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

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