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!