August 14, 2013

First P-day

Our day starts at 6:30 like all other missionaries, we go straight to breakfast and then have time for personal study in our classroom.  Our district is so fun, but kind of small.  At the moment it is comprised of two trios, one trio of sisters and one of elders.  Unfortunately they are taking my third companion and giving her to a sister that just arrived from Provo this morning, but it was fun while it lasted!  Yesterday he shared with us his conversion story and why he served a mission, and it made me realize that as missionaries, we are not only finding people to baptize and bring to Christ, but those people that we find  could serve missions, or have children that serve missions.  It was quite the ipiphany. (I can't spell... haha.)

The language is coming along.  I can get my point across for the most part, but conjugations are really messing me up.  I am wishing I remembered more about 8th grade Spanish.  The Rosetta Stone that I used this summer seemed to help a lot though and my entire district relies on me to tell them how to pronounce things.  It makes me feel good about my Portuguese.  The only time that I really get frustrated with language barriers is when my companions and I teach our "investigators."  They are professors and professoras in disguise, it makes it more fun.  Our last investigator's name was E--.  She was only 16 and had no interest in learning about Jesus Christ or the church and claimed that she only asked the missionaries to bring her a Book of Mormon because it was free.  As we got to know her more we found more that she had in common with church members and she eventually came to church with us and was able to feel the Spirit.  She really was interested in the sacrament and connected with that concept of the Gospel.  Irmao V-- told us that the only reason he began listening to the missionaries was because he was interested in the history of the Nephites and Lamanites, but then he learned to hear and heed the Spirit and became converted.

After language study we have lunch, which is a bigger deal than dinner here.  In Estados Unidos families gather for dinner, but in Brazil they eat lunch together as a family.  We then have classes that are more focused on missionary work, teaching lessons, and learning to love the people and the culture of Brazil.  Around 4 we eat dinner and then have an hour or so to prepare to teach our investigator.  It is really nerve wracking, but better to learn here than in the field.  We get a snack around 9 (which is another thing they do here in Brazil) and then we plan for the next day and have to be in bed by 10:30.  The days are long and seem like they will never end, but I love it.  I feel so productive and now I wish I had used my time more wisely this summer.

This morning we were able to go to the Campinas Brasil Temple.  The Sao Paulo temple is currently closed for cleaning, which means that I get to go to two temples in Brasil before I leave the CTM.  Something that struck me today as I was sitting in the temple is that I never want to be separated from my family.  I am so grateful for this knowledge that I have that families can be together forever.  I realized that is why I am serving a mission; to bring people closer to their Savior and by doing so help them get to the temple with their families.

Last thought before I have to go.  This week Presidente Degn (of the CTM) told all of the new missionaries one very important thing.  "You cannot convert others to the Gospel of Jesus Christ if you have not first converted yourself."

I love Brasil and am so happy to be here!

Sister Phelps

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