we will make it at his house (because he is single and doesn't know how to cook.)  this week we made pizza, American style with Mindy and Craig's recipe.  Everyone loved it and they asked me to translate the recipe so that they can make it after I leave.  Pretty cool huh!?  We also made a white chocolate dessert pizza that was fantastic.

Sexta- We ran into an woman and the conversation was a little confrontational.  I let Sister P~ take over because I was a little confused and trying so hard not to laugh.  Personally, I think that before the mission I would have been crying after being confronted in this way, but I have such a strong testimony now, after being in the mission that God lets me just laugh it off a little.

Sabado- We got TWELVE referrals from a member today.  Let me tell you, that never happens!  It was such a blessing that we remembered to ask and that they trusted us enough to give us referrals to less-actives who they were close to and friends who we could visit.  It was a great blessing, but now we have to contact all of them... haha.

Domingo- We had no investigators show-up for church today... worst. feeling. ever.  But, tudo bem.  It just put a fire under us to work even harder and search-out those golden investigators that are being prepared to hear our message and will have a desire to come to church.  We found three.  THREE!  In one afternoon.  We had been looking for a referral that we had gotten from a member, but the member didn't know the exact address.  All they told us was that the person lived on C~ Street in a green house with brown shutters.  Guess how many green houses with shutters are on C~ Street...?  At least 20.  We knocked on three and found super awesome people who were placed in our path.  (We didn't end up finding the referral.)

I am so grateful to be here in Panambi sharing the Gospel and truly seeing how our loving Heavenly Father has been blessing my life every day, but also the lives of those who we visit, teach and love here in Brasil.  Like my dad told me a few weeks ago... "Servants of the Lord have the most fun."  :)  Ain't that the truth!

Te amo! Bejo!
-Sister Phelps