Thursday, February 27, 2014

Letter #25: Been out for 6 Months!

so update on my dear sweet companions face... its partially paralyzed on the right side. she got a virus that hit a nerve in her face. so she's been on some serious medicatin all week. she's improving though and starting to get some motion back. it never stopped moving completely, but it was still pretty bad. we caught it in time though and so it wasnt anything too serious. and we're lucky enough to have a senior missioary in our branch who is a doctor and keeping an eye on her! i've been in charge of watching her 24/7 though to see if its getting better or worse so that i can report back to the mission doctor.

so for the first couple of days when she was on the most medication sister carone couldnt really go out. she was physically fine... just kinda loopy and not in the right frame of mind to teach. and sister harris was sick with the cold so sister cope and i got to go conquer brockton together! it was super fun and we were all over the place trying to see the people that both of us needed to see. i took her to meet Lena, who is now our new investigator! she's a referral from alice, a woman in the branch. and she's super sweet and in her 60s and showed us all of the pictures of her grandkids. but the best thing about lena is that she is in the catering business and therefore LOVES to feed us with lots of good food!

this week we spent a bit of time in the car shop. there are these devilish things called potholes all over this town. and sister harris hit one hard this week and dented our tire rim. haha so we had to take care of getting that fixed. our poor car. its pretty ancient and we're always having problems with it. that one was our fault though...

saturday was the best day ever!! literally not a single thing that we had planned fell through. and that NEVER happens!! it was wondeful! we spent the whole day visiting all of our investigators and they were all home! Za had gone missing for the whole week and her phone wasnt working. and we cant just knock on her door because she lives on the third story and her doorbell is broken. so we decided to go anyways and just bang on the door until somebody/anybody opened it. and she happened to be looking out her window and just the perfect moment and saw us pull up!!! turns out that she had gotten a leak in her cieling and the water spilled straight onto her phone and so its not working. but now we're back in contact with her and she came to church with her two adorable little girls. that was just one of the miracles that happened that day!

today district soccer was a bit of a disaster... im blaming it on the fact that it was the first time the brazilians came to play. elder carvalho and elder vargas. everyone got hurt! elder lopes sprained his ankle and elder starley got slammed in teh face and his glasses snapped in half. so that was unfortunate.

well thats about it for this week! i love you all!!

com amor,

sister tantillo!1085&authkey=!AKmXN-vr8ioKspM&ithint=folder%2c.JPG 

Letter #24: Short Email this week

this email might be a little shorter than the norm because its only been a few days since I emailed last. but the first thing im going to talk about is directed to my dearest father. the rest of you can listen in though. dear dad, I forgive you for not taking me to florida yet to see harry potter world. because this week I got a letter from Maddie eagar informing me that they are EXPANDING and its going to be BIGGER AND BETTER!!! and so this makes it okay that we have not gone yet because by the time I get back it will be ready for us and we can go tot the new and improved version of harry potter world!! which we would have missed if we had gone previously. so save your pennies popsicle its a date :)

okay back to Brockton. this week we got hit by Quitus. they decided to name the strom this time. don't know why its called Quitus but why not I guess. our power didn't go out even though I was praying that it would because I love power outages. everyone else was relieved about that though. it hit on Saturday but all was good again by morning and church didn't get cancelled thankfully.

so sister carone is having some medical issues. yesterday we noticed that the right side of her face was drooping a little bit and not really working very well. this morning it got worse so we called the doctor and he's put her on steroids. when she raises her eyebrows only one goes up and when she smiles its this adorable little half smile cause one side doesn't move. the doctor is coming today to look at her though and find out what else we can do. slash what caused it cause we have no idea. so ill let you know what happens with that.

elder Maldonado and Christensen left this week which was pretty sad. but we got in a shipment of our new elders! elder vargus and carvalho (new district leader). theyre both from brasil!! theyre super good missionaries and we're excited to have them here.

have I told you about cape Verdean head wraps yet? basically its a scarf wrapped around your head a few times and tied in a knot at the top. and sister harris and cope sleep with them on their heads every night because this cape Verdean lady told them that it relieves stress and makes for a better night sleep. they look ridiculous but everyone here wears them when its cold outside cause it helps with that too I guess.

