Photos from Brazil, Lindsay's first area.

 This is Sister Conde and the Two Elders in my ward Elder Weber and Elder Condido

Sister Conde and I enjoying a treat 

Two Sisters for ever 

Lindsay in front of the Porto Alegre Brazil Temple

06 February 2012

Hey there!

I can’t believe Pam is engaged! That’s so trippy! Last time I talked to her she was meeting guys online. So I wonder if that is where she met him. I am sorry that you are missing primary though. You can help the other people in the meetings, cuz I am sure they could use a wiggle song too.

I am excited to hear that Alli wants to talk to me! I have been wondering what happened to them! And I will keep an eye out for the package. My friend Elder Nicks said he got a package, but they sent it back because he had to pay about 345 reis to get it from the post office here. Seriously. So they sent it back. I really hope that doesn’t happen to me :(

This week has been kind of crazy. I got to go to the temple! That was way awesome. It is really strange in Portuguese. I didn’t understand all that was being said, but because I have done it at Provo so many times, I was able to pick up. Afterwards we all went to get on the bus (a really old bus that held about 60 of us missionaries) but it wouldn’t start. So we had about 20 of the elders pushing the bus down the road to give it a start. It was really impressive. But it didn’t start. they pushed it about two blocks and I look at Sister Conde and say “we have a bus full of missionaries, and no one has thought to pray?” so she makes me, in front of tons of missionaries, say a pray in half Portuguese half English cuz I don’t know some of the words I wanted to say. But as soon as a big amen, Pres. Swenson pulls up and says I have an answer to your prayers, the bus is broken so you all have to take the city bus back. So we all walked down the road some more, and went to the omnibus, that we have to pay for. But he paid everyone back that paid. So that was really exciting. It was probably the hottest day of the week, about 41 degrees. And we didn’t have any water, the poor Elders.

So don’t freak out, but I am not at home. Well, Porto Alegre home. Pres. Swenson called me on Wednesday to tell me we were going to try an experiment. We have two sisters that are on lock down in the house because of knee problems. Well one of them (Brazilian) is kind of just a big baby. Literally. You would have to hear her and know that I mean it completely. She bruised her knee 4 months ago and still complains about it. Well she went with Sister Conde to work on the hills of my area for a while. This was her last chance to prove if she could stay in the mission or not. The other sister (an American) that I am staying with had surgery in the MTC about a year ago. And then about 4 weeks ago, she fell and hit it just right. So when she walks a lot, it gets swollen badly, black and blue bad. Well she’s a tough nut. She was a cop before the mission. So she will lie and tell you it doesn’t hurt at all. Can you tell these two personalities are different? Yea, they are almost killing each other. They can’t leave the house, and they have no body to talk to. So I am here in Ipanema, about a 20 min drive from the down town that I am used to. Hopefully I will be back to my investigators tonight or tomorrow. I really miss them! And I don’t like this cooped up in the house thing. It’s kind of annoying.

So that has been my week. Kind of sad right? I didn’t get to teach Sandra, so I don’t know how she is doing right now. And I am missing out on a new family that we have gotten. It’s so sad. But I am helping out the president. I am just too nice sometimes....

Well, I love you tons. Sorry that I don’t have a lot to write about, but I am stuck in a house for the past 4 days. whoo hoo. Te Amo!!!


30 January 2012

Mom and Dad,

I am really glad that you two had such a wonderful time at Chris and jesses place. The kids sound like they are getting so big! Adriano, a recent convert wanted to see our pictures on Facebook, so he got to my page and I saw the picture of Chris and the babies. I gasped really loud and said `eles tem cabelo!!` (THEY HAVE HAIR!!) they laughed really hard at me. But I was excited! I am really jealous that you got to play with them and I couldn’t. Did Carter like basketball? It sounded like he wanted to show off for you. That’s always good.

You get to be a missionary too! How cool are you?! You have no idea how much member missionaries are needed. I didn’t know until my last meeting at the MTC. We use members as much as possible in lessons. It helps the investigators gain a friend at church so they are more comfortable with going. Mom is going to get tons of new friends! And you don’t have to worry about it. Read Preach my Gospel that dad has and bear your testimony lots! When I get home I can go on splits with you ;) you can tell me when I start preaching in Portuguese.

Well this week I kind of don’t have a p-day. Today we get to write emails. But the rest of the day is normal teaching and contacting. This is because we get to go to the temple on Wednesday. I’m really excited for that! I really miss the temple. I think I have needed it. My energy is getting low and sad. I need a boost! When I get back to Rexburg I will have to go a ton. Sister Conde told me that only the missionaries in the Porto Alegre city area get to go. Those serving in the Pelotas area can’t go. They can’t bring all of the missionaries in at once. It’s really sad. So I kind of hope I can stay in this area at least through august so that I can go the next time. We only get to go 2 times a year. That is a big difference from the MTC were we saw the temple 2 times a week and did work once a week. So I guess they are having our p-day then, instead of today. But so you don’t think I have died until then, I get to write you!

So the story of our milagre família continues! so Fernando, the husband had talked with some friends about the church and he got introduced to some internet sites that were made by some members that no longer like the church (who knows for what reason) and they wrote tons of horrible things about the church and talked about all the things that we do in the temple and the clothes we wear there. He also found sites that showed pictures of garments. Needless to say, he doesn’t really like the church and he keeps trying to tell Sandra, Sophia, and Tiago not to go to church and that the Sisters (us wonderful innocent young women) are brain washing them. On Tuesday Sophia came to the young women’s activity, so Sandra came with. She told us all about this. So we told her to have a talk with the bishop (he was a little shocked when we told him she wasn’t a member. but he still spoke with her). That really helped her out a lot. He told her all that she needed to hear. Things that we weren’t sure what we could and could not talk about. Later in the week we had a lesson with Sandra and Sophia (Tiago had to work). They told us all about how they would study the scriptures together and study all other church books. Sandra is reading Daughters in my Kingdom and Sophia is reading the teachings my Joseph F. Smith that we use in Sunday school. They have set goals for their studies and are very excited for the day they can go to the temple. And through all of this, they ignore Fernando. He would tell them he wouldn’t take them to the church, and they would say fine, I will take the omnibus. Or when they would study, he would come in, try to get them to stop (they wouldn’t), he would leave, come back, leave. And continue this. I think they are setting a good example for him by being so strong on their commitment to be baptized. It is so funny to walk into their house. You would think they were a normal LDS family this entire time. Not investigators. They are awesome examples for members even. They were traveling this weekend, but Sandra got the address for the church where they were going. So they planned to go to church anyways. Tiago stayed here and came to stake conference with us. It was really awesome.

Other than that awesome family, we have also been teaching Juliana. She has a crush on a guy in the ward. So I have volunteered to play up my bad language skills and become cupid for her. Ok, ok, my language isn’t that bad. I understand a lot more. I can actually mold together the words to try to figure out what the person is meaning in the sentence. But sometimes I am way off... that can happen... when it does, Sister Conde laughs at me really hard and corrects me. But I do the same thing when she says ´I am the flesh!´ when she really means ´I am the Flash´ so you know, it works both ways. I am normal!

Other than teaching and working hard, the week has been pretty normal. It is really hot out. So we try to drink tons of water. I know understand why the missionaries always ask for the bathroom the moment they walk in the door... my first phrase here ´eu posso usar banheiro?` no joke.

Well, I love you tons. I am sorry that not much has happened this week. But I hope that mom´s cold will go away and that all will be well.

Love you!

Hey dad!

I am doing really well. I have been reading the conference talks from this last October. I think I am addicted to them. I am always finding new things and inspiring words. It helps me as well as helps me teach my investigators. I am so happy to hear that Emily likes her blanket! I really hope it gets well used. Took a lot of time and energy to make it, and it’s all for her!

