Saturday, June 11, 2016

12-7-15 Cadé essa síster americana?

So as of this transfer, we're not allowed to "chat" on email. (sorry mom) so when you send emails, send EVERYTHING you want to know and say before Monday morning so that it is all ready to go when I get on to respond.

I got all three packages this week. Sad to say, I have very little patience and the sisters who live in my house have even less patience (and the package came opened so that's another thing too, so I saw pretty much everything. BUT I will not use any of the non-perishable things (but I already started drinking cocoa and eating candy so yeah.) Sister Araujo loved the stocking and all the stuff and I did too! We're going to use the headbands for Christmas P-day with the whole mission and we are SO excited. Haha!
The little Sister Missionary Stockings
I think we have it worked out to do a skype call on Christmas. We talked to one member and she said she would talk to her husband if they'll stay at home on Christmas Day. They have two computers so I think we'll do a session for one companionship in the morning and one in the afternoon-early night. I'll probably go during the night because Sister Araujo said she'll talk with her family in the afternoon.

Sister Araujo sends her gratitude for everything Chirstmas related. She already told me that she doesn't think that she'll receive any gifts from her family for Christmas, so that little stocking REALLY meant a lot. I don't know if I've already told you about her family, but only she and her grandmother are members. Her father is a preacher/theologist and her mom is a member of a denomination here in Brazil called Espiritismo (Spiritism) which I know very little about. She has very little contact with her family and they don't support her on the mission. She is working together with the bishop of her ward to pay for her mission and sends letters to them constantly with pictures of the temples and quotes about eternal families. So she defintely has a plan and a vision to have an eternal family eventually, but right now she doesn't have it. So thanks for sending the little stocking full of love. It really meant pretty much the world to her.

Sister A
So as of Tuesday, my ankle was fine, and healing well. I ditched the boot and moved on with my life. However, I think it was on Wednesday or Thursday (can't remember) I sprained it again in the middle of the City Square next to the train station (a half hour walk from our house) We called pretty much everyone in our phone contacts that we knew had a car and President as well (but he and Sister Broadbent were in a meeting, couldn't answer) but nobody answered until we reached the house. So we just walked on home on my sprained ankle and stayed in the house another 2 days. I'm healing a little bit faster. I used the boot 2 days and I bought 2 compressors that I can switch and wash each day so that's about where I'm at with the foot. Haha. I took a photo with my boot and the scripture in Isaiah 52:7 "How beautiful upon the [mounts of Mauá] are the feet of [Sister Denton]" hahaha.

I'll respond to any questions that you will send after this, but that'll be it. You can take up any complaints with President Broadbent. :( 

Sister Denton

Sister Holly Denton

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." D&C 64:33

Olá Y'all! Haha.

So how are all of you guys this week? I'm fine (except for my ankle, sprained it again this week, insert Isaiah 52:7 here while you imagine Sister Denton wearing a boot as she is climbing a hill) Not much happened this week because of that whole thing. I PROMISE that I'm not spraing my ankle on purpose, it just happens. I think it's the area and the sidewalks, but there's not much I can do about that!  Anyways, this week was pretty cool. We had a really cool opportunity to teach a friend of a member this week. He doesn't know a whole lot about Christ or God, but he's interested in the message that we have, so we went over there to teach him. He is pondering the choice to get baptized and he went to church with us this week, so that was pretty cool. His name is Luiz. :)

