Sunday, November 30, 2008

April 8, 2008

Dear Family:

I'm in the mission!! And guess where my first area is? THE BEACH! It is absolutely gorgeous. Especially after being trapped in the CTM for 9 weeks. It was really hard to say goodbye to my district and my compies. I'm worried about them. But I've just got to have some faith. They'll learn. I feel so blessed to have so much language experience behind me. My first few weeks will include a lot fewer tears than the rest of them, I think. I can understand my companion almost always. And so far (the first 5 hours) she seems awesome. She's only been on her mission since November. That's four months. She went from being a Junior Companion to training an American. She says she was so nervous that she woke up at 4 am and couldn't go back to sleep... I slept like a baby last night... but when I woke up I couldn't eat anything and felt like I was going to vomit for a number of hours... So here's how it went down. Sister Tittelfitz and I bade farewell to our dear Sister Martin at 7:15 am and then showered and finished packing and caught our van at 8:15. We went straight to our mission. There were 7 new Americans and 8 new Brazileiros. We arrived at the chapel closest to the mission home at 10ish. We were briefed by the assistant to the mission president. Normally we would've met our mission president... but he was out of the country. I don't know if you attended General Conference or not, but my mission president was called to be a Seventy. In the First Quorum of the Seventy. So he's still in Salt Lake. I'll meet him someday... I think. So we just heard mission stories from some elders, met our new compies, ate lunch, and headed out.

My new compy is lovely. Her name is Sister De Jesus. She's from the Northeast of Brazil and has 14 brothers and sisters... not all from the same parents. and 30-something nieces and nephews. She's the youngest. She's been a member for 7 years and is the only member in her family.So, heading out entailed dragging our maletas (suitcases) along sidewalks and down some stairs to the subway--which is beautifully maintained and looks like the DC metro--and riding the subway to the end of the line. Dragging our maletas up lots more stairs, buying a 15 $R bus ticket, and riding a bus for an hour and a half. Possibly the most beautiful hour and a half of my life. We passed through some city... with houses stacked up on top of each other... but then we passed into beautiful green-coated hills. There is a small mountain ridge between São Paulo and the coast, so we went over these mountains to get here. It was all foggy and georgeous. You could see down into these gorges that were full of trees... everything was covered in green. And then as we rounded the top of the ridge, you could see through the fog and down this mountain a glowing city. It is gorgeous. It was sunny in my town, so it was just glowing. I've never seen a more amazing vista. And as we passed into the town, all the houses were well maintained and colorful. And we got off the beach and walked along a sidewalk ON THE BEACH. If I had taken two steps to my right, I would've been in the sand. But that would be illegal. We're not allowed to be on the sand. But my compy's going to ask if we can go jogging on the beach for our morning exercises. So cross your fingers for me. She's all about health... and she's lost 10 kilos (22 pounds) since getting here... so I better start losing, too. I stayed even in the CTM, by the way. Which was a feat of strength.

My area is lovely. And we're going to visit some investigators in a few minutes. We have someone getting baptized on Saturday! And we're teaching 4-ish families... But apparently my area, although beautiful, is hard because people are more wealthy and less receptive. So we'll see how it goes. Wish me luck.My mission has a website, apparently :

Thanks for your recap of general conference talks. I don't know if this was the best general conference that ever happened, or if I was just more receptive... i bet it was a combination of the two. My Branch President suggested we go to conference with some specific questions in mind and promised that we'd find answers. And I did. It was amazing. I also asked for a reconfirmation that the organization of the church was true and that President Monson was a prophet. And it's amazing what you can get just for asking. Even if it's something that you should already know... you can still ask. And he's more than willing to answer you. I loved the solemn assembly. The spirit was so strong. And I loved how President Monson opened up even more so that we could all love him. It was perfect. And I got other answers to my questions, too. I could go on forever. But we have an appointment in 25 minutes. Crap. That's soon. I particularly loved the part of Elder Bednar's talk in which he said that members were full-time finders. I don't know if you noticed. You guys should take his challenge and find some people. Ready... Go!! Don't be afraid... It only hurts for a while. If I can do it in Portuguese, you can do it in English. I loved his whole talk on prayer... I am learning so much about prayer. I love it. And we're teaching two people about prayer tonight. It's a good thing I have a testimony of it.

Love you all,Sister Todd

No comments: