Sister Ashlyn Brooke Unbedacht

Sister Ashlyn Brooke Unbedacht

Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21st, 2015 - My Heart Is So Full!

Wow! I can't even express how I feel right now. I feel so loved and so happy! This morning I received the best news of my life. Rebecca and Sam, the couple that I was teaching in California were baptized this past week. When I opened the email I just started to cry and I felt a joy so great. I'm so happy for this couple! I love doing this work!

This past week was so great! We went to Fortaleza for our Christmas Devotional. We learned so much and I got to see many friends. It was so amazing! We also got to watch Kung Fu Panda! It was so cool, we related the film to our lives. It was a great moment! If we have a dream, we are in charge to make it happen. 

I want you all to read a talk this week by Elder Nelson, “What will you Choose.” Think of the things that he wrote and apply it to your life. I know it will change your life, like it has changed mine. 

I love you all and I'm so grateful for each one of you. I have felt so much support. Thank you so much! Thank you for your love! I hope that this week is a week full of service and showing our love to the Lord. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
Feliz Natal! Eu amo vocês! 

Love,
Sister Unbedacht 

December 14th, 2015 - It's The Most Wonderful Time Of Year!

The Christmas season is getting to me! I'm becoming more and more excited for this day to be here! It will be a WONDERFUL day! A lot of houses have their lights up and in our house we have the Christmas tree and our stockings! I love it! I was in the grocery store last week and I had stop and listen to what music was playing.. It was the Michael Buble Christmas Cd! I was so happy singing the songs as I walked down the aisles. It was wonderful!  I love this time of year! I love being a missionary during this time of year!

This week was full of spiritual experiences. My companion and I are focusing on asking inspired questions, and it's changing our work. When we use the spirit, we will change lives. The spirit is key in this work. 

We see so many miracles take place out here in the mission field. I would like to share a miracle that took place this past week. We are working with a woman in our area and we are trying to help her to stop smoking. She smokes about 15 cigarettes every day. She's now down to 4 and she is so happy! It has been a miracle that we have seen happen in just one week! 

One day this past week we decided to all trade areas and find new investigators. We went to the area of the Elders. It was such a cool experience because many of these people have only seen the Elders, but never Sisters so they all wanted to talk with us to see who we are. 

Sorry for another short email. We will travel to Fortaleza tonight for Christmas conference tomorrow. I'm so excited! I will update you all about it next week!

Have a wonderful time playing in the snow and watching Star Wars! Love you all!

Love,
Sister Unbedacht 

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7th, 2015 - It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

I can't believe that Natal (Christmas) is around the corner.  I'm loving all the snow...haha Kidding!  I'm still burning in the sun!  We don't have snow here in Iguatu, but there are tons of Christmas lights.  I cant wait until Christmas.  This holiday isn't very big in Iguatu.  The people here don't celebrate Christmas like we do back home, but as missionaries, we will make it a special day.

This week was a great week because the branch is growing!  We will be moving out of the school where we meet for church and buying a house to meet in.  It's wonderful!  We had the first ward council as well here in Iguatu.   I'm so happy to see this place growing.
Pictured with Sister Nicoli 

This morning I was studying a talk given by President Monson. His talk is called, “Come, All Ye Sons of God.”  It's directed to the men, but I thought it was perfect for everyone.  He gave 4 things that we need to do to be successful:  1. Search the scriptures with diligence.  2. Plan your life with purpose.  3. Teach the truth with testimony.  4. Serve the Lord with Love.  He spoke a lot about missionary work, but said this is for everyone.

Something he said though really touched me.  He said a mission is a family affair.  Through the expanse of continents or oceans may separate, hearts are as one. This is so true!  My family gives the best support!  The more I'm here helping these families, the more I have come to love my own!

Thank you for all the support! You are all amazing!

Love you all!
Love,
Sister Unbedacht



Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30th, 2015 - I'll Be Staying In Iguatu.

Hello Family,

Happy ALMOST December! I can't believe how fast time is going out here!
This past week we had transfers and Sister Santos was transferred to Fortaleza.

I received a call from the mission home last week and I was asked to travel to Fortaleza with Sister Santos to pick up my new companion. I was also asked to be her trainer. I will continue to serve the people in Iguatu for at least another transfer along with my new companion!  My companion is from Belo Horizonte, Brasil and her name is Sister Nicoli. I'm excited to serve with her.  She is awesome!

Sister Nicoli and I had a great week as I have been showing her around and helping her adjust. I will miss Sister Santos. I absolutely loved serving with her and I know that she will remain one of my dearest friends for years to come. We had so much fun together! It's different to have a new companion, but I'm so excited to serve with Sister Nicoli. She's a hard worker and is very driven. I love it!

This week we are helping many people make the commitment to be baptized. We have been inviting everyone to be baptized and we are really helping many people progress. I'm excited to see what will happen next with my new companion.

