Monday, October 27, 2014

Hello! (October 27)

This week was an adventure! It was so great!

It finally rained here in São Paulo! We're still in a drought, but at least it's something!

My companion was bitten by a dog this week! (luckily it was a little one and probably didn't have rabies...but she is kind of weird, so I don't know for sure... :)

We went to the temple with an investigator! It was awesome! He's been taught for a long time, and he's had several baptismal dates that have fallen through, but we were teaching him about the atonement in the temple, and invited him to be baptized this Saturday, and he said that he really wanted to, and he knows that the gospel is true and "can't run anymore".  Haha - I love being a missionary! Investigators are great!

We're have a bunch of really promising investigators! We have 2 baptisms marked for this Saturday, and 3 confirmations for this Sunday! It's going to be a real busy week!
Bishop Antonio and his family (Valinhos)
We had lunch with a member this week, Anderson, who is awesome. He absolutely LOVES missionary work! His son is currently serving a mission in Rio de Janeiro. He was talking to us during lunch about how much he loves having us in his home because it makes him miss his son just a little bit less. He said that the absolute greatest sacrifice that he has ever made for the gospel was that of letting his son serve a mission.

I know that for some of you, (mom and dad) it's been tough to have me gone, but I just wanted to thank all of you for allowing me this opportunity. I've never had a greater honor in all my life than to wear the badge with the name of Christ on my chest. I love being a missionary

Sister Pennington

Jaguariúna (October 20)

Hello, family!

I'm here in Jaguariúna! It's a little city about half an hour away from Campinas. The ward here is pretty small, but it seems great!

There are 2 companionships of sisters here, me and my companion Sister Mitillo from Argentina, and the other companionship Sister Kariery from Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, and Sister Garibay from Peru. Sister Mitillo has 5 months on the mission, and I had already done a companionship exchange with her when I was in Itatiba. She's really great, so I'm excited to work with her!

Just a side note before I talk about missionary related things - it's so flippin' hot! Holy cow! The poor sisters in Valinhos don't have any fans, and my last night there, it was so hot that I dampened my sheets and put them in the freezer and took them out at night and slept with them. It was marvelous. I've started to always keep my sheets in the freezer. #brazilianmissionaryproblems

Things are going well in my new area! I love serving in smaller wards, and so I'm super excited to be able to serve here! We have some very promising investigators, so I'm excited to be able to work with them. We have a LOT of less active members we're working with, which is one of my very favorite parts of missionary work so I'm just a happy camper :)

The Bishop here has 4 months of being bishop, and ALL of the priesthood and auxiliary presidencies were reorganized, so we have a lot of new people who are really excited. Our ward mission leader made a presentation for the ward leadership about their responsibilities concerning missionary work, and it was awesome sauce. It was probably the most organized, direct and comprehensive explanation of ward leadership responsibilities I've ever had on my mission. Hoping it will get people excited about missionary work!

Anyways, it's been a great first week here, and I'm excited to be here a little bit more!

I love you all so much, and hope that you have a truly wonderful week!

Sister Pennington

"Wow! I've Always wanted one of these!" (October 13)


This week was great! We had a zone conference that was awesome in Campinas, and President Perrotti's training was so inspired, and I know that it was exactly what I needed to hear! It was great!

We explored a new neighborhood this week! It is in the middle of NOWHERE! But we talked with a bunch of people who live there, and the other missionaries here in Valinhos passed a bunch of referrals to us of people who live there. So we got on the bus and 40 minutes later we arrived in the middle of the jungle with dirt roads! We tried to find some addresses with our map, but because it's such a middle of nowhere neighborhood, the map wasn't up to date. So, we asked a lady in the street to help us, and she said, she didn't know where the street we were looking for was, because we were looking for an address in Valinhos, and we were in Itatiba! We went so far to the edge of Valinhos, that I accidentally ended up back in Itatiba! Oops :)
Sister Pennington and her companion with members of the ward.
We eventually found the adresses we were looking for, and we found an amazing couple, Andrea and Marcelo! We taught the message of the restoration to them, and they absolutely loved it! They've already started Reading the Book of Mormon and are loving it!

