Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fixing My Illiteracy and Learning a New Area

Before we get into the meat of this week, I need to fix some things from weeks past and fix what seems to be illiteracy for Sister McEldowney here.

1. I did not eat a brigadeiro and moreno. I ate a cupcake with brigadeiro and morango! Moreno means brunette and morango is strawberry. I don't always pay attention to what I write, but I do know the difference.

2. I'm not serving in Pontal da Praia, I'm serving in Ponta da Praia. That was just a slip of the finger. It's that whole typing fast on different keyboards thing.

Ok, I think those are the only glaring issues.

As for this week:

TRANSFERS! I'm now serving in Santos in the Ponta da Praia Ward! I had to travel for 5 hours by bus to get here and was a solo missionary for a bit trying to get to my companion, but I made it!

Lunch fell through, then it didn't! #miracle

I saw Sister Aston! Serving so close to her area makes surprise visits a whole heck of a lot easier!

Also, we work like there's no tomorrow and it's awesome!

Oh yeah, my companion is Sister Henrique Lima. She's from Alagoas and she's awesome!

We had some intense wind and rain and it was making the waves hit the rocks and jump the barrier. Well, we were walking down the boardwalk and this guy got totally soaked! We just about died laughing!

We had reunião de districto and it was great! I learned how to invite people to be baptized in the first lesson and during a contact. It was grand! Also, I ran into Sister Aston on the street and it was great!

We met a super solid investigator that the elders left for us. His name is Ian and we committed him to baptism and put him on date. I'm pretty stoked! #batismo
We were on a role with meeting people today and just working our hardest! I love being a missionary!

I'M SERVING IN A WARD! No one has any idea how much of a blessing that is for me. I was almost crying when we walked into sacrament meeting and we had more than 20 people! Also, there were young men passing the sacrament and more than 2 people in Gospel Principles! I'm in heaven. For those people either serving in a ward or living in one, DO NOT TAKE IT FOR GRANTED! I have a new appreciation for wards!

Alright, no time left!

Love you all!

Amo sempre,
Sister McEldowney


São Sebastião at night!



São Sebastião Sisters! Last District Meeting!


New companion!

Friday, August 21, 2015

20 Things From The Week I Turned 20

This week has been super eventful, thus, my update is coming in list form! I love lists and I think that 20 things is both reasonable and timely! Let it begin!

1. The energy was out for over an hour last Monday and apparently that happens regularly! I didn't believe it until it actually happened. Strange, strange place Brasil is. But, I love it!

2. Ilhabela is so pretty! I love getting to take a boat there, too! I know I've said it before, but I'm totally a water baby! Explains the water polo and swimming without a doubt. Don't you worry though people, I'm being obedient and not touching the water.

"not touching the water."
Restrictions keep missionaries safe. One hard and fast mission rule is that there are to be no recreational water activities. Good job, Kayla!

3. Last district meeting of the transfer! I can't believe it's already the end of the transfer! The days are long, but the weeks really are short.

4. We had two sisters who are preparing for missions go teaching with us on Wednesday. They're rockstars! It amazing how their enthusiasm rub bed off on us. Missions are the best! Sometimes I forget that, but a gentle reminder always gets me back into gear.

5. Missionaries get a lot of details about a person's life. I have never felt so involved in a person's life! It's not just one person, it's tons! Something about this nametag I suppose.

6. You wouldn't think that beans and rice taste different, but there is a  sister in this branch who makes some of the best rice and beans I have ever had. So grand!

7. I learned how to eat fish...the proper way. Apparently I don't use my hands enough when I eat, so I need to work on that. It's a suggestion from a member's wife, so it must be true, right?

8. My district leader and his companion are the best! Elder Richards and Elder Haygood called me at 6:20 (before I was even awake) to wish me a happy birthday and sing "parabens!" I love them! Talk about a great start to my birthday!

Sung to the tune of Happy Birthday, the song Parabéns pra você is the song most commonly sung in Brazil to celebrate someone’s birthday.

9. Sister Amorim made me a super cute birthday card! Eu amo ela!

10. Sister Aston sent me a birthday card, which I waited to open until my actual birthday, and I cried tears of happiness, and laughter! I love love love her! 