I think mom will do really well in her calling. It will help her a lot, and I think she needs a break from primary. She loves primary after she leaves it. So this will help strengthen her testimony a lot. It sure has me!

I am glad to hear that my emails are helping you. I want my experience here to benefit more than just me.

I love you tons!!
Your baby girl

23 January 2012

Hey there!

It has been a crazy week! But first, I forgot to tell you that last week we got to have a special conference. Elder Godoy, the Brazil area president was having a mission tour. He stopped here and gave us an awesome talk. I didn’t understand a whole lot. But from what I could tell, Brazilian members like to party and for a new member at 15 that was weird to him. He gave a lot of jokes (sadly I didn’t understand) and he was very cool. I really enjoyed it.

This week has been really really hot! I don’t know why I even put makeup on in the morning. The moment I step outside our apartment, I have sweat dripping down my face. When we walk to a member’s house or an investigator, I am literally dripping sweat on the ground. You know when dad gets on a normal summer day? Yea that’s how I am here. It’s gross. I feel for you dad. 

Last Monday I got the chance to see the sad part of Brazil. We went to an area to spend the p-day with other missionaries. Well they were about a 45 min bus ride outside of the city. They don’t have sewers, or pavement. Dogs are all over the place, and it was really sad looking. That area is only for elders though. But Sister Conde told me it is bad to start a mission in the area that I am in because it is the richest part. No other area will have members with this much money. It makes for hard baptisms, but also is cleaner. Now I am a little scared to leave the area...

A couple days ago I got to experience the sad part of Brazil here in our area. We were tracting on a street that had tons of high rise condos. In the middle of two 8-10 story buildings, was a hole in the ground, literally. You had to use the tree roots as steps to get down to the house. We asked if a contact was there, and he wasn’t, but the woman was open to hearing our message. Even though I was terrified, I followed my companion down. The woman had no front teeth, her hair was short and everywhere, missing a finger, and a lot of other gross things that I wish never to actually see on a person, and later she told us she had AIDS. The house wasn’t even a house. When a breeze came through the house it smelled like human waste. It was so sad! The entire time I am thinking ´todos pessoas!´ (all people!) she was really happy to hear about the message and even made an appointment for us to return. I just wish I knew how I could help her more. And how I can not be scared of that area! But it will all work out.

This week I got to witness a miracle. The miracle is still going on too. I think it was Thursday that the secretary to the president calls us up. He asks, “have you been fasting?” we are like no, why. Well I guess this woman, just out of the blue calls him and asks him about the church. Her story is that she had a dream about the temple (not knowing it was a temple) and that everyone was dressed in white, but she wasn’t. And she wanted to go in, but they wouldn’t let her because she wasn’t in white. She also saw gold plates in her dream. Well she researches this on the internet and find things about Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon. So she finds the number and calls the church building here. Sister Conde calls the next day to set up an appointment with her, and the lady (her name is Sandra by the way) Sandra asks us to bring 4 books of Mormon for her, her two kids, and her husband, when we go to visit. She also asks about the Liahona, and who are Nephi and Lehi (by the way, these are things missionaries LOVE to hear). So Saturday we go to visit her and her family. Right when we get there she starts asking when she can be baptized. She already knows it’s true, she wants to get baptized. But she’s scared of water, so make sure the font isn’t too deep... (Seriously! how cool is that!) We find out that she is a professor of religion and her son is studying theology. They are really smart and have tons of religious books in the house. My favorite part was when we handed her the book of Mormon; she clutched it to her chest and gave a deep sigh. She looked as if she was finally home. It was so amazing. I wish members would look that way at their scriptures. She even had Joseph Smiths first prayer as her ringtone on her cell phone. She adores the church music and hymns. Needless to say, the next day they were at church, full 3 hours too. She was so excited every time she would get a new book she would look like a kid on Christmas morning! Sadly her husband hadn’t sat through the lesson, and didn’t come to church. I made the decision right then that I was going to work on him. Well that was easy, the next day (today, p-day, this morning) we went over to their house. They had their books all laid out on the kitchen table and were ready to learn more. Even the husband, Fernando! That was really cool. They were so excited and asked tons of questions. She asked about tithing, and we taught her right then about it. The next moment she is all, can I have one, I want to pay right now. No joke. They are always finding out more and asking us more questions. They were very intrigued by the plan of salvation. Fernando really got into that about the spirit world. They already know all about the temples. We had left the December issue of the ensign with her last Saturday and she read it in a night. She is even reading daughters in my kingdom, the book for relief society and asking tons of questions about it. With the help of Sister Conde she even got a subscription for the monthly ensigns. Then we got something thrown at us. They don’t have two kids. They have five! Two are married, and one more came out of the bedroom just woken up and ready to eat lunch (its summer break here). My companion and I were in shock! They had never mentioned them. Before we left Tiago, the son that we knew about, asked how he could serve a mission. We directed him to the bishop because he is 27. So I don’t know how that works. But can you say golden family? I have always known that God will prepare them, but this is really awesome of him! I can’t wait for their baptism, to see their faces. So that is my wonderful miracle.

Well, that has pretty much been my week. Very excited, highs and lows but I am loving it. I miss you tons. And give tons of hugs and kisses to the kids for me. And to Chris and Jessi. and maybe even toss some water on them to make it feel like I am sweating on you :P

I love you tons!


16 January 2012

Dear Mãe e Pai,

How are you doing this week? Thank you for the prayers for my language. I am getting a little better here and there. In my lessons I am getting a little better with speaking somewhat of what I am thinking. And talking with my companion is a lot easier. We do have times that I look at her funny because I have no idea what she just rambled on about, but then again, she gets the same look for me at times. I taught her how to say ´hey good look-in´ but she won’t say it outside of our apartment lol. Do you two get very teary eyed when you talk about me? Bishop Weber wrote to me and told me that dad read the letter I had wrote to you guys in the package. That is awesome. He also gave me the address for the Hugies and the Adams to write to. He said they have been giving to me mission each month. That is way awesome of them! 

That is great that Shane and Angie finally have a little girl. The poor girl. I feel bad for Barb. Getting all those “k” names mixed up. Isn’t the other girls name kiliegh? Or something close to that. That is really hard of them. Why wouldn’t dad hold her? That’s sad. He loves babies! Does he miss Chase and Emily?

That’s fun that you are getting snow. Here, we had three days straight of rain nonstop. It was like home! But it was still really really hot. I don’t know how I slept at night. At least those nights I didn’t get attacked by bugs. They love me, but not my companion. They like American blood. 

Sister Conde always takes care of me. Last Sunday we were just leaving for church and a man comes up to us and is going on about how he needs god to help him because his girlfriend beats him. Of course I don’t understand any of this. Then somehow he gets my hand (I am  thinking to shake it like normal people) but he pretty much starts making out with it. Sister Conde saved me very quickly though. Thank goodness. I didn’t touch anything with that hand until I could soak it in water and soap. Yuck! The elders laughed at me really hard when they heard about it. 

This week has been really hard. I have found that people really like to give us fake addresses. We had one that was completely on the opposite side of our area, and the house wasn’t even there. It was so mean. And he was so nice too! But we did get one lady that is 19 years old, took lessons in a different city, so when she moved here we got her, and when we talked to her, she said “so when can I get baptized” it was really cool. Her name is Cassia. We also had another woman that is going to church in our ward, and her friend brings her over to us and she has tons of questions about the church and prophets. She was ready to be taught. She was really cool too. Sadly though, our old man Alberto, is having problems. He doesn’t want to change his old way of going to a catholic church for the past 50 years. That and he didn’t remember that he had a baptism date with us. So we are at a loss with him. I really like the guy too. I think he is just ready to move on to the next part. He only has one son living. The rest have passed away. He is very much ready. 

