December 5th - Let me first answer Questions: 1) I can totally have a Calendar - in fact I really need one - I don´t know why my thing said I can´t so send it on down! Woo hoo! 2) The Elders are awesome! In fact, Elder Collins that came to Vitória from my district in São Paulo is in my Zone and he´s training! Thats how awesome he is. And the Elders are SO nice. The first thing they always do is shake our hands and ask how we´re doing. I love Elders! 3) Jenna - The Temple...the closest temple to Espírito Santo is in São Paulo about 15 hours away....so no, we don´t get to go to the temple and I am missing it so badly! I think I´ll have to start reading Moses every week. The members here have a caravan a few times a year and they go to the temple together and stay for a day. In fact, I´m learning a lot about the statistic of the Church with temples...our mission Presidents goal is to get a temple in Espírito Santo which means 10 stakes...we have 3....so we´re getting to work. But I didn´t know that the criteria for a temple was 10 stakes. Cool huh? 4) Dad - I´ve had 5 baptisms in this area, 3 were a family
So.....sounds like we all got sick this week! I had to stay home Wednesday and Thursday and I just slept and slept and slept and read Jesus The Christ. I think it was the flu or a bad cold. But, eh, what´re you gonna do? So that was fun it´s Sister Owens dream to stay home and study and she got to do just that for 2 days. :D Friday and Saturday we just took it really slow because I still wasn´t feeling awesome and discouragement crept in because its awful to stay home for 2 days when you know you have poeple to visit and the gospel to share...but it doesn´t help being out in the rain making it worse.
Oh yeah, rain. It´s been raining for I think 11 days straight. Its crazy! I have a new umbrella thanks to my mission mom (its from the Elder that went home because he got his leg cut off by a train...thanks Elder Bagley!) so, I´m good now.
So. Friday we were walking to one of our appointments and passed by one of the thousands of churches *cough* (apostasies) that exist here. You know, walking normal and all of a sudden I hear ´Raaah!´ and bird swooped down and attacked my head! I squatted down at about 103.7 miles per hour and screamed. Just thinking and writing about it now I feel all, ´Uggghh´ Apparently this bird had a nest near by. So what did we do? Naturally, as missionaries, we stopped, grabbed Sister Owen´s camera and she did the same thing so we could film it. :D
Saturday we were bummed out because one of the first things we saw leaving the house was Geter (our recent convert) smoking in his car. :( When I say bummed I mean depressed, thinking about it makes me sick, and it was hard to want to work seeing the fruits of your labors on fire....Satan is friggin good at what he does and I don´t like him one bit!
But! Sunday testimony meetings in Itaparica Ward were amazing and we had a Stake Fireside about Missionary Work that was REALLY GOOD! And I got to see Elder Collins...so the Lord ALWAYS sends His angles when we need them!!!
Thanks for your love, prayers and support! I´m praying so hard that I WILL NOT get transferred for Christmas. I guess I better learn more about humility. But I will know next Monday about transfers and email you then!!!
It´s SO GREAT to hear that you´re all doing awesome. My week just got SO SO SO much better. I love you all so so so much! Thanks for all your love, support, emails, pictures, prayers, thoughts and for being MY FAMILY!!!
From Tues Dec. 13th (Kelsi emails on her P-Days which is usually Mondays)Hi Family!
Nobody panic. We had a different PDay thing yesterday so we´re emailing today. Yesterday we had a Chirstmas Party with the whole Mission and everyone that was transferred (including me) moved yesterday and we get to email today.
First things first. I´m in Jardim da Penha em Vitória! It´s part of the Presidents area and I´m Senior Companion....I don´t know what Presidente is thinking. And Elder Spencer is my District LEADER!!! :D I will be able to Skype Christmas day but I don´t know what time still because church here is 9am until 12pm....so the time you guys want probably won´t work. But I (almost) promise I will know everything next week.