also have I told you about GuGu? we went to visit him this week! he was the first person baptized in cape verde and now he lives here and is less active but doesn't think that he is so we have to remind him that not coming to church means being less active. he's been coming recently though which is good!

lets see what else... Za is doing well but hasn't been able to come to church recently cause she keeps getting sick. we've been seeing aurizandra and her son daenielson a lot recently and he's still my favorite. we're not supposed to have favorite investigators but sorry its him. he reminids me a lot of Michael so I think that's why. he's a stud.

that's it for this week! spiritual thought of the week provided by sister carone: "the Lord always provides the way." I love you all :)

sister tantillo

Letter #23: Big Week Here!

hello everyone!!! its been anther big and wonderful week here! okay starting from where i left off..

tuesday we had interviews with President Packard so we were at the church pretty much all day for that. the assistants gave us a training while he took turns interviewing each of us. President is absolutely amazing. We just talked for a little bit and he made sure i was doing okay and then he read my the most perfect scripture, prayed for me, told me to keep up the good work, and sent me on my way! so yep that was super good. oh also!! HE QUOTED HARRY POTTER. bahahahah best mission president ever. he ended the interview asking "is there something... you wish to tell me?" made my life. 

tuesday night we went to our investigator Aurizandra's house because we've been wanting to teach her 11 year old son. his name is Daenilson and he's been coming to church and loving it. and so we gave him a lesson and at the end asked him if he wanted to be baptized on March 8th and he said yes!! he is so adorable and i have so much love for him. His mom has a super strong testimony and wants to get baptized too but has complications with the man she is dating. every cape verdean lady has man problems actually. she's living with this man that she's been with for a while and they would get married and that would solve that problem except for he just  married his cousin to get her citizenship... and so they have to be married for three years for that. which delays the whole baptism thing a bit. super complicated but we're hoping she decidces to move out soon. BUT DANILSON IS AWESOME. 

wednesday was a red dot day because new england is constantly being attacked by snow.

thursday our car died. twice. so that slowed down the day a bit cause we had to get it fixed. we had a good lesson with our investigator Jr. though. he's 14 and the one that we share with the elders. lessons with him are fun cause we bring other kids his age and have really cool discussions about the scriptures. 

friday. today our new senior couple came!! the Millers! they're from Idaho and were in a spanish ward there. so now they get to make the switch over to portuguese! theyre adorable. Elder Miller is a doctor and served his mission in Brazil. so the Portuguese will come back to him quick! and sister Miller is the most fragile and sweet woman. we also saw Toni/ Toi/ Antonio that day (we call him all of those sorry its confusing) since it was the day before his baptism! taught him about the priesthood and service. 

SATURDAY aka TONI's BAPTISM DAY. sister carone and i spent the day at the church filling the font and setting up and doing the program. i was so nervous! i wanted everything to be just perfect for him! haha it took us THREE TRIES to fill the font. the first time we almost flooded the church. and the water was cold. the second time the water was freezing. and the third time we finally humbled ourselves and asked the elders how to do it right. everthing went smooth after that though. people came and he was happy and his wife was SO HAPPY and his two little boys were excited to be there. Pedrito (our branch mission leader) baptized him and then Tomas spoke and welcomed him to the branch. President K spoke too. it was all super good. i played the piano for the muscial number too. Toni asked me like five times if i would haha so i did. 

also saturday night... TRANSFER TEXT. so here it is. IM STAYING WITH SISTER CARONE! whoop whoop!! super relieved about that one. the other sisters are staying too! we all thought sister harris would leave but nope! we get her still! the elders are having a change up though. elder maldonado (our district leader) is being transferred out and will be a zone leader in a different area. he's been here for a while and is super bummed to leave. also elder christensen is leaving and will be working in the digital mission which is perfect for him because now being sick wont stop him from being able to do missionary work as much. so we're excited for him. we'll get two new elders to replace them this week so ill tell youabout that next time! GUESS WHAT?? MY (mission) MOM AND DAD ARE GETTING BACK TOGETHER!! thats right. sister hileman and sister brown reunited. i was super excited to hear about that cause theyre going to be incredible together again. 

