Tuesday, November 7, 2017

November 6, 2017 - Last Transfer!

It has been a really long time since I have written a blog post email! Sorry! I never have any time anymore! But anyways! I just finished my third transfer in Castro and today I got transferred back to Curitiba to an area called Boa Vista! I have the amazing opportunity to be the Sister Training Leader here for the last 6 weeks of the mission! 

I loved all the time that I passed in Castro! So I realized I did not even write once this past transfer... But I had a new companion. Her name is Sister Vargas and she is from Sao Paulo! 

This transfer I learned so many incredible things and had so many incredible experiences!!! 

 Emily is 18 years old and the Elders found her when they were walking home one day. She was out in front of her house and the elder asked about directions for a street and then she told them and then asked "Hey are you the Mormons?" They said yes and then asked to return! They started teaching her and she accepted everything right away! She also invited lots of her friends to come over when the missionaries taught! We went with the Elders a few times to teach her and to help her! She is incredible! She says that she wants to serve a mission and become just like us! Her baptism was on Saturday night and it was so special! She said to the Elders that "the first two people that I want to hug after I am baptized are Suelen (Member) and Sister Hancock!!!" I love her so much! :) 

This past Sunday we got 16 people into one car!!! It was crazy and wonderful to hear everyone in the car talking and excited to come to church! 

The hottest day ever!!! We walked really far to get to the house of Emily and when we got there we were all worn out! 

I am so grateful for the time that I passed in Castro and for all of the people that I met! 

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and we can read it to find answers and personal revelation! I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and that He loves each and every one of us! 

I love you all! Thanks for the love and support!  

Friday, September 15, 2017

September 11, 2017

So it has been a little while since writing, but I am still here in Castro! I have the amazing opportunity to train again! My companion is Sister Publins from Sao Paulo! She is great! 

Sister Publins and I

I am living in the same house as two other sisters and I just love them!!! 

Here are some random stories from the past few weeks:

-We were trying to find a less active member's house, so we were walking around, knocking doors, trying to find her. Then a little boy said "I know where she lives! Follow me!" So we started following him and we asked, "You know Rosa?" and he said "umm I don´t know..." and then he stops in front of a pink (rosa) house and said "Wait Rosa doesnt have a rosa house?" 

-There was a gecko on the wall and I tried to get it off and then it started walking on the ceiling and when it was right above my head it FELL ON MY FACE! The best part is that Sister Pereira got it all on camera! 

-In English class one day we were trying to have conversations with the students. I asked this one guy "What food do you like?" and he responded "How old is your dad?" ...um what??

-I got to spend the day of transfers with my old companion Sister HULME, because my companion got transferred and my new companion wouldn't be arriving until the next day! It was my Birthday and Sister Hulme made me a cake, bought me Acai, lots of people sang happy birthday and this guy on the street selling jewelry ended up giving me this cool wire ring for free! When I got home the day after, we celebrated with PIZZA! 


-Recently I have been unable to speak complete sentences in English without saying at least one thing in Portuguese. "It is mais facil sometimes!"

ALSO THE BIGGEST MIRACLE HAPPENED THIS WEEK! So in the last email I talked about Cristian and that we found Cristian because we were actually looking for Mateus, who we had met on the bus! We couldn't find Mateus and we had literally looked for him for 2 weeks straight! Anyways... we were sitting in our house making lunch, because we had lunch at home that day! Then someone buzzed the intercom! Sister Pereira went over and a boy was selling door to door kitchen towels! At first she said "No thanks! we already have enough kitchen towels!" Then Sister Johnsen went over and saw him and her mouth fell open and she said quietly, "I THINK THAT IS MATEUS!!!!!!" then Sister Pereira asked "What is your name????" and he said  "MATEUS!!!" then we said, "ONE MINUTE!!!" and all ran outside to talk to him! We asked him if he remembered talking to us on the bus that one day and he said yes!!! He said that he went to the church one time but it was closed because he didn't know the hours!!! BUT HE LITERALLY KNOCKED ON OUR DOOR!!! Our investigator that we thought maybe was just one the three Nephites, literally RANG OUR INTERCOM!!! It was incredible! I know that Heavenly Father led him to our door! 

We had Zone Conference about a week ago! We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon. 

"Even if you feel like you know the Savior, we can get to know Him 100X better, reading the Book of Mormon!"

Kuskus (Couscous) with our District

Zone conference and I got to see my old companion Sister Cunha! 

