Eu estou no Brazil agora! Que estranho! Estou triste para sair minha missáo no Tenessee mas eu sé que eu estou onde O Senhor quer me estar.
Before I left on Monday, I had an interview with President Andersen at the Mission Office. Just like he told me he would when I got to TN, he asked me why Heavenly Father had sent me to the TNM before Brazil. I told him that, although I hoped I touched hearts and changed lives in TN, I believe that Heavenly Father sent me to TN mainly for me. It was here in the Bible Belt that my testimony was repeatedly tested and tried. It was here that I was forced to renew and expand my testimony. It was here that I realized how strong my testimony really is. As President told me in an email when I expressed concern, "You never know how strong the anchor is until the storm hits." I truly know this to be true.
Heavenly Father needed to prepare me. That is why He called me to serve in the Tennessee Mission for three months. He needs me to have a strong testimony and He needs me to have confidence in my testimony, so that when I meet the people of Brazil I can boldly testify to them with more confidence that I have ever had before that I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true restored church of Christ upon this earth, that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and that The Book of Mormon is a true testament of Christ that will bring you closer to God and teach you the way to follow the example of our Savior Jesus Christ so that we can one day return to live with our loving Father in Heaven again.
On my journey to Brasil I got a total of 5 lessons, 2 more than I hoped for (two in Portuguese and one in Spanglish). I was able to give out 2 Book of Mormons, 2 Portuguese pamphlets, and 1 pass along card (3 airport and 2 airplane lessons). Que Ultimo! also met Elder Anderson, who was in my MTC district, at the Sao Paolo airport and we flew to Natal with two other Elders. Que Legao!
When I arrived in Brazil, the first thing I noticed was how hot it was! My companion, Sister Acosta, who is from Rio Grande de Sol in Brazil says that my skin will be vermelho soon - I've seen her farmer's tan, so I don't doubt it. I put a bunch of sunscreen on today and you can already distinctly see the line on my skin where my shoe strap covers my foot. Primeiro Dia. Yikes! I've also noticed that there is only one knob in the shower (for cold water). It works for me. And you really don't need any blankets here at night. I have a sheet blanket and didn't really use it last night.
I have met muitos Elders and Sisters (Elderes e Sisteres in Portuguese) and every time I say, "Eu sou da China," I get, "Em Sério!" They all want me to teach them Chinês.
Yesterday, I met with President and Sister Soares. They are wonderful! We had dinner at their house and for dessert we had açai berry ice cream (pronounced ah-sah-ee) with peanuts, granola, milk powder, and condensed milk. It was pretty good.
I have been called to serve in Sousa, which is supposedly the hottest area in the mission and is 8 hours from the mission office (I'm going there tomorrow via bus).