Friday, May 31, 2013

Michigan Lansing Mission!

Lindsay just called from a pay phone and said she'll be heading to the Michigan Lansing Mission Wednesday, June 5!  Her mission office address is:
1500 Abbot Rd., Suite 110
East Lansing, MI 48823    

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Portuguese nametags

May 28, 2013

Oi familia!

This has been a very good week!  Not a ton happened, but I learned so much about my purpose and got really excited and motivated.  I am definitely ready to get started in the field. The MTC is amazing, but I am just so excited to be working in the field.  Once I get there, though, I will probably be wishing I was back at the MTC.  Such is life!    Here are some general things that happened this week...

Sister Hargrove had to get a root canal.  We went on another adventure to the dentist!  I am sure it was more fun for me than it was for her.  We were gone from the MTC for about 3 hours so it was pretty weird.  We heard tons of pop music on the radio and it took me a few days to get it un-stuck from my head.  On our shuttle bus there was an elder from Ecuador and an elder from Brazil.  We enjoyed talking to both of them.  The elder from Brazil was so nice!  I love Brazilians!  We have to go in another time this week though so she can get crowns and fillings and such.  I do not envy her!  It makes me think of your root canal, Kirst.  Eeek.

We had an AMAZING! devotional last Tuesday night from Elder Nash of the 70.  It was seriously so good.  He talked about the doctrine of Christ and how vital baptism is for missionaries because it allows people to fully access the Atonement.  That made me so sad that there are billions of people out there who have no clue Christ suffered for them.  They have moments of sadness and trial and pain and are completely oblivious to the resource available for them to ease their pain.  It made me so excited though to be a missionary!  The fact I get to bring this happy message to people makes me so excited and joyful.  I am honestly so lucky to be here.

So reassignments happen this week!!!!  AHHH!!!  I am so stoked out of my mind.  I can't stop thinking about it.  We had a district from our zone get their reassignments last week and they left on Saturday and Monday.  They went to Houston, Denver, Washington D.C., and Mesa.  I really could be going anywhere!  We have figured out they reassign people with the stateside missions that are supposed to depart the same time as them.  I am set to depart on June 3rd, but I could be leaving this Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.  Or staying another week at the MTC....I hope that doesn't happen but I will be ok if it does.  More time to practice the language!  So far we have figured out there are missionaries going to Hawaii, Boston, Arizona, and Pocatello at the same time as us.  Everyone in my district is hoping we got to Hawaii haha of course.  I know there is a plan for me though and I am just so excited to find out where I will be next week!  This whole visa police letter issue is kind of just strengthening my testimony that the Lord has a plan for me.  I think more now than ever that there are people in the states I am supposed to meet and teach.  I am so happy for this opportunity!  I am nervous how the language will be when I actually get to Brazil, but I am sure after a hard few months it will be just fine.  I will probably be calling on Thursday or Friday so get excited!! I am not sure if I will get to call though if I am staying another week so we will have to see how things work out.  I will most likely get my assignment on Thursday.  Maybe Wednesday though.  We will see!!

We get new roommates this week.  We all have bunk beds.  We are getting 2 more girls so I am excited to meet them, even though we will only be roommates for a few days.

We have been teaching Sister Peterson and Brother Mateer as our investigators.  They both picked actual people from their missions and they act like the people as we teach them.  Sister Hargrove and I had Iris for our Sister Peterson investigator.  Iris is a hardworking mother who can't read.  She lives in a very small house and has 3 children and a drunk husband.  We had a cool lesson with Sister Peterson yesterday where she showed us actual pictures of Iris and told us Iris ended up getting baptized.  Holy Moly it was so cool.  I loved Iris so much and I loved teaching her so much.  And she wasn't even real!  It was seriously awesome.  When I saw the pictures of her on her baptism day it just touched my heart so much.  I am so glad I am here!

The language continues to be improving.  We have days called FSL (Fala Sua Lingua) where we have an English fast.  We had one yesterday.  It's really hard but it helps a ton.  I always carry a Portuguese/English dictionary with me so I can look up random words throughout the day when I need them.  My favorite word from yesterday was chorimingas (I think that's how it's spelled.)  That means crybaby.  We kept saying it whenever anyone complained.  It reminded me of when Chris would say Pobrecito!  I have been working on memorizing different scriptures in Portuguese.  It is challenging but I am understanding more and more every day.  I figure I need to learn as much as I can here because I won't have too much time to do it when I am serving stateside. 

Oh and let me explain our nametags!  It is in Portuguese as you can see.  Chris, you can see it looks lots like Spanish but I think it sounds pretty different.  Sister is Irma in Portuguese but that is what they call Catholic sisters in Brazil so our nametags still say Sister.  My name in Brazil will be pronounced Seester Geexon.  It's gonna be great!  I am curious to see if we will get an English name tag for my reassignment.

