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