Saturday, August 31, 2013

brasil/provo rollercoaster august 30, 2013

•food here actually is alright! but i can't eat much of it so maybe i'll lose weight!

•falling in love with brazilians- they're hilarious!!

•there's a panini maker in the cafeteria

•finding out checked bags to brazil can actually be 70 pounds!

•jet lag—it’s real ladies and gentlemen

•leaving my provo mtc district. no group will ever compare-- i miss them so much!

•broken pay phones in the ATL airport #oldschoolprobs

•whoever said the brazil CTM is less strict… IS A STRAIGHT UP LIAR!! (the teacher is watching my email time right now like a hawk!)

•everyone here is speaking the same language so they can enforce SYL (speak your language) ,..o que?

•meeting parents on the plane to Sao Paulo that are going to pick up their missionary and silently crying in your heart #17moremonths

•saying goodbye to my polynesian friends in the prove mtc

•finding out bags can be 70 pounds AT THE SLC AIRPORT when you left a box of goods in your room at provo mtc to make the 50 lbs checked weight that was given in the missionary instructionsL

•not being able to type too fast because i can't figure out these brasil keyboards

•being the new girl, and all a sudden being so quiet #notmyself

•when you finally fall asleep on your flight to sao paulo and you get a candy runt to the face from elder edwards

•the majority of the meals here include ham, cheese, and bread

•when teachers ask you where you're from, you say south dakota, and they look muito confuso.

•going to two temples on two different sides of the world in one week (provo and sao paulo)

•talking to my fam on tuesday... enough to carry me to christmas

•when a random lady pays for your meal in the ATL airport #mormonseverywhere

•being able to sit by elder edwards on every plane and not a rando person

•being able to leave and walk around the streets in sao paulo on p day-- right after this i'm getting candy for dayzzz

•walking onto the plane and a random passenger holds up his ensign #represent

brasil!!! this week has been an emotional rollercoaster.  brazil is great but i'm not yet sold on the CTM experience here. i'm sure i'll get there, but there's been so much to adjust to so quickly.  a new country, district, companion, and way of doing things. i realized how comfortable and lucky i was in provo.  everything is on a much smaller scale here. the workers only speak portuguese and as much as i want to be kind and get to know them there's still only so much small talk i can say.  we scored though because we traveled all of tuesday (which was chill and fun-- loved the group we traveled with), then got here wednesday and things were pretty chill (intro stuff), then usual schedule yesterday, and today is p day!!  then my real p day will be on wednesday… so just less than a week until the next one. hopefully by then i will be adjusted. to those who don't have your visas-- enjoy provo while you can! things are fine here, but it's a hard adjustment, but i know the sacrifice will be worth it and my portuguese will improve. for those of you who don't get the chance to learn here… i'll just bring you up to speed in the field. also, i would put a smiley face here but i don't know how to do that on these keyboards #foreignprobs. i know i will learn more than portuguese here. i have to rely on my heavenly father because i am struggling much more than i did at the beginning, but  i'm alright with that.  we watched these awesome conference talk clips last night and they spoke to me. we ARE doing the Lord's work-- was the atonement easy? were things easy when others spit on him and mocked him? nothing about christ's life was easy, and we can we not expect to feel a small portion of that pain when we do His work?  i know things will get harder, but i am prepared to sacrifice and at times feel a fraction of that pain because this work is worth it!

 nextstop... santamaria

i love you all so much! the dear elder service doesn't work here so i miss getting your letters. you can just send them to my mission home address in santa maria.  i should be there by the time they get there. the church is true people!


