July 28, 2014– Candeais, BRAZIL

Hey familia!

Well this week was pretty awesome, first of all we have a new family that we are teaching!
Sadly Marisa seems to be bailing on us…but we’ll keep trying SHE IS PREPARED!!!!
Also Giomar-another new investigator (who lost her husband to cancer about a year ago) we found this week! She is pretty neat, a cute lady with short black hair, glasses and lipstick like  Sister Mama Mayo(in michigan). I feel like she’s just the brazillian version of her, it’s funny when you find people in another country that remind you of someone back home. Crazy. I Miss the Mayo Family 🙂 Shout out. ANYWAYS going back, we taught Giomar the plan of salvation. She is still really sad and lonely missing her husband. She told us the following day that she dreamed about her husband for the 1st time since he passed away. She dreamt that he was happy and they were together, happy and healthy. She was shocked because she said she misses and thinks about him ALL the time but never dreams about him. She said she woke up that morning afeeling strong and courageous….that the Lord was there and hadn’t forgotten her. I love being able to witness these kind of moments. The Lord is aware of us, and I know that the restored gospel is true. She didn’t come to church sunday but we will keep working with her, hopefully she can come next week.
 Okay sooo our family we have. YES A FAMILY AHHHHHH! I think I may have mentioned them already….not sure but I’ll be quick. First of all the daughter  Fabiana (22) had been going to another ward with her member friend and was baptized there a few weeks ago. Her twin brother Fabio  has interest in the church and we began teaching him along with the rest of the family. Ailton He goes by Tito (like-Chee-toh haha) and his wife Fatima and their other son Neto. Tito drinks…a lot. He’s an alcoholic sadly and has a hard time recognizing that this problem is affecting his family. He is suppppppper funny and really nice. He just talks a lot hha. Fatima is catholic but not practicing, she appeared to be REALLY catholic in the beginning but I think she’s more of a catholic “because my parents were/we were raised catholic” sort of deal.  She wants more than anything for Tito to stop drinking so since Fabiana was baptized (the whole family went/watched her baptism) and we started coming she’s been becoming really receptive to us. I know she knows we can help Tito and of course the whole family. Well long story short they all went ot our ward sunday 🙂 and liked it a lot! Also Fabio accepted to be baptized this saturday!!! It’s hard because he works and studies but we will be following up and helping him as best we can. Fatima and Tito also accepted to pray about baptism in which they both said they will once they know that these things are true. We’re going to work with them, especially Tito….we are praying that he can overcome this addiction. I know the Lord will help him if he is willing!
Also this week the power went out in our area 2 times. Once was when we were out on the street, the elders told us we needed to go home and stay there because it’s not safe-obviously everything was black. The 2nd time was during a lesson….and WHERE WERE WE TEACHING THIS LESSON???? La na communidade!!!! Right in the middle of the favela hahaha. I was talking about….I don’t even remember, I think prayer, and all of a sudden shooooooooom everything shut down/went black haha. We finished our lesson with Nina-Luciclede (other investigators) and asked if they could walk us to the main road which they gladly did. We had to use our cell phone to light the street in front of us because we literally could NOT SEE anything haha. The power went out in about half of our mission that night. We lit our candles in our apartment and had a sleepover 🙂 Good times.
I hit my 16th month mark yesterday. Crazy. I’m not really trunky though…I’m the oldest missionary in my zone. Weird. I won’t dwell on the topic.
Welp love you all, transfers next week we’ll see what happens!
Love you
Sister McCleve
Classic church set up in our area...

Classic church set up in our area…

you just need some chairs and some sort of pulpit and someone who can yell really loud. Boom let's hear "da word" :)

you just need some chairs and some sort of pulpit and someone who can yell really loud. Boom let’s hear “da word”
🙂

Advertisements

July 21, 2014–Candeais, BRAZIL (Semana 14)

Hey family!
Well I am happy to announce that this week was MUCH better compared to last. I am hoping and praying that it will just continue to get better after that slump.

