Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Love Chocolate Milk

E aí? Welp, it was another fantastico week in the CTM. I love it here. This week we had a visit from President Mills. He is the coordinator of all of the international missionary training centers around the world (of which there are 16 I think?) He was really charismatic and showed us pictures from all the other training centers. The one here in São Paulo is the biggest one outside of the US and its great. He told us how the church is trying to keep missionaries healthy, with all this sillyness about the swine flu going around. We were told that we are not allowed any physical contact - like hugs or handshakes or elbow bumps. He told us we were allowed to BOW to each other. baaahaha. So now we bow. and I think we look like weirdos, but whatevs.

There are some other fun little changes about food here too. One night after a large group meeting they told us that we would now be served a "fourth meal" at the end of the night. The teacher making the announcement said (and you have to picture it in english with a portuguese accent), "You will be served cake and chocolate milk, not rice." Ohhh let me just tell you how much i love it. Now every night at 9:30 we get cake and the best chocolate milk i've ever had in my life. even better than the byu creamery. If we werent getting fat before... let me just tell you, the kilos are going to be coming on soon with bolo and chocolate leche todos noites. but its WORTH it because its SO GOOD.

In other news, I've taken up drum-line. Sister Lasley has a side shoulder bag that she was swinging around one night, and then she swung it around the front and pretended to set it up like a drum for a marching band. Then we put one of our books to use, and set it on top for her to drum. Then we joined up with some other sisters and made a drum line complete with baton/flag twirler girls. Sister Hill took the lead as our drum major. Sis Hill used to be in ballroom dance, and so she was allll over the place. We marched up and down our hall making announcements to different rooms, and having an all around goooood time. thats going down in history as a classic mtc moment.

Another good moment with language confusion was when we were prying into our teachers personal lives. Somebody was trying to ask him if he was single. The word is sabedoria or something, but depending on where you put the accent and the pronunciation of the vowels, there are different meanings. She accidentally asked him, "Are you a tapeworm?" he was SO confused and told us like 50 times after that to be careful with what we say. whoopsies...

I had a really exciting breakthrough on sunday. Every Sunday and Tuesday evening we have big group devotionals/firesides, and they're always in portuguese, with an interpreter. So the speaker will say one sentence or a phrase and then someone will say it in english right after. K so the breakthrough moment was that I understood the portuguese before the translator said it in english. Woot holler for that. i was STOKED. I felt like my brain was working like quadruple time though. Because I was trying to get the words in portuguese, and then i would scribble down the words i didnt know as fast as I could and try and look them up. then i would listen to the actual message and take notes on what he was saying in english. plus I was trying to look up references he used in my english and portuguese scriptures. I had my notebook, dictionary, scriptures in both languages, pen, and a highlighter in my lap and stuff was every where but it was great. So then I was all excited because I was understanding so much from the speaker. Then this brazilian sister missionary got up to say the closing prayer, and I only understood like 3 words. it kinda popped my bubble. her accent was tricky and she was going so fast. oh well, more practice please.

K welp, I love you muitos.
If anyone wants to read an incredible talk, look of Cecil O Samuelson's talk called "What Does the Atonement mean to You?"
Also can I have the siaosi's address por favor? I have to tell you about a few d-rock moments, but i'm out of time.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

She Can Find Fun Anywhere

There really is no need for summary or cutting stuff out of this email form her, it is long but you need to just read it from her, in her words.


so there were a few things that i forgot to say in the last email home. As always, a quick disclaimer to apologize in advance for pretty poor grammar/spelling/punctuation because of these tricky keyboards and my lack of time to proofread or anything.

k, so last week i wanted to have dress-up days. spirit days spirit days, who needs an excuse to get dressed up and match with people? so to kick things off we had JUMPER DAY. it was the bessssst. everyone who had a jumper wore it, and then if girls had extra ones they loaned them to other people, and we had all the sisters wearing jumpers. the elders thought we were weird. Then it kind of started to catch on, and someone else wanted to have a dress up day, so the next one was all black skirts and white tops (this one was pretty boring because then we all looked just like the elders, and you really need the girls to wear color to off-set how they look all the time.) then 4th of july came around, and we got everybody - including the elders - to wear red white and blue. It was super fun.

4th of july was great. in addition to patriotic dress up, the cafeteria place had american style burgers and fries and a huge ice cream bar. except the fries were completely undercooked... whatever throw on some salt and microwave it and you're back in business. so the 4th was good. i definitely didnt miss having to work at the beach on the craziest beach holiday of the year, but i did miss the ward breakfast and primary kids parade. oh well.

