Thursday, December 20, 2012

Are You Sexy, or Do You LIke To Kill?

Well Sis C. leaves tomorrow.  That means I may or may ot have a companion tomorrow after 5 a.m. and I may or may not go proselyting.  I don't remember much stuff that happened this week.  I'll have to go through my journal.  Sister Caldwell has just been packing the last few days.  Also orientation for the field has beenhappening this week.  Sister Caldwell had a meeting this week that they told me I didn't have to go with her.  So I was alone in the classroom with just 2 Elders.  It was very odd haha.  The Elders assigned us animals.  Elder Palmer is a black bear, Elder Gregory is an elephant, Elder Haws is a bull.  Elder Nascimento is a chimpanzee/skunk.  Elder Stinnett is a kudu, I am a lioness, and Sister Caldwell is a bobcat.  So the Halloween we're home, we're dressing up as our animals & sending a picture to our Elders.  Saturday & today (sunday) Brazil, or a team from Brazil were playing in the National Championship or world championship or something.  It was world cause they played against Chelsea, a team from England in the finals.  Well they won!  And everyone knew about it.  Fireworks have been going off all day from 6 a.m.  It sounds like there's a war going on outside!  We thought people were being shot.  But nope, people just setting off fireworks from their apartment balconies!  Last p-day after my letter, Sister Caldwell & I sang a duet of "far far away on Judeas Plains" as the prelude for the devotional.  The man talked about 2 Ne 31 & his wife said something that stuck.  She said that the people you talk to-if they don't convert, they will forget you ever existed.  If they DO, they will always remember you existed.  Open you mouth. 
I have a song for you.  Play Justin Biebers "boyfriend or girlfriend" or whatever it is but replace his lyrics with these.
If you were my convert, I'd never let you go
Teach you all the stories you'd ever want to know
Take you to new places you've never been befo'
memorize the scriptures like Alma 34
(swag swag swag) it's true.
Check the black nametag-you know how we do.
Cause being converted will make you feel brand new
We must go everywhere in two's, two's, two's.
That's all I got.
Thursday we got new Brazillians.  Also on thursday I got 9 new mosquito bites to keep all the other bites company!  They don't sleep here.  One on my elbow was the size of a golf ball.  Others swelled to about quarter size.  People think I have leprosy.  No big deal.  And I swear I'm the only one who gets bitten.  Good to know my blood is especially delicious :)  Volleyball was great thursday.
Saturday-I forgot to write something about the other day.  We thought Elder Martin was the Elder making annoying cat noises everywhere in the CTM (I don't think it was him, we have now caught the culprit) but Sister Caldwell asks him at lunch "voce um gato"?  Are you a cat?  He raised his eyebrows & says "sim" and presents his body which was confusing.  His companion laughed & told us (he speaks english) that in Brazil when you tell someone they are "um gato" it means "sexy".  Woops.  Good to know haha.  Also the other day Sister Caldwell showed me something & I tried to say freak but it came out "feak" so now we speak without "r's" sometimes.  "Feks sister Caldwell!  you'e my best fiend"  We find it funny.  
Ben's district had TRC with us.  The really nice blonde one accidentally asked me if I liked to kill, instead of if I wanted to change.  Sister Caldwell & I spent the whole rest of the time trying not to laugh.  I love this language!!
Any good music?  Music?  Any by that I mean movies?  Pretty tired. Yup.
We went proselyting.  It was raining pretty hard, and we left pretty late.  We took a 30 min. bus ride on public transportation to the area, had 10 min. to find people, got back on the bus & went back to the CTM.  On the bus to the area it was very crowded.  I was standing next to the instructor facing 2 people.  The teacher was a total ginger who looks like he should come from Ireland but he grew up in the most dangerous area in Sao Paulo.  We were near the front where the guy scans your card on the bus.  I had the thought.  "you've been told to talk to everyone-what are you waiting for?"  At that time I had 3 BOM's.  Most people had 4 per companionship.  I started talking to the people in the front of me.  We talked about different things & of course my lack of language & accent brought us to why I'm here.  Told them about my purpose.  Gave out 3 BOM's.  Two to the people sititng & 1 to the guy taking tickets.  The instructor helped me answer all the questions they were asking.  I looked around & all the Elders were talking with people in the bus.  It was awesome!  The people around us were listening to our conversation as well.  It was wet & rainy & I loved it.  I prayed it wouldn't be hot & for me it was perfect weather.  So grateful.
It's been very lonely by myself since Sister Caldwell left.  Guess I got used to having a companion.  The Brazillian Sisters have been so thoughtful & loving.  One of them came in to check on me while I was packing.  I went down to breakfast this morning.....walked in......stopped and thought, "wait...who am I going to sit with?"  It was sad....but funny.  Don't worry, there were plenty of people.  While I was packing I just felt so grateful.  The spirit was just overwhelming & I knelt in prayer & said thanks to Heavenly Father for helping me & letting me be here. Until next time, I will be out in the field! 
To my friends who are reading this.  HI!!!  I would LOVE some updates :)  Email me if you like at
Love you all and a very Merry Christmas!  I miss everyone but I am so excited for my first Mission Christmas!!
Sister Green

