Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Year!

Dear Family!!! 

It was absolutely wonderful, fantastic, and amazing to talk to you on Christmas Day!!! I am unbelievably excited to see you all soon in person!!! But, until then, I have 51 days until I will be home and am trying to do everything that I need to here. 

Just to re-cap a bit, I was transferred to a new area about a week moved to and a half ago. My companion is now Sister Galarza. She is from Argentina and has a very cool story.She was baptized and then one year after that she decided to serve a mission, so she has more time as a missionary, then as a normal member of the church. She has a strong testimony and loves sharing her story with other people, so that is good! We are a bit different, so we´ve had some great opportunities to learn, grow, and be better people. Sure still have a long way to go though. 

Not a lot has happened since I talked to you guys on Thursday. Our main investigator that we had with a baptismal date moved to a different city to get surgery so she is not in our area as a  and can´t accept visits from the missionaries for a little while. :P 

We did find a new family though!! We got a referral the other day so we went to contact it! It was a whole family!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :DWe will be going back on Saturday and I am extremely excited to teach them!!!! 

Sorry this email is so short, but not a lot has happened since I talked to you all! 

Sister Beth Spencer

Camera Card Miracle!

Dear Family!!! 

Well this week has been a bit different, but we´ve seen some miracles as well! I´ll give you a quick update since I don´t have a ton of time. 

We found this new investigator named Bianca. I think that she is 19 years old. We taught the first lesson to her and she said that she wanted to read the Book of Mormon and pray. If she gets an answer that the Book of Mormon is true, she will be baptized on the 3rd of January!!!! 

We made friends with a bus driver and so at night he will give us rides because we are servants of the Lord! It is wonderful and really helps us out!!! I am super excited about this!!!!! :) 

I thought my camera card broke this week and that I lost all of my photos. Boy oh boy was I praying like crazy. I found someone who I trust to fix my camera. I should be able to recover most of the pictures that I had! BLESSING FROM THE LORD!!!! 

Our investigator Priscilla has a baptismal date for January 3rd! She needs to get married first, so we might have to push it back a little bit. :P 

Something funny that happened this week. There was one day where we were trying to do a bunch of contacts. We saw a huge group of people so I decided that I would be brave and go up and talk to them. I had good intentions, but it sure didn´t turn out so well. I said that we were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and described where it was using the bus terminal as a reference and asked if they had heard of the church before. There was a moment of silence and then one of them said that I was speaking German. Another said that I was asking for directions to the bus terminal, and then another said that I was asking how to get to the church. Oh boy. I know that I have a ton of room to improve on my Portuguese, but turns out that they were also drunk. My companion and I got a good laugh out of it, and the people did to. Gotta love learning a new language!

8 more weeks to finish out strong!!!

I love you all TONS TONS TONSSSS!!!!! Thank you so much for all of the love and support that you give me. I am ever so grateful for it! 

I know that this church is true. That Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. That He died for us and lived a perfect example so that we can be with our families forever, repent of our sins and be forgiven, and have a hope for a better world. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families, individuals, and the whole word. I am ever so grateful for Jesus Christ and this time that we have to celebrate his birth. 

All my love! 

Sister Beth Spencer

Moved P-day for the Holidays

Dear Family!

Well it is was sure sad not to have p-day on Monday. It is always nice to have a break in the week to hear from you all. Needless to say, I am VERY grateful for p-day today!! 

This past week we have definitely seen some miracles. This past Sunday we actually had a baptism!! It was for a 10 year old girl named Ana Julia. Her parents were recently baptized and she attends church with them. Ana Julia didn´t want to get baptized earlier because she does not feel like she had received an answer that she should be baptized. She´s quite the diligent little girl though. She reads her scriptures every day and prays. Sister A. Silva and I decided that we would go over there and teach her about the promptings of the Holy Ghost and how she can recognize her answer. Annnndddd then she was baptized on Sunday and it was wonderful!!! 

This past week it has been so easy to see how the Lord answers prayers for the little things. We had two experiences this past week that I thought were pretty cool. The first was that we were headed over to a member´s house. The connection on the phone was awful, we couldn´t hear what she was saying, and she couldn´t hear us, and then the phone call died. We couldn´t really wait any longer because we had commitments later on in the day so we decided to get on the bus and call her like crazy. We got on the bus with the other set of sisters in our ward. One sister was calling over and over trying to get a connection, and the rest of us were just praying that it would all work out. Well, the phone call finally went through after 20 minutes and it was the perfect timing. The very next stop was the one that we needed to get off. I know that that phone call going through was an answer to all of the prayers that we were saying. 

Another experience that we had with prayer was right after district meeting. We were talking to our leaders about dessert and how we really wanted a dessert. One of the people pulled out his planner and asked what we wanted. I said sorvete and my companion said Mousse de limão. He wrote those two things down and said that he would pray for us. I didn´t really think too much of it till we got to our lunch appointment for the day. Guess what we had for dessert.... sorvete, with the flavor of mouse de limão. Specific prayers sure do work!!
This week has been a bit hard with the fact knwoing that I had the chance to come home in a week and I decided to stay, but I things are still going good. My companion and I get along really well so that is good!
I know that this church is true and that our Savior lives. I know that this is His church and that everyone can pray and receive an answer through the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful for this Christmas season and that I can remember that only through my Savior and Redeemer can I be with my family forever, overcome the difficulties in life, and have hope for a better world.
I love you all tons and am so grateful for you! 

Monday, December 1, 2014


Dear Family!! 

