Monday, September 30, 2013

just doing my thing and walking for dayzzzzz..... September 30, 2013

•had zone conference this week to mix things up
•showing off my advice/letters book that friends gave me to my companion and telling stories about my friends in provo #missyou
•manicures from my investigator (with awkward nail art… but I’ll take what i can get.)
•first lesson on the L of C if you know what i mean (law of chastity) and it went SO WELL! they’re getting ready to get married now! 
•getting to be crafty-- i made a cute little paper for one of our investigators with their reading goals and she loveddddd it… and i love her. 
•happy missionaries are the ones who always have a little chocolate in their bags (this may be why they gain weight...)

•not taking any pictures because I’m afraid I’ll get mugged and i don’t want to lose my camera… so it has stayed home mostly this week. 
•walking an hour each way to the same house as last week… and them not being home AGAIN!
•experienced my first straight up rejection while knocking/clapping doors. 

•this weather hates me… when i dress for rain it’s PERFECT outside and when i dress for sun it POURS. 

•seeing your breath in your apartment
•stray horses walking around anyone? #truestory
•getting a call that we’re having a cleaning check of sorts… ten minutes before he gets here. it’s amazing what four sisters can do under pressure. 
•when people want me to prove myself and talk in portuguese but I’m not quite sure exactly what they want me to say.... i give a mean first lesson though?
•last night my brazilian roommate said- sister it’s not that cold anymore.. you don’t need 6 blankets… #oops
trying to cut my lettuce at lunch with a member and the dang lettuce was so slippery! my fork and lettuce went flying. 
•finding out that one of the missionaries on “the district” married his convert....

•snail mail! i feel so loved! and some dang good letters if i do say so myself (S/O to the fam + Elizabeth)
•missionaries are so protected. nothing happened to us or even almost happened to us this week but seriously…our work is important and thus the Lord protects us. 
 My view of the world in Santa Maria, Brazil
this week went by so much faster and it may be bad but i am a bit grateful for that. It’s never like i don’t want to stay on my mission… but there were times when the days just dragged on! our area is verrrry big. especially since we only walk. (shout out to all you spoiled missionaries in the states that have cars and can drive to your teaching appointments.) jk, every mission has its own challenges. we don’t have a ton of baptisms here like the rest of brazil. we have people we are teaching right now that are ready… just a couple things standing in their way. the work requires more effort. but that’s fine! we’ve got this.

the members here are good to give referrals too- which everyone in the church should be dong (hint hint)… the work moves much faster when we have people who are familiar with the gospel and have good thoughts about the church and its members and want to know more. it doesn’t have to be anything big-- here we do a lot of noite familiar (family nights) and it’s really fun! it’s not anything to be scared of… just an uplifting night with your family and friends. 

i want to tell you a story about thaiane. She’s a gem. She’s 16 and married to douglas (married in the catholic church, not legally-- that’s the problem here. people are married in the church but they aren’t legally married by law, so it doesn’t count. it doesn’t really make sense but it’s just the thing to do i guess.) oh… and also yes he is 16. that’s also normal. but i really love her. she is mature for her age and cooks dang good. she makes fun of my accent but we get past that. last week they came to church and really loved it. they, specifically she, has been taught for a while but never went to church. they went together and really enjoyed it. we had good lessons this week and she knows she wants to get baptized, she just wants to learn as much as she can before she does. we taught her the law of chastity this week and she totally got it! it made sense completely to her and she said she wished she would have learned about it sooner. then… come sunday... we call her and she said she and douglas are tired and won’t be going to church. we were soooo sad/disappointed. we thought all day about what to do next- -do we continute teaching?? what do we teach about?? do we need to be more direct, etc??? then that night she called us and said she talked to douglas and her mom and this week they are finding out what they need to do to get married legally so she can get baptized!!!! ummmm. what? alright. that works!!! now,  we dont want to get too excited because she doesnt always keep her word but she at least has the desire to do what's right. 

it made me think about us. i think that the more Christlike emotions that i had when they didn’t come to church… love, worry, caring are what God thinks about us when we let him down. we know what’s right, we know what choices we should be making, but yet we just do something else because basically were lazy. i must be so frustrating to deal with… my poor Heavenly Father. Here I sit so lucky and blessed because i have so much truth and knowledge, but sometimes i just don’t do what i should.  i don’t read my scriptures, i don’t say my prayers, etc. after feeling so confused i think i understand a little bit of what i have put my Heavenly Father through. not to mention my Savior... who suffered for all of my sins and sacrificed everything. but that’s the beauty of it. through the Atonement we can improve. it is NEVER EVER too late to be better! this is why the gospel is HAPPY! there is hope and love and so many good things. 

