Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fonseca, Niteroi October 1, 2012

Fonseca. Niterói
I was transferred.... again!!! Can I tell you just how much I have come to love Cabo Frio and the members/investigators/EVERYONE here!!! Ha. I think that´s the thing about serving a mission, you always have to say goodbye to someone!!! So... It looks like I´ll be serving with Sister C in Fonseca - Niterói. So, like Cabo Frio, it used to be an Elder´s ward and we´ll be transferrred in together - so I figure it´ll probably be similar to this transfer, just somewhere else.... The first couple of weeks its super fun trying to figure out everything all at once....
Well... I love you all!

Yesterday, we had the baptism of C.  I wish that you could all meet her!  We made a contact with her sister a couple of weeks ago and marked to teach her. So we got to their  house, talked to them a little bit and told them about our purpose (which includes baptism). And so the first thing she said to us is that - I already have my church, but I´ll listen. She had been going to the baptist church. So yeah - we taught them, and taught a couple of things to her, invited them to church and she said yeah, I´ll try it out. So the two of them went to church on Sunday and really liked it. During sacrament meeting N (C's sister) turned to her and said that it really brought a peace. So we went back with a member that night, who really helped involve her in the activities in the church. And then we went back later that week - when we got there, she was reading out of the gospel principles book and studying that with the scriptures in the bible/Book of Mormon (she´s almost done already and it´s only been a week since she got it!!!). and so we were just sitting there talking for a few minutes and she brought up the subject of baptism. It was awesome! I´ve never had that happen before! So we told her a little bit about how it worked and set the day for sunday. She has such a big desire to change her life, it is wonderful!  . I am so happy for her that she is receiving the gospel! It will be so good for her! and that the ward received her so well! Her baptism was absolutely wonderful!!! perfect, really. She was presented with home and visiting teachers and everyone made her feel SO welcome! I love it :)Imagem 010.jpg
The only problem with being a missionary though, is that you are always gonna be the first one to be put on the spot.... We walked into an activity that they had for the youth for two minutes and the guy who was talking pointed us out and had us come up to the front to share our testimonies about seminary/the scriptures. awesome. Ha. and then in the baptism, our ward mission leader was presenting the program - and the period after the baptism, where they go to change clothes, he just announced (without telling either of us first) that the missionaries would teach the restoration during that time. ha ha, great :)
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Yeah, I do get to watch conference :) I am so excited for it!! I´m not sure if it´ll be in Portuguese or English though - I´m kind of thinking Portuguese cause my companion will be Brazilian.

September 24, 2012

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On p-day we were able to go to the beach, cause we have that in our area (the closest we can get to it though is on the other side of the street).
The pictures I attached are from Arraial do Cabo. and its gorgeous. Hopefully the pictures attached right :)
This is actually the first lan house I´ve been to that lets you open any sort of pen drive....
Also, the post office is on strike (as is the federal police and all the banks). But that just means I have to wait to send any letters to anyone, which stinks.
I love it when people are willing and ready to keep promises! haha. So we were teaching an investigator about the word of wisdom earlier this week and the only thing he really had a problem with was coffee. It was cool though because after we answered his questions about it, he said ´as of now, I´m done drinking coffee. I´ve given it up´. The best. Ever.
Oh yeah. So Thursday - we had a really awful thunderstorm here. We were walking out of the church, turned and saw pitch black clouds behind us and went back in to ask for the weather forecast and not even two minutes later did it start pouring rain. And I mean POURING. It just kept going and going. But yeah, the lights in the church went off (but there were emergency lights, so we could still see). Anyways, once the rain quieted down to something a little more normal, an irmão walked us home with his flashlight, which was so awesome of him! - we live about forty minutes walking distance from the church on a normal day. Anyways, some of the streets were flooded with water so we got to dodge around all of that, which was fun :). Anyways, we made it home safe and sound. There was still no electricity though in our house, so we got a candle from our neighbor, but then shortly thereafter everything came back on. So we were even able to take a hot shower. But yeah, I loved it all! :)
If you´re even the slightest bit worried about us here, don´t be. Cause. The Lord was definitely with us to not get caught in that storm and was watching out for us the whole day! The next day everything was fine and we just got back to work! :)st 010.jpg
  I love Rio. I love serving a mission, being a missionary, and helping people come unto Christ!
And... I love YOU!
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September 17,2012

Brazil World Cup Soccer Team
Well... I love you all! How are you all doing? Is there anything specific that you want to know about Brasil/ Rio de Janeiro / my area or anything really? Let me know and I´ll try to answer them :)

So this week has been good. Last night we had a fireside with the members about missionary work. We gave about a thirty minute lesson and afterwards the Bishop talked. He did a really good job to get everyone excited and helped them all feel a part of a family home evening that we´re going to do as a ward in two weeks. He got everyone there to help with a game/ the food/ and gave everyone invites (and copies of the book of mormon) to give to all of their friends. It was pretty sweet. Our Bishop here is AWESOME. He has a really big vision for this area and really wants to see the ward grow.

