Friday, 10 July 2015

July 2015: Sao Bernardo 5 - "I can actually do this now"

6 July 2015
Óla familia!!!!! Como está???

SO right now, I'm wearing pants and I'm so happy about it hehehehhehehe (IT'S FREEZING HERE) but it`s so funny how weird wearing pants feels!

After emails Sister Costa and I are catching A BUS out of our area for ZONE P-DAY woooohoooo! So happy about it! No idea what we are doing though, I think we are going to some park? Probably playing soccer but not sure, so you’ll have to stay tuned! lols
So, Germano didn't get baptised this week, SAD. But honestly, I wasn't expecting it to happen........... Germano.
This week I had my first ‘Trade-Off’ with Sister Rodrigues our 'Sister Training Leader'. I was weirdly nervous about it, but I think that was because she was Sister Costa’s trainer. BUT it was a really good experience, it was freezing and raining like the whole time she was here and we didn't have any real solid lessons, so lots and lots of finding, but it was really helpful seeing a different missionary’s way of doing something!! Sister Costs LOVES the 'favelas' and apartments, and Sister Rodrigues is all about the houses. SO I knocked on my first houses with her (not really knocked, in Brazil the houses are very far about from the gate, so if they don't have a speaker thing or a bell, you CLAP!!! SO COOL) Anyway, we found some really cool people that let us in and we shared pretty spiritual lessons. Brazilians are all pretty religious which brings me to my my next story... 
One of the houses we went into, was this man and his family, who go to a different church but loves God and was happy to talk. During the lesson his wife comes home from work and joins in, she's was more than happy that we were there and asked a zillion questions which is always good.  At the end of the lesson, we asked her to say the prayer, she's so excited to. She gets her Bible and read somewhere in Joel? Or João? One of them and then starts breathing deaply and humming violently, then she screams and starts praying so fast and loud, standing up saying crazy things....hhaha oh goodness, I did a sneaky open one eye to Sister Rodrigues, she's trying so hard not to laugh. It was CRAZYYYYYYYYY. She's pretty strong in her church, so she wasn't really interested in us coming back....... but definitely a different experience.

Here in São Bernado there are HEAPS of garage-like car port Churches and bars, expesh in the 'favelas'. All the churches are all at night time so we walk past them daily and always there are people crazy praying like this lady... Sister Costa always rolls her eye, “apostacia (apostsy)” hahaha lololol

About Sister Costa, she's GREAT! We get along so well, and she's pretty happy all the time which is helpful. She does get frustrated with having to kinda do most of the lesson and carry most of the conversation at lunch everyday, but she is so great, EU AMO ELA! She told me that she doesn't really like talking, and in her first transfer she didn't want to talk to anyone because of her personality,  but her mission has changed her so much and now she has to talk because I don't speak Portuguese that well YET.  She's so sure she's getting transfered in a few weeks. I don't want her to but who knows?
HEY! TODAY is the 6th of July, which means I've been out for TWO MONTHS TODAY! Woooohoooo, mate, that went fast! 
SO back to talking about Portuguese, this week I really can see an improvement!!! I can approach people and speak, no worries, can't really answer back if they ask questions though! hhaha! But this one man asked me if my accent was from from PORTUGAL!!! Woohooooo people think I can speak Portuguese! hahah! So stoked about this.
Well lots and lots of great things are happening here in Brazil, hating the cold but obviously I can't control that so I'm CHOOSING not to be sad about it! 
Sister Bennallack

14 July 2015
MINHA NOSSA (wow) This week went so fast!!!!
P-day last week was the, SOOOOO good. We took two buses out of our area to this Botanic Park type park, had a picnic and RODE BIKES!!!! It was such a fun day with a whole District, and, it also was really sunny. BLESSINGS!

This has been a great week, I mean, so extremely hard but I go to bed thinking 'I can actually do this now,' which is a night and day improvement! haha!
This week we had President interviews and mateeee, I was so nervous for some reason? I don’t know how they do it in other missions but in mine, the Mission President and wife come to your apartment and interview you there. It was so good talking with President Broadbent!!! The first time I met him, which was the only other time I've seen him, I was kinda scared of himi his first impression was so serious which is good, but this week he was so different. He just gives me the biggest hug and asked me how I'm doing? Like really doing? I thought I was doing great but this just made me cry so much! haha, but he's so encouraging and shared a lot of his experiences as a missionary that I can really relate to. He told me he's so excited that I'm in his mission and that I'll be training in no time!???? HUH! I can't even speak Portuguese properly! But sure a beautiful interview chat thing? Just love Sister and President Broadbent!

