Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pictures! - September 23, 2013

Elder Wood and I with our Milky Ways! :-)

Our Chilean Fiesta!

Sister Tooker and I!

I'm Going to Ribeirao Preto!

Special Lunch Today With The Members!

Some Pretty Cool Elders!

Scripture Cases

President and Sister Dehn!

One word to describe our zone: poder (power). - September 23, 2013

Hello to all you lovely people :)
Okay, I have lots of pictures to send to you today, so let`s hope this works. First off, September 18 was the independence day of Chile, and one of the sisters that lives in our house with us is Chilean! so what did we do? We made empanadas of course! It was great. Last tuesday was our first zone meeting, and guess who just happened to be in my zone? Drum roll....Zach Labrum! Haha it was way fun to talk with him. One of the first things he asked me was, So how are you liking the food here? Spoken like a true Elder. Our zone has a really special thing to accomplish by the end of this year. The leaders of our Zone said that President Brum used one word to describe our zone: poder (power). Our mission is to make a third stake of members here in Ribeirao! How cool is that?? He told our leaders that he only put really hard working, obedient missionaries in our zone, so i´m super excited.

Today we did lots of fun things with the members! We went to a park with a really pretty lake and took some fun pictures. I will try and send some!

We have been working our little tails off here in our little country side Bebedouro. We contacted (which just means we were meeting and talking with people on the street) a lady named Eliani, and she doesn~t seem super interested but her son Luis is AWESOME. He has 14 years.The first night we came to their house we had an activity with the members and we invited him to come with us after our visit that night. He was like, sure why not! Next visit we watched the first vision video about Joseph Smith with him and at the end he had tears in his eyes and couldn~t even speak. It was really a neat experience to see and feel that he knew it was true. That night we gave him a Book of Mormon and he prayed. The next day we held our english class and he brought his book of mormon with him! He also brought it to church on Sunday :) He is really an awesome kid and i can~t wait to see what happens with him. Also, we had 15 people at church on sunday and 5 of them were investigators (non members). I was like, what is this!! This is awesome! :)

Sister Tooker got a package last week and guess what...her mom sent PEANUT BUTTER. It~s really a huge deal...because they don~t have it here! They try, but it`s not nearly the same. Anyways, we have been eating it by the spoon and the jar is half gone :) It really is the little things...

Yesterday we were talking with some guys on the street and one of them said I want to practice my english with you. So I said, okay go ahead! He says, `he is beautiful.`.......then Sis. Tooks says, I think you meant to say SHE is beautiful. And then he points to me and says oh no!! Yes yes, you are very beautiful sister and you are not a guy. hahah. Also, today I was showing a member some pictures of me at the CTM. He says, oh sister, you were a little fatter at the CTM! They are pretty direct here but i guess it~s good news! haha oh the good times on the mission. Anyways, this is incredibly hard but i am trying to find joy in the journey, Dad! Every day I laugh and enjoy this breathtaking country i~m in. The gospel is true! I could not be more proud to be representavie of Christ! Love you all so much.

Sister Sperry

The Race - September 16, 2013

Dad, I want to thank you for the poem. This week has definitely been the most difficult I have had. It has also been the most rewarding. But this work is really hard and I wish I could talk to you. I don't want you to think that I hate it or want to come home. I would never want to be any other place. But at times tears fall from my eyes because for the first time in my life I feel like I don't know how to do something completely new and strange to me. It's so great that my companion is the leading baptizing missionary in the mission, but that makes me feel the pressure of being better and better, and it's only my first week. But i know I can do all things through Christ. I am learning so much. I love you more than words can express and I miss you terribly. I hope all is well with the floods, that makes me really sad. But Christ is getting ready to come, that's for sure.
Give the family my love. Tell Connor congrats on team captain, he's a good kid. tell kellie I love her and I always ttell all the cute brazillian girls about my beautiful sister who will meet them one day. tell colby to keep working hard! I love you all so much.

On Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 5:20 PM, Greg Sperry <greg.sperry@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
Hello my dear daughter,
You may have read this poem before. It's one that I used to help keep me motivated when I was feeling a bit down. Don't think so much of me as the father in the poem, as Heavenly Father. I've tried to be a good father, but He is the perfect father for each of us, there to cheer us on and encourage us when we need it.
Love you,
The Race
Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win the race
or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat upon his face.
As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.
But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win the race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again. 
He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”
But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win the race!”
So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten...
but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again. 
Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.
“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win the race!”
So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,
and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.
Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
head high and proud and happy -- no falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud,
you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”
And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
another voice within me says, “Get up and win the race!”

God is good, and miracles are real - September 16, 2013

To all the lovely people in my life,
I hope everyone in CO is safe. That's definitely scary to have floods like that! Please keep me updated. Wow, what a week it has been. It was incredibly hard to say goodbye to my district at the CTM. They have been my family here in Brazil and I won't see many of them for 2 years or more. It's incredible to me how you can become so close with a group of strangers in just 6 weeks. I love them dearly.
September 7th was the birthday of Brazil's independence! We had a special lunch with ICE CREAM. i couldn't believe it...the whole 6 weeks i had been there we hadn't had ice cream! It really is the little things :) It was difficult to say goodbye to our instructors as well. Something funny was that Irmao Allan said, "Sister Sperry, your spouse will be a mix of your best and worst companion." haha I thought that was great. We"ll see if that's true! He prayed for us individually in our last prayer. He prayed for me to bless people's lives with my happiness, and that through my Christlike attributes I could invite others to be like Christ. I really appreciated that, especially because it was scary to leave all that we know at the CTM where we are so sheltered. At the same time though, I was ready to leave and meet the people in my mission.
So, a few things about Brazil and Bebedouro. We have mate every morning Chandler! And you were right...they do give you fruit for dessert. My first lunch here the Sister is like, okay it's time for dessert! And brings out an orange haha. The food is actually really good, which scares me because I don't want to come out of this country doubled in size!! :) However, I have never walked so much. I can literally feel the pounds sweating off of me! Not that I mind :) Our area is ginormous, just like the toilets in the movie Elf :) (that part where he goes to NY...ya know?) We always always have rice and beans, meat, and salad.Every day we have lunch with a Sister in the ward, and then don't eat until we get home. But trust me, i feel like i'm eating enough for 3 people down here!
I'm glad I grew up with brothers, because the bugs and dirt don't scare me at all. Our house is definitely in humble circumstances, but i'm just grateful to have somewhere to come home to at the end of the day.I already have an awesome sandal tan line, so that's pretty cool! Oh, and the other day, a bird totally flew into our house!! It's funny because I just smiled and eventually it left. My view on the world is definitely changing. I would say i'm pretty accustomed to the culture now, but at times I have to remember that i'm not in the states anymore!
So the members are great. Church is definitely different here, but the people are wonderful. I was asked to speak yesterday, my first sunday here! I think it went alright. For the most part I am feeling more confident in my ability to speak and understand,. which is such a blessing. It can be so hard at times, and I wonder if I will ever get better. But I know I am already improving. You kind of have no choice when all you speak, hear, and see is portuguese. You can choose to live in misery, or you can choose to learn the language and communicate with the people. The second option is a lot better.
The people here are hilarious. So open and loving. We'll be talking with someone and ask them if we can mark their address to stop by later, and they're like, sure! However, the brazillians are not very good with committments so that's the downfall. The other night we were walking and asked a lady if she could direct us to a street. She said, "no, i'm going to jail." we were thinking...what??? so my companion, sister tooker, just said, "boa sorte!" which means good luck haha. We could not stop laughing.

I want to tel you about a wonderful miracle I experienced yesterday. We were looking at our area book, and there is a lady whose mom is a member and she has an 8 year old who was just baptized last year, but she has not been progressing. Tooks didn't think it would be worth it to visit them, but i figured we should give it a try because we are all children of God. We went to visit, and we got to know her. She said that she wants to be baptized but she wants to improve in her life and in her sins first. It was strange, but I had the impression to tell her that she could do that if she read the book of mormon. I then told her that any verse in the BOM can apply to her life. So i had her open to a random page and point to a verse. It was a blank book of mormon; nothing was marked. She began to read the first few words and cried. the verse was Alma 42:29. It talked about how she shouldn't be troubled anymore about any of her worries. It was incredible. God is good, and miracles are real. Have a good week. I love you all.
Sister Sperry

