03 February 2014

I always wanted to serve in Africa...but guess what? 
...He sent Africa to me! 
On my way to the Mission Office to leave for Brazil
~The Camerons. The host family I lived with in California

So there are lots of cool, crazy, different things about Brazil, but what I~m really excited about are the people we~re teaching. I love them so much, and they are so exciting!

Cool story; The other day a man came up to my companion and I and said "hey, you~re the Mormons! you~re the mormons, right?" We were trying to catch the bus, so we were in a rush, but we stopped to talk to him. My first thought "when someone comes looking for the missionaries it~s either really  good or really bad...." So I was prepared for either one. And guess what? I always wanted to serve in Africa, but was determined to love wherever God chose to send me, but guess what? He sent Africa to me! Meca is from Nigeria, and he is amazing! He is searching for peace and God and greener pastures, and he said "ignorance will never be an excuse for me." He wants to know everything. He said he~s seen our church buildings a few times, but always thought "forget it. I won~t  go in." But when he saw us, he said to himself "this time I will not let the opportunity pass me by," so he came running after us, and we are teaching him now. We haven~t taught him much, but he is so sincere and really wants to know the truth. Also...English is his native language, so my companion gets to experience my life when we teach him. It~s hard to understand another language when there are so many accents and people speak fast. We help each other out though, and Meca does too. OH man! He~´s awesome!

Silly Sisters
Sister Gonzagas ~Brazil, Sister Chadwick ~Utah/ Alaska (also dying like me,)
Sister Farias my companion from Brasilia, and me.
Language: Portuguese is hard, but I~m glad I~ve already had the experience of being thrown into a language without first being fluent. Sister Farias was very surprised at my lack of frustration with myself. Of course I want to be better, but I know that it takes time and that being excited about the progress I am making is important. She was like " that~s what I told my last companion, but she just didn~t get it" I told her it wasn~t my first time, but I did know a lot more German when I got to Germany. All the members are nice, and patient and the people we teach are too.
ITANHAE'M ~The area I am in now.
Some other people we~re teaching are these three girls. They first were really excited to set up an appointment with us so they could get a picture with an American. Well, we did that and then we taught and they are excited about the gospel and being involved in activities. It~s awesome how there really are people who have been prepared to receive the gospel. They are so sweet and funny!

...they asked if I wanted to meet Dane.
Everyone asks to know my first name, but no one can say it. I am Seester Ah r toor on the mission. My companions~getting close on the correct pronunciation.

Quick story for the Lamberts:
The single dollars that they gave me are no longer in use. they have coins for those now; I tried to use them on the bus, but the driver wouldn~t take them. After I gave him other money, a guy on the bus paid me a functional 2 real for two of the old ones. he thought it was so cool! Also, tell them that the money they gave me saved my butt the first few days I was here. My bag got lost among the missionaries and in it was my money and pretty much everything else important. Thankfully, I got it all back, but it took a little while, so I lived off the money they gave me in the meantime. Tell them thank you to the max!

Oh my gosh! There is so much excitingness going on and so little time to write!

I hope everyone is doing well and staying happy! When I arrived, my mission president asked if I had a special testimony that this is where God wants me to be and I was like ^"ummm....nah." But I really know NOW that this is where I~m meant to be. I love the people and it~s hard physically and mentally, but I know I can do it. 

Be strong my friends"
Hey, I might have some family connections here
through my Portuguese uncle, Mario Alves:)
Sister Arthur

p.s. Mumma, I don't expect you to mail packages to Brazil, but if you do...I need as much Gatorade Powder as I can get! (Water is not enough to keep one hydrated in this heat.)

There's a strange orange...They eat them green here...and they~re not that good, but whatever.

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