Monday, September 28, 2015

4 Trainers, 3 Areas, 2 Countries, and 23 Weeks Later

I'M FINALLY DONE WITH TRAINING! I don't think anyone understands how stinking happy I am! For missionaries there is a program called "The First 12 Weeks" that is a training program for the first 12 weeks in the field. I've done it twice. I was literally being "trained" for the first 23 weeks I was in the field. TWENTY THREE! Needless to say, I'm super grateful to be done with that. 

On to the next piece of news. TRANSFERS! We got a transfer call! Sister Henrique Lima: continuing in Ponta da Praia. Sister McEldowney: CONTINUING IN PONTA DA PRAIA! Also, we're now in a trio! The two of us stayed, and we're now in a trio with Sister Mendez. I'm up for the challenge!

Truly, I can't remember a whole lot from this week. It was a lot of street contacting and trying to contact formers. Welcome to the real life of a missionary: trying to find golden investigators after you baptized all of yours. 

Oh wait! Can we all take a second to appreciate that General Conference is this weekend?!?!?!?! I'm through the roof! We get to hear from the prophet! People, we have a living prophet who receives revelation directly from God for us. He receives revelation for us, right now! We are so blessed to have a living prophet and to be able to hear from him and the apostles every six months.

I'm so stoked for conference and can't wait to watch it. I hope you all take the opportunity to watch it. I promise you that you will not be disappointed. 

Well, there's the week that Sister McEldowney had. Hope you all have a great week! And don't forget about General Conference!

Amo Sempre,
Sister McEldowney

P.S. I can't send pictures from this computer, but I will next week

From the keeper of this blog -

Just in case you're interested in watching General Conference, I've included a couple of links below. The first is a brief history of General Conference and the second is the link to stream it live from The link to stream it live is on the splash page typically the day before the sessions (there are 4 - 2 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday) are scheduled to begin. They are broadcast from Salt Lake at both days 10-12 and 2-4 Mountain Standard Time. Hope all is well where you are!

Friday, September 25, 2015

So. Many. Things.

I seriously never have time to write anything! Someday, someday. Maybe...

Anyway, it's another bullet point week. Sorry all! I'll send pictures too though!

This week:

-I made cookies last Monday...again! I love love love baking!

-We did a whole heck of a lot of street contacting. That's what happens when even your back-up plans fall through. Like I said last week, it's a really good thing I like to talk!

-I taught a lesson on the bus. It may not seem like a big deal, but I managed to teach a lesson by myself (and with a lot of help from the Spirit)! #ICanPortugueseSometimes

-I rubbed ketchup into my hands for an object lesson in district meeting. Never again. I smelled like ketchup the rest of the day. It was a neat object lesson though!

-Sister Aston knows me so well! She called me this week just because she missed me and she wrote me a super legit note! Little did she know that was exactly what I needed to start my week off right! I have the greatest friend/first companion ever!

-We did weekly planning right this week! Food galore! Pictures will follow.

-We had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches this week. Such a simple thing, but I loved every second of my sandwhich. I miss the little things. And by the little things, I mean food hahahah!

-BATISMO! Caio got baptized! Happy happy happy day! Baptisms are the best! It's such a blessing to see someone make their first covenant with Heavenly Father. It's even more of a blessing to know that greater blessings are ahead so long as they keep those covenants.

Well, that was my week in a nutshell. I hope all is well in everyone else's neck of the woods! Have a great week!

Amo Sempre,

Sister McEldowney


Planning done right!

Batismo do Caio!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Happy Place and An Accomplished Goal

I never have enough time to write everything that I want to, but I'm going to give it my best shot this week!

Nope, just kidding! I have ten minutes!

Bullet points for the win!

-My district leader is the best and constantly helps me find new ways to improve my language and be a better missionary. He's pretty fantastic!

- I accomplished my mission goal! I was determined to stand in front of a full bus and invite every single one of them to learn about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Guess what sister missionary did that this week! #missionarymoment #livingthatBrasillife

-People think I'm from Argentina because of my accent when I speak Portuguese. Success! I don't sound like a gringa!

-We found 3 golden investigators this week! #stoked #blessingsofobedience

-BATISMO! Yuji, who has been an investigator for about a year, is officially a recent convert! Saturday was great and the Spirit was so strong!

