Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 32

Olá Família!  

So, this is going to be a quick email, hopefully packed full of good information. 

The first super exciting news that I have is that I received my package that Alicia sent! Yeah!! I have new clothes and I can officially start sending pictures from my camera! Thank you thank you thank you! The package was pure joy in a heavy box! 

Second news... RIOTS. Brazil is going crazy and from what it sounds like to me Brazillians all over the world are going a little crazy. I dont know all the information, but this is what I know is going on. There are riots... big ones happening all over the place in Brazil. Here in the capital is definitely no exception. It started with the people being mad about prices for transportation going up and the government spending billions on new stadiums for the world cup when their hospitals are lacking in a lot of things that they need. Right now their is a spotlight on Brazil because of all the soccer games they are playing to see who will be playing in the world cup next year. So the people are revolting, doing demonstrations and such. Everywhere we go the talk is either about the soccer games or the riots. Sister Victorio had to travel to the mission office this week and we got stuck at the bus stop for a while because of the people and the buses were having trouble coming a going. Luckily we got a member of our ward to pick us up for the trip back to Ceilândia. 

We have two investigators with baptism dates marked for this week. Mira and Amelia... So everyone pray that all goes well with them both. I bought Cervada which is fake coffee for Amelia, so I am hoping that will help her not drink coffee. We shall see. 

Funny story. Actually, just a funny fact. Cocaine is legal in Bolivia... I guess. Sister Victorio was offended when one of the recent converts we were talking to told her that it is a drug. She said that it cant be a drug because it is a plant, I told her that marijuana is also a plant and a drug. She still doesnt think Cocaine is a drug, but I thought it was funny. 

Things here are going well. We are working hard, we have a ton a people that we are trying to keep track of still, but things are going great. Last night there was a broadcast from the Marriott Center of all the new mission presidents being called. We got to watch and it was awesome. I highly recommend the talks for... everyone! I love you all and I hope that you all are happy and healthy! 

Sister Hoopes

Ps The ´pictures... 1. is at the mission office. 2. Is one of me and a recent convert ariane in my new clothes! ... yeah! 3. Sister Victorio and I... half an hour ago. =) 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week 31

Feliz Dia Depois O Dia Dos Pais! 

So this past week has been good. The past couple weeks I have been all over the place emotionally. Up, down... everywhere, but, I am feeling back to normal hallelujah! Brasil didnt celebrate fathers day yesterday, but we did have a holiday and a soccer match which is basically a holiday here. Tuesday was Valentines Day and a lot of stores were decorated and there was a little more PDA in the streets than normal, but aside from that I think it was a fairly normal day. The soccer match- I actually think there were two here in Brasil this week, but one was in Fortaleza so it wasnt as big of an event. On Saturday Brasil played Japan here in the huge new stadium that they built here in Brasilia. The streets were basically empty during the game. I can proudly announce that Brasil won 3-0 a fact I know mainly because everyone we talked to after gave us play by plays. ha ha. 

We had some other significant events this week. Our first district meeting of the transfer was on Tuesday. We have a very unique district. We have 2 Brazillians, 2 North Americans, and 2 Bolivians. I dont think that the odds of that happening are very high but it happened here. Based on the second Bolivian missionary I have met here on the mission I think that my companion is a very normal Bolivian. ha. =) They also brought mail to the district meeting finally so I got some long awaited letters which made me pretty happy. 

Later in the week we had a zone conference and President and Sister Gaertner came and participated. It was really good. Sister Gaertner didnt realize that Sister Victorio and I are serving together again and she asked President about it and it sounds like the possibility of receiving another sister here in the mission before the transfer is over is pretty likely. It sounds like a trio could be in my future. During the conference President had a set of missionaries do a teaching practice in front of everyone. The elders had described two investigators that they have a girl and her grandma and president told them to practice inviting them to be baptized. One of the elders asked who they should use to be the investigators and and President said they could choose anyone. Logically, I think sister V and I would have been the most likely to be chosen to be the girl and the grandma since we are now the only sisters in the zone, but they surprisingly said that president and sister G could be the investigators. Sister G was the girl and President G was Luiza the grandma. It was funny to me. Especially listening to the elders call him senhora. 

In the zone conference President G also talked a little bit about some of the things we should be doing... like exercising and such. The rule for waking up in the mission is that we need to wake up at 630. What happens a lot is people wake up at 630 and then kneel on their beds and pray... and then half an hour later at 7 ish they wake up. ha ha. Needless to say the new rule is we have to be out of bed at 630. While at the zone conference we got to see another zone that is close to ours which was cool. Some of my old district from the CTM were there.  

In other news things in terms of missionary work is going good here. We are super busy because we now have the investigators that I had been teaching and the investigators that Sister V had been teaching to visit which is actually kind of a lot of work to keep up on. We have had some good moments though. Mira a girl sister Coombs and I had been teaching has been reading the BOM like crazy she is already in 2 Nefi which I was excited about. And Renan who got baptized a few weeks ago finally decided he would were a white shirt and tye to church. Made my Sunday. Speaking of Sunday... Funny story. 

So in the past I dont know if anyone remembers- but I had a terrible filling up all the time when I gave talks in church. So this Sunday Sister V and I both gave talks and I talked for 15 minutes.... What?! I think that is a record for my longest talk. 

Everything in general is going good. I am washing a lot of dishes and teaching people the gospel and speaking Portuguese and walking a ton and staying happy. I hope that you all are doing good and that Summertime at home is going well too. I love you all! 

Sister Hoopes
PS If anyone has good FHE activity ideas or fun little games you should send them my way!!!! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week 30


Hi guys. So I am going give you all a really quick update. This week has been really great. Really busy but great. We had a zone conference that went really well and my companion and I got back on track with the work and everything and really had a great week. I also went on two exchanges this week. I spent one day exchanging here in our area and served with Sister Victorio and visited her investigators. I did another exchange and went ot Asa Norte which was really an eye opener. The work their is a lot harder than it is here in Ceilandia. There are a lot of people there, but a lot are rich or dont live there and are just there during the day to work. It was good though. Yesterday a black cat crossed my path twice. Bad luck right? and Bad luck it was.... I gave the lesson in the Principles of the Gospel class today and lets just say it wasnt the best teaching moment of my life. It was a little rough, but we all survived. But I said the black cat crossed twice right? So the other piece of bad luck? We had transfers today. Our mission had 7 areas shut because we had a large group end their missions and we didnt receive anyone new. Anyone. One of the areas they shut was mine. So now we have one set of sisters in Ceilandia. Luckily I am staying here though. I will be serving with... Sister Victorio. Again... ha ha. Sister Coombs and Sister Melo both got transferred to other areas... So we shall see what the future holds. So right now we have a ton of work to do because we now have are going to be doing the work of both areas. Things in general are going well and I am excited for some baptisms we have on the horizon. I will give you all an update on that next week. Thanks for all the prayers and support. I love you all!

Sister Hoopes

PS I have to give another talk next week and teach the principles of the gospel class again next week, so you all can pray for me that I can do a good job!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Week 29

Tchau May and Hello June! 

So the rain has returned this week again in Brazil. It has rained pretty much the entire week and right now I am actually cold. I am wearing tights and a sweater... so that is really saying something. I dont have a ton of time to write, but I will try to give a quick update. 

1. I found out this week that one of the people we were teaching in Guara got baptized. He is the grandson of a member we had helped bring back to church. I was really excited to hear that and a little sad that I dont get to be there. 

2. Last Monday we (sister coombs and I) were feeling a bit homesick because it was memorial day and everyone we knew was camping and such. Sister Coombs resolved her sadness by putting hydrogen peroxide in her hair to make it more blonde. I dont think it worked. 

3. Next week I have to teach the gospel principles class by myself, so you all are more than welcome to pray for me because I need all the help I can get. 

