Cascavel, Brazil

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Cascavel, Brasil June 30, 2014

Família!!!!

This week has been soooooo crazy! This past week we had some pretty exciting news! Our mission president authorized us to watch the Brasil vs Chile game this week! Holy Cow Brazilians are crazy! I thought it was bad from our apartment, but man o man, the city was shaking! It was a pretty neat experience and I am in awe. I don´t know if we´ll have the chance to do it again, but once was pretty fantastic. I hear the USA is still in! I hope Brasil faces the US, ugh, that´d be the best experience ever to say I witnessed while in Brasil lol.
Anyway, we continue to work diligently. Sister Hartvigsen and I are buckling in for another 3 months of cold (we think) the weather here is so strange. Also I had my first encounter with poisonous Brazilian wildlife! Here they have these little black bugs that are very similar to mosquitoes…they are basically demon butterflies; one of these little buggers got a hold of my right leg during a street contact and got a few good bites in. It would have been nothing If I wasn´t allergic to them haha, my right leg was about twice as big as my left, not a pretty picture. 3 days later though and my leg is back to its normal size. It was exciting and I hope the last time it will happen, I am thoroughly applying bug spray now.
I also am so grateful to see my testimony of Christ grow. This week we´ve been focusing on very special fasts and I know that prayer and fasting will open the door of opportunities. Reading in the new testament I am noticing the special power and miracles Christ brought forth through the power of faith in fasting and I know we can utilize that same power! So often the fast is a routine and not a special plea to our Father in Heaven. Make your prayers sincere and your fast a plea and you will see miracles!
I love you all sooooo much!

Sister Dean

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Cascavel, Brazil

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Cascavel, Brazil                                                                    June 23, 2014

Querido família e amigos, 

 Life in Brazil is soooo good! Yesterday was my birthday (the big 21!) and I couldn´t have asked for a better gift than out recent convert Luan being confirmed! The gift of the Holy Ghost will change his life; his mom who we´ve been working with diligently was in tears at his confirmation and I know she is so close to following the example of her children and sisters in entering into the waters of baptism! Sister Hartvigsen and I were teaching them the other day and Alice was just beaming she was so proud of the decisions her son is making to follow Christ. They started reading the Book of Mormon together and Luan is a super star reader. He has strict instructions to read very slowly from his mom. Alice says he can’t move on until he understands what the scriptures are saying lol. We asked him about 1 Nephi chapter 1 and I don´t think I´ve ever been more impressed by an investigator when he accounted every little detail from the reign of Zedekiahto Lehi reading the book. He then told us how important it was to obey our parents like Nephi and Sam and to try not to complain like Laman and Lemuel! Ele e de poder!!! My heart goes out to their family and I pray so hard for Alice! 

   In other news my birthday was super special! We had almoço at a member´s house and when I got there she had a coconut with a candle for me! ha-ha, there is a young woman in our ward who is sooo fantastic, Eloisa goes out with us once a week to teach (she´s preparing for her mission!) and she was at almoço with us and told the Irmã it was my birthday… so they scrambled to make something special for me, they didn´t have much time so they found a coconut and stuck a number 9 candle in it 🙂 The sisters I live with also threw me a little party; it was super funny! Sister Hartvigsen and I got home and we have a little study room. We were finishing planning and Sister Hart was saying the prayer to close our nightly planning, but she was waiting for the cue from the other sisters sooo her prayer was super long lol, she basically blessed everyone in the whole wide world by name and was about to move on to the area 70 when we heard about 3 or 4 clicks from the fuse box in the living room and the lights went out! ha-ha it´s all soo cheesy but super cute! Sister Hart reminds me a little of Jessica, her voice isn´t too animated, and she said in a very rehearsed and slightly monotonous manner “O. O que aconteceu?” or “oh. what happened?” and you had to be there but it was soo cheesy and wonderful :). We left the room and sister Corrêa and Sister De Jesus had a BIG cake all ready for me :). They sang, we took pictures then they brought out my present! Cachorros Quente!! (HOT DOGS!) they prepared an ´American´ meal for me. sort of, they boiled the hot dogs and use potatoes, corn and parmesan cheese for toppings, but it was pretty much the best birthday meal ever 🙂    I am so grateful to be in Brazil serving the people here and I truly am feeling at home with the people here, they are so wonderful and prepared for the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Thank you for all the support and prayers, I am so lucky to have you all in my life 🙂

Com Amor,

 Sister Dean

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Cascavel, Brazil

Cascavel, Brazil June 16, 2014

Família e Amigos!

