Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Years

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  It seems very early to be saying that, when I left it felt like Christmas was so far away and now it has already passed. It was such a wonderful Christmas! We were so blessed to spend it with an amazing family from our ward.  They are from Uruguay and they all speak perfect English (but we still speak Portuguese haha). You guys got to meet them quickly on Skype but I wish you could really meet them, you would love their family.  They helped to make Christmas so special.  It was still strange to not be with you guys, especially when I saw you all on Skype. I know I am where I am supposed to be.  I feel so blessed for this opportunity to serve.  Everyday I learn new things and I learn to love those that I serve even more.   I know that this time is precious and that it will go by quick (it already has). In just one year I will be close to coming home.  I can’t believe that! I am trying to make the very most of my time here and serve with everything I have. Guess who came this week???  SISTER GRUNDVIG!!! She is the best!  I love her so much!  I feel like I already know her.  She is so sweet and fun. We went running together, New Year’s goal is to run every other day. I think we can do it!  We are also learning to cook togetherJ  Her mom is like you mom, she loves whole grain cooking and natural foods.  We are working on learning how to cook healthy things (lentils this week!!) and we will be going to the market for fruit more often.  And now it’s getting to be summer here so there are new types of fruit to try.  Isn’t that crazy to think of summer in January?? I still get confused by that.  Portuguese is actually going really well! I am surprised how fast it came. I think having a native companion has helped a lot.  The only English we speak is when she's practicing during language study. Her accent in English is so cute!  I am so grateful that I have her as a trainer. She has taught me so much she is really like my mom here. I can't believe I only have a few weeks left with her:( We have become so close these last few months together, I will miss her so much!  It's amazing how Heavenly Father puts people in our lives at just the right time to learn things we need to learn. She has been perfect for me at this time and I am really so grateful. I have such a good feeling about 2014! I know it's going to be a year full of miracles :)  As I have been thinking of New Year's resolutions and goals. I realized even more how precious our time is here on earth. It really is just a moment in eternity. I want to learn as much as I can in this life, Help those around me and come to know Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.  These are my goals this year. I know that when we pray, study and we continually seek to keep our covenants; the Lord blesses us with his spirit.  This guides us and gives us direction in our lives. I've seen here what a difference the gospel makes what changes it can bring. I know that each day we can improve, strengthen our testimony and become more like the Savior. I pray that you will all make 2014 a year of service, love and growth. Continue to look for opportunities to learn. Continue on His path, continue to put Him first in your life I love you so much!  I wish you a very happy New Year.

Muito amor from Brazil!!

Sister McKenzie

 Alma 26:3

Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 23 letter.

This week flew by! Every week here seems faster and faster, I can't believe I only have three weeks left of training ahh.   I am so grateful that I've had sister O as my trainer she has taught me so much. I feel really good about teaching, finding everyone's homes and the language all things I've been praying for since the  first week of my mission. I am so excited to keep learning and studying there are so many wonderful things to know!  I was talking with Sister O this  week about how perfect the missionary schedule is.   We wake up early exercise and study by the time we leave the house I always feel energized by what I studied and I'm excited to teach. I think we have the perfect balance of study and work. I hope I can keep the missionary schedule throughout the rest of my life. I love it so much!

Oh and my birthday was wonderful! I woke up to a beautifully decorated room and a banana cake with 20 candles :) Sister O. doesn't know about my habit of waking up super early on my birthday,  so she was a little tired the rest of the day but it was a great day nonetheless. We got to watch the Christmas devotional which was probably the best present of all. The messages were so beautiful I love the music. I'm glad they don't translate the choir it's good to hear a little English!  I actually don't miss English too much, Portuguese is my language now.

This week was a little different as far as teaching. Tuesday afternoon we left for Fierra to sleep there so we could get to Salvador in time for our meeting. I Love the sisters in Fierra, they are the best!  We woke up at 5am Wednesday morning to catch the bus to Salvador. The meeting was so wonderful!  We got to hear from Pres. and Sr. Hart during the first part and then we had a big lunch (of course) Then elder Leal of the Seventy spoke to us.   He talked to us about not just working hard but working intelligently. I feel grateful for sister O for teaching me so much about that. She is so good at planning the day and using our time wisely. Something else I really like that he said was how the mission isn’t just a time to develop Christ like attributes but also Christ like techniques. He made the point that without techniques the characteristics we develop like love, charity and patients will never reach the people. We need to work each day.  I'm not just studying the life of Christ but truly trying to live as he lived. This is but a short time I get to serve and I've already seen how quickly it goes. I never want to look back and say "what if". I will work my hardest here I will love these people and I will be obedient. This is the beginning of everything in my life, this is just the first chapter:)

