Temple Time

It sounds like ya’ll are having an absolute blast without me! :) Man- can you believe I’ve been here for a month?! I literally only have 17 more of these [months] left and that actually makes me kinda sad because I love it here. I love the people, the food, and the language.  I feel so extremely blessed to be here. My very favorite thing here is definitely the people I am with.  My companion is absolutely amazing and fantastic.  She is constantly striving to build others up.  She is definitely a people person and if she notices even the slightest problem, she will chat with that person to make them feel important, calm them down, or give them confidence.  I love her very much and I am so sad that we’ll be parting in 2 weeks. :(  At least we’re going to the same mission!
 
The brazilian instructors are my favorite people to talk to.  My companion and I always manage to talk to our ‘instructors’ (Irmãos) about their love lives. haha [Having a gold ring on your right hand ring finger means your engaged.]  They are so funny and informative.  They get down to business (portuguese business that is), but they are always around for a good time.  I will definitely miss them in the field.  I will also miss the safety of the CTM.  I love this place. I know that I must go out and meet real investigators one day, but I just can’t get enough of this place.  You meet sooooo many new, different, exciting people at the CTM.  I love them all.
 
We had a seriously cool devotional on tuesday.  President Dalton spoke to us (he is somehow related to Sister Dalton whom I LOVE!).  He spoke about how we should prepare all of our investigators to enter the temple.  We are not solely out here to baptize people (although that is a very important saving ordinance).  We want to bring people to the House of the Lord to be sealed together as families.  We also want to bring them to the temple to do the work of their ancestors just waiting to be able to accept those saving ordinances.
 
I learn so much at the temple. There is an amazing mosaic in the baptismal font (like WOW).  The crazy, noisy, hectic life outside of the temple is a big contrast to the serene, calm, peaceful feeling inside of the temple.  Anyway I love the temple. y’all need to go. :) :) No really, go to the temple more often- people are waiting on the other side just for you.
 
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Whenever I mention my mission to somebody they always comment ‘oooo it’s cold down there.’  This comment really makes me wonder just how cold it is…I’m starting to get a little worried.
 
I love y’all sooooo much! Keep sending me updates! I’m only 1 1/2 weeks away from being out in the field!
 
-Sister Jessop

Proselyting in Sao Paolo

We actually went proselyting this week!  [*going out and teaching real people, not just with instructors.] We actually gave out copies of the Book of Mormon.  Each person had two to give out.  It was like the easiest thing on the planet.  We gave them out literally 30 steps away from the bus to a group of old men.  Creepy men,  but it’s okay.  Yeah- guys will listen to you talk about anything (even religion!) if you’re pretty (my companion is a total babe and attracts all the boys to her lawn with her milkshakes.) :)

It was a really weird downtown experience though because of the alarming number of homeless people, as well as the number of ‘ladies of the night’ (apparently it’s not just for nighttime anymore?? because we were proselyting at like one in the afternoon and I saw four ladies). One homeless guy was literally sleeping on the sloped cement and would occasionally thrash around at unsuspecting passersby. Yep. Strange right? We also talked at length with a drunk homeless man…he got very emotional…..

So I had some pretty fantastic blunders with an investigator yesterday.  Just to preface this- the word for ‘morrar’ is to live and the word for ‘morrer’ is to die.  Yeah so I actually asked an investigator “Voce tem morrido em Sao Paulo para todo sua vida?” which translates to “Have you died in Sao Paulo your whole life?”  It was pretty funny.

The other blunder I made was in the middle of the baptismal invite at the very end of the lesson after we had born our testimonies and everything.  We cracked our ‘investigator.’  Yep he started laughing because I said that Joseph Smith had received the priesthood from Pedro (Peter), Tiago (James) and Paulo (I thought it was Paulo not Joao.)  Whoops! So then I started laughing cause I’m like a giggling machine sometimes.  So my amazing companion finished the invite for me and he accepted through giggles. Babahaha! I had to jab my nail into the palm of my hand to keep from laughing during the closing prayer.  And this ‘lesson’ was being videotaped… so several of the instructors had a laugh about it later.  Other than that it was a fantastic lesson about Joseph Smith and eternal families all mixed into one.

I thought I would get fat here because of the amount of food I consume, but I have actually lost 5 pounds.  I don’t really know how, but I attribute it to the fact that I am no longer eating chocolate chip cookies, pies, and brownies on the daily. Haha. They have the worst desserts here. I think I’m going through a good sugar detox because of it.

