Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014 dilma FTW

Occasionally our family gets snail mail letters from Ashley.  Of course, they arrive about a month after they are written:)  Last week we got one and a few of the things she wrote I want to share with everyone on her blog.  It makes me realize how much she has grown and how difficult it will be for her to leave Brazil. 

September 23, 2014
“I am on the bus leaving Cruz Alta to my new area—Rosario do Sul! Last night we went to pick up Sister Rodrigues’ new companion at the rodovaria.  Our ward mission leader was there.  I love him so much.  He brought us pastels & coke.  When we had to leave he made a heart with his hands to me as we left and said goodbye… that night we went to Joao’s.  On the way there, here came Marielli and Mariana running to greet us and to hug us.  Joao and Marlene were making us dinner.  We all ate and after I shared a message from Alma 5 about keeping the commandments and enduring to the end.  Of course, I cried.  Marlene cried. Mariana cried. Marielli cried. We hugged.  Cried. Took ugly pictures. And cried some more. We said our good-byes.  Mariana and Marielli walked us halfway home, hugging me (one on each side) the whole way.  They used my scarf to wipe their tears… & noses.  I had to pack more when I got home and finally got to bed at 2:30.  6:30 AM in the shower. Packed some more. 8:30 AM went to the bus station for my departure.  Andressa, a less active was there waiting for me with her little baby.  It was so thoughtful that she wanted to say goodbye.  She had to take a bus and everything to get there because it was so far away for her to walk… It’s hard to grasp that my time is actually ending.  But I’m happy.  I still have lots to do here but it will be good to go home and know how to help the missionaries better…  This state (Rio Grande do Sul) has so many memories, with parts of my heart scattered in various cities.  Goodbyes are so hard because I don’t if I will see any of these people again and I don't want to go home and ever forget about them.”

p-day at the beach!!! perks of serving in rosário. 
me and my comp... i've got her back:)
our district celebrating elder lopez' bday at the beach last pday
children, please don't try this at home

sometimes you just have to jump off of something if you can't jump in the water:)
its already getting SO HOT!!! and i got burned a little this weekL
when i don’t have an educated opinion about the brazilian presidential election, but everyone is talking about it. so i don’t know if i should be happy or sad that dilma won?
taking 7 kids to the primary activity… and then being attacked with my allergies but trying to keep it together because I have a little girl holding onto each hand. 
the primary party was definitely a thumbs up success:)
dinner two nights in a row with gabi :) 
ELEITOS! - aka people you start teaching during the week and they go to church that very following Sunday!!!
members that are eleitos- aka members that bring friends and neighbors to church that you don’t even know 
●fyi: i already have a lake powell level tan!

sharing our message in the praça... think central park on a much smaller scale:)

ok, so not lots to say this week. it was good. but today is a special day. so sometimes i remember numbers really well… sometimes not. but it was one year ago today that i had my first baptism- lidia. I also taught her my first lesson in the mission field. gosh, i LOVE that girl!! and i have grown to LOVE everyone that i have been able to teach here in the state of Rio Grande do Sul as they have prepared for baptism. i remember the night of lidia’s baptism so well. it was simple, but so special. i was so happy and proud of her, and i could feel how happy and pleased Heavenly Father was with her. that’s one of the perks of the mish. you really do have moments when this reality sinks in-- you truly are a representative of Jesus Christ.  Even if you don’t have those moments like i had with lidia and others who i have taught, you have to remember it and truly act like our Savior would. the phrase “what would jesus do?” becomes real on the mish. if i can’t become like my Savior now, when i am devoting every waking second of my day to His work.. when will i? but… yeah, it can be super hard. like WAY hard. but it definitely wasn’t easy for Him. so, i can try. 
gabriele invites us for churrasco ... they like their meat here in southern brazil:)

so, maybe you’re not serving a mission but you can seriously consider the challenge to become like our Savior. do what he would do. think what he would think. say what he would say. and you will feel His love and the happiness that it brings. 
the little gaucha:)
i love you all. i know this church—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church upon the face of the earth.  It is here.  It has been restored as promised in the New Testament. i know it is worth it. 

xoxo sister fald
FHE Crafts
FHE Games:)

MESSAGE IN THE SAND... But no caption sent, so if any of you can figure it out??