I love you ALL!
Love,
Sister Unbedacht

ps. We now only have 40 minutes to write emails.. so my emails will be very short. Sorry!



November 23rd, 2015 - Happy Thanksgiving!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!  I love this holiday!  It's one of my favorite holidays because it consists of spending time with the family, talking about things we are grateful for and EATING!  The sad part is that here in Brasil, it isn't a holiday, but I will definitely be celebrating it with my companion!  I'm hoping to make some mashed potatoes, deviled eggs and buy a turkey.  It will be great! 

With Thanksgiving around the corner I would like to focus my thoughts on what I'm grateful for. I am thankful for my family!  I love my family so much.  I'm so blessed to have a family that is so strong in the gospel and that is so great to be around.  I love each one of my siblings and I have the greatest parents!  Thank you for always putting up with me and for being the greatest examples to me.  I love you all!

I'm thankful for my friends!  I think about all the people who have influenced me in my life. From my friends in the ward to my friends at school to my friends in college.   I love them all!
My District

I'm so grateful to be a missionary serving here in Iguatu.  I thought I would be helping lots of people here in Brasil, but I didn't realize that they would be helping me.  I have experienced so many things and I have loved every moment!   I have been blessed with wonderful companions and with an awesome Mission President! 

I'm grateful for Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and this Gospel!  Without this, I wouldn't have the other things.  I'm so grateful for the plan of salvation.  I'm so grateful for the atonement and the blessings that come from it. Heavenly Father is so merciful. He really does love us all and wants us to be happy.   I'm in awe when I think about all the blessings I have received.  I can't think of my life without this gospel. It is WONDERFUL! 

I will give a little update of this week.  We walked A LOT!  We normally walk about 45 minutes to different areas, but this week we walked an hour and a half to one area.  We walked there in the middle of the day, when the sun was the hottest, but we are seeing the blessings of this long walk as we are bringing people to Christ.  The people are saying that I'm finally becoming tan!  haha.
I absolutely love this family

The best part of this week was Sunday.  I think that I always say that Sunday is the best day because it is. I love going to church and being able to partake of the sacrament.  I love being able to watch baptisms and also work.  This past Sunday, Patricia, Janderson, Lucas and Jardel received the Holy Ghost.  It was such a wonderful moment! I'm so happy for them.  Every time we have a confirmation in the church I feel such a love for this work.  It's wonderful to see people changing for the better. 

I love this work!
I love my Savior!
I love you all!

Ashlyn




Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16th 2015 - 9 Months down, 9 To Go!

Hello family and friends! 

I hope all is well and that you are happy! Honestly, the weeks have started to blend together, but I will try my best to explain all that has happened this past week.

First of all, I hit my 9 month mark! Sister R. Santos asked me what I wanted to do this day and all I said was that I wanted to work! I love working! Whenever I'm sad or whenever I want to feel better all I have to do is work and everything changes.  I've learned that when we forget ourselves and focus on others, we are happier! 
9 Months Down, 9 To Go!

This week was the baptism of Jardel! Jardel is the cousin of Lucas, who was baptized last Sunday. The baptism was in Juazeiro (about three hours away from Iguatu) because we had conference there. There were also 2 other people who were baptized from Iguatu the same day.

We had 99 people from Iguatu travel for this conference. It was so great to hear the words or President Fusco, Sister Fusco, and other leaders.  I loved conference!  I thought it was very interesting of the things they spoke about. They spoke a lot about tithing, keeping the sabbath day holy, and keeping all the commandments.
Jardel's Baptism

Working in a group/Branch I have learned the importance of tithing.  For an area to grow we need faithful members paying tithing.  I never realized the importance of tithing until I arrived here in Brasil. It's a commandment that is very hard for the people here because they don't have a lot of money in the first place, but I've been able to see the great blessings that come through paying tithing. I love that Heavenly Father doesn't need the money, but we pay to show our obedience and love to him. Isn't it wonderful that we have so many ways to show our love to our Heavenly Father?! Are we showing him that we really love him? 
Pizza from the Elders

Another note for the week, Sister De Sousa was transferred to Juazeiro. I'm with Sister R. Santos still, but we will have official transfers next week, so it will be interesting to see what happens. I want to continue here in Iguatu, but it's up to the Lord. 

I'm so grateful for the Lords commandments. I'm so grateful that we know how we can return to live with him, and that we don't have to stay lost in our lives. I am so grateful for each day I have to learn more about my Savior and come to know him. I love my Savior. I love my Heavenly Father. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to serve him. 

I love you all!
Love,

Sister Unbedacht 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November 10th, 2015 - The Lord and His Miracles!!

