Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week 4 Provo MTC

Hey everyone!

It's been another great week! I don't have that much to say, since our schedule is the exact same thing every week, but here are some highlights:

I have 4 dots on my visa now, which means it is ready for collection! I still haven't heard from anyone in church travel or here in the MTC, so we'll see what happens, but I'm assuming I'll be flying to Brazil in two weeks! Plus, Sister Thomson now has two dots on her visa and we're really hoping that hers comes in the next two weeks so that we can fly to Natal together!

As for Portuguese progress, I bore my testimony in Portuguese on Sunday and I now have 8 scriptures memorized in Portuguese. My goal is to have 15 by the time I leave the MTC. Also, every single one of my teachers has commented on what a hard time Brazilians are going to have with pronouncing my last name, so that will be fun :)

I was called to be the Sister Training Leader in my district, so that's new. We had great devotionals and lessons this week, and we even got to teach two native Brazilians during TRC. They were easy for me to understand, which was nice, but I felt like such a gringo trying to talk to them :) 

My companion loves complimenting elders' ties, and this week, when she said "I like your tie," this one elder said "That's a page 33, sister." We had no idea what he was talking about, so we opened our white handbook to see that page 33 is the one where it says not to flirt with people. We were laughing so hard :) I keep getting closer to my companion and the other two sisters in our room and district. They are all amazing girls and I'm grateful to have this chance to learn with them and have fun together. 

Everything is going great overall, and I am so grateful to be here, as always. I can't wait for Easter this weekend, especially because it's General Conference weekend! Easter is such a special time of year. We've taught a lot of lessons this week about faith and the Atonement, and my testimony of Jesus Christ has already grown. I love this time of year when we can be even more grateful than usual for Jesus Christ and for the amazing sacrifice He made out of His love for us. Happy Easter, everyone!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Week 3 Provo MTC

I love the MTC more and more each week! My best news from this week is that my VISA TO BRAZIL IS PROBABLY COMING SOON! There's a website where you can check your visa status (we're allowed to check it during study time, so most of the Brazil-goers check once a day), and I absent-mindedly checked mine on Friday to see that it is on step 3 of 4 instead of step 1 of 4, which means that it has been processed and authorized instead of just "received"! My companion was so excited she screamed and knocked her chair over :) Our district leader was joking that "If only we were all as righteous as Sister Weatherford, we would all be getting visas!" Hopefully I'll get to go straight to Brazil when I'm done here at the Provo MTC :)

We had a devotional on Tuesday by Don R. Clarke of the Quorum of the Seventy, and it was fantastic. He talked about 10 things every missionary should know. My favorite points were that the day we'll be happy as missionaries is the day we come to love the people more than ourselves. He recommended that we pray for the people in our missions, so I now include the people of Natal in my prayers. His wife talked about how, as missionaries, we are on God's time and we shouldn't waste a minute of it. There will never be another time like this in our lives and we should cherish it. That message has been reiterated several times, and it's my goal to really make the most out of these 18 months that I have to be completely devoted to God and my Savior. (Also, I forgot to mention this in last week's email, but Quentin L. Cook gave a devotional last Tuesday).

Our teacher, Brother Sears, met with each person in our district this week to give us individual coaching. He said very kind things about mine and Sister Thomson's companionship and he wants us to be examples and leaders to the rest of the district. He also said that I'm a natural leader, that it's obvious that I'm one of the ones who really understands my purpose and is getting Portuguese, and, when I told him I'm majoring in Elementary Education, he said "I can definitely see that. You're a good teacher." :)

Also this week, we started TRC, or Teaching Resource Center, which is where they bring in volunteer members of the church and we teach them lessons in Portuguese. Sister Thomson and I taught two really nice people who recently returned home from missions to Brazil. They said that we speak Portuguese well, so we're either doing something right or they're just good liars :)

This week was basically perfect, except for one sad thing. One of the girls in our district who we shared a room with went home yesterday. She's been struggling a lot and it was the right thing for her to do, but we still miss her.

