Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year !


I hope everybody had a great Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Of course mine was great because I got to Skype with my family :) It is weird to think I will see all of them in 6 months. 

Christmas in Brasil was very different from Christmas in the states, as you would probably imagine. Here the Christmas celebration is more like New Year´s midnight they light fireworks and there is loud music playing all night. The real Christmas celebration takes place on the 24th with dinner, fireworks, opening presents at midnight, etc. So for Sister Barbosa and Sister Bojorquez they felt like Christmas was on the 24th and for Sister Jackson and I we felt like it was on the 25th. We didn´t do anything for the 24th. A member invited us over but we were all super tired and decided to stay in. All of the grocery stores had closed so we found an open bakery, bought a freezer pizza and salgados, went home and watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration for our Christmas celebration haha. 

The 25th was much better because we Skyped with our families!! Woo hoo. We ate lunch with Irmã Araceli and her family (they are a perfect family...they help us with everything we need!) and then Skyped at her sister´s house. It was so awesome to see my family and hear their voices. Of course 40 minutes when you´re talking to your family feels like only 10! It passed way too quickly. 

The rest of the week went well. Oh yeah, I finished the New Testament in Portuguese on Tuesday morning! I completed my goal of finishing the New Testament before Christmas :) That made me happy.

Next week we have transfers and I honestly don´t know if I will stay or go. I don´t know if I am really hoping for one thing or another either. I am happy here, but this transfer has been weird because of the holidays. A lot of members have been out of town so we haven´t really gotten too close with the ward. For the members that we are close with, they are wonderful. There are two families in particular that are such an example for me. When I have a family someday I hope to put in practice some of the things I have seen and learned here. 
Yesterday the stake president talked about goals and enduring to the end. He started his talk by saying, "Today is Sunday, December 29th and all of you are here in church.December 29, 2019 is also a Sunday. Where do you picture yourselves at 9amDecember 29, 2024 is also a Sunday. Where do you picture yourselves at 9am?" and he continued until after 2100. He said if we are imagining ourselves in church at 9am on those Sundays that is the first step in enduring to the end. Nobody makes a plan to fall away but sometimes it happens. He said we need to always have a goal to endure to the end and that happens daily.

All of the talks and lessons in church were about making goals. I need to make some goals for 2014. Reviewing my goals from 2013 I realized I got a lot better in some aspects and others might need to carry over to this next year. I hope all of you make goals and are able to take them one day at a time. In one year from now you can look back and re-evaluate. Don´t be discouraged if you didn´t complete everything you wanted in 2013. And don´t wait for January 1st each year to review and revise. We can change any day of the year, we can make goals for the better no matter what season it is. 

I hope all of you have a great start to 2014! Love and miss you all!

Sister Kerr 

All of us on Christmas Eve getting ready to watch the movie. We slept in the living room :)

Brasília has the prettiest sky you have ever seen

The best ward missionaries ever!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!


I can´t believe another Christmas is already here! I have so much to write today but don´t know if I will have enough time. To start off, we had Christmas Conference on Wednesday and it was wonderful!! We had the privilege of having Lex de Azevedo speak to us and then play  piano. I would be lying if I said I knew who he was before the conference, but he is a pretty famous pianist (Google his name). He is married to a Brazilian and currently living here in DF. His mission stories were so funny and when he played the piano he was hilarious. He decided we should sing Christmas hymns but then after playing two, changed his mind and decided we should sing Feliz Navidad and Jingle Bells. So there we were, 150 missionaries from various countries singing Feliz Navidad and Jingle Bells (in a Samba style) in English. That is a scene that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I was sitting on the stand, too, because I was in the choir so I got to see the faces of all the missionaries smiling, stumbling through the words, and laughing. To end his time, Lex played Silent Night (Noite Feliz because we sang in Portuguese) and it made me sad to realize this is the only Christmas conference I will have as a full-time missionary here in Brasília. I was grateful for the Spirit that we felt in the Conference and the messages we heard.

After the spiritual part of the mission conference we had lunch and then had a talent show. It was so funny to watch the missionaries still be missionaries but have the appearance of normal people. I hope that made sense haha. I got to see all of my former companions (only Sister Victorio was missing because she already went home) and missionaries from previous zones and districts. I also saw Elder Anderson and Elder Lant and took a picture with them because it had been almost exactly a year since we all met in the MTC! At the end of the Conference, our Christmas gift from President and Sister Gaertner was a box of Oreos. I haven´t had Oreos since the plane ride down to Brasil nine months ago. They were delicious (no, the whole box isn´t gone, yet).

