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. 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

Monday, December 15, 2014

december 15, 2014 peace out rosario do sul

a little jam sesh with cleber after lunch hahhaa. me and the tamborine. 
ya, i've got some musical skills
a little service project to just... build a house.. for ana rita
evelyn was a great help during our service project:)
family nights with malu and nico
this is malu... because of her family nights our teaching pool GREW!
transfers. I’m heading to Sao Borja but I DONT WANT TO LEAVE :(
would you want to leave this amazing crew?
or this fantastic woman named nara?
or this newly baptized member marleze and her parents mariza & luis???  i didn't think so...
ireno: he was a reference from a member and has gone through a lot these past few years and it’s left him a little crazy. so, a couple of weeks ago he said things weren’t going well and so he didn’t want to learn anymore with us...  but then that week he went to church. then, he tried to end his our teaching again this week and i seriously was in tears. but, then he said he would go to church that week  just a few days later. hahahaha. whatever, i’ll take it! who knows, if he tries to get rid of us again he’s want to be baptized afterJ 
the classic picture of ireno... sitting in his chair, drinking his chimmarrao & wearing his shades:)

we are using the video “ele é o presente” a lot… or i think “he is the present” in english??? (mother’s note: #sharethegift)  but we use it together with the video  “thanks to him” or “graças a ele” and NOSSA it brings the spirit SO STRONG
cacau show aka my favorite kind of Brazilian chocolate opened a store in rosario!!!!! we went the first day J

so long story short i’m leaving and i don’t have much to say about it. 
but, like i said last week... im going to be tested until the end. so… lets do this! 6 weeks to find, teach and baptize. bring it on
i’m super sad to leave my investigators here. It’s seriously the coolest teaching pool and group i’ve ever had. and we have A LOT that i’m leaving! we have the young, the old, the weird, the legit… hahha. we have it all! and… i love every single one of them and the people here!! sister tenorio and I have worked so hard these past 5 weeks we had together. we seriously are SO worn out-- but it feels goodJ! haha. 

all of these pics are of investigators that i'm leaving:(
eva and the girls amaddddddaaaa!
gabi is a beauty queen and sometimes lets me borrow one of her crowns
these are my homie investigators... kennedy, rodger & rodine...
guilherme & jacqualine... i love them so much because he's a straight up gangster:)
more pics of me with some of our investigators at church
that’s all i can say. it will be hard, but I know my transfer is right. when i left cruz alta for rosario i had a prompting that i wouldn’t end my mission in rosario. i had just hoped and thought that i would have more time here and in my last area wherever that would be—i didn’t know at the time. is that too much to ask? haha impossible.
so next week i won’t be able to send an email because we will talk with our families. should be interesting. i miss those little faces. 
i love you lots. i hope you all have a GREAT natal. sister tenorio and i were making a christmas card but we seriously never had time to finish it. who knows if we can make something happen today?? :)

anyways. FELIZ NATAL. play in the snow for me. but seriously… please try and remember what christmas is all about folks. 

you all know i loves these boys donation & bahianho... don't you?  well you better know:
rochele is so sweet!
one last pic with ana rita... the one person i saw enter the waters of baptism 
while i've been in rosario
i call this the awk family photo that i was in after my last sunday at church in rosario:)
some last picture outtakes of us here in rosario

 wonderful members here in rosario... vanilda, adalton & their daugher natalie.
rosario do sul was good to me
how can you not love a companion that paints your nails so well??? :)
sister tenorio and i made a great team...

BOA VIAGEM... it was a "good trip" rosario...
xooooxoxooxo sister faldmo

Monday, December 8, 2014

december 8, 2014 just do your thang...

birthday surprises at family night for ‘the mom of rosario’ aka vanuza. (of course, she was mad at us the day before, her real birthday, because no one even said happy birthday.. oopssss)
If I had a “cute” category this would be there: a birthday party for ana rita’s (remember the sweet lady who was baptized last week) little boy heitor. he turned one! It was so “touching” to see how the family cares for him and treats him so well even though with his age and medical issues, he may never remember this little party.
heitor's 1 year old bday party!-- so much love

me and naninha... a selfie with this amazing & newly baptized member
when the smart elders take a sleeping pill, but from what it seems like, it was actually for adhd, and then they show up to lunch still druggy… the brazilian elder is speaking like an american (inrrolado), the other isn’t even able to stay awake..
losing the mission cell phone, panicking, locating it at the church, borrowing keys, then almost losing the keys to the church (this is why you usually don’t see two americans together)
my lovely companion sister tenorio chugged half a bottle of pimenta to win a free scripture case from cleber
add another velorio (funeral) to the list
when our friend at the lan house (where we use the internet) makes a DVD for me of the mormon messages and when he gives me the flash drive back its marked “mormons”
Yesterday church was full of our investigators!!!!! Happinesssssss!!!!
ana rita's other son dionaton... we are buddies:)
it’s been made real clear that i’m not going to cruise into the sunset because my mission is coming to an end. i’m going to be tested and tried every moment that i wear His sacred name. the wonderful thing is that i am passing through these trials with a great companion. when she’s down i’m up and can help. when i’m down she’s up and helps me. With everything that’s happened, we have had to remember why we are here and who we are serving. i’m the happiest and have the most success when i do this work for the right reasons in the ways that best fit my strengths and my personality. we’ve decided to just serve the Lord and forget the rest. Sooner or later people will recognize our efforts and where our hearts are, and everything will work out.
Now, more than ever, i’ve realized what so many people have told me-- just be yourself. obviously, i have to get better, strengthen my testimony and i have lots of learn... but there is so much pressure in the mission to be perfect, and when you’re not it is always pointed out to you and sometimes not in a very constructive way. i want to be perfect and i want to give my best, but i always come short. lots of people don’t understand our hearts and don’t see all of our efforts, but luckily there always is someone who does: God knows our hearts perfectly and Christ knows exactly what we are going through. and thanks to our Savior’s Atonement we will be perfect. One day.
The mission is soooo hard. But this week i felt really blessed. we had FAMILIES at church… let me say that again, we had FAMILIES at church! that’s plural, more than one.  Every person has their own difficulties and challenges in life but the gospel blesses everyone of those individual's exactly how they need to be blessed and as a missionary, i get to help people learn and understand this message... so it’s worth it.

Happy pday! I love you all and am so grateful for your examples and support.

Love youuu 
oxoxoxo sister faldmo