1st of all this week we had interviews with our beloved president Bigelow. The guy is a stud!!!!! I love him and Sister Bigelow so much. As I said with the previous week being particularily difficult I had quite a few things on my mind that I was anxious to discuss with president. I even had written them down in my planner and brought it with me into the interview ready to just spill everything onto the table. However as the interview began he looked at me and said “Let’s just talk, a nice little chat” haha his personality is really easy going and fun. You can tell he was a seminary teacher (very similar to my other president Gerber back in Detroit). It was incredible that within the first 3-5 minutes I could just feel that sweet, calming, wave of peace come over me. Fact.The spirit of Lord calms the troubled heart. A couple highlights/one liners I’d like to share 🙂

1. Satan is the master minipulator
2. Often we are trying to row with oars on a sail boat.
3. Let the Lord run your mission. Because He will if you LET Him (what President Henry B. Eyring told Pres. Bigelow in an interview after he was set apart as mission president)
4. It will always hurt when those you love don’t make the right choices.(recent converts,investigators etc.) But  you should never stop loving them. You may be disappointed in their choices, but never stop caring/close yourself off. When we begin to not care we should have a little red flag go up.
5. My success as a mission president is not measured by how many baptisms we have or # or stakes created while I’m here….it is measured/counted by how you missionaries are doing in your lives 20 years after you return home for your missions.
amen
🙂 I didn’t even end up opening my planner. The Lord truly calls His servants to go and do exactly what is needed. Done deal.
2nd wonderful thing that happened was finding Marisa!!! We had been planning to work in ne part of our area that we normally don’t go to. As we left from lunch at a near by members home we said a prayer asking the Lord to guide us to find new investigators that are prepared. Long story short, the first door we knocked was Marisa. We taught her the plan of salvation with a little bit of the gospel of Jesus Christ ANDDDDD the Restoration. Normally lessons shouldn’t be longer than an hour TOPS so this went over a bit BUTTT it was fantastic!!! The spirit was TOTALLY guiding us. It was soooooo rad. She had so many great questions and we just kept answering and teaching her according to the promptings of the spirit. She is a widow and also lost her father and one of her sons all in the last few years. SO SAD. She lives alone and attends some baptist church but is REALLY interested. She’s done a lot of bible study groups/ministering activities in her church so she’s much more knowledge-able than the majority of the people we teach (that’s like a breath of fresh air). We came back the next day to see that she’d already read not just 1 but 2 chapters of the Book of Mormon we left with her. She didn’t understand the purpose of the BOM and why we need it with the bible. Sooooo we read 2nd Nefi 9 with her 🙂 Ha it was sweet. She says to us….”can I invite myself to come to your church?” HECK YA YOU CAN! 🙂 She went out of town this last weekend but said this upcoming sunday she’s coming to church. WOOOOOP! We are going to meet with her tomorrow 🙂 STOKED. The best part is…as she told the story of losing members of her family I felt impressed to tell her about Jorge and Valeria (a family who lost their son in a plane accident several years ago) and thought they could meet. As I began to tell her the names she finished my sentence saying “Valeria e Jorge? Eu conheco eles!” Turns out their sons studied together and after Valeria and Jorge lost their son just a year or 2 later Marisa lost hers….at this time they were less active in the church so Marisa didn’t know they were members. Now they are superrrrrrr strong/active. The Lord prepares people.I know she’s going to be baptized….she is SO prepared my goodness. I’ll keep you all posted but PLEASE pray she’ll come to church. Amen and Amen. 🙂
Some other cool little things happened but for the sake of time I’ll just share sunday’s bomb squad experience. Sunday was the Sister Sunday. Haha in sacrament meeting we gave talks and I sang I’ll go where you want me to go….
it was really awesome. Sister Silva’s talk was FREAKING AMAZING. I’m so proud of her. We are really bonding btw. I love her a lot. Sometimes we have our weaker moments but we let it go and move forward. Our companionship is really united I feel like. It’s awesome. I think we’ll probably stay together until I head home but MAYBE she’ll end up training because she’s such a studdddddd!
ANyways love you guys so much and thank you for all of your prayers, love and support. Things are looking up. We just need to get some people ON DATE for baptism!!!!!
Love love love and with gratitude to you all and especially to Nosso Pai Celestial
Sister McCleve
Candeias Sisters :)

Candeias Sisters 🙂

my desk

my desk

being cool with Silvinha :)

being cool with Silvinha 🙂

only in brazil would you find pão de queijo at a McDonalds hahaha sweeeet

only in brazil would you find pão de queijo at a McDonalds hahaha sweeeet

Pastel with Natalia :)

Pastel with Natalia 🙂

funzies a view of our area Candeias :)

funzies a view of our area Candeias 🙂

Group

Group

Comps

Comps

Happy

Happy

July 14, 2014–Candeais, BRAZIL

Hey family….

