Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Week 6.....continued

We went prostleyting in the streets of Sao Paulo, Brasil. We handed out 12 Books of Mormon. It was a great experience once we built up our courage to speak. Many were telling us that we spoke well for as long as we have been studying Portuguese.
We met people of all ages at the two parks we were in and people on the streets.
We had a young man that was working on a house walk over to us and tell us that he had read the Book of Mormon and wanted to know how to learn more about the church. We gave him a number to call the local missionaries and where he could attend sunday meetings.
After a long day, we met back up with the Elders in our group and our teacher. We told our teacher all that happened that day and that the people of Brazil were open to listen and were interested in what we had to say, or they were VERY nice people.
At the end of our day we were with our teacher and an elderly man walked up to us. He was very old and didn't have any teeth, he was difficult to understand. Our teacher, who is Brazilian, spoke with him. This man has had a difficult life and was wishing it would end. As my teacher spoke with him and gained his trust he was very interested. He believed in the atonement of Jesus Christ and we answered his questions. He felt the holy spirit and began crying. We bore witness that God loves him and cares for him and could help him change his life.
Through this experience, I saw how the small and simple things of Jesus' teachings can change someone's life and help heal them. I can't wait until I'm out in the mission field and doing this every day.
We talked to a lot of people during the day, only wrote some of the hightlights.
We finished the day with huge smiles on our faces and feeling exhausted, but it was all worth it. It was a great day!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Week 6

Oi Everyone!!
As usual, I had a wonderful week and it went by fast. People are leaving every week, and it just reminds me that it´s getting close. We still have 3 weeks left to go, but the way time flies here I’m sure it will come super fast! I still always have stuff to learn!

Major event of the Week: Proselyting! (or Prosolytismo, prounounced like pra-so-lee-cheese-mo) Haha, I love portuguese! So we were set free on the street for 3 hours, and given a bunch of Books of Mormon, and we just went and talked to people and gave out Books of Mormon. My companions and I wrote one big letter telling the whole story, and I will send it in the next few days. That will tell all of the details. I would love for everyone to be able to read it! It was a wonderful experience, and just made me excited to go out on the mission field. The people in Brazil are EXTREMELY nice, and it would not have been the same experience in America, that’s for sure!

I conducted the MTC choir this week for our Sunday evening devotional. It was my first time ever conducting a choir, and I was so nervous! My skills weren’t so great, and it was a semi-difficult song, but it all turned out to be okay. There were about 80 missionaries in the choir, and everyone was so nice! I would say about 30 elders and sisters came up to me and said I did a good job, which was so sweet. They all asked me to do it again, which was extra nice of them to say. I think I would like to try again, there is always a first to everything, but hopefully I won’t be so nervous the next time!

Here is a little story for the week! I was in the shower, and had this strange feeling to look under my shampoo bottle to see if it was clean. WELL- there happened to be some little guests under there! Tiny baby maggot worm things! Ha-ha! We sometimes have tiny little flies in our bathroom, I think they come up from the drain, and they must have laid eggs or something. Either way, it was gross, and the opposite feeling you would like to have in the shower. So I once again scrubbed out the shower, and hopefully we will be bug free for a little while. :)
I wish i had more time to write, but I want to end saying that I LOVE this gospel. It is real. It is True. I know it without a doubt. It is physically real and I can feel it. Wonderful things are happening all over the world, and I am so excited to be a part of this amazing work. Please try this out for me- If you don’t know if this gospel is true, read the intro to the Book of Mormon, especially the last 2 paragraphs, and then ask for yourself. Why not?? You WILL receive an answer, and it will either be true, or not. So why not give it a try?? I love being a sister missionary. I love hearing from you guys. Keep it up, keep praying and keep in touch! Love you!
-Love your sis mish steph :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Midweek letter

Side note: We found a service that we can email a letter to and they will print it off and deliver the letter to the Missionary Training Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It's nice because she can recieve letters during the week,not only on Tuesday when she reads her emails. She can also hand write letters and they scan it and email it to use. It gives her time to write and jot down thoughts during the week.
We received a letter from her on Thursday...

Stephanie wrote:
How I arrived in Brazil, since I had missed the flight that everyone else arrived on. I arrived the following day worried that they might have forgotten about me. I got off the flight and picked up my bags and walked to the lobby. There was a Japanese lady there waiting for me. She introduced herself and helped me exchange US money into Brazilian money and then took me to my ride to the CTM. It was a 20 minute ride and the driver and I spoke a little Portuguese with the driver and then I arrived at the CTM. That easy!

