Saturday, July 27, 2013

Past the half-way mark at the MTC! (Pictures at the end)

Hey everyone!!

IT’S P-DAY, P-DAY, GOTTA GET DOWN ON P-DAY!! (to the tune of Friday by Rebecca Black because conveniently, P-day IS on Friday!! How awesome is that?)

 Also, happy 1 month of me being gone! Exactly one month today I said good bye to all of you. Sad day. But hey! Only 17 more months now till I'm back! Less and less happens each week, but I'll do my best to make this a good email home :)
So, Dad, I got the scriptures!!! I LOVE THEM THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!  We're supposed to get our travel plans tonight, so depending on what the deal is with my visa etc, I'll write home and let you know what the plan will be.
So last Saturday was the first day without mail!!! Apart from Sundays and holidays. That was a sad day :( but I should probs get used to it, huh? On that note, SHOUT OUTS to Mariah A, Amanda M, Grandparents Briggs with an awesome card, Mom, Dad, Abby Evans, Paige T, Aunt Steph, Ali Smith, Dad, and Audrey Briggs for Two letters!! I LOVE YOU ALL!! Also, Rachel W and Hannah J wrote me like the first week and I haven't heard back and I want to because I love them too.

This week two of my teammates were here, Sis Jensen and Kayla Richardson. That was so fun to have them here. They came down to visit a couple nights and it was just a blast to chill with them. 
The language is coming along. We were teaching investigators this week (aka our teachers who take their ties off and make us knock on another classroom door) and I just had a moment where I was like, holy moly I'm speaking Portuguese!! I know it’s all because of a lot of struggles and faith in the Lord and really humbling myself and learning to rely on Him. Prayers are definitely felt here. But I also know I'm gonna be humbled like no other when I get out there ha-ha. Oh well. When I talk to you guys at Christmas I'm planning on being fluent. It’s a goal of mine.
Sisters Kropf and Vomocil got really sick this week. A cold went around our whole district but it hit them really hard. I gave Sis Vomocil some Nyquil one night and you've seen those commercials where it’s like, Best sleep you ever got with a cold, medicine? Yeah, she looked straight up like she was off of one of those commercials ha-ha.  They both slept all day Tuesday, that’s how sick they were. So me and Sister Rosemann got to hang out and she's so great. We had some adventures.
On Tuesday mornings we have to do "service" which is basically some sort of Chore around the MTC but they call it service so you can feel Christ-like while doing it.... yeah. Lies! :) It’s easily the worst part of my week. And this week we had the dreaded job of cleaning the showers. I hate the showers. I will not miss the nasty communal showers at the MTC. So we sprayed them down and then foamed them down and then scrubbed them down and then rinsed them down again. Sister Rosemann was scrubbing in one of the showers and accidentally turned it on. All I heard was a splash of water and then some screaming, and then realized what was happening I started dying laughing. She walked out of the stall with her entire front soaked ha-ha. Then we had to pick all the hair out of the drains. I'm pretty sure I pulled a small, dead furry animal out of those drains. It was disgusting.

Well, after this whole thing, we were taking a break on the couches on our residence floor, and all Sis. Rosemann wanted was some ice cream out of the vendies, but the machine was broken. We tried a million times, but that ice cream was just not coming out. Finally, sister Rosemann sat down on the ground, her shirt still damp, just tired and defeated. Then who comes around the corner? The Vending machine lady. TENDER MERCIES, PEOPLE. Ha-ha seriously. She fixed the machine and sis Rosemann got her ice cream and I don't think I've ever seen anyone so happy to eat ice cream!