Thanks for all your prayers, I love you all!

September 10, 2012

Manaus Temple
So... I´m doing good :) And everything is going well here in Cabo Frio. I love my companion, Sister Di - from Pennsylvania. Haha, I think its so funny that whenever she says where she´s from people automatically think of the vampires from Dracula (which is actually transylvania). Its really funny. Same thing with texas though - I always get asked about the cowboys and farms and such. It´s actually hilarious though, I love it.

But yeah. The work is going well. We´re working with several families right now - two of them are working on their papers to get married (and then they can get baptized! which they are so excited for :). Marriage is a big process here - its super expensive and usually takes a couple of months so its pretty common to find couples that have been together for 28 years or so, but just not legally married.

Oh. and we also taught a lady, T this week. She was a contact we made, but as we were teaching her, she got super interested - she said that she left the church she was attending because the pastor one day decided that he was an apostle, but she didn´t know where he got the authority to call himself an apostle. And so we taught a lot about how the authority has been restored again to the earth with the first lesson and of course invited her the read and pray. Anyways Sister Di was explaing about the commitment, to read and pray, saying that she could know for herself that these things are true if she would do this and that we could lie to her, but God, being perfect, can´t. But her response was that she knew that we weren´t lying to her and ´why have I never heard this before´! It´s true though. I think that if I hadn´t grown up in the church, that would be exactly my response when I found it. I really believe the scripture that says that some people are held from the truth because, like T, they know not where to find it.

I love our church though and that we can know for ourselves (and don´t have to take anyone´s word for it) that the message of the restoration is true, - that we really do have the authority of God again upon the earth, that He is leading the church today through a living prophet, and that we have the authority to perform the ordinances (like baptism e etc.) to return back to our Father in Heaven and live with Him and our families forever!

We have been teaching a couple this week - G and R who are so interested in this, that they can be together forever. And I love that it´s possible!

September 3, 2012


Well... I love you all!! and I love being a missionary! I know that
this is the Lord´s work and everyday as I teach and testify here it
becomes more and more real to me that we have the actual church of
Jesus Christ here on the earth - the church that He is guiding through
living prophets. And I am so grateful for this miracle and blessing
in our lives.

So today was a fun day........ Sister Di had to go to the federal
police station to renew her visa, but guess what? we got down there to
find that they were all on strike... haha. But it was a fun day of
travel - pretty much four hours there and four back - that´s why I am
writing so late... But the KFC definitely made it worth it :)

Cabo Frio, August 27, 2012

Cabo Frio
Well... turns out that I LOVE Cabo Frio. First of all, it is absolutely GORGEOUS. I don´t know if you´ve seen pictures of it yet or not, but it has several beaches and well... its beautiful. I think its more of a touristy town and so everything is expensive. So we got here on Tuesday and were welcomed by our LMA. We have a wonderful ward and they all seem super excited to help with missionary work. We´ve gone out with the members almost everyday and they´re helping us to find all the houses of our investigators (since we´re both new here) and everything. They´re also super great at giving references, which helps a lot :) ha. Sister Di and I had to give a talk in church yesterday....... yeah. That was fun..... :). Sis Di is awesome! She is from Pennsylvania and has two more transfers left on the mission. Her parents are coming to pick her up I think.

ha. but our area actually covers seven cities...... it´s gigantic! I thought my last area was big, but here it takes us forty minutes just to get from our house to the church!! it´s crazy.

Transferred! August 20, 2012


Cabo Frio

so... guess what?? I`M BEING TRANSFERRED!! Definitely not at all what I expected - at all - I thought that I would stay here in Comari with a new companion (of course, cause Sister Dis leaving - she already finished her mission....). Sister Di will be my new companion - she is american, not sure where she is from though. We were in the same zone the past two transferences, but I don´t really know her very well yet. And... we´ll be serving in Cabo Frio - a city outside of Rio in the Macaé zone..... So strange!! I love Comari and it will be so weird to switch areas! but... the Lord knows better than I do :) All the missionaries being transferred will meet at the Rodoviario (a huge bus station type thing at the center of Rio) and there, I´ll have to say goodbye to Sister D and leave with Sister Di to our new area. We´ll both be new there... and from then ... trabalhar! :)

Man. I am so sad that Sister D is leaving!!! Her mom is coming to pick her up from the mission and she´ll stay until Saturday here in Comari and her other areas. I´m really glad that we got to be companions these past two transferences. I´ve learned so much from her!!!