Monday, October 20, 2014

zone conference is alegrete october 20, 2014

zone conference is alegrete. winnnning. it was super funny because there was a baptism during our zone conference at the church so this kid had like 50 missionaries at his baptism... legit. he’s serving a mission for sure. 
do you remember these boys from provo mtc?        or what about this girl from santiago?
so i've never met sister stodulski... until just now at zone conference.  we have talked on the phone with mission stuff quite a few times.  but i knew i loved her even before i met her.
...and this darling missionry goes home in 3 weeks!  we love sister correa!

when someone says “now i remember who you look like --britney spears!”
so there was a wicked bad hailstorm here that took out like 1000 houses in our little town of rosario do sul :( that night i thought i was going to die and our apartment was going to fall apart. it was sooooo loud!!
when a kid asks if you’re pregnant (i thought i was getting skinnier…L #20morecrunchesadayforme
dreams with friends, missionaries, members, brazilians, americans, etc all in one. 
when i don’t get the time change right *details below
when someone gives me shoes, and takes my shoes i’m wearing and then throws them away (my nude flats 2.0 had seen better days but they go with everything!)
when president says “não dá para fazer um selfie batismal” (english translation: it doesn’t work to do a selfie baptism—meaning it doesn’t work to baptize with your own authority… you need the authority of God aka the priesthood)

ok. so where to start. zone conference was great. talked lots about family history and temples and what not. so solid. the church is pulling out all the guns for the “latter days”
hail storm-- not even kidding, i thought we were at war. it rained and hailed so hard. hail the size or golf and baseballs. houses in brasil are no where close to prepared for that kind of thing so almost everyone was affected. the city ran out of the materials to fix things. it was 2 am ish when it was hailing and imagine you have hole in your ceiling and it’s raining so hard and you have nothing you can do. it was super super sad. luckily, practically none of the members were affected but some of our investigators were.

so this week we had the time change in brazil, right? in america we know spring forward fall back.. right? ok well everyone kept telling us that we would get to sleep more.. so i didn’t ever stop to think about fall spring winter.. or what season we are in here in brazil. i know some of you are wondering why this was hard for me, it’s not my first october here. everyone kept talking about more sleep... so i did just that. we got up at 6:30, studies at 8, everything normal. then at 10:00 am we were planning to go invite people to church before lunch. so, i was brushing my teeth and the elders called and asked where i was. i told them i was at home. they asked why? i told them because we just finished studying. i asked him where he was? they said they were waiting for us at lunch!!! #problema. yeah. so actually we woke up at 8:30, studied at 10 and at 12:00 we left running to go to lunch at the other end of town. just my luck. why do i do this to myself?

then after lunch we called our investigators to make sure everyone was going to church. no. of course everyone had an excuse. so we got on the bus (did i mention the branch has a bus and picks everyone up? it’s the best) and i just prayed the people we couldn’t call or get ahold of came, or that the members that we asked to help the investigators to the bus did their part. but no. no one was going to church. soooo.. when the bus got close to the houses of the people we taught we got off the and basically started begging them to go to church. no jokes and i’m not desperate it’s them that need the blessings. i was just so sad because this would be the fourth week in a row that none of our investigators went to church. BUT i used my poder conveniente like president says (convincing power) and america (yes her name is america), joão (not to be confused with my joão in cruz alta) and erica came with us. wooohooo! 

erica and i on the bus headed to church... she is seriously sooooo cute!
but something really sad happened. joão is 9 and didn’t want to go and i didn’t understand why. finally he told me he was embarrassed. i asked him why? he said he was poor and people would know that and laugh at him. yeah. it was super super sad. i hate when people think that our church is for rich people. the church is for anyone who is a child of God, and that would be every single one of us! it doesn’t matter color, money, advantages/disadvantages, etc. we just need to be humble enough to realize that we need the saving ordinances of the priesthood to return and live with Heavenly Father and our families. 

just so you know, joão went and loved it. i hope they will come back next week :)

anyways. i loveeee you so much. even if i don’t know you and you are reading this. i love you! and i want you all to have eternal happiness and i testify that it comes through the ordinances of restored gospel of Jesus Christ. but you have to do your part. 

have a great week!

how excited i am when my cousin hunter sends me treats from his mission in italy:)

and... here is my zone picture from LAST zone conference when i was in cruz alta:)

xoxooxoxo ash 

Monday, October 13, 2014

october 13, 2014... the day my hunter boots saved my life

so, for all you know... i could have been in south dakota for the last 14 months. hahaha JK, but can you believe the similarities?
zone conference tomorrow
this is long but read it--
so idk if y’all saw buttttt.. i fell in a hole last week. it was great. it was monday night.. during our first lesson i was checking out my knee and thinking how happy i was that it was healing (remember two weeks ago i fell too, oops ya... ) idk what my deal is. i scraped it up like a 5 year old who fell off her bike:/and before this 2nd fall, i was happy because zone conference is tomorrow and i don’t want ugly knees. so we left that lesson and went to teach another right? right. but i’m in brasil. it was dark. and i wasn’t paying attention. and there just happened to be a hole in the sidewalk. i won’t explain this hole because mom will make me come home early because she’ll worry about me, but let’s just say now that i have a strong testimony of hunter boots, their quality, and will never regret bringing them with me despite their weight & bulkiness. 