This week was one of the best weeks of my 9 months of being a missionary. I loved this past week and all the miracles I saw! We worked so hard everyday and we saw the miracles that came because of it. I learned this week that everything is in the Lords timing, but we just have to be patient. You're probably wondering what miracles Sister Unbedacht is talking about. I will explain. The first miracle, Group Iguatu is now officially BRANCH IGUATU!!!!!! President Fusco visited Iguatu yesterday (We didnt know anything about this) and he spoke and announced that Iguatu is finally a Branch! I was sitting at the piano in front when he said this and I couldn't hold back my tears. It was a moment of pure happiness. I'm so happy for the people here in Iguatu. For months they have been wanting to grow and become a Branch, and it's finally happened. The work is moving so quickly here, and it's an honor to be apart of it. 
With President and Sister Fusco

The next miracle. Sister R. Santos and I have had such a hard time with people attending church. People say that they'll go, but they never end up going. This week we had many people at church, and many were our investigators.

The next 3 miracles. This past Sunday was the Baptisms of Patricia, Janderson, and Lucas. We have been teaching Patricia and Janderson for 4 months and they are the most lovely couple. It was such a special moment to see them be baptized yesterday. Lucas is 19 years old and he was prepared when we met him. He had already attended church when we met him and is a friend of a member, they live in our area but they live very very far away! If we walked there it would take us an hour. Last Sunday he said that he wanted to meet with us, so we met halfway between our houses to teach him. He was so excited to be baptized, so yesterday was an amazing day for him. I know that Heavenly Father was so happy with the things that happened yesterday in Iguatu. I know that none of this could have happened without him. He is the master of this work. This work is His not ours.

As I will hit my halfway mark this week, I have thought about my call as a missioanry and all the things I've learned since the beginning of my service. I'm so grateful to my Heavenly Father for the opportunity I have to serve. More than a year ago I decided to serve a mission and this past year has been the hardest, yet the best year of my life. I have felt moments of despair and sadness, but I have also felt the happiest that I have ever felt. My life has changed completely through my mission, I have new eyes to see the world and new hopes and dreams. I feel as if I am becoming who the Lord wants me to be. Missionary work is hard, but so worth it because you get to see the hand of the Lord many times every day! 

I love my Savior. I am so grateful for Him and His love. I can't imagine my life without the knowledge and testimony that I have. I know with all my heart that this is Christs Church. He leads the church. I know that Thomas S. Monson is an instrument in the hands of God to direct the Church at this time. I know with all my heart that at the age of 14 years old Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ. This is the greatest news in the world, that the priesthood is on the earth today and that the church was restored! 

Thank you all for your support and love! I love you all!

Love,
Sister Unbedacht 

Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2nd, 2015 - I Love Being A Missionary!

Hello! 

Another week sitting here at the computer lab!  Once again I don't have much time, but I will try to explain this week. This was a great week!  We are in a trio companionship, so teaching is a little different, but we are learning how to adapt to teaching with the 3 of us together. We are helping many people prepare for baptism, but I think the hardest thing for people to do is attend church and do the things that they say. We are helping them understand the importance of church and taking the sacrament. We have some people that are ready for baptism and so we will be working with them a lot this week. 

I can't explain my love for missionary work. I love that I'm a missionary. I love that I can serve the people here. I have come to love these people like they are family. They mean the world to me and I just want to help them. 

This week was Halloween. In Brasil this holiday isn't very big.. nobody celebrates it here. We decided to have a huge activity this day for the members. It turned out awesome! 

Sorry, this is all for this week!
I love you all!

Love,
Sister Unbedacht

ps. We had to be creative for our costumes.. I decided to dress up as an Elder.

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26th, 2015 - This Week My Testimony Has Been Strengthened

The sun is shinning and I'm just so happy to be here once again writing you all! I'm so happy and I'm doing well! Shout out to Megan for being a Champ! I love you and I'm so proud of you for making so far! Wahoo! Keep working on it!
Celebrating winter in Brazil!  (building a snowman in our freezer)

This week was a week that I will never forget. This week honestly changed my whole mission.. and my life. This week I studied a lot about the Savior.  I studied Jesus The Christ, The bible, and The Book of Mormon. Of course I love the Savior and I'm grateful for the things he did and continues to do for me, but this week I gained a knowledge and a testimony of the role of Christ in my life. I love Christ with all my heart. He really is the Savior of the world. He really did walk here on the earth and help the needy and raise the dead. He did many miracles. I gained a deep gratitude for him. I'm here on my mission for him. This is a way that I can show just a little part of my gratitude for him by sharing the love that he has for his children with everyone. I'm so grateful for this time to be here as his servant.
Banana Plantation

Right now we are teaching many people. We are teaching many people but not many families. We are focusing our time right now on finding families to teach, so they can receive the blessings of the temple together. We find our investigators just by talking with everyone! I use the excuse that I don't know the streets here and that I need help, then they realize that I have a strange accent and then we talk to them. We literally talk with EVERYONE. Everyone here is always outside and so we just talk to them on the street.

