Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I'm Living in the Maine of Brasil!

I have basically no time again, so I'm going to write as much as I can in 10 minutes!

I'm Living in the Maine of Brasil:
Weather here is so crazy! One day it's blazing and I'm doing everything I can to not die in the 95 degree weather...with humidity, and the next day I'm wearing a scarf and tights because it's raining and in the high 40s. What the what?! It makes for some really interesting contacting though! It makes for a lot of interesting things acutally haha.

We have some potentials, but nothing super solid. We had an investigator at church yesterday, but when we asked if she liked it, the response was not what we wanted. We got a, "ehh, mais ou menos. Eu vou ficar em minha igreja." Don't deny you felt the Spirit, dang it! Sacrament meeting was awesome yesterday!

It's funny how I can love the food here, but still get excited when something familiar presents itself. We had pasta for lunch at a member's house and I about screamed I was so happy! PASTA! It was really good too! 

Also, I made french toast for my companion and she's hooked! We're getting more stuff for french toast after we finish emails.

Slowly but surely my language is coming. I really do see it improve each day and it's comforting to know that as I pray for the Gift of Tongues and do everything in my power to learn the language, that Heavenly Father will bless me. I've been called to serve here for a reason. I've been told countless times that we are called to serve in the language that we can best testify in. I know that that has to be true, or else I would not be called to preach the gospel in Portuguese.

I love it here! I love being a missionary! It's an expereince and opportunity I wouldn't trade for the world!

Read Alma 5 this week! It's the best! The entire Book of Mormon is, but I fell in love with Alma 5 this week! Let me know what you think!

Love you all!

Amo Sempre, 
Sister McEldowney


From the keeper of this blog -

RE: Investigators
We got a, "ehh, mais ou menos. Eu vou ficar em minha igreja."
My husband's boss also served a mission in Brazil so we asked him to translate. He said that basically this means, "It was okay, but I have my own church."

RE: Language
I really do see it improve each day and it's comforting to know that as I pray for the Gift of Tongues and do everything in my power to learn the language, that Heavenly Father will bless me.

In the New Testament, Acts 1, Jesus tells the Apostles that they are to be witnesses of him "unto the uttermost part of the earth" and then returns to his Father in heaven. In Acts 2 the apostles attend Pentecost in Jerusalem and begin the mission that He gave them. The scriptures record -

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilæans?
And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judæa, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
Acts 2:4-11

This is the gift of tongues to which Kayla refers. It is a gift given to someone so that they can communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ in a language that they do not speak so that those who hear can understand. It does not always come right away and most often must be worked for, however, as Kayla says, her acquisition of Portuguese seems to be accelerated. I met missionaries on my mission who testified of the exact same thing. 

RE: Challenge
Read Alma 5 this week!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Heavenly Father Knows Us So Well!

This week has been great and I'm going to skip the fluff and get right to it!

Mondays are the best and the worst. I love P-Day. A time to recover from the week and prepare for the craziness that lies ahead. When my companion and I have conversations about music and movies and books and other things about home, being trunky makes Mondays so much harder. Mas, tuda bem! I'm still here and loving it!

Also, I ate brigadeiro which is the greatest thing ever! So easy to make and so much deliciousness! Is it any surprise that food is my favorite part so far? Actually, for the sake of my self-worth, don't answer that.

District meeting! I love district meetings so much! They give me the spiritual boost I need every week. Our district is pretty great too. È bom!

We have a new investigator named Daniel who is so great! We met him during a district meeting "challenge" to teach a lesson using O Livro de Mórmon (The Book of Mormon)! Thank you New Hampshire Manchester Mission for teaching me how to do that!

Also, the ônibus drove right in front of me in the middle of my contact, so that was a nice story to tell the district leader that night! Leave it to Sister Macky!

I shared a message at a member meal for the first time! Alma 37:45. So great! My language is nowhere near where I want it to be, but it's coming quickly.

Also, I rode the ônibus for the first time and didn't die! Next step, sharing a message from the front of the bus.

I had pizza pastel which was so good! My companion loves food as much as I do, so trying all the good Brazilian food is the top of her "to-do" list for me! I love it!

I had a Brazilian churro and it was basically heaven in my mouth! I love love love it! It was filled with chocolate and had sprinkles on top! SPRINKLES!

I also got hit on by a drunk man. He told me he loved me. Is this normal? I hope not! So much awkward!

Some pretty great lessons! The people are so great here! They always point out that I'm americana and can't speak well yet, but it's fine. I'm further in my language than I thought I would be after being in the country for 2 weeks.

Sundays are slow, but church was good. I'm understanding more and more which makes me so happy! 

Brazil is great and I'm so blessed to be serving here!

I love you all!

Sister Macky
From the keeper of this blog -

RE: Monday
"...being trunky makes Mondays so much harder."

I do not know if the term "trunky" exists anywhere but the LDS mission culture so forgive me if telling you that it means longing to be home almost to the point of distraction is redundant. Typically it is applied to missionaries who are within a month or two of going home. That particular time frequently presents the need to redouble ones efforts to focus and work hard until the very end which can prove difficult, but certainly not impossible.

