Monday, November 24, 2014

So that big ol´ title is the name of our new area! We´re opening it and learning where we are very quickly :) Sister Melo got here and she´s from Mine gerais, Brasil.  She´s AWESOME and incredibly sweet.  She has an amazing desire to work, and to do it right.  She´s learning super fast and teaching me a lot.   We live with Sister Nascimento and Sister Machado who are both from Brazil as well. They want to learn how to speak english so we´re starting to practice the song, Come Thou Fount, all together.  fun stuff :) 

Also, thank you so much for sending the package! Sounds like Thanksgiving will be a frigid one this year. haha  Warm hearts, cold fingers. haha  I hope the family continues to receive blessings of health and safety!  Also, heads up, We´ll be skyping on the 22nd of Decemberthis year because  that´s our pday.  It´ll be 40 min, don´t know what time yet.  

Don´t have much time this week, but way to support the missionaries!  I agree it´s incredibly hard for people to go to church alone, Shows they have a lot of faith when they stay strong :) I´m definitely going to be in contact with Sister Alcocer.  We´ve already made plans to be roommates at BYU! hahaha It´ll be ótimo :) 

This week was really good.  We´ve got our map in hand, and we´re talking with lots and lots of people. Part of our area is right next to a lake. TONS of people live there.  THe sisters before us (one of whom is Sister Tenney who is in our stake! she returned home this week. If you see her say hi for me?) already had some investigators, two of which, Marinelda and Gabriella are so ready to be baptized. They´re excitement is contagious. Super sweet.   The ward is awesome and I got the opportunity to give a talk on Sunday.  They are doing a 40 day fast for missionary opportunities, so one person fasts per day and passes it off to some one else.  Pretty cool idea and we´re already seeing the blessings of it.  I´m excited to work here and give them all I have.

Sister Melo and I

With Glicio and Erika, our investigators in Planalto :)

All together at a conference!  Sister Silva, Sister Sosa, and Sister Alcocer.

I know the Lord is blessing us and helping us everyday.  His Atonement has such power if we but apply it every day in our lives. He gave us the power to choose, to CHANGE.  What an amazing gift.  I know He loves us.  I know He wants all of His children to return to live with him again someday .  What a glorious message we have to share!  "perfect love casteth out all fear!" Pray for this love!  

I sure love you all! have a wonderful week! Be happy be healthy!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Tan line, horrible!

a road we walked a lot in Planalto, Rua do grupo

I got to see Sister Jackson again!!!
Transfers are already here, and yep, I´m being transferred and I´ll be training.  Ah!!!  What a humbling call.  I guess the Lord has some more growth in store for me. I´m grateful for the opportunity!  I´ll meet my new companion tomorrow afternoon and then they´ll tell me where I´m going.  Lots of people to bear a departing testimony too! but leaving them in the hands of Sister Alcocer means I´ve got nothing to fear. :)

So Mom, you and Dad are in Bakersfield living with Katelyn and Lemuel. haha So awesome.  And sounds like Thanksgiving in Idaho will be a little frigid!  I´m sure Ethan will be fine. Little kids are practically made of rubber and heal super fast. haha  One day I´ll read Griz´s books too.  Holding up really well!  Eating lots of delicious fruit :)  The members feed us a huge lunch everyday so yep, eating really well :) And yes, if you could send the package to the misson home, that would be great. the address is. 

Av Santos Dumont, 1789 -Sl.1612 - 
Aldeota 60150 - 160 Fortaleza Brasil.

Sounds like a good musical production.  Yeah I knew some day he´d have to sing in front of people becaues he has an awesome voice!  haha Way to speak up as a visitor Dad :)

Katrina, I can´t even imagine a frozen nose and eyelashes. ow! STAY WARM PLEASE! haha and yes the sun is sure making me change colors. haha  And Greg and Ashley are going on an adventure!  Sounds like Mary Kay is really fun for Ashley :0 I´m sure Brynlee would like to try everything too! Walking.  I can´t hardly believe it. As for a Christmas present... A bar of chocolate and pictures :) 

Nichole, Heavenly Father definitely answered that prayer fast.  Justin will be awesome and I´m sure you´ll get to know the missionaries there really well too.  You´re learning tagolog! All I remember from Tyler is Kilikili, and pananampalataya and ongoy.  Haha hope I wrote that correctly.  Thanks for the pictures!!1 you´re kids are getting so big! goodness gracious sakes alive. 

Favorite spiritual experience this week...hard to choose. haha We met with a couple, Erika and Glicio this week. They´re awesome!  Seriously love them. They have an amazing desire to raise their family right with good morals.  Like all families, they have their trials and like all of us, can be a little hard headed at times.  The lesson we had planned was not the lesson we taught. It was definitely led by the spirit.  Sometime the spirit instructs us to be firm, sometimes more loving, and other times more relaxed.  Hard to explain. but it was what they needed.  They came to church this Sunday. I was overjoyed.  Something so simple, goingto church, but so important! I know if people put in the effort to go to church every week with a humble heart, the Lord will provide a way.

