Saturday, August 27, 2016

August 22, 2016 Rain Everywhere... but keep a smile and continue trying!

This week it has rained almost everyday! I love the rain but it makes it hard to find and talk to people. 

Some highlights from this week:

-On Monday I got a second birthday cake! A member brought a cake over to our apartment on Monday night and someone came in my room where I was studying and they asked me to help them carry some stuff so I walked out into the living room and then they all started singing to me! 

-I finally bought cereal! Also I am getting used to the boxed milk :P I was having serious saudades (missing) for cereal, although I am still keeping my new years resolution of only eating cereal once a day. 

-One day it poured all day long. We did lots of walking, through lots of puddles, lots of annoying dogs, lots of nice denials, a few not so nice denials, etc. Each day is a trial of whether or not we will retain good spirits, keep a smile and continue trying! 

-I live in an apartment with my companion and two other sisters. We always help each other set up when the other group has a baptism. So we went to the church to help them set up and there was about a foot of dirty water in the font and it wasn´t draining. We later found out it was rain water that had leaked in. Anyway, we scooped all the water into big buckets and then dumped them out. It was my job to carry and then dump out all the buckets. We filled about 20-30 buckets with water! One sister said ``welcome to the mission.`` #thebaptismmustgoon

-Each day I understand Portuguese a little bit more. Line upon line I will learn to speak and understand this language!

It is not a bad thing to struggle. The greater the struggle the greater amount that our faith will grow. God gives us trials to be like a refiner's fire that will purify our hearts. When our hearts are focused on ourselves we will only get the benefits we were looking for. For example, if we serve only for ourselves we will get the glorification but that is all. If we serve with our hearts pointed toward the Savior, so much greater will the blessing be. ``Do you love the Savior enough to struggle?``

Amo vocĂȘs! 

-Sister Hancock

Friday, August 19, 2016

August 15, 2016 Arrived In Curitiba and First Baptism

I don´t even know where to start! On Tuesday I said goodbye to the CTM, my awesome Companion Sister Gimm, my district and the two best teachers in the entire CTM. We woke up at 4 in the morning and flew to Curitiba where we met our new mission president: President and Sister Hart. 

There were 14 missionaries that are new to the mission (2 Americans). Our new mission president and his wife are incredible! They are so full of love and their purpose is about truly helping to convert people and not just baptizing. We spent the morning with them and ate the best Brazilian food ever for lunch! In the afternoon we met our new companions! The whole mission was having a transfer because the new mission president is changing everything around. There were so many missionaries and I had no idea what was happening! Then we drove to my new area Pinhais, the ward is called Autodromo.

My new companion/trainer is Sister Ferreira and she is awesome! She speaks English but doesn't ever speak it with me. She speaks really fast and half the time I have no idea what she is saying. In fact I have no idea what is happening about 75% of the time. The people speak really fast and all have accents. I will understand them someday and for now I will just try to be patient with myself! 

We walk A LOT!!! Probably about 4-6 miles a day. All the houses have gates in front of them so to knock on doors you have to clap your hands and then wait for someone to look out a window or come outside. Almost everyone has a dog or 3 and so that makes it difficult to hear each other. There are dogs all over the streets and sidewalks but the city is pretty clean. 

The food is great and I am going to gain so much weight! The last day at the CTM someone said to always ``eat and repeat``. If you don´t eat a second time the people will think you did not like their food. I have been sticking to this eat and ``repeat`´ and it is great. The food is always rice, beans, some kind of meat and maybe a pasta. 

The people are awesome here! I only wish I could understand what they were saying to me! The ward here in this area is really strong already and we are working to make it even stronger! We have a few investigators that are progressing towards baptism and they are all incredible. 

Our investigator Antonio was baptized this past Saturday!!! He is 56 and a few weeks ago when other missionaries were walking by he said ``Hey I want to go to your church!`` so of course they were like ``great here is some more information...`` The first day I got to my mission we taught him (he had already been to church 2 times and had been taught a few lessons). We taught the commandments (mostly my companion was the one teaching). He was a little reluctant and was wanting to ´´argue about things. On Friday when we went back he had completely changed. He shaved his beard, and you could see light in his eyes and he looked so happy! We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and invited him to be baptized and he was a little reluctant at first but he was ready and he knew it. I asked again and he accepted!!! He was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday! It was the best birthday present I could have asked for! He was so happy and the Spirit was so strong!!! 

