Saturday, August 31, 2013

So much to say and only 15 minutes to say it...

Hello from Brazil!

Please forgive all misspelling because I have only a few minutes to write and i am super bad at typing!

Anyway, I first want to say that life has been a whirlwind adventure. And i've only been here a week and a half! Geesh.. I don't even know where to begin...

Well, I already mentioned how they didnt know i was coming, and they moved me ahead a week so that I would be with some other sisters. Well, I love those sisters to death, but they are miles a head of me! I was litterally thrown into the deep end! So, that was last week. I learned to adjust to being a week ahead, and things were actually going really awesome! I made friends with my district, I worked well in my companionship, I ate cookies on p day! Everything was great! I even learned how to pray in Portuguese!

But then it all changed..... Dun dun duuuuunnnnnnnnnn

On Tuesday night I was sitting in class with my district, and it was getting close to the end of the night, when all of a sudden my teacher Irmao Anderson was pulled out of the room by the guy who works out all of the CTM logistics. Well, apparently he was telling irmao anderson that I was leaving the district the next day and going back to my original district because a new sister missionary was coming from Provo... WHAT! No way! I was just starting to feel like I was getting how things worked around here... Then they were gonna thrust me back down! BOOOOO! I was super upset, and my district rallied behind me! haha REVOLT! So Irmao Anderson told me that he would plead my case and see what he could do.

WEEELLLLLLLLLL let's just say his pleading didnt work...

The next morning I was told to pack my bags and move up stairs because I would be starting a brand new district. At this point I had kind of come to terms with being changed, and I actually saw it as a blessing because I wouldn't be a week behind anymore. So, I packed up my stuff(I have wayyyy too many things) and huffed it all up to my new room.

BUT that's not the end of the story!

That night during dinner(pizza night. Brazilian style!), Irmao Paulo(the man in charge of logistics) came up to me and told me that I would be staying a week ahead with my current district. WHAT is happening?! First I'm in one district, then I'm moved, and then I'm back! GAH! Im scared to know what's going to happen next week... Anyway, So now instead of being in a trio, I have a new companion that just came from Provo. Her name is sister wright, and she is so fantastic and so helpful! We taught our first lesson last night and it went really well. Yes, I had to pull out the dictionary a few times, but oh well, they know I'm a stupid american that can't speak the language!

I really love brazil! The Brazilians are so helpful and nice! The weather has been muito frio and I actually heard that it snowed down in Porto Alegre... Man, I'm in for it!

Anyway, I love you all and I wish I had more time to write a better email. But now it's time to go out and buy some churros!

I know that gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It's here on the Earth!

Sister Stevens

Friday, August 23, 2013

Three Days and it Feels Like a Dream

Oi minha familia e amigos!

I can't believe that I've been in the field for less than 3 days and I'm already emailing you on pday... Let me just say, that that is REALLY unusual.

When I arrived at the CTM on Wednesday, apparently they had no idea that I was coming. WHAT! (insert a question mark in your mind, because mine isn't working) Anyway, that's just typical Emily luck that they wouldn't have anything ready for me. So here I am, a lone sister in a district full of 18 and 19 year old boys... yeesh! They're really nice and everything, but c'mon, they're 18 year old boys... and i'm all alone! They didn't have a companion for me, so I was sort of allowed to break mission rules for about 24 hours. I wandered the halls alone. I went to my room alone. I walked the streets of Sao Paulo with a group of elders. Alone. It was actually sort of heavenly! Until I had free time and didn't know what to do with myself!

Since they couldn't have me being alone each day, they decided that the best option would be to move me ahead to be companions with 2 sisters who've been here for about 10 days. Oh my gosh! Talk about intimidating! Even though they've only been here for 10 days, it feels like they're already light years ahead of me. I've skipped learning how to teach an investigator for the first time, and instead had to sit in on probably the 9th lesson with an investigator that was completely in Portuguese! This is tough! Muito deficil! 

It's been a bit of a hard transition having to leave my original district to be with a district ahead, but at the same time it's been a blessing. My companions are so sweet, and since I moved ahead a week or so, I'm able to be writing you today! Yay for pday! 

The missionaries are also allowed to go to the temple each pday! So, I've been here for 3 days, and have also been blessed to go to the temple! The Sao Paulo temple has been closed for cleaning, so we got to go 2 hours away to the campinas(I think that's right) temple. It was so beautiful! 

Oh, I forgot to mention, last night while I was sitting in on the lesson with an investigator, he asked me to pray! I literally had to hold back tears because I was so terrified! I think I ended up starting my prayer out by saying, THE Heavenly Father and I closed in MY name of Jesus Christ, amen.. Oh man, that lesson was sure to be doomed right from the get go with that prayer! Oh, and all the words in between were in English...

Despite struggling with the language and with not having companions for a while, the MTC has been great. The missionaries are so wonderful, and the Brazilians are always more than willing to patiently wait for you to ask them a question. Those poor Brazilians! They just smile and nod and say you're doing great, but you know it's all LIES! haha

I hope that you're all surviving life without me! Yes, It's hard to imagine that happening, but it must! Please keep me in your prayers as I continue to keep you in mine. I know that the Lord has asked me to come here for a reason. He knows that I'm capable of learning this language and doing these hard things, now I just have to show my faith in Him. 

The church is true!

I love you all, and miss you!

Sister Stevens

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sao Paulo MTC Welcome Letter

We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC. What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise to take good care of your missionary.

She now has a companion and is settled into her room. She is assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study. The branch presidents and their wives, will soon give her a second greeting. These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.

The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for any health needs. He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good.

Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple. This will be either Wednesday or Friday, depending on individual assignments.

Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “ There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children".

Please accept our love,

President Ralph Degn and Sister Mary Ann Degn

Sister Emily Stevens and companions at the Sao Paulo MTC!

Monday, August 19, 2013

One Day More

One more dawn. One more day.  One day more until I leave to begin my mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!  I can't even believe that the time has finally come.  After 10 long months of waiting and preparing I will be a missionary. 

So much has happened since the last time I wrote on my blog, but to make many long stories short, I miraculously received my visa 2 weeks ago, and I will be heading straight to Brazil tomorrow evening! 

I just want to leave one last testimony before I enter the mission field. 

I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is real.  It is here on the Earth, and it is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I know that Christ lives, and through him and his loving atonement we are all given the opportunity to live with our Father in Heaven again one day. 

I love the gospel and I am so excited to be a missionary.

God bless. 

I love you all and hope to hear from you often!

-Sister Stevens