Sunday, July 6, 2014

June 30, 2014

I am so excited to be writing you guys right now! I had to wait almost 2 weeks to write! it was torture! okay it wasn´t that horrible, but i really did miss writing you guys! So much has happened! I don´t even know where to begin! but I´ll do my best to give you a good update! The rest of my ttime at the Brazil CTM was great! I am so grateful that I got to go and learn more of the language there. I think it helped me a lot not just with the language but spiritually as well and helped me remember what my purpose really is as a missionary!! On June 24 I woke up bright and early at 1:50 am so I could get ready and finish packing and be in the CTM parking lot at 3am to catch my bus to the airport. There was an elder from my district coming to the mission with me. So we traveled together and I felt better getting lost with someone rather than just by myself, haha! Our flight left Sao Pualo at 6:15 and landed in Salvador, Brasil at around 8am. We waited there for 2 hours until our next flight left to Fortaleza at 10:30. We got to Fortaleza at 12:45 and President Souza and Sister Souza picked us up and took us to their house for lunch. We ate with the assistants in the mission. I really wasn´t hungry at all which was sad because the food was really good! I´m still not realy hungry. I think it's all the changes and the heat! So hopefully my appetite will return. Who knows! Anyways I came into the mission at SUCH a weird time. President and Sister Souza are finished serving and as i write, they are home now. I had 3 days with them as my Mission President and now I have a new one! So it was a little weird, but they were still super sweet and welcoming even though they knew that they were leaving soon. I spent most of the day in training, learning about different health stuff and then having an interview with President Souza. Then I got to meet my companions! Yep another trio...for now. Transfers are in 2 weeks and they are thinking I´ll probably leave. Not sure though! My companions are Sister Twitchell who was in the mtc in provo with me for 2 weeks until she got her visa, and Sister Lugen who is being trained by Sis Twitchell right now and shes from Paraguay! Shes such a sweetie! We live with 2 other sisters. One american from Pensylvania and a sister from Argentina! We put some of my stufff away and then got to work! We serve in the same ward where the Mission President lives and it's pretty big. There are four other elders in the ward and a senior couple! Our section of the area has a lot of apartment complexes that you have to know someone to get into so we do a lot of walking, Which i expected to do here so thats great! We visited a girl who has been taught the first lesson. We ended up getting to teach her whole family! After that we visited a family in the ward. It was a good visit! After that we came home and the sisters we live with made me a cake for my birthday! We ate dinner and planned and then I took my first shower here which was cold!!! It felt really good and really bad at the same time, haha. My birthday was great! I dont think I´ll ever have a birthday like this one ever again. We had a conference with the whole mission since President Souza is leaving. It was a really nice gift for me because I got to see all my friends from my Distrcit in the Provo MTC!!!! First I got to see Sister Allen!! ahh, i am so so grateful for her! She is the sweetest! She just hugged me and helped me feel so much better about all the changes and reminded me that I am where I'm supposed to be! She is the best!!! I´m so grateful I get to be with her again here in Fortaleza! She's actually in my zone so its really awesome! The conference was really great! It was weird because I don't know President Souza, but I can just tell what an amazing President hes been! Everyone was so sad! The conference taught me a lot and there were plenty of things I needed to hear in all the talks! The meeting started at 9am and ended at 7pm!!! We got home just in time to do our nightly planning. Thursday was my first ´´real day´´ in Brasil! It was intense and amazing! Sis Twitchell is a sister training leader and so is the other sister we live with so they went on exchanges and me and Sister Lugen worked with the sister from Argentina that we live with. We ate lunch with a member at a restaraunt that they own. I have to admit that my first meal here was terrible....I ate liver and it was so awful. haha! but I suffered through... We didn't get to teach much that day. The schools here take a break for the World Cup and tons of people are traveling. But we got a few awesome lessons in! At the end of the night we bought these things called pasteles....serioulsy one of the most delicious things I've EVER eaten! I cant decide if the water I drank was better or the pastel... its important to drink a ton of water here in the morning before we leave the house because once we leave we usually dont get more water. When we got home we looked at my legs and discovered I had a GIANT heat rash! It didn´t hurt but it looked horrible! Luckily with some medicine and a few days of adapting my legs are back to normal. Friday was great! My first day working in my area with both my companions. It was fun and we all got to know each other better! I am happy to report that the lunch we ate that day was really delicious! I am a lot less worried