So cool experience for the week. We got on an omnibus yesterday after lunch with a member and the worker (he takes the money) he started asking us about the church. When sister Conde said living prophet, he perked up. We pretty much gave him the first lesson before we got off at our stop. He was very happy to talk to us about it and learn about president Monson and the church. I haven’t had that kind of experience yet. It was cool! 

So Sister Conde thinks it is really cool how I can smell the rain before it starts falling down on us. It comes in very helpful when we don’t have our umbrellas. When I smell it I just look at her and say chuva, and she looks at me like ´seriously? ugh.´ cuz then we have to try to get somewhere we won’t get soaked. I have found that my backpack is not waterproof. My things didn’t get too wet. But if you come across any waterproof spray, you might just toss that into a package to me... that would be wonderful. Thank you! 

Well, because of rain, my week has been pretty uneventful. So I hope yours can be eventful but safe with the snow.

I love you, and stay wonderful!


09 January 2012

Dear mom and dad,

Can you believe it is already 2012? The world is going to end soon according to some. But that is ok, I will die and go straight to the celestial kingdom because I am a missionary :) can you believe that I have been on my mission for 4 months already? It has gone by so quickly. I honestly do not remember much of what happened in the MTC. But Porto Alegre now feels like home. I was meant to be here.

So this week has been kind of a normal week. I am finally getting into the rhythm of everything here. My companion is very trunkie (ready to leave) and she still has 6 weeks left. So I have to keep on her about working. However I did have my first baptism! It was so cool. He was very excited and nervous about it. But I think he really felt the change when it happened. Now we have 2 more kids to get and the family is good! Of course he is not married to her any more... so that is kind of awkward. But yea... at least they are receiving the gospel.  Before the baptism I got to play golf with a half dead cockroach. Mom, you would have loved to play with me! It was on its back and dyeing from the poison they have in the buildings. And when we wanted to get ready for the baptism, I found it. So I grabbed a broom, made my companion open the front door, and I flung it out the door. It was pretty gross. I hate those things so much. Yuck.

Question, do we have anybody in the ward or in Lebanon that is serving a mission in Brasilica right now? We had a sister that came from the states this week that met someone that knew me. It was really weird, cuz I do not remember anyone in our wards going there. We got to have Sister Miller stay a night with us. She has been on her mission since July and just now got her visa. She was serving in the Eugene Oregon mission! whoo hoo! She was in Corvallis, Eugene, and Medford. So we talked a lot about Eugene and how it is an awful place for the church. No one there is open to religion and are hard on the missionaries. But at least now she thinks brazil is way easy! So that is really awesome. She is now in pelotas with two other sisters.

This Sunday we had my favorite old man Alberto come to church. It was so sweet. He cried during the sacrament. He is the devote catholic with a baptismal date. I am so excited to be able see him all the time. I do not understand much, but I really like having lessons with him.

So the language is really hard now. Or at least I am getting discouraged. We had the lesson in relief society about the creeds by George Albert smith, but I did not understand a word. After church a member brings a new investigator over and asks me when I could teach her. All I understood was message, day, and this week. I was like ´sim! fala com minha companhiera!´ because I did not know what he was getting at. A lot of times people have to slow down for me and then repeat it two or three times. It’s very frustrating now. I just want to know already! ugh! But oh well. I will one day. I have only been here for almost 4 weeks. So yea... at least I can teach my companion phrases like ´hey there good lookin´ that’s always fun to do.

I am glad to hear the bishop wants to email me. I have not gotten any letters or anything from anybody since being here. It’s kind of sad. I feel unloved. So I am very glad that you give me updates on the world. I am glad to know that you two are doing really good. Want to know a weird/sad fact? I only have 2 more times to call you and I am coming home. ahh! Stop blinking so much!

02 January 2012

Well I have been here a week and I already gave a full on talk in church. President Swenson was surprised because I actually taught doctrine and not just gave a testimony. I just did a basic talk about the Good Samaritan. Whoopee lol. But he said everyone was impressed with me. It has been a crazy week! I got blisters on the bottom of my heels, sunburn on my neck, and bug bites all over. The bugs love me at night. It’s no fun at all. But oh well.
We have had a lot of fun contacting people here. They make fun of me because I walk up to someone and say really chipper and loud HOLA! After a while they told me I was saying it wrong... oh well. They listened to this very strange blued eyed non Brazilian that was way excited about something. So it works! Our investigators are awesome! We have one baptism this Saturday. Cicero. He talks a lot! So it’s hard to get a couple words in. but he is very excited to be baptized. We also have a sweet old man that is a devote catholic. When we told him that his baptism in the Catholic Church wasn’t valid, the look on his face just broke my heart! But after falling in love with my companion, he wants to get baptized! How cool is that? We also have a family that the mother is a less active with 3 kids that we are teaching. The youngest, Amy wants to get baptized. The other two boys are a little harder. But I convinced Georgic to come to church to see me give a talk. That was way awesome. They speak English too. So it’s nice when I teach a part, they help me when I am stuck on a word or phrase.

So I am somewhat getting the language down. Not really. I can understand some people, others are way hard. I have found that I like talking to old people and little children. They don’t talk fast so I can understand them. At least if they have teeth. Oh and I can understand my companion! Elder Weber and Adriano (a recent convert) have taken to telling me words wrong and then laughing as I get a confused look on my face. But I know when to trust them and when not to... I have Sister Conde to take care of me too.
I can’t believe it’s a new year! For the celebration, Brazilians like to let off tons of fireworks, have loud music, and drink tons. So we had to be in our apartment at 9. And we couldn’t see any fogos from out the windows. That was sad. So it was kind of a boring New Year’s celebration. We did kind of jam to the neighbor’s loud music. That was fun lol.

Well, it’s just another week as a missionary. I am glad that you got to learn all about Meegans mission.  I wish I could hear about it, but I will have to wait a while. Then we can swap stories.
Ok, well I love you tons! Be good, stay happy, and stay awesome! TE AMO!

Love, Lindsay

26 December 2011

Dear mom and dad!

The days are so weird that I feel like I talked you ages ago, even thought it was yesterday. How weird. Oh well. I forgot to tell you some things when I talked to you yesterday. One, is that my watch broke :( well it stopped telling time anyways, so that is my definition of broke. This was back when I was still at the MTC. I looked at my watch, and it was 2 hours behind. I set it, and then looked at it a couple hours later and it was 30 minutes behind. I was watching go around after this, and the second hand would stop on the six. Just stop. Very random. Then a little while later, would start going again. Well since I needed a watch, I got one from the bookstore. It wasn’t very fun. I got the smallest one, and it was 25 dollars. And that’s with the 40 percent discount missionaries get there. So this one better last me really well. So I will have to send my watch back, or just wait till i am home to fix it. No fun at all.

Another thing, if you send me a package, start stocking up on tights for me please. And I don’t mean nylons. I am talking thick tights. It gets cold here. And with just a skirt on, I will be freezing! I was freezing in Provo. (Colors, black, grey, dark blue, dark maroon, whatever is classy and still fun. I get bored of my clothes quickly here)

So I had my first pizza today! Brazilian pizza that is. It was really good. They put corn on it. That’s just weird. Straight up weird. But the other ones were really good. i am stuffed now.

