Life here is good! We're going proselyting on Friday...yeah, I'm kind of terrified! I can read the language and can speak it fairly well with my district, but as soon as I speak to a real Brazilian...brain memory loss. Oh well, I need to fail 1001 times before I get the language. Reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese is helping... I know this is a confidence issue but I'll get it.
First off...Meg- congrats on polar dipping, Erynn- hope you had fun at Youth conference, and Cally- look for a birthday card in the mail!
I SHOOK AN APOSTLE'S HAND!!!! ELDER NELSON CAME AND SPOKE TO US. It was amazing. My teacher got to translate for Sister Nelson. She's totally awesome! Elder Nelson talked about why we are teaching and how we need to teach the atonement. He then blessed us, how totally cool is that?! He blessed us with strength and spirituality, and promised that our families would have blessings. His wife talked about how if we could view just 10 minutes of our PreMortal Existence DVD (or VHS for the older people) all our fear and doubt would wash away...because we would have seen that we wanted to come to Brazil at this time! Elder Nelson also said that this was the time for missionaries in Brazil! So so cool. Elder Holland was in Sao Paulo, too, but he didn't come to the CTM. Heleman (our teacher) went to listen to Elder Holland with stake. The building's power went out right before the meeting started. The whole congregation began to sing "We thank thee, oh God, for a Prophet" and the lights came back on. Elder Holland went on to say that he's, `Seen things we have never dreamed of, heard things that we have not heard and witnessed things beyond all belief!` Wow- Goosebumps- when Helaman told us that. Heleman and Luiz took us to a Brazilian Barbecue and it was HEAVEN ON EARTH!!! So much meat. We ate and ate and ate. I had two chicken hearts, they were great! So now...I have the courage of a chicken...(thanks Elder McCown).
So, okay. Temple trip. The temple is always so nice and wonderful. I love going there every week. The Campinas Temple is apparently- even so much prettier. Just FYI, never drive in Sao Paulo. The only way I can describe it is terrifying madness and no rules whatsoever. Motor cycles spin around all the time, dashing in between cars and buses. It´s madness.
On Sundays when we have a bit of free time, I think of you and the kids and I miss you guys. Other than that, I´m too busy to miss anything. Though, you remember that movie..."Somewhere in time?" Well, whenever I hear a cell phone or certain songs, part of me zips back to Seattle for a second, but then I remember that I'm here on the Lord´s errand.
Our elders are good. I´m just going to come out and say that I miss you all and letters would be great. Could you send me the letters/emails via missionties. I only get a half hour to write and email you all. I´m so happy here. The language is challenging, but, I´m always on a spiritual high (well...until my elders start to joke :) The food has grown on me. You would all be proud. This church is true and I get to tell people about it! I´m smiling all the time, it´s super contagious. Thanks for sending me info on Eric...tell him that 3 elders just flew up to Manaus. Elder Snyder is really good, we were friends.
Anyway...love you all! Shan