-My happy place is officially the kitchen! I've missed baking so much! I went to a member's house this week and we baked cookies and I about cried tears of happiness! I miss baking and cooking! something to look forward to in a little under a year.

-Oh yeah, I'M SIX MONTHS OLD!!!! 1/3 of the way through my mission!

Also, everyone should read 3 Nephi 11. Christ comes to the Americas and it is a super powerful chapter!

Love you all!
Amo Sempre,
Sister McEldowney

Friday, September 4, 2015

I'm About Out of Witty Titles!

I can't think of any witty titles for my email today, so this is what y'all get this week. My brain really hurts. I blame the fact that I'm still trying to learn how to speak another language all while actually speaking said language. Yeah, my brain hurts. #cantEnglish #cantPortuguese #cantWords

Anyway, on to the part I'm sure you're all waiting for.

We literally cleaned our apartment for 5 hours. I about died. I guess it's nice to not be living in a house of dust bunnies anymore though.

We didn't have any appointments, so we spent all day doing street contacts. Good thing I like to talk! #praticandoportuguês

Zone Conference! Zone Conference was great! Presidente Cabral is an inspired man and the Spirit is so strong when he speaks. He's great! We were talking about our role and responsibility as missionaries. Our call letters all say that we are here to baptize those who are prepared. We aren't here to convince people the gospel is true, we are here to convert them to the gospel they already know is true. My call as a missionary, as a representative of Jesus Christ, is so much more than to find, teach, and baptize; my call is also to strengthen my relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. How can I represent someone I don't know or have a relationship with? It made me think of our families, too. We bear the names of our families. Our surnames are the names that our families have borne for years. What are we doing with that name? Do we know our ancestors? Do we have a relationship with the people who bear our same name?

As a missionary I visibly bear two names every day when I put my name tag on. I am Sister McEldowney, my name tag says that right up top, but the only thing that is bigger print then my name is the name of Jesus Christ. I pray every day that I am acting in a way that would make my Savior proud of me.

We had a huge storm! The power was out for 8 hours! Talk about a difficult wekly planning session! When I say huge, I really do mean huge. The winds were blowing at 80 km/h at one point. How insane is that?! On top of that, it was pouring rain. Welcome to winter in Brazil I suppose. Tuda bem, I'm alive and see sunny days in my future.

Even with a crazy morning (and afternoon) we had a major miracle happen! We were walking down the street after weekly planning and we saw one of the young men (boys age 12-18) in our ward. Well, he was sitting with someone we didn't recognize. Guess what! Turns out he was an investigator the elders were working with who fell off the face of the planet for a bit! His name is Yurgi. We had a super solid lesson with him about the Book of Mormon, the importance of reading it, and prayer. We also committed him to go to church on Sunday! #milagre

We went to go visit a man we had been teaching who accepted baptism last week. I was so stoked to see him again! We planned everything to have daily contact with him in the week leading up to his baptism, and he dropped us when we got there. I wanted to cry! What's comforting, though, is knowing that he has all the resources he needs when he is prepared for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some day, hopefully soon, his heart will be softened and he will have a desire to follow Christ.

Lots of tracting and street contacts. We need to find new people to teach. That's literally what we spent all day telling ourselves.

Yurgi went to church! I screamed a lot inside! So much joy! HE ALSO ACCEPTED BAPTISM!!! #September12 I'm so stinking excited! He's so solid and I'm dying! September 12th needs to get here quick!

We're also teaching a 9-year-old who's getting baptized the same day! Apparently my entire mission I will be teaching children. Tuda bem! I can do it! They're fun to teach.

Book of Mormon!
I was reading my favorite book this week, also known as The Book of Mormon, and I fall more and more in love with it every day! This week I was reading in Helaman and I got to one of my favorite chapters, chapter 5. The verses that seriously stood out this week were 10-12. Take a look, read it, and let me know what you got out of it! I'll report next week!

Helaman 5:10-12

10 And remember also the words which Amulek spake unto Zeezrom, in the city of Ammonihah; for he said unto him that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins.
11 And he hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance; therefore he hath sent his angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls.
12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

Love you all! Have a great week!

Amo sempre,
Sister McEldowney