Dates Serving

Serving November 2014 to May 2016. This is a collection of letters e-mailed home from Sister Berry.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Up Above the Mango Tree

The CTM here is so different from the Provo MTC. Everything is so different yet the same. The weather right now is actually super nice. It’s a little humid but only about 25 degrees Celsius (whatever that is lol). I'm in a trio companionship with the 2 sisters from my district and I love it. The sad thing is we got split up from the elders in our Provo district and we miss them. Our new Elders are very...different. They have a hard time focusing sometimes but they're getting better every day.  We still miss our old district. Provo was really awesome.

There's no air conditioning in our rooms! It’s not too bad yet, I really hope it doesn't get any hotter. So far it’s been okay. We're on the 4th story which is pretty cool. All you can see from our window is endless building and trees. It’s super cool. Also, at night we can hear music playing super loud from a party or something.

The Brazilians here are super cool but they talk soooo fast!! It's so hard to understand them and we always have to ask them to talk slower. Everyone here speaks Portuguese, and hardly any English. It is way hard. NOW IT JUST GOT REAL. Our teachers are super strict about us ONLY speaking Portuguese and NOOO English. One of our teachers gets so mad if he hears ANY English. He is just super intense. He is just a little tiny buff Brazilian with "crazy eyes.” Hopefully I’ll be fluent by the time I leave, but probably not.

Everyone here is so small!! Like really! All the elders, sisters, teachers. We have a sister from Rio De Janeiro and one from Honduras (Spanish speaking learning Portuguese) and the first thing they told us was “Muito alta! Muito grande!” We are all really tall anyway so it just makes it worse. The sisters in our room are super awesome! My last name is a problem though. The one from Rio always sings "Perry" (from Perry the Platypus I think?) when she sees me so that’s interesting. Also, the one from Honduras is always like "Katy Perry" or they'll say, "'very' good?" I'm just like: “nao, diferente! very different!” but it’s awesome. Oh, and when I first introduced myself to our teacher the first day he said "like...straw-berry?" He never speaks English so it was funny. All the Brazilians say Berry and not Behee so that’s weird.  Maybe because they know I’m American but I don't mind. ;)

The food is super good! They really do have rice and beans for every meal (except breakfast) and it is soooo good! They know how to make some good beans. We have had some interesting stuff, but I've been able to eat everything. The desserts here are super sketchy though. They’re just gross. Very different. They also have a lot of different juice (like A LOT) and the famous Guarana (sounds like guad-A-na) which is actually super delicious. I still think I like root beer better though, but I don’t think they have it here.

I can't believe I’m in Brazil!! I’ll look out the window and say to myself, that’s Brazil, because I still can't believe it. Beth!! There is a MANGO tree right outside our classroom window! Totally made me think of you and your mission. I love you. and Dad, our new district says Bom dia (good morning) all day, any time,  and it totally made me think of you and how you say 'mornin' all the time. I love you.

Alright, not going to lie, it was a tough week. Learning Portuguese is hard. It is so hard being around people that only speak Portuguese and you don’t know how to speak it fully. I have been focusing my personal study on faith, which has helped me a lot. Our professor told us that in order to learn Portuguese we have to speak it, have faith, and have the Holy Ghost with us always. I studied Ether 12 (which my BoM teacher at BYU called "faith's greatest hits") and I found some awesome stuff. to keep it short ether 12:27 starts out by saying "and if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness..." I have really come closer to Christ these past 3 weeks, and I have really been shown my weaknesses. it is alright to have weakness. It is necessary. Then it says "for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, and then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Portuguese is my weakness. I just decided to humble myself and put it in God's hands. I have decided to allow God to speak through me. That through me I might bring souls to repentance and testify of truth. I can’t speak perfect Portuguese. But with my Heavenly Father’s help I’ll be able to teach the people what I know to be true. I also love Alma 26:12 "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in His strength I can do all things". I just love it. I love the Book of Mormon. I know that if you read it, it will change your life for the better.