This week we didn't have a baptism of our investigator but the group did have a baptism! This baptism was in the river, but to get to the river we had to hike through a banana plantation. It was crazy! I felt like George of the Jungle. It was so cool though to have a baptism there.
Sister Santos, Sister De Sousa and I

The new news of the week. I received a new companion. Sister R. Santos and I'm now in a trio with a New sister named Sister De Sousa. She is from Fortaleza and will be serving a short time mission to see if she wants to serve a full time mission. She was set apart and sent here to learn with Sister R. Santos and I. She is a hoot! She is hilarious! I have enjoyed getting to know her and her help has been so nice to have! The missionaries here are still doing almost everything. There are callings now in the group, but we are working harder than ever to find a place to have to our own for church and to keep the group growing for when we will have a branch. We are walking more than ever! We don't bike anywhere, just walk.
That is all for this week! Love you all!
Tchau!
Love,

Sister Unbedacht 

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12th, 2015 - Transfers today!!

Familia! 


Today is transfers, but I still dont know if I will be transferred or not.  We find out the day of and then we pack up the same day and trade locations.  So, you will find out next Monday if I left or not.

This past week has been great, but really hard as well.  Physically, I am so tired and it is very hot! 
I have learned that the Lord really will help missionaries physically in this work.
This week I pondered the scripture 2 Nephi 11:7.  I thought that I would start with the basics, like article 1, there is a God.  I love this scripture because it proves that God exists.  I have met people that don't believe this.  It is so sad.  As I pondered this the last week I thought of the things in my life that has shown that God exists.  I am so grateful for him.  I love him and I love His son, Jesus Christ.

I'm so grateful for Conference. I'm so happy to hear that everyone is picking scriptures to ponder. It's so important to apply these things to our lives. 
I love you all!  I'm doing well!  I'm happy in Iguatu and so happy to be a missionary!

LOVE YOU ALL!
Com amor,
Sister Unbedacht


October 5th, 2015 - What A Wonderful Weekend!

On our way to mission conference in Juazeiro
Wow!  My spiritual battery has been filled!  I'm so grateful for the things that happened this week.
This week we had mission conference.  It was at a place called Juazeiro, which is 3 hours away from Iguatu.  We left for there at 3 in the morning and returned 12 at night.  It was such a good day!  President Fusco spoke about how we need to be 100% obedient in all things.  He spoke about the rules of the mission and how we need to always be improving our work.  It was great preparation for General Conference.  We stayed in Juazeiro for the day to work and help  the missionaries there. I stayed with Sister Nielson!  It was so good to work with her once again.  We've both improved so much.

General Conference was amazing!  I loved EVERYTHING!  Every talk said something that I was needing!  I'm so grateful for a loving Prophet and the apostles, and I'm grateful that we have the  wonderful opportunity  to hear from them every 6 months.  I can't pick one talk that I liked more than the others.  Now that conference is over, I hope that we all will think of the things that we heard and do the things that the spirit told us to do.  Does everyone have a scripture picked out for the week? I have mine! 

I love you all so much!  I'm still in Iguatu, but transfers are the following week.  I'm hoping to stay because I know there are many people here for Sister R. Santos and I, and I hope I can stay with her for at least 1 more transfer.  I'm  praying for you all. Thank you for your support.  Never forget of the love that the Savior has for EACH of you.  He loves you.  He loves the people who are so far away from him.  He loves the sick.  He loves the poor.  He loves EVERY PERSON.  I love something that a friend shared with me a while ago.  She said that God loves each of us.  He will always love us, but he doesnt trust all of us.  Are you a person that God trusts?  I hope that he can trust me.  Do everything you can so that he will trust you and guide you to help others.  

With Much love,
Sister Unbedacht 

Monday, September 28, 2015

September 28th, 2015 - Rats, Stubborn Door and Other Stories!

Family!  Oi!  Tudo Bem (Remember this dad?) haha


This week was very interesting!  I dont think I've laughed so hard on my mission like I laughed this week.  Something strange happened to us every day.  First of all, I'm so happy to say that God will always win!  Remember how a lot of people in this area have been struggling with their testimonies?  It is still happening, but I'm so happy that we were able to help one of the recent converts in our area return to church. I was so happy when she said that she knows once again that this church is true. It was a very good day! 
Celebrating Elder Page's birthday (All the missionaries that serve in Iguatu)

I dont have much time, but I will tell a few stories. One night when we arrived home the other Sisters that live here told us not to go into our room because we had a rat!  NO!  Not again!  We spent an hour and a half in our room trying to kill the rat!  We all entered the room with brooms and buckets and we were on top of the chairs and bed.  This night consisted of a lot of screaming and laughing!  4 girls vs. 1 rat!  The rat was in all of my stuff.  He was in all my clothes and on my bed and even on my water bottle!  This rat was very smart!  Luckily, we won.  I have a video that is the funniest video I've ever seen, but we cant send videos. So, in a year I will show you all the video!  I washed all my things and we scrubbed the house until it was shinny!  Sadly, we have another rat still living in our home.  We will find and kill him today!  I think I'm finally growing up.  I'm learning how to kill spiders and rats! haha

Second story... One night we arrived home and our door was locked and wouldn't open.  We were locked out!  We tried to open it for 2 hours.  Finally at 11:30pm a member found a man who could open it.  I'm so tired because we have been going to bed later than we nomally do. 

