Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Loving and Learning

Well, the word on the street is that I'll be getting a companion tomorrow!!! (ps - little side note - translating english lang into Portuguese doesn't usually convey the same meaning...hahaha!) I'm excited to be getting a companion, but after two weeks of being a solo sister it might take a little adjusting too...but I'm way stoked to start teaching with her! On Saturday we had our first TRC (I have no idea what that stands for...). The CTM brings in some members from the Sao Paulo area and then we get to teach them using what little Portuguese we know! I'm sure we sound ridiculous, but it was fun to talk with the members and practice teaching. I have A LOT to learn.

All three of my Brazilian roommates left for the mission field this morning. Two are going to Floranopolis and one is going to Sao Paulo Norte (this sister lives in Natal...which is part of my mission! I'm hoping that I will get to meet her family when I'm up there)! I will miss themm and their friendship immensely! They've been so patient with me and my terrible Portuguese. Last night, they told me that they all wanted to say a prayer in english because I had said all of my prayers with them in Portuguese. So, I taught them how to pray in English and then they all said a prayer in English and I of course said a prayer in Portuguese. It was a neat experience and made me really feel of their love for me! My favorite time of the day is 9:30-10:30 at night when I'm with my roommates and we have these fun, goofy conversations where we try to understand eachother usuing as much Portuguese and English that we can all understand between the four of us! I've also decided that Sundays are my most favorite day of the week. It's a nice break from my normal routine AND I can spend as much time as I want talking to people during lunch, migrating from table to table without worrying about being late to a class! (which I won't lie, happens quite a bit...they run a tight schedule here at the CTM...)

I don't know how it happens, but one week goes by like a day and yet feels like a lifetime! For various reasons, this past week was extremely difficult for me - the main reason being that I was frustrated that it was my 2nd week in the CTM and I still couldn't speak or understand Portuguese very well! (don't judge, I know I'm being impractical...heehee) Everyday I'd think to myself, "I know the Gospel very well and I know how to teach it, but I just can't do it in Portuguese!" Ahhhhh! However, as I contemplated my current situatino one evening, I realized that I had to stop thinking about what I couldn't do and start thinking about what abilities I could develop from this challenge. I realized that my personal experience here at the CTM was vastly different from a Brazilian Sister who already spoke Portuguese and only needed to be at the CTM for three weeks. The lessons she would learn during her time at the CTM would be vastly different than the lessons I would learn -- and I realized that this difference was very important. Whenever I would feel discouraged or frustrated, I began to look for the lessons I could learn from my situation. Here are a few of them!

First, kindness can be understood in all languages. Even though I can hardly communicate with the other Brazilian missionaries, I have been able to develop such strong friendships with them. A hug, a smile, a laugh, and a simple attempt to say something in Portuguese instantly breaks the language barrier and we can both understand the universal language of love. Never underestimate the power a simple gesture of kindness can have! Second, I've learned that to teach simply is to teach powerfully. I don't have the extensive vocabulary in Portuguese that I have in English to explain certain Gospel principles...BUT I have enought! My inability to say everything that I want to say in teaching me to rely more on allowing the true teacher, the Holy Ghost, to teach for me. Third, I am learning to trust and rely more in my Savior. I REALLY can't do this on my own! We will each have times in our lives when our patience and faith will be tried. We must always remember, though, that it is in life's most difficult moments when we have the greatest opportunities to accomplish things we've never done before! No, it't not easy, but the Lord has promised us that if we put our trust in him and continue in the faith, we will experience miracles in our lives. No matter your challenges, NEVER give up...NEVER!!!

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