Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hey! It has been a long week! Christmas was great! SO different, but so great to talk to my family! I got a package from my mom and stepdad, and one from my dad and stepmom, the day before Christmas Eve! It was super exciting. We were able to spend Christmas Eve with a few other missionaries, at a members house. They made a TON of food for us and we had a little message, and watched Joy To The World. It was neat. Christmas day we had lunch with the Bishop and his family and then I basically just talked to my family the rest of the day! We had a wedding at the church that night, a cute young couple. It was fun to be there with everyone. The people here celebrate it, but it isn't anything special, just another holiday (they have a billion!) Other than that, We had transfers this week!! Both my companion and I were certain she would be transferred because she hás been here in this área for a long time, but... she stayed! And.. I stayed too! So we will be together for another 6 weeks. We are excited and ready to work hard and teach, help, and baptize! I am learning lots... one of the big things I learned the past couple of weeks is that even if we have faith, we need to do ALL that we can to work towards what we want. If we only go halfway, our faith wont be enough to make up for the rest. :)I love you all and hope you had a great Christmas, and hope you have a super fun New Years Eve! Love, Sister Porath

The Pictures.... Elder Shawcroft, Elder Gabriel, Me, Sister Zorzo in front of a huge Christmas tree made out of 2 liter bottles! It is really pretty!

Christmas Eve, with a family, Sister Costa, Me, Sister Zorzo, Sister Oliveira, Elder Guerra, Elder Luis and Elder Thomson.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It is hard to believe it is p day again already! BUT I am not complaining! This week has been fast. We had our zone conference in Sergipe (the other state that my mission includes) with all the missionaries serving there. It was also our Christmas conference. It was a lot of fun! I got to meet a lot of elders, and get to know a few of the other sisters better. Each district acted out a little skit or something. It was funny! My group acted out the scripture 2 Kings 2: 23-25 (I think!) Me and my companion dressed up as bears.. kind of! Everyone laughed! President Beynon gave a talk about Jesus Christ and His Atonement. It was really neat. We watched a short video clip and he just cried. Then he got up and said he was crying because of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us, but also for the sacrifice of each missionary. He knows this time is hard to be away from family, and to be working hard here. He is such a neat man. His wife is amazing too. I am so grateful for them! Then on Saturday night and Sunday morning we had Stake Conference! It was super neat as well! Craig Zwick, Sister Beck, Elder Scott and Elder Eyring all spoke.. in Portuguese! Except Elder Eyring. But it was really neat! Elder Eyring talked about us being in a soccer game (cuz soccer is HUGE here!) About how the Salt Lake team unexpectedly beat LA because the LA star player missed a goal in the shootout because he lost his concentration for one second. So.. we need to never lose our concentration, our desire to always try to live right and work hard and serve others, because Satan is waiting for that one tiny moment, when he will attack. There is a recent convert, of about 3 months, here in the ward. He is a 24 year old man who left the world of drinking, drugs, colored hair, earings.. ect. In order to be baptized and enjoy the blessings of the gospel. He has been SO strong. He does visits with us, and wants to become a better member. Aw. He is such a neat guy. But yesterday he called us crying and said he needed help. We went to his house and he had been drinking… since Sunday. He didn’t go to church and had started a new job and someone offered him alcohol and he had a weak moment and accepted. He said it was because he is sad that his dad wont let anyone from the church into their house. None of his family accepted the church, or even the lessons from the missionaries. He is doing it all alone and I know it has to be SO hard. It made me so sad, he was so sad, he didn’t like the state he was in and I know all he needs are more friends and support from the members. We are going to do all that we can to help him and I know he will pull through and stay strong in the gospel and continue to be blessed by it. I am so grateful for all of my friends and family that I have to support me in this gospel, and here on a mission. I would not be able to do it without it! Thank you all so much! I love you!!Love. Sister Porath

