Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tudo Bem? It's P-Day! P-Day!

Oi Minha OTIMA Familia!
Tudo Bem? It's P-Day! P-Day! Party and Party and YEAH! (ehem... I promise I don't have that stuck in my head. But it IS Friday, so it works. Okay. I'm singing a hymn now.)

Porto Alegre!

It's been a good week. I've so enjoyed all your letters! Thank you so much!!! This week went so much faster than last week did! We were talking about what the topic for Sunday would be and I was like "Wait. Why are you telling us this now? We just wrote talks yesterday." And then I realized it was Thursday and it's time to write talks again! Oh my goodness... speaking of that...

Sundays here are like the Hunger Games. Seriously - hear me out. So, first of all, they only do one shift for breakfast and lunch, so we have thousands of missionaries trying to get cold cereal at the exact same time. It's pretty brutal. (Maybe they do two shifts... I don't really know. But there's definitely 20 minute lines to get cereal on Sunday.) Sister Cleveland and I might start eating vending machine food on Sunday mornings. haha anyways. THEN we have to write talks IN PORTUGUESE. EVERY WEEK. And we don't know if we'll speak until approximately 8 seconds before we're supposed to go up. President Hodges calls two missionaries (the tributes) from the congregation and they yell and scream as they walk to the front to give their talks (not really). Besides that, we're all divided into districts and whatnot and the 'oldest' districts get the best chairs. Hunger Games? Yep. But President Hodges is WAYYYYY awesomer than President Snow. So that's good. :P And nobody has died. So that's good too. haha No, I actually think Sunday is my favorite day. We study all different materials and it's a sweet break. I just thought the similarities were funny. haha

Speaking of dying. I'm finally getting the dorm experience here! haha I did laundry (lavanderia) in a laundromat for my very first time last week. I don't know how I survived 4 years of college without ever having to pay quarters for laundry (We don't use quarters here either... but same idea). Also, the showers. One time the showerhead fell off and hit me in the face. HAHAHA!!! That's definitely a new experience as well. ALSO. Sickness spreads like wildfire cuz we live within like 5 steps of each other. We're all kind of dying. But not really. I am actually so ENTERTAINING right now! I sound like Andrew (which is wonderful... if you're andrew. Or a man in general). haha It's kind of funny cuz I really don't feel sick, but I have a man voice and definitely a cold. So I'm glad Shar sent me with Emergen-C! And I've been taking my vialherbs too. So I'm set. :) BUT speaking of showers and being sick. Yesterday I was in the showers and there are ALWAYS girls singing at the top of their lungs. It's kind of ... well... anyway. I decided to join them yesterday cuz I sound like a man. I sang a beautiful base part if I do say so myself! And every time I'd start singing I would burst out laughing cuz I sound so funny!! I think I freaked them out cuz... typically there aren't base parts in the women's showers. And they stopped singing. Oopsies. Really I'm fine, I'm super blessed for not feeling super sick. And all the other sisters have started getting better, so I'm not far behind!
My wonderful district before the three elders left

It was a really surreal experience seeing all the new missionaries this week. It wasn't as weird last week cuz I still felt so new. But this week I felt so weird. It was weird because somehow this MTC thing is the norm now. I don't feel new anymore and MTC life is not abnormal anymore. I was remembering the day Aaron dropped me off and how long I felt out of place. It was just weird realizing I feel in routine now!

 I did MTC choir this week!! I'll write more later, but it was the best experience. I basically sobbed the entire time. haha I hope to do choir all the time! I love it!
Missionaries leaving the devotional! haha SO MANY! :)

PORTUGUESE! We start TRC today (where people who speak Portuguese can come volunteer to listen to us butcher their beautiful language) so I'm a little nervous. But it'll be good. We haven't gotten to teach much the last few days so it'll be good to be back in the swing of things. I learned a few things. The word for Lawyer is 'advogado'. HAHAH!! And Speech Pathology is "fonoaudiologia" which is just awesome. Also, I learned how to say bathroom. But now I can't stop saying "Bahnhof" instead of "Banheira" or whatever it actually is. Do you know how many times I've asked to go to the train station? But of course no one knows what "Bahnhof" means cuz it's German! It's probably better that way. Apparently I ask to leave the MTC to go to the train station almost everyday. haha! Someday I'll get it right.
The door to our district room, "believe in miracles"! And we all signed it. :) It's pretty great. :)

Awh the life of a missionary. I can't believe I'm telling you all this. But the other day at lunch, I was SO excited because they finally fixed the blue powerade machine and so I got myself a glass, sat down, and this fly landed on my cup. I started wafting him away but he wouldn't leave! At this point I was making a fuss cuz I FINALLY had powerade and this fly was keeping me from it. So everyone was watching. I wafted a little harder, and then - I kid you not - he DOVE into my powerade and started swimming. I guess I can't blame him. But it was a little traumatic, except we were all laughing SO HARD!! I couldn't stop. One of those silent and shaking laughs... you know? I have no idea why it was so funny. But then the next day in class our teacher asked "any good news" and we told him about the fly in my powerade and we were all laughing SO hard again and he was like "oh wow. I miss being a missionary. You guys are so boring!!!" HAHAHAH it was pretty great. So that's probably the highlight of the week! hahah just kidding.

