Things are still going great! I have found myself pretty overwhelmed and down at times, but there have been so many times when my resolve has been strengthened. Missionary work truly is a rollercoaster....and I have only been here under two weeks! Sometimes I get frustrated with the teachers for giving me 2 minutes to prepare a 20 minute lesson in a language I can't speak! But shortly after that, they will bear powerful testimony about the gift of tongues and our divine purpose as missionaries, and I can't be mad at them anymore. The language is coming along. I feel like I'm moving too slowly if I want to be able to speak somewhat well after I leave the MTC, but I realized that the further along I get, the faster my learning will get. Learning will get exponentially faster.
This week we had some great firesides. The BYU Men's chorus came yesterday for a musical fireside. They sang a bunch of Christmas songs. The spirit was so strong. Relief Society is interesting here. All of the sisters from the whole MTC meet in a big room and we have a cool speaker. Yesterday, President Monson's daughter, Sister Dibbs came to speak. Hahahaha my companions and I were crying through the whole thing. The part that really got me was when she mentioned how she was at her dad's house the night before and he told her to tell us that he loved us Sister Missionaries and he was proud of us. That really gave me added strength to know that everything I am doing right now is worth it!
I am so attached to my nametag. I love being a respresentative of Jesus Cristo!
As far as my visa situation is going....my whole district is composed of visa waiters. So far, one of the elders received his visa and will be leaving for Brazil tomorrow, but the rest of us are just chilling. I am honestly not too worried about it at this moment. I would love to experience the Brazil MTC, but I like it here too. My companions have been so great. I especially love my companion, Sister Zeller. We have so much in common. We just get each other and have very similar senses of humor. From what I've heard about her relationship with her little sister, it sounds exactly like my relationship with Lisa.
Agghhh.....remember the story I told you about teaching my "investigator" that I had actually met at BYU before. Giving him the lessons was so humiliating because I looked like an idiot....doing them in Portuguese is hard! Well, after the first couple of lessons I told myself to just calm down....I am just learning. Besides when will I ever see this guy again, and why should I even care? Well turns out.............he's my teacher!!!! Sneaky, sneaky MTC! We didn't know that we were teaching one of our future teachers! I guess they do that so the teachers can see how you teach in that kind of environment, and then they know what to help you with! Gah....I feel so self-conscious when he teaches because I think he thinks I'm a complete retard. Hahaha it's ok though, because he seems to be a pretty good teacher.
The food here isn't so bad. No dad, I haven't had to resort to Lucky Charms for every meal.
There are only 7 girls in our branch right now. We are super outnumbered....BUT on Wednesday we are getting 21 new missionaries in our branch.....and 12 of them are sister missionaries! They are all going to Portugal though. I have discovered what the main difference between Brazilian Portuguese and Portugal Portuguese. We use a lot of G sounds and CH sounds in Brazil. They don't do that in Portugal. However, they pronounce all their s's like Sh sounds. Kinda interesting! I also figured out why we are called "Sister Barnes, Sister Zeller......." instead of Irma ________ (irma is sister in Portuguese). It's because only nuns use the title "Irma ___________." We are definitely not nuns. So I will be known as Seester Barnes down in Brazil.
Lisa.....can't believe you ran into a tree. I hope Abbie posts that part on the blog. I will get you guys some pictures of my experiences at the MTC: pictures of my comps and district and such when I can. We only have 30 minutes to email, so we are really pressed for time....so I haven't even tried to send pictures through email. Don't even know if I can! Either way, I'll get you some pictures soon!
I love you all! I know this church is true! Just in these past couple of weeks, I have really come to know that the Lord LOVES ALL of his children! I love serving Him!
There are so many people I want to write letters to, but we have really limited time! I will write you all letters when I get the chance!