Monday, March 24, 2014

BRAZIL: Week 6 - DUH DUN DAAAAA! Transfers....

First of all, before I forget. IM BEING TRANSFERED! to Lago Silverio! (in the city of Jau) My new companion is American and her name is Sister Kimbrell (I THINK thats what my zone leader said.......) Keeler and Kimbrell...... An American in Americana...... Very funny President. :) 

Sister Moraes and I had a great, little hectic, last week together. First off, we found some of our 'missing" investigators. Heavenly Father knows all, and he knows how to put us in a place
                                                               Baptism of E!
Spot the three americans! haha(:
p.s. elders are awful at taking pictures


my companion and I

at exactly the right moment. We went to teach D. in the plaza and low and behold there was N. and R.!!!! They dont know their new address but they gave us the best directions they could and said they would be in the plaza couple times a week. Our lessons with D. are always so fun! We speak in Portuguese, a member in the ward from Haiti speaks Criole, and we read scriptures in French! He had some really great questions and committed to baptism! I am sad that I wont be here when he does get baptized. 

We went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders which was so fun! I absolutely love exhanges! Sadly, while I was having a great time learning, talking, and giving this really funny Brasilian an american quarter (which she thought was the coolest thing in the world) Sister Moraes was having a panic attack. The baptism of E. was supposed to be on Friday but they called Thursday afternoon and said that they needed to do it that night because they are going on vacation. BUT! Everything worked out and we had the baptism! And, her father was able to baptize her! 

We also had a missionary fireside this weekend. Everyone wore their name plaques (We invited the whole stake) and we had testimonies by young men waiting for their call and a couple RMs then there were a couple special hymns sung by all of the missionaries in our stake (accompanied by yours truly) and then President Canuto gave a talk. It was really cool and it really changed the perspective of missionary work in our stake. EVERY MEMBER a missionary!

I hope you have a "muito legal" week!
Sister Keeler

Monday, March 17, 2014

Brazil: Week 5 - PICTURES!!

BAM!! Take that! PROOF that I CAN TAN!
Look at that watch line. It has only been 5 weeks!
Rachel, you owe me 5 bucks!(;

The lake in our area is so beautiful! but I would never want to swim in it...


At the end of a hard week we receive a double rainbow! God is good!
All of the sudden it started POURING rain, but it was still sunny! So weird!
 And we had a double rainbow so of course I had to take a picture! :) hahah 

BRAZIL: Week 5 - Dog Whisperer

I don't usually get bit my mosquitos, but when I do, it's ALWAYS at the most inconvenient times! Like, while working out, while praying, during a meeting...... dang mosquitos.

Anyways, I have found out that dogs here speak English tambem. And, they have recognized that I am the alfa dog. aha! This whole transfer we haven't had any problems with dogs, whatsoever! Which is great because my companion is EXTREMELY afraid of dogs! she is even afraid of those little puffballs! 

This week has been a tough week. In a couple of different ways. I will touch on one. 4 of our investigators have fallen off the face of the earth. We can not find them or get a hold of them...... the 3 Haitians apparently moved and no one knows where..... and then J., who called us about getting baptized, is never home and wont answer the phone. ( We finally got a hold of him Saturday and he is having a lot of doubts and wants to stop taking the lesson right now.... :/ ) 

On the plus side! A clown that was selling lollipops came up to us and asked how he could join our church! And he gave us a free lollipop! Legit! We contacted a media refferal who was this really old couple. They loved the video about Christ and thought we were the coolest thing on the planet, so they took like a billion photos of us! ha (They are not really interested in the church however...) E., is getting baptized this Friday! And she is super excited! SO ARE WE!!!! WOOOHOOOO!!!!!!

I had a humbling experience this week. I was talking to the member that gave our zone leaders a ride for the baptismal interview and he was like, 
"how long have you been in Brasil?" 
"5 weeks..."
Then he was like, "ONLY 5 weeks?! Are you serious? You're Portuguese is really good. How did you learn so fast? Could you help me learn English fast?" 
My response was, "Its all because of the Holy Ghost" 

I thought of that verse in the Book of Mormon where it says, 'I can only boast in my God because through Him, I can do all things.' Which I have seen so much on my mission already. People are impressed with my language skills for the amount of time I've been here and it is definitely not me. The Lord needed me in Brasil and to speak Portuguese. He knew that languages are not my forte, but He works with imperfect people to strengthen their weakness. If I do my part, God will help me do things that seem impossible. I am so greatful to be on a mission. I am so greatful to be able to serve the people in Brasil and speak their language. And, most of all, I am so thankful for the Holy Ghost in my life. 

I hope you have a most wonderful week!

Sister Keeler

P.S FYI: We receive letters once a month and this week was THE week! woohooo! I received 5 letters, two from Dad, (a february one and a march one), Jenny, Monica, and Elder Bascom. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Brazil: Week 4 - ACT, bot be acted upon!

This week was Carnival which means a ton of drunk people, almost every store was closed, and most people are on vacation. So, we weren´t able to teach as much this week. 