The day after conference was my 1 year anniversary in the mission. It was a very bittersweet day because I realized I only have 6 more months to be a missionary. I was happy for the time I have spent in the mission but I felt this cloud hanging over me because the mission is now 2/3 of the way done. I am excited to go home and see my family, obviously, but to think about the day I have to hang up my tag and return to normal life is daunting. I am just going to do my best to appreciate these next 6 months! 

I read my journal that I started in the plane to the MTC and realized two things: 1. my English vocabulary is now significantly smaller and 2. I have changed a lot. Since Thursday I have been reflecting a lot about who I have become, what I have done, what´s changed, what´s stayed the same, and where I hope to be when I am back in a plane on my way home.

Sister Bojorquez, Sister Barbosa and I today in JK Shopping. We aren´t allowed to go into shopping malls but we got permission so we could take Sister Barbosa to McDonalds for her birthday today. We saw Santa there, too :)
Well, I think my time is running out. I wrote about half of what I wanted to say, but the most important thing is....MERRYCHRISTMAS! :) Love you all very much. Don´t forget the true meaning of Christmas (and don´t let that phrase just become another cliché in your life). 
Sister Kerr
Rain yesterday...the streets were flooding!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Conference

Dear family and friends,

I am short on time today but I wanted to give a quick summary of my week. The choir has gotten so much better!! I was amazed by our practice on Saturday and yesterday morning. We have improved dramatically in the past two weeks! I am excited for the songs we will be singing tomorrow. The best part is that through all of the practices I have memorized more songs in Portuguese :) I guess I am also happy to be learning how to sing, too!

We had zone conference last week with the Taguatinga zone which meant I got to see everybody. Woop woop! We also had a zone activity with them today. We had churrasco and then watched Despicable Me 2 in Portuguese. For Christmas, President normally lets us watch a film and the zone leaders chose this one. It was so cute!! I loved it.

Tomorrow we have our Christmas mission conference so I will get to see everybody! I hope everybody is having a good week getting ready for Christmas next week. Miss you all!!

Sister Kerr

PS Sorry I haven´t been sending pics. This internet house is weird and hard to send pics from

Monday, December 9, 2013

10 Days, 16 Days

Dearest family & friends,

So the title of this letter refers to how many days are left until the most important dates in this transfer: my one year mark and CHRISTMAS! This time last year I was buying things for the mission, trying to visit as many people as I could before leaving, enjoying the privilege of being able to work out in a gym and wondering what the mission would bring. Here I am one year later, using the same clothes I bought last year, almost 20 pounds heavier, missing everybody I haven´t seen in a year or more, and no longer wondering how the mission is. This year has flown by and dragged on at the same time.

Anyway, onto my week...

Friday I saw Sister Blair and Elder Redd after choir practice. It was almost a Taguatinga district reunion!...the only one missing was Elder Grisham. Man, last transfer was seriously so great. It has only been almost two weeks but it feels like it was so long ago. Choir practice for the mission conference has been going well. We aren´t that great but that´s ok because it´s fun.

Saturday we had our ward Christmas party which was a barbecue and white elephant gift exchange. It´s probably pretty safe to say this will be the only year I will celebrate Christmas with a barbecue during summertime. It doesn´t feel like Christmas for a lot of different reasons but the weather is definitely a big contributing factor. California doesn´t snow or get super cold, but I miss the crisp winter air we do get there. I miss wearing jeans, scarves, and sweaters! haha

Last week I also had a surprise call from Barbara from Taguatinga! It made me so happy. She called the mission office saying she had a referral to give so she could get my number. Well, they gave her the wrong number so she ended up calling the elders of Ceilândia 2 who in turn gave her the number of the other sisters in our ward who finally gave her the right number. Daniela also called me from Taguatinga, too. I have never had so much contact with a ward after leaving. It is great :) 

Our work here is going well. We found a lot of new investigators this past week and one of them, José Maria, went to church yesterday. Raimunda went to the activity on Saturday and liked it. Her son, Vinícius, who´s 11 always asks if he can say the closing prayer in the lessons. He is so cute and intelligent! He understands everything we say and can sum it up so succintly. 