I went to the Sao Paulo temple today!!!!! It’s so beautiful. I wish I could send pics. :) [*They can’t upload pics while they are at the CTM for some reason. Maybe because they have a very limited time at the computer?]

Alex-I’m sending a letter to you today… I wonder when you’ll get it…..  Mom!  I got your letter and I loved it!  It was so comforting to see your handwriting (weirdly.) Please keep sending more physical letters, cause we are starved for news of family and friends on regular days of the week.

I literally spent 45 minutes of activity time juggling the soccer ball with a bunch of Hispanics.  This is the life! For reals. I love it here.  Everyone should serve a mission because it’s so dang much fun! Sorry for the lack of spirituality this week! The church is true. Keep the faith. I love y’all!

Life in the CTM ;-)

I am having the time of my life here in Brazil!! We just went to the Campinhas Temple this morning and next week we’ll be able to go to the Sao Paulo Temple (because it’s opening back up.) We get to go out around the CTM on our P-day [*her preparation day] and it is so cool to talk with random Brazilians. Almost everyone is friendly and they are all receptive to ‘bom dia’ ‘boa tarde’ or ‘boa noite’ (which welcome depends on the time of the day.)

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It seriously is such a miracle that I got my visa because there are a TON of visa waiters that come through here and stay for only two weeks. Most of the visa waiters have spent about a whole year serving elsewhere. That is absolutely crazy for the sisters! Some of them will only spend 6 months in Brazil! I feel so very blessed to be here and there are a ton of people going to my mission. There are 5 people in my district alone that are going to my mission (including my companion Sister G.) So cool! That means that the people I spend nearly every waking moment with will be serving with me.

Sister G. (my companion from South Jordan) and I are on the same wavelength. I only say this because we frequently say the exact same thing at the exact same time. It’s pretty dang fantastic because then we work really well together on the lessons….If only I could telepathically tell her when I needed to go to the bathroom. He-He (We must remain within sight and sound of each other.) She is absolutely amazing! She never stops smiling and her fun-loving attitude is extremely contagious. I really admire her.

Oh, and I met a guy from Memphis and he knows Uncle Darrin and Aunt Lisa!!  His name is Elder Thomas. I thought it was cool and random that he knew them. :)

I have four more weeks here until I leave for Porto Alegre! I can’t believe how the time flies here. Literally every waking moment here is filled with fun, laughter, learning and excitement (that is except for the waking up part- that is hard.. Ha.)

Elder Holland was seriously amazing. Here are some random excerpts and thoughts from his devotional:

Some ask “why does it have to be so hard? Salvation is not a cheap experience.” We learn and grow from every hardship. That is how we change.  Also, something inside of you has to reflect Christ. We seek to emulate his virtues- charitable, kind, loving, patient, etc. We must also (in some small measure) experience the pain he did on Calvary. He went through so much strenuous pain (Gethsemane and the crucifixion.)

“. . . the road to salvation always goes to the summit of Calvary.” Now we must experience hardships to reflect him in some way to become the diamond in the rough. I know we all experience hardships, but we can get through it with His help. We can become all He wants us to be.

So my room mates have been having a bit of a rough time with the language. For example crying during Portuguese prayers, and just crying in general over the difficulty of the language. They are amazingly strong though. I love them to pieces. However, they had a seriously cool experience this last week. They taught their ‘fake investigators’ and when they came back they were smiling and in tears. I knew that something was up. Then our instructor (also their ‘fake investigator’) came back into the room and told us that Sister L and Sister R had spoken absolutely flawless Portuguese for 10 solid minutes of testimony bearing. Irmao A said that he had never in his whole life experienced anything like it.

Miracles do happen. The gift of tongues is real. I know that it will be there to help us in our moment of need. These sisters were in great need of some success after the last couple weeks of rough Portuguese learning. I know that God blessed them with the ability to share their testimony to their investigator that day. I hope that I can live worthy enough to get the gift of tongues when I need it the most.

