Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 24, 2015

Weekly Update!
Yesterday I got a letter from the fam! It took about two and a half weeks to get here and it was pretty great I loved it. We are very busy here at the CTM. We teach two of our ´investigators´ everyday then twice a week we do TRC which is practicing teaching a `member´ and it is recorded so you can watch yourself afterwards which is always interesting to see yourself try really hard to speak Portuguese! We also have to teach the new elders in our district who pretend to be investigators twice a week also. The new Elders we got this week are elder Whitting, Marsh, and Gibby. They spent two weeks at Provo before they came here. They are very nice, at first it we didn´t really want to share our classroom space and teachers but now that we´ve got to know them it´s nice. I´m super excited to go into the field, we just hit our halfway mark here at the CTM (my companion counted) and tomorrow we will take a bus out to a different part of the city and proselite! We each will get 4 Book of Mormons to pass out which is very exciting. Not sure how well the Portuguese will work but it will be great practice. This week we got a lot more American missionaries here. There is also one sister from Finland which is extremly cool! She says she is the first person shés heard of to come to the CTM. My mom had bought me Swedish Ikea coookies and so I was able to give her the last of the cookies because I knew it would remind her of home and she really appreciated them. I am sister Training Leader here this past week and next week because our trio has been here three weeks so weve been here the longest because the turnover here is so fast. Missionaries coming from the field are only her for about 2 weeks and the Brazilians are here for about two weeks two so lots of new people everyweek and goodbyes too. The Hispanics get the whole 6 weeks like the Americans who get their visas right away, but the last wo weeks they get a Brazilian companion. 
It was raining here and the Brazilians are all wrapped up! This week there was a Holiday like Fall Festival. There is also a church here called the Universal Church that is a very rich church here. My teacher was explianing that the church tithes a lot and built a temple that was 5 billion reals and that every person who comes in has to pay 100 reals each time! Our church is truly lead by inspiration, with unpaid clergy and free temples and church services after our tithes.  
Today we went to the São Paulo temple which was very nice, but it was raining so we didn´t take many pictures.
I´m still liking the food here and the people too! we have a choir session twice a week and we sing for the Presisent and his wife and if there are any speakers. The Brazilians and Hispanics sing with such heart it is very nice, but let´s just say the tune is so off the CTM choir will never be invited to sing at General Conference ever. It is very funny sometimes the last note that we all hold is about 5 different notes in various keys. Still learning Portuguese! It was a good week! 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

June 10, 2015

Weekly Update!
Wow a lot has happened this week! My first full week here at the CTM (Missionary training center) has been a full one. I really like the food here! The lunch meal is a little bigger and there is always rice and a beans and meat mix called fezolada- this is spelled wrong- at every meal and its good. My companions don´t like the food as much haha. I really like how theres a lot less sugar in the food and it fills me up so much more than American food i dunno why. My companions, sister Nielson and sister Covey are both from Utah and we make up our own district because your district is assigned by language level and we all started out here. This is great too because we are taught by our teachers here as a district so the classroom size is very small and can help specifically to our language needs. Today new Americans arrived but for the large majority they are all brazillian or south American here which is great for learning the language. I really like the Brazillians they are so so friendly and nice. There are about 150 missionaries here at the CTM. It is very challenging here for sure! Learning a language is super hard! Portuguese is very hard to understand and pronounce I think, but it is coming along and I try speaking in Portuguese to the Brazilians every meal and ask tons and tons of questions! My companions and i really like excersise time because we get to go outside and we play volleyball with everybody who has the same work out time as us which is super fun. Here at the CTM we are able to take a bus to a different part of São Paulo and go to the temple in the morning which is really great. São Paulo is Huge Huge Huge and people drive crazy here.This week i had an Ah Ha moment. Here at the CTM on your first full day, that night you teach a 30 minute lesson all in Portuguese to an instructor playing the role of a Church investigator who does not break character and only speaks Portuguese. On top of this you do not recieve your first grammar lesson until the third day here and you have to teach a 30 minute lesson for five days straight except we don´t teach on Sunday! Everyone here will answer your questions Que se escreve... Que significa... and you get all your books that you will need but no lessons until later, just a teacher helping you study your Preach My Gospel and how to introduce yourself and answering any questions. At first I was so frustrated and I thought there was something wrong with the curriculumn of the CTM but then I asked another elder who had been to the Provo MTC and he said they taught in a similar way. So I thought about it and now I really appreciate it because this taught me two lessons. The first was that we need to ask questions and seek after the language learning and really go out of our comfort zone instead of waiting for the language to come to us. The most important reason though is that sometimes in life we tend to want to prioritize our lives after the Gospel, but this is not what is best for us. We must ALWAYS put the Gospel and God before everything in our lives even in things you would think would not matter, such as language learning. If we do this we will be so blessed and so much better off than trying to do what we think is right instead of the Lord.
I love and miss everyone so much and I am loving Brazil so far!!
-Sister Haggard

P.S. Also my companions and I can leave the CTM and walk around the area and buy things after our email time so Im super excited!!!!

June 3, 2015 At the MTC/CTM!

I am here at the mission training center in Brazil! hahaha the plane in Fargo had a problem with the left engine so we sat on the runway for an extra hour and a half so I missed my second flight but it was easy to get the new flights. It seems like a couple hours ago I said good bye to all of you. Im in a trio here with two girls from Utah but I think there will be two more Brazilian girls in our dorm I hope so we will see! There is a count down clock showing how much time you have left on the computer. So on the flight to mineapolis, I sat next to an older gentleman and we talked and he had researched the Church lots because he thought the history of the church is very interesting, although he assured me a couple times that he liked being Protestant haha. But I was a little nervous because of the delayed plane  and talking with him about the Church was such a blessing because afterwards I felt so much calmer. Also, the guy who printed me off a new flight schedule had a daughter that served in Brazil on a mission too small world! The weather here is low 60s but with a little humidity it feels very nice. It is the winter here, so it will probably get very hot in the summer. São Paulo is on a plateu so the elevation makes São Paulo cooler than Rio even though Rio is pretty close. The buildings here are concrete looking and very close together. When we were driving to the MTC It was busy on the roads and motorcycles were zooming in between the lanes. The cars here are generally smaller as well. I´m so excited to get speakin some Portuguese!!!!! 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

June 2, 2015: Sending Sister Haggard off to Sao Paulo!

This is Sister Lillie Haggard's mission blog.   For the next 18 months, we will be posting her pictures and weekly emails from the Brazil Missionary Training Center (6 weeks) and then the Brazil Sao Paulo West Mission. 
Just know it is going to be an amazing year and a half! 

And she's off!!!!

Saying goodbye to the bros (not pictured - Ben and Grace are serving missions, too!)

Goodbyes are hard!

Visiting the Gpas and Ali in Chicago before heading to Brazil