Thursday, June 17, 2010

Braganca Paulista

Hey everyone!!

I had my first baptism this week!! WOOT!!!!!! PARTY! Her name is Inez and she has two children. She made me this beautiful necklace. We´re teaching her daughter, Talita, who has this beautiful 4 year old son named Gabriel. She works a lot. Talita knows the gospel will make her happy, and needs to see that breaking the commandments drinking won´t. They live with Inez and her brother, a 22 year old.

So, as many of you have guessed...Portuguese is not my strong suit! Words, phrases and things that have come so simple to me since I was a little child (as many of you can attest...I talk a lot) are now a struggle. Yes, you heard me, it´s hard for me to talk (yep, all of my teachers can now laugh their heads off). This is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do and I´m working super hard. It´s coming, and I´ve developed a ton of patience. My area has lots of hills(not a problem for me), and my companion thinks this is a huge `city` (Mercer Island size- maybe a little bigger).

Similar to Eric mission, the baptism font in our ward has issues and the water is freezing! Initially, and the ward wanted us to wait until the font was fixed, but our investigator wanted to get baptized, we moved ahead and had the baptism!!! YEAH...FIRST BAPTISM!!! It was really cold when Inez got baptized. But her smile was worth it. Then the next day she got the Holy Ghost. It was awesome!!!

This ward is kind and they feed us every day and they are trying to help the missionaries. I've also learned that even if there are leaders that may not appreciate the missionaries, I still will respect them. It is a good lesson to learn. I´m praying that everyone´s hearts will be softened. Because I don´t speak very good Portuguese, I don't know how to ask everyone to get along and get to work. It's showing me that I can´t be negative.

Sister Monterio has been sick this week so we haven´t been teaching as many people. She is from a small town and is not used to a bigger area and how long it talkes to get to our appointments. To get to Inez and Talita, we have a member drive us or we take the bus. The first day we waited for the bus, (Sister Monterio said only one bus went there) and that bus never showed up. So we had to cancel the appt. The next day, when walking, I picked up a bus schedule and discovered we could have taken two other buses to get to Inez and yeah, I'm getting know the city pretty well. I really don´t want to get transferred because this is a decent sized for me and we have a huge chapel. Every week for zone conference, we walk all of five minutes to the chapel and everyone else has to take buses from other cities. So yeah, I like it here.

Yesterday was Cupo do Mundo! (World Cup) We aren't able to watch and had to stay in our house. Outside, there's lots of screaming for goals and fireworks. Lots and lots of fun! But we took pics and are sending them to you. Also, we received the love of my life this week....a WASHING MACHINE!!! Such simple blessings! WOOT WOOT!

Dad asked if I could send a picture of my apartment. Mom would have a heart attack if she saw where I was living. Today...I deep cleaned the kitchen. Oh, I need a new first aid kit...Sister Monterio´s feet and fever has taken many of my supplies. I should be fine until Christmas though. Oh, and I forgot. Sister Monterio knows Eric´s mission pres. She stayed at their home for a few days before she left on her mission. She writes them both. Until recently, all missionaries in the Campinas mission got to attend the temple once every two months... now only those serving in the city of Campinas get to go. Tear.

People here are very opinionated. I've been called thin and white more times than I'd like and random men call me beautiful as I walk down the street. It's weird.
Also, all three sisters in my zone have `special` elders - that they write to in different Brazil missions. They want to know why I don´t have a `special` elder. I roll my eyes. Seriously...I write my brother, Eric!

Next week is conference so we´ll get mail! We only get letters once a transfer. Hopefully, I´ll get at least one. I´m really excited to see friends from the CTM.

Congrats on graduating´re a beautiful and amazing. Meg-YOU CUT YOUR HAIR! PICS! Brynn- Happy 11th birthday. Calley, I miss you a ton! Give Rachelle my best...she´s gonna be totally awesome!
Anyway, love ya all.

Sister Shannon Stapley

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