Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Óla família e amigos!

How was thanksgiving? I hope you all ate enough for me! We completely forgot about it until right before bed. This last week was full of many falled appointments and many references! We received 17 references in the last week!! Say what?! And we had some really neat miracles running into less actives on the road and in their houses. We have so much reactivation to do here, it's great! Our progressing investigators, Decivaldo and Noelia came to a baptismal service on sunday and I think it really helped them, hopefully they will commit soon, they already make great members of the chuch. All of them members of our ward are amazing! They are super receptive of us and willing to help, feed, refer, and more for the gente.

 My first sacrament meeting here and the bishop came up to us 5 minutes before and informed us that we were each going to be speaking. So much for getting my feet wet, I'll just jump right in! The talk went well, I think, and we've gained the confidence of a lot of members. We are so fortunate here in this area. There is so much work to do. It's kind of funny, everyone here jokes that the've started to send the primary on missions when they see me. I tell them it's the "new force" behind the church. Everyone thinks that my companion and I are sisters, or often times they think that she's my mom. It's pretty funny.

Today we had the opportunity to go to the temple, which is always a blessing. And yesterday we had an AMAZING day. We found some people who are really prepared for the gospel and some less actives. And we went out with some members in our ward, but our appointment fell through. But this didn't stop this couple (both returned missionaries) from working. They were contacting people left and right and we even taught a lesson in the road. They were a huge example to us and we learned so much from them.Never hesistate to share the gospel. When you are confident and strong, people will respond to you positively. It's kind of like riding a horse, they sense your emotions and mimick them. I pray that we can all be a little more open and proactive at sharing the gospel.]

Monday, November 21, 2011

"All these things shall be for your experience and for your good."

Olá Família and Amigos!

So here I am in the field!!! It´s a little crazy! I´m in Diadema Centro, which is the second most populated city in Brasil! My companion and I are opening an area, so that means that we kicked out the elders and we´re both new to this place. There is so much work to do here, it´s hard to know where to start! My companion is Sister Petita, she is from Georgia and she has been on her mission for 10 months. I am so grateful for her, we are already best of friends. I´m still not too comfortable in my portuguese so it is a huge comfort to have an american companion. BUT we need to speak portuguese more, I cannot use her as a crutch.

The members of our ward are SUPER nice and friendly! I love them already. They just split the ward and so everything is new the bishop and all the other leaders...and us! So it´s a little tough to get started, but we already had a great first week. We have a super great couple who came to all of stake conference this weekend. And we´ve met a few less active members that we´ve been able to have really neat expericences bringing them back to church. It´s these great experience that we have with people that make the new missionary experience not as overwhelming.

I´ve had some great scripture study this week to help me be a better disciple of Jesus Christ. Matt, 16: 21-27, Matt. 19:16-23, and Luke 12:22-37. All of these scriptures are really motivating. They taught me that "whosoever will lose his life for my sake will find it" And that we need to be willing to give up and leave behind the world to follow Jesus Christ and seek to build the kingdom of heaven. Do a mental check for yourself, like the young man, " What lack I yet?" What am I willing to give up to be a disciple and follower of the Savior. And we´ve been promissed to "Fear not, little flock." The Lord is mindful of us, and just as he takes care of the ravens and lillies, he will surely take care of us. You are never alone, for the Lord knows you and He knows your needs and what you are going through because he has been through worse, all for us. His love is all encompassing and all we need do is have the faith to take up our cross and follow him.It is my hope and prayer this week that during this time of great thankgiving, all you of you will take the time to reflect on your blessings and how you can give back to our Savior.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oolaaa! Como vai?

So yeah, news of the week. We actually did real proselyting on monday! We went out to the streets of São Paulo for about 3 hours and talked to people and gave them copies of the BOM and invited them to church! It was quite the experience. At first we were all nervous to stop people, because they are all in a hurry and don't want to talk to you, but I had the BOM challenge from Bishop Sutton, so I was determined to fulfill it. I wrote my testimony in the front and  I was determined to share what I had. So after a few nervous "Ola"s and some shut downs, I got up the courgage to just stop and start talking to this girl. She was really gracious and kind and seemed happy to receive the Book of Mormon. It was an encouraging experience and after that the giving just started flowing. We gave out 8 copies of the BOM in all and committed 3 very interested people to come to church! One lady had many questions and said that she saw the missionaries all the time, but they never had talked to her. I´m glad we finally did! Who knows what people will do with the books we gave them, but hey we did our part and they have the opportunity! I´m not going to lie and say that it was a piece of cake, it was definitley way out of my comfort zone, but I did it and grew from the experience. I am excited to get to the field next week and meet my mission president and companion and teach some real investigators. Hopefully I´ll even learn real portuguese too ;) Brazillians talk fast!