sunday Toni was confirmed and i got to sit with his family through sacrament meeting cause sister carone was giving a talk and had to sit on the stand. his boys are the most well behaved kids in the branch haha. 

not a whole ton has happened since then so far. but i talked to sister hileman on the phone and she said that cindy has been going to church every week since i left! i dont know if you remember her. my sweet little less active (not anymore) cindy that always called me miley cyrus. AND even more good news! her boyfriend got baptized this past sunday! so im really happy for her. speaking of the miley thing. one of the young woman here calls me vampire. which is not an improved nickname from miley. sorry im like really really white. 

oh i almost forgot about one more thing! yesterday we went to  Alice's house to meet her friend Lena and she wants to come to church and learn more about the gospel! so shes our new investigator! Za is doing really well. we saw her yesterday too and talked about the atonement. she has a lot of faith but is trying to get through her own man problems too. 

anyways i think thats it for this week.. all that i can remember at least. i love you all!! and happy valentines day! 

com amor,

sister tantillo

Letter #22: Wonderful Things to Talk About

there are too many wonderful things to talk about this week that I don't even know where to start!!! THIS WAS THE BEST WEEK EVER.

okay I decided to start with Toi. His name is actually Antonio lopes but we call him Toi because that's easier. HIS BAPTISM IS THIS SATURDAY!!!! and he had his interview yesterday with elder maldenado and he passed. so he's all set to be baptized! we spent the week finishing teaching him the things that he needs before baptism and then went over the interview questions with him several times. he has memory loss because of an accident he was in so its hard for him to remember a lot of things. like we re-teach him how to pray everytime we go. he knows he just needs to be reminded. i think ive told you all of this but im telling you again! his wife is a member and then have a son and now they are going to be a happy family all going to church every sunday together and i am SO HAPPY FOR THEM.

OKAY TIME TO TALK ABOUT ZA. i should've started with her cause literally we had the most amazing experience with her! so she's been an eternagator aka investigating the church for eternity and like every missionary that has come through has taught her and gets nowhere. and so this week we went to her house and brought Daniella who is one of our more stellar members and we sat down and said alright Za here's the deal. We're gonna pray and we're not leaving until you get your answer. cause this gospel is either true or its not. like there's really no other answer. its either yes or no. so i started it off with a prayer and then s. carone prayed and then daniella and then it was za's turn. and so we all prayed that she would receive her answer and then she prayed and asked. and then we sat there for two hours and it was the most physically/emotionally/spiritually draining thing of life but it was SO WORTH IT BECAUSE SHE GOT HER ANSWER. we set her baptism date for march!!!!! oh my goodness sister carone and i were like bouncing off the walls excited when we left that appointment it was INCREDIBLE.

side story: daniella drove us home after and we were parked in front just talking and some guy pulled in and rear ended us and started screaming and swearing you don't know how to drive! and we were like uhhh literally we were at a dead stop you were the one that hit us. but we were super Christ like about it and apologized and it didn't even matter cause NOTHING COULD BRING DOWN MY SPIRITS AFTER ZA

okay other awesome moment of the week. so we have this investigator DJena who was supposed to be baptized the same day as toi but then she dropped off of planet earth and we didn't hear from her for 2 weeks and it was breaking my heart. but this week we FINALLY GOT A HOLD OF HER. and i collapsed in joy! she's been crazy busy at work and her schedule is nuts. but still its like don't do that to me djena! so we decided to push back her baptism to the end of February so that we have more time to get her prepared.

lets see what else.. we have the haitianaries in our district now! (Haitian missionaries). its just one set of elders but they're awesome and teaching us the Haitian ways. we played soccer at the chapel this morning for district workout. also we wen to dinner at ihop all together a couple nights ago to celebrate e. starley, e. maldenado, and s. harris only having six months left of their missions! oh also that day s. cope locked us out of our apartment and the lady bridget that works downstairs isn't there on the weekends and so we were totally locked out. but then e. Christensen did some magic thing with a bobby pin and got us in.