Third story.... Yesterday I felt famous!  We went to a womans house to talk with her daughter and she asked where I was from.  I said the United States.  She then started to tell me how all she wants is to go to the United States.  She then said that she wanted me to go back to her house and talk with her.  She started to stay how now she can brag to all her friends that she had an American in her house.  She asked us if we would walk down the street with her to her moms house, so she can show her whole family that she knows an american. When we arrived the mom was on the phone, but said to the person on the other side that she will call her back because she had an American in her house!  hahaha.  I was just in awe.

Last thing.  I FINALLY saw a monkey!!  I was so happy when I saw him!  
Things are still going well!  I'm so excited for General Conference this week!  I'm so excited to listen to the words of the Prophet and the apostles.  We didnt get to listen to womens conference yet, but we will this following week!  Enjoy conference!  I love you all! 

Love,
Sister Unbedacht. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

September 21st, 2015 - This Week Was Full Of American Food and Lots Of Laughing!!

Sorry, I don't have much time today, so this weeks letter will be shorter than normal.  I'll start off by saying that I love you all very much!  This week had its trials, but overall it was a good week. Sister R. Santos and I are working hard and we know that we will be seeing the fruits of our labors soon.  I love the people here and all I want to do is help them come to know their Savior more.  

This week I finished The Book of Mormon for another time.  I love the Book of Mormon!  I know this book is true.  I know that people will speak really bad things about this book, but I will defend it all my life. The words in it are the words of God and we can truly be closer to Christ through this book.  I also started to read Jesus the Christ.  I have come to know more about my Savior and the things he did and does for me. I am so grateful for my knowledge of the Gospel and that I grew up knowing these things. I am grateful for the righteous examples in my life and especially for my family who has always helped me increase my faith. 

This week was full of American Food and lots of laughing!  We ate at Subway, made French Toast, and ate Brownies!  It was so wonderful!  I wasn't very patriotic before my mission, but living outside of the United States has made me love and appreciate my country.  I love America!  I love Brasil as well, but I realized that America is a wonderful place to live.  

On Wednesday we traveled to Quixelo.  Quixelo is about 30 minutes away from Iguatu.  We had lunch at a members home there. It was so great!  We took tons of photos and ate wonderful food!

 Funny story of the week.. I ate meat of a lamb. We were eating at a members home and I was eating the meat when another Sister asked what kind of meat it was and she said of a lamb. We all looked at each other and tried not to laugh because none of us had tried it before!  It was actually pretty good! 

We are praying for our baptisms to happen this week and that we can find the elect that are waiting for us here in Iguatu! 

Love you all!
Love,
Sister Unbedacht 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

September 14th, 2015 - Hottest Month Of The Year!



Guess what!  This week I hit 7 months on the mission!  Time is flying by, I cant believe it!  This week was another good week, but it was a little different.  On Tuesday Sister R. Santos and I were working very very hard.  We were in the sun all day and so we were drinking a lot of water.  We drank some water of a random person and I could tell that the water wasn't the very best, but I drank it anyways because I was so thirsty. The following day Sister R. Santos and I spent the WHOLE day in our house throwing up, sleeping, and just laying in bed because we couldnt move. What are the odds that we both felt so sick that we couldnt get up to even make tapioca.  It was very hard to stay in our house all day, but we had a lot of companion bonding time. haha. I am so grateful for a family here in Iguatu that were so kind to make and bring us tapioca to eat because we couldnt make it ourselves. 

The following day I know that we were blessed because we felt so much better and we continued to work. This week we had many lessons and we found many new investigators. We found 2 families that have truly been prepared to hear from the missionaries. 

Portuguese update: This week I felt like my Portuguese has improved a lot.. untill Sunday.  On Sunday I was so tired that my mind was not thinking in English or in Portuguese.  I was talking with another missionary about a members cat and I meant to say that the cat is a cute little cat and I said that the cat is a waterbottle. Whoops!  It's nice to have a companion from Brasil that can correct me with my accent. I know that with time my Portuguese will continue to improve.

This week we had many recent converts tell us that they will stop attending church and go to another church. This is one of the worst things to hear. It breaks my heart that they don't understand the Restoration.  Sister R. Santos and I are focusing on how we can help people have their own testimonies and not rely on the testimonies of others.  I have been thinking a lot about my own testimony and if I'm truly converted.  I remember a talk by Elder Holland in General Conference when he talked about if we dont have our own testimonies right now that we can lean on him for this time, but that we need to be truly converted. It is a good thing to spend some time and think about our own personal conversion and where we are. 