Isaiah 52:7 + Boot = Comedy "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"
We got to go to stake conference this week. Normally on Saturday, missionaries don't attend conference, but after we had a lesson with Luiz, we checked the phone and it had 2 missed calls from Pres. Broadbent. When we called him again, he said he needed a companionship at the conference. Luckily we were right up the street. An area 70, Elder Antonies, wanted us there, so we went to help him out with part of his talk. He pretty much gave us a good boost for referrals. President as well. During the Stake President's talk, he was talking about how Mauá Stake can grow and divide and how the Mauá stake is the best stake in the world. Out of nowhere I heard "Cadé essa síster americana?' (where´s that American sister?) "Dê um microfone para ela!" (Give her a microphone!) "Síster, qual é a melhor estaca do MUNDO?" (Sister, which is the best stake in the world?) I was really tempted to say Murfreesboro, but out of fear of getting a stink eye from the stake president, I responded, Mauá! Haha. But it was really cool. He gave a really good talk while we were there. He told a story about a little old woman who always has the same cleaning assignment when she goes to clean the chapel, which is to clean up the pews until they are all nice and clean. The woman was always frustrated when she ended because the towel she used was always as clean as it was when she started no matter how hard she scrubbed. After talking with the bishop, he gave her counsel to use a small paintbrush the next time, and clean out every little corner, and then her towel would start to turn a little bit brown and she would feel more accomplished. And so she did exactly that the next time she went. He related this to us like this: We need to sort out our own personal conflicts before we go out to help others with their things. (Matt 7:3-5) It was a really good talk. I liked it a LOT. 

But anyways, there's not much more to say, so I'll leave this email with a little video. :) It's a really cool video about Chirstmas and the purpose of Christ's life. Everyone should go and watch it! Merry Christmas! 

Sister Holly Denton

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." D&C 64:33

12-1-15 Transfer Day

Another 6 weeks, another transfer passed by. Wow! This one was a short one for me! it just seems like it flew by! the good news is that I get to stay with my greenie, Sister Araujo. The bad news is.. well I don't know if there's bad news. This week I got a little bit older, and I turned 20 years old! Ah! I'm scared of time sometimes. It feels like the year is just passing by before my eyes, but like one scripture in particular that says "Now whether there is more than one time appointed for men to rise it mattereth not; for all do not die at once, and this mattereth not; all is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men." (Alma 40:8) So that makes me feel a little bit better about completing 2 decades on the planet earth. haha. But anyways, there wasn't much that happened this week. One of the Sisters living in my house was preparing to leave (and is leaving today) so we spent a good bit of time sorting through all of her stuff to help her pack up and leave. But we had a greenie meeting this week with all the newbies in the mission, so that was cool and we got to do fun stuff there. But I'm running out of time right now. I love all of you and hope that you're all well! Love you!
PS thanks to everyone for all the Birthday Wishes! You're all amazing!

Sister Holly Denton

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." D&C 64:33

11-23-16 Contacts, Conference, and 9 MONTHS

So this week has been pretty unspectacular to be completely honest. With the new mission rule of 50 contacts per day, we have pretty much been hanging out at the train station each day to be able to catch the people going out to work. We go in the morning and in the late afternoon there in order to catch those people. During the other hours of the day we go out knocking on doors and teaching people about Jesus Christ. So that has been pretty fun. My work area is a little difficult at times because its an area where a lot of people live but they don't stay in their own houses during a good part of the day, and they come back around 9-9:30 when we're supposed to stay in our house as well, so that can be difficult at times. 

The city where I'm staying right now is Mauá, one of the farthest cities in my mission. The other sisters in YM zone and I are the last sisters in the mission geographically. If you go any father east or south in the mission, we only have Elders. As far as how the city is, it sits right next to lots of hills and mountains, and the whole rainshadow effect really makes a difference here. It's really rainy and cloudy most days, but it's all good. (At least it doesn't get too hot.) The members are great here. We almost never fall through with lunchtime, and if there is ever a problem, they give us the money to go and buy food to make lunch. There aren't very many members in my ward, but the few that we have are strong! There are 3 really great girls in the Young Women program and a handful of guys in the Young Men. All of the members are really helpful and supportive of the missionary work here! Basically I just really like the members here. 

