Well, Dad thanks for the quotes. and the letters. all the letters. Love them all and all the advice. I put the one about not doing anything because you can only do a little, do what you can.... that one in the front of my little pocket dictionary that I bring everywhere. Just a reminder for me as i'm struggling to learn this language that i gotta keep trying. Thats one thing that really helped this week. I started opening my mouth more. I initiated a lot more of the street contacts, helped out more in lessons. Tho i cant do everything, doing something, actually fulfilling my purpose here, makes it so much better. Still hard, don't get me wrong, but things are improving. I have moments during the week where i think, yeah, i can totally see myself loving this. I can totally see myself not wanting to leave.
The ward here is great, but honestly its riding on the back of one big family, like the only family that gets it, ya know? The grand pa is the Sunday school teacher, dad is the bishop, bispo's younger bro is the executive secretary, grandma is primary president, another daughter is in the yw... its crazy. so glad that they are here haha. There are a lot of other really strong members, but not all of them get it, ya know? That's okay, it's why we're here.
Like i said, the more I go to work, the easier it is. i really am understanding more every day. I measure it by Sundays. The more I can talk to ward members etc every week, the better.
you know how sometimes people here say stupid? like, just the one word, to be funny? yeah, well i heard this old man walking down the road and we all almost got hit by these kids on bikes and he says "estupido". not kidding. laughed so hard.
I'm so blessed to live by the mission office. Its so great. There's a whole bunch of stuff in the basement that other missionaries left and paper, etc. its fantastic. I found a rain coat down there. Soo glad we didn't buy one before haha. Also i never feel too alone because the elders are always there. Also, don't tell anyone else in the mission this, but we go out to eat for free once a week because there's a member that works at this Brazilian buffet, like Tucanos for you Provo peeps, and they pay for us to go. its sick.
I love the ward here. Two ward members had birthdays this week and they both had parties at the chapel and half the ward showed up. So great. There was also a talent show. basically its fantastic and its the only place i feel really at home, except that i don't know how to tell any of them that. Also every thing here except church starts one to two hours late.
Family and friends, you are all so incredibly blessed to have the wards and support that you do. LITERALLY never take it for granted. Live the gospel you love, enjoy every moment. enjoy being hungry at church and the awkward small talk you make with each other and checking out the deacons and priests during sacrament and napping on fast Sundays because you are so blessed to have that gospel. live it. love it. so many people... they don't know. And they may never know.
SHOUT OUTS to mom, dad, Emily, Mary, Tessa Ostvig, and Sarah Wichman for letters!!!! They should be getting some soon.
Pics coming. promise. and i want pictures [prints] from you people!
This week we had a zone conference and I had an interview with president. Instead of getting on my case for having a hard time and not sucking it up, they were so nice. Pres said something in my interview that made me really think. Not knowing the language at the beginning is a blessing because we learn to rely on the Lord. I never would have thought of this as a blessing. I'm making it a goal to truly learn to see the Lord in my life during this time as I'm learning. Things that give me hope, there's like a hundred missionaries around the world and a good number in Portugal that wake up every morning feeling the same way I am, having the same struggles and I'm not a lone. Not a single missionary that has come through here, or any mission, hasn't learned Portuguese, and I won't be an exception. I will learn it, I just have to be patient and keep chugging.
That's about it. ill put more specifics in about who I'm teaching and what we are teaching in my email next time. I love you all more than you know and more than I want to think about for fear of getting home sick again. Be good so you can have all the blessings that I ask for you all daily.
Paz, Amor, e casamento do templo.
Sister Kelly Briggs