September 3, 2013 Almost Out of the CTM

Questions from Back Home:
1.        Have you heard anything about your visa or where you may be going? We find out this Thursday or Friday where we will be reassigned. I'm still hoping for a visa though! Everyone in the district has a feeling that one of the sisters will get their visa. We'll see...
2.       Any funny adventures or funny stories this week? Oh always. Just this morning I locked Sister L & I out of our room. We were sitting on couches in the lobby doing our personal study. Then I went inside to change, locked the door, and I forgot to unlock it. Usually when you turn the handle, the door unlocks but I forgot. So we waited it out about 10 minutes to see if any of the sister would come back before lunch, but no luck. Then we hailed down some random sisters to help us get to the floor with all the custodians. (we have this little swipey card thing to get in all the buildings and floors of the residences) So when we got up to the custodians' office, no one was there. I used the phone to call the front desk to send a key, but the random sisters that were helping us out had to go get it for us because we didn't have shoes or a card. It was a mess. But a fun little experience overall. Tons of funny things happen, we have to keep ourselves sane after all. Oh, I also creep on conversations that I hear in French. Just to make sure I've still got it in my brain. One day it won't be a huge jumbled up mess in there...
3.       Do you need any more sweaters?  I am still looking for a Carolina sweatshirt. Nope I'm good I think. I wear my Carolina pjs basically every night & they are wonderful! You're the best mom. But I guess it depends on where I'll get reassigned. I'm going to send some stuff home, do you want anything from the bookstore? They have stuff in different languages and I can get it with a discount. 
4.       What was the best thing you ate this week? BYU Creamery ice cream on Sunday. I had half Graham Canyon and half Coconut Joy. Pure bless, lemme tell ya.
5.       Have you been able to use the camera card adapter thing I sent you?  Is it helpful? I've just been using my camera cord, but I let a few other missionaries borrow it because their cords weren't working. So it's been working for them and they send their gratitude!
6.       What is your typical schedule like each day? Wake up at 6:00, class from 7-10, personal study from 10-11, lunch 11-11:45, either language study or an additional study for a few hours, gym for 50 minutes, we get 30 minutes to change/freshen up/whatever, study more, class is usually from 6-9, then planning from 9-9:30. Sometimes we have gym in the morning which makes our first class time after lunch. Oh yeah, and we eat dinner at 4 every day. By the time we go back to our residence I'm starving. One of the sisters' mom has sent this awesome coconut cake and yummy brownies with marshmallows. If you really wanted to show off the family name and your baking skills I would be perfectly fine with that. And if Trevor wanted to get in on the action and throw in some cookies that would be cool too.
7.       What do you do on P-Day? We go to the temple from about 7-9:30, personal study from 10-11, lunch, then laundry/letters, personal time (aka nap time), then dinner at 4, walk down to the marriot center for choir practice before devotional, devotional, then we have a devotional review with our district and a member of the branch presidency. Laundry takes a lot more time than you think it would. But walking to devotional is funny because people come outside and take pictures. It's like we're a petting zoo or something. 
8.       How long do you get to be on the computer on P-Day? one hour
9.       Have you gotten any letters from people? Yes I have! Mama Page sent me one last week and I've gotten a few from friends from school. I also saw Jeffrey Schilling from University City ward today in the cafeteria! We were both kinda freaked out. Haha. But I LOVE LETTERS! They're seriously so great & make me muito feliz.
10.   Do people send you dear elders or emails? I've gotten more dear elders than emails. Dad's dear elder to me was awesome! I really liked reading that. And Trevor should stop being a bum and tell me hi or something.
11.   Do you have money for flying when you leave the MTC? Yeah I just checked my account at the ATM. All good in the hood.
12.   What account were we going to use for your bank card?  Bank of America, right? Yup.
13.   Do you need anything? Could you sent a four generation pedigree chart? I forgot that. And also I was thinking that I could use some weight watchers stuff. Like the book that has the points for everything and the book you record stuff in. If it's too hard to get your hands on, don't worry about it though. But I LOVE the shampoo bars we got at Lush. I can tell those we're a great idea. I ran out of the mini shampoo bar yesterday, so I started using the lavender one. Those rock. And every time I use the stuff from my first care package I just think about how awesomely wonderful my mom is! I keep the little container of lotion in my classroom and use it pretty frequently. 
14.   Have you heard from Abby? I haven't. I emailed her last week, but haven't heard anything back. Mama Page says she's alive and well though!
15.   Do you have a mission president there at the MTC that you report to? We have a branch president. Our zone and our branch are the same thing. Does that make sense? There are just a ton of branches and then the MTC presidency.
16.   Did your teachers go on their missions to Brazil, or are they native Brazilians? So far we've had a grand total of 12 teachers. And by that I mean we've had a lot of subs. I think maybe 3 of them have been native Brazilians  The others are people that served in Brazil, Portugal, or Mozambique.
17.   Do you all have nicknames for each other (Elders and Sisters in your district)? Umm.. Not really. We call Elder W "No Neck Nick", Elder E calls himself the White Stallion and tells other people to do the same. We're still not sure why... We called Sister S "Sister Bonitinha" because she's so stinkin' cute. Turns out the dictionary lies and bonitinha doesn't mean cute like we thought. It really means ugly, but only cute in that particular moment. When our teacher told us that we all almost died laughing! We we're calling her Sister Ugly but Sortof Cute for about 5 weeks! We call Elder G smiley because all he does is smile. He's this huge body builder type and all he does is smile. It's great. So I guess we do have nicknames for each other! Haha.
18.   I told Dad I feel like you are on another planet.  He said you probably feel like you are on another planet.  Do you? Yep. Every day. 
19.   Do you have any questions for us? How is everyone?! I like getting the dear elders all the time. It's nice to be in the loop.  I won't get that luxury in about a week! AHHHHH! 