4. Next week is transfers so I will be getting a new companion and possible a new area, so stay tuned for that. 

5. The only really funny of the story this week is that we were teaching a mom of one of the members here (she is going to get baptized her in a week or two!) and then a pastor showed up.... he did bible bash a little, but he really is interested in finding out what the BOM is. So I gave him a BOM... (he said something about how in Revelations it says that we cant add to the word... we explained that) but I still left him with something to read in the BOM 2 Ne 29... ´´a bible, a bible...´´ read it and maybe you all will think it was as funny as i did. Sister coombs did not fully appreciate it I dont think. 

Whelp this is all for now. Love you all! 

Sister Hoopes

PS I hope you enjoy the classy mirror that they are using on their car... seeing stuff like that is pretty common here. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Week 28

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! 

It sounds like you all are out doing fun stuff for Memorial Day. Unfortunately, they arent celebrating here. Obviously right? But, hey maybe I will find some BBQ to eat in remembrance of you all having a good time! So I am going to probably make this a quick update for you all so sorry if it is lacking in quality.  

First....last pday... We had some serious drama in our house. Sister Victorio and Sister Melo were not on good terms at all. They both were angry and upset at each other. Sister Coombs and I had to each talk to them to try to help them clear up their differences. It didnt work out too well... the next day they had emergency interviews with President Gaertner. He has magical powers... or the spirit of God on his side, because they came back from the interviews and are now liking each other alright and are willing to finish this transfer together. I am mostly glad that things are super tense anymore. 

This last week was Alicia´s birthday! Happy Belated Birthday! I bought you spandex as a present. I ended up getting myself some spandex too. They are terrible. But funny. 

This week we didnt get a ton of work done because we spent a day in our house because Sister Coombs got sick. I didnt spend this time super well. I just sat and stared at the wall for a while and I looked down at my watch and 2 hours had passed. I dont know how it happened. We came home early another day because we ate chicken hearts that we bought on the road that didnt end up sitting well with either of us. Bad idea. No more chicken hearts on the road. I did end up finishing the BOM for the 2nd time in Portuguese. We spent 2 other days with our zone doing practices... ALL day long. It was awfully long. We will be doing practices again like that tomorrow. So pray I dont lose my mind.  

Yesterday at church Sister Coombs and I had to teach the gospel doctrine class on the spot. It was on repentance. It actually went way easier and smoothly than I ever imagined. The funny thing was that we had gotten a couple who have fallen away from the church to come back and yesterday was their first Sunday and they got a hardcore lesson on repentance. Another funny thing about yesterday... we saw a ton of people riding horses down the road which is unusual... and this woman barely hit a branch on the side of the road and PLOP she fell of her horse. We probably should have gone to help her, but I think she was drunk and Sister Coombs and I were trying to hard not to laugh. Luckily there was a man behind her that helped her out so it all worked out in the end. 

Okay so this is my news for this week. Not super detailed, but it happens. The work is still going along here. Unfortunately for us Amelia, our investigator is moving to Taguatinga Sul, so unless I get transferred there it looks like I wont be seeing her baptism. But, thats all right. I love you all and hope you all had a great holiday weekend and an even better week after and that you all send me letters because I like them a lot. =) 

Sister Hoopes

Monday, May 20, 2013

Week 27

Hello Family, 


This week has been long and good and bad and sad, but all in all it´s been alright. I will again try doing a bullet point list and see how that works out. 


1. Dogs. So dogs here are not very scary, most of them are little and dont do much of anything. Proof of this is the Dead Dog Road picture that I sent. They just lay there and do nothing a lot. So the other night we went to a house to find a member who we have never met before that was on a list that the bishop asked us to visit. We got to the gate I clapped and they had a dog laying in front of their house. It didnt bark or anything it just got up and walked behind a car. I didnt think much of it. A woman came out the door and started talking to us so I stepped closer to hear her better and BOOM the dog jumped out of nowhere and nearly bit me. More accurately I think he nearly killed me. It scared me to death... almost. I screamed, the woman laughed and I survived. Hallelujah. 


2. Choir. This weekend was stake conference for the folks here in Ceilândia and our stake president asked all the missionaries in the stake to sing during the conference. The funny thing is that we dont have very many singers in our zone. What made it even funnier is that we dont have very many Brazillians in our zone either. We have a bunch of North Americans, Bolivians, Argentinians, Mexicans... and maybe 5 Brazillians. Ha ha. But we got together, we practiced and we wound up singing in the middle of the stake presidents talk. It turned out alright I think, at least I think they appreciated our effort. 


3. Other good news that come with meeting together as a zone. I got more letters this week!!!!! AND I got a package from Mary with notes from people at the candy counter/bookstore. It made me quite quite happy. I ate all the candy already because I couldnt control myself. Turned a long day into a very very good day. 


4. Family of Mateus Zita and their 3 sons. So the bishop asked us to visit some inactive members of the ward and on the list was Mateus and Zita. We got to their house right when Mateus got home from work. He works with the police in Brasilia. So we bounded over his occupation and the fact that it is in the same line of work that dad has. He is actually really awesome and really wanting to come back to church, so he will next week. They have 3 sons Washington, Romario, and Rafael... I think that they might be the most beautiful Brazillian family that I have ever seen in my life. That is the truth. We are going to get them all back to church mainly so we can take pictures with them for when they become famous. 


5. Amelia. Amelia is an investigator that we have been teaching for a while now. Her baptism was planned for this past Sunday. Aka yesterday. She was all ready to go. She passed the interview for baptism on the condition that she wouldnt drink coffee at all. This was hard for her. And hard for us. Its the weirdest thing, as a missionary it feels like all of the problems that other people have suddenly become my problem. Even though in reality they arent. We spent hours this week helping her, talking to her, reminding her not to drink coffee. Mentally and physically it was kind of draining. She made it all the way to Sunday morning and she called us and sad that she had had a terrible headache and had to drink coffee at 4 am. So she drank coffee and she didnt get baptized this week. It was really a disappointment. We are trying to help her so she can get baptized still, but she pretty much is certain that she cant quit coffee. So that is my number one struggle for this coming week. Her and Sebastian. His baptism is planned for this coming Sunday and he needs to quit drinking alcohol. 


6. Alan... We were walking down the road the other day, Amelia called and asked us to go talk to her, so we turned down the first street we came to and we ran into this man named Alan. He stopped us and started talking to us in English. He stopped us by saying HEY you guys are American Mormon missionaries! We talked to him and he was not in good shape. He lived in the US California growing up for 24 years and has been back in Brazil for the last 13. His life he said isnt going good and he told us that he was about to go do something stupid. We kept him talking so we could figure out how to help him. As it turns out he had and LDS friend growing up and he went to seminary with him and played football with him. His name is Chad Ram or something like that. I guess he played football at BYU but i dont remember that name. Anyway we tried to get his address, but he said that he lived in Guara II with his mom. Suddenly I remembered i woman that I talked to in an apartment builind in Gurara. I asked him if his mom was this woman that I remembered and she was. It was the craziest coincidence. He was really stunned that I knew his mom and had her phone number. We ended up leaving and he still wouldnt tell us the stupid thing he was about to do, but we gave him a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet with our phone number on it. Later that night he called us and said he went home and that he didnt end up doing the stupid thing and that he is going to read the Book of Mormon. That was a pretty awesome and miraculous experience. 


Okay, well this ought to do it for now. My week wasnt that bad it was actually more good than bad. I am still doing good. The weather is hot, the wind blows a lot, it doesnt rain anymore and I am permanently red because of the sun. I miss you all and I hope that you are all praying for President Monson. LOVE YOU ALL A TON! 


Sister Hoopes

Monday, May 6, 2013

Week 25


Hi family. Things here are going pretty good this week. Actually the start of this week was incredibly and rough for me. But things got better in a real hurry. Sister Coombs gave me an idea of how I could write better letters home by making a bullet list so I will give that a shot. 

