Sunday, September 29, 2013

Last Week in the CTM

HELLOOOOOOOOO!!! So, since I changed districts I also happened to change pdays as well... I forgot to even mention that that might happen last Friday. But I'm glad that you were able to email me anyway. I was so sure I would't have any emails today.

This past few days have been interesting but great. My whole district left early yesterday morning and I headed upstairs for my last week at the CTM. My new companions are great. Their names are Sister Skousen and Sister Burris. They've been really nice and welcoming. It's their last week too, so we'll all be leaving together next week. We went to the Sao Paulo Temple for the last time this morning. It's kind of sad thinking about how I'll never be back there... Maybe someday! It's so beautiful inside. I definitely think it's one of my favorites.

I can't even believe how fast time has flown by. It feels like I have been here for 2 weeks max, but at the same time it feels like I've been here forever. On Sunday, all I wanted to do was leave for the field with the rest of my district, but then when I thought about it, this whole week is going to be such a blessing. It's one more week to brush up on things I'm going to need to know when I'm in the field. I have 2 new instructors(one is really intimidating), but teaching 2 new investigators has been good practice for when I get out in the field. I've also been doing my best to step up during the lessons.

On Sunday I was asked to be the sister training leader during my last week here. I pretty much just keep an eye on the girls in my branch and make sure they're doing well. It's been really great. Plus, having the chance to serve the girls keeps my mind off of the difficulties of the language. It really makes me feel good to help them out. Plus, they're just really great sisters.

Today is my last pday, and then I have only a few more days until I'm out in the field... It's so crazy to think about! I don't feel ready at all! But honestly looking back on even just one week, I can see that I've really learned a lot. I may not sound like a native, but I can at least piece things together and the Brazilians can figure it out. I really need to kick butt this week so I can be blessed to understand more of the language.

I love Brazil, the language is hard, but I love being here. This last weekend with my district was so spiritual, it made me want to be out here even more, working hand in hand with the Lord to bring about miracles in so many lives. I'm so grateful for the teachers that I had, Irmao Anderson and Irmao Armazan. They were so amazing, and I'm pretty sure that Irmao Anderson is going to be an apostle some day. I'm not even kidding when I say that.

I miss you all, and I'm glad to hear that things are going well.

I love you all!

Sister Stevens

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mesmo Coisa

Oi!!!!! Tudo Bem?! I hope so!

Ok, so another week is gone at the CTM and my mind is BLOWN. Where does the time go?! I've been here for a whole month as oftomorrow. It's amazing. the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days when you're on a mission. By the time 10:30 comes around, you're knocked out because you're so exhausted. Or at least you should be sleeping, because that's curfew... BUUUUUTTTT, going to bed on time is a little difficult sometimes when you have Brazilian roommates! We're ALWAYS talking! Plus, it doesn't help that Sister Wright and I take 10 minutes to explain a relatively easy concept in Portuguese. So, the average time I went to bed this week was around 11:10... I tried to go to bed on time, I really tried! Some people might think that that's not a big deal, but when you're constantly on the go on a mission, those 40 minutes are really precious!

So anyway, since I've been in Brazil I've had a pretty hard time recognizing the difference between several words... And this has cause a few embarassing, yet hilarious moments during my stay here. So, there are 2 words that sound very similar that I always mix up... Mulher(woman) and Melhor(best/better). Mesmo Coisa, right?? Nope. Anyway, I was in a lesson with 2 of the elders in my district who we were pretending to teach. It was the first time we "met" so we were trying to get to know them. Well, let's just say, I accidentaly asked these two Elders if they were woman friends... Waaa waaa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa... EPIC FAIL. At least it got some good laughs though. At my expense, of course. You'd think after making such a ridiculously embarrassing mistake, that I would have learned my lesson, right? Nope! Last night while I was talking to my Brazilian roommate, we were talking about our friends, and I was asking if "he was her best friend..." Well, at least that's what I was trying to ask... I did it again! All of a sudden my roommate, Sister Farreira was doubled over, laughing at me! AAAAHHHHHH!!! Whyyyy meee? Por que?!?!?!?!? At least my lack of language skills makes me funny to all the Brazilians :) It makes life more interesting, that's for sure.

Ok, I'm out of time, and I hope that all my stories make sense. I don't have time to write, and proof read and edit, so ya kinda get what ya get.

