Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Mission Week 9: Happy Birthday Sister Tyson!

Okay, so this week was another crazyyyyy week for me!
So on Monday- the president came and put me with sister Penni- the sister training leader and we stayed in the same area and house with my other trainer and her new comp- things were awesome! Sister Penni knew I was missing you guys a lot because of my birthday and everything and when I told her about our family tradition with meals on birthdays and how Kade wanted pancakes and iIwished for Olive Garden- she said that because she couldn't give me Olive Garden, that she wanted to make me pancakes! And she did!!!! All by scratch- just because she is sweet and wanted to keep the family tradition alive!! Sooooo sweet!
Then the next day, we got all my stuff settled again in the apartment and started working on my training again- we studied together and she explained that we would catch up on all of the things i needed to learn to pass of to the zone leaders.  Then she helped me learn how to invite people to baptism because the next day- Tuesday- we were going to teach W. and C. and their daughters- a family that Penni and her other comp had started teaching the week before-. I was relieved that Sister Penni only asked me to focus on a few things for this lesson. Penni speaks amazing Portuguese and was also teaching me soooo much about tricks to the language. She is amazing!
Then on Tuesday, after preparing on Monday night, we went to teach W. and his family with some members from our ward. Penni and the members taught the family about the plan of salvation and we read a chapter with them in the Book of Mormon. It is awesome because W. is in his 40s and reads the Book of Mormon like a Harry Potter book!!! I know he is already being prepared for big things in the church!!! He barely got the Book of Mormon 2 week ago, and already is almost through 1st Nephi! His excitement and understanding is awesome! As Penni was trying to explain the Plan of Salvation, he was adding things and explaining things and he has never received the discussions before!! TENDER MERCIES!!! Then, Penni looked at me, and I was feeling it too... and I asked W. and his family if they would be baptized!!! All in Portuguese!!!! And he understood! He replied, "COM CERTEZA", WHICH MEANS, "WITH CERTAINTY"- HE DIDN'T EVEN HESITATE!!!!! I was sooooo excited! William and Neia need to be married first and quit smoking but i just know they are prepared and I felt so happy to be a part of it! They have a daughter that is Allie's age and I loved sitting by her helping her open the Book of Mormon and seeing her face light up when we explain how Heavenly Father feels about her! Soooooo special!!!
My feet were hurting, but I have kept working! I was just really motivated and excited so I pushed through! But, on Wednesday, Presidente sent me into a dermatologist to check my feet.... I wasn't super excited but we went.  She said that the skin is really thin and that if I keep walking I will get an infection- the skin needs to heal- because the blisters dry during the night and because we walk in the rain during the day and the heat, the skin keeps getting more thin- she prescribed creams and 10 DAYS OF REST! I AM DEVASTATED AT THIS POINT... HAHA...
So, Sister Penni told President and he called me in---- and President explained that there is another sister, Sister Santana that is having issues with her knees, she can't work.  He said  because I need to take a few days to let my feet heal and Sister Santana- the Brazilian sister with knee problems needs to stay home too, that he would rather have two missionaries stay home and two work than have 4 stay home...... it makes sense.... but.... long story short---- President changed me again! I am in a new area, only ten minutes from the last one, with a new comp, and new house!!!! President said that it was only a temporary change, not an official transfer, and that he felt terrible that all of these things are happening to a new missionary. He said that he can't make any promises, but I hope he puts me back with Sister Penni to finish my training after this transfer ends! I love Penni and loved that ward already- plus I want to see W. and his family get baptized---- President said I can call Penni anytime and if they get baptized in the next few weeks, I can go, because I am soooo close.

I am a little discouraged and overwhelmed right now, but I'm doing okay. The transfer ends on Feb 20th.
We went to church yesterday and the bishop asked me to get up  and introduce myself and share my testimony to the ward yesterday in the new ward--- even though he knows I'm new to the mission field. haha I was nervous but felt good about my Portuguese! Everyone is super nice and say I understand and speak a lot more than normal.... Then my comp and I sang with the 5 young women in the ward during sacrament meeting which was soooo cute!

Sister Tyson & Sister Santana

Sister Tyson & Sister Penni

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mission Week 7: First Week in the Mission Field!