My day goes something like this:
-wake up
-dress and shower for 1/2 hr.
-breakfast
-personal study
-teaching from instructor (and teaching ‘investigators’ practice)
-almoco (lunch)
-teaching from instructor (and teaching ‘investigators’ practice)…. again
-dinner
-physical activity… -volley ball, b-ball, juggling the volleyball. :)
-shower…? sometimes
-companion study (planning investigator’s lessons)
-lanche[snack] (one of my favorite parts of the day…juice boxes, crackers, and Brazilian tortoise chocolates)
-bedtime

I am so sorry this is so absolutely random. My writing is really improving (although I think I’m forgetting English.) :) I love you all and I hope you continue to do amazing things!

Oi from the CTM

I was so sad to see you guys go at the airport, but now that I’m here I just feel bad that you are sad at all because I am having the time of my life here! Oh my goodness gracious this has been the coolest week of my life! I still can’t believe that I am in Brazil. :)

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I might as well spill the beans now… ELDER HOLLAND GAVE A DEVOTIONAL HERE YESTERDAY!! I even shook his hand. More to come about that later.

So on the flight over there were like 10 elders and 5 sisters on the same flight which was really cool. The very first day here we jumped in with the language and I was in love! I love talking to all the Brazilians and impressing them with my language powers (still need much improvement!) It is fantastic to be able to understand them so well. My companion and my roomies are having a bit tougher of a time with the language. I feel really bad about that….

The elders from Cape Verde (Africa) are really hard to understand, as well as the Hispanics. The Hispanics are extremely hard to understand because I never really know if the are speaking Portuguese or Spanish (I feel like they mostly speak Spanish.) It’s alright though cause I can understand Spanish too!

My companion’s name is Sister G. from South Jordan. We sit (or at least try to) with the Brazilians at breakfast lunch and dinner. They are all so happy and excited. Sadly some of our favorite Brazilians left just this last Wednesday(the Brazilians only stay for 2 weeks at the MTC.) The Brazilians are so funny when they try to pronounce English words, or they’ll sing American pop songs (even though they don’t know what they’re saying at all.) One of the Brazilian Elders constantly winks at me and others (it’s a little disconcerting, but funny.) So a lot of the Brazilian Elders fist bump the sisters. One time I tried to show Elder L. the ‘turkey fist bump.’  I did it incorrectly and all the Brazilians laughed their heads off and by the end they didn’t even understand what I had been doing, they just thought it was weird and funny. Fail.

The Elders in my district are hilarious. This week has been really chill as far as workload goes. We have like 4 hours of ‘study time’ a day without an instructor. Needless to say it is very hard to stay on track. We laugh and joke around a lot. Based on what I’ve heard about the Provo MTC, this CTM is way more chill and relaxed. Don’t get me wrong, we still learn Portuguese. In fact my companion and I even have a fake investigator who is scheduled to be baptized tomorrow! We’ve been teaching him lessons everyday since day one. His name is Laecio, but we actually stopped teaching him yesterday (our last day to teach him) because he will actually become one of our instructors.

The food here is absolutely fantastic. Okay so the desserts are mostly disgusting (a lot of custards, odd fruity tasting jellos, marshmallow bowls, and flan [bad flan].) I miss cookies, but it sounds like Andrew is making the family quota of cookies for me. Anyway, the beans and rice are amazing. Seriously, I will never go back to American rice ever again. Wednesday is pizza night. Yay! They have a fantastic banana chocolate pizza.

Activity time is sooooo fun cause we play ‘vellyball’ with all the Hispanics (which means that you can use any body part you want). Super ‘legal’ right! (‘legal’ is Portuguese.) I wreck at heading the ball. All the Latinos are amazed. Hahahahaha!

I went to the Campinhas Temple today! What a neat experience!

Elder Holland truly is a man of God. I have a new dedication to this work. I guess I’ll write you a handwritten letter about Elder Holland because I’m running out of time. I love all of you sooooo much and I couldn’t be happier than to be here. Don’t worry about me! I am well taken care of!

In Brazil!!!

Lizzy’s first email:

I have reached the MTC safely! It was a really fun journey and I can’t wait to send some pictures. I am safe and so ready to get out there and start working. I feel bad that you guys might be sad about me leaving because everything on my end has been absolutely spectacular! Sao Paulo is beautiful and I love the girls that I am with. I keep reading every single billboard…I am trying to just soak it all in. [*She studied Portuguese in college.] I seriously cannot believe that I am actually here. I have a perpetual grin on my face. I love you guys!! Keep it up, and keep the faith!

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