We already have 2 baptisms! Isn’t that awesome! It’s actually real! We have one this next Saturday (not this one) and then the next Saturday. one is a man that has been investigating the church pretty much his entire life, and now after is ex wife and daughter took the lessons, he says he will get baptized. And we haven’t even taught him yet! The other is three kids that their mother is an inactive. The youngest, Amy (8) wants to get baptized. The other two boys (14 and 18) are not sure yet. The older one is really awkward and won’t look you in the eye or even up for that matter and he won’t touch you to shake your hand. i have determined that I will get him out of his shell. He is my assignment that i have made for myself. The Lord will help me work with this guy (Paulo). 

So today we went to lunch at the pizzeria, but I forgot my cord to my camera... so I can’t send you pictures today. Since Christmas was yesterday, I only have a half p-day today. So next week when I have a full p-day I will remember to send you a bunch. 

Well, not much has happened in the last 24 hours. So I miss you tons! Tell Chris and Jessi and the kids hi for me. Give lots of love to the ward for me. Love you!!!


13 December 2011

Dear Mom and Dad,

Well, I’m still here. It’s kind of annoying actually. Thanks dad, just because you didn't pray for my visa, I had to wait here longer.... I’m just kidding. It wasn't you at all. Since my district all left I had one on one classes with my teachers. It was kind of weird. I got a lot of personalized help though! I learned more about the language and got to practice lots of grammar it was really nice. However I did have to teach all by myself. That was really hard. I don't like teaching alone. My voice went out fast. I think that's why God has the message given by the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses. It’s so the one witness can catch his breath while the other is testifying. After Friday I think it was, I got moved to another district though. That was kind of sad actually. So I joined another sister and her elders. They are just finishing their 4th week I think. So I did a lot of teaching actually. That was kind of fun, but didn't really stretch me language wise. It has been fun being with her. She likes having a sister around! Other than just going to classes and what not, I’ve just been going with the flow. In TRC (where we teach member volunteers) I got to be the member because there was too much companionship. That was fun to play the other side for a little bit. So some elders that I know from my zone were teaching me.

So I know that in the MTC we can't call on Christmas, which is a bummer. But of course most of these people, by Christmas, haven't been away from their families that long. I on the other hand, have been out for 2 1/2 months. not like I’m counting or anything... so if I do make it out to the field, I have no idea if my mission president will allow me to call, and if I do, what I need to get to be able to call you. I guess just keep your phones charged and on you for the holiday. I’m so excited that Chris is home! That’s way awesome! I’m excited for him. I wish I could talk to him too, but he'd be too busy with all the kids and Jessi. Does he get to stay until January 1st? Or is he leaving just before Christmas?

That makes me sad that you aren't decorating the house as much. You should at least make dad put up Christmas lights now that you know where the plugs are! I hope next Christmas will be more fun for you. I’ll have to write to Kellie and have her take care of you two for me. I don't want you two to become all humbug and never leaving the house just because I’m not there... Dad, you need to take care of mom. You need to take mom caroling! All around waterloo! Just the two of you! So I haven't seen Kati’s boyfriend, but I will keep an eye out for him. But don’t' worry, elders are too immature for me. She can keep writing him. We did just get a new district in our zone this last week all elders. So I’ll have to go see if one of them is him. That would be cool if he was in there. That’s really cool that Ian is getting married. I’m proud of him. Somebody needs to marry him... I’m glad his dad thinks his son is a catch... i honestly don't know what I’m trying to mean by that. so you can just disregard that....

Well I’m glad dad is finally coming around and praying for me. At least now I can hope to get a visa. I really just want to be in brazil already. I’m so excited to finally start learning more instead of at this dead halt that I’m at. And I know that I will be safe. i just have to be obedient and smart. God can't protect all of the stupid people...

I’m sorry that my letter is so boring. I honestly have nothing going on here. I’m not learning anything new other than scripture study, and I’m not going any were either. So I don't really know what to say. Hopefully tonight's devotional will be awesome and i can write to you all about that.

Well, I love you so much and miss you tons!! Be strong.

Your missionary

06 December 2011

Dear mom and dad,

Get me out of here! Sister Dixon and elder miller left Friday morning. I’ve been all alone in my district. It’s really sad. And then to make it even better the sisters that are supposed to take care of me, forget me for meals. So I’ve been wandering around the floor looking for someone to take me to lunch. So I kind of just picked a group of elders and claimed them to take me to lunch. But then they forgot me for dinner too! They came running back for me 15 minutes after dinner had started. It was sad. Yesterday night they forgot me after classes too. Luckily that time my roommates were still in the hall, so I could walk with them. Needless to say, I’m too quiet. That or I need to put a beeper on them. But today I’m hanging out with another sister that is a solo so that she could have someone to go to the temple with. That’s been pretty fun. But I really miss my companion. I miss sister Dixon a lot. When people mention her I get all sad. I feel like my other half is missing. What’s with that?

Well, I don't know how long I will be here for. I hope it's not too long. Pray for me! I need it! Last Thursday I didn't get reassigned because my visa was in the mail. Now watch, I’ll be here for 13 weeks like an elder in our zone was. He just left yesterday for Rio. The poor guy. That’s going to be me next :( I bet I’ll be here for Christmas. Nao Feliz Natal por mim...

Other than trying to figure out what to do in my classes, this week has been pretty boring. I had an in-field training day on Friday. That was an entire day of sitting and listening to people talk about the field, then practice talking to people, and more sitting. It was a lot of up and down stuff. Because I didn't have anyone with me, I grabbed the first sisters I found. They happened to be foreign. One sister was from Italy, going to New York City north, and the other was from the Philippians going to Honolulu. They were really sweet to me and were helping out a lot. I also was with a couple of their elders in their district, an elder from Germany, and one from Mexico. That was an interesting day. When I sneezed (which was a lot because of a head cold) I got a lot of different responses for my health.

With classes I’ve been teaching by myself. That’s really hard to do. I lose my voice really fast. And they don’t' know what to do with me now! I’ve learned a lot more of the language, but I think I’ve come to a point where the only way to improve is to be there. Which is sad because I’m still really awful? Something funny though, I can understand Spanish, they just sound funny when they talk. So I don't know how long my teachers will be helping me. I may just jump into a new district here soon. That is if I don't ever leave. I wish they would just tell me when!

HA HA HA! I can't believe you two went to see Breaking Dawn! That’s so funny. And even better that it was Dad's choice! I don't remember much about the book. But why were they in Rio? I would love to listen to the Portuguese to see if it really is Brazilian Portuguese. There’s a big difference with Portugal Portuguese and Brazil Portuguese. The way I would pronounce "de" is "gee" but Portugal says it how it's spelled. However they make "s" sounds in the middle of words. I don't like it, but I think I’m biased.

I’m so excited for Brenna! And Emily! That’s so exciting. So I take it that Brenna didn't wait for that Chris guy she was dating back home. I think he still had to finish high school though. So I don't blame her. Actually I think she was very grown up for her age. When I was driving her back home with me, she was really mature. Probably more than some of the girls I had in my classes there. So I’m happy for her! Could you send me pictures of Rae and her little man? I miss them! I wanted to write her, but I don't have her address with me. I’d like to see how big Liam is getting. He does sound like he'd be a handful. Hey, he's got Rae for a momma; he's going to have some fire in him.

I’m sorry there's not a lot for you to report on me. Tell everyone I need prayers, because this visa is not going to come without a miracle. I would have rather been reassigned while waiting for it. I’ll be sending home a package soon. So dad, will you send me your work address? It will have my baby in it, so I don't want it sitting on the house steps all day long in the rain. That would be bad.

I would also like to ask a favor from you, dad. This will hopefully make up for not asking you for computer help or direction around Idaho, at least for now. I really want to know the lyrics for "come thou fount of every blessing" but the computers here won't let me look it up. Would you be able to copy those onto an email and send them to me? I would really appreciate that. muito obragada!

