Week 21: last week on transfer!!

Hey my people!!

So next Monday is the transfer, and also 4th of July woohoo! So sad I wont be there with you guys. Remember last 4th of July my Wisdom teeth and health issues? So fun. Oh how time flies! hahaha I think my comp will go and I’ll stay. I’m always nervous about getting a new companion. Shoutout to Brandon because hes a trainer now!!!! Of course he didn’t say it directly in his email, so humble….

Anyway, this week was pretty good. and super fast! I like when the weeks are fast. To answer your question mom, yes the time is going pretty fast. Im almost a 1/3 done; i hit 5 months today! And once I hit a year I think itll be really really fast! In 4 months Ill be half way done! Super locoooooo.

Zone conf was great! I love Pres and Sis Bigelow. They are so great!!! We bought the new mission bags this week!!!! I’Ll send pics. We all 4 bought them and are using them. They have the strap that goes around your waist so its better for my shoulders. less pain. Super ugly, but what else is new??hahaah I’ve gotten over caring about my clothes and shoes and everything. Yikessssss

You guys should go on Iwasastranger.lds.org and look for service opportunities in the community and do one as a family!!! I read all the conference talks in English this week because we received the Liahona magazine and that website was in one of the talks. it sounds super cool!!!

I LOVED the talk by Uchtdorf “He will place you on his shoulders and carry you home” One of my favs if not my overall fav. Soooo good. He talks about after Dresden was destroyed from the bombings, they reconstructed it and now its a beautiful touristic city. And if man can reconstruct a whole city, imagine how much God and Jesus Christ can reconstruct us spiritually. Ah I loved it!!! You guys should read it again.

So theres this legit Japanese woman, A, in my english class and we randomly knocked at her house this week so we started teaching her. And shes so nice! Its her and her husband and her parents who were born in Japan. They’re very old so she takes care of them. And we showed up last night to teach her and she MADE US YAKISOBA!!! legit real Japanese food. and also those cheese bread balls we ate at the Brasilian restaurant before I left! Then she was like “You said you like acaii right?” And i was like yes i love it!! And she said “I bought 4 little pots of acaii for you 4 sisters” So cute!!! Shes so awesome. She just is very intelligent and history based. So she needs facts and historical evidence. I think I might email my BOM professor and ask him if he has any good stuff I can show her

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More amazing braids
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Found yummy tortillas!
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Corn everything!
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Sao Jaoa

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Hahaha!! Calling an investigator?
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Acai!!

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Cute new mission bags!!

. Oh then it was raining last night so they dropped us off at our house by car!! They’re so super fancy for around here and have a car and a nice house. I felt like a celebrity! It’s been a long time not being in a car!

Yesterday something hilarious happened! We were teaching a lady and at the end she asked us where we we’re from, and we told her and then she pointed to me and asked sis costa “Then why can I understand her better than you? Some things you say I cant understand” hahahahahah Obviously my Portuguese is a joke compared to sis costas, but she has a super strong São Paulo accent so I think people have trouble understanding her sometimes lolllll. Ive decided I want a Northeast accent, so im trying to make little changes.

Marcelo is golden, as usual. Pres Bigelow said after 4 months of attending church (he already has 2 months) Pres can have an interview with him and then deteremine how long he has to wait to be baptized. We’ll see what happens. He watched the video of the prophet yesterday and said “wow i know everyday more that this church is true”. I almost cried. hahah so cute!! And in sunday school, he was like “When I get baptized in this church….” Key word: When. Not if! Woohoo. Sis Costa and I looked at each other like woooo!

Im trying to think of other things that happened but nothing too exciting…..
OH! it was Sao Joao this week. So people made lots of bonfires in the street in front of their houses, so random! The air was so smokey and so many kids with fireworks this whole week!!! A family in the other sister’s ward invited us for dinner that night to have a traditional Sao Joao dinner, its all corn! Corn cake, corn on the cob, cous cous, and other things. Ill send a photo!!! It was fun.

Have a fun 4th of July! Love you all!!

Sher

Week 20: Saving lives… Literally!!