Teaching this week was good! Even though it was a shorter week which made it a little harder,  we were able to meet with almost all of our investigators.  The family I told you about last week are doing so great we are just trying to help them get to church now.  I think they will come this Sunday the ward has been great and helping us find new families to teach and we have quite a few this week that will go meet.  I don't know if too many will be home because of Christmas but we shall try.  I'm excited to talk with you guys on Christmas I can't believe it's already that time Christmas Eve is going to be great having dinner at one of my favorite family's house they’re from Uruguay and they all speak perfect English.  Their kids all play the piano and sing so I'm sure it will be an evening filled with music. I'm not sure what all the plans are for Christmas day.  I think we will talk to our families then just visit families in the ward and I investigators it's strange not to be with you guys for Christmas but I'm happy to be here.  I only get this opportunity once in my life and the rest of my Christmas’s(after next year) Will be with you! I have a little family here with the ward and Sister O. and I know it's going to be a wonderful Christmas I love you all so much I will be thinking of you on this special week.  I am so grateful for all the Christmas’s we had together and I am grateful for all that you did to help me be here.  One day we will look back and say,” what happened to the time?” I've already felt that way here.  So let’s make the most of it!   Remember in whom we celebrate this week.  He is our Savior, our redeemer and our best friend.  He will walk with us each moment and we only need to take His hand. He was from the beginning, He who the Father trusted to save this world and he can save each of us. That perfect son born to set us free. Remember him. And when the presents are open and the lights come down you won't feel empty. The spirit of Christmas is not the decorations the parties or even the family gatherings it's a true spirit of Christ he has promised to never leave us. Continue to seek Him. I love you so much!

Love Always

Sister McKenzie

PS read the general conference talks! They are so amazing

Monday, December 16, 2013

Beach Time but Not for Us

What a wonderful week it has been. Sister O. and I are loving it here in San Antonio.  We are getting ready for Christmas.  I never thought I would have Christmas in summer, haha.  Everyone is leaving for the beach this week to celebrate.  It's a little harder to contact our investigators but street contacting is great because everyone is out shoppingJ We got our two new Sisters. One of the sisters is from Louisiana and served eight months in New York waiting for her visa and now she's here!!  It's fun to have new sisters in our apartment but we miss Sister M. and Sister Y. A lot of Missionaries went home this transfer and a big group came in but only two Americans and our district got both of them so now we only have two Brazilians and the rest Americans exactly opposite of how it was last transfer this week one of the members of the 70 is visiting our mission so we will go to Salvador to see him. I'm excited to see everyone especially Sister Sowers and my CTM District and Pres. and Sister. Hart I really can't believe it's almost Christmas it feels like I just got here. I love our area more and more every day is going to be hard to leave, our ward is seriously the best ever and the people we teach our amazing. The couple I talked about last week are doing so well. We talked about the Restoration and they had so many good questions. We are going there for lunch today and she's making sister O favorite type of food I'm excited to try it. We're hoping that they will come to our Christmas devotional on Friday at the chapel. We also met an awesome girl. She was sitting on a park bench And we came up to her to invite her to church and she asked us to sit down and talk with her. We ended up teaching her the first lesson and an invitation to read the book of Mormon. She was so excited when we gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. She promised to read. We are going to meet with her again at the park this week I am excited to teacher her again. We also had a great lesson with a girl we met at the bakery. She is so wonderful and has so many good questions. This week we will teach her the plan of salvation which is hard in Portuguese I will be practicing a lot with Sister O before!  She is so patient with me and I've learned so much with her. She really is like a sister to me. We laugh so much together and have fun while working. That's something that I've learned in the past few weeks, you have to find joy in every moment. We have so much to be happy about and our message is one of joy!  When we are happy, when we look for the good in all things,  we're able to help others find happiness too. After all, You can't share something you don't have:) I love it here! And I'm so happy! I feel blessed to have such a wonderful trainer, an awesome ward and most importantly amazing people to teach. I love them so much. Seeing how the gospel message changes their lives is so great. I know that I am exactly where I need to be at exactly the right time I miss you all, But Brazil has adopt me for a year and a half so don't worry. I'm safe and happy! Continue studying your Scriptures praying together and serving those around you I love you.