August 13,2012

Flavors of Brazil
Oi família!!!
Eu amo vocês!
 Wellll.... Everything is going well here for me in Rio de Janeiro. - It´s amazing the influence that members have in missionary work. When members are involved.... well, everything works out a lot better. They have automatic membership and friendship as well as people to answer their questions when we´re not there.... so yeah - don´t forget the influence that you have as a member of the church of Jesus Christ to help others come to know Him! :)
My companion, Sister D finishes her mission next week!!! Ahh! It makes me so sad that we won´t be companions anymore :( I´ll find out who my next companion will be on Monday, as well as whether or not I´ll be switching areas..... I think that I´ll probably end up staying here though, which would be way awesome - I LOVE the people here!!! :) ha. It´s kind of scary not knowing if I´ll be transfered or not, or where I´ll end up... :/ but... the good thing is - It´s all in the Lord´s hands!!!
Ha. so you asked the other week if I ever had to give a talk in sacrament meeting? well.. I gave my first one yesterday - it only had to be about five minutes though, which was good. And it actually went pretty well - at least people said that they understood what I was saying... haha. But yeah, its kind of cool to see that when the spirit is in a certain situation - it is SO much easier to understand what people are saying and to be understood.

August 6, 2012

When I think of Rio, I think of the movie.
So this week has been great! The miracle of the week: Sister F was baptized!!!!! I love her :) She was the eternal investigator that I was talking about - and apparently she has been investigating the church for six years!!!! Man! But yeah, all-in-all we actually only met with her four times before her baptism - and one was for the interview!! The first couple of times, she said the same thing - that she would think about a day and talk with her family but didn´t seem too sure about it, but after the third lesson on Jesus Christ, she accepted! Right now she is living with her sister and her sister´s daughter and their family - all who are active members of the church! Her sister cried when she accepted. It was so cool! So. I´m not sure exactly what made the difference this time around, but she said that God answered her and she was super excited for her baptism and confirmation!!! And I am super excited for her! I learned a little more about God´s love for us and how happy he is when we choose to follow Him!! I know that this church is true and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am serving this mission for Him! and I love this work - inviting people to come unto Him! Better than anything :)

July 30, 2012

Mission Photos

We had a really wonderful conference this week with Elder Costa. I learned a lot - but one of my favorite talks was by his wife. She said that her dream was always to tour the missions where her children were serving and proceeded to ´pretend´ to be our mothers asking various questions about how and what we were doing, why we were serving our missions. Anyways, I hope that I am serving a mission that you would be proud of! I´m obviously not perfect, but I am learning. I love you mom. Thank you so much for all of the things that you have taught me.  And thank you for the emphasis that you and dad always put on family - we´ve had some of the best family activities over the years! I love showing that picture of our family to people we took at Lisa´s wedding and people always have to stop and count and then ask which ones are my brothers and sisters. haha. and sometimes they think I´m Laura :) haha. but anyways, I love how you guys always made it important for us to take the time to visit our extended family even when circumstances were difficult.


This week we taught what you would call an ´eternal investigator´. She´s already taken all of the lessons and goes to church all the time, but just never made the decision to be baptized. Anyways she moved in recently with some of her other family members and they made all of the difference. We challenged her to choose a date to be baptized and she´ll be giving her answer tonight! aaahhh!!!

July 23, 2012


Everything is going great here in Rio!! I love it here. My companion is the best and I love my area. We have a baptism this Saturday for B - a young girl.  This girl will work miracles in her family - and in the ward. They have a good friend in the ward they will help each other out a lot . It will be great! She is the best though! :)
So I think my favorite thing on the mission so far is seeing the Lord work through us - being an instrument in his hands, so to speak. Its amazing sometimes trying to think of a spiritual thought or something to give and a scripture comes to mind. Or while giving a thought and having the spirit bring a question or something else to say come to mind. Or having none of the above, and simply bearing testimony and the spirit bearing witness. Its amazing the times when this happens. I know more than ever that this church is true. I know that God hears and answers prayers. He has answered so many of mine!!! I know God lives and loves us. The church is true!!!!

