Friday, December 27, 2013
Olá Familia e amigos de novo!! FELIZ NATAL!!! So we are still having email problems but luckily, we still have the laptops here. We are all trying to write, but the internet keeps cutting in and out so I am writing this in a Word Doc and hoping I can post it in an email. If not, an instructor will email this for me from their house. We’ll see!! So this week I hit my one month mark!! CRAZY! Only 17 left! And it honestly is flying. Christmas here at the CTM was a lot of fun! I love the friends I have here and the good times we have with each other. My companion was a blessing on Christmas day!! Some people were feeling home sick and crying and such, but mine was strong, which made it better for me. We were able to just focus on Christmas and have a great time together rather than moping around. I was so grateful! My one thing is... (and ya I got this from you mom...) “If you’re not having a good time it’s your own fault. Attitude makes all the difference.” Anyway, we had the opportunity to watch The Testaments, play games, do service and Sing songs and all that jazz! We even had Papai Natal come to the CTM and bring us gifts! The Elder’s all got ties and the Sister’s got necklaces. It was such a fun day! We also got lots of.... CHOCOLATE!!!! Halleluja!! Haha foi muito legal! Yesterday some Elder’s told me that I have to be here another week because I went to Provo a week early. I’m not sure yet if this is the case, but if I do I will be put with Brasileras in a companionship. That’ll be scary because I’ll actually have to speak Portuguese all the time, but at least I’ll still be in the CTM. Not sure yet, but I guess we’ll both find out next pday. If you haven’t noticed, my Motto on the mission so far has been we´ll find out! :P oh well, everything happens for a reason. So quick shout out to Elyse Ivy.... You’ll never guess who is in my district. He is the fly’est Elder and we’re real good friends. Elder Skyler Winsor, (Bree Winsor´s brother). Anyway, it made me so happy! I honestly love my district here!! As I mentioned before, we got split a few weeks ago but were all still on the same schedule so it’s fine. We all have the same focus and I love that! It’s what brings us together no matter our differences. We all are trying to invite people to come unto Christ! (So we actually just got internet back so now I’m writing on my email.... crazy!! haha!) Anyway, we just went out as a district to a REAL Brasilian Steak House!!! Foi Ótimo, muito legal!!!! Loved it! I did find out that I have to stay a week longer here. There’s not enough room (or something) for all of the incoming missionaries, and because I’m an extra there is not room enough for me. Oh well. Apparently it’s what I need! I’m just going with it - I’m on the Lord's time so I’ll work according to His will. I also gave my first talk in Portuguese this week at church. It was a 7 min talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It went really well. When the meeting was over the Bishopric said I had done a very good job and asked me if I knew Portuguese before I came on my mission. I was so nervous before but it went well, and at least it’s out of the way. So I guess I’ll be emailing you all one last letter from the CTM next week!! Just know that I know this church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and that He lives. Love you all bunches! I know this email was all over that place, sorry about that. Hopefully next week it will be less crazy here!!! P.S. I LOVE pictures and reading emails is my favorite, even if I don’t have time to respond. Thanks all for the emails, love and support!!! Muah Eu amo vocês, boa semana pra vocês. Até mais!!! <3 Bejos Tchau!!!
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Desculpe.... So here at the CTM the internet hasn’t been working for about a week now. Some nice man came in last night and set up just 18 laptops for all of us missionaries to use to email our families. He was an angel in disguise. He thought it was more important for us (missionaries) to be able to email our families on Christmas than it was for him to be home with his family. So kind!!! What a great example of the spirit of Christmas. Due to this internet problem, I only have 15 minutes to email today, but I just want you all to know that I am having a Fantastic Christmas!!! Though it is soooooo hot here (it’s so strange) it is great! I love the Spirit of Christmas that we have here! It is totally focused on the true meaning of Christmas, which is Christ our Savior. I just want to wish you all the Merriest Christmas ever and leave you my testimony that I know that my Savior Jesus Christ lives today. That this is His true Church restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith in these latter days. I know that families can be together forever, and that is the reason I have left my family for 1.5 years - to let other families know that they can be together forever too. I love this work and I smile knowing I get to represent my perfect Savior Jesus Christ every day and have the privilege of wearing his name on my heart as a disciple of Christ! I love you all and FELIZ NATAL!!!!! <3