Love always,

Sister McKenzie

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's Going to be a HOT Christmas

I know I say this every week but I can't believe it's P-day already!! I only have six more weeks to train can you believe that? I don't ever want sister O to leave. She has been an angel in my life I have learned so much from her she's so diligent patient and powerful in lessons.  I can't wait for you all to meet her!

This week was so wonderful! All of our investigators are progressing so well it's amazing to See how the gospel can change their lives when they begin to gain a testimony. My favorite this week with the family we met on the street Thursday night. They are so amazing we started talking to them and I could just feel something different. it really felt like they had been prepared they asked us to come and visit them the next day.  We went to look for their apartment and could not find it to save our lives. We seriously walk up and down the street (which was pretty long) four times asking everyone but no one we talk to knew either.  We thought maybe they gave us the wrong address accidentally so we walked down another street that parallels the other one and we still couldn't find it. We were both so frustrated and as we were standing there trying to decide what to do. Sister O. Looked up and saw a sign with the name of the building!  It was right there all along. I was reminded of a talk from the last general conference that spoke about how we need to look up. Sometimes we are so focused on the road we are walking looking straight ahead or around us that we forget to look up heavenward.  The answers we are looking for is not always right in front of us and we need the fathers help we need to remember to look up.  When you feel like the answer isn't clear or that you Have tried everything but you're still Not having the success you want remember to look up. I know that the Lord has answers for us he is only waiting for us to look up to Him. (back to my story) It was late by the time we found their apartment so we tried the next day and they were home.  We talk to this cute little family about missionary work and what we do every day. We talked about our families our conversion stories and the book of Mormon. There was such an amazing spirit there really feels like they have been prepared. I don't know what will end up happening in my short time here but I know that someday they will join the church. 

Tomorrow's is transfers and both sister M and sister Y are leaving us. I can't believe we will have two new sisters here tomorrow. We will have to help them a lot because neither one will know the area. I'm so excited to meet them! I wonder if it will be two Brazilians again or if there will be an American. Ah, I am so curious to know! We will be spending Christmas with them and the New Year! I always forget it's almost Christmas it's SO HOT, ha ha. But I get excited when I remember! I love the family we are having Christmas with, they are the best ever! And Sister O and I are going to make cookies and brownies for our investigators and some other families in the ward. I am going to do the 12 days of Christmas for Sister O. I'm so excited she has little American presents all lined up and I'll start on the 13th.  St. Anthony DeJesus is completely Christmasized And I love it. It's the perfect place for my first Christmas on the mission. I will miss you guys but I know the time will fly and already is. I know this is where I need to be now.  I know that the Lord is with us always and He loves us so much. I am so grateful for the gift of time I have been given. This is my time to serve. I love these people so much. They have taught me many lessons in just a few short weeks and I know that I will learn much more in the coming weeks and months. I am so happy to be here!  I love you all! Don't forget to pray and study your scriptures Te amo!!!

Love Always, Sister McKenzie

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Can you believe it's P-day already! Time is truly flying I'm absolutely loving it in Santo Antonio I really couldn't have picked a better place to serve it's beginning to feel like home and the ward like family I wish you could meet everyone in our ward there all so awesome. I am so grateful for their love and support it makes such a big difference in the work.

This week started super strong with contacting and teaching. Then Thanksgiving came. And it rained and not just a little bit of rain it poured.   And Bahia that means everything closes no one is in the streets ( of course )and not too many people answer their door.   So Thursday and Friday was lots of walking in the rain haha. It was actually really great. I sang to my companion songs in English she really loves that and we got some good lesson practice in. It was funny on Thanksgiving I explained to my companion what we usually do to celebrate while we were walking and she said,"I bet you never thought you'd spend Thanksgiving like this" (In Portuguese of course). She's right I never would have thought I would be here just one year ago. So many things have changed but I really could not think of any place I would rather be.  Of course the language is challenging and I miss home and BYU sometimes.  but it is really a blessing to be here. When we got home on Thursday we made popcorn and watched some of the training videos. Then our other sisters came into the room and we went around in a circle and said things we were grateful for.  It was amazing to see how the spirit of Thanksgiving truly touched their hearts.  After that we called President and Sister Hart to wish them a happy Thanksgiving and they all said something they were grateful for to them in English.  I love when they speak English it's so sweet.

