Monday, August 26, 2013

Oi familai!! :)

So a lot has happened!! So i will try to squeeze everything in!! First off, I am in a foursome. Weird right?? But I am still with Sister Twitchell and Sister Sowa my companions in the MTC!! We are all being trained by Sister Alcantara, a Brazilian from Sao Paulo. We just opened a new area. Crazy right?  We are in Paracuru right by the beach which we get to go to today!! :) I am so excited!! Our trainer is super nice and she is pretty patient with us. So far my journey here has had its ups and downs. I will start off with the struggles and end with the good stuff. The language is coming along okay but I have never felt so in the dumps in my life. I have remained pretty optimistic throughout my week here so far but being in a new country with a new language, new food and new people is really difficult. I am speaking okay though my American accent can be hard to understand but my understanding of Portuguese needs a lot of improvement. It is so frustrating to not know what is going on around you and to not be able to hold conversations with people. I love talking so it just is not fun when you cannot converse with other people and express yourself the way you would like. I have eaten meat every day since being here and the Lord has blessed me to be able to finish my food. The food hasn't been too strange or anything but when you don't like meat to begin with then it is not the easiest thing to do. I eat slow lol. I am definitely changing haha. I am eating meat now, speaking Portuguese and I have cried a lot more than usual. I usually never cry and I don't in front of people but in the mornings I just feel all the stress come back to me and when I shower I just cry because it is so frustrating and i miss the comfort of our home, friends and family more than I ever have before. i am not one to get homesick so i am not used to this feeling. the Lord is really testing me and I know that with patience and faith I can speak and understand a new language. I make myself remain optimistic though because without a good attitude there is no way I could make it through the day. Plus, having sister Twitchell and Sister Sowa here has been such a blessing. I love them!! At night all 4 of us have fun and I feel more like myself. 

Teaching has been a wonderful opportunity and I love the people here they are so open, kind and receptive to the gospel. We have 42 new investigators and we just started this week in a brand new area. We have 2 baptisms this upcoming Sunday! :) I am super excited! The work here is crazy and the progress is amazing!! Leeandro a 17 year old boy and Alara a 14 year old girl are being baptized! :) During the day we split up into companions of 2 and we go out and teach lessons. We switch off and whichever of us is not with our trainer we teach with a member. There are not man members here in this area at all since it is new. Our president of our area is President Hibeiro and he is super nice and I love his family. He has 21 kids. Crazy!! 3 Biological and 18 adopted. Only 4 of them live here with him and Sister Ribeiro. They have only lived here for a month in order to help the progress of the church. We are teaching many families and the younger people here understand us Americans but the older people pretty much have no idea what we are saying lol so that is a bit frustrating. The names here are difficult to say and I sadly can't remember all of our investigators because there is so many. We have had only one person reject our offer to teach them. Awesome right? We have church at President Ribeiros house outside on the porch and our investigators will get baptized in their pool. So much different here but I absolutely love the culture here and the simplicity of their life style. they are so happy and a lot of them have so little. The gospel is truly an amazing thing and I am so happy that the people here are so receptive because I know that with the gospel in their lives their families will be blessed forever. I am going to try and send some pics real quick. I have so much more to say but no time. I love you all so much and miss you muito muito muito!! Pray for me to receive the gift of tongues because I really need a miracle to happen. I have faith and I know with time and patience I can do all things. I might need to just send pics first thing next week because my computer shut off a second ago and we have no more time left! :( I need to get pictures!! Love you!! :)

Muito amor,

Sister Mattei :) 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

So I have no time to really write right now but I am safely in Fortaleza and I will be able to write on Monday and then actually read your email. Things have been kind of crazy - one thing after the next and I am surrounded with Portuguese and we will be meeting our companions soon. We met our mission president and his wife, President and Sister Soza. They are really nice and we ate lunch and are now in the mission office emailing. The plane ride flew by and I can't believe I am here right now! I am excited but so so nervous but I have faith that it will all pull through. My last day at the ctm was hard but I pulled through. I just felt I was lacking faith in myself and I just have to realize I need to be really patient with myself. Well I better get going because we have to go do stuff! But Happy Early Birthday MOM!! I hope you have a great day and know I love and appreciate you and all you do! I miss you all a lot but I am happy to be here!! I loved some of the pics they were super cute. I will look at everything else on Monday! Thanks! Tell everyone hello! Love you muito!!

Muito amor,

Sister Mattei!

At the Campinas Temple
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Oi familia!!

Tudo bem!! So this week has been really good and we are now in different districts with six of us in mine and I love our investigators and teachers they are so great and I really learn a lot from them! You can tell they really care about us and want us to be great missionaries and get the language down. The language is coming along with time and I am understanding more each day and I have never prayed so hard in my life to learn something. I still have a lot to learn but I am glad I am progressing and I know with time I will be able to speak and express myself how I would like. I just need to be patient and being in the field next week will definitely help that pick up a bit. The Holy Ghost truly helps so much and I know without it I would not be able to learn as quickly as I have been. A teacher came in and talked to us about Fortaleza because he served there and he told us it is really hot which we hear all the time and that there are monkeys just hanging out in the trees and we can pick mangoes almost anywhere when walking around. Crazy thing he told us was they eat cow stomach and tongue and even sometimes ear and nose there... I am going to die so pray I can eat the food I am served. I can barely do steak so this shall be quite the adventure! It is so crazy I am going to be in Fortaleza on Tuesday.

