Tuesday, March 3, 2015

not quite yet || ainda nao

just to track my journey 100% with the blog, (and to be able to prepare a little more emotionally for that last post....) i'd like to first just talk about my last week in sao borja and on the mission.. then we will wrap it all up. i can't remember it super well but there are definitely some parts that stick out. i don't think i have enough to do a normal post.. but ill just give it a twist.
some things that happened..

one last district pday.. it was so much fun to play volleyball (and so so hot)
four poor sisters. 
good- it was kinda a surprise but last minute on my last p day in sao borja a member picked us all up and took us to the border of brazil and argentina! it was so cool.. ok well not really but i probably will never go to argentina but now at least I've seen it! and we got to take some fun pics :) haha.
ice cream (practically) in argentina
the wind wasn't working with me.. but with the argentine and brazilian flags!
awkward- i punk'd you all again! well mostly just my mom (again).. i left some key info out to make it sad like everything fell through and i wouldn't have a baptism. but actually it was one of the coolest miracle moments in my mission.

bad- until the last day I AM A HORRIBLE PACKER. and hoarder. but i was a little better, ok i think a lot better, and my companion probably thanks me for it. (she's going to need an extra suitcase..)

bad- we got the transfer calls.... weird things happened but we knew it had to happen. because of the lack of new sisters coming, our area was shut down for sisters, and will just have one pair of elders now. the members were so sad, us too. my companion, sister alvarado stayed in the city just went to the other branch in the center of the city, actually located on the side of where we live! haha. and one of the elders from our branch, got called to be an assistant! woooohooo. kinda cool. and so fun to make fun of him.

cheers waiting for our last bus together.
awesome- so my big trick from last week was that our homegirl who was supposed to be baptized totally let us down (well and the lord more importantly) and basically straight up ignored us sunday morning.. which was true. but actually the coolest thing happened. manoel, another great investigator who had previous came to church, was late, felt embarrassed, didn't know what to do, so went home, come to church for his first time. we were so happy. but it gets better. in class, he was asked to say the prayer, and in his prayer he said (out loud, in front of everyone, so crystal clear!!!) that he believed the church was true and wanted to one day.. no he had decided he would be baptized in this church. I LOVE MY LIFE! and fasting. it was totally a miracle from our fast. then, luckily it was in front of all of our leaders basically ha and they all ok'd his baptism, after church, my last sunday. actually his prayer was so powerful it was their idea. they wanted this.

ok moving onto a big story about robin (mom) and grandma julie.
sooooo... I'm going to try and make this story as short as possible..
its a mix of GOOD BAD AWKWARD AWESOME AMAZING HORRIBLE anything you can imagine
mom and grandmas plane left late from brasilia, got into porto alegre late, and then they missed the flight (and only one that day) to santa maria, which made them also miss their ride to sao borja, where i was.
because of rules / phones / being abroad, etc communication was very limited. i went into panic mode.
i had a baptism that i desperately wanted my mom and grandma to be at.. and i knew they would want to be there too. i just got a text saying they were taking a bus to santa maria and they would have to stay there for the night.. but imagine my mom and grandma in southern brazil with their english and ... yeah. so i was so worried. i didn't know what to do. i didn't know if i was overreacting. and i really didn't have many options. so i went to the extreme and called my troops to action. I HAVE THE BEST RIO GRANDE DO SUL FAMILY. they are amazing and i would do anything for them. my people picked my mom and grandma up at the bus station (actually got her off the bus), took care of them until their ride go there (in the middle of the night), and then they got a ride to sao borja hours and hours away, and literally got there one hour before 9:00 am church. the poor things half slept through the thing but they made it through until sweet manoel was baptized. then.. shortly after.. i hopped on a bus, they went back with their ride.. and that ended things. yeah. like my mission was officially ending.
my sao borja young women and leaders
all the missionaries that served in the same chapel
my last baptism... manoel, and my main ladies!
the rest is much less anticlimactic.
got to santa maria.. went and visited my people in camobi (LOVE), got to the hotel. got to see everyone who went home with me.. so much fun! and then slept in a single bed with my homegirl sister shumway.. because thats true friendship.
monday was filled with trainings and what not, that included us calling each other by our first names. we acted so immature about it.. you would call someone by their first name and everyone would giggle like a child. but it was weird!! haha. also included interviews with president.

