Monday, October 6, 2014

Oct 6 email... General conference!!!

Yes, I do....I love conference, how about you?! (:

Basically I have been trying to work on BYU stuff/responding to your emails majority of my time on here today so I don´t really have time to write a big email...

but I hope you all watched general conference and loved every moment like I did!

Moral of the weekend? ITS THE SIMPLE THINGS. 

Read your scriptures. Go to church. Say your prayers. Take the sacrament worthily. Go to the temple.

If you do these things, you will be blessed.

And if you aren´t currently doing these things...

Remember what Elder Scott said - 

Maybe it´s time to reorganize your priorities. (:

MAKE GOOD CHOICES. I love you all! Photos galore to come next week!

xoxox!!!

Sister Kron! (:

Sept 29 email

Okay, for real though. I am in PARADISE here in Carmelo 2! Week 2 down, and this was EASILY the best, most productive, most spirtual, most crazy high highs + the lowest of lows I have ever felt in my life in a single week!

WE ARE LOVING IT HERE. (: Sister Lima is the cutest little Brazillian Sister missionary in the whole wide world (and I´m the cutest little American-almost-Brazillian Sister missionary....in case you were wondering ;). Jokes aside, we are doing WORK here in Carmelo! I love love LOVE this ward! I don´t think I emphasized enough last week the fact that they are wanting to be super involved in lessons with investigators, helping us out with whatever thing we need...it´s literally a sister missionary´s paradise. I have a serious testimony from this week alone of how obedience + a desire to serve really does bring blessings that just FLOW from all four corners of the earth. 

Moral of the story: Ala Carmelo is here to do missionary work. Sister Lima + I are here to do missionary work. And we had a dozen lessons with members this past week, received 30 references (!!!) from members, and had FOUR investigators at church yesterday with desires to be baptized, with two less-active families (couples) who we are helping return to activity to prepare to be sealed in the temple for time + all eternity!!!!! eeeeeeeeeek!!! (: If I´ve said it once, I can say it100000000000000 more times - - ladies + gentlemen - -

THERE IS NO GREATER JOY THAN BEING A PART OF THIS WORK. 

I miss you guys. I love you guys. It´s hard being away from home when so many exciting and wonderful things (weddings, babies, playgrounds re-constructing, band competitions, family reunions, etc) happening. But I want you all to know that I am SO SO happy for you all and will be happy to see you all come January 2015...but not a single moment before. (:

I absolutely LOVE this work. I had a moment last night when we were helping out with a baptisms our elders had here in Carmelo, and we had so many youth there helping out and members wanting to help out and I just stopped and thought two things:

1. This has got to be what Zion´s like.
2. My heart is going to break the moment I have to leave. Leave Carmelo, leave Brasil, leave behind and take in my heart all the memories and experiences and everything I´ve had while I´ve been here as a full-time representative of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

That being said - - it´s only week 2 of the transfer! So my heart can stop breaking at the thought of leaving and I´m just learning + living + loving every single stinkin moment. (: Pode deixar (aka no need to worry about me!)!

Here´s the quick run-down:

Our four wonderful investigators that we are focusing on right now:

-João Vitor (9 years old, part-member family, we are working on re-activiating his parents Rosemeire + André and helping them prepare to be sealed!)

-Gean (16 years old and is the nephew of a less-active member, but came to church yesterday and LOVED it and the youth are all over him inviting him to activities + etc! He loved how organized church was and we´re excited to invite him to General Conference this week!)

-Leonardo (22, husband of a less-active member coming back to activity. Already  has a great desire to repent of his sins and be baptized - we just need to focus this week on helping him gain the testimony that this is the only true church that has the authority of God (Priesthood) here on earth today!)

-Iaponira (still working hard to know how to pronounce her name, haha. 40-some years old, has been coming to church for YEARS, but is in a tough spot where she´s separated from her husband but they still live in the same house so that the daughters won´t be sad....it´s going to be a hard decision to make but we´re focusing on helping her to pray and seek the Lord´s guidance to see what she needs to do. The fact stands that she needs to live separately from her ex-husband if she wants to be baptized. And she told us last night that she wants SO bad to be baptized, for so long. She came to the elders´ baptism last night and got emotional....we´re praying for her to have strength to do what the Lord tells her to do. Love her so much already. She´s such a fighter).

