Week 8: the best, craziest, worst, happiest, saddest week!

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Olá gente! So many emotions this week!

Well 1st of all, you guys will never know how much your kinds words of encouragement mean to me. After last pday, I read all my emails from you over and over again bc I take pics of them with my camera and I felt so empowered and suported and happy! So I had an epiphany that happiness is totally a choice , and I am in control of how I choose to feel! So I tried really hard to be happier this week and it was great! I want to apologize for being kinda down and negative the past 2 weeks! It was a super hard adjustment, but by now I am accustomed to basically everything! Right now, the only really really hard thing is the language. But I felt myself understanding A LOT more this week, it was a miracle! The result of a lot of prayer and studying! No one believes me when I tell them I’ve only been in the field for 3 weeks! hah It makes me feel better. People tell me I speak great and it helps my confidence!

Everyrone hear calls me “Galega” think it means blonde, someone google it and tell me haha.

So the training in Recife on Wed was so great! Prob one of my fav days here so far. I love Pres and Sis Bigelow so much! I find so much comfort from talking to them, esp in English hahaa. We learned a lot and it was good! But I think the best part about it was seeing how hectic and INSANE Recife is in the city! It made me so grateful to be in Goiana, and made me really feel like HF knows me and knows this would be a good first area for me. I really love Goiana! The people here are so receptive and loving. I havent met one mean person! Everyone is so nice to me. But anyway, it was funny to see the craziness and put things into perspective. Goiana is more layed back and matches my personality way better. Pretty sure I’ll stay for at least another transfer! Its so gross, we go into houses dripping sweat, yet the women still hug me and kiss my face and I’m like sorry! Im so sweaty! and they are like “No big deal! Sister Costa and I always tak about how gross it is haha. Oh well!

OK so about Pedro. LOUCO. He was suppoesed to be baptized friday at 7, be at the chapel at 630. so we spent prob 3 hours cleaning the font (it was disgusting) and the chapel (the members here dont clean it or take care of it, its sad) Then, at around 6 we realized we forgot to tell him to bring a towel! So we practically run to his house which is far away in Novo Goiana. We get there and look inside and he is watching a practicaly pornographic music video with his mom:( We called his name and he came out. I think he was embarrassed we saw him watcihng it, bc the night beofre Sis Costa was saying members shouldnt watch that (its a music really popular in brasil) He misunderstood and said Sis Costa made him feel bad and that he should have shame, and he was super angry and kinda being mean to Sister Costa which made me so mad bc she started crying. I felt so bad but didnt know what to do. We did everything we could to explain that he misunderstood and that he should come get baptized (we also spent all day trying to find 3 priesthood holders for the baptism- almost impossible and they were all waiting at the church which wsa a bummer) but Pedro wouldnt come. But said he still wants us to teach him and stuff. It was sad but I knew I needed to be strong for my comp bc she was a wreck! She was saying she didnt want to be a missionary anymore and she wanted to go home. I practically dragged her back to Goiana and we met up with the other sisters. THEY wanted to talk to him, so the 4 of us went all the way back and tried to convince him more but he wouldnt do it; it was a bummer! But I decided not to be bummed about it! People have their agency and we did all we could!!

So now for a funny story! We were walking home one night and this little boy yelled Missionarias! Missionarias! So we walk back and there was his family and they said “we see u walk by here everyday and want to know what you’re about” So we talk to them and they were all super religious (everyone here is) and we marked to return and teach them. Then one of the ladies stands up and says “When I look into your eyes I see something different in you two. There is a light. I want you to know you should never be afriad to open your mouths and share the word of God.” It was so cool! Then she got a little weird and said “Do you believe in personal revelation?” and we said yes! Then she turns to me and says “the other day when I saw u walking by, the word NOIVA popped into my mind. I think it was from God” Noiva in Portuguese means like a girl promised to be married!! I was like what? What do you mean by that? And she just looked at me and was like “You have someone to marry” hahah we laughed, it was super bizarre!!

Easter was good! I always feel so good at the church surrounded by members. We ate lots of chocolate and our lunch was so good! The lunches have been better this week , its a miracle!

How was your Easter? When is Palm Springs?

