Thursday, January 8, 2015

One white christmas!

Hi again!

I love you all so much!! It was so fun to be able to see you all and talk to you all for Christmas!!  This Christmas was really special for me, even better than last year, and one that I will definitely never forget! I never do this but just to make it easier for me to remember I will write out the days!
Segunda- we went to the center of the city and bought a bunch of random things in the central market
Terça- we went to the wedding of Renato and Fatima and it was beautiful :)
Quarta- we had a special zone meeting where every companionship presented something special for Christmas (talks, stories, activities etc.).  Sister Ray and I sung a pretty christmas hymn.  Then we went caroling (which is not normal here) with a bunch of missionaries and made everyone´s day!  At night we had a huge special dinner party with Monalisa and George and their family.
Quinta- We went to Monalisa´s again to skype the fam!  and it was the best!! at night we went to Renato´s and Fatima´s baptism and it was really really spiritual and a special experience.  There was not a dry eye. 
Sexta- I went to the mission office with Sister Villagran and talked to president a little.  (He said that the deadline for the spring semester already passed..... and that I probably needed to do something).  But I think that I will visit Brooklynn and Cam but probably I will stay at home for longer that I was planning on. 
Sunday- 3 confirmations! woo hoo! and transfers :(

Sister Ray and Lima are leaving (but luckily Sister Lima will stay with me until wednesday) and my new companion is another American!  President said that I became way too Brazilian.  Her name is Sister Stevens and she is absolutely adorable and way awesome! Sister R Santos is staying in the house and Sister Hart will be her companion!  So it will be good.  Anyway... baptisms on Christmas was definitely the highlight of the week.  It was amazing to really focus on Christ and the gift that God gave us all.  Even though there wasn´t snow, with two bright white baptismal suits it was still a white christmas :).
Love you all!!
Britt (Sister Westover) 

Merry Christmas! and one more Feliz Natal!

Merry Christmas everyone!!
SOO excited to skype this week!  It´s going to be awesome!!  I was thinking like 10 in the morning on Christmas day? I will call on the 24th or 23rd to confirm with you guys :).  This year it is 45 minutes! woo hoo! Because five minutes totally makes all of the difference. 
Lorena was baptized yesterday!  We have been working with her FOREVER so I was so happy!!  She is super timid and the idea of baptism always scared her to death so it was way cool that she got the courage and was soo happy afterwards!  It was a really last minutes deal haha but worked out!  This week Fatima and Renato will get married on Tuesday and then will be baptized on Christmas day!  I am so so grateful to Heavenly Father for letting us be a part of something so special!  It is seriously so dang cool that they are finally getting married after 20 years and want to give a present to Christ this Christmas, being baptized in his church!! ahh the best.
I am with Sister Ray still and we are working with Sister Villagran (veesh a gron) from Argentina because Sister do Val went home last week and now Sister Villagran doesn´t have a companion so we are trying to handle two areas and wards.  After some girl difficulties earlier in the week everything is going well! :) phew.  I love them both and the areas are awesome so we are way excited for the week!  I love you all!! Celebrate the Savior´s birth with love and charity to all.
Sister Westover

It's Monday!

Happy Monday!!
I love you all!! I am so sorry that I am not sending very good emails but I literallly don´t even know what to say anymore!  I am trying to use the most of all of my time but then on Monday I was so focused during the week that I don´t remember the overview of what happened and it just seems like a giant blur in my head!  But I am loving the mission more than EVER!  I love my area and my comp and everything!  It is still hard, every single day is harder than the last but that is how we learn and grow!  I heard a cool quote that says ´´you know when you are on the right road because it is all uphill´´ and that is so true!  Hard is good!  Just keep pushing and kicking and you will get there!  I am so dang happy.  I love December, I think that it doesn´t matter where you are or what is going on... December in the whole world has a different feeling and it is so dang great.  I get home February 10th (will leave the 9th).  HUGE thanks to Aunt Lez!!!  I got the Christmas package and have been LOVING IT!!! :)  Also I just get letters from Ty but Linds and I write each other every couple months (it is my turn to respond) and Ryan and I email sometimes too.  I love getting emails from you guys! and pictures are my favorites!!  I love you tons! If you have questions I will respond it´s just that I forget what kinds of things to tell you!  We are teaching a bunch of people and you can pray for Lorena (she needs to not have to work on Sunday to be baptized or have the courage to quit her job) and Sergio (preparing for baptism on Sunday) and Carla and Vitoria (mom and daughter who are preparing for baptism here in two weeks) and Fatima and Renato (they need to get married and he needs to stop drinking so that they can be baptized!).  Love you ALL!!
Britt <3 (Sister  Westover)

ohana means family and family means never being alone :)

Hi fam!! 
How great it was to hear from you all this week!! I can´t even tell you how happy it made me!  I totally forgot it was thanksgiving until 7 at night and I turned to Sister Ray and said hey!  happy thanksgiving! she started to cry haha.  So we bought pastel and chocolate cake to eat when we got home at night! My weeks pass by so quickly and so much happens and sometimes (most of the times)I don´t know what to say on Mondays but my heart is just so dang full of love and happy good stuff that I just say the same things that probably don´t make any sense. But I miss you all TONS!  I am happy in my area!  We are working more with less actives and recent converts and baptisms to retain everyone in the church which is super awesome!  My companion isso great and living with sister Lima is always fun!  This ward is the best ward that I have had in the mission so I want to stay until the end here!  Yesterday Larissa (sister J Lima) visited me at church and it was such a fun surprise!  Everyone changes a little bit during Christmas time and it is the best feeling ever so I love being a missionary right now.  I love love love getting pictures from you all! (I will send pictures next week I think).  Everyone is growing and changing so much and I am so proud to have the greatest family in the whole world!
Our Christmas conference will be here in a couple weeks and I am really excited!  I just wanted to tell you all how much I love you!!  So glad you all had a good thanksgiving and I hope that you are all getting in the true spirit of Christmas! 
Lots and lots of love!
Sister Brittany Westover

Monday, November 24, 2014

Be Converted!

