Monday, July 25, 2011

No toil nor labor fear

Dear Mom and Dad and everyone else:

Happy pioneer day! I have recieved many thoughts about our ancestors both in the MTC and in emails today. I miss this holiday more than I missed the 4th! I keep telling elders in my district how cool the parade is, but really this is a great holiday I can't wait to tell people about in Brazil. NO more visa work. Patience.

As a recap of my week:
I sure am spoiled! In the last two weeks I have recieved packages from Grandma, Aunite Kristin, Mom and Taci. I am spoiled and my district loves you all! thank you thank you! On the days that I just can't take another minute of Portuguese, I remember how many people are on my team back at home, and I remember the prayers and support and it all becoms alright again. I can feel how I am sustained. I am so blessed! I can't tell you how much it means to me that I get to be a missionary right now. There were many things to stop me from going, but I am glad I had help to pull through. I need to be here right now, I feel that everyday. I love all the things I get to do, even when I complain and say I don't like it. I really love it.

Let me tell you about the goings on during my past seven days:
Our Zone leaders left for Cape Verde. They are going to do so well! what a bittersweet time, the elders that were experienced when I came to the MTC are now greenies! What? Our branch of 50 sang them off singing in Portuguese. We had a day teaching in the TRC, a volunteer thing where people pretend to be investigators. We BOMBED. It was awful. At least in the field, my inexperience will be compensated by another missionary. Humbled humbled humbled. Oh my. I don't make enough eye contact. I speak too much. I don't expound enough... how does that work? IT was a hard crummy day. But eventually I will be glad that happened in the MTC not in Brazil. Still I didn't enjoy being called out with my companion by our teacher so harshly. Sometimes, I just wonder, I am trying to teach people about CHURCH, how can I do a bad job?

ON Sunday I sang a solo in sacrament meeting, they were desperate for a musical number. We all lived, barely. Singning How Great Thou Art as a soprano at 8am? I lived, and that is accomplishment enough. Anything else new? We are trying to speak Portuguese exclusively. Tough! But when I get to my mission I won't have a choice about it so I better practice now. I am not worried, practice never hurt anybody. Unless you consider sports injury, I hope I am safe. The other day we had the fire alarm go off right before bed, some sweet sister with thick hair was straightening it and there was smoke. There you have it, 4 floors of missionaries evacuated in jammies. Enough newsy bits.

As I continue to be busy, I continue to become more aware of my weakenesses. I can't focus on reading for hours sometimes like i am expected to, I can't study, go to class, speak only Portuguese and not be tired. The day I realized that I by myself am not enough as a missionary was a tough day indeed. What does one do at a time like this? I realized that my Savior makes up the difference. I realized that all I have to do is try. That is what I tell investigators to do - turn your flaws to the Lord and just try everyday. There is so much hope when we fully understand, or just increasingly understand that Merciful Father in Heaven will bless our efforts. I am so glad that I am imperfect, because I really do need divine help and my imperfections soften my heart towards other children of God. I always said that going on a mission would make me tougher. But really, if I do this thing right, I get a softer heart. I have a testimony of this. We need our Savior. I get to spread this hope of my newfound capability to other people.
What a job!

Lots of Love,
Sister Smith

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