anyways… that’s my soap box for now. 
i love you all. i miss you all for realz but at the same time this sacrifice will be worth it i know it! 

com amor- sister faldmo. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

CAMPO-- first area = camboi (camo-bee) September 23, 2013

so much to say not enough time!

oh my goodness. 12 days- the longest i have gone without a pday. i knew robin was freaking out so i better make this good. 
Good-bye Sao Paulo-- my view from my window
Good-bye to most of my district going to other parts of Brazil and to the best teacher EVER-- Irmao Vaz (center)
packing. its a miracle everything fits.
•saying goodbye. i have turned into a softie and it’s not ok. last week was rough. first i cried when i had to say goodbye to irmao vaz, the best teacher and man out there. then i had to say goodbye to my district. then i saw most of them again at the airport... so that was awkward. then i had to say goodbye to my friends going to my mission but different areas. going from all day everyday with them to not at all is hard! 
•5 hour bus ride from PA (porto algre) to santa maria / mission home
•orientation was completely in portuguese soo..... #nocomment
•my first night in santa maria.. details below.
•waiting for 3 hours at the airport for the group from the states to get here.
•mcdonalds here. it made me sick. and its expensive. i was so excited for fries! never again..
•walking for an HOUR one way to a house and them not being home.
•last sunday in ctm all the sisters get together and the sisters leaving bear their testimonies and give advice. i love this! and this past week it was my turn. 
•porto algre is beautiful! (where we flew in)
•using four blankets, heavy blankets, every night.
•you do not flush your toliet paper here..
•when the mission president shows up in your first sacrament meeting of your mission. thank goodness we had investigators with us!
•not matching the first couple days because i only have black leggings and tights and fashion was out of the window because i was SO COLD!
•you do not knock doors here, you clap because they have fences in front of their houses and most do not have a doorbell there… so you clap and they hear you somehow.
•giving a lesson to a very strong jehovahs witness. thank goodness for my companion.
the fact that the mission president knows that i just smile and say thank you most the time. he said he is okay with it :) haha
•i always think i hear peoples’ ages wrong…  but no, the 16 YO really IS married.
•our musical number aka just all of the missionaries leaving the ctm that week was horrrrrible. embarrassing. i think when we were practicing they thought about pulling us from the program. but im not kidding. i think that went through their heads.
dia de gaucho aka day of the cowboy parade

•meeting my mission president and his wife. i had the biggest smile on my face and felt so happy. they were so inviting and loving. a couple of us (elders included) had tears in our eyes. our new substitute parents for the next couple years! it was an exciting moment. 
•sister clay and i are both being trained, and our first night we taught a lesson together with our companionships and our trainers played a trick on us! i like them already. 
•when investigators make you homemade french fries to make up for the nasty ones at mickey ds and they are DELICIOUS.
•when they play the lower lights after orientation. shout out to uncle pat!! i listened to you in brazil!
•making chocolate chip cookies! i had to cut up chocolate for the chips. they were good though!
•having letters waiting for me at the mission office. shout out to elizabeth, sister williams (provo district) and annemarie!
•my first friday here was a holiday! dia de gaucho! aka day of the cowboy basically. and we went to a parade!
priesthood blessings- see below.

my first night here was NOT sweet dreams. we got to stay in a hotel- excited right? WRONG. there is no heating or cooling here and rumor has it… it was just above freezing that night. we did not know that there were blankets hidden in the closet so i had my one blanket and sheets. it was worse than my three night stay at the marriott center (not the marriott hotel, the marriott center) when we camped out for the basketball game. one of the hardest things in my mission life yet. i have never felt that cold in my life. it was miserable. WELCOME TO SANTA MARIA SISTER FALDMO!

my last night in the CTM i asked elder edwards to give me a blessing (shout out to him and his family if they are reading this. He’s a gem) i really did not want to, but i felt like i should… so i did and i am sooo happy i did!! that blessing will be felt throughout my mission. it was a very specific blessing about my mission, my reason for being here, companions, etc. one thing he said is that i would be placed with companions for reasons only God and I would understand. sure enough my first companion in santa maria is American-- which is SO RARE. i am her first american companion and the fact that she’s training me is really rare as well.  she told me that when our mission president showed our companionship to her he said ´´i dont know what happened here? i don’t understand. ask God.´´ cool huh? the whole experience, (even before i found out what he said) has strengthened my testimony of the priesthood so much. there is no way those words came from an 18 YO boy.  those were the words that Heavenly Father wanted me to hear and know and i am so grateful i got a blessing!

