Well hello out there!
Tudo bem?! How is my cute family doing? Thank you so much for the letters this week! It's always a pleasure to hear from you. Mom, you're my number one fan and I love every single letter :) My district always rolls their eyes at me during mail time, but I appreciate all the letters so THANK YOU :) Also, huge shout out to the sweet friends who have sent letters! It's SO nice to hear from you guys too!
I AM SO ANXIOUS TO HEAR ABOUT BABY BENTLEY!!! My poor companion is surely getting tired of hearing about it :) All morning I've just been so anxious to know if baby was born! But no luck this week, huh? Hang in there Kels :) I'm definitely expecting a mission ties letter or an email next week with pictures! If you don't have him by next week... I'm so so sorry! Ahhh I'm so excited!!!! And I'll get to meet him over skype in just a few months! So exciting. Please keep me updated :) Sending all my love your way! And lots of prayers that he won't hang out too much longer, Kels :) Oh, he's going to be the CUTEST!
Mom, LOVED hearing about all the things your doing as a family. It sounds like it's been such a good experience for you guys so far! Keep it up! That's so awesome. And so great to hear about the Jordan River temple renovation! I'm excited to hear about it. Are the kiddies back in school yet? Dad, how's work? Joe and Kels, are you ready?!? And so anxious? Joe, are you taking some time off work I hope?
Also, all your sweet Christmas letters came!!! The ones you sent through FedEx! It worked! She said the flat envelopes usually have a better chance of getting here. I was so happy! They were the sweetest letters. Thank you so much :) I am a very blessed girl. I appreciate your support and love more than I can say.
SO, I guess it's my turn? It's getting to the point where most every week is the same here! But I'll try to find some things to tell ya :)
Well, all our friends left this morning! Another huge group is gone. The north american numbers are dwindling fast. We are entering week 7 now, and we are still the "youngest" group here. We were the very last group to come in, 7 weeks ago. Because of visas, everyone has been going to Provo. We have gotten a few groups over the weeks that have come from Provo, but no one else has come straight from home. So next week we will officially be the oldest and the youngest group here. I hope the visas start coming through! But they also have said that starting soon they will not be transferring any missionaries from Provo. So if they start in Provo, they finish in Provo. Sad for them! This is a great place to be. But, in March they are scheduled to recieve over 100 SISTERS from North America! Sheesh!!! That's nuts. The most we've had is 10! It'll be a mad house here. I'm glad to be leaving before all of that :)
We got new roommates!!! Brazilians. So happy. They are darling. And so funny. And one of them is coming to Santa Maria with me :) And there's two other Brazilian sisters that came this week that are also going to Santa Maria. I am so happy! They are all great. One of them is Silvia's friend that she was telling me about! Will you tell her that for me? Also, tell her Sister Steadman works here and we talked one day for a long time all about her and her cute family :)
But.... here's the other thing. There is a small group coming from Provo tomorrow (I believe they'll be the last to transfer over), and one of them is a sister! She's in the same week as us, so guess what that means? TRIO. She'll be put with us, and we are going to lose our Brazilian roommates :(, but it'll be good. I'm excited. I think it'll be good for me and my companion. Definitely an adjustment, because Sister Anderson and I have the greatest friendship and we work so well together. So it'll be different, but I'm excited :) Aaand if it's a train wreck, then it's only a couple of weeks so it's okay :)
I am the only "advanced" pianist left here. Everyone else has left. So I am playing hymns and accompanying (I can't spell that) the choir twice a week or more. It's kind of overwhelming sometimes, because I'd rather study the language than go practice so sometimes I'm sight reading, but it's been good. My comp plays the flute, so most of the pieces we do together. It's fun. Also, we sang a quartet on Sunday for the fireside. That was definitely a first! I sang soprano... truth is, I'm an alto! It was neat though and we got a lot of really nice compliments. I think I'll stick to the piano though, I'm more comfortable there :)
You guys need to look up a video about the Brasil Manaus temple. It's on lds.org and it's called "Our Temple in The Amazon". It's so neat. You'll love it. Please watch it.
Okay a couple notes to my dear friends...
MISSION CALLS! I know several of you are waiting for them or have received them... please email me and tell me where you're going!!! And LIZZIE SPENCER! COSTA RICA!!! Heyo!! That's so cool. You're going to LOVE IT. You'll learn Spanish SO fast. When do you leave?? The rest of you, please tell me where you're headed! Also, if any other friends are engaged, I need to know that too :)
Also, there's a few of you leaving for the mission SOON! So, GOOD LUCK! My thoughts and prayers go with you! I am so excited for you!!! You will be incredible! And you will never regret it. Don't look back! Have faith, and GO :) The Lord is on your side, and I promise you'll be happier than you've ever been before. Trust me :)
ECUADOR: Karly, Kate, and Emily... will you please give me some updates on the babies? I've been thinking about them this week and would like to know how they're doing. Thanks :) Also, the above definitely applies to the three of you as well. Please tell me what's happenin!
Okay well, that's about it for life here in the CTM :) I get more and more excited every day to go to the field! Only a couple more weeks!!! My how time is flying.
Oh, we had our first full day "English fast" this week. Boy was that fun! I was SO EXHAUSTED by the end of the day. But it was really great. It's amazing how much we've learned here. Our next one is scheduled for Thursday!
We had mission conference this past Sunday. It was phenomenal. I am so grateful to be here. This place is amazing. The Spirit is nearly tangible. I am learning and growing so much. The mission is incredible. There is no place I'd rather be. I can't possibly imagine leaving this place right now. Brasil is incredible. I feel so blessed. This Gospel is true. I know it. I live it. I love it. I am so excited to share it.
The smiles, the laughter, and the Spirit never stop here. I am just happy. So very happy. Every day.
I love you all to the stars and back!!! Thank you so so much for your support. You mean the world to me, and I'm so very grateful to be sealed as a family for all eternity. Isn't that the most beautiful thing in the world? So wonderful. Count your blessings. Life is so beautiful.
Alright, until next week! Have the most wonderful week! Know that I am always praying for you.
All my love,
PS: Kiss Baby Bentley a thousand times for me!!! Xoxo