Mom, we didnt get to watch womens conf. bummer! An GC will be in Portuguese, so I’m kind of bummed bc I prob wont understand much! haha

OK, so on Thursday at our district meting I got 10 CARDS!!! From you guys! Thank you so much! I love you guys. 4 from Bran, 3 from Mom, 1 from CHan,. and 2 from Bomma and Poppa! Thank you so much! I’ve been reading them over and over again!!! I am so lucky. I think everyone was jealous I got so many. Also got a wonderful package from my fam for Easter!! The reeses and cadbury eggs were gone so fast, thank you!! It tasted like home haha.

We taught Sunday school on Sun, wasn’t too bad bc there were only 3 ppl there! hahaha.

BTW the meaning of interior here means poor or underdeveloped. Not inland!. So thats what she meant when she said I’m on the interior! Im actualy super coastal! It’s nice and windy.

Anyway, im trucking along out here in Brasil! I hit my 2 month mark yesterday hahah so ill see all you lovely ppl in 16!
Mom and dad- are u still planning on picking me up? let me know!

Love you all! Thanks for the support and prayers!!

Mom, could u send me new tevas? They are perfect and these ones are already pretty worn out. I will continue to wear them but it would be nice to have a back up!

Xoxoxoxoxoxox
Sister Hoffman

Week 6: CHICUNGUNHA

Hi everyone!

Believe it or not I am alive! Haha  I can hardly believe it…
1st of all b-day shout outs:
Amber i know yours was last week but i hope it was great!!! Ali, you too! I love you guys!! BDAY shoutouts to Aunt Robyn, austin richmond and amy this week! love you guys!!!

OK so my flight to Recife was good. it was sad leaving my comp and all my friends at the MTC but i was somewhat ready to get out of there!! So i sat next to my little Peruvian elder friend on the plane which was funny bc he is scared of flying lol. anyway, we arrived in Recife and the mission pres and wife were there to greet us! They are so nice!! I love them, they totally spoke to me in english which was great. Then we drove past Boa Viagem this really popular beach and went to their house which is super nice, close to the Recife temple. they made us all a yummy american meal with waffles and pancakes and monkey bread and ahhh it was the best meal ive had in almost 2 months! hhaha. Then the trainers came! My comp is Sister Costa, she is from Sao Paulo, shes 27 i think. Doesnt speak any english, so as you imagine it has been a challenging week! But i will prob learn faster this way. Irmao Diego ( my teacher ) said he thinks ill be fluent in 3-4 months bc i progressed really fast in the CTM, but now that im here i dont believe him hahaha the people here speak WAY different then how i learned, which is what i expected but wow!! And my area is…GOIANA. of course they put me on the interior for my first area :))))) ahhh. The first two days i wanted to cry all day and was so sad and scared and ahhh it was bad. but im feeling better now. I feel like i will be here forever though hahah, like 16 months here sounds like an eternity! But i pray that i can be positive. My comp was in one area for half her mission..on the interior also…so i have a bad feeling i will be here for a long time, so i gotta learn to love it! we slept the fist night in Recife with other sisters then took a 3 hr bus ride in the morning to Goiana. Its not that its not nice enough for me or anything, but the worst thing is the mosquitoes. So HONESTLY and truthfully, almost everyone we talk to here has a sickness right now called Chicungunha. There is so much dirty water;everyone and the mosquitoes are infested. My comp had the sickness a few weeks back and luckily she was only in bed for 3 days, bc she got a blesssing. but lots of people that have it, say theyve had it for 6 months. It attacks your joints and makes them swollen, apparently its worse than dengue and zika and everything. Its super super painful, so all the people here are limping around from it. So that has given me nonstop anxiety all week hahah I will probably get it sooner or later but ive been super diligent with repellent. I basically bathe in it. And I sleep wrapped in my mosquito net bc i dont have hooks to hang it up.

The food here is literally all carbs and they dont even really eat beans! So everyday its lasagna or some sort of pasta with chicken and then potatoes and rice. literally all carbs. and its so odd bc when we have lunch appts, they dont make other food to go along with the main dish. so they just give us a huge portion of lasagna and thats it.; and its not american lasagna….to say the least.

I had like no food all week so ive been super hungry living off some bread that i bought when i first got here haha. Its been so hard! I will prob lose some weight here bc I sweat buckets all day long and dont snack or anything. Only eat lunch and thats it! But today is pday, so I’m going to buy tons of food!!

So yeah it is hotter than anything ive ever experienced;.the second i get out of the shower, i feel sweat rolling down my forehead hahah…we have personal fans that blow on our faces during the day when were in the house but outside is so hot!!! Its insane! I already am tanner and have tan lines! hahah yayy. ive been wearing my tevas everyday #supercute and theyre fine here so once theyre ruined mom i might have u send me a new pair!

