Monday, May 20, 2013

48) brincadera, hablo ESPANOL

AH so I'm finally here! this week was insane.
okay. the last weekend in the MTC was awesome, we had a ton of stuff to do and the goodbyes were awful of course, but we all made it. Everyone from our district was leaving on different days so half of the people were gone from class and stuff half of the time so that got a little crazy. Our last Sunday was full of meetings, but we got to sing one last time in sacrament meeting and President Hodges had all of the sisters get up and recite our missionary purpose in Portuguese, which was really cool. All of the Elders left on Tuesday except Elder Shipp, so we had a pretty empty district. for our final meal we had SALMON of course I start hypothesizing, since the last time we had salmon Elder Scott came. Sure enough we head to devotional and Elder Russell M. Nelson comes in! He and his wife gave fantastic talks on our commitments as missionaries and working with family history, it was a perfect send-off.
Then the blessed alarm clock goes off at 4:15 and we have to scramble to get everything packed and to the travel office to ride the buses up to SLC. There were 26 of us going to San Jose, crazy! The flight was less than two hours, so we got picked up by a few of the senior couples and dropped off at the Institute and then they handed us a stack of pass-along cards and flyers and let us loose on campus. Surprise. It was really fun; most of the people didn't even say hi to us or anything, but still cool! We went back to the mission home and met President and Sister Watkinds, who are HILARIOUS. but SO awesome. He is a fantastic president, I can see why they have so many pilot programs here. So our official program is that we are the only mission in the world that doesn't tract (knock on doors), we just do a certain number of community service hours a week instead and do a lot of contacting on the street and stuff. Which has been so fun, I got to actually organize the shelves at goodwill (dream come true) and police quite the rowdy game of bingo at the Salvation Army senior center.
So yes, I am speaking Spanish!! And I definitely got what I asked for, it is pretty hard! Wednesday we spent at orientation and stuff and got a fancy roast beef dinner (which was fantastic), so we didn't get assigned companions until Thursday. Half of us are speaking Spanish in trios, Sister Williams and Sister Oborn are speaking English. I'm with Hermana Santidrian, who is from Spain, and Hermana Nielson from Utah, which has been really fun. We are in Los Alamitos, which covers a lot of downtown San Jose since we are spanish speaking. It's definitely hard to speak Spanish without Portuguse coming out, especially in prayers and stuff, but I can understand everyone just fine. I did have to bear my testimony in Spanish in front of the whole ward on day 3...but apparently it was intelligible so tudo bem.
We are working with a lot of less-active families and recent converts, but we did get to teach a couple people who are working to get baptized on June 2! The people here are so fantastic, I love getting to know them. But boy they love to talk and they love to feed It tastes delicious but I hardly eat anything throughout the day so I have room for dinner! So no word on the visa situation, I'll just be here in a trio until then. President is so amazing though, he offered to take all of us together and he was a horribly mistreated visa waiter himself so he pities us haha. I'm not getting trained or anything til I get to Brazil, so I'm just hanging out trying to speak Spanish until then! vamos ver!

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Friday, May 10, 2013


so I'm headed to san jose!! Now I just have to remember to say san "hosay" and not "josay"...haha. but yeah, all of the sisters in my district are headed there on wednesday on temporary assignment until we get our visas, which should only take a couple months at most. but at this rate, who knows. It is actually a bit of a miracle that we are all going to the same mission, that never happens. so another tender mercy! we finally get to get out into the real world...and talk to real people....eeeek. eu tenho MUITO animado!!
this week was so great. I've definitely had to try hard to not plateau in my portuguese because we have had SO many teachers, we've only taught one progressing investigator since Irmao Horman left us for the Malay district. but I think everyone has just gotten more comfortable speaking and I'm been trying to FSL (fala sua lengua - speak your language) as much as I can...with limited success. I just love the language so much, I'm going to miss it in california but hopefully I'll get assigned spanish speaking or at least get to speak in spanish a bit, if not portuguese! who knows!
fun occurances of the week...we got to teach some more members at TRC, which is really fun now that we have returned missionaries from we can all understand each other and actually share a message haha. The couple from Sao Paulo were adorable but we could only get like three words in edgewise amist the history of brazil and sao paulo and any other topic that happened to pop into their head. Sunday was awesome, we had mission conference and got to hear from the MTC presidency, as well as testimony meeting in our branch (in english), and Sister Brooks put together a choir in two days to sing come thou fount and it sounded beautiful. and I have never eaten so much food in my life than I did at dinner...and after dinner for sister brooks' birthday...yeah let's just leave it at that.
my favorite moment of the week was definitely on Tuesday at devotional. I was just talking to my companions about how I love hearing all of these languages at the MTC, and I picture heaven to be like everyone speaking their own language but being able to understand perfectly. Anyway, Elder Gaverret of the 70 and his wife (from Uruguay) came, and his wife bore her testimony in french, portuguese, spanish, and english!! so I understood everything she said, and honestly I got a little taste of heaven. it was so cool. I can't wait to get to california and brazil and be able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people in their native language, it is so powerful. I love this gospel so much, i'm so blessed to be a part of this missionary work, especially now.
well I love you all, sorry for the short emails, hopefully I'll have more time next week in CALI. in the REAL WORLD. wooooo!
obrigada por todo, eu amo voces muito!!