Sunday, December 16, 2012

LOVED the suitcase and all you sent. THANK YOU!! Yay for the Ipod shuffles. You didn't have to do that! I am excited for music! Loved the Bott excerpts. So helpful. I'll work hard on those qualities. I can only have Mo-Tab music, music with the Church's seal, so no EFY either, so keep that in mind when you put music on there. Thank you!
BEN GOT HERE!!!!!! Ben & I are in the same branch here which means I get to see him on Sundays!! And we have the same P-day for 1 week, my last P-day so we get to go to the temple @ I can show him around before I leave :) We go proselyting monday & I am nervous! Holy Cow. Real People. Who speak Portugese really really fast! It has been getting hotter today and the A/C keeps breaking haha.
I don't know if Ben told you about the arrival but I tried to go out & meet him (I was watching the arrival dock all morning cause it's right outside my class window) & I was sent back. I learned it was against the rules to greet new missionaries. So I had to wait 1/2 hour to see him at lunch. I ran out when he was in line to get in & hugged him & he picked me up. Ahhh so amazing to see my lil' brother!! :):) The videos (on her camera) and tape were amazing. I'll have to make sure it's cool with the mission pres that I record before I do it. Don't want to be disobedient. Every mission is different. Ben has it now so I don't remember what it said.
Both me & 3 Elders in my district loved the map of the travels in the Book of Mormon. They traced it and took notes from the cards. I noticed there were other presents in the suitcase from Angie & Kris. I wish I could give you all something in return, but just know your love fills my heart every day when I think of how blessed I am to have the family I do.
It's now sunday. From my journal entries: Elder Adams, (was a doc in Vietnam) bore a testimony about a soldier in Vietnam who was flying a bomber place & was hit by a missile. he crashed & broke his back. he was taken by enemy soldiers to a camp they (the American Troops) didn't know existed. He was beaten & Tortured every day. The only pain reliever they had for him was vodka. At first he wouldn't take it. He'd never broken the word of Wisdom. One day the pain was too much to bear & he drank some. Meanwhile the American forces had discovered this camp where they kept American POW's. They were about to execute the rescue mission but somehow the enemy found out about it & moved the prisoners to a camp in another part of their territory. At this point (srgnt) Rodriguez had thought that God had all but forgotten about him. He was laying in his call, in so much pain, and about to abandon his faith & give into despair & doubt, when he noticed a tapping on the stone wall separating his call from anothers. The prisoner next to him was also a member. The only way the prisoners could communicate with each other is through morse code. He soon noticed this neighbor was sending him a message. "Come......Come......Ye.....Saints......No toil.....nor.........labor.....fear" he couldn't hear the tapping anymore, but heard in his head the whole tabernacle choir & then he knew God had not forgotten him. After that devotional we were tired, put so pumped about the gospel.
Holy cow, I didn't believe people when they said it'd go by fast. We have goodbye orientation this week. We went proselyting yesterday. Oh my goshie. It was so hot. We gave out 3 BOM's & sang a bunch of christmas songs or hymns to people. Lots of people "already had a Book of Mormon" because they live around the CTM. (we proselyted in the CTM boundaries). We had a devotional the other night about a convert who had 21........yes, that is 10 = 11=21 kids, 18 of which were adopted. He worked hard every day & always provided for his family. They never have received help from the government. He also has 5 R.M.'s, 5 currently serving, & 5 waiting for calls. He paid for all of the missions without help. Oh my goshie. The first baby they adopted---the father of this family is a paramedic. He got a call one night at about 4 or 5 a.m. Soon after birth, the mother had pout the baby in a plastic bag, and thrown him in a ditch at the side of the road. His umbilical chord had been brutally ripped from his body & he was suffering from hypothermia. The father held the baby close to his chest, trying to warm him up & begging God to let him live. The child lived & later became his. I'm sure you know the beautiful principle that was taught here.
Proselyting- we gave one to a man that was smoking in his truck & when the Elders in our district passed him, he was reading the introduction! Woot! We went up to a park & stopped a lady. She said she'd always seen missionaries around but nobody had stopped to talk to her. We gave her a BOM & she asked how much it costs haha. It's FREE! She was very nice. We gave out the other one to a lady sitting near. She had a religion, but her cousin or niece in Mozambique was LDS. Maybe a miracle will happen. There were like 40 missionaries in a small area so next time we're being bussed to a different area.
Traffic here is still crazy!
We were doing the "12 days of Christmas" but really more like the "12 days until we leave" with different things for people, mostly notes. We were sneaking around with our next note & were taping it to an office door when we were caught red handed by Elder Steadman. We literally ran. He told everyone, so we're busted :( I get really sad thinking about saying goodbye to Sister C & Irmao Costa (teacher).
Sister Caldwell rocked proselyting. She did a lot of the talking which was very good cause I was too nervous. I guess I just don't have the confidence yet. I will though, I am determined :) I'm really glad she did so well! I hope to follow her example :)
Love you ALL
Sister Green

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ben, Ben, Ben!!!!!

