Lots of pics in this one. Okay so I have no time to write! Ah! But I arrived safely. I hope you enjoy all the pictures. I am in Gaucho land in Rio Grande. Everything about the field is way different from the CTM. I already miss the planned meals and schedules. Out here you make your own schedule. Weird. Talking with ‘real’ people is a lot more intimidating. I had my very first baptism already! Yay! Anyway I love you all so much. There is much more to come next p-day. Sorry but today was mostly a sending pictures day. 😛
The view of Rio Grande from my mission apartment.
A pic of Sister T (my new companion) and me after a long day of training and traveling.
A baptism in my first week. A really cool guy.
President and Sister Swenson in Porto Alegre
Sister Remmington (from California,) Sister Larsen (from Taylorsville, Utah,) Sister Guy (my companion from South Jordan-she’s the best) and me at the Campinas Temple
Us saying goodbye (kind of). I love these girls so much.
Elders Willoughby, Ockey, Hale, Garrett, Sister Guy, me, Sister Larsen (sadly in the shade,) and Sister Remmington. My absolutely amazing CTM district. I cried, sweat, and bled (not really) with these wonderful folks. I can’t wait to hang with them after the mission.
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.
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!
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!