Monday, November 26, 2012

Hmmmm....What to say?
MY ONE YEAR MARK IS THIS WEEK!!!! Yeah....don't even believe it. 6 months is going to fly. 

Did everyone have a good Thanksgiving? I wasn't feeling homesick at all because I didn't even know what day Thanksgiving was!! 

This week was pretty normal. I think I mentioned this last week, but we are finding so many less actives! We met a TON this week, and we weren't even trying. We are working with a less active member who wanted us to teach a few of her friends. This less active took us to her friends house, and after a few minutes of talking, this friend said, "I was baptized into the 'Mormon Church.'" The less active member didn't even know! She just had a feeling that we could help this friend of hers! Haha we'll see what we can do! We also had 4 other people approach us this week to tell us that they were baptized a long time ago! 

We are also teaching a 10 year old girl named Suiany. She has been going to church with her cousin who is a member. She wants to be baptized............BUT her mom won't let her. GAHHH.....breaks my heart. Suiany literally lives in the slums. She lives in one of the most humble houses I have seen here in Brazil. There are three of these shacks on the same piece of land, and among these three shacks there are about 30 kids (many that don't wear shoes) that live there. It is heartbreaking to see the conditions that they live in. I have already seen many people that live in humble circumstances here in Brasil, but many people live comfortably. Suiany doesn't. That is why it is so sad for me to see her mom forbid her to be baptized. The covenants that she will make in the baptism will be such a strength and guidance for her!

Sorry for an incredibly lame email. I must be an incredibly lame missionary. Haha I can't think of anything to say at the moment!! Know that I love you all and I love this work!
Sister Autumn Barnes

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Amigos e familiares!

I totally forgot that Thanksgiving even existed! Have fun getting FAT! I'll be sweating all of my fat off! AND.....Christmas is definitely a bigger deal in the States. Maybe it is because of the heat, but it doesn't even seem like it is getting close to Christmas at all! 

 As of late, Sister Matiaco and I are using our ward list a ton to find the less actives and the part member families in our area. This week we only had 2 investigators at church, but we FILLED our Principles of Gospel class with less actives!!!!! These less actives are members that were baptized like 15 years ago, that stayed active for about 4 months after, and have been inactive ever since. I thought this was a great feat (more like blessing from the Lord)  At times, missionaries just think about baptisms, baptisms, baptisms. That's ok, because it is our purpose after all. However, these children that have strayed from the path or never really understood what it was when they were baptized need help to gain eternal life as well. Baptisms will also come through these part member families or referrals from the less actives. 

This week we had a Conference with (a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy that has a really wierd, difficult Brazilian name that I won't even try to spell). He burned us all! After that Conference, I left with the promise that I will dedicate everything that I am to this work for my last 6 months! This Conference was really inspiring and really helpful. 

Well gente, I am doing great! The work is moving forward. There is nothing more gratifying than being the answer to someone's prayer! Love you all!
Sister Autumn Barnes

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Obama. Odear. Yeah....this seems to be the thing that everyone loves to mention to me nowadays. Like the First President counseled, I will pray for our new president.

So just an update about Savio (that boy that we met a couple weeks ago). Well......he has soccer championships EVERY SUNDAY MORNING. I will let you guess where he decides to spend his time Sunday mornings. That is missionary work for you.  However, if it is not his time now......we are planting seeds and have introduced him to the truth. I am still praying that he will make the sacrifices necessary to find true happiness in his life. 

Transfers. I will be staying here in Fernandes with Sister Matiaco. I am content with that. I feel like I still have more to do here. 

We went to the Temple last Tuesday. It was AMAZING!!! After 6 months of not going to the temple.....I was soaking up my time there! I didn't want to leave that peaceful, holy place! However, I definitely learned a lot and received a ton of strength to carry on! I know that the temple is a peace of heaven on earth! 

Ummm....I can't think of anything to terribly exciting that happened this week to tell you the truth. The Primary had its primary program and yours truly participated. We taught and sang with the Primary "Keep the Commandments." 

Sister Matiaco and I will teach an English class this transfer. It is funny how so many people don't want to hear about the gospel but are fascinated by the fact that we are we will use this in our favor and teach English in the church! 

Well that is about it for today, folks. Don't you hair is getting burned to a crisp in the sun, the tan lines on my feet from my sandals are totally hott, my apartment is infested with ants, I am about ready to throw my clothes and skirts that I have worn about a million times out the window........but it's all good because I AM ONE OF THE LORD'S MISSIONARIES!!! 
Fiquem firmes! Amo voces!
Sister Autumn Barnes

The temple! The gardens are gorgeous!
At the temple with Sister Matiaco! 
A little unreverent and perhaps a little disrespectful......but everyone was doing it? Part of my zone.
The sisters in my zone on a crowded bus after the temple! It was hottttt in there. 
Yeah.....I was really tired that day....... (Taking a picture of me sleeping is something that dad would do!)
With a young man in the ward. His name is Danilo. He is super cool! This is our version of an appropriate hug!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

First of all, I am really glad that Amber, Derek, and the kids (and also Elder Rick Smith :)) didn't die in the hurricane. I think Brazilians like to exaggerate (how in the world is that spelled?) a little bit. I know that the hurricane was awful for sure, but all the Brazilians I talked to made it seem like my whole country was washed I wouldn't have a United States to go home to. Someone told me that the ENTIRE COUNTRY was without electricity. I played along a little bit, but was laughing on the inside. I was anxiously waiting to use the internet to see how Amber was see if the hurricane had affected her.
The whole world also wants to talk politics with me write now. If you were back home, who would you vote for? Do you like Obama or would you vote for "Meech Homney" (as they call him hahaha). Yeah.....I keep my mouth shut and tell them that I have no idea what is going on at home.......which is totally true!!!

Haha so the area I am serving in, Fernandes, is super small. This has its advantages and disadvantages. Haha I don't know if this is an advantage or a disadvantage, but we are pretty much famous here. Seeing as the area is small, we walk the same roads over and over and over. Everyone has seen us around. We are known as the two Americans that wear skirts all the time. It has become quite hilarious because Sister Matiaco and I will be walking down the street and we often hear punk teenagers messing with us by yelling, "What's your namey?" "I lovey you!" "Let's go!" (aka the only things they know how to say in English). Sister Matiaco and I just laugh our heads off. 

Sometimes on the mission, you feel like you aren't doing anything. You are not making much of a difference at all. That you are incapable. I feel like that sometimes. However, this Sunday we went to lunch at a member's home. The mom and her 8 year old daughter are active, but the father (who was once a bishop) and three more of her kids are inactive and heading down a rough path. I didn't feel like I did anything special, but as we were leaving and the mom was walking us to the gate, she thanked us through her tears for bringing the spirit into her house. She told us that because of the bad things her family often involves themselves in, the spirit doesn't abide much in her home. She thanked us, thanked us, and thanked us some more for eating there and for being a source of the Lord's Holy Spirit. It really strengthened my testimony that we don't have to do AMAZING things or say ELOQUENT words to be qualified to be a missionary or an example as a member of the church, we just have to be worthy and living in such a way that the spirit can shine through us. I was very grateful for that experience. 

Halloween. So lame. We went to the grocery store and bought candy and junk food. I dressed up as Brazilian Sister Missionary and tried my best to talk without accent! Whooohooo!!!! 

I love you all! Thanks for all of the support! Hang in there Lisa.....your call will come in the Lord's time! Wyoming or Temple Square is my palpite! 

Sister Autumn Barnes