And the less-active couples are João Vitor´s parents and also Elias and Adriana (coming back 2 weeks in a row now!!! They´ll be sealed before we know it :) and also Edinaldo (who is inactive....but married to the Primary President and she is a ROCK SOLID member. She´s incredible - Claudete. He´ll be back....it´s a process. But he´s coming. Lots of prayers for him.)

OKAY. I love this work. I love these people. I love Brazil!!!!! (: Someone recorded me talking in Portuguese in a lesson and I just about died laughing hearing myself talk in this language. It´s so weird to me that this language is at this point easier for me to communicate in than English. This past week I woke up 2 nights in a row mulitple times during the night because I was talking to members in my sleep in Portuguese....hahahaha. I think it was stress-related because we have SO MUCH WORK to do here in this area....but moral of the story is I love everything about where I am. About what I´m doing. I know this is the most important work - - missionary work! - - that exists.

BE MISSIONARIES. This week is the BEST week (happens twice a year!) because...

WE GET TO HEAR THE WORDS OF A LIVING PROPHET! AHHHHH What greater news is there than this!(question mark - - the question mark key doesn´t work on this keyboard, haha :)

MAKE WATCHING GENERAL CONFERENCE A PRIORITY. You won´t be sorry! How many times a year do we get to hear LIVE a real, live, living PROPHET of God speak to us!(question mark) 

Answer - just twice! aka multiple sessions each conference but...you get the point. (:

here´s the link so you don´t have any excuses - -


(: I love you all so stinking much. Like it says in Jacob 6:12 - Sede sábios. Que mais podeis dizer(question mark).

AKA - Be wise! What can I say more(question mark).

Make good choices. Be missionaries. Invite your friends + family to listen to a prophet´s voice! I promise that as you pray to be guided to know who is ready to receive the good news of this Gospel, you will be led and Heavenly Father will lead you to his sons and daughters that are ´´looking for truth but know not where to find it.´´

Don´t be selfish. And don´t be embarrassed. (: Share this message with everyone!

I LOVE YOU ALL! And my return date is January 20th (aka that´s when I leave here - so I´ll probably arriveJanuary 21st in the early AM or afternoon). So you´re aware!

XOX and tell me in your emails next week your favorite talks from conference! I´ll be watching all sessions for the first time ever in Portuguese - - eek! Wish me luck (:

xoxo!

Sister Kron (:

Sept 22 email

okay okay okay. SO MANY THINGS TO SAY RIGHT NOW!!!!

first things first - -

SARA WHITACRE YOU ARE KILLING ME OVER HERE with all of your beauty in your wedding dress/engagement photos!!! i may never forgive you for doing all this without me there....(; jokes. So happy for you two! and still waiting on a wedding invite so i can show you off to all my brazillian friends! (;

RUTH ASTRID DOWLING. i am dying over here with the cute vids you sent me of dustin because THE SOUND IN THIS LAN HAUS DOES NOT WORK and its the only one i´ve got in this city! SEND ME WHAT HE IS SAYING ASAP. im dying. lol!

and of course...

HAPPY STINKIN BITHDAY SISTER HIRZ + MISS MICAELA ANDERSON! i love you both too much that i have no words to express...!! mostly because i am already out of time from the time i spent looking at the photos everyone sent me this week lol. FORGIVE ME. but i love you both!!! happy day! (:

OKAY. yes. this morning i was washing our lettuce we bought at the store for salad for lunch with all us 6 sisters i live with (yes, SIX SISTERS. its a festa!). and as i was washing the leaves of lettuce...i just about THROW UP because theres obviously all kinds of dirt and things in the lettuce (normal...its organic! just about as natural as it gets here in brazil, lol!)...but when i find a dead baby SCORPION....yeah that´s about it for my appetite. hahaha. ah man. the stories i´ll have to tell my grandkids one day about serving a mission in brazil. here´s one of them.