Oi Ma!
Oh my goodness I loved the pictures.  Little Anya with a big smile!  
 I get to go to the temple every week but I only have 2 more times I can go.  No temple in Florianapolis so you will have to go extra for me :(  I am going to miss going to the temple, it's such a special place. 
BENS COMING!!!!!!!!!
They got the letter later than usual this week.   I heard you sent chocolate zucchini bread & other goodies to Ben.  JEALOUS. 
Ma, I'm so sorry about the camera.  It was a total accident & I was devestated & I really liked the camera too.  You can just send the nice one I have at home or buy another one.  Life goes on.  I guess. 
About the robbery.  It was close to the edge of our boundaries-where Sister C. & I & 2 other sisters were the day before- & a man came up & dug a gun into one of the Elder's necks so hard it bled.  He took their bags- had everything in it, money, camera, scriptures, notes...& the guy hopped on his buddies motorcycle & rode off.  So we aren't allowed to take out bags anymore on P-day. 
I'm excited for the map of the geography of the Book of Mormon you're sending me.  How was Les Mis?  Yes, I'd like a conference Ensign.  That story of Anya, kissing and hugging the photo made me tear up.  I'm so glad she remembers me.
Tuesday-an excellent day.  We did some shopping & laundry but my blue skirt bled all over Sis. Caldwells stuff.  Ugh, man.  We washed it in cold.  She has two white shirts & a white lace skirt.  Gah.  We worked out for an hour & on our way back to the room we saw Africa.  Africa is our favorite Brazillian guy.  We'd sit by him at meals & joke with him.  He helped us with Portugese & it always made us happy to see him.  He's been waiting for his visa to go to Mozambique.  His group left & he stayed in the CTM waiting.  Another week.  Waiting.  So on tuesday after his other companion left he told us (on our way back from gym) that they were sending him to the Sao Paulo Interlagos mission until he got his visa.  It made us happy for him but very sad.  He gave me a note as well as Sister Caldwell.  Mine says (it's in Portugese so forgive the rough translation.  Ma don't post this! 
 (sorry erica :)) 
Sister Verde :)
I'd like to leave this note with you to remember me & also I'd like to thank you for always comforting me & being such an excellent woman.  I am certain that you will be an awesome Sistre & you are going to make a big difference in Florianapolis, the people are going to love you!  Congrats on your [ability] to learn Portugese.  You speak VERY well & don't worry about your accent, it makes you different from all the rest. 
Thank you for making me excited & for the pretty hymns.  You are Special! (in smaller writing) I shouldn't write this, so the letters are very small.  But your husband or boyfriend will be a man of luck :)
Good luck!  I will feel your absence.
So sweet.  What a kind soul.  The last part made me chuckle.  Don't worry, he has a girlfriend he loves very much.  :)  He left & it was very sad.  He teared up a little I think.
The next days were really rough.  All of our better friends had left.  We were pretty lonely.  
On thursday, we had an onery substitute who "hates" everyone as Irmao Costa says.  He told us our Portugese was terrible & criticized our teaching skills. 
Friday  We practiced our quartet "Angels we Have Heard on High"- Irmao Costa asked us on tuesday if we'd sing with him.  We grabbed a base wednesday. & put together the group.  It's a way easy song & sounded pretty good.  The good thing that happened was I found out my brother was coming!!! 
  We were all told to get our cameras & go down to the courtyard for the traditional lighting of the christmas lights.  That was fun except the part where my camera broke.  Congrats Ash-How was the wedding?  Today has been fine.  I fasted for charity, or a different personality-either one.  Ha.  Oh!  Sis. C's ex-ish boyfriend (he doesnt know yet) is taking missionary discussions for the 15th time & reading the Book of Mormon.  Sis. C. is doubtful he's doing it with the right mindset but we're praying for a miracle!
Also Ma-in my blessing there is a chosen & Chosen.  It says there's a difference to being chosen & living up to the challenge of a Chosen One.  Why is Chosen capitalized?  I know it's a title but I don't know what it means.  What's the difference?  Could you do that research for me this week?   Also, don't worry about me.   Can't wait to see Ben! 
Well, P-day again.  On a bus.  I'm so grateful I can go to the temple every week here.  We talked to a Brazillian from Rio who drives 7 hours one way just to get to a temple.  We have about 6 temples within an hour of us.  I hope you all take advantage of that.  The Temple is such an amazing thing.  Did you watch the Christmas Devotional? 
I'm feeling much better this week.  A little more confident in my Portugese.  One of our old roommates wrote us a letter.  Aw.  I met some Brazillians going to Floripa.  Our 2nd set of roommates left.  We sang more for them than for us.  They bawled.  
  One of them doesn't wake up to an alarm so I told her to set it & put it by my head.  Either it didn't go off or I didn't hear it cause they had about 6 other girls sent up to get them/help them get ready & finish cleaning.  The really barbie one gave Sis. C. a skirt she liked of hers. It's sad thinking I'll be saying goodbye to Sis. C. soon.  We proselyte on Monday.  My goodness-pray for me. 
Okay so I learned that gang activity gets kinda crazy at the end & start of the year.  So if you want to pick me up or come back then plan accordingly.  I think it'd be nice to come back in July or August.  We could see a few more cities.  It'd be winter here so it'll be cooler & the gang activity wouldn't be as high.  It might be cold at that time in Floripa/Santa Catarina though.  You do NOT want to rent a car here.  The roads are the most insane thing I've ever seen.  There's a waterfall in the Landrina (sp) Mission (more south) that is called Igasu Falls.  It's supposed to be like 10 Niagras put side by side.  I have Brazillian friends going there so if you want to check that area out I can ask them what there is to do.  Anyway.  There will be things to do anywhere we go. 
I'm certain I will die in this bus.  If you're worried about safety at the CTM-don't be.  Nothing is getting in or out.  Double locked gates at the front with a guard who lets you in & spikes on top of the gate.  Spikes on all the walls, accompanied by motion sensors & cameras as well.  You were right about every color of skin.  These people are beautiful.  They treat every color the same.  Have I mentioned the graffitti?  Most of it looks like the alien symbols on transformers.
Just got out from the temple.  Did initiatories again.  We'll do a session next week.  After I went in the celestial room cause Sis. C. did another sheet.  I was alone.  I just prayed real hard.  Then a temple worker came in & her tummy was going CRAAAZY!  So i read my blessing.  I've been praying real hard to know if I'm here at the correct time.  If I need to go home & come back later.  I flipped through D & C & landed on 42.  Read it.  Great.  Kept going backwards.  Read 31 again cause I love it.  But section 16 is what answered my question.  In red in 15 & 16 (section) in red I have marked "For many times you have desired of me to know that which would be of the most worth unto you....the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the knowledge of my Father."  Wowee.  I love the scriptures.  What an answer!
Ma:  About the "Chosen spirit", "Chosen One" thing.  Ask the patriarch.  That's what President Degn said.  I asked him a very broad version of my question & he said he thinks the patriarch meant something specific-he wanted to get something across.  So he said to ask HIM!  Brilliant.
You're the best
can't wait to chat
Merry (almost) Christmas
Feliz (quaze) Natal
Sister Green

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Water Water Everywhere, and Bittersweet Goodbyes.

Happy Sunday/Monday/Pday :)