On Sunday I played the piano at church. I was very nervous but luckily they had the simplified hymn book so I played some hymns from that. I will continue to practice, but honestly I am grateful for this opportunity that I can develop this talent here on the mission. 
It is the hottest month right now in Iguatu. The sun doesnt burn your skin but your bones! It is so Hot, but I still love it here! 
I hope that you are all doing well! I love you all and am praying for you all!
With Lots of Love,
Sister Unbedacht 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

September 7th 2015 - New Companion

Oi familia! 
This week was a little crazy, but very good!  I have a new companion!  Her name is Sister R. Santos and she's from São Paulo, Brasil and is 20 years old.  Sister Santos has been on her mission for 13 months.  She served in Iguatu about 5 months ago for only a month and then was transferred.  She arrived on Wednesday and we went right to work!  She's a hard worker, which I'm very grateful for.  We're very similar in many ways and have a lot of fun together.  Also, my portuguese has already improved so much since I've been serving with her.  When I started serving in Igautu there weren't any Brasilian missionaries serving here, now there are 5 brasilians, 2 Americans and one sister from Mexico.

This week was a bit hard with the work.  Many people weren't home and many things went wrong. This week was the first time that I had someone yell at me on my mission. I won't go into too much detail, but a mom of one of our investigator's wasn't happy with us and she said some very mean things (I didnt understand but Sister R. Santos understood).  I then thought about Christ.  While He was healing and teaching and helping others.  People accused him, spat at him, and said many mean things to him, but he continued.  Not only did he continue, but he LOVED the people that were hurting him.  He atoned for the sins of the people that were doing wrong towards him at that moment.  Christ is the best example of love.  I've been trying to be more loving towards those who do wrong towards me, so that I can follow the example of the Savior. 

This week at church we didn't have many people.  I learned a lesson this week.  Remember the movie Tangled when the mother of Rapunzel is singing to her.  She says, "mother knows best." Well.. she's right.  Mother always knows best!  Sister Angulo was transfered from Iguatu last week. Sister Angulo is very good at piano and always played in church.  At church this past week we didn't have a pianist because nobody plays besides her. While we were singing in church nobody was singing in key and it sounded really bad. The point of all of this is that I wish I would've listened to mom and continued to learn piano, so I could use this talent on my mission.  Megan, learn to play ALL the hymns!  

I'll have to have humility and play in church this coming Sunday.  Hopefully this will help bring the spirit into our meetings and keep everyone on key.  I learned that we need to gain as many talents as we can all our life so we can help others.
I'm so grateful for this opportunity to learn from my companion and to continue to serve the Lord.  I'm so grateful for the people here in Iguatu and the things I am learning everyday.
Have a wonderful week. 
I love you all!
Com Amor,
Sister Unbedacht 

Monday, August 31, 2015

August 31st, 2015 - Transfers This Week


I hope all is well!  It was good to hear an update on Grandma and Grandpa.  They're in my prayers. You all are in my prayers.  I'm so grateful for such a wonderful family and friends that support me and love me.  I LOVE YOU ALL! 

This week is transfer week.  We found out today that Sister Angulo will be leaving Iguatu!  I have loved every moment with her.  She's been such a great companion and I've learned so much from her!  My new companion will be a Brasilian, and so hopefully my accent will get better as I work along her side.  I'm excited to see what is to come this week!

I will explain quickely what happened with my hair last week.  I went and got my haircut and then went to email the family and realized that the woman cut my hair totally wrong.  It was awful! There were pieces that weren't cut.  It was bad!  After emailing we went to another lady who said  she could fix it, but it would be a little shorter.  She cut it, and she fixed it, but she only cut off length she didn't thin it, so my hair was like a lion!  I finally understand the word desperate. You all know that I take pride in my hair and that I like it to look good. I asked Sister Duca, another Sister here, if she would fix it (She doesnt cut hair).  She said yes and started thinning my hair. As she was thinning it I felt like I was in Les Mis when the lady is cutting her hair and she's crying. I wasn't crying, but I was close!  That is the story with my hair.  When the members saw my hair they couldnt believe that I got it cut so short.

This past week was truly amazing!  I learned so much!  On Wednesday we traveled to Juazeiro for the Devotional with Elder Andersen.  The first night the missionaries sat in a different room because they wanted the members to fill up the chapel with him, but we had the chance to listen to all that he said.  He spoke in Portugues, which was really cool, but funny at the same time because he spoke really slow and didn't know all the words.  I received a testimony of the Prophet and Apostles.  They are the mouthpieces of God here on earth.  They speak the words that God wants them to speak.  

