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!!!