Friday, November 29, 2013

1 Month!

Oi Everyone!
I cannot believe that tomorrow marks my 1 month mark of being on my mission! It seems like time has gone by so fast, but at the same time, I feel like I have lived here forever.
I hope you all had a wonderful week and a fabulous Thanksgiving! Nothing super amazing happened this week, just a bunch of little things, so I will tell you about all of the little amazing things. I was good this week and wrote them all down, but of course I forgot it in my room and I am on a timer on the computer, so I cannot go get it.
I said my first prayer in Português this week at the Devotional on Tuesday. It doesn´t seem like that big of a deal, but when you think about that the room is filled with Brazilians and Hispanics as well as Americans who can speak better Português then me, I was quite nervous. I was actually more nervous to give the prayer than to give my farewell talk in Sacrament Meeting.. and that talk was 20 minutes long! Anyway... I did it and the CTM President who was sitting right behind the microphone said I did a great job after.
I am playing the piano more now which is so amazing! I am so grateful that I could talk my love of music and ability to play the piano with me to Brasil. Playing the piano is such a destresser and a wonderful way to spend what little spare moments I have. I am playing a musical number accompanying the choir, playing the piano for our Branch Sacrament Meeting on Sunday and accompanying my district on piano for our musical number our last Sunday here at the CTM. I love playing the piano and am so grateful for the talent that I have!
Português is coming along okay. I can understand what people say to me as long as they do not talk super fast, mumble or quietly, but my problem is that I can´t respond and with what Português words I do know, my brain throws in German word too so that´s fun... Anyway, we teach two investigators, one every other day, but they are not real investigators, they are our instructors, so teaching them is interesting. They are acting, so they pretend that they don´t know us and such, but sometimes it is hard to forget that moment where we laughed in class for 5 minutes straight because of something someone said... In one of my lessons this week, I was speaking in Portugúês and I don´t know if it was something that I said, but he literally started laughing, which made me and my companion laugh and so we couldn´t talk. For the rest of the lesson I couldn´t look at him because he had this smerk on his face, which makes me laugh. So anyway, that is a good time :)
So Thanksgiving- it was pretty much the same as anyother day, but for lunch (the big meal of the day here) they had a Thanksgiving dinner. They had turkey, suffing, potatos, corn, ice cream for dessert and rice and beans because let´s be real, we are still in Brasil :) The food was pretty good, but I still had to have some rice and beans. I am literally addicted. The rest of my district sees there is no rice and beans for a meal and think it is a miracle. I see not rice and beans and get so sad.... What is wrong with me? :) We went around the table with our disrict while we were eating and said what we were thankful for as well, so that was nice. Overall a nice day :)
I have one scripture that I want to share with all of you- it is Mosiah 5:4. You will have to go look it up, but I love how is says they started with faith on this words and from that they recieved great knowledge. I can be hard to trust and have faith, but so great are the rewards and knowledge for those who put their trust in the Lord. I was reading in Mosiah 5 this week and that verse really jumped out at me.
One last thought- so it is kind of a joke in our district that if I eat gluten I wil die. Not get sick, just die. I have told the elders this is not true, but they still say it anyway. So we were sitting for sacarment meeting and we were talking to the elders who were passing the sacarment and we were talking about how our bread needs to be seperate and not touch the others, so they went to get a little cup for it. The elder came back and said `You know, if you die while taking the sacament you go right to the CK (Celestial Kingdom)`. Then my friend who also has celic said `We will get twinkled!` I guess it doesn`t sound that funny, so maybe you had to be there, but it was funny :)
Sorry this email is all over the place! I will try to get better and more organzied for next week. I hope you all have a fabulous week and a great start to December!
I know this gospel is true and that Jesus Christ is my Savior. He died for me and for you, so that we can all live with our Heavenly Father again someday. I am grateful for the power of prayer that allows us to prayer to our Father in Heaven whenever we want and where ever we maybe. I am so grateful for this knowledge to help guide my life and grateful for the opportunity to share it with others.
I love you all!!
Com Amor,
Sister Chilson

Friday, November 22, 2013

Half way there!!