now. Brasil is such an interesting place. There are parts of Fortaleza that are so beautiful and the buildings are super fancy, and then you turn the corner and there's are dirt streets...its strange, but i love it! During the afternoon we didnt have much success. No one was home! We met a really cool girl named Naomi who we taught and got a return appointment with! In the evening we taught a few more families. I am struggling with the language but I´ve noticed that when I just open my mouth and don't worry about what I'm saying things go so much better and people can feel my testimony. It's hard because there are times where I really want to say something but i have no idea how! And the things I say are so simple and not really what I want to say! but in time I will have it all down! back in DC I felt like I had a lot of things figured out and was capable of doing lots! Here is a whole other story! EVERYTHING I do i need the Lords help with! I know in DC I needed His help just as much, but I didnt recognize that. I'm grateful for the time I have now to figure this out and to learn what it means to truly rely on the Lord! Saturday was my first experience with a World Cup game!! When Brasil is playing, we arent allowed to go out and proselyte until the game is finished. We ate with some members and left just as the game was starting and the streets were seriously empty! It was a little creepy! During the games we just stay in the apartment and do whatever we want, so I took a nap. I have a cold that I tihink I got from my MTC companion, so the sleep was really great! When I woke up it was CRAZY! People were running through the streets screaming and honking their horns and shooting off fireworks! It was nuts!! The worst part is that this Friday there is a game that Brasil is playing in and its here in Fortaleza....I dont think we will get much done that day! The rest of our Saturday was pretty rough because of the Cup! Tons of people weren't home because they went to parties for the Cup, and if the were home they were leaving their house to go to a party! Ridiculous haha. Finally at the very end of the night after all our plans had fallen through, we were able to see a member who we had lunch with the next day. She really opened up to us because she's struggling with a lot of things right now and it was awesome because we were able to know exactly what we need to share with her the next day! Sunday was quite eventful! Church starts at 9 here so at 7 45 we started our trek to pick up an investigator for church. The ward was super shocked to have another sister! All the members are awesome! Here we have relief society first, then sunday school, then sacrament meeting. One perk of being in this ward is that it's the same ward the Mission President is in, so we got to meet the new President, President Bonini and his wife! They are super sweet and I'm excited to know them better! After church we went to our lunch with the member and taught a really great lesson! Yesterday was the hottest its been since i got here and i was DYING! The nice thing about Fortaleza.... there's always a breeze, so even though its super hot, I'm not about to keel over and die (usually) ;) We taught a lot of lessons and then had a meeting with our ward mission leader! it was great!! I am coming into a mission at a really hard time. A lot of the missionaries are wondering what changes will take place with the new President. They are hestitant about the new rules he will make and different things like that. I feel like I was meant to be here to help the other missionaries know that he really is called to be our President! So we will see how that goes! I also feel like all the member work I did in DC really is helping me here. The missionaries here don't know how to talk with the members. We all eat lunch together at a member's and usually the msisionaries just talk with each other and the member's talk to their family. Today in comp study, my companions said they want to talk more with the member's so its cool that I had all that experience in DC so now I can help them out! It's weird because I feel like a new missionary again but at the same time I know how to teach, I just don't know how to say what I want to and I dont know my area well or anything...its such a weird feeling! But I'm really enjoying it! Just taking it one day at a time. This morning I killed my first spider in the shower so I'm making progress every day! :) I'm SO sweaty all the time and i just love it! I feel very blessed to be here. There is a new rule the church created that President Riggs told me about when I left. Missionaries who have been serving for half their mission in a reassignment now have to choose at that point if they want to stay in the US mission or if they want to keep trying for their visas. They are encouraging the Sisters to stay in the US. I feel like this is a huge sign that Heavenly Father really wanted me here in Brasil! Also, they aren't calling any more Americans to Brasil until they figure out the Visa issues! CRAZY! Heavenly Father has a plan for each and every one of us. If I've learned anything on my mission it's that! I love you guys soo much! I hope youre not worried about me or anything because I am doing fine! I know in a month or so I'll be all settled in. eu amo voces!!!! Beijos!! Sister Pehrson

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