January 16, 2017


I am in LONDRINA! Actually, just a little bit off of the center of the main city of Londrina! My area is called Quebec and I am very close to the mission office and the Presidents home (two different places)--- its awesome!
So- before I get into all the details of everything in the field- I wanted to share a few awesome things from the last few weeks at the CTM--- our instructors were literally the coolest people!!! They gave us these mini key chains with Christ on the back and a picture of them with our district at the temple on the front! It was sooooo thoughtful! I will miss them sooooo much! APs picked us up at the airport and we went to a chapel to meet the president and his wife and to be trained!
Also Presidente Grahl asked my to say the prayer in front of the whole CTM on the last day and I did it all in Portuguese without translating in my head- once I sat down, I couldn't even remember what I had said in the prayer- before saying the prayer, I prayed in my heart that Heavenly Father would allow me to say the prayer for the CTM and just that they would be able to understand what I said- afterwards several Brazilians came up to me and said that while I was praying, they were so shocked about my Portuguese that they opened their eyes to check and see who was standing up there! They were probably just being nice- but ill take it! TENDER MERCIES!

So many amazing elders and sisters at the ctm! I will miss everyone soooooo much! saying goodbye to my Brazilian roommates and comps was sooooooo difficult for me!  Such amazing people! The elders in my district gave us blessings the day before we left and it was so powerful! I felt the spirit so strong and was so glad that these guys were willing and worthy to give us blessings before entering the field! I learned a ton at the ctm and am sooooo grateful!
We left for the airport on Tuesday morning at 3:30 a.m. my time- and the flight went really well- only about 1.5 hours long- we, the two elders from my district- Elder Sorenson- Cedar Fort, and Elder Cook- Murray- talked to many people in the airport and even obtained referrals! It was awesome! We landed and exited the plane from the runway! I felt like a movie star hahahaha!

I was a little overwhelmed when they picked us up, but as soon as we arrived at the church building and the president and his wife came outside- everyone went crazy and they both had the biggest smiles I have ever seen!!!! They came up and his wife hugged us and greeted us and he came up and started talking to us in Portuguese and English and welcomed us inside! He was joking around with everyone and she was hugging everyone- all the missionaries were lined up inside the building in a line ready to greet us! They were a loud and excited bunch and it was just soooooo welcoming!

We were trained about a bunch of things that I didn't really understand- but we sang as Zions Youth in Latter Days in Portuguese and in our mission the lyrics have been changed in a few parts- so we say Missao Brazil Londrina and shout it during the song! It's funny and the President does it too! It's soooo cute! And hard to explain--

Then we met our trainers-- mine is sister D. Nascimento! She is awesome- only speaks Portuguese which is great and is from north east Brazil- she is really petite and super fun! She is a very obedient missionary and has been in the field for 1 year and 3 months- she will train me for 12 weeks and then go home. She isn't trunky which is awesome and she has the funniest laugh! She loves life and loves missionary work! She loves to have fun and work hard! I love her energy and that she is a real person-  shes socially aware and loves treats! We are a perfect match!! I love her already!! She is patient and I am just sooooo thankful that Heavenly Father put us together-- my prayers have been answered more than I could have ever hoped for in my trainer!

Presidente Pereira and Sister Pereira are seriously one of a kind! They have three kids- their oldest is 17 and youngest is only 11! Crazy! They are so fun and such spiritual people- they live in a penthouse near the chapel where we met on the first day- we actually had a delicious lunch at their house and it was soooo fun! They are super great! Presidente has braces hahahaha its great! Also, he interviewed me and kept apologizing for his English, but its actually really good. He told me that from the first time he saw my picture that I was meant to serve in Londrina. He said he has had promptings about me specifically and that there is a specific reason that I am with this trainer and in this area first. He decided to put me in an apartment with two Americans and one other Brazilian besides my comp- I love them all! He said that the American, Sister Penni (out for 1 year 2 months= Sister Training Leader) and Sister Ferguson (out for 5 months) would really help me learn the language fast. haha He was so nice- he asked me three questions- ARE YOU HEALTHY, ARE YOU HAPPY, AND ARE YOU WORTHY TO REPRESENT THE SAVIOR AS A MISSIONARY RIGHT NOW IN THIS PLACE? I was so proud to answer yes to all three questions! 

EVERY ONE JOKES ABOUT MY LAST NAME- ALWAYS A MIKE TYSON REFERENCE- I always joke back that Mike Tyson is my dad- and they all start laughing hahahaha.

It's so different- the people here drive sooooo fast it would make moms head spin- and they don't use breaks! I swear they only use the emergency brakes! hahahah We don't use the buses here very much, but they are all stick shift buses so its crazy!

This area is full of hills! Which is kind of hard but I am doing It! We study in the mornings and work on memorizing and language study and then start proselyting around 1 p.m. everyday- it is really really really hot! My shoes are comfortable but I still have some pretty good blisters hahaha, but I am looking tan already and that's fun!!!

