Saturday, August 24, 2013

MTC (Missionary Training Center) Week 9, almost (August 24, 2013)

I'M GOING TO BRAZIL!!!! The doc cleared me to leave yesterday, completely out of nowhere! It's UM GRANDE milagre!! So I've been preparing to leave all day today and talking to the district president yesterday about setting things up for me to go. I still don't know when I'm going... We're waiting to hear back from my mission president in Santa Maria, I think. But it's soon, and I'm SO EXCITED! I could leave as soon as Monday, probably not much later than that because I'm sure they're anxious to have me there and not make me stay at the MTC any longer. I cannot express my joy in words. I'm so grateful to be on my way finally!!! After saying goodbye to two amazing districts, I wasn't looking forward to doing it a third time, but at last the time has come that everyone else has to say goodbye to me! Ha!

Thank you everyone SO MUCH for your prayers, they have brought about a huge miracle!! I can't wait to get to Santa Maria and meet all the people and eat their food and speak Portuguese and work hard and share the gospel!!! TUDO BEM!

Muito muito muitomuitomuito amor,

Sister Gold

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

MTC (Missionary Training Center) Week 8 (August 20, 2013)

Ola amigos!!!

Looks like I've finished up another week here at the MTC already! The last two weeks seem to have flown by when I look back at them... I had to say goodbye to almost all of District H -- my second family here at the MTC -- early Monday and Tuesday morning. It's been hard, because we got so close in these last two weeks. It's a blessing though to be able to grow to love so many amazing people! I keep joking that I'm going to have a LOT of friends once I finally get back to BYU because of all the extra time I've spent here. Today is my last day with the only remaining member of my district, Sister Matheson, before she leaves tomorrow morning for LA and I switch to another district. I'm grateful for the time I get to spend with her. She's great!

So I'll give you a quick run-down of my week. Lots of awesome things happened since I last wrote! Last Tuesday night, Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (!!!!!!! SO EXCITING!!!) spoke to us at devotional, and his talk was FANTASTIC!! It was an amazing experience. I felt the Spirit so strongly when he entered the room. I have such a testimony that there is a living prophet and apostles on the earth today, and that they are witnesses of Jesus Christ.
On Wednesday we got to host new missionaries, and that was lots of fun!! We basically met them at the curb where they get dropped off, helped them take their luggage to their room and get all their books and things, and then took them to their classrooms. It was really neat though. I kind of got to relive my first day, which helped jog my memory about a lot of things that I was too tired and overwhelmed to remember in the moment. Lots of fun. :)
On Thursday I went to in-field orientation for the second time. It was basically about 8 straight hours of classes and lectures about how to be good missionaries in the field. So fun. I'm looking forward to round three next week!
Also on Thursday my district got their reassignments! That was so exciting! Four of our elders are now in Gilbert, Arizona. One is in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the other is in Houston, Texas. One sister is in Cleveland, Ohio (YEAH OHIO!!!), one is going to Los Angeles tomorrow, and my companions Sister Colvin and Tingey are now in Rapid City, South Dakota, and Tacoma, Washington.
Friday was rough because I received some not so happy news about my foot... I'll be here for another two weeks at least. It's hard getting left behind when I want to be in Brazil so badly, but I know there's a reason for it, and I'm just praying for patience and opportunities to serve here. My whole district was so supportive and helped me feel so much better though. I miss them a lot, they're all such great people!!
On Saturday the district had its last gym time together, and afterwards we all stayed outside to talk and spend time together before going back to our rooms to pack. As we were standing around outside, it started POURING. So naturally we all took the opportunity to dance and splash in puddles like little kids. It was the closest thing to swimming any of us are going to do for the next 18-24 months... It was definitely the highlight of my week though.
Sunday was a fun day too! I was randomly called up to give a talk during sacrament meeting. Every week they call on two random missionaries, almost always from one of the departing districts, to give a 3-minute talk in Portuguese. The first week we got here, they gave us a schedule of the topics and told us that every week we should prepare a talk about the topic for that Sunday, in case we were called on to speak. Well guess who didn't prepare a talk for the first time since she got here. Yep, me. It went fine though, and a lot of people told me it was really good (probably because they were impressed that I didn't take any notes up with me... but that was only because I didn't have ANYTHING prepared). It was a fun experience though. :) Also on Sunday my district went to the departure devotional (second time for me) and my amazingly talented companion Sister Colvin and her brother, who is also going to Brazil and arrived at the MTC the same time as his sister, performed a piano duet as the special musical number! It was super great.