Ma, those notes were amazing!  Loved it.  To answer your questions, there is only 1 store that has Peanut Butter.  It's really expensive & they run out all the time.  If I get that extra suitcase I will stock up.  We got a bunch of visas come through.  Everyone through the 1st group in Nov. So Ben, (I hope) should get his this next week or the next.  So wait for the Christmas packages'd be cheaper to send with Ben.  No, we haven't gotten pizza yet.  They have pizza night every wed at the CTM but it's pretty nasty stuff.  All the Brasillians say it's way different outside the CTM.  Yes, I've done the sheep noise for her.  Chalula is the hot sauce I love to put on my eggs.  It can be used as salad dressing too.  The peanut butter is amazing.  Thank you!  It made my week :)
I loved this: "Give me all.  I don't want so much of your time.  So much of your talents & 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 & another branch 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 & wishes & dreams.  Turn them all over to me, give yourself to me & I will make of you a new self in my image.  Give me yourself & 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
And here's a poem one of the Elder's grandmas wrote to her son (his dad) when he left on his mission.
    "As I sit looking through the window, a tear still in my eye, I see the family & friends I love as we say our last goodbye.  the ride is long & tiring, as two questions plague my mind.  "Do I want the life that lies ahead, or the one I left behind?"  [Eighteen] months is such a long time for going door to door.  In my reflections I thought to myself, "There really must be more."  I climbed down from the airplane & looked longingly at the beach.  But a man turned me the other way & said "[Sister], go find & teach."  I sit reflecting once again as this day is my last;  I say "Lord, this just isn't fair; [18] months goes much too fast."  As I sit looking through the window, a tear still in my eye, I see the missionaries & friends I love as we say our last goodbye.  The ride is long & tiring as two questions plague my mind, "Do I want the life that lies ahead or the one I left behind?"
--Joanne Stinett
We watched a video this week.  They sent 10 missionaries in the early days of the church to the "Sandwich Islands", modern day Hawaii.  When they arrived, the living quarters were bug infested & dirty.  The food was strange & the language almost nonsensical.  By the end of 6 months, half of the missionaries had gone home including the presiding Elder.  But the youngest, at 23 years old, (I forget the name) fasted & prayed to be able to master the complicated Hawaiian language.  When he left 4 years later, 3000 Hawaiians had been baptized.  I think it said 38 or 48 stakes.  Holy Carrumba.  We really don't know the good one person can do.  Oh & he helped translate the Book of Mormon into Hawaiian. 

Also last week, when I did my frog noise in class, the reason my teacher laughed so hard is because he had his back turned & thought I farted!  "Sometimes it just slips out" He said.  haha.  I had a goal not to hit the snooze this week.  Did it .  :)
Have I mentioned there are cockroaches everywhere here?  I read preach my gospel on wed a.m. instead of the Book of Mormon like I usualy do & I was SUPER anxious all day until I read them.  It went away after 3 verses.
It's so wierd but sometimes I can literally feel your prayers. 
 I've never had such extreme emotions before!  I'm so happy I cry, I feel the spirit & cry! It's crazy! 
 So we use the word "verdade" a ton, right?  Truth.  You bear testimony a ton with that word & I have heard  Elder Nascimento  say that word at least 50 times haha.  Also I've said my lst name in Portugese- "verde" which Nacsimento also knows.  Irmao Costa was in the room answering questions & someone says "verde".  Another person says "verdade" & Costa is explaining the difference between the 2.  I take a big mouth full of water & am about to swallow when Elder Nascimento says "wait, verde is verdade?!"  Keep in mind, I'm hysterical.  I start laughing, trying not to spew water everywhere so I turn toward the wall & end up choking on the water, causing me to open my mouth & the water to come out my nose as well, plus it hurt so my eyes water.  Still choking, I run out of the room, leaving a spot of water on the floor which I had let leak out of my mouth when I opened it.  Sister Caldwell sees all of this & is keeled over her chair laughing so hard she can't explain what happened & all the boys see is the water on the floor.  So they thought I had peed a little & ran out of the room.  Sister Caldwell finds me in the bathroom coughing & laughing so hard I'm crying.  Oh man.  Why do wierd things happend to me?  Sister Caldwell thougth I was going to die. 
They were very good to us on Thanksgiving.  They even decorated the cafeteria!  They made turkey & stuffing, it was great!  I got Ashlee's invitation finally.  Gorgeous & classy as always.  I said she has the perfect life.  Sister C. said, "well she should with a face like THAT!"  In a good way.  If any of my guy friends (especially with blue eyes) want to wend me a pic I could easily get them a hot Brazillian woman.  JK.  Kinda :)
One of our "investigators" was Alexandre.  Real person is Alexandra.  That was the one Irmao Costa pretended to be.  He told us the beautiful story of her conversion & we got a new "investigator".  The first day we got here we had a guy come in as an investigator whose name was Igor.  Igor talked about how his dad was abusive to his mother & him.  How he didn't believe in God because a God wouldn't let that happen.  He told how his mom kept taking his dad back & finally he gave his mom an ultimatum that if she took him back again, Igor was moving out & wouldn't come back.  She took him back, so Igor left.  The "Igor" turned out to be Irmao Costa, but our new "investigator" is Igor.  I'm stoked.  It's like finishing a story.  The fake investigators we have here are based on the real investigators our instructors had.  So we will get to hear what happened with Igor when we leave.  The instructors get super into our roles, so you actually start caring about these fake people & thinking of them when you study.
I'm telling you Ma, these people over here are so strong in faith & ah! I just love them!  They are so loving too!  All of these guys have an amazing love story with the girl waiting for them & they aren't even embarrassed about it!  One girl gave her man a round shoe box that was decorated.  It said something like 730 inspirational momentos.  This girl had written a note on 730 [# of days on mission] teeny pieces of paper, rolled them each into a little scroll & tied a ribbon on each one.  Incredible. 
Loved your letter Ma.
Elder Whittakers district came & visited our after the workshop last night.  We (SIs C. & I ) asked E. Whittaker how he was so awesome.  He said, "I wasn't always this awesome.  Just be awesome."  Words of wisdom.  He made a face & noise for us somewhere between a handicapped baby and a velociraptor. 
I'm getting better and better at volleyball.  Some days I still suck but I'm getting better.  The ball was coming at me yesterday and I straight up punched it over the net.  Everyone was laughing but what else was I supposed to do?  We got the point :)  Also, some Elder was racing his companion on the track & lost his footing at the end.  Split his head (just a gash), got a concussion & a broken nose.  The kid went to the hospital & is getting surgery today.  They have to take skin form the back of his head & graft it on.  I hope he at least won the race.
I'm sending a few pics.  One is the government photo we took at the beginning.  We had just been up on a plane all night & weren't allowed to smile.  So we've started coming up with captions.  I want to hear some of your guys'  Some good ones have been, "attacked by a rabbid animal", "Just been abducted by aliens" or "Laman & Lemuels wife after travelling in the wilderness, having babies and then finding out they have to build a boat."
Tell Ash BIG congrats this weekend!  Give her a big hug for me & take some pictures of how beautiful she looks. 
I asked one of the Brazillians here if a lot of the men are gay like in the US.  he smiled and said "the women here are too beautiful for a man to be gay."  Sweet :)
Iv'e never seen so much graffitti in my life!
Our favorite group left today.  Favorite Brazillians, favorite Americans including E. Whittaker & the guys who always had a funny TRC.  I teared up saying goodbye to my favorite Brazillian at the CTM.  We call him Africa becasue he's going to Mozambique.  He still hasn't gotten his visa, so I think they're sending him to Sao Paulo.  He told us that we are what makes him happy at the CTM.  We gave him a makeshift bday gift on sunday for his bday & tied it with a bow made from a plastic bag.  He kept the bow and said he reads the card every night.  Here in Brazil they often say "Vou a sentir falta" which literally means I am going to feel you missing.  Like something will be missing in my life when I go away.  I love that!  I feel bad I didn't cry saying goodbye to family & friends but I can't help crying when I say goodbye to my Brazillians.  I want Ben to come so bad so he can feel this experience.  Wow both Sister Caldwell's & I's english is so bad right now.  Our sentence structure is suffering.  I hope my letters make sense. 
It's raining pretty hard today.  It was a good morning at the tmeple.  Sis. Caldwell & I just brought our blessings into the celestial room after initiatories.  We read & it was so quiet & peaceful & the first time we'd been there alone so we had a hard time staying awake but the spirit was strong.  There were some interesting things I noticed in my blessing. We're supposed to get about 30 new missionaries today.  North Americans.  We leave with the Brazillian group that comes this week.  So crazy.  When new people come they have a blue dot sticker on the tag so people know they're new so we call them smurfs.  It's so funny!  Africa [Our favorite Brazillian] loves the word hot dog.  He'll say "oh my hot dog!" when he's surprised.  Did I spell that right?  It was funny last night though cause we were stiing practicing music & there was a moment of silence & we just hear "hot dog" form somewhere in the crowd.  Sister C. & I giggled.  ha.  Thats all the good stuff that happened this week.  Just pluggin along.  We feel discouraged, inadequate & scared but I know it'll come.  We'll be okay I think.  Love you guys!
Sister Green
P.S. Thank Sis Hemmingway for the letter & tell the Bishop HI!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Love My Family and Friends :)

