Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Week 2...Brazil CTM

Oi everyone! (I love saying Oi! It’s really fun)

This week has been wonderful! Sorry for the heart attack email last week- missionaries seriously have noooo time to email. You can write me letters the regular way, which would be wonderful. You don´t understand how much a letter makes a missionaries day- it´s wonderful. Well, at least I think because I haven’t gotten one yet! Ha ha

This week went really well. The days take forever but weeks go by fast. Like I said last week, our schedule is like this:
6:30am wake up,
7 am breakfast
7:30 personal study (read scriptures and stuff)
8:30-12 class (it´s SO long- I get so bored and antsy but learn a lot. We have really fun teachers) 12-1 lunch
1-4:30 MORE class (ugh- I think my bum will totally flatten out during my MTC stay because we sit for 9 hours a day) In class we learn Portuguese, instruction on how to teach church lessons to people (we do a lot of role play stuff).
4:30-5:30 dinner
Then companion study for an hour after that (we study the language, help each other with pronunciation and stuff, and also church materials to get familiar with the lessons we´ll be teaching)
At night we have gym time, and I run a mile on the track with my companion. After all the rice, beans, rolls, butter and juice I’m having here, I don’t want to get tooo fat!

An apostle came to the CTM this week- Elder Russell M. Nelson. We prepared for his coming all week, and my companions and I sang in the choir. We could feel the Spirit so strongly as he walked in to the room. It was almost tangible and brought everyone peace and happiness. He first had everyone shake his hand, which was really neat! I thought something cool would happen as I shook his hand, but I realized that everyone had smiles on their faces after they shook his hand, and that is what was so important and memorable- just that the gospel brings joy to so many!

I can´t wait to tell people how happy it makes me, and how much the Lord loves each person, every day! So Elder Nelson spoke, and he shared thoughts that answered questions I had had, which was so wonderful. He blessed us all, and our families, and that we would have success (I wrote the specific blessing down, and I’ll have to share it when I have more time) Elder Holland spoke in areas around here, and I was kind of disappointed I didn’t get to hear him speak as well, because I love his talks.

What crazy things can I share?? Well, my teacher told us about this creepy cockroach they have here in Brazil. He said that they come out at night (mostly if your apartment isn’t clean) and look for food. BUT he said that if you aren´t a good teeth brusher, they will follow the food smell to your mouth. They then bite your lips and lightly blow too so you don’t feel it and crawl on you, which is super nasty. When you wake up in the morning your lips will be swollen and hurt so bad! Isn’t that disgusting!?! I brush my teeth all the time, so I’m not too worried, but he said it happened to his companion, and it was gross. I guess that´s how I will convince my kids to brush their teeth someday- I´ll tell them the scary huge cockroach will bite their lips in the night!
Something else that is funny here- The Brazilians pronounce Joseph Smith´s name like Josheph aSmitchee, and it makes me giggle every time! My teacher the other day said ``Josheph Smitchee went to the grove to pray” and my whole class started busting out laughing! We explained to him what he said, and we all laughed. I guess I’m starved for entertainment :)

So Brazilians do this sweet hand snap thing. It´s hard to explain, but I have almost got it down. I feel so cool now! The American elders in my class have Brazilian elders as roommates, and we all try to talk with them. They are so funny- and we teach them silly things in English and they do the same for us. Sometimes it turns out to be embarrassing! But we are learning who to trust!! I am learning more and more Portuguese every day, and it’s so fun! I still am overwhelmed; I can’t believe I will be able to speak it someday. But I keep trying!

I hope you all are doing well- I really would LOVE letters! My pictures aren’t working today, I´ll try next week. I love you all and want to hear from you!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In Sao Paulo Brazil...first letter


Hello everyone!!!!