I love talking to the people and contacting! It's hard to do in Portuguese but my trainer is patient and we are working hard! I am tired and its been a difficult adjustment but I am genuinely excited to work and talk to people! Mostly right now we are trying to get to know the area and the members so that we know the best areas to do contacting- but we do a lot of contacting and going house to house from 1-9pm. It's soooo fun and so exhausting!!!! Love it!

We eat lunch with members every day- it's really good! Rice, beans, salad, and some kind of meat is served every time. I like that it is basic- I only eat lunch here and a few small snacks every day so we eat a lot during lunch- it's good because that is the Brazil custom and we walk it all off right after lunch. The food is good- members either send us to a restaurant where they have prepaid for us to eat, or they deliver it to our apartment, or we eat at their houses. even though I can't always contribute to the conversations during lunches, I always make sure to smile and eat slowly so that they know I'm enjoying it even if I can't tell them that! hahaha It's sooooo cool here that 6 days a week we are fed by willing members- there is literally a calendar and a waiting list for people who want to feed the missionaries- these people here- a few- only have enough for their own families, and yet, they do everything they can and even beg for opportunities to help serve the missionaries! It's soooo sweet! One lady- I.E. had us over for lunch on Saturday and when I met her she called me Princess Americana and kissed my entire face! hahaha She was so sweet! Her and her husband served us a super yummy lunch! She was so kind- she heard about my blisters on my feet and would not let me leave until she gave me this bottle of body lotion to take with me to put on my feet! It was soooooo kind! At church the next day, she told all of the sisters to call me Princess Americana.

I haven't cooked at all at home yet but the other girls do- they got coffee cake mix in a package from home and it was sooo good- they baked it- we have everything we need as far as dishes to make stuff but we haven't really shopped for food yet- and I'm happy cause I don't really have an appetite here at all

This is sooooo hard and I miss you guys soooo much! I also miss being comfortable! Everything here is different and its overwhelming but I have been praying and reading scriptures and my patriarchal blessing more and more everyday and I know I can do this!

You guys and the boys amaze me so much that you guys did this mission thing! its really hard already but I am sooooo happy!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mission Week 5: Last Week in the CTM!

January 6, 2017

I havent received travel plans yet- but we are having a big orientation all day Monday, January 9 and so we should get all the info we need by then- I know that I will be with my new comp and my mission president by the early afternoon on Tuesday, January 10! I am excited and a little nervous about leaving- I'm ready for a change but will miss everyone here and am still not super confident about the language yet--- but I am beyond stoked for a native companion! All of the people here from Londrina or going to Londrina I can understand perfectly! Such a blessing! There are so many different accents here than sometimes it sounds like 40 different languages- but the Londrina people speak in away that sounds much more like Spanish because we are next to Paraguay and so I can understand literally everything they say!  Sooooooo excited!
I've been teaching some Brazillian sisters how to sing Called To Serve in English and it's soooo fun! They have taught me so many things- including Called To Serve in Portuguese and I just love learning things from them! They are incredible!!!!!!!!!! iEvery week, all the girls on our floor get together and sing Called To Serve in all 3 languages to the new sisters and the ones leaving! It's a blast! I love it sooooooo much!
Every week- on Thursdays, we do service in the laundry room here at the CTM- R.- works at the CTM and I always try to talk to her about gospel related things- the first week we were here while we were doing laundry with her during service time, I felt prompted to ask her if she was a member of the church- she said that she wasn't but had started taking the discussions recently. she said the church had been so good to her and her son- shes a single mom- the church gave her a job at the CTM- and that she wanted to know more- I talked to her week after week during service time about what she was learning in her discussions that week. she would fold laundry with us and in all Portuguese describe her feelings about the lessons. I could tell her faith was growing each week--- and guesssssss what!!! This week- she showed us pictures of her baptism that happened this past Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! she had decided to be baptized!!!! Sooooo amazing!!! I am so happy for her and her son! tender mercies! I know it had nothing to do with what I had said to her, but I just think its so cool that we were able to be strengthened by witnessing her faith grow over the last 6 weeks! GOD is GOOD people! I am soooo grateful!
New Year's Eve was super fun! We had ice cream buffets, games, casual clothes, and lots of social time! It was a blast! We actually all got to stay up´until midnight!!!!! And watch the fireworks in the court yard in the CTM!! It was wild! The Brazilians know how to party!  We sang hymns at the top of our lungs outside and everyone was dancing- it was a blast!