We had a conference this week with the President of the Area here in Brazil, President Claudio R. M. Costa. He is REALLY great. All of the missionaries in the conference were laughing, crying, and in awe of the servant of God that we had the chance to get to know. He taught us a lot about different ways to do missionary work and how to help others. I really love each time I get to hear a general authority of the church, a direct servant of God, bear testimony of Jesus Christ. You can really tell that they are magnifying their calling and duty as a special testimony of Christ and that they truly have a profound love for the Savior. It is really touching and inspiring. 

In other news, I officially have 9 MONTHS on the mission. Wow. 9 months, 3 areas, 6 companions, and 2 missions. How cool is that? Haha!

Anyways I hope you all have a great week!
Love you all! 

Sister Holly Denton

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." D&C 64:33

11-16-15 Mission Rebirth, A Miracle and a Boot

SO this has been an interesting week! I do not remember much of what happened before Thursday, but it was not that interesting, so let us just go straight there. 

Thursday we had a Mission Conference with President Broadbent. Before the conference, everybody was speculating what President would talk about and the theme of the conference and all. It is an open fact that my mission is having the least success of pretty much all of the missions in Brazil (and is also the smallest) and we all got pretty much what we were speculating. President however, was very loving and caring as he explained to us that while he is happy to be here and helping us serve the Lord, he is not satisfied with the work that we are doing. Really, he explained to us that the work that we are doing is VERY important and that because of this work, we need to work even harder to achieve our goals and the vision of the mission. And so he pretty much granted a new start to each one of our missions (which I thought was VERY cool.) and said that it was the day to change and begin again to serve the Lord with all of our forces. As a new rule in our mission, we are to make 50 contacts (talking with people and trying to help them understand more about the gospel of Christ) each day and 300 contacts each week. This among other things, got me really really excited to start over and to do everything I can to help others. 

So anyways, on Friday, we went out to fulfill these new rules and such searching for people to help. While we were in the middle of the street, I sprained my ankle. 😨 After a good yell, a little bit of murmuring, and sitting down on the curb, my companion and I noticed that a woman who was standing in the gate of her house saw the whole the thing happen. She quickly ushered us into her house, sat me down at her kitchen table, and prepared some ice to put on my ankle. We sat and talked with her for a while and she told us about the problems that she has in her family, and how she is really worried about her son and his daughter. We explained to her how obedience to the laws of heaven could bless her life, and the message we brought really consoled her. She said that me spraining my ankle while she was watching was not a coincidence, but that it happened so that we could bring the message of the Gospel of Christ to her. It was truly a miracle and an act of God. 
Anyways, after that we returned to the house because we couldn't really do anything else due to my ankle, and we waited for Irmão Peixoto to bring me a boot for my ankle. After MANY hours (we live in the limits of the mission pretty much so its a bit of a ride to get here) my companion and I were sitting at our desks studying. Suddenly, I heard the gate of the house open. I ignored it, because there is another family who lives in the house below us, and they are always going up and down the stairs. But I decided to play a prank on my companion (who gets scared easily).

Sister D: Did you hear that?
Sister A: Hear what?
Sister D: You didn't hear the footsteps on the stairs?
Sister A: Sister Denton, STOP THAT. It is NOT funny!
Sister D: So really! (I really did hear footsteps on the stairs)
Suddenly, Irmão Peixoto appeared in the window and yelled, IT'S ME! My friend, Sister Leite, threw herself on the ground. Her companion, Sister Batista, went and hid under her bed. I started laughing, and Sister Araujo started crying. After everybody was okay, Irmão Peixoto gave me my boot so that I can walk again.

Me and Sister Araujo and my boot

Sister Araujo, Sister Batista, and Sister Leite helping someone get their car moving while I sat and watched.

So yeah, that was my week! Hope you are all well and that you didn't have a heart attack like I did this week! Love you all! 

Sister Holly Denton

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." D&C 64:33

11-9-15 Rain, Searching, and a Miracle

Olá pessoal! Tudo bem?