So last week you asked about the giant candy cane. Yes, it is wrapped in plastic. It's also in this cardboard container with messages written from about 2 years worth of missionaries. 

Yesterday I bore my testimony in Sacrament Meeting. There were only like 3 sisters that got up, and I was one of them. It's weird because my first week here was a fast and testimony meeting, and I remember hearing the testimonies and thinking there was no way I could get there in 6 weeks. But I did! My Branch President, President Radebaugh said that he heard the best Portuguese he's ever heard from MTC missionaries from us. He probably wasn't talking about me, but I'll take the compliment anyway! Some of the leader's wives came up to me and said that even though they didn't understand what I was saying, they could feel the spirit. Boo yah!!

I think my biggest struggle so far is being dignified. I never realized this, but I do really weird things. (well... actually I did know that) But now I realized I can still be myself but a more refined version of myself. It's a work in progress for sure. 

Last Tuesday we heard from Elder Neil L. Anderson and it was awesome! He talked about love and sacrifice. Then on Sunday Sister L and I watched Character of Christ again, and it was even better the second time! 
Our district decided on Sunday that we were going to speak Portuguese all day on Monday. We tried really hard that morning, but by the end of the day it was all sorts of Portuganglish. Rough. It's hard to stay consistently in Portuguese when all the elders are speaking only English! 

I memorized the first vision and am working on James 1:5. S. Lewis says all the time she's so impressed with my memorization skills. I guess I never really thought I was that good at memorizing until I came here and we have to memorize eighteen million different things. All those years in theater and chorus, I guess. Lorna & Magie Mages, that's for you. 

You wanted me to bear my testimony, so here it goes. (and my typing isn't all that good. I don't have much time & can't put in all the accents)

Eu sei que Jesus Christo e meu Salvador e Redentor. Eu sei que atraves de sua expiacao nos podemos ser limpo e feliz. Eu sei que a Igreja de Jesus Christo dos Santos dos Ultimos Dias e a verdadeiro igreja em terra hoje e que temos um profeta que fala as palavras de Deus. Eu sei que nos temos a sacerdocio de Jesus Christo, a authoridade para fazer as coisas em Sua nome. En nome de Jesus Christo, amem.
Tchau tchau! 

Sister Baker

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