Allergies and real life West Side Story

(Mom’s note: Oh Lizzy!)

This week we had to go to the dermatologist for Sister T because she developed a hideous rash of some sort (just kidding- it´s not that hideous…it´s only mildly disgusting.) The determatologist thinks that it´s some sort of tree down here that´s causing the skin reaction (Aroera maybe?) Of course, I didn´t believe it and I jokingly passed several different tree leaves along her arm the other day and guess what happened….? More little bumps started to appear on her arm where I had passed the leaves. Ba! I´m brilliant… Well it´s okay though because now she has some sort of cream to help her skin and we have narrowed the poisonous tree down to one of just a few options. 😉

Also this week I had a West Side Story moment. We visited one of our investigators (a 14 year old) who was planning on being baptized this Saturday and we brought along a less active 11-year-old in the ward. No sooner had we walked up to his house when our investigator pinned the less active kid to a wall. Sister T and I were extremely confused! The younger kid walked off crying and while we were questioning our investigator about the motive for such a rash action, the kid returned with 5 buddies! It was so scary! It was straight out of West Side Story. Just imagine a gang of young hoodlums lumbering towards you with BB gun-type weapons. Our investigator then got set-up to fight with the biggest guy in the group. Meanwhile, the mother of the investigator was getting up in everyone´s business. Initially I thought that she was trying to break up the fight, but it turns out that she was cheering her son on – shouting ´Macho!…etc.´´ Goodness – I was so confused. Thankfully my wonderful companion realized what was going on and broke up the fight. Yes, you heard that correctly- my companion (a sister missionary) stopped the fight. Wow. We are certainly not in Kansas anymore. We´re not so sure about how his baptism is going to go now.

We´ve had some more miracles this week. Really- every day I see the hand of the Lord working miracles in my life and in the lives of our investigators.

Mom- You have to invite the missinaries over for dinner. It is so fun eating at member´s houses and I think that the boys would really like it. And they´d learn a lot from real missionaries. Please?!

I love you all and I hope you have the very best Thanksgiving without me!!! I´ll certainly be missing all of that wonderful pie! This Thanksgiving I´ll be in Pelotas for another mission wide meeting with member of the Seventy. Pretty cool!

-Sister Jessop

Padrão de Excelência! (Pattern of Excellence!)

So today I told Sister T. I was sick of taking so many trips to the grocery store (for it is rather far away). So we decided to get all that we would need from the grocery store in one trip. Wow! You would not believe how heavy all of this stuff was. I carried 12 kilos of milk along with 2 kg of flour along with a bunch of other stuff. Not to mention we were fasting…..talk about a bad idea. But we survived! And I hope that all of these groceries will last for the next month. 😉

In response to Jack-Jack´s worry- No, Sister T. and I are not being rejected 😉 Y’all needn’t feel worried. Brazil is definitely what D&C 4 was talking about. Baby, the fields are white and ready to harvest!

This week was fantastic. As a mission we have some goals. These goals are called the Pattern of Excellence. The Pattern of Excellence sets a high standard for us missionaries and helps us achieve the maximum possible out in the field. This week Sister T. and I were really blessed because we achieved the pattern of excellence!!! It´s kind of a big deal for us because we’ve had some previous abysmal weeks. On Sunday we had 13 investigators show up! (That number is mostly because we are teaching a bunch of hooligan children at the moment…but still… 13?! Como assim?!)

Sunday was the clutch because we still lacked 2 baptismal dates marked at the beginning of the day. But let me tell you- the Lord is merciful-because a family that we had previously contacted was randomly at home on Sunday and they all (the parents and the one daughter above the age of 8 that is) accepted invitations to be baptized. I absolutely love teaching families out in the mission field. There is nothing more satisfying than testifying about the reality of the eternal nature of families to a cute little happy family. We have been really blessed this week to find families to teach. I hope that all of them accept the gospel. I´m certainly praying that they will I have learned that parents really lead by example and that it is really important that they teach their children principles of the gospel!