Another thing I loved this week was the poem "be strong! we're not here to play, to dream, to drift/ we have things to do and loads to lift/ shun not the struggle, face it! t'is Gods gift."
We all have to sing in the choir here and I really love it. We sang a song called Fe a Cada Passo (faith in each step) not sure if we have it in English but it is REALLY good. I loved singing it. I don't even understand all that I am singing but I can feel Gods love in it. The chorus was amazing "com fe a cada passo, seguimos ao Senhor; cantamos a uma voz, com esperanca em Seu amor." Google translate it because it’s awesome. I also read the Miracle of a Mission by Jeffrey R Holland. LOVE It!! I wish I had more time to tell you about it! Alright I’m out of time :( I love you all and miss you like crazy! Be safe, read the Book of Mormon, pray about it, go to church, you know the drill ;)

"Eu gosto muito de voces." -Irmao Jacques (intimidating little Brazilian) Love ya!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Brazil is Legit

{Received November 19th}
I'm in Brazil. I am excited but you can't tell because I don't know how to do an exclamation point on this Brazilian keyboard. I don't know how to capitalize anything so I'm sorry. Hopefully I'll figure it out soon.
Anyway. Brazil is legit. The plane ride was okay. I sat next to an Elder so no cool Brazilian stories or anything. Oh, I'm sorry about the call to Beth and Kelley. {Side note: Kenzie called her mother from the SLC airport and talked for 40 minutes. She called her Aunts from a stranger's cell phone for 3 minutes- she didn't say much but she did have some tears.}  I was just expecting the whole way to Atlanta to call home  and then none of the lines and lines of payphones worked. I just wanted to talk to you all longer and I was just super disappointed. 
I am excited to be here!!!!!! (hahaha I figured out the exclamation points. Yaaaay!!!) The weather is actually super nice right now, not too bad, although it is the morning. 11:14 is the time here. I barely slept but I'm feeling good now, I'll probably feel different later. So I am safe and doing well! I don't know anything else at this point but I think I  can keep you updated. I love you all soooo much!
ate logo!

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane

(This was originally sent on Monday, November 17th)

Óla Familia e Amigos!

How are you all doing? Things are going really amazing here!! And just in case you don't know: my visa came in and I'm going to BRAZIL!! I'm stressing out a little bit but I am so excited to get to Brazil. Six others in my district are leaving tomorrow as well so I won't be alone. I'm going miss my district so much!! Three missionaries are staying here in Provo and it is so sad! We have seriously grown so close here, we are really a family. Yesterday we had a testimony meeting with just our district and it was so powerful. Everyone is so different and has something different to contribute to this amazing work. I'm so grateful that I was put in the BEST district in the whole MTC!! 

I'm grateful that I was able to go to the Provo temple this week! It is so beautiful and I love it!! 
It is so FREEZING here! It snowed last week and has just been super cold ever since then. When I first got here it was perfect and my companion and I used to study outside and it was awesome. Now we practically run from building to building trying to stay warm. So yeah,  I'm a little excited to get out of this cold and move into the heat. Well, not that excited for the humidity, but what can ya do? I'm just excited to get to Brazil! Who cares if I sweat all day or my hair looks horrible --its BRAZIL! I am scared about speaking the language a bit but I know that if I work hard and keep practicing I'll get it eventually. 

Not much new stuff has happened here. Basically we sit in a classroom ALL day and study, study, study and we eat meals in between. We finished teaching our first investigator and it was amazing. I learned so much from teaching him and he told us a lot of stuff about Brazil. True, at the time it was really intimidating to teach him everything in Portuguese but when we taught him with the Holy Ghost hand in hand, it was amazing. Afterwards he shared with us about how he felt about us teaching him and it just felt great. He said that the first lesson was the best because even though we didn't know a lot of Portuguese, we relied on the Spirit, and that was what made it amazing. It was a real testimony builder for me. It doesn't matter how much Portuguese you know, what matters is if you have the Spirit with you when you're teaching.
Another thing I love about the MTC is all the musical numbers. Before every meeting someone or a group of people sing a hymn or church arrangement and they are always beautiful. Someone yesterday sang a Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief and sang the last verse in the tune of I Know that My Redeemer Lives and it was AMAZING!! The way he sang it was so powerful and I just love it. Love everyone because "when ye are in the service of your fellowmen ye are also in the service of your God."

I gave a mini talk on Sunday. They just call an Elder and a Sister right in the middle of Sacrament meeting and they called ME. It's supposed to be really short though so it was super easy. And I was allowed to give it in English (when if you're here for longer you have to do it in Portuguese). It was about Faith in Jesus Christ and the Atonement. Mostly I used the talk "Faith in Jesus Christ" by Gene Cooks. Look it up its awesome :)

Alright, I still have to pack for Brazil so I’ve got to go! I love you all and I would love to get some more emails in the Brazil CTM ;) 

Tchau Tchau!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Provo MTC!