The rest of my Birthday was pretty good. At night we had a meeting and then went to meet with a less active member family. When we got there we talked and then they said they had made dinner for us! So we walked back to the kitchen and then they all started singing Happy Birthday in Portuguese and brought out a cake! We ate dinner and cake with them and it was so great. It made me super happy! :)

Alma 26:12 ``Yea I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in His strength i can do all things.``

God has the power and can do all things. I know that I am weak but the gospel is meant to be taught through the weak and the simple. I know you can do all things through the help of God and his son Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ and His atonement, all things are possible! 


-Sister Hancock

Friday, August 12, 2016

August 5, 2016

Note from Emily's Mom - Emily arrived safely in Curitiba on Tuesday. It is her birthday on Sunday (Aug 14th). She would love a short email from you. :)
 Sister Hancock in front of Curitiba Temple with President (Mission President) and Sister Hart
``I knew the Brazilians talked quickly but I didn't know they talked at the same time!´´ 
One day my teachers were talking to each other and then they just both started talking really quickly at the same time and we were all like... oh no... is this how it is going to be in the field?!

I leave on Tuesday morning to go to Curitiba! I am super excited and slightly nervous. But mostly excited! 

Random things that happened this past week:
-We were teaching Andre and I was trying to say we renew our baptismal covenants and I said ``nos renewo... nossa convenios.`` Andre just laughed and said ``renovar...´´ to help me out a little. A lot of random things like that happen all the time! BUT I am learning :)

-A lot of times I have no idea what I am going to say but I just open my mouth and start talking and it is sometimes a miracle that my ``investigators´´ can understand me!´´

-I did not use a headset in the devotional this week and I was able to understand what the people were saying! IN PORTUGUESE! 

-It is my favorite thing ever when we get to go outside (FORA) and study!

-They had cereal the other day for breakfast and it made me so happy! (I really miss my marshmallow mateys)

-An Elder was asking my teacher how to say `centaur´ and she was like... ``just like that.. `sentar` (to sit)... we all laughed and then he drew in on the board and she was like ``OH centaura``

-An Elder in my district will remember Abacaxi (Pineapple), because it sounds like ``a bag of sheep´´ 

-When we were talking to our investigator about how he felt about his Baptism he said ``It was wonderful, I just felt so happy and I never in a million years saw myself doing any of these things and changing my life for the better.`` It was awesome, I can´t wait until real investigators are saying this! The Gospel of Jesus Christ gives us the help we need to become stronger, face our challenges and change for the better. 

Faith in Jesus Christ can lead you through every challenge in life. We can literally do anything with the help of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Faith is taking a step in the dark and believing that you will be guided. Through the power of Jesus Christ we can change and become better. ``we must be firmly attached to him, believe on His name, come unto Him and be transformed!``

I love you ALL! 

-Sister Hancock

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

July 29, 2016 One more week until I leave for Curitiba!!!

Note from Emily's Mom : apologies for the garbled July 22 post if you received a garbled post. It was due to the third picture being put into the post incorrectly. It has been corrected if you want to look on the blog. :)

This week was pretty similar to last week. In fact most of the days are pretty similar and they tend to blend together. The weeks are going by so quickly! I can´t believe I only have one more week in the MTC until I leave to go to Curitiba!!! I am sooo EXCITED!!! I am excited that I will be teaching real people and I will be able to help real people! I am a little nervous about Portuguese but I know eventually it will come! I just need to be patient :) Also I am excited that I won´t be sitting in a classroom for 11 hours a day. 

Anyway, this week I don´t have a ton of new things to say but it was a good week nonetheless.

On Sundays we have personal study from 7:30-8:30 and we can use that time to prepare a 5 minute talk. Then right after we have sacrament meeting with our zone (which is about 30 Americans). After the announcements and the sacrament they announce who will be giving talks. I got called on to give a talk and it was actually really fun! It was all in Portuguese and I felt the spirit so strongly when I testified of the truth of the Gospel in Portuguese.

My favorite Sister, Sister Boldrin left for her mission on Tuesday. Muito Triste! She was our companion for divisao (Splits) and it was so fun to teach with her and learn from her! 