Well, we had transfers this week and I am now in Jundiaí.My ward is called Novo Horisante. It is about an hour away from Campinas. My companion is Sister A. Silva. She is from Brasil and is absolutely wonderful!! I love being her companion. We are currently white-washing an area and it is definitely a bit of a challenge. The missionaries that were in this area previously did not keep the area book updated (area book is where missionaries are supposed to put all the information about investigators, members, areas to go, maps, etc). So, this week has been a bit difficult trying to find people to work with. We´ve taught a bunch of first lessons to people, but we are habing trouble finding people with real intent. Either the people don´t want to read, aren´t willing to pray, or they just don´t care. Blahhhh! Super frustrating! 

As for Thanksgiving. Well that was a bit of an interesting day. Since I from America, me and another Sister (Sister Acevedo... also American) had to go to this school and teach everyone about American traditions for Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving, don´t get me wrong, but it is hard to talk about Thanksgiving for 45 minutes in English with people who are learning English. The school had a bunch of questions for us to answer, thank goodness... but at the same time, there were a lot of questions that I did not know. For example, one of the questions was: Why does the president pardon the turkey. It was my turn to answer the question, I said that I didn´t know, but assumed it was because the president had the authority to do so and he wanted to let one turkey live..... yeah. sure was interesting. But that was it. Ate normal Brasilian food for Thanksgiving... and no, I am not tired of it... yet. :) 

Cool part about the week: President gave permission to Sister A. Silva and I to go to the baptism of Allan.... It was really special because we both had the chance to teach him! We left our house at 4 in the afternoon and just barely made it on time for the baptism at 8 o´clock... gotta love efficient transportation!

Well sorry this letter is a bit shorter today... not a ton of things have happened this week... we are mostly working on trying to find new people to work with and get to know are area more. I love you all TONSSSSSS!!!! 

I am praying for you! 


Sister Spencer

Last Week's Post . . . Pre-Thanksgiving!

Dear Family!! 

Wow, what a week! It has just flown by and it has been an AWESOME week. So many things have happened so I´ll just tell you some of the highlights. 

ALLAN WILL BE BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!!!!! Yeah, it´s happenning and I am SUPER excited for him. He has really put forth a lot of effort to get to this point and I know that he will continue to grow and to learn. His son, Natan will baptize him. Without a doubt it will be a VERY special moment. 

Evans is still preparing for batism on the 6 of December. He is reading and praying daily. Even with the language barrier, he is just diong great! He understands what we say, thinks about it, and then comes back with real constructive questions. It really shows that he has real intent and a sincere heart. It is so great!! 

One thing that Sister Mitchell and I have been trying to do is to follow all of the good thoughts that we have. With this, we saw one miracle in particular this week. We were going to contact a less active member of the ward that lived in an apartment complex. When we got there, a woman came to the gate and we asked if she could go knock on this member´s door and see if we could visit. She did, and came back and said that he was sleeping and immediately turned around and started to walk away. We had this thought that we needed to talk to her, so we called her back and started up a conversation. Because we followed this small thought, we found out that she was a member of the church, baptized 6 years ago, but hadn´t gone for 4 years. We got her information and will be going to visit her. She isn´t quite to the point of wanting to go to church yet, but we did invite her to an English class that we have and she seemed SUPER interested in it. This was definitely a miracle and a blessing. Always follow the small thoughts! 

Well, this week Sister Mitchell and I got burned from mango milk. Who would have thought, right?? So you know how if you put lemon juice on your skin and then walk in the sun it burns your skin so you get a blister?? Well it´s the same thing with mango milk. This week for one of our dinner hours Sister Mitchell and I decided that we wanted to collect mangos to eat later on in the week. So, we found a lovely park with mango trees and began the process of collecting a mountain of mangos to eat later. Brilliant, right? Yeah, I still think so. Well, with all of those mangos fresh plucked from the tree, some of the juice from the stems got on our skin and when we walked in the sun, well.... we got burned and then found out later that night. Regardless though, I still am VERY excited to eat the mangos. 

One of our recent converts, Almir, is really an example to me of a member missionary. He was baptized about a month ago, but he is just on fire!! He talks with everyone about the gospel and defends the church right and left! This past week he gave us a referral for the person who cuts his hair! Wow, when i return from my mission, I sure hope that I can continue to talk to everyone about the gospel in small ways like this! 

Well with all of this great work and all of the things that I have learned in this area, I found out yesterday that I will be transferred. I´m a bit sad about leaving.... but I know that my new area will be good for me! 

I love you all tons!!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

100 More Days!

Dear Family!!!
Well, This week has just FLOWN by!! A lot has happened so I will try to sum it up the best that I can. We started to teach a guy named Felipe. And the lesson was awesome. The spirit was really strong and  I know that he felt that. We are preparing him for baptism right now. We want him to be baptized on the 29th of November! If he keeps going like he is going now, I am pretty sure that he will serve a mission!!
This past week our stake put on the huge activity. They had all of this free stuff to offer. Like free hair cuts, counseling, health advice, you name it and they had it! It was really cool. As missionaries we were told about it the night before and that we were just to show up and help the people that were there. It was meant to have a ton of people there, but in reality, none of the members invited their friends so hardly anyone showed up. So, our job turned into going and talking to everyone in the streets that we could find and inviting them to the activity. Not a ton of success. I was thinking about how sad it was though. A ton of people put in all this work, and there was not a ton of success simply because members didn´t invite their friends.
Things are progressing well with our investigators for the most part. This week we will start to teach two new people who came to church. They are super open! We are hoping that they will be baptized soon. Their names our Rodrigo and Evans.
This week I have become convinced that I can control the weather through my actions. If I forgot to bring an umbrella with me, without a doubt we will receive a TON of rain, even if it doesn´t look like it will rain in the morning. If I forget to put on sunscreen, without a doubt it will be a hot, sunny day. I guess that as missionaries we are given many gifts and talents. I´ll be interested to see if this gift sticks with me when I come home!
Oh, by the way. Did you realize that today I have exactly 100 days more on my mission!!! And then, after that I will be coming home!! Yeah, I am excited!! I am excited for the work that I can do here, for how much better I can learn Portuguese, and then when the time is up, to see you all! 

