Monday, November 21, 2016
Oi family and friends! Well i made it to Salvador. My first area is called Camaçari. My companion is wonderful and this is her last transfer before she goes home. She is American and is from Virginia but she speaks Portugeuse so well that everyone just thinks shes a brasilera haha. As for me its pretty clear that im as white as white gets and that im not from here. I get alot of stares because pretty sure im the only white person here. Also everyone i meet makes sure to tell me to put sunscreen on haha so dont worry mom im not gonna get burned.
Adgusting to life as a real missionary has been extremely hard.Im not gonna sugarcoat it. This is hard hard work. Our apartment was so disgusting and we spent the whole first few days cleaning. We only have water every other day and its always cold. Our washer is broken.The toilet doesnt flush so we have to pour a bucket of water into it to flush it. Real glamorous stuff happenin over here haha. Its really hot and im always sweaty..so sweaty! My feetare bloody and blistered. We walk so much.My second day a lady fed us liver for lunch and you can bet i threw that up as soon as we left. A stray dog tried to attack me the other day but luckily we had a member with us and he saved me haha. The language is so hard for me. The CTM taught me nothing and i feel unprepared and scared to talk to people. I cry alot and when im not crying i feel like i could. But its ok! All of these things cause me to pray pray pray harder than i ever have before. I am climbing hills literally as well as emotionally and physically and mentally. Every day is a battle of can i walk for so many miles and can i understand anything anyone says to me and can i get over my homesickness and focus? And the answer always comes that YES i can. This is not supposed to be easy. Not even a little bit. This is supposed to be hard. Within the struggles i am feeling heavenly fathers hand in my life. I am seeing miracles in the peoples lives that we teach. There are the chubbiest cutest babies ive ever seen in my life and the happiest most humble people. There is real fruit juice and fruit everywhere. There are cats everywhere! People are always dancing and there is always Bob Marley being played super loud. There are beautiful flowers and trees and butterflies (grandpa bluth would love it) There are good things in my life. Happy peaceful moments. The scriptures have been such a source of comfort.
We are teaching a mother and son- Rosa and Nadsen. Rosa was recently baptized and now her son is taking the lessons. They are awesome and live in the tiniest most decrepit house ive ever seen. They dont have enough chairs for us all to sit in for lessons.But they are strong and humble. One day we were teaching them and i really felt like i needed to bear my testimony of gods love for us. I was SO nervous beacsue i knew that i didnt know all the words but i had a moment of bravery and i started to talk. They cried and i cried and the spirit was so strong. I didnt know why i felt the need to say that or why they needed to hear it but God did. The spirit taught them and bore tetsimony to them- not me. It was amazing and it strengthened my own testimony so much. God is helping me so much.
Another thing that helps within the hard times is humor and laughter. You all know how much I love to laugh. So last night we were out proselyting and it started POURING rain. We were probably 2 miles from our apartment. We were soaked and the streets were completely flooded.My first thought was seriously? Why does it have to rain right now? My dress is ruined and my feets are muddy. And then i stepped into the deepest puddle and fell on my butt and just started laughing. Here i am somewhere in salvador brazil on a sunday night walking around in a storm trying to find someone to teach about jesus christ in a language i dont know. And now here i am sitting in a puddle in the middle of the road and im laughing because this is funny and who wouldve ever thought that i would ever be here?? haha i am learning so much already. About patience and humility and loving strangers. Its all gonna be ok though. I know that i am in gods hands and he is sending me angels to bear me up. I miss my family and my home but this is where im supposed to be and i feel that so much. Salvador is awesome. This gospel is awesome. Eu amo voces muito!
Next week i will probably havemore to say but for today this is all ive got. I hope everyone has a happy thanksgiving and that you can remember to be grateful for your blessings and families. I have so so much to be thankful for! Eat lots of pie and stuffing for me!!
jeffrey r holland:
If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Dont give up when the pressure mounts. Certainly dont give into that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness.Face your doubts. Master your fears. Cast not therefore your confidence. Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you.
|Looks hot! Luckily they have great juice bar next to their apartment!|
Making her apt homey:)
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Got these pictures and little letter from the Mission Presidents wife.
arrival at the Salvador Airport
We are so excited to have your beautiful daughter in our mission. She will be serving in a city called Camaçari which is about an hour from Salvador. Her companion is a wonderful American sister named Sister Lund.
