Monday, July 11, 2011

Portuguese Progress

Dear Family,
Thank you for all of the dear elders, letters, and package(momma) There is nothing like a word hug from home, and we can read dear elders and letters everyday! And I like to get more than the elders in my district.
I am in the swing of things, struggling along in Portuguese, It is tough because my companion and I are on different levels and we struggle to work together sometimes. I naturally speak faster so our investigators speak faster and she gets lost, embarrassed and I feel bad. My goal this week is to slow down, focus on helping her rather than trying to progress myself. I am so thankful that they give us a forced 8 hours of rest, even when I can't sleep. Nobody is allowed to bother me!! My companion and roommates are very kind, but my patience needs an 8 hour break too:) Earplugs, pillow over my head and mandatory quiet time? The Lord does love me immensly, and this is one of those tender mercies that I am very aware and thankful for.
My branch has 50 elders, 3 sisters. Great odds for a singles ward activity eh? It is also nice here, we rarely open doors and always get the fun wheely chairs in the classroom.
Almost everyday, we have 6 hours of class, and about 80 percent of it is taught in Portuguese. I understand most of it, and now I am learning how to teach it. We have already taught about the restoration and the plan of salvation. You try to conjugate translate into past tense. There was a new batch of missionaries this week, I am no longer the newbie! Watching them get dropped off was killer hard though. The sisters that came in with me who are going english speaking have less than a week left here. Time flies!
Being around elders all fo the time is a blast from the past. They talk about high school sports, 17 year old girl friends and explosions. They reverence my star wars quoting and college football knowledge, but I still scare them. I always cry when we watch video clips about families being baptized. It is just so beautiful! The temple is awesome! I cry everyday because of something touching, I am giving sisters a bad name:)
Gym time is precious, don't take wearing pants for granted! The gym floor is being refinished this week, so we have been outside on the field. Mid day, right after lunch. this is worse than middle school gym with Mr. Reno. I have a healthy companion who likes to run uphill. We got stuck in one of those freakish 5 minute rainstorms the other day. We were running to get back inside and water got up my nose and I chocked. What am I a chicken?
Here is a nice anecdote for you:
I was contacting in portuguese and asked someone if they wanted a massage about Jesus Christ, rather than a message. I can not live that down in my branch. Then I proceeded to ask a 17 year old if he had a wife and children. I thought he said 27. Save that lesson about eternal families for later.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a missionary. I have been extended and humbled. I have begun a countdown and fallen to my knees to thank my Heavenly Father that I can be here. Uncle Ryan was right: 2500 missionaries singing called to serve is electrifying!

I still haven't worn the same outfit twice... I think I brought too many clothes.
Taci: my compainion respects my scarves- everyone does
Brooke: thanks for your dear elders they are the light of my life
Mom: You dear elders keep me going!

I love you all! Thanks for all the love and support. I pray for my family every day, and remember missionary prayers are extra special:)

love love and more love,
Sister Smith

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