Oi Everyone!!
I can hardly believe that Wednesday was my half way mark of being here in the CTM! 3 weeks down and 3 to go! Time has been flying by here, but if feels like forever since I have been home in New York. This week I had alot of adventures, so I will try to get them all.
Our first real adventure was on Wednesday. We got to go out to the downtown Sao Paulo and give out Book of Mormons like real missionaries! We went with one of our teachers who is super cool. We took a 25 minute bus ride to downtown, spent an hour out in the city talking with people and then we headed back. The way home was the crazy part though. We waited at a bus stop for 15 minutes and the one we needed didn't come, so we went down to what is like a subway, but way nicer than the ones in NYC took a couple of those with some transfers and then got off, and took a bus the rest of the way back. It took about an hour and half to get back. It was so much fun those. It reminded me so much of being in NYC except the transportation is way nicer! If you think the NYC subway system was big, you should try to google and find the Sao Paulo one... it's crazy! Thank goodness we had our teacher with us!
Then yesterday, we went to the police station to turn all of our visa papers in and get registered with in the country. We got there at 8:30 and waited for about 3 hours to get fingerprinted and such. The whole time I was pretty much standing around, but I was hanging out with an elder from Argentina, and elder from Boliva, a girl from Colorado. The life here is so cool! Hanging out with Hispanics and Brazilians and people from all over the United States... I still have to stop myself and remind myself how amazing it is and how blessed I am! Everyone here is so nice- I don't think I have met one person who is not nice. I am so blessed to have this opportunity.
I went to the temple again this morning which was amazing, but it took and hour and 45 minutes to get there... so not the most fun. The driving here... people drive like they do in NYC, except take all of the taxis and make them motorcycles. No one stays in their lane, or stops at the stop signs... I have yet to see an accident though which is amazing. I guess the people know what they are doing, even if I can'e even look out of the windown while I am on the bus :)
Nothing else super amazing happened this week. I am pretty much learning Portuguese, teaching lessons to our "investigators" and eating and sleeping. Life here is so amazing! It still does not feel real to me that I am in Brazil- like in South America! I am beyond blessed to have this opportunity and meet these people.
I don't have alot of time today to write- for which I am sorry, but I just want to say I love all of you! I know this gospel is true and that I am here for a reason. I pray of all of you and hope that you are doing well. I love my Heavenly Father for giving me this opportunity. I know that our Savior Jesus Christ lives and that He will return one day. I am so grateful for the precious gift of prayer that we have. The ability to communicate with our Father in Heaven at anytime and anyplace is an amazing blessing- one that I am coming to realize more and more here with each passing day. I love this gospel and I love each of you! I hope you all have a great week and a Happy Thanksgiving!!
Com Amor,
Sister Chilson

Friday, November 15, 2013

Two Weeks!

