Week 12: Eu Amo Brasil!

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Sister Hoffman and Sister Costa
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typical street
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Stretching and studying scriptures
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More amazing braids
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Sister Hoffman and Sister De Luz

Oi! Tudo bem?

I hope you all had a good week! Congrats to all the people that graduated this week! Such a big accomplishment! Yay! No more school, I know Chandler is happy haha. Wish I couldve been there. ūüė¶

Ive been having panic attacks about Mothers Day, someone mail me some Xanax quick, Aunt Robyn? Hahah just kidding, but kinda serious. Yikes. Mom please try not to cry when we skype because itll make me more sad! I love you guys and am so happy to talk to you, but Im nervous Ill be super sad and homesick after. So pray for me haha.

The weeks here have been so fast! Ill hit 3 months in the mission this week, 1/6 done! But Im super thankful the time is starting to pick up! We are always doing stuff so before I know its 9 o clock and time to go home!

Something exciting!! I think Im dreaming in Portuguese now because the girls said I talked in port in my sleep the other night!! I was so excited when they told me that hahaha.

Oh one of my investigators has a bunch of health problems and doesnt have a leg. She has a Youtube video called “ela precisa da sua ajuda” so if you guys want you can go watch it, and I think if she gets a lot of views, she can get money for a new leg or something! Not sure how it works! Shes not really an investigator anymore because she said she’ll never change religions but she’s super sweet!

So I talked to Pres Bigelow and he said I can do the english class thing. So Im going to an ingles class tonight to help answer questions and stuff, and then this week I’ll maybe figure out how I can have a class once a week in the chapel or something!

We have a new district now, so every Thursday we have to take the bus to Abrao Lima (not sure on the spelling of that) It’s an hour away which is a bummer. The buses are super crazy and crowded and they sound like theyre about to break down any sec so thats fun haha. But our district is cool! Its 6 elders and us 4 girls and 3 of the elders are American! So thats fun too, I’m not the only whitey anymore haha.

The other sisters had a baptism this week and we sang the baptism song. I sang one verse in enlglish, Sister Tuiran sang one in spanish, then we all sang in Portuguese. Their bishop really liked it so then we got to sing again the next day in sacrament haha. yikes!

Idk if I’ve mentioned lots of details about Goiana, but something that is interesting, there are mainly motorcylces here. Not very many cars. And everyone does pop wheelies!!! I hate it! It makes me so nervous like theyre going to fall on their backs and get hurt! But they all do it, and they race each other and drive so fast. It is super dangerous, I do not approve!

Also there are millions of stray dogs and cats here, but theyre so calm and never come near us which is a blessing!

My dress was made so we’re going to the lady’s house after this to pick it up! Woooo! I hope its somewhat cute hahah idk.

So Severino and Cleonice were really progressing but then didnt come to church on Sunday! We invited so many people to church and no one showed up! It’s always so sad. They all say “Eu vou!” I will. And we call the night before and morning of to confirm, and then they just dont come. And then their baptism has to get pushed back bc they have to come to church at least twice before being baptized! But about Sev and Cleo- So funny. They are literally our grandparents here, I love them. Last night we taught them, and after Clenoice said. have you guys eaten dinner? and we were like no we dont eat dinner! And she had made this giant meal earlier and so she started tupper wearing all this food for us- fish, meat, rice, beans, and doce de banana. We were like no no! We dont need it!! And they like insisted, then Severino gave us little water bottles and a little bag to put all our food in. It was so funny. They were so excited to give us food. Also we taught earlier in the week about the Word of Wisdom, and Sev goes “I know why you guys dont drink coffee. Its because of the cocaine!” Hahahaha I laughed so hard. he meant to say caffeine. I think he was embarrassed after that and I felt bad:( Then he kept talking about it and kept accidentally saying cocaine hahah i was biting my lip so hard trying not to laugh. They are so cute!

We met a boy last week< Davison, and taught him this week and he goes “Ive been thinking how I really wanna be a member of this church” and were like woooo so we taught the restoration and marked a baptism for the 14th. But then he didnt go to church on Sunday, but he said hes going to seminary this week. Hes 17 i think. So we’ll see what happens with that!

Its super discouraging when none of the baptisms we mark end up happening, and as a misisonary you always assume youre doing something wrong. My comp was a little stressed this week why we’re not having baptisms but I told her, Heavenly Father understands that people have their agency, and if we know we’re doing our part, he will be proud of us even if we never have any baptisms. I personally feel like Im trying my best, and I work super hard, so I dont feel too bad. My Portuguese is improving quickly, Im so thankful! I am able to teach just as much, sometimes I even talk more than my comp, its so much better. I dont feel annoying anymore like she always has to do the talking.

