Sunday, June 24, 2012

An Average Day

June 18~

Weeeellll... Not much is new since last week.  We had a pretty good week - walked a lot, worked a lot, you know - the usual.  But yeah, everything is going really well here!  I LOVE my companion Sister D I love doing missionary work!!  

You asked what an average day was like and it usually goes something like this:  
6:30 wake up, say prayer, exercise, get ready for the day, eat breakfast
8:00 personal study
9:00 companion study (I have two hours of it right now becuase I am being trained...)
11:00 language study
12:00 almoço / lunch and proselitismo até 9:00 - The plan of the mission is to ´batizar, reativar, reter e estabelecer´ and so we are not only working with people to prepare them to be baptized but also working with serveral familes that have been inactive for awhile - some of them for several years.... But yeah - I love working with people!  A lot of the time I have no clue what they are saying, but I still love them!  And I´m learning portuguese... little by little.  Ha. Some things in the letter I´ve started typing in Portuguese on accident....  Just wait, by the time I´m able to call home for Christmas, I´m not going to remember any English! haha :)
9:00-9:30 planejamento

I had the first Sunday with my ward here yesterday!  The first Sunday was a broadcasted stake conference and the last one was the dedication of the Manaus temple.  I love my ward!! It´s a lot smaller than our ward at home - we had a little over fifty attend yesterday.  But the members here are AWESOME!!  I love them.  Man though - can you believe that I´ve already been out on a mission for over two months??  Cause I can´t...
Eu amo vocês!! muito!! Thank you all for everything!  I am so grateful that we have the gospel in our lives and that we were sealed together for eternity!! What an amazing blessing!!!!  How blessed are we to be able to have the restored gospel of our Savior, Jesus Christ in our lives!  I love temples and the saving ordinances performed there!!  What an amazing blessing that we have a temple so close to our house and can go anytime we want!!!  Definitely should be a priority in our lives!!!


 In case Mary Ann has you craving Brazilian food. Here's a recipe I found on the web tha looks good for the Feijoada (Brazilian Black Beans) This is a traditional dish but typically has lots of meat in it except this happens to be a Vegetarian feijoada and coconut rice, garnished with roasted peppers, cilantro, and toasted coconut. Disclaimer: I haven't tried this recipe yet.
Consider colorful tablecloths, banana leaves, or the edible garnishes listed at the end of the recipe to liven it up.

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 t ground cumin
1 t ground thyme
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut in 1/4-inch slices
2 T lime juice
1 large tomato, sliced
2 16-oz cans black beans
Beautiful, colorful things to garnish: Cilantro leaves, orange slices, lime wedges, grated carrots, grated beets, slices of raw white onion

In a large skillet or dutch oven, saute the onion for a couple of minutes. Add the peppers and garlic and cook until soft. Add the sweet potatoes, spices, and lime juice, and cook until the sweet potato is tender. Stir in the tomato and the black beans and heat through. Serve with rice and garnish with cilantro and orange.

Life in Rio

June 12-
I understand my companion pretty well, but everyone else in the ward.... its a little bit harder.  

 Brazil is great.  I love it here!  The people are wonderful and it is absolutely beautiful!  I´ll have to take some pictures to send you!  There are a lot of mountains here and they are beautiful!  I love them.  Yesterday I had to spend all day at the federal police to notify them of my address change in Brazil.  We taught the first lesson to a family last week - they were a street contact we made earlier in the week and they accepted the message really well!  It seemed like, i think we´re gonna follow up with them later today to see how if they read and everything.  But there´s a mom and dad with about six children - and they´re children are super well-behaved!  They´re amazing!  But yeah, hopefully all goes well!  We have several other people that we´re teaching too.  It seems like it is pretty easy to get people to listen, at least initially - they´re all so friendly!  I´m not sure how it is overall, but so far it seems pretty good.  We walk A LOT!  We ride buses every once in awhile too, but mostly we just walk.  and walk.  We don´t use bikes and no one has a car.  Ha. I guess I´ve never really noticed, but I guess most of the streets aren´t paved.  And as for the men bothering us when we walk down the street - I don´t think I understand enought portuguese to tell!!! haha.  One blessing to that!  Our apartment is relatively nice even in comparison to some other homes I´ve seen.  ha. it´s definitely not perfect though!  When it rained the other day, the ceiling above my bed started leaking through and when I got home there was a huge puddle on it!  pretty funny.... And our toilet doesn´t really flush either - we pour water into it to get it to work, but its not a big deal at all.  But yeah, I like it - it´s pretty big for two people. It´s going good though.  We do eat with members every day!  I love them all!!  They are so nice and friendly!  The other day, on Sister D's birthday, the member we ate with made the best meal ever and the most fantastic cake too!  And then she gave us both something - nicest thing ever! And it wasn´t even my birthday, but she gave it to me to welcome me.   The food is delicious.  I really love it.  I´m actually pretty positive though that every meal we´ve been fed has had some sort of rice and beans.  Not even kidding at all - good thing I love rice and beans!  They always serve something else with it though, and I always love whatever they serve!  Sister D is awesome!! I really admire her!! Man.  She has got to be the most patient person ever to deal with me!!  especially with my greatness at Portuguese.  She´s been a trainer three times already, but I´m her first American companion ever.  Oh and I think that I´ll be her companion for the next transfer as well - and then she´s done!! She finishes her mission in August - crazy!!!The work is going well.  I am so excited to be a missionary!!  I can already tell that I am going to learn SO MUCH here!! Hopefully I do and hopefully I learn it quickly too :)  
Man.  Since being on a mission, it has shown me so much how having the gospel in my life has blessed my life.  It is amazing, really.  It makes me wonder why everyone isn´t a latter-day saint.  But that´s why I´m serving a mission, to bring others to a knowledge of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I love the way the gospel shapes our lives, brings us more happiness than anything else, and brings us closer to Christ.  I love our church.