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
OOOOÌ!!!! This week was a crazy one but some awesome stuff happened! So this week I had to go to the police station to get finger printed and such. This is something that you do that in your 3rd week in the Brazil! Can you believe I have been gone for soo long!! I can’t! It’s been a month! :D I have missed you all so much but also loved every second of my mission so far! Our district received 2 new sisters this week so our district had to split. One of them was straight from home being put into a 4th week district. So she’s getting moved down today and that means we have a trio and one sister. This also means that I am being split from my old companionship and being put with this new sister! She came from Provo too. Though I am sad to be leaving my old companionship it will be alright because I will actually see them every second of every day except for when we teach! haha :P Any who.... This past Friday we had the opportunity to go into down town São Paulo. We went there to proselyte and hand out copies of the Book of Mormon!!! It was the coolest experience ever!!! When we first started we were sooooo nervous and didn’t have the guts to walk up to anyone. So then a gift from God.... This man out of nowhere walked right up to us and started talking to us first, (mind you this is in Português) and he asked us about the books. We had a nice little conversation an ended up giving him a book!! It was amazing, then the fear was gone and we were able to have more confidence. We as a district ended up giving away all of our books (which was 3 each) and talking to a lot of people! I’m so grateful for that experience! Though it was hard to understand people at times, they were mostly all really nice! I say mostly because towards the end of our day, this man came up to me specifically and started talking to me about the priesthood and blacks. He asked, “So God likes your people now? He just picked up the phone one day and decided yupp, you can have the priesthood now?”... So awkward, and he wasn’t talking nicely. So I tried to explain but he just wouldn’t listen. He was determined that he knew something I didn’t about my church and he wouldn’t let me get a word in. So I smiled and said Feliz Natal and walked away. Well.... At least I’ve gotten my first time of rejection out of the way! haha We had the opportunity to sing Christmas carols in front of the CTM on Saturday night and it was great! People stopped to watch, cars honked and they clapped! it was so fun!! I am missing Christmas at home in the snow with a real Christmas tree, but I know I’ll love it here just as much! I was asked on Sunday to be the floor coordinator until I leave! That’s a lot of responsibility but I’m excited to be able to welcome new sisters into the CTM! I also said goodbye to the Elder I flew here with this Monday. He left for the field Tuesday morning. He'll be a great missionary! The friends you make on a mission are so special, each one!! This week we’ve all really been missing music from home. So we’ve been singing Disney songs!!! So much fun!!! Haha Everyone knows I have no problem busting out into song! I wish my life was a musical! :P It was fun! Also last night we got to watch the Quinten L Cook devotional from Provo last week and afterwards, like always, we had the opportunity to talk about it with our district! One of the sisters said "go big or go home, but we can’t go home.... so just go big!!!" I loved that and it is now going to become my motto!!! GO BIG!! :D The language is coming along great! I’m understanding a lot and slowly picking up more words and being able to form phrases faster! It’s so cool. It took me 4.5 years to be able to speak this well in Spanish, and I’ve only been here just 4 weeks and I’m already this far! CRAZY what you can do with the Lord's help! It’s about 80 degrees here every day and the sun shine is marvelous!! The cockroaches are huge and we still don’t get chocolate, haha but I did find a store that has some, so you bet I will stock up! :P I love you all!! I know with all my heart that this church is true. It is a church for families and individuals alike! I know the Book of Mormon changes lives, if you let it!! (That’s for you mom ;) ) and I know that the only way to find true happiness is though our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I know that because I am able to feel his pure love and that joy each and every day!! I know that this is the Lord's work and that he is always by my side! I love you all and expect a special email from me next week on Christmas day!!! ;) Bejos e abraços!!!!