Wednesday of this week we will have zone conference with our zone and zona Taguatinga. Reunion! :) haha. On May 24th we will have an apostle coming to the mission, they told us last week. Anyway, I think that´s all for now. I hope all of you have a wonderful week!! Love you and miss you.


Sister Kerr

*P-day next week will be on Tuesday, December 17th instead of Monday, December 16th. I probably won´t have a lot of time to email because we will be having a zone activity with two other zones so I imagine the day will be pretty busy.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy December!!

Dear family and friends,

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving! We didn´t do anything Thanksgiving related, but we did have sisters training that morning which was good. As always, I was super happy to see Sister P. Gonçalves, Sister Muniz, and Sister Blair. Any chance to get together with the other missionaries is always great. I miss Sister Blair as my comp!

So to give some updates on my companion, her name is Sister Jackson and she is from Salt Lake City. She spent the last 7 months serving in the Reno Nevada mission and even trained while she was there. She is really sweet and has such a sincere desire to speak Portuguese and help everybody here. Like I said last week, we are living in a house with 2 other sisters which is a lot of fun. Sister Barbosa and Sister Bojorquez crack me up. They are really laid back and easy to get along with. Living in a house with four sisters can either be a really great thing or a less than ideal situation. Thankfully it´s working out for us :) 

It has been super rainy these past few days which kind of puts a damper on my motivation to go out just to get soaked and freeze the whole day, but the work must go on haha. Ceilândia 3 is a really great ward. I have never seen a ward that loves sister missionaries so much!! Of course I still miss Taguatinga, but I guess that´s how it always is when you leave an area. Sister Blair wrote me an email to say that Gilmar bore his testimony yesterday in sacrament meeting and that Daniela was confirmed. I am happy to know everybody is doing well there. 

Sister Jackson and I spent this past week trying to find investigators because we are starting from scratch. We went through the old area book and tried to visit some names, but we just have to keep working. We did have one investigator at church yesterday which was good. Her name is Raimunda. We actually met her on Saturday morning and then she went to church on Sunday. 

Anyway, I am kind of behind on pics so I am going to spend more time finding them and writing about them. Hope all of you have a great week! Love you and miss you!

Sister Kerr
Disgusting sink situation we had
Daniela´s baptism
My last Sunday in Taguatinga...Gilmar went in a tie and white shirt for the first time!

On the metro Thursday morning. It was so packed! The picture doesn´t even show how crazy it was.

Sisters' Training

Sister Barbosa, Sister Bojorquez, Diogo (ward mission leader), me, Sister Jackson

Monday, November 25, 2013

Transferred :(

Dearest family and friends,
So believe it or not, I was transferred. I had high hopes that I would stay in Taguatinga Norte for one more transfer. It honestly made sense because Sister Blair and I were doing the training, Presidente Gaertner doesn´t normally like to split up companionships that are in training, and he usually leaves senior companions in the same area for 3 transfers. Until this point in my mission the only area I stayed for 3 was in Guará II, which you probably all remember how that area was for me. If there was one area that I wasn´t in love with it would have to be there. Not to say I didn´t learn a lot, because I definitely did, but it was a rough area.
Leaving Taguatinga Norte has been hard for me, even harder than when I left Guará I. I think I wanted to stay in Guará I for selfish reasons. It was a kind of small area so we didn´t have to plan as efficiently to get all the appointments in that we wanted, the ward was great, and I loved Sister P. Gonçalves (she is still there...poor thing). I was looking forward to helping the investigators like Tainá, Raimunda, Maria Eloisa, and everybody else, but I just feel like leaving there was a different feeling than leaving Taguatinga. This area was hard when I first got there but we worked so hard to get to know the members and truly help the investigators. I hate to pick a "favorite area" in the mission because in every area I have learned what I needed to learn, but Taguatinga Norte was a special area. The ward is great, the members are helpful, the recent converts are firm, and the work was going pretty well. There was definitely room for improvement, but we were getting there. I wanted to stay because I knew Sister Blair and I would be able to get a lot done and accelerate the work even more.
Last night we had Daniela´s baptism which went well. She has been wanting to get baptized for a while. She was practically begging us to baptize here which isn´t a situation I imagine I will find myself in often haha. We finally marked a date for November 24th and it all worked out :) The members came out to support, like always, and it was just a good night.