Sister Beth Spencer

Monday, November 3, 2014

And Life Continues!

Dear Family!!! 

Well I am so excited to email!! This week has been pretty normal... full of ups and downs. I´ll fill ya in a bit with things that have happened with our investigators! 

Almir was confirmed on Sunday and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost! I am SUPER excited! I know that Almir will stay true to the things that we have taught him. He is still reading the Book of Mormon like crazy and doing all of the small things! It is Awesome!!! 

Visited Josey and Nelsey this week. That was sure interesting. Nelsey pretty much told us that she already knew everything that we were saying and didn´t think that the Book of Mormon could add anything to the extensive knowledge that she already has. We bore our testimonies and invited her to read the book and promissed her that it would change her life. She asked us right then to show her something in the book that would change her life. Long story short, She isn´t open. Her husband is open however, but I am not quite sure how to handle the situation. We´ll see what happens! 

Found a new investigator this week-- Alexandre. He has a baptismal date for 29 of November. I am not quite sure if he is truly interested in the message. He kept commenting on how blue our eyes were. The next visit we have with him, we will decide what we want to do. 

Pretty sure we are going to have to drop Ivan. He´s not really progressing. Ugh. It´s lame, but we gotta find the peole who are truly ready. 

Other than that, other things: 

This past week I was walking down the street under some trees. i felt something land on my head. Didn´t really think much of it. Leafs fall on our heads all the time. I went to brush it off and it was wet, slimy, gross, bloody bird poop. Disgusting. So gross. I didn´t give my companion an option, we returned to our apartment super fast so that I could get it out of my hair. Needless to say, I have been avoiding the trees that have a ton of birds in them. 

Funny thing: In Brazil it is really cool to speak English and to wear t-shirts that have english words or phrases on them... however, most of the time, people don´t always know what they say... so they are quite hilarious. Here are a few of the ones that we´ve seen: 

-Look out, Floor ahead
-Im an 60´s star
-Gils from space (with 3 lovely pineapples stamped on as well)
-I need someone
-you´re not good you´re super
-I get my looks from mum
-nice guys finish last
-your girlfriend hates my alarm clock

All day long we walk in the sun, so in turn it makes our hair a bit lighter. Well, in the case of my hair, it has made the red in my hair come out... a LOT! like, I am pretty much a red-head now. Everyone comments on my blue eyes and red hair... :-P

The language is coming along REALLY well. the Lord is really helping me out. Each week I can see a difference in my ability to speak. I feel so VERY blessed!! Thank you so much for all of your prayers!! 

Sister Spencer

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Work Progresses :)

Dear Familia!

Puxa! This week has sure been full of things! I don´t even know where to start!

I´ll start with our investigators first. Almir was baptized yesterday! It turned out really well! A lot of the ward members showed up to support him. I know that he will be such a strong member in the church!! He was reading in 2nd Nephi the other day in the Isaiah chapters and didn´t understand them so he decided to start them over again. We were talking to him the other day and he mentioned how he was just loving the Isaiah chapters. Can´t say that I know too many people who would say that, so way to go for him!!! 

We found a new investigator this week named Véra! She had missionaries come over in the past, but didn´t really understand the Book of Mormon and thought that we worshipped Joseph Smith. We taught her the message of the Restoration and she understood everything really well! She agreed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon to find out if it is true... and if it is true, she will be baptized!!!! Sad thing though is that she will be out of town for a week or so. Why do people need to take vacations anyways?? jk!

I gave a talk on Sunday in church! i think it went over pretty well. I felt like I said what I was supposed to. I thought it was sort of funny though, all of the speakers after me cried in their talks, and I´m not really that much of a crier. All is good though! People said that they could understand what I said and that I am improving quite a bit in Portuguese! i feel like the Lord is helping me out so much with this language! I feel so blessed!! 

The strength of the members in this ward always inspires me. There is this lady who is married to a man who is anti-mormon. Her marriage isn´t the best, her and her husband get in fights a lot, and he is constantly bashing her for what she believes. Yet, every Sunday, she gets ready and brings herself and her daughter to church regardless of all of the rude comments and other things that happen to her. I was thinking about all of the small things that this member does to keep her testimony strong. Putting myself in her shoes, I imagine that she receives a LOT of strength from the Lord through reading her scriptures, praying, going to church, and doing the small things to have the spirit  with her. 

 Other than investigators, the next biggest thing that happened is that I got a letter from one of our investigators. He pretty much said that he wanted to marry me. I think he was a bit nervous that I wouldn´t understand the Portugues, so he wrote it in English and Portuguese for me.... oh man. It blindsided Sister Mitchell and I... both of us did not pick up on this one tiny bit. I had to tell him that as missionaries, we need to focus ALL of our time on the Lord. Goodness, how awkward!!! Things are all better though and he knows why we are there. 

Love you all TONS!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Highlights from Brazil

Dear Family!! 

Well the weeks go by SUPER fast here. There is a lot to get done. This past week was a bit interesting. 

On Saturday, we were asked by our Stake President to teach 2 English classes... for two hours each. Boy, that was sure interesting. The people in the class were Brazilians who were trying to learn English and had been studying for about 3 months. So in other words, they didn't know any English. It really turned out being we say a sentence in English, see if anyone knows any of the words that we said. If the knew the words they got chocolate, if not, we translated into Portuguese. We tried to make it interactive and include games, but it was hard. From that experience, I can sure say that I do not want to be a teacher in a classroom setting.