anyways. sunday was good this week! because it was Sister Carone's 21st birthday!! it kills me not being able to surprise my companions with anything on their birthdays but its also pretty darn impossible seeing as how im with them always. but i kept her busy going to visit people for a couple hours while the other sisters made her her favorite dinner. so i took credit for that too :)

sister hileman sent this to me this week: "Be still, there is a healer. His love is deeper than the sea. His mercy is unfailing. His arms are a fortress for the weak. Let faith arise! I lift my hands to believe again. You are my refuge, you are my strength! As I pour out my heart these things I remember. You are faithful, God forever... Be still, there is a river that flows from Calvary's tree. A fountain for the thirsty. Your grace that washes over me. Let faith arise!"

Every day I am reminded of the unfailing mercy of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Every moment that I feel weak or incapable I know that I can lean on Him and find strength.  "Let faith arise!"

I love you all. 
com amor,

sister tantillo

Letter #21: Wonderful Package

I GOT THE MOST WONDERFUL PACKAGE FROM MY MOST WONDERFUL FAMILY IN THE MAIL THIS WEEK THANK YOU. seriously that was as good as christmas. THANK YOU! i LOVED the pictures of dad they are hilarious and awesome. i put a different one in each of my sets of scriptures so that i can look at them often. 

This week we did a ton of service which was aweseome! we have our usually weekly service for a couple hours every tuesday at the food shelter. i really like working there and most of the time i sneak them extra food because the lady that runs the place there is super strict about it and it breaks my heart so i give them an extra can of carrots sometimes. also this week we spent a lot of time helping one of our members AnaPaula with her BYU-I online homework. english is her second language so we help explain to her what its asking and teach her the math problems and what not. its fun! and she always insists on sending us home with food of course. we also helped a member do her taxes and another member fill out a form for her son's school. just stuff like that that the members need help understanding the english for. and we're here to help! oh and we also helped one of our investigators Aurizandra move apartments. funny story about that. we've been trying to help her decide to not live with her boyfriend anymore who is also the father of her son. but she hasnt been able to make the decision yet. and so by helping her move apartments i mean we helped her more in with her boyfriend which we've been trying to teach her not to do so that she can be baptized. which she wants so thats really the only thing holding her up. it was just kinda ironic that of all people the missionaries helped her move in. but she asked for help so what are ya gunna do.

also this week like every single appointment that we planned got cancelled. but things get cancelled and then miracles happen! we met with our investigator Toni a lot this week and his baptism day is coming up quick! we have a lot to teach him before then but he's ready and we're SO EXCITED FOR HIM. His wife got back from cape verde so she's been able to be at the lessons now which is perfect cause she's a member. last time we went we read through the baptism questions with him. he's super solid and the only question he had at the end is "will the water be cold?" we've also been spending a lot of time with Danessa. the girl that we randomly found last week that hasnt been coming to church but got baptized a couple years ago. we worked on memorizing the articles of faith with her for primary and taught her the plan of salvation. shes super funny and has SO MANY QUESTIONS. seriously it takes like an hour to get through one thing. but we love her so thats okay. 

people here are starting to get excited about the world cup!! its like the main topic of every single dinner conversation now haha. oh also this week we DID have a lot of snow. we got red dotted again on tuesday night i think it was? cant remember. but yah thats life here in new england. but you dont have to worry about being safe on the roads. they keep us off of them if they get bad and the city is really good about clearing them quickly. 

sister carone and i are doing awesome too. she's so funny i should start writing down all the random things she says. also she's addicted to chocolate. like sincerely addicted she pours hershey chocolate syrup into her mouth to get her fix.

so yah thats life this week. thank you so much for all of your thoughts and prayers. i appreciate it!