I honestly thought I would stay in Taguatinga....all logic pointed to a solid "yes" that I would. When we got the phone call that I would be leaving, I was sad but there´s nothing that can be done. Barbara, the bishop´s wife, called to tell me that the bishop sent a text message to President Gaertner last night to try and convince him to let me stay. That was super sweet :) I wish it would have worked! haha. The worst part is, I talked to one of the assistants today and jokingly asked him why he didn´t change the transfers and move my name so that I could have stayed in Taguatinga. He told me that originally I was supposed to stay but then at the last minute another sister had to be moved and it was my name that was chosen to switch with her. Just my luck.
So enough talk about Taguatinga. I guess I should tell you where my new area is: Ceilândia. The part of the city that I am in is known as Guariroba. I still don´t know who my companion is because she comes in tomorrow. There are three sisters arriving tomorrow - two Brazilians and one American who has been waiting for her visa. She has been serving in the states since April! Can you believe that? That is a long time to have been in a different mission. We will actually be opening this area in the sense that there was one companionship here and we will be a second. This is my third time in a row arriving in a new area with a new companion and kind of having to figure things out as we go along. Honestly, I like opening areas though so that´s ok with me.
My last week in Taguatinga was less than ideal. Our pipes were clogged because of the "caixa de gordura" that sits under the building and collects the fat, oil, grease and everything else from all of the apartments. Well it got too full and decided to start spilling out in our apartment, only ours. It was so gross. The smell was horrible and the landlord totally dragged his feet to do anything about it. We had already lost a lot of time during the week because of the zone trainings we had so this was just another thing we had to deal with that took us away from the work. We weren´t able to visit everybody like we wanted. Overall, it wasn´t a terrible week just very trying and tiring. But thankfully Sister Blair is an awesome companion and we were still able to make the best of it.
I don´t have my memory card reader otherwise I would send pictures. I am currently in Ceilândia with Sister Barbosa, Sister Bojorquez, Sister Azevedo and Sister Munger. Sister Azevedo, Sister Munger and I are in a trio tonight while we wait for our companions to get here tomorrow and then they will go to their areas. I will be living in a house with four sisters for the first time in the mission!! It only took a year to happen haha.
Well, sorry for this novel. I even left out a bunch of stuff because I didn´t want you to get too tired of reading. HAPPY THANKSGIVING this week!! I hope everybody enjoys the time with family :)
Love you all very much!
Sister Kerr

Monday, November 18, 2013

11 Months!

Dearest family and friends,

Tomorrow I will have 11 months in the mission! The next month marker will be 1 year. Whaaat! Time has been flying by. So right now I am wearing jeans because we had a zone activity and since soccer has been banned in the mission as of 2 weeks ago, we weren´t able to play today. It was banned because an elder was playing with his zone and then broke his foot. He had to have surgery and then go home to wait for it to heal. I have been enjoying this time in jeans, a v-neck and a cardigan...I feel like a real person! haha. Anyway, the last time I wore these jeans was in North Hollywood and they still have the smell of the apartment. It´s funny because I will get a whiff of the laundry detergent and all of the memories from NoHo come rushing back to my mind. Funny how smells can do that. I kind of didn´t want to wear these jeans today because I don´t want to have to wash them and lose the smell. 

Sister Blair and I are now pie experts after having baked two apple pies last week. It´s the holiday season and we feel like we are missing out on the holiday cooking from the states so we decided to bake an apple pie. It actually turned out really good! The second one was better than the first but I liked both of them. We gave two pieces to the American elders in our district for them to have a taste of home, too. One thing I am really looking forward to when I come home is having time to bake and cook again. 

Last week we planned to visit more members instead of planning as many lessons so that we can develop a better relationship with the members and gain their confidence. Choir on Sunday night was the first step and the rest of the week went really well. We still have a lot of work to do but we are getting around to it. We went to choir again last night and I loved it even more. I got to sing with the altos which made me happy. Why did I never do choir? Oh wait, I did it once and got stuck with bell duty (my mom and Annalisa probably remember that quite well haha). Barbara actually put everyone to sopranos and then only had Sister Blair, Lilian and me as the altos. We are practicing Christmas hymns to go singing door to door for some investigators :) 

Weird thing that happened a lot this past week: people kept telling Sister Blair and I that we look alike. I understand that our names sound alike, but us looking alike? No way. We just think it´s funny and wonder how anybody can come to that conclusion. It´s weird because it´s been more than one person who has said it. 