This week we also had another “trade off” ? But over night! Like a sleepover!!!! It was so much fun, but the next day when Sister Costa returned, I was so dead to the world! haha! These sisters are in a trio, so Sister Malgby (American, woohoo! snuck some English in!) and Sister Mendoça (Brazilian) came to my area and Sister Costa went with Sister Rodrigues to theirs. It was so crazy, I was in charge of navigating us around, but I did all right, the favelas are so confusing! Like the number jumps from 24,26,54 whattttt? But we smashed it out, we taught 3 lessons and found 8 new investigators!! This is the most I've taught up to this point. These two sister are BOLD and so confident, Mission goals. It was so fun to be teaching and knocking on doors and asking to have 5 minintes of their time right now. Sister Costa is a really good missionary as well, but after being with these Sisters, she's a lot more shyer but she's great. I just wish I could speak Portuguese, so frustrating because I know what I want to say and what needs to be said, but I can’t!! But Sister Malgby was really good to talk to as well, since her laungage is really good and she's only been out one or two more transfers than me, sooooooo, lots of study and trying. But so fun and such a good experience.
Something hilarious that has happen this week: 3 times, in nightly companion prayer when I'm sooooo tired, Sister Costa will be praying and say the word “Tambén” which means something like “also”… but she always pauses for a while so I think she's said “amen”, so I say "amen" and then she just laughs her head off. I did it three times this week!!! Ooopssss!

We found this man named Kadley this week and I did my whole speel about how we want to share a message with him another day and he said "yes" which most people do, but when we went to the appointment, HE WAS ACTAULLY HOME. (Brazilians are always late or just not home, always) Anyway, we taught him and his young family and invited them to church on Sunday. Then on Saturday we where at their appartment complex for another appointment that wasn’t  home. BUT Kadley and Patricia just walked out of their appartment. So meant to be! Sister Costa was on the phone and I knew I needed to go talk to them and remind them about church, so I ran over but ahhhhh! the words in Portuguese weren’t coming, but I said something that made sense I think. So awkssss. ANYWAYS, THEY CAME TO CHURCH!!! Ahhhh I was so happy when I saw them walking in, the ward was very welcoming as well which was so nice!! We are teaching them again on Wednesday. 
We are the only missionaries in our ward, the ward is GREAT it’s a pretty big ward, similar to Morialta. People are so, so, so nice! But in Brazil, the schedule is backwards, so Sacrament is at the end of the three hour block, which is probably for the best since at 9:00am we are often the only ones there! LOL BRAZIL!
Sister Bennallack 

21 July 2015
OH MY GOSH! I'M SO EXCITED TO HEAR THE NEWS ABOUT BABY JACKSON!!!! <3 <3 <3 Love him so much from so far away!!! Maybe a tiny bit homesick again right now but he is so beautiful! I have been telling everyone about my new /niece nephew hahha! I made my companion look at the pictures mum sent three times!!
My week was quite eventful actually, lots of the highest of highs and not so highs.
'Nova Forca' - Sister Costa, Malgby & Bennallack with the Elders
We had ‘Nova Força’ this week which translates to 'new force'. An all day training and lunch with the new missionaries and trainers with President and Sister Broadbent and the Assistants. It was such the best day!!! It got you so pumped!!!! I seriously love my Mission President so much.  Because Brazilian culture is so huggy, so is our Mission Pres, and because I had such a hard time in those first few weeks, he knows me really well. (I maybe had a few phone calls with him), but I honestly feel he loves me the most! hahah but that's how he makes every missionary feel! And the cool part is, during the training I was understanding in Portuguese! Definitely not everything, but I understood more than I didn't understand? If that makes sense? But it's so good, and afterwards all the 'newbies' bore our testimonies in Portuguese. It was so powerful. 

Catching up with Sister Gudgeon
'Nova Forca' was also the best thing because I got to see Sister Gudgeon!!! I was looking forward to seeing her all week!!!!! It was like seeing family seeing her, even though she was only my companion for two weeks, I have so much love for her!!  We spent the whole day together and it was so good talking to her about everything!!! She struggled with homesickness in the MTC so it nice to hear her wise words of wisdom! We also got to talk about our companions and share advice etc, she feels the same way I the struggle is real when it gets quite lonely and when your companion has '0' patience somedays, so it was really, really, good to see her! I can't wait to the next time I see her, it probably won't be for a few months.

