Friday, August 1, 2014

the flirting situation

This is just an excerpt from the most recent letter I got from Carley.  So, Sisters, beware!  HAHA soooo funny!  I share this only because it is funny to me, not because I  am really worried about it.  Old habits die hard for some!

"Mom, the flirting problem here is REAL!  I don't flirt...but the Elders...Holy Cannoli.  It's not so much the Elders in my district, but sometimes with them I'm like WHOA, STOP!  But I love them and I know they don't mean to flirt.  I think it's an 18 year old boy thing.  At the Sunday Devotional the other night, we met a guy who was in one of the Mormon Message videos.  Anyway, so I talked to him before the devotional and then throughout the rest of the evening he proceeded to look back at me and wink and be super weird. Also, the flirting going on around me at meals is crazy."

She goes on to talk about how wonderful the MTC is and how much she is learning!

HALF WAY through the MTC

   So I'm half way done with the MTC. What is that? So weird. I feel like I've been here my whole life but it's been good! :) This past week has been great. Ya know, just sitting in nine hours of class every day trying to teach in a language I don't know. there is never a dull moment! Mom- I told my zone and one of my teachers (Irmao L, the dreamboat) about the CPR bunny incident. You are a hero. It's one of the funniest stories of my life! 
   On Friday we had our first TRC lesson. Which basically means we got to talk to members about the gospel and stuff in Portuguese. It was seriously so much fun! It was such a tender mercy, the whole time I was able to speak and understand Portuguese as if it were English. The Lord is truly blessing me with the language. I'm still learning slow, and some days are better than others. But I know that as I continue to work hard and have faith that I will eventually be able to speak Portuguese! 
   In one of our lessons the other day we were teaching about the Restoration. I was able to recite the account of the First Vision in Portuguese, and the Spirit was incredible! I really can't say much in lessons. But I know how to testify, and bearing my testimony has truly strengthened it! I love Portuguese. Even though it's super hard haha. My brain is like a pile of English/Portuguese mush haha. Tudo bem! 
   So I seriously love my companions. They help me so much. But it is like herding cats! They are the queens of Lolligag Kingdom and it kills me. Getting out the door every morning is a struggle, but eventually we get where we need to be. #smallvictories 
   I'm learning a lot about conversion. Conversion isn't a one time thing, it's a life time thing! I'm so so grateful that every day I can come closer to my Savior. This gospel is about progress, and trying our best every day to follow Jesus Christ so that we can gain all the Father has. I'm very grateful that I can be better today than I was yesterday. I was studying last night about the power God has in all things. He is perfect and knows all. And it just hit me that He truly does want us to have all that He has! Because He LOVES us!  He has given us a way to return to Him, and that is through the Atonement of His Son. I love the gospel and this beautiful opportunity I have to be a missionary! 
Love you and miss you! 
-Sister Wood 
PS: Sheri Dew came to Relief Society on Sunday, so THAT RULED. 
Also our Zone Leader, who actually left this morning to Boston while he waits for his visa, knows Elder Marse! Apparently Kenny served in his ward for like six months. So that was cool! 
And I miss roller skating. I sing What A Night a lot. YOLO

MTC life

  How is everyone doing? How is the house coming along? I'm gonna write some letters today so yeah be excited for that! :) 
  The MTC is still a really fun and enjoyable experience! I've only been here for two weeks but it feels like ten years. I'm learning so much, and also seeing that I have SO MUCH to learn. But that's good! It's a blessing that we can always progress. And like my district rocks. We have lots of fun and giggles and stuff. 
  Portuguese is MUITO difficile. I'm learning, but very slowly haha. I get frustrated sometimes, but I know that if I do my best and be patient that the language will come. Heavenly Father will bless me with the gift of tongues if I work for it! 
  The food.. oh what to say. I love the cookies way way too much. WHAT IS THAT?! It's an issue. 
  Okay so my teachers are Irmao N and Irmao L.  They are GREAT. They expect a lot from us and push us hard, but it's good. I'm grateful for them.  But here's the issue: Irmao L is like OMG SO GREAT. Holy cannoli. He was our first investigator, then we found out that he is also our teacher! So for the first week we only had one teacher and had no clue that our investigator would become our second teacher.  Let me tell ya, class can be ROUGH.
    Something I'm learning in the MTC so far is that the Lord does not expect me to be perfect.  This is so hard for me to remember, I think I expect perfection from myself. In teaching, in Portuguese, in everything.  I set my standards high because I don't want to waste the Lord's time. But something Irmao L shared with us made me pause and think a little differently. We read a quote by Elder Cecil O. Samuelson that says "Just as we should not lower the standards that the Lord has established for the conduct of His servants, we are also not authorized to raise them...Be sure that you do not have higher standards for yourself or others than the Lord has established." This really hit me. In the MTC so far, it's like a huge light has been shining on all my weaknesses. It motivates me to try harder and rely on the Lord, but I still fall waaay short all the time. I have successes, and I have many failures. I get frustrated and down on myself. BUT, the Lord does not expect me to be perfect. He doesn't expect any of us to be perfect! We are not on this earth to gain perfection. We are here to try our best and rely on the Lord in our many moments of weakness. Through our humility we can be tools in the hands of our Father in Heaven. I know that as long as I am worthy and willing, the Lord will help and guide me through!
  Anyway, I love you all so much! Have a great week! 
-Sister Wood 

Things I've learned about Portugal: 
-Apparently there is fresh bread and cake on like every street corner. One of the teachers here gained 40 pounds. OH NO
-The Azores have some French influence in the Portuguese they speak there. So that's pretty cool! 
-They eat cod like nobody's business. It's a funny word in Portuguese so the natives test you on your pronunciation of the word. Apparently if you can say codfish in Portuguese then you are on the right track!