Monday, September 8, 2014

7 missionaries for Bela Vista! (September 8)

Hello, everyone!

So, we now have 11 missionaries here in Valinhos, 7 of which are in my Ward - Bela Vista! aí sim, Bela Vista!

We have another companionship of sisters in our Ward, Sister Alexandre from Bahia, Brasil, and Sister Carranza from Argentina (she was serving in the other Ward here in Valinhos, but moved to Bela Vista), and the Elders are in a trio! Lunch with the members is like thanksgiving every day because of the ridiculous amount of missionaries!

We divided our área with the other sisters, and it's such a good thing! It was so hard to follow up with people, because our área was so big. Now we only have 4 or 5 diferente neighborhoods, and it's a little bit easier now.

Marilsa is so adorably awesome! We taught her on Tuesday, and she made a delicious chicken salad in little cracker boats! It was so cute! Her husband, Roberto, is super hard to find at home, but he was there and he is so open to the gospel and so supportive of Marilsa. The last time we taught them together, we challenged them to pray about the Book of Mormon to know if it really is true. When we asked Marilsa how her prayer went, Marilsa said, "I have absolutely no doubt it's true". She was just smiling from ear to ear, and I could feel the power of her testimony. It was so awesome! Roberto said they were both going to stop drinking coffee. They went to church yesterday, and just loved it :) Before we left, Roberto said he wanted to ask a question. He asked us when the temple is open for visits. We're going to plan a day this week to go with all of them to the temple :) It's going to be awesome!

Fast and testimony meeting was awesome. It was kind of cool, because at the end, all of us missionaries went up to the stand and bore our testimonies. It was really cool. The ward is getting super excited about missionary work, and I hope we can help in whatever way we can :)

I love you all so much, and hope you have a wonderful week!
Sister Pennington

Monday, September 1, 2014

Ola! (September 1)

Hello, everyone!

They're playing Nickelback in this internet café's literally been 14 months since I've heard them ... just a little bit distracted, but tudo bem, vamos lá!

Anyways, this week was good! We had some adventures, as always, and it was great.

The first adventure that wasn't super fun ... I got food poisoning! Wahoo! I spent an entire day in bed, which was kind of horrible, but, seeing as it was really just food poisoning, after that one day, I was completely back to normal :)

Funny story - Cicero, our elect investigator, has gone to church 3 Sundays in a row. He's awesome. He's super over the top in everything. He's super energetic and just a little bit crazy pants. He called us on Saturday, and when I answered the phone, he shouted, "SANTOS DO ÚLTIMOS DIAS!!!!" or, Latter day saints!!!! I thought it was a pretty comical way to greet someone on the phone. I laugh a lot when we teach that man. He's fantastic!

The 5 progressing investigators we're working really hard with all came to church this Sunday! Wahooo! I don't know if I talked a lot about Marilsa, but she is so awesome! She's been taught by the missionaries for a long time. She had a lot of emotional problems, but she was introduced to the gospel by her nephew who is a member, and after she started to read the Book of Mormon and going to church, her life got so much happier. She feels so much peace and comfort from reading the Book of Mormon, and she truly loves the gospel. We're helping her get ready for baptism and she's just great. She has a super addiction to coffee, and so we're trying to help her stop. She said that after we challenged her to stop drinking coffee, it doesn't have the same taste anymore. She said that "it tastes like sin."  I laughed about that one, but at least God is going His part in helping her with her addiction :)

A few months ago, we started teaching Marilsa's brother, Claudio, and his family. They need the gospel so much. They are looking for peace and looking for something to help their family become stronger. They've grown so much since we started teaching them. When we first met Claudio he was super gruff and didn't want a whole lot to do with us, but he looks forward now to our visits, and a few weeks ago he promised that he would go to church on the 31 because the other Sunday's before he had appointments. We left a big post-it with them that said "31 de Augusto - seu compromisso com Deus na igreja" - which means August 31 -you're appointment with God at church. And guess what?! He actually went to church with his wife and son. They arrived so early, that they got there even before we did! Wahoo! They're a great family that is already changing and growing because of the power of the gospel.

It's such a blessing to be working with so many wonderful people! I love being a missionary!

We have transfers this week, and Sister Galarza and I are staying here together for another transfer. But the cool part, is that we're going to get another companionship of sisters here in the ward, so we're going to divide our area! It's going to be SUCH a blessing! Our area is huge, and it's going to be a lot more productive to divide the area! I'm super excited!

Anyways, I love you all so much and hope that you're doing well! Have a great week!

Sister Pennington