Arrived in Rio!!!

We recieved an e-mail from Mary Ann's mission letting us know that she had arrived safe in Rio de Janeiro on May 29.

June 4-

So I made it to Rio de Janeiro safe and sound! Flying into the airport here was the most beautiful thing ever!! We could see the Cristus Statue along with the Pão de Açucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) and everything was green and gorgeous!  I love it here!  My new area here is a part of the city of Rio. My companion is Sister D- she is Brazilian and from Parana.  I´m excited to work with her! She is super awesome!  At first I was hoping for an American companion to be able to ease into everything, but I think it´ll actually be A LOT better for me this way - I think I´ll learn the language a lot quicker.... Her birthday is this week too :)  But yeah, things are going pretty good.  She helps me know when to talk and what to say.  Ha - so my first full day here in the area, we woke up and did the normal routine, studying and stuff... and so in companion study, we practiced a couple of invites, including the baptismal invite.  And so during the day at our first meeting with a wonderful woman named Rosane, she had me invite her to baptism!! I did not realize that I would be doing that at all!!! But I gave it! And guess what?! She accepted! ha. the funny part about that though is that I didn´t know she accepted until after we left cause I didn´t even understand her response!!! hahaha. Thank goodness I have a companion!!!  

I´m starting to realize just how much of a blessing that temples are.  We don´t have one here in Rio and the majority of the members here I don´t think have had the chance to go through. We´re definitely praying to have one here though!!  There is actually a temple dedication this coming Sunday for the Manaus temple that we get to watch.  Haha - I wonder if I´ll be able to understand any of it! -Yesterday, we had a broadcasted conference from the conference center in Salt Lake for about a hundred stakes here. and yeah.... It was really hard to understand and follow all of it!!! Super hard. But that´s okay. I´ll eventually learn! 
There is definitely a language barrier! I´m surprised that I can actually understand my companion as well as I do! But the people here talk SO fast and with the Carioca accent too (they use a lot of sh instead of s´) so I feel kind of dumb sometimes when I have no idea what they are saying to me :).

Proselyting in Sao Paulo

Well...... Only one more week here at the CTM!! Can you believe it?!  I don't know if I feel ready to go out into the field yet, but ready or not!  This time next week I'll be in RIO!!! :)  Time has gone by SO fast here! 
Oh, so we went proselyting yesterday around the CTM. Scary!  Well.. It actually wasn't that bad - we talked to several people and gave away three copies of The Book of Mormon.  It made me realize, though, how much Portuguese I still don't understand, so I'll have to get working on that, but besides that it was good.  My favorite contact was with a seventeen year old boy.  He was super nice and helped us with our portuguese - and he seemed the most sincere about the message too!  So that was good.  We kind of just talked a little bit about our purpose here in life and then about the Book of Mormon and the Bible.  Next Monday we'll be going again, but it'll be out in the city of São Paulo, so that will be sweet!
So I really love the São Paulo Temple - It is gorgeous!! We went there for the last time today - I am definitely going to miss it!  Behind the front desk is the most beautiful stained glass painting ever of when Christ visited the Americas. I love it so much!  
Favorite scripture of the week:  "Therefore continue your journey and let your hearts rejoice; for behold and lo, I am with you even unto the end."  :) I just like that scripture a lot because I know that the Lord has been here with me so far and that without Him, I wouldn't succeed, but then again - with Him, I cannot fail!  Thank goodness!
I love you all!!