Vida no Brasil é muito loco agora! The World Cup is all we see and hear about these days. The streets are paved in yellow green and blue! As missionaries, the world cup has it´s setbacks, we are confined to the house the days Brazil plays (Brazil has 2 more scheduled days to play and even more if they win); you think it´d be relaxing but confined to the apartment all day when we are used to such a rigorous schedule is a little maddening. But it is still very exciting to say I was here for the 2014 world cup IN Brasil :). Football isn´t the only exciting thing I have to report on. Sunday June 15 our super star investigator Luan was baptized! Luan´s family are all members aside from his mom Alice (we´re working hard with her) and he has been dreaming of baptism ever since he turned 8 (he´s 10 now). The only thing that had been holding him back for two years was a fear of water! Luan is deathly afraid of the water and I am so inspired by the courage he took to prepare for baptism together with sister Hartvigsen and I. We promised him we wouldn´t fill the font too full haha, the water was about mid thigh on Irmão Euclides, it’s a good thing Luan isn´t too tall. With a little encouragement from us and his mom, he made it into the water and is so happy for his confirmation this Sunday. Luan is so precious and I am so happy to be a part of his decision to follow the Savior! His mom Alice has been coming to church for quite some time now too and we have a rigorous battle plan to help her testimony grow so she can have the desire to follow the example of her children (her 16 year old Ian and 21 year old Talya have already been baptized as well). We pray for them every day and are diligently searching for new investigators at the same time!
Brazil is growing on me and I am coming closer everyday to fluency! I have a little story I thought was funny before I close. I don´t know why, but the entertainment here is so fascinating for me! We were at the house of a member for almoço and Dora the Explorer was on! How can another country have Dora!? Turns out Dora and her family speak Portuguese and teach children how to speak English. Thought it was a little funny.

Com Amor,
Sister Dean

Cascavel, Brazil

Cascavel, Brazil June 9, 2014

Bom Dia!

I don´t have too much time on the computer today and I am sorry this letter won´t be longer! But things are so good here in Brazil! We had our first sunny day in a long time and we are loving it! The nights have gotten warmer and we think we have made it through the worst (everyone says June is the month to make it through). Sister Hartvigsen and I are working very hard rain or shine to find and teach Heavenly Father´s children. We are teaching one little boy in particular who brings the sunshine to our day despite the rain. His name is Luan and half of his family are members of the church. His mom Alice is what we call a membro pó (a powder member/a dry member), she has a testimony of the scriptures and attends church but has not been baptized! She has a nasty smoking problem and ever since we began working with her she has improved immensely! She went from 40 cigarettes a day to 15 (we´re working to 0 🙂 ). Luan is such a light and example to his family and we truly feel like he will be baptized soon and we pray that Alice will find the strength to follow!

My Portuguese is getting MUCH better too. I was worried at the prospect of having an American companion but it has worked out in a very roundabout way. Sister Hartvigsen is so sweet and wonderful and the exact opposite of my last companion. She also has a very think American accent and people have to look to me sometimes to decipher her sentences. This is teaching me to become much more independent! I can see the progress and am so excited for Augusto to roll around! I am praying so hard for the gift of tongues!

Thank you all for your prayers and for your letters. I am strengthened so much by them! I know there are some difficult things going on right now and I am praying for you all so much. Someone once told me the prayers of missionaries have a special power 🙂 and I know that Heavenly Father has such a special plan in mind for us all and our families are the most precious thing we have and we will have each other for time and all eternity 🙂 ! I am praying for comfort and miracles for us all. I LOVE YOU!! Please keep me updated.

Com Amor,

Sister Dean

Cascavel, Brazil


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Cascavel, Brazil                                                       

 Bom Dia!