a good hour-long bath in agua sanitária + water later...i finally felt okay eating the lettuce anyway. and it was delish. daddy I was thinking of you always washing your lettuce each night before work for your salads...i sure hope you never find a scorpion in yours! (; hahaha.

okay! So this week was wonderful! I am in Carmelo 2 which is actually in Camaragibe. We live with 6 sisters total - the other 4 Sisters all work in the Camaragibe ward (the same church building as us). One american (me!), 2 brasillians (my companion is from minas gerais and the other sister is also training and shes from são paulo), and three hispanics (one from CHILE!!! (: one from honduras and i think the other is from venezuela). its a party everyday and i love them all! its so neat that we are all from SUCH different parts of the world, which such different habits and life stories and families....but the gospel is the same and we´re all here for the same reason - because we love and want to serve as representatives of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I love that. (:

Carmelo 2 is FULLLLLLLLLLL of hills and i didnt take any photos this week because since it was an elders area before....i wanted to make sure it was an area safe to take photos first, haha. But it is GORGEOUS, just you wait! we just about die every day walking up and down these MONSTER hills and stair cases (that NEVER ever ever ever ever ever...EVER end) and its great!....as a leg workout. haha. (; 

The work is great too! the ward is AWESOME and so so crazy involved in missionary work its not even funny. I feel really blessed to be here. Since the day we showed up, we have been SHOWERED with love and excitement and enthusiasm. They have apparently been DYING to have sister missionaries in their ward (its been over 20 years at least since they´ve had them) and so they´re just crazy happy. it´s a nice surprise! (: we have members asking US when they can go out and be part of lessons with us - - fancy that! I´m loving it here! (:

As for my companion - SISTER POLYANE RODRIGUES LIMA is from MINAS GERAIS (Brasillian! my 4th brasillian comp in a row! so so lucky :), she´s from Sete Lagoas (7 lakes)...and she says there aren´t 7 lakes there...there´s 13. haha. (: Everyone just about died laughing at training meeeting when President paired us up with our new companions - - we are the two shortest Sister missionaries in the entire mission. so we hugged and everyone burst out laughing because we fit just perfectly together. haha! it´s adorable (: She comes from a really strong LDS family (her daddy´s stake president right now), with parents active in the church, and an older sister (recently married, active) + a younger brother (putting in his mission papers in JANUARY!!! :). she loves to eat....eek! and cook....double eek! and RUN...WAHOOOOOO! (: (: (: so we get along well, to say the least. (: she´s an INCREDIBLE missionary, i keep saying i feel like she was sent here pre-trained, haha. we´ve been seeing miracles already this week and are loving exploring our area and working with everyone here!! (:

really neat experiences this week - -

we´re helping a less active family come back to church so they can get prepared to be sealed together for time + all eternity in the temple - adriana + elias (with their son, schweinsteiger. LOL named after a german soccer player...its a funny story haha). we had a HUGE FHE at their house, by surprise, with another less active family that lives next door (elias´s brothers (also inactive) family) and the old bishop (active...obviously haha) + his family. they all have kids the same age and it was an incredible lesson about the importance of having our family together in the gospel and how the fathers need to be the example for their children so they can be a forever family. the spirit was so strong and most of us were in tears as we went around and one by one shared our testimony/thoughts/feelings about the importance of our families and the gospel. elias (less active for a good while now) got emotional sharing his conversion story and talking about how he knows the gospel is true...and how he knows he wants to come back and help his son schweinsteiger serve a mission in germany some day. it was so cute!! (: his brother got emotional too....he´s had a really rocky life in + out of the gospel...and his situation is a bit more complicated. but he got really emotional too, saying he knows he needs to come back, that its going to be difficult...but that there´s nothing more important. that he knows he wants to be with his family forever and he needs to work towards making things right in his life again so that that´s possible. the lesson ended with us inviting them both to come to church the next day (sunday) and the best part? the brother´s 5-year-old son, daniel, looking at his dad and saying ´´daddy, come to chuch tomorrow. come to church with me and mommy!´´. ah. i love little children. they are so so close to the spirit and they so know how to help their families.

daniel´s daddy hasn´t come back to church yet, but we made the goal for him to come back for general conference - - just two weeks away!! and he accepted (:

and - - elias was at church with his wife + german child yesterday!!!! with huge smiles on their faces and happiness all around. sigh. i love this gospel and how it brings out the best in all of us. it really changes us...if we let it.

and thats my last little thought to share with you all today. i was reading in my personal study this morning in jacob 5, especially Jacob 5 verse 74. 

