Monday, July 29, 2013

Awkward, almost kiss... again. SO, in Brazil, you greet people with a hug and a kiss on the cheek... I feel like I kiss more people in a day than most people do in their whole life haha anyways, as  sister missionaries, we are not allowed to greet those of the opposite gender like that so we usually just stick with a handshake. The other day we were teaching this man, L and at the end he grabs my hand and tries to pull me up off the couch and kiss me! When I realized what he was doing I was like "nao nao! somos missionarias!" and we had to explain things to him and he was really embarrassed, it was so awk... but sister D said that happens all the time.

21st Birthday! As some of you might know... I celebrated my 21 run in Brazil this week. We had a district/zone meeting in the morning and after that was done, Elder I (ZL) was like everyone go to the kitchen for a birthday surpise! Turns out my whole zone had brought some sort of sweet with them and they all sang me happy birthday in portuguese first and then english. it was so sweet! THEN, to top it all off, the ZLs presented me with "a taste of america for your bday" A HERSHEYS CANDY BAR. Oh man they're the best. And then I had my first Brazilian Pizza for dinner with my comp... IT WAS SO GOOD. Thankfully there is a pizzaria right across the street from our house. :) Other than that it was a pretty miserable day haha it poured rain all day and was COLD, we visited a lot of people too, so I felt like a real missionary all soaking wet in the cold. haha

3 Month Anniversary! This week I also celebrated my 3 month anniversary on the mission WOOHOO. On the 24th  our phone stopped working and President A called us 15 times and the ZL/DL couldn't get ahold of us as we
ll so they were all really worried. We were practically rogue missionaries haha anyways, they ended up calling our members home and we had to go all the way to San Bernardo to get a new phone from the office elders, which costs about R$20 to get there on the train. laammeee

Winter. Woof. Turns out, Sao Paulo has a winter time. And let me tell you, it stinks. Why did no one tell me this? It has been 7 degC and raining and windy all week!

Teaching. we are teaching a lot of people. J V is one of our new investigators and he is great. He knows the church is true and comes to church every Sunday. He is definitely elect, we just have to get over some law of chastity and word of wisdom issues first. We are teaching a lot of other people as well, but no one that is progressing immensely :( But all in good time. We are working with a recent convert less active T who is so great. She is married to a cocaine addict with a daughter so she is going through some really hard times, but we visit her a lot and I can see her faith in Christ growing everyday.

The Lingua: Portuguese is still really hard, but I know a lot more than I did last week... I just have to get rid of my American accent haha and maybe people will understand me.

Well I hope you all have a great week!

Jacob 4:1-3, Don't forget to read your sciptures every day... they were written for YOU.

Sister Hargrove

Monday, July 22, 2013

OLA! I am in BRAZIL right now. WHATTTT?! Brazil is great. I really like the people here and the culture is awesome. I really miss the CoCoSprings though... My first night here was really hard. I realized that I definitely do not know Portuguese and even if I did, I would not be able to understand what the Brazilians are saying because they talk so fast!

On the plane, I met two Brazilians, N and M (she was at LEAST 140 years old, I swear). They were both really nice and asked me questions about the church and I responded the best way that I could, but the language barrier is rough. Another rough thing? spending 11 hours on a plane... woof. Not my preferred location for sleeping, but I made the best of it. When I got off the plane, I got into the foreigners line and waited for like two hours for them to check my passport, visa and whatnot. Then I met the rep from the mission office and waited for the other missionaries to arrive. (PS, I ended up flying by myself, I was the only one who flew into Dallas, so I was without a companion for a whole day!!) Anyways, SISTER C CAME! And we had a great little reunion in the airport with a few others that I knew from the MTC, but Sister C and I were the only Sisters. 

We all hopped in a big van outside the airport and began the trek to the mission home to meet Pres/Sis T. LET ME TELL YOU, it is a wonder I didn't die. Brazilians are insane drivers. They don't follow speed limits and weave in and out of the lane, and on top of that, there are people on motorcycles honking and weaving in and out of the cars. It was crazy. 

We got to the mission office about an hour later and all (about 8 visa waiters) filed into the living room with about 6 Brazilian missionaries. Then we met President and his wife, who is AWESOME. We had our transfer meeting and I got my trainer. She is an American from California who has been out for 7 months, 4 in Brazil. Her name is Sister D. She is nice...

After the meeting and hostage pics and everything, we all carried our luggage to the train stations to travel to our areas. We got to our house at about 7ish. We live on the bottom level of the Stake Presidents house with  his family. I'll attach pics of our living quarters to this as well... The picture that I sent of the plyboards is what I look up at every night. Many generations of elders have lived in our house before us so the bed is covered in peoples names and what not... but it says ´´shut up and work.´´ in Portuguese haha

I had my first Brazilian meal of rice and beans and salad and chicken... the first of MANY, but it was so good. I looooove Brazilian food... a LOT. It´s hard not understanding anyone though.