   I don´t have too much time on the computer today and I am sorry this letter won´t be longer! But things are so good here in Brazil! We had our first sunny day in a long time and we are loving it! The nights have gotten warmer and we think we have made it through the worst (everyone says June is the month to make it through). Sister Hartvigsen and I  are working very hard rain or shine to find and teach Heavenly Father´s children. We are teaching one little boy in particular who brings the sunshine to our day despite the rain. His name is Luan and half of his family are members of the church. His mom Alice is what we call a membro pó (a powder member/a dry member), she has a testimony of the scriptures and attends church but has not been baptized! She has a nasty smoking problem and ever since we began working with her she has improved immensely! She went from 40 cigarettes a day to 15 (we´re working to 0 🙂 ). Luan is such a light and example to his family and we truly feel like he will be baptized soon and we pray that Alice will find the strength to follow! 

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My Portuguese is getting MUCH better too. I was worried at the prospect of having an American companion but it has worked out in a very roundabout way. Sister Hartvigsen is so sweet and wonderful and the exact opposite of my last companion. She also has a very think American accent and people have to look to me sometimes to decipher her sentences. This is teaching me to become much more independent! I can see the progress and am so excited for Augusto to roll around! I am praying so hard for the gift of tongues! 

   Thank you all for your prayers and for your letters. I am strengthened so much by them! I know there are some difficult things going on right now and I am praying for you all so much. Someone once told me the prayers of missionaries have a special power 🙂 and I know that Heavenly Father has such a special plan in mind for us all and our families are the most precious thing we have and we will have each other for time and all eternity 🙂 ! I am praying for comfort and miracles for us all. I LOVE YOU!!  Please keep me updated. 

 

Com Amor,

Sister Dean    

Cascavel, Brazil

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Dear Family and Friends, 

      It has been a good week and I have finished my third 1st Transfer haha. I am so excited to be permanently settled in one mission! Transfers are like a mini Christmas here, you´re super anxious to find out what will happen and one tiny email determines your fate! There are four of us in one apartment and 3 are staying! My companion Sister Cassiano is leaving! I´m super excited for her and anxious to have a new companion too, I´ve never had a companion for more than one transfer too since I´ve been moving around so much lately, I´m excited to find out how it all goes! I hear that my companion will be American, but those are just rumors (we´ll see). I´ll have the official report next Monday :).

  In other news the rain has not stopped! My hair dryer is my new best friend lol. I use it to dry my tights and shoes every night, clothes when I need them fast (no dryers here) and to warm my bed before I go to sleep (no heating either). I am so grateful for my blow dryer. I also have some pretty exciting Brazilian food experiences! In the street a man sliced us a bit of sugar cane to munch on (sugar cane!!) it was way interesting and I couldn´t help but flash back to our childhood (Jessica, remember the movie Napoleon with the puppy golden retriever and the evil black cat that was supposed to be the bad guy but was really not that intimidating because he was the size of Rebel… and there’s a crazy Kangaroo la roo and sugar cane that sets on fire…) We also walk under many pecan trees gathering pecans as we go and crack them open and munch on them, it´s really neat. I also see ants everywhere; the ants that we see on the Discovery channel that can carry leaves, (also really neat). 

   I have an update about letters too! I got my first few letters this past week! The letter takes about 30 days to reach me! (not to shabby) I think that the letters get here even sooner, but I only receive letters when someone from our zone makes a trip to the mission office and back… so about 2-3 times a transfer I will receive letters. 

We are teaching many people too. So many people with aspirations to be baptized, but they need to overcome the little vice that is holding them back from entering the doors to eternal life! We´ve already helped one woman stop smoking in 3 days! I know it´s possible for anyone. We´re teaching a woman named Maria, her son Murilo (18) and her 2 daughters Annye (10) and Annyle. Maria and Murilo have a really hard time with smoking… they have a desire to be baptized and I know that all a person needs is a desire and repentance… faith and repentance. Annye is a very wonderful and bold little 10 year old. She knows her Bible and knows that this is the true church (she tells us often). This family is so beautiful and I am praying for them 🙂 I am so blessed to be working with the people of Cascavel. I love it here and I can see that the language is coming along unbelievably well! Not fluent yet, but I´m getting there! I love you all!

 

Com Amor

 

-Sister Dean