Oi from Sister Chapple, down here in Brazil, having the time of her life.
Today is my first P-day, (WOOT) and I have so so so many good things to say about my first days on the mission.
First things first, I am so happy to be a missionary! What an amazing blessing! And I really love Portuguese. My favorite things to say are as follows: “Eu não falo ingles” – I don’t speak English & “Eu sou brasileto”- I am Brazillian. Also the phrase (cool beans) in Portuguese.
I love so many things about being here in the CTM (MTC)! First of all, it is a place where the spirit is so often present. One of our teachers told us it is one the most sanctified places after the temple. And I think that she is right. Being here is a great opportunity to build my relationship with the ward. Second of all, I love the people! So so much. I am already thinking that it will be hard to leave the friends I have made here, but I am excited that brasiletos live all over Brazil, you know? They are so loving and especially love to help us learn Portuguese. Maybe a fourth of them also know English, so that is pretty useful. Two of my roomates here at the CTM are Brazilians who are visa waiting for their U.S. visas for Raleigh, NC (shout out to you Cami!) and SLC. Rooming with them, every night is like the sleepover in Princess Diaries 2 with Raven Symone. They make me laugh so much, and teach us a lot of Portuguese. I am surprised how much influence America has everywhere down here.
One other thing that I am very grateful for us my companion Sister Cook. I love her a lot, and would have chosen her as my companion, so I am glad to be with her for this first transfer! She is also from AZ (Mesa) and when we met in Phoenix, we wondered if we would see each other at the CTM. Then when we missed the flight we wondered if they would put us together. Turns out we were together from the beginning, which is pretty inspired. Her mission is Brazil Manaus, which is a huge area along the Amazon River. (It’s pretty exotic, not to mention hot, that is what we hear at least! You should look it up.)
Which leads me to this story about how we missed our connecting flight from Atlanta, GA to Brazil and were stranded in Atlanta for a whole day. But we weren’t worried at all, and called church missionary travel and they got us a hotel, and we got our new tickets printed, and spent the first day being missionaries in Atlanta! We gave out all of our pass along cards, made friends with many travelers, and made a ton of memories. Also we had FIRST CLASS FOR OUR 10 HOUR FLIGHT which is pretty amazing, and I don’t think I will ever have an experience like that again, so that was a plus. To top it off, Sister Cook and I made a grand entrance to the CTM a day late and everything.
The city of São Paulo is pretty huge. We drove to the police station yesterday and to the temple today. I would send pics but we are not allowed to from here, so I will have to after I leave! Going to the temple here was one of the coolest temple experiences I have ever had. The temple session today was in English which was prettyyy cool since there were more Brazilians than Americans. It was nice for one last time, AND I got to see my favorite video that they show so that was awesome too! It was a really beautiful experience. Brazil and this experience are just really beautiful.
In the CTM they teach Portuguese and Spanish. There are many Hispanics learning Portuguese, and Brazilians learning Spanish. Also, with Portuguese, you can pretty much just guess how to say a word and it’s right (if you know some Spanish). The words are just more slurred together and softer sounds. At least that’s what it feels like to me. Also, I should say that I know that the gift of tongues is real, because without it I would not be able to say that last statement! I am so grateful for the opportunity to experience it. It is amazing that we have been speaking so fluently with Brazilians who don’t know English, and lately when I have been noticing that, I find myself really surprised. But none of it is me – without the Lord, none of this would be possible!!
Something else I have noticed here is that everyone loves to try all of the weird funky food. I cant believe I haven’t found a picky missionary from the U.S. yet. The food is definitely interesting but really yummy. For breakfast we make our own paninis in a press which I thought was pretty fun. And we get snack (lanche) each night so I have tried quite a few Brazilian candies too!
Here I held up an apple next to my name tag and covered the “ch-” and all the Brazilians DIED of laughter so now I am Sister Apple to many people. Also, Sister Cook is often pronounced “cookie”, so we are Sister Apple and Cookie – often in Portuguese – to many people. Also interesting is they say my name sorta like “Sh-appul”. Something like that.
Most of all though, I am happy to be here because I get to be a missionary! I still can’t believe it, but I love putting on my name tag each morning, because I share this name tag with Christ. This is HIS WORK- I KNOW IT! I am excited to get to know and love the people of Brazil even more than I already do.