love you all,

sister tantillo

Letter #20: Quick update

okay so quick update on the visa stuff... i got all the the paperwork done and sent off! it was super stressful and im praying that i didnt mess anything up. but i got it sent out express mail and ill keep track of the tracking status. sister carone was amazingly patient with me getting all of that done. we had to run all over the place getting fingerprinted and whatnot. also i did like every single stinking thing it told me to do to try to help my fingerprints be valid, including sleeping with Vaseline and socks on my hands. so its like... this better work. :) 

tuesday was sister lima's last day here and we had sister gomez here with us for the day too because her companion had already gone home. she was the one that got sick that i told you about last week. so yah i got to be sister gomez's companion for a day! she's our sister training leader and i love her. she served in brockton for a long time before she was over in cambridge area with me. and so we spent the day together and she showed me how to conquer brockton on foot. it was raining pretty hard but that didnt stop us. she had us running from  house to house. its awesome here cause some of the three stories have members or investigators that live on every floor. so you can visit three families and stay in the same building! funniest part of that day was we were looking for one of our  members, bezinha, because s gomez wanted to say hi to her. and so we showed up at her house and she wasnt there. but then we spotted her like five blocks away walking down the street with the elders cause they were taking her to an appointment. so s gomez takes off running and its still pouring rain and i have no choice but to follow. she's crazy. that night we drove to the mission home to make the companion switches. the mission presidency was having a meeting so we got to see all of them which is always awesome. and sister packard took care of us and fed us cake until it was time to go back to our apartments for the night. 

we've been surviving without sister lima since then! its weird being in a normal companionship for the first time!! but i like it. it always felt a little awkward having three sisters come into a home. especially since a lot of the people we visit dont have much space. and sister carone is absolutely amazing. sometimes our conversations are super funny regardless of what language we're trying to talk in because english is her second language. so theres a lot of "uhhh what did you just say??" that happens. haha but i love it and we're patient with each other. she's helping me A LOT to learn portuguese. but its kinda slow going. im struggling with it a lot more than i did with the spanish. i think God helped me out a lot on that one because i was there for so short. and now its like alright time to be humbled and struggle through it for a bit. haha but it'll come. and it does when it needs to. sister carone is so patient though. she sits and helps me through language study since she doesnt have to do it because she already knows the language. haha so she helps me! and sometimes i make her just say sentences and i mimic her because my dream is to have her exact accent because it is perfect and adorable. 

okay now i want to tell you about all the investigators we're working with here! cause theres like a million of them this place is crazy. we have two baptism dates set for feb 8. the first one is with this man toni. teaching him is my favorite this ever. he has a really short memory because he was in an accident when he was younger. so everytime we go we give him an overview of everything that we have so far taught and then try to add to it. he has a four year old son named Kevin. our other investigator getting baptised that day is Djena. she speaks creole and so when we're teaching her sometimes she'll respond in creole but we have to remind her that we dont understand that language and to please speak portuguese :) haha but she's awesome and has a lot of friends and people that love her in the branch. 

Fatiana is 16 and had a baptism date for february too but it just got pushed back to july becaus she wants to wait for her mom to be here for it. she's in cape verde right now. also her dad hasnt been letting her come to church the last few sundays because he's super against it. so we need to work on that. its so sad because she wants to come soooo badly but theres not much she can do without his support. 

Jr. is 14 and has a date for march 8. we co-teach him with the elders (elder starley and elder maldenado). he's a funny kid. he kinda seems bored when we're teaching him but then all of a sudden he'll ask these super awesome deep questions and we're just like alright youre awesome. its perfect teaching him with the elders cause then he gets two visits a week and we both help him with different things. we had a really good lesson with him this past week about recieving revelation through chruch attendance and the scriptures. we explained how we pray to talk to God, and then we do those things like go to church and read the scriptures for God to talk back to us. He really liked having it explained like that but told us that he's never had that experience of recieving his own personal revelation. and so we challenged him to pray to God and ask Him one question. and then to keep praying and thinking about that questions while doing all of those things that he's suppsoed to and we promised him that he would get his answer. and so we're excited for him to go through those steps of asking God a question and recieving and answer. because we know that he will! 