HI!
Okay so to start off with the highlight of the week but it wasnt a good highlight. Saturday night, sis costa and i were doing our nightly planning and she STARTED CHOKING!! like LEGIT!! I heard her coughing and looked up. Her eyes were so red and watery and she was waving her arms so I screamed HELP HELP!! to the other sisters and starting doing the heimlich maneuver on her!!! It was literally the scariest thing of my life. I had no idea where the cellphone was, so i was like great my comp is about to die. But i kept doing the heimlich (idk how to spell that word) and whatever was stuck in her throat got out and she was fine. But wow. I was waiting for this moment all my life, Mom & Dad junior lifeguards really payed off hahaa. Gosh so scary, I hope I never have to do that again in my life haha.

So M is still progressing, he shaved his head so now he looks even more like a convict lol. He already has like 20 tattoos. He is so cool though!! Im so sad he cant be baptized. We taught him about temples this week and showed a pic of the temple in Salt Lake and he was like “Wow, just looking at this picture it is so clear that this church must be true.” Then on Sunday he came to church and wanted to pay tithing!! Which is a big step,  totally shows he has a testimony of our church bc he had been paying his tithing before in a different church (Assemblia). So he filled out the little paper and waited after church to give it to the bishop and I thought it was the most precious thing.

Another scary thing that happened this week, I almost got attacked by a dog!!! The first time a dog was aggressive towards me here. We were just walking in the street and the ugliest, dirtiest, rabies-filled looking dog came running towards me and was growling. i practically jumped on Sister Costas back and she was like “Calma, calma…” and then he just walked away. I was waiting to feel a bite on my leg but luckily he left! So weird! Now Im freaked out by the dogs here. They have lost my trust.

So we started teaching an investigator! super elect. He asked for a Book of Mormon from the church site!! He lives far (we have parts of our area that are 30 min by van) so on Thursday we went there and taught him the Restoration and he accpeted the invitation to be baptized july 2nd (but then of course wasnt in church on Sunday, nothing new :(…so well have to move that date) but he is suuuuper smart. He knows 5 languages, including English. He has over 250 books in his house that hes read. He also has a blog that he showed us lol. But anyway, we were teaching him and at the end he goes, “I have a secret, my parents already know…” And i was like oh great, just what we need, what this time!? . Then he was like “Ive always had a dream of being a missionary!” haahah so we told him he could be a missionary if he gets baptized haha. We taught him again the next day in the library here and it went super well. Dont know why he wasnt in church on Sunday, and we cant call him bc our phone doesnt have any more credits… Darn low tech phones!. So we will find out later in the week!

We have zone meeting in Paulista on Wednesday with Pres and Sister Bigelow so thatll be great! Ill let you guys know how it goes.

I hope everyones having a good summer! Wish I was there with you guys!! Love you all! Read the Book of Mormon & pray!!

Sis Hoffman

Week 19: still alive in Goiana:)))

Hi!!
So this week was overall good, but had some sad parts!

First of all, I had the best lesson of my mission, where I felt the spirit so strongly speaking through me. I’ll never forget it! We were teaching Marcelo Thurs night, and talking about his baptism Saturday. He was still saying he didnt feel super ready but I dont know what came over me, I just started saying all this stuff to him and I was hearing my words, but it wasnt my words and my Portuguese sounded so correct and it was the most bizarre thing!!!! My whole body had the chills and I was feeling the spirit so strong. I told him that its not us as missionaries inviting him to be baptized, its God. I said a bunch of other stuff too!! And my companion was just standing there silent like whoah hahaha. So we got him ready to be baptized and he he said okay ill do it, we can do my baptismal interview tomorrow and everything was all set!!! Then at night something so sad happened. the District Leader said he talked with Presidente and pres said Marcelo cant be baptized :(. Because hes still in condicional because of the drugs thing…idk what it is in English? He’s going to have to check in for the next 6 months to 2 years. So until then he cant be baptized. It looks like I wont see him get baptized :(. So then after all that, we had to go to his house the next morning and say.. actually… you cant be baptized. It was so sad!!! He took it super well and understood, but then didnt come to church on Sunday!! for the first time in 6 weeks. Ugh, i feel so bad. So we visited him last night and he said soemthing came up, I hope hes not super offended.