my body and my bag are starting to show the battle wounds of my mission:)

annoying elders that think it’s funny to put alarms on your phone for 1am, 4am, and 6am ---now accepting ideas for payback.
some people i love
so we were just teasing this family and we said to this irmã, totally smiling and laughing that we “passed her husband at work but really he was just sitting in the shade drinking coke and eating a cheeseburger.” it was a complete joke, but I guess I need to work on how to tell a joke it Portuguese… she took it seriously and on sunday she was telling the whole relief society about it because she was upset he’s not watching his health. hahaha. 
so just so you know, it’s no secret that i hate umbrellas because they always break and you get wet anyways. this week it rained SOOOOO hard for like 10 minutes after we left a teaching appointment.  i am dumb and didn’t want to use an umbrella and i got soooo wet. #whenwillilearn
one of the less actives we have been working with has a daughter who really wants to dance ballet (she’s 6 or 7) so one night we had dinner there and we decided to dance a little ballet. ok it’s been forever but now i want to dance ballet again!  #donotthrowawaymypointeshoes

this little evelyn has stole my heart here in rosario do sul
we met the best less active member this week working with the member list. it is the best feeling when you can answer someone’s prayer and truly be an instrument in God’s hands. 

i love the plan of salvationnnn! *details below 
some of my new homies in rosario do sul at a family home evening

so the highlight of this week was definitely teaching rose and her family the plan of salvation. sometimes i’m dumb and forgetful. i need to remember that everyone has lost someone they love at some point. well this family has lost sons, brothers, mothers... everything. rose is mad at God because he took her son away. she said she can’t be completely happy because she doesn’t have him here. the lesson was super great because her brother, ronaldo, is reading the book of mormon and was straight up quoting things left and right we had taught him or whenever rose had questions. i know there’s people that don’t believe that only one church is true, or that we have living prophets on the earth today, or that the book of mormon is the word of God... but it’s who can deny the plan of salvation. how can you NOT hope to see your loved ones again? how can you NOT want to have eternal life with them? it’s the real deal. it’s why we’re here. and i’m so grateful that i can help bring this hope to people, because without it, life truly is pretty sad. 

i admit i am imperfect, but because of the plan of happiness, as we like to also call it,  i know the importance of the atonement of Jesus Christ. i know what he did and i know i can repent, and every day i can testify boldly and with strength that PEOPLE CAN CHANGE and that our Heavenly Father wants to forgive. He does and He will. 

anyways. i love you MUITO. and i love cards too ;)

have a stellar week and don’t miss me too much. 

xooxoooxoxoxo sister faldmo

this is my current companion sister pereira silva... not to be confused with former companions sister pereyra or sister sousa silva:)

Monday, October 6, 2014

conference is my fav... october 6, 2014

it's not hard to find new friends here in rosario
this is our branch president's daughter
wooohoooo i got to talk to irma patricia from camobi the other day!! she said i’m remembered as the sister with the “botas azul” aka the blue boots
the cute irma that gave us chocolate before every conference session this weekend
and calls us irmas not sisters haha
totally fell in the rain tuesday and scraped my knee  #pain
not sure if you can see that nice bruiser i have on my knee?
couldn't stop me from making this visit to naninha & her children 
this is naninha in the center and she recently joined the church here in rosario
her daughters have taken a liking to me

so i ate buffalo this week and i don’t know what to think about it... it was good it’s just not what i thought i would be eating here in southern brasil! haha. made me think of home of course and the one and only Al’s Oasis in good ol’ south dakota.
family nights!
making family night so fun...
our investigators gave us milk... straight from the cow #livinlarge
um, excuse me. but if you didn’t watch general conference REPENT NOW!! it was perfect!!

so this week was perfect because of conference. i loved it! i went with lots of questions.. more than i have ever had. i also had some doubts about things too. and guess what? everything was taken care of this weekend. it’s kinda crazy how that happens but that’s the miracle of having: the holy ghost, prophets and apostles, the priesthood, and the restored gospel here upon the earth!
i felt that we were taught a lot about supporting our leaders and keeping the commandments NO MATTER WHAT. it’s apparent that the standards of the world and the church are separating in a BIG way and they are preparing us, and asking us to prepare our testimonies. it’s something i need to get better at too—an improvement i need to make.. just obeying, even when i don’t understand why
if you didn’t watch conference whether you are a member of the church or not, i invite you to watch on and learn how you can strengthen your relationship with your salvador and your family. i know that thomas s. monson is a prophet called of god to lead not just the church but the world!  everyone would be wise to heed his counsel, and the counsel of the Lord’s chosen apostles on the earth today.
surprising valinda at the door to make her day better:)
which in turn made my day better...

i love you all. i love the prophet. i love my savior. and i love HIS church. i am so happy and hope that you all are finding happiness in the journey that your heavenly father has prepared for you here on the earth. 

beijos! sister faldmo

here we all are.. in between sessions of 
conference.  the rosario district

they love surprises here and this is called a sound car... strange but cool.