Tuesday, July 30, 2013

MTC (Missionary Training Center) Week 5 (July 30, 2013)

Hey everyone!

Big news! I GOT MY VISA!!! Just a few hours ago!! I'm supposed to leave Monday morning at 7:30 AM, leave Salt Lake at 11:10, arrive in Detroit at 4:38 PM, leave for Sau Paulo at 7:45, arrive at 7:20 AM the next day, leave at 2:35 PM and arrive in Porto Alegre at 4:20 PM. Then probably take a bus to Santa Maria from there. Looooong trip, but I'm SO EXCITED!!! I have two doctor's appointments this Thursday and Friday so by Friday I will know if I can leave for Brazil this week or not. Hopefully all is well and I'll be able to go, but there's a chance I'll have to reschedule my flight and stay here at the MTC an extra week or two to heal. Keep me in your prayers! I know they've helped me a lot!
This week has been pretty fantastic! Every day I keep thinking "There's no way tomorrow can be better than today," and then it IS better! Last Friday we got to Skype with a Brazilian named Paulo, and that was really cool. It was hard to understand him because of the connection, but I was relieved that when I could hear him well enough, I could understand the words he was saying. It's unbelievable how much I've learned since I got here! Just awesome. So on Saturday night my teacher Irma Petitta got engaged!! We were so excited for her! She told us all about it on Monday, and we told her we had been praying for her that weekend, since we all kind of suspected it would happen. She laughed when we told her that. Sunday was interesting. There have been some protesters outside the temple every Sunday for the past few weeks when we've gone on our temple walk, but last Sunday, one of them tried to heal me. It was a bit uncomfortable, but an interesting experience for sure. I felt awkward because this random man came up to me, put his hand on my shoulder, and then started praying while staring directly into my eyes. I wasn't sure how to respond, so after about 15 seconds I just apologized and started walking away. Yikes... Monday was awesome because it was MIDDLE PART MONDAY!!! We all parted our hair in the middle, and we even got our teachers to do it with us! The elders looked so hilarious. It brought joy to my heart just to look around the room during class. So awesome. And then today I got my visa!! CRAZY WEEK! I love it!!! Being a missionary is the best, most fun experience of my life!!
I'll let you know what's going on with my foot after I see the doctor this week. Thanks for all your prayers and support! I love you all so much! A igreja e verdadeiro!! :D
Com moito amor,
Sister Gold

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

MTC (Missionary Training Center) Week 4 (July 23, 2013)

Ola tudo mundo!

This week has been eventful! We got to go to the TRC for the second time on Friday, and that was a lot of fun. Then after that I went to the health center for the third time to see a doctor about my foot, which has been irritating me since the day I got to the MTC. They decided to send me to a pediatrist, so Sister Taylor and I got to take a field trip to the real world! It was really cool. While we were waiting at the doctor, we started talking to this woman named Marilyn who is a member but isn't quite sure how she feels about the Book of Mormon and what happens after this life at this point, so we got to do some REAL MISSIONARY WORK! It was awesome!!! Plus being able to talk about the gospel with someone in English was fantastic as well. So shortly after that fun experience I found out my toe is broken! I now have a fun boot that I get to wear at all times, and a smaller one to wear to bed for the next six to ten weeks until my foot heals. I'm not sure what impact this is going to have on my mission, but I'm going to continue seeing doctors about it until I know exactly what's going on, so I'll keep you guys updated! I'm super excited for this Friday because we get to Skype with REAL BRAZILIANS!! Woohoo! It'll be so fun! Wish me luck!

I love you guys! Ate mais!
Sister Gold

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

MTC (Missionary Training Center) Week 3 (July 16, 2013)

Oi amigos!

This week has been super packed and at the same time feels like it's flown by! On Wednesday, our district had our first "Solmente em Portuges Dia" (Only in Portuguese Day) where we tried to speak Portuguese for the whole day. It went better than expected for the first six or so hours! It was kind of difficult, but really fun! Cracking jokes is always ten times funnier when you can figure out how to do it in a foreign language! ;) On Friday we got to go to the TRC for the first time! That's the place where they have random volunteers come in and sit in a room with us so we can get to know them and teach them a 20-ish minute lesson. We were pretty nervous going into it, but I'm pretty sure everyone in my district had a great experience! Sister Taylor and I love it! We are so proud of how far we've come with our Portuguese!! We definitely know God's been helping us out along the way. There's no way any normal person could learn this much in three weeks... Things are going great with our other investigators too. Our two teachers, Irma Petita and Irmao Messias have been playing the part of different investigators for each companionship in our district for a little over a week now and the two characters Sister Taylor and I are working with, Geraldo and Edineia, are awesome! I love practicing teaching. It's my favorite way to learn. Preparing a lesson based on my investigators needs helps me get so much more out of everything I study because I get to apply everything!

