Monday, November 10, 2014

Heavenly Father Has a Plan

Hello Everyone!!

I hope you all had a wonderful week!! My week was... interesting. I am pretty sure that almost all of you know this by now, but I am home! I know it seems pretty crazy and really fast and it has been such a roller coaster and even though I am home, I am writing this letter to help explain everything. 

Well first, I came home early from my mission because of my health. I have been having pain in my hips since January 2014, my first transfer in Maceio. I started having pain at the end of everyday, but it gradually turned into having pain all the time, everyday, which is what it is like now. I have pain in both of my hips when I am standing, sitting and walking, which makes walking miles everyday difficult :) I went to a bunch of doctors in Brasil during my mission, but none of them could tell me what was wrong, they would just give me medicines that didn't help and tell me to rest for a few days. I was just continuing on with my work and just living and dealing with the pain. 

Then a few weeks ago, my mission president called me into his office. I knew he wanted to talk about my pain because I knew he was worried- I just didn't realize how worried. He asked me how I was doing and then just basically told me that I needed to home- now. I cried SO much and my heart broke right there in his office. At the time, I wanted to stay on the mission until I could not walk anymore. I wanted to give my all until the very end because I felt like I could still do more, but now I see that I needed to come home. I need to take care of my health and the last thing I want is to have a worse problem in the future because I stayed and struggled through. My heart broke thinking about all of the people I was leaving, the members, the other missionaries, Brasil! I love Brasil! I never would have ever thought that I would come to love a people, a culture, a country as much as I love Brasil. I love the states because that is where my family is, that's where I was born, but I absolutely love Brasil and part of my heart is there- and always will be.  

The first few days were really hard, thinking about coming home early, having to talk with everyone, what it was going to be like, but somewhere along the line, I got peace. I started thinking about why I couldn't serve a year and a half, that's what I signed up for and told the Lord what I would do, but I thought about how He gave me a beautiful, wonderful year, a year that I will never forget and be forever grateful that I had. Heavenly Father knew that I wanted to serve a mission, be a missionary and so He gave me a year to do that. Everyday that I was there was a gift and a blessing. Of course I am so sad that I couldn't spend 18 months in Brasil, but I know that Heavenly Father has a plan and that for some reason, I need to be home and that just means that I did what I needed to in Brasil, I learned what I needed to and helped the people I needed to, so He called me home. I know there is a purpose for everything and that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. 

So what does that mean for me now? Well, I am here going to the doctor and I will start doing physical therapy and see what happens. My mission president said that I can go back and finish the last 6 months of my mission if I am pain free and everything, but there is no way of knowing that right now. So right now, I am home, resting and trying to keep busy. I am so grateful to be back and have the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family. I am freezing a little because Brasil is a little different than New York in the fall/winter, but I love this time so that's nice and I will get to see snow this year which I missed so much last year :) 

With all of this, I learned that Heavenly Father really knows each one of us personally. He has a plan for each of us. I know that everything happens for reason and that we have to take everyday as a gift. We shouldn't put things off and say 'Oh tomorrow I'll do that' or 'Next week I'll be different' because we have today Who knows what will happen next week, so we need to choose to change today. 

I loved serving a mission, I loved being a missionary and sharing this wonderful gospel with the world. I love Brasil and I miss speaking Portugues so much!! I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father who gave me the opportunity to serve a mission. This past year has been the best year of my whole life and if I had to choose to do it all again, even knowing that I would have all of this pain and have to come home early, I would do all again in a heart beat. I love my Heavenly Father and His Son. I know this church is true and that this life is not the end. My heart is so full of joy and gratitude to know all of these truths- we are so blessed!

I hope you all have a fabulous week!! This maybe the last letter that you get from me about my mission, but we will still keep in touch. I love you all so much!! Thank you for all the support, prayers and love. They were felt greatly. I love you!!

Com amor,
Sarah (Sister Chilson)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween, Miracles and 1 Ano

Bom Dia tudo mundo!!