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Friday, May 3, 2013

(31) diligentemente

AH ola. Okay it's been awhile, we had our schedules shifted around, so hopefully I'll remember everything that happened.
first off, thanks for the birthday wishes everyone! My district was fabulous, I got silly-stringed by the lovely Sister Barker, sung to in Portuguese (which is super fun, they clap along to a song sung to the same tune as happy birthday), Elder Bell was kind enough to say "feliz aniversario" every five seconds, and Sisters Jensen, Brooks, and Oborn provided all the junk food so we had another pig out party last night. So all in all it was a good day.
Some new things happened this week, we had to say goodbye to Sister Aledo, who got her visa and headed off to the Brazil CTM last Tuesday. That was kind of a bummer but I'm so excited for her. Sister (Kaylee) Brooks from my BYU ward last semester who is going to Curitiba, joined our district for the week since there was a mixup and she didn't get her reassignment until the other day. And we got to move into their room so all of the sisters are together now, wooo!
Sister Williams and I were probably outside of class more than inside this week....Monday she had to go to the dentist to get a root canal, so I got to sit in the lobby and study with Jason Mraz and Bruno Mars on the radio....yeah I did okay. Tuesday was our half-pday so that we could do laundry and stuff, so we only had two hours of class. Wednesday, Irma Ricks recommended me and sister Williams to demonstrate teaching for the new missionaries in the "How to Begin Teaching" workshop everyone attends on their first night in the MTC, which was actually really cool. I thought it would be intimidating being the first impression for 75 new missionaries, but it felt just like a normal lesson. We just introduced ourselves and began the discussion, but we would stop as soon as we began to teach. One of the "investigators" was a man from Guatemala, I dont' remember what city but it's on one of the roads leading out of Quatro Caminos, so that was really fun! Plus our moderator was Elder Christensen from the District we felt kind of MTC famous, nbd.
Irma Ricks has been pretty much our only regular teacher when we can teach a progressing investigator since Irmao Horman left. We've had various substitutes filling in every day, most speaking Portuguese, so we've got to learn a lot from different teaching methods and stuff. and we've taught a lot of first lessons...haha. it's been fun though. One, Irmao Pinho, was from Brazil, so he answered all of our cultural questions and that was really fun. eu AMO os brazileiros, they are so fun and so friendly! I'm blessed to be able to go there. Even if no one wants to hear our message, they are just naturally friendly and welcoming, it sounds like a fantastic place. I can't wait to go. Or wherever I end up, I should be getting my reassigment next week! eeeeeeeek
speaking of assignments, MADISON parabens! I'm sad you aren't coming to brazil but ecuador!! that's so awesome. just trust me, get your visa papers in as soon as you can! haha. and good luck to everyone going in the next few weeks, but you will all love it. I can't believe we only have ten days left, but at the same time I'm so excited to go. wherever I end up, I just want to meet and talk to real people. hopefully I get to brazil soon though! if we still had to be here for nine weeks...that would be hard. gym time outside is what SAVES me, we've been playing soccer and frisbee and it is SO nice to just be outside and move. I would go crazy if we couldn't.
We haven't had any more exciting moments recently that I can remember...except for the tiliapia the other day. Fantastic. They serve the best meals sunday and tuesday nights, I think to impress the people coming for devotional. although the meal rotation started over again on wednesday, so I got to repeat my first meals in the gets better. thankfully. We did have Elder Stephen B Allen come last sunday, and he was hilarious. He had everyone stand up for various things, including if anyone had been "dear john"ed already ("on behalf of all RM's, thank you for the donation"). They really say what they think here, it's hilarious. We also got to watch the Character of Christ by Bednar, which everyone talks about, but that's because it is SO fantastic. He talks about how naturally we turn inward when it comes to trials or just daily life, but the Savior always turns outward to think of others. It was a fantastic reminder to grow in Christlike attributes. we also sang "precious savior, dear Redeemer" in choir, but it was a totally different melody and changed the song completely, I loved it. Choir is the best.
Overall everything else has been pretty routine, it's been so fun to run into people I know here. I think it would be so cool to teach here when I get back, but we'll see how many brazilian portuguese teachers they'll need. if this visa stuff keeps up I might be able to get a job! It would be such a great environment to work in anyway, even if I couldn't teach. We'll see. I'm just so excited to get out on the field. 10 more days!
sou grata para todas as oracaos y pensamentos, boa sorte com tudas suas coisas y trabalhos que precisem fazer. vos amo muito!