Anyway, I can't believe I'm half way done with my time here! Time has really started to fly by! I'm already almost a month into my mission!! Oh yeah, and some pretty exciting news! A few more people around here have been getting their visas! At least one or two of them went through the DC consulate like me! Two of them were in their last week at the MTC, so they just stayed until the end of their six weeks and then went to Brazil. A couple more were in their first or second week and are already gone! Crazy! I can't wait to get down there and get to work!! :)

Tchao tchao for now!
Sister Gold

P.S. The first picture is of me on Solmente em Portuguese Dia wearing the colors of Brasil! The elder who took the picture told me it looked like I only had half an arm when I stood like that...

The second picture is of me "snailing" in the hallway outside our room during personal physical exercise. It's pretty fun. Everyone should try it. In Portuguese, we call it "modo de caracol" or "snail mode." ;)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

MTC (Missionary Training Center) Week 2 (July 9, 2013)

Oi amigos!!!

It has been a fine week here at the MTC! The fourth of July was awesome! We had a special devotional where we got to watch the movie 17 Miracles (great movie by the way!). It's all about a handcart company of early Saints who traveled west to Zion, and all their stories are true! Watch it if you haven't seen it yet! Then after that we all went outside and got ice cream bars and got to watch the nearby fireworks show!! So fun! We also got some new investigators this week that we're going to start teaching tomorrow and Thursday. Should be exciting! The teachers here are so good at role-playing the part of investigators, because they use real stories of people they taught while on their missions. It makes it feel so real! I love it. :) I can't wait to get out there and start teaching! I feel much more confident in my ability to teach in Portuguese! I love getting to practice teaching investigators or other missionaries and stretch myself to be able to ask the questions and give the responses I want to say in the moment. It's a lot more fun than it should be!

So a few of us in our district last week adopted a pretty fun way to stay entertained with all the stress and studying that we've got going on here at the MTC. It's called Spooning. What we do is sneak a few spoons out of the cafeteria during meal time, and throughout the rest of the day try to slip them into random people's pockets without them noticing. It sounds dumb, because it is pretty dumb, but we do whatever we can to stay entertained. :) So that went on for a few days, but we decided collectively that it was becoming a bit too much of a distraction, and was a rather irreverent activity for missionaries to be doing. ;) Anyway, thought you'd all get a kick out of that!

I hope everyone's doing well! I miss everyone a lot! Tchao until next week!!

Love, Sister Gold

P.S. I love letters!!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

MTC (Missionary Training Center) Week 1 (July 2, 2013)

Ola everyone! Como vais?! Tudo bem?

It's the end of week 1 here at the Provo MTC and I have to say... It rocks!!! Things here are so crazy but so spiritual and awesome! It's like all the best parts of EFY x 1000, and I get to be here for SIX WEEKS! It's going to be awesome. Just awesome.

My first day was totally overwhelming because they basically just took me to my room so I could put my stuff down and then took me to a classroom where my teacher spoke only Portuguese to us for about 3 hours. I'll be honest... I started wondering what I had gotten myself into. HOWEVER, Portuguese is coming so quickly! I've never learned so much so fast, and I just keep learning more every day! We practiced teaching our first lesson to an investigator named Joao (Portuguese for John) on Friday, and that really got us motivated to start teaching ourselves the language!! It's pretty frustrating when you really want to say something that you think could really help someone but you have NO IDEA HOW! Haha, but oh well. Tudo bem!

A couple of things I love here at the MTC: The BYU chocolate milk. So delicious. Mmmm.... Also, my district. They are the best! Everyone is so funny and lively and unique and awesome! It feels like we're a family! I can't imagine our district without any of them! There are 13 of us. Elders Smith (district leader whose companion never showed up... Yikes), Mackey, Richardsen, 'Iongi (he's Tongan, but from Portland, Oregon. People always ask him that...), Bigler, Null, Orr (who is going to my mission, Santa Maria! Once we get our visas...), Gangler, and Seaman. Then there are Sisters Tillman, Christensen, and Taylor (my awesome companion from Texas who I love a ton!!!). All three of them live in my room with me, and they're the best! And then there's me! Another thing I love: choir! It is so awesome here! So powerful... We get to perform a song for the devotional tonight! I'm so excited! I also love the teachers and devotionals and workshops and speakers. They're just way awesome and I'm learning so much! My zone is amazing. There are a couple of people I know from BYU in it! Fun stuff.
Anyway, it's about time for me to go! Take care! Talk to you soon!

Tchao tchao!

<3 Sister Gold