Do you remember a few weeks back when I mentioned how we found this guy named Walter. Well hopefully you do. We were finally able to get in contact with him this week! And it was great!! After talking to him for a half an hour, he said that he knew that he needed to get back to church. He gave us all of his information to move his records! We have an appointment with him on Wednesday with the Bishop and then he said that he would go to church on Sunday. I really believe that he will go! I am SUPER excited for this! 

We did not end up having the baptism for Almir this week. It felt like we were just rushing the lessons a little too fast. He will be baptized on Saturday at 7 pm. I feel a lot better about this date and I know that he does as well! I am excited to see Almir baptized. I know that he will be such a GREAT addition to the ward here and a solid member. 

For the other people that we are working with: Marina! MARINA CAME TO CHURCH!!! This is huge! She loved church and all of the people there! I am really hopeful that she will go back the next Sunday! It is a bit harder for her because she is having a few problems with her husband and doesn't really have the support. We introduced her to a few members that she should connect really well with! Antonio Marcus! I don´t know if I have mentioned this before, but he is a pastor. He believes completely in Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. His hang-up is that he doesn't feel like he needs to be baptized again. We asked him to pray about it, and he said that he did and that he got the answer that he does not need to. I personally feel like he got that answer because I am not sure if he is ready to leave his church and completely join this church. We had a super spiritual lesson with him though and asked him to pray again about the date November 2nd to be baptized. I am praying like crazy that he will accept that date! 

Every day my Portuguese improves a little bit. Right now I sleep in a room with 3 other missionaries. I was talking with one of them who is from Brazil and she said that the other night I was talking in my sleep in Portuguese and that she could understand me!! I thought that was pretty great!! As of right now, I am confusing the words inverno and inferno. The first means winter and the second means hell. Kind of a big difference. Poor Almir. This past week he was asking about hell and I tried to tell him that I knew that God wanted us to go to the Celestial Kingdom and for me, any other kingdom would be hell because I would get to live with God forever.... yeah, well, I used the wrong word. Poor guy was confused for a bit, but we got a good laugh out of it. 

It is REALLY hot here. I have heard that I am in the hottest area. There are a ton of buildings and cars and that traps the heat in a bit. Yesterday people said that it got up to what is the equivalent of 104 degrees. I think I am going to die. It´s just spring here. If I come home as a baked potato, please love me still! 

I love you all tons!! Thank you for all that you do for me! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Dear Family!! 

Well it hasn´t been very long since I last emailed, but it has been a good week! The best thing that has happened this week is that Silvia was baptized on Sunday!! It was super cool. When she came up from the water, you could just see how free she felt. It was an amazing experience. What was also good was that her son Philipe attended the baptism as well and we are going to start to teach him! I am super excited for this! Hopefully we can start to teach him and get him with a baptismal date for the next few weeks. I´ll keep yáll posted on what happens! 

On Saturday our ward had a fast for the missionary work in the area. I feel like that will help out a lot for us to find new investigators and those who are prepared for baptism. I´m excited to see what happens this next week as we work and try to find new investigators!! I know that fasting is a principle that brings a ton of blessings and has a ton of power. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to fast. 

Marina is progressing well. If you remember her, she is the mother of the family that we found. I´m not sure if we will continue teaching her for much longer. Either she will have to start keeping some more commitments or we´ll have to stop visiting her. Kind of sad. Will see what happens. I pray that we can contine to visit her!!!
One of the people that i am most excited about is Almir. He is progressing SUPER great!!!! He has a baptismal date for this Sunday. He is so excited about the gospel and keeping all of the commandments. On Saturday when we had our activity, he went up to the Bishop and said "I know that I am not a member yet, but I want to pay my tithing. So here is the money." The Bishop didn´t know what to do,  but was super excited! It´s really awesome to find people who are so prepared to accept the gospel!! 

We had the transfer call yesterday and I will be staying in this area with my companio, Sister Mitchell. One transfer goes by really fast! I´m excited to see the difference that we can make in one transfer!! 

The language is still hard. Believe it or not. But things continue to get better. I was asked to give a talk on October 26th. i won´t lie, I am super nervous for it, but I know that everything will be fine. One of the hardest parts for me is talking on the phone. Everyone sounds way different...aka completely uncomprehensible. Maybe one day I will understand them. My companion likes to put me on the spot a lot by asking me to do the phone calls. I guess it is a good learning experience for me. 

Well, sorry this email is shorter... Guess I don´t have a whole lot to report especially since our last p-day was Thursday. I love you all tons and am praying for you tons!! 

Mmmkay, well I love you all tons! 

Sister Spencer

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Brazil, Week #2!

Dear Family!!!

Well what a week. It´s been so long since I´ve emailed and I´ve missed you all sooo sooo much!!! It´s been a crazy week and a half, but my companion and I, Sister Mitchell, have been having a ton of success. This Sunday one of our investigators, Silivia will be baptized!! She is super excited for baptism and I think that all will go well. Next week I´ll send a picture home of that! 

The best experience that I had this week was when we were walking home from this place called the Taquaral. Normally we cross this bridge to get home, but for some reason, that night we felt like we shouldn´t. So, we took the long way around... add another 20 minutes of walking time. On our way home, we passed this man and started talking to him. After talking to him for a bit, he told us that he was a member and had been baptized about 20 years ago and had been through the temple with his wife. A bunch of things happened and his wife left him, so in turn, he left the church. We were able to invite him to conference and everything! If we had not followed the spirit, we would not have found him. The man hardly ever leaves his house, only for food and to go to work. Miracle that we found him! 

We have started teaching this man named Almir! Two weeks ago he randomly came to church. We started teaching him. On the very first lesson that we had with him, we committed him to be baptized on the 19th of October!!!! It´s crazy how open and receptive he is. After the first lesson, we got a phone call from him. He was wondering what beverages he could drink and how to pay tithing. ( At this point, we hadn´t mentioned tithing or anything to him). And, Almir came to all of the sessions of conference! So awesome!!! It´s really awesome teaching Almir. I can´t speak perfectly, but I feel like he can understand me and feel the spirit. It truly is amazing!!! 