So about the last two weeks, it has been rough, okay? Haha. Just kidding. The computer situation here is really bad at times. A funny thing about Brazilians is that EVERY holiday EVERYTHING shuts down because everybody likes to stay at home for holidays, and so I had no access to a computer last week except for a little bit of time. But anyways, I made it this week to a computer! Yay! Woohoo!

So remember in the book series Twilight how the city in which Bella lived was like, the rainiest and cloudiest in the USA? My new area is pretty much the equivalent to that. 99% of the time I have been here has been cloudy and rainy. So I guess the bright side is that I am not getting a sunburn and the weather is relatively cool here. So that is all good. Cannot complain there.

So my new companion and I are opening up an area that has been closed for quite a while. It has been a few months since there has been any missionaries in my area, and there has not been any work done in a while, so we are pretty much trying our darnedest to find people that we can work with. We have been looking through past records and we are searching for the people who missionaries have worked with in the past to see if they are still interested in the message of the gospel. We have had a little bit of success with that in finding people to teach, but really our biggest source of help is the members here. I love it when members of the church invite us to share the message of the gospel with their friends. That truly is what the gospel is all about: Sharing. I love it when people value something so completely that they feel the need to share it with the whole world.

Anyways, for the miracle. This week, the other missionaries in our area received a call from a member in another area. This member just said that he has a friend who lives in our area and that he wanted to bring the missionaries to his friends house to talk a little bit about the gospel. (A little out of the ordinary, but I am down to go with this.) Anyways, we met this member at Mauá Central and he told us a bit about her, that they have already talked a bit and that she is really excited about the gospel. We went over there and we finally met V.  V is probably one of the sweetest people I have met here. She is really open to learning and really accepting of the message that we have. At the end of the lesson, she accepted to be baptized at the end of the month! So now all we have to do is get her ready to go! I feel so blessed to be working in this area and that I have the opportunity to share the gospel with this blessed daughter of God. The work is hard, that is a FACT. But the blessings are worth it!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love Sister Denton    


We have been drinking a type of drink for the North of Brazil that has like, 4 names, Herba, Mate, Terere, and something else that I cannot remember. Anyways, its just a bunch of herbs that we put in a cup with a bunch of juice and sip it through a cool filter straw. Apparently it helps to lose weight so we have been drinking it a LOT    

Sisters Ala Mauá

My beloved Daughter in whom I am Well Pleased: Sister Araujo
We hitched a ride ... with a member ... in a coupe ... with 4 missionaries

Waiting in the rain


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

11-4-15 Another Holiday - messes up missionary mail on p-day

[note from Holly's mom]

Dear Holly's Friends and Family,

Brazil had another holiday on Monday (All Souls Day) and everything was closed so Holly couldn't find a LAN house that was open to use for email. On Tuesday, she briefly logged in to send me a quick explanation, but she didn't have time to write her usual email. She took a few minutes to answer some of the questions that I sent her, so that's what I'm forwarding. Her answers come first, then farther down, you'll see my questions.

Also, her hump day (half-way point in the assigned 18-month mission) is coming up on November 18th, so for giggles, I ordered a toy camel and a camel notepad that said "Things to do on Humpday."  She wrote the following about receiving those two items:

"My District Leader had my box and on Saturday night over the phone I asked him to open it and tell me  what´s inside. After he opened the box, all I heard was  BUNCH of laughing. When I asked him what was in the box he said, Sister Denton, you have a stuffed animal LLAMA. I was thinking first of all, HOW COOL A LLAMA. Second, who the heck would send me a llama? anyways, he named the "llama" Milo and I got my "llama" on sunday at church. Only after that I realized that it was a camel, and that it was for HUMP DAY. WOOP WOOP. Okay, so it´s not hump day yet, but I really liked the idea. I like the notepad too."

