Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A whole new world!

April 28, 2014

OK I have so much news!!!
Lets start with the trip.... Uhhhh we took me and my comps luggage on the Onibus, then rode an overnight onibus all alone for 8 hours, and slept maybe 3... Then met my comp and loaded all my thousand pounds of luggage and broken suitcase (not excited about that) on another onibus to my area... and then dragged all thousand pounds all the way to our adorable little Brazilian house. 
Our house we share with two other Sisters, they live upstairs. It is pretty nice inside compared to all the other apartments on the mish which isn't saying much. but I'm REAL happy about it.
My companion is Sister Garay, she has 2 transfers on the mish- so she just finished training, and is from Columbia. So yeah, we are learning pretty much everything together. She speaks pretty well though, sometimes the accent is tough but teaching and contacting is no problem for her and she understands everything. Thank goodness for that, sometimes we leave a lesson and I swear I understand everything but after she's like- ohhh I cant believe---- and Im like- when did they say that!? Its a little hard for us to communicate, and get to know each other but its better everyday, and she's way chill. 
Ok, this zone is so different, they are intense about everything. We report numbers like every night and get chastised if they aren't good enough. My first day after unpacking and taking a short nap we taught 25 "lessons" and made 100 contacts that didn't include those people we taught. I loved it! We went back to plan at 9 and counted our lessons and were missing one, and she was like- I don't believe this, come on were have to reach the standard. So we put our shoes back on and went and found someone on the street and taught them a quick lesson, and then went back and finished.
The area here, Beurarema is like I was flying over some third world country and the plane crashed and I landed here. Its in the mountains/jungle, a little city in the middle of nowhere. It is the best thing ever. I like it so much more than the other big, crazy, loud city. Cows wander around, the streets are only dirt and cobblestone, people ride horses. Its still way hot but gets down to like 70 at night, feels sooo good! 
Our church is not a ward, and not a branch, but a group. We have like 40 people meet together in a local college. Me and my comp and some young men set up the classroom for sacrament, and the bishop drives in from Itabuna. Crazy small. No more almoco for me:( 
It was crazy like my first day I just feel like my heart was opened, and my tongue was loosed, and my brain regained its capacity and I just everyday have thanked the Lord every day for pouring out so many gifts for me right now. It was seriously overnight. My love for the people. My ability to speak. My ability to understand them, all of it is just 100% better, Im so thankful, Ive never felt so blessed. 

Hope y'all have a good week! 
Eu amo voces!!!! 

Sister Stevens 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Boa Pascoa!

April 22, 2014

Ok this week was kinda cray. On Wednesday we had a meeting where we talked about safety because there was a rumor that the police were going to go on strike. Then after almoco all the shops were closed and there was like no one on the streets but we were just tracting and got a phonecall that the police were on strike and some elders were in a supermercado when all these people ran in and started just taking everything and threatening everyone. So we had to go in, it was sketch walking home, we had kind of a close encounter but made it and found out someone got shot like a half mile from our apt and people were getting robbed in the center- like right across the street... so yeah, the next day and friday too were kind of interesting, we had to play it by ear but definitely had to be in before it started getting dark. 
But the police started working again just in time for the holiday- easter is like a 5 day holiday here. All weekend just everyone on the streets drinking, dancing, playing dominoes, and a lot of the shops closed again, even Monday! Thats why Im emailing today. 
But my easter was really good! A member gave us each a box of chocolates. We went and got 5 people for church! It was like my dream to buscar pesquisadores para a igreja and it happened! With a much better outcome than last week. We have 2 couples that should be getting married in the next few months- then baptized and a lot more potential. Then we got transfer calls and Im leaving! ha.. Im going to the interior to Itabuna. 
Right now im in the lowest baptizing and lowest everything zone(in the words of my comp because everyone drinks and no ones married), but im going to the highest baptizing and everything zone! Im going to be senior comp already... wooooo.. ha 
A couple other things. 
Something annoying- when people ask my companions when Im right there listening, "does she understand?" or "does she talk?" so frustrating. Im like hi im right here and yes, maybe not everything but bastante! 
Something funny- here it is extremely racist to call africans pretos (blacks) it is politically correct to call them negros. Im glad they told me that one before I made a mistake. 

EU AMO VOCES!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) 

Seester Kachee Scheevens 

Story of my mission

Zona Imbui

Boa Pascoa Easter Sunday with some of our investigators.
The guy next to me and the girl in yellow are getting married in June, wooo!

Meu Avo, My grandpa

No time!

April 14, 2014

Ahhhh I hate having no time to email anyone! I wanted to write so much more cause we had an eventful week in church two. like after the second hour two of our investigators came up to us and asked if they could be baptized next week! 