~The first part of the week was long. Why? That I dont know. I think lots of things played a part in that. It was a little bit of a rough switch with Sister Victorio moving into the house and Sister Damaceno leaving. We got Sister Victorio introduced to some of the people in the ward and reorganized things in the house and the week got better. It definitely is a lot quieter though.  

~ Churrasco. My week started going uphill Tuesday at lunch. I think I have expressed my love for churrasco already... but I will just one more time so you guys remember. I really love churrasco... (bbq) We stop and buy it on the road sometimes which makes us both pretty content with life. But, Tuesday we went to lunch and the members made us churrasco and it was wonderful. We all ate way way way too much. It was delicious though. 

~The mission kind of messes up your  body a little bit I think. Physically I am doing pretty well still, but Sister Coombs is starting to have some troubles. One of which is her knee. One of her knees is like permanently swollen. I tried to wrap it for her, but it turns out I dont remember how to wrap knees good at all. I think I will have to literally re-start school when I get back because everythings has left my mind that I learned. I am just praying that learning it the second time will be easier than it was the first time. 

~We experienced a miracle this week. One of our investigators, Renan decided to get baptized. So this coming Sunday (Mother´s Day aka Day I get to call home) we will have a baptism for him. I am really excited for him and its going to a good day. I am sure I will tell you all about it face to face via skype. =) 

Okay this list thing is going a little rough... I will think. Things here are good though. I am happy and healthy. We are working a lot and I really really love the people that I am getting to know here. AND... I am really excited to call home next week. So this is all for now LOVE you all a ton,  

Sister Hoopes

Monday, April 29, 2013

Week 24

Hallo Folks! 

Another pday has come finally! This week has been incredibly long, but good. I am going to keep this email real short, but I do have a few highlights. 1. Last pday we went to the taikwando (sorry I have no idea how to spell that) of some kids in our ward. Everyone in the family are blackbelts. Crazy. The youngest is an 8 year old girl. I think I might look into being a blackbelt when I get back home. 2. This week Sister Coombs hit her 11 month mark. We celebrated by eating this delicious banana bread stuff and making a fort out of our living room to sleep in. 3. The weather here is starting to change. We havent had very much rain this week and the mornings are kind of cold. But the sun is definitely still shining. 4. I gave my first sacrament talk outside of the CTM yesterday. It went well and people actually understood me. Hallelujah! 5. Final news of the week... We had transfers today. Sister Coombs and I are both staying here together in Ceilândia! Yes. Best news. This means, family, you will meet Sister Coombs via skype here in a couple weeks! One of our Brazillians- Sister Damaceno got transferred and Sister Victorio arrived in our house to be companions with Sister Melo. 

No super thrilling news this week. But I am here. I am alive. I am sharing the gospel with people and I am staying pretty happy. Life is good. Love you all and I hope you all are well! 

Love Sister Hoopes

Monday, April 22, 2013

Week 23

Hallo Família! 
This week has been a rough one, but life is still going good and we had some good things happen, too. The start of our week was incredibly... awful. We were exhausted because we didnt rest at all on pday and we ran into a couple not so awesome people here. The first awful man we met is the dad of a girl that really wants to be baptized. Her cousins are active members of our ward and they live next door to each other. This girl comes to church activities when she can and is awesome. Her dad is the only thing stopping her from being baptized so she asked us to try to talk to him. We found him at his house and he talked and talked and talked. He told us how we were servants of the devil and that we are welcome in his house as long as we dont teach anything about the Book of Mormon. He is probably one of the most rude and stubborn people I have ever met in my life. We did not accomplish much talking with him and left a little disanimated. Our next appointment we went to was of Amelia a 72 year old woman who loves the church and her 45 ish year old son, Carlos, who uses a wheelchair. We talked to them a bit and they really opened up and they told us how one of her other sons who lives with them says all kinds of awful things to the two of them and treats them not so good. It was a really sad talking to them, we all cried, but in the end we left a little happier. It was a LONG day for sure. 

The next day we met the second not so awesome person... a drunk man at about 3 pm. We were sitting in a park cutting out little notes to leave at peoples houses. This man came up to us and started yelling at us and telling us that we were like Hitler (he thought we were from Germany) and started yelling about those Mormons and a bunch of other terrible things. We got up and left, but he did cause a bit of a scene for sure. 

The week did progressively improve though. We met a lot of new people to teach. We ate a lot of churrasco (bbq) on the road and we bought earrings for a $1. The other sisters had a baptism on Sunday that went well too. Sister Coombs and I have a man that sells fruit that likes to give us fruit for free when we pass by his shop. That is quite an enjoyable thing. 

One stupid thing of the week that we did... After one of our long days we decided that we needed some fresh air and that we wanted to star gaze. So we decided to climb the roof of our house. We locked the other sisters inside and we climbed our way up... it was harder than we thought. And once we got up we realized that it wasnt that fun and we found out getting down was a lot scarier than coming up. We figured it out though and made it down. We decided not to do that again. ha ha. 

Anyway this is all for now, I love you all and I enjoy hearing from you guys. Thanks for keeping me updated on life back home. I hope all is well with you all. 

Love Sister Hoopes

Monday, April 15, 2013

Week 22


Hey everyone! So I this is going to be a short update, but I will try to make it full of good info. So this week has been full of a lot of good things. I ate my first churrasco, which is like a bbq on the road. It was delicious and I think I am addicted. Today we spent most of our pday visiting the main part of Brasília and looking at all the cool buildings. I took my first metro ride this morning. It was cool, but crammed and I stood the whole way. I have some pretty cool pictures so I will try to get them attached as well.
Also, this week we had some weird things happen. First, a man got on his motorcycle right in front of us as we were walking down the road. It drove it for about 15 feet before he wrecked in the road. It was one of those moments that we watched and we could see the whole thing happening before it actually happened. We started to run to help him, but luckily his friends were out there quick to help him up. He ended up walking away, so I am pretty sure he isnt too wounded and it was probably good we didnt get to him first becaue I am about 99 percent sure he was drunk. Drunks and missionaries dont go very well together. (See next story)

Second weird encounter of the week. Sister Coombs and I stopped by the house of a member real quick. As we were leaving his gate a man walked up to the three of us and by walked I really mean stumbled his way to us and started talking about those mormons and angel moroni and asked for a blessing. He was super drunk and super strange he tried to grab our nametags so we hustled back in the gate and stayed inside for 10 ish minutes and then tried to leave again. We checked and the coast looked clear, so Felip the member opened his gate and the main was sitting there waiting for us. He luckily had fallen asleep, so we snuck out real quick. Sketchy? I think yes. But, it all turned out good.

Third, funny thing of the week. Wednesday we had another Sister that came to serve with us for the day, Sister Tanaka. She is new new new to the mission, she has 3 ish weeks. Anyway this same day we had a baptismal interview for Debora and this same day it rained a ton. We had to walk Debora and her friend Sara about 2 miles to the church and we had to give them our umbrellas because they didnt have theirs... Therefore, we got really wet, and we made lots of jokes about how Debora was practicing for her baptism with all the water that was soaking us.
The final and best thing of the week, Debora got baptized yesterday! Aweome. Everything went wrong...The font overflowed, the woman who was supposed to give the talk didnt show up, and we couldnt find any pitchers to make the juice for the refreshment afterward... but, luckily the baptism turned out great.

K, folks this is all for now... Life is good. I am still loving my mission, brazil, ceilandia, and my companion sister coombs. I am super tired and my hair is falling out pretty quick these days, but other than that my life is great. I love you all and I hope that you are all doing well. 

Com Amor, 

Sister Hoopes 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Week 21


I realize that my emails have been depressingly dull as of late so I will do my best to update on the happenings of my life. Right now I am really loving the mission. I am loving my area Ceilândia. And I love my companion, Sister Coombs. I am tired all the time, but I think that just means that we are working hard. A lot has happened this week so I will try to get this letter going. 