So updates on this week haha man it was ROUGH. Really rough. Started out with Fabio and Ciene dropping us. We came to teach them that night, something was off as we entered and everything else just seemed to fall. They want to stay with the catholic church and they are not willing to “change religions”. Fabio hadn’t prayed directly in respect to the things we taught if they were true….go figure. I guess right now is not their time…agency agency agency. We need to respect it. Sometimes I just wish I could take them by the hand (like a parent) take them to church etc. and just say “look I know you don’t understand right now, but you will soon and you’ll thank me for helping you” but we can’t do that. That was Satan’s plan in the beginning that was REJECTED by the Father. We have the beautiful gift of agency where WE can choose for ourselves. And learn by our own experiences…but sadly (in this case with Fabio and Ciene) we choose the wrong path and have to learn from mistakes. I hope in the future other missionaries will be able to teach them again and they will progress in the gospel. I really love them.
After that Sister Silva got really sick with some nasty sinus infection that ended up taking us to the hospital for her to get an exam e tudo mais. And for some odd reason I had multiple head aches that would come and go through out the day-SUPER ANNOYING. Needless to say there was a lot of pampering time in our apartment. I hate not being able to work….drives me bonkers but at the same time we can’t work in this climate when you’re sick…unless you want to feel worse. The heat and sun is killer-even during the winter (now). 2 more sisters went home early this transfer because of serious health problems, I am counting my blessings and praying that I can finish my mission through and through.
Also because of the jogos (games) this week with the cup we stayed inside more as well. Brazil got spanked haha 7-1 ouchhhhh. Everyone was complaining and practically no one watched when they played for 3rd place which they lost as well. Haha bummer. Sounds like germany won? Sweet, NEXT. Haha as much as I love soccer, I have been irritated with the obesession at times. I guess because it’s the copa do mundo (cup of the world) and not the cup of the Celestial Kingdom or something that is ACTUALLY important haha.
 I think the highlights of my week were my studies (I’ve been learning A LOT of cool things lately) and also sunday. Sunday was pretty awesome. I woke up feeling really weighed down and as we went to church each meeting the topic was something that I needed to here to help me remember my purpose as a missionary.
1st was in RS we talked about Baptism-what do we do as missionaries, find/teach and baptize. Enough said.
2nd in gospel principles we talked about Service. Again, what are we called to do? To serve.
3rd Sacrament meeting 2 topics were discussed that were interesting 1. The importance of our bodies that we have here in mortality 2. Marriage and family
As missionaries we are here to invite others to come unto Christ, to unite and help FAMILIES return to our Heavenly Father’s presence.
These 3 hours were EXACTLY what I needed. Sunday was another testimony builder to me of the importance of church attendance.The Lord only asks us to save 1 day of the week to focus more/turn our thoughts and hearts to Him. And when we do so what happens? Prayers are answered/strength (emotionally,spiritually,and physically) and new personal revelation is received. And for that I am so grateful that we can go to church and recharge our batteries every week. I am so grateful for the sacrament which renews our covenants and cleanses us as we progress on the path of mortality. I love my Savior and as weak, full of doubt and worry, and small I may feel at times I know that He made each of us a promise that we do not have to suffer if we  turn to Him.
Doutrina e Covenios 19:16 Pois eis que eu, Deus, sofri essas coisas por todos, para que nâo precisem sofrer caso se arrpendam
Com amor,
Sister McCleve
Zone mtg

Zone mtg

Sisters

Sisters

Zone meeting funzies (our elders)

Zone meeting funzies (our elders)

TRs; Zone meeting funzies (our elders)

TRs; Zone meeting funzies (our elders)

I loveeeeee the golfs here.

I loveeeeee the golfs here.

July 7, 2014–Candeais, BRAZIL (Semana 12)

Hey family!

