Monday, November 25, 2013

82 Degrees vs. 30 Degrees

Hello Family!

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs. Ha! I saw a billboard for the second movie here in Manaus. Cool stuff.

As for chilly, I am contemplating on the funny aspect that I will return in the middle of winter after living in this incredible heat for a year and a  half. It is ironic that it is always hotter than hot after a good rain here. 

Transfers are the end of this week. If I am getting transfered to another state, I will find out on Saturday. If I am staying here or moving to somewhere relatively close I will find out on Sunday. It is exciting to think about... 

These past few weeks have been slow, but things are looking up now. We had a baptism scheduled for last Saturday, but when we went to pick up our investigator his dad and grandma  had changed their minds and are not allowing him to go to church or be baptized anymore. Its difficult, but I look to the future with high hopes. Our investigator is 17, so he only has to wait a year. One thing I have learned is that the Lord has a hand in every part of this work. Because of this, I dont worry when things like this happen. I just continue to do what I can. As it says in Isiah, the Lords ways are not our ways. 

I wrote Ryan a letter this week and included a present I made for him! I will be sending it today! I am so so so excited for him to be serving a mission. 
My present is covers to a planner. Everyone decorates their planners here and I was given some good contact paper this week. I used it to make special covers for Ryans first planner! Really I am so super excited!! I wish I could be there to watch him open it!

Say hello to the family this week!! Give everyone giant hugs from Brasil! Make sure and take pictures too! I love seeing them! I still think it is funny that our huge dogs think that they are lap dogs. They are too cute not to let them sit on you. Colorado, Family, I will be so happy to see and visit with all of them in a year! Make sure and eat extra for me at the stuff your stomach feast!

Our Heavenly Father Blesses us every day! This I know. I am glad that He is blessing my family so much. Drive safe this week! And enjoy the cold air and the snow and everything else that is a lovely part of this earth!

Love love love love you! 
Sister Chatwin

Monday, November 18, 2013

It's a Beautiful Monday!

Email to Shannon:

We had a baptism yesterday, Fernando. We met him last Sat. taught him all the lessons and he was baptized yesterday. We have several others that we want to be baptized, but are just waiting for them to make the time or go to church. 

I am glad that you have invited someone to take the lessons, the principles in the gospel can truly change the life of a person.  :) I hope that she stays well. Of course you will have fun, you love helping people! 

Transfers are the first of December. I believe that the Sisters are in all four states of our mission. There are two different states that the transfers are by plane. Presidente Klein is money concious and so most of the transfers are by bus. Things might change when we get a new mission president next july, but you never know. It is a good thing to be saving a lot of money. :) I want to serve in the area of tefe, but right now it looks like only Elders serve there. 

Yes, we have food in our house! Mission office last week, didnt have internet so we didnt recieve our money until a few days ago. But I always have extra money in the house incase things like this happen. :) You should never have to worry about me!

I am excited for Christmas. Many people here already have their christmas trees up. We sing christmas songs, and our last few family home evenings have had a christmas theme. I made a christmas tree for our house using the mormon ads in the liahona magazines. :) I love looking at it every day, it is huge! I can't wait to send you all my pictures! :) :) Its good to know that nothing is wrapped, now I will have to wait if it arrives early. I doubt it will too, but hey, you never know! 

Give my love to the family this thanksgiving, and make sure to eat a lot at the stretch your stomach feast! :)

Email to Kevin/Family:

I am doing well today! :) I think that I have that same picture here with me in Brasil! I keep a picture of warren's wedding on my desk and one of you and mom in your tye dye shirts. :) :) I love seeing your smiling faces every day! :) It is week 5 in transfers and only one more week to go. I am excited to see what will happen!! Long story short, at the end of my first transfer here Sister Klein went to a doctors appointment for Sister Freitas with us. She asked me there if I thought I was ready to teach the language. Of course I said no, because my grammer is still awful, but she said that she thought I was ready. SO... whatever happens next transfer I am ready for it. I have trust and faith in the Lord. That is one thing that Ryan will learn on his mission. You will have many oppourtunities to do new things. All you need is confidence in yourself and in the Lord. He will have many oppourtunities to learn new things and strengthen his faith. I was listening to a talk last night, the speaker was talking somewhere along the lines that we all desire for our faith to grow and to increase, but that cannot happen until we decrease the fear we have. I know this is true. Learn to fully trust in the Lord. Don't fear your trials, but welcome them as new challenges to help you gain the desired increase of faith. :) :)