Ok, so I’ll make sure to email you right away if I ever get my visa or if I ever hear anything about it. I love you both so much! And miss you tons! Make some Christmas fudge for me (I really miss that).

I love you!
Your Missionary

29 November 2011

Dear Parents,

Can you believe another week is already gone?! Stop making it go by so quickly. It’s been quite a week. A lot of things have happened, but at the same time it feels like nothing has happened at all. I hope I can tell you about everything.

Last Tuesday after I wrote you, we had elder D. Todd Christofferson speak in the devotional. He was so cool! He talked about how we are his companions, or the companions to the prophets and apostles because they can't convert everybody themselves. They need our help to do it! He had such a strong testimony. It’s amazing to see how these apostles know without a doubt that Christ lives. Just by hearing them speak of Him, you know that they have seen Him. It’s so powerful.

Wednesday I think it was, was when I got your package. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! You have no idea how excited I was to get that. Thank you so much for that camera. I’ve taken so many more pictures with it. I’m sad that my baby is feeling neglected and not loved by me, but she's just too big. I think this camera will get a ton of use. The scarves are awesome! Thank you for sending those. However I think because of space in bags I might be sending a scarf or two home with my camera, which I will be sending later this week. I hope anyways.

I'm glad to hear that you had a good thanksgiving and that you didn't spend it alone. That’s really great that dad invited someone. It sounded like a lot of fun. Did you video tape dad's dancing for me to see later? Or will he keep practicing so he can show me up when I get back? My thanksgiving was pretty good. They kept us very busy the entire day. We started the day out with listening to elder Nelson. Yea, that's right, we had Elder Russell M. Nelson come and talk to us on thanksgiving. He talked to us about the meaning of Alleluja and the traditions of thanksgiving in the bible times. It was really neat. I didn't know that he had completely dropped his job as a doctor when he got called as a member of the 12. That is really amazing that he would trust the Lord enough to do that. I need to marry me a man like that. Oh, and he says "thanks" to my family (that means you). After the devotional I got to walk to the temple. Up there I ran into my friend Aric again. He was leaving this week, so it was so sad to talk to him and know that I wouldn't be seeing him again for a long time. But it was still fun. Then we had our thanksgiving dinner. Yup, we had dinner at 12:30 in the afternoon. It was an ok dinner. But nothing like what mom makes. I was missing your cooking mom. After we had dinner we all did a service project. We actually make 8,000 emergency kits that are now on their way to Sudan. It was pretty neat. We watched a video on the humanitarian aids the church does. We got to have a sack lunch for dinner (whoo hoo!) and I think my favorite part of the day was later that night. We watched 17 Miracles. You need to watch it. There’s a part in it that dad would really enjoy. Watch it, and look for the miracle of the meat (that's just what I call it). You’ll know why I thought of you when I saw it. It was nice to have a break from classes. We didn't have any class, but the next day we had to go and teach again. But that's ok; it was a nice break in the middle of the week.

This Thursday I find out my reassignment. Finally! Or travel plans if my visa has come in by then. What are your guesses on where I’m headed to for a while? But don’t' worry about it, you will know where I’m going before I get there. The church isn't that mean to parents of missionaries. I’ll have to send you an email that day of where I’m going. So make sure and check that night.

You might find this funny, so my toe has been hurting like crazy for the past couple weeks. It felt like I needed to pop my joint of something. So I kept stretching it hoping to make it feel better. Well the pain was moving up my foot, so I decided to finally go to the trainer at gym time. She told me that I had pulled my toe stretching it too much. Embarrassing right? Well she iced it for me and the next couple days as well. After dealing with the pain moving around my foot, it finally got better. Now I’m just really stiff so when I do wear by boots or heels, it starts to hurt again. uggg. So pray that that goes away fast please!

Tell Leah happy birthday for me! I can't believe she's 7 now! Make them stop growing for me! Oh and about my bank account, just so you know I’m going to use it to pay for my bags when/ if I fly. And if I need to I might have to get another carryon bag. I’m hoping that I won't have to though. So just look out for those. Don’t worry, my card hasn't been stolen.

I’m glad that you enjoyed the pictures :) I will print out some more and send them your way in the package I send you this week.

Well, I love you so much and I am missing you tons! Be safe and tell everyone hi for me.

Your Missionary

P.S. thank you for your testimony dad, it made me cry.

22 November 2011

Dear parents,

Well, there are now three of us. That is right. 3. Sister East got her visa on Friday and left us this morning. It was a tearful goodbye. She will be spending 2 weeks in the CTM there and then will go to her mission. It was sad to lose a companion. But it is for the best. On Friday night it snowed! When we left class at 9:30 the snow was coming down. Sister East went crazy! She has never seen snow fall, Crazy girl. Can you tell she doesn't go to BYU or BYUI? I just bundled up and walked fast. I like snow on the ground, just not on me.

It was a very uneventful week. I did the same thing here that I did last week. Learned Portuguese, learned the gospel, tried to combine them, and didn't really make it work. But that's ok, because I’m still working on it. I will get it soon. To answer your visa question, no, if I don't have my visa by my 9 week mark (December 5th) then they will reassign me temporarily. So I could end up anywhere. Sister Patton just left today for the field. She doesn't have her visa so she went to Salt Lake. Another sister in my zone went to southern California for her reassignment. So I could be anywhere. But I will be there until I have my visa. I’m in a better boat than sister Dixon though. Her visa is still waiting for a letter of recommendation or something like that. So it isn't even close to her electronic visa. Sadly, but she's come to terms with it. I’m actually totally ok if I get reassigned. No matter where it is in the states. Because I know that Heavenly Father has his hand in it and he will send me where he wants me to go. I have heard of a couple elders that stayed here for another two weeks because their visas were "in the mail" so I hope that doesn't happen to me. I’m going crazy in here as it is. So I thought it would be really cool if I got reassigned just in time to go to New York and hang with Meegan for a couple weeks before she goes home. How awesome would that be? Speaking of Meegan, I’ve decided that sister Dixon is exactly like her. Her humor, mannerisms, it's pretty cool. I think they would get along well. Random, I know. But I don’t have a lot to think about in here, besides gospel and Portuguese.

So I think dad's stories are very cool. Honestly, I don't remember you ever telling me anything spiritual that happened to you. I actually don't remember you bearing your testimony in sacrament meeting. That’s sad, I know, but look at the bright side, I have a bad memory. I think it also hits them here because the pesquisadors are catholic. Well the most of them are. That’s mostly what I’ll be having in Brazil too.

Yes, it is getting cold here. The sun is shining today though. But the nights get really chilly. Utah is not my favorite. I will live here if I need to, but it will never be my permanent home. I could never do that. I can't even do that in Idaho! No, I’m an Oregonian through and through. I’ll live in Oregon and Washington if I can. Maybe Brazil, we'll see if I like it there....

I’m excited to hear about Jessi and the kids! They never ever write me :( so I don't know anything that's going on there. Tell me all about them, since I know you will talk to them this Thursday. I sent Leah a card for her birthday. It was early, but at least it's not late. And I sent a letter to carter. I addressed it to each one of them. I know at that age I would get excited to see my name on something that came in the mail. So I made sure they each got one. I want to get pictures of them too. Need to do that soon before I’m out of the country and it costs more.

That’s really sad about Anne’s granddaughter. I remember you telling me about her. At least she's not in pain anymore and is hanging out with Heavenly Father. Today when I went to the temple, after the endowment session, I was walking out of the celestial room, and I told the sister I did work for, to give Jesus a hug for me.  Yea, I know I’m a dork. But that’s ok. I keep life interesting.

