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