The people here are super nice and humble! Their houses are super dirty and they dont have personal hygiene at all which has been really hard for me. no one has teeth hahah and they all know im american right away bc no one here has blonde hair or blue eyes. they all freak out when i say im from CA. lol

they ask about obama and arnold shwarzeneggar!

The pockets Bamma sewed in my skirt are coming in clutch! When i need to buy stuff i always use them. but my comp said no one gets robbed here or anything so its cool! The people are really nice and receptive. All day we are outside trying to find ppl to teach or invite to church and almost every single person will invite us inside or talk with us. it has been so hard in lessons bc i cant understand anything that isnt gospel related haha and they LOVE to talk!!! they try to ask me questions and im just like uhhh what!? and my comp cant explain really either bc she doesnt speak english. so its kinda embarrassing sometimes and i feel super bad like im being rude.  ppl tell me i have a sao paulo accent, prob bc i learned port in sao paulo and my trainer is from there haha but i eventually want the northern accent bc its cool! they say their S’s like sh and other funny things.

OK so i have a funny story lol one of our investigaros is this 55 yr old man named pedro, and his mom is literally either psycho or possessed by the devil (ppl do that here at churches. EVERYONE belongs to the Assembelia de Deus and its so corrupt and they do evil spirits and stuff like that) and i guess the other day, she thought a 3 yr old girl in the street was bullying her so she started to strangle her!!! But i think shes ok dont worry. And ALSO she lit her own daughter on fire when she was sleeping. Or she tried to; Literally psycho! And last time we were there, she walked by pedro and tried to bite his arm. I always get so scared going there. we stay outside and i am always ready to literally start running if she comes near me. Oh ya and one day we went and pedro wasnt there and she cussed us out in port and said horrible things haha i have no idea what she was saying but thats what my comp said!

Mom- they want me to have an english class! In your next package could u send like 10 of each of the following pamphlets in english – the plan of salvation, the gospel of Jesus christ, and the restoration? u can get them at the distrib center and i think theyre cheap! Thank u. Super nervous about this but a lot of people have been asking me, even one of our investigaros arther.
He is 17 and precious and is learning english in school, so after or before our lessons i help him with his hw a little.

We have 6 marked baptisms rn, mostly for the 26th of march so pray that they actually happen! I am pretty hopeful about some.

Read Alma 26: 29-30 and 37. so good and my life lately. the scriptures are so comforting for me in these hard times! And prayer! I literally pray all day. While im in someones house and ants are crawling all on my feet and mosquitoes are flying around, I pray PLEASE dont let me get sick!!
No stomach probs yet so thats good! Im super grateful for that.

On sunday it was stake conf so we all took a bus to the stake center like an hr away and it was good! Just really hard bc the members all try to talk to me and i have to try to somehow

Feet tan lines
Feet tan lines

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image image    Her companion in the front image image image image   Staying cool with her fanimage act like i know what theyre saying hahah yikes….

anyway, i hope all is good with you guys!! I think about you so much even if i dont have time to email you all! Everything will be fine with me, but please pray for me hahah like i said its been a hard week…but Tudo bem!
I love you guys and look fwd to your emails so much each week!

Love,
Sis Hoffman


 

Goodbye São Paulo, hello Recife

AHHHH I cant believe Im gonna be a real missionary in like 4 days. I am so excited but also know its probably gonna be the hardest month of my life. Its gonna be so hard to speak with the locals, I
already know it! And they have a weird accent in Recife so thats insane!
mom plz send me reeses when you can and just normal peanut butter. doesnt exist here!!

you never told me if carson is using my phone or not and if you saved my number? also is anyone using my laptop? i can give the password if you need it.

Did anyone get my letters yet? Let me know!!

Okay so im gonna type like a mad man rn!

I gave a talk in church on sunday, in Portuguese, so that was scary but I think I actually didnt do too bad! they dont tell you before hand if youre speaking, they just announce it right before, so every sunday I have a panic attack haha jk, but kinda. There were 3 new American girls who got here and were having a super hard time and crying all day so i tried to talk to them and comfort them, but they were super rude to me. I was kinda upset about it, but then after my talk they all came up to me and one of them was crying again and she just said how my talk was exactly what she needed to hear and it made her feel so much better! And then i just held her for a while as she cried casually in the chapel hahah sad!! And another one said “Wow I hope my Portuguese is as good as yours by the time im leaving!!!” She was prob lying but it may or may not have made my week! So yeah they turned out to be super sweet.