Wow that was very nice of Pam's family and Dirk to come to Ben's farewell!
About the food-we avoid the breads, we only have rice sometimes & we rarely have desserts. We have half our plate with salad then meat & fruit. No dressing, just lemon juice, cilantro & a little olive oil. I don't have cheese ever casue I'm allergic. The best purchase I've ever made since being here was the 8 dollar peanut butter I splurged on. Now for breakfast, we have an apple & banana with peanut butter.
It's been pretty chilly here plus the boys love the room at 17c so it's a constant battle for the AC box.
I DID get my camera and debit card. THANK YOU!! The pictures on the camera were great. It was just like I was driving down the street! Thanks for doing that Ben! The Brazilians are amazed at how calm our roads are. Loved the note too & the awesome story. And I actually will (i have faith he'll come) be able to hug Ben. This CTM is very small and everyone knows everyone. Most people know I'm waiting for him and I asked the President, so yeah! :)
 I truly feel so overwhelmed with gratitude for the family I have been blessed with. Kris, you hot pregnant mama!! I hope you are feeling better this time around! It killed me the stories of Anya. I love them. And she still remembers me!! YAY!!!! Is she asking for Ben? Say hi to Blaine. Love you. Angie, you are so brilliant. Why didn't I think of that before since there are no high fives here? I think the first person I'll try it on is the President. "President....Butt five!" He'll love that. His wife too I bet. Maybe I should get them both at once while they are walking next to each other. Jersey shore spinoff? Yuck. Team Delemona.... wrong. But you get it :) I have the same comp the whole time, but we get along so well, so it's okay :) Love the Anya sneak sneak sneak. I can just see it. I bet Jason loves that. Love you. Jani,  I love you and thanks for the letter. I'm glad you are learning things and feeling the spirit. Dad, that is crazy about the storms! Probably from hurricane Sandy. I'm sorry it's your busy time. About the gang wars-I hadn't heard but about five or six a.m. one morning it's rumored that there was a gang shooting outside of the CTM. I heard 3 shots and a car screech. Yes, Keep track of movies, but no R rated ones :) I actually don't miss facebook or phone except for being able to see pics & talk to my friends. The language is slowly coming. Love you Ma. I can just imagine Ben playing the drums with all the little kids around him. I miss him. Prayin he comes. Dad-Look up the Brazil national anthem. Sweet. Kris-One elder has gained 30 pounds here. Crazy.
Now for the Main course.
Okay, I can't hold it in any longer! Sister Caldwell & I have kept it a secret for days! We talk to one of the Old missionaries here cause he's awesome & works at the MTC and it's his 3rd mission in Brazil. He might try to sneak us in some pizza because I guess outside of the CTM Sao Paulo is known to have better pizza than Italy of anywhere else. The pizza in the CTM is poo poo. But the pizza places open at 7 p.m.! Anyway, that's our secret :):)
I heard 20 states petitioned to succeed form the Union? Only to send a message to the Federal Government, but still kinda big. Our Brazillian roommates left this week :( We all cried. Sister Caldwell & I only a little. It was mostly one Brazillian....We took them in the stairwell (it has nice acoustics) and sang the portugese "God be with you til we meet again" and harmonized. I must say it was a beautiful and very sad experience. We did another English fast & it was easier.
I've been sick & it's something that's been going around. I'm better now, but it was bad so I snuffed (like a druggie, aren't you proud ma?) some salt water. The directions say "for a moment you will feel like you are drowning but that will pass" It felt like I had breathed in the ocean ha. It worked though! Also Sister Caldwell gags every time she brushes her teeth. It's hilarious. She wrote to her man and challenged him to read the Book of Mormon. I'm so proud of her!
Our instructor Armazon told us that some Elders in his district sang a hymn once for an investigator who wasn't progressing or keeping commitments. They started to sing & she began to weep. When they were finished she said she had a dream that angels were singing to her (a while ago). She said it was so real and beautiful. She couldn't remember the words, only the melody and that was the hymn the Elders had sung.
Sister Caldwell and I have a new record. We have had our own room for 24 hours! We got new Brazillians. They're cool but they talk much faster. Also one of them smells. Like gasoline perfume. Every time we walk in the room it's really bad. Really.
Steven, Tressa and Ben will understand this. I made my frog throat noise for Sister Caldwell and she had me do it in class. It was a good one. Everybody was laughing really hard and my instructor dropped his board marker and leaned on the white board he was laughing so hard. Oh my many talents. I literally spill on myself every meal. I have a little pile of food on my lap when I'm done. It's wierd. Good thing I have Tide-to-go! Sister Caldwell and I like to visit the bathroom often to char and we also like singing in there. Our Elders call it "the portal" because they are sure that it transports us somewhere magical.
Okay so there's this kid. Skinny White ginger kid named Elder Whittaker who Sister Caldwell and I love. I'd even venture to say he's my favorite American Elder. he bunny hops up the stairs, sings to himself constantly, does little dance moves randomly and it's just......amazing. I took a volleyball to the face yesterday. Nice. Still love it. Still suck at it.
Now for dessert.