Oi from Brasil!!
I hope you are all doing well! Thank you for all of the sweet emails! I read everyone one of them and I will try to respond to as many of them as possible. I am going to try to get better at this whole read all these emails and then write back what happened your entire week in 45 minutes... I will try my best and hopefully I will get better at it as the weeks go by. If you ever have any questions about anything in particular, feel free to ask! I get lost in everything that happens in the week, but I am happy to answer any questions.
So last Friday and today I got to go to the temple which was amazing! I didn't write much about it last week, so I thought I would share more thoughts today. It is absolutely beautiful inside and out (of course- it's a temple). It looks so different from our little Palmyra Temple, but there Spirit here in Sao Paulo is the same. Everyone is so nice and there is such a peace that you can't find anywhere else. Everyone speaks in Portuguese so that's fun, but because I worked in the temple those few weeks I can remember the words, which is so nice! Last week I was really missing not being able to go to the temple because I had gone every week before I came here, and being able to go was so special. I will probably go every week that I am here, but once I get to Maceio, I probably wont be able to go the rest of my mission, but that's okay. I will enjoy it while I can.
Last Friday we also went out on the street of Sao Paulo and shopped around with my district. We went to a couple different stores and I order a leather scripture case from my Portugues triple combinations. It was only 70 realis which is about $35 and I could choose what picture and scripture I wanted on the outside, so I think it is a pretty good deal. I will make sure to take a picture of it once I get it and show it to all of you.
The weekend we did pretty much the same as always (it is funny because Sunday doesn't really feel different from any other day besides that we take the sacrament). I forget to mention last week- I did fast, but here in Brasil they fast from lunch to lunch, because lunch is their biggest meal here, and it sounds really hard, but it was way easier than fasting from dinner to dinner. I may just have to keep that tradition after I get home.
Monday was a rough day for me overall. I woke up feeling okay, but as the day went on I started feeling sick and had a headache and I took medicine which always helps, but for some reason this time it didn't. I counldn't concentrate on Portuguese or teaching. I was just physically, mentally, spiritually, exhausted so when lanche (snack) came around at 9PM Monday night it was no wonder the elders in my district asked if I was okay. I started explaining to them, but then I was like I don't want to complain to you. They were super sweet and said that was what there are here for, but I still felt bad. Then one of the elders in my district asked if I wanted a blessing, which was echoed by the other elders in my district saying they would be happy to give me one. I thought about it and decided that I wanted a blessing. So after planejar, we went to our classroom, I chose and elder to do the annointing and then I had my district leader, Elder Freeman, give me the blessing with the rest of my elders in my district standing in for he blessing. All I have to say is that the power of the priesthood is amazing. It wasn't instant, but I went to sleep and the next morning I still felt a little sick, but it didn't bother me. I could consentrate to much better on learning and my mind was so much clearer. The only blessings I have recieved in the past have been from my dad or from other priesthood holders who were close to me and knew me. It is so amazing to me that, Elder Freeman, and 18 year old who has know me less than two weeks could give me a beautiful blessing that was exactly what I needed and blessed my life so completly. The power of the priesthood is real and my testimony of the priesthood has grown so much. I am so grateful to those wonderful elders in my district who are worthy to use the priesthood power they hold and willing to use it.
After Monday, I had an amazing week. I was filled with the Spirit and although the lanuguage is not coming very fast for me, I am patient and know that Heavenly Father will help me in time- His time. I am so blessed though to have such a loving district. I would read people's emails before my mission and they talked about how they were so close to their district and I never really understood why, but now I do. I love my district! They are like my family here. We laugh together, eat together, learn together, pray together... pretty much we do everything together except the elders sleep in the elders floor and the sisters sleep on the sisters floor. I don't know if I told you about my district last week, but there is me and my companion, Sister Pew, another set of sisters, Sisters Peterson and Dalton and two sets of Elders, Elders Freeman and Bulher (E. Freeman is the DL) and Elders Johnson and Cornando. They are all so amazing and supportive. I love my district and am so glad we have 4 more week together!
I should probably finished this email up. I love you all so much!! I pray for you every day and think abou New York all the time. My companion and I were studying faith this week and working on strengthening our faith in each other, ourselves and the Lord and we read some amazing scriptures that I thought I would share with all of you. Hebrews 11 and Ether 12. They are amazing chapters and you should definately read them. One of my favorite verses is verse 25 in Hebrews and the last verse in Heb 11.
I love this gospel and am so blessed. I was watching out the window as we drove to the temple this morning and I was wondering how I was so blessed with this amazing life. I was a little diappointed when I found out I wasn't going to Europe on my mission, but not I can't imagine not coming to Brasil. I love the people- they are so happy!! I love this city and am so excited to see where this journey takes me. I know that Heavenly Father loves each on of us and knows each of us by name. If you reach out to Him, He is right there waiting for you- I can promise you that. I have felt His hand in my life and the tender mercies He blesses me with and I am so grateful for each one of them. I love this gospel wih all my heart and I love each of you.
Com amor,
Sister Chilson

Friday, November 8, 2013

My First P-Day!

