Monday, December 21, 2015

Feliz Natal Everyone!! 12/21/15

It is currently POURING rain as I type this to you, and I´m sweating and being eaten alive by mosquitos :) Not exactly the Christmas I´m used to, but I´m am so happy to be here!

We got our two new sisters this week! Sister Crapo is an American from Murray, Utah, and she is training Sister Bastos, a Brazilian who is awaiting her visa to go to Temple Square! So we´re all helping her learn English and she´s helping me learn Portuguese! They´re both really sweet girls and although our house is a little cramped, they are super fun and easy to live with :)
 It was hard for Sister Bundy and I to split the area and give half of our investigators to the other Sisters. But we are excited to see so much growth in our area(s) and we now get to work some parts of Cidade Lider that we had never even been to before! Also, we removed our ugly, cockroach-infested couch! So we now have plenty of room for our morning Zumba sessions :) We had five people doing salsa with us this morning! So fun!

On Saturday, after our English class, we had a missionary activity with the ward and we gave out Christmas cards to people in a park and in a big farmer´s market! It was super effective and the members seemed to love it!!

Yesterday was a crazy day for us! We left early and went to a member´s house to use their car to pick up investigators, none of which could come to church. So we went to the chapel, introduced the new sisters to everyone and then I sat up on the stand to give a talk. The meeting started and they didn´t have anyone to lead the music, so I got up and led the music for the meeting. As I was leading the opening hymn, Mar walked in with a friend that we had met the day before, Rob. To my surprise, Rob proceeded to lay down on the ground of the chapel and begin praying. This must have been a custom in his church, but for me, it was quite a surprise! After the sacrament, I got up and gave my talk, speaking about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what a blessing it is in our lives. I looked up halfway through my talk and was surprised to see Mar video-taping my talk! Haha he´s a great guy :) At the end of my talk, I started talking about my family, and pretty much lost it in front of everyone. I miss you guys :)

After sacrament meeting, Sister Bundy recieved a blessing (she´s been really sick) and we went to Gospel Principles, where the teacher asked me and Sister Bundy to teach the lesson. Sister Bundy couln´t talk, so I taught the whole class by myself! Heavenly Father helped a ton, and I made it through. The lesson topic was The Atonement, and the Spirit was very strong. I know that Jesus Christ suffered the price not only for our sins, but for every sickness, sadness, or struggle that we´ll ever face. What an amazing gift!! 

After Relief Society, the Relief Society Presidency said that they had a surprise for us! They then brought out basket after basket filled with chocolate and candy and crackers and cookies and everything delicious you can have here!! I might have cried (again). The outpouring of love that I have felt from the dear people here is more than I think I will ever feel in my life. Being away from my family this Christmas is one of the hardest things I´ve ever done, but the love I feel here make up for every sacrifice. God shines on the people of Brazil.

I pray that you are all doing well and that you are feeling as much love from the Savior and from people around you as I am this Christmas! And I hope you are able to return and reflect that love as well. Christ truly is the embodiment of love, so as you celebrate Him this week, don´t forget to love :)

I truly do love you all. And I´m so grateful for the great outpouring of support that I received from all of you this Christmas! May God bless you! All my love and then some, Sister Doyle

  • A beautiful tree near my apartment.
  • An amazing mural painted on a wall in our area.
  • Adorable baby of one of our newly baptized sisters from Africa.
  • Huge fruit! Jaca kinda tastes like sprite haha ...that´s the closest thing I can think of. I only tried the seed though.




Monday, December 14, 2015

Cockroaches, Christmas Conference, and Transfer Calls! 12/14/15

Hello hello and feliz natal to everyone!
We had our Christmas Conference for the mission this Tuesday and it went well! Sister Bundy and I and two Elders sang a song in English and everyone loved it! It was really great to see all the missionaries and President Silcox and his wife! I can´t believe it´s Christmas already!
We also had a Christmas activity in our ward on Friday night and that went great! We had a lot of non-members there and Sister Bundy and I sang again! We sang the primary version of Away in a Manger, with some verse in Portugues and some in English, and everyone liked it :) 

On Saturday, after waking up to two cockroaches in our room, Sister Bundy lost it and called our District Leader, who sent a cockroach exterminator! So we spent the whole day deep-cleaning our whole house and killing all the bugs! It was a long day, but it was so worth it! We finally feel safe in our house, which is such a blessing :)

Sunday was the primary program in our ward and it was one of the sweetest things ever!! Seriously, I just love children. And Brazilian children seem to be the cutest children on the earth <3

Last night we got transfer calls and...drum roll please...Sister Bundy and I are staying together here!! If you´re surpised, don´t worry, so am I! AND we´re getting two new sisters here to live in our house and we are in charge of dividing our area and giving half of it to them!! This week is going to be a little crazy with all the changes, but it´s exciting to know that our area is growing and progressing!!
The work is growing and progressing too, although still no baptisms. We have so many people who are so close! I know that Satan works extra hard on people when they´re trying to make big improvements in their lives. But you know what? As we told Mar this week, Satan works with fear and God works with love, and love is always stronger than fear if you really believe in it. Which means that God is always stronger than Satan. So when you´re feeling fear and doubting yourself or your faith, just remember that immense love that God has for you. Perfect love casteth out all fear.