Small miracles
#1 One of our investigators is 14 years old (named Alonso). I kind of underestimated him initially because I thought he kind of just went to church to participate in the activities with all of the young men. However this 14 year boy wrote his testimony of the Book of Mormon on a little sheet of paper and very slyly handed it to us during an activity. He is so awesome. We want to start working with his whole family now. 😉

#2 We started teaching David this week from a reference from his namorada (girlfriend) in Pelotas. He is just generally a cool dude. We started out with the first lesson but then diverted when we found out he didn’t have a firm belief in Jesus as our savior and redeemer. Basically we just testified of the reality of Jesus Christ the whole time with him. We asked him to say a prayer and ask if Jesus really is the Christ. It was such a spiritual and cool lesson. Then on Sunday he showed up for sacrament and we asked him if he had prayed and he got all quiet and said, ´”yes and I felt it.” Wow!!!!!!! He is so awesome! The power of prayer is real! The spirit certainly testifies of the divinity of Jesus Christ. He is our Savior, and our friend. He loves us and helps us in our times of need.

I love you all sooooooo much! Have a good week

-Sister Jessop

I Survived Transfers

So today we got the news of who would be transfered and good news! I get to stay in Rio Grande with Sister T. 😉 Hallelujah. This is the place to be during the summer. :)

I was chased by a horse this week and I met a baby goat. Goats seriously chew everything in sight. We were standing there talking to this one guy about the gospel, meanwhile his goat was just nibbling on the end of his shorts. No big deal. haha.

We did service this week with Maos que Ajudam (Helping Hands). We did yardwork and cut grass with cleaver things. Oddly enough doing yardwork made me miss home a little.

I have decided that I hate dogs on the mission (sorry Dash). The dogs here are the stupidest creatures alive. Wow. When they follow us around town they disrupt all of our proselyting. They always wake up the masses of dogs just resting behind the fences. All of these dogs turn into an amazingly annoying barking choir just welcoming us down the pathway.

I´m super jealous of the Halloween party. It looks super legit. I love all of the costumes. As far as the costume contest goes: I think that Andy and Natasha tie with Jack for 1st place. Jack is just so darn cute in that Harry Potter gettup. I miss the holidays. Darn it.

I love you all so much!!

-Sister Jessop

Shower Adventures and Miracles

Can you believe that I´ve had three Fast Sundays out in the field? Here in Brazil the biggest meal of the day is always lunch. Therefore they always fast from lunch to lunch. It´s a bit different, but I think it´s actually easier to do.

I´m amazed by how much I´m used to Portuguese at this point. It stopped being weird that everyone I talk to only speaks Portuguese (minus my companion). I can understand just about everything anyone says as long as they talk about gospel topics. However, I have realized that my vocabulary is insufficient to speak on every topic under the sun. For example I have few words to describe scientific things, or express myself through reasoning. However even worse than that is when people try to make jokes. My level of understanding plummets when people make jokes because they´re always a play on words and I never know the double meaning of the word. Oh well.. Some things will just take time to understand.

This week was extremely weird and unproductive. We tried to find a bunch of less actives in the city and a lot of them have moved houses, cities, etc. It was pretty funny actually. For some reason the weirdest looking, smelling, and sounding house was always the house of the less active we were trying to find. I don´t know why but that´s just how it worked out his week.

Shower adventures:
Adventure #1 We woke up one day and the power was out. I absolutely had to take a shower though because I hadn´t taken one the day before. So I took a freezing cold shower on a rainy day. ;P

Adventure #2 So the other day I was taking a shower and the water stopped coming out of the faucet. Of course at this point I had just finished soaping up. My companion thankfully brought me a bucket of water from the sink with a little cup to rinse off with instead.

Adventure #3 I just figured out (like this week) that you can change the water temperature in the shower. Yep I´m blond…and extremely short…The knob is very high so I naturally just considered it impossible reach that high and change the temperature. (I have to stand on the toilet and lean over the glass wall of the shower to change it…talk about strugglin´…)

So remember the girl that didn’t believe in Jesus Christ but believes in God? Ya well, she went to church this last Sunday and she has a baptismal date set for the 22nd! What!? God sure does work miracles!

I hope that Halloween went well. I can´t wait to see the pictures. I´ll send more pictures next week as well. I hope that all is well in happy valley. Sorry this email was so random.

-Sister Jessop