Ahhhhh okay this week! have belated 4th of July-brazil played that day and won so I got to see and hear some fireworks #USAPRIDE
So Fabio and Ciene-that awesome couple I mentioned last week! They are our GOLDEN COUPLE! They are the aunt and uncle of Ailton (the rapaz-young adult) we baptized a few weeks ago. We found them knocking doors and we had already talked to Ciene one time but she seemed kinda mole (flaky/uncommitted). But we came back one day and saw Fabio sitting on the couch too and asked if we could share a message with them both right there. Well they let us in and it was awesome! we watched the Restoration DVD and the spirit was so strong as we testified afterwards. They committed to pray but said that they already knew this was true. The next night they went to a ward activity there at the chapel and like half the ward flocked to them and helped them feel welcome. Turns out when Ciene was about 12 a member (maria-who’s inactive now) took her to church a few times and she loved it. The Lord prepares people-TRUTH!
Anyways so we’ve been there almost every day since we started teaching them. They’ve already committed to getting legally married-WOO!They been living together 11 years and have 2 kids.   They are Reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and they already accepted baptism! We showed them the chapel during the ward activity and fabio kept asking (where is the baptism room/place? I want to see it! hahaha). They are wonderful, I love them already soooo much.
The only problem is….they work saturdays and sundays on the beach becauseeeee (story time) 10 years ago Fabio was assaulted in his car. He was reaching to unbuckle his seatbelt and the robber thought he was armed and ended up shooting him 2 times in the head_CRAZY I know. Thank heavens he didn’t die but his whole left side was paralyzed. He was in a wheel chair for a few years after that. The doctors told him he’d never walk/have a normal life again. He tried doing physical therapy which helped a little but he didn’t have enough money to keep going. But since that time literally through determination and FAITH in our Heavenly Father he has been recovering day after day. He can walk now (still with a limp) and he can lift and bend his left arm. Still can’t use his hand but he’s working on it. He is a living miracle. But anyways because of his medical handicapped state they are receiving money from the government but it’s basically nothing to provide for their family. So he works selling Churrasq (bbq stand) on the beach on saturdays and sunday to make more money to provide for his family. He has such a big heart 🙂 anyways so they have no way going to church because of money issues. We are praying and looking for another way he can work during the week. But again with his limitations physically it’s tough. He makes twice amount in 2 days being saturday and sunday as he would working monday-friday on the beach. Ohhhh sacrifices. I know the Lord will provide a way but that requires faith and TRUST FIRST.
We had a conference with our new president and sister Bigelow this week. THEYA RE AWESOME super young too. I totally want to be a mission president’s wife some day, that would be SOOOO SICK I think.  A big sacrifice but totally worth it. They are so excited to be here and I am sad I won’t get to know them that well but I know I am already learning. He worked a lot for the CES of the church soooo I am definitely going to be asking him some questions because the church educational system is WHERE IT’S AT! If I could be a married with kids EFY counselor forever I would hahahaha.  ANywaysThey really emphasized the importance of having CONVERTS not just baptisms. Batismo faz parte da conversão-baptism is a part of conversion-an essential step. More updates on them in the future. Oh they’re from Utah and he served in Chicago spanish speaking so they’re learning portuguese 🙂 sweet huh?
Anyways other than that I did and exchange this week with a sister who’s in our zone..I learned a lot  and am even more determined to be a hard working missionary. She goes home this transfer and all I can say is:trunky, giving up “doesn’t matter attitude”…I felt like a lot of energy and enthusiasm was sucked out of me being with her. I know her companion is having a rough time. Its sad to see missionaries who at the close of their missions (you think they would make the most of the LITTLE time they have left) just slack off/give up. I am not and will not be that missionary sorry Satan.
Anyways love you all so much. Sadly no one is marked for baptism (Fabio/Ciene need to get married first…working on that) but we have some other new investigators that have potential. I think the hardest part is people not coming to church. We have great lessons but once sunday rolls around the excuses FLYYYYY haha it’s ridiculous. As a missionary I think I’ve heard every excuse in the world. Haha I just laugh about it.
Love youuuu have a fantastic week dearest family and friends. And pray that brazil wins this week!!!!!! haha
Sister McCleve
I don't know if  already told you guys but they have TONS of vw busses here (old skool) pretty awesome :)

I don’t know if already told you guys but they have TONS of vw busses here (old skool) pretty awesome 🙂

Agua de coco com  a companheira!

Agua de coco com a companheira!

