what's been going on in Recife?

well..i'll tell you. things have been a little bit crazy lately. we've been getting ready to come home for a three week visit. [which we are very excited about.] other than that we've just mostly been doing our thing. here are a couple things that have happened lately:

.we have all discovered a new love for mcDonalds.
.we didn't see the sun for almost a whole week. (it rained for 6 days straight) crazy.
.along with that rain came flooded streets. i thought we were going to drown, while in our car.
.went shopping in one of the biggest shopping malls in south america. (our only purchase: six chocolate sundays. from mcDonalds. go figure).
.cleaned the whole church the other saturday. (it's a little bit different experience than doing it at home).
.world cup. in brasil. never seen so much green and yellow in my life.
.i have finally decided on a major. big step in my life:).
.a broken laptop. which just so happens to be MINE.
.brasilian pedicures. that consist of the lady doing surgery on your foot without warning you first. (apparently i have a planters wart, but no worries. it's gone now)
.i spoke in church today. yes, in portuguese. scariest thing of my life. but i got through it. :)
.this week was the first time any of us have been "cold" in brasil. the thing is we weren't even cold enough to want to put on a sweater. just goosebumps.
.a single adult fireside with elder neil L andersen. we were sitting on the front row, almost too close to him. AND we got to shake his hand. his talk was amazing.

All in all, life in Recife is still great. sorry for the no picture posts lately. my camera is also not working. (that's what happens when you drop it in the atlantic ocean i guess.)


..Happily Ever After..

I read the most amazing talk out of the ensign the other day that I want to share. It is a talk that was given by Presiden Uchtdorf in the general young womens meeting. Even though it was given to the young women, I think that it applies to all of us. [plus..i'm still a young woman..right??] I love President Uchtdorf, his talks never cease to amaze me.

He talks about everyone's own personal fairy tale, and how we all desire to live "happily ever after." Often times you'll hear people talk about stories that end with a happily ever after, saying things like: "that's unrealistic...there is never a happy ending in real life." I even once heard a lady saying that she doesn't let her kids read fairy tales or love stories that end happily, because happily ever after only happens in books, and she doesn't want them to have unrealistic expectations for life, because they will only be disappointed. I couldn't even believe it. I can't imagine not having hope that I will have a happy life and literally live happily ever after. President Uchtdorf does a great job telling us that the great gift of eternal life that Heavenly Father has offered will be our very own happily ever after, and it can be reached by every single one of us.

"Isn’t it remarkable to know that our eternal Heavenly Father knows you, hears you, watches over you, and loves you with an infinite love? In fact, His love for you is so great that He has granted you this earthly life as a precious gift of “once upon a time,” complete with your own true story of adventure, trial, and opportunities for greatness, nobility, courage, and love. And, most glorious of all, He offers you a gift beyond price and comprehension. Heavenly Father offers to you the greatest gift of all—eternal life—and the opportunity and infinite blessing of your own “happily ever after.”

I was doing my thing, highlighting what I liked most about what I was reading, and when I was done the whole talk was pretty much yellow. ha...i love when that happens. so it's a must read. it's pretty great.


"do you like flower?"

The funniest thing happened to me at church this week. i'll give you a play by play:

We had stake conference yesterday. Most of the people in our stake know the "american family" by now, and Brasilians that speak english (or think that they can speak english) love to show you how much they know. It isn't uncommon for a random person to walk up to you and start talking to you...in english, just because they can. (or kind of can) As long as you're an american and they speak even a tiny bit of englsih...they are there. because, well...they love americans.

So yesterday the meeting got over, and of course my dad and mom had to make the rounds and we knew they wouldn't be ready to leave anytime soon. So, since Avery was fast asleep, Lis and I thought we would go out to the car and wait. (because even when Avery is CLEARLY asleep...she is one hot item down here...and they will do ANYTHING they can to see her cute smile..even if it means waking her up from a peaceful sleep...but really, I guess I can't blame them.)