Sister Jackman and me in Santa Maria city center
Sister Jackman and me at dia de gaucho
oh my goodness this is crazy. i am here and i am doing this!
also sorry i cannot really figure out the keyboard so i do not use contractions (mom will put them in) LOLZ oops. OPA! anyways. i am happy! its not always easy but its good. its right. we have investigators and i love them all. i love teaching. and i get so excited when they progress! things are humble here. i think i thought the german influence would mean that they would be more advanced but they are not. i am embarrassed to think of what some of these people would think about the way we live in america. yeah.. i wish i had those luxuries here but i am doing fine without. i would not want to have more than everyone else.

we are really close to the city center aka santa maria so it was exciting that we  got to go to the parade. it basically was just a bunch of cowboys on horses but it was way cool!

i have lots more i could say but i am about of time. send me letters k? the mission office address is great, but i will be here for the next 11 weeks so this one below works as well:

sister ashley faldmo
brazil santa maria mission
caixa posta 0339
centro- santa maria- RS
sister ashley faldmo

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

ultimos p dia in the ctm!! september 11, 2013

•awesome devotionals that make your heart happy
•this p day our teacher is taking us out and showing us where to get burgers and fries
•the temple every week!
•when they run out of service activities for everyone so we are told to clean our room
•staying awake for the entire personal study period!!
•mission presidencies that remind you of your grandparents

•our cute roommates left for the mission field this week. they were from columbia and argentina and we couldn't communicate very well but i love them so much!

•when an argentinian is wearing a jimmer shirt… i asked him how he got it and i still don't understand #languagebarrier
•beating all the boys in knock out #makingdadproud

•hot dogs soon after. 'merica people!!
•the hispanics sing barbie girl when they see us and call us a "whole collection of barbies"
•um.. i'll be in santa maria in a week.. what?
•emails from y'all

 i'm starting to get into the swing of things which means i don't have much to report. gym time makes my day. i love teaching. and portuguese is.... getting there.

i love the ctm mission president. he reminds me of harry potter as a grandpa. he always rocks it on the piano when we sing the national anthem which i love. he has these cute round glasses and is just so sweet. not to mention he made fireworks for a living!!! he's the cutest ever and he and his wife also remind me of gma and gpa. so loving, kind and a breath of fresh air!  also mom and dad, fyi the mission doctor for all of brazil knew you in sioux city when you were at morningside.  does joe and barb bingham ring a bell??  it was a very large and tender mercy to meet them the first week I came to brazil.

 this week was good! it really is kind of the same old same old.. but it works. i'm learning a lot but still don't feel comfortable with Portuguese, if you want me to be honest. but... one of the elders gave me a talkin' to this week and told me i needed to have more faith in the gifts i have and the portuguese i know.  and…. he was right (as much as i hate admitting it) J i really do like speaking, i just get nervous sometimes because i don't want to look like a fool! but either way i look like a fool i guess. i'll really have to cramming it all into the next few days.

 can you believe i've been out for a little more than a month? or that i'm heading to the santa maria TUESDAY? i can't.  i've heard so many good things about my mission president there and can't wait to meet him and his wife. i wish i had more news about my travel arrangements but all I can tell you is that i leave tuesday morning!!

just an fyi- my provo companion, sister alzate, got reassigned to bakersfield california for medicial reasons.  i am so happy for her and so proud of her for sticking it out. i miss her, and the rest of my district in prove a ton.
i do miss you all but i have to go. it’s time for those french fries our teacher promised to show us today out in sao pauloJ
say your prayers, read your scriptures and WRITE ME!!!                                                                     love,                                                                                                                                                                            sister faldmo
Brazil Santa Maria Mission
Rua Alberto Pascualine, 121 Sala 403
97015-970 Santa Maria- RS

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

starting to get the hang of it all... september 4, 2013

September 4, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

greetings from brazil!!  i’m starting to get the hang of this brazil ctm.  so, as far as this past week went, here’s what i’ve got.

mr. cheney's cookie's on p days. double chocolate yes please! it's like 'merica in a little shop. the coke zero doesn't hurt either!
being the new girl = quiet girl = muito studying and keeping to myself. my future investigators will thank me.
i'm lovingggg the brazil soda pop.  i think i'll fit in here.

not knowing which soccer team to support… in brazil.
saying "yes" to a question when it was not a yes or no answer.. oops. #stuckintranslation

buying rival soccer jerseys because i don't know who to support.,. i'll decide in the field :)
not understanding the guy at check out and just handing him more and more money… but he just wanted a smaller bill. way to play it cool sister faldmo.

