Oi! Como vai? Tudo bem? I have officially made it through my first week here at the MTC. When I first got here I got a little orange dot the "dork dot" for my name tag that lets everyone know that you're new here. It's awesome. Just kidding. So all day everyone yells "Hello! Welcome to the MTC!" in their mission language so that was pretty funny. Minha companheira e Sister Empey. She's from Dallas, Texas. We are doing pretty well together but we both have strong personalities so we're still working on coming together. But I absolutely love teaching with her. She has such a strong testimony and I'm learning a lot from her. I. LOVE. PORTUGUESE. Absolutely love it. Our district has 8 elders and 4 sisters all going to Brazil but 4 of the elders are going to Campinas instead of Sao Paulo South. They're all great and it's such a great atmosphere with the spirit constantly around.
It is definitely different here though, and not what I expected. There are 1 million rules and being with the same people in class all day makes us a little stir crazy by 9:30 at night but as we focus more on our purpose and why we're here, it gets easier. This is definitely the hardest thing I have ever done. We wake up at 6 or 6:30 every day, go to breakfast, go to our classroom and do personal study for an hour, companion study for an hour, and language study for an hour then lunch. After lunch we go back to the classroom and prepare to teach our "investigator" We have now taught 3 whole lessons all in Portuguese!
Missionary work is NOT easy. Someone the other day said, well if Jesus were on the earth this is what He would be doing and you think that would be easy? Haha, so true. So I think that put it in perspective for all of us. The devotionals here are absolutely amazing and every time I feel like it is just for me. Yes it's hard and yes the days are extremely long but I know this is God's work and we are all called to serve him and bring his children back to Him. The spirit is so strong here. We went to the temple this morning and that really helped me remember why I wanted to serve a mission. God loves us all so much and just wants us to be happy. I can't wait to teach in Brazil! But I have tons more to learn. I would love some pictures of my beautiful niece! *cough mom and Garcias* and feel free to email me throughout the week. I can only reply on Tuesdays though. Also, Dearelder.com is a beautiful thing. So far in the district I am winning with my letter count so keep 'em coming! Still working on humility :) but letters here are like gold for missionaries. My address for the MTC is:
Sister Alyssa Lauren CoxMTC Box #133
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604
And I love handwritten letters as well! We found out that we will probably all be re-assigned to somewhere in the US because no one is getting their visas on time. I've heard of people going to Alaska, Ohio, Nebraska, and the Dakotas (oy), but I'm hoping for Cali! I know I'll love wherever I go and that I will eventually get to Brazil. Parents, I get to call you when I'm in the airport in 5 weeks! Can't wait. What I wouldn't do for a hug sometimes. But it's great and I love being a missionary already. Don't worry about me!! But keep us in your prayers that we can get this language down and be able to teach more effectively...and also stay healthy because this place spreads germs like none other. I hope you're all doing well. Love and miss you all so much!
(They will pronounce my name Sister Koosh in Brazil)