ALso R., her baptism was set but she didnt come to church yesterday so well have to push it back another week. We also discovered this week she has a boyfriend of 4 years who is MARRIED with kids…and she tried to break up with him and it did not go well at all. He threatened her and was violent!  What is this life people!? so sad! We were teaching her and she was telling us all this then he showed up and like opened the door super abruptly and we were just sitting there and I was like “Oi… :)” plz dont hurt me. So idk where she is, hoping shes still is ok…..we couldnt find her last night. Idk, so sad that people do sketchy stuff like that. She was like “Do people in your land do this too? Date people who are married?” I was like yeah….pretty sure theres people who do that everywhere! But its not good! You shouldnt be doing that! It was kinda awkward.

We had divisions in Recife on Tuesday, i was with Sister Rammell. Shes from Idaho and so nice and cute. it was fun!!! I really like her.

Our house flooded this week bc our washer is broken so now we have to wash by hand. yay 🙂 Sister Costa woke me up at 1 am to show me that even our bedroom was full of water. Ugh. So frustrating. It took forever to get all the water out because our house is on a slant so it all just kept coming back in!!! yikes.

We had a ward activity on Friday and it was super fun!!! We watched mormon messages then had a testimony meeting and then hungout. It was spiritaul but also really fun!

We had English class again this Saturday, also Saturday morning I went to a different school to help out in some English classes bc some guy asked me to. And now I keep seeing the students in the street and its so funny, they all talk to me in English. But the classes were good. Its fun to speak English!

Mom, you asked me my reasons for going on a mission. I think when I left on my mission, I didnt really know my reasons completely. I knew I wanted to help other people be happier and that it was really sad for me to think of all the people who dont know about the gospel, who dont even know we have a savior, Jesus Christ, that we can be clean from our sins and be happier. So I think the thought of that is one of the things that got me out here. Also I knew if I didn’t go Id regret it! Now ill never look back in life and think, Why didnt I serve a mission?! Im learning so much. A mission is so hard sometimes, but then sometimes its so awesome. When I take a step back and think of what Im doing (and all my friends on missions) i am so humbled, its super cool!! A time in my life to only focus on serving other people, not thinking about myself. I’m trying to be more like Christ and develop better attributes thatll help me my whole life! This year of 2016 is a full year for me of service, and I know its a year I’ll never forget and always cherish! I love teaching people about the gospel and seeing them gain a little bit more hope when we talk about Jesus Christ, or the fact that families can be together forever!

Dad, Happy Fathers day on Sunday!!! I love you so much! Thank you for your support in everything my whole life! Youve always given me everything Ive needed and wanted and you are the best dad for me!! I love you and miss you so much!! So cool that we now have this thing in common, both missionaries! I love hearing about your mission experiences even more now!!

And the rest of my family and friends, I love you guys too!! So crazy next month ill be 1/3 done with my mission. Im starting to see how it flies. The days are so long, but then a month passes! It doesnt make sense.

Have a great week!! Talk to you next week.

Love, Sher

Week 18: Inverno aqui em Brasil!

Oi oi!

So technically winter is starting up here in Brasil, but its a joke because I still feel like I’m going to melt during the day. It’s super funny because the locals here will be inside with a blanket and wearing socks and I’m like seriously? How are you cold? And they think its so funny haha.
We had some rain this week, but not too bad! I like the rain sometimes because in the evening its a little less hot!