Oi Everyone!!
I finally have my first P-day and I am so excited to finally be able to tell you all about what life as been like here in Sao Paulo! I will try to write as much as I can and forgive all of the spelling mistakes because I am probably not going to have time to re read this. First off, the weather is beautiful here! It is a comfortable temperature and the sun shines. We had a couple of days where is was raining, but it wasn't really raining, but more than a drizzle... somewhere in between there. Anyway, beautiful! I miss the snow though already. It does not seem like November at all.
So it was crazy getting here. I will start at the beginning of my trravels I got the the airport on Tuesday October 29th, got through security and was waiting for my flight to Detroit. Everything seemed fine, we all got on the plane and were waiting to take off when the piolet said there was a mechanical problem and they didn't know when the team was going to be able to come and fix it, so they got us all of the plane and back to the gate. We waited for a while and finally were told that the fight would not leave earlier than 7 that night, so that would mean I would miss my flight. I asked to see what other flights were available and there were two options, one for me to go on stand by on a flight that would get be to Detroit on time and my second option was the airport would get me a taxi and drive me to the Buffalo airport for a flight that I could 100 percent have a seat on. I decided on the stand by flight and ended up not making the flight. At that point it was about 6 at night, so I called my family and slept my (real) last night at home. The next morning I left Rochester at about 11 for a flight to Altanta and then from Atlanta to Sao Paulo at about 730 that night. getting in to Sao Paulo at about 7 (Sao Paulo time) on October 31st. Those flights worked out great and I called the Church Travel office, so they knew I would be coming later and so there would be someone waiting for me at the airport.
I got to the CTM (MTC in Portuguese) and got started right away. Everyone speaks Portugese to you and when you just got off of a 9 hour flight and know no Portugese, it doesn't work so well, but anyway, I made it through, met my companion, Sister Pew (she is American) and my district. There are two other sisters and four other elders in my district. Our whole district is American and our whole Zone is American as well, so that is nice.
Everyday is pretty much the same here. I can usually be found doing three different things- studying, eating and sleeping. That is pretty much all we do everyday, but I have amazing teachers (all Brazilian) and they are all so patient. We starting teacher our first investigator our third (my second) day here all in Portugese. I was a little lost in the beginning, but the Lord really does bless His people. I have been coming along better with Portuguese. I can understand most of what people say (as long as they speak slowly), but speaking it is what is really hard for me. I can read it pretty well (I may not pronounce everything correctly...) but coming up with the works to say on my own right on the spot is really hard. I know that it will take time though. I have to keep reminding myself that I have only known Portuguese for a week and that it will come with time.
I love being here in the CTM. It is so cool to have Brazilian teachers, Brazilian roomates and eat meals with people who speak English, Portugese and Spanish. I love being in the culture here and everyday I am so thankful that Heavenly Father allowed me the opportunity to come to the MTC here in Brazil rather than the Provo MTC. I really am forced to learn the lanuguage here and I want so badly to be able to speak with people, so it is a good motivater.
The food here is so good! This may sound crazy, but I love the rice and beans! We have them at lunch and dinner and I can't wait to have them. Another thing I am already addicted to- the juice. They have the most amazing juice in the world!! My favorite right now are mango and passion fruit. It is going to be a very sad day when I cannot have the juice here anymore. Also - Tyler, if you are reading this, the juice machines are still in the CTM and holy cow you were right they are so good! I understand why you miss it so much! That is going to be me in 18 months!
Being gluten free here is not too bad. Mostly I just have to use my best judgement with what I eat, but you would never guess, the only other person with celiac in the CTM is in my district, so we stick together at meals. I was able to have the sacrament on Sunday. It tasted like a cookie, but it was the only gluten free bread item they could find, so I will deal with it.
Going along with the meals, you don't have to worry about my food going to waste here. If I decided that I shouldn't eat something or I don't like something, just mention it to the elders and they will eat it all and they eat it right off of my plate. Some things never change... haha.
I was also able to go the the Sao Paulo temple today and it was amazing! If you get a chance, you should google a picture of the temple- it is absolutely gorgeous!!
It is so hard to remember the last 10 days and think if I forgot anything. The days really feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. I never really understood, but boy is it true!! Just a few final thoughts- we watched a video in one of my classes about being missionaries and it had some parts of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in it and he was taking about how everything that I want my investigators to do, I need to do to. When I ask them to read the scriptures, He wants me to read the scriptures and when I ask my investigators to pray more, He wants me to pray more. That just really hit me. I know that I am not perfect, but I need to be bettering myself all the time as well.
I also had an interview with the branch president (everyone in my zion did, not just me) and he told me that I was called to Brazil for a reason and maybe that reason was that in the premortal life I had friends in heaven and some of them I know now, and live in the in states, but maybe some of my friends that I had there are Brazilian and in Maceio. That thought that I am going to meet some of my old friends makes me so happy and excited to get to Maceio.
Well, that it all I pretty much have time for. Thanks to everyone who wrote me emails, wrote me and is praying for me. You are all in my prayers as well.
I know this Church is true and that the Savior lives. I am coming to know him more and more and I am loving every minute. I am so excited for the opportunites that await me. I love the people of Brazil already and cannot wait to serve them.
Com amor,
Sister Chilson