Monday, November 25, 2013

E.T. Phone home.

That`s right folks. Emergency Transfers. It`s like the thing I always joked about, but I never thought it would actually happen. Well, we had interviews with President on Wednesday, and on Thursday, we got a phone call that Sister R was going down to Lisboa area to work in a Scholarship Fund office. If I`d known that all I had to do was complain about being cold....just kidding, I am SO grateful I`m still here in Porto. I picked up my new comp today, Sister Briggs. She came from Viseu so that warms my soul (good news, Sofia and Armando are still going to church yayay!!) and from the beloved state of Minnesota...drumroll.. SHE NOWS LUCY AND ELEANOR. I am SO happy about that. and k8! she plays rugby. hehe

Speaking of the cold. I`ve said it once and I`ll say it again. If you realllyyy love me, you will never let me be cold. Well, the mission does not love me, because I. AM. DYING. I have never been so cold in my life. Like can`t sleep at night I am so cold. Standing on the street dancing around like an idiot while talking to people, because I can`t stand still or I will literally turn into an ice cube. I know this sounds dramatic but I am so serious. I thought I was freezing in Utah. HA. Jokes were on me. I can`t take down peoples information, because my fingers are so cold they don't move to write. I'm struggling. And they just keep saying that it is only going to get colder. HOW DO PEOPLE LIVE LIKE THIS?

Stupid thing I did this week: Let my name tag on my shirt and then put it in the wash. Came out sparkling clean. Sorry for making fun of you for putting your cell phone in the wash, mom. 

okay. I LOVE YOU ALL! But Shannan sent me an email full of uplifting quotes from all of our favorite tv shows, and holy cow. 1. I cannot believe how much tv i watched. and 2. ohhh my heart. You really know how to warm my soul.

Olivia is ready for baptism!! She stopped smoking and everything! Yayay obviously we had a festa. Chocolate cake and orange juice (Because apparently that helps with the tobacco ! She said that her doctor has been telling her that she needs to stop smoking for the last 50 years, but that she finally was able to do it now, because she knows that she needs to do it to follow God. Literally, incredible. I love the atonement so much. 

Have I ever told you guys that when you ask people what they like to do here, they say, `Passar o ferro.` Or in other words. IRON. What do you like to do for fun? Oh, I really like to iron. WHAT? yeah. Well, we spent wayyy too much time ironing for a menos activo in our ward this week, and let me just say, thanks mom, because ironing is NOT my idea of fun.

We have our mission tour this week, which means that Elder Dyches is coming to Porto on Wednesday and we get to have a special conference with him, which will be incredible. It also means that 12 sisters are going to be sleeping in our house tomorrow night. HA. And all transportation is going on strike tomorrow, so let`s pray that that actually doesn't happen, or this is going to be madness. 

AH AND Happy Thanksgiving folks!! After you are all done saying one thing you are grateful for, I want you to go back around the table again and say one more reason you are grateful for me :) 

MARCIE AND CRAIG!!! AH!!! I got your announcement this week and you were already married!! AHH CONGRATS!! SO HAPPY FOR YOU GUYS!! I love you both!!!

BABY NOÉ (NOAH) HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY LITTLE CHUNKER!!! You're actually probs a bit skinnier now. But hey! You've made it. One year of life. I hope it feels good and your mother is treating you well.


Sister Brooks

god bless the american store that does not sell hot chocolate, but does sell  pancake mix and mac n cheese.

thanks for the packagee i am in heaven and the socks were an answer to prayers

Monday, November 18, 2013

Woahhh, we`re halfway there. Woah, living on a prayer.

So applicable. 

You know how you go on a mission to learn the attributes of Christ? Like to become more patient and loving and humble and all of this. Well, I don`t know what I am doing wrong, but I really do feel like I am becoming less loving and less patient and more cynical. What is wrong with meeee? HELP. 

ANYWAYS. This week has been good. I think? I dunno. The days are all mushing together, and I don`t even know what is happening anymore, but I am good. And I am happy. Although, I said today that I miss laughing, so...that`s hard. I need more Sister Stewart in my life. But, really. I am good. And some amazing things are happening here in Porto!

