Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sempre uma "fresquinha"

Eu chegei! Which you already know...but I can't remember what I told you before. At least that much :)
We arrived in Sao Paulo Tuesday morning, and then traveled to the mission home to meet President and Sister Martins. The drive was about an hour long, and the ENTIRE TIME we were stayed in the city, completely surrounded by huge buildings. Later that day we had interviews with President, and then found out where and with who we were going. There were 11 sisters and 4 elders in the group that "arrived" with me--myself, Sister Garner, and Elder Kelley from my MTC district, one Sister and one Elder straight from the Provo MTC, and then the rest from the Sao Paulo MTC, including one american Sister.
On Wednesday we did NOTHING, which was just a little weird, actually. Haha. Sister Dutra and I were assigned to open Cerquilho--cutest little city ever. Dad, you're right--it's nicer than Ava! Anyway, President likes to accompany the missionaries that are opening an area to help us with our house, keys to the church, etc. Since there was a big departing group the same day of transfers, he couldn't take us until Thursday...so Wednesday I got to know Sister Dutra (who speaks no English) and tried my best to learn some Portuguese. We just sat in the office all day, and then went back to the mission home to sleep.
Thursday we arrived, took care of all the necessary things, and then got to know Cerquilho a little. I feel a little spoiled for having the opportunity to spend more time with President and Sister Martins than the other arriving missionaries! They kept taking us out to eat, and they speak English...which was nice for when I was really lost! Sister Martins bought us my first pastel. Yum :) It's a...eu nao sei. Meat and cheese and fried stuff. Haha.
Then we were on our own! We visited the branch president and the mission leader, visited people listed in the area book, and started teaching anyone that would listen. Which is A LOT. Sister Dutra's so good--we'll be walking and she just says, "Hi! Nice to meet you, I'm Sister Dutra, and we're messengers of Jesus Christ. We help people know how to come closer to Christ, and be with their families forever. Could we pass by your house some other day and share some of these truths with you and your family? Yes? Ok, can I write down your address?" Actually, she says more than that. That's just what she taught me to say, so that's all I remember!
It's a little nerve wrecking to start talking to people, knowing fully that if they say too much in response, I won't have a clue what to say next. Haha. And funny that I really can't say all that much. But I can say a little! I can stumble through it, and people are nice about it...hahaha. I just feel bad for the people that talk with me. I know what I need to do as a missionary, and I know the responsibility I hold. So I just have to do my best to forget myself and put my pride on the altar and trust that the Spirit will tell them what they need to know. After all, the language of the Spirit is universal! I honestly don't really know how the language is going. I think I'm being blessed more than I deserve, because even though I have to concentrate a lot on what they're saying, I can usually figure out what's going on. Unless they're from way northern Brasil or something. Haha here's a gem--one lady from there said, "So it's difficult for you to speak, and difficult for us to understand." Yup. Sorry. I'm working on it. Anyway, my theory is that it's like wearing glasses. Anyone that knows me knows how stubborn I am about wearing them--so I'll walk around blind if my contacts won't go in! But I can usually figure out what signs and things say because I can make out the general shape and use deductive reasoning to piece the rest together. So I think I'm understanding small bits and pieces, and then my brain goes on overdrive to make the rest mean something!
Sister Dutra's fun. We actually recieved our mission calls the same day, but she left January 10th and I left April 10th. Dang visa :) She's from southern Brasil, so talks a little differently than people here...I'm going to sound so funny! But we sing at every lesson again!
I'm doing really well. I know I'm being watched over and helped along with every step I take, and I'm so grateful for that. Yesterday in Church (which is wonderful...we have a branch of about 40 and our meetinghouse is a little space above a pharmacy. You should see the baptismal font!) we sang "Contas Bençãos" (count your blessings) which is one of my favorite hymns in Portuguese, and the only one I have memorized, and then Come, Come Ye Saints as the closing hymn. TENDER MERCY. I think that "Come, Come Ye Saints" and "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" are going to be my songs of my mission. I love how the Lord can speak to me through hymns, and I can both learn and recieve comfort from them.
Well, we're going to try to figure out how to send photos, so I've got to go. Love you all so much! I'm taking Sister Larson's idea of taking pictures of your emails to read later, so hopefully that works. Thank you for everything!
Sister Fuller

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