AWESOME-- there is no better feeling then hearing your mission president, a representative of God, tell you that your mission has been accepted by the Lord, that you were an excellent missionary, and He is happy with you. i had a hard time with this. i have a hard time not being perfect or knowing that it wasn't perfect. but i honestly gave it all i had. it was so hard. but i did it. i finished. and i know i made a difference how i could, and how i wanted. we seriously have to be so careful with comparisons. we are all here for different reasons, and will have different experiences.. and the mission is no different. I'm grateful for MY mission, MY challenges, and MY growth. MY mission was perfect for ME because it was what i needed...

at night we went to president's house.. got some more advice, had one last testimony meeting, and of course sung our mission song or hymn.. one last time.
then dinner at the fancy churrascaria (brazilian barbecue house). mom and grandma met up with us. honestly it was just FUN because everyone i think had the same feeling of relief and happiness and just knowing you had finished a hard thing and were so close to returning home and seeing your family.
after we all got together and just chilled. like normal people. so weird. but also fun. we talked about normal things and the future and asked and gave advice. it was a special night.
the saddest thing was at 3am tuesday.. we all had split up, gathered our things.. and they all got together in their vans to the airport and i took a taxi to go to my mom and grandma's hotel.

a great cambia family and FOUR of us who went home together that served in camobi.
shumway and i hugging our favorite elder. (elder knowles from our mtc group)
the america girls on presidents roof top.
and then.. it was over. weird right? like my everything for a year and a half. done. finished. good.. but what? wait. now what?
grupo de saida PODEROSO
and there it was. and thats the end of my mission. bye.

no jk. i wouldn't end like that. but that ends my official mission posts.. but ill give a little info this week about, as my mom says, the "rio grande do sul tour" and the final thoughts.

its been fun guys.
thanks for all your support.

xoxo the ex sister faldmo but actually still sister faldmo

Monday, January 19, 2015

january 19, 2015... and then there was one (week left)

i’m so nervous to type this email. bear with me. 

in the branch we have two girls that are preparing to serve missions! this week we went on splits with them to cover more ground and be able to make it to more appointments. i loved the simplicity of their teaching and testimonies… sometimes as full time missionaries we complicate stuff.
at the church on sunday
so ya, this countdown exists on my wall.  you are here
we have a branch mission leader now! yay!
MY LAST WEEKLY PLANNING! HIP HIP HOORAY! weekly planning is NOT my fav
everything was all set for franciele’s baptism... we even marked the time and everything, it would be on my last Saturday here on my mission. but, once again she didn’t go to church and once again another  baptismal date fell through. 
the dreams i’ve been having lately... 
first there was one where i completely forgot about my last interview with president and i had already left my mission but then he showed up and all of a sudden there was a tornado coming and no one knew what to do and i had to save everyone...
then there was another that i got home and no one would give me a cell phone! hahhaa (some things never change.. apparently i’m still worried about my cell phone).. and then in the dream i was super bugged because i left two cell phones with my family and they gave them away to random people and wouldn’t let me get a new one. 
Shout Out to Talli and the Poulsen's!  We have the BEST makeup in BRAZIL!!!

it’s awk that the britney spears song lucky keeps going through my head “what happens when its STOPS”… #cleanthoughts #iamachildofgod......andhehassentmehere
ok folks, that's a university of north dakota proud dad in sao borja, brazil!
had one of the best zone meetings of my mission this week. it was during this meeting that i could feel a sweet confirmation that my mission is ending… and it’s ok.  i felt that I truly learned the gospel principles that they were teaching at our zone meeting. i have lived them. it was a great meeting but there were some teary moments at the same time. this truly is the end.
got to see my vida loka LD again at zone meeting
everyone wants to be taller than elder heans... she's on a chair people

this week i finally gained the testimony i’ve been search for of the importance of fasting
my companion is an angel
she is just the best!

ok, so I feel ready to write this very spiritual and life changing email but it’s just super hard with our time limits haha. plus i spent a lot of my time doing this in my email to president just barely and i told him what i learned in every area i have served in rio grande do sul. i promise i will get back and write one wrap up post when I get home with all that’s lacking in this short email now. 
this week really has been great. i wish i had time to tell and explain everything that has happened. 
this past weekend we fasted for our investigators to progress. and for the most part they really are. but through this fast, the Lord showed us where we needed to focus our efforts and where not to waste our time. HE’S the best! 