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Oí, De novo!!! Thank you all for your e-mails, I’m trying to respond to all but I don’t have much time! If you don’t get one, please know I still love you!!! :) Also I know you all want to know more about what I think of Brazil, but right now I think it’s more important that you know what I’m learning and growing from! There will be time for Sweet Brazil details later! :P So this week in the field was so amazing!! After this week I know for sure that everything happens for a reason and that I am here in Brazil because I needed to be! My roommates, the Brazileras, left this week! They were such a blessing in my life!! There were 3 of them! They only spoke Português, one of them spoke a little English! One of them had the roughest accent (sotaque) ever to understand, but I love them with all of my heart!!! The first few days with them were kind of awkward because we weren’t comfortable speaking Português with them, however, as we went through out the 11 days we were together, we became more comfortable with them and we were able to understand better and talk more! Though we never had deep heart to hearts on doctrine or anything, we still became very close! Like family! On the night that they all bore their testimonies of this gospel, (yes I cried...thank you), they each mentioned something about their companheras de cuarto (us) and how we were like family to them! One night I was reading the book of Mormon with a one of them, as I did with all of them in English and Português each night, and after she told me that she was grateful that she decided to go on a mission, and that if she hadn’t she wouldn’t have met me. I also firmly believe that I am here now to have them in my life as much as I needed to be in theirs! The morning they left was so sad, but we will keep in touch for sure!! amigas pra sempre!!! <3 Yesterday we had a devotional, and before each devotional we have choir practice. This time a teacher was conducting and he was trying to teach the Elder’s a part that wasn’t on paper, he had only thought of it. Needless to say he had to demo the part to them multiple times. The first time he picked my companion and me to sing in front of everyone!! WHAT?!?! How scary was that, but we did it. Then I thought to myself - if I never have to do that again, I will be happy - but what happened?! He called on me, me alone, two more times to sing a whole verse of silent night in front of everyone again!! haha it was so scary, but also the coolest thing ever! I sure do love singing, and it always brings a special spirit! After the devotional we had an opportunity to talk about it in district meeting! It was amazing! (Also, did I mention that I listened to it all in Português, ya amazing!!!! I can understand all of the important stuff! I know there is no way I could do this alone, Heavenly Fathers hand is most definitely in my learning) We all received such great things out of it for each of us specifically. Then after that we took the extra time we had to bear our testimonies on Jesus Christ and his Atonement! Like an Elder in my district said, “There’s no better way to bring the spirit, than by testifying of Christ!” It was an amazing meeting and the spirit was most definitely there! I have no doubt that this is the true and restored church of Jesus Christ! I know that He and my Heavenly father love me so much! I know that Christ died for me and my sins and that he knows all of my troubles and pains in my life. He is the only one who completely understands. I know that the only way back to our Heavenly Fathers presence is through Jesus Christ and his Atonement. The more I study and learn the more I come to know of the importance of using Christ’s atonement daily in our lives!! I know that this gospel is true and that God, through Joseph smith, restored it to the earth for us at this time! I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that through its teaching we can become not only what we want to be, but who out Loving Father wants us to be! I love this gospel and the blessings and joy it brings to my life!!! eu sei que Jesus Cristo vive e que Ele me ama. Eu sei que estou aqui para ensinar sobre o verdade do evangelho Dele. Eu sei que Este evangelho pode trazer bençãos e felicidades a nossos vidas! Eu amo todos de Vocês! (I Love you all!!!) Até a semana proxima! <3
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Oi Todos!! So this week, or since I´ve last written has been amazing!! We have taught our pezquizadores (investigators) SOO much and we've committed both to baptism! :) Although it’s just practice, what we feel when we testify and when we teach, is the real deal! When we committed Carolina to baptism and we left her room we were all ecstatic and soo happy!! I can’t wait to bring souls unto Christ for real!! I was having a really rough time last week with the language. I kind of felt like I had hit a wall. I had learned soo much in my first week that I didn't feel like I was still progressing. I expressed that to my teacher and at the end of class he just bore his testimony to us of the gift of tongues and that it is real! He told us that eventually we will all be "fluentemente" (fluent, which is one of the most fun words to say!) He told us that as missionaries we can't be down on ourselves because we are representing Jesus Christ and that is such a privilege that we should just be happy because of that one fact alone. Which is so true! So he told us to remember the 3 things that we promise each week as we take that sacrament. If we are feeling sad or down that one of those things we are lacking to forget. That experience was one of the first times that I felt the spirit here in Brazil in my class room. It was a testimony to me that even though I loved the MTC in Provo that the spirit can be felt just the same everywhere and that here at this CTM the same spirit dwells. We were fortunate enough to have a teacher, Irmão Barros, come in and teach us one evening. After class my roommates and I had the privilege of listening to him tell us the story of his life and essentially, though he was born into the church, his conversion to the gospel. He told us all in português and I was able to understand the whole story. It was an amazing experience for me for a couple of reasons. One, because I was able to gain a better understanding of the language but also because I got to know and now I look up to this amazing