OI FAMILIA!!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!
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!
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!