This is the 1st letter from Brazil, it took 24 days to get to us
December 28, 2011
I’ve been working a lot, and have lots of things to think/worry about. From now on, I’m going to use my P-day’s more wisely. I’m having a lot of amazing spiritual experiences here, but they’re not just of me, I need to be sharing them with all of you!
We work every day here. Every day, every hour, every moment we’re doing something to further the work. But, there is an order to the work, and my days go like this, more or less:
9:30 – 10:00 pm Really, each day starts the night before with our daily planning session. Here we decide who we’re going to teach, and set goals for the day
10:30 – 6:30 am Sleep!!!
6:30 – 7:00 am We do exercises, I mostly jump rope, push-ups, sit-ups and stretches
7:00 – 8:00 am shower, Breakfast, get dressed
8:00 – 9:00 am Personal study
9:00 – 11:00 am Companion Study. In the first 12 weeks, missionaries have two hours of comp. study. Mostly, this including practicing teaching. It’s a lot of time for practicing, but it’s helpful.
11:00 – 11:30 am Estudo da Lingua! (language study)
12:00 – 9:00 pm WORK! We teach lessons, talk to people on the street, get their addresses,
clap outside houses (here in Brasil, they don’t knock on doors, they clap in front of the houses) and do various other activities to invite people to come unto Christ!
9:00 – 9:30 pm Head home
9:30 pm close the day, see how we did with our goals, and plan the next day!
So, this is what I’m doing, more or less, everyday! By the end of the day, I’m exhausted! We walk and run a ton. And also it’s really mentally tolling, with following the spirit, planning what to do, and listening intently to the people – especially because they speak in a different language! If I’m not focusing completely on what they people are saying, I can’t understand. I’m getting better with the language, though, and I have a plan and some goals to help me learn faster. I carry a
dictionary everywhere I go, and write down words I don’t know yet. I will learn this language! It’s also hard because Elder Brino is a district leader, and has a lot of extra responsibilities. For example, right now our district is having some issues, so Elder Brino leaves for other areas to assess and correct the work there. What this means is that other missionaries from other areas come to work with me, so I have to remember everything alone – the area, where investigators live, their needs, and what to do when commitment fall. It’s really hard but at the same time I’m
learning to be a missionary really really fast. But enough about my schedule!
The Lord is blessing us so much in this area. It’s amazing and humbling at the same time. God is
trusting his choice souls in my care. It’s a responsibility that is overwhelming. But, President Cordon told me something really cool in my interview with him. He said that there are people everywhere ready to receive the restored gospel. But, the Lord won’t have us teach these
people if he doesn’t trust us. Therefore, if we’re not having a lot of success, it’s because we’re lacking one of two things: either we’re not obedient enough, or we’re not working enough. If I start having a hard time, I need to work more or be more obedient. So, every day I’m trying to be more obedient or work harder.
One person that’s really cool that we’re teaching is Welton. We contacted Welton on the street and started teaching him last week. My goodness, he’s awesome. When we teach, he basically knows everything, and he knows to trust in the Lord.
I can’t believe how quick our call went on Christmas! It definitely wasn’t 45 minutes; it was more like 5 minutes. I had tons of stuff I wanted to say and ask! Some questions: What did everyone get for Christmas? How does Alicia like Tennessee? How is Dad’s calling? Is that less active family you spoke to going to church now? How is Autumn doing with school? Did she finish Life of Pi? What has Amber been doing? How is Adam? Have you heard anything about Elders Olpin, Hodson, White, Barkdull, Morrey, Etc? We just didn’t get time to talk about anything!!! Is there anything else you want to know about the mission?
During the call, I got confused about which Christmas party you were talking about. The party on the 13th, I was NOT doing interviews. First, we had training. We went t a few different rooms, where we learned about teaching records and other things like that. Not fun. Then, President and Sister Cordon spoke to us. It was awesome! We had an amazing lunch, and then did this
secret Santa type thing. Where every missionary brought something for $3, or $4 and exchange with one another. I gave this thing of bubbles (the AP got it, he thought it was hilarious. LOL) and I got this desk clock that doesn’t work. Whatever. After that we all ent home. It was a ton of fun.
But wow, I hadn’t felt that homesick until when Elder Brino told me I had only 3 more minutes wit our call! WOW! It was really hard to end that call!
But, this work is amazing, and I am learning and growing so much. This work is truly of God, and brings a joy that I can’t really explain, within the center of my soul.
So, don’t worry about me, I’m doing fine! Keep writing and keep telling others to write me. I loooove letters!!
I’ve got to return to the work, but stay strong, and remember the Lord.
I love you so much!!!
PS Sounds like you are doing a lot to help with the missionary work out there. That’s so great, keep helping the elders! They really appreciate it - I know they do! Tell them I say HI