Wow, this week went by so fast!! It was so crazy and we didn´t end up teaching a whole lot, but we had alot of fun and helped strengthen the ward :) 

First, our Halloween activity was a hit! Everyone loved it! People came in coustumes, loved the games, food. There was a cake walk, bobbin for apples, music, sugar cookies... all things American :) Everyone loved it though because they have never had an activity like this here. We are hoping that next year they will do it again and keep a tradition. I went as a cook because it was really easy and I already had everything :) People thought my apron was really cute though (thanks Joanna :)

I also celebrated the 1 year mark of my mission!! What?! My district leader right now was with me in the CTM (he is from Bolivia) and we had our District Meeting the same day we hit 1 year so we took pictures together. It might be hard to read, but the paper I am holding says ´Feliz 1 Ano´which means ´Happy 1 Year´and Elder Pepper is holding the paper with our names on it. I cannot believe that I have lived in Brasil for 1 year! Time goes by so fast and I remember counting down the days until I hit 4 monthes or 5 monthes and now, the days go by so fast! I love Brasil so much!! I love the people, the food, the culture... Brasil is such a beautiful, wonderful country and when I leave after I finished my mission, it will for sure not be the last time I am in Brasil :)

This week we also had a wonderful miracle happen. So we had a meeting at the stake center and we wanted to get a ride home with a member and not have to take a bus and we got a ride from a member who lives in the José Tenório ward, but lives close to us. So we were on the way home right, and we dropped of the first sisters at their house and something came up about food and he asked if we were hungry and without even waiting for an answer, he said of course and he pulled over the car to a little resturant. We thought he was kidding, but then he got out of the car and opened my car door and was dead serious! He then went and got the other sister and he bought ´dinner´for us! We were all amazed and super grateful and we thought that was it. We dropped the other sisters of again and then he was taking us home when he asked if we needed food for tomorrow and we said no, but he said that we probably needed food, so we went to the grocery store. We thought he was kidding again, but yet again he got out of the car and opened our car doors, so in we went to the grocery store and he said we could pick out anything we wanted. He was just walking down the alies like he owned the place and we were following behind him and he would ask us what we wanted. I picked out watermelon because I love watermelon now :) After he spent alot of money again, he finally took us home. We thanked him  10 million times, but he said that everything he has isn´t his, it´s Heavenly Father´s and by helping us, he is helping the kingdom here on earth. It was really sweet ofhim. So now we have almost 50 eggs in our apartment and a bunch of other food... It was so sweet of him to reach out of us and even more amazing because we have only talked to him a few times in our lives. Milagres são reais! 

Well, that´s about all for this week! I hope you all have a fabulous week!! I know that Hevenly Father knows and loves each one of us and He has a plan for each of us that we can become the best that we can be. I love this church, I love this gospel and I love Brasil :)

I love you and miss you all!!

Com amor,
Sister Chilson

Monday, October 27, 2014

Almoço and Halloween

Hello Everyone!

I cannot believe that we are nearing the end of October! Time goes by so fast! It is still as hot as ever here, but the sad part is it isn´t even summber yet! Oh, well, more time to work on my tan :)

This week we had almoço at a really nice place. There is on irmã who always takes the sisters to a place to eat and this week we went to a place with seafood with a riverside view. We ate shrimp, fish that I have never even heard of and of course rice (because this is Brasil:) My camera is not working today, so I will try to send pictures next week. We felt really special though :)

This week we are planning a Halloween activity for the ward. We have 3 American sisters and one Brazilian in the ward and we are always thinking of new ideas for activities and we thought doing a Halloween acticity would be fun because no one has ever heard of this here. We are hoping that it is a hit and that people enjoy it. 

Oh, how I love Brasil! The people are so giving and open here. The people are so open to hearing about the gospel here and we are teaching a bunch of people. I am learning so much from these people. I love Brasil! :)

I cannot believe that this week I will hit the 1 year mark of my mission. This has been the best year of my life and I am so grateful for all the experiences I have gained here. I love being a missionary and being able to teach people everyday about the plan of happiness that our Father in Heaven made for us. 

I know that Jesus Cristo is our Savior and that He lives. I know that Heavenly Father loves each on of us without measure. I know He wants what´s best for us and everything happens for a reason. I know that the power of the priesthood is real. I know that the Plan of Salvation is real and that families can be together forever. 

I hope you all have a fabulous week and a wonderful Halloween!! I love you and miss you!!