Also, Kaue and Lucia were confirmed this week.  IT´s complete and official!  They can now repent every day for the rest of their lives, be warned, comforted, instructed, etc.  What an amazing gift.

Also our investigator Francisca came to church.  She´s overflowing with questions, but she has such a strong desire to learn.  She´s incredible!  We saw her in the street walking with a Restoration pamphlet.  She then took us to meet her friend Joseni with whom she´d just been telling everything she learned from us.  She asked for another pamphlet to give to another friend too.  She´s incredible!  Looking for truth :)

This week i found a scripture that taught me a good lesson in (Ether) and its talking about the brother of Jared and his people as they travelled across the waters. èter 6:8 which says,"E aconteceu que enquanto estavam sobre as águas, o vento não deixou de soprar em direção á terra prometida; e assim foram eles impelidos pelo vento."  THe wind will always blow in our lives. We´ll always have trials, but know that their pushing you towards the promised land, closer to the savior, closer to heaven.  We´ll never get there without the wind.

Thank you all for your testimonies, for being witnesses of truth along with the prophets, apostles, missionaries, and other members throughout the world.  Love you!!!

-- Love always and forever
Sister Harston

What a good week it was!  Every week the Lord blesses us so much :)  Yesterday Kaue and Lucia were baptized :)  They were so ready!!  I can´t describe the feelings of joy that were present.  It´s just so amazing when people humble themselves and decide to follow Christ, to change, to repent, to be CLEAN!  They´re amazing.  Can´t wait til Sunday when they´ll receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Sweet sweet experience. 

(also some things here in Brazil are a bit expensive.  I was also told that if you send a small package it would get here in a month.  I thought I´d mention a few things it could include if that´s ok. 4 Mascara, 1 deodorant, daily vitamins, and a little bit of sunscreen)  thanks!

Thank you for the pictures! I love them all!!!! bones and turtles. what a combo. haha  and Brynlee´s smile! AW! Did Nichole´s family have some fun too??
Primary Programs are the BEST!  Sounds like it brought a lot of people together and a sweet spirit too.  THanks to an inspired mother who invited others to join in!!!  There´s a lot of power in an invite :) Yay a whole family together forever.  I bet they´re excited to go to the temple in a year. Adam as Laman or Lemuel. Hmmm....should be interesting :D  And I receive e-mails every week from Sister Mishler and Sister Sturtevant.  They really are doing an amazing job.  Awesome missionaries.  And Grandma Harston, a little note truly can work wonders in the heart of the person who writes it and receives it.  

 This is week was amazing.  Truly, we saw the Lord´s hand very clearly in the work. Sister Sosa and I were companions Thursday in my area, while Sister Silva was with another sister and Sister Alcocer went to Pecém.  We talked with a family that we saw sitting outside their house on the street and they agreed to let us come another day to share out message.  When we came back (me with sister Alcocer this time) we went to the door of the house we thought was correct, and found the brother of the people we talked to and his wife and kids.  What seemed at first to be an accident turned out to be a nudge from the spirit.  THey let us in to talk with them all and share the plan of salvation.  THey´ve encountered a lot of challenges in their lives as we all do, but THE SPIRIT THERE WAS POWERFUL!  Hearts were heard.  THe Lord knew what they needed.  We´re excited to visit again and help the to truly understand how their family can be together forever through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 

We´re also teaching another couple who we love dearly. Their names are Jovenal and Luiza.  He drinks and smokes and she wanted us to help him quit.  Seems like he needed the spirit and the invitation because, when we visited again, he hadn´t used any all day! wow.  THey´ve also accepted the baptismal date of the 7th of December.    

Elder Barton (left) baptized Kaue, and Elder Borges (right) baptized Lucia.  I´ve already forgotten what we were laughing at. haha

All the people who were baptized Sunday!

Everyone´s excited!
This week I´ve been studying and pondering the Christlike attribute of Virtue.  Our mind is a powerful thing. Everything we do starts with a thought. We can choose what we think - be it positive, or negative.  But we can change our thoughts in the second we receive them because we have the gift of agency and the power of the Atonement.  We have hymns to sing, scriptures to repeat, a prayer to speak, and service to do.  Choose now to be better, not tomorrow, not tonight. NOW.  We won´t be perfect, that´s a given.  But you can be happy NOW through the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It´s your choice :D  I invite all to memorize a quote, or scripture this week that has great meaning in your life, as individuals and families.  I promise your week will be better as a result.  

You´re in my prayers!

-- love always and forever 
Sister Harston

Oi!  It´s already November!  I can´t believe it.  Sorry, no Halloween photos, it doesn´t exist here!   It´s funny because THanksgiving is definitely an American tradition too and so the people have already skipped over to Christmas. :) How was Halloween for everyone down there?!! Pictures are always appreciated :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BROTHER GREG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Can´t believe you´re already 26 you old geezer! haha just kidding :)  Hope it was wonderful! also want to send you a letter that´s sealed and ready to send off (not sure how long it will take to get there) but I need your address.  I wasn´t sure if you´ve moved or not since the last time I got it.  