I'm grateful to have such good friends and family that sends me letters. I love getting letters, it adds so much to my day.
I'm trying to rely on the Lord 100% and have patience. I work hard, pray hard, and I try to always be positive. When meeting with my branch president, I couldn't think of any problems or challenges. He said, "Well that was easy!". I love being here, I'm being helped so much by the Lord. I'm worried that it's the calm before the storm, but maybe it just all comes down to trusting the Lord and having a good attitude no matter what.
I get to go prosleyting next week so I'll tell you all about it in the my next letter.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Week 5....

Oi Everyone!!
Well, I had my one month anniversary this past week! What a cool feeling, it went by so fast! Only about 17 more to go! Ha! We had a small ´fiesta´ in our room, (my companions and I) and our Brazilian roommate tried to teach us how to samba, but we were all toooo American to do it!
I have to say that the weeks go by soo fast. I am so happy here! We are always learning, but having a lot of fun as well, sometimes probably too much fun. We have wonderful teachers who know how to teach well, but they also have strong testimonies, and have the funniest stories to tell. It´s awesome! I’m trying to think of something fun that happened this week, but the weeks blur together. Hmm.. Well the name ´Sister Crazy` still lives on. I am just my goofy self when it´s appropriate, and people must think I´m so weird, but I get them laughing pretty hard. You get pretty starved for entertainment here at the CTM, so anything is funny! For example: the other night my companions and I did weird hairstyles after gym and went to our planning time with our Elders. Everyone that saw us was like “what’s wrong with your hair?” and we would act serious like it was normal, and they believed us. It was pretty funny, but now that I write it, it doesn’t sound funny at all! O well. I have also convinced the Elders in my group that I am blind in my right eye, and they totally believe me! They are always trying to disprove it, but I keep a straight face and keep them believing. You can tell they don’t want to be rude and say I’m not, but it gets my companions and I laughing later that night.
My group sang Amazing Grace this week in church. We sang an arrangement that Elder Tilton and I composed. It was really nice! The CTM president came to listen, and they loved it- Sis Clark (the president´s wife) was crying and said it was beautiful. That was pretty fun. OOO- everyone NEEDS to look up the Brazilian national anthem on youtube and listen to it. It is so crazy!! I´ve been learning it on the piano, and it´s pretty difficult. I hope someday I can accompany during the group devotional when we sing it. I look forward to singing every week, because it’s such a tongue twister, speedy mcspeedy song to sing in Portuguese! I laaave it! So, just look it up :)
I´ve been working hard on the language, and using every opportunity to speak it with my Brazilian roommate. She is such a sweetheart and helps me out a lot. She is helping me learn so much! Unfortunately, she leaves next week, but I told her she needed to stay to help me with the language, and because she is a great friend! The Brazilians here are all soo nice, but right now we only have one Brazilian sister. We are losing 5 more sisters this next week, and will only have less than 12 here! Out of 200+ Elders, that is not many sisters. I hope we get more!
I love you all! Keep writing! I miss you and pray for you! Tchau!
Seester Gordon

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Week 4...1/2 mark at the Missionary Training Center

Hey everyone!!!!!!!!!
What a wonderful week! It went by so fast! It really does go by fast, and so much depends on your attitude. One of the new girls told me that a sister said “Be careful, everyone cries here, you´ll cry soon enough.” I was so surprised when I heard that because I think it’s been great, and so do my companions! I just see the MTC as an opportunity to learn, and I have so much to learn!!

I just found out that we´ll be getting a Brazilian sister in our room, which will be interesting. It´ll for sure help us with learning Portuguese faster! She is really nice though, so it should be great.
What happened this week? I have to start off telling a little story. My companion told me the other night that she woke up to me talking in my sleep, which is not unusual, UNTIL she said that I was talking in PORTUGUESE!! Hahahaha!! I said, “Eu SOU Vou entender portuguese!” Which sort of means, “I will understand Portuguese!”, but in horrible grammar. I was really proud to be talking in Portuguese in my sleep.