We found another awesome investigator, Douglas, a 21 year old guy. He says that he's been searching for the truth, and he has so many great questions! He's awesome sauce!
Sister Pennington and the newest member of the ward :)
We take the bus a lot, and while we're waiting for our bus we talk with people in the bus station, invite them to learn more about the church etc. Generally these people are friendly, but they're not usually super stoked to talk to us. Well, the other day, we were talking with people in the bus station, and after I finished talking with someone, a woman waved to me and asked for me to come over and talk to her. I looked behind me to see if there was someone else she was talking to. But no, it was me! I looked down to see if I'd forgotten my name tag, but no, I was a clearly recognizable missionary. I talked with this lady for a while, and gave her a Book of Mórmon, and she got so excited and said, "Wow! I've Always wanted one of these!". She gave us her address and phone number, and we're going to visit her soon :) The Lord is preparing the hearts of the people to receive our message!

If there's one thing that I've learned on my mission, it's that the Lord knows best, and He Always leads us to where we need to be. Just as things here in Valinhos are starting to get going guess what happens? TRANSFERRED! Both me and Sister Galarza are being transferred, and Sister Alexandre and Sister Carranza are going to take over the responsibilities of our área. Heavenly Father never ceases to surprise me or test me. But, I really have gained a testimony of the fact that if we're obedient to the invitation of the Savior to follow Him wherever He goes, and do what He asks, we'll be able to be happy and have Peace knowing that we're where the Lord wants us to be. There's really not a better feeling in all the world :)
P Day at a local park - açaí and coconut water! yum!
I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week! I'm excited for my new adventure!

Sister Pennington


Hello, friends and family!

This week was awesome! Want to know why?! Because I left the house and was able to work! It was so great! And, it was GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!! It was so awesome sauce!

For those of you who didn't watch it, REPENT AND WATCH IT!!!! It was so good!

We watched conference in the chapel, and because there are 4 American missionaries here in Valinhos, we were able to watch in on a member's laptop in ENGLISH! It was amazing! I understand everything in Portuguese, but it's super irritating to watch the apostles and prophet speaking and being unable to hear their familiar and comforting voices. But, this time we had our "English only" room and it was super legit :)
Sister Pennington and the Bishop's wife Cristiane
There were so many amazing talks, and I loved all of them, but my favorite was dear Elder Bednar's talk. It was about missionary work (so obviously it was awesome). He directed the message to people who are not members of this church. The basis of his talk was the question, "why do my Mormon friends always want to invite me to hear more about their church?" He explained why we share the gospel with our friends. He read an excerpt from Lehi's dream in 1 Nephi 8:12 which describes the scene when Lehi partakes of the fruit of the tree of life, and he sees how good it is, and just wants to share it with everyone who will partake. It's the same thing with the gospel. When we partake of the goodness of the fruit of the tree of life, or the atonement of Jesus Christ, we just want to share it with everyone. That's why I'm here, and that's why I love being a missionary. I invite all of you who have experienced this same joy in the gospel to share it with others, and I invite all of you who haven't to "come and see".

Sister Pennington

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hello! (September 29)

So last week wasn't the coolest week ever, but this next week is going to be great! I had "suspect of Dengue" and was in my bed from Monday to Saturday. But I rose from the dead and I feel a lot better now! (I think it may have been just a diferente vírus with symptoms similar to Dengue)

I learned how to solve a rubik's cube, so that was cool.

I also watched the restoration vídeo in Chinese, and didn't understand anything. [The link is not in Chinese ;)]

I watched the testaments in Italian and understood a lot. Italian and Portuguese are pretty similar (apparently!)

One of the symptoms of Dengue is pain behind the eyes, so I could only stand reading for about 15 minutes and then I had to sleep again.