We got to be new missionary hosts this Wednesday!! Meaning we brought in all the new people that were getting dropped off. I only got to bring one girl in but it reminded me of my first day and how overwhelmed I was. I took her to her classroom and she was still a little teary eyed and she walks in and her teacher starts speaking Portuguese to her (she’s going to Brazil) and she has no idea what was going on, and that was totally me ha-ha. Gosh those were some rough days, but I'm loving it now. I see her around and make sure she's doing alright when I see her. I saw a lot of families in tears as they said good bye to their missionaries and it about broke my little heart!! This one mom was videotaping all the missionaries on the curb as she drove off and shouted to us: Your mothers love you!!! I LOVE YOU TOO MOM!!!!!  Ah cutest thing ever.
The one night sister Kropf was sick I went and did her sister training leader duties for her, which basically meant I visited all the sisters in our zone and saw how they were doing and shared a short message. There’s a group of sisters in our zone that I play basketball with most days and they are so awesome, and there’s a little Haitian girl who’s in a tripanionship and her name is sister Mont Joy and they wrote a line in a rap for me. We're gonna take a video of it, it’s pretty sick ha-ha. But they are great, I just love em.
ALSO I GOT A PORTUGAL TSHIRT FROM THE BOOK STORE FINALLY!! Pics to come. Also they had chicken cordon bleu in the cafeteria one night, best thing ever. Also me and Rosemann still did choir this week and it’s probably one of the highlights of my week. This week we sang praise to the Man for pioneer day and it was so good, and we got to learn about Joseph Smith. Go look in D&C 135 for how I feel about him. During the performance, who else got a close up on camera but our part-time model/actor, Elder Muniz. We wouldn't let him forget it ha-ha.

Spiritual thought for the week: This week I've been thinking about baptism. We work so hard to commit investigators to baptism and prepare them for baptism, but in my mind, baptism is not the most important thing we do in this church, or in our lives really. But what baptism really is a symbolic moment, where you show Heavenly Father that you’re willing to follow Him, that you’re willing to change your life and your habits and desires to become more like Him. Essentially when we invite investigators to be baptized, we're asking them if they are willing to change their lives and follow Christ. And they don't need a 100% knowledge at that point that the church is true, they just need faith, just a desire to believe like it says in Alma 32:26-27. And then every week when we take the sacrament, it’s like we're baptized again. We get to renew those covenants, take the sacrament that represents the Atonement which is how we become clean for sin and which we have to be clean to partake of, and then renew our faith and desire to follow Christ. This week, family and friends, but especially Family, I want you guys to take the time during sacrament to really think about these things. Really find that desire in your heart to follow Christ, to keep the covenants because you want to, not because mom and Dad won’t let you have a phone if you don't. Read the sacrament prayers in Moroni, read about baptism in Mosiah 18 during sacrament, and really pray and think about these things, and let me know how you feel and what you learn. I LOVE YOU GUYS, BE GOOD AND DO THIS!!!! :)

So much love. My one request as far as mail goes is pics. This goes for family and friends. I have a whole picture album that I want to fill up, of teammates and friends and family and good memories that I can show people in Portugal so they know I'm human. If anyone gets the chance this week to print a pic or two of us off and send it to me, I would adore you for life. That’s all.
The gospel is true people, live it!!! I love you all.
Paz, Amor, e Casamento do templo
Sister Kelly Briggs

Sunday, July 21, 2013



Okay, here’s my life currently:

So since not much happens daily here at the MTC besides trying to cram as much information into our heads as possible, let me tell you all a little bit about MTC life. Every Elder, and a few of the sisters, in this entire place does this finger snap thing. Maybe Erin or Emily will know what I'm talking about. It’s where you keep your middle finger still and whip your wrist around so your pointer finger makes a snapping noise when it hits your middle finger. Hopefully that made sense. Anyway, literally everyone does it. It’s like you’re not a real missionary until you've figured out how to do it. It’s ridiculous. And it’s not just the people around me. Our teacher who just got back from his mission to Portugal a few months ago does it, my friends brother who’s been back for almost four years did it and says everyone did it when he was out, and we taught someone at TRC (I’ll explain this later) this week who served in Brazil and went to the Sao Paulo MTC and they did it there. It’s insane, and so …. dumb.