                                                 Tasha's District at the CTM in Brazil

Other news, I finished the Book of Mormon today!! A week earlier than my goal. Oh what a marvelous book it is. It has fueled my mission and my fire for the past 9 weeks and I know that it has changed me for the better. The Lord truly speaks to us through His words of His scriptures. And if any of you feel like you need to inspiration and direction, i know you can always turn prayerfully to the scriptures. He will hear you, He will answer. How do I know? Because it has happened to me.

Shout out to those who sent me letters this week, THANK YOU so much! They are very appreciated, I loved hearing from you! As for the rest of you, you can now write me at my mission address :) Letters only take a week, btw.

I love you all and miss you and pray for you. I know the Lord is watching over you and is mindful of you everyday.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Oi! I´m in BRASIL!!!!

Olá! Tudo bem?!
Ok, so I have so much to say to all of you, 30 minutes is not enough! I took a picture of all of your emails so I could read them later, I loved all the pics, thanks!! Today is the Day of the Dead in Brazil, so all of the stores and the post office :( is closed today for the holiday, so no mail til next week. But that´s ok, we got to go to the temple today, it was really wonderful!
So, I love Brazil!!! It is so beautiful here, just like I pictured. It´s actually not hot here at all. First few days we got here it was the perfect temperature, but now it is actually pretty cool. I wish I wouldn't have sent home my hoodie! Oh well, hopefully it will warm up again soon. Just like in Texas, all of the elders like to freeze us out with the AC. Ai. So yeah it is crazy different here! There is way way more study time, but they are not strict here at all and the rules are really slack so it is hard to be obedient. Sis. Barlow and I are trying our best to remember to be exactly obedient like we were taught in Provo. They focus on the language here more than the spiritual things, and they don't focus on teaching investigators as much here. Overall, I just need to be diligent on my own and not slack off. I'm learning so much here because of the change! I´m grateful for this opportunity to learn things that I wouldn´t have been able to in provo.

Sis. Barlow and I are again companions with Sis. Pedersen! Yay :) But we are not with our other district or friends anymore :( We miss them, but we know that we are where we need to be and we are making new friends! Brazillians are SUPER nice, I love them! All the sisters going to SPS are so sweet and excited to be companions. They are so warm and welcoming, I wish American culture was more open. Some of the brazillian elders told me that they thought I was brazillian because compared to my companions I look brazillian. Huge compliment :)
So the food...it tastes really good. The only thing is that it just doesn't sit very well. Seriously, they eat SOO much meat. At least two servings PER meal!? Hopefully my body will adjust soon enough, I can't figure out if I´m hungry or just don´t feel good or if I ate too much! Weight gain...here it comes ha ha. But I know that I am going to be just great and I´m already adjusting wonderfully. 3 Ne. 13 :25-34
So on sunday we got to watch the Joseph Smith movie in portuguese--no english subtitles! It was so neat! I loved it! I was able to understand almost everything! (I´m not sure if that is due to how much portuguese I´ve learned or that I´ve seen the movie so many times that I practically have it memorized...I´m going with the former :) But really, I´m so greatful to be hear and be able to speak and hear portuguese more! My goal for this week is to accept Portuguese as MY language. Because it is now for the next 17 months. So I´m trying to not speak anymore than 15 phrases in english per day! Oh man, it´s tough, but so helpful! I´m at about 25 times per day right now, but I´m learning so much more.
At the devotional yesterday our district sang prelude, and my district had me and Elder Lanham sing a solo/duet. It is really neat to be able to share my testimony and the spirit through song! We then watched a DVD by Elder Neil Anderson from a provo devotional. It was so good!! It was all about the Atonement and dealing with the things unseen. One quote I really liked he said: "Grace is the power to become something you are not." We all could access this power a little more in our everyday lives.
I´m almos finished with the Book of Mormon! I´ve loved every page, and my testimony has grown so much! Mormon 5--we need to more recognize the presence of God in our lives!
If there is anything I´ve have found this week, it is that ATTITUDE makes all the difference. You´re life is how you make it, SO MAKE IT GOOD! We all have the freedom to choose whether to ACT on our situation and change our experiences for the better, or to be acted upon and not enjoy what we otherwise could have. So I encourage ALL of you to choose to have a good attitude about what is going on in your life and always ACT not be acted upon.
I love you all.
Te amo