Saturday President Hart’s son and his family came to our Stake to perform a Christmas devotional. All of their kids play the violin and sing it was so beautiful. And it was wonderful to see Preident and Sister Hart they are the kindest people you could ever meet. They have such a love for the missionaries and work so hard to help us.  That night we slept at the Sisters apartment who Live next to the stake center because it was too late to take the bus home (it's three hours away by bus) one of the Sisters was in the same group that left with me from the CTM. It was so great to see her.  She's from Africa and she's so sweet and it was great because I could actually talk to her and it helped me recognize my improvement with the language which I needed this week. We left at 4 AM. the next morning so we wouldn't miss church at our ward. We were all so exhausted by the time church was over ha ha. But the Spirit gives you energy when you need it!  I'm learning so much here, of course language and culture but much more than that. truly feel like I'm coming to know Christ. He is with us every step of the way He truly knows all the trials that we face and He is willing to face them with us. I have felt His love here not just for me but for each person I meet He is the savior of the world and He is our brother we have His gospel message and we are joyous remember to choose happiness every day. Walk in His light and love EVERYONE you're in my thoughts and prayers, I love you.

Olhais para o futuro com os olhos da fé
~Alma 5:15

Love Always & Sempre,

Sister McKenzie

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wonderful Week Lots to Look Forward to

This week has been wonderful we had so many awesome lessons and I'm feeling better and better about the language. I think the less I stress about it the better it goes I just have to take it one day at a time and be patient. My companion is so diligent and she helps me a lot with all my studies. I've been teaching her some English too it's so funny because her voice totally changes when she speaks English. She says mine changes a lot too and that I sound a lot sweeter in Portuguese ha ha, so that's good. I've been able to talk with quite a few American sisters on the phone the past couple of days and they are so awesome I can't wait to meet them all in person.  I think I will see some this Saturday because Pres. Hart grandchildren are having a fireside, so that should be good.  For Christmas everyone gets together at president’s Hart's house.  I'm so excited for that I walked our whole Mission area including the other sister’s side on Saturday it really is HUGE!!!  I'm a little nervous about when sister O leaves me.  I hope I can find everything we’re working together on trying to remember where everyone lives without looking at the addresses and I know about half which is perfect because I'm about halfway through my training. Can you believe that.  It feels like I just got here I can't imagine leaving St. Antonio it makes me sad to think one day I will be transferred.  I love it more and more every day. Our ward is so awesome and the people are incredibly friendly it is really starting to feel like home.  I feel so grateful that I can serve here it is truly a special place and I'm so happy.  I will be here for Christmas It will be strange to have a hot Christmas but at least I will be with my little Brazilian family and sister O. will still be here I made a Christmas tree for our living room I will send you pictures next week when it's all done I know I'm exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what Heavenly Father wants me to do.  I love serving these people, through them I learned so much about the nature of Christ and my relationship with him has been strengthened continue  prayer, study and service and I know the Lord will bless you.  I love you all so much.

 Love always.

Sister McKenzie

Monday, November 18, 2013

Working on My Portuguese Personality

two month anniversary today! i cant believe how the time has flown! im getting more and more used to the culture here and am really loving it. im understanding almost everything, its just speaking now!! but the sisters we live with and my companion help so much. this week was wonderful! i got to meet sister B. and she is awesome! we get along so well! she was with us all day and i learned so much from her. she speaks sooo well. she said when she first got here it was difficult to have a personality in portuguese. ive definitely seen this in myself too. this week ive been praying to have more of a personality and its been working! ive laughed so much! we also had a zone meeting this week, it was great to see some americans and the training was awesome! oh and i got my christmas package! thank you thank you thank you! everyone loved the american candy and i was happy to get all my christmas decorations! the reading light and step counter were sister O. favorites haha. after the conference, we had the best lunch at a members house. i want that to be my next area but they said they dont have sisters because of safety :( the countryside here is so beautiful! today we are going on a hike somewhere by a waterfall i think (they said water but im not sure if they meant lake or waterfall haha). i absolutely love it here! the people are so kind and ive already learned so much. it is truly amazing to see the lords hand in this work. i know that he is ever with us when we put Him first. thank you for all of your love, i pray for you everyday! love you my sweet family!

sister mckenzie

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week Two Santo Antonio De Jesus