We are flying out and there are 7 of us going to Fortaleza! I have only 5 days left here!! I am so excited but so scared and nervous! Hopefully you have gotten the pictures of us from the temple and cookie place if not you should soon. Today we are going to walk around again and last time we ate at the BBQ place and there was actually a lot I ate. It is so cool to just be in another country and experience another culture. Today we were able to go to the Campinas temple and it was so beautiful and such a great experience! Garments here only cost 50 cents haha so much cheaper! I love shopping here! I already bought a cute skirt for 5 bucks, American dollars. My clothes have been fine and I love my Chaccos! They will be super nice when I am in Fortaleza! Oh funny crazy thing my name in Portuguese means Sister I Kill haha... People always make jokes about it lol. I am glad to hear everyone is doing well and that PopPop is feeling better and has a nice comfy chair it sounds like lol. I just want a massage and a nice comfy chair lol. That is crazy everyone is going back to school already!! I bet you're glad and you will enjoy your new babysitting jobs. Tell everyone hello for me. I sent a letter last week to y'all and to Nicole in the envelope, you should get it soon. Well I better get going I hope everything with family and friends are well. You are all always in my prayers. Better get to eating yummy food and then back to study, study, teach, teach and sleep!! It is so great here!! LOVE and miss you all!

Muito amor,
Sister Mattei

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Oi familia!!
So I hope you are all doing well! I have been keeping everyone in our family in our prayers. So here at the CTM, which is what they call the MTC in Brazil, we only have 45 minutes to write unlike 60 minutes in Provo so it is a bit different. Our schedule is the same in a way but it seems we have more free time. We still have 6 hours of teachers each day and my new teachers are Irmao Pajaro and Irma Kikuchi. They are super cool! Crazy thing happened though and 2 of our Elders from Provo, Elder Dieffenbach and Elder Braun, will be arriving here either today or tomorrow because they also have gotten their Visas!! So crazy but so awesome!! Since they are coming Sister Sowa, Elder Bramwell (he flew here with us) and I will be moving to their district with the 2 of them and another Elder from Provo.

 So I was able to go to the temple again today and it is a beautiful temple. It is nice getting to come here and go to the temple since it was closed in Provo. Last P day we went and roamed the streets and we looked in stores and I got a super good juice and even a Grilled Cheese haha. I so would in Brazil at a little restaurant they had. Walking around was really cool and all the people around here are familiar with the missionaries. The people are so nice and friendly and just welcoming in general. So yesterday we had a devotional and the district we were put in this week which has Sister Twitchell and her new companion Sister Brown in it, we all sang Nearer to Thee. It was great and Sister Sowa and an elder in our district sang a duet for one of the verses. The spirit was awesome. Plus at the devotional we were able to watch a talk by Elder Holland and it was so amazing!! I just love how bold and blunt he is because it just comes off so powerful. I definitely learned a lot and made a lot of goals to have here at the MTC and on my mission in Fortaleza. I only have 2 weeks and I will be in Fortaleza it is so exciting but so scary at the same time because I speak okay but I wish I could understand better.
So I had a crazy, humbling and embarrassing moment the other day. So we all play volleyball for gym time here and we were playing and I kicked the ball because it came at me so low and I ended up kicking a Brazilian Sister in the stomach on my team. All of her district busted up laughing and so did my district. I didn't know what to do and I was awkwardly laughing with my hand over my mouth. I kept saying Desculpe which is sorry in Portuguese but I felt terrible and it really stinks not being able to express yourself the way you want to. I just wanted to say how sorry I was and ask if she needed anything because this girl got hit hard and she just had a blank stare. It just frustrates me because I know I will feel like that when teaching sometimes and I won't be able to get out all that I truly feel and want to say. The other Brazilians made me feel better and they were like no need to say sorry it is just a game but they just fell to the ground laughing. It was funny in the sense I am a dummy and kicked the volleyball; but then not because it was awkward and the girl who was hit didn't laugh. She was okay though so it was fine, just made me realize how little I could say... Oh and so here Sister Twitchell and I are called Barbie because of our blonde hair haha and there are a few of us with light hair and I have seen some Brazilians on the street walking who have lighter hair so we aren't the only ones. It just isn't very common. Oh and so our Brazilian roommates are so funny. Yesterday they were trying to clean and we couldn't understand them and she wanted to cut my old raggy towel to mop with it, so I have 2 so I let her but we had no idea what they were asking and she was scrubbing the wet floor with the broom to clean because they didn't give us a lot to clean with and just pouring soap everywhere. She just ripped my towel right in half it was pretty funny and awesome to see.  Plus she was so smart and definitely knew how to use her resources. Sister Sowa and I just watched and tried to help but they were so into it and we honestly didn't know what to do.

