Time in the mission is funny. Everything flies by so fast, but at the same time feels like it has been happening for such a long time. (p.s. sorry that my english is already staring to decay.)
This week, we got two new missionaries in our district from Provo, who had been visa waiting. So now, Sister Cook and I are the only companionship in our district that is not a tripanionship! We are really excited to add some new personalities and testimonies to our CTM experience.
Every week, I want to write so much about how much I love attending the temple on P-days. It’s different that since there are only a few temples in Brazil (6) many of the missionaries come to the MTC without having gone through. So it is really neat to be there for so many of them as they are having their first time. Last week, there were 6 or 7 people going through for the first time, and today, my roommates both are going through for the first time. I am excited to talk to them later. This temple is so sacred to me, and I can’t believe I get to go so often!
I am glad for the time I have to learn so much and help nourish my testimony here at the CTM. The cool thing about learning another language at the same time as we are teaching so many lessons is that we have to simplify the gospel. And I have learned that the gospel simplified is so valuable. The reason I am here to serve a mission is because of the difference it has made for me to know that I am the daughter of God, and knowing what a difference the Atonement of Jesus Christ has made, and will continue to make in my life. When we remember that the reason the gospel is so great is because of this, it becomes so easy to want to share it with all of God’s children. I am so lucky to be able to testify of my savior each and every day. Every teacher here always tells us to value this time that we have as a missionary. I am grateful for that constant reminder, because it reminds me that my call is so special. I wake up every day grateful to wear Christ’s name over my heart.
Sister Amorim, the Brazilian who we do transfers with, is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. She always tells us that she writes home to her family about us; she also always talks about how she wants her family to accept the message of this gospel. I pray for her mom and her family. Her love for the gospel is so contagious, and her testimony is so bright. Mom, she has hair just like you but black. It’s even the same length and style. I love that about her too:)
This week I have not been using the headphones to translate the firesides, or the temple, but have been embracing the language more. I am so lucky that Heavenly Father is giving me the opportunity to learn this beautiful language and helping me so much along the way.
This week, I learned how to sing this children’s song called “Borboletinha”(basically the word means “Little Butterfly”). Which has some of the Brazilians pretty impressed with me. They are confused why we would be learning that in the MTC. But don’t worry, I am learning a lot more than how to sing songs like “heads, shoulders, knees and toes” in Portuguese (btw i learned that one too). So, if you are bored or curious, you should look it up because I’m sure you could find lots of kids on Youtube singing it , and that’s probably exactly what I look like. That might give you a smile 🙂
I wanted to write a little bit more about how the day generally works here at the CTM. We eat the same thing for breakfast every single day, which I think I already wrote about, but it’s really funny so I have to write about it again. But I still like it, or at least i still eat it, so that’s good news. Similarly, I still eat rice and beans every meal out of my own free will.
My favorite thing that I have found here is “goiba,” which is guava. I am already sad to have to leave it one day, and I think I maybe already wrote about that too, but it is just so good. You should look it up if you’ve never had it or don’t know what it looks like because it’s a really confusing food. BUT DELICIOUS. Also, the guarana is way better here. I’m not sure how, but it just is.
There is an elder named Elder Santos who loves to call Sister Cook and I cookie and apple (as do many of the Brazilians. I am more often addressed as “Apple” than Sister Chapple). But Elder Santos always pretends to eat us or something…it’s kinda weird but I suppose it fits the joke and makes for good memories. He doesn’t speak hardly any English, so every time he talks to us he says the same things because he always wants to speak English, even though we tell him to speak in Portuguese. The district that we play volleyball with every time, made up of Brazilians learning Spanish, leaves this week. They are going to be awesome.
Our district has started to bear our testimonies to each other in Portuguese once or twice a week, which has been a really cool experience. If you want to strengthen your testimony, bear it. 🙂
Something else I have learned from this week is that the Holy Ghost is talking to us way more than we think. When we read a scripture and feel the spirit, that is the holy ghost testifying to us of truth, testifying of the love of God. That is something we have been helping our investigators learn. That when they feel the spirit, it is an answer to their prayers. When they desire to change, it is the spirit. When you have a thought to do something to serve someone this week, don’t sit around and wonder if it was the spirit, just get up and do it, and the Lord will bless you help you bless his children too.
Okay, just a few more funny things:
So often, Elder Hamm and Elder Manning (the elders in my district) come back from their lessons a little disappointed because they read the wrong scripture, so instead of talking about the love of God or repentance or something, they read about damnation or devils or anything else unsettling in the verses that surround the ones that really help investigators to understand the doctrine. We are glad that we can get a good laugh about it here, and their “investigators” never really understand whats going on anyways (plus they are our teachers) but we’re glad that they can get out all their desire to teach gospel extrinsics in the MTC, not out in the field.
Also, I have been trying to choose a favorite word of the day each day, and some native speakers ask me each day what my word is. It’s normally something that entertains me and them, like snail, or cockroach, or borboletinha. It’s kinda fun.
I love my district, and I love the CTM, and I love Brazil, but most of all, I love this gospel! I am so grateful to have it in my life, for the happiness it brings me, and for the ways it helps me to know God and feel of his love!
Have faith, have hope, live like His Son, help others on their way.
I love you all!
P.s. Writing these emails is as stressful as practicing the AP english tests, so if you were wondering why they are so scrambled it’s since I have way more thoughts in my head than I can communicate or even remember in 45 minutes. But thanks for reading anyways 🙂
P.s.s. To all my siblings – I love you and pray for you guys! I think about you and how lucky I am to have you every single day!!