Monday, August 26, 2013


Happy Birthday Mom!!!! I love you!!!!

Dear everyone, 

Hello! Sorry, I don't have much time to write today. This week was crazy...again. Haha. It amazes me how similar the experience of working in Cerquilho is to Coffeyville. The process of getting started is the same (and different) wherever you are. Without an established teaching pool, a lot of what we're doing is searching for those who are prepared to accept the gospel. Casting our nets for all of the fish, and having to throw back the ones that aren't ready (yet!). We just have to have the faith that as we talk to everyone we can, we'll find those the Lord needs us to. I know that all of the people here are beloved sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father--and He wants to give them all of the blessings of the gospel. He'll labor with us and we do all we can! It's comforting to think of that, and know that my limited language abilities won't hinder anyone from accepting the gospel so long as I can teach by and with the Spirit. It makes it so important to always strive to be worthy of it! Anyway, we've taught a lot of Restoration lessons, so I'm getting better at explaining it...which is perfect, because that's what this week's training application is for! I'm getting the slightest bit better at street contacts, and I even talked on the phone yesterday. (gulp) It was TERRIFYING. Haha Sister Dutra was in the bathroom...thankfully, it was Jeissy (a 15 year old girl we're teaching) and she already knows me so she knew she had to speak slower :)

We had our first district meeting this week! And guess what--my District Leader is the brother of one of my friends from BYU, from Heber UT!! Cool, huh? (Mom, Lizzy's brother. She was the 1st counselor in the RS, so we worked a lot together. She's on her mission in the North Adriatic right now) 
That day after district meeting we had interviews with President Martins, and then I had to drive down to São Paulo with him and Sister Martins to go to the Federal Police thingy. Something about my visa...making sure I had permission to stay in the country now that I'm here. Bah. But it was really fun! I got to spend even more time with them (seriously, I'm so spoiled!) and it was so fun to talk to and spend time with other missionaries. 

Out of time--random things I've learned:
There is a right way and a wrong way to eat an orange. Americans do it wrong....and if you try to peel it and eat it by slices, you will be laughed at!
Brazilians think American accents are hilarious :)
There are 2 unplanned key changes in every hymn. Also, don't sing the harmony or everyone will stare at you! (But boy do Brazilians love to sing! Loudly, without holding anything back. It's awesome)

I love you!!!!! 

Sister Fuller

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sempre uma "fresquinha"

Eu chegei! Which you already know...but I can't remember what I told you before. At least that much :)
We arrived in Sao Paulo Tuesday morning, and then traveled to the mission home to meet President and Sister Martins. The drive was about an hour long, and the ENTIRE TIME we were stayed in the city, completely surrounded by huge buildings. Later that day we had interviews with President, and then found out where and with who we were going. There were 11 sisters and 4 elders in the group that "arrived" with me--myself, Sister Garner, and Elder Kelley from my MTC district, one Sister and one Elder straight from the Provo MTC, and then the rest from the Sao Paulo MTC, including one american Sister.
On Wednesday we did NOTHING, which was just a little weird, actually. Haha. Sister Dutra and I were assigned to open Cerquilho--cutest little city ever. Dad, you're right--it's nicer than Ava! Anyway, President likes to accompany the missionaries that are opening an area to help us with our house, keys to the church, etc. Since there was a big departing group the same day of transfers, he couldn't take us until Wednesday I got to know Sister Dutra (who speaks no English) and tried my best to learn some Portuguese. We just sat in the office all day, and then went back to the mission home to sleep.
Thursday we arrived, took care of all the necessary things, and then got to know Cerquilho a little. I feel a little spoiled for having the opportunity to spend more time with President and Sister Martins than the other arriving missionaries! They kept taking us out to eat, and they speak English...which was nice for when I was really lost! Sister Martins bought us my first pastel. Yum :) It's nao sei. Meat and cheese and fried stuff. Haha.
Then we were on our own! We visited the branch president and the mission leader, visited people listed in the area book, and started teaching anyone that would listen. Which is A LOT. Sister Dutra's so good--we'll be walking and she just says, "Hi! Nice to meet you, I'm Sister Dutra, and we're messengers of Jesus Christ. We help people know how to come closer to Christ, and be with their families forever. Could we pass by your house some other day and share some of these truths with you and your family? Yes? Ok, can I write down your address?" Actually, she says more than that. That's just what she taught me to say, so that's all I remember!
It's a little nerve wrecking to start talking to people, knowing fully that if they say too much in response, I won't have a clue what to say next. Haha. And funny that I really can't say all that much. But I can say a little! I can stumble through it, and people are nice about it...hahaha. I just feel bad for the people that talk with me. I know what I need to do as a missionary, and I know the responsibility I hold. So I just have to do my best to forget myself and put my pride on the altar and trust that the Spirit will tell them what they need to know. After all, the language of the Spirit is universal! I honestly don't really know how the language is going. I think I'm being blessed more than I deserve, because even though I have to concentrate a lot on what they're saying, I can usually figure out what's going on. Unless they're from way northern Brasil or something. Haha here's a gem--one lady from there said, "So it's difficult for you to speak, and difficult for us to understand." Yup. Sorry. I'm working on it. Anyway, my theory is that it's like wearing glasses. Anyone that knows me knows how stubborn I am about wearing them--so I'll walk around blind if my contacts won't go in! But I can usually figure out what signs and things say because I can make out the general shape and use deductive reasoning to piece the rest together. So I think I'm understanding small bits and pieces, and then my brain goes on overdrive to make the rest mean something!
Sister Dutra's fun. We actually recieved our mission calls the same day, but she left January 10th and I left April 10th. Dang visa :) She's from southern Brasil, so talks a little differently than people here...I'm going to sound so funny! But we sing at every lesson again!
I'm doing really well. I know I'm being watched over and helped along with every step I take, and I'm so grateful for that. Yesterday in Church (which is wonderful...we have a branch of about 40 and our meetinghouse is a little space above a pharmacy. You should see the baptismal font!) we sang "Contas Bençãos" (count your blessings) which is one of my favorite hymns in Portuguese, and the only one I have memorized, and then Come, Come Ye Saints as the closing hymn. TENDER MERCY. I think that "Come, Come Ye Saints" and "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" are going to be my songs of my mission. I love how the Lord can speak to me through hymns, and I can both learn and recieve comfort from them.
Well, we're going to try to figure out how to send photos, so I've got to go. Love you all so much! I'm taking Sister Larson's idea of taking pictures of your emails to read later, so hopefully that works. Thank you for everything!
Sister Fuller