First Letter and Picture from Mission Office in Ribeirao Preto! - September 12, 2013

A big Hello from down here in Brazil! I’m excited to tell you that Sister Sperry has arrived safely and is in the field!
Attached to this email is a letter from President Brum and some photos from the first day!
My bests,
Elder Graf
Executive Secretary
Brazil Ribeirão Preto Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

MISSÃO BRASIL RIBEIRÃO PRETO R. São Sebastião, 1003 Centro Ribeirão Preto – SP 14015-040 (16) 3610-0992
September 12, 2013
Dear Sperry Family,

We are excited to have your daughter,

Sister Aubrey Kay Sperry, in our mission. This will be a great opportunity for continued growth and development as she serves faithfully here in the mission field. She will meet, teach, convert and touch the lives of many people who are seeking to know, understand and live the truths of the restored gospel. Your daughter will have the opportunity to grow closer to the Lord and better understand how to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Through her continued study and application of gospel principles, we pray her testimony will increase and her love and obedience to Heavenly Father's revealed truths will forge a pattern for the rest of her life.
Your daughter has already been assigned to her first area. She will be working in

Bebedouro B in the city of Bebedouro, and will be trained by Sister Tooker. The area is very blessed, and your daughter’s trainer is a reliable and responsible missionary. Your daughter will certainly have much success and great spiritual experiences.
Along with missionary service come many new and interesting demands and challenges. Your daughter will continue to learn and adapt to new and interesting customs, cultures and foods, as well as a new language and schedule. As parents you play a very important role in the well-being of your missionary. Your continued love and encouragement will give her the support and help she needs. Please write her regularly, sharing your testimony and love of this great gospel plan and help her stay focused on this sacred work.
Trust the Lord’s watchful care as you pray regularly for all the missionaries thoughout the world. Remember the Lord has said:

"I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." (D&C 84:88)

My wife and I are very grateful to have your daughter serving by our sides in this great missionary effort. The lives of many will be influenced and blessed because of your daughter’s great service and dedication. We will do our best to help your daughter succeed in her service to the Lord. Thank you for preparing a daughter, that is willing and ready to be of service in this part of the Lord's vineyard. May the Lord bless you for your sacrifice and help in this important and eternal endeavor.
With love,


Mauro Tupinambá Brum de Oliveira

Presidente da Missão


HELLO FROM BEBEDOURO! - September 10, 2013

Hi family!
I don't have any time to write, but just know that I am SO in love with being here! I love it so so much. Minha companheira, sister Tooker, is incredible. She is finishing her mission in 3 months, and I am so lucky that she is my trainer for my first area in the field. Her portuguese is incredible, and she is the leading missionary in the field. We have been called as Sister Trainer Leaders here over all the sisters, so i'm stoked for that! Essentially that means we check in on the sisters and make sure all things are going smoothly in every aspect. I am basically running on one hour of sleep, but I know i'll sleep good tonight!! We are officially opening this area here with another set of sisters, so I am incredibly excited. There are so many people to talk to! President and Sister Brum are absolutely awesome. I already feel such a strong friendship with them. We had an awesome lunch with them after some orientation at the mission office. after interviews with the president, we went to go be put with our trainers and here I am a few hours later, writing this email to you all! I am so excited to start the work here. It is real. What a week it's been. I can tell you that flying into Rib. Preto was surreal. It is more gorgeous than anywhere i've ever been. It felt like, "welcome home sister sperry. You've been waiting your whole life to be here."
Love you all. I will write next monday!
Sister Sperry

Campinas Temple Visit - September 4, 2013

Dear Family,

This week the temple in São Paulo was closed for cleaning, and we have had the opportunity to have the missionaries visit the beautiful Campinas temple. It is a little further away than our temple in São Paulo. It is a smaller temple set high on a hill, which is seen from a distance as we enter into the Campinas area. The missionaries have really enjoyed the visit. We thought you would like this photo.

We have an amazing group of missionaries here in the CTM at this time. It is such a blessing for us to be able to serve with them. Thank you for your continued support with emails and letters. They are much appreciated.


Sister Degn