two p days in five days #newgirlforthewin
playing volleyball with missionaries from all over central and south america… then hearing what english phrases they know
one of the elders would act like a rapper with his mic and lift up his hand whenever we scored. it was a LOL moment.
singing the efy medley in portuguese and english at devotional. ITS MY FAVORITE!!
this mtc is much smaller, and on sunday our fireside was a mtc wide testimony meeting, everyone in their native tongue #legit
singing the brazil national anthem- look it up it's the coolest thing ever!
finding out good ol’ fashioned snail mail letters only take a week to get here!!! START WRITING PEOPLE!

i'm doing better. i’m not going to lie… my companion here is hard. i know this is SO HORRIBLE of me.  i'm praying for patience and humility every day. we are opposites. we don't fight though. but i plan lessons and study… she just sits there and day dreams. not even kidding. she's very smart, you can tell. but there’s some other stuff she is not really smart about. she forgets things a lot and makes us late... which actually drives me crazy because our DL likes people to be on time!  and i can curl my hair AND do my make-up etc. in the time she brushes her hair and puts on mascara, i swear.  she also goes to the bathroom literally 10-15 times a day which means i have to leave the classroom and wait in the hall for her. i've noticed i'm probably unhealthy because i only go like 4 or 5 times a day—tops! you think she's all innocent and humble and then she’ll say things like "it's just hard to know what to major in because i have so many interests and talents... so I’ll just do what makes the most money." tough life babe. but she's opened up a lot to me about things, so she obviously trusts me a lot.  she just climbs up on the top bunk and spills her beans and it's weird! but cool i guess. she is ALWAYS right by my side and that also is soooo hard. the sister training leader came to the door to try and talk to me about how I was doing, so of course my companion came to the door when we were talking and the STL said "oh actually, i just need to talk to sister faldmo" and my companion said "oh i know but i'm going to stand here anyways."  alrighty then!!! hmmmm….

i can always tell how my week is going based off how many lines i have in each category. it's good to know i can think of much more good and awesome than bad as i reflect on this week. i feel so blessed. it is still hard, but i seriously have seen so many tender mercies from the Lord this week. i have had to completely trust that i am not alone in this and i have been blessed. Some of the scriptures that have really helped me this week are:

Doctrine & Covenants 1:23
“That the afulness of my bgospel might be cproclaimed by the dweak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before ekings and frulers.”
Romans 8:16-17
The Spirit itself beareth awitness with our bspirit, that we are the cchildren of God:
And if children, then heirs; aheirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we bsuffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
John 14:18
I will not leave you acomfortless: I will bcome to you.

i have also learned a lot about the Atonement this week and its role in my life. people often say "do your best and the Lord will take care of the rest." this is so true.  but it's also a very literal, physical thing.  before, i knew this was true because i studied hard and as i taught lessons, what i couldn't do the Holy Ghost would teach for me.  but also in life we fall short of perfection, the Lord also takes care of us then too.   the Atonement allows us to constantly repent and improve and become more Christlike, and i am SO grateful for it.  it impacts my life every day and will change the lives of the investigators i teach.  we have watched this video that has little bits of talks given by President Eyring and Elder Holland. (eyring is talking in priesthood session and holland to mission presidents if that helps).  see if you can find it and watch it. 25 times they said something along the lines of "this work was never easy because salvation was never a cheap experience." how selfish am i to complain about my trials when what Christ dealt with was so much larger and He never complained!! i am so lucky and blessed to have a role in the eternal lives of others.

i also have a strong testimony that others are being prepared to hear Christ’s message. Before i came on my mission, I took for granted the restored gospel. i don't know if i really understand how much truth i have that others have no clue about-- even some of my closest friends.  we have a living prophet who speaks to God! we have the same priesthood that Christ performed miracles with when he was on the earth. we have a plan so that we can return and live with our Heavenly Father. for some reason, i thought everyone knew all of this and just didn't really care. but when you really understand the truths of the gospel, i don't know how you couldn't want to change and know more. the gospel of Jesus Christ is so amazing!

i guess i can tell i'm really a missionary now because that's all i want to tell you about-- not the dumb day to day things… but how awesome this work is! i am also trying to thrive in the brazil ctm. i'm doing better and making more friends. that sounds so silly though. last week i just hadn't connected with anyone and felt pretty alone, i do have people i get along with here, but i also know i have my Heavenly Father who has my back, which is pretty dang cool.
xoxoxoxoxoxoxo to all... please write,

sister faldmo
Rua Padre Antonio D'Angelo 121
Casa Verde
CEP 02516-040 Sao Paulo SP