Saturday, June 29, 2013
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Oi mihna familia e amigos! Tudo Bem!
Hello Everyone! Thank you for the emails! I try to respond to them fast because time is so limited! I will try...and write this letter...We have time to do that while waiting for our laundry to wash.
WOW! Time flies here! I can't believe how fast a week goes by. I thought I just got here?? Sunday to Sunday is very fast. I am still loving it! There were a few hard moments but over all, things are good. I am fighting a nasty little cold that is living in our district but I think I am almost better. : )
Portuguese is coming along still. I can't believe how fast it happens. It is getting harder, but I plan to work harder too. I have the most AMAZING teachers. They are so inspired and loving. They really want us to succeed and just care so much. I love class. Their names are Irmao Nothum and Irmao Buttars. I don't know if you remember me telling you about our investigator, Agostino? But Agostino ended up being Irmao Buttars. It has made a huge impact on our learning. He has known us since we arrived here and were both struggling the most. He is very compassionate and I know he wants us to succeed.
I took the time to talk to my companion last night and we had a mini melt down after a lesson. We were frustrated that we could not express ourselves and teach him what we wanted to, because we didn't have all the vocabulary. However, he talked to us and reminded us that it was okay; that we are farther along than 3 years of Spanish! I am feeling better about that.
I love the spirit that we feel in class. I am learning more and more about my purpose as a missionary. I thought I had a pretty good idea, but there is soooo much to learn. It is all about love; loving as the Savior loves. This is something that I want to be able to do.
Sundays are still my favorite days, even though they are very busy days. Sundays are truly the days set apart to be uplifted and inspired. We had a very neat devotional that we watched from David A. Bednar. It was called the Character of Christ. It was really neat. I wish I had words to describe it. Even in the devotional he said not to take notes, but to remember how we felt. I felt a desire to know my Savior even more and a desire to come unto him, to become like him.
During a special opportunity to study individually outside, as a class, and just pray, read our scriptures and try to receive personal revelation; I read from John Chapter 13-15. I encourage you to read from these chapters! Christ talks of his love for the people and his apostles. I found many answers to several questions I have had swimming though my mind this week.
I love the opportunities here to feel of Heavenly Fathers love and encouragement. I know that this is where I am supposed to be right now and that he is pleased with my decision to serve. Thank you all for your love and support! Please support the missionaries in you ward as well! They need you!
This Sunday, my companion and I were looking forward to a day of studying and devotionals. But when we arrived to our classrooms that morning to begin, our day was changed in a moment! We were called to be Sister Training Leaders of our Zone. (We work with the Zone leaders but are over the Sister Missionaries.) We had so many meetings and trainings! It was great; very busy; but truly wonderful.
Sister Downs and I were so busy we had to do companion inventory and planning in the dinner line! We look up to our sister training leader and are learning so much from her. Actually her name is Margo Anderson (red hair) and she went to high school with my cousin, Jake! (Jacob Kirkpatrick). We have so much to learn, but are looking forward to the opportunity to serve and get to know the sisters in our zone. We do MTC training with them when they arrive to the MTC. It is crazy to think we are going to do that after we have JUST got the hang of it. Things happen fast here.
Missionaries are constantly coming and going. English speaking missionaries are only here 2 weeks. (I would be gone if that were me!) Portuguese and most foreign languages are here for 6 weeks. Japanese and Chinese speaking are here for 8-10 weeks.