Our area President, Elder Costa came and gave a devotional on wed. He was converted when he was 28 years old. Since he was 18 his family were members but he didn't want it. He moved home for a while waiting to move somewhere for school & his father was the ward mission leader. So he had missionaries in his house all the time. he said lots of missionaries tried to convert him but he said no. He said one day two sisters werre in his home teaching a woman about the first vision. Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. he was in the next room eating dinner and heard what they said. The sisters had left a Book of Mormon on the table so he went in his room, locked the door, and all night would read a paragraph, kneel and pray to know if it was true. Repeated for 14 hours until he had finished. He went to the sisters house and sat on the porch for hours until they returned home form lunch. They approached & he said "I read the book, I KNOW it is true and I want to baptized today. The sisters said "you can't today. We have 7 lessons to teach you and you have to go to church." Is was saturday. He said, "let's go to church now, you can teach me all the lessons today and I will be baptized. I can't wait another moment. I must be baptized TODAY" The sisters said "you can't for at least a week, there is too much to do!" He said long story short, I was baptized the next day. He siad, the first day I stepped into a Church was the same day I was baptized. Elder Costa talked about the importance of opening our mouths. The Lord needs missionaries to open their mouths. Use the 3 hours of church to connect with members, gain trust, build relationships and get referrals. Don't just "go to church".
Elder Costa shared that he opened the Manaus misison and was a president there. There was a missionary that had at LEAST a baptism a week. He was excellent and nobody knew how. (before preach my gospel and cell phones) President Costa got a call from a man in his stake. he said "my brother lives in a small village in the area of Manaus mission. You haven't opened the mission area yet, but my brother really wants to be baptized. He has every manual and literature of the Church there is and for the last 3 years he has waited to be baptized. president called the area 70 and they got permission to send 2 missionaries there to baptize that man only & then return to the mission. They hadn't opened that area yet. So the excellent missionary was sent. he wasn't too happy becasue he was preparing 20 people for a baptism meeting. But he went. The president didn't hear from them for 2 weeks. he thought they had been eaten by a Croc on the boat ride. Finally one of the missionaries borrowed a phoen and called the President. The man they went down to baptize had been going door to door for the last 3 years preaching the gospel every day. He said, "President, tonight we are teaching a group of over 140 people and we are baptizing 38 tomorrow." That's a branch. The President went down to the area. On the boat ride he made friends with the man he sat next to. When he arrived he decided they needed to build a meeting house. So the President was taken to the nearest lumber store and it was his friend from the boat that was the owner! He drew up a chapel and the man said he could get all the wood he needed for this for 5,000.00. The President called the area president and explained the situation. They were given 10,000.00 for the project. The missionaries president and the new members worked together to build a big beautiful meeting house. The Lord needs missionaries and members who open their mouths. that same day, Sister Caldwell and I were fasting for her boyfriend & we watched the first vision. The spirit was SO strong all day!
HaHa today the Branch President met with us and shared with us the report of the week form the teachers. He said "it says here everyone needs to take more notes....execpt Sister Green. She just needs to de-stress" LOL I don't want to miss anything, so I take a ton of notes! It was said in a very nice way. :)
If Ben comes, send Peanut Butter! Sister Caldwell is almost out & requests it. It's real pricey here.
To end on a good note, Elder Whittaker. In this weeks TRC his group were "Investigators" again & we watched the video. Everyone in his group took their shoes off except for him. One companion asked "Elder Whittaker, why don't you take your shoes off?" E. Whittaker pauses for a moment...then says, "because if a man came through that window (points) I'd be the only one that could defend us & kick him". We laughed so hard!
All of our roomies are reading the Portugese Book of Mormon every night. (erica draws stick figures of all the girls in the room then says) Wow... I'm so good at drawing, I can't even take it.....NOT.
I'm still selfishly praying Ben will come. It's holiday again today so most stores are closed. Brazil sure loves their holidays!
I was talking to one of our Brazilian roommates and was talking about how I had to fight not to cry when Anya was blowing me kisses at the airport. She just said, that I left little Anya so that other little Anya's can go to primary & the temple & know God loves them. She was crying. It warmed me up inside. I was asked to translate a conversion story in R.S. on sunday. It's so amazing, most of the Brazilians are converts, or their parents were. People with so much faith.
Love you all and a HUGE thanks for the emails/letters! They really are like GOLD!
Sister Green
P.S. This thanksgiving I am thankful for my family and friends. I have never felt so loved being so far away. I am grateful for the gospel & the peace & love it brings into people's hearts. I'm grateful for my friends, new & old who can make me laugh. Some from this far away! I feel so blessed to have the people in my life that I do. I love the gospel, my Father in Heaven, and you all!
NOW I'm done :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Two posts :)