Sorry this email is so long! I'd better wrap this up, but know that I'm doing really well. We're singing a beautiful song in the MTC choir called "Behold, the Wounds in Jesus' Hands" that makes me really grateful for my Savior and even more grateful to be His representative. I feel so blessed to be on a mission and I am so happy to be here. Thank you all for your support! I love you!

Com muito amor,
Sister Weatherford

Pictures from this week: we took some temple selfies. They're not great, but oh well. The next two are of the girls in our zone. Another temple selfie :) And me and the girls I share a room with :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 2 Provo MTC

Hey everyone!

My second week here in the MTC went so fast! I'm doing really well and I love it here! Here are some of the highlights from the week:

We went to the MTC choir practice on Tuesday and it was great. The conductor is a super hilarious guy, and we got to perform at the devotional right afterward, which was broadcast to all of the MTCs in the world! I'm famous!

Sister Thomson (my companion) is awesome and we're having tons of fun together. I found out that she likes One Direction, so that really bonded us ;)

We got our second teacher on Friday, and it was the "investigator" that we've been teaching since our third day here. Her name is Sister Wells and she speaks Portuguese beautifully!

We were talking about our other teacher, Brother Sears, with the elders in our district the other day, and one of them said "His face looks like the Holy Ghost. He's just perfect." And we all thought it was hilarious. Our teacher really is awesome and we all think he must have been the greatest missionary on the planet.

I played the piano in sacrament meeting on Sunday and it went really well! I was grateful for the opportunity to play, since I've been missing my usual piano practice.

We get to watch films on Sunday nights (church ones, of course) and Sister Thomson and I went to see Legacy. It had a few romantic scenes and we decided that it was the closest thing we were going to get to a chick flick in the next 18 months :)

Those are the main stories from the week. Other than that, things are just going well generally. I'm learning lots and Portuguese is coming along (it's such a beautiful language). I love my companion, roommates, and district, and I'm just super happy here overall. I love the MTC and am grateful to be here :)

All my love,
Sister Amy Weatherford

The pictures attached are of my district at the temple, the girls I share a room with (they're all in my district), me and Sister Thomson pointing to Natal, Brazil, and another one of my district at the temple (from last week).

Here are some cookies that Amy enjoyed!  Thank you, Bryan.

The visa

Brazil, here she comes!!  Amy's visa was approved.  :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Week 1 Provo MTC

Here's Amy's first email home --

Wow! It's been a great and crazy week. The first day took a little bit of adjustment and was kind of overwhelming, but I love it here at the MTC. The first day we got here, we got into the classroom right away and our teacher spoke only Portuguese to us. Luckily, I could understand him because I've studied so much Spanish. My companion is Sister Thomson from Washington state and I like her a lot. She's also going to Brazil Natal! When they put on my nametag and told me that I'll be wearing the name of my Savior over my heart for 18 months, I almost got choked up. I love my nametag and think it's so cool that I get to wear it for 18 months :)

We taught our first "investigator" in Portuguese on Friday. Scary, huh? Luckily, she's not a real investigator. She's actually an RM and is going to be our teacher next week :) We've taught her three times now and will teach her twice more this week. She speaks Portuguese beautifully and it inspires me and makes me hope that I'll be that good when I get back. The language is coming along well, but it's frustrating to be limited in what I can express. It keeps getting easier every day though. My district is getting along well. There are 7 sisters and 3 elders. Our teacher is a BYU student who served in Sao Paulo. 

I'm almost out of time, so I'll just sum up some highlights of the week. The food is really good, our branch presidency is awesome, I've run into quite a few people I knew from BYU, and I'm learning so much. We watched an amazing talk by Elder Bednar called the "Character of Christ" that was literally life-changing to me. If you can find access to it (it's an MTC talk, so I'm not sure if it's available), I would highly recommend it. I wish I could say so much more, but we only get an hour! Just know that I am so grateful to be here and I'm learning and growing so much. I love you all and am grateful for your support!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Mission Begins

On Wednesday March 4, 2015 at 1:00 PM we dropped Amy off at the MTC.  This was Day 1 of her adventure.