So last week I failed to make any funny April Fools Day joke with you guys in my letter. My bad. Luckily, we didnt forget completely about ´´the day of liars´´ here in Brazil. When we called in Monday night to report to our district leader, we told him that Sister Coombs fell and that her face was pretty scratched up and not to say anything about it because she was pretty self concious. The next day... Tuesday- we had our first Zone Conference here in this area and one of the Brazillian sisters, Sister Damaceno used make up and jello to make shockingly realistic abrasion on the side of Sister Coombs face. It was hilarious because all of the elders noticed it, but no on said anything. It was hilarious looking at their faces when they saw it. I think we enjoyed the little prank quite a bit... 

Other notable things of the week. I got my first kiss of the mission.... from a 77 year old man in the street. Fortunately it was on the cheek. ha ha. Also, this week Sister Coombs and I have spent several hours helping out at a language school that one of the members of the ward works at. We have the same conversations in a million different classes answering the same quetions. ´´Hi, my name is Daniel, what is your name?´´ ´´Do your like your occupation?´´ ´´Are you married, do you have kids´´... and there are probably about five other questions that they asked repeatedly. I dont think they thought it was very funny when this 12 year old asked me if I had kids and I replied, ´´No, do you?´´ I thought it was funny though so that is all that really matters I think. One class that was a bit more advanced asked what kind of music we like. I said country. They wanted to hear what country was... so they asked me to sing. Sadly the mission has not made my singing voice improve at all. So I told them sorry I dont know how to sing. They refused to take that for an acceptable answer. Usually 5 minutes of saying no and people will give up and move on. Either these kids werent understanding (which I am pretty certain they did understand when I told them I cant sing) or they were oddly persistent. I was really embarrassed and I couldnt think of literally any music except the Kenny Chesney song about his tractor... which I thought would  be a bit inappropriate. So what happened? I sang the nationaly anthem. Ha ha ha. This I dont know if I have described this situation very well or not, but oh my lanta, probably one of the most embarrassing moments I have had. The rest of the classes that asked about music I told that I like listening to instrumentals to avoid any more embarrassing situations. 

Cat-woman. We found a woman when we were walking down the street. She was sitting in front of her house so we stopped to talk to her. She has a ton of stuff around her house. I think she would be identified as a really extreme hoarder. Anyway we talked for a few minutes and she started talking about her cats and she said that she was sad because someone killed 9 of her cats. I was thinking wow that is horrific and odd. I started to look around better and I realized that she had several living cats around her. They were all on leashes about 2 feet long. Literally 2 feet... and attached to random objects around the area. I hate cats. But somehow I felt bad for these cats. I counted I think 7 that were tied up all over the place.  

I finished the Book of Mormon in Portuguese for the first time. I read it all outloud which was probably annoying for everyone around me. I still dont speak super well... so I think I will read it again. This time it will be in my head though. We also have a new rule in our zone that we always have to have a book of mormon in our hands while we are walking. It was kind of an annoying rule and we complained to each other, but the night of the first day we did it, a man stopped us on the street and asked for a book. We gave it to him and we are planning his baptism for the 21 of Abril. Needless to say we have stopped complaining about that and we learned a pretty valuable lesson. 

This week I had my second interview with President Gaertner. He came to interview everyone in our zone in our chapel. We were told by our leaders before hand that we absolutely cannot show up late. So, what happened. We had lunch before with a member. We left as quickly as possible, but we realized that we were going to be late. So Sister Coombs and I literally ran to the chapel (My second time literally running in a skirt with all my stuff to avoid being late). We showed up 2 minutes before the hour, all the elders in our zone were already sitting and President and Sister Gaertner were already up front waiting to start. We were both really red. In retrospect I think it would have been less embarrassing to show up late. But, its funny to think about now. What made it even more ridiculous is that our interviews werent until the very end so we waited 2 hours for our interviews. Everyone was taking a long time in their interviews, but by the time I got in there President asked me how I was if I was happy, how the people here in our area are etc. I stayed in there for maximum of 4 minutes. I think I broke some sort of record. 

I got news that Duke won the NCAA and that BYU didnt win the NIT. To be completely honest I think I am a little homesick for basketball. Luckily the work here is going good. We have an investigator, Debora who has been visiting with the missionaries for almost a year now, she is 16 almost 17, and her mom refused to let her get baptized. Her mom is seriously one of the most stubborn people I have ever met in my entire life. My best news of the week is that Saturday morning before conference we visited them and got her to sign the permission for Debora to be baptized. She said no again at first, but we waited and finally I just took the paper and the pen and stuck it in her lap (Probably one of the bolded things I have done on my mission) and we waited and she looked at it and looked and finally signed. It was seriously a wonderful moment to get her to sign it. So, everyone pray that our baptism of Debora next Sunday goes smoothly! 

After we saw a man in his car rocking out to Girls Just Want to Have Fun. I dont know if he knew the translation of the music he was listening to alone or not, but it was funny either way. General Conference was good. I missed several talks so I will try to get them real quick before I end my internet time, but the talks we heard were great. We had an investigator that made it to the last session and loved Jeffrey R. Holland. His talk was perfect for him and for me too I think. 

At the end of a rough day we had last week, we decided that we were hungry and we didnt have any food at home. So we bought a carton of eggs. We boiled them and ate them all. It was a terrible decision and I am pretty sure that are Brazillian roommates put something about it in their journals on the page that says... ´´Remember that one time when those weird Americans did...´´ I can honestly say that I dont have any sort of desire for eggs right now.. still. 
Okay this was a scattered letter, but hopefully somewhat informative. Yesterday I made it to the 5 month mark of my mission. Time is going fast and slow at times and my body is pretty tired. I am loving my life though so all is good. 

I love you all, 

Sister Hoopes

Monday, April 1, 2013

Week 20

AHHHHHHH Hello Familia! 

So as I mentioned last week, I did get transferred. I am now serving in Ceilândia with another American, Sister Coombs. So far I love the area and Sister Coombs is awesome. The day of transfers was a blur and Sister Victorio and I got to visit only a couple of families before leaving. But, it is all good. My new apartment is huge compared to the one we had in Guará. We have another set of sisters that serve in the same ward that live with us. Sister Damiceno from Rio and Sister Melo from São Paulo. Sister Melo is fresh out of the CTM. This week has been crazy busy for Sister Coombs and I because we are both new to the area here and we are working on getting to know the members and the investigators that the sisters before us were teaching. The members here are also awesome. They really love the missionaries and they feed us way way way too much. But, I do love all the love and support we get from the members here in the ward. We really have worked a lot and  I am exhausted and really glad for a bit of rest that  I will get today! It has rained a pretty good amount, but I hear the rainy season is almost over, so that is a relief for me and my umbrella. I feel like I have some funny stories to share, but I cant think of many in this moment. So I will try to remember to write down all the funny things for next week. Easter here was also good. We didnt have any easter egg hunts which is unfortunate, but we did have lots of chocolate to eat. Anyway I am going to leave this letter a bit short, but life is good, the sisters that I am living and serving with are awesome and funny! I love you all and will strive to write better more inspired things for next time. =) 

Love you all, 

Sister Hoopes

Monday, March 25, 2013

Week 19

Hello Everyone!

So... I get to email today. I get to have my Pday too. I dont have much time, but I have a few interesting stories and pieces of information for you all. The most pressing news is that transfers (they were supposed to happen today) are going to happen tomorrow. The news of the transfer is that I will be leaving Guará and be getting a new companion. Tomorrow I will find out who my companion is and where I will be going! This is exciting, scary, and sad for me all at the same time. We were pretty certain that I would be staying here in Guará, but I guess we learned that things dont always end up how you think. This morning I started saying goodbye to folks and boy, it is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I think that today is going to involve a lot of crying. I really do love the people here. I think perhaps more than I realized.

Real fast I have a couple funny stories. 1. It rained a ton this last week. Tuesday was a particularly notable day because we left our house and seriously walked not even a block away when a bus passed us on the road and literally drenched us. It happened exactly how you would imagine in a movie. That was funny and embarrassing a little.