okay miracle of the week!! so we were at knocking on this door trying to talk to one of our members who ended up not being home. so we turned to leave and were walking down the stairs but when we passed by the second story door we heard a bunch of yelling coming from inside. so i got out a pass along card to stick in the door frame so that when they stopped yelling at eachother they could call us :) but when we went up to the door we heard footsteps and the people inside opened it! come to find out that we have two members living there that havent been to church in forever! one of them is a little 12 year old girl that we've already been back to teach. AND she came to church on sunday for the first time in forever :) also her mom and aunt that live there told us that they love our church and want to take the lessons and be baptized and we were like OKAY DEAL. haha so yah that was an awesome experience this week to find them! 

quote of the week... "someone is throwing snowballs from the sky" - sister harris 

oh and yah mom we still have our beds set up like that in the living room.. MEGABED :) ill try to take a picture of it this week to send home. 

yesterday we had a district fast for elder christenson. he's elder lopes' (also brazilian.. they're everywhere here) companion who got transferred here from cambridge with me. elder christenson served in brazil but got sent home sick because he got a parasite. he got better enough to be sent out again and reassigned here to boston. but now he's getting worse again and hasnt been able to go out to do missionary work all week. so we all fasted for him that he'll be healed because its looking like he might have to go home again and not be able to finish his mission. it makes me so sad.

thats about it for updates from this week. i love you all!! 


sister tantillo

Letter #19: Crazy Week of LIfe

I don't even know where to start this has been the most CRAZY week of life. so ill start off with the biggest news of the week.... sister lima aka mama lima is being emergency transferred tomorrow. I only got her for one week!! :( another sister in the mission is going home sick and so s. lima is being emergency transferred to fill her spot. its super short notice cause we only found out last night and so we'll be running crazy all over the place today trying to get her ready to go. she's been here for over 7 months so shes sad to leave and has a lot of people to say goodbye to.

side story. we were  on our way to start saying bye to people last night and we ran over a huge nail and ended up spending the night on the side of the road changing our tire. one of our investigators, niel, came and helped us though. thank goodness.

 so now it'll be just me and sister carone!! and the other Portuguese sisters we live with too. s. harriss and s. cope. but we're all a little nervous about it cause s lima was sincerely the backbone to this branch. like she did everything. and none of us know how to do it! so we've got a lot to figure out and its going to make for an interesting transfer. haha but we talked to President on the phone and he feels like the missionaries here right now are perfect for the area. so we're going to try to prove him right :)

okay other news... Brockton is awesome. everyone calls it little cape verde. seriously everyone and there mom is from there. haha and most are from the island fogo. I had no idea that that place existed but I am living there practically now so that's cool. and yes. they all speak creole. its so confusing!!! haha cause I don't even know Portuguese that well yet so its hard to tell if I don't understand them because I don't know Portuguese or if I don't understand them cause theyre speaking creole... either way though, pray for me.

one thing that I LOVE about it here though is that the families are HUGE and there are so many kids!! all the kids and teens speak English and they LVOE the missionaries. I didn't realize that revere had so few kids. but everyone here has like ten. and then there 50 closest cousins live next door. everyone here is related. I got to meet most of the branch this week cause we had an Integration Night to get to know all of the recent converts and integrate them into the branch. I met this little boy named Ziggy who has the most insane amount of energy. and then there was this little girl Emma who is like 3 I think. I was sitting and talking to her and then when I left this lady came up to me and was like HOW did you get that girl to talk to you she literally talks to no one ever. so that made me feels sups special haha.

so yah, Brockton is awesome. we visit WAY more people in a day here than we could in Revere and its AMAZING. we are so incredibly busy which feels so good. sister carone is being super helpful with me learning the language. she sits down and listens to me read the book of Mormon out loud to her every day and helps me learn the words.

this week we had a mission wide webinar and the entire mission logged on to watch the Packards give a training online. it was cool! they extended a challenge to each of us to read the entire book of Mormon over the next two transfers. they want us highlighting everything about Christ. His name, His attributes, and His words. I am addicted to this challenge and in love with it. its incredible to read the scriptures that way with such a focus of Christ and His influence in EVERYTHING that is happening.

I love you all!!

sister tantillo