Dates Serving

Serving November 2014 to May 2016. This is a collection of letters e-mailed home from Sister Berry.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lead Kindly Light


Sorry about last week’s email being so short- we had to leave early to make room for other people emailing. :( I was a little sad about it but now I have a lot of time, so everything is awesome!

So I’ll start from the beginning. Brazil has really good juice! I don’t even like juice but here it is so delicious! A couple times at the CTM they had mango juice and oh my gosh it was so yummy. It tasted like I was eating a mango, through a straw. There’s another juice they have here that we don’t in the United States called caju (cashew). It’s made from the fruit on the cashew apple tree, I’m don’t know exactly what it is but it’s really good.  There was another juice that tasted EXACTLY like a melted Dole whip. In fact, I think that’s how they made it. They bought the dole whip from Disneyland and it just melted by the time it got here. 

The last week at the CTM was a crazy good week. They say the last week in the missionary training center is either really bad because you’re just worried and don’t do anything or it is really good and you study and learn more than ever before. I think mine was somewhere in between. My district tried really hard to do our best this last week and I think we did.

Our lessons with our “investigators” were amazing-- especially the one with Irmao Jacques (Jacks). He was acting like an investigator he had on his mission named Paulo. We were teaching “Paulo.” The last lesson we wanted to help Irmao Jacques in his life too. So we read Alma 38 (fantastic chapter) about faith in Jesus Christ and the power that it brings. Then we read Psalms 43 (or maybe 42 I can´t quite remember. Pretty sure it was 43) which is the scripture that the song Lead Kindly Light is based on. It’s about the Lord being our light and leading the way. I love it. And then, because my companions are great singers and love to sing, we all sang Lead Kindly Light to finish the lesson. We knew that it was Irmao Jacqeus’ favorite hymn and it was so powerful. We sounded so beautiful, and we could pronounce every Portuguese word. I am sure that angels were singing with us or through us, either one.

“Lead kindly light amidst the encircling gloom, lead thou me on. The night is dark and I am far from home, lead thou me on. Keep thou my feet, I do not ask to see the distant scene, one step enough for me.”

 He was totally crying- and he is an intimidating person. I remember I was so scared of him my first week. He thanked us for being there and for being angels in his life. It was the perfect ending to our CTM experience.

It was actually really sad to leave my district this week. We have gotten to know each other so well and just want everyone to be successful. Missionaries are so awesome and I’m so thankful to be around them all the time. ;)

The last day in the CTM was rough! We were in a meeting all day long and it was all in Portuguese. :o It just made my brain hurt so much, and by the end of the day I was just so frustrated with the language and trying to understand that I wanted to give up and cry. But then our district did something amazing :) My companions and I asked for a priesthood blessing from the Elders, and it was so perfect. The last night we were in the CTM together we received a blessing straight from our Father in Heaven through the power of the priesthood. I was given comfort and peace. I feel so much more prepared for what’s ahead because I know that I can face anything when the Lord is on my side.

Now I am in the field! We got up early and left for our Mission office at 7 am. We met our mission president and his wife, they are super nice people.  They’re American too,  so that was nice. And we met our new companions! My companion is super awesome! She’s been here over a year and knows Portuguese really well. She’s been with a Brazilian companion who didn't speak any English for the last 3 months, so now she even thinks in Portuguese. She says everything to me in Portuguese! I was a little scared at first but I’m pretty good with it now. I know that she will help me learn a lot, and hopefully I’ll be fluent in no time. A lot of people told me that I understand a lot and speak really well, but it doesn't feel like it. Most of the time I understand people if they talk slow and actually pronounce every word. They kind of  just put everything together and I don’t get much. But it isn't as bad as I thought :) Heavenly Father is definitely helping me!

We are living in a tiny little apartment above a member’s house, and it is so awesome. It just feels like Brazil. I am just loving it. And this morning we woke up to a rooster! An actual rooster! My companion says sometimes it’ll start making noises around 4 or 5 am. So I have that to look forward to.

We went out to some member´s houses last night which went really well. It is so cool to talk with Brazilians! I don’t understand everything but I am learning!

If you have any questions about the church go to mormon.org or lds.org or even better-- talk to the missionaries!! I know this gospel is true and will make you so happy!!

Com Muito Amor,

Sister Berry 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Last P Day in the CTM!

Tudo Bem!

Oh wow.  I don't even know where to start! This week has been full of ups and downs but overall it’s been fantastic!