Another funny story of Tuesday is that we had a FHE planned with a Boliviano that lives here in Guará. We are teaching his cousin that lives with him. We got to their house and they had some other visiters. Jehovah Witnesses. Ha ha. That was awkward. I dont know exactly what is protocol in a situation like that but we left pretty quick. I thought it was pretty funny though.

I hope you guys enjoyed my awkward stories of the week and stay tuned until next week and I will let you all know where I am and who my companion is. Love you all,

Sister Hoopes

Monday, March 18, 2013

Week 18


Things here are going great. Last week was definitely a whirlwind of events though. Last Pday we spent most of the day outside of our house while some fellows came and fixed our walls. It stormed a lot. We lost power for most of the day which was not a big deal really until we returned home at the end of the night. We sat and did our daily planning with candles. It was pretty special. ha ha. Luckily the power returned by the time I got up the next day.

Tuesday we had our district meeting in Asa Sul as per usual. Luckily our bus didnt break and we made it there on time. However, of the 4 districts that meet together in Asa Sul only our district made it due to sickness in the other districts. But, it was a solid meeting. The next day we had our first mission conference- which actually meant our zone the zone of Brasília and the zone of Brasília Norte meeting in Asa Norte with president and sister Gaertner. It was good and I got to see some of my friends from the CTM that I havent seen in a while there which was quite thrilling. We did get more information about our next transfer. Which is next week. We will be receiving 8 sisters and 4 elders. Wow times are changing right. This is significant news for me because this means that for sure I will be getting a new companion and I will probably be staying here in Guará. 3 new areas will open for sisters in our mission as well which is exciting as well.

In terms of missionary work- we had a pretty successful week. We found a new family to teach that are super excited for the gospel. They have 2 sons and one is autistic. They heard about the church at the school of Samuel their autistic son via another family that has a kid in the same class. They are super nice and last night they sent us home with 2 cakes--- yes two whole cakes to eat. Ha ha.

My best news of the week is I had my first baptism! Bruna was baptized on Saturday and confirmed Sunday morning in Sacrament meeting. The whole event went really smoothly and it was aweeeeeeeeeesome. We had one investgator attend, Nilson which was great as well. One funny thing about the whole event was that Friday, the day before, sis. V and I went to fill the font in the morning. Unfortunately it was really dirty so we cleaned it. Cleaning with Sis. V is probably on my list of least favorite things to do... because she has some weird methods of cleaning. However, cleaning the font was funny because she insisted that we use dish soap even though there was other all purpose cleaner. I just went with it. The best part was that the font filled with all the water we used to clean with and then we couldnt get the soapy water to drain so we had to use buckets to empty it and refill it with new water.

Whelp folks this is all for this week. Things have been great, and the mission is going good. Next week is transferences and I am about 90 percent sure I will not be emailing. So stay tuned for all the new news of the mission when I get to email again!

Love you all,
Sister Hoopes

Monday, March 11, 2013

Week 17

Hi Family!

So this week has literally flown by for me! I have several random things to note... so be prepared for a very scattered email- Yet again. =) So first interesting news- I am pretty sure I informed everyone of my companion´s love for condiments like mayo and ketchup... well we found at the store a combinations of mayo ketchup and mustard. We bought it and she is quite content with the product. Actually, this week Sister Victorio has a lot of stuff to be happy about. On Saturday her parents and one of her brothers were baptized. She has been waiting a long time for them to be baptized, so this was wonderful news. I am not sure if they were baptized in a river like she was because they didnt send pictures... but when they do I will see if she can forward them to me so I can show you all.

This week also marked month 4 on the mission and month 9 for Sister Victorio. We are getting old. Ha ha. we celebrated this event by eating cookies and brownies because those are the only two treats I know how to make without a reciepe. It has been pretty warm here... however today it is storming again- so it´s raining quite intensely.

Okay, so for some interesting stories. Tuesdays we ride a bus to Asa Sul in Brasília to have a district meeting. This past Tuesday we got on the first bus we saw headed that direction. By sheer coincidence one recent convert that we have been visiting Sthefanie and one woman that we met a few weeks ago were both on the same bus. We talked to them both for a moment and set times to meet with them, but, I guess we were supposed to talk with them longer than a moment because in the middle of the freeway close to basically no where, our bus broke down. So we all got out and waited for another bus to come along and pick us up. It was all good though. We definitely showed up late to our meeting, but it all worked out quite well.

Random funny story. The other night I woke up to Sister Victorio laughing. Hysterically. She was definitely asleep and she laughed for at least 5 minutes. I didnt know what to do. So I just laid there and waited for her to stop. I asked her the next day what she was dreaming about and she said she was teaching the Restauration to an investigator. Hmmm. The whole situation was funny to me.

So in other news our mission is receiving 8 new sisters in 2 weeks. Crazy. Right now we have 19 so we are definitely growing in numbers. This week we have a baptism planned for an investigar Bruna so hopefully next week I will have pictures of my first official fruit of the mission!!
Love you all and stay in touch,

Sister Hoopes

Monday, March 4, 2013

Week 16

Hello Family!

Today is good. This week has been awesome. And missionary work is progressing here in Guará II! The sun is shining the weather is perfect and all is well. My extreme happiness began last pday when I got a package from home. I dont know how to describe the joy of receiving a package. I mean I enjoyed mail and getting packages in the mail before the mission, but getting a package these days is inexpressable joy. I think I finally understand how Katniss felt during the hunger games when she got a backpack full of stuff. Anyway this week I have some new clothes, dark chocolate caramels, mail and a few other much desired items. I will try to send a picture so you all can really experience the joy I have right now!

Anyway news here in Brazil. It did rain a lot a few days last week and I took a picture with one of the rivers aka roads that we got to walk on so I will try to attach that as well. We have been super super busy this week. We have 4 people that we are preparing for baptism and somehow it feels like all of our investigators live at all the different edges of our area so we walk A LOT. But, its all good. The people here are great. Yesterday, we had some really spiritual lessons with our investigators. I also got to take the lead teaching an investigator for the first time yesterday. We had read the tree of life vision with this family last week and we labeled a picture of the all the different parts of the vision. Their homework was to find the interpretations of the dream and we talked about the interpretations yesterday. It was really awesome. At the end I asked them where they think they are in the dream and they all said at the rod. I asked them where the rod leads and they said the tree of life and the gospel. It was awesome and spiritual. One funny part is that Victor an 11 year old in the family is convinced the that fruit in the vision are bananas because bananas are white when you peel them.... ha ha ha.

So life is good. I got letters this last week too. Most of them were from December that got forwarded to me from the CTM. I was pretty thrilled so you all keep up the letter writing... but send them to the mission home! Love you all! Have a wonderful week.