Bryan got baptized this past Friday

I know that the Book of Mormon is true! I finished reading it in 6 weeks! and I truly learned so much about my Savior, Jesus Christ, and how we can come unto him! I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and He loves each and of us more than we can imagine! If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, I invite you to read and Come unto Christ! 

Love you ALL! :) 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

July 31, 2017

I love Castro! Everything is wonderful! I am learning so much and am able to see the Lord´s hand in every part of the work!

Cristian's Baptism
On Saturday we had the baptism of Cristian! I don't think I have ever met anyone else more prepared to receive the gospel! The way we met Cristian was a miracle! We were on the bus on our way home from a zone conference and a boy named Mateus started talking with us. He told us how he was really interested in the church and he wanted to be a part of the church! We took down his address and the next day we went to go find him! We went to the neighborhood he had told us but there wasn't a street that existed with that name! Rua dos Flores only existed in another neighborhood that was about 2 hours from where we were! The next day we went to the other neighborhood and when we got there none of the houses had numbers... so we knocked on EVERY single door asking everyone if they had heard of Mateus. This kid doesn't exist! We did meet Cristian and his Mom and we talked about the gospel and he became very interested! We returned the next day and started teaching the lessons! 

Since the very first day he accepted everything and was always excited to learn more! He wanted to know about the things that we can and can't do as members, and so we taught about the commandments. When we told him about the word of wisdom and that we don't drink coffee, he said "I am addicted to coffee!" But at the end of the lesson he said he has the desire to keep ALL of the commandments and the he wants to make the changes necessary! The next day when we went to visit him he told us that he and his entire family stopped drinking coffee! Each day when we got to his house he was outside reading the Book of Mormon as he waited for us!

When we invited him to be baptized he said "YES! I WANT TO BE BAPTIZED! I have gone to so many other churches and I have always had the desire to be baptized but for some reason, on the first day that I went to church with you it was as if I heard a voice say 'GO! Be BAPTIZED'!" His mom told us that this is the first time that Cristian had ever insisted on anything! 

For Lunch one day we went to a member's ranch! We got to feed their cows and see their pigs! 

Last week we had Festa Junina!! It is a tradition here in Brasil! Everyone dresses like hillbillies and then they have a huge party with lots of dancing and lots of food! Sadly as missionaries we couldn't dance! But it was super fun! 

Temple trip to Curitiba

This transfer, as a mission we are each reading the Book of Mormon in 6 weeks! We are reading with the objective to discern the Savior's voice in our lives, feel more strongly the spirit, feel his love, and learn more about repentance and the amazing process of coming unto Christ! 

"There is a power in the Book that begins to flow into our lives the moment we begin a serious study of its content."

Reading the Book of Mormon again I am finding so many scriptures that I absolutely love! 1 Nephi 15:14

 ``...And at that day shall the remnant of our seed know that they are of the house of Israel.... they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer and the very points of his doctrine, that they may know how to come unto him and be saved.``

Because of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we have the Book of Mormon! We have the ability to learn about the essential points of his doctrine so that each of us can know HOW to come unto Christ and be saved!   
I invite you all to read the Book of Mormon and follow its teachings! You will have more power to stay on the straight and narrow path, resist temptations, overcome all doubt and fear, receive heavenly help in your life and feel even closer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ! 
I know that this Book has POWER and that it was translated by the power of God! I know that reading it each and every day we will truly feel closer to Heavenly Father and learn How to come unto Jesus Christ! 

Sister Hancock

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July 10, 2017

Hello everyone! It has been a while since I have written a weekly letter, but everything is going GREAT! I have ONE YEAR on the mission! 

A few weeks ago my companion told me that I said ALL of the first vision out loud, in Portuguese while I was sleeping.

This last Monday I got transferred! After three incredible transfers in Ala 2, Ponta Grossa, I got transferred to a city named Castro! Eu amo Castro! The area is way bigger than all of my other areas that I have passed in so far. It is also the furthest from all of the other areas of the mission. There have been sisters here since about February so I am the third Sister ever to come to Castro! This was my first week in Castro and my companion showed us around and we met lots of the incredible members of the branch and some of our investigators!
There are three pairs of missionaries here in the area! 4 Sisters and 2 Elders. Everyday we go to lunch all together. My new companion is Sister Cunha. She is from Recife, Brazil and she is the best! I am also living with Sister Pereira (She arrived on the mission with me and lived in the same house as me my first three transfers!) I love her so much and am SO happy that we are living together again! Her companion is Sister Johnsen who is from Utah and has about 7 weeks in the field! She is super cute and is already speaking Portuguese really well! It is so great to live with these three Sisters! <3 

Here are some pictures and updates from when I was in Ala 2:

Amanda. She always came with us on visits and she is the best! 

