Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Week 2!!!

Hey everyone!!

I cant believe it, but I've been here for two weeks now!! Crazy! I should be fluent any day now right?? =]

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE LETTERS!!! AND SUZI SCHEIDEGGER!!! Thanks for your letter and the pics! It was my first mail in the CTM and I LOVE it. =]

Life is soooo good!! I got a new companion last week and she is fantastic!! Sister Sessions. ASH, she was in your ward at BYU!! Heather Sessions. She remembers you! Anyways, she is super nice and just so great. And it is wonderful to actually have a companion now!!

Actually, today we are getting another companion, so we will be a trio. Crazy! And sadly, we have to move bedrooms..... after my first week, I got a new companion and had to move bedrooms and now it is happening again! Ah. I wonder what will happen next week....

Portuguese is coming. Slowly. haha. BUT it is good. All the elders in my district joke around that I'm fluent and that I'm actually brazilian and just pretending to be an american.... ha. NOT TRUE!! But I'm getting better at it!! Sister Sessions and I got two brazilian roommates last week and they are wonderful!! Sister Texeira is from Brazil and Sister Almeida is actually from Portugal. So she's taught me a couple phrases that i probably wont hear around here.... They are the sweetest!! The other day they left Sister Sessions and I little notes under our pillows! So sweet. I'm sad that we have to leave them when we move rooms today.

Our district is awesome! I love them all. Last weekend in one of our evening classes we had an impromptu testimony meeting and it was so great. These elders amaze me with their testimonies and their desire to serve. Sometimes Sister Sessions and I get frustrated when the elders are being immature, but moments like this make me so happy!!

They have a violin here at the CTM, and I got to check it out for this past week!! Wooo! Sister Steadman who leads the choir asked me to play with them at the devotional on sunday night. It was so fun!! Dont get any grand ideas though... this CTM is TINY compared with the Provo MTC.... For example, there were only 14 sisters my first week here, last week we had 19.... So choir is mandatory for EVERYONE and we arent very good.... hahaha. But it was still so good to get to play. Since then I've been playing a little bit for my district everyday. I started out just playing some hymns for them, but then Elder Myer asked me to play a celtic fiddle tune and they all basically died... hahah. Maybe they enjoyed it so much because they dont get to hear music very often.....

Teaching is going alright. It is so fun to teach! but so hard too. We have mostly been teaching our teachers in fake situations, but on Saturday Sister Sessions and I did our first TRC. There was a youth group that came in to be our investigators, and we got three teenage girls. OH MY GOSH. They talk so FAST!!!! AHHHHHHH. We nearly died. And while one of them was talking and repeating what she said about 400 times for us, the other two would be snickering in the background. cool. OH and they video all of it. Turns out all the other people that came with the youth group were watching us in the waiting room..... GREAT.
But yeah. We're gonna get better at it!!

Last week our teacher Irma Korth challenged us to memorize this verb sheet that they gave us... the entire thing. It was 6 tenses of 3 regular verbs and 19 irregular verbs!!! AH. And we have to memorize 4 conjugations for every tense!! (there are 6 conjugations, but we don't really use two of them...). Anyways. It's way hard. And I kept trying, but everyday I would forget what I had memorized the day before. Yesterday though, I finally was able to remember some!! I've memorized all the tenses for 6 of the verbs on the sheet now!! WAHOOOO! Wish me luck in learning the rest.

Today we got to go to the Sao Paulo Temple. SO GORGEOUS. The inside has all this dark wood (cherry?? mahogany??) and it is beautiful. And there is a ton of stained glass. soo cool. The foyer has a stained glass depiction of the Savior coming to the Americas, which is really cool when you think about where we are!! Crazy!

Everyday is so busy, and sometimes hard, but I'm so happy anyways! I love it. Missions are so great. I am sooo sooo soo glad that things worked out so that I can be here now. It is amazing to me. I was reading in Alma (chapter 8 or 9 ish??) where Amulek is talking and he says that he had been called many times but would not hear. I'm so glad that our Heavenly Father calls us over and over again until we hear Him!! And I am so grateful to be here in Brazil!! It is seriously amazing and I love it soooo much.

Eu amo voces!!! SO MUCH.

Sister Ward

A note from Ashley: Amanda sent these pics last week, but I was lazy and forgot to post them.... Sorry!

I'm assuming these two are Elder Gaines and Elder Elliott, her old "escort".

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

1st Week in Brazil!

