Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015 in Sao Paulo West!!!!!

Mission President's letter to let us know Sister Haggard is now in the Sao Paulo West  Mission!

I´m now in my area! We are in the city Taboão Da Serra and our area is the nieghborhood of Maria Rosa! It is right outside the city São Paulo. I arrived at the mission home from the CTM and had a short interview with the Mission President because it was in Portuguese and then we went over to the church chapel right next to the temple and had lunch. When the new missionaries entered into the church building all the missionaries who would get the new missionaries as companions were there and sang us a song about the São Paulo West Mission. In our mission there is only 31 sisters and almost 200 Elders! Sister Covey and I are the only American sisters in the mission, there are two other American sisters called, but they did not get their visas yet. We met in the chapel and found out who our companions were! After we went back to the mission home to pick up our luggage and I said godbye to Sister Covey my old companion! It was a little sad - i love her so much! We will see each other every 3 months for our meeting which is nice. I said goodbye to my other companion Sister Nielson and the Elders in my district at the CTM, they will be amazing missionaries for sure. My companion now is Sister De Sousa! She is from Brazil from the north, Fortaleza. She says there has a lot more sun and beach! She has been out 4 months and is my trainer. She´s super nice. We live on the 23rd floor of our apartment buliding and our place is nice. Here every apartment complex has a guard house outside it. Also we are opening up a new area!!! Before there were Elders. We are opening up the area for sisters. This means it is very hard! haha We have to start over so we don´t have investigators to start off with which is very hard. We also have to get to know the members of the ward as well as the area from scratch. We make contacts in the street asking if people have heard of the Church and would like to hear a message about Jesus Christ, etc. People here are very interesting. They are super warm and friendly. After we talk to someone on the street we hug and give side kisses sometimes and hand shakes for the men. It was super weird the first day kissing a stranger on the street! Sister de Sousa says the people in the North are friendly. Here people are also super liberal with their address and phone number. When we ask for it so we can stop by their house and give them a message, they usually give it to us. But this does not mean it is easier because we write down the adress and then another day we walk a lot to the address, but then they are not intrested or not there. However we made some appointments from references and contacts for next week which I think will be very good. This Saturday was also Festa Junina! We celebrated it at the CTM but here you can either celebrate it in June or July. There was a lot of people. The festival is like a fall fest and celebrates like farmy stuff and food from the North. The food here is awesome! Every day for lunch except on p day we eat at a member´s house. One time we stopped at a recent convert's house at about 9pm. She lives with a member. The member asked us if we liked lasagna. We said yes, then she disappears and makes an entire meal with flavored rice, sausage, salad, lasagna, and cake!! The people here are very nice. I´m not too worried about gaining a ton of weight because we walk a ton and there are lots of hills haha. The first night we stopped at a member's house and she had a non member friend over. So we had the opportunity to teach the Restoration and it was awesome! The Spirit was super strong! I love teaching and sharing the Gospel. The Church is the same in Brazil because it is The Church of Jesus Christ!

Some pictures from my first 6 weeks in Brazil!

At the Sao Paulo Temple
Sao Paulo Temple with my companions

Sao Paulo Temple
My companions Sister Covey and Sister Nielson 

Campinas Temple

With Sister Covey and Sister Nielson

Sunset outside of my CTM room

CTM District outside the Sao Paulo Temple

Campinas Temple

With my companions at the Campinas Temple
The Hales

With Sister Covey, Sister Nielson and the Jafeks

With President and Sister Swenson at the CTM

Irma Scaduto

CTM District and teachers

With Irma Correa, my CTM teacher

Nice view!

Festa Junina at the church

My trainer Sister Sousa and I with Dani who served in Sao Paulo Sul.
Dani is dressed in pig tails and a plaid shirt for Festa Junina

Festa Junina

My first area!  Maria Rosa A!

Sister Sousa and I at Maria Rosa

First Sunday lunch at a member's house.
The ward here is awesome!!!

The Plan of Salvation

Friday, July 10, 2015

July 8, 2015

Weekly Update:
This week was pretty good! On the fourth of July my companions and I swaped clothes so we could all wear red, white, and blue together! The cafeteria was all decorated for the Fourth of July because the mission president is American and so many Americans come here. We had hamburgers hotdogs and french fries and a ton of ice cream. Everything tasted different but it was awesome - very fun. Only 6 more days here in the CTM before I head out to the field!!! My companions and I are so excited. I am undertanding more Portuguese and able to speak it better which is nice. Today we went to the Campinas temple which was beautiful as always. Soon I will upload some pictures! The Jafeks return to their home tomorrow from their mission.They are the Senior missionaries called here to be the medical advisers of the CTM. Brother Jafek is a doctor and sister Jafek is a nurse. Before the CTM they served in the Philippines on a medical mission there for the Church as well. They are so cute and awesome. I love their conversion story too. Sister Jafek said they invited the sister missionaries over to their house to come teach and one of the sisters was from Scandanavia and spoke very poor English. However, because the sister brought the Spirit so strong into their home, the Spirit testified to them that the things the missionaries taught were true and they were baptized and became members. Right now my Portuguese is poor, but I know the things I´m teaching are true and because they are true God will let the people know it´s true through the Spirit and they will feel it in their hearts and act on those feelings! I´m so happy to be here in Brazil and can´t wait for next week!
-Sister Haggard

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 1, 2015

Weekly update,
Sooo we went proseliting last Friday! It was a really awesome experience! We went as our district- 3 Elders and 3 Sisters- and each of us got 4 Book of Mormon´s (Livro de Mormón) to pass out. We took the public bus to the main bus/ subway station and passed them out in the front of the entrance to the station. On the ride there a woman sat next to me who was very friendly and I talked with her about the Book of Mormon and how it was another testament of Jesus Christ and a history of prophets and Jesus Christ preaching in the Americas! We had a good conversation and she took the Book and so I passed out the first one and a women behind us was listening to our conversation and asked Elder Gibby for a  Book of Mormon too! It was pretty cool and I felt really good, being able to share such a wonderful thing with others. The people of Brazil are very friendly and they like Americans so they would generally stop and talk to us if we started talking to them which was pretty nice. The language was tricky, but I understood what people were saying and our teacher who came with us, Irmã Scaduto, said she heard me talking on the bus and it was all good :) Only about 13 days left at the CTM before i truck it out to The Field!!! I´m super excited to meet my mission President and start teaching real people, but I´m also appreciative for the next couple weeks to keep learning Portuguese haha so it´s a balance of can´t wait to go and oh wow I have a lot to learn before I do! Learning a language is super neat becasue it´s extremly frustrating , but it feels pretty awesome when you finally say some things right! A couple of our good Hispanic friends left yesterday for the field, Elder Borquez and Sister Reyes, so my companions and I will miss them  while we are waiting to leave the CTM because they are some aweome missionaries! The other day in Excersise time our district and a Mexican district played an intense game of volleyball and it was very fun. Today we were able to go to the beautiful Campinas temple in the morning. It went pretty long and it´s an hour and a half drive there so we won´t have time to walk around today just nap for a while which my companions are pretty excited about haha. It is pretty great weather a little cool and then it has rained the last two Preparation days, but I like the rain so it´s all good. I´m starting to read my scriptures in Portuguese and it is tricky and slow but good too! Hope everyone is doing well :)