Mom, Sounds like an awesome set of missionaries down there.  That´ll be an amazing baptism to witness.  Transformation is a good word for it.  Something that starts on the inside, but starts to show on the outside after a little while.  I can´t believe there´s only 6 kids in Primary.  Whew!  Many just go with what´s easiest and do reject the gospel, but Like you said mom, God is merciful with those who don´t completely understand.  Also I hope when I purchase things that it doesn´t charge too much to switch from dollars to Reais!

Dad, I only remember what cold is because that´s the temperature of the water here. haha  That was the only option until President Bonini made warm water available through a fancy device thing that they plug in. wow! That´s cool that the Elders use music.  We sing a hymn to open every lesson and my mp3 is always playing when we´re preparing for bed each night so I sing along :) I´m memorizing hymns in Portuguese so when we sing them while we´re walking down the street, the people can understand us :)  Still LOVE music :)  I´ll try to remember our family songs, sadly some things are escaping my memory!  Leaves are changing colors....what? haha 30 degrees would be excruciating for me now I think. hahah

SOOO, Lucia and Caue are preparing to be baptized this Saturday!!  Sister Alcocer gave her a skirt and some shoes she wasn´t using so she could feel more comfortable at church.  She loved it!  Truly special lady.  And Caue´s reading skills are improving as he reads a couple sentences with us in the Book of Mormon ever day, and we leave an assignment for him to read while we´re gone.  

We found another family, Família Neves, they´re married!  And have 4 kids, 2 of which are already members.  The Lord wants them back that´s for sure because He sent us!  They´re awesome.  THe dad already knows the Book of Mormon is true, and the spirit was definitely there in the first lesson.  WE´re hoping that they, the família Silva (Otasilho and Cosminha) and Lucia and Caue can all come to a Noite Familiar at the house of Elder and Sister Seganti.  They´re like a long lost aunt and uncle.  Love them! 

Sister Alcocer and I are doing well.  I´m learning so much from her. She´s an AMAZING missionary and has a great determination to learn english, so during language study we do work, then switch to correct each other. It works great! haha

Got a new bag! (better to use due to all the walking we do)  It has the symbol and theme of the mission on it.  "Começar com o resultado final em mente" which means Start with the final result in mind, meaning the TEMPLE!

Walking around Palmarim (sneaky photo!)

Starving and ready to eat lunch with our Branch president Maia and his wife
I gotta say, the Lord is doing an amazing work. He does so much more than we ever do. He continues working even after we leave in extraodinary ways.  Each person we talk with leads to another person and another and another, in a network that only God can see. He has a plan.  He gives every one of His children a clear chance to know the truth.  He loves us that much!  Show your faith, ask Him, and He´ll tell you. That´s a guarantee.

Read your scriptures daily, pray individually and as a family, be an example, love everyone, serve, be obedient, and be HAPPY!
-- Love always and forever
Sister Harston

Kaue, all ready to be baptized!

Elder and Sister Seganti!   They are a wonderfully special couple who help us out sooooooo much!  The branch we´re in really relies on them

This is at Stake Conference.  Elder and sister Seganti, then Sister Silva, and Sister Sosa (who we live with)

Summer will soon be in full force here.  So weird since people are already putting up Christmas decorations.  Shouldn´t it be cold? haha  Also, forewarning, I´m going to be buying a few things because My shoes are dying and a few shirts...lets just say I´d be embarrassed to wear them. haha so yeah, they´ve been put to good use these last 14 months!  Also funny story,.I got mosquito bites on my eyelids while I was sleeping! needless to say I looked a little strange with puffy eyes.  We got a good laugh out of it :)

Mom, way to be an example of the believers and for being a second mom for all those kids :) It truly is a special and important role.  Many families today are struggling, all over the world!  THe gospel will help!  There was a man on Sunday who bore his testimony.  He didn´t know how to read but is teaching himself by using the scripture.  INCREDIBLE FAITH!  it was really cool.  I thought he read pretty good :)  The spirit is essential in missionary work, that´s for sure.  We don´t know people´s hearts or feelings or family situation but GOD DOES.  He knows when the right timing is.   That´s interesting to compare the even with the twin towers to doing work for our ancestors.  cool!  

Dad, I love having the title of Sister too :) never gets old! And remember the things I´m learning now are being reimbursed because I first learned them from you and Mom.  Hugs and kisses, headlocks, all of it :)  That´s an impressive lesson you learned as a 6 year old. wow

Grandma, I´m SO HAPPY to hear your surgery truly worked wonders. Sounds like lots of fun with the grandkids and great grandkids :) Love you! 

This week Lucia has really been preparing for her baptism.  She has such great humility that once she learned about the word of wisdom, she immediately began living it.  Also, her grandson Cauen is going to turn 8 this week! They can be baptized together!  What a special experience that will be.  AND, we finally got a chance to talk with her husband. 
YAY!  We hope to start teaching him this week too so their family can one day be together for eternity :) Special people!