Candeias beach (or part of it anyways-one day I will walk on that sand barefoot....one day)

Candeias beach (or part of it anyways-one day I will walk on that sand barefoot….one day)

Randoms, the 2 girls are President Bigelow's daughters, Megan and Sarah :) super nice!!!

Randoms, the 2 girls are President Bigelow’s daughters, Megan and Sarah 🙂 super nice!!!

pernaumbuco flagggggg some guys on the street gave us these shirts for free!

pernaumbuco flagggggg some guys on the street gave us these shirts for free!

our view from our apartment, I love the mornings here :) SUN!!!!

our view from our apartment, I love the mornings here 🙂 SUN!!!!

sweet church in the centro (down town Recife)

sweet church in the centro (down town Recife)

June 30, 2014–Candeais, BRAZIL

Heyyy family so the guy here just told us he’s closing in 5 minutes haha so I’ll write my big email next week. 🙂 It’ll be great! I love you all and am so proud that we are members (ACTIVE by the way) of the true church. Please help your missionaries in the ward and find people for them to teach. Praying for you all each and every day. Let me know if I can do anything for you.xoxoxo

love kenzie

June 25, 2014–Candeais, BRAZIL

Hey family really fast!

Ailton was baptizedwoooo! it was awesome he was so happy and it went really well:)
I went on exchanges with week with Sister Orr (who got transferred) and we had a blast. They had 11 investigators at church the next day…I like to think that I may or may not have helped with that 😉 haha
The world cup and São João were cool. Brazil won 4-1 SWEET I think they play again saturday. More bombs/fireworks and screaming in our neighborhood haha. Sister Weber was transferred so Sister Diehl will be training therefore I will be in a house with 3 very green missionaries haha but its awesome. The new sister is from peru, we’ll go meet up with them here in a bit.
So alex wasn’t baptized….basically we discovered that he had not fully repented as we thought he had as we talked about “burying our weapons of war” with him on sunday after church. Not to mention some members weren’t very nice to him when he showed up to church sunday after his baptism fell saturday (that was roughhhhhh). We found out 2 hours before the baptism that he smoked and wouldn’t be baptized. Man my heart sank, I was really sad as we emptied the font and went back to the house to grab some stuff before Ailton’s baptism that same night. I was really really disappointed, frustrated and confused as to why this happened. But now after discovering that the repentance process wasn’t complete that Alex really isn’t prepared to be baptized right now. And as I’ve said before I’m not here to just dunk people in water. I am here to help people make covenants with God to have eternal salvation. To save souls. That being said, we will continue to pray for Alex but right now we have done everything and now it’s up to Him if he is willing to do what it takes to repent. I know Heavenly Father intervened….as strange as it is. He didn’t wanted clean water to enter into a dirty vase….that is not how baptism works. Faith, REPENTANCE then baptism. And how grateful I am to know that we can become purified through the repentance process thanks to the atonement of Jesus Christ.
I have to go time cut short but I love you all and I know that this is the LORD’s work and we are here to do it HIS way. Even though I wanted so badly to see Alex be baptized while I was here….this isn’t about what I want. It’s about what the Lord wants.
Really fast wanted to share that I read alma 27:27 today-LOVEd it. Do we want to be a person distinguished by our zeal towards God? I sure do.
Also Alma 28:14 The great call of DILLIGENCE to men to LABOR in the Vineyard of the Lord-The work of Salvation folks. There is No greater work than this.
Love,
Sister McCleve
temple sweetness

temple sweetness

playing with puppies we found!

playing with puppies we found!

during the world cup game #brazilpride

during the world cup game #brazilpride

Silvaaaaaa and I :)

Silvaaaaaa and I 🙂

on an exhange with sister orr fighting some huge wasp with my planner (can't see it  but it was HUGE)

on an exhange with sister orr fighting some huge wasp with my planner (can’t see it but it was HUGE)

drinking some agua de coco :) delicious!

drinking some agua de coco 🙂 delicious!

Refreshing

Refreshing

Ailton was baptized wooooo!!!!

Ailton was baptized wooooo!!!!

Sisters em Candeias (but sister weber-denim got transferred :( sister DIehl will train wooo!)

Sisters em Candeias (but sister weber-denim got transferred 😦 sister DIehl will train wooo!)

June 18, 2014–Candeais, BRAZIL (Temple)

Hey fam bam!