11. Rebecca, one of the members of my branch who also happens to share my birthday, made me a cupcake filled with brigadeiro and a strawberry! Heaven in a cup!

12. Lourdes, our AWESOME investigator, made super delicious hot dog type things and bolo! She's awesome!

I believe "bolo" is a type of bread.

13. We got to meet this awesome returned sister missionary! She made us fresh açaí and I'm in love now.

14. Lourdes' neighbor sells these super chique, Brazilian hot dogs and gave us two (for free) and I was so genuinely pleased with life. It was so good!

15. We climbed a huge hill. There aren't a lot we're brave enough to climb here, but our less actives are so worth it!

16. I'm getting transferred!
17. My current area is getting white-washed and I'm white-washing my next area. Two areas in a row that I'm white-washing! What the what?!

I called a recently returned missionary and asked her to define "white-washing". It's when two missionaries, both new to an area, are transferred into that area to be a companionship. Typically one missionary is transferred and the other stays in the area and gets a new companion. 

18. I will be serving, for at least the next 6 weeks, in Santos, in an area called Pontal da Praia!

19. Alma 37:45. There is an invitation and promise in that one verse. Will you accept that invitation?

45 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.

20. I love the Book of Mormon! I have never found so much joy in one book. I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. I know tht it is the word of God. There are promises of so many blessings if we abide by its precepts. I seriously encourage each and every one of you to pick it up and read it. I promise you that it will change your life for the better. What other book comes with a promise so great as the one found in Moroni 10:3-5? 

Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

I can answer that question right now, no other book! I love The Book of Mormon with all of my heart! If you have "even a desire to believe" (Alma 32:27) act on that desire! Talk to your local missionaries, talk to me, talk to your Father in Heaven! 

I want each of you to know how much I love this gospel. I would not be giving 18 months of my time to serve the Lord if I did not know, with every fiber of my being, that what I am sharing is true. My life has been changed for the better and I know it can do the same for you.

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

Amo Sempre,
Sister McEldowney

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Love I Didn't Know I Had

I love Brasil so much! Every passing day gives me something new to love! Whether it be the crazy and wonderful sisters I live with, the incredibly spiritual experiences, the pure beauty, the kindness of people, the interesting stories, EVERYTHING! I seriously feel so blessed to be serving in such a great place! Heavenly Father knew exactly what I needed when He assigned me to serve in Missão Brasil Santos! I love it here!

Alright, I have very little time and am writing in an Internet House where I can't send pictures, so I apologize in advance. I'll make up for it next week though (:

Nothing really happened. I colored, so that was cool. Also, I talked to a lot of people, but I do that every day.

We have an investigator, Lourdes, who is the mother of a menos ativo (less active member) and she is so solid! She asked us for her own copy of O Livro de Mórmon and is so stinking excited to have us come teach her! I love her tons!

We also went to acompanhar (follow up) André e Flávia (who are our 2 other solid investigators) and when we got there, they told us they hadn't read O Livro de Mórmon lately and so Sister McEldowney here got to use everything she's been learning the past 5 months and I asked them if we could read with them. They said yes! Woohoo! That's not even the most exciting part! I INTRODUCED THE SCRIPTURE, READ, AND APPLIED IT TO THEIR LIFE!!!! IRA was applied in my missionary life and in português too! Life is so grand!

Reunião de districto (district meeting)! I love them so much! My district is awesome! It's even better because I speak enough now that I can participate, and laugh when someone says something funny. I never thought I'd be so excited to hear someone's really cheesy missionary humor! I've hit that point though.

I had to go to Santos and I made it safely. Guess what else? I WAS REUNITED WITH SISTER ASTON FOR A NIGHT! Sister McEldowney heaven! Pictures will follow next week.

I'm now officially in Brasil legally! After spending all day in Santos at the Federal Police station I am legal and very pleased with life! Woohoo! 

Lourdes made us um bolo de brigadeiro e moreno (a chocolate cake, I think). Heaven again! She also committed to read more than we left and go to church!

Lourdes came to church! We did weekly planning too so nothing new to report for Sunday.

I love you all and have no time left!

Have a wonderful week!

Amo sempre,
Sister McEldowney

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Relatively Busy Week