Mission President and his wife
The newbies and their trainers
We did also receive a quick email from Aubrey letting us know she arrived:)
here are a couple excerpts....
"I made it to Salvador, we missed our fight and had to go from bus to airport to bus to airport and as you can imagine it was really fun and I didn't cry at all....ya right. today has been rough and I am very scared and nervous. i met my mission president and his wife and they are wonderful and my trainer is american and so amazing."
"its hot here and I'm gross right now sitting in an internet cafe at a bus station somewhere in salvador. who would've thought id ever be here. "
*Next time we hear will be Monday. Hopes for a great week!! *
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
**LAST week at the CTM! Aubrey heads for Salvador next Tuesday! Not sure when we will hear from her next week....I'm sure it will be a little nerve wracking waiting!
Aubrey mentioned in her personal letter to us again how.... "I can't get over the amount of emails I receive each week. I seriously just sit there and cry for a minute because I didn't realize how many people cared about me. I am so blessed with such beautiful family and friends. Please let everyone know how thankful I am and that I'm sorry if I don't respond right away." We also can't thank you enough for your love and support to her!!!
Oi Family and friends!! this is my last email from the CTM! Time has
seriously flown and i cannot believe that i will be heading to
Salvador on Tuesday. Im so so nervous and i feel so unprepared but at
the same time i am so ready to get out of the CTM. Its really
frustrating trying to learn a language as im sure alot of you already
know. Like i can feel super confident in gospel words and phrases and
i can teach you about the restoration in Portugeuse like its no ones
business but the second some brazilian tries to have a normal
conversation with me its all downhill and i dont know anything. But
its ok. My splits companion this week has not been the most patient or
kind with me and its been hard but i just try to talk slowly and think
alot and usually i can get my point across. It rained SOOOO much and
so hard this week. Thunder and lightning and everything. Its so fun
especially when your stuck inside all day anyways haha. Also i have
one complaint and then the rest of this email should be fairly happy
but OH MY GOSH i cannot handle the amount of singing that goes on
here. Dont get me wrong singing is beautiful and good and can bring
the spirit so strong but its a little over the top here. If i hear
Called to Serve one more time i might scream. Oh and one more not so
good thing is that sister i was talking about last week ended up going
home. It was sad and i had a really hard time with it but i guess if
she really didnt want to be here then she shouldnt. Still sad though
and i hope she doesnt regret her decision. Everyday i repeat over and
over agin in my mind I can do all things through Christ and then i
remind myself why im here and why this is so worth it. Missions are
hard though and that is becoming more and more real to me everyday.
But im so happy to be here. Oh today was my last temple trip for a
year and a half. It was so good and peaceful and i just love the
temple. I am sad io wont be able to go for so long but its ok because
i can be so excited to go to my favorite temple in LA when i get home!
So we had proselyting again on saturday and it didnt go as well as
last time. We didnt give out a single O Livro de Mormon and no one was
wanting to talk to us. But again I just keep reminding myslef that
there will be successes and happiness in my mission but there will
also be really tough and discouarging moments and you know what? its
ok. This isnt supposed to be easy. Elder holland said it best
(Missionary work is not easy because salvation was not a cheap
experience) So its ok!!! Especially because of first proselyting
experience was so good. OH so i just love my district and its going to
be really sad to say goodbye to them. But we play this game in our
classroom everyday called Onde está bebê? which means Wheres the baby?
hahaha because one of the elders in our district fount this tiny
plastic baby and now multiple times a day the baby is moves to a new
hiding spot and whoever hid it has to say Onde está bebê? and then
everyone tries to find it. As im writing this i realized how weird it
sounds but when your stuck in the same classroom for 8 hours a day you
get creative haha. Anyways things are really good. Hiding plastic
babies and being positive makes all the differnce i guess. The also
the thing i want to talk about is just how humble the people are here.
I have already seen so much poverty and awful living conditions since
being here. People in the city literally sleep on the side of the road
or in a cardboard box and look through the trashcan for food.There are
missonaries who come with one carry on suitcase and who never want to
leave the CTM because its the nicest place theyve ever been. They are
so so humble and even though they have barely anything themselves,
they still want to give all they have left to the Lord. And that is
truly amazing to me. And here i am complaining that the water pressure
in the shower just isnt cutting it for me. I have already been changed
by these things and i think its so important that we all remember how
fortunate and blessed we are. i have been given everything i have ever
needed my whole life and i still find things to complain about but
these beautiful people have nothing and still give and give and give.