I was reading this morning about the attributes of Christ, and which ones I need to develop still, basically all of them! hahah but Im so grateful for this time I have now to help other people follow Christ, but also to better myself. In just 3 months I can already feel such a change in myself, a change that was so necessary! Before my mission i thought, “oh if people dont want to accept the gospel, tudo bem. im not gonna force people to listen to me” But now I realize that for faithful members, the gospel is the biggest part of our lives, its not casual or small in the slightlest. Its the only way to find lasting happiness while we’re here on earth. Faith, repentence, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end are all necessary for ALL people to have eternal life. I feel such a responsibily to make sure people here realize this. Ive been talking more directly with people here haha sometimes its scary to be like “No your baptism was invalid, only the church of Jesus Christ has the authority to baptize, because we have the priesthood” (I say it nicer than that, dont worry) but its the only way people understand how real this is! Im so grateful for Jesus Christ, his example and his sacrifice. Im also so grateful for the Plan of Salvation, its seriously perfect and makes so much sense in my head! Alsoooooo I love the Book of Mormon! Before my mission, I wasn’t as stoked on it, but now I choose to read it in my free time and really try to learn from every part. Its so true. Elder Holland has a quote that says something like “No bad man could write such a book as this, and no good man would write it, unless he was commanded by God to do so” (dont remember exactly) but I know ancient inhabitants of the Americas, prophets of old, wrote these words. The stories are real, the people are real. So glad I’m gaining a strong testimony of these things now!

A mission is not easy, but its also not some impossible, scary thing, because the Lord is with missionaries every step of the way. We are only instruments in his hands. Without Him, it would be impossible and scary haha. Im learning to love the mission! I love Brasil, and every day I meet new people who I think are so awesome!

Sorry if I sound preachy, I don’t want to be that annoying missionary, but these are just my feelings for the week:)

Love you guys! Pray & read the Book of Mormon, even if you dont want to! HF wants to hear from you!

Have a good week! Stay safe and helathy and happy!

Peace out !! – Sher

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Week 11: still in Goiana!

Hi guys!
So none of us girls got transferred, which is great because our house is really fun and I dont want any of us to ever leave!!! I also love Goiana, a super chill little town with colorful houses and super awesome people. It’s great!
Hopefully I can teach lots of people this transfer and continue to get better with the language. Its really coming along though! I really believe in the gifts of tongues! Im never confounded in lessons; I can always think of something to say and I know the spirit helps me a lot!
OK so we had training in Paulista with Pres Bigelow Tues & Thurs so that was good! I liked it a lot, learned a lot, I have the best mission pres ever! After training on Tues, Sister Costa and I drove to Recife with Pres Bigelow in his car because I had a Dr. appt bc Tevas ruined my life!!! hahah but seriously, im so anti Teva sandals right now; I want to write a letter. Not really, but I had an allergic reaction to my tevas and my feet have had hives for the past 2 weeks so thats been super fun and painful and itchy. Dont buy them Chandler! But i got meds and its getting better so thats good! It was a rough week in that regard!
When do Chan and Dylan graduate?? Congrats!!!! Proud of you guys!!!!! Woooooo no more schoool. JEALOUS.
So it rained SO MUCH this week, and thunder and lighting! It was the first time with thunder and lightning since ive been here! Its  way stronger than it is in the US!! Shakes the whole house!! ahhh I was a little scared, not gonna lie but is all good now. Its currently not raining, but will prob start again soon!

So we finally found Pedro again and we marked a new baptismal date with him! He was at the Dr in Recife all week because he almost lost his eyeball this week!! How did that happen?! It’s not funny, but it’s not something you hear everyday! He sleeps with his Book of Momron under his pillow!! He thinks itll help him have good thoughts. Sis Costa was like ” Are you serious?” I thought it was precious.

Also, We have been teaching this cute old couple, Severino and Cleonice, since my 1st day here. After a lot of lessons and work, they finally marked a baptismal date with us and they came to all 3 hrs of church yesterday which was awesome!!!! They are cute. They Remind me of Grandma and Grandpa Hoffman. She always tries to feed us this bannana dessert thats suuuuper good. But Severino is so much like Grandma Brian, super tranquilo and cool!

So the other Pedro, who has problems with drinking, we stopped visitng bc his wife was super straight up with us this week and basically said she doesn’t want us visitng anymore. This week was kind of a week of rejection! But I love when people are straight up with us, its so much better!

