It has been one of the toughest weeks, but I have grown a lot and figured out what kind of missionary I want to be... A HAPPY ONE! For about a week I was kind of stuck on a few problems that I had been having, but when I sat down and really thought about how I was feeling as a missionary I decided that I didn't smile enough. It is crazy how powerful a smile is. It can change someone's day or even open their heart to hear what message you have to share and make them wonder why you are so happy all of the time. So, even when you are having a rough day find a reason to smile. There are so many around you; you know about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, you have a loving family, you have a Heavenly Father who loves and knows you personally and you can talk to Him about anything. There are so many more, but just keep this in mind! It is so powerful! All of the missionaries I have ever known, when I think of them in my mind, they are always smiling, I want to be that missionary.
Last Thursday all of the missionaries and I that came straight to the CTM on August 7th got to go to the police station to be fingerprinted. It was a lot of fun and we ran into some Americanos who have been serving here for quite a while and it gave us hope. One Elder said that he dreams and thinks in Portuguese; I can't wait until that is me!! I love Brazil and am so excited to learn Portuguese!
One of our investigators is getting "baptized" on Sabado! I am super excited for him and am even more excited to meet all of the real investigators in Santa Maria when I get there in CINCO DIAS! I cannot wait. I will be flying to Santa Maria with seven other missionaries, three Americanos, and four Brazilaros; needless to say, this is going to be one fun plane ride. This also means that I have no idea when my next p-day will be because I will be in Santa Maria. Hopefully we get to email you when we get there, but I'm not sure exactly how that works.
We have two Brazilian roommates who are hilarious. One thing that makes Brazil even more amazing is that most of the people have a great sense of humor so I feel like I fit in well. (Sometimes I am not sure if they are laughing at my awful Portuguese or at the joke,) but either way we bond through laughter because of the language barrier.
One of the things that my District has been focusing on a lot this week is the importance of focus. Making time to study and plan is pointless if you are not focused during those times. The most important lesson I have learned this week is that when the spirit is with you it is easier to focus on your work and your studies. I know that I can still use my time more wisely, but this little epiphany that I had this week has helped a lot. :)
It was Brazil's Independence Day on the 7th. Because the biggest meal of the day in Brazil is lunch, let's just say that I had no room for dinner. They had delicious meats and tons of our favorite vegetables, but, best of all... THERE WAS SORVETE (ICE CREAM!!) I have been wanting ice cream since I got here so now I officially know that dreams come true and prayers are answered. :) But really though, that was some amazing ice cream! I LOVE BRAZIL! And I love the Brazilian National Anthem. You should look it up. It is super fast and super fun, and if you listen to the crazy piano part we get to hear it played live every time we sing it because Presidente Degn is a concert pianist, aka, the coolest person EVER! I love the Degns! That is one of my favorite things about being here in the Brazil CTM, is that you get to know everyone personally, including President and Sister Degn.
So... things that I miss most about the US... you all knew this was coming. I mean I have been in a foreign country for six weeks almost. I miss my family A LOT, I miss macaroni and cheese, my dog, having milk whenever I want it, bacon, BYU, having some alone time (don't get me wrong, I love my companion, but I need a break every now and then...), my iPhone because I am constantly wanting to know the conversions for kilo to lbs, fahrenheit to celsius, miles to kilometers, etc. Anyway, I know that this is where I am supposed to be and I feel privileged to be able to serve a mission even if I miss some things about the past.
This Church is wonderful. I love this gospel.
NEXT TIME YOU HEAR FROM ME I WILL BE IN SANTA MARIA! WOOT!