"I ate brigadeiro which is the greatest thing ever!"

I found a blog entry that offers a good description of brigadeiros and gives a recipe too -

RE: Wednesday
"I shared a message at a member meal for the first time! Alma 37:45."

It is common, mostly expected, when missionaries eat with members that they share a spiritual thought before they leave. Kayla shared Alma 37:45, a Book of Mormon scripture. I've included it below -

"And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise."

A little background -
The first part of this verse is referring back to earlier Book of Mormon history when Nephi and his family came from the Holy Land via ship to the Americas - the promised land - promised  as a place of habitation to those who would follow God's commandments. Commanded by God to leave before the first destruction of Jerusalem, the Lord provided them a compass-like instrument, director, called the Liahona to help them get there. It worked only according to their faithful righteousness to the commandments of God.


Brasil is so beautiful!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sour, Sweet, Gone.

I have ten minutes to write this email and the attention span of a 5 year old, so I apologize for the lack of detail this week.

I'm in Brasil! It's great and the fact that I was finally reunited with Sister Aston (aka my favorite sister missionary ever!) made things so much better! 

It took a lot out of me, but I made it after 29 hours of travel.

I'm serving in São Sebastião, which is right on the beach! I love it here! I don't understand what anyone is saying and no one undesrstands me, but I still love it here.

My companion is Sister Amorim and she's from Brasil. Somewhere up north I can't remember. Oops! We're opening the area along with two other sisters.

The work is slow right now, but we have a lot of awesome goals to baptize and reactivate.

There have been a lot of bittersweet moments this week. Saying goodbye to Skowhegan about killed me and there are alot of sacrifices I've had to make, but I'm supposed to be serving and I'm supposed to be em Missão Brasil Santos.

I don't really have time, so this is about all I can get out!

Amo sempre,
Sister Mackey

The view from the chapel!

Sometimes I'm the typical Sister Missionary, but how can I not be with a view like this?!

That view though!

The floors and walls of the chapel are so legit! I love it here!

My companion! Sister Amorim!

I just love that I get to serve here with this gorgeous beach right next to me!

I'm officially a "fisher of men"!

Reunited with my favorite sister missionary! Sister Aston!!

Monday, July 6, 2015

From New England to Brazil; it's actually happening!

Alright everyone, this is really real right now! In less than 24 hours I will be on a plane heading down to Brazil! Ahh!

My last update from the United States for awhile! 

Here goes nothing!

Busiest P-Day ever! Trying to get things done was insane. We shopped at a new store. Change obviously doesn't go well for Sister McEldowney and Sister Craig because shopping took us 2 times as long as it should have! Slightly embarassing, but amusing nonetheless.

We also got to have a baking day with Sister Kinney! I love her so stinking much! We made these super good banana chocolate chip cookies! I love baking and I love her and I just loved that afternoon! Yay!

We also started our exchange with the Sister Training Leaders on Monday night, so we had to drive all the way to Bangor. It was a fun car ride though! Sister Craig and I are the same kind of crazy, so it makes long trips in a confined space interesting. Entertaining interesting though.

Exchange with Sister Frame is always interesting too. I love her!

We went to get gas and we have a gas card. Well, she went to go check the oil and accidentally dropped the gas card into the engine. Well, we tried to use the dipstick to get it out. We understand how stupid that is, but we were desperate! Don't judge us too much. Anyway, we couldn't find it and we really needed to go home, so we drove home and I had to stick my head out the window like a dog to listen for it if it fell because using the dipstick obviously didn't work.

We got home and checked for it, but couldn't see it, so we decided to look for it in the morning when the car had cooled off and there was light.

That was how our night went and it was just such a lovely time telling the story to the district leader. 

Helpful hint: don't drop things into the engine area of a car and don't use the dipstick to try to get things out from there if you don't listen to the first part of the hint.

We found the gas card! On the sidewalk while we were on our run. Sister Frame was relieved and I was cracking up! Glad we found it though!

We talked to a ton of people while I was in Bangor that day and it was great! I loved street contacting with Sister Frame! I love street contacting in general, but with Sister Frame it's extra fun!

I made it through the entire day, but not a ton happened now that I'm writing about it. Cool.

I got my companion back! I loved Sister Frame, but it was nice to have Sister Craig back.

We had a really fun FHE lesson with Nancy and her family. It was short, but good. It even included the kids!

Overall, being back in Skowhegan that day was just such a great thing. I love it here and am so grateful for the opportunity to have served here for the last 11 weeks.

I went strawberry picking for the first time! It was so fun! We went with Sister Nixon and she is just the cutest and we loved being able to help her! 

Patrick, our investigator, taught me the Plan of Salvation! It was so cute! I loved it! Playing the investigator role and asking him questions was so fun and it helped him to learn it better. I love it!

We did so much service on Thursday! We had my last day at the Soup Kitchen, which was sad. I love them! Serving at the Soup Kitchen was always something I looked forward to. It'll be weird not to go anymore.

We also did service for the Tweedies and they made us dinner. I love them! They're so cute and funny!

