"And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my Gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength as is not known among men."

-D&C 24:12

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Week 1: Check!

Dear Everyone,

  First of all, I miss all of you and thank you so much for reading my letters!
My first week definitely took some... adjusting. But thankfully, my new companion, Sister Lacey, is AWESOME. We get along really well and we both share a lot of the same interests. For example, WE BOTH LOVE JANE EYRE. Also, I LOVE my roommates! We are all going to Portugal at the same time, and we all get along so well. We have so much fun, but we still do everything we're supposed to do. My district id really cool. Me and Sister Lacey are the only sisters in our District, and we have 4 other Elders there. Each classroom is a district, and we have 3 classrooms, so there's 3 districts in our zone, and that's who we have our sacrament meeting with (because we're all in the same branch too).
  My daily schedule consists of getting up at 6:30, getting ready, studying for 45 minutes, Breakfast, studying for 3/4 hours, Lunch, Studying for 3/4 MORE hours, 30 minutes of gym time (I've never been so happy to go to the gym. and we use that time EVERY DAY), Dinner, 3 MORE hours of studying, getting ready for bed, and then we go to sleep. It's quite a rigorous schedule. I eat, sleep, and breath portuguese, but i'm pretty good at it, so I can't complain. Of course, I only really know how to pray, and everything else I have to write down or look somewhere for reference. But it's REALLY similar to spanish, so that's good. My poor companheira is trying so hard, and she LOVES studying, so whenever we don't have scheduled study time, she likes to study, and since I can't really do anything about it, I just study too. 
  We taught our first "investigator" this week, and it was really cool. We had to write almost everything down, but I could definitely feel the spirit, and (with my limited portuguese) we tried to teach in the way it was trying to guide us. Her name is Sonha (pronounced Sonya), and she only speaks Portuguese (she's actually a teacher here, but they do role play as investigators also). we've had 3 lessons with her, and I can understand everything, but Sister Lacey can barely understand anything, and it kind of gets her down, so I'm trying to help her with that, but we are definitely improving and getting better, and it's only been a week!
  This week has been a testimony to me of how missionaries really do have the gift of tongues (the ability to learn languages faster). Most of those elders have no background in spanish or portuguese, and my teachers ONLY speak portuguese, and they can understand most of it already, even if they can't speak it. We can give simple prayers and simple lessons, which, in the long run is good, because the Gospel is simple, and we don't need to speak elaborately.
  I am here to better learn how to serve the Lord and how to bring others unto Christ. I also learned how to say and memorize my purpose in Portuguese:

Convidar as Pessoas a achegarem-se a Cristo,
Ajudando-as a redeber o Evangehlo Restaurado
Por meio da fe em Jesus Cristo e em sua expiacao,
Do arrependimento, do batismo,
E de receber O dom do Espirito Santo,
De se perseverar ate O fim.
  My FAVORITE part of getting ready in the morning is being able to put on my name tag. I am SSSOOO happy here. Don't get me wrong, it may be the hardest thing i've ever done, but it is well worth it. SO MUCH STUDYING. and for anyone who really knows me knows that I hate studying, but I actually don't mind studying here. Isn't it funny that whenever they give us additional study time (to study whatever we want), I get really excited? 
  Please, everyone let me know how you're doing! I opened a COMPLETELY empty mailbox today (on my very first P-day) and I got really sad because everyone had at least five emails.
So, please.
Don't be shy.


  I love everyone and I hope everyone's doing well! Until next week,
Sister Mancuso

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