xoxo sister faldmo

Thursday, August 29, 2013

toto, i don't think we're in provo anymore.... august 28, 2013

we got into brazil… customs etc was quick, they gave me the wrong stamp on my entry card so we had to get that sorted out, got some cash out and apparently i might have done it the wrong way so sorry if there are fees. check for me. p day friday so i will tell you more then. only have ten min now.  two ladies picked us up. they had paper signs that said lds travel missionaries or something… but really, it was a way sketchy situation. after they got us all and got the stamps they left and we got into this van. anyways... i'm in brazil. which is crazy!!!! honestly this is hard.  i'm completely exhausted, suffering from culture shock and this is no provo!!!!  i got my hopes up because i heard some good things right before i left.  But, right now i'm disappointed but i'm sure it will get betterJ i just know it will be an uphill battle. right now the only thing looking up is i know one person, elder edwards, p day is friday, and i only have a couple weeks before i will be in the santa maria. i heard you don't get dear elders here so i can't even look forward to that… but we will see. my mail box is 24 if the dear elder thing does work. i'm trying really hard to have a good attitude about it all, but as of now the visa thing doesn’t seem like a great thing. i also had a ton of letters to send and the terminal in atlanta had no mailbox drops and they have usps stamps. won’t work in brazilL i'll be fine. this is good. i'm excited to go out in the sao paulo and explore. it's really only a couple of streets we can go on. they bus you to the temple. the streets are crazy here and there's a reason missionaries can't drive. i'm surprised that we even can cross streets. i guess a missionary got hit once. so hmmmm.  my roommates are from argentina and columbia. haven't met them but i creeped on their luggage tags in the room. honestly this is the hardest day of the mission by far and we haven't even done anything!! i didn't really eat lunch but for dinner they have one thing, a cook fire whatever pizza so we had that and that was ok. by the sounds of it cereal is a delicacy for breakfast. food may be better cooked in brazil, but provo had options. but then again provo had like 12 times the missionaries, if not more.  everyone’s nice though. i feel bad because i think the americans that have been here can tell all of us “newbies” are disappointed. elder edwards and i are really missing our district in provo. it would be so much better if they were all here with us… but such is mission life! i'm excited to say a good prayer tonight and start new and hopefully refreshed tomorrow.

pray for me.  Love to all,
first day in brazil

sister faldmo

don't get too comfortable! august 23, 2013

good, bad, awkward, awesome
i got my visa. 
i get to travel on tuesday with elder e from my district. 
i got to email about my visa and travel plans yesterday, today is p day, and monday i get to send emails again if i need. 
 i get to use a PHONE tuesday at the airport. 
the fact that i'm leaving has shown everyone's true colors. i totally have my whole district wrapped around my finger. i'm thinking monday i'm going to try and get the DL to give me my letters early. 
everyone should be so proud of me- this week i played softball, basketball, and volleyball and i didn't embarrass the family! and it was really fun! 
our devotional speaker on sunday served in the rapid city south dakota mission and talked about it the entire time! (Vai Sikahema- byu football player, nfl player, news anchor, etc. look him up he's legit!) 
and you said i couldn't clean #certifiedpassonthecleaningcheck
i got my visa.
elder e said if it wasn't against the white handbook he would give me wet willies when i fall asleep on the plane. (#18YOelderprobz)
when the district leader asks "how do you think we did this past week?" and everyone starts laughing. 
when our classroom is like the 5th floor of the HBLL during personal study. (#byuinsidejoke)
hearing about SD a lot on sunday made me a little homesick. 
after getting my visa i could not focus WHAT SO EVER. 
i got my visa.
being chosen to speak in sacrament meeting, in portuguese, minutes before i had to get up and talk. the talk was prepared but the only think more awkward than my portuguese is the hope that no one can listen to portuguese very well so they didn't know what i was saying anyways. 
we took a picture of all the sister at the mtcs (both west and normal) and it was a panoramic so we had to hold still. right as it was our part of the panoramic sister shumway sneezed and everyone heard it and knew we messed up the picture. 
during fireside via sikahema showed a clip about how he slid the gospel and the church into a news clip.. they were talking about how iowa was named the top party school in the nation. then, of course today i wore my u of i tshirt without thinking (#mtcscarletletter)
when we were walking back from the devotional on tuesday at the marriott center it was education week so everyone is around campus and in the parking lot and they’re taking pictures of us. 
i got my visa. 
the work WILL move forward. from what i've, heard yesterday was a BIG day for visas. 
singing called to serve after fireside and improv everyone stands up. 
sister a isn't just bon qui qui, she also has a little of “that's so raven” in her.
making my district watch my favorite mormon messages so they would focus. (if you need a pick me up please search "what matters most mormon message in youtube". even if you don't DO IT NOW!)
i love getting all of your letters and dear elders. i hope i can still hear from you in brazil!
got to skip service aka cleaning because of sister a's appointment (#beatingthesystem)
my friend elder m from tonga is hilarious. i swear he learned english through learning pick up lines. dad, i think you would be proud to know i have made friends with LOTS of Polynesians :) they are so kind. elder manu gave me a lava lava from tonga and a fuzzy lei thing and elder haumanu gave me a shell lei because i am leaving. they are really funny because of the pop culture things they know in english.

