Monday, November 11, 2013
Yes, in fact it is! Everyone here has already started putting up Christmas lights and selling Christmas decorations. Sure there´s no snow and the sun is stronger than ever, but it´s wonderful nonetheless :).
First things first, Happy Birthday yesterday, Uncle Tom!! And Feliz aniversario today, Aunti Kanga! I hope you´re days were absolutely wonderful!
This week was definitely faith-building. The language here is a little different than what we learned in the CTM, so I´ve been a wee bit frustrated with myself. I have a hard time fully expressing myself and an even harder time understanding the needs and difficulties of the people we teach. Sister Custódio has been of so much help to me though. Some how, I can´t understand other people very well, but I can understand everything she says. So someone will say something to me that I don´t understand one bit. And then she´ll repeat it to me, word for word, and I understand! She´s also always so aware of my needs. Every day, she shares something with me that is just what I need to hear. I am seriously so blessed to have her as my companion. The Spirit that she carries with her is incredible!
This week, we had a zone meeting. We learned how to improve our planning sessions and watched Mormon message from President Uchtdorf. He said something that I just love! That we are children of the most creative Being in the universe and we have the potential to become like Him. Think about that. How incredible! At this zone meeting, I also received some mail from two fantastic people. Thank you so much, Cam and David, for your letter and your picture! I can´t tell you how happy I was to see that I had something from you two! We only get mail here in Aracajú whenever we have a zone meeting or something of the sorts a.k.a. not very often. So thank you for brightening my day with your love!
Like I said, this week was difficult, not only because of the language, but also because a lot of our investigators are either not progressing or moving or never home. Something that I´ve come to learn so well here though is that the Lord is so mindful of us! Yesterday, Sunday, none of our investigators came to church. But the Lord blessed us with one of His elects. A woman decided to show up who had been invited to church by the missionaries in our area three months ago. She was just soaking up everything and already asked when she can be baptized. My heart is full of gratitude!
Now for the most important part of a mission--the food (brincadeira). This week I got to drink coconut water out of the coconut. Yes! I ate a delicious dessert called tapioca that I have no idea how to describe. For every meal, we have a different kind of juice. The number of fruits here are endless! And we always have rice and beans. Always. Another fun fact: eating turkey is one of the most bizarre things Sister Custódio and Sister Ferreira have ever heard.
Anyways, I am so glad to be here. The mission isn´t always easy, but that´s what makes it so great. Because when times are difficult, it gives us an opportunity to rely on the Lord even more and that´s when miracles happen. I know this gospel to be true and love it so much! It has brought so much joy to my life! Hurrah for Israel!
Com muito amor,
It´s a lot like Mexico here but cooler and better ;). The language is different too haha. The ward is amazing. Not as many members as home, but they are all really helpful with missionary work. I get along well with the kid thanks to being American and blonde. We missionaries don´t teach any classes but we might start. Okay, sorry this is so short, but I have to go. Love you lots!!!
Monday, November 4, 2013
MTC Roomies and Trol
Roommates after walking home in the storm
I'm thinking this is the group leaving the CTM for Maceio
Flying into Maceio
Sister Ball and Sister Custodio
Who do we live with... you´re going to love this. So it´s my companion and then two other sisters in our own apartment. And guess who one of the other sisters is--Sister Barker!!! We all serve in the same ward, live together and eat lunch together. How great is that? Ever day, we remind each other how blessed we are to see each other on a regular basis. It still blows my mind.
My companion is Sister Custódio from São Paulo. She is awesome. Her three favorite things--McDonald´s, Metallica (before the mission, of course) and Coca Cola. When President Gonzaga was announcing who our companions would be, I noticed her because of how happy she was and wanted to be her companion. Then right before he said I would be her companion, I just knew that we would be. And now, here we are, serving together in Aracajú. She´s so happy and kind and funny. We´ve had lots of good laughs together!
Every day, we eat lunch with a member. We don´t really eat dinner because lunch is always so ginormous, but we always have a little nighttime snack. The food is soooooo good! And get this: everyday, Sister Custódio and Sister Ferreira have to force me to eat more. At every single meal, it´s this: "Come mais Sister! Come mais!" I´m afraid I´m going to return twice as heavy as I came.
The language... oh man. It´s actually not as horrible as I thought it would be. Sure I can barely understand people here and they can barely understand me, but we can all feel the Spirit testifying the truthfulness of what we´re sharing, and that´s what counts. Sister Custódio doesn´t speak English, but we all manage to get along and day by day, it gets easier and easier!
I don´t know our plans for Christmas yet, but Sister Ferreira (Sister Barker´s companion--she´s adorable) said that we can Skype. I´ll find out more in the future. And yes, post letters to the mission home. And tell everyone in Idaho to do the same! Thank you for sending letters. I cannot wait to get them :).
Other fun facts:
The weather here is already super hot and it´s not even summer yet. Last night, we had a crazy rain storm which was super fun walking home in. It actually was once I decided to have fun with it :). Yesterday, we had testimony meeting and Sister Custódio and I brought along a pesquisador. Everyone here jumps out of their chairs to bear their testimonies. It´s so great. On Saturday, we had a baptism which was wonderful as well. I can´t believe how great the work is here. Yes, we have to work hard, but the people here are so much more open to the gospel! It makes me so happy.
It sounds like the family is doing wonderful. I can´t wait to hear about State for Noelle! And I´m glad everyone had a good Halloween. How is Dad doing? Is his foot any better? I hope so! I´m just about out of time now, we get an hour, but I´m glad I got to hear from you!! I hope all is well back home and everyone is still loving the gospel and life! Don´t forget Elder Ballard´s challenge from General Conference--if you don´t remember it, find it! :) I love you all and pray for you daily! Hurrah for Israel!