We walk a ton here. SO much! In all honesty, I love it!!! The food is great too!!! We eat a lot of rice and beans, and fruit. The fruit is amazing and tastes like unother I have ever tasted in the world. SO GOOD! The language is difficult. I´ve made a lot of mistakes this past week, but I am learning and improving! I´ve said a lot of funny things. For example, this past week we were contacting a few people on the street. I was trying to give this one lady a pass along card that had a picture of Jesus on it. Well, in Portuguese, the word for picture is cuadro. I was still trying to learn that word, and didn´t quite say it right. What I ended up using was the word quarta which means fourth. So instead of saying we have a picture of Jesus for you, I ended up saying we have a fourth of Jesus for you. Poor lady was a bit confused....

Things are improving here. It is a bit hard, but every day things get better!! 
I love you all and miss you so much!!! 

Sorry the notes are so short today!! I love you all TONS though!!! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

After 14 Months of Waiting . . . I made it to Brazil!

Dear Family!!! 

Thank heavens for english! I´m grateful that we all know english and that we can communicate. Sorry I didn´t write last week. I didn´t get a p-day. I left for Campinas on Tuesday and the p-days here are on Monday.

One of the best things that happened in the past two weeks is that I got to go to the temple since being in the Provo MTC. Man, that brought so much peace and comfort. We went to the Sao Paulo temple. (This is when I was still in the MTC). We got to watch the session in English. After not being able to go to the temple for about a year, it was so nice! I can´t even begin to describe how nice that was for me!! 

The people in Brazil are much different from the people in TN. They are much, much more open! On the very first day that I got here, we went street contacting and we were told to invite people to be baptized. So, on my very first day out in the field in Brazil, I committed a lady with a small daughter to be baptized. Yeah, super legit!! 

This past week we saw another miracle. We were out trying to contact a person, and she wasn´t home, so we decided to go down the street and see who was home. From that, we found this family. Marina and Mauro with 3 daughters (all grown, only the daughter Rafeala lives at home). We were able to teach them the Restoration this week. It was my first time teaching the REstoration in Portuguese in the field!! Man, it was so great. I got to share the first vision, and the spirit was so strong. My Portuguese wasn´t perfect, but I´m pretty sure that I made sense. This is the first family that I have gotten to teach on my mission and I am super excited about them!! 

We have two other investigators with a baptismal date right now. Silvia and Ivan. Silvia is going to be baptized on the 12th of October and Ivan on the 19th of October. I don´t really know a whole lot about them now, but I am learning and things are good!! 

Language. Oh boy is it difficult sometimes. My companion is extremely patient with me thank heavens!!! This past week she was saying something, I didn´t catch all of it, but from what I understood, she said "Eu preciso colocar torta em tambem".... which, from what I know, means "I need to put the pie in as well." I couldn´t figure out for the life of me what she was talking about! We got a good laugh out of that though.... I have a lot of those moments, but each day things get better. For me it is simple, when I feel the spirit, I can understand what people are saying for the most part. When I don´t, things are a lot more difficult. I find though that the Lord has blessed me SO MUCH for doing my language study in TN. As of right now, I think I can understand about 65-70% of what people say...needless to say, miracles exist on the earth today!!! 

Also, we walk a ton!! Thank goodness for bandaids. I have a few blisters on my heels, but those should go away this next week I am hoping!! 

My companion is Sister Mitchell from Maryland. She´s super nice and patient!!! Thank heavens for that! I really like being companions with her. Turns out that we were in the MTC at the same time in Provo. I´ll be out in the mission longer than her though since I will most likely be extending for another month. We´ll see what happens though! 

Brazil does have some weird things that I am not quite used to. 

Well, I love you all tons!!! 

I have some píctures to send home, so I´ll do that now! 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

BRaZiL! - MTC Round 2

Dear Family!!!
So in I'm Brazil and I absolutely love it!!!! I still can't believe that I am actually here. It surprises me a bit to be honest... seems like I have been waiting for it for so long, and now that I am here, it is just amazing! Things here are going really well in the MTC. I can say that I am definitely grateful for all of the practice and the diligence that I put into studying Portuguese before my mission. Without a doubt, it has definitely paid off and I am receiving a TON of help from Heavenly Father with the language. The Gift of Tongues is defintiely a real thing... and I am SO grateful for it. Also, thank you for all of your prayers in my behalf. I have definitely felt them and I know that it it is making a huge difference.
On Saturday we were allowed to get out of this place... I think we went to the Teatro Minicipal... don't quote me on that though... anyways, we got to hand out Book of Mormons. Man, can I just say that Heavenly Father really helped me out with that. I was actually able to understand about 65% of what people said to me. Definitely a miracle!! It's bit intimidating being around people that you don't fully understand and trying to talk to them about Christ and the Restored Gospel and then they say something and you have absolutely no idea what to say back because you don't know what they said. But really, things turn out okay. This truly is God's work!!