I got letters this week and a package from my fam!!! So blessed, I love you guys. I got a letter from B&P, Jill Baylon, my fam and a bunch from Brandon! Woohoo it was a good day on Thursday. I love cards. I write so many, my comp makes fun of me. Mom THANK YOU for sending me those cards I wanted from Targent!!! You know me too well. I love them!!

Happy Birthday Alicia this week!!! I hope you have an awesome day!!! You are the bomb. Ray Richmond, what part of Sao Paulo did you serve?

My comp wants to know, shes from Sao Paulo!
Also idk if Hannah Higgs gets my emails but someone tell her congrats!!! Cutest engagement.

Everyone and their dog is engaged hahaha. But super happy for you guys!!!

Not much more to say, mom we’re going to get our dresses made by that lady hopefully today! My companion wants to wear them whe we skype on mothers day!

I love you all! Everything is good here in Brazzzzil. I miss you guys, but I know that Im growing and learning a lot more here than I would anywhere else. I trust in Heavenly Father and his plan for me, and know that evreything always works out when you have the Lord on your side. Have a good week! XO

Proud of you Carson for giving your first talk in sacrament, woooo!! You are so cute!! i love you!!

Love all of you,
Sis Hoffman

Week 10: First transfer down!!

Hi!

This week starts the last week of my first transfer, crazy! I’ll find out on Friday if Im getting transferred or not, but I prob wont be! I hope not. I am finally accustomed to everything here and know people, and know my way around. It would kinda be a bummer if I had to start over in a new area already! But we shall see.
This week was pretty good! SUPER hot, but whats new? haha

We marked a bunch of baptisms, but as you can tell from my past letters, that doesnt always work out the way we want it to haha but we have some really cool investigators!

My portuguese is improving a lot; I can almost understand everything to the point where I at least know the subject of what people are talking about haha. But I still have a long way to go with that! Its so crazy- I totally forget words in English and things about America!! The girls ask me about movies, celebrities, or songs that I totally used to know, and now I have no idea. Kennedy or someone Рa few yrs ago there was this really popular thing where people all dance to this one song and wear crazy outfits and its a music video. idk!! If you could tell me what song it was that would be great! The girls ask me every day and I cant remember it. Maybe you have no idea what im talking about haha.

We had divisions Fri and Sat, but it was different! The girls came to our area and stayed at our place. I think I liked it better than I would have the other way! So we were in trios which was interesting. But Sister M Lima is so cool! She’s from Fortaleza and is super nice! I learned a lot from her, teaching wise. She is a super good missionary! It was fun!

So I always like to include at least one funny story- crazy weird things happen all day but Ill read you them from my journal one day! Dont have time to write tons!

In general, people in Brazil are crazy!! For real. We go into a house to teach people, and they all of a sudden won’t talk! They just stand there silently staring at us; were not sure what is going on!! It seems like every time we enter there is a bad feeling, but once we start teaching it goes away and they becomes normal! One investigator wouldnt hug us or anything and was PARANOID that we are working for the governement and have cameras and voice recordings on our clothes!! And she refused to turn on the lights, so we sit there in darkness!! It’s never boring, that’s for sure!

We have a cool investigator that has been taught by the missionaries for many years, but can never be baptized because hes an alcoholic. Its super sad! He knows its true, but just cant stop drinking, all day everyday. So we made a goal with him that he will stop starting today, and I told him were going to go to his house every day to check in and see if he’s been drinking and he said okay! He has a baptism date for 2 weeks, and he needs to not drink for 1 week before the baptism! Its super sad. His wife has no faith in him and says hes never going to stop. But I believe in miracles! So we will see. You guys can pray for him! He is really nice!

So SHOUTOUT to Alicia, I got your package and it was BOMB!

For packages, I think the best way to send is either in a padded envelope or a flat rate box. It goes faster and doesnt get held up at the post ofice in Recife. But no one needs to send me packages!!! I can basically buy everything I need here, besides deoderant hahah they only have spray on ūüė¶

HAPPY BIRHTDAY TO BRITTEN THIS WEEK! I love you!!!

Family- I’m glad you had fun in Palm Springs!! I miss you guys so much! Thank you for emailing me always and being so supportive! I have the best family! I am SO blessed.

OH! we have training in Paulista this week on Tues and Thurs, so thatll be fun! Ill let you guys know how it goes. Its by zone, so I will see who is in my zone! It’ll be cool; its fun to do different things sometimes!