Com amor,
Sister Chilson

Monday, October 20, 2014


Hello Everyone!!
I hope you all had a great week and are enjoying the beautiful fall weather! This is my favorite time of year when all the leaves are changing colors, the smell of fall and wearing warmer clothes. What a beautiful time of year!
This week was not very eventful, the only real story I have to tell has to do with a little (but not really that little) bug called a coachroach (I have no idea if I spelled that right...). They are often in the streets here and they can show up in houses, but not usually apartment buildings. They just climb in through the windows and hang out in your house. We were at a members house on night and one showed up in thier house and they got the broom and took care of it and when we went on the talk about how we have never had on in our apartment. A few days later Sister Nielsen was taking a shower and I heard her gasp. Sometimes the hot water turns off and the water get´s cold real fast so I thought that was what happened and I went to flip the switch, but then I heard ´Sister` so I went to the bathroom and she showed me the coachroach in the shower. Yup, he was hanging out with out shampoo and condition, right in the shower. We just freaked out for a few minutes, but then remembering the wise words from a member I got the broom. Now, we have a thing that hangs on the shower wall that holds all of our shower things and he started climbing on the bar soap and that super gross so I knocked all the the things off with the broom. Then I knocked him off too and we just started at it. Then I got really brave and attacked it with the broom. Let me tell you, they are really hard to kill. I disabled him though (some of his legs fell off) and I swept him onto the dust pan and Sister Nielsen flug him out the window. I have no idea what our neighbors thoughts, but just think, two Americans girls trying to kill a coachroach with a broom at 10:00 at night... yeah, it was a good time :) I don´t think I will have any problem killing spiders when I get home after this :)
Nothing else really exciting happened this week, I had an interview with my mission president so we got to hang out in the mission office and Sister Gomes (the mission president´s wife) gave us a ride to almoço after in the really nice new car :) Perks of being a sister :) Yesterday at church I played the piano like always and I sight read the sacrament hymn when we were singing the sacament hymn because we don´t have it in English... Heavenly Father helped me and all was well. I am still glad that I haven´t lost all of my sightreading and piano skills :)
Well, life just keeping moving on here in Brasil! This transfer will be 7 weeks because my mission presidnet has his annual meeting in São Paulo and having transfers while you mission president is on the other side of the county doesn´t sound like a good idea :)
Well, that´s all for this week! I hope you all have a fabulous week! I know that Heavnely Father loves each on of us. I know He knows each on of us perfectly and He really does hear and answer every prayer. He wants us to be happy and He has a plan to help us get there, His plan just may not always be our plan, but if we follow Him, we will be truly happy every time.
I love you and miss you all so much!!
Com amor,
Sister Chilson

Monday, October 13, 2014

Rain, Energia and Chimarrão

Hello Everyone!
What a week it has been! I feel like this week went by so slowly, but here we are once again, Monday. This week there was aton of rain! It rain really hard for like 10 minutes, then there is sun and then the next day it is just raining all day... last week Sister Nielsen and I walked to our District Meeting at our church building and we got there soaking wet, like rain was dripping off our skirts... Yes, we had umbrellas, but there was wind and there isonly so much an umbrella can do. Anyway, we made it through and we are praying that the rain stops until next winter and we can have sun :)
Last night Sister Nielsen and I were sitting and talking and the light went out for just a second and we both gasped, but it came back on and we thought we were safe, until the lights went out again and didn´t come back on. What?! We talked a little in the dark and saw that it was at least everyone in our builiding and then I remembered that we have candles, so we lit two candles and walked around with them. But without energy, that means you don´t have lights, you can´t use the outlets, and such, but also that you don´t have hot water, so Sister Nielsen took a very cold shower (I showered before the power went out :) ). We had some fun and took pictures too, of course to remember the good times :) But it came back on later at like 11, so it was all good :)
Yesterday at almoço I tried this new thing called Chimarrão. I attached pictures, but it is basically like herbal tea, you just pour the herb stuff and VERY hot water and drink it out of what looks like a straw, but not because you have to try really hard to get it to come out. It is tradition in the south, but some people have it here and I loved it and now I want one :) It looks a little strange, but it is so good :)
Also this week I saw a woman that I taught when I was here in Antares the first time. I don´t know if you remember from when I was with Sister Martin, but it was her and her daughter and it was the first baptismal date that I marked. She was not baptized, but we taught her. What I left the first time, I always wondered what happened to her and this past week we were walking down the street, I saw her and she made a loook with her face that was like Ís it really her?!´ We talked and she was SO happy to see me. She caught me up on the past 7 months and told me that we made a difference in her life when we were here before and that she is so grateful to us. I was almost moved to tears to hear this- that we helped her and that she remembered me because looking back now, I have no idea how anyone understood what I was saying and would remember me, but she does! It is no nice to know that I leave an impression on people and that I can make a difference.
I know that this church is true and that the Atonement really does change lives. I know that Jesus Cristo is our Savior, that He lives and loves each on of us.
I hope you all have a great week! I love you and miss you!!
Com amor,
Sister Chilson

Monday, October 6, 2014

Cake and Conference

Hello Everyone!!