So I have a quick question, can you, dad, tell me how much I have in my bank account. I want to make sure that I have enough while I’m in an airport this coming week. I still have about 60 of that emergency cash, but just in case I want to know how much I have for back up.

Well, feliz dia de açao de graça! (Yea, that's happy thanksgiving in Portuguese!)

I love you, and am so very grateful to have you both for such awesome parents. I know I wouldn't be here without you. I pray for you every night (in Portuguese too!) and hope that you are doing well. Stay strong, and don't blink too much, I don't want the next 16 months to go that fast. Yup, you read that right; I only have 16 months left. It goes by fast!

te amo voce para semper e eterna!

Your missionary

15 November 2011

Mom and Dad,

Thank you so much for the emails! They make me so happy to get and to read. This morning the printer wasn't working, so I wasn't sure if I could read your letters with enough time to write you. But don't worry. It worked this afternoon :) Not a lot has been going on here. It’s the normal day to day excitement of the MTC. Another Elder got his visa last week. So he left this morning again. We are now down to 3 sisters and yes, our one lonely solo elder. We tease him a lot, but he knows we care about him. We are very lucky to have had such as good group. We were all really close to each other. I know some districts aren't like that at all and the sisters aren't treated very well by the elders. I guess their mom's didn't teach them right. tut tut. So I still don't have word on my visa yet. But Sister Patton said that 2 elders got their visas in her district, but since they have only a week left here, they are just staying here. Can you believe that Sister Patton only has a week or so left? And I’m only 2 weeks behind her. I’m going to be out in the field before you know it. I’m not sure if I’m ready. There are some days that I’m like "please let me out of here to teach real people!" and other days I’m freaking out because my grammar is so awful and come out like "Jesus Christ Redeemer world." no joke. My teacher with just cock his head and say "huh?" well while he's an investigator anyways. when he's my teacher he's really nice and will slow down for me or repeat it 3 times, or if it's after 8:30 (which is the time that my brain shuts down) he'll just tell me in English.

So this last week we had our two normal investigators. One is very difficult, but I’ll tell you about him later, and another is some hard. He was having a hard time wanting to get baptized (these "investigators" are people that our teachers are acting out that they taught out on their missions). So this one's name is Geraldo. And we had a hard time committing him to baptism. And one lesson he told us that he would like to, but that his wife's parents weren't happy with the idea. And out of nowhere I start telling him about you, dad. And about how you got baptized because of mom and that your family wasn't the best support group for you. I was amazed that I was even telling him this, let alone all of it in Portuguese! Well it really struck him and he decided that he would get baptized. It was really cool. It’s really interesting how we plan out our lessons in depth, but then we go in and say nothing that we had planned, but it all works out great because it's the Spirit that's talking and guiding us. We’ve been told that before, right when we got here, but I didn't really take it into consideration until it actually happened. I think that can happen at home with giving talks and teaching lessons. When we think that we didn't get through what we wanted to say, or that the topic moves in a different direction, that it's ok, because if we had prepared enough, the Spirit will take over and move it in the way that the people present need it the most.

About the other investigator, his name is Jose. And he is a stick in the mud! We had an awesome spiritual experience planning our lesson for him yesterday. We were talking about Christ suffering on the cross, and how when he asked to not have the trial anymore, he still had to go through it, and how that is exactly like us. Our trials might not be taken away, but they will become lighter when two people are carrying them. But of course, the spirit wasn't near as strong in the lesson. We know what he needs, but he's just too stubborn to feel it. So we have no idea how to fix that. But now we will be teaching with 4 people. So it might get even tougher to work with each other and get a lesson that is really good.

I'm glad that you are doing well. I’ve wanted to write to Chris, but I don't have his address or even an email. So I can't get in touch with him. But I think I’m going to write to him each p-day and set the letter aside so that when I can send it, he'll have tons of letters! I’m excited to get a package! Those are always fun to get here. It’s just fun to get letters actually. I’m really used to not getting letters (Ryan and Sam are the ones that write me the most!) so when the mail comes, I don’t' even notice. So when elder Shumate left our district last week he said he would write to me. And he did! It was an easy hey how's it going letter. But he wrote me! It was sweet of him. I think I liked him the most cuz he's more like a brother to me than the others. I would love to get a letter from Aaron and Anita! Is there boy cute? I think dear elder is easiest just because I don't ever have time on here to email back.

Well, I’m glad that you are both doing well. And I’m sorry that this week wasn't very eventful. It’s just the normal day to day MTC. Tell everyone that I love them and give hugs all around for me.

I love you tons!
Your missionary

MTC Photos (1)

District D: Top Row: Elders Shumate, Gilson, Stanely, Astle, Miller and Sister Dixion
Lower Row: Elder Holmes, Sisters Kalamafoni, Nelson, and East

Lebanon Oregon Stake Missionaries. All headed to Brazil.

The four friends; Sisters Nelson, Dixion, Kalamafoni, and East

The three from District D headed to Porto Alegra, Brazil; Elder Miller, Sister Dixion and Sister Nelson

Again the three headed for Porto Alegra, Brazil

08 November 2011

Mom and Dad,

It has just been another week at the MTC. Not much is different than the week before. We had another elder leave us today. Elder Shumate got his visa and left this morning. We started at 10 and now halfway through we have 5. More sisters than elders! We like to make fun of elder Miller; he's the one that did his electronic visa the same time as me, that he's going to be a solo elder soon. There are lots of solo sisters but never an elder. He’ll be lucky to have sister Dixon and myself.

It has been very new learning to teach with 3 of us. Being in a trio is pretty good. We all get along great. And everyone has pretty much blended sister Dixon and me. We are now sisters Nixon. No joke. We get called each other all the time.

I guess something’s have been going wrong with the security here. They are now locking every door 24/7. And we have to use our cards to get in everywhere. No idea what’s up with that. So we have to unlock four doors to get into our own room. I'm really safe! But who would ever want to break INTO the MTC? I feel like I’m on lock down here!

Ok, you can't go on another cruise without me! Wait till I’m home to go with you! But that would be a good vacation for you two. You need it. I hope you are able to go on one. Where are you thinking of going? Brazil? It’s pretty much the best place ever!

We got new sisters in our room this week. They are in our zone too. We have 13 sisters in the zone. One of the sisters I found doesn't have support from her family. It made me really appreciate all that you are doing for me so that I can be here. I know that it is hard to have me so far away, but thank you so much for giving me support and teaching me that what the Lord wants me to do, I need to do. I don't think I would be able to do this at all if I didn't have your support. I know that you will all be blessed greatly for me being here. And I find that my testimony grows every single day, if not multiple times a day. Each person in my district has a perspective that helps me see the gospel in new ways. Or to read the scriptures I find new insights and revelation that I had no idea about before. I knew that I was coming out on this mission to help others, and that of course I would have my testimony strengthened, but I didn't know that I could change this much in only 5 weeks. A mission really does things to you. I hope that you and dad will be able to go when you are a lot ( ;) ) older and are financially able to. I know that if you have that goal and really work for it, heavenly father will provide a way. I pray every night that I can be the miracle that someone needs in their life. And I know god will do it.

Tell everyone in the ward hi for me, and that I’m praying for them. That ward has really helped me grow. I think pretty much every single person in the ward has helped me grow in one way or another. So I really wouldn't be out here without them. It’s amazing to think about all of the angles that affect your life. I’ve been reading about the 3 Nephites, and it makes me think about dad's experience when he was 13 and how he had to survive so that I could come out here and to help the people of Brazil. I may be able to help only a few lives, but that in itself can multiply. And that's all because of dad, and mom of course. You could have decided to follow your siblings and not go to church. But then I have no idea where we would be at all. Thank you for making the decisions in your life that you did. So that I could be here in Provo, a missionary on her way to Brazil.

