Tuesday, October 27, 2015

10/26/2015: Week 6 - Mission Field

Hello everyone!

I have finally arrived in the mission field! I love it. My companion is really sweet and very patient with me as I learn the language. She is a wonderful missionary, and is very good at what she does. There are two other sisters who live with us, They are both really kind and sweet as well (and a little bit crazy). All three of the other sisters are Brazilian. Which means I am the only one here who understands English. So it has been really challenging and interesting trying to communicate with them, but I am doing the best I can! Sometimes speaking  Portuguese is like playing a really difficult version of Taboo and Charades. If I don't know the word, I have to describe it using words I do know, or by acting it out (which can sometimes be embarrassing, especially when you are jumping down the street with your hands above your ears trying to figure out how to say "rabbit").

The members here are all really really sweet, and there is actually another American in the ward who always speaks English to me haha. After a week of only speaking Portguese, it is really nice to hear some English. The first time he spoke to me, I jumped a little bit because I was expecting Portuguese, ha ha ha!

The people in Brazil are also all very kind. There are so many who are willing to hear about and accept the gospel. I had the opportunity this week to teach several lessons in Portuguese, and even invite one girl named T to be baptized. She said yes, and we are holding her baptism this Sunday. :) I couldn't be more excited.

I also have pictures now! There will be more to come. I love you all!

-Sister Christensen

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

10/14/2015: Week 5 - Last Week in the CTM

Hello everyone!

It's finally here: I am leaving for Campinas in less
than a week! So that means that this is my last e-mail from in the
CTM. I can´t believe that I have been here for six weeks already, it
feels like I have only been here for a week or two. I am so excited to
get out into the field! This week my district and I bought a big cake
to celebrate the fact that we have been in Brazil for a month. We even
got a big candle, and decided that it was a good idea to light it
inside. It turns out that the candle was actually a sparkler, so we
all panicked trying to put that out. But all is well, we didn't burn
down the CTM (yet). There was another scare this week, far worse than
a surprise sparkler though. After exercise time (where I keep getting
hit in the head with volleyballs), my companion and I headed over to
the laundry room to help iron some sheets for service. Everything was
normal until I went to stack blankets. As I picked up a blanket,
something hard (and definitely not the blanket) touched my hand. I
looked down, wondering what I had just touched and OH MY GOSH IT'S 
A. DEAD. COCKROACH! So yeah, I touched a dead cockroach. Almost vomited.
#Brazil. On a slightly cheerier note, things have been going really
well. I can almost hold a full conversation in Portuguese, and I love
teaching lessons to our "investigators". It makes me sad that I am
leaving, because I have met so many great people here. I have friends
from all over the States, South America, and Latin America. Including
one missionary who speaks in broken English and tells me to, and I
quote, "stay fierce" every time he sees me. The people here are
wonderful, and I will miss them, but I am so excited to get out into
the field and teach real people and bring the gospel to them. I am
sure I will have more stories while I am in Campinas, but until then,
these stories will have to suffice. I love you all, thank you for the
e-mails. I hope everyone is doing well! 

With Love,
Sister Christensen

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

10/7/2015: Week 4 - General Conference and Missionary Work

Bom Dia Everyone! 

This week has been crazy exciting! This past week we
had the opportunity to go proselytizing for the first time! That was an
adventure. We started the day by having an English fast, aka
Portuguese 24/7. Anyways, after lunch our instructor
took us into the middle of São Paulo. São Paulo is like the sketchy
downtown Salt Lake area, but gigantic and everyone speaks another
language. Not to mention it is one of the largest cities in the world,
so there's that. Each one of us received 3 Books of Mormon and we were
told to give them out. I gave one woman a copy on the bus, and then we
got to the actual street. That's where the real craziness began. One
man waved me and my companion down, and we started to tell him who we
were and a little bit about the church and Book of Mormon. However,
before we could get much out, he started firing off in crazy fast
Portuguese telling us how good it was that young people were out
speaking about Christ. Then all of a sudden he was rapping some
religious poem in the middle of the street about Matthew and Paul and
Judas Iscariot. I didn't realize it was a song until the very end when
I realized that everything he said was rhyming. I maybe understood
about 10% of the things he said. We gave him a Book of Mormon, and he
asked us how much it cost. We told him that it was a gift and then he
proceeded to quote the Bible about how the word of God should always
be free, and he thanked us. I am pretty sure he preached more to me
than I did to him. Another man got really excited when we told him
about the book and that God loved him, and that we had only been
learning Portuguese for 4 weeks. He took the book and kissed it and
held it into the air. We sang "Eu Sou Um Filho de Deus" (I am a Child
of God), to another man, in the middle of the street as well. The
people in Brazil are much more willing to hear a message about Christ
and the gospel. Almost everyone we talked to was open to hear about
our message, and asked us questions. It was a really amazing
experience. I also had the opportunity to listen to General Conference
this weekend (where we hear messages and receive guidance from a
living prophet and apostles of the church), and I loved it. It was a
nice break from learning Portuguese every second of every day. I loved
hearing the prophet speak about how we all need to be examples of the
believers in all that we do: in word, conversation, charity, spirit,
faith, and purity. He concluded with his testimony, which was one of
the strongest things I have ever heard. As he and the other apostles
spoke, I was filled completely with the Spirit, and I received another
witness that they are men of God, and are called of God. I am so
grateful to live in a time where we have living prophets and apostles
guiding us and helping us come closer to Christ. I also have a strong
testimony that Christ is my personal Savior, and is all of yours as
well. Also: a quick shout out to moms everywhere. You guys are
amazing. Thank you for all that you do for your kids and the people
around you. I love you all so much, and I love hearing from you all. I
am sorry that my time is so short, or else I would respond to each
e-mail individually. I read them all, so please keep e-mailing me! I
hope everything is well back home in the US. 

Sister Christensen