We met these new investigators- getting passed off from the Elders to us, and after our lesson they showed us around their huge yard and they were so excited to show me all the fruits I`ve never tried before! I tried 7 fruits and 5 were new to me, like neeeever knew even existed. Who would have thought. But my favorite was this one that looks like a spiky watermelon that grows like a growth ont he tree, called Jaca if you want to look it up. Apparently it falls on peoples heads and they die cause theyre just huge! And the fruit is weird but sooo good! 
On Wednesday we woke up at 4, and were on the onibus by 5 30 for zone conference at 7. We rode the whole way standing up, it was lovely. But zone conference was so good! It was our zone- zona Imbui and zona Salvador. They made all the new kids bear their testimonies and I was feeling good about my Portuguese so I was trying to say some things I had in my brain in English but as I was standing there I couldnt do any of it! Like I dont know what happened, everyone was like t-t-today junior!!! It was so embarrassing, people were laughing and even I laughed. It was just horrible, I was like its ok the spirit will help me but it was just a big fail. Other than that.... the conference was so awesome, the whole thing was focused on repentance and its importance. I just loved it. With repentance better taught and better understood and better applied we can have better retention AND more conversion. So we had been warned that one dupla was going to have to teach Pres and Sister Andrezzo the point- through Christ we can be cleansed from sin. I was like I always get chosen, can we practice a little? So we had gone over it a couple times, but what do you know, out of mmmm about 35 duplas WE WERE THE ONES. What is with me always getting chosen here? So we marched to the front and I was still recovering from the horrible experience bearing my testimony but we got started and taught an awesome 10 minute lesson on being cleansed through Christ. We even switched off well, like, I taught and answered questions with my comps. After the Pres said I need to keep speaking with Sister Gama because I sound like Im from Rio de Janiero(like her) and they speak like gangsters down there. 
It was awesome to see Sister Brimley and we got to see another kid from our mtc district too! It was a little reunion. 
On Thursday it was just Sister Gomes and I cause a Sister in Itapua was sick. It was really good because it forced me to not sit back and let them teach, it was just us two. We had an awesome day too! We stayed super busy. 
The next day we had 2 bolos and ice cream so happy 1 year to me. It is so weird I cant believe I have been out for so long. I just keep telling myself 6 months is a long time, its cool, im not going home anytime soon at all.. I have SO MUCH time. Yeah, this is what I keep telling myself. But it really is a long time, you can get a lot done in 6 months! 

Eu amo voces muiiiitoooo!!!!!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Semana 2 em lauro de freitas.

April 7, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! Everyone already knows you are the best, hope you know Im the number one advocate of that:) LOVE YOU!
Ok I´m gonna try and talk about all the things I didn't last week. 
First of all I know I said it was hot but let me tell you... I cant even do it justice. I think Louisiana summer was just as hot but I actually got to take breaks in peoples homes with air conditioning and sleep in air conditioning. But here its just all day every day HEAT. This lady in the MTC provo talked about how when she picked up her son here she was just shocked, she was like- I cant explain it but the sun is just hotter there, it pierces your skin. I was like nahhhhh, and forgot about it... Until I got here and was like ohhh nooo, she was right! And she didn't even talk about the crazy high humidity. But Im surviving, and adjusting, and MOM- I WEAR SUNSCREEN EVERY DAY can you believe it!?
EVERYONE gives beijos. I thought like maybe half or less of people but no. Its everyone. Ive received the most ridiculous amount of kisses on the cheek these last two weeks, and people expect me to kiss the back! Thats slowly becoming less weird and awkward for me. 
So last P-day we went to Pelourinho- like, the most famous place in Salvador! We saw the place where michael jackson held his baby over the balcony! haha. All the culture of Bahia is centralized. It´s the rasta capital of Brazil, Bob Marly everywhere. Also Maracumba (sp?), those ladies in their huge white dresses going to worship their mermaid god and invite spirits. (We actually run into those in our city quite often, you can tell by the way their dressed, but most have a white flag outside their house so you know to just skip it.) It was so cool! But also rough. So much beeeaach! The beach is in my area too though, every time we go up a big hill I look back and see the ocean and just stare for a sec and then turn around and get back to work. 
We have a really big area, we dont even really touch half of it. Seems like every day my feet start to hurt a little earlier than the day before. But thats ok, makes me feel better about how much I eat at almoco every day. "Come mais Sister, come mais!"
Other than that, sorry Im not telling a spiritual teaching story, we have had some really spiritual lessons. But we taught the gospel to this investigator and I love that because thats the easiest for me to teach and it was the first time we had taught it together and I taught the last point and asked him a question about his feelings about this path the Savior has provided for us to follow and he said in broken english, "you have the beautiful eyes." I was like.. are you kidding me? My companions were frustrated too. 
Conference was AWESOME! The best! I got to watch it with Sister Brimley too! I actually get to see her pretty often! Its the best!! I just loved the one about Joseph Smith, the spirit was SO STRONG, I love testifying of him! 
I saw some big improvements with the language this week. The listening is still the hardest, if I get lost in the convo I cant retune in, but I really just feel more and more confident and every day its getting easier to explain things. 
Anyways thats all I have time for this week. 
LOVE YOU ALL! muuuiiito amor! 
Seester Scheevens 

