Monday, October 21, 2013

Highights from Briana's Snail Mail

September 9, 2013

"Miracle #1 - Switching from my NY flight to Atlanta, I forgot my scriptures on the plane. When I first talked to the check-in lady, she said I'd have to call the airport lost and found and I thought my scriptures were gone forever. When I told her it was by Bible, she became super sympathetic, made some calls, and found out that my scriptures had been found and were being held at my last gate. It was only when I retrieved them that I remembered I'd put my brand spankin new waterproof, shock proof, freeze proof camera in my scripture case thinking I would never forget those. I swear, if I'd lost another camera..."
"Miracle #3 - I love everyone that came out with me. Four elders on my flight from Atlanta and then met up with 6 more at the mission home. Three from Argentina, one from Chile, and 1 from Portugal and 3 other sisters, 2 from Brazil and one from Argentina. Everyone was so nice and funny. With three different languages we found some pretty ridiculous ways to communicate."
"All the old people love to kiss my face and say "muita bonita" over and over again. I just stand there and smile while my companion does most of the teaching, and in the middle of it, the investigator will look over at me and mutter "muita bonita" again. It's so funny. At church I had all these people come up to me, saying what I found out later was "welcome" and rubbing my arms and kissing my face. People are so touchy feely, lovey dovey here. All the attention would probably go to my head if not for the whole language humbling experience which brings it all back to reality. If I can love the people this much already, imagine how much I'll love them when I can actually communicate!"
September 23, 2013
"One of the things I really love is the food. We have variations of the same meal everyday for lunch - rice, beans, sometimes noodles, and the wealthier families have pork, carrots and potatoes and some kind of salad. I do love the equivalent of a pot roast everyday for lunch. So many carbs though! We often get plates of bolo (cake). It's awesome. There's this man who owns a bread shop and I guess he really likes me. He scrounged up an English book so he could learn how to say "how are you" and brings me free bread everyday when we walk by."
"This is the most humbling experience I've ever had to totally rely on the Lord that everything will be okay because you can't do anything more. I was pretty depressed about all of this when one day last week, Elder Baldwin (ZL) gave me some pretty good advice. He said he knows how I feel, he went through a similar thing but that even if Sis Pereira and I were the best teachers and missionaries, it wouldn't mean anything if we didn't love one another because the spirit wouldn't be with us. I have a testimony of this. Elder B advised me to just put all the things I wanted to do better in a "box" for right now, focus on learning the language and loving my companion, and then when I that missionary I'm wanting to be right now. So I've been trying to do that."

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