I love you all and I´m so grateful for your prayers and support. You are in my prayers as well.
All my love,
Sister Doyle

Random Pics of Everyday Life in Brazil 12/07/15

PICS : Husking Coconuts, First a tempt at making Ch. Chip cookies in Brazil, A gift for an investigator, Getting ready for Carnival, We have to hand wash and hang dry our clothes so our apt often looks like this...

God was Guilding Us! 12/07/15

Hello again!

Hopefully you´re not tired of hearing about my crazy adventures in Brazil yet :) I hope that everyone is doing well and enjoying this beautiful time of year when we get to think about Jesus Christ and the wonderful Gift that He is :)

Sister Bundy and I worked our tails off this week and God has blessed us with quite a few new investigators! We´ve been teaching a woman named Fati, and another woman named Tina, and they are both so prepared and so receptive! Tina is almost 82 years old! She´s living proof that it is never too late to come to Christ :)

I stepped into a hole in the sidewalk and twisted my ankle earlier this week, so that has been a bit of a trial, but it´s recovering and God is blessing me with added strength for sure. 

There have been so many moments this week where it was just so obvious that God was guiding us exactly where we needed to be. At one point, we were feeling pretty down because all our people cancelled on us. We didn´t have a lunch appointment, so we were about to go home and make lunch for ourselves, but we decided to just skip lunch and keep working. Not five minutes later, a man stopped us and said, "Are you Mormons? I need to talk to you!" (Yes, yes you do.) Turns out he heard about our English class and wants English lessons and to hear about the Gospel as well! God definitely wanted us on that street at that moment. If we had gone home, that man might never have seen us. I know that God directs this work. 

We´ve also been working hard with Mar to prepare him for baptism. He´s really struggling with quitting cigarettes, but I know he´ll get there eventually. He owns a pizzaria and he made us a pizza last night! Pizza is different here, but super good!! I was so happy.

In other news, our house in infested with cockroaches. It´s become a pretty serious problem. On Wednesday night, we were trying to sleep, but Sister Bundy kept hearing noises, so I flipped on the light and there was a HUGE (milano cookie size) cockroach on her jacket, hanging on the closet. Up to this point, we had never found a cockroach in our bedroom, so it was definitely unnerving. Before we could kill it, it crawled behind our big wardrobe. So our neighbor came over and helped us take a bunch of things off the wardrobe (from past Elders) and we found a NEST of cockroaches!! Complete with eggs. I don´t think I´ve ever been so scared in my life. We killed 5  cockroaches that night, and then tried to sleep. We decided to start going through our house, room by room, and cleaning out everything!! This house has had Elders in it for years, and they never cleaned anything, so it´s pretty awful. Today, we did the kitchen. In four hours, we cleaned out everything and killed about 12 cockroaches and more eggs. It was probably the scariest thing I´ve ever done. We´re going to talk to President about getting our house professionally done or something, because we can´t keep doing that.

Despite the cockroaches, this week was great. I love my companion. I love this area. And I love all the people we get to talk to every day. Transfers are next week, and I can´t imagine being transferred from this area. I love it so much. 
Yesterday, we got to help with a party for orphans here in Cidade Lider. When Sister Bundy and I first arrived, we weren´t quite sure what to do to help the kids. But Sister Bundy had the idea to have me design the children´s names for them. A stack of paper later, we had a long line of children waiting for me to design their names. As I designed their names, Sister Bundy and I talked with the children about the dreams and their worth. It was so precious. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve. 

I hope you are all finding things you love in the midst of all the craziness of every day. Sometimes, it´s easy to get down about the tough things in life. But I know that if you just look up and ask God to show you something beautiful, He will indeed do just that. There are beautiful things in this world, even amidst great trouble and trials. God wants to find happiness in life, and He has prepared many beautiful things along your way if you´re willing to look for them :)
Dont´t forget your prayers or how loved you are!

All my love,
Sister Doyle

Happy Thanksgiving!!! 11/30/15

Oi tudo mundo!
Happy Thanksgiving! They don´t celebrate Thanksgiving here so it was just another day, but Sister Bundy and I made brownies to celebrate :) Hope you all had a great time with your families and all the yummy food :)

This week was good! Sister Bundy and I have been working harder than ever, trying to build up our teaching pool and get some new investigators. 