The work in Taguatinga Norte has gotten so much better since I first arrived. Maybe the only thing that changed was my attitude, but whatever it was, I have seen a lot of miracles happen here. I think back on my first week here and how I was so upset to have left Guará I, but now I love this area. News from Guará I - Raimunda got baptized on Saturday! She has been an investigator for over a year. The best part was that she wrote me an email to tell me about it. I felt special because she thought to send me an email and tell me about her baptism. The fruits of the mission are not few, just like it says in Alma 26:31. 

Well, this is the last week of this transfer. I am really hoping to stay here one more transfer! Whatever happens next Monday I know it will be for the best, but I can still hope that God´s will and my will line up one more time ;) 

Hope everybody has a great week! Love and miss you all!!

Sister Kerr 
Our first apple pie

Sister Blair and me in jeans today! Woo hoo! :)

The cuia, bomba and erva a member bought for me so I could make chimarrão
Random pic from the zone activity 

Another random pic
Picking amora (mulberry) from the trees :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran´s Day! Even though it´s not a holiday here I am thinking about it and remembering it today :)

So this last week was a good week. Gilmar was confirmed yesterday and was happy as could be :) I can´t even explain how much he has changed in these two months that I have known him. He is so awesome. 

Our week was kinda busy doing damage control in our house. On Wednesday we decided the worm problem in our shower was kind of gross so we called Sister Gaertner and asked what to do and she said to just put clorox in the shower. When we did that we saw that it was worse than we expected. A ton of them started to appear and come out of the little cracks. Don´t worry, though, we found out they weren´t worms...they were larva. Apparently because our shower head has been leaking the bathroom has been kind of wet and this type of bug likes to live there. Gross, right? We killed them and have been trying to be better about keeping it as dry as possible, but until we get our shower head fixed it has been a bit of a problem. We also have a ton of weird looking fly things. I don´t know, our apartment is starting to gross me out haha. 

The best part about being in Taguatinga is definitely having Sister Blair as my companion. This past week we had the urge to eat McDonald´s, which is weird for me because I don´t really eat fast food, but we went and ate a ton!! Halfway through the meal I wondered why I ordered so much but we pressed forward haha. We also decided to sing in the ward choir as a way for us to get to know more members and develop more of a relationship with them. Last night was the first time we went and I really liked it! I don´t sing very well and they put me with the sopranos which probably wasn´t the best idea but there were a ton of altos and only three sopranos. Since Sister Blair actually knows how to sing alto we left her there and sent me to the sopranos haha. On our own time, Sister Blair and I have already started memorizing Christmas hymns in Portuguese. Gotta get ready for Christmas! :) 

One funny thing is that in Portuguese my name and Sister Blair´s name rhyme which people love to comment on. In English they aren´t even close haha but with the pronunciation here they are almost the same. 

I normally make a list of things to write about in my email home but this week I am just trying to remember off the top of my head. Oh yeah, Thursday afternoon we helped a girl carry home some groceries because it looked like she was kind of overloaded. Her name is Amanda and we went back to visit her on Saturday. She said she wouldn´t be able to go to church on Sunday because she had to bake a cake for a friend for him to pick up Sunday afternoon (sounds like a fake excuse, right?) but we said we would bake it for her that night and then drop it off in the morning when we went to get her for church. She agreed so we baked Saturday night and gave it to her Sunday morning; she went to church with us and left the cake for her friend to pick up. Daniela, Célia and Thaís also went which was a nice surprise. Overall I had a pretty good week :) 

Hope everybody is happy and healthy and getting ready for the holiday season! I find myself a little more homesick with all the Christmas decorations going up, but that´s ok. Next holiday season I will be home :)

Sister Kerr 
Here is a picture of our zone this transfer. As you can see we acquired two new sisters in the zone.

Elder Sanders, Elder Pedroso, Sister Blair, me, Elder Redd, and Elder Grisham (Our district).