But, we did have some miracles happen this week! One of our investigators, J., called us on Tuesday and asked us what he needs to do to get baptized. AHHHH!!! Then, as we were riding the bus home one night, the guy that takes your money looked at me and said, "Youre an American." ".....yes...." "I met an American once, he was a Mormon Missionary." "Hey! Im a Mormon missionary!" We started talking to him and he said that he met this missionary a year ago on the bus and he gave this man a Book of Mormon and he has been reading it and wants missionaries to come teach him! Sadly we cant teach him because he doesnt live in our area but what a cool experience! There is this amazing family who just barely started coming back to church after a long time. We went over to go teach them and found out that their 11 year old daughter isn´t baptized. And they asked if she could get baptized this Saturday! OF COURSE!

I have been reading the Book of Mormon again and I really liked 2 Nephi 2:13-14. There is a God and He did create all things. He created us in His image. How amazingly cool! This made me think of something that my MTC said, (also Elder Bednar) we need to act, not be acted upon. We make decisions every day and it's up to us whether they are good or bad. Life happens, we have challenges and trials that we can't control but we have a choice, to act in the way of Christ or let the challenges act on us.

I love you all! I pray for you, and sometimes its in Portuguese! ;) Have a splendid week!

Sister Keeler

beautiful church 


Hey look! It's the angel Moroni! haha

Train station

Monday, March 3, 2014

Brazil: Week 3 - 80% mental, 20% physical, 10% emotional

I must say, its been a pretty darn good week. I am now able to understand about 90% of what people say (Depending on who is speaking.......). I am still having a really hard time trying to speak my mind but it will get better. Im not worried. My motivation for this week was, "If that dog can understand Portuguese, SO CAN I!!!!!" I was asked MULTIPLE times this week to say "paralelepipedo" and "liquidificador" and everyone was very impressed that I was able to say them. (Obrigada Joseph Lattin!!)

Random: As we were walking, this parrot started talking to us! ha so cool!

We had to go to Piracicaba this week to get my visa authenticated or something and after waiting in line for 5 hours, I am now LEGAL!!! WOOHOO!!! 

N. and R. (investigators) are reading the Book of Mormon now, because they have one in Spanish. We haven't set a baptism date because they are still praying for an answer. I love them so much. They are seriously the coolest people ever. Actually, everyone here is extremely nice. Its a complete change from DC. I dont know if its just in this city, but everyone just looks out for everyone, even if they are strangers. The other day my bag was open and this lady like 15 feet away was like "hey! your bag is open!" Thank you random citizen! (I have yet to hear someone honk their horn here)

We got a new investigator this week. We met her at the Church activity this week. Her friend that is less active brought her. We tried to give her a Book of Mormon, but she told us she cant read....... so we are going to try to find the Book of Mormon on tape. 

I hope that this letter finds everyone in good spirits and health. I hope you have a most wonderful week!

Sister Keeler

This is the view of the city Americana (most of what you see isn´t our area, but we are allowed to go there on Pdays). I took this photo on our 30 min walk to church :)

I bought a Brasil Flag!!!! I am now ready for the World Cup!!!!!! GO BRASIL!!!!! CUPO DO MUNDO!(:

Brazil: Week 2 - Canandian instincts!

Our area is extremely big and Sister Moraes is HORRIBLE with directions so we have to ask so many people where things are.....So, we got a map!!!! This whole week we never had to ask for directions! WOOHOOO!!! Once I know where North is, my Canadian instincts come out! :)

On our 30 minute walk to church yesterday, we saw 15 toucans! 15! How flippin´cool! Sister Moraes was like they dont have toucans in the U.S.?? Ha! I WISH!!!!! They are beautiful birds!

I also had my first churrasco this week and it was delicious!!!!! Better than Toucanos! I absolutely LOVE the food here!!!! (By the way readers, Aubrey absolutely LOVES toucanos so the food must be pretty amazing!)

Portuguese is coming along, not as fast as I would like, but I am just really impatient. We ate lunch with a member that knows english and wanted to practice with me! (woohoo!!) She also wanted me to teach her how to do a British Accent! It was so funny trying to explain  british accent and then hearing her try! 

I had another cool experience with languages, we have 3 investigators from Haiti and 2 (N. and R. of them speak Spanish, Criole, and French. So, we would teach them in Portuguese and they would talk in Spanish and if they didnt understand something they would ask the member that we brought that would explain in Criole (He is also from haiti). It was a really cool to be able to understand them! (N. said the closing prayer in French :) The other Haitian only speaks French and Criole, and a little bit of Portuguese and English. So, I taught him in Portuglish! The great thing was, they all came to church on Sunday! Hopefully they understood better than I do. Man, by the time Saturday and Sunday comes around my brain is COMPLETELY DEAD! ha. 

We also had the opportunity to go visit some less actives Friday night. Two wonderful ladies in our ward P. and A. both work but once a week they make some sort of dessert and visit as many less actives they can and share a quick spiritual thought. And, they bring us along sometimes because a lot of the less actives have husband/kids that aren´t baptized. They are amazing and such great examples. Even though they both work, both have families to take care of, both have a child on a mission, they still find time in their busy schedule to serve and help others. What they do might not seem like much but it has softened a lot of hearts and changed peoples lives. Missionaries can´t do everything alone. The work of Salvation will not move forward with missionaries alone, we need the members too. Try to think of ways you could serve or go out of your way to share the gospel. It might seem small but it will do more good than you think and it will truly bless you!

Have a miraculous week! I love you!

Sister Keeler