Another thing about MTC life: there is absolutely no joy in eating. We eat an all you can eat meal three times a day, which wasn't a big deal when I was a freshman in Helaman, but now that all I do between meals is sit at a desk and try to learn, I feel like I haven't done anything to deserve the food I'm eating. I just feel gross. It feels more like they're training us to be competitive eaters than missionaries at times.  I run or bike or something for gym almost every day, so we kind of keep it under control. But yeah, I can't wait till I get out to the field and am actually walking and doing something and feeling hunger. What does hunger feel like? I can't even remember :)

Since life is so dull here, people get excited about the smallest things. We had a saxophone duet at our Sunday night devotional this week and people freaked out. We're all just so sound deprived haha. Also on Sundays they play church movies and conference talks and old MTC devotionals each week at night, and this week they played the testaments and half the MTC turned out to watch it. It’s the most action we've seen on screen in forever. Our lives are so dull haha. Also, our District Leader Elder Muniz? I've told you guys how he was an extra in High school musical 3 and a model on the missionary website, yeah? Well, he's also in a few of the bible videos and Mormon messages, and so now the district joke whenever we watch the testaments or a Mormon message or whatever: Hey look its Elder Muniz! It’s funny. Maybe you'd have to be here...

So we had our first TRC (teaching resource center) this week. We had some people who speak Portuguese come and let us talk to them and let us teach them a lesson. They weren't pretend investigators, they were just letting us practice our Portuguese. It was actually super depressing for me, because the first person we talked to was a 17 year old girl who's trying to go to BYU and she moved from Brazil and so she's like, legit. And I couldn't understand anything she was saying. That was not fun. I'm doing pretty well as far as learning the language and being able to speak and give lessons goes, but understanding people speaking is so hard. So I’m a little freaked out for when I get out to the real world. But I'm just gonna keep working super hard and hopefully the Lord will make up the rest. We had the chance to practice teaching another class of people that are going to Cape Verde and Portugal this week (everyone else is going to Brazil) and it just made me really grateful for my teachers. They are both so great and push us to learn and really help us and they served in Portugal so that’s nice that we hear that accent too. I didn't realize how awesome they were until we taught this other class and realized how well I can speak, comparatively. It’s only because of prayers, and I know it, and I'm sure I'll be humbled when I get out there, but regardless I'm grateful for my teachers.

We got new roomies this week which was kind of a bummer because I love the extra space and I love my sistrict and the fun we have and how much we laugh, but the new girls are alright, except one of them has this old fashioned alarm clock that rings louder than anything and she likes to wake up at six. The first morning it woke me up from a dream and in my dream someone started screaming bloody murder and then I woke up and realized it was the alarm. That might have to go soon.

I did the unspeakable this week: I played basketball at gym time. I've heard of so many people tearing their ACLs during basketball, but it was just girl so it was pretty slow and frankly, pretty ugly haha. It was a good work out though, better than just running in circles without music. I'll probably do it again.

We had a pretty good devotional this week.  I know that there are people on this earth that need this gospel. Where ever you are, Europe, South America, Africa, or even just Minnesota or Utah, I hope you share this gospel, live this gospel, and I hope you never take for granted what you have.

Love you all so much!! I love letters with all of my heart, keep sending them. Hope you guys have a good week!!

Paz, Amor, e Casamento do Templo,

Sister Kelly Briggs

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Week 2 at the Provo Missionary Training Center

