Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"I no longer have ankles..." 10/12/15

Hello everyone!!

Wow, this week has probably been one of the longest weeks of my life!! It´s starting to get super hot here and we walk SO MUCH, so my feet are always super swollen and it looks like I don´t have ankles haha The bug bites help with that too :)

Speaking of bugs, I saw my first cockroach this week. Two actually. One in our couch and one in our the house is no longer safe. ;) 

Despite the heat and bugs and not being able to understand anything, there are still good things happening here in Brazil. We had a baptism on Sunday after church!! Julio was baptized and he looked so great in all white :) He was the first investigator that I feel like I actually taught them something and they understood and benefited from me being there, so I feel really close to him. The baptism was super relaxed and Sister Bundy and I sang "I like to look for rainbows" in English for everyone and they loved it. We also sang some Christmas songs, because they love them haha I´m suyper happy for Julio and I can tell what a difference the Gospel has made and will continue to make in his life :) The Gospel is awesome, people! Tell your friends :)

Other than that, things here have been pretty slow. On Thursday, we took a bus and taxi to the Federal Police Station in Sao Paulo, about two hours away, to get my papers all finished up. It was really cool to be able to see other parts of the city and I got to talk to a lot of missionaries there. I´m officially allowed to live in the country now!

We´ve been staying inside a lot for safety reasons, which is hard for me. But I know that safety is important. Lots of crazy things happen here. We´ve had some pretty funny experiences with drunk men on the street this week, so that has kept our spirits up. I have also kept myself happy by reading past conference talks. Seriously, we are so lucky to have modern-day prophets and apostles and leaders to give us modern-day revelation. Take advantage of that, because it is such a blessing!!
Also, I made my first contact by myself today!! I wanted us to talk to the man sitting next to me on the bus, so Sister Bundy handed me a card and said I should do it myself! Here is what went down...

Me: Hello! What is your name? (Says name) Nice to meet you! My name is Sister Doyle! (extend my hand for a handshake)

(The man proceeds to take my hand and start kissing it...)

Me (awkwardly pulling my hand away): So...we are missionaries for the church....etc.

Him: You are very beautiful....

Me: Thank you. Would you like our card with our information?: We´d love to teach you more about Jesus Christ and His Gospel...

(Smiles at me, takes the card, and starts talking about my skin...)

Needless to say, we got a return appointment! Not sure if it is for all the right reasons....but he did say he wants to come to church :) 

Things I love right now: The Book of Mormon, supportive family and friends, ice cream, bread, chocolate, sleeping, food in general, rainy days, hymns, bug spray, The Gospel, deoderant, chocolate, ice cream, itching cream, showers, fruit, sunscreen, ice cream, writing in my journal, teaching people, ironing, did I mention ice cream?

The Gospel is true and it changes lives. I know it.

That´s all I have for now!! Sorry if I didn´t answer one of your questions! Just let me know :)

All my love,
Sister Doyle

Oi from Brasil! 10/5/15

Okay, first of all, this keyboard is way different, so I apologize for my terrible spelling, grammar, etc. The computer is saying that every word I type is wrong haha This is a struggle haha

HELLO! Wow, this week has probably been the craziest of my life. (And I´ve probably said that before, but this tops any times previous)...

As you know, it was way hard to say goodbye to my companions and investigators in Nevada, but I know that this is where I am supposed to be right now. 

The flight here was actually not as bad as I thought. I got to watch Inside Out, so that was cool :) And I talked to some awesome people! When we (I say we because there was another Elder with me from the MTC) got to Brazil, it took us forever to get through customs, and then we got put on a bus to the mission home, where we met a bunch of people and heard a ton of Portuguese. At this point, I had been awake for 30+ hours, so I was pretty much a wreck. But I got to meet my companions (yes, I´m in a trio again!), Sister Bundy (from Utah, speaks English hallelujah, super sweet and fun and happy, awesome) and Sister Nunes (Brazilian, speaks a mile a minute, hard for us to communicate, but also super sweet and kind and gives me tons of hugs and support). I love them. We are serving in Cidade Lider, which is right in the city and super dangerous (yay!). I´m still trying to get used to the city part. Elko was so small and calm and here is like the center of Times Square everywhere, but much more dirty and everyone speaks a language I don´t understand.

Brazil is so much more different than I could´ve ever prepared myself for. But I have been trying to just take it all in as a crazy adventure and laugh about things that scare me and that has been helping a lot. Not being able to understand anyone is very hard for me, especially during lessons, but I know that my Portuguese has already improved a lot even just in the past week. I taught parts of a lesson today and understood a few things that Sister Nunes said. The houses are much different here and the sidewalks are very very dirty and steep. If you want an idea of what my area looks like, maybe watch that World Cup introduction video with the boy playing football in the streets on the way to the World Cup (it´s an animation)...that~s what it looks like. There are so many hills!!! I´ve never walked up and down so many hills in my life haha it´s good because I´ll be forced to stay in shape :)

The food here is not too bad. We have rice and beans with every meal, so that is good for me. We eat a huge lunch with a member and then don~t eat dinner. That has been hard for my body to get used to and I have been pretty sick. But I´m sure I will get used to it eventually. 

