Monday, August 31, 2015

First Week in the Field

Oi familia e amigos!!! Tudo bem!?

Well, the last few days in the CTM were amazing and I didn´t want to leave at all!! I was so sad when I did.
And ya, I cried a little. Saying goodbye to the Elders and Sisters Habel, Smith, and Oldroyd was hard because I feel like they have become family. And boy do I miss them! 

Our last day at the CTM kinda sucked. We had an all-day long in-field orientation which was completely in Portuguese. There were about 70 people in the room, 16 were American. We basically had no idea what was happening the whole time. It was more frustrating and made me more nervous to go to the field than anything. Not cool. And it was just a run-through of everything that we learned in our time at the MTC, but they were so so so focused on baptism. If I had a dollar for everytime that word was said, I´d be really rich. 

We got to Florianopolis and met with the Pres and had some orientation, at which point I got to email you. Florianopolis looks exactly like the pictures! It is beautiful! I love it! But I´m not in Florianopolis. We went to lunch at a place called Sal e Salsa. It was a buffet, and they had sushi. So I tried it and I swear I will never eat it again. I gagged hard core trying swallow it. It is so gross! I don´t know how people eat it!! EWW!

We came back and had orientation. They did a slideshow to give us our new companions, and I got mine first. Her name is Sister Rosa. She´s from Goias. She talks really fast, but she is extremely patient and loving. She´s awesome. She only has one transfer left. So I will have two trainers. 
 My area is Oficinas, in the Tubarão zone. It´s a little valley with lots of hills surrounding it. I think it´s pretty, but that´s just me. We got on a bus and drove for 2.5-3 hours to get to our apartment and then we hung out and I unpacked. It was 9 by the time we got to the apartment, so there wasn´t a whole lot we could do. 
I got major culture shock that night. There are 6 sisters living in our apartment. Sister Fávero is from Brazil, Sister Vera is from Columbia. The other two didn´t get there until the next night, but Sister Diniz is from São Paulo and Sister Crump is from UTAH!!!!! :) HUGE BLESSING RIGHT THERE!!! I HAVE SOMEONE I CAN SPEAK ENGLISH WITH!!!! 
There are tiny ants that crawl all over every surface. Our oven is tiny. The only hot water we have comes out of the shower, but that is a blessing. no cold showers :) There are bugs everywhere. Brazil is just a very different place. I cried myself to sleep that first night, because I had no idea what was going on or what people were saying to me. And things here are so different. Like almost 3rd world, but not quite that bad.

My first week as a missionary didn´t really let me feel like I am a  missionary. My first day we didn´t have study, we had to go to buy a bed and a closet for clothes. Then we were apartment hunting, and I´m not totally sure why. Still not sure why but I think we are moving apartments in 2 weeks, but I could be wrong. I don´t understand a whole lot. We apartment hunted several times and talked to real estate agencies several times. Didn´t think i´d be doing that as a missionary, so it´s weird. 

A lot of times this week, our appointments fell through and we walked around trying to find people to teach, without success. Missionary work is so hard!!! I didn´t think it would be as hard as it actually is. 

We have some really good investigators, though! 
Ana Carla. She was the first investigator lesson I had and she recieved a testimony! She had a dream that an apostle told her this is the true church! (At least I think that´s what happened). But she has a baptism date!!!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!! :) Sept. 12!
Her friend Luan came to that same lesson, and that was his first time being taught in a long time, but he received the missionaries once upon a time and he knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true! AND HE IS GETTING BAPTIZED THE SAME DAY!!!!!! :) 
Duda is 12 (I think). She is being a great example for her parents and her brother. She wants to be baptized so so badly and keeps asking us when she can!!!! We are going to try and set her baptism date for the 26 of Sept!!!!! 

SO....the work here in Oficinas is progressing!!!! They just added a second companionship of sisters to the area (Sister Crump and Diniz) and we are all in the same ward. IT IS AWESOME!!! 
Our ward is absolutely fabulous!!!! IT is such a blessing to me that I am in this ward!!! BECAUSE most of them speak some English or want to learn!! They are amazing!!! And there are like 50+ people in the ward. They´ve had 3 baptisms in the last transfer, and man work here is progressing!!! And our ward mission leader is amazing!!!

My district is pretty great. It´s big. There are 14 of us. AND 5 of us are American! Sister Irizarry and Elder Naylor are from Utah and Elder Schuck (?) is from Tennessee! It´s great! I can speak English with people! BLESSINGS!

The language is hard here, but I understand a lot, so that is good. The food is different. And whoever said I´d have beans every meal lied :) I´ve had it twice. Members feed us lunch everyday. Sometimes we don´t eat dinner because we are in a rush, and that is really hard for me. We stop and buy stuff occasionally , so dinner is usually like crackers or peanuts or some little cracker jelly things. Lunch we have rice, some sort of pasta or lasagna, chicken, and another type of meat always. And usually some sort of "salad"-a few vegetables thrown together on a plate. And potato salad. That is always good. We´ve had ice cream and jello for dessert a few times each and those are good. They put sweetened condensed milk on everything here, but it tastes good! 

I am so grateful, mom, that you had me bring sheets. They didn´t have any for me and it´s nice to have a little something that feels home-y. And my straightener works! BLESSINGS! I just tried it yesterday, and it took a while to figure out how it works, but it works! 

We saw a lizard just chilling by some trees the other day. It looked like a baby alligator. It was two feet long at least! Maybe three! I wish I had taken a picture!! :o

Life is good here, but hard. I have 4 blisters, three on the bottom of my feet. I am constantly tired and hungry and I don´t know what is going on most of the time. AND it´s hot. AND IT´S WINTER! It´s like 80-90 degrees outside in the middle of the day. The only way you can tell it is winter is that it´s dark at like 6. Crazy stuff. 

Tonight I get to go talk to an English school about culture in Utah! Sister Crump too! I´m excited!!
I don´t know what more to say. I´m excited to be here, but not totally feeling like a missionary yet. We´ve only had one day where we´ve done all three hours of study. 

But being a missionary is the coolest! I get to go share the gospel with the world, with the help of my Father in Heaven because I can´t speak Portuguese and when I do people generally have no idea what I´m saying, but when I teach parts of lessons, it is a different story and I can speak a little bit. It´s really amazing and such a blessing

So grateful for this opportunity I have to share the gospel. I know it, i live it I love it!

Love you all!
Sister Wilkins

First District at the CTM-Sao Paulo Temple

Sister Child and I at the CTM

Our District and the Hales-we love them!  (Missionary couple at the CTM  She is the choir director.  They are from Idaho and are WONDERFUL.  Everyone feels like they are our grandparents)

My District at the Campinas Temple

Me and Sister Rosa this morning

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