Monday, November 28, 2016

Brazil Bound


Guess who got their Visa? ME! I am so excited to go to Brazil! I am freaking out! There are so many emotions … my love for the people of Brazil has just doubled knowing that I am actually getting to go right now! I can’t wait to sit next to someone on the plane for 9 hours; that's enough time to teach them about everything in the Gospel or read the whole Book of Mormon together, hahaha! I feel sorry for them already. I am the first sister from our zone to go to the Sao Paulo Brazil MTC in quite a while!

This week has been so great with so many special moments! Besides getting by Visa, Elder Neil Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke to us on Thanksgiving Day. We didn’t know who was coming, we just knew it would be an apostle. I wanted to sing in the choir but I also wanted an ideal position to be able to shake his hand. So I pushed and shoved to get in the front row of the choir and we sang "Come, Thou Fount" and it was really beautiful. At the end, Elder Andersen came around like I knew he would. He had said in his talk that he spoke, French and Portuguese, so when he came up to me as the first in my row, I shook his hand and said "obrigada", which means “thank you” and he said in Portuguese “oh voce fala portuguese?” (oh, you speak Portuguese?). I just said "sim". It was incredible; I spoke Portuguese with one of the twelve apostles! I was just praying that he didn't say anything complicated that I wouldn't understand, or else I would've just looked dumb!

On Thursday we had a Thanksgiving service project that I was asked to help lead. The organization we worked with is not Mormon and they are from Orlando, Florida. It’s called "Feeding Children Everywhere" and we made 350,000 meals! I told them that I used to live in Lake Mary, Florida and they called me "Sister Vance from Lake Mary" all day. It was cool because I got to work closely with the MTC presidency as well. I was sweating and just working very hard. They offered me a job, haha, but I told them maybe in 2018! They also said that if I am ever in Florida to call them and they would take me out to dinner … they were so great! In my patriarchal blessing it says a lot about service and that I need to gain an education where I am able to serve my fellowman; I really do love serving and think I should do that after my mission.

During my last weekend in the USA I really lived it up! I read my scriptures and got to bed at 10:30pm, haha. Sister Flora is in my room and we are so close, and the other girls in my room are so sweet and kind; I am going to miss them. One of the girls said to me yesterday "Sister Vance, what are we going to do without you? It is going to be so quiet without you waking up in the morning and just saying random things or starting random conversations." Then one of the other girls said "yeah, it’s going to be so dull at night when I am trying to write in my journal and I won’t have you to say ‘okay guys, I know you are trying to focus and you guys don’t really care but can I just say …’” Hahaha, it was so funny because I am always just saying things and I knew they liked me but it was really cute. I said goodbye to my teachers today and gave them a letter. They have been great!

As some of you know, my sister Madeline works here at the MTC so I was able to see her today and say goodbye to her. It has been a blessing to be able to see her every so often. She definitely needed that more than I did. I was obviously a little sad saying goodbye to her, but not really. I just have such peace and happiness in my heart and mind. I am grateful for her example and for the examples of all of my siblings. Spending time at the MTC has been just the biggest blessing. I have loved it here and have grown and learned so much over past 4 weeks. I am just so grateful for the opportunity I had to be here and for all the many people that I have met and that have impacted my life. I love the gospel; it is life changing!!!

My next blog email will be from Brazil!

With love,

Sister Vance

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