Monday, October 14, 2013

Last week in Michigan


it's me.

and i cannot possibly contain my excitement any longer and doubt i'll be able to focus on the rest of my email so i'm just gonna come out and say it..






suspense killing you yet!?


okay okay okay. here we go:


I AM STILL SERVING IN NORTHVILLE EAST for another week!!!!!!! (: (: (:

how exciting is that!?



oh and i guess i should also mention the fact that i got my visa and leave for brazil a week from today, Monday October 21st at 10am.

(: (: (: (: (((((((((((((((((((((: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!fjasdklfjdasklfjsdklafjasdkl!!!!!!

BRAZIL HERE I COMEEEEEEEEE but for real, not for another week! I have literally been LOVING being here in Northville East and feel so lucky that I get to finish out my transfer here. And that I have a full week to get in goodbyes/see-ya-later's to everyone here! Haha. It's going to be a crazy crazy week.

It's insane how my heart literally feels like it's been ripped in half. You know how I am constantly talking like, all of the time? Well yesterday when I got the phone call from Sister Gerber (President's wife) my jaw literally dropped to the floor and I was completely, 100% speechless. Never experience that before in my life. Ever. Haha. (: I was telling Sister Gerber all about how AMAZING today had been, mostly because one of our investigators, Jen, and her 6-year-old daughter, Vallyn, came to church with us for the first time!!! It was literally THE BEST DAY EVER, oh my gosh don't even get me started. And they loved it (: (: (:

As soon as I finished telling Sister Gerber (who normally is so happy to hear about these kinds of things when we talk to her, lol), I asked how her day was! And she half-heartedly said "It's good...well, it's okay I guess." So naturally of course I asked why just "good" and she responded and said "Well, you got your visa today and leave a week from today which means you're leaving the mission. Which is why today is just 'okay'."

...WHAT!??! Toooooooootally not what I was expecting her to say, at ALL! I just stared at Sister Cutler and didn't know what to feel. I LOVE Northville and being here literally feels just like home, in more ways than I could ever possibly explain. Sister Gerber proceeded to give me a few details, which was helpful because literally it just felt like a dream (and to be honest, still kinda doesn't feel real, haha). I leave Monday, October 21st from the mission home at about 10am, my flight from Detroit to New York leaves at 1:40pm and from New York I assume I connect to Sao Paulo and then from there up to Recife....and typically it's like a 24+ hour travel day, so we'll see how that goes. Haha. All I know for sure though is that I leave at 10am from Northville and at 1:40pm I leave for New York. And I don't get to call anyone (church policy, apparently) and I don't get to emailnext week on Monday, since that's the day I'm leaving time you all hear from me I will (hopefully!!) be in RECIFE BRAZILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!! ayayaaa!!! so so so crazy. i wish i had more details, but...I don't. Haha. You know everything I do! (:

But seriously. I am so so pumped to have another full week here. Sister Cutler and I are going to DO. WORK. And it's going to be the best week ever. I can't wait to tell you all about it!!!! FROM  BRAZILLLLLL ah i can't even believe that those words coming out of my mouth are real!!! I guess I should start practicing my Portuguese a bit more, yeah? (: hahaha.

Okay. moving along though. I wanted to get some general things out of the way so sorry if this email isn't everything you were hoping and dreaming. Haha. But I have a few thoughts/questions I need to get out of my brain first. (:

Mama - can you send me another photo of the 4 of us siblings? I may or may not have accidentally put my "HOST" sticker on top of my face after my day of hosting in the MTC...and now I look like a monster because the sticky stuff wouldn't all come off. Hahahaha. Please and thank you (:

OH BUT WAIT. Don't send anything to me yet, unless it will arrive by this Saturday. Because that's the last day I'll get mail to my Michigan address. Can you tell that to the people at church, too? I don't have my Brazil address on me, but I'll just deal without getting mail for a coupla weeks so it doesn't take the chance of getting lost. Lol. I'll send you the address once I'm down there and know it for sure (: (: (: so if you have anything you wanna send me for mega cheap before you have to worry about sending it this week. Please (:

Okay. Funny moment I wanted to share. Sometimes when you are a missionary you literally pray ALL THE TIME. Which isn't a bad thing. But we pray before/after studies, before each appointment we have, before/after planning, before meals, and on and on and on. So then whenever you sit down to do something or get in a car, usually you're praying. But mostly it just leads to funny moments at all the other times when you know you don't really need to pray, but you still feel the need to. Like a coupla weeks ago when I made a homemade s'more and then folded my arms to say a pray to bless it before I ate it just out of habit. Or like how we sat down to email and I immediately felt like I should pray before emailing home. hahaha. #newmissionaryproblems Seriously though, prayer is awesome. I love it being such an ingrained habit at this point. It's pretty great. (:

Ruth - few quick questions. Is there any way you can make my facebook profile public? or at least searchable? I've had a dozen investigators/members/friends/etc out here that have claimed they've tried finding me on FB but they can't find me. Also on that note...could you by any chance add the friends who have requested me? I know of at least two that have given me grief about the fact that they haven't been added as my friend yet so they can look at my blog/creep on my photos and life pre-mission. Hahahaha. So if you could just add whoever has requested me, that'd be awesome. I don't have anything to hide (and change the names of people here on the blog if it's about anything sensitive anyway :)

