Friday, May 8, 2015

Week 10 Sousa, Brazil

Dear family and friends,

This week was really good. The language is getting easier (slowly) and I´m adjusting to being here and feeling more comfortable and at home. I´ve never been stared at so much in my entire life as I have been here in Brazil though. I look really different and people are not very subtle. I´ve been told on multiple occasions that I look like Barbie, which I really don´t, other than the fact that we´re both white. My eyes also get complimented a lot since everyone else here has brown eyes. 

Anyway, this week, a 12-year-old girl that we´ve been teaching got baptized. Her name is Kelinha and she is wonderful. Her mom got baptized a couple of weeks ago. We´re going to help her start the Personal Progress program and get integrated in the Young Women´s program here. I´m excited for her. We´re also teaching a man named Sebastião that smokes 2 packs of cigarettes a day, but he is making great progress on quitting. He came to church on Sunday and was really happy. He´s great and I love teaching him. We taught many other people during the week too, but those are the two I wanted to highlight in particular. 

We have to do 20 contacts per day, and sometimes it gets a little repetitive and tiring, so Sister Coelho and I decided to spice things up by talking to people who were in cars stopped at a stoplight. It was fun because we had to talk really fast. Also, sometimes missionaries give each other dares for words they have to use during a contact, like "McDonald´s" or "armpit" and it makes it really fun, though it´s hard to stay serious. :) One of the elders in my district speaks English, so he practices with me sometimes and it´s always a nice mental break from Portuguese. The elders in my district also like to say things that sound really close to bad words in English just to freak me out.

This week, there was a shift where the language became noticeably easier. It´s still super difficult, but I feel like I started understanding a lot more this week. It was definitely a blessing and an answer to prayers. 

Also, this is random but people here (especially missionaries) love this dessert called açai. It is a fruit that´s mashed up and served frozen, and to me, it tastes like dirt. I really don´t like it, and it´s unfortunate since all of the other missionaries are addicted to it. Everyone promises me that I will grow to love it too, but I have my doubts. 

This week, I realized that every time I´m unhappy, it´s because I´m being selfish and thinking of myself. So my new goal is to try to forget myself and to focus on other people. During devotionals at the MTC, everyone emphasized that the time you are truly happy as a missionary is when you learn to love the people more than yourself, and I know that´s true. When I stop thinking about myself, I am always happier. I´m representing my Savior, who was the most selfless person and perfect example, and I want to become more like Him. 

I love you all and hope you have a great week! Sorry I don´t have pictures this week. I really am a slacker. Sister Coelho has the pictures of us with Kelinha at her baptism, and she´s going to send those to me soon, so stay tuned :)

Sister Weatherford

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