I love you lots! Yesterday we had a baptism!  We met him last saturday, and taught him all the lessons this past week. The work is fast here. Sister Freitas and I have several other investigators that we would like to be baptized, but are just waiting to make the decision or find the time to come to church. It is very important in this work that you remember what you are teaching and you live what you teach too. This is the Lord's work, not ours. 

Funny story: This week we had some visitors at our house. Unwelcome visitors. HUGE SPIDERS. I'm not joking, they are huge here. The first one was the biggest, I wish I had gotten a picture of him, but alas that was impossible. He was waiting for us outside our door. I proceeded to try and scare it away, because my companion was panicking. Bad idea. He ran onto our door and hid in the crevice of the window. Sister Freitas was royaly mad with me then. I went to get the broom to scare it out of hiding, but I was denied that privelige by Sister Freitas. She was afraid that it would crawl through the crevase in the door and then hide somewhere in our house. ( Please know that this was a big spider and even a small spider couln't crawl through this crack) Anyways, respect your companions. She proceeded to call a member and ask her what to do, then started to cry because of the anxiety. Meanwhile I stood and waited while she decided to get the man who lives beneath us to come up and scare it away. The next night we had a slightly smaller spider inside our house. This time I took a picture first and then let her call the man to come and kill it for us.  :)

Saturday we got to eat at the pexaria do juvenal. I was in heaven eating fish. :) Tambaqui, is an especially yummy fish. :) If you have the chance to visit after the mission we will have to eat some fish! :) 

I am looking forward to the package that mom sent! I am anxious to see what is inside! :) 

Sounds like mom had another fun weekend with the kids. :) I sure do miss doing these fun things.

I am sending some letters today! One for the family, Sarah Hatch, and Auntie Beth. The one for Beth has letters for heather, laurel and bruce inside. I figured I would just send them all in one envelope. They were written with the intent of arriving for before thankgiving, but I don't think that they will get there in time. Oh well. 

This past week the mission office didn't have internet, henceforth we didn't have anymoney. We learned the importance of always having an emergency fund for when things like this happen. I related our experience to the parable of the Ten Virgins. I   have had an emergency fund since day one here, buy my companion does not. It is an important lesson we can apply to our lives. There will always be those who are unprepared or who find themselves in need. Henceforth, it is important to be in a position where you can supply for your needs and then spare a little to help others who are in need of help. 

:) :) :) :) :) :) : ) :)  Again I am forever greatful for the oppourtunity that we had to visit wonderful Nauvoo. So many special feelings about this vacation! I love the pictures that I have and the many examples of  sacrifice for the knowledge of the gospel. Which reminds me, mom, Shonnie is availiable to "talk" family history anytime you want! 

:) I love you all so much and I am very excited to talk with you all during christmas! :) :) 

Sister Chatwin

Monday, November 11, 2013

It's Way Too Early Monday Morning (~4:15 AM)

Hello loving family! 

First off, we got rain rain and more rain this week. Sister Freitas and I always have a fun time when we get caught in the middle of a rainstorm. :) It always happens that she forgets her umbrella too! We try and share, but inevitalbly get soaked. It rains like nobody´s business here. The thunder is earth shaking and I just love the storms. :) :) 

Ha, that is funny. I think you changed the phone number just a few days before I left. I have it written down now. :) Transfers will be the first of December. So there is a possibility that I will be in a new area for Christmas. We had splits this week with the sister training leader for our area, she thinks that I will be training this next transfer. Every one is really impressed with my portuguese and thinks that I am ready to teach it. Personally I think I could use more time to learn more of the grammatical parts of the language, but all in all it is in the Lord´s hands. :) 