elder m quotes:
•as we are walking back from devotional tuesday he kept yelling "SMELLS LIKE AMERICA!!" in his accent. 
•when he found out i would be leaving he gave me a little pep talk and then said "you invite others to come unto christ, then after your mission, i will invite you to go to the temple." #whitehandbook 
you know you're in the mtc when... everyone's excited because a holland talk is playing sunday night. 
overheard in our district "they asked me.. by by they i mean i asked myself.." (then he chuckles to himself) -our district leader.
look who i found in the cafeteria #bridalshopcoworkers
so obviously the big news of the week is… my visa. i've accepted it now and have started packing and doing what i need to be ready for the big day. it doesn't help that one of the elders keeps using "crusty" as his adjective of choice when talking about the brazil mtc.  how nasty of a word is that? overall this week was good. i honestly think i was too comfortable here in provo and i need more of a challenge, so bring it on! i still am really lost in class but our teacher talked to sister a and i and said she was really impressed with our lessons, and specifically told me she was so impressed with my portuguese. it meant a lot to have her say that. she is more of a tough love kinda of teacher, but now that we've gotten to know her i really love her. she's been so great, supportive, but she pushes us. 
a new bestie sister Shumway
i'm really enjoying studying the book of mormon every day. i totally challenge you all to dedicate more time to it. i'm the most hypocritical person to say this because now my schedule is a 360 from what it was before and i have so much more time, but i don't know why we even waste our time with anything else! we are so lucky to have what we have- profeta, o livro de mormon, oracao, etc. these are ways god shows us he loves us and we need to show him we appreciate them by using them!
 shout out to jaxon & aunt jill for saving the day... shoes, wax, it's a long story. #beatingthesystem
gallaghers are helping me feel the love!
but lets be real.. you all are so great. you're already doing these things. i can feel your prayers and support. i know (fortunately and unfortunately) that's why i got my visa. clearly there is a nee for me in brazil and i am going to figure it out! i can't wait. 
i love you all. thank you for getting me here. i'm so happy to be doing exacty what the lord wants me to! 
xoxo sister faldmo. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

ready... or not???

on tuesday august 27 myself and elder edwards will start our journey to brazil!!
we were in class.. minutes away from teaching our investigator and on the intercom in our room came "are elder edwards and sister faldmo in the room?" yes.. "would you please come to the travel office?" i was way confused because it was just us, not us and our companions (but of course they had to go with us) and everyone guessed it was on our visa. to be honest i really didn't want to think it was. on the way there we ran into an elder from our zone who has been here a week less and he was just returning from receiving his travel plans because he had gotten his visa. so we basically knew what we were in for. we were walking so fast and i was starting to be realistic about the fact that i would be leaving the provo mtc where i was finally so comfortable and happy. we walked into the travel office and they said "elder edwards and sister faldmo? these are your travel plans for tuesday. you received your visa and will be leaving."
elder edwards was the only one excited. our companions and i were sad. i was overwhelmed with emotions to be honest. obviously this is a good thing, this is the goal for all brazil missionaries, but i didn't know it would come so soon. i really love what i have here in provo, my language, teachers, district, zone, branch presidency, and friends around the corners. now i have to go to a new country, with a language i struggle with, with a new district, zone, companion, food.. anything and everything. i would be lying if i said i didn't cry. 

we walked back to the classroom, excited but nervous, trying to think of what we could tell our district "we're getting reassigned" "we're getting sent home" or what not.. but when i saw sister olander and she asked i couldn't lie. i'm so sad to say goodbye so soon. we went minutes later to teach a lesson to our practice investigator (our teacher) and i broke down crying and she let us pause in our teaching in portuguese so i could tell her what was going on in english. i hate being so emotional and scared but it's just what i am! 
now that everything has settled in i'm ready. i'm still scared, but i have faith that this will be so worth it. my language skills definitely need to be strengthened and there's something that needs to be learned in the brazil mtc. i honestly have felt like my mtc experience has been "too easy and comfortable" and have been surprised by it.. so i guess this is what i asked for-- a challenge.

sister faldmo & elder edwards with travel plans... not too happy companions being left behind.
message from sister faldmo's sad Brazilian zone being left behind
luckily most of my district will be in santa maria eventually and this isn't the end. i'm also so grateful i will be traveling with elder edwards. we are pretty close and he's already told me he's going to make me place a book of mormon in front of him, so he's challenging me but he kind of will be a safety net through this all, as well as my Savior of course. it will be fun! right? i know it will be okay. but send all your packages asap ;) we report to leave for the airport Tuesday august 27 at 8am. 

love to all,

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Bad, The Good, The Awesome, The Awkward August 16, 2013

My MTC Zone (Can you guess the 14 year old Elder?)