We had an incredible experience where we were calling a couple of the people from our Livro de Area that we didn't know during our weekly planning and she answered and we met up with her in the chapel this week. She brought her friend and started telling us how she met with the Elders in the past and they gave her passages to read in the Book of Mormon and after reading it a couple of times and praying about it, she knows that it is true! She said that the only reason she stopped meeting with the Elders is because at the time she was going back and forth between Porto and Braga, and they stopped calling! But she is SO elect and has such a real desire to know that this is the true church and to share the Gospel with her friend who doesn`t believe in God. I decided we are going to use that precious area book, because we already have so many people there who are prepared for baptism, but with changes in missionaries and personal circumstances got left behind. No man left behind!

Olivia is doing well, and showing up to church on her own and all ready for her baptism! She`s just got to stop smoking, but we`re going to make her some cigarette pictures (because....she can`t read, but she knows how to write #questionmark, so she just copies the little pamphlets we give her and it is so precious...i die), and I have complete and total confidence that she will stop in two weeks, so all is well! Now let`s try to get some hot water in the chapel so we don't have our 3rd baptism in agua fria.

And ohhh my precious 8 year old Kawany (from the Brazilian family). Yesterday, we went to their house and we taught the third lesson which talks about baptism. And she reads John 3:5 and goes, `So if I`m not baptized  I can`t enter into the kingdom of God?` And then she goes,`I want to be baptized in your church! Please mom pleaseeeeee. I want to be baptized on the 1st of December. Please mom pleaseeeee.` Oh, it was so precious. So here is to praying that her and her mom get an answer to their prayer. Her mom is just worried that if they go back to Brazil she won`t be able to keep going to church there, but I promised that the church is stronger there than here and she will be able to go, but we invited them to pray about it, and I have faith that it will all work out. Oh, how I love that little girl. Except she asked me if she could be my grandchild. She`s not even old enough to be my child! I`m getting so old it hurts. 

So I`ve been reading the Gospels, because I have a goal to read them all before Christmas, because ya know...#Jesus, so I came across this and thought of you Caisa--Mark 7:1-6. So the next time you freak out about the handwashing I would just like you to reevaluate and remember what is most important okay? :) hehehe. I LOVE YOU.

Also, I wish I was serving with Eleanor, because sometimes these girls are all ready for a night out on the weekends and they get on the bus and I just think about how funny she is and how funny she would be and how funny she must be with all the Brazilians. Ouch. I miss my friends. 

Also---Dad, you know why I love you? Because you spent half an email explaining to me about a tv show that we have watched together about 40 times. Hahah, you are perfect and the best dad anyone could ever have. Thank you for always bringing a smile to my face. Also, still getting faca from my own father on the week I didn't send an email. I AM SORRY I LOVE YOU OKAY? hahah I LOVE YOU SOOO MUCH! Have fun in Australia!!

I love the mission. I can`t believe I`m already half way through. It`s unreal. My companion is so trunky and she tells me I am going home all the time and I`m like literally stooooop because I am staying here forever and I can`t think about life after the mission or I will have a panic attack. Hahah, it`s actually so funny. Newbies are so funny. Even when they are 39. Literally. 39. I don`t know if I`ll ever get over that one.

We found and American store this week that sells American food and I about died of happiness. So, here`s to praying that it has REAL diet coke. We`re going there right now. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH. More than Diet Coke, but...that will have to fill the hole for now.

Sister Brooks

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays . . .

Sorry that here in Portugal they don`t celebrate Thanksgiving (not very grateful people), so my rule for Christmas starts after Thanksgiving doesn't apply and all my investigators already have to hear us sing Christmas hymns and it is going to last for the next month and a half. Also, my comp reminded me that Christmas means WE GET TO SPEAK TO EACH OTHER! What is it like still being connected to the outside world?

President says if you want to send me a package/mail for Christmas, then it needs to be sent by the 21st of November. So this is me shamelessly begging ALL OF YOU to send me love over the big pond for Christmas time. Because really....I'm gonna need it.

Speaking of love, one time during lunch this week, the other sisters tried to play a game called `Let`s talk about how Sister Brooks shouldn't drink Diet Coke.` It was funny. And they lost.

As for the foot, I got an xray, and they said its not a bone thing. They said that it might be a ligament or something and that I need an mri, but I think mri`s can wait until next year.

ALSO. How dare you people---not telling me that Jim got engaged. I`m on the other side of the ocean....I didn't fall off the face of the earth. CONGRATS JIMMINING!!