I will be here until July 8 and then reassigned to a mission in the USA until I get my VISA. That is how it has been with all 4 Zones of Brazil Missionaries. Only 2 missionaries have received their Visa. We are all hopeful and prayerful! Any guesses on my reassignment?? ; )
~This Tuesday we have an awesome opportunity to participate in a HUGE change for the MTC. They are now going to be holding MTC devotionals in the BYU Marriott Center! We will all walk over there from the 2 MTC campuses. They estimate that in the next 5 years the Missionaries will fill the Marriott Center!! Incredible!! The work is going forth full force!~
ALSO!!! SOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am in the MTC choir. It is the BEST! If any of you go on a mission who haven't yet, JOIN CHOIR! The director is so talented and just overall hilarious! And…
***On June 23, there will be a Worldwide Broadcast Training of the church and we are going to be the Choir singing! It will be on the church website. www.lds.org All the 12 Apostles will be there and so will our prophet, Pres. Monson. I am sooo excited for this opportunity! Watch for me on TV!! I'll let you know what I'll wear when the time is closer ; ). I feel so blessed to be here at this time!!!***
At gym time (Seriously feels like recess in grade school but I love it!) I got in trouble!! Okay not really…I am an obedient missionary! ; ) I just thought it was funny. Normally we play sand volleyball or four square or run laps but it was especially hot this day and the sand was burning our feet. So, sitting under the big beautiful trees I had an urge to climb the tree! So… I did! It was a blast! (Somebody please send this to Alex Carbine my tree climbing buddy). A few sisters joined me and we had a blast. Sadly, we found out that they don't want us to hurt the trees…Understandable. I guess I was the first sister missionary to do that. I'm not sure if I should be sorry or proud?? Haha. Just kidding. I felt bad, but it was okay. They are very kind "missionary recess watchers!"
Sister Downs got a boiled egg at breakfast one day and cracked in on the table just to find that it wasn't boiled!! It was so funny!
Elder Hamilton (Our DL) was sitting in class one day and noticed gooey stuff on his name tag. Without thinking he licked it to see what it was!!!! EW!! It ended up being toothpaste-thank goodness for him. ;)
During a devotional our organist -An elderly gentleman- was playing the Hymn, “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Have you seen the church movie where the elderly sister is playing the organ and just going crazy…up and down the keys? Well, the whole time he was playing he was doing that and literallyLAUGHING! He was playing his own version, and the music director couldn't help from laughing. The organist kept throwing in runs in between verses, he was laughing so hard he wasn't even looking too! It was sooo funny!! Very talented!
Okay, my time is up again!! I'll try and figure out how to send pictures eventually!!!
Love you all!!! Hope to hear from you soon! (Letters preferably :)
P.S. HAPPPPY BIRTHDAY Brayden!!!! (On Friday) Everyone hug him for me!
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Oi! Como vai!!!?? Tudo Bem!!! Hello Everyone! I am so excited to finally be writing to you all! My P-Day's are Tuesdays, and I have been looking forward to it! Where do I even begin!? There is so much!
I absolutely LOVE being a missionary! And I love the MTC; (CTM in Portuguese). It is incredible. The spirit is ever present, strengthening and uplifting. I love how friendly everyone is here and being greeted in numerous languages.
I also really appreciate the structure and order. I thought it was going to be a hard adjustment but it happened more easily than expected. The first and second days flew by so fast! Sunday came in the blink of an eye. I can't believe it will be one week tomorrow! That is amazing.
We are just so busy here; we don't even have time to think about anything else! My thinking time is usually when I am trying to fall asleep. For the first time in my life I have trouble falling asleep!!! (Those who know me know I can sleep anywhere; anytime. Ha ha!)
It is when the day comes to a close, I am thinking of you all and how much I miss you. And I do miss you, so very much. I am also very grateful I decided to serve a mission. I am so happy. I am learning so much and feel very productive.
I'm in a Portuguese District and Zone. (Zone 70- District D). There are 8 sisters and 3 elders in my District. We are all going to Brazil and we are all ‘Visa waiters’. This was explained to us in other terms saying we are guests at the MTC (since we were supposed to go to the CTM in Brazil). In other words we are being worked into the MTC schedules.
We have an odd meal schedule. Breakfast: 6:30am, Lunch: 11:00am, Dinner: 4:00pm. I thought I was going to be waking up at 6:30am; but I guess not!! It has been fine though. I adjusted with no problem.
My companions name is Sister Downs. SHE IS AMAZING! I am sooooo blessed to have her as my companion. We work so well together. We both want to be the best missionaries possible and it is so helpful to have someone with the same goals. The first day she turned to me and said, "Sister Edwards, I want to learn Portuguese, and I am going to do whatever it takes. Are you with me?" "YES!" Ah, I am so grateful for her. I love her! She is from Kayesville, Utah and is 21. I am the only one going to Londrina! We have asked pretty much everyone going to Brazil and so far I am the only one! I hope I can find someone!