This week flewwwww by! I can´t believe it´s already p day! Now I understand when people say that the mission goes by quick. If every week goes by this fast, I will be back in no time! Sister Oliveira and I are loving it here in Saint Antonio. The people are all so kind and our ward is wonderful. I really could not ask for a better place to serve. It makes me sad to think that I will be transferred someday :(.Our area is so beautiful. The roads are all cobblestone and since its really hilly we you can see the whole city from some streets. We walk like crazy and I love it! Sister Oliveria and I practice Portuguese phrases and sing American music. She loves Coldplay and always asks me to sing their songs for her. I think she doesn´t realize I´m a terrible singer because it´s in English haha.I always forget that she doesn´t speak English because we talk so much and I always remember the conversation in English haha. She really does want to learn and shes getting some phrases down really well! her and sister morais (one of the other sisters that lives with us) love pretending like they speak English; they just say random scriptures theyve memorized or part of the missionary purpose then say ´`ya i think so too`` hahaha its so funny. 

I love the other sisters that live with us. Its fun to have four together, we laugh so much and they save us when we forget the keys haha. Sister Morais is seriously one of the funniest people I´ve ever met. We work on English together and she helps me with my Portuguese. Oh Portuguese! Why do you have so many verb conjegations?? Thats definitely the hardest thing for me so far. Besides that, the language is coming right along. Im understanding most everything that people say. Only a few older people have really thick accents but you can usually guess at what they are saying. Just have to keep speaking and studying and I know it will come! 

The food is wonderful! Its very simple and I´ve yet to encounter anything that I feel like I aboslutely cannot eat. There are tons of street vendors here and really good ice cream shops. I´ve heard that some of the other areas have strange food, but that Saint Antonio is a really good. I agree! Our zone is so awesome too; it´s us sisters, and two elders. We meet every week and our zone leader (who is American) always helps me with grammar which is so great. This Friday we are going to Salvador for a mission conference. I´m so excited!!! I will be able to see everyone from my CTM family!!!!!!!!!! ahh! And President and Sister Hart! They are the best! It´s going to be wonderful! Oh and tomorrow guess who´s coming to visit us?! Sister Benedict!!! I finally get to meet her in real life!!!!!!!!!

 Well, I hope everything is going so well at home. Continue to read your scriptures and pray together. There is comfort, strength and joy in doing so. The Lord is preparing things for you far greater than anything you can imagine. Trust Him. Follow His way. Remember Him in all that you do, and you will find happiness and peace. I love you all and miss you (but in a happy way:)) I pray for you everyday (in Portuguese). Talk to you soon!

Sister McKenzie

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sister McKenzie's First Area Santo Antonio De Jesus

hello todo mundo!!!!!! ah what a week it has been! well first and most exciting thing of the week, a baptism this week!!!! i he is so awesome! we taught him the last lesson on saturday night and the elders and the bishop came with us. he had a lot of questions about the bible and the book of mormon. the bishop´(who is sooo awesome) helped to answer a lot of his doubts. then he asked about the gift of tongues. our district leader (elder s, hes great) turned to me haha. i bore my testimony and im not sure what i said but the spirit was there. when i finished elder s. said, "and that is the gift of tongues". i was so happy! my companion told me after that i said everything correctly :) about the language, im understanding almost everything and the accent really isnt as strong as people said it was. its a lot harder to speak though. i told president i was understanding a lot and he was happy. he told me to know verb conjugations and then everything else would come naturally. so im working on that now with sister o. my beautiful, wonderful companion. oh i cant wait till you guys meet her! she is wonderful! she knows the city so well and we always have people to teach. she is so patient with me and we work together in teaching our investigators. she really wants to learn english so its perfect! we laugh so much. mostly about things i say hahah. like saturday when we were street contacting i told a man "ontem e domingo" sister o. was writing in her planner so she didnt hear me to correct me. i kept saying "ontem e domingo" and the man kept looking at me and not saying anything. then sister o. started laughing. ontem definitely means yesterday. i was saying yesterday was sunday..on saturday. hahahah oh gosh i have a lot to learn. but the people are so nice and dont laugh or anything. sister o. says its easier because i look american so people dont really expect me to speak portuguese, nessa would have a harder time haha, and you too mom. they always ask me to say something in english haha. and everyone here think im 14 hahah. oh and the food here is wonderful! we always eat lunch with members and it has all been so good! its usually meat, a vegetable, rice, pasta and juice. and the fruit is soooo good and so is the bread ahh. we walk a ton and saint antonio de jesus is super hilly. and it is hot! but not too bad really. im so glad i brought good shoes and lots of short sleave shirts, those two things have saved me. and hand santizer thats a life saver too. and my water bottle. those things and my scriptures and im ready for anything! oh and my dictionary, that is also veryyyyyyyy necessary. our ward is so wonderful and the chapel here is beautiful! we are working on reactivation with some of the members, but the ward is really strong. the bishop is seriously the best and his family is so cute. we love them! we are working with the members for references and we have more great people to teach this week! it has been a little bit of a culture shock. the people live much differently here. but i couldnt ask for a better place to serve. im so happy here! i forgot to tell you, we live with two other sisters. they are both brazilian, one was sister o's trainer and had been out for 8 months, they are both so sweet and so beautiful. we eat lunch with them everyday and its always fun to come home and tell each other funny stories that happened that day. i really feel at home here. im already sad for the day i have to leave, i know it will go by super fast. ok im going to try to send pictures now! muito amor from brazil!
sister mckenzie (maakenseee for brazilians)