The family Barbosa is pretty special too.  The 2 daughters, Darlani, and Luana have already been taught a bit by the previous sisters, and we taught the Restoration to Lauriani which was amazing.  This week we got a chance to teach the husband Darlan.  He´s awesome. Very calm.  Initially the parents didn´t want to learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ, but when they gave it a chance, the spirit testified!!!  You could see it in their eyes that they were feeling something different.  Many times the Lord gets to us through other people, and with families, that´s our soft-spot! I know each member of the family will help the others to feel the spirit and find the truth :)

Also the family Silva. Socorro is a hoot always, we´re always laughing with her, but her husband Jairo is awesome too.  WE had a family home evening with them this week and we taught about the Book of Mormon. We played a little bit of the game Telephone to show that things change a lot when spoken, so God made sure they were written. It was really cool because Jairo made a comment towards the end about the Bible and Book of Mormon - that the Book of Mormon clarifies what the Bible says - something we hadn´t taught (and he´s never ready the Book of Mormon) but that he had been taught by the spirit.  SO amazing. 

Our message is different.  It´s unique. It´s powerful.  It´s important and incredibly valuable. Just give us one chance, one visit, one testimony, and I promise the spirit will be there to cary the message unto their hearts!  If they´re open, if they´re ready to have all of the truth, they´ll let the spirit in and He´ll work the change as he has worked already on our hearts.  The change is our desire, our faith, our very nature.  We change to become more like Christ.  More humble, more grateful, more service oriented, more loving, more prayerful, more like a child of God should be.  I know the church Jesus Christ established has been restored. It´s His and it´s HERE, accessible now.  What an amazing and priceless gift we´ve been given and have to give.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Read your scriptures, live the gospel, share it with others :)

-- Love always and forever
Sister Harston

One of the roads we were walking down in Palmarim.  Mountains!!!
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Oi! Tudo bem?! This week flew by! Seriously seems like times goes faster and faster.  Learning so much!  We meet so many people, give so many hugs, and it´s truly an experience to be cherished. 

Katrina!  You´re gorgeous! and your roommates too :)  Wow looks like it´ll be a fun semester. Walking, good stuff!  Still working with Little Caesars? I think I´m craving pizza now.  they just don´t have it here. hahaha And yeah, I´m not THAT far away. haha  I think the branch needs your piano skills, mine have suffered from a lack of practice. haha  But I love it anyways, as long as it brings the spirit right?!  right :) I´m sure they´ll use you up in those callings once things get rolling. I got Justin´s e-mail about staying.  They usually do give you the choice to go or not.  For me, I just went. haha It was like I didn´t have to choose I just knew. But he definitely showed great faith in his prayer to know God´s will!

Dad, the opportunity was there to extend and there´s just more to be done, to learn, more people to serve, to love!  Charity never fails, a slogan for all, not just the relief society :) Casey Blakely sounds like he´ll be a fantastic missionary.  Wow!  Big changes since I last saw him.  SO cool. You´re an awesome member missionary dad! great patience :)

Mom, I seriously laughed when you said what you picture Satan´s reaction is when we do what is right. Good stuff :)  Pumpkin farm adventure! Glad it worked out, not glad for the headache.  We really are blessed to have the family we do!

SOOOOO notícias for this week :)  It´s pretty hot outside, dark by 6 which is nice because it cools off.  It´s weird because it´s october but it´s summer. haha  Lucia has been sick this week with a fever and all, but she has incredible faith!  She prayed and knows the Book of Mormon is true, only from us reading with her since she can´t read on her own.  And she went to church with us Sunday despite sickness.  She´s amazing. She always makes this coconut dessert for us and even had Caue bring some to us when she wasn´t home.  So sweet. She´s agreed to prepare to be baptized and it´ll probably be the 8th of November.

We´ve also been getting to know Palmarim, a little farther down the road from our apartment, about a 25 min walk, but Enrique and his WIFE  Andreza were home and were very receptive to our message.  His dad is a pastor for another church and was very nice :)  Enrique even took notes about how Christ´s church is built on a foundation of Apostles, prophets, and the power of God.  

We found a family, family Santana.  They´re awesome.  The dad Glydson is very intelligent and he does his research.  We´ll get to teach them the full restoration this week which I´m excited for because we know he´ll have good questions.  Teach by the spirit! Grateful to have Sister Alcocer who can understand everthing and helps me out :) his Family is so sweet!  The daughter ohana got a notebook out for the lesson.  WE also have a fun habit of singing a hymn to start every lesson :) Hymn and a prayer! 

