Sunday, March 9, 2014

February 10, 2014: Pajucara

Oi gente! 
One week down in Pajuçara! Sister Morais is way awesome and I already love working with her!  Our area is insane, I seriously just walk around all day saying ´´gosh our area is so cool!´´  because it is.  There is one other set of Sisters working in Pajuçara, who live with us, but our area is big enough for ten sets of missionaries!  It´s seriously HUGE!  Also, the church just barely started here so we only have a little group of members (not even a branch yet) and we meet in a school! HOW SWEET! I dreamed of opening an area and just getting to talk to everyone in the street and tell them how awesome the gospel is and then just watch it grow from ten people to a stake one day... well now is my chance! Haha seriously no one here is familiar with the church so it´s way cool because we are literally laying the ground work and finding all of these people who have just been waiting and preparing to recieve the gospel.  Pajuçara is only like 20 minutes from my last area so I´m still in the same zone and get to see the same missionaries and all so it´s great :). Also everyone here calls Pajuçara, Pajubala because it´s dangerous and there are lots of assaults with guns (I know it´s just getting even cooler).  Sister Morais and I heard gun shots the other day and later when we walked by everyone was out in the street!  It´s crazy!  We also don´t have water a lot of the time because of some problem in the city so we have to shower with a bucket of water and a cup. Pretty much this area is like way exciting and I´m getting the full Ceará experience!  

Okay so it´s hard for me to write names of people for two reasons: 1. they have the strangest names here in Ceará and half the time I can´t remember them 2. we meet with a million people every week and people turn over really fast because there is so much work!  But I will do my very best to discern those who need your prayers and include them in my emails :). This week I would say it is Dina and Erils.  They are way awesome!  They have been together for 11 years and have three kids and he has some drug addiction that they really want help with.  They are seriously like so adorable and just want to be a happy family! and this is when I just absolutely love that I get to be a missionary!  Families are so much more likely to be happy, healthy and loving when founded on the teachings of Christ and right now I get to help found these families in Christ. GAH HOW GREAT!  

My thoughts this week are how awesome that we have a loving Heavenly Father who turns our weaknesses into strengths!  Seriously it amazes me that my mistakes and shortcomings, or challenges and difficulties can be the best learning and growing experiences as I turn to the Lord.  I don´t have to dwell on the negative but can really grow and turn these things into strengths!  How amazing is that?  How wonderful and merciful is our God!

Okay love love
Sister Brittany Westover

Jan.27th, 2014 : All is well in Brazil

Hi hi!  Wow! I feel like this week was ages long and also flew by at the same time!  I guess that what happens when your mind is being totally and completely consumed by something!  And right now my mind is in Brazil, in Portuguese, in the lives of the people living here, in the gospel and it´s just very very busy!  Needless to say I never am on short supply of thoughts haha, I feel like I don´t have enough time to think all of my thoughts! and who ever said that?

So funny story I forgot: a couple weeks ago we had a family in church that we were teaching and the dad is a crack addict.  So it was like a miracle to get them to church.  Was.  We got a call during the second hour saying that Melquesedec (ironic name I know) left church.  Well obviously it was for drugs!  So what do we do? Chase him!  HA!  We literally were running through our little town trying to catch our drug addict investigator!  By the time we got to his house we totally lost him but his aunt was standing outside and told us that he had already come and gone and that when he showed up to the house he didn´t have any pants because he had sold them for money on the street! WHAT??  haha seriously Sister Mometto and I were laughing at that for so long, it´s sad but a little funny.

Yesterday we had a baptism of 5 people!! It was so great!  The miracle family that we found last week was baptized and another member of a recent convert family.  It was so awesome!!  This family that was all baptized yesterday is seriously so dang funny.  They love that I´m from the US and are always asking me stuff about it.  The funny thing is they made the comment one of our fist lessons how crazy that I came all the way from the United States to this tiny little town that we are living in (not even Fortaleza)!  I was thinking about that and how it truly is crazy!  God knew exactly where I needed to come, when I needed to come, and who I needed to have in my path.  So the fact that I am here in Novo Oriente, Ceará, Brasil all the way from West Linn, OR, United States is no coincidence!  I love that.