Hey there!! I made it to Brazil!!!!
Mom, hopefully you got the email they sent out the first day with the arrival group pictures... and they should be sending another one today of our p-day group at the Campinas temple!!!!! ALSO, I sent you a pouch letter that you should have gotten by now, and it has all my mailing information. Did you get them?? And when we head out into the city this afternoon, I'm going to try to send you a letter I wrote on sunday. Apparently there is a member who has a store across the street that scans handwritten letters and then emails them for the missionaries here. You guys can use that to write back to me too I think, but it costs a little bit. But they print them off and get them to us fairly quickly. oh, and I dont have very much email time, so if anyone wants to send me letters, I will be able to enjoy those a lot more. =)
Okay. I've been in Brasil a week!!! crazy! It feels like it has been a year. We've been so busy.
Today we got to go to the Campinas Temple which is GORGEOUS. I love it. The Sao Paulo temple is closed for cleaning, but it will be back open again next week, so this was our only time at Campinas. Hopefully I'll get to go there when I head out to the mission field though! The temple is sitting on a hill overlooking the city and it is soooo awesome. Campinas is huge. I'm so excited to go back there in 5 weeks!!
Alright, so everything is so great here!! I love brasil, love portuguese, love my district and love our teachers!! I am the only sister in my district, so two of the elders in my district have to "escort" me everywhere. Ha. I feel a little bad, but whatever. They are great, Elder Gaines and Elder Elliott. The rest of our district is fantastic as well. The elders are a bunch of goofballs and always ask our teachers to tell them how to say slang words and phrases in portuguese. haha.
Our teachers are Irmao Costa and Irma Korth (pronounced Korch). They are awesome. They both just laugh at us when the Elders are being ridiculous and think we are all hilarious.
Teaching is my favorite part so far. Elder Gaines, Elder Elliott and myself have taught two lessons in portuguese so far and I love it!!!! We aren't very good, and cant say everything that we want to... but our second lesson was SO much improved! Irma Korth said that our portuguese was completely understandable! wooo!! find joy in the little things right?!!!
We are learning portuguese so much faster than I thought we would!! It is great!! We learned how to pray the first day of class and now we are basically pros. Okay, so we aren't, but I dont have to use notes!! And we can bear our testomonies. Sweet deal.
We always try to practice our portuguese with the brazilian missionaries at meals.... usually it only works if one of them knows some english.... hmm. But we are getting better. They help us out a ton. But they usually end up just laughing their heads off at us.... cool. =)
I have two roommates, one is from California and has been here for three weeks I think?? The other is brazilian and got here the day after I did. She is so great and helps me out with my portuguese every night.
Okay, so something I'm super excited about..... In class last night, I learned how to say "how dare you?!!" in portuguese. It is "como voce ousa??!!" (the s sounds more like a z) and I now use that phrase whenever any of the elders in my district decide to be rude... hahaha. Elder Geigle thinks it is hilarious to call me a liar ("mentirosa"???) ALL THE TIME.
OH. and here in brasil, they pronounce my name like "warge" (think kind of between barge and forge....but with a W at the beginning...). And brazilians with a Sao Paulo accent sometimes put a little bit of an "ee" at the end.... hahah. So great. Our first gym time, I played lightening with the elders and somehow miraculously made these perfect baskets for my first two shots and got two of the elders out.(FAMILY, you know how miraculous that is... and don't worry, my true skills at basketball were revealed soon after... ) hahah. So they were all yelling "seester warge!! yeah, seester warge!" hahah. it is the cutest sounding thing.
Well. I may be getting a companion today... WOOO!
But if I do, I might get moved a week back into her district (sad day) and that may change my pday..... SO just to be safe,  email me  in time for me to read it if my pday is on tuesday!!
wow. Well, I am out of time and I hardly said anything......
I LOVE BRASIL!!! and I am so insanely excited to learn portuguese. AH. AND I LOVE TEACHING THE GOSPEL. well. practicing. But I know I will love it when I get to do it for reals!
Love you all so much and miss you A TON.
Sister Ward
PS--Amanda Walker. You are the bomb dot com for that note that you made me wait till I was over the ocean to read. (how could you do that to me!!??? haha) It makes my day. Everyday. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Arrival in Brazil!

So Amanda made it to the Brazil MTC!
The mission presidents sent an email basically saying "we're going to take care of your kid and not kill her..."
Her P-Day will be either Tuesday or Wednesday, we'll find out for sure when she emails us next.
Here's a picture of Amanda with all the missionaries she traveled with (all guys!) and her mission president and his wife.
It's currently 88 degrees F down there, with 43% humidity... I want to know if she's melted yet!
The mission president "STRONGLY ENCOURAGES" (yes, in capital letters) sending handwritten letters, but packages need to be sent to her mission home, not the MTC.
That's it until she sends a letter!