Mom! I am so sad to hear that Uncle Mike died! I love him! I guess though, one thing that I am learning so well on the mission - is that the plan of salvation is real. That this life is not the end and that we can live with our families forever - para eternidade! Thank goodness. Families can be together forever!

Haha... no, I actually haven´t had to give a talk yet, but I did bear my testimony the last fast sunday and it was alright.... but guess what I do have to do??? Elder Costa is coming on Friday to visit and guess who has to lead the music? Yeah, but also guess what? I have NO idea how to lead music.... I´ve always been bad at keeping time... and so.... this is going to be interesting. I´m not sure either exactly what I´ll have to do - there is a special musical number as well as normal hymns so I´m not sure if I´m just leading the choir, or everybody or both......... ahh! It´s for seven zones too. scary!

I´m doing really good. Scared out of my mind to lead on friday, but besides that, all is well. For our p-day today, with our zone we helped clean and move the other sisters - four of them that all live together - from one house to the other. And are working on painting their new house too. It was pretty fun :) Oh - I don´t think I ever told you, but Sister N is in my zone - I love that girl - she is the one who was also friend´s with the fisher´s that I met before I left. She is awesome!! I´m so glad to have her here and to be able to talk to her!!

haha. So awhile ago we were walking from one appointment to another and passed people doing capoeira in the street - and from the little that I saw, it looks like the coolest thing ever! a type of fighting/dance kind of thing. just look it up on youtube or something...

haha.. I don´t actually take a lot of pictures because my camera is super lame, but I´ll get the ones my companion took and send them on to you... eventually :)
Have a fantastic week!!

Mary Ann's mom here: I did look up capoeira and here is a youtube video of it.

End of First Transfer July 9, 2012

Welllll... Things are going really well here. Today marks the end of my first transfer her in Rio!!! MAN! I can´t believe that I´ve already been here for what, THREE MONTHS????  Has it seriously been that long? Time has gone by so fast here. seriously though. This is the last transfer for my companion Sister D- man I don´t want to switch companions!! I love her! Our district leader was transferred, so that´ll be weird... But yeah - transfers are every six weeks and we only find out the monday of when we check the mission website and see where we´re going and who we´ll be with. And the next day - off to meet them!! It seems kind of crazy to me the way it works, but... cool beans.

This week we met the coolest family ever! Seriously though. There´s a mom, dad and two kids and they are awesome! We only taught them one lesson though so far because they only seem to have time on sundays, but they seemed to be super interested. I love them! You always hear people talking about finding ´the elect´, and if such a thing exists, they would be the definition. 

We´re here working hard here and I´m learning a lot. Man though - I have so much to learn!!!! like SO MUCH! But its all good - its part of the experience, right? :) I love it here, though. I love Rio! 

July 2, 2012

Mamãe! Eu amo você! Obrigrada por sua carta!
I am doing really well :)   I´ve heard of a couple missionaries here that got dengue - my companion actually caught it TWICE! But... I haven´t really had a problem with getting bit by mosquitos. It is "winter" here.... Definitely don´t need a jacket or sweatshirt though... The first couple of days I got here were actually super hot, but now its just normal weather - not really hot or cold, which is super nice. Ha. It definitely makes me excited to find out what summer is like though... NOT! :)
Our mission president is Presidente Lima. I really like him and his wife a lot,   I´ve only seen them twice - the first day, and then again at the training. Ha. we are in the city of Rio de Janeiro, but it still takes us about two and a half hours by bus to get to the mission office. President Lima´s focus here is on families, working with the members, and "crescimento real" which is basically helping people remain in the church after baptism.

June 25, 2012

Mary Ann's first area was Comari, Brazil.

Lago Comari
                                                                                                                                                                      Oi família!!!
Well... Everything is going good here. I love Brasil and the members here are fantastic! I seriously love them all SO much. They are so nice and generous! Except sometimes I feel like a retard when I have no idea what they are saying to me :) but...All is well...
I seriously love it here though. I love being a missionary. And I mean obviously I have a lot to learn - I have to learn portuguese, and how to teach..... and how to teach IN portuguese.... But I know that the Lord is here with us and that as we do our part, He will ALWAYS do His. That is something that I´ve been coming to recognize more and more while I am here :) I love my Savior and this entire gospel is centered around Him. I love this church and the way that it has changed/made my life what it is. I´ve been noticing lately how much our family has been blessed because we have the gospel in our lives - I mean seriously!! We get to be together for eternity!!! :) What could be better?

Tomorrow I have a training/evaluation with the president - talk about scary!! Ahhh... But we´ll see how it goes...