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sweet Novemeber

Dearest family & friends,

It´s November! Next month I will have been in the mission for a year. I am starting to freak out a little bit because after my one year mark comes Christmas, then New Years, and then there will only be six more months until I come home. That´s too soon! Ok, I am getting a little ahead of myself, November just started.

So I am still loving being Sister Blair´s companion. It is such a small world, too, because we discovered today that one of my friends from college is the daughter-in-law of one of her super good family friends. I hope you understood that haha. How funny, huh? 

Last week was really busy and passed by so quickly. On Halloween, Sister Blair and I dressed in orange and black in honor of the holiday we weren´t celebrating. That same day we also had the lock on our apartment door break and had to call a locksmith to change out the lock. Friday we helped the bishop and his wife do some food storage stuff for their house. We were putting beans into cleaned out Coca-Cola 2 liter bottles. Saturday night the ward had a talent show that was a success! So many people came out to watch and perform. Of course I had to miss the last act because we had to be home at 9:30pm and the show was running late. I was bummed but that´s ok. 

Yesterday, Gilmar was baptized! Like always, the ward was very supportive. A lot of people came out and brought refreshments and whatnot. To give a quick background on Gilmar, he has been an investigator since July. My first month in this area he stopped going to church even though he had been attending pretty regularly. Then, he called us one night to tell us he didn´t want to meet with us anymore because he was going to go back to his old church. Since Gilmar had met with the missionaries in July he had stopped smoking, drinking and had made a lot of changes in his life. That night we went to his house and met with him. We told him he needed to do his part, namely go to church and read the scriptures, to know what he really wanted to do. 

From that night on we started calling him every night to see if he had read that day. Sometimes we would call at 10pm and he would say he hadn´t read so we would tell him he had 25 minutes to read before we called back haha. Tough love (or just plain annoying), but it totally worked. Once he started reading daily he started coming to church and decided he wanted to be baptized. He was so happy yesterday after the baptism :) The best part was he had been a little unsure about getting baptized, but during church yesterday so many people as part of their testimony commented to him from the pulpit that getting baptized is the best thing he could do and he would never regret it. We hadn´t told anybody about his doubts but clearly the Spirit was working in them. It was awesome for him to get so many reassurances the day of his baptism. He even brought a friend to church and to his baptism! 

Fernanda is still doing great. We wanted to pass by her house to bring her to the baptism but we were running late so didn´t have time. When we got to the chapel she was already here practicing with the choir! She went to Institute on Saturday and is totally taking charge of her own fellowshipping. We don´t even sit by her in the classes or sacrament anymore because she already has a group of friends. Iolita, too, doesn´t sit with us anymore because she sits with another family.

Ok, I have more to write but this email turned out to be really long so I will leave it at this for now. Hope you are all happy and healthy! Oh yeah, you guys got to "fall back" an hour but two weeks ago we had to "spring ahead" here. Lame. So now I am 6 hours ahead of west coast time just as an FYI. Anyway, love you all very much!!

Sister Kerr 
Gilmar´s baptism :) (obviously)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy Halloween

Dearest Family and Friends,

Happy Halloween this week! How is October already coming to a close? It seemed like General Conference was just yesterday. 

So this past week was pretty great. I love looking back on even a short amount of time and seeing how much things have changed. When I first came to Taguatinga it was a pretty difficult adjustment for me. I loved Guará I and wanted to stay there. Getting used to a new ward here (and them getting used to having sisters) was definitely an adjustment period. I am pretty sure my emails kind of showed that I was a little down and tired from the challenges that I was facing. In just a short amount of time I have come to LOVE Taguatinga. When I first came here I asked myself, "Why did I have to leave Guará I?" In the past few weeks I have had that question answered a million times. There are so many reasons I am here. It is so humbling to see how perfectly Heavenly Father´s plan is for me. 

Having Sister Blair as my companion has also been a huge blessing! She is hilarious! You probably all remember how much I loved Sister Ryan in the MTC (She is doing well, by the way. We send emails almost every week. That girl still cracks me up with everything she says haha), and Sister Blair reminds me of her. Her sense of humor fits perfectly with mine so we spend pretty much the whole day laughing about everything. There are some things that my Brasilian companions wouldn´t have found funny, but Sister Blair and I cannot stop laughing. I missed joking around in English but this transfer I have been able to be sarcastic (a trait I should probably try to leave behind) and make jokes that wouldn´t have made my other comps laugh. Sister Blair is always laughing and happy which is great. I love her! 