anyways. seriously don’t have time. seriously love you all. seriously can’t believe this is my last time writing from the darn lan house dying of heat and always being pressed for time. but i wouldn’t change it for the world!!!! 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church on the face of the earth!. joseph smith was a prophet. God and his son, Jesus Christ, truly appeared to Joseph and called him to restore the Christ’s gospel to the earth. we have a living prophet today. his name is Thomas S. Monson. he too, speaks with God and receives revelation for God’s children in this day. he leads and directs us with all the difficulties and challenges today so that we can return and live forever with our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and our families. i know of the love our Heavenly Father has for us. i have felt it more than ever these past 18 months. He loves me, but he loves you as well. and he loves the people i teach, pass on the street, even the people that reject us. our brother Jesus Christ died for us. he paid the price for our chance at eternal life. but it’s us who will decide where and how we will live after this life. we have the wonderful gift of agency that allows us to grow here on earth. 

my mission wouldn't be complete without wearing traditional clothes from the south 
roupas de prenda:)
i hope that i’ve been able to say something that has helped you throughout this year and a half. it’s changed my life, but it’s not the end. i have a lot more work to do. there’s lots of more people i love that don’t have the gospel, and i feel responsible to give them the chance to change and to feel this as well. 

i’m so grateful for all of the support i’ve received. i am seriously blessed. at times i feel embarrassed and lots of time unworthy. the letters, emails, packages, and love that was sent to the south of the brasil is overwhelming. i hope that i can repay you all someday. 

but most of all i hope that each of us can truly live this gospel. that we can be examples for those who don’t have these truths. and i hope that one day we can all meet in the celestial kingdom, in a state of perfect happiness, with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. 

i love you all. have a great week. 
one last time...

xoxox, sister faldmo 

Monday, January 12, 2015

the beginning of the end... January 12, 2015

don't try this at home people....
only the best of companions feed each other worms...
I LOVE TEACHING THE PLAN OF SALVATION—THE PLAN OF HAPPINESS. it’s my favorite. especially when we explain the atonement. 
gave my last talk in church as a missionary :( but i loved how it went. i talked about alma the younger and the sons of mosiah and how what made the difference for them in preaching and sharing the gospel was them having a real testimony and how we as members need a real testimony to be converted to His work before we can teach others. 
hahha it was elder barros birthday and he’s annoying and doesn’t like sisters (kidding-- but kinda not. he’s a good missionary. he’s way sarcastic but it’s funny) so we ignored him all day on his bday and then left a little surprise at their house (which by the way, is WAY nicer than ours) aka a big pink banner and balloons. when we were hanging it up this little girl in the road asked, which one of the mormon’s birthday is it today? and then asked if we were mormon too hahaha. 
i can still make a pretty great bday sign:)
also… we taught their neighbors that live in the front. 3 guys. we asked them if they had already heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?  they said, “yeah, like 50 mormons live here in the front (because we are always coming and leaving with transfers so they think a ton of elders live there-- but it’s just 4 hahha)
when i show my family pic to a member and she says, “so you have 5 siblings???... but i say “no i have 4”... “but there’s 5 here”... “no, one is me”... and then i had to show her which one was me. guess i’ve changed a bit on the mish… haha
we’ve taken like 4 boxes of cigarettes away from our investigators these days.. why does everyone smoke?! (and then we awkwardly don’t know what to do with them and they accidentally stay on our desk for a couple days hahah)
the countdown on my wall.... trunky? NEVER!
and continuing on in our series of... the colored houses of southern brazil... here we are passing a yellow house:)
and a nice turquoise house:)
we literally had lunch on the farm this week!!!!  but there was a cow like 5 feet away from me as i was eating ... beef. #awk. 

so yeah. my life is good. things are… ending. lots of lasts. but i’m chill. just hoping and praying that one of our investigators gets baptized this transfer. we are teaching some really great people but lots of them smoke or need to get married. i was really sad because we set a baptismal date for one of our investigators for my last Saturday, but then he didn’t go to church yesterday so now he can’t be baptized on the 24th. we only have one more investigator that qualifies or could possibly be baptized while i am still here :( so we will do our best to have everything work out for the baptism of franciele my last saturday. 
i love my companion. sister alvarado is perfect. 

sister alvarado... how can i be so blessed to finish with her? two weeks
we get along so great. maybe more than we should because we get distracted easily talking together hahaJ and we are always hungry! haha. but the mango juice keeps us slim! don’t worry haha. 

anyways. i feel good. we are starting to get the hang of things here and have gained the confidence and trust of the members here in Sao Borja... just in time for me to leave haha. but at least i can leave things good for the next transfer and for whoever comes after me. 