The weather here is very very humid but not too hot quite yet. When it rains it pours. 

The people here are super super loving. That is good in a lot of ways. The members are so welcoming of me and understanding of my obvious lack of all necessary skills haha The people are very touchy and hug and kiss A LOT. They are very open about what they think of you, which has taken some getting used to :) My looks are super rare here and apparently very desirable. They oogle over my eyes and love my "blonde" hair and pale skin. The men in the streets are about their feelings. They cat call alot and stare at me a ton. It´s a little unnerving, but it does boost my confidence haha Oh, and apparently I look like Jennifer Aniston? Haha one of the Brazilian Elders told me that on the first day. 

I got to watch conference in English!!! What a blessing :) And Elder Bush, my brother from the MTC is in my district!! That has been so nice! I loved conference soooooo much!! Wasnt it amazing??´We are so blessed to have a modern day prophet!!

Okay, hopefully I gave an okay overview of everything haha let me know if y'all have any questions. I love you all so much and I know that Heavenly Father helps us when we hit rock bottom and don´t think we can do any more. Anything is possible through faith in Jesus Christ <3

All my love,
Sister Doyle

"URGENT NEWS!!!" 9/26/15

hELLO....caps lock hehe

I GOT MY VISA! I found out a few days ago but I haven't been able to email you.

I leave for Reno tomorrow and then on to Brazil. I'm pretty devastated and terrified but trying to have faith. Super stressed. But the Gospel is the same everywhere.

"Keep fighting and don't forget your armor." 9/21/15

Hello everyone!!

First of all, thank you all for making my birthday a good day :) The love that I got from all of you was greatly needed and appreciated and I love you all so much.

After emailing on Monday, we did our normal shopping and carwashing and then we went bowling with a bunch of the Elders in our zone!! It was fun to go bowling again and I may or may not have beaten all the Elders ;) Pictures will be coming shortly... Sister Hingano and I also explored an awesome little shop in Elko. It was great fun :)

We had dinner at the Bishop's house, and they made me a cake! That was really nice of them :)

After dinner, we got back in the car and saw that President Chestnut had texted us "Call me ASAP." That was scary, and my first thought was that I'd be shipped to Brazil the next day. It turns out that one of the Sisters in our zone was having a mental breakdown. The President is over 4 hours away, so he left the situation in our hands and the Zone Leaders. We rushed to the Sister's house (about half an hour away) with the ZL's. Sister Hingano and one of the ZL's then took care of the Sister while myself and Elder Johnson helped her companion, Sister Gootee. It was a really heavy night and I'm pretty sure we all cried at some point. As we were leaving, we had the strong impression to stay the night, even though we had nothing with us. So Sister H and I spent Monday night at their house, sleeping on the floor in our church clothes. Needless to say, none of us got much sleep that night. In the morning, President told us that we needed to stay with the Sisters that morning and then drive them to Winnemucca. We went to their District meeting (in the clothes we had slept in) and then set off for Winnemucca, over two hours away. When we got there, we were told that the Sister would be going home, and Sister Gootee would be tripling with me and Sister Hingano. The drive back was truly a miracle from God. I was so exhausted and my eyes definitely closed a couple times, but I knew that I needed to get us back to Elko and God provided safety for us.

Have a tripanionship has definitely required some adjusting, but Sister Gootee is really easy to get along with. She has been through a lot and she is so strong. Trying to cover three wards has definitely been tough. We drive back and forth between her area and ours every other day and try to visit everyone. The wards have been very helpful in coming out with us so we can do splits.

In other news, my permanent retainer broke, so we have spent a lot of time in the dentist and orthodontist this week. I have a new one now, so that's good. Just trying to get used to it still.

Despite the craziness of this week, God still provided ways for us to help His children this week. We saw many miracles and met a ton of amazing people. The Spirit is such an amazing tool and it truly leads us to where we need to be.

I have a gained a knowledge and testimony of the battles that are being fought that we cannot see. There are evil spirits in this world and Satan is real. I have seen his efforts this week more than I ever have in my life. But I know that the Power of God is better. That God always wins. And that He is looking out for all of His Children. He does not leave us to fight evil alone. Prayer, The Book of Mormon, Church, the Spirit. These are all weapons that can destroy the efforts of the devil and keep us safe. I'm so grateful for the influence of the Spirit and for the calm assurance that can come from knowing we are on the right side of this battle with sin.

Keep fighting and don't forget your armor. I love you all and I think about you and pray for you every day. Don't forget your prayers!

All my love,
Sister Doyle