Shout outs to Ali Smith, Paige Torgeson, Amanda Monn, Amanda Briggs, Nicole H, Aunt rachel, Aunt steph, Gma and Gpa moore, Mariah A, Abby Evans, Jordan Gray, Erin, Audrey, Ailene, Emily, Mary, and Mom and Dad for writing me. Special shout outs to Paige who sent me a box of goodies from the chocolate!!! BEST DAY EVER!!! and Jordan who sang a song for me and sent it. it was awesome.
Okay, Dad, I'm not sure how you did it, but i got SO MUCH MAIL THIS WEEK AND I LOVED IT!!!!!!! Seriously, such a blessing. Nine dearelders in one day!!! Nine!!!! Oh it was the best day ever. Keep it up!!! I love it so much!!!! It was so good to hear from everyone. I've gotten something in the mail EVERY DAY!!! Let’s keep this streak going!
 So now that we've kind of gotten into the swing of things here at the MTC, things have slowed down quite a bit. The days feel like weeks but the weeks feel like days, the time is flying and the days are just blurring together because we do the same thing day in and day out. I mean, I could tell you about all the portugues verb tenses I learned about, but I doubt you wanna hear. Just know I’m working hard and learning lots and loving it. Thanks for the prayers and fasting!!! It’s definitely felt.
 This week sister Kropf got called as sister training leader, or as I like to call it, Sistrict Leader haha. I called that from a mile away, she's perfect. I also call the sisters in our district, sistrict or sistrito a lot (#sistrict, its a thing) or sister-docio, because the word for priesthood in portuguese is sacerdocio. haha so great. Since sister Kropf has a lot of meetings and such to go to throughout the week, I get a lot of time to be in a tri-panionship with sisters Rosemann and Vomocil, hereafter referred to as Rosemocil. They are SO GREAT!!! haha I’m so grateful for the time that I get to spend with them, they are hilarious and we laugh so much and just have a great time. We’ve already planned a Just Dance party in Provo when we're all back from our missions. Sis Rosemann is from salt lake and Sis vomocil goes to BYU, so I’m so excited to do that haha. They're just the greatest. We might start playing teacher bingo with our teachers, or with sister Kropf because she has the best sayings haha.
 So we have two teachers, one was our teacher from the beginning, Irmao perkes who is pretty great, and this week he's started to pretend he's our investigator which is kind of weird, but it’s one of the miracles of the MTC that we still get so much out of those experiences. Our other teacher is Irmao lemperle, who was our original investigator, Zito, and I would love to send a picture of him but these computers are dumb and I don't have an extra memory card... family. Anyway, Sister Rosemann actually went to high school with him, and GET THIS. He was in theatre and choir and stuff all through school, and was Troy Bolton when they did high school musical and his senior year they did Cats. The musical. As in he put on spandex and had a mane and whiskers painted on his face and oh my goodness its just hilarious to think about. He doesn't know we know this, btw, but we let slip to the elders that he was Troy, and that was pretty funny when he found out. He gave sis. rosemann quite the look hahahahahaha. Oh man, the things we laugh about. We're going to try to incorporate some of the lyrics from HSM into our lessons with him (he's our investigator again, this time he's miguel), such as getcha head in the game, through the atonement we're breaking free, you don't have to stick to the status quo, all souls are of worth to God. hahaha. Please someone write me and tell me they laughed at this part.
My sistrict all loves to sing so they made me join the MTC choir and we sing at Tuesday night devotionals, so I sit there and study Portuguese and then when the time comes I mouth the words, and this week I was mouthing the words and the camera scanned over us and I got on the big screen, while mouthing the words haha. Just my luck. Oh also if anyone wants to see a picture of our District leader, go on the, dress and groom standards for missionaries, go to the elders section and click suits. Apparently Elder Muniz (good looking Hispanic dude, go find him on there) is also a part time model, nbd. Sometimes I love the elders, and sometimes i want them to grow up.
Sister Lauren Mickelson came this week and she's on my same floor so I see her all the time and I love it. Such a blessing to have a good friend so close. Also I saw Sis Kate Sorensen this week!! She's on the west campus but on Pdays her district comes to the regular campus to eat hang out so I got to see her and it was so good to talk to her! She’s doing great. One of my favorite things to do at the MTC is look at name tags and guess where people are going. It’s amazing to see the work go forth to all the world. Most common languages are Spanish, going to a variety of places, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, and a bunch of people going to the Philippines, and then I’ve also seen French, Polish, Finnish, Samoan, Marshallese going to the Marshal Islands, a bunch of other random island places, lots of Russians... It’s incredible. I love it. My floor is all portugues, the classes above us are all Russian, and below us is French and Italian. How amazing. I love the feeling here. When you walk around the main buildings there's pictures all on the walls of missionaries from years ago all over the world, from the 50's to the 2000s in so many places and it’s just inspiring, to join this great heritage of gathering Israel. Gosh I love it so much.
The spirit here is so strong. I am just filled with a desire to work hard so I can serve with all my heart. People, Heavenly Father loves his children, this church is true, the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God, the power of the atonement is real. I feel it daily. I wish I had the time to type out everything that I've learned but I need you to study it out and pray about it personally and know for yourself that these things are true. I know you will feel the spirit I feel daily here in God's army if you do that. SO DO IT SO YOU CAN BE HAPPY!!!! Really. The church is true people. I'll do better at including a spiritual though next time haha..
Anyway, love you all so stinking much. Thanks for the prayers and fasts about Portuguese, they're needed and much felt. And thanks for the letters above all, so good to hear from you all.
Love you family and friends. Keep the faith.
Peace, Love and Temple Marriage.
Sister Kelly Briggs