(ericas email)

Yay for being a missionary!

YES I got the mission ties email. I replied with a letter just for you guys :)

Angie, yes obama sucks

I'm so very happy now that I can write through mission ties haha. ah its like a vacation. The food is okay. I stopped worrying about bugs. It's still all fattening.

Yeah I'm super sad about Ben, I pray all the time that he'll at least be able to make it.

I'm working really hard at learning the language. I bought an ensign in portuguese (thats all they had) and I'll just have to try and translate the talks. But its good because it will force me to use my dictionary and learn english. I've stopped reading the english BOM and am now trying to read only the portuguese. I may not feel the spirit as strongly or read as much because I"m looking up words every two seconds but its getting easier. I can read mail any day I get it BTW but I can't send until tuesdays here. Its been raining lots lately.

I'm excited for your letter! I miss Anya way bad and everyone. Tell dad I expect an extra long paragraph about him next time.

The hardest adjustment has been not being able to run :( as long as I want anyway... their track is really weird here... I'd take a picture of it but we are only allowed to take pictures in certain areas here.

Thank you for everything you do for me. I know you love me lots and I can feel your prayers from here. I"m sorry that I'm so expensive.

Ammon and Christ didn't have much on their missions and I have what I need. If I'm starving or naked.... then I'll let you know. But you've already spent enough.

I'm glad kris's job is back to normal (Kristin, her sister works for the airlines). The weather sounded pretty crazy.

Oh man I can't think of much else to say. And I've got 5 minutes left! I think I included everything in my huge letter is the problem. don't worry, I wrote it on the bus to the temple and during free time on sundays. Sundays are the best we get like 3 hours to take a nap or do whatever. In the field its your busiest day though so I'm enjoying it now.

Anyway I hope I answered all of your questions. Kirsten Mills. I am STILL waiting for your address you slacker.

If you get a chance tell Bron (Breanne) that I'd like the singles ward bishop's wife's address.... that probably didn't make any sense....

Also I lost an address of a friend at work. Mary Goodell she's the HUC on wed thurs fri and sat so if you work thurs (she works nights) call up and please ask her. I don't want her to think i forgot about her.

Its kinda strange right now with the language. Its like I'm at a point where I'm forgetting the words in English and can't remember the portuguese words. So I"m stuck in this awkward stuttering, mime phase. Its super weird and pathetic.

Also Sister Caldwell is realizing how weird of things I do. She just laughs. At least it makes her happy. I love my companion! Also I'm tripping more than a normal person should. Love you can't wait for your letter!!!!!!

Love you love you love you.

Sister Green

(Her letter)

Ben, PLEASE come to the CTM when you can! (her brother Ben, went to the provoe MTC, visa waiting) It is the best way to prepare for the language. ALso I Miss You and didn't get to say goodbye! The CTM is really fun! Plus you get to leave on P-day which is super nice. Plus, this temple is so much cooler, and the people here are way cooler (me :)) So Come, badumyoubum! Only one guy in your group got his visa out of like 40 and there are a bunch still waiting at Provo, like 75. They come in groups so probably in the next week or so. I'm hoping :( The CTM (brazils MTC) is small, so you're like family & you make friends & talk with so many people. It is really beautiful here.

I'm getting used to the climate slowly. I Love hearing about Anya (Erica's niece) I'm glad she went pee and poo on the big girl potty! I haven't been so interested in somebodys body functions since I worked at the hospital! Congrats Kristin on being pregnant with a little dude!

So Ma, with Ben's visa not getting there, that Elder you found that you don't know is the only Elder out of about 40 people who got his visa. Tender Mercy (we had to get Erica a new debit card, so we posted on facebook and found an Elder in washington through one of Ben's EFY counselors from 2 years ago). Tell gram hi & I miss her & think about her often. I'm glad she's safe & that the protection was extended to her as well. I want PICTURES! I didn't bring enough and would love more please :)

Something for you Ma and Angie, The secretary & choir director here is is her second mission in Brazil. She has collected over 80 of her favorite recipes from different Brazillian things (ward parties etc) and the one thing I DID remember was a flashdrive. You're welcome :) I will send them wehn I can plug into a computer.

Charlie-the movie- is the story of the Patriarch in Sister Caldwell ward. So crazy.

Well you have been asking so here is my daily schedule. Every day we get up, get ready, eat, personal and companion study, then usually gym, lab, which is like rosetta stone & the gospel, then practice & study & lunch. Breakfast is usually rolls, some sort of meat that's a little questionable, cheese that looks like a block of feta. Lunch is 3 types of meat or pasta or something, salad, beans & rice. And rolls. Dinner is the same. After lunch, you have class with an instructor. OUrs in Armazon. He used to have gages & piercings in his nose & lips. He converted. He is super nice. After dinner, we have Costa. He speaks english really well and is SO funny! We really enjoy him. We teach only in Portugese. Next we teach investigators. We are given a little background on them. It is recorded & then goes to a database where you can watch & evaluate yourself or you can watch other people. There is this redhead kid in another district who we LOVE. He is so awkward and adorable, so we always look for his videos. One time he did a less talented gangham-style type jump dance thing all around the room & his companions weren't even phased. Sister Caldwell & I were dying. But this is the best one yet. So with the camera rolling, the "investigators" open the door. So they all sit down & the missionaries are at week 2, so not a lot of portugese. Se the missionaries are offered a snack of cookie dip. All of this is in portugese. So the missionaries take a bite & say thanks & the investigator who brought the snack says something in portugese very cheerfully. It translates to "if you guys're going to die. The missionaries just nodded slowly & looked at each other while the "investigators" tried hard not to laugh or smile. There were a couple seconds of awkward silence because the missionaries didn't understand, then they moved on. It was hilarious, but you probably had to be there.

We were sent a DVD of a devotional Bednar gave the wed. after conference. He talked about how in our studies we need to look for the doctrine, the invitation & the promised blessings. He said that the promised blessings aren't just things that we hope will happen, they are promised to us & sealed by the power that the Apostles hold. We watched a few conference talks but I think this could be applied to scriptures as well. It will change how I watch conference.
I was told a very sad story by a guy in my district, who, I think was expecting sister Caldwell & I to laugh. he was on Trek & there was a mean girl who was kind of snappy & was a little different. She had stolen a kids pancake that morning & he was upset. So when she went into the porrta-potty, this kid took some fireworks, lit a big one & dropped it down the hole at the top of the porta potty. It plopped in the toilet & exploded causing the girl to be covered in anything that had been collected. I felt so bad for the girl I literally cried haha! What is the matter wiht me?!

Our Brazillian roomies leave this week in a big group. They will share their testimony tonight, we'll take pitcures & say goodbyes. We will miss them.

