Monday, November 30, 2015

week 9

Olá todo mundo! Como vocês estão??

This week was cool! On wednesday we did splits with the sister training leaders (which I quite enjoyed in part because Sister Lopez is american so I got to have a normal conversation again!!) and I feel like I learned a ton from her. She and I made TONS of street contacts that day, and taught a few lessons to. She didnt baby me at all, in fact treated me as though I'd been in the field for ages and ages already. Normally in a lesson, one missionary will be talking and just signal to the other that they should take over. They don't plan who will say what/when. So I just about croaked when she signaled that I would be teaching the first vision. What??? Me??? How?? But I took a leap of faith and accepted her challenge, and it went perfectly! Teaching that part felt realllllly cool and really powerful too. After that, she did the same with various other parts and wouldn't let me get away with not talking to someone she talked to. I feel that I grew a weeks worth in that 6 hours with her and am ready to face all the challenges ahead of me!

After that day, Sister Pereira has been doing the same thing. Just passing the baton to me, never when I'm expecting it and things have been going awesome! I'm quickly learning that I know way more portuguese than I think I do, and if I just open my mouth without thinking beforehand what I'm going to say, the words will flow naturally.

We got a new investigator this week! Valessa. Sister Lopez and I talked to her during splits, and the next day I brought Sister Pereira over to meet her and we started teaching right away! Things are going really well with her, and with our others as well! Matteus is progressing really quickly! We have one investigator that was going to be baptised last saturday, but he canceled at the last minute. Cold feet. So we're going to try to focus on him a lot this week to figure out what it is thats holding him back, because he wants to be baptized and he *knows* everything we've taught him is true, he's just afraid of the commitment. 

I find it really funny how, with this nametag, lots of people are actually afraid of me. Like there's this woman we pass on the street every single day that goes out of her way to avoid walking near us, like walks across the street until we're a good distance apart and then crosses back, staring at the wall to avoid making eye contact with us. Never before have I had people try that hard to not talk to me! 

sorry this is so short again! I keep forgetting my outline. Next week I'll be sure to tell you all more :) 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Olá tudo mundo!! 

So, last week was almost only street contacting but this week we had LESSONS. Lots of them, actually. As part of training, we watched the district videos about finding people to teach and felt that we needed to be a little more assertive in our teaching-teach people immediately, not just wait for them to say we can come back. So we did. We worked hard to talk with people not just at people, and to testify from the beginning and dang did that work. We have 5 new investigators now, 4 of which have a baptismal date and only one of those was a referral. 

I'm contributing in lessons! lessons with real people, not instructors pretending! Seriously, this is so cool. To think that 8 weeks ago I spoke literally zero portuguese and now I'm here, talking about peoples fears and problems and doing my best to help them. I dont always understand /everything/ but I understand enough, and every day I understand more.

Its basically as hot as the surface of the sun here, but I've found I dont really notice during the day because I'm so busy talking to people. And everyone here hugs everyone so like, sorry to those who have hugged me for the smell I can only assume was disgusting, but all is well! And to think all of you at home are freezing right now, and I'm showering twice a day. 2017 better be a killer winter, I'll have earned it. Though maybe I wont be able to survive a killer winter after 1.5 years of this!

The members here are great, so willing to help us. Especially 16 year old Roberto, seriously the kid is a goldmine with referrals-investigators or less actives. He's a way better member missionary than I ever was! I hope to come home and be more like Roberto. 


Monday, November 16, 2015

weeks 6&7 #padawanlife

Alright so since I didnt get a pday last week, here's my last week in the ctm! I had to give a talk on sunday, and how it worked was everyone prepared a talk and then while you were walking in you got told if you were speaking or not so i had approximately 2 hymns to get myself excited, but I survived! 

Other than that, same as usual. We sat in a classroom for 12 hours. Sister Dewey and Elder Sheperd communicated soley through eye contact and telepathy, Elder Bishop made water bottle tornadoes, Irmão Oliveira pretended to have a worse accent than possible when speaking english, and Irmão Tavares made it a daily goal to turn me bright red with embarassment/frustration/anger/all of the above. We taught real lessons to fake people, I got "to accomplish" mixed up with "to buy" so I spent a week saying I accomplished sunblock and did we purchase our district goals? 

Monday we had to say goodbye to everyone which was seriously so sad. In only 6 weeks I'm not kidding when I say these people have become some of my best friends ever, and to say goodbye for who knows how long?? Especially since we can't hug each other (well sisters can hug sisters and elders can hug elders but yeah) so goodbye handshakes were given and tears were shed. We did one final positive circle and ohhhhh my goodness were there tears. 