It was funny this week talking with Irma Tareza. We had stopped by her house to drop off one of our bags, so everything we had didnt get soaked, and stayed to have a little snack. Turns out the power was out and we ended up staying there for a few hours, because our next appointment was a family home evening and they didnt have power either. It was dark outside and its not safe to be walking through the streets in the middle of a black out. Anyways, Irma Tareza was saying that I am different than all of the other American missionaries. I like all of the different foods and eat everything they give me. It´s true. Sincerely I don´t think that I have eaten one thing I dont like here. Yes we eat a lot of beef and chicken and hardly eat any fruit, but its all good. Beef and Chicken still arn´t my favorite, but its the main thing people eat here. I´m trying not to eat as much meat as I have been, because we do eat a lot. 

COOL THING. So after Ryan recieved his call we were visiting in the house of a member and I was telling them where he was going. Another man in our stake just recieved his call too, Ryan will be serving with someone from the Rio Negro stake in Brasil. His first name is David and he reports to the Provo, MTC the 21 of January. It would be neat for Ryan to learn a few phrases in portuguese, because David is going to have a really hard time in the MTC. He will speak only portuguese, classes will be only in Japanese, and a majority of the people will only speak English. Anyways, the family we were visiting showed us the video of him opening his mission call. So I got to watch someone open their call going to the same mission as my brother, but not the video of my brother opening his call. 

Yesterday was Veronica´s last Sunday. :) She gave a beautiful talk! It is very hard for her to finally leave for her mission this week. Her sister is going into surgery today and her mom is also stressed out because of all the things she has to so. She is always serving and helping. I know that our families recieve blessings when we are in the service of the Lord. 

I was listening to a talk yesterday, on my new speaker :), by L. Tom Perry about the Book of Mormon. I realized that this book was written by our family to help us continue in the ways of the Lord because they knew that we would struggle with certain things. I thought a lot about how we write letters or send text messages when we know that someone is going through a hard time. And to think that our family loved us so much to ingrave these writings on plates of brass with the faith and trust in the Lord that they would be preserved for our day. It´s an incredible thought, and it created a greater desire in me to read and learn of what the Book of Mormon has to offer. :) 

I love my family so much. The Lord is so kind and forgiving. He truly loves us, each and every one of us! I know this. If we are willing to keep the commandments and do our best to follow the Saviour´s example we will be in the places we need to be when we need to be and with the people we need. :) This I know for certain. I am so super excited for Ryan and the crazy snowstorms he will encounter! I am excited to hear all of the stories!!!

I love you all so much and will continue to stay online if you want to talk, I have some other things to do today as well. 

In behalf of Elder Zonts. I command Ryan that he send him an email TODAY. :) And also that he write me, his beloved sister, while he is on his mission. Only this. :) :)

Have a wonderful day all of my brothers, daddie, and mommie!! I love you so so so so much!

-Sister Chatwin

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Return to Central Standard Time

:( Sadly I don't have acess to google drive. So I wasn't able to watch the video. But........... WAY COOL!!! I AM SO PROUD AND HAPPY FOR RYAN! Seriously, I broke down in tears when I got to read where he was going!!  I am so so so so happy for him and for the learning and growth that he will have during his mission!
:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
Seriously. Bem legal. He'll be able to talk with Sanshiroh too. I miss that kid. Tell him hi for me! ! Even cooler. AHHH. SO HAPPY!

As for Brasil, I don't think we switch time zones. I haven't heard anything of the sort here. It's kind of nice not to worry about that here. :)

I am glad that you all had a good band season! I miss you so much, but I am so so so happy to be seeing all these blessings in your lives! :)

Saturday was a holiday here. Our stake had an activity in the Taruma Cemetary. We handed out mountains of pass along cards to almost every one we saw. Seriously. I bet most of Manaus was in that cemetary on Saturday. My companion and I arrived at 8 and we didn't find the other enterance until 9. That place is immense. The people of Brasil have an immense love for their family. It is a beautiful place, its a more rural cemetary, kind of like the family cemetary in Taos, but a lot bigger. And completely surrounded by forest. Beautiful amazon forest with clear blue skys. I wish I had had my camera. :) I took lots of pictures in my mind before all the people arrived and we were put to work. 

