Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Querido família e amigos,

Olá de Palmas, Tocantins!! The past 5 days have been roooough. Learning a language is hard. HARD. I think one of the hardest things for me has been being in a group of people, and the brasilieros assuming I´m stupid or have no thoughts or emotions because I am not able to express them through their language. Being the foreigner is definitely different from anything I´ve ever experienced. It´s one of the hardest, humbling experiences I have ever had. It´s hard to see small children that can speak português better than I can. BUT, I will get it eventually. I know that. Everybody has to do the first couple months of the mission some time, right?

Now for some GOOD things that happened this week!!
The ward is awesome. The members here in Brasil are INCREDIBLE. They are so loving, so strong in their faith...I love it so much. I really love eating in the houses of members por almoço cada día. The spirit there is amazing. I love that the church here is the same as in any other country in the world. It´s the same! The Restoration is the same, O Livro de Mórmon is the same, the message is the´s the SAME gospel! I am here in the Brasil to preach the same gospel that I learned in primary when I was a little girl. That is such an amazing thing to me.
All of our progressing pesquisadores came to church yesterday, that was awesome!! Here in Brasil, we call members and pesquisadores by their primeiro nomes, their first names. Por exemplo, the wife of the bishop is Irma Bianca. Our pesquisadores right now are Irmão Nilo, we taught him the first lesson last week and he came to church! We also have a family, Irmão Jorge and Irma Francisca. They have a son and a daughter from Irma Francisca´s first marriage. They came to church yesterday too. They have a marriage and baptismal date for December 13th!! Taylor Swift´s birthday;) (not that i know that...)

Today me, Sister Alvez (minha companheira), Sister Constancio (de Argentina) and Sister Soares (de São Paulo) went to the governor´s palace!! In the palace there is the CENTER of Brasil. YES you read that right, THE CENTER OF BRASIL. The center of the country!! The exact center! Cool, right? Eh I think it´s cool. We took a group photo with O Livro de Mórmon cause it´s like quadruple power when you´re standing in the very center of Brasil. :) 

Tocantins is HOT. Way hot. It´s at the very edge of our mission. Every day is pretty much either pouring rain and we´re swimming through the streets (not really...but it´s a lot of rain) or it´s BLAZING hot and one hour after getting outside I´m already gross. Love the mission life, ya??? Our mission president requires us to take 2 showers a day because of how hot it is. #amoserummissionário #ilovetobeamissionary 
We walk. A lot. Last night we walked 45 minutes in the rain to get to an appointment. And we didn´t even end up teaching that person. (When I say these things please don´t think I´m complaining, I LOVE IT. Just trying to describe.:) Sister Alvez and I sing hymns as we walk. I´ll teach her songs in inglês, she´ll teach me songs in português. We´ve been teaching each other A Primeira Visão (the first vision) in our native languages. I love it when Sister Alvez talks in inglês!!! She knows quite a bit for a brasilian. It´s so weird to imagine that I have an american accent...I know I do, but it´s weird to think about.
If we´re not walking, we´re taking the ônibus! I love the bus. It feels like the Indiana Jones ride how crazy the buses are. I LOVE IT. Cause it will start and go super super fast, like the IJ ride, and then it will stop suddenly right before crashing into another vehicle. Awesome, right? ;)

There is a quote that I remember out here often:
"If things are going perfectly, treasure it because it won´t last forever. If things are awful, be patient because it won´t last forever." I´ve learned to treasure those really special moments, like listening to the primary program that was yesterday in Church, or laughing with one of the members that I feel is my soul sister from the have to love those moments!! Because they won´t last forever!! And if things are tough, if I can´t explain what´s on my mind or if I´m having a rough won´t last forever either. :) 
When things are hard, I just remember that this is NOT a sacrifice. At all. I´m on the Lord´s errand, it is a PRIVILEGE to be out here, literally representing Jesus Christ. 

Never forget that Brasil is the best!! Don´t worry, USA is still my home country ;) #lovethismissionlife #MissãoBrasilBrasília #minhaprimeiraárea #Palmas #Tocantins #euamoBrasil #SisterAlvezisthebesttrainerIcouldeverhave

Boa semana, todo! Muito amor,
Sister Hill

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Olá, família e amigos!!