Theatro Municipal - Brazil (
As for the food here. Except for breakfast, I have had beans and rice for every meal. It's a good thing I like beans and rice because I have a feeling that I am going to have that a lot of it in Brazil... The food is pretty good though. They don't have a ton of variety, but that's okay. I think I've only had one or two things that I couldn't quite get myself to eat... one of them was a squid and rice dish... yeah, no thank you. I'll pass on that.
I get along with my companion, Sister Garnett, very well! She is super nice and has a desire to work hard, which I am VERY grateful for. My district is okay. To be honest, sometimes it is hard. They are all pretty much teenage boys and goof off a lot of the time. They don't really like to talk in Portuguese, and it is hard to always be speaking in Portuguese when everyone else in the room is talking in english. I'm taking things one day at a time though and just keeping in mind that I will soon be out of the MTC. I think it's interesting that some people here have the attitute that they don't need to be here because they already know how to be a missionary and that this is a waste of their time. The MTC is a lot different from the field, but I am enjoying it!
This past week I was called as a Sister Training Leader... that's basically just a person who watches over the other Sisters and makes sure that they are keeping the rules and everything. It's pretty great because I get to talk to the other sisters and get to know them a bit. Thank heavens none of them have trouble following the rules. :)
Well, I'd say that that is pretty much it. All day I pretty much sit in a classroom and learn how to speak Portuguese better. My teachers are pretty great. They don't really speak English at all so sometimes we have no idea what they are saying so we just smile and say "sim" (yes) and then that appeases them so they go away. 9\10 I know what they are saying though, so that is good! From what I have experienced about Brazil, it feels like a home away from home!
Interesting thing I learned this week: hashtag in portuguese =jogodevelhas= game of the old. y'all= gente.
I love y'all tons!!!!!

Last Day in Tennessee

Dear Family!!

Well can you believe it?!? My last full day in Tennessee!!! Yeah, I can't believe it either. It doesn't feel that real yet. This past week has been good, a little bit slower because a few of our investigators are out of town, but it has still been a very blessed week! 

We've been able to have some REALLY good success with Donna this past week. We officially taught her the Word of Wisdom and asked her to live it. She was a bit hesitant on that. She's been smoking and drinking coffee and tea for 60+ years. She's made a schedule for herself though to be off coffee and tea by the end of the week. And then, with smoking, she is down to 13 cigarettes a day now!! (I know that sounds like a lot, but when we first started meeting with her, she was at 30 a day, so miracles are happening slowly, but surely). When we left her house from that lesson, she gave us all of her tea and most of the coffee in her house! It felt very rewarding to leave her house carrying a huge tub of coffee and tea!! Donna came to not only Sacrament meeting this week, but also Sunday school! It was nice to have her and I feel like she learned a lot. Next week she is planning on coming to Sacrament meeting, taking a nap during Sunday School, and then going to Relief Society... Hopefully one day she'll be able to go without a cigarrette for a few hours so she can come to all three!!

Loretta is just amazing. Blessed Loretta. She's been reading every single day and praying every single day. She wants to get baptized with her boy Sammy. They came to a baptism for an 8 year old girl this week and it seemed to be a super good experience. Sammy got a bit restless so right after the baptism, they left. Sunday she showed up for church again, and boy oh boy was it just great! During Relief Society, Loretta got up and said her testimony (the RS president had asked her a few days beforehand). It was super cool to hear it though. She told an experience that she had where she was reading the Book of Mormon for 15 hours straight. She stopped afterwards to take a 20 minute nap. During that nap she had a dream and she just knew without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true. She said how every Sunday from now on out, she will be at church. She wants to be baptized sometime in January. I am SO excited for her!!!! Kinda sad that I won't be here to see it all, but we are going to keep in contact!

We had a funny experience this past week. We were out trying to talk to people at the park. There was this guy that was out, so we decided to go and talk to him. When we came up, the very first thing that came out of his mouth was "I'm not homeless, I promise." We introduced ourselves and got to know him a little bit and all that fun jazz. We told him that as missionaries, we share a message about Christ and His restored Gospel and asked if he would be interested in learning more. He said he had to go, we said okay and asked for his number. He said he didn't want to give it, so we gave him ours.... okay, fast forward to later that night. We got this random text that said "Is this the Sister Missionaries...truecountryboy". Sister Linford and I were just ecstatic. No one. I mean no one, just sends us texts out of the blue. We had all of these high hopes of baptizing this mysterious person, and all that fun jazz. (We had completely forgotten about the incident at the park earlier in the day because things like that happen all the time). Anyways, we responded quickly and assured him that he most definitely had the right number, and asked who it was. The response "The really cute guy who yall gave the card too here at the park....truecountryboy". I won't lie, our high hopes of baptizing him started to decrease a little bit by getting that text. But, we persisted. We told him how we share a wonderful message about Christ and asked if he would be interested in learning more. Right away he responded and said: "Ummm no thanks sorry darlins..Just thought I would text yall but i can see you or ur blonde friend aint into talkn 2 me...truecountryboy." So yeah, that ended there. And the high hopes that we had of baptizing him ended there as well. Maybe one day. 

We volunteered at this Fair thing and had a booth this past week. All of the missionaries in the stake had to sign up to take a time. When we did it, there was a UT football game going on, so there was hardly anybody at the fair. So, it was really boring. But, we did talk to every single person that went past, so that was a good thing!!! 

I am really, really enjoying being with Sister Linford!! She is so sweet! I am really sad to be leaving her, I know she will do just great here though!!

Sister Beth Spencer

Monday, September 1, 2014

8 days til Brazil!

Dear Family!! 

So, we were just going to email on Tuesday since today is a holiday, but we found a spot that has internet access, so we decided just to email now. 

This week has been good! I officially got my flight plans. I fly out on Tuesday at 4 pm, fly to Atlanta Georgia, have a 4 hour lay over. My next flight takes off at 8 that night, and then I will arrive in Sao Paulo the next morning around 7. Man, that is going to be a lloooonnnngggg flight,  and I should go straight into learning at the MTC, but hey, I am still just SO excited for it!! My District Leader, Elder Cabral, is from Brazil and speaks Portuguese so I've been able to practice with him a tad bit. I feel okay when talking about a gospel subject, but when if we try to talk about other things, it gets a bit rough. I have a LOT to learn, but I am confident that the Lord will help me since He has asked me to do this! 