Also Ruth - are you posting the photos I send home on the blog? Sorry I'm asking all these in my big email home but I already only have 8 mins left to email so I'm putting it all out here. Lol. I know you have a lot to deal with having 2 kids under the age of 4 + all your other if you can't get them all up, that's okay. Just lemme know (:

PS. Families out here, especially ones with kids who out on missions LOVE taking photos of us with their phones and texting them to their families! They say they love love love it when members who took their kids in for meals and stuff while they were serving missions would text them a photo just showing that all is well. So if you have the missionaries over for dinner, you should totally do that. Take a photo of them and then just ask for their parents' cell phone numbers and text it to them. It's totally legal as far as i know (:

Oh PS Mama - I totally bought a bag of Hershey's kisses and always have chocolate carrying around with me here, which reminds me of how you do that. It makes me feel closer to home when I do it (: don't think I'll be able to keep up with that once I get to Brazil, haha. But my companion/fellow missionaries loooooove knowing that I've always got a treat on hand, in case of emergencies, of course (;

Super quick! My every day schedule out here. It's a little bit earlier than some, but that's just because Sister Cutler is awesome and lets me have a full 1/2 hour to run (:

6:15am wake up
6:30am out the door to run/work out until 7am
7am-8am is breakfast/shower/get ready
8am personal study
9am companionship study
10 additional comp study (aka "12 week" aka for the first 2 transfers out on your mission, you get extra training during this time)
once 11 am hits we are out teaching until8pm! with just an hour for lunch and additional study and then an hour for dinner. but to be honest we never take a full hour for either lunch or dinner unless we're with a family. we'd rather be out doing the work so we just eat something quick (and the ward is pretty awesome at feeding us anyway!! even without a meal calendar. which is actually something i love because they only invite us over if they really want us to come over....and i guess it says something about the fact that sister cutler and i have dinner/lunch usually about 5 days out of each week this transfer...and every night but one this next week we have meals planned. so life is GREAT and we love being close with our ward members!!! :)
8pm is language study (which sometimes we skip so we can keep on teaching....gotta make it a priority this week though, lol :)
9pm planning
930-1030pm prep for bed/lights out at 1030 and get to bed!

i love getting up early. i love being a missionary. life is SO so great and i wanted to just share with all of you my favorite highlight from conference, from Elder Ballard's talk. Did you catch the invitation he extended all of us?

"We are not asking everyone to do everything. We are simply asking all members to pray, knowing that if everymember, young and old, will reach out to just “one” between now and Christmas, millions will feel the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. And what a wonderful gift to the Savior.

Seriously. You should all take this challenge upon yourselves. I've decided to do it for 18 months of my life, to pray to know who I can reach and who I can teach. Literally there is no better gift we can give to our Savior in time for this Christmas? I want to challenge each of you to do this and be the best member missionary you can be! In between reading from True to the Faith (book) about Missionary work and reading 1 Peter 3:15, I've come up with what I think is the four Be's to being a member missionary:

Be PRAYERFUL - tell God you want to help Him by being a missionary, that you want opportunities to serve, and that you are willing and wanting His help and direction
Be PREPARED - do all you can to study the scriptures and the words of our inspired leaders, ask questions, and find answers to questions others ask you so you know and can teach about the gospel
Be ALERT - if you honestly ask God for opportunities to share the Gospel, He WILL bless you with opportunities to do so! I PROMISE you that!! I have seen it in my life and it is real. So always be alert no matter where you are/who you're with/what you're doing to promptings of the Spirit to share the Gospel. Which leads me to the one I need the most help with...
Be COURAGEOUS - Once you get those opportunities to share, the only thing left to do is to just DO IT! Just step outside of your comfort zone and all we are asked to do is to INVITE, that's it! And that's the easy part! You can invite anyone to your birthday party and it's their own choice whether or not they want to go. Sure you know they're going to have an amazing time if they do join the party, because you know it'll be awesome, but you've gotta leave that choice up to them. But you can always tell them all the reasons it'll be awesome if you DO invite them, there's no ruling against that. (:

Okay my dear friends + family members, will you take this challenge upon yourselves? Prayerfully ask who is ready to hear the gospel and share the gospel with at least that person before Christmas? I promise you that you will be blessed with a loving and natural way to share the gospel if you follow those steps that are pretty much outlined if you read the scripture I mentioned above in Peter + what it says about missionary work in True to the Faith. That little book is seriously awesome. You should read the whole thing, too. (:

OKAY. Time's mega mega up. But I love you all SO SO MUCH and sorry for not sending tons of photos today but brace yourselves for photos GALORE in 2 weeks of my last week in the states...and my first ever in BRAZIL!!!!!!!!! (: (: (:

Can't hardly wait. I love you all so so much. I can feel your prayers and am really so, so, SO eternally grateful for them and for all of your love and strength and support. You are incredible. Keep up the fab work and keep doing what you know you should be. Pray always. God wants to hear what's going on in your life. The good and the bad. And He can help you more than anyone else can. I promise! (:

LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! Sorry I'm not allowed to call and chat but rest assured I will be talking to you (family) on Christmas from the beautiful country of BRASILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL (as they would say it :)

EU AMO VOCES!!!!!!!! PS Mormon 9:28 was one of my favorite scriptures this past week while I was on exchanges in Belle Isle. It's a good motivator for how we should be member missionaries (:


Sister Sarah Banera Carrera Kron
#sistermissionaryforlife (:

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