Eu estou no CAMPO!!! Finalmente!
I´ve been assigned to serve in Tocantins, in Palmas. My trainer is Sister Alvez, in the mission home all of the secretary elders were telling me how awesome she is and that I was getting the best sister in the mission! President Lundgren said how she is the kindest sister in the mission.
Im pretty positive that Palmas is the farthest area away from the mission home. Yesterday was the longest day of my LIFE...I got up at 3:30am to get on a bus to the airport, our flight landed at 10:30am, and after meeting the Mission pres and wife and aps and stuff I got on a bus at 6pm...a 13-HOUR BUS RIDE.  I thought the plane ride to Brasil was long. O.o Yeah. 13 hours. And when did we get to Palmas? Oh yeah, 7am this morning. Today has been long too. We had lunch in a member´s home today, it´s really frustrating for me not to be able to communicate or contribute at all...because I feel such love for the people already but I can´t tell them what I want to! Its frustrating. but I know the language will come eventually. :)
Today is poouuurrreeeddd rain. Poured. started when we were in the member´s house, we practically swam home to get our raincoats. Im wet lol.

I don´t really know what else to say! Im in the mish! Lovin it so far. I know ill get the language. I have an AWESOME trainer, shes patient with me and knows a little english, helps when she is trying to explain things to me.

Boa semana! <3
Sister Hill

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oi, minha familia e amigos!!
Sister Heck and I performed in the devotional yesterday! I played flute, she played violin. And Elder Johnston in our district accompanied us on the piano. We've been practicing fo 2 weeks now, it was nice to finally get it over with. It went great! This cute sister from South Africa, Sister Percence, came up to me after and told me how she LOVES flutes...we talked about it for a little while. Made my day!! I love any opportunity to play music. I love playing in church. let's say I've gotten reeeeeally good at the hymns;) (this computer is super slow, i promise i'm not trying to be horrible with punctuation-_-)

Last day at the temple was this morning. Super bittersweet for that. I tried my best to cherish every second in there. Sao Paolo temple today. I'm going to miss going!!!! <3 <3 :'(

So me and Sister Heck became best friends with like 5 brasilian sisters this past week. They were in our room every night partying it up with us. talking about who knows before the mission...yaddah yaddah. :) And then they LEFT US yesterday :'( Saddest day of my LIFE. I'm going to miss them soooooooooo much. I already miss them. It's crazy how fast you grow close to people in the CTM.

So! My last week in the CTM! Pretty crazy, huh? Now our district is the district that has been in the CTM the longest (Americans.) Super weird how that happened so fast!! Time seriously just flies by here!! There's no stopping it!!

Spiritual thought for the week:
The power of prayer!! Prayer is SO real!!!!!! I love it!!!! And even more than just prayer...KNEELING prayer. It's real. So real. Heavenly Father DOES hear our prayers, and He will answer them!!!! When Christ visited the Nephites, He said a kneeling prayer to His Father. CHRIST did. If Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer and the Son of God, can KNEEL to talk to His Father... oh how much more WE need to kneel!!! I truly believe there is so much power in prayer. I wish I could describe it better...but there really is just something so amazing about being able to converse with God, the Father of heaven and earth, whenever we need to. Pretty incredible.

Not too much time today...last P-Day for a little bit!! Next time I'll write, I'll be in O CAMPO (the field)!!!!!!! Crazyyyy!!!!!

Muito amor,

Sister Hill

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Oi, familia e amigos!!
This week was great and full of lots of stuff. Always too much to stuff to write about! But here are some highlights:
WE GOT TO GO PROSELYTING THIS WEEK. Yeah. Me and Sister Heck and the other missionaries got to talk to REAL PEOPLE. And give away 4 BOMs!! We had so many great experiences in those three hours, but let me just share a couple that really struck me while we were proselyting.