This week---AMAZING things happened. We were on our way to an appointment with our sweet little Brazilian family, and there was this lady on the street and she was looking at us and slowed down, so we did what we do and started talking to her. And then we kept talking to her and then we said a prayer with her, and after ward she literally stared into my soul and goes, `Porque estava a olhar para mim?` And I was like uhh....(because you were in the street) `Porque Deus sabia que precisava desta mensagem.` `E porque eu olhei para ti?` Uh....... `Porque Deus sabia.` And then she hugged me, and my whole heart was filled love and I had one of those moments where I just felt like I knew her from before and that we are friends already. Except we didn`t get her information, so now she is lost forever, but I have hope, because she has ours, so here is to praying that she calls us.

Speaking of my Brazilian family, they came to church on Sunday! All of them! And their sweet daughters just want to play with me and talk to me and hang on me and I just stand there helpless, because I`m not allowed, but I secretly love the love they have for me, and I miss children.

Ah! Happiness! I am just so happy. The work is actually going SO well here. Remember that lady that our Recent Convert stopped on the street and told to come to church and then she showed up? Well, she`s been coming to church every week since and the first time we met with her she was like listen I am NOT getting baptized, butttttt we marked her for the end of November this week!! Now she just has to stop smoking and all will be well! She wasn`t accepting it at first, but then Rosa gave this bomb testimony about all the things that were going wrong in her life before her baptism and how every single one of them was taken care of after her baptism and how she stopped smoking and how God is so aware of her and every one of her children, and I just sat there like a proud mother doing nothing and just letting her teach away.

I love you all. I miss you a lot. I remembered that tv exists this week, and that was hard for me. Is that wrong? Sorry. I love you all so so so so so much. Enjoy Australia. Enjoy water. I just drink it now. Ugh it is so gross. I probably have a million other things to tell you, but I can`t think straight and I`m being really sassy today (blame Kristan), so I`ll stop while I'm ahead.

Sister Brooks

ELEANOR---YOU ARE IN BRAZIL!! OH I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!! Make someone make you pão de queijo and bolo de brigadeiro. Oh I die. You are perfect. They are going to eat you up.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

And then it all changed

Oofa. So...yeah. Well, let`s start from the beginning.

So, the beginning of this week was actually so fun. I served in Lapa which is actually BEAUTIFUL, and I just walked around all day with my mouth wide open. I felt like I had actually arrived in Portugal for the first time in my whole mission. And I was serving with these absolutely adorable girls there. And their area is just full of eleitos and I just day, Lisbon. One day. 

And then I met my new companion. She`s actually 39. Aka old enough to be my mother. She is from Peru, but has lived in Italy for the last 20 years. So....she actually just speaks Spanish. And apparently I understand her? Said some girl on the bus the other day. Except, I don`t think she really understands me. She`s also a nurse, so....she doesn`t really like how laid back I am about a lot of things....oops. hahah And...yeah. It`s a lot different. But, at least I feel a lot more sure of how to do the work in this area and what is going on and what we have to do as missionaries this time around. So, I feel a little more comfortable taking charge and when questions come up, I know where to turn in PMG and the White Handbook and things of the sort, and well...everything works out wayyy better when you say that it was the Lord who commanded, not me. It`s a big transition going from teaching so so smoothly and perfectly together to....not. Haha. Yiyiyiyi. And cultural differences. Im ready for America again. It might be a long couple of weeks. But, ANYWAYS.

Adriana and Kawany showed up to church! My little Brazilian family FINALLY came again! Oh, my heart was sooo filled with joy. And Kawany, who is 8 and absolutely adorable just held my hand and drew me pictures and rested her head on my shoulder the whole time (which I`m actually pretty sure was on the line, but what was I supposed to do? I can`t push her off.) Oh, my heart is SO filled with love for them. And Adriana was crying during sacrament, because she just felt such a peace. Oh my heart. Oh my heart.

We only had a few days in our area, so...this week was basically just spent running around seeing all the people we hadn´t seen in a week. It`s crazy how I feel so responsible for these people`s lives. But, it was good, and we saw a lot of success, and the Lord really loves us, and this really is His work. 