On Wednesday, we had a zone meeting (in Portuguese) and just unpacked a lot... nothing too exciting, but we did walk up to the capella to meet with the bishop.

We went grocery shopping and to a farmers market, which was so cool! They had every cool fruit you could think of and every part of an animal anyone could every want haha so good. We walk a LOT. To anyone that had a car for their mission... you are so lucky. Sao Caetano is all sorts of hills everywhere. You'll be able to crack an egg on my calves when I get back. We heard some crazy explosions on Thursday... turns out there was a soccer game going on so they were lighting fireworks every time a goal was made.

More hills today... so sore. We taught our neighbor, A... who is CRAY. While we were there she got a phone call and then asked us to go to the store with her, so we walked to the street corner store in the pouring down rain to meet this man who owed her some money and gave her like R$850... sketch.

Drank some heaven (Brigadeiro milkshakes) YUM... did a lot of visits, saw a Brazilian marching band. its hard to get ahold of people because not a lot of people have cell phones so we just have to stop by. and even when we make an appointment, sometimes, they're not there! I had my first Church day in Brazil, which was so good. and we also found R$55 on the ground, such luck!

The language is coming along, but it is really hard because people just see me as the American who doesn't speak Portuguese, so they don't really talk to me after they figure that out but I am trying really hard!

The first two weeks of the transfer are generally hard and the first three months of being in a foreign mission are also really hard, so I've got a long 11 weeks ahead of me. But I am finding a lot of comfort in reading my English scriptures every night. 

My mailing address is:

Sister Hargrove
Sao Paulo South Mission
Rua Dr. Luis da Rocha Miranda, 159 - 8a ander
Pq. Japaquara - Sao Paulo SP
CEP 04344-010

Love you all,
Sister Hargrove

Monday, July 8, 2013

V I S A !

V I S A: I GOT MY VISA! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! SISTER HARGROVE IS GOING TO BRAZIL ON MONDAY. I REPEAT, THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Good people of my family, last Friday, Mom's Brithday, I got THE PHONE CALL. Let me tell you the story. We had a lesson at the Church with a Returning Less-Active / Disfellowshipped member. Who is awesome, by the way. Anyways, We get this phone call in the middle of our lesson and Sister S says, "It's President Anderson!" But we didn't answer it. For the rest of our lesson, I was SO nervous. I just got this feeling that something crazy was about to happen because President Anderson doesn't ever just call to say hi haha Well we finish this lesson and immediately call President back. The whole time my heart is just pounding and then he says, "I just wanted to let you all know that we have received Sister Hargrove's Visa and she will be leaving on Monday, the 15th." And this is how I respond, cue the ugly tears... "OHMYGAWSH! AHHHH!!!!! I'M GOING TO BRAZIL!!! AHHH!!!!!!!!!!" repeat about 5 times while President is on the line talking to Sister H about my flight plan and other important stuff that I should have been listening to, but I was too busy freaking out. Craziest moment of my LIFE. So much changed in the five minute phone call. And now all I can think of is that fact that I need to eat as much American food as I can in the next 7 days because it's going to be rice and beans from here on out. SERIO.

4th of July: I had an AWESOME fourth this year. About a hundred missionaries walked in this huge parade in Monument, CO. It was soooo cool. we all dressed up in patriotic colors, held flags and sang hyms. We also threw a TON of candy. Our members, the Ss,  gave us $100 dollars to buy candy with. SO. MUCH. After the Parade we had dinner at the M's home. They are the sweetest couple I know. Brother M had a stroke a couple years ago has the sweetest testimony. They had my whole district over plus a member and fed us all a delicious barbeque. So good! 

Soup Kitchen Miracles: We went to the soup kitchen again last wednesday. As always, it was great. I was in charge of serving pasta. I stinking love those people!

Splits: At the beginning of this week I went on splits with a less-active member in one of the family wards. Her name is M and she is 18 years old. She is so nice. Anyways, so Sisters H and S went together in the car to a different area and M and I hit the streets. We visited about 8 less-active homes. half weren't there, but we found a new investigator while we were walking! His name is F, he is YSA aged and SO nice. We also visited a man named T who agreed to meet with us again. Turns out he works everyday except Sunday. How great is that?! ;)

Z: I can't remember if I have told you about Z already, but we had a lesson with him this week and I basically layed down the law. I have never been so bold in my life. I pretty much told him that he needed to get his life together and start taking action instead of smoking pot all day long. It was AWESOME. He told me that I blew his mind. Such a good feeling. Then later that week he had the audacity to try and drop us! He said he was only going to come to Church because he thought we were pretty. But fortunately for him, I stood my ground and told him we would be back next week to see how his Book of Mormon reading was going. :)

That's all I have time to write right now... I have to send home a few things... turns out I brought too much stuff... Who knew?! Anyways, I'll be sending that home soon.


I will talk to you in seven days! AHH! IN BRAZIL!


Sister Hargrove