 74 And thus they labored, with all diligence, according to the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard, even until the bad had been cast away out of the vineyard, and the Lord had preserved unto himself that the trees had become again the natural fruit; and they became like unto one body; and the fruits were equal; and the Lord of the vineyard had preserved unto himself the natural fruit, which was most precious unto him from the beginning.

i treated it as though it was talking about our own lives. how these are the last days, and like elias + his brother, we ALL have a little bit of ´´bad´´ in us...when we sin, when we aren´t being totally obedient or doing what the Lord commands of us. but our purpose here on earth is to work with all dilligence to be obedient to what the Lord has commanded us...until we become ´´like unto one body´´ - - or in other words, become as our perfect example, become CHRISTLIKE. this is why we´re here on earth. this is what is most precious to our Heavenly Father. that we become like His son, clean again so we can return to His presence one day, after this life.

ah! i love the gospel. (: it is so so SO true, i can´t even handle it. study the gospel. search + study the scriptures. they are SO so true and so totally written for us + our day!

love you so much! thank you for all your prayers! and sorry again...no personal emails this week ): first thing next week, promise! (: have an awesome week!

xoxox,

Sister Kron (:

Sept 15 email

aka the first line of ´´I´ll go where you want me to go´´ aka holy surprises in these last 24 hours! I´m not in the alto mar anymore (aka goodbye to zona litoral all along the beach!)!

WHAT? I´m as surprised as you all! I went in to Candelária 1 for just one little transfer...and then we got the call last night that I was going to be transferred...and Sister Rodrigues would stay. What!? Didn´t make it any better that we were at Vitória´s house for a noite familiar (family home evening) and I just started bawling my little eyes out. I LOVE Candelária. I actually thought I´d pass the last part of my mission there, haha. The ward, the area...my companion (don´t even get me started on that one)...! And leaving Vitória was the hardest part. Man. I don´t care how many more times I´ll be moved around - - transfers are NEVER easy. 

But...! All is well and literally all my prayers the past 24 hours have been to help me accept wherever I´d be called to go/what I´d be called to do. And thank goodness we have such an AWESOME President that is so crazy inspired of God...that I know + trust in whatever changes he makes in this mission. Fact.

And then transfer meeting happened. After waking up early, piling our HUGE suitcases onto a tiny ônibus (between me + the other Sister from our house being transferred, we had SEVEN HUGE bags/suitcases....just try to imagine us trying to pile all of that + us onto an ônibus where you need to walk up three stairs and pass through one of those twisty things you pass through when you enter an amusement park or somewhere where they charge admission - - it is SO NOT EASY throwing heavy suicases over that thing. Lemme tell you what.), and arriving at the meeting half an hour late thanks to transito... it went a little like this.

Zone: Camaragibe (aka where I started my mission!)

In Carmelo 1: Elders A and B as zone leaders.
Opening the area, Carmelo 2 as Sister Training Leader.... Sister Kron....is going to TRAIN.

....WHATTTTT! I probably had a pretty funny look on my face as the APs quickly took the microphone to explain that (1) I would not be living with the zone leaders (LOL thank goodness), and that (2) president has decided to do something different with training this transfer...aka there are only 4 STLs in the whole mission now and we are all going to be STLs by ourselves (each of us in a different zone) and we are all also going to be receiving brand new missionaries to train tomorrow (!).

We´re all really excited to see what happens tomorrow. Basically best news EVER is that SISTER HIRZ IS ALSO TRAINING (!!!!!! CONGRATSSSS! :) and she´s right behind me here at the lan haus and we get to spend the day together here in Recife (going to visit some of my recent converts and members here tonight!! :) and then tomorrow we trainers are having a breakfast + training at President´s house and then -- best part ever -- all us trainers get to go do a session at the TEMPLE together!! Ahhhhh. (: (: (: (: this is the happiest of happiest days!

