Last Monday(Week 6), July 4th Makayla left the MTC in Provo and began her journey to Brazil. She flew to Atlanta where they then flew through the night to Sao Paulo (on the coast of Brazil) and finally on into Manaus where she arrived in the early afternoon of her 2nd day of travel. Her mission president reported that she arrived very well!
When we got to talk to her over the phone in SLC, she said it was time to leave the MTC because she wasn't progressing anymore. It was time to go to Brazil and learn the language for real and begin her mission. Now that she is there she is surrounded by the language and at a loss for communication, the time to progress isn't always easy but I know that she is being greatly loved by the people there and she will adjust and come to have a great love for them in return. How I wish I could be there on her shoulder to witness this wonderful experience!
Hooray for pictures! It is so neat to see where Makayla is now & the sweet companion who is taking such good care of her :)
The trip was long. We met the mission President at a restaurant, then had desert at the mission home. Other missionaries were there, and we met our companions on the second day. We then got to go to the Temple, and then to our permanent home. We have two wards in our boundary, and I met one of the Bishops that night, whose wife speaks a little bit of English. I think that there are like 400 members per ward, but only 100 or so are active. Everyone is so friendly, they always give hugs when you first meet them. I am dying to connect with them and be apart of the conversation, but it is so difficult because I really don´t understand much. Their accent can be different from what I learned in the MTC, they speak quickly and connect their words. But, I know they are wonderful people.
Guess what, no one speaks English! My companion ... nope. Yet she is so patient with me, often having to explain things multiple times, and she always holds my hand when we cross the street, but people drive like crazy. In fact, we have ridden the bus twice, and it reminds me of the night bus on Harry Potter. Once we were about to drive under water spray, and suddenly they were yelling to close the windows, but they didn’t all get closed and so water came crashing in. This world is different from ours in every way. Because of this, and the fact that I can barely understand anything, it has been easy to feel homesick and overwhelmed. This has most definitely been one of (or the) hardest weeks of my life. Yet, I know that there is much good to come, and I simply need to press forward. In our room, there are some gospel posters, and one of the only ones in English says, "You are never alone," and has a picture of the Savior.
This morning, our washing machine was broken, so I washed my clothing in the bathroom sink! My arms and fingers are a little sore, haha. But I guess it was a good experience to have.
One member, an older lady, in particular is so kind to me. We visited her yesterday, and she gave me medicine for mosquito bites, fruit drink, berries, taught me words, glued my dictionary back together, and more.
The stereotype is most definitely true ... Brazilians take their time with everything. It is so easy to find people to teach because everyone is lounging in the street and you´re not taking up their time because they aren´t going anywhere.
There was a baptism this week, and 3 people confirmed!!! We visited the house of the man in the picture, Ademar. So many people here are so very poor. But life is good here, and they are most definitely being prepared by the Lord to hear the word quickly.
The food is great!
This experience is teaching me a lot about the Atonement and what is most important in this life. This week has been quite difficult, but I know that I will grow a lot. I know that we are never alone, and that Christ is always nudging us towards growth. I´m so grateful to know of this gospel, and I know that we will always find joy in continued study, and action on what we find.