Jarliani, 23, came to a Noite Familiar (FHE) with us at the home of Elder and Sister Seganti.  It was really good.  She was fellowshipped well.  She just has lots to do.  She got an answer that the church is true!!!!  But she´s busy caring for the kids of other people.  We have faith she´ll be able to come with us to church this sunday :)

ALSO, We talked with Lauriani, the mom of 2 girls who were being taught by the sisters before us.  She was busy doing laundry at first, but when she sat down and listened, whoosh the spirit was there.  She even began to cry.  What a sweet experience.  She´s a good mom :) Also provided a plate full of cookies to eat after.  :)

​view from our apartment here in Caucaia (and an Ônibus which everyone uses here to get places, you stand or sit and hold the rods bolted to the roof)

We walked by here sometimes in Montese  ( the van looking thing in the middle, lots of people use this type of car)
I testify that the Spirit speaks all languages.  I know that Christ wants this message shared with all His children.  He has us to work with to deliver that message.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ is truly a powerful thing that can help us overcome every inner challenge we face and also those that are physically hard.  It´s amazing.  How people live without the gospel, I DON`T KNOW!  It´s a blessing, it´s a gift, it makes me happy, and even more happy to share it with those willing to listen, and even better, those wanting to change :)

The church is true :)  Stay strong! Be safe!

-- Love always and forever
Sister Harston

Here are some photos!!!  Sorry couldn´t upload them last week. Also can´t walk around with our cameras or they´ll get stolen, but I´ll see what I can do to sneak a couple shots of where we are :)

we´re getting tan!

Robeirio and Elisangela and their son Gabriel on the left, and Auricelia with her daughter in the middle.  Investigators in Montese! Roberio offered us bread every visit. haha  Miss them!

Sister Alcocer and I arrived safely in Caucaia (which is where we live) in an apartment with Sister Silva (brazilian) and Sister Sosa (from Argentina). It´s been great!  We live outside our area (Planalto C) so it´s about a 20 min walk to get there.  It´s been pretty entertaining to find addresses and people that the sisters before were teaching. We´ll ask, do you know where the street Travessa da senhora de Fatima is?  They´ll either not know or point in a direction that we follow and never find the street. haha  But we´re learning quickly and walking walking walking which I LOVE!!  THe area´s really different. We´re in the country so sometimes there´s people riding a little wagon pulled by a donkey, chickens walking around, rocky/dirt roads, and more space in between houses. It was definitely a blessing to remain with Sister Alcocer. She is an incredible missionary.

Sounds like the band was a wonderful experience.  Many people deserve the honor of being recognized for their selfless and courageous service!!!  thanks to them we can go out and preach the gospel now!  Eek mom!  Lice would not be fun to deal with in a school.  I´d be paranoid too! That´s a cool idea to have people go up and talk about the revelation they received during conference. I LOVE the mormon tabernacle choir.  You can always feel the spirit when they sing.  Cannot believe that Ashlynn is 4! what happened?! Is she going to start school next year?  I think I need a recording of Brynlee laughing, that would be awesome.

Dad, it was audio translation :) and I agree that our President is inspired and called of God. That would be hard to choose only 6 favorite conference talks!

Also before I forget!!!!!  I´ve decided to extend my mission for 30 days, but I thought it might be good to gauge my family´s houghts on the subject. so thoughts?

We´re in a little branch and so I get to play the piano because no one else knows how.  But we had an investigator at church!  Alucia walked all the way there with us. She is incredibly sweet and humble. We met her this week.  She has already prayed and said she knows the church is true.  What a special sweet experience it is to talk with her. She doesn´t know how to read, so we´ll get the opportunity to read with her when we visit :)

We´re meeting so many wonderful people who just accept us right away even though we´re strangers from another country.  Such a loving and humble people!  

Something I learned this week was about agency.  It´s an incredible gift from our Heavenly Father that must be used carefully.  If we have thoughts or feelings that are negative, we must reject them immediately and not dwell upon them.  Dwelling and worrying allows Satan to have more power over you than He deserves.  Fortunately because of the Atonement of Jesus CHrist we can CHANGE!  We can have so much more power than Satan.  We can choose how to react.  We can think things through, we can read the scriptures and pray for revelation. I love this scripture in Mosias 4:9-10 
Acreditai em Deus; acreditai que ele existe e que criou todas as coisas, tanto no céu como na Terra; acreditai que ele tem toda a sabedoria e todo o poder, tanto no céu como na Terra; acreditai que o homem não compreende todas as coisas que o Senhor pode compreender.
  10 E novamente, acreditai que vos deveis arrepender de vossos pecados e abandoná-los e humilhar-vos diante de Deus; e pedir com sinceridade de coração que ele vos perdoe; e agora, se acreditais em todas estas coisas, procurai fazê-las
So yeah it´s in portuguese, but it´s amazing!  I know the church is true.  I know Christ is at it´s head.  It has all the pieces that the Bible talks about but no one seems to understand.  We have a prophet, we have apostles so the church will never be led astray.  That´s a guarantee!!!  What a wonder it is to be a part of such a wonderful work :) Sure love you all!

-- Love always and forever
Sister Harston
Sister Alcocer and I are both being transferred together!!! I definitely didn´t expect that.  Our new area is Planoalto, towards the interior part of our mission.  But sheesh I already have to say goodbye to people here!  THe hardest will be telling Elisangela, Robeirio, Gabriel, Auricelia, and Jefferson.  Good thing we have good notes and records of the work done here so the next missionaries will know where to start, but man it hurts my heart every time I have to leave an area.   