I got a huge gash in my forehead this week. i accidentally smashed my forehead on the corner of an open closet door. I stepped up on a chair to put something on the top shelf and the door was open, so i didnt just walk into it, i stepped up into it REALLY hard. it bled all over the place (typical head wound) and then we went down to the doctor to get some sympathy and a band-aid but instead he made fun of me. he's the funniest old man. then i got to enjoy 50 people a day asking me what happened and why i had a huge cut on my face, so i just started telling people that sister hill beats me. but thanks to my trusty neosporin, the forehead is back on the mend. what can i say, i'm just a harry potter fanatic who wanted to have a matching scar on my forehead. sweet.

in other news, we live in a war-zone. Every night when we're winding down or trying to fall asleep. we hear a noise like gunfire/machine guns/and bombs going off. i didnt know what it was for the longest time, but i just found out last week that its fireworks. there is a soccer stadium not far from here, and whenever the team wins they have fireworks that are SO loud. but from where our building is next to other buildings in the way we cant see them. we just live with the gunshots and hope that we dont get bombed.

Also, mom and dad, thanks a bunch for 8 years of piano lessons. and thank you sisters for playing the piano and singing virtually every day i've been home in the last 3 years. i'm really glad to be able to play the hymns and do some little accompanying. the funny thing is...i never know what i'm playing until i'm a line or two into the song. the hymns are in p o r t u g u ê s. so they say, 'sister wardle, can you play hino 133?" and i say suuuuure. but i never know what it is and the numbers are different and sometimes the songs are a little tweaked in portuguese. anyways it usually works out, but there have been a few times where i totally butcher it. one night i was playing the opening song of a devotional, and in the portuguese hymnbook there are 3 verses, but the rest of the congregation of 200 people were singing from the lyrics that were put up on a big projector screen, and they only had 2 verses up. the chorister had a portuguese book, so he lead for 3 and i played for 3. i'm retarded. whatevvvvs.

i lOVE the brazilians. these people are so great. we became really good friends with a district of brazilians who are also going to the same mission in brasilia. they are so fun/funny. My favorite one is elder ribeiro because: 1) he is adorable and honestly looks like he is 12 years old. 2) he's ridiculously enthusiastic and whenever we see him he throws a fist up in air and shouts "just baptize!" #3) He is THE BEST beat-boxer. he can throw down a beat like no other. he drums on his chest plus these claps and snaps and he has perfect rhythm. plus then he'll sing american songs with totally different syncopation (-sp?).

Anyways, we spent a few days during meals learning how to do elder ribeiro's beat and then trying to rap with it. He always starts singing that one song, "eh baby..." but i didnt think it was appropriate to sing american rap songs because we're only supposed to listen to spiritually uplifting music right? but it just so happens that whenever we testify, we say "I know that..." which is "Eu sei que..." in portuguese. maybe you can guess where this is going. i decided to write my testimony in a rap. it was SO HARD. knowing enough words to say it wasn't hard, but being able to rhyme in portuguese and then get it to sound good with a beat was just funny. brazilians and americans alike got a pretty good kick out of it. here are two of my favorite couplets:
O Evangelho - sim, é muito bom
Eu amo ler O Livro de Mórmon
Thomas S. Monson é o profeta atual
Ele foi chamou de Pai Celestial.
(Paul you can read it for the fam. it sounds dumb in english though)

Anyways... in other news, we love every moment we can steal outside of the buliding to sit in the glorious sunshine of são paulo. a few days ago sister hill and sister lasley and I were sitting outside in the front by the gate to the outside world. We were studying grammar or something when this car drove by and we could hear the music being blasted out of the windows. At EXACTLY the same time we all acknowledged what we were hearing and we all looked up and our faces were pure joy. the one phrase of the song we heard was, "apple bottom jeans and the boots with the fur." we were so happy. just a little taste of the outside world. it was great great great.

K, but all outside world things aside, I'm loving being in the CTM. we have incredible experiences every day and I know that this is exactly where I need to be right now. I'm learning so much so fast - its awesome. and I know its not at all because of me. God helps us so much and all we do is lean on him for help and we receive it.