This week has gone by so fast, that I don’t even remember anything fun to say- I usually take notes, but I forgot this week. I´m celebrating my 1 month mark today. I’m halfway done with the MTC. Being a sister missionary so far is pretty cool. We began teaching in Portuguese this week, which was interesting at first, but by the end of the week we could get through a lesson in decent time. Of course, we are all talking like 3 year olds, and I’m sure it’s with a horrible accent, but we´re learning! I can speak with the Brazilians on a decent level, if they speak slow. We get to go out proselyting next Friday. So we´ll see how that goes. I love my companions, and we have a pretty good time together.

I’ve got to use my haircutting skills and cut some of the Brazilian sisters’ hair. There is a barber here in the MTC, but they don’t do a very good job. I’m not able to cut the Elders’ hair, so they’ll have to live with the bad haircuts. Ha!

I cannot begin to express how much help I’ve received from the Lord in helping me learn Portuguese. It’s amazing. I can read through “Preach My Gospel” (that’s the book we learn missionary work from) and get through it without having to look up a word I can’t remember.

It’s interesting how your perspective changes when you’re a missionary. Before my mission, reading the scriptures for an hour seemed like a long time, but now it’s not enough. One of my new favorite things to do is to ask myself, “How has the Lord helped me today?” Every day I can come up with A LOT of things He has helped me with. I challenge everyone to ask themselves that question each day and write it down in your journal.

I’m glad I brought a few light sweaters, it’s gotten cooler here. I also think the bugs know it’s cooler, because we found a cockroach in the bathroom. Don’t get me wrong, the MTC is very clean and nice. I hear the Joao Pessoa, where I will be serving my mission, is very HOT. So I’d better enjoy the cooler weather while I can.

Love to everyone and Happy Mother’s Day!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

News From Brazil

Dear Family and friends-
I have to start out saying thanks for your emails!! I really love hearing from you every week- it definitely is a highlight. I am focused on the work, and am doing great! I seriously don’t have time to write you guys in a half an hour. I’m learning patience here.

So this week has been fun! It´s funny how fast but slow the week goes by. Here in the mission, your concept of `weekend` totally changes. For the first time in your life, Tuesdays are the BEST day of the week, and Saturdays are not anything special. Sundays in the CTM are great because you actually have time to take a nap! Haha But we work hard most of the week, and it’s a good thing- keeps us busy and learning.

Portuguese is coming along pretty well. At a devotional (this is where church leaders in the area come and give about 15 min long speeches) there were a few Portuguese speakers. They translate, but I was able to understand the Portuguese about 75-80% of the time. I would hear the Portuguese, then check how well I did when they translated into English. Its pretty fun, and I am very proud of myself. I am so impatient with learning a language, but I have decided that being impatient is a good thing right now if it makes me work harder, which it does. I really do like this language though- and I already know and understand more Portuguese in these 3 weeks than I ever did after taking 4 years of Spanish (if that makes sense) haha!

So we had a group of Brazilian elders leave today. They were really fun guys, and roomed with the missionaries in my group. We are supposed to sit by them at meals to practice speaking with them, So we see them often and know them as well as we can for not speaking the same language. Over the course of the past 2 weeks, they have nicknamed me “Sister crazy”, ha ha!! I think it´s because we all joke around, and I’m the only sister that will joke with them! They are really funny, and I’ve learned a lot. I’ll have to attach pictures soon, I can’t here on these computers.. :( But I’ve loved being Sister Crazy!!

To answer a few questions- I do laundry here, and they have detergent. I don’t know how many elders are here, but I think close to 200. There are 20 sisters, and a mix of personalities! We´re getting a sister from Africa this week, which is cool! My towel is working out great! And I haven’t seen President and Sister Richardson yet, but I hear he will be visiting this week, so I’ll have to look for him.

Some last minute facts- every morning for breakfast we have rolls with cheese and ham, and maybe some cereal or porridge stuff. No mayo, or only butter, and it gets tiring so fast!! And all of their desserts are so weird. I usually never eat it.

Well I want to end saying that I love being here. I have realized so quickly that this gospel is the most important thing in life. Anything that brings me happiness, such as family, friends, and future, is directly linked to this church. I feel so strongly about sharing its message with everyone. We are constantly hearing talks from recent converts who are church leaders, and how their life is so blessed from this gospel. I love it and am so happy! This is difficult, but worth every minute.
So please write! I love you all and hope you are doing well!!