Friday, July 5, 2013

Week 1 at the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center

SO!! the first week and a half has been good! the first few days were rough with missing people and just having a ton of info coming at me but people kept saying make it to Sunday and they were definitely right. Sunday was much more relaxed and now I feel like I have a feel for things here and I'm really starting to enjoy it.
I sit in a classroom for almost 13 hours a day, we have a teacher for about 4 of those hours. We study the  scriptures, attempt to learn Portuguese, and have fun with our district of 13 people. The highlights of my day are probably breakfast, lunch and dinner. Its the only time that we aren't studying.
We have been teaching a 'progressing investigator'. Sister Rosemann actually knows him from home so we know he's an actor but we had to teach him in Portuguese like the third night! His name is Zitu... but really its Kyle haha. Miracles happen. I've learned to really humble myself and rely on the Lord and when we have His Spirit with us we did amazing in there, though we dont speak the language. The language of the spirit can testify to anyone regardless of how they speak. Its incredible to feel that every day.
My companion is sister Aubrey Kropf from Boise Idaho, easily the perkiest and happiest person I know. The first few days here she was super sick with the stomache flu which really was a huge bummer but I was glad to see that she is feeling better now!
There are nine boys and 4 girls in our district and we spend all our time together. The other girls are so great, so funny, I love them so much. Sister Sam Rosemann, she's so funny, she went to utah state and did dance and theatre and all that stuff and last night she told us two months ago her and her friends went to audition to be disney princesses, her friends all got cut but she made it all the way and they asked her to do the gig but she couldn't cuz she was going on a mission. Hilarious. Sister Vomocil is from Wisconson and she was on my plane to Utah!! so funny. She's great too. Our district leader is Elder Muniz, he's the bomb at the language and also was in High school musical 3 as a featured extra. and a part time model, he's on the missionary website under dress and groom for elders. Many of the boys in our district just graduated a few weeks ago.  they all gave sister kropf a blessing that first week, it was incredible to see the spirit that filled them and the power they had as they stepped up to their priesthood.  I miss my RM friends from college so much!
PEOPLE I'VE SEEN: shelby Orr, Sister Jensen (see her all the time and its great), sister Kara trammell (she's in the same dorm as me and I love chatting her up, such a blessing) sister Darel smart, sis lauren mickelsen, sister katelyn sorenson (only once because she's at MTC west but i saw her the second day when she was going to the temple, SUCH a blessing) and bryan Cisneros is in my Zone! so funny how small the world is.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE WRITTEN ME: Big shout out to Ali Smith, Amanda Monn, Rachel Wilcox, Hannah Jackson, Katie Cook, Erin, Mom, Dad. Keep up the good work you guys, words cannot describe what it means to me.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE MY POTS AND SHOULD WRITE ME: Paige T, Jordan G, Abby E. and any one else who has ever loved me and wanted to be happy.
Um... Idk thats about all. I'll end with saying that you guys should all pray that I'll learn portuguese, and also one thing they stress here is that we are our own first converts. We can't teach what we don't know, and thats so true. I encourage you all to know for yourselves that this church is true, because it is!!! the spirit here is amazing.
Sisters in Kelly's district, L-R: Kelly's companion Sister Aubrey Kropf, Kelly, Sister Sam Rosemann, Sister Vomocil from Wisconsin

Day 2, I ran into my friend Shelby Orr!