Monday, December 28, 2015

Where am I? BRASIL

Hello all!

Today I´m going to try to write a more detailed email for ya´ll!  As I speak Portuguese every day, it´s becoming a little more difficult to properly write and speak in English so I´m sorry for any mistakes in this email. haha! 

As I said in my last email, Sister Gomes and I are serving in Vitória! It´s very inland and rural.  I´ve seen just about every breed of cat, dog, cow, horse, pig, goat, chicken, and roosters there are wandering the streets! So interesting!! But the people here- OH! They are excellent! They are so friendly and receptive to our gospel message, even if they´re Catholic or Baptist or what have you!  We have so far marked 4 baptisms: Lorenzo, Erotilde, Taciano (Baptist missionary), and Julio Cesar (haha). They are all super amazing and have lots of faith in Jesus Christ, we are just helping them build that faith through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

This past week we also had Christmas conference with all the missionaries in the Brasil Recife mission at this HUGE chapel in Recife.  We received a shirt with our mission theme on it: Nesta missão, nós não damos desculpes, nós planejamos e trabalhamos! (In this mission, we don´t give excuses, we plan and work!) It´s so true and it was a nice gift! 

The next day, we had training for new missionaries (me)! And for 20 #blessed minutes, all the Americans got to sit and talk about our feelings and questions in ENGLISH with President Bigelow.  Turns out we are all experiencing the same difficulties with the language and culture, but we aren´t giving up! 

The next day was CHRISTMAS! I got to see my family! Including my Grammie G. and cousin, Kyle! It was awesome to get to talk to them and SEE them! I shared my experiences and bore my testimony to them in Portuguese, it was really nice to hear their comforting words and encouragement! I was also able to sing with my sister over Skype.  Legal!! Later that night, Sister Gomes, Aguiar, Iglsias, and I ordered some pizza and had ourselves a little party to celebrate Christmas! My mom also sent me some candy canes in a package and I gave some to these sisters and they were so happy cause they had only seen these candies in movies! Haha! It was so fun to spend Christmas with them. 

Yesterday, we had a Christmas/New Years social with our branch at our church building.  We brought Julio Cesar with us. Two members of the branch presidency spoke and to my surprise I was singing a solo! Darn language barriers! Haha! But, Sister Gomes played piano and this lady in our ward and I sang "Away in a Manger."  She sang the first verse in Spanish, I sang the 2nd in English, and we both sang the 3rd in Portuguese! It was pretty neat! Afterwards, we ate cake and listened to Christmas hymns. :)

But, this was my week! I know this church is true.  I would not stay here in Brasil if it wasn´t because this is beyond difficult.  But, because I want others to be able to live with their families forever, I need to leave mine for a short 18 months so they can have the same opportunity.  I know this gospel is true and can testify that God lives because I live and love this gospel.  There is no grater work then bringing God´s children unto Salvation.  I hope you all had a merry Christmas, and during this Christmas and New Years Season I challenge all of you to actually reflect on your purpose here on earth.  Our purpose is to return to the presence of our loving Heavenly Father.  He knows you. He loves you.  HE loves you so much that he sent his ONLY begotten son to Atone for your sins.  Set some goals for the new year on how you can more fully become like Christ because that´s what I´m doing! 

I love you all and am so thankful for your prayers! 

Tcahu Tchau, 
Sister Garrick :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Hello all! 
 I have arrived in my mission! We are on Recife! I´m sorry- I'll have to write more next week I only have 10 minutes more! They close early here for some reason. BUT- I have a new companion named Sister Gomes! She is from São Paulo and is super cool! We can sort of communicate and we live with 2 other Brasilian sisters in Vitória! {Note from Jillie's mom... my best guess after searching a map is that she is in Vitoria de Santo Antao.} We are opening this area! We are the first sisters here and its super rural and cool! It's so difficult to understand people but i know the Lord will bless me! We taught the Restoration to two people last night. I was able to feel a part of God´s love for these people in my heart, and it was something I´ve never experienced before.  I was able to speak in somewhat understandable Portuguese and understand a lot in that moment. What a blessing! I know that The Gift of tongues is real! Two of our investigators already committed to baptism! WOW! What an amazing feeling that was!
Okay, this past Sunday we went to our branch. It needs a lot of work. There are about 30 members and since they had no 1st speaker during Sacrament, I had to speak and so did Sister Gomes.  it was hard, but the Spirit was there! Okay sorry I already have to go, I´ll write more next week!