From: Holly Denton <>
Date: Tue, Nov 3, 2015 at 8:19 AM
Subject: Re: Questions
To: Amy Denton

I am in Mauá central, so like, the middle of Mauá.
Mauá Ward. A few, We have 7 pairs of mishies in my zone, so about that many wards.
No. Irmão Peixoto (that one guy who always helps out the sisters in the sao paulo missions) Brings all the luggage to the housees of all the sisters. During transfers, I just take my little suitcase carry on thing with a change of clothes, shower stuff, and study stuff.
Relatively safe. I mean, there´s always a chance to be assaulted, but we always walk with purpose. And our area is really suburby with absolutely 0 favelas, so I think we´ll be okay.
It´s been twilight weather,. I think this zone is the rainiest zone in the mission.
It´s going well. sister araujo has a few problems adjusting to mishie life, but I think that lots of training will solve that.

On Mon, Nov 2, 2015 at 4:18 PM, Amy Denton wrote:
how is that pronounced?
What part of the city are you in?
What ward are you in? How many wards and stakes are there?
When you and your new companion were traveling there on public transportation, did you find yourself struggling with the amount of luggage or any other struggles?
Do you feel safe there?
How's the weather?
How is the training going?
Have you heard from Sister Alencar about the investigators you left in SP?

10-27-15 Transfers, Whitewash, and My Beloved Daughter in Whom I am Well Pleased

Olá gente! Tudo bom?

Wow what a week what a week! By the subject line of the email, you could probably guess how stressful this week was, but I'm coping, LET´S GO.

At the request of my mother, I will tell every detail of transfer day (okay, maybe not EVERY detail, but I won't be too vague). So I left my 2nd area of my mission (Jardim Consórcio) to go to the transfer meeting and learn all the exciting new details of my life. During the meeting, all of the missionaries who are leaving go and bear testimony. One very trunky Elder had a toy airplane (complete with sound effects) that he made fly all the way to the pulpit. After that, we all were ready for the transfer facts. So when we do this, the assistants make a slideshow with each companionship in the mission and which zone and area you are in. Since I'm training however, when I showed up in the Mauá Ward, the picture of my companion was just a picture of Cinderella with a nametag. After everyone had their companions and went to their respective areas, the trainers and the greenies all have lunch before we get to know who our comps are. During lunch, one of the greenies said, "I think that Sister Denton will train me." Lo and behold, when the time came that we got our companions, Sister Araujo (the same greenie) became my Beloved Daughter in whom I am Well Pleased.

After the meeting, we got on the subway to get on another subway to get on a train to get to our area. (Mauá is REALLY far away from the rest of the mission, I'm talking boondocks here.) And we finally arrived in a brand new area that President just opened after being closed for some time. So yeah, our area is HUGE too. To be honest, opening an area is super hard, and I'm not a huge fan of opening areas, but it appears that I will be opening areas for pretty much all of my mission, so that is fun. Anyways, the challenge is that my companion and I don't know anything about this area, the people in it, the streets, or the traditions of the area. But anyways, we already found a few people to teach and we have a few good members to go out with us to go and get to know our area, so that's good. We had one of the people we're teaching at church (which was pretty funny because she's been to the church before and she knew more about the chapel than we did.). This week was a little tough because the weather here is staying pretty cool, and when it stays cool, people stay in their houses, and we're accustomed to meeting and talking to people in the street and not knocking on doors. But we're able to make things work through member referrals and other cool stuff like that.

So now you get to meet my Beloved Daughter! Her name is Sister Araujo from the interior of São Paulo. She's like, super good (she takes after her mom) but seriously, I barely have to train her. she's only been a member for a little more than a year, and almost all of her family are part of a different church, her dad being the preacher thereof. Nevertheless, she is fantastic and she is just helping me out a lot opening the area and staying positive, so that's good. 

That's about all for this week. I hope you're all doing well! And I hope you all have a Happy Halloween (I won't, it doesn´t REALLY exist here even though I keep seeing decorations in the stores all around)!