As for the Portuguese- oh my goodness! The very first hour I was here, was the first class. It is coming along really well, it is incredible. I have already taught 3 lessons in Portuguese. I had no idea how muchSpanish I actually know because it is helping me tremendously and… also messing me up a lot. I talk span-portu-glish. ;) Sister Downs and I have made a goal to use the language as much as we can.
I have never thought so much about what I am going to say. We will be walking to dinner and I have to think about how I am going to say, "That was a great class" or "I am hungry." I also realized we use so much slang in English. I can pray in Portuguese and bear my testimony (simply- but it is progress!) I am really excited for it to come! On Sunday in testimony meeting, missionaries who have been here for 3 weeks got up and could just speak smoothly. We sit with them at meals and converse in Portuguese. It is awesome! I can't wait! It gives me a lot of hope. Side note: The food here is delicious! There is so much and yeah…enough said :)
My branch President's name is Pres Nielson. He is a great man. I had an interview with him and he is very full of love. I love the attitudes of the leaders and teachers at the MTC. They just love, encourage, excite and affirm you.
Sunday was probably my favorite day so far. It was fast Sunday so we had a lot of time to study since we had no meals to go to. It was great to be able to have time for personal study because so much of our study time is used for studying Portuguese lessons we are preparing to teach. Significant time is spent translating and learning right now. So it was great to do stuff in English on Sunday. Then we had mission conference. INCREDIBLE! I loved every talk. Here are some notes on from the talks:
-Our relationship with Jesus Christ is so sacred. He was our brother in the pre-existence, and now He is our Savior and our Lord. It is so important to reverently worship him in all we do; especially in our language. We should not think we bring Christ down to our level to get closer to him. We must rise up to him and become like him. He is not a man- he is a God. He is our Savior. We owe everything to him.
-"If you are going to live in a tent in the wilderness you are going to need a liahona!" (compass) Be prepared and gain a firm testimony. You are going to need to rely on it and your obedience for direction where ever you go in life.
-Become a "preach my gospel missionary." President Roach talked about the history and development of Preach my Gospel and how to effectively use it. He also showed us how they use to teach discussions with felt boards. That reminded me of when we were younger.
Times do change and progression is essential. Teaching by the Spirit and teaching to the needs of the investigator is so important. I challenge you all to begin to read Preach my Gospel. It is an incredible book every member missionary should read! aka everyone :)
-Endure to the END (Forever)
Then later that night we had a devotional from Ted Gibbons. Google him! He is a very inspiring man! He got up on the stage and began telling the story of Willard Richards (Pretending that he was Willard). It was beautiful. This was probably the strongest I felt the spirit my whole time here.
My testimony of Joseph Smith has grown tremendously. I know he was a prophet of God. I know it with all of my heart and being. We all sang praise to the man after hearing the story. I couldn't help but choke up with tears. The line "Sacrifice Brings Forth the Blessings of Heaven" stood out to me especially. I know that so much of our life in the gospel is sacrifice.
Just before the devotional I was thinking about what I might be doing if I wasn't here right now. (Probably be in my YSA ward or spending time with Brayden and his family). I felt really homesick. Then I heard and sang that line from the hymn, and… I know that every sacrifice we make will bring forth the blessings of Heaven. I know this is where I am supposed to be. I know I am supposed to serve a mission and I love doing it!
Note to: Rebecca, Jessica, Jeffrey and Ryan! Get ready for the best thing EVER! It really has been life changing and it is only the first week. I look forward to so much! Please keep in touch! Written letters would be amazing! Emails; too. I'd love to hear from you! Thank you, Mom and Dad for the letters and pkg.
My mission is May 29, 2013 - November 25, 2014. I am going to make the most of it. I may be reassigned to a different mission on July 8, when I leave the MTC, until my Visa goes through. I will let you all know!
Okay time is up. I love you all so very much and hope life is going well for you! I pray for you every night!Hope to hear from you soon! Tchau!!!
Love, Sister Edwards