Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 26 - July 31, 2017

EU AMO DOM PEDRITOOOOOO!!!!! Seriously guys, this city is awesome. I've already fallen in love with the members and all the investigators here. The town is a lot bigger than São Jeroônimo, so we do a LOT of walking. But maybe that's good, because Dom Pedrito also has the best churros I've ever tasted in my life, so I probably need to walk off a little of the weight :) 

There's a recent convert here, D., who's 12 years old. She has quickly become one of my favorite people in the world. She reminds me a lot of Gillian- probably because she's sassy. Her grandma, C., also a recent convert, asked that we call her Vovó (Grandma), because she has claimed us as her other granddaughters. I'm already dreading saying goodbye to them, and I've only been here a week.
Also, for those you don't know, there's another Sister Coleman in my mission, and she just happened to serve in Dom Pedrito a few months ago. So, of course, everyone who knows her here asks we if we're related.

The apartment here is a lot smaller than the last, but nice and cute none the less. Apparently the outlets have some problems here, though- as in, if you use the wrong outlet, it might start a fire. 
We were supposed to have a baptism this Saturday- a wonderful woman named D., but she's been having some major health problems, so we had to delay it. But we're praying hard that she can recover soon. 

As for Portuguese- guys, I'm feeling great. Yes, there's still a mountain of words I don't know and I'm sure I don't use exactly correct grammar all the time, but studying your butt off and relying on the help of the Lord pays off. One of the members told me this week that, other than my accent, I sounded like a Brazilian. (Yeah, she was probably being overly nice, but it was good to here, anyway). I definitely have a long way to go, though.

Hope everyone is doing great. Amo vocês!
Sister Coleman

Photos from São Jeroônimo before Sister Coleman was transferred. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 25 - July 24, 2017

Well, friends, it's finally happened: I've been transferred. This morning I left São Jerônimo and arrived in Porto Alegre: I'm still waiting here in Porto Alegre because the bus for my new area, Don Pedrito, won' t leave until later. So, I don't know much about my new area, expect that it's a 7 hour bus ride from here and that it's super cold. My companion in the MTC, Sister Pertab, just finished serving there and says it's a great area, so I'm excited!

I'm feeling super good about going to a new area. It was sad to leave São Jerônimo because I'd been there 4 and a half months and had really grown to love the people....but I'm not gonna lie, it was a hard area. I didn't baptize anyone and the brach was super small, but I learned a lot and I know I needed to start my mission there. There was a good amount of tears (mostly on my part) as I said goodbye to everyone, especially this little 4 year old boy named Lucas who started bawling when I told him I would be leaving, so that was super sad. But I'll come back one day and adopt him.

My companion this last transfer, Sister Riberio, stayed in São Jerônimo, and my new companion is Sister N. Souza. She's from São Paulo and has been on her mission for a year and 2 months. Other than that, I don't know much about her, because we just met about 10 minutes ago, but she seems super cool and I'm excited for what lies ahead.
I want to share an experience that I had on Sunday, because it was one of the biggest miracles I've seen so far on my mission. There's a recent convert in São Jerônimo named V., who's around 80 years old and has a load of health problems. It's hard for him to walk more than a few steps without sitting down after. He owns a horse and a cart, which he normally uses to get to church on Sundays, but this week there was some problem with the cart and he wasn't able to use it. Had we known, we would've tried to find a ride for him, but he didn't tell anyone. Instead, he started walking to church at 6:30 in the morning to get there on time (9 o'clock), using a stick he picked up off the ground to help him walk. For us, it takes about 20 minutes to get from his house to the church, but with his pace it took about an hour and a half. When we went to unlock the chapel in the morning and saw him waiting, I almost cried. That man has more faith and more determination to keep God's commandments than almost anyone I've ever met.