i loved speaking on sunday because i could share lots of the things our prophets and apostles said in conference. what they spoke is so relevant. we really need to study conference talks ALWAYS.  many of them talked about our own personal testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, the prophet Joseph Smith, and our Savior. i invite you all to evaluate your own testimonies and search for how you can strengthen what you already know, then pray for opportunities to share that knowledge. 

i love you all!

xoxo sister faldmo

Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015... tchau 2014... feliz 2015!‏

  • so i’m addicted to mango juice! we make it every morning! its my favorite! but i’m super worried about how i will maintain this addiction at home???... 
  • our teaching group is getting better! we actually have people to plan for and who are ready for us to teach them!!!
sister alvarados my comp and i decided while we are walking to take pics in front of all the different house colors in southern brasil:)
  • solange and the fam always take care of us and invited us last minute to have a little churrasco with them on new years eve
    i figured i better get a pic with churrasco before i left... this is southern brasil folks!

  • the emails the mission has been sending me lately… they’re all about going home. today i had a mini breakdown. is it really ending???
    this is how i feel about ending my mission

  • the difference in number of people at church from when it’s raining and when it’s not… the numbers were double this week!  #norain

so here we are... hot, sweaty, besties, finally companions for ONE day! #inthetopfiveofhappiestdaysonmission
  • the news of the week is---- I FINALLY GOT TO BE COMPANIONS WITH SISTER SHUMWAY! ok it was less than a day but thanks to her being perfect and fancy and our sister training leader and what not we spent new year’s eve together. it was perfect. where do i begin?
  • i gave ALL of our good plans to my comp and sister ramos, the other STL because i didn’t want her to them to worry about clapping doors and what not.. but it left sister shumway and i with almost nothing and the little we had fell through (it was NYE.. unfortunately people would not listen to our message about our Savior)
  • we got lost in the middle of a horse jockey place trying to contact a referral .. we thought we had found his house but then we noticed it was actually a horse stable...
  • we ate 20 reais worth of ice cream during our dinner break
  • we walked sooooo much
  • we got rejected sooo much
  • we laughed soooo much
  • and... she was trying to be sooooo obedient and sleep even though the midnight fireworks even though here it seems like we are in world war 3… so at midnight i jumped on her bed, gave her a hug and a midnights kiss (on the cheek duh) and it’s summer in brazil, we’re sweaty and gross.. poor thing. it was my first new years kiss!!! bahahha. hers too i think. 

feliz 2015!!!!

so thats about all i’ve got to say.
i’m trying to make new year’s goals but it feels impossible given my situation. i only have spiritual goals haha. my life i'm about to enter seems like it's pretty crazy. i don’t know what to think about, what to plan, what to do. but i’m good. i’m still focused here in brasil.  even though I’ll admit, i started a countdown on my wall today hahhaa. 
yesterday i realized it was my last testimony meeting here in the south. i cried a little. i wanted so badly to share my testimony but there was lots of members bearing testimony so i left it to them. but then i got what i asked for because after church they asked me to speak next sunday. hahah. 

so i love you ALL lots. i love this gospel. i love God. I’m happy. sorry if I seem that i can’t even concentrate and write a good email anymore. haha.  have a fab week and don’t forget to send your last minute letters TODAY!

xoxoxoxoxoox sister faldmo
found this happy moment on sister alvarados' camera of christmas day with my family!
sister alvarados' camera has this really weird lens that makes me look like this:)

Monday, December 29, 2014

december 29, 2014 "boas festas gente‏"