Katrina, Zumba´s going to be so fun!!!!  Yeah, work and school isn´t easy to combine, but hey can´t have one without the other. haha and YES exercise gives you more energy.  We run every morning here for 30 min and it helps! weird right? haha I´m not certain what time zone.  It might be 4 hours difference from California so 3 hours from you? maybe? Awesome conference party!

Mom, sad about the e-mail but I´m glad Grandma go it to you. You went to the temple, yay!!!!!!!  I think you´re an amazing teacher by the way mom. And I say that with all sincerity!  It´s a talent.  

Conference was amazing wasn´t it?!  THey set up a tv for the Americans to watch it in English :)  BUt I watched the 4th session in Portuguese so I could stay with our investigators.  That was perfect because that was the session in which Elder Calos Godoy spoke.  While you had subtitles, we just listened to him. So awesome that there were people speaking in so many different languages. Many people do not understand the nature of God.  He is unchanging!  If you want the priesthood to be given to women, take it up with Him! haha but it´s true.  God´s at the head of His church.  That is something I have a firm testimony of.  He´s directing the work.  He´s leading the prophet and apostles and leaders.  THey never make a decision without first praying, studying it out, and asking if it be right.  THey know how to follow the spirit better than we do! 

This week, we were really working with Fatima.  She is the most patient lady I know and very giving too.  She gave us this peanut dessert and it was DELICIOUS!  Haven´t had amendoim (peanuts) in a while. haha She´s preparing for baptism, which we won´t be able to attend, but I´m excited for her.  It will bless her and her family more that she knows.  She has a hard time understanding some things, but part of that is that I´m still learning how to explain them in Portuguese, haha  Love her!

Elisangela, Robeirio, Gabriel, and Auricelia went to the 4th session of conference with us.  Elder Bednar´s talk was so perfect!  It was so wonderful and exciting that they were there. Hope to talk to them soon about all their thoughts and feelings.

We´re walking lots and hugging lots of people and testifying with all our hearts.  The people have the choice to accept or reject that testimony which is hard sometimes, but I trust that the Lord will give them another chance.  THey need this gospel, and so do we.  I love the Lord, I love this work, I love my companion and am excited to work with her for another transfer.  

Wonderful sisters! from peru, argentina, brazil, texas, and north carolina

Be jealous, the avocados (abacate) is huge here!

​There´s lots of sun that´s for sure!
--   Love always and forever!
Sister Harston

Maracujá, bread made with cheese, mamau (papaya) and so many other new foods! Mmmmmm

​​Mission president and his wife, President and Sister Bonini
sorry can´t remember if I already sent this one or not

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Oi!!!  Brazil is a beautiful place!  I love the people here and am learning to understand them better....meaning Portuguese.  It´s fun because they just laugh with me when what I say makes no sense, or I make up a word. Sister Alcocer, the angel she is, helps a ton!  She now knows how to say Sidewalk, street, and cross the street. haha She´s actually pretty good at reading english, she just doesn´t know how to speak it.  And english is already weird for me to say, we were singing happy birthday in Portuguese, then Spanish, then english for Camila. haha so great

Glad the Lord sent rain to California!!! what a blessing!  Got your work cut out for you dad!!

Happy things are back to normal in the Harston household.  I´m sure the spirit did more in those people´s lives than you can see and it helped them then and will help them in the future.  Thank goodness for memories!  Sunday seems like an amazing experience!

Katrina that is so awesome!!!!!!!  You´ll have a blast!  Yes, the theory class is a new language.  Pray for the gift of tongues it works! haha  The fruit snacks were the best kind. Perfect!!

We have some wonderful members here.  Two families held Family Home evenings (noite familiares) for our investigators.  Spiritual thoughts, hymns, activities, treats. it was wonderful!!  They were fellowshipped in amazing ways.  Roberio and Elisangela have a baptismal date set for october 26th and their wedding will be before then sometime....EXCITING!!!  I love that familiy. Seriously.  We´ve been able to joke around a little more with them.  He always offers bread, and they like to give us food.  Remember learning about how the cashew is actually part of a fruit? yep, we had the fruit, it´s called Caju.  Makes your mouth feel dry even though it´s juicy. weird. haha  Camila´s baptism was pretty special and our investigator Fatima got to go :)  Paulo and his daughter Maria Clara were at sacrament meeting, so he got to be confirmed!  He was baptized 7 months ago but due to an accident had to go to the hospital for a month and the confirmation never happened.  Sisters tried to visit the family but they were never home.  We caught them on the street one day and have been visiting with them regularly ever since.  He was interviewed and confirmed and I´m positive his wife Leigiani and his daughter (who´s 8) will be baptized soon too.  

