Monday, November 16, 2015

Want to Learn English for Free?? 11/16/15

Yep, that´s right! We´re teaching English classes!! They start this Saturday and we are so excited!! With two Americans, we decided it´s the perfect opportunity to start some classes at the chapel, and wow, the response has been incredible! I think the whole ward wants to come, and they´re all bringing friends and neighbors. Everyone here wants to learn English :) Sister Bundy and I are a little nervous, but we are pretty ecstatic to have this amazing finding opportunity!

So anyways, this week was crazy (I say that every week, I know). Tuesday, we went to the escritorio for transfers. It was way fun to meet a bunch of new missionaries, and I found myself being able to hold a conversation with a lot of them, so that was really exciting for me! Sister Nunes was tranferred, which was really sad, but we know that she is doing great things in her new area.

Wednesday, we had a meeting with our whole zone, which was really fun, because about 1/3 of our zone is brand new out of the CTM! They´re all really great Elders and we´re excited to be with them. Wednesday was probably the hottest day I´ve ever experienced in my life haha I don´t think I´ve ever sweat that much.

On Wednesday, I started to feel like I was getting a cold, and by Thursday I was pretty sick. Since then, I´ve been coughing and sneezing and sniffling and sweating nonstop. If you´ve never had the privilege of having a cold in the middle of a Brazilian summer, you´re missing out! It´s the best! ;) Funny sidenote: Cold is "Gripe" in Portuguese (pronounced gree-pee, sounds like creepy) which I think is hilarious. So every time I tell someone I have the gripe, I start laughing and then coughing and it all goes down hill from there :)

Being sick has definitely pushed me to (and possibly past) my physical limits, but we´ve tried to continue working whenever possible. Thanks to help from Heavenly Father, we were still able to teach a lot this week. Our District Leader called last night to tell us that our numbers were really great this week, especially knowing how sick I´ve been. That was a relief to hear that we´re still doing a good job. 

I´m pretty surprised that this cold hasn´t passed yet, but I´m sure it will go away this week. It had better, because we´ve got a lot of work to do! We had 5 investigators at church this week, which is awesome! We have some golden people, and I love them all so much. If addictions didn´t exist, they´d all be members by now :) Luckily, God takes all kinds of people, exactly as they are, and with the help of the Atonement, all people have the ability to be cleansed from their sins and saved in the kingdom of God. I know for a fact that God loves and supports each and every one of His children, especially when they are making the effort to overcome their addictions and trials. 

Being with Sister Bundy has been a joy as always :) She´s really nice, and we enjoy reminiscing about the United States and traditions/foods/anything that we miss. We´ve been listening to a lot of Christmas music, which keeps our spirits up :)

Anyways, I hope you are all doing well! The Gospel is amazing, isn´t it? Even when we feel like we can´t go any further, if we rely on God, He can lift our burdens and help us go farther than we ever thought we could. I have felt that this week for sure. I know you can feel it too :) Just pray! And He´s right there in an instant! 

All my love, 
Sister Doyle

Another Crazy Experience! 11/9/15

Hello everyone!!

Wow, this week was crazy! I don´t even know where to begin! We had a really successful week and were able to teach a ton of lessons, so that was great :) I´m totally exhausted most of the time, but it´s worth it :)

We had a crazy experience Monday night when we came home! It was about 9pm, and I was in the bedroom and I heard Sister Bundy start screaming from the bathroom, so I came to the door to see if she was okay, and out from under the door runs some little creature! I thought it was a cockroach, but it was bigger and white! It ran right towards me and into our bedroom and behind the door! I jumped up on my bed, and peeked around the door. It was a lizard!! Sister Bundy and I stayed up on our beds, and called for Sister Nunes. She got a broom and tried to coax the lizard out from behind the door. I suggested we make a barrier so that it wouldn´t go under my bed (my bed is closest to the door) but Sister Nunes promised it wouldn´t run that way. Sure enough, it ran straight under my bed. We pulled the bed out but the lizard was nowhere to be found! We spent the next 40 minutes looking for it, occasionally screaming and jumping up on our beds whenever we saw something move. Finally, I saw it run behind the door again. This time, I wasn´t taking any chances, and I used all my shoes as a barrier around the door so that it couldn´t run anywhere. Sister Nunes used the broom again, but this time, the lizard ran under one of the shoes! So Sister Nunes, bless her courageous heart, started batting the shoe with the broom! The lizard´s tail flew off and started flopping around on it´s own as Sister Nunes continued to hit the lizard with the broom. Meanwhile, Sister Bundy and I was jumping on the beds screaming at the top of our lungs (this is a normal occurrence now). The best part is, Sister Bundy got it all on video! Finally, after chaos for an hour and a half, the lizard was´s tail kept flopping around for a good twenty minutes!!!! Crazy! Needless to say, none of us slept very well that night. :)

I had another crazy experience involving a homeless man who I accidentally agreed to marry (my Portuguese still needs some work), but I´ll save that for another time :)

The work continues to move forward here :) We have some amazing investigators. My favorite to teach is probably Sid. He´s like a grandpa to all of us and he´s got such a sweet spirit. Once we work through some issues, I know he´s gonna be one of the most valiant priesthood holders there ever was :) I love him. The people here have so much faith and they are so willing to sincerely seek what is right. I´m privileged to be among such amazing sons and daughters of Father. 