I think I recieved the rest of the new years letter this last week!  I opened letters today from Uncle Chad, Aunt Cathy, Weslee, Hailey, Blake, Mom and Brooklynn, and the Biancardi´s!  All the other missionaries were like gasping at my giant stack of letters! haha I told them I have really awesome people in my life, I´m so blessed :)

Funny thing, Sister Mometto and I are laughing a lot of the time in the street because we get so dang exhausted from walking in the hot hot sun every day and then we get a little crazy!  Anyway, EVERYONE eats literally the EXACT same thing EVERY day!! haha Everyday we have lunch with members and we have spaghetti noodles, rice, beans, chicken, soda, and maybe potatoes with radishs.  Well Sister Mometto is always saying how she will never eat rice and chicken again because that is all she has eaten for 1 year and 3 months haha.  Earlier this week we had pork with rice at one of our lunch appointments!! Sister Mometto was so happy about the pork that she started yelling in the street ´´hey!  I ate pork today!´´.  Oh my gosh I was dying I was laughing so hard, it made me think of a commercial and really it was just so dang funny that eating pork with rice made us so much more happy than chicken and rice.

My favorite thing is mango!  Everyone knows that I am ´´doida por manga´´  Crazy for mango! So we have mangos, mango juice, mango mousse at our appointments haha I love it!  It´s seriously so good! 

Anway we´ve been trying to focus this week on Christ.  Helaman 5:12 says that we WILL go through trials and we WILL have difficulties, but when we are centered in Christ, when we allow him to be the rock or foundation of our lives, we CANNOT fall!  How amazing!  Of course we will have trials and problems and they will be harder than anyone else knows (they are personal, for our personal growth).  But, when we have a foundation of Christ, we will not fall because we cannot fall.  We will overcome these challenges, these difficulties, the tragedies of life with the one person who overcame all of it, our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

I´m so grateful for the opportunity I have to share this message with the people right here in Novo Orient, Ceará, Brasil.

Sister Brittany Westover

January 20th 2014: Crazy Week!

Hey hey de novo!

Man it´s been a crazy week!  I can honestly say I have never worked harder in my entire life!  We are seriously running around this little town all day long in the HOT sun!  It´s a lot of work but so great!  Right now it´s kinda hard for me to say that it´s so great because Sister Mometto got sick and I am like right on the verge so I have like a killer headache and then there is a screaming baby next to me while the mother is trying to nurse it.  So yeah Brazil is kinda different haha but it´s good, I promise!  

HAILEY!! Okay so mom sent me some pictures of you from winter ball and I totally started bawling like a baby!! hahaha sheesh!  You are BEAUTIFUL!!!!  Oh my gosh I like couldn´t look away! dang you are one hot mama. I hope your date knew how lucky he was!

My thoughts are kinda scattered this week but I will be quick!  I am getting more used to Brazil every day and that is a true blessing!  A couple funny things happened this week though: Sister Mometto and I are teaching a family and the dad is literally ALWAYS drunk!  and he is seriously like the most annoying drunk EVER!  He just yells at us and is so disrespectful and doesn´t stop shouting  ughh it´s the worst. Anyway, we try to stop by when he isn´t home! So we were teaching the mom and son and the dad came home half way through our lesson (NOOO).  We were teaching the restoration and it was a really powerful lesson and then he comes in and starts yelling who knows what and is laughing and just so loud!  Anway we make it through the end and ask if we can say a prayer before we leave and he asks us if he can say it (well obviously we couldn´t say no)!  He starts out: everyone close your eyes! He starts his prayer with a lot of hand motions and like excited shouting of Jesus... obviously I did not close my eyes haha.  He then starts praying that ´´these young women will leave their missions and not be so affiliated with their church and put on bikinis and head to the beach!´´ haha! WHAT! Oh my it was quite the prayer... ha needless to say we like ran out of there hahaha.

But we did have a cool experience this week!  We were walking back to our house from a really long day when no one had been home and we were just dead tired and Sister Moetto says to me ´´why can´t we just have a big lighted sign above us and all of the prepared people will come to us?!´´ and literally not 10 seconds later a family starts yelling at us from across the street! We walk over and they ask us to come to their house and share our message with them! WHAT? MIRACLE!  So we visited them on Saturday night and they all came to church on Sunday! So awesome!  Seriously every day just when I am feeling like so low, God just turns around my whole day and makes it so awesome!!  Look for the good! :)
Turns out I can´t send pictures from these computers so maybe one day I will send you my pictures from Brazil but not now unfortunately :/  Sheesh I just have so much love in my heart for you all and hope everything is just wonderful at home!  I opened letters today from Cameron Hadley and Addy!  THANK YOU!  They made me so so happy!! I love you guys!!
Lots and lots of love!
Sister Brittany Westover