On Wednesday into Thursday, I did my first exchange here, staying in Cidade Lider without Sister Bundy!! I was super nervous, but it was actually a great experience for me! I was super surprised be my own abilities to handle everything. I spoke more than I´ve ever spoken and we (Sister Gines and I) found and taught two new investigators!! I was super surprised and relieved that I didn´t get us lost or misunderstand anything. It was a good confidence booster for me :) And Sister Gines is super sweet! 

Those two new investigators were both total miracles this week. The first one, Gor, is an older woman who has been through a lot and would really like some friends. I know she´ll find just what she´s looking for at church :) She kept repeating that we were angels sent to her door by God in answer to her prayers. I know that God loves all His children.

The second new investigator is Gis, and she is a young mom who just moved here! Sister Bundy and I taught her about the Restoration this week, and after I quoted Jospeh Smith´s account of the First Vision, I asked her how she felt, and she said she felt peaceful and light. That is what the Gospel can bring to people´s lives!! I´m so excited to get to know her better! Plus her baby is adorable!!

Mar is doing well and preparing for his baptism, although it has been very difficult for him to quit smoking. He can do it though :)
Saturday was our second English class and we had...drum roll please...5 people!! Three were non-members!! It went really well and we think they´ll bring friends next time :) It´s pretty surreal to be teaching English in a foreign country haha But the people love English here. We have random people stop us and ask us to speak in English with them. They think it´s a really beautiful language :) I can´t wait to be fluent in Portuguese so I can switch back and forth with ease. That will come eventually :)
Anyways, I hope you are all doing well! I highly recommend visiting to look at some of the Christmas things they have there. I am so excited for this season to remember the greatest gift God has given to us: His Son. I´m so grateful for all that Christ has done for me and my family and our investigators here. He has done so much for everyone, regardless of who they are or where they are. How wonderful He is!

All my love,
Sister Doyle

The Gospel Always Makes Me Happy! 11/23/15

Hello family and friends!

As always, thank you so much for the support and prayers! You guys are awesome! 
Good news! I´m pretty much over my cough!! I took last P-day and rested a lot and I´m feeling much better :)

This week was a pretty tough week when it comes to the work. We were supposed to have two baptisms yesterday (Kat, who just got married, and her daughter), but they said they don´t feel ready and would like to wait at least another month, so that was tough. Haven´t been able to get a hold of them all week.

The next day, we visited Ria, the woman who I had a great lesson with about families and how they can be together forever. She dropped us and said that she loved the lessons, but just doesn't want to continue right now. We convinced her to just come to church once, and she said she would, but she never showed up. 

Sid, (my favorite old Brazilian man in the whole wide world, who has such a strong testimony and is working on quitting smoking,) told us this morning that he´s moving to another place in Brazil for a little while. I had to try pretty hard to hold it together. I´m gonna really miss him. In our last lesson, we were talking about heaven and eternal families, and he said something like, "I really hope God is kind to me so that the two of you can see me in heaven and I can thank you for everything you´ve done for me." He is truly just an elect human being.
We were super excited for our English class this past Saturday! We spent a couple hours planning out the perfect lesson, making little invitations to give to people and setting up the church. All the members seemed so excited and we passed out probably 40 or 50 invitations. We were expecting a huge crowd and we were looking forward to it all week. Saturday came, and only on person showed up, a member. We were pretty crushed. But it was a holiday, and it was raining as well. We´re going to try again this Saturday.

So yeah, this week was a little bit harder than usual. But God is still good. I have a great companion and the members of this ward are super loving and kind. AND! We have one investigator left! Mar! And we marked him for baptism this week :) He wants to officially stop smoking, starting today, so keep him in your prayers please :) He´s a good guy and he´s making great progress. 

Other random positive news:

We had a zone conference this week with President! They´re really cracking down on all the rules, which is gonna be tough for everyone, but really good! I love being obedient!! :)

We went to an authentic Brazilian restaurant this week! I almost tried chicken heart, but I chickened out...haha get it? CHICKENed out! ;) kkkk but yeah, it was really good!

Sister Bundy and I went to a big shopping place today! It´s the biggest mall in South America apparently :) I got some really cute pants that I´m excited about :) Also, we bought American cookies, but they were super expensive!! The whole mall was decorated for Christmas, which was cool, but strange, because it´s so hot here. Their Santa looks the same, and they still decorate with snow and bears and hot cocao and everything, so it´s pretty funny! And they do´t make their own Christmas music. They just play Christmas music in English. So we heard songs like, "There´s no place like home for the holidays," and "Jingle Bells." They listen to a lot of English music here actually. All the stores just plan contemporary American music. It´s pretty funny when they sing along :) I makes me really happy.

And of course, the Gospel always makes me happy. I love the Book of Mormon more and more every day and I know with all of my heart that it is good, powerful, and true. If you haven´t read it yet, get a copy right now! I promise you won´t regret it. The Book of Mormon and the Bible are truly the best books on this earth :)

I love you all! Don´t forget your prayers!

Sister Doyle