Wowowowoowowowowow!! That is the first thing I will say. The keyboard is a bit different so if i mess up, just ignore it. I have 17 min to write everything in the world- pressure!! Well i guess my shift key isnt working either, so this will all be one huge paragraph.
Well my flight stuff was crazy- my flight was delayed at the gate and I missed my flight to Sao Paulo. I had to stay overnight in Atlanta and the day with Brittany Sweetwood Cushman and her family. It was sooooo nice of them to help me out!
I LOVE THE MTC!! I haven’t felt that it is overwhelming or anything at all! But I am waiting for that moment... ugh. Let me quickly tell you about everything here. My companions are soo wonderful! We all get along, and help each other out. The mtc (Missionary Training Center) here is pretty nice. Food- every meal has rice and beans. EVERY MEAL. Which I love, so not a big deal. They always have fruit, mostly watermelon and papaya, and some weird native fruits that I haven’t figured out how to eat. The fruit juices are GREAT, and of course the Guarana is wonderful. If you haven’t tried it, try it. :)
I’m seriously having a mini heart-attack trying to type as much as I can right now.. ugh. We always have rolls and butter, and usually some meat stuff. Sometimes it’s weird; I just share with people so I don’t waste food. But I’m pretty sure I’ll gain weight here from the rolls and stuff, so no worries. Every night we have a snack which is always chocolate milk and some sort of sweet bread or rolls. (Andrea would love it!)
I hear my mission, Joao Pessoa, is wonderful! Everyone tells me that people just come up to you in the streets and ask to be baptized, it’s crazy! (That reminds me- I call my companions, seester, all the time, and they laugh)
Our schedule is so crazy. Every minute is scheduled- every minute. We never really have time to relax. We have class for 3 hours at time, and its loooong. We also have gym, companion study, personal study, district (which is just my class- 5 elders and 3 of us sisters) and more.
I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful it is that I studied Portuguese before my mission. I can understand most of what people are saying, and I am learning soo quickly. The other people in my district don’t know anything or just a little, but I can very simply talk to the Brazilians here and get by. It is so comforting and really helpful to know the amount that I know.
I am learning so much every day too! We already are pretty much expected to be praying in Portuguese, and have to bear our testimonies tomorrow in Portuguese. Wow! I love it.

This afternoon we are going to go outside and shop a little, and look around. I will take pictures. I can only take pictures on prep day, ugh. But O well! I am so sorry that this is so scattered, maybe I will be a little more put together next week. I love you all so much. Hopefully these pictures will work. I will try to write personal stuff next week. I miss you and pray for you a ton!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Stephanie is off to Brazil.....

Officially Sister Gordon....she was set apart as a missionary Sunday evening by our Stake President, Gordon Tanner. Who happens to be a distant cousin on both sides of the family.
He asked each family member to tell Stephanie which of her good traits will help her to be a great missionary and also to give her advice. It was a BIG bawl fest! Rylan made all of us "composed" family members cry like babies.

We said our good byes at the airport and waited with her for a little while and then we decided she just needed to get to the gate and tear that bandage off! She was anxious to get on the flight and head out on her new life changing adventure. Stephanie's flight arrived late, hence missing her flight to Brazil. She stayed in a hotel, by the airport, over night and a friend, in Atlanta, let her hang at her home until the next night. We haven't heard a word from Stephanie yet, we're hoping on her "P" day (P is for Preparation day, day to do laundry, write letters (snail mail) and emails to her immediate family, other things that need to be done) will be on Tuesday or Wednesday so we should hear from her then. (Fingers crossed!)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Goodbye Everyone!

I'm down to three hours until I'm set apart as a missionary! I wanted to say goodbye for now to everyone. I am so excited to leave, a little nervous, but fully confident that the Lord will protect and watch over me. I am so grateful to have the ability to experience this, and to teach the people about the gospel. I love my Savior, and his teachings. I cannot wait to serve the people in Joao Pessoa, and show them how the Savior's love can brighten their life and fill it with joy! Thank you to everyone for your support, it has meant so much to me!
Hope you enjoy reading updates to come. I love you all!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Hahah cute!

I randomly found this picture online, and couldn't resist putting it on here! Hope it makes you smile :)
(I guess some lds guy makes muppet clay figures, so he thought he'd make them missionaries!)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

SLC Farewell Party

I have to start off saying a big THANK YOU to all of my wonderful family and friends. Thank you Uncle Rocky and Aunt Rachelle for letting me host the party at their house; we all had a great time! I was able to see many close friends, family and old acquaintances. Thank you everyone for your support, love and advice- It truly means so much!
Here are just a few fun pictures from the event. I am soo blessed to have such awesome friends!

Goin' on a Mission!

Well, I'm going on a mission! After much thinking, praying, and trusting in my Heavenly Father, I have decided that this is an incredible opportunity to do what I love doing most- Serving others. I have been called to the Joao Pessoa Brazil mission and leave April 13th. I will be speaking Portuguese, and am serving till October 2011.
I will use this blog to update everyone on my mission, relying on my mom to keep it up to date! My address is on the side, and I would love to hear from you!