Thank you all for your continued support and love and prayers! Yáll are awesome :)

All my love,
Sister Doyle

P.S. Sister Nunes is being transferred tomorrow! :( So it´ll just be me and Sister Bundy. I´m gonna miss that girl! I don´t know what we´re going to do without her spunk and courage :)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

God is good! 11/02/15

Hello everyone!
Here are some pics of the neighborhood:

  • Some of the stairs we get to climb everyday!
  • Some make shift homes in our area
  • The view from our apartment 
  • Part of our neighborhood
Happy Halloween...psych! They don´t really celebrate it here like we do. Bummer.

This week was different, but good. We stayed at home for two days (Thursday and Friday) because Sister Nunes had a molar pulled and was in a lot of we spent a lot of time talking and writing and cleaning, etc. Siste Bundy did my nails, which was a first for me. Not sure if I like the feeling of nail polish, but they´re very pretty :)

We have two investigators who are really progressing right now: Sid (older man who I contacted, tons of faith, awesome guy, adorable grand-daughters) and Mar (a referral from Sidney, young guy, owns a pizza/icecream shop, lady´s man, super interested in the Gospel).

Highlight of the week: Church yesterday. Sidney came for the first time! And when we were late to pick him up, he started walking there! In the rain! Halfway through testimony meeting, he asked if he could go up!! The Sisters and I said yes of course and held our breath! He got up and said the sweetest, simplest testimony I´ve ever heard about how he was happy he was there, glad he met us, and that our message has touched his heart. I was crying by the end of it. I then got up and bore my testimony (super nervous to do it in Portuguese!) and thanked the ward for how amazingly patient they are with me and how grateful I am for them and for the fact that the Gospel is the same no matter where we are in the world. The Spirit during that whole meeting was just super strong.

Another highlight this week: Some members gave me a little box with American cookies (soft, gooey, delicious cookies, not crunchy cracker-cookies)!! They bought them at a special store far away! I almost cried. It felt like the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me haha and they were the best cookies I think I´ve ever eaten :)

Scripture of the week: 1 Nephi 21:3-5...even on the hard days, we´re still doing the Lord´s work. And 1 Nephi 21:12-23...The Brazilian people are the scattered tribes of Israel! How cool to be able to accomplish some of this great work that has been prophesied about by prophets clear back to Isaiah!

Random things that I should´ve told y'all about before:

- They always use a fork in their right hand and a knife in their left hand (like they don´t set the knife down ever). I´m already totally used to it, and it´s hard to even imagine eating without a knife in my left what do you even do with your hand? Set it in your lap?? Weird.

- When you greet any woman, you kiss them on cheek. I´m already accustomed to that too. Sorry in advance for anyone I kiss when I get back.

- They don´t flush toilet paper here. When you´re done using it, you throw it in the trash can beside the toilet. It took me a few weeks to feel normal about that, but it´s a habit now. Again, sorry in advance....

- The people are super down-to-earth here. Yesterday, we were having lunch with a married couple, and the man started saying something like, "When we got married, my wife was skinny and beautiful, and now she is fat and has ugly hair." And the wife just nodded and agreed. I thought I must be translating it wrong or something...but I asked Sister Bundy afterward, and sure enough, that´s exactly what he said!! I was pretty appalled. But that is just a fact to them. They don´t take offense to things like that. If you call comeone fat and they are, it´s simply a fact you´re stating about that...not sure if I´ll ever adjust to that one haha

Things are hard but good here, and the Gospel is just as great as ever! I´m loving reading conference talks and the Book of Mormon and seeing the effect it has on people. God is good!

All my love,
Sister Doyle

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Temples are the 10/26/15

Hello people!

Hope you´re all doing well! This week was different, but good! Lots of rain and we´ve been freezing, which is definitely different than last week haha

On Tuesday, we got to go to the Sao Paulo Temple!! Definitely the highlight of Brazil so far! The Temple is GORGEOUS! Like the prettiest building I have ever been in. And of course, the things that happen in the Temple are amazing as well. We got to do an endowment session and initiatories, and it was all in Portuguese, so it was definitely a different experience for me :) Still awesome, though.