Goodmorning America!

Hey so everything is normal in the same not-normal sort of way!  I am happy and my companion is still awesome as ever.  She is definitely getting acustomed to everything and it is way fun to have an American at my side who understands my homeland.  We are working a lot with the members and yesterday I talked in church about how the members can help move the work along!  It was awesome (if I may say so) they cried, they laughed, and now they will work (I hope :)).  I used the talk from Elder Ballard (put your trust in the Lord... I think) from conference last year and talked about two things that might stop members from sharing the gospel.  The first is fear, and the second is simply not knowing how!  So I shared some stories/experiences from my life that have helped me and might be able to help someone else as well.  
First I talked about cookies and how much I love them! haha I love baking them as much as eating them!  I had everyone think about something else in their life that they love and then imagine that thing without someone to share it with... all of a sudden that thing that you love isn´t so great!  So imagine the gospel!  The greatest thing in the world!  We want to share it, we want to bless the lives of those around us and in so doing we also become happier and enjoy more of the blessings for ourselves as well! It is a promise that if we just open our mouths then God will put in our minds the very words that we need to say and this has happened to me so many times!  I remember when I got here to Brazil and could hardly understand or hardly speak and I was so afraid to say the wrong thing but I would pray my heart out and open my mouth and some how God helped me to be able to say something that helped someone understand a little more about Christ, it truly was a miracle every time!  I have had huge regrets for not sharing the gospél with those in my life and I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to serve now and to change and gain the desire and the courage to talk to everyone because I never again want to feel the guilt of not helping someone come closer to Christ and realizing after that it is too late.  If we just pray for opportunites to share the gospel, the Lord will answer our prayers.  He was enable us to recognize the opportunities and then to talk, to share, to bless.  
We are working our butts of here and the work is moving  along. Yesterday we had a bunch of less actives and recent converts in church along with investigators so that was great!  
Missing you all soooo much but so happy to be here!
This week Sister Ray and I surprised the other sisters so that when they came home at night the house was all decorated and there is a little christmas tree!  Everyone is getting in the mood (even if we are still sweating in the sun when it is supposed to snow).
 Love you!!
Sister Westover

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 14

Hey family!

Thank you to the McOmbers and the Brent and Melanie Westovers for the letters!!  and Amy Biancardi!  Her idea to send to the sisters in the ward has been one of my favorite things ever!! 

This week was just a ton of meetings so it was hard to have a good week of work but the good news is that I am still with Sister Ray (we had transfers but nothing happened in our house fortunately!).  Today we were talking about faith and obedience and how our faith is dependent on our obedience.  If we have faith in Christ then we accept him as our Savior and understand that his path is better that ours.  When we understand that His path is better then we follow him and are obedient and when we are following Christ and are obedient to him, we see miracles!  So the key to faith is in our obedience.  Which is really the only gift that we can give to God. So be obediente!  Seek to know his will and to do his will and you will see miracles!  That is what I am trying to do and even though I am not perfect and am full of weakness I know that I am blessed for every effort that I give to be more obedient on the journey to perfection.

Love you !!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Mission life is never predictable!

I am doing well! 
My companion (Sister Ray/ Becca) has been sick lately which has been hard as we are supposed to be doing divisions with all of the other sisters but I know that the Lord will take care of us and it is all in His plans!  Sister Ray is awesome.  she was in the MTC with me but in another district and then served in the states for a year.  I LOVE my new area and ward!  It is the most functioning ward that I have been in and the members here are AMAZING.  That is a huge difference from  most of the other wards in the misison (all members are awesome but some don´t like to serve so much or participate in the missionary work).  We are teacing a lot of people!  We have 8 baptismal dates for this week but never all of them work out so we will see how this week goes! They are Kelvia and Clevam (they are married and have two little kids that are 7 and 3), Tinale and Daniel and their son Ikaro, Ferreira and Lucia (also married and older), and a girl that is 21 Lorena.  They are all amazing and I am loving all of the people that we are teaching!  We have baptized one little girl (Adria) when we were here but her parents are also investigating they just need to get married to be baptized but the whole family is awesome! 
We are also teaching another couple (Thais and Fransisco) that isn´t married and has one little boy and they are so great!  They are having some financial problems and so on Sunday is usually when they go to the market to sell things and make money to pay the bills and such so it is a sacrifice for them to go to church.  This last week Sister Ray and I were praying so hard for them to see miracles and recognize the blessing of the gospel and we fasted for them too.  On Sunday they went to church even though they were needing to work and on the way back home Thais found 50 reais in the street!  She was able to pay the bills and had some money left over! I almost cried yesterday when she told me because it was so clear that God had answered all of our prayers and our fast.  We always have to act in faith and then the blessing come!
I was SO EXCITED to hear that you will be in the stake relief society presidency! How awesome!!  What a great opportunity to serve! 
I love you! I am working harder than I have ever worked in my life and giving all that I have.  Sometimes I honestly feel like I have nothing left in me and I just want to fall on the ground and die because my body is so dang tired and my mind is exhausted and I am trying to focus and my spirit is worn out and I am praying so hard for Heavenly Father to keep supporting me so that I can keep going and I am just holding on to whatever I get from him.  But the miracle is that I always  keep going and keep teaching and at the end of the day, regardless of what happened, I know that I gave my all. I am so grateful to be a missionary.
Love you soooo much!
Sister Brittany Westover