Our area is big, we have the area by our house and then a street that connects to the other part of our area. We work a lot in the other part of the area, because we have more sucess there. Its a 40-60 walk from where we live. We walk there almost every day now. My legs are getting quite strong, and also quite sore. I wake up with charlie horses most days, but you don't need to worry. :) Scuba diving taught me how to quickly get rid of them. I need to find some better streches for my legs though, any ideas?

We are super busy here, with all this walking and teaching. Its ironic because Sister Freitas and I haven't had time to buy groceries for quite some time. :) But you all have no need to worry, the scripture in D&C 88 is true. Missionaries never have to worry where thier next meal will come from. We don't have any food in the house, but our members are super great and are always feeding us. We always have a lot to eat, yes sometimes we are hungry, but it never lasts long. :) We are deffinitely blessed. Sister Freitas and I were joking that as long as we are in this area we will only have to buy food for breakfast. Which ironically we ran out of this week. :) :) Alas, all is well. We have money to buy food, we just don't have time to go to the super market.

I love my mission, and my companion!! We are getting to be such good friends! I am so excited for all the things Ryan will learn. Ryan, make sure you take my address with you. I want you to write me letters and brag about all the good Japanese food you will be eating. FOR SURE I WANT YOUR ADDRESS TOO. I'll send you pretty letters with princess stickers and princess paper.  

As I was telling mom, I am going to try and buy a speaker today in the center of town. So if you guys want you can send a USB for Christmas with music or recorded messages from you guys. Be creative! I love you all so much and I wish that you could be here with me learning all of these things!

Yesterday I was thinking of the concept of how as missionaries, we aren't here to try and convince people to change religions, but to invite you to change your way of life. To allow you more happiness and more freedom, to help for find the joy that I have. That every member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has. Our religion is a way of life, not a Sunday only activity. I love all of the oppourtunities I have to help people here. I have seen lives change and we get to share this with our investigators. We get to see the joy this gospel brings into the live of many people. I love this calling and I am learning so much about the simple truths.

Funny thought, many people think that I am brasilian. I look like a brasilian! The only way they find out that I am not a brasilian is when I speak, but I can fix that! Hehe, by the end of my mission no one will know that I am American. I am getting so tan. My chacos tan is the bomb, some of the members think that it is really cool. I even have a tan from the heel strap.  I joke with my companion that after 1 1/2 years in this sun, no one will recognize me. I use my sunscreen every day, yet I still get tanner.

Anywhos I love you all so so much! I think I won't get to talk with mom today. I think because of the time change you all had that she will have to start looking for my emails at a different time, because the time didn't change here in Brazil. 

Again sending my love!!!! I want to write you all another letter, and I will when I have time! 

A scripture that I have written in my planner to share is Jacob 4: 3-4, I don't quite remember what it says, but I think that it talks about the strength of these words written in my weakness. Anyways, ponder on it. Ponder on the words you write in your weaknesses. Our thoughts have such a great power and strength, always.

My thoughts are a little scattered today, I have been really busy this week and I woke up this morning thinking what can I tell my family? Just know that I always love you. I am doing super dooper, making new friends and loving my companion. :) I will sure be sad when this transefer is over. Usually after the 12 weeks of training you get a new companion, but I am super excited to meet new people. AND especially excited for the next transfer because that means...... Ryan's last birthday in the states for two years annnnd CHRISTMAS! :D :D :D I get to talk with you all again! I am getting excited! Veronica's family is putting up Christmas trees and decorations in their house right now to celebrate before she leaves in 2 weeks. :) It was fun to watch them set up the beautiful trees and decorations last night when we stopped by to say goodnight. 

I serioulsly have so much love in my heart today, and I am so so so so happy for Ryan! GO JAPAN! Every mission has a song here, I am excited to hear what Ryan's mission song is, I am excited to get to hear him speak Japanese too!! :) :P 

I pray for you all daily!! 

With love, 
Sister Chatwin