This past week has been a super good week! We had 5 investigators at church yesterday and man it was just so great!!!! Nam, Loretta, Donna, Sister Fritz, and Lin. Super good.  Best I've ever had. Well, I'll go and describe a bit about our investigators. 

 Nam is progressing super well. We met him at the church one day for a lesson with a member. We started to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, but he had a few questions, so we just stopped there and  figured out more of his concerns and taught him part of the Restoration. He said that hew as going to come to a baptism on Friday that another set of missionaries was having, but he showed up late so only made it to the closing hymn. He came to church on Sunday and we committed him to read and pray daily! He's all for it!! We tried to soft-commit him for baptism (if you come to know this is true, will you be baptized), but he just got super confused. He's Vietnamese. So, we'll have to go more over baptism later. 

Loretta is just doing so great! She wants to be baptized with her boy Sam Oliver. I think that is just so great. We finished teaching her the Plan of Salvation this past week and she accepted all of it, no trouble. On Sunday, she came to church!!!!! (first time ever!!!). And then, she has received a ton of Fellowship from ward members. Just wonderful!

Donna is doing well. This was her 5th week attending church. She is still having a hard time quitting smoking.... but she has cut back a TON. She's gone from 30 cigarettes a day, to between 10-15. By small and simple means are great things brought to pass. Donna has passed the Isaiah Chapters in the Book of Mormon and she is still going strong!! 

Carol and Dale are doing pretty well. This past week we asked them if they would be baptized if they came to know what we were teaching is true. Dale said yes right away!!!! And then, Carol was super hesitant about saying yes and just asked us to move on. So, we'll keep on going over there to teach them! Except, I won't see them again because they are out of town for three weeks, and then I'll be going to Brazil. That's okay though. They are having major issues excepting that we are literally spiritual sons and daughters of God and that we existed before we came to this Earth. I think that is so sad. 

Maria is doing well.... sort of. She's signed her kids up to be confirmed in the Episcapol  Church... so really, not that great. She's committed to read the Book of Mormon again and she's told us herself that she feels so different around members (in a good way). But, she won't come to church and is pretty much actively pursing another church. I don't know if we'll keep going to see her. It depends on if she keeps her other commitments. We tried to soft commit her for baptism, but she got offended that we would ask her to be baptized again. We'll see what happens. :-/

Sister Linford and I are doing super well together! It is fun being companions with her. This will be our last week together. Kinda sad, but we'll make it fun! I'll take tons of pictures to send to y'all! 

I love y'all tons!!!! 

Sister Beth Spencer

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Departure date for Brazil is Set!

Dear Family!!!! 

Well I'm sure that all of you are filled in by now with what has been going on with my VISA. At first, I said I wanted to go, then the Seventy who is over the missionary department asked me to reconsider staying. I got to call mom and dad, and I re-decided that I want to go again. I am still waiting for approval from the Seventy, but am pretty positive that I will be able to go. If it is approved, I will leave here on September 9th, go into the MTC for two weeks, and then go to Campinas! I have absolutely no idea what my address will be when I get down there or anything, but once I find out (which will probably be once I get there) I will let you know!! My companion is taking me leaving pretty hard. The other night she was bawling in bed and just wouldn't stop crying. I had to keep telling her that it was going to be okay and that the Lord is in control. I could tell that helped out a lot!! Thank goodness for the power of prayer!! ....Just kidding on my companion! She is doing great and is happy for me. She is sad that I will be leaving, but she is super stellar so I know that she will be awesome! 

Okay, enough of that Visa business. This past week has been a pretty good week. We taught Carol and Dale again. They are progressing well except for one thing. They have heard the phrase "Don't pray about the Book of Mormon... that's how they get you!" So, Carol and Dale will not pray with us or about the Book of Mormon! Utterly ridiculous! So, to sum it up, this next week we are going to teach them about the importance and need of prayer and ask them to pray about our message. If they are not willing to pray on our message and act on the answer they receive, we won't be going back. Pretty rough, but Sister Linford and I have prayed quite a bit about it and feel good about it! Cross your fingers that things go well!! We really want to keep teaching Carol and Dale!!!

Sister Linford and I found a SUPER legit new investigator this past week. Her name is Maria. She is a former investigator that the Elder's used to go and teach. When we went over there, we got to know her a little bit, and then did a few how to begin teaching things to introduce our message to her. It's great because we found out that she has already read the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants and has a testimony of them!!! Apparently one time after the Elder's left, she said a prayer and asked God if the Book of Mormon was true, and then she opened up to 1 Nephi 15:24. That says: "And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken  unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction." Yeah, so super legit! We have a set appointment for Wednesday and we have an awesome member of our ward going with us! We are so excited!!!! :D

This past week the power of prayer has really stuck out to me. Heavenly Father is always there for us and is always eager to help us out. This past week I had an interesting experience with prayer. We were trying to find somebody in our ward to go out with us to a teaching appointment that we had. The appointment was at a bad time (3:30 in the afternoon) and so it was already a bit difficult. For about 20 minutes we tried absolutely every person we could think of on our own. With no luck, we came up with what we thought was a brilliant idea and that was to call up the relief-society president and ask her. We did that and she was super helpful and gave us a few names to try. We called all of them and guess what! No. luck. whatsoever. I was sitting there thinking and wondering why it was SO stinkin hard to get someone to go out with us. It's never been that hard in this ward. Everyone is so eager to help us out. And then this thought hit me saying: "Sister Spencer, Did you think to pray and ask Heavenly Father for help?" Sister Linford and I knelt down and said a prayer asking for help. The second person we called after that prayer was able and willing to go with us to that appointment. That experience really humbled me and helped me remember that  Heavenly Father is always there for us and eager to help us out. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. 