Oi!!! How are you all?!
I'm at the MTC in Provo!!! I love it! It is so amazing here and everyone is so nice! So I guess I'll start from the beginning. I met an Elder at the airport so that was nice because he knew what he was doing. I would have been lost without him-- literally haha.
We got to the MTC they gave us our books and we went to class. And oh my goodness can I just say THANK YOU BROTHER ASTON!!! Our teacher has only spoken to us in Portuguese since the minute we got here and it has been SUCH a blessing to understand what he says to us. Some of the other missionaries were stressing out, as I would have been, but I have just been so grateful that I know some Portuguese. I actually know a lot more than I thought I did. I understand pretty much everything our teacher says, at least the gist of it, really well. He does talk really slow though,  so it's probably gonna be a different story in Brazil. But yeah this last week has just been review for me. We've just learned how to pray, bear our testimonies, meet and greet, ser and estar, and thats about it. So Brother Aston you are like my favorite person right now (can I say that? hahaha) You taught me sooo much and I wish I would have listened to more Pimsleur or done more Duolingo!  I don't know how the other missionaries in my district are doing this. We actually TEACH lessons in portuguese to an 'investigator' and it is soooo hard! He talks faster than I'm used to but I still do pretty well. When my companion and I rely on the spirit and worry less about the language though, we do a lot better. 
My district!! So my district consists of 6 Elders and 4 Sisters, including me. We are all visa waiters going to Brazil. I love them sooo much!!! We get along so well together and everyone just has amazing personalities. Sometimes we get off topic during study time but my district loves to sing so we sing hymns in Portuguese to get back on track. They are all just hilarious and I love them so much!
Oh, my companion is Sister Kormylo (sounds like kOr-melloh) and she is just amazing! She is 6'1"!! She's from Logan Utah too. Oh yeah 8 out of 10 in my district is from Utah--either Highland or Logan. One other Elder is from Riverside, CA. Anyways, she is amazing and I am so glad that we are companions! 

Sunday was AWESOME! Church was half Portuguese half English. All the missionaries in my ward are speaking Portuguese except we're going different places. Some to Portugal or Cape Verde which is weird to listen to because they learn different pronunciations as us so its a little harder to understand them. For Relief Society we watched Music and the Spoken Word  and then we heard from Sister Bonnie Oscarson General  YW President. Her talk was so amazing and uplifting. One thing I loved that she said was 'hold nothing back, you won't regret it.' She also said to expect miracles! So its all good Mom ;). And on weekdays we just study ALL day. But it seems like we never have enough time to study everything that I want to know. I want to know Portuguese now but I have to be patient. That reminds me, something that some Elders in our District have started saying is "Eu SOU Portuguese." meaning I AM Portuguese! They just all like to think that they know so much but really we all know nothing.
Man, I don't even know what else to write. I just love it here! I love letters too! Use DEARELDER.COM and I can read them any day of the week! I would love a letter! 
One thing that I have been thinking about is the phrase "in the strength of the Lord I can do ALL things!" It's hard to remember sometimes but it is sooo true! And I always think of Waghers too when I think that because of the song :) I love you!
I do wish that I had watched the Best Two Years again. I totally feel like Elder Calhoun right now and I just totally understand WAY more things about that movie, I love it.  
When I was feeling bad about Portuguese and feeling inadequate I read part of the talk "The Fourth Missionary" by Lawrence Corbridge and I love it:
 "Paraphrasing C.S. Lewis the Lord says to us: "Give me all. I don't want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work: I want You. All of you. I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man. but to kill it. No half-measures will do. I don't want to only prune a branch here and another there; rather, I want the whole tree out. Hand it all over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them all over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart." (Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, p. 167)"
 I'm hoping that I'll be able to give my whole heart and soul to God while I am here, so that I'll be able to be the missionary that the Lord NEEDS me to be, not just who I WANT to be. 
Sorry I  am all over that place, we just don't get a lot of time and I have so much to say. It takes me forever to fall asleep because my brain won't stop thinking of Portuguese or how to teach our next lesson. Everything moves so fast here! 
Oh, and one of the Sisters convinced me to play basketball with some of the Elders--bad idea haha. I am so out of shape and the Elders are so fast! But I actually did pretty good and made all my shots. I'm a good post player but nothing else. Now everyone tells me I'm great at basketball :) Its good exercise though. 
Also, everyone calls me Sister Be-hee because that's how you say it in Portuguese! So everyone in my district calls me Be-hee, I'm totally used to it now and hearing it the normal way sounds weird already! And I love being a Sister Missionary. I love how everyone calls us Sister and how we wear the nametags. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and I'm so excited to share it with the people of Brazil.

Btw, MY VISA GOT APPROVED! I'M GOING TO BRAZIL! I'm not sure when but now its official, I'll be headed to Brazil once I'm finished with the MTC. Seven of us in the district got theirs so we're excited but not sure what happens from here. I'll keep you updated.

Oh man I am running out of time. I love you all and miss you! Sorry about all the mistakes! 

Tudo Bem!!
Sister Behee ;)