At the Temple, we got to see a lot of the missionaries in the mission, so that was neat. I can´t wait to be able to speak fluently so I can actually get to know people instead of just sitting there trying to translate. Having people like Elder Bush around has been such a blessing. Love that Elder :) We get to go to the Temple twice a year, so I should get to go at least two more times! I love the Temple and I´m so excited for our recent converts to be able to experience the blessings of the Temple just like my family and I have. If you haven´t gone yet, start preparing now, because it´s amazing.

This week was pretty slow in terms of lessons, but we taught a few really good lessons, and one of our investigators, Sid, introduced us to his friend, Mar, and he is golden! He came to church on Sunday and seemed to like it. I´m really excited to start teaching him. And maybe the two of them can be baptized together soon! Having friends in the church is soooo important to retention! 

Our landlord came to us at the beginning of the week and said that there was a leakage problem with our shower, so he was going to work on it sometime this week. Imagine our surprise when we returned home on Tuesday and saw our toilet in the living room. We opened the bathroom door, and what used to be our shower and toilet was literally just a HOLE. It has taken them the entire week to redo it and they never found the problem. It was definitely rough not having a shower or toilet all week, but I think they are finishing it tonight! Our neighbor was kind enough to let us use her bathroom every day. We now have a new toilet and new tiles, but our bathroom smells super weird haha hopefully we can fix that soon :)

We had a ward activity this Saturday at a gorgeous park! And we had a couple of non-members and recent converts there so that was great :) Other than that, life has been pretty low-key. We got a new Ward Mission Leader, and he´s pretty excited, so I´m hoping he can help us improve the work happening in this area :) 

Scripture of the week: 1 Nephi 15:13-16! So cool! I love God´s plan for making sure that all of His children get to hear the Gospel and I am so blessed to able to be teaching the scattered tribes of Isreal here!

Let me know if you have any questions! Sorry that I don´t get to respond to everyone´s emails and that my responses are usually short! I love you all and I´m grateful for the continued support and prayers! You guys are in my prayers and I miss you and think of you often.  

All my love,
Sister Doyle

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cockroaches and Conformations 10/19/15

Hello all!!

This week was crazy, as always. The weather was especially bipolar this week, with days where I thought my face was going to melt off and days where I was shivering...and my Portuguese is still awful, but overall, it was a good week!

Highlight of the week: Julio was confirmed yesterday! The Spirit was so strong and I was so grateful and excited for him! The Gospel makes such a difference in people´s lives and I´m so glad to be a part of bringing it to the people here. The Gospel is seriously awesome. I have been loving being able to study for an hour or two every day. Such a blessing :)

Funny story of the week: Sister Nunes was in the shower and Sister Bundy and I were eating when I saw what looked like a cockroach crawl into the couch! Sister Bundy and I both hate bugs, so after destroying the couch trying to find it, we decided to wait for Sister Nunes to come kill it for us. Sister Nunes came out a few minutes later, not fully dressed yet, and upon seeing the couch, made fun of us and picked up her shoe to kill whatever we were scared of. At the same time, our District Leader called, so Sister Bundy began talking to him as we watched Sister Nunes. Sister Nunes proceeded to lift up one of the couch cushions, and to our horror, there were MULTIPLE COCKROACHES!! Sister Nunes instantly went full-on ninja in her underwear and began whacking the couch and floor to kill the cockroaches, while Sister Bundy and I jumped up and down screaming our heads off. Meanwhile, the District Leader was still on the phone, hearing beating sounds, and us screaming at the top of our lungs. Long story short, Sister Nunes is a warrior, our District Leader was very concerned but laughed when we explained, and there is at least one more cockroach still alive. I haven´t sat on the couch for days.

Other random toughts to share:
-  I found sour candy!! And the bread here is amazing.
-  We got a couple new investigators this week, so I´m really excited about that!!
-  There are some crazy religions here (example: one church here has the members buy a special rose, hang it in their house, and if it wilts, they know that there is a demon living in their house, so they need to pay more to have it removed...uhuh.)
-  There´s also some weird voodoo where they kill animals and leave them in random places...creepy...
-  We are going to the Temple tomorrow!! I´m so excited!!!
-  People here are very blunt...they are super honest about how you look, what you say, etc. examples: "I have a friend who is very fat and ugly." "That skirt makes your butt look good." "You are being very stupid right now." Stuff like that. It´s taken some adjusting, and I don´t know if I will ever be that way, but the plus side is that you never have to wonder what someone thinks of you!
- I like the music here :)
-My companions are really nice, and they really do try to be obedient and good missionaries :) I´m lucky to be with them.

If I missed any questions, let me know! I love you all and I love this Gospel. Being a missionary is no piece of cake, but I know it will be worth it. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. They are greatly appreciated. I love this Gospel and the opportunity I have to share it. You can share it too! It´s not as scary as you think it is, I promise :)

All my love,
Sister Doyle