Monday, August 5, 2013

Brazil Bound!!!


First off....a happy anniversary to the greatest parents there ever were! I love you both so much, and am IMMENSELY grateful for all you do!! I LOVE YOU!!

Well, Ava's still doing well. We've had a couple of setbacks this week, but it's actually been a blessing in some ways. For example, one of our investigators called out of the blue to tell us that he thinks "he belongs at Ava Assembly of God". He's just really confused about some things right now, and knowing what I do, it breaks my heart. I know that true happiness can come from this restored gospel, and I want him to receive the same blessings that I have! He's still open to talking to us, and so we've met to discuss his questions. But as we've visited with him, I've been completely humbled, realizing that absolutelynothing I could say could make a difference! I realize more than ever how I much I need the Spirit to teach him, testify to him, and help him receive his own witness. And so as I've been praying for him, it's been more humble and fervent pleading. I feel more deeply what's at stake, and I want it badly for him. We've been able to teach by the Spirit as a companionship as we've met with him, and I'm so grateful for that. I know he still has the agency to reject the message, but I'm hoping that as the Spirit speaks to him, he'll get the answer he's been searching for. 

Tuesday was just busybusybusy. We had been on splits that day, and so by 9:30 p.m. when we all finally met back up, we just looked at each other and basically collapsed on the floor. Best thing ever--I love knowing we've worked hard! Then on Wednesday we had a combined district meeting in Springfield, and it was wonderful...I just love learning from other missionaries! We also started teaching a woman who had her records removed from the church 20 years ago, and now wants to come back. She's realized what she was missing, and so she approached us about taking the lessons again! She's been reading the Book of Mormon like a crazy person, and really is sincere about changing her life. It's so cool! Thursday was good too. We went out with Sister Lewis (our superstar ward missionary. She's served a mission, and just got released as the Stake Relief Society President, so she really knows what she's doing!) and visited a bunch of less active families. 

And then on FRIDAY....we had exchanges. We couldn't find a member to give us a ride down to West Plains, and so we were driving ourselves. Partway down, we got our every-other-weekly phone call from Sister Hooper, on of the Sisters who works in the Mission office. She deals with funds, so always calls to tell us when she loads money onto Sister Burt's card to feed us. So she started off, listing the breakdown of what all of the money was for. Our conversation went something like this: 
 "...and then there's $60 for each of your luggage fees..."
"Wait, what luggage fee? Are they already loading it way ahead of time?"
"What do you mean? Aren't you a visa waiter? You're not staying in this mission, right?"
"Yes...Sister Hooper, do you know something we don't know?!" 
"I have you leaving August 12th! Is that right?"
"I don't know, we haven't heard anything!" 
"Oh dear, what have I done???" 

Hahahaha. Best way to find out EVER!! It turns out the mission office secretary has known a little over a week, but had forgotten to call us. So poor Sister Hooper was so worried she messed up somehow! Anyway. It's true! Our visas are HERE!!! Sister Garner and I are both flying out a week from today, at 3:00ish. I have no idea what that means about calling home (Mom and Dad), but this is probably the last time I'll have to write you. I'm pretty sure it's a Delta flight--maybe you could look up the flight information? They haven't gotten it to us yet. But I'm going to Brazil!!!! I am SO excited! The rest of the car ride was pretty funny--Sister Garner and I were super happy, and then Sister Burt was just freaking out and sad. Poor Sister Burt. We leave three days before transfers, so we're not sure what'll happen to her! I don't really get the point of being in a trio when two of us were visa waiters...we just had more to learn from each other, I guess! 

Anyway, love you all. How cool is it that the next time you hear from me, I'll be in Brazil?! 

Eu amo todos de voces, para sempre! 

Sister Fuller