Love, Sister Hoopes

Monday, February 25, 2013

Week 15

Hi Family! If this email makes it to you it will be a miracle. Right now it is storming in Guará and the internet was out all morning and when we returned this afternoon it died right after we got on. We waited an hour for it to come back on and here we are. I am semi confident I can get this sent, so we will give it a whirl!I My letter last week was definitely lacking in content and for that I apologize. I have a few things to note this week that hopefully will keep you all interested in my life.
This week we met with our district. Our new elder is another Brazilian... Elder Spironeli I think that is how it is spelled. He is a pretty cool fellow. He likes to speak English and he will be returning to BYU the same time I will be. It looks like I will have a friend still in school after all when I get back!
Birthday news. Sister Victorio´s was a success I think. We woke up and she took a shower first and I decorated her desk with balloons and a made a banner out of postits that said happy birthday. I also bought her a jumprope that she has been wanting. It was a real feat buying it without her seeing it but I did it. I will attach photos either today or next week if I dont have time. I also made brownies and cookies. She really likes cookies. The elders in our district made mousse and bought her a cake and then later in the night we went to the bishops house and his wife prepared a surpise party with more cake and food. It was awesome. Basically, on the mission if your companion has a birthday it is like you are having a birthday because we are stuck together. Wonderful. I bit much on the sugar part I think though.
One funny story. My ability to converse it improving, not super rapidly, but it is happening. The other day we had lunch at the house of a member who´s husband is not a member. He is a super intelligent man and I think he just refuses to pray about the Book of Mormon because he is a afraid of the responsibilty he will have after he knows for a fact it is true. He is a non practicing catholic and was explaining ´´their book´´ and I was confused becasue I was pretty sure he was talking about the bible which we also have. So I decided I wanted to know for sure if he was talking about the bible or not so I asked him if he was talking about the bible and he said yes and I followed up saying essencially, just this? It was funny. They all laughed. Reading this now it is not very funny. But, it was really funny so pretend you were there and laugh.
Another funny story. We are teaching a woman named Rossy. Her two kids are awesome and are also already members of the church. We had a family home evening with them and we played a game where one person writes a sentence and you pass the paper and the next person has to draw the sentence. Someone wrote ´´A girl dreaming about the United States´´ (it wasn´t me I swear) Anyway Rossy drew a girl with a dreamcloud of... the Eiffel Tower. Ha ha ha. It was really funny. In other news I think that she will be baptized here soon which is great news.
Finally, one spiritualish story. We run into this fellow Joilton all over the place when we are walking. He is a pretty nice fellow. We were walking to the chapel the other day to meet a member and we saw him. We stopped and talked for a minute and I asked him if he wanted to see the inside of the church. He did and it was awesome. I think that he really enjoyed seeing the inside and next week he said he will come to church with us. Awesome.
Anyway, this is all for now. I love you all. Tomorrow we will be getting our mail so I will let you all know if I got your letters or not next week!

Sister Hoopes

PS My address is:

Sister Kristen Hoopes
Missão Brasil Brasília
Shin-CA 05 Lote B1
Sala 304/307
CEP 71503-505-Brasília DF Brasil

Monday, February 18, 2013

Week 14

Hello! Good Morning. Good Morning. Good Afternoon. or Goodnight.

I dont really have much to report on this week. We did however receive the news of the transferences and Sister Victiorio and I will be staying put in Guará II. I am glad because we still have more work to do and I think that we both are finally comfortable finding houses and such without staring at a map for 10 minutes and we are getting to know the ward members pretty good here. Of the 6 in our zone only one... Elder Amon got transferred this morning. Its a good thing that I like my district! I forgot to wish everyone a Happy Valentines Day last week, so happy belated Valentines to you all. I wore pink just in case it would be a big thing here, but it wasnt. Adila the wife to the bishop here said that there Valentines is in June, so perhaps I will whip out the pink shirt again for that occasion. On Wednesday Sister Victorio and I rode an assortment of omnibuses to Lago Norte to meet with President Gaertner so Sis. V could renew her temple recommend. It was good, none of the assistants were in the office because it was there pday, so I separated the mail for the assistants while she had her interview. I am sure they will appreciated that I aphabatized the stack. Yesterday we had a time change. This caused quite a bit of confusion for us because Sis. V never had a time change before in Bolivia and I was pretty sure that this time of year we ´´spring forward´´ and lose an hour. However, apparently they do things backwards here and we gained an hour. So yesterday I enjoyed one extra hour of sleep and I definitely wont complain about that! Tomorrow is Sister V´s birthday so I will try to come up with something clever to make her day excellent, but as of now the ideas have not come. So with any luck I will have a worthwhile story to share next week concerning this milestone for my companion! Sorry this update is short. But life is good, the mission is good, Portuguese is borderline... but is improving for sure, missionary work is good- hopefully we will be having some baptisms here soon, and the weather is definitely warming up! I love you all, and I hope that you all have written me letters and sent them and that I will receive them all tomorrow in our district meeting.


Com Amor,

Sister Hoopes

Monday, February 11, 2013

Week 13

Family and Friends! Hello!
Another week has passed quite quickly for me here in Guará II. Right now in Brazil Carnaval is in full swing. I am not exactly sure of everything that goes on during Carnaval, I just know there is a lot of music, dancing and drinking. For us missionaries that means fewer hours of work at night. We have spent most of the extra time we have gotten this week cleaning and studying. Both activities were definitely needed, but I kind of feel like one of those people who actually stay home and clean during Spring Break! Ha ha, but all is well. Despite the few short days we have had, we have put in some solid hours of missionary work. Sister Victorio and I decided that this week would be the best week of the transference and I think we achieved that for sure. We met some really great people and worked like crazy. Here are a few highlights of the week:

1. Last Zone conference of the transfer and a training meeting with President Gaertner. Both of these were awesome and I think we all learned a lot that got to participate. The meeting with the president was really good. All of us that arrived in January were there and it was good to see everyone and the progress that we have all made in the language and such. I enjoyed it quite a bit!

2. Meeting People Prepared for our Message. This week we met three sets of people that are awesome and I am really excited for. Plinio is a man who actually came to the church last Sunday to get a BOM and we met with him on Tuesday and he was already in 2 Nefi! That was thrilling. Rossy and Evandro are a couple we met this week. Both of their kids are members and are awesome. I think that they are ready for the gospel right now for sure. We have had two pretty solid lessons with them and they are planning on all coming to church as a family next week! Finally, Christine and Irene. An older mother and daughter we met a week or two ago knocking doors. As it turns out Irene received a BOM 15 years ago and the missionaries never came back to talk to her after! Crazy anyway the lesson was great, we had left a Restauration pamphlet and Christine practically taught us the lesson. AWESOME.

3. Meeting People I Will Probably Never Forget. Sandra. This woman invited us to come talk to her when we were walking down the street. We did and she is super eccentric and has several different religions. She said that right now she is in the process of becoming Buddhist. And she talked a lot! But, one thing I thought was funny was that she believes that 1. Jesus Christ was black because they didnt have sunscreen. 2. Jesus was a feminist because he defended the women. I think it was just funny mainly because of how passionate she was about these two theories she is pretty certain on. Funny. She was great though. She read the intro to the BOM and is going to read and pray about the BOM.

4. Being in the right place at the right time. We worked a little late one day this week. We were aways from our house and teaching a lesson. We left at 9 pm. Absolute latest we are to return to our house is 930. We knew we wouldnt make it walking so we went to a bus stop and this woman said the next bus wouldnt stop there for an hour. So we started hustling home on foot. Luckily a few blocks down the road an bus came up behind us and we waved it down. We got on a got a lot closer to our house but the bus didnt go all the way. It started to turn a different way to end its route. We ended up getting off the bus in the middle of the road and running literally running home in the dark for about a mile. It was crazy. Funny now but crazy. We were 2 minutes late. But it was definitely a valiant effort if you ask me.

All in all things here are good. I am happy. My companion is awesome and works so hard to help me which is a huge blessing. I am loving the people here in Guará II more and more each day which is also awesome.

Until next week,
Sister Hoopes

PS If you all dont here from me next week then you will know that I have transferred areas. This is unlikely, but deifinitely possible... so no one worry!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 12

Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea I will help thee; yeah I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteosness

So hello everyone! All is well with me this week. Mission work this week has been a little hit and miss though. Right now we have 8 progressing investigators and not one of them made it to church this week=( But all is well. I think you guys probably want to hear a little more about these people I have been teaching so I will give a little summary of all of them:

Luciana e Erisvaldo. This is a couple. They have 3 kids and one is 8 and the rest are younger. They are both awesome and ready to be baptized along with their son. Right now they are working on getting married officially so they can be baptized. Luciana mom is coming this month for this, so we should have 3 baptisms as soon as this is all complete.

