Well olá everyone!!
This starts my FIFTH week already in the mission. Ive got about a little less than 2 weeks now left! Its so crazy to think how fast the time has gone by!!!
The CTM has definitely been warming up on me. As Sister Packard likes to point out, Im such a brown noser with our instructors here, haha. Its true. Its the way Ive been able to cope with such a different language and culture… just tease them and have a good time! Irma Fuoco is our evening teacher, and shes hardcore grammar and Portuguese, but we definitely have warmed up since the first week. Irmao Alonso is just so awesome, and I generally just really love how he always brings everything back to being more like Christ. I feel like thats the major theme thats consistently and constantly being brought up… Ser Como Cristo! And its so true. Because if you dont like your companion, if you dont like the culture, if you dont like… well, whatever it is that is making your experience difficult, then you are really thinking too much about yourself. And Christ was anything but that. He always turned outward, and he already paid the price. We can do ANYTHING through Him!
Now, the best part by far this week was that Friday, Sister Packard and I got to proselyting! We went to this really busy bus train station place in Sao Paulo that had SO many people. And they gave us as many Book of Mormons that we could hold, it was 8 between the two of us, and just sent us out to go talk and do some street contacting. It was seriously so scary! Like, our Portuguese still isnt the greatest, and there isnt ever anything you can smoothly say when you START talking to people (seriously so awkward). But the Spirit is absolutely essential. And once we started talking, it got so much easily. It was cool to see. We met some pretty interesting people, and Brazilians are generally really open. But we also faced a ton of rejection. But, I got a great testimony of the Spirit, because even if you just have the slightest feeling or thought to go talk to someone, you just do it. And sure enough, most of those people accepted our Book of Mormon and gave us their names and addresses to stop by. It was amazing to me how many people just dont have this gospel when you think about it. Irmao Alonso made a great point that through your obedience, the Lord will send those individual souls that are just ready for you to find. And you really cant tell at face value, because there was such a variety to the people we talked to. But there was a good few people that we got to meet that were so happy for our message. So cool to have this experience while still in the CTM!
Other than that, its just been studying, studying, and lots of bonding between me and Sister Packard and our lonely little district! But have lots of fun. We were able to join another district for district meetings and after devotionals, because President Swenson figured we were a little too lonely. Just to be around other elders and people was so great, we probably were so awkward, but we were so starved for social interaction haha!
Its been good here. Im loving everything that Im learning. We went to the Campinas temple today again, and I got to talk to a bunch of youth that were there. They thought I was Brazilian! Lots of people have been telling me that I dont have much of an accent. I dont entirely believe them, but the Portuguese is just getting better, which is such a huge relief and blessing. The Gift of Tonguese is real!
I love you all, and I love hearing how you are doing!!!
PS Happy birthday JD and Camila!!!!!!