Jeane and her family! They always helped us so much!

Last time walking past these Pinheiro Trees! 

Fabio and Elaine

Ala 2 was incredible! I was able to meet so many people and had so many amazing experiences that I will never forget! In the last few weeks that I was there I saw so many miracles. 

One day we were walking down the street and we decided to ask a women if she wanted help carrying something. She accepted and we walked with her to her house. We dropped the things off and we were talking a little about the church. She said that she had had missionaries come to her house many years ago, but for some reason they had stopped and she had never had the chance to go to church and she didnt really know how it worked. She said that she had been waiting for us! She was so thankful for our visit and was super excited to come to church with us! 

My best little friend! She always said "Sister!!! Brincar!!!" (Sister play with me!!!) 

We also had a lot of family home evenings with a family from the ward and our investigator Mateus. He is really searching and trying to find the truth! One time we were talking about how we are always connected to God whether we are aware of it or not. God knows all things and is aware of each one of us. Mateus was having a hard time feeling connected to God, but he said that he is doing everything he can to increase his faith and become closer to God. "I know I will get there one day soon!!!" -Mateus.  One day after teaching about the plan of salvation we were going to eat some cookies and one kid said "Wow I have been waiting since I was born!" Then Mateus said "Oh yeah? well I have been waiting since the Pre-Existence!!!" 

I have lots of other great experiences where I could truly see amazing miracles!!! 

Sometimes we might feel like God has left us. Just as Joseph Smith once asked "God where art thou?" when he was in Carthage Jail. Or when Jesus Christ asked "God why hast thou forsaken me?" But I can promise you that God is always waiting to help us, with arms outstretched. It is like a person who is bench pressing. When they push to their limit and can hardly lift anymore, the spotter will reach and grab the bar. The point of bench pressing is for the person to get stronger and so the spotter will not lift all of the weight. Maybe he will only lift 50 or 60 pounds of the 160. The person lifting might say "LIFT! why are you are not lifting!?" even when the spotter is lifting a great portion. Jesus Christ is always helping us lift our burdens. He may not lift ALL of our struggles from us, because the point of this life is to get stronger. We have challenges and struggles so that we can learn and grow!!! I know that God loves you and he will never leave you alone! 
Com muito amor,
Sister Hancock

Thursday, June 1, 2017

May 29, 2017

It has been quite a while since I have written a weekly email! All is going great here in Ala 2, Ponta Grossa! I have been out on the mission for 11 months!!! 

Sadly my companion Sister Salvador went home because short term missionaries are not allowed anymore! She was an incredible companion and I was able to learn so many things with her!

Tereza and Albari my Brazilian grandparents :)

Fancy french fries 

Knocking doors at the hole in the ground  "Who knows? Maybe we will find people down there who are waiting to hear about the Gospel!"

Transfers- Saying goodbye to Sister Salvador and meeting my new companion Sister Gonzalez! 

Luckily, I received a great new companion. Sister Gonzalez from ARGENTINA!!!! I will try to learn Spanish with her and will help her with English! She is super excited to work and be here! She has 4 months in the mission! :) 

On Tuesday  a week ago it was raining sooo much! I found out that my boots are NOT waterproof. So my feet were completely soaked and all of our meetings fell through and we had nowhere to go so we decided to knock all of the houses on that street. After about 4 houses of nothing... we knocked on a door and a guy looked out the door and we were trying to talk to him but it was hard to hear because it was POURING! He said, "let me grab an umbrella!" So he came out in the rain with a broken umbrella and talked to us. He invited us to come back on Saturday when his wife would also be home! We returned and shared a message with them and were able to get to know them better! It was incredible! :)

We are teaching quite a few people and trying each day to find more and more! 

We must all have faith that everything that God gives us and everything that we must wait for, is for our benefit. Sometimes we pray asking for Option "A" but God ends up giving us Option "B." I know that God knows all things and that He knows our hearts and our desires. I know that he loves each and every one of us and that he want us to be happy here in this life. I also know that he gives us challenges so that we can learn and grow and also so that we can humble ourselves and put our faith and confidence in him. We must have faith with a PURPOSE, and we must be willing to act with our faith to accomplish the things that God wants us to accomplish!

Thank you all for the love and support! 
-Sister Hancock

Friday, May 12, 2017

May 8, 2017

What a wonderful week full of blessings and full of lots of food :)

Almost all the pictures from this week involve food! 