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oi! So..... its been another week! Oh and we switched p-day this week because we have zone conference tomorrow and people traveled here today so that they can travel there with us tomorrow. I got a hair cut. Mostly just a trim, but he/she (a man that wants to be a woman and dresses like one and I don’t know if he/she has had any surgeries or not BUT… it was interesting, my companion suggested him/her so I just went for it!) kind of layered it in the front. I like it though! That same night, there was a huge rivalry soccer game here. The team that won, Flamego´s, have TONZ of fans! Everyone was driving around after honking their horns, it was crazy! There was like a parade of 20 cars and 40 motorcycles with everyone hanging out the windows waving their flag or t-shirt. Elder Gabriel, one of my zone leaders, is trying to convince me to root for this team. I might choose them! But my companion and Elder Shawcroft, my other zone leader, want me to pick Palmares! So I don’t know! I am just going to wait :) A few other random things… I live on sweet and condensed milk! I have it on bread basically every morning and night! We have it on crackers, on this food called cuscuz, its like cornbread almost, it is so good! Every week the ward has a family night at the chapel and last week the Bishop got sick and called us and we had to teach the lesson! I was sp nervous… but it went well! We had a baptism last week, it was really neat. It was a man named Valdir, he is in his 30´s and is really spiritual. Now we just have to keep visiting him to help him remain strong in the church. Oh! This week was a trip to the temple for the stake here! They left Monday morning, and will get back Friday night. It is about 6 hours away, the Recife temple. I think they have a place there that members sleep at. And since they don’t get to go very often, they go into the temple for the first session early in the morning, and usually only leave at night after the last session. They do as much as they can while they are there up until the last second. I think it is so neat and they are so dedicated! I definitely miss being able to go to the temple every week. And I feel SOOOO blessed to have so many so close to me in Utah! This week I have realized I need to strengthen my relationship with Jesus Christ. I need to learn more about him and rely on him and apply the atonement. So, I have started to focus on this every morning when I study and I have the felt the spirit stronger! It has been so neat! I am doing well… Christmas is starting to go up everywhere… super strange because each day gets hotter and hotter and the other day I saw a picture an elder had of snow… and my heart loooonnged for it! Oh boy… I better just enjoy the next year and couple months of summer! I love you all and am SOOO grateful for your love and support and our relationships :) Have a good week!!Love, Sister Porath
Hey! I cant believe it is December! Yikes.. anyway, the work is going, but pretty slow. So I will tell you about the city! Everyone blasts their music and tries to make it louder than their neighbors, so you actually cant understand anything because there are 5 different songs playing! The cars all rattle as they drive down the street too. We don’t have water for half of the week. It is really frustrating. They turn it off in the city on Sundays and it comes back Wednesday night or Thursday sometimes. So everyone has a reserve tank and makes it last the whole time. It is hard! Last week we had to shower by bucket for a couple of days but this week I was really good at conserving it and only ran out today… halfway through rinsing the conditioner out of my hair! But a bucket works wonders and I managed to finish just fine. Everyone has a motorcycle or scooter. And if they don’t, they have a bicycle! And the other day I saw a guy washing his, like you would a car. It made me smile! There are a lot of frogs… dried.. and smashed in the middle of the road! Every time I see one, I want to pick it up, stick it in an envelope, and send it home :) There are a billion cats, lots of dogs too. And TONZ of guys that walk around pushing a handcart thingy that has a speaker and says… (I translated it…) Popsicle and Ice Cream!... Caico! (The brand) so if it is in the afternoon, I always want to buy one, and more often than not, I do! It is only 50 centavos here, which is like 25 cents there! All the kids run around in just underwear… its funny! Annnnd it is because it is up to 100 degrees everyday! And only getting hotter… I am going to die! I saw the movie New Moon sitting at some ones house… I wanted to watch it so bad! BUT we are only allowed to watch Disney so I will have to wait. Oh and speaking of the moon, I always look up at night, and if I am feeling homesick, I just think about my family or friends sitting at their houses or wherever… under the same moon :) It makes me feel closer to home… We did have a baptism last week! It was neat, Jorge, a 22 year old boy. He is really nice and always smiling. We don’t have one marked for this week, we are hoping for a miracle! It is hard to find new investigators here… Anyway.. Christmas is getting closer! It is so weird to see all the decorations here, it is fun, but just so different because it is the middle of summer instead of winter! But I love and miss you all and think about you tonz!!... when I have a free minute! Love, Sister Porath :)