So Lis and I head out the door. And before I know it a guy is walking next to me...that I've never met, or even seen before. Our conversations went about like this:

him: HI
me: um....hi.
him: do you like flower?
me: (after the ten second pause that it took me to realize he wasn't talking about FLOUR.) yes. i love flowers.
that's when he gets a huge smile on his face, opens up his suit coat, pulls out a red rose. and hands it to me.
me: wow...is this for me??
him: yes...yes..just for you.
all the while Melissa is walking next to me laughing her head off. (but trying to keep it muffled.)

He walks with me clear out of the church..rambling on about who knows what. (I couldn't understand his english) something about his mission...how he learned english..and that he knows my little brother davis..and he loves hamburgers. I managed to get in the phrase "what is your name?" (to which he didn't respond too) but that was about all. Other than that I smiled, nodded at all the right places, and stole quick glances at Lis while trying to keep a straight face.

As hard as i tried to "slip away" without him noticing..I couldn't find a break in the conversation. it resulted in him asking me for my email address...and me giving it to him. (hey, I was just grateful he wasn't asking for my phone number, or my hand..)

We got a pretty good laugh later at the email that showed up in my inbox: [it's too funny not to share the whole thing]:

hello, excuse for my English, I studied very in the mission more not yet I am the sufficient, I was very happy and magic in being able to have had the pleasure of knowing to it, today of morning I was inhaled to catch a rose without knowing for which reason, more I listened to the spirit and when I found it he knew the reason of my dreams.

After reading it a few times my family and i decided that he meant to say inspired rather than inhaled. We also decided that the next time we see him we need to inform him of a better online translator that he should probably use. (but who am i to judge..he probably translated it all by himself) We tried not to laugh too hard because we know that's exactly what we sound like when we try to speak Portuguese.

Moral of this story: if you want a boyfriend, love getting roses, and can handle awkward situations. move to brasil. these things tend to happen on a daily basis here.


the best sister in law...

we are pretty sure we have the most awesome sister in law in the world. well...actually we know we do. [in fact i feel bad for the girls that have yet to marry into my family..they've got some stiff competition]. So today Lis turns 24.
happy birthday lis.

24 reason we love this girl:

1. she is the best mom to our favorite niece.
2. she makes cute things..and then teaches us how.
3. she puts up with our dorky brother....
4. we didnt' have to disown her from the family...because yes, she is a baller.
5. sometimes she sides with us when we (the kids) are trying to let our parents know they are being unreasonable.
6. she puts up with all of our quirks. (believe me, there are way too many)
7. she is seriously wise..if you have a question..go to Lis, she'll tell you the right answer.
8. she lets us snuggle, hover, kiss, hold and annoy avery to no end...
9. she's gorgeous....and it makes our family look GOOD. :)
10. with her help we can usually talk our dad into anything...(he likes her alot)
11. she puts up with (and sometimes pitches in with) our running craziness/guitar obsessions/nacho libre corny jokes.
12. she's tall.....
13. she has a strong testimony that is evident in the way she lives.
14. she's doesn't think we're completely crazy..and joined us down in brasil.
15. she fits in so well people often mistake her for an actual sibling.
16. she's not afraid to try out new portuguese words...like franca, which means lesbian, but we're sure she was trying to actually say chicken.:)
17. she loves popcorn as much as we do...
18. she comes from a great family....which hopefully rubs off on us.
19. my mom is grateful for her computer skills and that she's willing to teach them.
20. she likes to snuggle with my brother enough that they fit on a bed just bigger than a twin size.
21.we are grateful for her french fry obsession so we can go to McDonalds (in Recife) occasionally.
22. she is an amazing cook.
23. she keeps us from being too healthy..always has a good idea for a treat. :)
24. lets be honest...she's straight up deez!!!

*this list was compiled with some help from the whole family.

we love you and hope your day is great. [despite the whole being in another country part] :)