K I am sorry but I am running out of time.  I love you!



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Holding the Brazilian flag

May 21, 2013

Hi family!

This keyboard is wacky so I am sorry if there are lots of typos. 

I did indeed get the package and thanks so much for delivering it so stealthily.  Everyone in my district thought it was so funny that we arranged that!  Thank you to everyone who played a part in that.  It has seriously changed my life here and wow it was an adventure to get it.  My companion and I were a little freaked out because that area gets really dark at night.  Who knew?  But we were able to find it!  I scratched up my leg in the bushes a bit but that's just proof that it was well hidden.

Here are some updates:

Last Tuesday, Elder Russell M. Nelson came to the MTC to speak for our devotional.  It was sooo cool!  I was so blessed to be there.  His talk was so inspiring and it was an answer to my prayers.  I have been struggling recently with finding which stuff I should be studying during my time here.  I just want to make the most of it and I started feeling like I wasn't learning anything beneficial.  However, he gave us exact directions with what we should be studying and it was just amazing!

Last Thursday we had TRC again.  Sister Hargrove and I taught Sister Lee who is a native of Brazil.  She was so helpful for us.  She gave us little tips about the culture and the language.  At the end, too, she told us that she has relatives in Sao Paulo and Campinas (the two missions in our district) that are not yet baptized and then she wrote down their names for referrals!!  We were all really excited!

The elders in our district found a mouse in their room on Friday.  They caught it and let it go in the wild.  It was a crazy experience.  Then, on Saturday afternoon, we came back to our residencies after gym time.  I heard some girls screaming and sure enough a mouse ran under our door out into the lobby.  It was hilarious.  Every girl came out into the lobby and we were determined to find it!  The mouse ran under the couch so we flipped the couch over and it ran to the vacuums.  There are about ten vacuums in the lobby and we didn't know where it could be hiding.  Every girl grabbed a vacuum and then one other sister had a trash can to trap the mouse in.  We moved the vacuums one by one and holy cow we were being so dramatic about it.  It was so tense.  We made it to the last vacuum and moved it out of the way and the mouse was gone.  We were disappointed that we never caught it and also nervous to vacuum because we think it might be in one of the hoses. Gross, but it was definitely an adventure!

At every Relief Society, they do a convert minute.  Converts to the Church seriously amaze me!  A sister will go up and share her conversion story.  The stories are amazing and I am always inspired by their conviction.  I don't know if I ever told you, but my companion, Sister Hargrove, got baptized when she was fifteen.  The rest of her family followed.  She is such an example to me!  I just love hearing the stories about how everyone got here.  It's amazing to see how the Church can really change lives!  Sister Hargrove and I continue to get along really well with each other.  We learn lots from each other and we are loving our new calling.  We get to visit all of the sisters in our branch every night and it's a highlight of my day.  I love talking to them and seeing how their days were and just getting to know them better.  Missionaries are amazing!

I had some struggles with the language this week to say the least.  All of them were hilarious though.  First, I will give you a little Portuguese lesson.

If there is a -te at the end of the word or alone, it is pronounced chee.  If there is a -ti-anywhere in a word, it is pronounced chee.  If there is a -de at the end of the word or alone, it is pronounced gee.  If there is a di anywhere in a word, it is pronounced gee.  For example, people have been calling me Sister Geexon.  And dad, your name is Tiago in Portuguese (we have been memorizing Tiago 1:5). It's pronounced Cheeago.
Anyways, we have met quite a few Brazilians in the MTC and we love talking to them.  They will just come by and speak in Portuguese and we can ask questions and it's lots of fun.  I love the Brazilian people already!  I noticed one of them kept saying chipo when he was talking.  He was talking so fast though that I thought he was saying chupa.  I asked Sister Cox if she knew what chupa meant and she didn't so she asked the Brazilian elder.  His face dropped and he said "I definitely didn't say chupa.  That is a very bad word.  Never say that!"  We were really embarrassed!  And I felt bad because I definitely threw Sister Cox under the bus.  We found out later that chipo means like, so it's basically a filler word.  I still don't know what the other word means but hopefully I will never find out.

Also, I was teaching our investigator this week.  We were teaching him about the law of chastity and the commandments and he asked us why we need to keep the law of chastity.  I explained and ended with, "If you break the law of chastity, you will be sad."  He busted up laughing and I thought "Lindsay, you're in trouble."  I was trying to say triste (trischee, which means sad) but I kinda mumbled and said xixi (cheechee) which means urine.  So I told him "If you break the law of chastity, you pee."  So that was fun.  Also, read it a few more times if you don't see my joke.  Sorry for the dry humor.  It's dad's fault.