I am happy to be her companion because I remember what it was like for me after having served in the states. Even after only one transfer in the San Fernando mission I fell in love with the mission president, the missionaries, the area...everything. Falling in love with a mission and then having to leave stinks. Getting used to a new country is difficult, but it is even harder after you have had a taste of serving in your own country where you speak the language and know the culture. I see her going through what I went through, but I imagine it has to be even harder for her because she spent 2 transfers there. I am just thankful the Lord trusted me to be her companion and help her get used to the mission here. What´s the point of passing through difficulties if you never have the chance to help somebody else with what you learned? 

This transfer I have felt like our district is more fun. Maybe the only difference is that my attitude and perspective have changed :) I am loving the work in Taguatinga. The beginning of this month, President Gaertner gave us the challenge to read the New Testament before Christmas. I started October 1st and am planning to be done by December 24th but it will be tough. If I only used my hour of personal study to read the Bible it would be easy, but I only allocate like 20-30 minutes so I can use the other half to study for our investigators which is what we are supposed to do. I am currently in John 10. 

Anyway, hope everybody is happy and healthy! Enjoy Halloween this week! :) Love you all very, very much

This is a picture of me eating pequi for the first time! People either love it or hate it. It is a fruit that you have to like scrape with your teeth because if you bite it it has little spines that go into your mouth. Yeah, sounds dangerous right? One of the irmãs made arroz & pequi for me because I wanted to try it. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

10 Months!

Dearest family,
Two days ago I completed 10 months in the mission! What the heck...only 2 more months and a year will already have gone by? That´s so crazy.

Ok, well these days it seems like I have a lot to say. Let me start by talking about my companion. Her name is Sister Blair and she is from St Louis, MO. She had been serving in New Jersey waiting for her visa and stayed there for 2 transfers. Technically she has already been trained but we are doing it all over in Portuguese for her to learn the language. She is so great! I am super lucky to have her as my companion. I can already tell she will help me be a better missionary.

One thing I love about her is that her Portuguese is like straight out of Preach My Gospel which means it is really simple and direct. Don´t get me wrong, she speaks Portuguese really well. It´s just that the phrasing and everything is what we learned in the MTC. I love that! For sure I am going to learn a ton with her this transfer. PS She loves to giggle! haha

The only bad thing is that this is my first time having an English speaking companion which means sometimes we speak English! I try hard to only speak Portuguese with her so that she can learn but sometimes one word in English will trigger a whole convo in English. And since our district leader and his companion are Americans sometimes our reports at night are like half English, half Portuguese! I even find myself thinking in English at times! Nooooo! Before, the only thing I would do in English was count if I had to do a super quick count of something. Anyway, I will be better about that because I really want her to learn Portuguese as quickly and easily as possible. 

Last Thursday we had a mission conference with Elder Snow (of the Seventy) and his wife. The conference was super great and the best part was, of course, seeing all the missionaries :) Afterwards all of the missionaries went out to lunch together and I got to chat it up with Sister Munger, Sister P. Gonçalves, Sister Muniz...and everybody else I miss. It was awesome! 

Yesterday was an amazingly wonderful day. Fernanda was baptized!!! Yay! So, LONG story super short, we met Fernanda two weeks ago. She was a referral from a member who lives in the US but was here visiting family and randomly started talking to Fernanda on the bus. The member passed by the chapel ten minutes before the second session of General Conference and told us we should go get Fernanda so she could watch GC. We went and got her, she watched conference, stayed to watch Iolita´s baptism, and the rest is history. She is so wonderful! The best part is the ward has totally taken her in and she has a ton of friends already. Her baptism was perfect :) There was a lot of member support and a lot of goodies to eat afterwards. She was really happy. 

Well, that sums up the week. I am extremely tired for some reason but very happy. Hope everybody is happy and healthy! Miss you all and love you!

Sister Kerr

The cake Sister Bezerra gave me in the morning

My birthday party with the ward 

Sister Blair & I the day she arrived

Some more pictures that didn´t fit in the last email from Fernanda´s baptism :