Adimar and Joesel. These are two fellows that are friends. Adimar is an older man who is a little older and super intelligent. He has received all the lessons and believes the BOM is true and is the word of God, but he still hasn received an answer about baptism. He has been baptized before and believes it is an abomination to be baptized again. We have a date set for the 16th for him to be baptized. I think he will be ready, but I am not sure. Fingers crossed. Joesel is his friend that he invited to listen in on the lessons. Joesel has a really cute family we met the other day. His wife is super Evangelic, however his only impediment with receiving the gospel is understanding priesthood authority. Kind of linked to the problem of Adimar. These men are both super smart and love to read the BOM so I am optimistic about them both.

Genult- Genult is a man who we found looking for a reference. We wound up finding out his mom is a member of the church who has been afastado for 20 years! She is coming back to church every Sunday now which is awesome. Genult has a problem with drinking, a serious one. All last week we found him all over the place sitting with friends bebido or drunk. Rough, but we shall see.

Francisco. Francisco has received all the lessons and has a baptism date for the 16th as well. Hopefully this will work out, but we shall see. He has been having problems with finding a place to live. As of now we have been teaching him at the house of one of his friends sometimes, but mostly in the street in front of a shop.

Marie Eduarda is a 13 year old girl we found this week. She has been to church 2 times before with other missionaries, but we cant find a record for her. She lives with her 17 year old sister. Its a rough situation. Her mom and her sister both just had babies and their house is really really lacking in many ways. And they have rats. Rats which freak me out a little.

Okay this is the update of the main people we have so far. Now for an update of the events of this week passed:

1. Last pday we went and visited a Mayan Exhibit which was pretty cool. I think I will be able to forward some pictures from my companion today so we shall see. We went with Raquel a member of the ward here. Raquel is awesome she has taught with us a lot. She just got her mission call this week and is going to Rio! Really really awesome.

2. I learned the importance of bringing an umbrella always. Sis. V and I both forgot ours earlier this week. It was sunny and all was good. We were pretty far from our house and were walking to an appointment when it started to rain. and rain. and rain. We ended up having to turn back to get new clothes because we were soaked. We walked about two miles in some intense rain. I am sure it was a spectacle for the cars passing by and the people sitting in their houses! Needless to say. I will strive not to forget the umbrella again!

3. Our shower had issues this passed week. The hot water wire caught on fire while I was taking a shower. Freaky! So my companion has been heating up water and towell bathing this week and I have been using agua fria. Luckily yesterday Irm Thales a man in the ward fixed it for us, so this morning I had a nice warm shower to start off the week good!

4. Culture gap. We went to eat lunch out this week. This is cool I like doing this... the weird part is that my companion always sits next to people who are already sitting at a table. I am not sure if that is normal in brazil or just normal in bolivia. But, it is definitely not normal in the US! ha ha.

5. I made cookies for the first time in the mission this week. My companion really loves cookies and has never made them before. That is strange right? Everyone makes cookies. Even me the girl who can cook!

6. Final news of the week, a sister in the ward gave us some clothes! That was really exciting to get new clothes. Mission clothes get old fast. I have learned that pretty quick here!

Anyway this is all for now. I hope that you all are doing great. Write me, too. I just got letters from Chelsey and Mary this week that made me extremely happy. I took a picture. That is how happy I was/am!

Love you all,
Sister Hoopes

Monday, January 28, 2013

Week 11

Oí folks! 

So things here in Guará are going well. Well... well considering my Portuguese is still a bit rough. But, I am understanding people better and better everyday. One of the women in our ward flew to SLC and got back a couple day. She said it was cold, but that the snow was beautiful and she got to go to City Creek Mall which she was pretty excited for. It sounds like things are pretty cold there. I hope you all are all enjoying the winter and warm houses and blankets. I like all of those things! Here it is still raining. I guess the rainy season lasts till April ish and then begins the 6 ish months of the dry season. So I should enjoy cooler weather for now. It really is quite rainy though! Okay, time for a couple stories- 

1. We always ask members and investigators if we can help them do anything- like work around the house or whatever. 90 percent of the time people turn us down and say oh no worries. We are supposed to have service hours so its a little rough when no one accepts our help, but we were visiting an investigator and her husband wasnt home for the appointment we had yet so she asked us to help her do laundry. She seriously had a bed full of laundry... a whole ton. We ironed all of it. I dont even know how to iron that well, but I am pretty sure none of the clothing items we ironed needed to be ironed. It took quite a while too. Writing this out this story doesnt sound that funny. But it is... I promise. More about laundry. Another woman we had a lunch appt. with had us help her. She had S. Victorio make juice and had me fold laundry that was on the line. All the laundry were underwear and such. In summary... I am not all together too comfortable with doing the laundry of other people. 

2. We went and visited some references of the ward missionaries. Two of the ladies that we visited were very talkative. VERY VERY talkative. Even if I couldnt speak any Potuguese I dont think they would have even noticed. That is how much they talk. Anyway, one of the women while we were at her house, she was very animated and enthusiastic about gospel and and the end of our lesson she asked if she could say the closing prayer. We said yes and she stood up and started saying this really loud preachy kind of prayer. I had my head bowed so I couldnt see what was going on but all of the sunday she put her hands on my head and started blessing me. I was a bit strange. She said nice things, but I was too stunned for words. This is by far the longest prayer I have ever experienced. Ever. ha ha ha 

3. So we went and visited the bishop and his wife. After we decided we would stop by and see the bishops mom who lives in a little house just in front of theirs. We knocked and she asked who it was ... We called out and identified ourselves and she opened the door... butt-naked. She had not one single item of clothing on! Oh my lanta. That was...I dont even know what to say about that. But its funny now I guess! 

4. Running into the Elders. So we are the only missionaries in Guará 2, but there are two sets of elders in Guará 1 the city proximal to us. We were finding an investigator in an appartment complex. We paged up and her mom said she wasnt home but that we could come up. I started to walk in the door and someone called out my name behind me and it was a set of elders in our district,  Elder Amon and Elder Bell! That was exciting. They were going to the exact same apartment to help move some furniture for a man living in their area. It was pretty exciting to see them and we helpe them move a bed and desk down 4 flights of stairs. My district here is pretty awesome. They are all really nice. We have 3 americans and 2 brazilians and 1 bolivian. 

5. Last night we had our first baptism in Guará. Elder Tippetts and Elder B. Gomes had been teaching this woman Adriana. It was really cool to go to a legitimate baptism here in Brasil. The ward mission leader asked me to lead the music. I did--- but I am terrible at everything musical. I think people just automatically assume I know how to play the piano and lead music and such...but I definitely cant. Elder Bell and Tippetts were laughing the whole time I was leading because they knew I had no idea what I was doing. But, its all good! 

Other than this things are going well in the mission. I walk a lot. It rains a lot. And the people in Brasil are awesome! Love you guys, dont forget to stay in touch! 

Sister Hoopes

Monday, January 21, 2013

Week 10

Happy Holiday Folks! 

Thought of the day:  

If you are not as close to God today as you were yesterday, guess who moved!

Life in Brazil is going good! I made a list of different experiences that I had this week that I think are pretty noteworthy so I will begin with that: 

 1. Lizard. So there are lots of really cool lizards here. I enjoyed seeing them climbing on walls and moving around outside... but the other night we returned home and we immediately started doing our planning for the next day. We start our planning sessions by kneeling down by our desks and saying a prayer. I knelt down and I am really glad I looked before I got all the way on the floor because I found a lizard on the floor. I didnt go as crazy as I did with the cockroach in the shower at the ctm, but I was pretty taken aback. I actually caught the lizard in a bag and put it outside. You all should be proud. I also took a picture so I will try to send that as well. 

2. The members in the ward provide lunch for us which I am really grateful for. We usually go to the house of the family and they prepare some large meal with rice and beans and salad and some sort of meat. Usually good. But, this week one of the sisters in the ward came and picked us up and took us out of our area to a shopping center to OUTBACK Steakhouse. Ah, it was so good! We ate so much and it was so delicious and I knew exactly what I was eating. It was awesome. The woman that took us her name is Laura and she is an English professor which is awesome because we can communicate fully.  