So tuesday we arrived and Sister Dewey and I said our goodbyes and headed off with our new companions (mine is sister Periera). Then wednesday we spent unpacking, cleaning, getting to know the area a little etc. We really werent outside long, maybe an hour? and yet...remember when I got my call and every single person said "oh hun im scared for your skin"? Remember just last week when a woman at the temple asked if I'm allergic to the sun? Remember last week when Oliveira stopped me to say "Sister, você é MUITO branco, MUITO MUITO branco. por favor use sunblock, buy lots" and Tavares said I'm going to die here from the sun? Or when on the plane ride here sister Dewey commanded me to use sunblock so that she doesnt have to send out the email to district 39b announcing my death? Yeah I forgot sunblock and am already burned. Twas entertaining having a few different members tell me they're going to buy me a parosole.

Then the normal mission life began. Our zone leaders came to show us the area and brought us to meet some current investigators, Osvaldo, and Ari and Houra(???). Osvaldo is funny, when the elders told him theyd been transfered his eyes got wide and he said "hows this one supposed to help me, she doesnt speak pórtuguese!" and I was like oh please, I know portuguese have some faith in me! So he made me say the prayer just to see if I could. It made me laugh though.

In all our lessons, I'll confess I dont always know exactly whats being said. But when its my turn to speak, I dont trip over my words, I dont hesitate, I just speak and words come out, not always exactly what I was planning on saying but always ends up being good. Seriously, the gift of tongues is a real thing. Not always in the way I want it to be (meaning snap my fingers and be fluent already) but real nonetheless. Just gotta have patience. And remember that I literally asked for this so I can't complain ;)

street contacting is an interesting thing because most of the time, no one cares and we get blown off, but at times its clear that one of the people there so very much wants to listen but is holding back because of the other person there-their friend or sibling or something. We talked to a man the other day and briefly mentioned eternal families, and he said all his family has died already and he got a little emotional and started to ask to know more when his friend kinda pushed us away. But we got an appointment with him! Hopefully we manage to get there :)

Theres a lizard that lives in our house. I've named him João Pedro for Irmão Oliveira. He seems to like it here because he's always here.

Alright next week I'll have the greatest email ever (i hope) because next week we /might/ have baptisms! 

Tchau Tchau, até a semana próxima, Sister Steele

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hey! Im in Maceió!! Its só green! Really cool. We are at The mission home now. They treated is to lunch which was way better than The ctm 😅
😂 i dont have much time right now nor does HRIS iPad know how to use English which is frustrating but mi here!!! Im here and everything went smoothly.I hoje to be abre to write you better sono but i dont know when my pday will be!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

week 5-my last week as a jedi learner

So I left my notes for this email upstairs so this is going to be ALL OVER THE PLACE very sorry!

This week, up until right this moment actually because I forgot while talking to my companion during email time, I HAVENT SPOKEN ENGLISH. We talked a lot about sacrifice on sunday and how much youre blessed when youre willing to give things up, and so Sister Jones and I were talking and realized that the only thing we really can't do properly in portuguese is tell dumb jokes and stories about home. All our basic communication needs we can do in portuguese. So she and I are doing A WEEK LONG english fast because we need a muito grande miracle between now and tuesday if we're going to survive the mission field (thats an exaggeration but actually not). So its been annoying but SO HELPFUL because honestly, the less you speak english the faster you learn and if you 100% refuse to speak english, you're forced to look up other words and keep using those words and then you remember them. So its all good. Seriously, I feel like my portuguese progress has skyrocketed this week. I hope that continues though because today while buying things I understood exactly 1 word the cashiers were saying: debit. And for some reason my card wasnt working so they were saying a lot more words than that and words that I presume were important but I couldnt tell what they were saying. Mas, tudo bem. Its not like the ctm people have been teaching me words that are useful for shopping. So I can't communicate transactions but I am a PRO at talking about the plan of salvation and also saying "are you laughing at me? why are you laughing at me?"

I literally cannot remember anything we did this week! lots of lessons, I presume. Which have been steadily going better and better. I haven't had a lesson where I sat there silently not understanding anything/not able to say anything in a while! Thank goodness for that.

Okay wow I literally cannot remember ANYTHING what did we even do this week??? I suppose it was uneventful because I wasnt speaking this is lame I'm so sorry but I'm out of time and out of things to say already. Tchau?? Love you all??? Até who knows when because I actually don't know when my next pday is. NEXT TIME YOU HEAR FROM ME ILL BE IN THE FIELD