Monday, September 23, 2013

CAMPO-- first area = camboi (camo-bee) September 23, 2013

so much to say not enough time!

oh my goodness. 12 days- the longest i have gone without a pday. i knew robin was freaking out so i better make this good. 
Good-bye Sao Paulo-- my view from my window
Good-bye to most of my district going to other parts of Brazil and to the best teacher EVER-- Irmao Vaz (center)
packing. its a miracle everything fits.
•saying goodbye. i have turned into a softie and it’s not ok. last week was rough. first i cried when i had to say goodbye to irmao vaz, the best teacher and man out there. then i had to say goodbye to my district. then i saw most of them again at the airport... so that was awkward. then i had to say goodbye to my friends going to my mission but different areas. going from all day everyday with them to not at all is hard! 
•5 hour bus ride from PA (porto algre) to santa maria / mission home
•orientation was completely in portuguese soo..... #nocomment
•my first night in santa maria.. details below.
•waiting for 3 hours at the airport for the group from the states to get here.
•mcdonalds here. it made me sick. and its expensive. i was so excited for fries! never again..
•walking for an HOUR one way to a house and them not being home.
•last sunday in ctm all the sisters get together and the sisters leaving bear their testimonies and give advice. i love this! and this past week it was my turn. 
•porto algre is beautiful! (where we flew in)
•using four blankets, heavy blankets, every night.
•you do not flush your toliet paper here..
•when the mission president shows up in your first sacrament meeting of your mission. thank goodness we had investigators with us!
•not matching the first couple days because i only have black leggings and tights and fashion was out of the window because i was SO COLD!
•you do not knock doors here, you clap because they have fences in front of their houses and most do not have a doorbell there… so you clap and they hear you somehow.
•giving a lesson to a very strong jehovahs witness. thank goodness for my companion.
the fact that the mission president knows that i just smile and say thank you most the time. he said he is okay with it :) haha
•i always think i hear peoples’ ages wrong…  but no, the 16 YO really IS married.
•our musical number aka just all of the missionaries leaving the ctm that week was horrrrrible. embarrassing. i think when we were practicing they thought about pulling us from the program. but im not kidding. i think that went through their heads.
dia de gaucho aka day of the cowboy parade

•meeting my mission president and his wife. i had the biggest smile on my face and felt so happy. they were so inviting and loving. a couple of us (elders included) had tears in our eyes. our new substitute parents for the next couple years! it was an exciting moment. 
•sister clay and i are both being trained, and our first night we taught a lesson together with our companionships and our trainers played a trick on us! i like them already. 
•when investigators make you homemade french fries to make up for the nasty ones at mickey ds and they are DELICIOUS.
•when they play the lower lights after orientation. shout out to uncle pat!! i listened to you in brazil!
•making chocolate chip cookies! i had to cut up chocolate for the chips. they were good though!
•having letters waiting for me at the mission office. shout out to elizabeth, sister williams (provo district) and annemarie!
•my first friday here was a holiday! dia de gaucho! aka day of the cowboy basically. and we went to a parade!
priesthood blessings- see below.

my first night here was NOT sweet dreams. we got to stay in a hotel- excited right? WRONG. there is no heating or cooling here and rumor has it… it was just above freezing that night. we did not know that there were blankets hidden in the closet so i had my one blanket and sheets. it was worse than my three night stay at the marriott center (not the marriott hotel, the marriott center) when we camped out for the basketball game. one of the hardest things in my mission life yet. i have never felt that cold in my life. it was miserable. WELCOME TO SANTA MARIA SISTER FALDMO!

my last night in the CTM i asked elder edwards to give me a blessing (shout out to him and his family if they are reading this. He’s a gem) i really did not want to, but i felt like i should… so i did and i am sooo happy i did!! that blessing will be felt throughout my mission. it was a very specific blessing about my mission, my reason for being here, companions, etc. one thing he said is that i would be placed with companions for reasons only God and I would understand. sure enough my first companion in santa maria is American-- which is SO RARE. i am her first american companion and the fact that she’s training me is really rare as well.  she told me that when our mission president showed our companionship to her he said ´´i dont know what happened here? i don’t understand. ask God.´´ cool huh? the whole experience, (even before i found out what he said) has strengthened my testimony of the priesthood so much. there is no way those words came from an 18 YO boy.  those were the words that Heavenly Father wanted me to hear and know and i am so grateful i got a blessing!

Sister Jackman and me in Santa Maria city center
Sister Jackman and me at dia de gaucho
oh my goodness this is crazy. i am here and i am doing this!
also sorry i cannot really figure out the keyboard so i do not use contractions (mom will put them in) LOLZ oops. OPA! anyways. i am happy! its not always easy but its good. its right. we have investigators and i love them all. i love teaching. and i get so excited when they progress! things are humble here. i think i thought the german influence would mean that they would be more advanced but they are not. i am embarrassed to think of what some of these people would think about the way we live in america. yeah.. i wish i had those luxuries here but i am doing fine without. i would not want to have more than everyone else.

we are really close to the city center aka santa maria so it was exciting that we  got to go to the parade. it basically was just a bunch of cowboys on horses but it was way cool!

i have lots more i could say but i am about of time. send me letters k? the mission office address is great, but i will be here for the next 11 weeks so this one below works as well:

sister ashley faldmo
brazil santa maria mission
caixa posta 0339
centro- santa maria- RS
sister ashley faldmo

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