The Lord truly has blessed me with the gift of tongues to understand when it´s really important, and to struggle a little so I can grow.   He truly is the perfect teacher and I love Him with all my heart.  I know this gospel is true.  I know the power of the priesthood is only in Christ~s church and can bless so many lives if they open up to feeling the spirit.  It truly is a sweet experience to see people repent.  THey´re being healed and will be blessed so much.  It brings about a change of heart, a change of nature, to become more like our Savior.  It´s a marvelous gift.  

Camila, taught by Sister Alcocer Sister Lucas, and Sister Pinche

The view outside our apartment

Sister Alcocer, Sister Pinche, Camila´s husband, Camila, Camila´s friend, Bishop, Sister Lucas, ...

-- Love you all!!!!  Love always and forever!
Sister Harston
So I´m now in my new area Montese here in Brazil!!!!  My companion is Sister Alcocer the sweetest most loving person in this world who has been very patient with me learning the area, the people, and of course the language.  She´s from Argentina, so she had to learn Portuguese as well, but she doesn´t speak any english besides "pinky promise" which she surprised me with the other day. hahah  She is excellent at teaching lovingly but with boldness like, "We would love it if you came to church with us, will you?" mhmm "Promise?" Also everyone here speaks Portuguese with different accents or "sotaques". I´m not going to lie, it´s challenging!!!  We´re walking everywhere and the Lord has blessed me greatly with understanding.  The people here are very polite and loving.  Hugs and kisses all the time!  They all guess that I´m either from America or Germany. haha 

Mom, that´s so crazy that the fire got that large!  Dad stay safe please!!!  What a great opportunity to serve though.  Good thing you have 2 extra bedrooms, that´s not a coincidence :) What a blessing that food was donated as well.  Hope there´s room for it all!

Katrina you got in?!  That is the greatest news ever!!!! wow! Your very own personal trainer/coach person woowee!

So Brazil.  Where to start!? There´s no space in between houses, lots of colors, cool trees, pidgeons or Pombas as they are called in Portuguese, dogs, and a sweet sweet people! Every home is open to the outside air, there´s lots of fruit to eat, members feed us Almoço (lunch) and the ward is very welcoming, and we walk and talk, and clap (instead of knocking because everyone has a gate, some space, and then their door) We live with 2 other Sisters. Sister Lucas from South Carolina, and Sister Pinche from Peru.  Our mission president and his wife are President and Sister Bonini.  They are both wonderful and loving.  The rules here are a little different, but that´s because the culture´s different!  

Currently, we are teaching a family Elisangela and Roberio are living together and have an 8 year old son Gabriel.  They agreed to be married last night!!!  Whoohoo!  Ap´parently here they do a lot of weddings because no one gets married. haha  but yeah, they´ll be able to be baptized soon too, all three of them :) it´ll be a special and sweet and joyful experience.  We´re also teaching a family, Paulo and Leigiani are married with an 8 year old daughter Maria clara.  They agreed to be baptized too!  Miracles are happening and I´m so blessed to be a part of it.  

I want to share a scripture but I only have my Portuguese scriptures.  Alma 36:26.  Look it up :)  I know the Lord is my Savior.  I know others can know that the fulness of the Gospel is here if they will but knock seek and ask.  I know without a doubt that Christ is at the head of His church.  I know the Spirit is working daily.  I am greatly blessed

Outside our church building on Elvira Pinha street

Sister Alcocer!!!!

Our study area :)

-- Love always and forever!!!
Sister Harston

My district

Me, Sister Anderson, our teacher Irmão Magustero, Sister Hardester, Sister Taylor (who was in my singles ward when I lived at Regency!)

-- tried to send more but these computers are easily challenged. will try more next week
Sister Harston

Thursday, September 11, 2014

So yes, I am definitely in Brazil.  THe MTC is smaller here, but it's awesome because everyone speaks portuguese all the time.  Missionaries are here from the US, from Argentina, Chile, and other spanish speaking areas, and also Brazil, of course.  This week they let us leave for a couple hours and go out to proselyte next to this big cathedral theater place.  Seriously SO MANY PEOPLE!!!   In Kansas we talked with everyone we saw, but that is not possible in Brazil.  It was so crazy to compare because in one hour we handed out 4 book of mormons no problem.  Communication wasn't the smoothest, but the Lord helped and it was AMAZING!!! We only have 1 week left in the CTM (centro de treinamento missionario) The food is different but good. We always sit with the brazileiros and talk with them and ask what we're eating. haha we've had muscles, guava, papaya, rice and beans, and some other stuff that I don't know, i just eat. haha
I am SO glad the packages got to you mom!  Sister Seymour had to send them the day I left because all post offices were closed due to Labor day.  sheesh! haha We can't send pictures in the CTM here, but I'll try to send some when I get to Fortaleza.  most all the missionaries in my district served in other areas before getting their visas.  Also, I'm sorry but I have no idea what the address is here.  We'll be leavingtuesday next week.  That's a good suprise for that Elder, mom.  I know he will greatly appreciate it :)
Boa sorte com a escola!!!  Good luck with school Greg and KC!!!  I'll be praying for you, no worries. haha I feel like I'm in school again too. We have teachers that are our "investigators" whome we practice teaching, we pray in portuguese and sacrament meeting is in Portuguese too.   It's so awesome!!!  I can't help but think of Kansas sometimes, but part of my heart is still there.  
We went to the Sao Paulo temple today which was WONDERFUL!!!  Received much instruction there.  It felt really good and is the cleanest place here. haha  Sao Paulo is HUGE and the houses are interesting. Kind of thrown together and really tall apartment buildings, and all the shops are open to the outdoors.  Even our room windows don't have glass, just this metal shad thing with holes.  Kind of hard to describe. Our roommates sister Salgado and Sister Pereiro are both from Brazil and are so fun to talk to each evening.  Both are very sweet and very hard workers. 
We have less time here to e-mail, but I want you all to know that the Lord is here in Brazil and is hastening His work.  I know I need to be here.  There are people I need to help to open the door so the spirit can testify that the fullness is here!.  I'm excited to go out and work hard in the heat of Fortaleza (everyone makes sure I know that it will be very hot there and to wear sunscreen :)  I know the Savior lives and that WE NEED HIM EVERY HOUR, whether life is going well or not.  He loves us dearly and wants to help us as we are diligent, obedient, and are determined to serve Him with all our heart, might, mind, and strength.

