HELLLLOOOOO from Sister Sh-applE all the way over here in Brazil!
If you are wondering if I am still smiling, the answer is YES!!! And if you are wondering if people have began to believe that I am Brazilian yet, the answer is YEEESSS! I have them all fooled by the first glance! Now if I can get my Portuguese to make me sound that way, that would be cool too 🙂 but all in time!
This week was really exciting! Time on the mission is weird, and I can’t decide if I have been here for 2 hours or 2 years (or two weeks…thats what it actually is).
This week we got to go proselyting out in Sao Paulo, which was an incredible experience. Sister Cook and I gave out 11 livros de mormon in the 1 hour and 40 minutes that we were out there, and we got to talk to some really neat people. The entire time I think I had a smile on my face, because there is something that feels so good about sharing the message of God’s love for all of his children. It is easy to invite others to read the Book of Mormon and come unto Christ when we remember the love God has for his children, and the comfort that we have as followers of Christ. What a blessing!!! One specific experience from proselyting yesterday was with this man named Sidwei, who gave us his address so the missionaries can come visit him. When we gave him the livro de mormon, he put his face in his hands and cried, telling us that he NEEDS this in his life, and that he has a lot to change. He needs to feel the love of God and the refuge that comes from following the Savior and keeping the commandments. He thanked us and told us that he will see us again one day when we all see Jesus, and that he will thank us then too. The incredible thing is that we didn’t do anything but invite him to read and come unto Christ more. This gospel is incredible. (p.s. Sidwei speaks english, which was funny, but a few other people asked us if we were Brazilian. And our answer: YES. haha)
This week we also had the opportunity to have splits with the Brazilian sisters. A sister from my district, Sister Bailey, and I have been learning so much from Sister Amorim, who is from Recife, Brazil, (that’s Sister Bailey and half of my district’s mission). Sister Amorim is this cute, short girl (like you Rachy) who has only been a member of the church for a year and a half. Her testimony is so inspiring! And teaching with her helps us feel like we do know a little bit of Portuguese. 🙂
Tomorrow we are having a fireside with someone from the general YM presidency, I’m not sure exactly who but I’ll have to let you know next week! Every Sunday and Tuesday, we also have firesides, and we have choir practice with the whole MTC (about 250 missionaries) in the 3 languages that we speak. And they translate the talks so we can really understand. Between that and the temple in Portuguese today (which was INCREDIBLE by the way) we are getting good at using headsets, but trying not to if we can. As for singing together, I love it so much!!! It’s like tunnel singing at BYU times 50 🙂
Today at the temple we got to do initatories before our session. If I’m not the luckiest missionary ever, I don’t know who is. Because I love the temple and I love Brazil and I love that so many people there thought i was Brazilian 🙂 Something crazy is that probably 6 missionaries went through for the first time today! We are so lucky in the United States to have temples so near. Go to the temple this week if you can, or find a friend who can teach you a little more about temples if you don’t know that much, and you will feel God’s love for you 🙂
Our Brazilian roommates left this week to continue visa waiting in the Sao Paulo mission, and I miss them already. But our new roomies (also Brazilians) are cool too. These ones don’t speak English, so we’re thinking we better start getting better at Portuguese FAST! But one awesome thing is that Sister Cook and I moved down to the ground bunks from the top, which is probably at least 20 times better. The funny thing is that these roomies will leave before we do. 6 weeks is sorta a long time, but we both love it here. I am so lucky to have sister cook!
Have I already told you that it is cold here in the CTM and Brazil? This is especially a shoutout to Darren, Griffin, and Tito. You would love it here. This is the perfect temperature you like! (But only for 2 months of the year, I’m sure. We all talk about how much we are going to wish we loved it this cold once we get out to our hot missions in the summer. Another shoutout to you guys (and Douglas and Mariah) is that i always have the Zelda song running through my head (or christmas music, which is awesome) I guess it feels like December to me. But its a good reminder of home).
Here in Brazil the sisters are “irmas” and the brothers are “irmaos, but elders and sister missionaries keep their names as such. So being a sister in Brazil is actually pretty cool, since the only sisters are the missionaries. One other American phrase that the mission keeps is “P-day” which is pretty funny since it translates. But, on P-days, we get to go out into Sao Paulo (within our MTC boundaries) and shop and explore, so we love doing that! We also love playing sports every night with the Brazilians. I am seriously so lucky to be here. There are lots of rules such as no jumping, spiking, keeping score, etc. But that makes it more fun since we are all pretty bad anyways. It is always way more fun to hang out with the Brazilians than the Americans which is kinda sad…but oh well 🙂
Something that we also love a lot is being able to teach our “investigators” – who are really our teachers, taking on personas of investigators they taught. We have learned so much about how to use the spirit to teach, and have formed real friendships with these investigators. I love being a missionary!!!
A bunch of my Brazilian friends who came into the CTM at the same time as us leave this week, which is SUPER exciting!! I am going to really miss them.
Also, I almost forgot to tell you that I am the new sister training leader for our branch, branch 1. Which means that for my last 4.5 weeks I get to love the girls in our branch and help welcome them to the CTM! When I feel inadequate to be a leader, I remember that the most important trait I can have is love, and it is not hard to love all the girls here! But I am really excited too, to learn and grow from this experience! Sister Cook is a good support to me too!!! Our branch is 100% Americans, and we have sacrament together each week. We give talks in Portuguese and the presidency talks in English, to learn better. It’s pretty neat!
That’s all I have time for today! I wish I could send pics, but know that I love you so much!
Have faith, have hope, live like his son, help others on their way.