Sunday, April 6, 2014


March 31, 2014

Ok we only get an hour to email and I didn't get to last week so here I go Im gonna try to write about all the things. 
Ok my last week in the MTC was otimo. The highlights were going out and proselyting in Sao Paolo and handing out 5 Book of Mormons. Meeting with the head guy of the international MTCs to talk about how he can improve the program and stuff. Oh and I forgot to mention, every night at 9 o clock we hear a cart rolling down the hall and its time for lanche!!! They give you a snack with a fruit, juice box, and sandwhich every night, it is the best thing ever, besides that I am engordando.
Aaaand getting called out of Relief Society to talk to President... uhhhhh yeah that was a terrifying feeling, I was wondering who died. Luckily no one but he did want me and a few other visa waiters to speak at the devotional that night about what we learned in the field. So I didn't get a nap that day. Luckily my roomie from Portugal is so good at English and corrected my mistakes for me. We only had a few minutes to speak so it was the most stressful thing in the world. Ok... 11 months.. what have I  learned, and what do these missionaries need to know about the field? Well I don't have it with me but it went really well, besides the translator saying everything wrong. It went from english in my brain to portuguese then back to english so it was frustrating when he said everything wrong. ex- mission does not equal life, but thats what he changed it to. Man I was so nervous though,I think thats the biggest crowd I've ever spoken in front of and missionaries, ah! But I had a lot of missionaries randomly come up to me and tell me they liked it or felt the spirit or cried so that really meant a lot. 
OK AND THEN I LEFT. My flight was the earliest out of anyones, so that would happen to me. The airport was so scary, I had no idea what was going on it was like a train station and they kept saying Salvador but with like 5 others cities so I was sooo confused. But I made it. Met Pres and his wife, she is so nice! 
(our convo- your father is a good man
oh did you talk to him
oh well your right but... 
he is a tax man like me!)
It was kinda sad the APs, office elders, and President individually told me to forget everything I know about missionary work and how we did things in the states and just forget it and make this my mission and things are different here. Had to swallow my pride there and just nod my head. 
Ok my companions- one is from Recife, Sister Gomes she is 26 and awesome! Like one of the best, she just has no fear and teaches so powerfully and simply and is so nice and patient. My other is from Rio de Janeiro, Sister Gama she is 22, also awesome, a little sassy, and has a huge english vocab so thats nice. 
Ok my apt is so tiny and nasty, not made for three, its taking some getting used to. Livable I just have to get used to bugs in my food, and on my desk, and in the shower always. I study at a small plastic table with a plastic chair. And sleep on 2 bed cushions on the floor, and have 1 foot of closet space with one drawer. Ok ok ok sorry it sounds like Im complaining but Im really just trying to give a feel of my life.
Oh and I got sick on the second day. My throat is sooo sore and my nose is just dripping, tmi? So yeah just pray for me to get better. Luckily I had some pretty good medicine. 
Ok the city! Some parts look JUST LIKE china! and some parts look just like Africa! Its awesome! I feel like Im walking around Old Shekou! But remember when I was hoping to get called to Africa? I did! I cant say that I haven't seen any other white people... But I can say that I can count them on one hand! And we pass like four thousand people a day. People arent too bad at staring but it happens, the little kids especially. 
Our ward is actually pretty big, like the biggest on my mission so far. And there are 3 sets of missionaries. Oh ps Im in the city Lauro de Freitas, just above Salvador. 
Ok Portuguese... I am learning lots of new words every day which is good but using them and putting together sentences is a major struggle. One the fourth day we finally sat down with people and taught pmg lessons and that I could do and participate! YAY!  But I cant understand a word they say other than that. Its frustrating because my companion will ask a question and I cant respond because I didn't know 2 out of 10 words they said... I am really working on listening more, and as always my conjugations and irregular verbs. I do like 1 of 10 contacts and always say the prayers. My comps tell everyone- she speaks well but you have to fala muuuiiito devagar. 
It was cool though my last night at the MTC i had a blessing and it said I would learn the language rapidly. So I have been relying on that a lot when I get frustrated. 
Ok we walk like 100 miles a day in the heat. It is so hot. 
Almoco (lunch) every day rice, beans, chicken and potatoes. 
out of time but I am loving it here more every day. 
and I didn't get to wish jade happy birthday! 

Seester Schevens