Also, I`m currently having a foot problem. I`m not really sure what it is, but its on that weird little ankle bone thing. I`m going to the doctor on Quinta...uhhh Thursday? DO NOT FREAK OUT MOM. I`ll let ya know next week. I`s been a while since I visited the bone doctor, so I figure it`s time to go back. 

Oh, and mom. Remember how you sent me a bag of chocolate chips? I was gonna use them in cookies, but...they didnt make it that far. Why is it that chocolate is better in the form of a chip? Oops.

I love you all so so so VERY much. You are all perfect and my strength. I think about you every day and I miss you all a LOT. I can NOT believe it is already November. I don`t even know what that means, but it blows my mind. Thank you for always loving me. Thank you for being my rock. I LOVE YOU.

Sister Brooks

my new comp

those cute sistes i served with in lapa

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I've got bruises on my knees for you . . .

Except actually, I do. This week, I was getting down from my chair to pray after studies, and I just completely fell over, hit the metal bar on my chair, and now I have this huge bump/bruise on my leg. Hahhaha what am I?
So you wanna hear about transfers eh? K. I`ll tell yea. So....I´m staying in Porto...shocker. I`m no longer STL #demoted haha just kidding. But guess who is training again? This girl. Yay. Can you hear the enthusiasm? Just kidding. It will be fun. Wanna hear a funny story? So, we get the phone call and my ZL says, `Yup, you`ll be training again so...blah blah blah...and WOAH. You`re child is not normal.` Hahah I`m sorry, what is that supposed to mean?  She`s from Italy! Hahahahhaha so....hopefully all those times we played charades in Hilton Head will be paying off these next couple weeks. Wait wait wait. That`s not all. Not only is she a newbie from Italy, but she is a 34 year old newbie. Hah...HA HA HA HA. And then I had a panic attack. But like....she`ll be really cool and we`re going to love each other and she`ll know how to make really good pizza or gelado or something and it`s gonna be great. Woo. I haven`t met her yet, so I`ll let ya know next week. I meet her on Thursday. Pray for me.

Last week was great. Broke my heart saying goodbye to sweet little Sister Alves. I´m going to miss her bossing everyone around and just taking charge and everyone listening to everything she says, but hopefully I learned from her example and I can start....hahah who am I kidding? But the greatest thing happened this week, Rosa was calling us all week to leave and go work with us. Well, we ran into her friend in the street and she just starts bearing testimony to her. `Why are you so happy Rosa?` `Because I got baptised and I know im in the right path. So, this is what you are going to do. You are going to come to church with us tomorrow and 9 o`clock. We`ll go by and pick you up in the morning and then you will talk to the meninas and then you will get baptized and be happy too.` Hahhah YES. Thank you for just doing our work for us. She showed up in church on Sunday and it was fabulous! And Rosa is all like we gotta get this place filled, so....freak yeah!

HAHAHHAHA I HAD A DREAM THAT KELLI AND KANYE WERE GETTING MARRIED THIS WEEK. Woah. It was real dramatic and I woke up all panicked because I just knew you could do better Kel. Funny though, because I`m not sure whether I should be more scared or happy that I must be so closely related to them in Spirit that it was like I predicted the Kimye engagement. Hahah, no but really. We were all waiting on Kanye to show up and Kelli, you were dressed in black pants and a white shirt and I was soooo confused and just like....why is this happening? Hahha, so...I`m really happy to hear that it`s Kimmy and not you :) 

Big news...The prince got baptized. No worries. Catholic church/Europe news, yeah I heard it.

Also, did you know that is rains EVERY day during winter in Porto? Yeah. It does. It`s fun. Except not at all. This is how it goes. I complain. Then I think, `At least I`m not in Russia.` Then I think about Rach. Then I say a little prayer for her. Then I start complaining for myself again. Hahhaah. Oh it`s hard. It`s gonna be a long winter. No blow dryers in bed either. How will I ever survive?

Also, I completely forgot it was halloween this week, so....that hurt a little bit. Okay, well...I love you all so so very much. Gotta get to work. I love you and miss you so much. You are all perfect. God is so good, and He loves us SO much. And he promises us he will answer our prayers. D&C 98:1-3. I miss you beautiful souls. I love you. Have an excellent week! Make pumpkin bread for me :)

Sister Brooks

yeah tours of the chapel!

the end of another perfect house.  

working in the prettiest area for the next 2 days....lapa.

cristo rei