Well I love you all VERY VERY much!!! Thank you for all that you do for me! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

VISA has COME!!!

Dear Family, 

So the biggest news as of right now, is that I GOT MY VISA!!!!! SUPER EXCITED!!!! I have decided to go!!!! I am just waiting on approval and confirmation that I can go. I should find that out later today and will let y'all now once I find out! I found outon Friday and it has been a very eventful few days! On Sunday I fasted to know if going was an okay decision. Everyone that came up and talked to me on Sunday who knew about my VISA told me that I should go to Brazil! Pretty good sign that it is okay if I go. I am SUPER excited and a tad bit nervous, but I know that this is the Lord's work and He didn't send me out here to fail!  

Campinas, Brazil Temple with city view
So besides the whole VISA thing, this week has been very good! We've taught a lot of lessons and things are progressing well with our investigators. Donna is moving along quite nicely. This past week she has really strengthened her testimony of Joseph Smith and of prophets on the earth today. She has drastically cut back on smoking, but she is still having 15 cigarettes a day. We had the stake Patriarch come and give her a blessing. He asked her to throw out all of her cigarettes right then and to get rid of all the ash trays and to put her faith in God and have God help her stop smoking. Unfortunately, Donna was not quite to the point where she could do that yet. We are still working with her. She has been faithfully attending church and the Addiction Recovery Programs! 

Carol and Dale are also progressing well. We went back this past week and re-taught them the Message of the Restoration. Carol kept saying that the Bible was the authority so the authority never left the Earth. A member who was with us, very bluntly told her that the Bible was not the authority, but that God was the authority and He had given us the Bible. She didn't have anything to say back to that and completely agreed. They have been keeping their commitments to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. Sister Linford and I are hopeful that soon we will be able to get the to church! 

We got a pretty legit new investigator this past week. His name is Nam. His grandparents are from Vietnam and worship a whole bunch of different gods, his mom had a dream of Christ and didn't know who it was for the longest time. Their family moved to TN, she found out about Christ, and is now a Christian. From the dream his mom had, Nam is now a Christian as well. Nam was a referral given to us by one of the members here. Yesterday night (Sunday night) we went over and taught him the Message of the Restoration. He felt the spirit really strong. In his own words, he said "I feel a level of joy that I haven't felt in years. That was like the most perfect combination of people possible for me." It was super encouraging to hear that. We should be meeting with Nam later this week. I am excited to see where things go! 

One less-active family that we have been working quite a bit with is the Millers. We go over there to read scriptures quite a bit with the kids.... in all actuality, they are more teenagers. But they are open to us coming over. They have started to do their own personal reading every day!! Two of them go off to college soon, but I'm glad that we have at least been able to start them in the habit of daily reading! 

Besides that, we had a great Zone Conference this week and it was Sister Linford's birthday so we celebrated!! Fun times, I am really enjoying in TN, but I am also super excited at the option of going to Brasil! We'll see what the Lord has in store for me! 

I love you alll very much! I will let y'all know as soon as I find out what will happen with Brazil. Thank you for all that you do for me!!1 Love you tons!!! 

Sister Beth Spencer

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekly Email Aug. 11

Dear Family!! 

Well another week has gone by now. Pretty crazy. Things have been going well here for Sister Linford and I. We are really enjoying being together and we are working hard. As of right now, our most promising investigator is Donna.This past week we taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and asked her to pray about baptism on September 13th. She was a bit hesitant, but she said she would do that. The next day, we saw her and asked her if she had prayed about baptism at all. She said she had and felt like it was too soon for her. We could understand that because of her circumstances. The next day she was meeting with her realistate agent and they were talking about baptism and how she was meeting with us. He told her "If they are good, God-fearing people, what are you so worried about?" At that point, she was considering baptism again!! Next day we taught her the plan of salvation and talked about the celestial kingdoms and eternal families. That really hit home with her and so now she is seriously considering baptism again!  And, she has come to church twice!! We are super excited! One of the members of our congregation who is helping to fellowship Donna is Sister Manion. Yesterday we were talking to Sister Manion and she turned to me and said: "You know, I was thinking that maybe one of the reasons you don't have your VISA is because you needed to be here to teach Donna." :)

We got a referral this past week for some people named Carol and Dale. We called them up and set up a time to meet with them for Thursday. On Thursday when we met with them, we found out that they were currently Lutheran, but had always been interested in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and finally decided that they wanted to learn more themselves. We taught them the Restoration. There were some parts were I don't think that they fully grasped what we were saying, but we left a pamphlet with them and will be going back this coming Thursday. I am excited to see where things go with them!

Training has been going very well with Sister Linford. I am really enjoying being her companion. She has such a strong desire to work hard and to follow the spirit. I feel like it is helping me to be my best self and to constantly strive to do all of the small things that I know I need to be doing. We are seeing miracles happening here and we love it!!! 

This past week our District Meeting I felt like was directly related to me and what I needed to hear. I've been thinking a bit about why it has taken me so long to get my VISA. In one of the trainings, they talked a bit about the character of God. They shared a few different stories, but to summarize they talked about how God is always watching us to make sure we are safe, but soemtimes he will let us continue in our struggles for a bit so we can learn and to grow. they talked about how God knows exactly what we need and He will give that to us, but he won't always give us what we want. I feel like that has been a huge test for me on my mission. I want my Visa super bad, but I don't need it, and the Lord is teaching me a lesson. The last thing that they talked about was Doctrine and covenants 98:1-3--how all of our afflictions will eventually be for our good and for the glory of God. I don't know if I will get my VISA, but I know that this experience I am having will be for my good. 

I love you all so much!! Thanks for all of your prayers and all that you do for me! 

Much love, 

Sister Beth Spencer