zone conferences are my favs
this is like an "i spy" picture... can you spy me?
sister tenorio and i... she was such a great companion in rosario!
let me introduce you to my new companion.... this is sister alvarado.  she's from peru and she is the cutest!   
no pday last week.. sorry people. 
11 hours of traveling to get here to são borja
so were opening an area… but not like hard core. this just means that we are all new. only one elder from our branch stayed to work in são borja, the others all got transferred, so basically we are figuring out everything alone because our poor elders are awkward and can’t even help us figure out where our lunch appointments are. but it’s pretty fun.
...so elder dias & i couldn't resist when we had a stopover in santiago while going to zone conference, got one more pic in santiago:)
i bore my last testimony at zone conference (at zone conference all the missionaries who are going home after that transfer bear their testimonies... my time has arrivedL
so basically, all of the american candy and what not that my family sent for christmas—none of my people here in brazil liked, i had one to share with… so, i guess more for me :) 
so our first day here in são borja was hilarious. we live far away from our teaching area so we have to take the bus. we took a bus that seemed like it would get us close to where our lunch appt was but our helpful elders didn’t really explain well where lunch was... so long story short is that we had the whole bus looking at our map trying to help us and explain which stop we had to get off. hahaha. 
our zone planned a talent for the annual zone christmas conference talent show using the cups song from the movie “pitch perfect”… we slaved over making the music and practicing.  We were so excited… and then another district used the same idea but went before us so we chickened out and didn’t do our talent.
this is sister alves my homegirl -- one month left for us.. then it's on to planning her wedding :) 
when mom tries to say são borja on christmas day skype and the brazilian family is laughing so hard hearing her. 
i'll just hug this girl all day at christmas zone conference... together again, sister rodrigues & i
when i had a little “layover” in santiago i got to see my fav sister rodrigues (who got transferred to santiago) 
and the famous renata aquino who was waiting for me to pass through santiago with a sign for me. i miss my santiago family!!  

so i had the sweetest experience last week. sweet as in tender, not cool brah. so… christmas eve our district met up to take a picture so we could have a gift to give to the member who fed us all (10 of us!!) for christmas. after we were walking back to city center with the elders who work in center and they asked if we had visited an older lady who lives in a nursing home that is a member.. we didn’t know anything about her so they asked if they could show us where she lived. Here is an embarrassing confession…  i honestly hesitated. even on a mission this christmas became so commercial because we did secret santas and thank yous and what not and it was so hard to see that all the “gifts” were ready because where we work doesn’t have stores we can pass by quick and by the time we get home everything is closed. so we were headed back to center to run some quick last minute errands and then were planning to work right up until the christmas eve dinner we had with a family. i was stressed out with everything we had to do and didn’t know if we had time. but then i stopped thinking about all the stupid stressful things i though I HAD to do but i really didn’t need to do. i remembered what i had been praying for-- a true christmas experience. i felt the spirit whisper to me that i needed to do stop everything and visit this woman if i wanted to feel the christmas spirit... so we accepted the elders invitation to visit juliete. she was the cutest little lady.. she has more than 50 years as a member of the church, if i remember right, and remembers when president parrela (our mission president) served here in são borja. 
meet julibete... the woman who made my christmas this year
we just chatted with her for a little while, then we sang a christmas hymn, and after we said a prayer with her. i felt the spirit so strongly. i had tears in my eyes but was embarrassed to cry over something that may have seemed so simple.  as elder dias was praying i saw he was touched too, he felt the spirit and got teary and after that i was not embarrassed to let my tears fall. it was such a small act and didn’t take much time, but it was the best thing that happened to me christmas week. as we were walking down the streets of são borja we were all quiet. i started thinking about my christmases at home, and how mom always makes us go with a group of neighbor friends to make christmas cards, decorate sugar cookies, and visit nursing homes and sing in their halls and give cookies to the soup kitchen. i admit that when i was growing up, i usually dreaded it because i was the oldest of all the kids and actually babysat most of them and what not. but after we went, i always felt terrible that i had gone with a bad attitude because the people always got so happy with our visits. it seems to take me a while, but i’m learning. i’m learning while i’m learning more clearly how to act as the Savior would. 

i’m grateful for the real christmas with the real spirit and real happiness. but, oh how i will miss mission christmases…

one last thing-- a new year’s challenge for you all. 
i was reading a book that our mission president asked all the missionaries who are going home to read during their last transfer. it’s about keeping the spirit with you at all times. the part i read today talks about reading the book of mormon with more purpose. i can’t explain it all, but it talks about reading the book of mormon with faith and works, which leads me to my challenge for you all. 
make a purpose when you read the book of mormon and your scriptures, think of something you want to learn or a blessing you need. pray to God to receive it with faith. your works will come when you promise Him you will read for 30 minutes for 30 days. then, i promise you, if it is His will, in His time you will receive the answers you are looking for. just an idea that i’m excited to put to the test. 

anywayssss. so out of time. happy new year. love you all. hope natal was fabulous. if you love me… mom you’ll keep our christmas decorations up until i get home. All our neighbors too :) ahahahha

k byeee! xooxoxox 

sister faldmo
the  whole são borja district on christmas eve
my buddy elder miller
sister alvarado and i at our branch christmas party in são borja