I love you and am about to get kicked off of the email. So I love you and I’ll stop blinking! It’s going too fast!

Your missionary

01 November 2011

Hi Mom and Dad!
feliz dia das bruxas! or at least yesterday anyways :)

Can you believe it's been a month that I’ve been gone? It’s pretty awesome. The time is flying by so quickly. So I think that the 18 months shouldn't start counting until we're out in the field. 9 weeks in the MTC is a big chunk of the mission. But I’m really enjoying it. My birthday was really good! Thank you for the package! I got it the day after though. But that's ok. So I was kind of sad when I saw all the gum. I really loved it, but I found out that missionaries aren't supposed to chew gum :( that really made me sad. But that's ok. I’ll just become addicted to mints or something like that. So I got a really good birthday gift. I got my electronic visa! Same day too! So now I have a 2-5 week wait. So I will pretty much be here the entire 9 weeks. But that's ok. I’ve come to terms with that. Elder Miller and I both got them. So now Sister Dixon is the only one without any sort of visa yet. We are praying for her though! Sister Kalamafoni actually got her visa last week. So she left for Sao Paulo this morning. It was so sad to see her go too. It’s weird how we've known each other for a month or less like with the elders, but we're so close to each other. We’re already talking about getting together after our missions! So now we have 3 sisters and 3 elders. That’s pretty rare here. Some districts will have 12 elders and no sisters. so sister east, our other sister is now my other companion. It’s kind of funny how we're a 3-some, but sometimes a four some with Sister Patton, and maybe even add sister Arnell since she's a solo sister too, but has a different schedule. Oh well. At least visas are coming!

Relief Society this Sunday was really awesome. We had Sister Elaine Dalton, the Young Women's general president. And it was just the sisters too! She is so amazing! With her and sister beck I never noticed them, because we saw something from them maybe once a year, and it wasn't much at all. But wow did I really feel her love for us. She laughed about how all of us have grown up with her in the Young Women’s general presidency. But she really talked to us and the spirit was really powerful. I don't think any sister didn't feel the love from her. Something really interesting that she shared with us is that she has a list of scriptures or songs that are really important to her. She even has it printed and laminated that she keeps in her scriptures. She can then go straight to those when she's having a hard day in some way, and there's always a scripture that has affected her, that will help her then. It’s pretty awesome. So I’ve started my own list. It’s short right now, but I know it will keep growing. After relief society sister Dixon and I found that we were sitting in front of a wonderful lady that is a branch president wife. She told us that her husband was the mission president of Porto Alegra south, and that they just got back in 2003. She told us all about it. That the summers get really hot, and the winters get really cold. And that they don't eat a lot of veggies, but a lot of meat. She also said that we won't have a bike or a car. We will walk everywhere, or have public transportation. So it looks like I need rain gear and better shoes. that reminds me, can you send me some comfy shoe inserts, I found that my tan shoes, the ones that I got just before leaving, have no support and it kills my aquiles ( I can't spell it) tendon on my right foot, every time I wear them. It’s sad. I’ve also found that they don't do well in rain...

Today we went to the temple again, and right when we woke up this morning, it was raining. So I got to use my umbrella! But my shoes were soaked all the way through before I even crossed the street. It was sad. My feet were very wet until we got back to the residence. We also had a trip! well not really, we just decided to eat lunch at the temple cafeteria. It was like dining out for us! Very epic.

so the language is still coming slowly, but it is coming. I'm having a hard time understanding people because of different accents and that I can't see it. so I'll sit there and say one word in my head until I can see the spelling and know what it means, but by that time they've moved on and said 10 other sentences. So I know I'll get it eventually, it's just hard when I know what I want to say and that I can teach! I just can't say it yet. But the Lord will somehow make a miracle happen. That’s the only way this is going to work!

I would say that it is pretty cold. it snowed all day today in the mountains, as in right next to us. Sister Dixon says that it will snow tonight. So I don't think that I should get anything here, just because I don't know if I will go over weight when I go to Brazil. However I think I will have to get a carry on size bag here anyways. So I'm totally ok if you want to send me stuff :) I like getting packages. It’s really fun.

I hope that you are doing really well. I'm sorry that dad was bored during the party; he didn't have his buddies there, like Mark? Ok, well I love you so much and I hope that all is going really well for you. I'll keep you informed of when or if I get my visa. I love you!

Sister Nelson

25 October 2011

Hi there! It´s another p-day! Everything is going really well here. My Portuguese is slowly getting better and I’m having an easier time understanding people (when they talk really slowly and say each word clearly, that is). We gain new "investigators" almost each week. It’s pretty intense.

Sister Dixon is from the Bay area. She actually knows Ben Wheeler! a guy from school. Her brother is also serving in the Portland mission right now. Everyone I meet here is sweet and nice. Sadly, I don't take many pictures because my camera is too big to have with me a lot of the time. It would be nice to have extra SD cards. Thank you.

And thank you so much for the Shari’s story! That really made me laugh hard! I even told sister Dixon. Guess that means you are really in the high priest group huh? No, dad, you don't look that old. I may make fun of you, but you really don't. I haven't given a talk yet. But I know I probably will soon. Hopefully my sentence structure will improve before then.

We found out last week that 3 of our Elders got their visas. They all left today. We had about 85 total visas come in that week. Our zone shrunk really fast. We had 10 people leave with visas, and about 20 people (2 districts) that were at their 9 weeks. I think all of them got temporarily reassigned some to Milwaukie and some to Salt Lake. I really feel for them. We have been taught how to preach in Portuguese. It’s hard in English now! This Sunday in relief society a woman spoke about her mission back in 1964. She had been assigned to Brazil, Rio. After being the only sister at the MTC here learning Portuguese, her visa hadn't come yet. So she went to Connecticut (then the New York mission) to wait for her visa. It still hadn't come, so she went to the Philippians. She said it was crazy, but good. It was really inspiring for at least sister Dixon and I. I know that I am here because God needs me here. And if I end up in the states for a while, it is because Heavenly Father wants me to teach someone there, that only I can really touch "I will go where you want me to go dear Lord."

To answer your question Dad, no, I will be here for a while. I still don't have my electronic visa in yet. And once I get that in, it can take 3-5 weeks for any word. It is going faster, but I think that I will be here for all 9 weeks. If I do get my visa, I will get to let you know right away. So have no fear, you will know before I go to Brazil.

After I wrote you last week, that night we had a devotional. Elder Richard G. Scott spoke. It was awesome! He is so amazing. He really hit us with the Spirit when he bore his testimony to us. He even called down blessing for the missionaries. That was so cool! He also was telling us to keep with us always a pad of paper and pen to write down revelations and promptings that we receive. When we do that, we can receive more and more. He was so inspiring. After the devotionals we get together as a district and talk about it. We always have such great discussions.

Sister Patton is now my "other" companion. Her companion got her visa, so now she is what they call a solo sister. So she is with us on p-days and most other times during the week, but for her classes and meals she just has to have 2 elders with her. Today we all went to the temple again (we get to go every week!) and we did sealing’s. We can only be proxy for children. But it was amazing (I use that word a lot, my journal would know!). The rooms are so beautiful and it was really big! I really can't wait to do that again. I was paying close attention to what the sealer was saying. I really like the oaths that are taken. Dad, you need to get to work on family history, we are going to be going to the temple A LOT when I get back! (It’s kind of like a high; I look forward to it each week).