So...that´s what´s up! Sorry that´s like my journal entry for the past 24 hours haha but basically that´s whats in my brain. I´m training again! And opening an area....aka there were elders there before but they got whitewashed out by me and my new companion who I´ll meet tomororw! There are all kinds of Sisters arriving tomorrow so look forward to a week´s worth of adventures next email as I get my new companion, try taking on a new area (in the INTERIOR!! going back to my first zone in Brazil!! :) and somehow also being a Sister Training Leader (we´re just not doing divisions this transfer).

Okay. Lots of thoughts in my brain. Basically this past week was wild + a half. I so didn´t think I was leaving so we had lots of fun going to the temple (!) and making a ton of contacts and trying to find the truly elect. 

We had some really awesome experiences this past week! But sadly, I don´t have time to tell you all of them ): boo. But just know I love you all SO so much and I will respond to your emails next week (I left my paper at home - sorry! transfers get the best of me haha). We had an absolute MIRACLE yesterday - Tatiana (nonmember mother of a recent convert, emily) came to church and basically told us she´s decided it doesn´t matter what church her husband wants to attend, she wants to attend THIS church because she feels the best in it and knows its true! ah! and other miracles - - a woman in our ward who is raising 3 kids basically all on her own (under the age of 12) had a son who turned 8 this past week - - and we helped her put together his baptism and she asked sister R + i to sing ´´milagres são reais´´ because literally his baptism was a miracle with the problems her ex-husband (nonmember) has been giving her.

There were so many tears and so, SO much joy yesterday. and this past week in general. I LOVE being a missionary and I love seeing these miracles every day! (: Ah.

THERE IS NO BETTER WORK THAN THIS. Help the missionaries in your wards. They are there to help you help your loved ones learn more about the gospel! Take advantage of their help + offer to help them out, too! We can´t do this work without you!! (:

OKAY. I´m off to adventure land. Wish me luck! Next week will be stories and photos galore, I´m sure. (:

Oh! Really quick. I had a terrifying experience this week where I was bit by a dog. Aka long story short, I wasn´t really bit for real or affected by the dog bite because we had been prompted to go back home to change into boots....so the dog got a mouth full of rubber as we ran away. I had a mini panic attack with some tears because I was a little (understatement of my life) shaken up, but once we were a safe distance away, I asked Sister R if I could say a prayer of gratitude real quick to calm me down...and as soon as I said the words ´´thank you for all the prayers that are being said in our behalf to keep up safe and protected´´ - - the tears just came pouring out. I love you guys so, SO much and I don´t think you realize I can see and feel your love and prayers. Heavenly Father answers prayers.  Don´t forget it! (: Thank you SO much for your prayers!!

xox!

Sister Kron (:

Using coca cola for draino?!

at least brazillian coca-cola....basically long story short = this last week we ordered pizza + cocacola....and we had a bit of coke left over afterwards. and our bathroom sink has been CRAZY backed up since i arrived here (not my fault! promise :). and one of the sisters had the idea to put the rest of the coke down the drain....and LO AND BEHOLD OUR DRAIN WORKS PERFECTLY NOW. hahahaa. it must be all the sugar or something the coke has here...but basically we´re all terrified to drink coke ever since this incident. coca-cola = way cheaper than draino, too. fun facts i´ve learned as i´ve been in brazil! (;

OKAY! but how are you all!? I hope your week has been a bit more successful than ours....haha. it was a bit of a rough week. but! you´ve gotta have some rough weeks to be able to recognize the good ones, right? or...something like that. (:

but first! THANKS SO MUCHHHHHHH! to micae + ruth for your packages!!! you are the BESTTTTTTTT of the best and i can´t believe i didn´t mention it earlier! i got your packages this past week and died of happiness. as always, the letters + photos are always always ALWAYS the highlight above all else. so personal + wonderful! and....an awesome excuse to show off how cute my sobrinhos are (niece/nephew) ! (;

man. this week was crazy for sure! basically the latest is as follows:

