Congratulations to Rachel and JC! The wedding sounds like it was beautiful! I woke up on the morning of and felt like I was missing out on something, but I couldn't think if what that could possibly be. All day I felt like my heart was off somewhere else in the world, having a party without me. Then, towards the evening, I suddenly realized with a start, "My sister's wedding is today!"
All of the Elders in my district gave a collective, sympathetic, "Awww!" And then came the questions, "Why didn't she do it while you were home?!"
That's ok, though. At least my heart was there to experience it all. It grudgingly returned to me at the end of the day and the two of us went to bed.
First off, I just want to clear something up that's been haunting me all week. In my last email, I wrote that my Instructor sometimes has me interpret what he's saying to the rest of the class. I did NOT mean to be boastful when I wrote that! I realized after the fact that it might have come off that way. I am not learning any faster than anyone else in my district, and I have a LONG way to go before I can really communicate in Portugues. I just meant that I'm glad I'm actually catching on to Portugues a little bit now, enough to understand my instructor, at least. We all have our good days and our bad days, though. Sometimes I stare at Irmao Ricardo while he's speaking and I have no idea what he's talking about. Then I have to massage my temples for a while and try again. It's not easy, learning a new language, but I am amazed at how possible it is!
I have two Brazilian roommates now. Sister Oliver and I LOVE them! One of them speaks fluent English, and she has been most helpful as we try to understand the language. Her name is Sister Carvalho. I wish I could take her home with me, she's so funny and spunky. She talks a mile a minute in English, and even faster in Portugues, making crazy faces and gesticulating wildly as she goes. Sister Leite Silva, her companheira, is possibly one of the most hilrious girls I've ever met, and I don't even know what she's saying 99% of the time! They're both gorgeous, of course.
Mom, you thought I was too prissy to come to Brazil. But let me tell you... these Brazilian girls are the most classy, feminine creatures I've ever encountered, They're always dressed to the nines, in heals and jewelry with perfect hair and makeup, and lots and lots of perfume. All we US girls feel like a bunch of bumpkins next to them. I'm sure I won't envy those heals once I'm out tracking every day, but here in the CTM... I often find myself lost in a daydream about my purple pumps back home.....
There's a wonderful black bean soup/mush here called Vesuara (not sure how to spell that-- you'll have to ask Ryan). It's basically all the ingredients of a hotdog before they reach the blender, stewed in black beans. Cartilaginous sockets surrounded by blubber fat, chunks of meat, a few random hairs. The vesuara here at the CTM is supposedly very mild, but one Elder claims he found an eyeball in his once. Yum!
There's also a dessert here Reana would go nout over-- it's like a coconut peep that was whipped up and squeezed into a bowl. Very sweet. Very marshmallowey.
The time for emails simply goes by too quickly!
I'm really learning about trust here. Trust in the Lord, trust in myself, trust in my companion.... It's a very beautiful and humbling journey I'm on, and every day I'm more grateful to be on it. When making descisions, I'm learning not to aks myself, "What do I want?" but instead, "Who will I become as a result of this choice?" Most of the time, it turns out that to become who I want to ultimately become, I have to make the harder choices and do things that I don't want to do, and I'm always happier for it in the end.
I am so grateful to be on a mission right now. I wouldn't trade what I'm learning here for any luxury in the world! And girls out there who are contemplating a mission: DO IT! It will be the hardest thing you've ever done, but it will be so worth it! Just push through the hard times with faith, trusting that the Lord knows what's best, and you will be happy.