Most importantly, HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY TODAY CHANDLER AND DYLAN!! woohoo!! We did it 😉 (ali… legally blonde ref.) hahah but woooooow i cant believe it was a year ago. Can you guys believe it? Brandon, how was that a year ago!?? Feels like last month haha. But so happy for you guys! Hope youre enjoying the last day of the sickest trip ever! Safe travels 🙂

We were at lunch with a member this week, Ivna, Shes so legit. Shes the wife of the bishop. We were talking about families and she told us about how in a stake conference , the president was talking and he said “Why do you think satan targets the family so much? It is because he will never have the opportunities we have. He will NEVER come home to a wife smiling at him, he will NEVER come home to kids running up to hug him, or babies to play with. He is so miserable and sad because of this and he is jealous of our families. He knows that its through families that we can be the most happy” (something like that anyway) I had never thought of it that way!! What a blessing it is to have a family!! I realize here ,week after week, how awesome my family is, what a blessing! Families really are what Heavenly Father created for us here on earth to be happy. I love my faimly so much and cant wait to have my own family one day and teach them gospel prinicples. We have everything we need to be happy in the gospel- lasting happiness! Its sad that everyone in the world doesnt realize this. Families will always be most important!

So I gave my first English class on Saturday night. I was super nervous and secretly praying no one would show up hahahah but like 15 people came, and most of them werent members! It was great!! I actually really enjoyed it and thought it was fun 🙂 I taught super basic stuff then practiced with each person and they all were so excited. So that’ll be every Saturday at 7 now! Im glad we finally got it started up. Great service opportunity and good for me to see if I like teaching! Gotta figure out what I’ll do after the mission when I return to real life;) haha.

I finished D&C, i love it! So good. I learned a lot!

We have divisions tomorrow- we’re going to Recife, Casa Forte (where the temple is). Ill let you guys know how it goes. Sometimes its fun to leave and do something new! Woo!

So we found out why our investigator. M, was in jail. It was for drug trafficking/use,so it’s a relief that it wasnt something more serious! His baptism is technically marked for this Saturday, but he’s still waiting for a clear answer. He’s super cool! He’s come to church 5 weeks in a row. Its been a super long time since we’ve had any investigators in church, so that’s a huge blessing! He is really progressing though. It’s cool to see people chanigng and learning.

Also, we’re teaching someone super cool, Edwilia. Shes 22 and has 2 little girls, but she isn’t legally married so thatll be interesting. But i love her! I told her if she comes to USA we’ll go to a Beyonce concert together bc she loves Beyonce!! hahaha she was laughing so hard. But she came to church last week, but she didnt this week bc she was sleeping:(((( But shes progressing too and praying for an answer!!

Rosemarie has a baptism set for 6/25 and she already received an answer, she just needs to come to church! We were having a slow day one day this week and a little discouraged. We taught her that day and i invited her to be baptized and she said, yes i will!!! Its the best feeling when people accept!!. She was so certain too. So we’ll see what happens. She’s super cute, she has 4 little kids, and a boyfriend but theyre not living together (yet) so im hopeful! 🙂
The months of June and July here are a big holiday called Sao Joao in all of Brasil! So in this center (kinda like the YMCA, called the CESC) there have been parties every night. They have fireworks and everyone’s in cool costumes and its kinda fun!! Lots of people coming here from other places and its cool!! My companion says this holiday is bigger here in the Northeast than it is more South.

Anyway, all is well here. Sometimes its hard to feel like a successful missionary when youre not seeing a whole lot of evident success, but I feel satisfied in the fact that I really feel Im trying my best and learning and growing a lot. I can speak Portuguese super comfortably now. Obviously there are words i don’t know if someone talks about a subject I’ve never talked about, but I feel so much more confident now in lessons!
Something really frustrating about the mission is that people have agency hahah jk but really I want to drag people out of their beds and take them to church bc we had 5 investigators who were supposed to come to church but they were all sleeping!! Because they were all at the party the night before super late! Aagghh!

Today sister Dunn and I are gonna make choc chip american cookies so thats super exciting (its the little things lol)

I love you all so much! I miss you but when it comes down to it, I know HF is doing a lot more with my life here than I could do at home. And in 14 months we’ll all be together seeing a movie or walking around at Irvine Spectrum or at Baja Fish Tacos or the beach and I’ll be missing Brasil haha. I have to remind myself that multiple times during the week.

Have a wonderful week!! XO

– Sister Hoffman <3333333333

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So green
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Every missionary has a pic sharing the Book of Mormon with a donkey, right??!
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Sister costa
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Lunch with the nicest members

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Stuck in the rain waiting for the bus