So. Yes. I was transferred. My first transfer and I´ve never been so sad in my life. By a miracle President told us Saturday morning so we had time to say goodbye to people. If not I don´t think I would have been able to leave. Saturday we went to the members houses and said goodbye. Cristiano was annoyed that Presidente did this, but trusts the Lord. Him and his wife Ana Paula joked that they won´t make lunch for the Elders and will send them away. Cristiano earlier this week wanted Presidente Araújo´s number and I asked him Saturday if he still wanted it and he said, ´´No. I don´t want it now. I´m annoyed with him.´´ Then we went and told Cristina and Sabrine. We were all so sad that we couldn´t even keep a conversation going. We´d talk and then get sad again. Then we went and told Isabella and Julia. Julia started to cry immediatley...which made me cry and Isabella was sad but understood. She´s going to miss me a lot and I her, but this is a mission...I´m learning...
Sunday we got to church and Bishop was the first person to greet us. He told us how sad he was and that we were great missionaries and the whole ward would miss us. When Ana Paula announced in Releif Society we were transferred everyone went, ´Awwwwww!´ and I cried through the whole closing song. Then in Sacrament Meeting Carol spoke (my recent convert thats 15 and was soooo nervous...Dallin suck it up and give a talk) and then I got to bare my testimony. Luckily all without crying. Sister Owens spoke too and then Irmão Jerônimo. Then Cristiano, who was conducting, got up and said how great of missionaries their ward was losing but that our church is a church of revelations and we have to trust in the Lord. By the end I was CRYING and some of the members too. After Sacrament it was just a big cry party. We had lunch and they went to say bye to everyone again. I can´t put into words all that happened but just know that I have a BIG family here that love me very much. More than any other missionary. I don´t even know how to say it in English. But I am loved.
Our last stop was Cristina. Cristiano and the whole Bazilio family was there (my family). We just sat around the table and talked and joked and made fun of everyone (JUST LIKE I do with you guys). Then Cristiano gave me an amazing blessing and I said goodye to my mãe and my irmã and my tio. As I was hugging Cristina (mãe) we were both bawling and when I let go EVERYONE even Cristiano was crying. It was harder to say goodbye to them than to you guys. I think because I prepared myself to say goodbye to you...I didn´t know I´d meet another YOU in Brazil. I love this people.
I´m hoping these feelings will pass. I was crying even yesterday during the Christmas Party off and on...Sister Nicascio kept saying. ´´I know how it is. Cry, my daughter. Cry.´´ And it would make me laugh and cry and Presidente and Sister Araújo kept looking at me like, ´´What are we gonna do with her.´´ Sister Powell said Presidente told her my Bishop even called and told him that we could stay one more transfer. My ward was NOT happy that Presidente did this right before Christmas...but Presidente transfered half the mission. I still call Itaparaica ´´my ward´´ and ´´my area´´ and I think it will always be. :D
The Christmas Party was awesome. Each zone did a skit of a scripture story. It was all SUPER funny...but not if I explained it. So just know that it was funny. And ... it was good ... but I felt lost and sad ... but laughed a lot too.
So. Back to the world of now. My new companion is Sister Vierra. She is amazing. We are going to work a LOT! She is the only member in her family and her dad died a few months ago. She arrived in the field with me at the same time...I just have more time than her because us Americans stay in the MTC longer. Her mom is very Catholic and she said her mom is commanding her to come home, but she doesn´t want to...I think...but I will learn SO MUCH from her. I have no idea why I´m Senior. But the Lord knows what he´s doing adn I don´t have a single doubt that I´m supposed to be here in this area with Sister Vierra...its just going to be hard to adjust.
But. Onward, I guess. I don´t know if mom and dad are still planning on coming to Brazil to get me at the end of my mission...but if you are I don´t know when you´d have to start doing the Visa stuff and I DEFINITELY have a house for us and everything...in Itaparica. Cristina is already planning everything. So, let me know when you know you know you know.
So. I love you guys a TON! I´m excited to call you and see you in 12 days!!! Oh my gosh! And whatever time I call everyone better be there!!! Once in a life time yo.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!
Sister Kelsi Kate Johnson
P.S. Now send my package. :p