My companion Sister Salvador and I

Tuesday I had splits with the Sister Training Leaders! I got to spend the day with my first companion of the mission Sister Ferreira! 


Ice cream on the stairs.... 

Pizza breads... 

Tacos PART 2... 

Umbu Juice. I don't recommend it ;) 

As much as feasting on food is important... More important is feasting on the words of Christ! 

2 Nephi 32:3  Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.
If you are not currently reading the book of Mormon, Today is a great day to start! If you aren't reading the Book of Mormon every day. I invite you to start reading every day.
I know that through reading the Book of Mormon everyday we will be able to receive personal revelation and the strength we need to deal with ALL of our problems and difficulties in our life. I love this gospel and I love that I am a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I find strength in reading the Book of Mormon everyday! I love it! Every time I read it, I find something new that I didn't notice before. Eu sei que esta igreja é verdadeira. Eu SEI que Deus nos ama e que Ele mandou seu filho Jesus Cristo para tomar sobre si todas nossos pecados, dores e aflicoes. Eu sei que Ele sempre esta proximo e sempre vai nos ajudar se buscarmos!!! **

Amo voces!!! Ate mais! :)
-Sister Hancock
** (Translation)I know this church is true. I KNOW that God loves us and that He sent His son
Jesus Christ to take upon Himself all our sins, pains and afflictions. I know 
He is always around and will always help us if we seek Him !!!

Love you!!! See you! :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

April 17, 2017

Transfers were today! I am staying in the area Ala II (2nd ward)!

Bishop and his family

Sister Hulme got transferred to a neighboring area but a different zone. 

My new companion is Sister Salvador! She is from somewhere in Curitiba! She has three weeks on the mission! She is super nice! It is a little weird only speaking Portugues now, but it will be super good! :) I am super excited! 

This past week was pretty great, 
I don't really remember everything that happened. On Wednesday Thursday I went to Curitiba to renew my visa! I went on a charter bus for 2.5 hours and then met up with one of the older sister missionaries there in Curitiba. I stayed in Curitiba and then we got up super early to go to the police station.

Tereza and Albari :) 

We were talking to one lady and her son and we had about 10 minutes until we had to go to lunch! I had the thought to just skip right to introducing the Book of Mormon and then about 20 seconds later my companion Sister Hulme pulled out a Book of Mormon from her bag. It was cool that we both had the same prompting.

Sister Hulme and I were planning to have a Christmas celebration when it got colder here, but then she got transferred today! we have been singing Christmas songs all week to lead up to our Christmas celebration! This morning after we finished cleaning we had about 10 minutes until we had to leave so we decided to have a quick celebration and ate hot chocolate and sang a Christmas hymn! We were already wearing green and red without even planning it!

"Christmas Celebration"

Have a great week! 
-Sister Hancock

Thursday, April 13, 2017

April 10, 2017

Everything is going super great here in Brasil! :) 

We had a baptism of Guilherme a few weeks ago! He is a member of the Oliveira family! They are an incredible family and have all gotten baptized in the last 3 months or so! 

This week went by so quickly! We found a few more people to teach this week and we are finally adjusted to the area, and can walk to places without getting lost! 

On Tuesday we had the chance to go to the Temple in Curitiba! 

On Wednesday we found our favorite friend near the house of our investigator! She is our  investigator's dog and comes up to us and tries to lay down in front of us when we are walking. 

At church on Sunday a less active woman came to church and brought her husband who is not a member. He was talking to us and was telling us and everyone that came up to church that we were the ones that brought him to church. He said that after the message that I shared at lunch he had the desire to come to church. And then he started telling us that he wasn't baptized and I said well there is still time! And he said yes, yes, there is!... The Spirit really is the true teacher! :)

At conference last week I was able to learn so much from the words the Prophets and Apostles spoke and through the Holy Ghost! 

At one of the sessions of general conference at the church the sound cut out for about 3 minutes. We were all sitting there in silence and then our bishop jokingly said "I am hearing it..." ("EU estou ouvindo!..."). Then everyone stayed in silence and only my companion and I started laughing. Haha we were the only ones that laughed at his joke... 

We need to listen with our spiritual ears! Our bishop wasn't hearing the sound but maybe he was hearing the voice of the Spirit testifying of the truth. We must act as soon as we receive revelation from the spirit without delay. If we ACT based on what we receive from the spirit we will receive more and more inspiration, answers and guidance each day! Stay close to the spirit and the spirit will stay close to you. 

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!!! 
-Sister Hancock