Love you all,
Sister Garrick

Last day in the CTM

New Companions: Sister Gomes from Sao Paulo and Sister Garrick

Recife Brazil LDS Temple

Recife shoreline

 Sister missionaries in the Recife Mission

New missionaries reporting to the Brazil Recife Mission with President and Sister Bigelow


Tuesday, December 15, 2015


We made it to Recife! I am currently at The Bigelow's house using an ipad right now.  It was so cool to watch us land on the plane in Recife.  It's beautiful!!! Like the Bahamas or Castaway Cay! The beaches do have signs that say beware of shark attacks though.  Interesting..... but we can't swim anyways.  Well we passed by the temple on the way here.  It is big and gorgeous.  I took pics I will have to send you.  But the reason I say I'm home is because it just feels right here, but I still have an underlying layer of anxiety so please pray for me to not have anxiety and worry.  17 months just seems so long.  After we got off the plane, the Bigelows greeted us and they are the best replacement for parents I could ask for since you can't be here with me :(  But we paired up people and handed out pass along cards and got addresses of people in the airport.  I was with a Brasilian so it was easier but I still had to talk a little.  Well, I have to go but I meet my trainer soon and my mission will begin tonight! Tchau. Eu amp voces.  Send this to family. I can only pick one person so its you!
Love, Sister Garrick

Friday, December 11, 2015

Bom Dia Todo Mundo!!!!

THIS IS THE LAST WEEK AT THE CTM.  In 4 days I will be in Recife! Can you believe it?! I can´t! It´s been fun and comfortable here and the weather has been nice, but it´s time for hot and sticky weather and really fast Portuguese and what I´m sure will be some of the best times of my life! I can´t wait! Estou animada! :)  Thankfully, Sister Dunn, Sister DiSpirito, Elder Davis, AND Elder Talentino are all going to Recife together from our district! We just won´t be able to go with Elders Honstein, Worsham, Scroggins, and Shull cause they´ll be in Salvador. :(

This week was very awesome. We´ve been working really hard, teaching lessons, and speaking Portuguese.  We now have 2 baptismal dates for Izildinha and Ana Beatriz.  It was so exciting to hear that they wanted to be baptized... I can´t imagine how much joy I will feel when real investigators want to be baptized! YAY! 

Last Friday we had a cuz-cuz party with our district and Irmã Araujo! She made us cuz cuz just like the´ll apparently have  in Recife.  It´s basically crumbled up corn bread and she made eggs and sausage to go with it.... soooooo good and so easy and so cheap! Love! In return, we bought her Mountain Dew because on the real... she´s obsessed.  It´s so funny! And she made Sister DiSpirito and I drink some because we had never had any! Crazy stuff going down here in São Paulo.  Today is our last P-day here and we are going to have another cuz cuz party.  So excited! Sexta-Feira? More like Festa-Feira! Anyone who knows Portuguese will get that lame joke. ;) 

Last Sunday was fast Sunday and here we fast dinner Saturday night and breakfast Sunday morning.  It was easier that way I think... and we had testimony meeting in our zone Sacrament Meetings.  I got up to bear my testimony and then our whole district got up to say theirs também! I didn´t have to say my testimony in Portuguese I think because some people spoke in English, but I tried it and it wasn´t too bad! I think I got my point across... but probably with incorrectly conjugated verbs haha.

Also, each day someone in our district has to share a scripture about The Gift of Tongues and Elder Worsham, our District Leader, shared Alma 18:35... but my companion thought he said Alma 18:25!!!! Look those up if you want a good laugh.  I really hope that´s the right chapter... if not, my bad.

Anyways, I know this gospel is true and I can´t wait to spread the message of God´s love to the humble people of Recife! 

Sister Garrick :)

 Cuz Cuz 

 District 44A with the American and Brasilian flags!

Best District selfie thanks to Elder Honstein

 A parrot at the temple

The best district with one of our instructors, Irmã Araujo :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Oí, tudo bem!!

This week we did a lot in our classes and learned a TON, but there wasn´t too many exciting events this week. :( BUT, we did get asked to sing last Devotional! Sister Dunn, Sister DiSpirito, and I sang "Noite Feliz" in front of the entire CTM and leaders! It was so fun and the spirit was there and everyone loved it! It was so nice to be in my element again and be singing! It felt so good haha.

Can you believe it´s our 5th week here and we are almost about to start our 6th week!?!? That´s beyond crazy.  Being in the field is a scary thought, but I am so excited for it as well! 

This week we also started Christmas time in the CTM! We sing Christmas hymns at the devotionals, in class, and last Friday night the CTM turned on the Christmas lights!! We had a special devotional with the CTM President and his wife about the true meaning of Christmas and we all sang Christmas carols! Then, we all went outside to the courtyard and they turned on SO MANY LIGHTS! We all counted down from 10 (in Portuguese of course) and it was so magical! The employees here even decorated the kitchen area and we ate popsicles and ice cream and took lots of pictures! Favorite night here so far.  The CTM is great, the mission is great, and my district is great! Wouldn´t want to be anywhere else.:)  HE is the gift!  

Sister Garrick :)

All the missionaries in the CTM going to Recife! Except a lot more Brazilians going to Recife came in this week! 

 Sister Dunn, Sister DiSpirito, and I in our futebol jerseys! 

 Our District 44A with the Christmas tree 

Our District with all the Christmas Lights ft. Sister Burbank and Irmã Araujo

Companions and I at the São Paulo temple this morning