One of the days we had a substitute teacher come in and say Irmao Fatori wasn't going to be here today which also means we wont be teaching Andre and instead we will be teaching his friend. ``okay he will be waiting for you downstairs in three minutes!``... Sister Gimm and I grabbed our scriptures and then went down to teach him. We taught about how God is our loving Heavenly Father, the gospel blesses families, the Book of Mormon and how we can learn about the truth of the gospel through feelings in our heart and thoughts in our mind through the Holy Ghost. It went pretty well! It is amazing how we can have no idea what we are going to say but as long as we have the Holy Ghost the lesson will be okay. Also the most important thing is to focus on teaching the person and not just teaching a lesson. 

When he came back the teacher was asking us where we were from and I said Texas and he said ``Texas? pecan pie... Texas? what is pecan pie... Texas, Texas, Pecan Pie..`` for about two minutes. I had now idea what was happening. But anyways apparently that is the first thing he thought of when I said Texas. Other people have said ``oh you are from Texas! Did you have horses?``, and ``Oh Texas! You are a Cowboy!!!``

Yesterday (Thursday) our district did an English fast! If we said a word in English we had to put a mark on the board and then for every mark we had to do 10 pushups and the Elders had to do 30 pushups. I only got 6 marks!! But that meant I had to do 60 pushups during actividades fisica. It was pretty challenging but it was actually pretty fun. It was a good challenge especially because in 10 days I will be speaking only Portuguese with my Brazilian companion. 

I love you guys so much!!! 

-Sister Hancock

(I would love to hear how your lives are going! You can send me an email at

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

July 22. 2016 - We got to go Proselytizing!

Apologies that I put a picture in wrong, and some of you got a messed up post. It should be fixed now. - Emily's Mom :)

Ola Familia e Amigos!

The weeks are getting better and better. Seriously though, this last week has been the best so far. On last Saturday we got to go out onto a huge main street in Sao Paulo for about 2 hours in the morning and go PROSELYTIZING!!! We got to talk to REAL people that live in Sao Paulo. They gave us each 5 Livro de Mormons and then they let us out on the streets. The first few times talking to people was a little intimidating but after that it was a blast!!! I had literally been speaking Portuguese for 2 weeks and yet I was out on the street talking to people and I could mostly understand them and they could understand me!!! Sister Gimm and I gave out all 10 books we had in about 40 minutes then we walked around and then found our Brazilian roommates who still had some books and told us to `help´ them. Some of the people we talked to were really interested and the other people that didn't end up taking a book were still really, really nice. I love Brazilians!!!

Another one of my favorite activities is Divisaos (splits), My companion and I join together with another Brazilian missionary named Sister Boldrin and then we teach a lesson to a pair of 'investigator` missionaries and then we become the investigators for another set of missionaries. We have divisaos every Tuesday,Thursday and Saturday!

Sundays are also the best! Our normal Sunday schedule is breakfast, personal study (where we prepare a talk because we may or may not get called on to speak), then Sacrament meeting, district meeting, relief society, 1 hour break (AKA nap time!), lunch, gospel doctrine, movie time, 2nd 1 hour break (AKA 2nd nap time), dinner, choir practice, devotional, daily planning, lanche (Snack) and then BED. 

Other days of the week are pretty similar, we have slightly different activities each day but usually we ... Wake up, eat breakfast, personal study, teach an investigator, grammar class, practice teaching class, lunch, another grammar study class, more how to teach/study the scriptures/planning/etc, teaching our 2nd investigator and then dinner, actividades fisica (exercise), language study, planning and then bed time!

On Tuesday our two Brazilian roommates left for their missions because they only stay at the CTM for 3 weeks if it is their native language. It was super sad to see them leave! They are so kind, helpful, and fun!!!


We also have an activity called TRC, which is teaching members. We have 30 minutes of time to fill up and usually we have zero minutes to prepare. I usually dread TRC and on Thursday I was really not looking forward to it... But we went and we taught about receiving revelation through prayer. It was a really cool, spiritual and powerful lesson. After talking with her for a little bit we asked her if she had any specific experience with receiving an answer through prayer. After telling us she asked us if we had any experiences. I didn't have anything prepared but I was able to say what I wanted to IN PORTUGUESE!!! I basically talked about how I have been a little sick for the past 2 weeks and sometimes it is really difficult for me. But, after praying one night I realized I needed to have more faith in myself and more faith in Jesus Christ. Because, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is possible through the help of God and our Savior Jesus Christ. I felt super peaceful and I know that he is looking our for me and everything will work out. 

I know that Jesus Christ knows each and every one of you, and through him and his Atonement everything is possible. I know that he loves you and is looking our for you every second. 
Moroni 10:4-5

I love you all! 

-Sister Hancock