This week has been great! It has been literally the hardest week of my life, but in a good way. I am learning so much and having a lot of fun. Wednesday was all about orientation and things like that at first. We met our district, which is a group of elders and sisters who are speaking the same language. We are in the same class and have the same schedules every day, so we've all become pretty good friends already. My companion is Sister Kirk from Allen, Texas. She goes to BYU too and is a year older than me. My district is mostly made up of missionaries who are waiting on visas to Brazil, although two elders are headed off to Cape Verde in Western Africa! None of us have heard anything about our visas at all yet...so we'll see what happens I guess! One sister in our zone (a couple of districts put together) did just get her visa and flew off to Brazil this morning! So there is hope!
Anyways, most of my day every day is spent in some sort of study or teaching time. We have a teacher named Irmao Taylor who comes in for 3 hrs each day to teach us some Portuguese and how to effectively teach people. He's super funny and really helpful. We have an hour for personal scripture study each day, which has been a saving grace for me. We study as companionships, and mostly use that time to plan our lessons. We also have language study time and we get to use this computer program for an hour each day in which we can listen to native speakers. I had already learned most of the basics before getting here because I studied a lot over the summer, but I still have way more to learn! I've been trying to help out my district as much as I can since most of them didn't learn any Portuguese before they came.
So far, Sister Kirk and I have taught our "investigator" (Pedro) 3 lessons! Each has gotten progressively better. The first one was hard because we hadn't learned much yet, so it was a lot of memorization. But yesterday, we actually were able to communicate more and even though our Portuguese was not much better, we connected with Pedro on a more personal and spiritual level. We have been praying so hard for the Holy Spirit to be with us and to inspire us as we teach, and I felt it soo strong as we taught yesterday! Pedro told us that he prayed and discovered that the Book of Mormon is true, and now he is going to pray about being baptized! I know he's just an actor, but it is still so exciting!! I love learning how to help people and teach them what they need to know to be happy. The gospel is so wonderful and I want to show others the peace that it brings to my life.
Funny Portuguese mess-up of the week...so the word for to live with someone in Portuguese is morar, and the word for to die is morrer...you can see how that could be confusing...well, I kinda sorta asked Pedro if he DIED with his parents....hahahaha. You can imagine his confusion. Luckily it kind of broke the ice, so that was good. :) I'm so happy to be here! Please write me letters everyone! It is by far the easiest way for me to talk to you personally, and it totally makes a missionary's day to receive a hand-written letter!
Love you! Tchau!