Ola! This past week has been so busy, but it's been even better than the first week!
One of the first things that I got to 'help' with this week was in comparing how the pilot program for the MTC compares to the old program of teaching languages, which wasn't the funnest experience ever. The evaluater talked to our district and asked if he could hear one person teach the 2nd lesson completely in portugues, and my companionship was volunteered because my companions basically aleady speak it. But if they'd taught that would have ruined the point of the evaluation, so I got to teach all by myself, a lesson that we hadn't even gone over yet language wise. It was pretty terrible. I went through my head all the things I wanted to say and then had to re-think how to say them with my limited portugues vocab. It was only 5 minutes long, thankfully. I got to talk to the evaluater a little afterward and he said that of the people he's listened to, I taught the lesson the best because I just kept on trying to get my point across instead of focusing on trying to get all the words right (words like "a" "the" "that" etc). So I might not be able to speak the language very well, but apparently my teaching is alright =]
As I said, half our district got their visas so they all left this past tuesday. It was a little sad the night before, realizing that they weren't going to be there the next morning, but our Elders (as always) went out with style: the last thing we sisters heard as we went back to our rooms was them singing "As Sisters in Zion". I'm sad they're gone, but at the same time, the work goes on! It's kind of amazing how easy it was to adjusting to only having 6 people in class now. And to having Sister Ogletree as part of our companionship. She is SO much fun! She used to be a cheerleader in high school and she just has the happiest, peppiest aditude, which is a great blessing.
I've also been reading the Book of Mormon during my personal study and I came to the war chapters of Alma, which is not usually my most favorite thing to read. But it was amazing this time around! I had recently had a conversation with Elder Bahr and he had been saying that as missionaries, the 'war' we are waging is a completely defensive one, and I didn't really agree with that. But as I read the war chapters I really realized that he was right! And as I read, I kept thinking "This really applies to me right now!" So I would encourage you to read those chapters again and see if you can gain any insight as to how and why we need to fortify our lives.
Another thing this week was that our companionship got to teach the first lesson in portugues! It was a little rough - Sister Cornwall did a lot of the talking, and it was kind of hard to follow what was going on, but every once in awhile I would do my very best to ask a question or make a comment that made some sort of sense. I know the language is something I really need to work on (and I've been trying really hard, I carry a notebook of words I'm working on EVERYWHERE now) but I also know that I can learn it, because I'm supposed to. That is a very important thing that I've realized in the last week - I'm supposed to speak this language, and therefore I will. It has been getting better, too. Last night our companionship spent about an hour drilling on how to conjagate verbs and it was muito helpful.
We also had the opportunity to go to the TRC this week and we got to teach Caroline and her 4 yr old daughter Monique. It was really neat because they're originally from Brazil and are just in the United States for her husband to go to school for a year. It made the experience very real, because she would correct our portugues to make sure she understood what we were saying and her daughter would talk to her in portugues (which for some reason really amazed me, probably just because I can't speak the language yet). And it felt more like a real situation, since we were teaching while a little girl was running around and playing. I didn't realize how much seeing children really brightens my day. It was great.
I was able to go to the temple this morning with Sister Cornwall (Sister Ogletree went with our coordinating sister, Sister Black) and it was great to be able to go there as a sort of preparation for conference this weekend. I'm really looking forward to that and you'd better be, too!
Well, I love you!!!! Hope all is well!!!