Oh, and thank you for the birthday card! I LOVE it! It made me smile. Thank you Dad for picking it out. I got a letter from the relief society too. But that's it so far. I haven't gotten mail yet today. I can't wait to get a package! Those are always exciting around here. Our district has a running joke that Dear Elders count as letters. So at a lull, someone will say "oh, you didn't know, dear elder counts." it's pretty funny for us. Those are our jokes around here. Melissa has been sending me dear elders. And I’ve gotten a couple of letters from Ryan. But other than that I don't get much. I wrote to Chris and Jessi and the kids last week. They weren't much. But there's something there.

I’m only 3 weeks in. I hope you are doing well with my being here. And dad, I bet you could say that you are "well please" just like Heavenly Father was with Christ. (I’m a missionary; all I know is the gospel!)

Give everyone my hellos; give Kellie a giant hug for me! And I love you so much. I’ll write you again next week.

Sister Nelson

18 October 2011

Oi Mai e Pai!

I’m doing really well this week. I think I have officially become a missionary. When you start making gospel jokes with your friends, you know you are a missionary. It’s pretty epic. A couple of us had a bit of a break down last night. The language is really hard. I had a TRC (we go and talk to member volunteers in Portuguese) after the first one I started bawling and had no idea why. I didn't think I was stressed, but my body was telling me otherwise. I’m fine now. Sister Dixon sang I believe I can fly for me. We like to sing that in the bathroom. I laughed really hard at that. She knows exactly how to make me feel better which is good. I’m still looking for ways to learn this language better. But it's hard. They teach it like you learn English as a child. First learn how to say gospel sentences then go back and teach the grammar and vocab. so I can't say sentences yet. My investigators have to put it all together when I tell them "God, Heavenly father, child, you." I hope I can get it down soon. The district is pretty much awesome. We are stuck together for 16 hours a day! We get to the point where we laugh really hard about nothing at all.

 I’m finding out how people get so fat at the MTC. They serve a lot of food. I have tried the oatmeal cookies. They are really good. But I’m a fan of the chocolate chip, classic. A coordinating sister is in charge of the sisters in the zone. Pretty much here, she just makes sure we are all doing well and if we have problems we go to her. She is like a zone leader, but assigned to the sisters. She’s actually just lost her companion to a visa and is now mine and sister Dixon’s companion on p-day. Most any other times she's escorted by two elders. Elder Top is the guy that had gotten set apart like an hour before me. He knows Stephanie. Stephanie was like his mom's adopted daughter. I think I even went to their place one time because Stephanie had left some boxes there when she moved out.

I asked around about the pictures. And it sounds like everyone is doing the same thing. You have 2-3 different SD cards, and when one gets filled up, you send it home; the parents take the pictures off, and send it back. At least Sister Patton's gets sent back. I think I can just buy a couple more and see how long it takes to fill that up.

I’m glad that everyone is safe. I hope little chase gets better soon! He avoided the flu last time because he wasn't in the world yet! Poor guy. I’ll have to write Chris while I still can. I need you to get Tysen's address for me. His birthday is on Saturday, and I need to mail it out. But I don't know when I can. It will probably be late then.

I hope you two are doing well without me. Have you killed my cat yet? I sure hope not. In our district we have a bad habit of talking during our personal study time. But we get on really interesting gospel topics. I think this last one we had was on the signs of the second coming. I think that came up because of the 'last dispensation' and how we would tell and investigator about that. One thing you can keep in mind for a package to me is tissues! Wow do I cry a lot. In relief society we have wonderful women talk to us about amazing things. And then firesides, this last Sunday was one where the man was telling the story of his family. He was mexican-ish... well his grandparents were and came to Utah. Then he was talking about his father in the war and how he had help from Italians to not get caught by the enemy. It was pretty awesome. Last Tuesday we had a devotional from Julie B. Beck. She is such as awesome woman! Did you know that she grew up in Brazil? Her father was the mission president in Sao Paulo when she was a little girl. He was one of the first ones. She knew Portuguese really well. She said instead of playing house, she would play missionary. She was way cool. I’m waiting for a big general authority. But I don't mind the awesome people that aren't that high up. They still have strong and amazing spirits.

In sacrament meeting we have to have a 5 min talk prepared in Portuguese. And after the sacrament is passed, they call two random missionaries up to give their talks. It’s kind of nerve wracking for some of us! But it gets us prepared. I haven't given mine yet. But I still have time... sorry if my letter is all over the place, I’m trying to hurry and my mind is pretty much everywhere. I hope all is going really well for you! Tell everyone hi for me and that I love them!

PS. Mom, can you get me a list of the girls in the young women's class? I think I want to write them letters, but I can't remember all the girls that are in it. If you could that would be muito bom! So tell me if there is anything that I haven't told you about, because I can't remember what all I’ve said.

I love you!
Sister Nelson

Week One in Provo MTC.

It’s my first p-day! And don’t' worry I made it safe, you would have heard otherwise. No news is good news! The MTC is crazy! My teacher only speaks Portuguese, we are always studying and I can never seem to get enough sleep. My companion, Sister Dixon, was destined to be my first companion. We are very much alike. We think the same way, so we get along great. She is going to the same mission as me. Everyone in my district is supposed to be in Sao Paulo, but have no visas. So there are 10 of us there. But we have the biggest branch, about 60 people. And pretty much all waiting to go to Brazil.

Sister Patton (Kendra) is my coordinating sister. So I get to see her a lot. Elder Top (Nathan) rode in the shuttle with me on the first day. We chatted it up and what not.

The first real day here was kind of hard. At least in the morning I was somewhat discouraged. But everyone said that if you make it past Sunday, you are good to go. They were right. This place is some sort of time vortex (dad would appreciate that). The days just drag on, like it will never end. Then you blink and it's 9:30 already. You blink again and the week is over. It’s really weird.

I had to get the flu shot and the typhoid shot. The next morning I took a vitamin, on an empty stomach. That was a bad idea. I almost puked. Haven’t taken one since... it scared me though, cuz I thought I had gotten the flu. But I didn't. Thank goodness.

I have no word of a visa yet. Not even the electronic part. So I might be here all 9 weeks. I hear of a lot of people being temporarily assigned. My roommate said a sister had learned Spanish to go to Lima, Peru but with no visa ended up in temple square. So Brother Lamb might be right after all!

So I really miss home, but I’m excited to be here. The people are so nice and kind. If I ever get lost, an elder can help me find my way. That is very helpful. I’m working very hard on my Portuguese, but it's coming slowly. Instead of learning words and forms first, we just jump into learning about the gospel in the language. So I had my first lesson to give in Portuguese on Friday. And pretty much every day since. It’s very crazy. Sister Dixon is fluent in Spanish, so she helps me out a lot with my learning. She pretty much carries the lessons. That is motivation for me to learn quicker and better. I’m hoping to have a good grasp within the next week though. Think I can do it?

But yea. I feel so unloved, my entire district keeps getting letters, and I have nothing. I had a two line email too, what’s with that? I hope all is going well there. 
Well I love you so much! I hope you are doing well. So I’m now off to the temple!
Sister Nelson!

Sister Lindsay Dawn Nelson
MTC mailbox 317
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84604-1793


Welcome to Lindsay's update! I'm Lindsay's mom, Vicki, and I will be continually updating you on her service to the Lord.
     Lindsay has been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Brazil Porto Alegre South Mission. She reports to the MTC in São Paulo on October 5th and will be serving for 18 months.
     If you would like to write Lindsay, she can get letters through this address right now. Once she moves to the mission field, I will let you know of that address.

Sister Lindsay Dawn Nelson
Brazil Porto Alegre South Mission
Brazil Missionary Training Center
Rua Padre Antônio D'Ângelo, 121
Casa Verde
02516-040 São Paulo - SP