dear world,
mtc life is the bombbbb. i'm loving it. i am adjusting and doing my best to keep up with all that is expected of me. here are some things that you may enjoy :)

the bad, the good, the awesome, the awkward
the bad-
  • my companion has had a few doctors appointments already, and i've missed out on a lot of study and class time
  • you teach a lesson on your THIRD DAY. IN PORTUGUESE. these people are crazy.
  • our lesson on tuesday was reallllly bad. we tried to do it without notes and we crashed and burned. it was the hardest part of my mtc experience yet, and i walked out with tears in my eyes.
  • my companion has a bad health problem.. details to come in later weeks. we're keeping it on the dl.
  • after gym time we all showered. the door accidentally got completely shut and no one had their key. or anything but a towel. and we had to wait a while before anyone was in the halls because it was the middle of the day. #scandalous.
the good-
  • appointments break up the schedule and i've written a lot of letters while waiting
  • my companion is fluent in spanish which can be mistaken for portuguese sometimes. i just mooch off her language skills in lessons.
  • i bore my testimony and prayed in the first lesson (with notes.)
  • I LOVE MY DISTRICT. we have too much fun. the elders are like my little brothers and i have all the sisters in my room and it's so much fun.

the awesome-
  • our last lesson, on wednesday, no notes, all portuguese. AND WE COMMITED HIM (our fake investigator) TO BAPTISM.
  • i know that all of that ^^ isn't me. it's the spirit, the gift of tongues, and my heavenly father having my back.
  • after that lesson on tuesday, we had a devotional my elder richard g. scott, of the quorom of the 12 apostles. he seriously spoke straight to me i swear. it was EXACTLY what i needed after that miserable lesson. it was a really awesome experience.
  • my elders in my district gave my companion a really beautiful blessing. it has helped her so much and i'm so proud of them.
  • for one of our doctors appointments we went off campus!! we went to a clinic by the hospital. it was so weird. after trying to bribe our shuttle driver to take us to sonic, we found went into the pharmacy and i got a diet coke with lime. #winning.
  • my companion frequently reminds me of bon qui qui. it makes life reallll entertaining.

the awkward-
  • i think one of the elders is 14.
  • one elder didn't know where to put the stamp on a letter.
  • one elder got his letter returned because he just wrote his parent's names, not their address. #18yearoldmissionaryprobs.
  • what I've overheard in our district:
practicing knocking on the doors/ door approaches- 2 elders volunteer & say. "but who is going to open it?" "well who is the least mormon of us all?"

"after i opened my mission call i was just so grateful for everything. like i'd look at trees and just be so grateful for trees. or i was so thankful for the road. it was so cool."
i don't know how to tell you all about all that has happened these last 10 days in my hour of email time. it has been great. we finally have a normal schedule, we all get along so great, i know more than one phrase in the portuguese (my name is sister faldmo), and i made it to p day!

my days are usually something like this:
wake up at 6:30, get ready, breakfast, personal study, language study with a teacher for THREE HOURS IN ONE ROOM, lunch, tall (technology assisted language learning), progressing investigator (teaching or preparing to teach), gym time, companionship study, mail time!!!, go home, shower, write letters, lights off at 10:30.

my favorite part of this weeks was most definitely devotional. it was right after a horrible lesson and richard g. scott knew how to let me know i was going to be just fine. he talked a lot about having faith in the gift of tongues. i think my faith in the gift of tongues was a bit confused. i think i thought either a pure miracle would happen and i would open my mouth and perfect portuguese would come out, or it would bring to remembrance everything that had been learned, but not for me. i am doing much better at believing that it can work for me too. he talked a lot about communication with God as well, and how you can't rush a good prayer, or conversation with God. he also told us God didn't call us to fail, he called us to succeed. and that's exactly what i'm going to do. he blessed us multiple times that we would learn all that we needed to and he told us that they pray for us each week with the quorum of the 12 apostles and the first presidency. and as he was walking out he yelled "be good!". it was very cute. he was so kind and loving and reminded me, as a first week missionary, that it was exactly that- my first week. i wrote in my journal that night "at the mtc our goal is to learn a language in 6 weeks, but this week i expected myself to learn it in 7 days." after tuesday i had my head and heart in a good place and i recovered quickly from the horrible lesson.

my companion is great. sister a is from texas, 24, and she is sassy but chill. during class she asks how to say things in portuguese like "mascara" or "pregnant" and we all can't quite figure out what she's thinking ever. i'm so grateful for how well we get along. it has made these first days so great.

i'm not sure what else you all want to know.. but i'm doing great and i'm so happy. i know i'm where i'm supposed to be. i feel so blessed and honored that i can dedicate 18 months to my heavenly father. you all should be jealous you're not doing the same because it is so great. i love my name tag. i love having my name next to my church's name with "JESUS CRISTO" large and in charge on there.

i love letters! don't forget about me, but i have definitely gotten my fair share this week. my district leader asked me yesterday who writes me because i get so many. apparently they don't think i have friends. shout out to rachel for sending the most dear elders, julia for the cupcakes (i need your address!!), and mom for all the packages.

i love you all! the church is true.
xoxo sister faldmo.