Love always and forever
Sister Harston
so I get to send a special e-mail from Brazil.  I made it!  Flew from kansas to Georgia and met up with several missionaries there.  Some of them have been serving stateside for a while, and others are straight from home.  It was a long 9 hour overnight flight, and we were sad we couldn't really see anything because it was dark out
, but the mission picked us all up this morning, we got our money exchanged, and we're here now at the MTC! or i should say CTM.  It's pretty amazing here.  Everything is open to the fresh air outside which is really nice.  Also, everyone speaks Portuguese, even at the CTM so immersion starts now! It's awesome and my excitement is building.  I heard they'll even let us go out and talk with people tomorrow.  YAY!!!  Sister Anderson is here from my first MTC district and we're companions, fun!!!  Also a Sister Taylor is here and i knew her from my singles ward in Regency.  So many connections!  Anyways, just letting you all know I'm here safe and sound and ready to serve the Lord 
This week we had a couple visits from some people who are near and dear to my heart.  The Van Wagoner family came up from Holton area and we went to Jimmy Johns with Sister Hartung and her companions too.  It was so nice to catch up with them on life and provide support :) Obedience brings blessings!  Also got to see their newest little one, who wasn't born yet when I last saw them.  So cute :)  AND Pam Brunner from Emporia showed up to our ward's sacrament meeting on Sunday.  What a wonderful surprise!!!!  Got to give her a big old hug.  And if that wasn't enough she gave me a sweet card too.  Love her!!!

Sorry for the lack of time, but I got permission to e-mail today while all the others are e-mailing tomorrow since the libraries are closed, but I'll kind of be in the air without computer access :)  It's hard to say bye.  The Lord truly gave us a wonderful gift to be able to Love people.  His love has no end!! 

I haven't gotten your package Katrina!  So sorry!  I did get the Journal from you mom and dad.  Thank you I love it!  and yes, I'll be in the MTC in Sao Paulo for 2 weeks and then They'll fly me over to Fortaleza.  It's going to be fun!  Brother Day, who served his mission in Brazil, has been telling me a lot so I can mentally prepare :)  I'll need some pictures of the house changes to Mis pais! (parents) Heard you've been changing quite a lot.  Katrina, do you have good roommates?  I also really enjoyed those stories dad!  So amazing.  It warms my heart to hear the spirit working worldwide!!  Sounds like some good missionaries in your ward :)

I'm pretty much packed and ready to go!  Tomorrow we come to the church at 9:30am and President and Sister Bell will send me on my way. Whew!

Well, Katie Kitchen is on Date for baptism November 15th!  She and Brandon are both progressing.  THeir work keeps them from church sometimes, but its been wonderful to see the Gospel lift them and help them to find more joy and set goals together.  We met a mother and daughter named Kathy and Sierra.  Sister Seymour offered our service to help them carry in groceries and they accepted!  We got to teach them the Restoration and they came to the church building a couple days later for a tour and to watch a baptism.  So awesome!!!  

Sister Seymour knows everyone pretty well and her way around and I have full confidence that she will be able to help her new companion learn it quickly. 

I've been blessed to be a part of this great mission.  I've learned so much from the examples of other missionaries and the leaders here.  I know I needed to be in Kansas and that I now need to be in Brazil.  The Lord has a perfect plan and can shape us into something wonderful if we let Him take the reigns and do our best to know His will and to go and do it.  I love this work!  Miracles are happening in hearts everywhere :)

The Day family (ward mission leader)  BEFORE

AFTER (he's the one who taught me a lot about Brazil)

Steff and Hannah hecox,  I'm one of many sister missionaries who have worked with them :)

-- Love always and forever 
Sister Harston