Anyways just something to think about this thansgiving season. I LOVE
YOU ALL SO SO MUCH. i hope things are happy back home. Next time you
hear from me ill be in SALVADOR!!! WOOOOOO tchau! sister lytle
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
*Sao Paulo CTM~ Sister Lytle leaves November 15th for Salvador!*
Oi family and friends!! i cant believe i only have 2 more weeks here
in the CTM. Time is moving so fast! This week has been good. Alot of
the Americans left for the field last week and it was so sad to say
goodbye to them! They had all benn super nice and helpful since the
day my district got to the CTM. We sang and prayed together and said
our goodbyes and it was so bittersweet! My district is now the oldest
american district in the CTM which is crazy and people are asking me
for advice and expecting me to speak fluent portugeuse and let me tell
you i am not good at either of those things haha. I taught relief
society on sunday and it went better than expected. I was so nervous
but everyone participated and it was good. Portugeuse is moving along.
Im not sure if im moving along at the quite the same speed but im
trying to keep up. Splits are awesome because you have no choice but
to speak portugeuse and its nice to experience what it will be like to
have a brazilian companion in the field. So far my companions have all
been super sweet and patient but they all talk REALLY fast. Like
faster than i can talk in english and thats pretty impressive. Seeing
the new american sisters come each week is always so exciting! Its so
fun getting to know them. This week we had a huge group of 10 sisters
come! they all look pretty shocked and nervouse when they show up and
they are all probably wondering what they just got themselves into
(just like i did) One particular sister has really struggled since she
got here last week. On her first night i saw her in the bathroom and i
could tell that she had been crying. I had the strongest feeling that
i needed to talk to her and i really didnt want to because i didnt
know what to say. The feeling continued and i gathered up the courage
to talk to her. I pulled her aside and asked how her first week was
going and she just burst into tears. I put my arms around her and told
her it would be ok and that it gets better. I had a really tough first
week to so i just knew exactly how she was feeling and all i wnated to
do was help her. She said she was thinking about going home and that
she was homesick and scared. I dont even remember most of what i said
but we talked for like 30 minutes. I just continued to tell her that
it gets better and that if i could make it 5 weeks here she could too.
I told her how much prayer and fasting and asking for a blessing
helped me and how i knew it could help her too. I felt really
impressed to share John 14:27 with her because its one of my favorite
scriptures and it has given me so much comfort in tough times. Anyways
i share this story because i felt the spirit speak through me to this
sweet misisonary and it was so weird because i swear the words i said
were not my own. I have only seen the sister in passing since and i
dont know if what i said helped but it wa ssuch a testimony bulider
for me and at least shes still here. Oh yesterday in our lesson with
our fake investigator we had a cool experience. So we had a class
earlier in the day about teaching to the investigators needs and
speaking through the spirit. So Sister Hamblin and I were already to
teach Francisco about the 10 commandments and we had this awesome
lesson set up. Well we show up to his house and he is sad because his
friends wont talk to him because he is planning on getting baptized
and they think mormons are weird and strict ahha. Well in my head i
was all like what the heck francisco we have this great lesson planned
but since your sad now we have to pull a whole different lesson out of
somehwere and could you please be sad tomorrow instead?? And then i
had to stop myself and remember the class we had and how this was
totally a test to see if we could teach to his needs. So i tried to
bring the spirit back into my heart hahah and we taught him a whole
lesson about having faith in this gospel and enduring to the end. It
was really cool to see the spirit guide me and my companion on what to
say even though we were terrified and didnt have any notes. DOM DE
LINGUAS (gift of tongues) IS REAL!! It so cool to hear myslef saying
words and phrases that i didnt think i could ever remember. Anyways my
district is so funny and i laugh alot. My companion is great ans she
is a pro at memorizing anything and she pulls random scriptures out of
nowhere in the middle of our lessons. She is also super funny and is
always wondering when we can go to a mall so she can buy some makeup.
haha i dont have the heart to tell her she probably wont see a mall
for another year and a half. but things are good here in brazil. Its
hot and people really like to set off fireworks at 3 am but you know
what its ok cause im happy!! misisonary work is so cool!! This gsopel
is true and it can help us through any trial that comes our way. i
really believe that ebcause it had gotten me through every trial in my
life. I hope all is well back in america. Also ive been out 1 month
already! so 17 more months doesnt seem so bad:) love you all. TCHAU!
love sister lytle