Today is the last pday I have with my district here at the CTM. It's bitter sweet for sure. But we'll all be heading off to bigger and better things in no time. We'll be serving in the exact missions that the Lord called us to! I can't wait to see what Porto Alegre is like! I hear that they grill cheese there... WHAAA??? I'm all up for trying some of that!

Be happy! God loves all of His children! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true! and I love you all!


Sister Stevens

Saturday, September 14, 2013

OHHHHH, we're halfway there....

And I am most definitely livin' on a prayer... Or maybe 5,000... It's at least somewhere between 1 and 5,000. I've lost count by now.

Life has been pretty good this past week. There were a few crazy stressful moments, but overall things are up and I'm learning Portuguese one word at a time!

This week we taught a lot of lessons. And during those lessons miracles happened, the spirit was felt, and people are getting baptized! Oh yeah! Now, if only these investigators were real... I have to say though, it's amazing how much you can love a fake investigator! It feels so real when you're teaching. You're completely following the direction of the spirit and relying on His guidance during the whole lesson, and then when you leave, you feel so giddy and excited because the person prayed or went to church or said they believed what you were saying was true! But then you come back to reality and realize that in the CTM, it's all practice. But the thing is, that doesn't matter! Because, even though the investigators are actually our instructors pretending to be someone else, we're still missionaries. We feel the spirit while we're teaching, because 1. It' s truth. 2. because we're not acting, we're being who we really are, representatives of the Lord's church!

This week was not easy by any means, but since when is life easy? I've learned a lot of things. I've learned that when I desire something, and exercise faith toward that desire, the Lord will bless me. For example, I have a desire to learn Portuguese, and so, I've decided to read The Book of Mormon in Portuguese. The. Whole. Thing. Gordon B. Hinckley promised that if you have a desire to learn a language, and you read The Book of Mormon in that language, you will become fluent. I'm trusting in the Lord on this one. He sent me here for a reason, and that's to teach the people of Brazil in their own language the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's a very daunting task, but in the word's of Cinderella(the brandy, Whitney Houston version) Impossible things are happening EVERY DAY! It's so true!

I love the Lord, I love you all, and I am so grateful to be here in Brazil! I wish I had more time to write and respond, but I have 30 seconds left...

Have the best week ever!


Sister Stevens

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

At the Campinas, Brazil Temple

Another One Bites the Dust...

Another week gone???? Where does the time go?!

It's been a great week here at the CTM. Another week of change and transition, but that's ok. I got a new companion last week and she's still awesome! Sister Wright is so sweet and helpful. I don't know what I would do without her! She was definitely a blessing!

This past week was almost just like any other week, except for the fact that we went proselyting! WHA WHA?! We ran up hill to catch the city bus, and drove for an hour to get to the main business district of Sao Paulo. It's kind of like Sao Paulo's version of NYC. It was pretty cool. There were people performing for money, and the normal hustle and bustle of people rushing to get where they need to be. So, it kind of made things interesting when we wanted to have conversations with them... Each of us were given 2 Book of Mormons to hand out on the streets of Brazil. So, the first person my companion and I talked to was a man that was waiting at the crosswalk to cross the street. He made eye contact, so it was his own fault! haha I have to say the best part of proselyting for me is actually saying hi to people. It's the whole talking Portuguese thing that scares the dickens out of me! So, there I was saying hi to every last person that I could, and then we caught the guy at the crosswalk! SCORE! We had to talk while we walked and eventually we got him to stop so we could finish teaching him about The Book of Mormon. He was very nice, and was incredibly shocked when he found out that we were giving it to him for FREE! "Eu nao tenho dinero" That's ok, good sir, because this is a gift for you! Trust me, if you read it, it will bless your life!

We walked up and down the street, and within 30 minutes we had accomplished our goal! The second guy we talked to thought my Portuguese was so bad that he suggested that we talk in English... OOOOHHHHH... Low blow! haha I'll get there eventually.

Oh, and another funny thing that I did. When I was practicing Portuguese with my district before going to the city, I accidentally called our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of AWESOME Days... Otimo means awesome, and Ultimo means Latter or last... But hey, it's true either way I say it!

Things are looking up! We've been teaching and studying and eating lots and lots of food... They pile our plates with meat in the cafeteria each day, and then every night we get launche! Which means snack. It's the Elder's favorite part of the day, I think.

Anyway, I'm so grateful for all of your love and prayers! I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is here on the Earth. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ that goes hand in hand with the Bible. I love the church and I know it's true!

Good luck and god bless, and I look forward to hearing from you next week!


Sister Stevens