Ashley, her companion and a favorite new missionary Sister S all headed to Santa Maria!

This is BIG time!! August 8, 2013 MTC

This is BIG Time!
holy cow was it just 10 hours ago we said our curbside good-byes?  those ten hours were so crazy.  they should make a video of the first day… like the district.  dad would eat it up!!
my hosts were excellent.  once I entered the first building my tears stopped and things were crazy!  ID, key, NAME TAG! (oh I love my name tag… I get the chills just looking at it). then drop things off at the room, bring scriptures and notebook, pick up a big bag of supplies (Portuguese scriptures, Portuguese/English dictionary, Preach My Gospel, Mish handbook, etc.) then go to the classroom.  Ddrop things off… then do some computer evaluations & videos--- like one that explained then quizzed you on gym time… if someone gets hurt you should NOT assist them, even if you have medical experience, just FYIJ  then back to classroom.  this is the best part… 100% immersion!  Our teacher is just going off and I swear everyone was going along with it and I had to try SO hard not to laugh.  I caught about 5% of what she was saying.  There was all of this Portuguese on the board, I wrote it down even though I had no clue what it meant.  but then we did some exercises and I found outJ  my district is GREAT… i think it’s half sisters/half elders.  most of us are going to Brazil, but one to AFRICA!!!  then most of us are Santa Maria too.  anyways, then we had a meeting with the MTC President.  the room was about the size of a chapel plus the overflow and filled with missionaries.  he said there was another room like that filled and another smaller at the West MTC!!
then dinner… @ 4:00!! ha, good thing I didn’t eat before I got to the MTC, then unpacking, then “The Wednesday Night Experience” just learning about teaching and investigators, etc.  Real good stuff.  Then meeting the zone and zone leaders.  my companion is Sister A (al-saute)… a cutie from Texas.  she’s 24 and doesn’t like running either.  so life is goodJ
P-DAY is on Friday, but that means it will be a week & a half before I can email.
i love you all so much.  if you want to be humbled, serve a mission.  i just laugh when my teacher says something and wants me to say yes back.  I do… but I don’t really know what I’m saying it to. Learning about working with investigators was great.  Ii’s not about us, it’s about them and the Spirit.

anyways, I could go on but it’s 10:23 PM… so crazy!!  BEST DAY EVER!

Tudo Bem!!

Love, Sister Faldmo


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Adeus Ash!

and she's off! ashley joined thousands of other missionaries and entered the missionary training center (mtc)  yesterday. it was hard to say goodbye to our daughter and sister, no doubt, but we know what she doing is right, and that made it a lot easier to say goodbye. regardless, there were tears. mamma faldmo cried the rest of the day.

here is our last family picture for 3 years.. (since isaac will be leaving for his mission around june and ashley won't get back until february 2015) 
mamma faldmo was wearing sunglasses to cover up her tears :) 

here is a picture of the cute sister missionaries carrying her luggage. ashley's uncle jason has a nephew on his wife nicole's side-- Elder Rowland, that was one of the host missionaries that met us at the curb and actually got her luggage out of the car and was one of ashley's greeters. such a coincidence! 

it would not be normal for a family to get a picture of their missionary the very next day, but we are so lucky because the above picture is ashley this morning with her friend kelsey who works at the mtc. she sent this picture to mamma faldmo this morning with this text that said: "Hi Sister Faldmo! This is Kelsey, Ashley's friend. I saw Ashley today in the MTC and took a picture with her and figured you might want to see a pic of her in the MTC so she gave me your number! She looks so good and seems to be doing well and is happy. Have a good day! :)" kelsey also told us that she has a cute companion and she is doing well compared to a lot of the new missionaries she sees. 

we can't wait to get ashley's first email on her prep day and share it with you all. we already miss her like crazy! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

four days until the _______ mtc..

my call said i would report to the brazil mtc on august 7, but due to visa issues (way too common, dang it) i will report to the provo mtc on wednesday at 12:30! i still hope that maybe i will get to train for a couple weeks in the brazil mtc, but as for now i am fine to be in provo. there are plenty of things i look forward to! my updated mtc address can be found in the || write me tab.