Anyway, that's most of the exciting stuff that happened to me this week! I go back to the doctor on Friday to hopefully get a little clearer of an idea of how long I'll be here. Hopefully all goes well!

Tchau tchau!!
Sister Gold

Me, Sister Colvin, and Sister Tingey after getting drenched by rainInline image 1Inline image 2
Awesome picture of the sisters in District H taken on Sister Matheson's FREAKING SWEET polaroid camera! This picture doesn't do the real picture justice though.
From left to right: Sister Matheson, Colvin, Warden, Tingey, and Gold

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

MTC (Missionary Training Center) Week 7 (August 13, 2013)

Oi, tudo bem??

Well, I've been at the MTC seven weeks now! One week longer than I was supposed to be here. I had to switch districts, and that was pretty hard because I was so close with my old district, but my new one is awesome. And I love my new tripanionship! Sister Tingey and Sister Colvin are awesome (see attached pictures), and they're great missionaries. I've learned a lot during this last week here, so I'm grateful for all the skills I've been able to develop that I'll get to use in my work in Brazil!! I'm so excited to get there!!!!

Please keep me in your prayers these next few days as I go to the doctor on Friday to see if I'm all set to leave the country! I am so ready to get to Brazil and teach people there! I want to be there so badly right now! The MTC is great, but I'm not sure how many more times I'd be able to handle switching districts and repeating the same lessons I had my last two weeks...

So some exciting news: I got to go to the temple today!! The Provo temple has been closed for construction since a few days before I got here, and it finally opened last Monday, so my district got to go today! It was awesome. I love the temple so much. It's definitely the greatest place on earth.
Tchau tchau!

Tudo meu amor,
Sister GoldInline image 2Inline image 1

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

MTC (Missionary Training Center) Week 6 (August 6, 2013)

Oi tudo mundo!!
This week had been fantastic, as always!! It was a very exciting and eventful week! On Friday my district received their reassignments, because no one except me has gotten their visas yet. Sister Tillman was the first to leave early Saturday morning for Scottsdale, Arizona! On Monday evening Elders Bigler and 'Iongi left for Milwaukee, Wisconson. After them, Elders Smith and Richardson left for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the same time that Elder Null left for Redlands, California at 2:30 this morning. At 3:30, Elder Orr left for Philadelphia as well (we're not sure why he wasn't on the same flight as the other elders), and at 4:30 Elders Mackay and Gengler left for Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Fort Worth, Texas. We all got up ten minutes before each group left to say goodbye and walk them over to the bus stop. It was a pretty tear-jerking experience. It's so sad to say goodbye to my district! Today Elder Seaman will be leaving for Provo, Utah (his trip won't be very long) at 4:30, and Sisters Tayor and Christensen will leave for San Jose, California at 2:30 tomorrow morning. And then it'll just be me. I'll be joining a new district tonight, so that'll be good. I already miss my district so much though! We got incredibly close over these last six weeks! Goodbyes have got to be one of the most difficult parts of being a missionary, I'm starting to realize...

Anyway though, I don't want to make this whole letter sad, because I really had an awesome week! On Sunday night we had a really special devotional by Jenny Oaks Baker, a well-known violinist, who played several songs for us with brief spiritual thoughts between them. She talked about seeking after spiritual gifts, and how they have to be used to serve the Lord. I loved it. My favorite part was when her four kids came up and played I Am a Child of God, with her 12-year-old daughter on violin, her 10-year-old daugher on piano, her 8-year-old daughter on the cello, and her 6-year-old son playing the classical guitar. It was SO precious! And they were very talented.
Another fun thing that happened this week was Twin Tursday! Sister Taylor, being the best and most hilarious companion ever, decided to wear my extra boot and use my other crutch and be twins with me for a day! It was pretty comical. And then the next day we celebrated Free Bin Friday, where all the sisters wore one article of clothing we found in the free bin in our hall (which is basically just a bucket where sisters can put things like clothes or shampoo or food that they don't want or they can't fit in their suitcases). It was awesome. Sunday was fast and testimony meeting, and our district got to perform a special musical number because we're leaving this week (most of us, anyway), and that was so awesome! We sang Careco de Jesus (I Need Thee Every Hour), and it was otimo!! Then testimony meeting was great too. I love how strong I feel the Spirit here. It's amazing.

So in conclusion, this week has been really hard in some ways, really hilarious in others, and as always, really rewarding. That's missionary life for you!
Eu amo voces muito muito muito! Obrigada por tudo! Tchao!

Sister Gold