I miss peanut butter. Sometimes I just wish I could have a Tablespoon of peanut butter for breakfast instead of rolls. Sister Caldwell & I are going to the store for P-day to look for protein bars or something else we can eat for breakfast. The Elders in my group like to steal food from this one Elderr in my gorup while he prays at meals, so now he takes inventory of his food when hi sits down.

Sister Caldwell & I are trying to fast once a week. The rain here is my fave. The storm are super cool. After our workouts Sister Caldwell & I are playing volleyball with the Elders. We love it. Sister Caldwell & everyone else make fun of my wierd dance/jump serve, but it works everytime :) I finally had to go back to serving like a normal person so that they had a chance to have the ball haha.

OH, there is a house pretty visable from our classroom & one day the Elders look over & in the privacy of his own home, a man was enjoying his birthday suit. It happens pretty often I guess & they just close the blinds haha.

Armazon had us go over AEIOU vowels out loud & I couldn't stop thinking about Tarzan. When he is teaching Jane "gorilla". We sounded like that.

I believe this saturday will be my halfway CTM mark. Oh, btw Ma, Sister Caldwell & I are in the choir. We are learning the Lord my pasture will prepare. It's way pretty.

That's all I got. Love ya'll. Can't wait for my next letter!

Love Sister Green (a drawing of lips) Mwah!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ben, Laughing, and Spankings :)

Hi!  To answer a couple of questions, no i can't meet ben. they bring him through the back of the mtc and go straight into meetings.  but. \yes we will proselite on the streets before we leave the ctm. my emglish is starting to go sorry for misspellings. umm umm ummm...... no high fives means that you can't touch the elders. hahaha mostly its just thumbs up here.....
i got a spiritual spanking this week. just very humbling in both the language and the gospel. After I sent my email last week ma I got your letter. Thank you its in my journal. And i finally got the secretary of the CTM to print my blessing for me. I probably read it like 3 times a day. Our president plays piano amazing. he did an arragement of a poor wayfaring man of grief and praise to the man and we thank thee oh god for a prophet and most of the audience was weeping. ha weeping. I'm a misisonary. Sorry these keyboards are tards. my comp and I are getting to know each other better and better. Telling funny stories. Tressa ash and Bron I need you to write me funny things that have happened with us. I'm running out of material. Also I had a dream you three were hiding something from me... is there something I need to know ? haha. on that note i also had a dream that mckenna and whitney hated me. I just haven\'t been sleeping well in general... ONE WEEK BEN! ONE WEEK AND YOURE HERE! don't even worry pretty much everyone has heard of you. I tell everyone I see. I'll try to be in the area when he arrives to tackle him.  We are getting 40 new americans this week.  Ben's whole district is headed for manaus pretty much. I'm so glad I was single when I left. I can't imagine how hard it would be to be a missionary while your heart is at home. The second week was better, the days for sure went faster but maybe thats because we have more to do and we are using the language more. The dumbest things are so funny here. Porbably cause we are starved of regular entertainment. The elders switched the pens on mine and sis cladwells desks while we were in the bathroom and we laughed for about 3 minutes. Like I said. dumb. also they put a lock on a kids backpack. they gave him 2 numbers to the combination. we killed ourselves over that one. ha.... wow.

There are 2 ways to say "sorry" in portuguese. One is desculpe which means it was me. the other one is sinto muito which means I feel. Like I feel you bro. JK. But one of our teachers told a story of how he had a cat he loved at home but while he was on his mission somebody killed it. 3 months before he got home. Sister Caldwell says 'awwwww.... desculpe'. we laughed pretty hard over that one too. the song we taught our brazillian roommates this week was '"we are never ever ever ever getting back our leather". By taylor swift of course. I did popcorn popping this week ma for some reason i don't remember but it made me miss anya a lot. (Anya is her niece)  we had a fireside about going to bed on time... and then we tried to... but it didn't happen... I got too into studying about fasting (its in the mission ties letter ma) and the next morning our portuguese seriously suffered so bad. I looked at sister caldwell and said "we have got to go to bed on time cause this is just no good". So we did. But I keep waking up. Or having dreams that my friends hate me.  A huge thank you for the emails and letters.  You know who you are :)  I wish I had written more missionaries than I made time for.  Being on this side of it, you realize how great they are!  I"m getting kicked out love you.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Love My Life!

How is everyone?  I would love updates :)
On the flight I talked to a nice man from Brasillia (capital). When you fly into Sao Paulo, its wall to wall buildings. And no grid system so its just.... crazy. No hills or mountains or really parks its just buildings. And the driving is NUTSO. It is so stressful to watch out the windsheild I just put my head down haha. Our President worked in special effects and is a very nice man. So our first day I was so paraniod about waking up on time that I woke up every two hours haha.  That night 2 crazy brasillian roommates moved into our room.... usually don't get them until week 3 but I guess we're lucky because I love them and they help alot with language.
I love my companion. She is a teeny little thing and so cute. Her name is Sister Caldwell. She's very cheerful but has been going through some homesickness and things. She likes to teach our Brazillian roommates the wrong lyrics to English songs like "call me maybe". The boys in my group are 19... but I am starting to really enjoy them. We had a "workie shopie" and one of the classes was on chastity and the braziliian teacher gave a hilarious story to go with it. Its a bird that is freezing up in a tree and a cow comes along and "does something disgusting". He looks down and says "oh thats disgusting... but it looks warm..." so he flies down and sticks his foot in and says "oh that's disgusting... but it IS warm...." so he puts his other foot in. And then his body is freezing so he bends his knees. And it goes on until he is neck deep in something disgusting. The next morning he wakes up and is frozen in this thing.
Speaking of crap...... they do lanche at night which is snack its a roll, apple and hot coco... "coco quentie" is hot crap. So now all the elders and brazillians call it hot crap. No high fives here with boys. Storms are insane. Everyone gets fat here. Beautiful people. Love my teachers. Miss my family and friends. :\
Time is up! Please send my mom addresses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love you
Sis Green

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sister Erica Renee Green
Brazil Florianópolis Mission
Brazil Missionary Training Center
Rua Padre Antônio D’Ângleo, 121
Casa Verde
02516-040 São Paulo- SP

Mission Home:
Sister Erica Renee Green
Brazil Florianópolis Mission
R. Feliviano Nunes Pires, 42
88015-220 Florianópolis- SC