Portuguese-o-phile

Oi familia,

We got called as the Sister Training Leaders today.  We are training two sisters, Sister Hale and Sister Faulconer. That’s right, we are in charge of . . . ourselves.  The other American sisters are going home or are in other branches. And no sisters are coming next week either, so who knows when we will have a real job!

I am learning a lot!  I achieved the goal for my first ten days –memorizing Joseph Smith’s account of the first vision, the missionary purpose (to invite others to come unto Christ, etc.) and a baptismal invitation, as well as 75-ish sentences and lots of vocabulary.  Memorizing in Portuguese is much harder than in English! I learn the words’ meanings first, but I don’t know the grammar so I have to memorize each word separately. For our next four weeks we’re supposed to memorize 20 scriptures, 2500 words, 500 phrases, and our entire grammar book. My instructor said the CTM wants 90 words/day and 18 memorized phrases.  Very little of the day is open for learning this stuff. We have some grammar lessons but mostly I`ll be learning this in the halls, at meals, in the 30-45 minutes of language study, the hour we have for getting ready for bed, and any time I get if something finishes early. It’s very intense!

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed about this two days ago and so then of course I also started to feel bad about all my other failings, why don’t I receive/understand more specific revelation from God, I could’ve been better pre-CTM, blah blah blah. I decided to pray about it right then while I was getting ready for bed in the bathroom.  Just as I was finishing my prayer, someone`s speaker (I think – I haven’t heard music there before) got louder . . . it was the chorus for “I Can Go the Distance” from Hercules. It was the Vocal Point cover I’ve loved ever since it posted on YouTube.

 The chorus says “I am on my way; I can go the distance . . . this is where I’m meant to be!” It’s all [about] how your goals are within reach, and it was the tender mercy I needed right then.  The great thing about tender mercies is how small they are. I didn’t desperately need help — I wasn’t very upset and would’ve gotten over it soon. But often God just sends us little reminders that he loves us. And sometimes it seems like he [doesn’t], and I can’t explain that. I guess that’s life on earth.

Anyway, our schedules are a little stressful but it’s a good way to see the gift of tongues in action.   My Portuguese is terrible but for 12 days of Portuguese experience it’s pretty terrific! On my 9th day of learning Portuguese I was talking to some Brazilian sisters in the gym about weather, post-mission plans, and pluses and minuses of the Brazilian, Canadian, and American government health care — I know, I´m crazy, but it came up in the conversation and one of the sisters was super knowledgeable about it.  You really do learn so much when you can talk to native speakers! I also taught four lessons over today and yesterday on the beginning of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the atonement and God’s plan for us — sans notes!

Anyway, that’s the novel for this week. Ciao ciao!