3. Cat and Bluebird. Okay this is a weird one. So Sister Victorio and I were visiting an investigator for the first time that actually called us to come teach. His name is Adimar. He is awesome and definitely ready to be baptized, but is preoccupied because he has already been baptized before and does thinks it is an abomination to be baptized again. Other sisters have visited before and he really likes the missionary program we have in our church and really respects that the young people of our church leave everything to serve the church for this time. Anyway back to the story. We sat outside on his patio area for the lesson and while we were talking his cat came up with a bluebird in its mouth. This bluebird was dead... I am pretty sure it died a death by cat... but it was pretty large. Like bigger than the head and neck of the cat. Anyway I sat there and watched the cat eat that entire bluebird on the patio. I was the only one that was facing that direction and I didnt know if I should say something... like oh hey... your cat is eating a large bird on your patio is that okay? I ended up not saying anything at all. It was really gross to watch... but I stayed composed and the lesson went well. 
4. Mayonnaise Ketchup and Mustard...and butter. (Sorry is I spell anything wrong... this computer says I spell everything wrong because it is set to portuguese) But these three condiments are much loved by my companion. I think I may have said this last week... But nothing I could have said could possibly describe her love for these things. One of our lunches fell through last week and so we ate some fruit and had bread. I just put a little butter on my bread and heated it up. She loaded her bread with these condiments all of them nothing else and ate it. Another borderline horrific spectacle! Just kidding... but really strange. I have a picture of her pizza with mayonnaise ketchup and mustard that I will also try to attach! 

5. Carlos... Carlos is a menos ativo member of the church. We found his name on a list and went to visit him. He was crazy. Seriously crazy and kept saying things like Mentiras and christ is dead and everything we believe is wrong because he found some sort of information on the internet. We got out quick but he was loco. 

6. I still dont speak super well. Actually I still speak pretty bad, but I understand what people are saying for the most part. We were walking and started talking to these girls around 8 to 10 ish years old. Sister V. spoke first and they started laughing at her because her pronunciation of portuguese has a spanish accent. They didnt understand her when she asked a question... they looked at me expectantly and I asked the question again for them... and they laughed at me too. I was not altogether too pleased that little kids thought I was stupid because my language was rough. Perhaps that will be enough motivation to try harder! 

7. Morning Hymns. Ha ha ha. Really though. Sister V and I sing a hymn every morning and it is terrible. Sometimes I know what the tune is supposed to be but trying to sing the tune and the right words in Portuguese is difficult for me and she is not particularly musically inclined either. I am just glad no one else has to hear it. 

8. First Portuguese telephone call. I actually talked on the phone in portuguese! Not a long conversation. But, apparently Ben called the mission office last week because my pday was so delayed? All is well here. I am alive and I guess sometimes pdays will get switched so dont get worried about me! 

Okay these are my stories for now! The people here in Guara 2 are awesome. We have a few progressing investigators and we know a lot more people in the ward now. We are a lot better at finding places here now too which is good. I walk a lot... unfortunately the mission is not a solid weight loss program for us! I learned the word gordinho... But... all is well =) 

I love you all and hope that you all are doing well! You should all send me real letters to my mission home address because I like letters and such! 
Love Sister Hoopes

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hello from Guara 2: Week 9

Hello Everyone!

I feel like it has been forever since I have talked to you all! I have made it to my first area Guará 2. It is a city proximal to the city of Brasília and about 20 or 30 minutes from the mission home. I am going to recap my life in order hopefully quick ish. So my last week at the CTM was great. We had a lot of non-study time which was excellent and we got to go and proselyte on a major street in São Paulo. I think the neighborhood is called Barriga. We went as a district with a Brazillian district on the omnibus. The first person that I talked to came up to me and she knew English really well so it was a pretty awesome. It felt like people came up to me more than I approached them which really helped build my confidence leaving the ctm. One lady on the omnibus on our way back to the CTM grabbed my arm and stopped me to sit by her. She didnt know anything about our religion so I talked to her about it and gave her a Book of Mormon. She was super happy to receive it and she wound up giving me some sort of nutrigrain sort of bar before I left. That was a little weird, but still good. On our trip our instructors took us to McDonalds and got us all icecream which was super delicious.

We left the CTM early on Tuesday morning. The flight to Brasília was maybe an hour and a half. super fast. I think 10 or 12 of us travelled there together. There were a lot of us arriving that day. Maybe half of us were North Americans and the rest were Brazillians. President and Sister Gaertner were at the airport with the APs to meet us. They are both super nice and fortunately both bilingual. We ate lunch at the mission home which is huge and beautiful, got interviewed and were assigned our areas during the interviews. I was the last sister to be interviewed so I dont know if President Gaertner would have put me someone different had he realized I am retarded in the most literal sense with Portuguese. But, all is well! My first area is Guará 2 as I mentioned before. It is the same area Sister Sargeant (she is a sister from Tamies home ward) served in for her first area I think. The members here liked her alot. Anyway my companion is Sister Victorio... a Bolivian. This is significant in many ways. First, I will say that she is awesome. Legitimately a sincerely happy and energetic person. I really like that. The only difficulties we have is that her native language is Spanish. Mine is English. We are both still learning Portuguese. And she doesnt speak any English. I mean 0 percent. CRAZY. Somehow we can still communicate. Her Portuguese is pretty good though but she has a strong accent. She has been in the field for 5 months and I am her first Junior companion and also the first person she gets to train! Asside from a slight language barrier... we are both brand new to Guará. We didnt know any people here and only had a list of the investigators the last sisters had and a list of inactive members. We have walked around a ton figuring out where places are and meeting ward members and trying to find our investigators. We have also got to knock doors... which means clap at the gates to these peoples houses. I dont know how they can possibly hear us! It is cleaner here than São Paulo and greener too. It has rained the last 3 days straight which means I have spent most of my afternoons quite wet from the rain! 

Things are going well. My Portuguese is terrible still, but I am working really hard even though a lot of people kind of laugh at me when I try to say things that I havent said before. The ward mission leader and another girl in the ward know English so luckily they can help me understand some things better if I have questions! This is all for now, next week  I will send pictures for you all! 

Love you all, 

Sister Hoopes 

PS Send mail to the mission home for me now! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year-Week 8

Feliz Novo Ano!

We made it through another year! Things at teh CTM have been going well. President Degn didn't want any missionaries out on New Years so my final p-day got moved to today (wednesday). After the fireworks and canons I experienced the night before Christmas, I figured New Years was going to be really crazy. It might have been, but I have no idea because I went to bed that night and heard some fireworks and next thing I knew I was waking up the next morning. Someone must have put something in our brownies that night because none of the sisters in my room heard anything. (just joking about the brownies, but we really didn't wake up to anything)

So, last night someone pulled the firealarm...again. Yep, again. This is the second time in 2 weeks I think. Everytime people get crazy when the alarm goes off. I have no idea why. There is clearly no fire. I think next time I will just skip the evacuation and stay in my room. That is if there is a next time...

This week I am leaving Sao Paulo and traveling to Brasilia finally! I am really excited and nervous. I still don't know what to expect. I don't know where I am going area wise yet either. I don't know what day my pday will be either. So give me all the way through next week before you all start getting worried about not hearing from me. Not that you should ever worry... I am pretty sure I am in good hands.

Funny story of the week. In class our instructor split the district into two groups and gave us a desert scenario in which we had to put in order of importance a list of items that were available to use. After we would have to explain to the other group why we chose what we did. I could see that my group was having problems agreeing on what items were most important so I convinced them to just be funny and put the items in alphabetical order. They all were in and we decided that we would stay as serious as possible and give ridiculous reasons why we chose what we did. The other team was serious in their answers which made it funny because they couldnt understand why water was so far down on our list. They were so confused especially when we said we needed the water so we could wash our hands and faces. It was funny.