Funny story for the week--my companions and I were teaching a lesson about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and Repentance. At the end of the lesson my companion wanted to invite the investigator to repent of his sins. She ended up looking up the wrong word and instead of saying “will you repent of your sins?,” she actually said "Will you repeat your sins?” He was like, “what?!” When we figured it out we all laughed so hard! It was the complete opposite of what she wanted to say!

One quote that I really liked this week was from my little quote book that Sister Dawn Trythall gave me (you’re awesome).

"God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can't if you don't pray, and He can't if you don't dream. In short, He can't if you don't believe." Jeffrey R.  Holland

Believe that you can do all things through Christ, and you will. :)

Well, I've gotta go but I love you all!

Love, Sister Berry


Special Note: I love you Mariyah Housari!! I got your letter this week and I love it! I'm sending you a letter today so look out for it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

At Home or Abroad

Ola all!!

It was Thanksgiving this past week!! I almost forgot about it ;) Well, a LOT happened this week. Thanksgiving was awesome! They gave us an American Thanksgiving dinner for lunch (the biggest meal of the day here) and it was delicious. We also got some ice cream! It was so good! (Remember the desserts here are suuuuuper gross--one day we had a “dessert” that looked like pickle relish and tasted like gloop). We were all kinda surprised at how good it was. 

And we got to hear from David A. Bednar!! That was awesome! It was a live broadcast from Provo, which isn't as cool as actually being there. It’s totally fine that he was in Provo just the week after we left... I'm not bitter about it. J But really it was a fantastic devotional. He did a question and answer session and it was really cool to hear from an Apostle of the Lord on any subject you could think of.

A couple things he said that I loved was to "relish this time away from home." He said that we are helping our families more by being away than we ever could by being there. And he said that a mission was "boot camp" for life. This is just the preparation for how I want to live the rest of my life. I want to rely on the Lord, read my scriptures, and just be a good person the rest of my life. I just loved that. 

I also totally sang "Alice's Restaurant" to myself all day on thanksgiving. If you don’t know, my family listens to that song every year on Thanksgiving and it’s awesome. Look it up next Thanksgiving.

The next day we went out in the “real world” to hand out Books of Mormon (or is it Book of Mormons? lol;) and it was a crazy experience. The driving alone is super sketchy. We took a bus to a big plaza and stayed there for an hour. Seriously, the streets are crazy here. Motorcycles are just zipping by and people actually walk thru the streets and the freeways selling things because the traffic is so bad. It is really interesting. We talked to some really nice people but it was really hard to understand them. It was a cool experience though and I can't wait until I can actually speak Portuguese.

That night we had a mini Christmas party which was fun. All the missionaries met up in the courtyard at 9pm and we had a Christmas lighting ceremony. We sang some Christmas songs and counted down from ten (try doing that in Portuguese on the spot). We took a lot of pictures with people and I wish you could see them. Two weeks and I’ll send a bunch of pictures.

We still talk to the Elders from our old district from the Provo MTC and they're doing great. And we have gotten to know our new district way better so we like them a lot more now. They are super hilarious but kinda crazy. Boys. Oh, we were all sharing our pictures of our families and all the Elders were jealous of Dad's mustache! I have one picture of when I was 8 and they said "whoa, that’s a sick mustache, does he still have that?" One Elder said "Sweet facial hair."  I love it :) So, Parabéns,dad! (Congratulations).

Oh, besides barely missing Elder Bednar at Provo we missed Dallin H. Oaks too. He came to Provo the week after we left as well, and we just watched a recording of it here in Brazil. I guess I’m in the Brazil CTM, so that is its own reward.

Things are going really well here I'm learning Portuguese. I can kind of understand Brazilians and I get to study the gospel all day long.  I love the Book of Mormon so much! This week the hymn, How Firm a foundation, was stuck in my head. I love that song. Another song that was stuck in my head was Glorious sung by David Archeleta from Meet the Mormons. Great song. Watch the movie! Anyway, I love the verse "in every condition--in sickness in health, in poverty's vale or abounding in wealth, at home or abroad, on the land or the sea, as thy days may demand so they succor shall be" (I love at home or ABROAD). Then verse 3, "Fear not, I am with thee, oh be not dismayed.  For I am thy God and will still give thee aid. I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand." That verse is based on Isaiah 41:10 and I love it.

I testify that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will help you carry your burdens. If you pray and ask for help, He will help you. He loves you. I have totally felt the Lord's hand in my life and especially here on my mission I have been strengthened. You can do hard things in the strength of the Lord.

Tchau Tchau!!
Sister Berry


Alright, nice talking with you. Oh wait, no one ever emails me besides my family and the AMAZING Mikayla Fleming. It would be amazing to hear from all of you!! You can email me at mackenzie.berry@myldsmail.net