-vitória was confirmed! and she is by far the most active member of the church in existence, lol! going to seminary regularly, participating in the youth program, cleaning the chapel saturday mornings, going out for hours and hours to help us teach lessons, and she even gave the lesson at our family home evening at her home this past week FROM THE LIAHONA MAGAZINE. wowow. talk about the most powerful 13 (almost 14!) year-old i´ve ever met. she´s such an example and so how i hope my kids will be one day with such a drive + desire to learn more about the gospel and do whats right! (:

-adão left for maranhão (a state wayyyy far north in brazil) on sunday where he will resolve a few things real quick medically + for his wedding (!) and then he should be back by the end of the month with his wife + kids to be MARRIEDDDDDD and shortly after, baptized! (: (: (: it looks like they will be moving into the boundaries of the ward next to ours, which is sad because we won´t get to teach his wife + kids....but we´re crazy happy no matter what, because he´s so pumped to be baptized and we know we at least did our part to help him be a forever family! TOTALLY COMING BACK for the temple sealing! already planning on it! haha (:

-we are working on finding NOVOS...aka os eleitos do Senhor in between our area and the candeias ward (right next door to ours). its been a bit rough....feeling a little like i´m opening an area (SHOUT OUT SISTER HIRZ...i´m sure opening an area is way more difficult but i feel for you! lol! :) because the stake president asked us specifically to work on the area in between the candelária and candeias wards because theres like a big hole where there are no members...so we´re praying + fasting to find the Lord´s elect there! 

funny story about everything falling into place and the Lord totally working in mysterious ways...basically one of the sisters in my apartment had a bit of a panic attack (long story short - hair dye gone wrong and her hair was falling out...it was INSANE lol but all resolved so we can laugh about it now :) the same day i was doing a division with a sister in my area. that sister is super good friends with the sister with the panic attack so she was able to comfort her and help her out in a way me + the other sister didn´t know how. (reasons why the church is true and divisions are inspired #1). then the other sister + i decided to go out on a division real quick to buy some food for this sister to eat and we decided on pizza because every one here loves pizza. this sister suggested a new pizzaria close to our home because itd be cheaper....and we show up and are greeted by a ´´oi, sísteres!´´ and basically long story short this pizzaria is owned by a HUGEEEEEEEE family of lesss-actives/non-members that just moved here to open up this new shop from são paulo and they love the missionaries! a bunch of them served missions and most are married to people who aren´t members but want their spouses/kids to join the church (the church is true reason #2)!  the best part? THEY LIVE LITERALLY A 3 MINUTE WALK FROM THE CHURCH (reasons why the church is true #3). basically, let yourselves be guided by your stomachs and with a good heart wanting to help a friend in need....and you find huge families with their arms wide open to receive the gospel in their lives! 

also...the pizza was incredible. i love pizza in brazil! even if they do always put mayo and ketchup on top. lol (:

okay. gotta run. basically this week was FULLLLLLLLLLLLLL of lots of rain, LOTSSSSSSSS of toads and frogs (OF ALL SHAPES + SIZES....dont even ask hahaha) and I SAW MY FIRST RAT. and i thought i was going to throw up because it was the size of a cat....barf. hahahaha. beautiful candelária is so crazy puddle-filled that i had to carry vitória on my back piggy-back style half the way to a family home evening monday night. that was an adventure. just imagine me in a skirt + my cherry rain boots, wading through a foot-deep puddle of poop water as it is pouring rain with a 13-year old in a skirt on my back. LOL. that´s a great image for you. we were all dying laughing majority of the way. (: just smiles + laughs + thats how we get through the day. the best way to get through any day (:

ah! okay. LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH! i have to skip because we´re going to the temple today (!!!!!!) aka why our pday is today instead of monday. next monday is already TRANSFERS (what?!?!?)...talk about fastest transfer of my life! we have no clue what will happen but we´re excited and will accept whatever comes our way! president bigelow likes switching things up a lot so who knows where i´ll be + what i´ll be doing come monday! but i´ll talk to you all then! (:

BEIJOS. ABRAÇOS. and CHEIROSSSS for you all! (; read your scriptures, say your prayers, and don´t forget to count your blessings!

xoxo!

Sister Kron