September 12, 2013
September 11, 2013
Ola minha familha!
Today is my first day in the mission field. Luckily, on the week of transfers we get pday on Wednesday so we have time to settle in, and then every other week is Monday.
So! Where to begin. Im serving in Mossoró, a city about 4 hours away from Natal. It is inland, and muito muito quente. It’s definitely a city, but a lot poorer than Natal with more houses and less huge apartment complexes. I live in a really cute green house with another companionship of sisters! Our district is the smallest in the mission, just 4 sisters and 2 elders, but I already love them lots. Mossoró is the city of salt, sun, and petroleum. I’m thinking it’s kind of the Brasilian equivalent of Texas, which is funny when you think about it haha. But really, I know I am going to be very happy here. The people are very responsive, we teach 15+ lessons a week, and the ward is very very supportive!
My companion is Sister Oliveira, from Sao Paulo! She is very sweet, very confident, and really knows what she is doing. I feel incredibly blessed to have her, many different missionaries have told me that she is the best in the field. She’s only been out 8 months and I will be the fourth sister she trains! Fortunately or unfortunately, she knows almost no ingles so guess what! I’m going to be fluent in Portuguese much faster than i think the average North American. The two other sisters in our district are also from Brasil, so there will be no ingles haha. I’m extremely lucky that Sister Oliveira is from Sao Paulo, because I can understand her accent.
Our district leader is Elder Christensen, from California, but you wouldn’t know it. He speaks just like a Brasilian! I honestly went the first two hours in the car with him thinking that he was from the south (people are more white there). I don’t actually think he can speak English very well anymore. I tell you all this because this gives me hope! Seriously. Americans do not have to be dorks their whole mission. It is perfectly possible for me to learn Portuguese and speak like a native. All I have to do is put in the effort!
The most common thing people have said to me since arriving in the field is that I am in the hottest part of brasil. Huzzah! The second most common thing I’ve been told is that I am going to turn into a tomato. Also not the most encouraging thing. However, the THIRD most common thing I’ve been told is that I speak portugues really really really well for a greenie. So, that makes me happy :)
We have two lessons set up for later tonight! This is really happening! Ahhhh :) I don’t know how much i~ll be able to participate, but I am really looking forward to them for one main reason. Sister Oliveira says that in this mission, or at least in this area, we sing at every lesson. Opening and closing hymn. She says that the people really love it, and it brings the spirit. So at least I will have the opportunity to share my testimony through music. And let’s be honest, that’s my favorite way to share my testimony anyway!
Saturday seems like a year ago, but I should tell you now before I forget. It was the independence day of Brasil! WE had a huge celebratory lunch, with ice cream! And it was a lot of fun. I color coordinated and dressed up like the Brasilian flag. All the teachers loved me haha. We also sang the national anthem, which is CRAZY by the way - YouTube it, and for the first time I was actually able to sing along the whole time. Maybe I am turning into a brasilian.
Sunday was a really emotional day for our district, as we have all grown extremely close. The Elders took the time to give each and every person a priesthood blessing. It took about two hours. The spirit in that room was incredible, like nothing I have ever felt before. I could feel the love of God so strongly for each and every person in that room. The power of the priesthood is real. It has never hit home to me before how precious a gift the priesthood of God is, not just to the Elders but to me as well. I am so blessed to have this gift in my life. I will never forget that day.
Also, dear family, you don’t have to worry about me. I’m being taken care of. You don’t have to worry about yourselves either, because it seemed that half of my blessing discussed all the ways in which my family at home will be blessed. I pray that you can recognize the hand of the Lord in your life, because he is definitely watching over you too.
I love you so much! I’m in good hands, don’t worry :) This gospel is true, and miracles have not ceased.