One of the sisters in my district played the piano in front of the whole MTC at the Sunday night devo! She played her own rendition of “Called to Serve” and we were very proud of Sister Empey. Plus, she got us front row seats so we were muito animada!  It was great and we got to hear a really great speaker--her name is escaping me...but it was really good!  It's funny how excited we got about it.  You learn to look for little things to get you pumped up at the MTC.
There are so many people in the MTC! We have definitely been feeling that.  They have started to open up food stands outside on campus so that people can eat there instead of the busy cafeteria.  And we have heard that people will start living off campus at the end of May.  I doubt that they would move us because we leave so soon after that, but you never know. 

The Russian districts are in our building.  We sometimes will talk to sisters going to Russia and I always get really excited for them!  I wish I could say more than privyet (I doubt I spelled that right). 

I will most likely get reassigned next Wednesday or Thursday.  And I get to call home for five minutes so be looking forward to that!  It's so crazy to think that I am leaving soon.  The MTC has gone by so fast.  I am really excited though for what's in store for me.  I know the Lord knows it, and that's all that really matters!

Ok I think this is the last thing.  This is a research assignment.  Someone told me that the stars on the Brazilian flag all represent different cities in Brazil.   Cool, huh?  Will you research that and tell me about it?  Thanks! 
I love you all!!!

Sister Dixon

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sister Dixon and roommates

May 14, 2013


I had a GREAT week.  Even better than the other ones.  I continue to have many struggles with the language and with the district, but the good far outweighs the bad. 

Here are some updates:

First off, I got a new calling!  Sister Hargrove and I got called as Sister Training Leaders for our zone.  It's a new calling for the Church that was recently established with the age change.  It's like girl zone leaders but a TON less responsibility.  We are really excited for it.  We got set apart on Sunday and basically we just go around and visit with the sisters in our zone every night and make sure they are doing alright.  We also welcome new groups, give them tours, and orient them to the MTC.  I am very excited.  There was a huge group of forty-two missionaries (Jessica Gibbs and two of our roommates included) going to Portugal today and we are going to get a new group this week.  It will be fun to make the new sisters' experience a positive one!

This week, we started teaching in the TRC.  We had our first one last Thursday.  It's different because you get to teach actual people instead of teaching MTC teachers posing as investigators.  We got a cute old man who was so helpful and so nice.  It really made me feel so much less anxious about teaching lessons.  We have met a few Brazilian Elders too in the MTC and all of them seem like the best.  I am excited to experience the Brazilian hospitality I keep hearing about.

We also got a new MTC teacher.  Her name is Sister Peterson and she served in Brazil.  We have really grown to love her.  She is engaged to a Brazilian man with whom she served on her mission.  I am interested to see how many sisters that ends up happening to.

As I said before, we had two roommates leave for Portugal today.  There are six sisters in our room.  As crazy and hectic and annoying as that sometimes is, we have really grown to love each other!  It is all of the girls in my district and Sister Gidney and Sister Carroll who are now gone.  We are anxious to see if we get new girls this week.  Fingers crossed we won't.  As selfish as that is, it would just make getting ready so much easier!  We will see what happens though.  I definitely love meeting new people and seeing where everyone comes from.  It never ceases to amaze me to learn how strong some missionaries are.  They come from the toughest backgrounds but they are here to serve and I am inspired by their strength.

I feel like everyone has stories about when they mixed up words in their lessons, so I have one to contribute.  We were teaching an investigator about baptism and how it washes away your sins.  I thought something was fishy though because he started to laugh a little bit.  Later we learned that we said pescado instead of pecado.  Pescado=fish.  Pecado=sin.  Get it?

Needless to say, I am really struggling with the language.  There are some times when I feel very confident but most times it is really hard.  I am just struggling because I never feel like I am studying the right way and whatnot.  But whenever I look back on how much I have learned already I know that I can do it!  No one comes home from their missions not knowing the language.  If Nick can learn Swedish, I can definitely learn Portuguese.

Also, we had the MOST AMAZING Relief Society on Sunday.  Sister Janice Kapp Perry came to talk to us and holy cow it was so good.  It was so uplifting and reminded me how LUCKY I am to be here at this time.  I am so blessed to be serving Jesus Christ.  She rewrote the words to the song "As Sisters in Zion" to "The Sisters of Zion" and fit it all to the new generation of missionary work.  We all sang it together and it was powerful.  We were the first ones to see the words and it was amazing to hear the strength and power and conviction in every single sister's voice.  I can honestly say I don't think there was a dry eye in the room.  I got to meet her afterwards as well which was just such a cool experience.  The Spirit is so strong here.  It is such a blessing.

Oh and my comp had a dentist appt this week so we left the MTC!  It was crazy.  We got to take a little field trip to the outside world and we were so close to all of my old apts which was a pretty weird feeling.  We enjoyed ourselves for sure though.

It is definitely hot!  The air conditioning in our class is broken as well so that makes for a very warm environment.  People fall asleep allll the time due to the heat.  Hopefully it gets fixed soon because it will only get hotter.  

I love you all so much!

Sister Dixon