teacher. I know that this gospel changes lives. I know that it makes us happier and that each day we can become better and come closer to the Lord through Faith in Jesus Christ our Savior! This past Sunday was the most amazing Sunday I have had out here yet! We were able to have a devotional at night and we heard from this incredible speaker. He started by showing us this video of how big our universe is by comparing the sizes of the planets and then the universe. It was amazing! But the best part was when he told us of our Heavenly Fathers love for us! He said "the most powerful being in the universe knows YOU personally. The most powerful being in the universe wants YOU to know that he loves YOU! He created everything we have for the benefit of man, and for YOU specifically. THE MOST POWERFUL BEING IN THE UNIVERSE wants to hold YOU in his arms and tell you himself of his great love and care for you!" I just thought that was an amazing way of putting it!! I love my God, My Heavenly Father with all my heart. I know that I am here to serve Him and that I am where he wants and needs me to be and that I am doing his work. I know he is proud of me and that he knows and loves me personally. This is testified to me every day here at the CTM through the spirit that I can feel here and for the love that I have for my investigators as a representative of Christ. I’m getting more used to being here, the culture and the food! We have 2 types of meat at lunch and dinner. Talk about not eating meat sparingly! Haha It’s good though! I have heard that the food is better in the field, which I’m sure is true! Also... I don’t know what is wrong with Brazilileros but all of their dessert is like a pastry or a pudding. There's NEVER chocolate!!! WHY?!?!?!?! Haha I miss chocolate and French fries and hamburgers and Cheetos! Ha-ha! Anyway, I love you all soooo much!! Thanks again for the support and love you send me and all the prayers. Believe it or not I can feel it all the way over here!! Hope you all have the best week ever!! Feel free to email me and ask more questions. I only have an hour on the computer, so I might not be able to get to all in one week but will try!! and I read them all!! My email address: firstname.lastname@example.org <3 Até mais!!! Eu amo Vocês! Posted by Sister Thornton’s mum
Monday, December 2, 2013
Oi Familia e amigos!! (Hi Family & Friends) So this is it! I'm really in Brazil!! I was lucky enough to get my visa the day after I entered the Provo MTC with another elder who is serving in Brasil as well! So we flew out here together!! My first day in the Provo MTC was great!! Thanks to everyone who wished me well off!! I Love you all! I had 2 other companions, Sister Brown and Sister Recinos! We were friends right off the bat!! We taught so well together and it just really worked! We had the First vision and our purpose memorized with in the first 4 days! Portuguese is awesome!! It’s so pretty and fun to speak!! We were late to our first district meeting, so we set our watches 10 minutes ahead and we were never late again! haha Lesson learned! We taught our first lesson in Portuguese on the 2nd day and it went alright. We had written everything out so we weren't really able to rely on the spirit so much. So we decided that together we would be prepared with words or phrases for the next lesson and just go in with notes, and you know what?! it worked! The spirit was so strong in that meeting, especially when I was able to recite the first vision from memory. Our feedback was amazing! He said we taught a very powerful lesson and that our Portuguese was great for only being there for 3 days! ha I said a prayer at the end of the lesson in Portuguese and after I was done I wasn't really sure what I had said. I asked my companion and she said that I had prayed for the investigator to know that the things we taught him were true and that we would all be able to keep our commitments. Which is impressive because I don’t know how to pray for other people just yet?) It's just proof of the Gift of Tongues! It was exercised in me that day and it was amazing! That's just one example of how miracles can happen when you have the spirit with you! So I had only been with my district for 6 days when at the end of class they asked me to give the closing prayer. That was a bad idea and I knew it, but they insisted. So I started... and then proceeded to cry through the rest of the night saying goodbye to everyone! I just had this love for them and the spirits they had brought to our relationship! I miss them already! Then came Tuesday morning and Elder Rowell and I got our luggage and headed to SLC with some other missionaries headed to SLC East mission. So all of our luggage was together and when we went down to get off at the next stop all of the luggage was gone, including ours! The missionaries from another mission had taken our luggage to their mission home! Luckily the Lord truly does watch over his missionaries! There was a lady who had been a mission president’s wife and she stayed with us until the whole ordeal was over and we had all of our stuff! We finally got it back and it went smoothly from there! Elder Rowell and I were friends right off the bat and we had some great memories on those flights over here to Brasil!! Such long flights, but we're here! Elder Rowell and I had a temporary PDay today which is why I am able to email today. My normal pday is on Wednesday! Next Wednesday I will send my address to everyone! But boy, do I Love Brazil!!! This MTC is very different but I like it. Everyone speaks Portuguese here! and the rule is you have to ask permission to speak English! So it's hard but I think I will learn a lot faster!!! It's amazing! I had the opportunity to go to the São Paulo temple this morning and I will be able to attend every PDay! It was so beautiful - what an amazing experience!! Well I will be writing again on Wednesday and I will hopefully be able to send pictures and more stories of my adventures here!!! Love you all soo much and thank you for the love and support!! Eu sei que esta igreja é verdade, que joseph smith foi um profeta de deus e por meio dele deus restaurou a plentitude de sua evangelho! MUITA BRIGADA!!! Tchau tchau!! Até mais! muah! (I know this church is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and thru him, God restored the fullness of his gospel! Many thanks!!! Bye bye!! Until later! Muah! <3 Sister Thornton! God protect you!)