From an email dated August 25, 2009:
howey chow, this week was interesting. Especially because I haven't been able to write you for two weeks, there's a boatload to say, and practically no time to say it in. I'll sum up my last week in the CTM as great. I learned a bunch, had a great time, and the chorale experience was awesome. Then last tuesday we flew to Brasilia, and since then things have been really good too.
The first day we were picked up by the mission president, we had lunch and orientation at his house, then we got our trainers... that night we had 8 sisters having a sleep over in one apartment, and then next morning 4 of us left for our areas. Saying goodbye to sister hill was sad, but we just played it off like it was nbd and that we would see each other in 6 more weeks, so it was ok.
Then we came to our area and since then its just been full on real deal missionary work, and I'm loving it. Sister Canfield is really good at Portuguese and she has helped me a lot already. She is a good trainer and a good teacher. The only things thats frustrating is how long it takes to get to places. We walk e v e r y w h e r e. And there's only so many hours in a day, and there are more teaching opportunities than time, so I always want to run places. Our area is one huge gentle sloping hill. So I was thinking how we could get places so much faster if we had skateboards and we could just roll down the hill. yaaa picture us longboarding with helmets and knee/elbow pads and a skirt and vans and books of mormons in our hands. Anyways, that idea didnt really pan out.
Um so ya, the field is great, i just want to do stuff faster. But its good, and the first few days I couldnt really do much I would just bear my testimony and say the prayers or recite the first vision, but now my companion is gaining a little more confidence in me and she lets me teach some too which is good. but its a little intimidating because i can teach a principle, but its hard when the people respond because somepeople have accents that are really difficult to understand. so i try hard to listen and learn.
The people here are AWESOME. they are friendly and open and receptive and love to talk to you. Especially the members. they love having sister missionaries in their homes, and they feed us a little too well every day.
mom, you asked about how i'm liking being in a suburb of the city, and i'm SO happy. i dont know what i was thinking before the mission when i was saying i wanted to be in the jungle. who was I kidding? its the freakin amazon out there?! when i hear about sisters who go to manaus, i just cringe and am grateful to be in brasilia where we have a legit apartment with a refridgerator and a blendor and a stove and a washing machine and a microwave, and a toilet that flushes. so I really like ceilândia and I dont want to go to the jungle. besides theres bugs and wildlife out there. I havent seen any big bugs or anything here. The most exciting thing was a tiny gecko on someones house and I caught it and gave it to their kids. but ya, the weather and the climate is great here. except for one evening/night when it rained REALLY hard and the power in the city went out for like 4 hours. So the entire city was dark except for the stars and we couldnt teach so that was frustrating and a waste of 4 hours.
And I loved going to church here. the ward is reallly nice and they are happy to have 2 american sisters. i played the piano in sacrament and it was the funniest thing. i was cracking up because basically all of brasil is tone deaf, and most people dont know a lot about music. so the chorister, the congregation, and the pianist (me) were all doing really different stuff. i was trying to follow the chorister but it was weirdddd and hard, but funny.
then at church we were talking to this guy, and we didnt know who he was, so we were getting to know him. and after some conversation he said how he wanted to be baptized we were were STOKED and so we invited him to be baptized and he said he would like to. and so sis canfield (my comp) was like, "great, who do you want to baptize you?" and he said, (pointing to me,) "How about the new sister, she hasnt been here very long." so he was a little confused and so we explained it needed to be a man with the proper priesthood authority, etc... but it was funny. then the weird let-down was that it turns out he's already a member. he was baptized over a year ago, but he didnt stay active in the church so he thought he needed to be baptized again to come back. anyways, we get to teach him again now... so whatevs.
Its so so great being here though. Our mission leadership is incredible. I love President Pizzirani and his cute little wife. They're tiny, like 5'2" and 5'0". And the Elders who have given us some training are awesome. We focus mostly on finding, teaching, and baptizing married men so that we can bring families into the gospel and build up the priesthood authority in brazil. Our goal is for each companionship to baptize once a week. We have a great investigator who has come to church several times and received the lessons, and hopefully he'll be baptized this Sunday. woot hollerrr.
Anyways, i gotsta go. I love you a bunch!
PS por favor write me letters? cool thanks.and I had to delete my facebook, so maybe my sisters could put my mission home address accessible on their page so i can get letters from friends? thats probably wishful thinking but oh well. oh, but side note about f.book, if you guys get friend requests from brasilians, accept them, because they are friends of mine. there's an awesome member of our ward named priscila and we were talking about lady gaga the other day and then it made me think of my sisters blah blah blah and basically she said she would find you guys on facebook. so say hi to her for me. k tchau for reals.