The second day was the best day!  In the morning there was a meeting with Elder Andersen, President Fusco, President Costa (Of the 70) and all of the leaders (Zone Leaders, district leaders and sister Training Leaders). Sister Angulo is a Sister Training Leader for the 4 Sisters serving in Iguatu, so I had the chance to go to this meeting as well.  There were like 30 people there with Elder Andersen!  He talked about MANY things, but something I loved that he talked about for a long time was being an example.  To be like Christ we need to be an example to all.  Lead by example.  DO the things that we believe.  After the meeting with the leaders there was another meeting with the missionaries of this mission that are inland (All but Fortaleza area).  I was able to see Sister Neilson and Sister Andrews!  It was so wonderful!  One question that Elder Andersen asked that I want to invite you all to think about, "Is Christ just a part of your life, or is he your whole life?"  I learned many things, but I can't write about them all in such short time.

Reunited with Sister Andrews
I'll be honest, I'm exhausted!  My body and my mind are always working, but I'm here because I love the Lord and I know he will help me do this work.  I remember missionaries saying that they were always tired, and I finally understand.  This work is hard, but this work is worth it! 

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Com Amor,
Sister Unbedacht 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 24th 2015 - Count The Blessings

Oi!  This week has been so wonderful!  I will start off with a funny story.  Sister Angulo and I were eating at a members house and she said to me, "Sister Unbedacht, you would be a great model here in Brasil.  You're tall, your hair is blonde, and you have a pretty face".  I laughed and said that I could never be a model and she said back to me that I would be a good plus size model here in Brasil.  ah!  I didn't know whether to be offended or take it as a compliment!  I just laughed and took it as a nice compliment!  hahaha. 

Another funny story... today I decided to cut my hair.  I didn't know how to explain to the lady how to cut my hair and I asked for her to layer my bangs, so it blends with the rest of my hair.  I don't think she understood this and she cut my bangs straight across.  I didn't realize that she did this until we left the house and I didn't want to say anything.  My hair doesn't look very good and she cut a lot!  I remember that this happened before my mission where a lady didn't cut my hair very well and I was stressing so much, but here in Brasil I decided that all I can do is laugh it off and have a bad hair cut.  I have learned to have a lot of patience here and not care about the little things.  Which is good!

It is warming up here!  Everyday I keep thinking that this is the hottest it will get in Iguatu, then I realize that the following day is even hotter.  September is suppose to be the hottest month here.  We don't get rain and there is not much wind.  It will be interesting! 

This week was a very busy week.  We taught many people and walked A LOT.  It all paid off because Samantha was baptized on Sunday in a river.  It was such a great experience to teach her and watch the change that occurred in her life.  She looks so much happier!  The blessings of serving a mission are so grand!  I love it! 

I want to share some things that I studied this morning.  I read the talk "Count the Blessings" by President Monson.  I absolutely loved this talk!  I loved everything he talked about.  He said, Rather than dwelling on the negative, if we will take a step back and consider the blessings in our lives, including seemingly small, sometimes overlooked blessings, we can find greater happiness.  He then challenges us to take an inventory of our lives and look specifically for the blessings, large and small, that we have received.  There are so many things that we could talk negatively about, but there are even more things that are positive in our lives.  He then goes on and talks about prayer.

He explains that we need to not only pray for help and how Heavenly Father will help us, but that we need to be worthy to receive promptings so that we can be an answer to anothers prayer.  I thought about this message this week and if I was following the promptings that Heavenly Father gave me.  I then remembered something that happened this week.  

We were on the street walking to a meeting and I smiled at a lady and said good morning to her.  I had a feeling that we need to talk with her, but we were hurrying to a meeting so I didn't say anything.  Later on that same day we were walking in a completely different part of our area and someone started to shout something at us.  I looked over and it was the same lady.  She was saying how she saw us earlier and how she wanted to talk with us.  We entered her house and talked with her and she told us many things that obviously indicated that she has been prepared for this time to hear our message.  While we were at her house I realized that I didnt follow the prompting I received earlier, but the Lord knew she needed to meet with us and he made it happen so we could share a message with her that day. 

President Monson also says, The Lord is aware of our needs and will help us as we call upon Him for assistance. The Lord is in the details. 
I would like to invite all of you to read this talk and think about the things that he talks about. For me, this talk changed a lot of how I think about prayer and promptings we receive. 

I am so grateful for a Prophet who lives. I am so excited to hear from an Apostle of the Lord THIS Wednesday!  Elder Neil L. Anderson will be visiting my mission.  It will be such an amazing experience!

I love you all!
Love,
Sister Unbedacht




Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17th, 2015 - The Church Continues to grow in Iguatu!


I am so happy to announce that this week was the first week for the members in Iguatu to attend a full 3 hour block of church and have callings!!!!!!!!!  The group here has been growing so fast and we are so close to becoming a Branch.  This past Sunday was truly amazing!  We now have church from 9am to 12pm and there are callings for every class and group.  It was so fun to watch the members step up and accept positions to serve and lead the classes. I absolutely loved this week at church!  It was different because normally the missionaries do everything, but now we finally have the help we need and I know that Iguatu is in good hands.  It is an amazing feeling to see the fruits of our labor and God doing his work here. I absolutely love it here in Iguatu!  I cant imagine leaving this place. I keep telling myself that I would be just fine with staying  in Iguatu for the rest of my mission!  