This first start of the week was bit of a struggle with Sister Costa. She's been in this area for ages, so I think she's a bit over it ... but she wasn't in the best of spirits and didn't have any patience with my Portuguese. It was a rough few days, but then we had 'Nova Forca' and then this rest of the week has been the best!!! Being wary of her made me really try and speak correct Portuguese and yesterday she even said I have improved this week!!! Silver linings? 
But all is well, I love Sister Costa, I know we are meant to be together as companions! I've learnt so much from this unique human experience living with someone who is from a whole different culture/world from you and YOU have to try and speak their language and love their culture! 
This week we also said goodbye to Sister Rodrigues! She's my Sister Training Leader.  She was in a trio and for her second to last night, President gave us permission to have a festa/sleepover!! SO at 9:30pm the three 'amigos' came over and we ate and played games and it was such a fun night..... But the next day was sooo long, hahah! so tired, LIKE DEAD but definitely a great mission memory. This was also perfect timing because one of the sisters that came over was Sister Malgby. Love love love her! 
SO, Sister Malgby was telling me that there are no other American Sisters in the mission, besides us newbies, three of us (Yes! I just called me and Sister Gudgeon American! lol) There are only three including her! And the other two haven't been out for that much longer than me, so it looks like I won't been getting an American/English speaking companion for like a year.  Interesting though!! They had such a problem with visas for ages...I feel so blessed that mine came so quickly.
Another cool this about Brazil is that in our area is this athletics track and everyday we walk past and people are training.... FOR THE OLYMICS next year.  On the signage is says 'RIO 2016'! Sooooo cool, haha! we tried converting everyone that was watching, so funny, but they all don't live here in São Paulo...sad.
Training for the Olympics 2016!!
This week was a good week teaching and finding, but we didn't get to teach my favourite investigators, but we are this week so I'm stoked!! That family that I talked about last week, we are teaching today I think? (The Dad was away for work last week.)
This week we started teaching this lady Monica who has serious cancer, and during one of the lessons she ran to the bathroom and threw up, it was so sad feeling so helpless, but she wanted us to stay and finish the message.  She said she needed to hear to words of the scriptures to help her. Well, my testimony of the scriptures just hit a whole new level once again! Seriously, such a power and comfort comes from the scriptures. Anyway that night I awoke up  at 3am in pain, it was the WORRRST.   I was awake for two hours, not knowing what to do just praying that I would be able to go back to sleep, which I did. The next day was Sunday and I was so tired from such broken sleep, feeling really sorry for myself. We went to church and Monica was there!!! In the same clothes that we had taught her the night before, carrying her rag just incase she vomited.  I felt so much love for her, because my pain was nothing like the pain that she goes through everyday. I really learnt to forget myself in the moment.  I thought a lot about the Saviour's atoning sacrifices for us, and how the atonement of Jesus Christ literally carries us through all pains, both physical and spiritual. My heart is filled with such love and compassion for both Monica and my Saviour, Jesus Christ. I honestly don’t understand how people can face life’s challenges without the knowledge that they are not alone, that every single pain, worry and heartache that we feel, Jesus Christ has felt before so we don’t have to go though it ALONE
Sister Bennallack

27 July 2015 - TRANSFERS!
WOOOOOHHHHHHOOOO!! I made it alive through my first transfer in the field!! All week Sister Costa was counting down the days till Sunday night where we would find out the transfers news!!  When the phone rang at 10:20pm Sister Costa screamed for me across our house while I was brushing my teeth hahhaha! I just jumped on her bed and listened to all the changes in our zone.. finally “Ala 5, Sister Costa and Sister Bennallack will continue”.  SO we are here for another transfer (6 weeks) which was no surprise at all! 
At the Sao Paulo Temple with members from our ward.
LAST P-DAY was the Temple!!!!! Love love love, it was so good to go to the Temple again. I'm so lucky I get to go every three months here. MATE, so many missionaries!  The whole day was just missionaries coming and going and not even just from our mission, but São Paulo Interlagos and West as well. Matey mate. It was so cool, I also got to see Sister Gudgeon for 10 minutes as well! yyyaaaaaaay!  A member drove up in the morning because he as well was going to the temple which was so nice because I didn't want to get up at 5am but we didn't go home with him, we hung out and went to lunch with our zone/most of the mission hahha! My life rules.
The Temple grounds - Sao Paulo
Well most days it rules. The thing I'm finding the hardest is the long days, because we don't stop for dinner, the day feels like an eternity and it's winter so it gets dark really early.. It get to 6:30pm and I'm thinking "that must be 8:30ish" ...... my heart breaks a little every night. But it's all goods, it won't be freezing here for ever. 
Talking about weather, it was raining like crazy here this week.  Finding in the rain, it is always a little 'awks' but it's funny. Anyway, since it was raining so much and São Paulo has a million and five cars, I saw two car crashes this week!! One was with a motorbike and a truck!!! Eeekk, lucky the guy on the bike wasn't hectically injured, he lost his shoe and couldn't walk but he's alive! São Paulo..... crazy, so happy missionaries don't drive here.
Also, a fun fact about Brazilian food is they always serve you rice, rice and beans most days but this week I ate a lot of Italian food...but always served on rice!! Haha! Lasanga on rice, spaghetti with rice it's so cool, Brazil rocks. I feel so blessed having lunch everyday!! Especially after hearing Dad tell about Scotty's talk about life in the Philippines. But I get so nervous going to lunch everyday, members here give you a feast!!! It's like Christmas every day..... oh my goodness, they must be cooking all morning! They just want you to eat and eat. The real struggle between eating delicious Brazilian food and trying not to gain 10 kilos like my companion's last comp is real! hahahh....
(But so excited to cook you all Brazilian food in 1.5 years!!!) 
We didn't really get to teach Monica this week, we visited her a lot and shared scriptures but every time we went to teach her, she was either asleep or not feeling well, but this week for sure. We did however teach my favourite family last night. They are great but....they aren't married, same with Monica actually. Sad, sad, but all good because we have heaps of time here in São Bernardo 5 to smash it out. Sister Costa last night, after she found out she's going to be here for another transfer, said when missionaries are in an area for a really long time, that means they still have work to do in this area!! She got excited about this area again! 
Sister Bennallack

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