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First letter from the MTC

By 6:25 PM

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ola Familia!

     Wow have I really only been gone two days?  I can't believe it, so much has happened, so many emotions felt, I feel so blessed to be here!  I guess I'll give you a rundown:  after I got dropped off, I spent the next 2 hours shaking with nerves as I got my name tag, my books, and ran around with my host bring to figure out why my housing/meal card wasn't working--of course it would happen to me! Turns out I wasn't in the system because I was transferred to Provo MTC so last minute.  It was a stressful beginning, but I finally got to meet my companion and district that afternoon!  My companion is AWESOME! Like, Allison status. (mom note: Allison was Emily's freshman roommate who she absolutely adored) Her is Sister Amy Arbuckle, and she's going to the Manaus mission!  She's from Denver, Co, LOVES to run (thank heavens), and is so cute and we love each other! I feel so blessed. There are 6 sisters and 8 elders in our district, and two of the elders are going to Natal as well!  The sisters re all great.  We come from different backgrounds, but are so far working well together.  Oh and you're never going to believe 2 things:
One--Richard Jackson is my branch president!!  I have yet to meet him here, he's on a cruise.  But he's the one that was our bishop or something in Provo, right? (mom note: he was called as our Stake President shortly before we moved out of the stake, but is a long-time friend of the family) I can't remember if it was him or his brother, but they're both at the MTC.  Amazing, right? But I won't get to see him very often, because of my next surprise…
I'M GOING TO THE BRAZIL MTC!!!!!!  Okay, it's not official yet, so stop freaking out mom. :) But Sister Arbuckle (my comp) said she checked her visa status the morning she left and it had been processed all the way through!! So, if that really is true, church travel should be contacting her soon and we will ship out to the CTM in a week or two!!! As companions again! Amazing.  The Lord moves in mysterious ways.
     The first day here was really overwhelming--lots of new information, rules, etc. We jumped right into class, only em Portugues, and now I am really grateful that I took 101 at BYU! (mom note: Emily too six weeks of Portuguese last term in order to prep for the mission…I basically had to force her to take it!  Moms know best…) Then, that evening, we had this thing called People & Purpose--our first exposure to teaching an investigator.  All the new missionaries sat in large groups and collectively taught an investigator.  It was so overwhelming--I immediately felt unqualified and stressed and had no idea what to do or say, or even feel.  But we all learned to adapt, and all day today we spent learning how to teach and how to teach with the spirit.  AND, we learned how to do all of that em Portugues, Nao Ingles. The gift of tongues is real.  I have so many feeling I wish I could express but I don't have the words to explain, even in English.
     Tonight we had a meeting with our Branch Presidency (although only the 2nd counselor was there) to introduce ourselves and share our testimonies.  After that, I was called to be the District Sister Trainer Coordinator. (mom note:  I don't really know what this is…maybe like the equivalent of a Sister Trainer Leader in the field?) I, again, feel very overwhelmed and unqualified for the responsibility, but I know the Lord qualifies whom he calls.
    Time goes by both fast and slow here, it's weird.  Every second of your day is planned, yet you still have so much time to think and learn. I'm out of time, 10:30 comes fast, but I love you and know this is where I'm supposed to be!
Ate Segunda,  Sister Brown
PS--I'm not homesick at all.  Sorry I don't miss you guys yet!

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