So just remember next time you don't feel like going to church, that it's a lot easier for you because you have two perfectly functioning legs and a car!
I love my mission, I love this gospel, and I love my Savior.
Amo vocês, e estou com saudades de vocês também! 
Sister Coleman

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 24 - July 17, 2017

Our family had been in Rochester, New York this week - Madison's birthplace.   We brought up the youth from our ward to attend the Hill Cumorah Pageant. . . 

Thanks for all the updates! You're gonna have to take me back there, for sure. This week has been practically uneventful, and unfortunately I don't have time to write a weekly update because I have a lot of people I need to email this week. But I'm happy and healthy and feeling the Spirit and loving what I'm doing, so don't worry about me!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Week 23 - July 10, 2017

This week we had splits again with the sister training leaders, and this time I went to Charqueadas, a town similar to São Jerônimo, about 15 minutes away. It was a super cool experience. The sisters there have a few investigators- a couple in their early 20s- who used to drink and smoke a ton; their house was always a mess of beer cans and cigarette butts. But Sister Carrillo- the sister I went on splits with- said that after only a few visits, they started to notice that the house of this couple was way cleaner and that the investigators were acting way more receptive to the lessons. Both of them stopped drinking and they're trying super hard to stop smoking. All this after only about 2 weeks of teaching them. The Holy Ghost has more power than we know. This is my favorite part of missionary work- watching the Spirit and the gospel really change people for the better. To see people becoming happier because of the gospel we've been able to bring to them. 

We also met a woman named S. while knocking on doors. About 1 minute into teaching the Restortation, I mentioned that Jesus taught that we needed to be baptized to live with God again, and Sandra goes- completely serious- "Well then I need to stop smoking and get baptized." So, we invited her to get baptized on August 5, and she accepted right away. Like, wow, the Lord is seriously preparing people to recieve this gospel, because that was 100% not us. The only downside is that none of this happened in my area, so she's not my investigator. But it's fine, I'm holding on to my faith that the Lord will help me find the right people here in São Jerônimo. ]

Other than that, this week was pretty normal. Oh, also Saturday was my 5 month mark!

 I'd like to end with a scripture that I came across while studying this week that really hit me. This is at the end of the Last Supper when Jesus is talking to the apostles:
"In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

I wish the best for all of you, and thanks for all the love and support.
Sister Coleman

Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 22 - July 2, 2017

HAPPPPYYYY INDEPENDENCE DAY AMERICANAS!!! Sadly, no one cares about the 4th of July here, because it's not the US, so no celebration will be had. But I hope you all enjoy the fireworks and barbecue and whatever else. 

Speaking of America, several people have said something to me about how all Americans are terrified of terrorism and how the US is in a state of panic over bomb threats and stuff. Did I miss something big? Did Trump destroy the country already? Just kidding. But really, Brazilians seem to think that Americans are expecting to die from a terrorist attack at any moment. But it really made me think how we judge other countries, other people, national leaders, etc. all from what we see on the news. Heck, one lady told me she was sorry I didn't have freedom of religion in my country. ?????? Just my random thoughts for the day- don't pretend you understand another culture or country when you actually don't, because it's kind of annoying, and I think Americans are probably the most guilty of this.

Fun Portuguese fact for the week: The verb for giving birth is most commonly "dar à luz," which actually means to give a light. Which I guess is kind of cool since you're giving life to another human being and bringing their "light" into the world, but also, why don't they just use a normal verb for this? 

Anyway, this week has been fairly undramatic. We're continuing to not have any baptisms, which is kind of discouraging, but I'm working hard with the faith that the Lord will help us find those who He is preparing. The attendance in sacrament meeting, which had been steadily increasing, fell back down to 19 this week, which is also kind of sad. But since it was fast and testimony meeting, Sister Ribeiro got up and thanked the 19 that were there, saying how grateful she was for the faith of the members who keep coming even when everyone else falters. It's true, the members who are active here are truly amazing. 

Hope you all have a great week! And remember how much the Lord has blessed you!
Sister Coleman

Some of the member families in São Jerônimo

Sisters Coleman and Suarez before transfers

Sister Missionaries