Wow this week has already been going by fast, I didn’t email monday because today is our temple/p-day. YESSSSS love the temple! Going to do my best to bullet point this letter.
So the world cup haha first of all in OUR mission (geoffrey/every other brazil mission) we cannot watch ANY of the games haha even president said he won’t watch. Takes us off focus. So what have we don’t instead stayed inside again….annoying but we have no one to teach during the games haha. We know what happens during because everyone starts screaming GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL and fireworks start going off in all of the city haha. PRetty funny, some are SUPER loud, like a war outside our apartamento (not even kidding) haha. But looks like brazil and mexico tied, I guess they didn’t go into a shoot out? hmmm so that’s lame. But they did beat germany and also The US won too against ghana-SWEET! Maybe Brazil and the USA will play against each other….if we win (as in USA) I’ll probably be telling people I’m from germany or italy (people actually believe me so it works out) for my safety haha.
K so update AIlton wasn’t baptized last week because he had to work but this sunday he should be good to go! We went and taught his mom the restoration and she loved itttttt! Missionary work is sooo much easier and more effective when you have members involved (even though Ailton isn’t baptized yet he’s already acting as if he was encouraging his mom and reading the BOM with her!) That’s whats up!!
Also, so remember Alex and Jociane? She is a recent convert and they have 3 little kids….I think I’ve mentioned them…anyways they sometimes progress and sometimes don’t (that kind of situation) well Alex we hadn’t taught (he’s not a member yet) in a few weeks because after working with him for a while he wasn’t progressing at all 😦 not going to church, not reading, and sometimes praying…well we go to church on sunday and the whole family shows up (jociane hadn’t been in about a month). He comes up and starts talking to us and then tells us he wants to get a bishops interview..I’m thinking why??? ALEX you don’t have a desire to move forward. Or do you??? Well I’m standing there talking with them and the thought comes to me, show him the baptismal font. So we go in there and we start teaching Alex about baptism (he’s been taught many times before). He says “Sisters, I want to be baptized, I know I do, and I know I need to stop smoking”. Alex said the prayer and the spirit filled the room. I know he can be baptized this weekend, he just has to exercise his will to NOT SMOKE. That is seriously the only set back. It’s so funny because every time we consider….dropping this family because of flakiness (spelling?) something always happens where we just feel prompted to keep visiting and working with them. So please please please EVERYONE pray for alex to not smoke this week! I know once he is baptized and is confirmed that he will have baried that weapon of war and be blessed forever. So that being said we may have 2 baptisms this week, I am praying that we can. I am trying so hard to not lose faith because it’s difficult when you have so much but because of people always dropping out you start to doubt-satan. Also a tender mercy was Alexs friend Cleber who dropped in as we went back to teach him monday night saying “hey I was totally thinking this week that I need to quit smoking, Alex lets make a goal to quit together”. As simple as that seems I think that motivated alex to STICK to his goal. The most he’s gone without smoking is 4 days, today will be day 3…..I know he can. He wants to be baptized so bad. I think of how sad it is for someone who wants to follow Heavenly Father be trapped by some addiction that Satan created….where as other people who have no addictions, have no desire to follow the Savior, sad huh? I want to see him baptized before I go home. SIster Silva and I even fasted for an increase of our faith from HEavenly Father….really cool experience, I know fasting is real.
Also found a new couple this week knocking doors. Went back the next day taught the restoration and invited them to be baptized when they received an answer of the truthfulness of these things. He said “if I know that this is God’s church, for real, absolutely! I will be baptized”
Today we are going to the temple, we woke up at 4:30 this morning and got a ride from  sister in the ward, we got to the temple at 6:30 took photos, ate breakfast and did initiatories-SOOOOO COOL. I love the temple. Here in a little we’re going with our zone to do an endowment. Did I mention I love the temple? I want to go there once a week IF NOT MORE for the rest of my life….#goal. The peace and the spirit that is there is UNLIKE anything you can find here in this world. I love the temple is literally is the House of The Lord.
Everything is good with me. transfers are next week, most likely we’ll stay together and keep working here in Candeias. loving it. Tonight we have an FHE which should be sweet with some recent converts and a couple other couples in the ward, Alex and Jociane will come too!
Thank you all so much for your love!
love love love
Sister McCleve

Templeeee

Templeeee