19 April 2012

{week 1} solo

Thank you so much for using the Mission Ties thing! It really helped a lot! (leave a comment with your email if you want info on how to send free letters) The internet is pretty slow here and we still only have about 30 minutes to write! I hope you all got the picture of all the new missionaries, sorry i only sent it to kenz, I couldn't remember off the top of my head what dad or moms emails were with all the dots and middle intials...
I don't have a companion! I came into sao paulo and there was one other sister there at the airport who had come on another flight, i thought she would be my companion, but she is in the 9 week program and i'm in the 6. The ctm president's wife told me yesterday that i'm not getting a companion the whole time i am here. So my district has decided that she has honorably bailed from the mission. Or liz, find out if there is a sister in the mtc who started the same day as me and is a 6 weeker, cause she would have been my companion. As a solo sister it is so strange, kind of nice most of the time though. I'm allowed to go where ever I want by my self as long as I see any other missionaries in sight. So strange because I had mentally prepared to be latched onto someone's side while here. Guess that is something I will learn while in the field with my trainer.
My english is already going down the toilet (Speaking of which, you can flush the toilet paper down the toilet in the ctm. Thank goodness!) I am either speaking portugues or speaking english to the brazilians, africans who are learning english. So my thought process has been really dumbed down. Sorry if nothing makes sense. In the ctm we are allowed to go outside and walk around the town (about a 4 block radius each way from the ctm) on our p day. It was so much fun today! We were out from 11-3 today eating at a rodizio restaurant and going to the different shops to get more essentials. I went with Lindsey Haselden and her companion and their district becuase my district didn't want to go out.
My district of elders is pretty strange, they wanted to build a mattress fort inside instead of going out. They are amazing though and such hard workers. My teachers are amazing too. I have two teachers. Irma Jardim and Irmao Leo. Irma Jardim is just like me and my whole district hates it when for half an hour we are just talking about brazilian culture instead of learning portuguese. Oops. From day one, I knew that after being in the ctm for six weeks I'd miss her the most. Irmao Leo is this really lanky italian brazilian. He speaks portuguese with an italian accent, so it gets pretty interesting in class.
Being in the ctm with Sister Lysenko is pretty much the highlight of my life. We are always making eachother  crack up! My roommates are two brazilians. One speaks english really well and the other is learning. One day they impersonated me and Sister Knoche (the other sister who came the same week as me but is on the 9 week program) doing the door approach. For Sister Knoche they made it all nice and sweet. For me they made it gangster. I guess my body language speaks louder than my words! Hah! They know me so well.
So far I can bare my testimony, say a prayer, recite the first vision, state the purpose of missionary work, and ask if someone will be baptized in portuguese! It is so amazing learning this language here! I use it all the time in the hallway, at all meals, and devotionals. Its pretty awesome to be able to practice this much and not feel like it just a challenge or obligation. It is mostly like a puzzle to me of how to say things with the few words I know.
Two elders (i guess my companions for this instance) and I have already given 3 lessons in portugues to our teacher Irmao Leo who plays an investigator. One of the elders is really struggling with the accent but he is so determined and is amazing at memorizing things, just not the accent. The other elder doesn't speak much but has the most sincere testimony at the end of each lesson. I have never felt the spirit so strong as i do in these lessons. spanish has helped out so much! Thanks macarena. 
For the first week we have mostly been studying the basics of preach my gospel, and I have had so much clarity with everything I study. I love being a missionary! 
funny things- 1. there are 2 buttons on the water fountain. one for brazilian water - room temp, and american water- cooled. i feel like its the 1950s in the south.... so strange. 2. when we were were walking around the first dayin the neighborhood i saw a bearded lady. brazil is awesome. i loved it. 3. my teacher irma jardim was wesley's teacher! he told her about me! so the first week irma jardim walked in and said SSSIIIISSSTTEEERRRR CCCLLLLAAARRRRKKKK!!! best welcome ever.
Life is a blast. I've never worked so hard, been so happy, and accomplished so much in my life.
the church is true!
love you all.
sister clark

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