Today sister hill and I had an awesome experience. Being P-day, we went on a walk and found this little psuedo park to sit and write letters. this man walked up and immediately recognized us as missionaries, and so he came over and started talking with us. We talked for over an hour. i think i used just about every single word of portuguese i've learned. he was really religious, and had a lot of knowledge about the bible, but he didnt believe in joseph smith. it was so cool because we have spent the first 3 weeks studying the first lesson about joseph smith, and the restoration of the true gospel of christ through him. plus, i just finished preparing my first lesson in portuguese, so miraculously i knew how to explain dispensations, and how God has established this pattern of calling prophets throughout time, and all this stuff. then we talked about the book of mormon and how joseph smith translated it by the power of God, and how the book of mormon testifies of Christ. it was SO cool. and it wasn't me. I wasnt scared or nervous, or tripping over my portuguese, it was just perfect. it was totally all just the spirit working through me. And since i had just finished writing my lesson in portuguese, i was able to extend the invitations to read the book of mormon and pray to ask God if its true, with a sincere heart, and then promised him that he would receive an answer. the Then these elders were walking by and they have been here for 7 weeks and one of them knew a bunch more portuguese, so it was so helpful having him there, compared to my 3 weeks. We sat around this little park table for over an hour and we touched on points from all the lessons. We talked about the restoration, the plan of salvation, and the doctrine of christ exactly as outlined in 3 nephi11. It was incredible. Every thing he said was just opening up doors perfectly for us to talk about things. It was like he had all the questions the lessons teach and he just opened the door for us to talk about them. he kept asking why we are out here on the streets, and we go walking around the streets in pairs... what are we doing out here? and i said, Let us tell you why we are here. Then we went through our purpose as missionaries. and the other elder who didnt know conversational portuguese quite as well was able to recite our purpose exactly as stated in preach my gospel. We told him that we are here to invite all people to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. It was SO cool. Anyways, we just kept testifying and testifying "Eu sei que, ..." and I could just feel the spirit. it was legal demais people. so I loved it. and it totally lit a fire under me to hurry up and learn portuguese better so I can get out into the field and really start doing this every day. I loooove it.

So I love you guys, and I hope all is well at home, because let me tell ya, things are great here.


Friday, July 3, 2009

She's Still Funny

Sister Wardle titled her email home this week "MJ is not dead." She wrote very little because the time that she has on the internet is very limited and seeing that we all wrote her long emails she spent 23 minutes reading emails and only 6.5 writing an email home. Because of how short the email was it is easier to post it and invite you to read her own words.

"The news that micheal jackson died traveled around the MTC at txt msg speed. even without having cell phones down here, we can still spread news really fast apparently. when we found out that he died, sister lasley (my new favorite person) decided to have a flashlight vigil for him in her room. we all dressed up in black and white (it dont matter if you´re black or white) and danced and sang to michael jackson songs. There is one brazilian sister missionary who came in wearing all black, and she had black sunglasses on, and a white sock on one hand. She has the same haircut and somehow she looked exactly like micheal jackson... in an uncanny way. it was so funny, and now we all call her sister MJ instead of Sister Moreira.

Another hilarious thing was Sister Hill´s little language mess up. She was feeling overwhelmed with portuguese one day, and she said, When I get out into the field i´m going to chocar every day. (She thought that was the verb for to cry) Our teacher started laughing sooo hard, he couldn´t stop to even tell us what she said. finally he got it together and apparently she accidenctally said "i´m going to go out in the field and hatch an egg every day." it was really classic."

So closed saying that the language is coming along, well and that she loves us.

Then came "MJ is not dead part 2"
In the second email she gave the sisters and Mom and Dad a little shout out individually then shared a short story about Sister Lasley. She meet and spoke to a Professor from The University Sao Paulo. At the beginning of their interaction the man came off very arrogant and not interested in the Book of Mormon. In Sister Kat's words, "He started talking about how proud he was to represent the universtiy of sao paulo and being this big deal teacher. Sis lasley said, "well let me tell you who I represent. I am a representative of Jesus Christ..." and then she kept on bearing her testimony. When she was done, the man had a complete change of heart, and accepted the Book of mormon, and said that he would put it on his nightstand and read it before any other book. it was sooo cool."

She's a good girl and would really love hand written letters. If you email keep them short so she can read them fast. Again her address is,
Sister Katherine Wardle
District 25-A Box 17
Brasil CTM
Rua Padre Antônio D'Angelo, 121
Casa Verde, São Paulo, SP
Brazil 02516-040