Wow, this week went by fast once again! Last Monday I made my birthday cake and me and Sister Nielsen enjoyed it greatly all week :) She had her birthday on September 24 and she turned 21 so we made it a cake for the two of us, I just turned 20 instead :)

I cannot believe that it is October and I hit the 11 month mark of my mission! The other months I was counting down the days, but this one just came and went without me having to count! We celebrated with tapicoa because we were hungry at night coming home from work. It was a little weird because it was the same place that I celebrated my 3 month mark of the mission just with Sister Martin. Man how time flies!

I LOVED General Conference of course and some of my favorite talks were Elder Richard G. Scott and President Henry B. Eyring. And of course, who could not love the story that Elder Bednar told about his sons :) It was also great to hear people speaking in thier own language too. A funny moment was when the elder started his talk in Portugês, but I didnt realize that it was Português until the second voice that translates didn´t come and then it hit me, ´He is speaking in Português!´It is so strange how our brains work. I can read something in English and switch to Português like it´s nothing. I don´t even think about Óh, I am, reading in English right now´or ´He is speaking in Português´. I just understand! How amazing is that! The gift of tounges is real :) I am SO grateful for the opportunity to learn Português and be able to understand people. I am so blessed!

Sister Nielsen and I watched ´The World Report´inbetween and it was like a 6 month update for us of what is happening in the world. Unless members tell us things, we literally know nothing. We realized that David Archeleta came home from his mission and that they have a ´Meet the Mormons`movie. What´s with that? 

One thing that I am so grateful for is I am able to be able to recongize more fully all of the work that people do to make this church going. I don´t know if that makes sense, but I recongize the sacrifices that people make to serve other people. Where ever you are, if you are a Stake President, Primary teacher, Relief Society President or nursery worker, I just want to say thank you for all the sacrifices you make to help everyone. It is the little things that may go unoticed by men, but make the difference and I know that Heavenly Father knows your doings and it grateful for your service. 

I know that this church is true! I know that Jesus Cristo is our Savior. I know that he is the head of this church and he speaks to us through his servants, our prophet, apostles and general authorities. I am so grateful to be apart of this great work!

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you and miss you!

Com amor,
Sister Chilson

Photos- my cake, tapioca with Sister Nielsen for my 11 meses, and me and sister Nielen with my cake. She is making a ´1´because she turned 21 and I am holding the ´0´because I turned 20 :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Antares, Aniversario, e Felicidade

Hello Everyone!!!

Wow, I think I am the happiest missionary in the world! I got transfered back to my first area and it is the best because I can talk with everyone now! They understand me and I understand them- beautiful :) They are all so happy to see me and hear how I am doing. I cannot believe that when I left here I had 3 months of my mission down and now I have 11 down! Time goes by so fast!! I love being here though and I feel like I am reliving a fantesy. It doesn´t get any better than this :) 

My new companion is Sister Nielsen. She is from Florida and is super sweet. We live just the two of us in an apartment (that is about and hour from teh church building... good times :) ) but it is so nice because it is just the two of us! She will finish her mission in January- just 3 months before me. I will try to send a picture of the two of us next week. 

I celebrated my bithday yesterday going to church- it was so amazing to relive things! I also have an unoficial calling of being the ward pianist :) 

I was also able to teach my recent convert, Alisson again. Man he has grown in just 7 months! I am so grateful to Heavenly Father that He gave me this opportunity to return to where I was ´born´:) I always said I would love to go back. I love this ward, these members and being back in Maceió, but man it is hotter here than in Sergipe! I am turning real dark again and we haven´t even hit real summer yet :)

I know that Heavenly Father knows each one of us individaully and he loves us with an infinite love. I know that this Church is true and that Christ is our Savior. 

I love serving a mission and being a representative of our beloved Savior. What an honor it is. 

Thank you to everyone who sent me things for my birthday and gave me well wishes. I love you all so much and I cannot believe that I am 20!! I am so old! Haha :)

I hope you all have a fabulous week!! I love you and miss you!!

Com amor,
Sister Chilson