 I am almost done with the Book of Mormon now since I started in Provo. I am learning and understand so much more. I feel like I overlooked so many things before and now it is all making more sense and I really have grown to have a love for reading it. Well I need to get going because we have no time and we are going to eat Brazilian BBQ, going shopping, eat churros, get smoothies, eat pizza and cookies and who knows what else, Our district keeps us busy and they are so awesome and I have loved getting to know them but it will be cool to be with our old Elders again these last two weeks here. Things are great and I am so grateful for the wonderful opportunity to be here and to serve the people in Brazil. I am going to be studying lots these next 2 weeks to hopefully get the language and comprehension down better before I get out in Fortaleza!! cant wait! Love and miss you but so glad to be here!
Sister Mattei- I cant make smileys on this keyboard lol sad day

Friday, August 2, 2013

Oi familia como esta?

So Brazil has been great so far and we already get to have a P day so it has been pretty exciting!! It was nice to talk to you all at the airport! So Sister Sowa and I are in Sister Twitchell's district and it started out with only 3 American Elders and now there are a total of 10 of us so things are looking good! The CTM said that there has been no one getting visas for months now but they are slowly starting to come in. They only had one American Elder here 6 months ago but there are about 3 American districts here. Plus, 25 Americans come next week which is unheard of, so this is pretty exciting for them because there are only 250 people here in this MTC and it can hold much more and 900 people plus more each week are waiting on visas. So I think that some of the people coming next week will be from my original district because 20 are coming from Provo MTC of the 25 missionaries coming. The Lord works in wondrous ways and I cant wait to hopefully meet up with some of them again and Sister Sowa and I will move to that district next week so it would be sweet if it was with some of our old district. Sister Sowa and I are companions still so that is great but we room with two native Brazilians which is super cool but it is really funny because we can't really communicate very well and sometimes after one of us says something we all just stare and laugh because we have no idea what is going on. They speak no English and their Portuguese is a much stronger accent than I am used to but they are really sweet and hopefully by the end of my stay here we will all communicate pretty well and smoothly. The CTM here is much more chill in some aspects; like today we get to go walk around town and go out to eat and go in stores and buy things if we would like we just have to stay in the boundaries. We also got to go to the temple today and it was a pretty great experience and I was able to speak both English and Portuguese. The people here are way nice and friendly. The cafeteria is much smaller than Provo, the differences are pretty crazy but it is great! I do miss my old district a bit but our new one is super sweet and everyone is chill but its sad because we will be moved to a new one next week so that is why I am hoping it is some of the people I know from Provo. I will have to wait and see.

The airport was crazy and we gave away a Book of Mormon to a young guy named Nando. He spoke English super well but was from Brazil and he was such a nice guy! We all talked for about 30 minutes and he gave us advice and just told us all about Brazil. All the people here are so nice so I know what people mean when they say Brazilians are the nicest and most friendly people ever. Crazy thing though is there are more Latinos here than Brazilians. It is kind of hard to tell the difference because everyone is so diverse. It is so amazing to see the diversity of colors and accents here. Some people are really light and others are much much darker. It all depends on what part of Brazil they are from and like I said some people are Hispanic so there is just so much change I am loving it! We played volleyball last night as a district and here we get a snack at night which means more food for Sister Mattei haha. Plus I tried some meat they had here and I just about threw up. I have no idea what is was but you know me and how I am with meats so it will definitely be something to work on. Oh so funny thing on the way here to the CTM we took some van to get here and we for sure thought we were being kidnapped or something because it was just a bit sketchy and the driver didn't talk to us at all and then we pulled in at the back of the CTM and it had the churches name nowhere so we were all like where are we and he kept talking on the phone with people and we had no idea what he was saying. It was pretty funny and Sister Sowa legitimately thought she was being kidnapped haha.  Sister Twitchell said she thought the same thing when she came. Good news is I am here and safe an our president and his wife are the sweetest people ever! It is cool here because you get to know people so much faster since it is so much smaller but I do miss things about Provo. I am glad I got to experience the both of them. The airplanes were so nice on the way here had TVs and everything but don't worry I was obedient and didn't watch LOL. Plus we got dinner and snacks and a pillow and blanket. I felt rich. It was long and we got pretty much no sleep and then came to the CTM and started our day so I am still a bit tired and was dozing off at the temple but I was able to get through it and now I feel pretty awake.  We talked with an Elder from Bolivia the whole way back on the bus ride so we were able to practice Portuguese and Spanish. It is definitely difficult to comprehend things at times. So far though I love it but it is definitely a change and something to get used to. Our district is singing at the devotional this next week so that should be a good experience even though I can't sing haha. Oh and if you don't want to send a small Preach My Gospel they sell them here so let me know what works best. I would just wait to send a package when I am in the field. Well I better get going! I am not sure when I will write next because this isn't my normal P day so you will just have to wait and see! Tell everyone hello! Eu te amo!! Miss yall!!

Muito amor,

Sister Mattei

Sister Mattei with Sister Sowa and Elder Bramwell at the CTM in Sao Paulo