We've started playing beach volleyball with our whole district during gym time, so that's been so much fun! I'm starting to feel some of my middle school skills coming back to me! :P haha It's really great to be outside once in a while, and it gets us outside the walls of the MTC and looking at the temple. haha
All the sisters in my district... don't know where we're goin!

Anyway, things are good. Portuguese has been going well. Our main teacher has been gone this whole week, so it's been tough to have a substitutue, but the sub is actually from Brazil, so it's been good to hear some real Brazillian Portuguese even though we're not in São Paulo. Also - our sub served in Porto Alegre!! He's answered a lot of our questions and one of the first things he said to us was "I hope you speak some German!" MWAHAHAHA! YES! I made like 200 flash cards this week so, that's been a party. We'll see how tonight goes at the TRC. Oh, Mom - you asked about P-Days! Our P-Days last until 5:00. But we get the whole morning and afternoon to basically do what we want. But they still have some things for us to do, like Portuguese assessments on the computers. So we stay busy. :) It's a really good day for a P-Day though so our zone can start getting ... unsick! haha

ahhh I hope you are all doing well! I love you so so much. Thank you so much for keeping me posted with life and the happenings! I have the best family on Earth. It's the truth. I'm gonna try to send some more pictures again, and someday I'll send a recording of me singing Popcorn Popping with a man voice. I sang it the whole way back from Volleyball yesterday and got some ... interesting looks. haha!   Anyways, I LOVE YOU ALL!! Eu espero que vocÊs são feliz e saude. Eu não posso ... wait... até ouvir de vocÊs a próxima semana! Eu te amo! (Thats the best I could do without my dictionary... and without knowing quite how to work the PortuguÊs keyboard. haha I LOVE YOU!) OH! Also, real quck. I can totally get pictures in emails!  I didn't know if I could, but it works! Thank you for the pictures! :D

Sister King

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Oi Minha Familia!

Oi Minha Familia!
HAPPY P-DAY!!!!! It's my first one yet and I tell you what, it is most needed and well deserved. Ten days of non-stop studying has been exhausting - but so great! My P-Days are Friday (obviously). AHHHH this is so surreal!! I'm so excited to be emailing all of you! We got to get on this morning and print off all of our emails so reading them doesn't count against our computer time! BOOYAH! I love whoever came up with that sweet little missionary help. (: Anyway - thank you all SO much for all of your emails!! They have been so incredibly fun to read and I've really needed all the love.
Things are good here! My companion is Sister Cleveland!
(I told some of you about her, she is Sister Barnes's cousin! Sister Barnes is the girl I blog stalked... ehem...) It's so funny cuz we both knew we would be companions before we even came to the MTC. It's been good. She's from CA and she's 20 - a BYU goer and has had 5 years of Spanish. So she rocks at Portuguese. My District is AMAZING. I seriously love my district. We have so much fun together and everyone is so supportive. We have the best teacher and... yeah... we're pretty spoiled. In just a week we've all become so close and I feel like I've known everyone forever. CRAZY part is that 3 of our elders got visas last week so they leave on Tuesday! We're so happy for them, but there were definitely tears shed cuz it's gonna be so sad to lose part of the district! There will only be 5 elders and 5 sisters then. I live in the same room as the other sisters and they're great. We've had a lot of fun. We decided our motto for the 6 weeks here is "Acredite em Milagres!" which means "Believe in miracles!" and has really helped bond us too. It's been really cool seeing the miracles of the MTC. One of them being how they handle SO MANY PEOPLE!!! haha
The food here is SO GOOD! I have such a hard time deciding every meal between chocolate milk, blue powerade, and POG. It's so cool! And I saw Sarah Workman the other day! It was so fun to see a familiar face! (She works in the MTC Cafeteria.)
The Portuguese is going well!

I have been amazed at the fast pace here. On day 3 I could already understand almost everything that was said in class, and we had to teach a lesson in Portuguese with only 2 and a half days under our belts!!! I was SO TERRIFIED. I pretty much just read straight out of the Preach My Gospel manual which makes for an incredibly boring lesson, but it was supposed to be a half hour and that's the only way we could think to fill the time. haha we've since taught 3 more lessons and on this last one, I didn't have A SINGLE NOTE IN PORTUGUESE!!!! I had a few English notes to remind me what to say, but I spoke for like 15 minutes without any portuguese prompts. It is SO COOL!! haha I can pray and testify without any notes or planning before hand (which is really nice when they start calling on you in class to do those things...) and I don't really get nervous to teach in Portuguese anymore which is a huge blessing. A miracle actually. I'm still horrible at it, I'm sure. But being confident enough to speak with mistakes has been a huge miracle in my life. I couldn't do that for a long time in German. I was tooooo shy! haha OOOH my goodness I can't stop speaking German. It's crazy. I had an interview with my professor em Portugues and he asked me to say the opening prayer. I totally broke out in German and had to stop and think for a bit cuz I couldn't remember Portuguese! He laughed after and I said "Es tut mir leid!" haha OY. That's been rough... but it's getting better. My German now is like "Ich komme de Seattle Washington e Eu gostou kaesa!" haha Gertuguese. Or Porman. It's great. :) The other day, our "investigator" said he would be baptized and I yelled out "JA SPITZE!" and didn't even notice. *sigh* I have gotten better tho. I just need to learn some exclamation words em Portugues. haha I love Portuguese. It's been so fun to learn and it's such a gorgeous language! Keep praying for me that I'll do well with it. It's hard. But I've learned a lot about the importance of obedience and hard work. I work so very hard and the results have been more than what I deserve.
It's pretty surreal being here still. The other day I was watching a devotional by Sherri Dew (on the tv) and some Elders walked in late and in my head I was like "MISSIONARIES!!!" And then I looked down and saw my own tag and was like "woah. That's mine." haha it was so crazy! People will ask my name and I still go "Andrister King... Sister King!" haha It's kind of funny. :P
Trying to look cool cleaning showers
Aaaaa!!  Foam in the face!!