But, I was feeling good enough to go to church on Sunday, so we went to church and went back to watch the broadcast of the women's conference! It was awesome! I absolutely loved all of the talks! President Uchtdorf and some of the other sisters who spoke mentioned the importance of remembering who we are. We are sons and daughters of God. If that knowledge is Always in our hearts, our actions, attitudes and thoughts will be influenced for good. We will be more dedicated disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. We will want to do all we can to serve as witnesses of God at all times in all things and in all places.

Remember who you are! Romans 8:16

Sister Pennington

Hello :) (Septeber 22)

Hola família :)

This week was good :)

here are some of the highlights...

- We went to a park for p-day - we played fútebol like true Brazilians and that was fun. The not so fun part, was that my companion got 6 tics! yikes!
- We found some really legit new investigators! It'll be cool to follow up with them this week!
Sister Pennington and some of the members of the ward she loves :)

- We found the craziest less active member I've ever met in my life! Holy cow! We've been trying to visit her for a long time, but she's never home when we try to visit her. But this week, we walked in front of her house, and saw that the door was open, so we knocked to see if we could visit her. Her son let us in, and we found her in the kitchen sorting through some papers. We greeted her, and she didn't stop to look at us. We started talking to her, and very quickly we came to realize that she didn't want to talk to us. She told us that if she had to choose between God and Satan, she would choose Satan because it would be more fun to tempt and provoke people...haha we left quickly from that house :)
- Heavenly Father is so merciful with us! Sunday night we were on our way home, super hungry, and remembered that we had nothing in our house to eat. We got a ride with a member, and without us even asking, she made food for us :) We were very happy :)
Sister Pennington and the Bishop's wife

But, that's about all the excitement we had this week! It's awesome being a missionary and having the opportunity to share the gospel with Heavenly Father's children here in Brazil! The gospel is true! It changes lives!

I love y'all so much and hope you have a marvelous week!

Sister Pennington

Oi (September 15)


This week was a little bit crazy pants! We had two days that were super weird. On Wednesday, Sister Galarza got sick, and so we went to the hospital to see what was up. It turns out that she can't eat milk, citrus, anything fried, anything with sauce, or gluten. She can only eat healthy things! Tadinha dela :)

Thursday, a member called us sobbing saying that she was super sick, and home alone with her 2 year old grandson, and that she didn't have the energy to do anything. So we went over to her house, and ended up spending the whole day with her helping her clean dishes etc. We called every member we could, but nobody could come and help. It was a little disheartening, because we asked this Irmã who her visiting and home teacher were, and she said she had no idea because nobody visits her. She is a widow working alone to support her daughter and grandson. And nobody visits her? That's just crazy pants. Needless to say, yesterday Sister Galraza and I got the Visiting Teaching list and we're going to do visits with the Irmãs this week :) #doyourvisitingteaching

Last night was the highlight of my week! It was awesome! We had a family home evening in a member's home, and there were so many members there! But before we went to the family home evening, we felt like we should visit Maria Eduarda. She's been sick for the past two weeks, and we haven't been able to see her. On our way to her house, we passed by the house of Marcelo, Marilsa's nephew. We talked with Marcelo a little bit, and then he told us that Marilsa was there as well. We went to say a quick hello, and found Marilsa eating dinner with her mom. Marilsa already has a testimony. She loves the church, and really wants to be a part of it. But her 2 main concerns were that she had a severe addiction to coffee, and that her mom doesn't approve. But last night, Marilsa was able to see her mom interact with us, and she really does like us a lot. She offered us dinner, and we were even able to say a prayer with her. Marilsa was so happy to see that her mom treated us well, and is very friendly towards us. Marilsa also informed us that she hasn't had coffee in 5 days! She said she feels so much better and she doesn't even miss it! She's so excited about everything, and she radiates the joy she feels from the gospel. I just love her to bits and pieces!

Things are going well here, we're workin', teachin' and havin' a good time :)

Love you all so much, and hope you have a wonderful week!

See you soon! (95 days...but who's counting?!) [Sister Pennington will be home December 19!!]

Sister Pennington