Santo Antonio De Jesus

Sister McKenzie
The sisters that live together
Santo Antonio De Jesus

Santo Antonio De Jesus


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Made it to SALVADOR and is off to a Good Start

im here im here im here!!! and its better than anything i had imagined! we left at 4:30 this morning and the flight was problem free. the elders and sisters i traveled with are seriously the best ever. im at presidents house now listening them play the piano and sing its so wonderful. the president met us the airport with his sweet wife. they are so so so great! i love them so much already. oh my goodness salvador is beautifulllllllllllllll. words cannot describe it. its like hawaii. its so green and sunny! just how we like it! i really had no idea it was going to be this beautiful. i cant wait to send you pictures! its honestly one of the prettiest places ive ever seen. and i have a brazilian trainer!!! i dont know who yet but i looked at the board and it only has blank spaces next to brazilians! and a sister emailed me and said my trainer is wonderful!!!!!!!! im so excited! today we are resting here,  we can take a nap or read before lunch. then we have some training, meet our companion and head out! its so peaceful and wonderful here, i can think of no better way to start this journey! today has been perfect! the lord has been with me every step of the way and i couldnt be more joyous. what an amazing blessing it is to be here. i feel like im in a dream! ok i should go now! the monkeys say hi too! (theyre everywhereeee) love you all so much!


sister mckenzie

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Last Week at the CTM

hellooooo family!!! last week at the ctm! then its off to salvador! ah im excited! we got the brazilians going to our mission, well actually 2 are from africa and 2 are from brazil. they are all so nice. i know all the missionaries that are going to my same mission, and they are all so wonderful! and im feeling pretty good about portuguese too, well reading at least. and talking about the gospel. we had our last trc (where they film you teaching) and it was so powerful. my companion and i have grown so much together, it will be hard to leave my sweet sister sowers! weve had the best time here and made some amazing friends. its really so wonderful how close you get with everyone here. i guess because youre all kind of in the same boat, you just become a little family. the last day is going to be so hard but it will be happy too, we are all going to do the best thing we could be doing!
this week was really fun at the ctm. sunday is always so good, and this sunday was especially great. we had the president of the sao paulo west (i think) mission come talk, he shared some amazing stories and i learned so much. oh and i gave a talk! it was about the atonement which was wonderful practice. i was worried i would forget how to pronounce certain words, but its amazing when you just let the spirit guide how much easier it is to speak. its still not easy at all, but it is definitely easier. our district has a goal this week of 11 talks in 11 days (weve  done 5 so far) just about different gospel topics  for the field. i think its helped a lot and weve all realized how much weve learned here. i know when i get to the field it will be hard because the spoken language is so different but at least i can read my scriptures! the first time i read a chapter without having to look up any words was a happy day indeed! scriptures are so beautiful in portuguese, and ive come to love reading them whenever i have free time.
 i really cannot believe 6 weeks has already gone by, honestly the fastest 6 weeks of my life. ive made such good friends here, some that are coming with me to salvador, some that i will see at byu. its hardest to say goodbye to my brazilian and hispanic friends because i may not see them again. theres two hispanic districts i will especially miss. they are so much fun. when we went to the police station on friday (for our passport thing) they were singing american music the whole way and we were teaching them pronunciation (warm will forever sound like worm). they are just so happy and its quite impossible to be sad around them. ive heard the people in bahia are the same, just so open and loving. i meet them in a week!!!! ah! i feel so blessed to be serving them. i love them so much already. continue to pray and read your scriptures everyday. the very power of god is in them. i love you all! i miss you (but not in a sad way, promise) you are the best family anyone could ask for. youre sempre in my prayers. love you!
-sister mckenzie