So, we do service at the animal shelter and the past few weeks they've been having us sort through the donations they get, which is all bedding basically. Well, the sheets are super questionable sometimes and this week most of them were actually washed and not questionable! It was such a nice treat!

We also did service for this older woman we met tracting, who reluctantly let us help her weed her garden. It was fun! Side note: I'm a pro-weeder now, so I'm up for grabs when I get home from my mission!

We got to see Ryann right after service and I just love her so much! She's so cute and I'm going to miss her so much! I love that family!

Families, service, and German Pancakes at the end of the day made for a very happy Sister McEldowney.

Happy Independence Day!

We had a surprise visit with Patrick and Sister Paradis! I love them so much! I didn't know it was possible to have this much love for people, especially this many people!

The Tweedies invited us over for a holiday cook-out with them and the Kinneys so we enjoyed that a ton! Two families I absolutely adore at once? Yes please!

Other than that, the day wasn't too eventful. I don't know where New Englanders go, but it's definitely not home!

We had three investigators at church!

We had lunch at the Blooms right after church, as usual, and we had breakfast for lunch, because breakfast food is my favorite! I was in heaven!

We also saw Aaron and had a pretty good gratitude lesson. That man always throws curve-balls during lessons, so I've had to learn to adapt the lesson. Good practice I suppose.

We had dinner with the Cooks and that made me so happy! I love them! They're so sweet!

Sunday was crazy! It was sad, but good. Also, I was just really glad when it was bedtime.

Well, that's it for my week, but before I forget, I was thinking about something a lot this week

I never understood when people talked about the importance of service. I mean, it made sense that it was important to help people, but even the smallest acts of service mean so much! We do a lot of service as missionaries, planned and unplanned. We did a lot of service this week, but it was probably the best thing for me. Getting to help others and see how much they appreciated it was rewarding in itself. The best part was knowing that by serving them, I was serving God (Mosiah 2:17). Service shows love and I've gained such a strong testimony of that since being out. It doesn't take a lot. Just a little bit of time and a little bit of love can make someone's day.

I love being a missionary! I love being able to serve people. Being away from family and friends is hard, don't get me wrong, but I love this work. I love the people and I love that my entire life for 18 months is dedicated to helping myself come closer to Christ and helping others come unto Christ. That's truly my purpose while I'm out. What more could I ask for?!

I love you all and can't wait to tell you about the amazing experiences I have in Brazil!

Have a wonderful week! Fica bem!

Amo Sempre,
Sister McEldowney


From the keeper of this blog -

RE: Sunday
"The best part was knowing that by serving them, I was serving God (Mosiah 2:17)."

Mosiah 2:17 refers to a chapter in The Book of Mormon where King Benjamin, in his last days of life, has his people called together and speaks to them. It is a remarkable discourse. If you'd like to read it I've included the hyperlink  to Chapter 2 below. The entire discourse goes through Chapter 5.


4th of July festivities!
We obviously didn't do much seeing as this was taken during my language study...

Sister Kinney

The Soup Kitchen Crew

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Holy cow! This week has been so crazy and today has been even crazier! 

Y'all are getting a super watered down version of the week because I have no time! Sorry!

Found out I leave for Brasil on July 7th! Super exciting, but also sad. I love Skowhegan!

Zone Conference! All day and so great! Theme was repentance and I loved learning more about it! Plus, President Stoker is just so great and I love hearing the things he is inspired to teach!

Lessons and member visits! I seriously just love Skowhegan so much! The people in this ward are so great!

Awesome lesson with our investigator, Patrick! Soup Kitchen was great as always! Dinner with the Pecks was the best! 

We got to see Ryann and I love her! She's the cutest little thing and I'm going to be so sad to not see her anymore.

We saw Aaron! He's so great! It's really neat to have been able to see him before he got baptized and to see how much he's already progressed. It's just great and the gospel is great and Skowhegan is great and missions are great and life is just great!

In case you couldn't tell, I really love Skowhegan!

Patrick came to church! We knew he wanted to, but we didn't know if it was going to work out with getting him a ride and everything, but it worked! He was there and loved it and wants to get baptized now more than before! I love seeing how happy the gospel makes people. That's why I'm here doing what I'm doing. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ makes me so happy and I want everyone to be able to experience that joy that comes from living the gospel. It's improved the quality of my life and I know it can for all these people as well! I just love it! If I didn't love it, I wouldn't be sacrificing 18 months of my life to serve!

I love missionary work so much! I love New England! I love Skowhegan and the people in the Skowhegan area! I'm truly so blessed to be able to put on my name-tag every morning and know that I am a full-time representative of Jesus Christ. What a blessing!

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Amo sempre,
Sister Mackey

From the keeper of this blog - 

At April's General Conference the church reported that there are 406 missions comprised of 85,147 missionaries. This last week we learned that Sister Craig's best friend is my niece's companion in the Kentucky Louisville Mission. What are the odds? Hope all is well where you are!

District P-day Hike

"We found a turtle! Naturally we stopped to take a picture with him."

"I love Sister Craig! Aren't we just so cute?!"

The Skowhegan Indian