Sleep is a little hard to come by here. We are working so hard for so long that when it comes time to lay down at night my mind is always racing and I'm always trying to remember the million things I learned that day. Most days I wake up singing some song in Portuguese but it always turns out something like what ran thru my head this morning: (to the tune of "Onward, Ever Onward" in Called to Serve) "Quando! Cinco Quando! Pode ler meu gato sim!" Which translates to "When! Five When! Can you read my cat yes!" hahahaha I should learn that song in portuguese. It's ALWAYS in my head and there are always random Portuguese words popping out of my mouth. The other day I woke up saying "Teu amor meu Pesquisador!" Which is "Your love, my investigator." HAHA Where does my brain get these things? Pesquisador is probably my favorite word tho. So that makes sense. Anyways, I got an extra blanket from the custodians and I've been sleeping better now, which is good!
I LOVE getting the Dear Elders. I have loved those SO MUCH!!! It's so so nice to get an email at the end of a long hard day. It's kind of nice to get those cuz I can read them every day and it's same day delivery and FREEEEE so... anyway. I love those. And like I said, there's nothing better than working hard all day and getting a sweet happy note from one of you. But I do get a decent amount of time to email on P-Days as well, so no worries there. :)
Well, it's definitely been an adventure. I love the Provo MTC a lot more than I expected to and I've learned SO MUCH. We've been challenged to read the whole Book of Mormon in the 6 weeks that we are here, so that's been cool. We've also been challenged to memorize like 30 scriptures em Portugues... sooo... that's gonna be hard. But we'll get there I suppose. The temple is closed for almost the entire time I am here (it opens like 3 days before I leave) so I don't get to go, which is kind of a bummer. But it does give us more time on P-day which is nice. haha Some of you asked about sending pictures in email and I really don't think that's a problem at all! We'll have to experiment I guess, but I imagine the MTC lets us open pictures! If not... for sure I'll be able to in the field. :)
I love you all SO SO MUCH. I can't even tell you. Thank you all for being so supportive, for your letters and your love! It means so much. I'm doing well. I'm happy, I'm healthy, I'm learning a TON, and I'm in good hands. Da Igreja e verdadeiro!!!! (I can't do hash marks... the e is supposed to have an apostrophe thing over it...) The time is short, but I'm grateful for my 90 wpm typing from working at Sawtooth!! wooooot!

Sister King

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Entering the MTC

Aaron & Andrea at MTC drop off

Andrea is a new missionary.  She entered the MTC yesterday.  Since Chris & I are on our own mission in Africa, Tom & Sharilyn and kids took care of Andrea this past month.  Drea had fun with them.  She & Kaydance even made a music video together!  They saw her off on her mission.  Emily & Aaron met her at the place in SLC and Aaron took her to the MTC.  What a wonderful, loving, supportive family.  How grateful I am for them all.

I (Drea's Mom) will keep up Andrea's blog for her while she is gone.  I will post letters she write and pictures she sends.  She is still waiting for her visa to go to Brazil so in the meantime she is learning Portuguese in the Provo MTC.  Her brother Aaron also went to Brazil.  How exciting that they will both be able to speak Portuguese to each other!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Single Digits

Well, the day has come. I have officially reached single digits and I'm FREAKING OUT!!! I'm so so excited!!

When I first got my call, that little countdown said 120 days. And today it says 9. How did that even happen?! If it's already been 4 months since I got my call, this mission is already practically over. Which is horrifying. It's gonna go too fast.

I remember asking a friend how she felt just 9 days before she left. I don't remember exactly what she said, but if she's anything like me (which she is) she felt something like this: 


Yep. That about sums it up.

Today I also finished 100% the Pre-MTC training, and got my final vaccinations for Brazil! What a day... dropped into single digits, completed training, and got yellow fever and meningitis. OY. Or as the Brazillians say: Oi! Which translates to: "I got yellow fever and meningitis today! Hello!" hahah Yeah... I've also been working on Duolingo. Almost to level 5 in Portuguese! hooray!