I just want to say that God really loves all of you, in a very personal way. The worth of souls is SO GREAT in the sight of God. He remembers you, he cries when you cry, he is happy when youre happy! We literally have a heavenly father! And his plan for us is perfect, and is centered on his son, Jesus Christ. I feel closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ than ever beofre in my life, and its a super happy feeling! They are real! They live!

Have a good week! Be safe and happy and smart!! Kennedy and Carson: make good choices!!! Prepare now for your missions ūüôā LOVE YOU!!!!
Sister Hoffman

Week 9: whahoo!! Conference!!

Conference Sunday!
Conference Sunday!

Always a pretty sunset
Always a pretty sunset
Our roommate lives to braid hair!
Our roommate loves to braid hair!

 

Investigator Mira wanted a picture so we won't forget her
Investigator Mira wanted a picture so we won’t forget her
Sweet little girl in our Ward
Sweet little girl in our Ward
Selfie!
Selfie!
More braids!!
More braids!!

Hi everyone! My faithful fans, jk hahah but seriously if you actually read my letters, thats super cool because they’re not that exciting!

First of all, shoutout to my homegirl Christie  who had a bday this week!! I hope it was great! I love you!!

So I dont have a ton to say today, but the weeks are starting to go SO fast! I dont know whats happening, but I’m¬†not complaining about it!

Also, idk if my food standards have changed or what, but the food is actually really good to me now! Super unhealthy, but the juice is soooo good and the ice cream is so good haha dont worry I limit myself!

It has been so hot! Mom & Dad, if you come to pick me up at the end of this, be prepared to sweat SOO much. I am worried for you guys hahah Idk if you understand how HOT it is here! It is so insane!

We watched conf in the chapel with the members and had¬†AIR CONDITIONING!! and it was MISERABLE. hahah I was so cold the whole time, like shaking and got a horrible headache! I am totally accustomed to the heat! It was so weird, I wanted to go outside and sweat after hah. Did you guys all watch conference?! I hope¬†so! It was super great! Didnt understand everything obviously, but I understood some! Loved Elder Holland’s talk, he always kills it. And Pres Monson is the most precious thing ive ever seen, after Carson and Brandon lol. BUT eu sei que Thomas S Monson e um propheta de Deus! He really recieves revelation for us, and the apostles do as well! So its super important that we follow their counsel! I love them. It is so amazing that our church has the priesthood keys and authority- the only church on earth that has this! I am so grateful. The priesthood is such a blessing, I have already seen it so much on my mission (btw I hit 1 month in the field this week, woo!). Im so grateful for my amazing Dad who is a worthy priesthood holder and just overall the best! I love you Dad!

We found some awesome new people to teach this week, Eliana and her mom, Maria. They live in the nicest house Ive seen here! Its so great when we teach them because their house is clean and I can feel the spirit so much better! They are awesome though! We taught the restoration and theyve been praying to receive answers. They really WANT to receive answers and they are totally progressing! So happy. Also, another¬†investigator…. Her 11 yr old daughter died 2 weeks ago from cancer, so she is going through such a rough patch, but she is so strong. We just let her talk to us for a really long time and we listen to her as she cries. It seriously breaks my heart. It’s so interesting tho, bc the little girl was baptized when she was younger but was less active when she died. Seralca just yelled out the window for us one day! I love when people WANT to talk to us hahah.

My testimony is stronger everyday! This is such a great opportunity, even when its hard. This gospel is so important to me, it is literally all I am here in Brasil- it is my purpose in everything I do! I feel so honored that HF trusts me to share it with these precious souls here. The people are so special here! They have so little but give so much; they are so loving to everyone. I hope I can be more like them! They are so accepting and kind. I love them!

Mom, Im getting a dress made by that lady! We bought fabric last week- I chose a crazy colorful brazlilian print (the other girls made me hahah) and I’m excited! Also I know of that artist guy you were talking about, I might have him make me something too. Not sure yet!

We have divisions this week, on fri we will go to Recife and get new comps for 24 hours to practice teaching different ways and stuff I think! Itll be fun, I hope!

OH we got a ward mission leader! Leandro! Hes like 24, hes super cool. Im really excited about that!

Anyway, I hope you are all super happy! If you were all here, you would really realize how blessed you all are! I’m sure you guys do, but wow it is so humbling and makes me so grateful. You have all been given so much, try to give to others! When we serve other people, we are serving God. And we owe everything to Him! I love HF and Jesus Christ so much! I am so inadequate to represent Christ but I am trying my best and learning new things everyday!

I pray for you guys so much, I hope you can feel it.

Love you all! xo Sis Sher

Acai bowl!
Acai bowl!