Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

Querida familia,

Happy Memorial Day! Even though we don´t have this holiday here (obviously), I looked at my calendar from the US and realized today is Memorial Day. I hope everybody is enjoying the day and that you all have the day off :)

This past week was crazy busy. We went to Asa Sul three days in a row for training, but it was SO great! Our training was on the importance of the message of the Restoration. President Gaertner even showed up for the first half hour of training on Wednesday. He spoke a lot about how the church is different from all other churches because we have personal revelation. A lot of what he said was like he was reading my mind! I really enjoyed hearing from him and from the zone leaders. The practices we did were fun and helpful. 

I also discovered this past week that I love contacting (talking to random people in the street). I think I have less shame here because it´s not my country. How terrible am I? haha. What´s really interesting is that I can have a conversation with somebody and they understand every word I say, but once they discover I am American and my comp is Brasilian they immediately stop talking to me and address all questions to her. It´s like once they have a confirmation I´m American they all of a sudden can´t understand a word I say. Don´t do this with foreigners in the states!!! Always give them a chance to talk and TRY to understand what they are saying even if it´s difficult. Serving in a foreign country has been a humbling experience and it has made me more aware of how I treat others. 

Yesterday we had 10 investigators at church!! It was amazing. One investigator, Leeraney (pronounced Lee-HA-knee), is the grandson of Irmã Nena in the ward. Nena was inactive for 25 years and started coming back to church in January. I don´t think I have emailed much about her, but she is one of the most incredible people I have ever met. Leeraney is 18 and such a good kid, he just lacks good friendships and direction in his life. Saturday night when we were thinking about who would come to church we wrote "Leeraney (milagre)" because we knew it would be a miracle if he came. When he walked through the doors during the sacrament hymn I got the biggest smile on my face! Poor Nena didn´t see him walk in so by the end of sacrament meeting she was crying because she was so sad and frustrated he didn´t show up. We have been trying for weeks to get him to come. We even gave him a tie so he would have a complete outfit for church.

It was so great having so many people in church. Hectic, but great. This week we have more training in Asa Sul about the Book of Mormon. We already went this morning and have practices tomorrow. The weather here is getting more dry, but I like it. Right now the climate feels like home :) 

I included a picture of Sister Damaceno, Irmã Nena, Leeraney and I at church yesterday. Thanks, mom and sis, for the cute dress!!! I got a ton of compliments on it :) 


Sister Kerr

Ps. If anybody sends any packages please write "Missionary Supplies" or something similar as the contents of the package. Also, make sure to mark it as a gift! And don´t disclose the true value of the package. Packages can be subject to a tax if they think you are going to resell the contents.

Thanks :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

5 Months!

Oi familia,

Yesterday was 5 months in the mission!! Woo hoo! It seems like a lot more, but not. Next Sunday will be 2 months in Brasil. I cant believe it´s only been 2 months...I feel like I have lived my whole life here haha. Not in a bad way. 

Thursday we spent the whole day in Guara I with the elders because our district leader asked us to come help with some of their investigators. It was a day lost being able to work in Guara II but it was such a great day! We met two of their investigators - Carol and Delmar - who I loved! I´m pretty sure Delmar taught us instead of us teaching him. He is amazing.

Saturday night we had our ward activity that we planned and it was a success! I made persimmon cookies and nobody believed it was a recipe from my mom. For some reason they were shocked we have persimmons in the states. Here persimmons are called caqui...I think cookies de caqui has a cuter ring to it :)  My only regret of the night is that I didn´t take any pictures because Sister Damaceno and I were busy serving food. Oh well. I think Irma Adila has some photos. 

We took it upon ourselves to serve the food because we wanted to make sure everybody would get a chance to try a little bit of everything. It worked out well because each of the plates lasted a good while instead of disappearing after the first 10 people. 

What made me super happy is Saturday night I had a dream that kinda related to this concept. In my dream I was talking about economics and the idea of the "tragedy of the commons," which is an econ principle that more or less goes along with this. I woke up happy yesterday morning because I realized I still remember econ! Hooray! haha. Despite being on my mission, I am still an econ nerd. 

Well, I hope everybody is having a great week! Love you

Sister Kerr

Our district - Sister Munger, Sister Mendoca, Sister Damaceno and I.
Elder Furphy (from AZ), Elder Sowards (from CO), Elder Motta (from Brasil), and Elder Brito (from Rio)

Sister Munger and I found our mini-me´s!
One of the investigators, Fabiana, who´s 10, drew this for me. Haha

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Belated Mother's Day!!

The work this week was not as successful as we hoped. A lot of appointments fell through and we weren´t able to make contact with too many people. But I am happier than I have been in a while because yesterday I Skyped with my family!!
It was the shortest hour of my life but it was the best! I can´t even put into words how happy it made me to see them. Irma Adila made the day special for us, knowing it was mine and Sister Damaceno´s first time Skyping with our families in the mission. She made feijoada for dinner with arroz and farofa and brownies with ice cream for dessert :) 

I know I am forgetting a ton of memorable things from the week, but my mind is still thinking about how happy I was yesterday.

I hope everyone is having a great week! Love you all!!
Sister Kerr

My favorite picture in the mission :)

Ace, even though we can´t see you, you were there. 

Can you believe I come to Brasil and eat at a Quiznos of all places? Haha.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Tudo bem

Querida familia,

Que saudades de vocês! For some reason I have been super homesick this week which is weird because we had a great week. I think when I have a good week I get even more homesick because I want to share every detail but it´s impossible. 

Things with Sister Damaceno have been going great. I have learned SO much Portuguese with her in this one week! She speaks English fluently which is nice because if we really can´t understand each other in one language we just revert to the other :) I know this transfer is going to be super productive in terms of getting the ward involved with the work. We already planned a ward activity for May 18 called Receita da Mãe. Everybody is going to bring a dish recipe they learned from their mom and the recipe and we are going to share Mother´s Day stories, have a competition, etc. The ward is super excited for it. 

Last week I had pancakes...real American pancakes! An investigator we met has a boyfriend who lived in the US for a few years so she makes him cook pancakes for her. When we got there she had frozen some to keep, but she was so excited to give pancakes to a real American haha. They were actually good. She kept saying "I´m going to tell my boyfriend that I gave pancakes to an American!" haha. 

From Saturday to Sunday we had a zone fast so everybody in the zone fasted for a list of names each district gave. It was amazing. Yesterday morning at church we had 7 investigators there. A family of four that we thought for sure wouldn´t show actually showed up! The husband wore a tie, the wife was in a dress..the whole deal. 

This week will be super busy but I´m looking forward to it. On Sunday I get to Skype with my family!!!! :)

Love you all! Have a great Mother´s day