Dad- the devotionals are great! Sorry i havent talked about them, no time. Every Sun and Tuesday! Usually someone from the 70 or a mission pres from Brazil, we wear headphones

São Paulo temple
São Paulo temple

image image image image image image image image image image image and listen in english, but sometimes i try to listen in port! They are so cool though.

Its been raining a lot but luckily not raining today because its pday and were going out after this! Gonna try acai bowls this week!

Love this quote !”A great indicator of ones personal conversion is the desire to share the gospel with others” – Howard W Hunter

Tell your freinds about the gospel! Being on a mission makes you realize even more how IMPORTANT this is. This is no drill!! Everyone needs to know this message! Shout it from the rooftops!

This week at the MTC they started spanish teaching, so theres an elder going to Brnadons mission, he is a ginger brazilian named Elder Brasil. he will be there in 6 weeks. watch out for him Brandon! i gave him a paper with your name brandon so you can meet him!!! maybe:)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALI ON THE 8th! I love you! Still cant believe youre enagegd. we are so old!

There is the 1st elder ever from haiti to serve in Brazil here, he is so cooL! So dark lol hes so nice! We sit with him at lunch someitmes.

Ive been sick with a cold, but i dont really think about it until i cough and it sounds really gross ; none of us ever feel 100 percent here, we just ignore it haha its great!

I can kinda understand spanish which is so werid!!! I heard it the other day on a recording and i was like whoah this is so similar to port. so thats cool!!

They have moths here that are all black and a foot wide!! My roommates and comp are super scared of bugs so im always the one that has to shove it out of our room! i think i have gotten a lot less dramatic…you’ll all be happy to know haha

I got my 1st bugbite ever, it itches. Besides that one on my elbow last week; its on my ankle and ive really never gotten bug bites and it is just weird!

We have this computer program were supposed to do all the time called TALL but its super janky!!! and so none of us like it, so we all sometimes go on google earth and look at our houses lol it makes me miss home. I will never take America for granted again, it is such a beautiful place hahah ..currently sweating so much as i write this!!!

Last but not least, I had the BEST expereicne ever in our last lesson with Darley this week. Sister Miller and I love Irmao Diegeo (AKA darley) so much and he is the only member in his family and he is so precious (senidng pics today. the two braz guys are my teachers) and we just wish we could help him in real life because he opens up to us (were his fave students for sure lol) and so we wanted our last lesson to be something that could apply to his real life too. so we both prayed to know what to teach about and we both felt hope. So we went in there and had to tell him that we were getting transferred and that this would be our last lesson with him, and his eyes legit started watering and i was like what the heck this is fake, why is he so sad?! Then we got into the lesson, and i literally ditched my lesson plan and it all of a sudden felt so real! I could feel that i was about to start crying . And i just told him how much God loves him and that God has a plan for his life and that he is such a good example to his siblings and parents; he totally started crying, then i started crying and looked over and Sis miller started crying. It was insane! The spirit was stronger than ever! It felt literally real!!! I could feel the love that Heavenly Father had for him and I wanted to hug him and tell him that everything in his life is gonna be okay but obvi cant do that, but we were all 3 just sitting there crying haha. And then he told us how much weve helped him, even in our small lessons, he could always tell that we genuinely care about him and love him! It was so special! Then we left and sis Miller and i kneeled down and said a pray of gratitude that HF let us have that experience right before we head into the field.; It was a good taste of the joy of being a missionary! I cant wait to expierence that more! I am so grateful for that opportunity. It was so special to me.

I hope you are all doing great! Do you get my pics every week? Mom, how many do you receive because i sometimes send like 20 or so and you never mention them so im not sure! let me know:)

I will email you guys ASAP once im in recife! It will probably be the following Monday. Pray i have a nice companion who will be patient with me! haha im so scared, but I know that Im not alone and everything is good! Tudo bem!!

Eu sei que esta igraja é verdadeiro com minha todo coração. As much as i miss home, this is where i need to be. HF can do a lot more with my life than i can and im so grateful for the decision i made! It was so hard but its already so worth it! Everyone should go on a mission!!! You can help so many people!!

Okay I have to go but I love you all and I appreciate the support! Tchau!
Sister Hoffman