1. We were speaking with this man who had no teeth (he said he had gotten in a fight), and we couldn't really understand anything he was saying to us. But we knew he loved God and the Bible...after speaking with him for about 20, 25 minutes...I just felt impressed to bear my testimony. I told him how much his Heavenly Father loves and cares about him, and that he is also loved by his Savior!! I bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon. He was tearing up a little bit...he asked how much to pay for the book. Such an amazing thing to tell him that it's FREE, a gift for him. <3

2. On the bus back to the CTM, me and Sister Heck sat on opposite sides of the bus because it was so full. I sat down by this gentleman who seemed kind of quiet. I felt impressed to talk to I started making small talk, in my oh-so-horrible Portuguese...we got some communication going, he works in downtown Sao Paulo, was just heading home. I told him that we're missionaries for the Church, a great way to start convo about religion is to ask them if they're ever heard about the church. Anyway, I learn about this man that he believes in God, Christ, the Bible, everything...but doesn't belong to any specific religion because there is much confusion, so many different churches...sound like anybody familiar? (hint: Joseph Smith!!) I loved this man, I felt such love for him. I talked with him about the church, how we believe God is our loving Heavenly Father who loves him and knows him personally...I talked about he restoration with him for a little bit. He asked if we worship Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ (this is a common belief in Brasil), I told him Jesus Christ. I loved saying that!! We believe in JESUS CHRIST! It's funny, so many things we share out here are in the Articles of the AOF!! They're so true, they're so simple like our gospel is!! But I loved talking with him about what we believe, why we're different...I gave him a Restoration pamphlet and a card to get a Book of Mormon (we had given all of our BOMs away, I bought some passalong cards at the Distribution Center).

It's so hard for me to plant these seeds and not see where any of them's hard!! But I know that's how a looooot of my mission is going to be. So I gotta get used to it, right?
Here at the CTM I'm now known as the Sister who can play piano...seriously, people have come up to me and are like "Oh, so-and-so told me you play the piano amazingly!!!" So Sister Heck asked if I knew how to play a specific song, the topic came up that I can play any song by ear if I know it, and just improvise to make it sound good...long story short, one song turned into 45 minutes of taking requests from 30 different Elders from three different districts. Music is definitely one of the hugest things from home I miss every day, so playing the piano for me is the highlight of my day. <3 <3 <3 I love it.
I'm also practicing the flute to play for a devotional coming up!! Sister Hale had one and asked if I'd play it. I'm grateful for my talents here:)
Have a wonderful week!! Muito amor de Brasil!
Sister Hill

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bom dia!
This week has been good. The days go by faster and faster as you learn more about your surroundings. I finally know where I'm going and what I'm doing (for the most part anyway), so I can focus on studying instead of what's next, etc. It's great.
This week wasn't too exciting or and Sister Heck taught THREE LESSONS on Monday. I know to you missionaries it doesn't seem like a ton, but it was a ton for us since we've only been here for three weeks!! We taught two pesquisadores (investigators) and a member. (of course none of these people are real pesquisadores or anything...but in the MTC things seem real. it's true.) As our Portuguese gets better and better, we can start focusing on the DOCTRINE of the lesson and less about having to communicate our thoughts and feelings. O Dom do Linguas (the gift of tongues) is seriouslyso real. I truly believe it!! There is NO way I would be able to learn all of this in this short amount of time. I have truly witnessed that the only way I would be--and have been--able to do this is through the Spirit!!
Sunday was Fast & Testimony meeting. We fasted starting lunch Saturday afternoon, until lunch Sunday afternoon. It was great. I love fasting because after a while you're not physically hungry I sat in sacrament meeting I just felt sospiritually fed that I didn't need literal food! It's the coolest thing ever, I love it.
I actually shared my testimony in Portuguese in sacrament meeting in my branch! I didn't expect to, I wasn't planning on it...but it's amazing how the Spirit will assist you to say what you need to say when you need to say it. I love that.
On Sunday night devotional, a former member of the Quorum of the 70 came to speak to us. I believe his name is Elder Reis? Not sure how you spell it, since his name was pronounced in Portuguese...but for every devotional, the missionaries learn a choral number and perform it for the speakers of the devotional along with the MTC President and his wife. That night we sand 'Chamada a Servir', Called to Serve. It was the most incredible thing to witness, seeing and hearing 300 missionaries, most of them brasilieros, singing in Portuguese for their Savior before we embark on our individual missions! It was truly amazing, I don't think I'll forget that feeling for a while.
Today's P-Day, so we get to go explore the streets after emailing!! Irmao Hyrum (our instrutor) is taking our district to go get some awesome Brazilian hot dogs, I'm sooo excited. I've heard awesome things about these hot dogs. Mm.
I hope you all have an awesome week!! Remember that God loves you and has a plan for you!! <3
Muito amor,
Sister M. Hill