Now, other news. The area that Sister Angulo and I serve in is the poorest area of Iguatu. This past week something very interesting happened. There are people rebelling to buy homes and so there are now (in our area) areas of houses (more like huts) that are built out of literally cardboard and blankets. When I saw this I was in total shock!  It was like the photos of India that Dad would show us. The people made their own community out of the most random things. It is very sad! 

I have a funny story, but I dont know if emailing it will do it justice. Sister Angulo and I were walking from one area to another and to do so we have to walk on this road that goes on forever and just has plants on both sides. Well, some people decided to burn some of the plants and there were HUGE flames in front of us. We continued to walk towards the flames and then something just bursted! We ran on the side of the flames to hurry past all the smoke. The funny part of this story was that were in our skirts running through smoke as the ashes are falling around us. At this moment I felt like I was in an action film!  I was laughing so hard because it just seemed like I was Jason Bourne.  It was awesome!

Now for my favorite story of the week!  Do you remember the man that I talked about that would smoke all the time and I stole his pack of cigarettes?  Well we returned to his house Saturday night (His wife and daughter are members).  We sat down with him and asked for him to be honest with us and tell us if he had smoked any cigarettes since that day.  He said that for almost a month he hasn't smoked and he is happier now than ever.  He then went on telling us the details of his experience of what happened when we left his home with his pack of cigarettes. He explaied that at first he was mad at me, but then he realized that this was a chance for him to really stop. He had his wife read the Book of Mormon to him (he cant read) and he decided at that point he would change forever.  He then explained that because of God and me that his life has changed.  At this point Sister Angulo and I are in tears because all of our prayers and fasts for him really worked!  I recieved a testimony that miracles really do happen.  God can soften the heart of any person!  We are now working towards his baptism! 

Like always, I am so grateful for the experiences I have had here and continue to have! 
Love you all!
Love,
Sister Unbedacht 

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10th, 2015 - It's Been A Great Week!

OI FAMILIA!!! Tudo Bem? Eu espero que sim! 


This week in Iguatu was wonderful!  It was also full of many things!  First of all I just want to say I cant believe that I've been away from home for 6 months!  Honestly, I never thought this day would come, but it came so quickly!  I have a year left to work very very hard!  I love it here in Brasil!  I've loved all of the experiences I've had on my mission!  I'm so grateful to be here! 
I saw Batman at a local park this week!

This week was full of illnesses for the Sister missionaries here in Iguatu. One of the Sisters had Dengue (A viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes).  Sister Angulo was sick for a day and I was sick on Sunday. The wonderful thing though is that now we are alright and we can continue on with the work here. The members here helped out a lot this week so we could continue to work.  I'm so lucky that I was only sick for a little bit of time. I hated staying in the house for the day and missing the baptisms, but I am grateful I was able to go to Church. 

I want to talk mostly about Sunday at church. Yesterday was a great day here in Iguatu!  In the area of Sister Angulo and I we had 3 people receive the Melchizedek priesthood, one being Ricardo!  It was such an amazing experience!  President Souto, the counselor of President Fusco was at church with us and it was so nice to hear a talk from him.  After church he announced to us missionaries that starting next week we will start having church for 3 hours in a row (right now we have 2 hours in the morning and 1 hour at night).  He also said  that there will finally be callings for all of the different classes. Here in Iguatu the only people who have taught are the missionaries and then 2 talks from members each week.  Starting next week it will all be the members!!!  Our goal for church attendance is 200 people.  At the moment we are at 90, but it is growing so fast that we think we can hit this in a couple of weeks. The church truly is growing here!  I am so happy!  Soon we will be a branch and have a house to meet in!  The rewards of being a missionary! The happiness I have felt here is so great! 
Ricardo with Sister Angulo and I

This morning I was studying in Alma 49. Normally in the chapters of war in Alma I just read and feel like I don't really learn very much, but this morning I was just feasting upon the words and I learned so much. In this chapter Moroni is preparing for war and when the Lamanites arrive to fight the Nephites they are shocked that the people have built forts and ditches and so the Lamanites flee. I thought about this for a while. Then I related it to our lives. Moroni prepared the people for when the Lamanites would come to attack them. I then thought of the question, how can I prepare myself for the war of the world that will attack me and my family? It is so important to do the simple things!  Read the scriptures, pray, go to church, attend the temple, have family home evening (every monday), serve others, etc. These things are so important! We need to prepare NOW for the things that will come. Satan is trying very hard and is building an army to attack us spiritually, we need to be prepared, have faith in the Lord and build our forts. 

I love you all!  Keep doing the things you know you should be doing!  Remember to always follow our Savior and make the best decisions you can.

Love,
Sister Unbedacht