Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Meio Caminho!

I can't believe it has been another week! Halfway done at the MTC! Crazy, right? So I'm sorry that I'm terrible at writing emails and I'm sure that like nobody reads these anyways. But I'll try to make this one less scattered. I gave myself more time to type so hopefully it'll be better :)
Hmm so I guess I'll just lay out the week...
Tuesday (last P day): We had a devotional from Larry R. Lawrence of the Seventy and his wife which was awesome. He talked about how we can protect ourselves from the adversary and how we should try to avoid being discouraged. It was great.
Wednesday: So Sis Richards seriously has had something go wrong like every day at the MTC. She was sick the whole first week, she kept getting random cuts and bruises and bug bites everywhere, her hair was falling out, and she was having some stomach problems. I have no idea how I haven't gotten sick yet...So we've been to the clinic a few times and she finally had a follow up appointment for some blood tests and we found out that her body was just stressed and she was just adjusting to everything I guess, but we're pretty sure she's all good now. 
Oh, we also got to host! It was awesome! Especially since I didn't have a host when I arrived because of my insane flight delay that made me miss all the fun. I got to host 4 new sisters! It was exhausting but so fun! I was pretty much carrying heavy suitcases around and up/down stairs for two hours straight but it was the best!
Thursday: Oh cool story! So we have a few people (2 sisters and 1 elder I think) in our zone who are going to Mozambique and I guess there were people from South Africa who were curious about the MTC and the missionaries and we're trying to get more missionaries in other areas there so the consulate general of Angola came to visit and observe the other district in our zone for like an hour and it was crazy and a huge deal. And we heard he was impressed with how much Potuguês everyone knew after only being here for two weeks. 
Oh, funny story. We were practicing contacting outside and I got paired up with Sis Berg and we were supposed to teach about O Livro de Mórmon so I was trying to explain (em Potuguês of course) that it is another testamento de Jesus Cristo and I tried to say that Jesus is the son of God, but I accidentally said to Sis Berg "Jesus Cristo é teu filho (your son)" instead of "Jesus Cristo é seu filho (His son)." So that was an awesome mixup. Sister Berg could not stop laughing so that lesson ended quickly haha No big deal, I'm just gonna tell my future investigators that Jesus Christ is their son haha 
Oh, also Sis Richards got hit in the head with a volleyball during gym time so that was the best day ever. That sounded so mean haha but she was totally fine and she was laughing about it :)
Friday: TRC (Teaching Resource Center)! We got to teach a lesson to members so we prepared a lesson on temples. It was awesome and it totally boosted our confidence since they didn't ask us hard questions that we couldn't answer in Portuguese. It was amazing and the Spirit was definitely felt.
Saturday: Most beautiful day ever! There were huge piles of leaves everywhere and we studied outside a lot. Irmã Nielson was still sick :( So we had a sub Irmão Nothum. He was awesome and really energetic and we talked about how we can help our investigators know that Jesus is the Christ. Good stuff.
Sunday: I got called to give my talk! It's kinda horrible because they don't tell you before so we all have to have talks prepared and then like a minute before we have to go up, they announce who they'd like to hear from. So I thought I was safe since Sis Richards got called last week but NOPE. It was cool tho. I gave a 3 minute talk em Potuguês sobre O Livro de Mórmon y fé. Also, Chad Lewis (he played BYU football and for the Philadelphia Eagles) spoke at the Devotional and it was awesome. He was so funny and had so many great stories. And we also got to watch a movie called the Legacy in Portuguese! They usually don't play it in Portuguese so that was cool.
Monday: Best day ever in the MTC! It was just awesome! And some worker in the cafeteria did something really nice for me even though I had barely said anything to her! They had run out of something that Sis Richards and I really like having for breakfast so I just said okay and walked back to where we usually sit and then like 5 min later I saw her walking up and she brought us some! It was so random and nice and I don't even know how she found us in the crazy cafeteria! Made my day! Oh and Irmã Nielson was finally back (she had been sick all week).
Anyways, besides all that, Sis Richards and I have been working hard with the language and we're trying our best to improve on our teaching skills every day. One particular thing that we were struggling with was figuring out what exactly each investigator needed to hear and what message would be best to share with them every time we met. We've gotten better at committing our investigators to faithfully do things for themselves though which is awesome. And one of our investigators came to church!
Also, I wanted to share a quote that has really helped me the past couple of weeks. I've found that the MTC can get kind of stressful and frustrating so it is very important to stay positive no matter what. At this past women's conference, Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "Heavenly Father is constantly raining blessings upon us, but it is our fear, doubt, and sin that, like an umbrella, block these blessings from reaching us." We can't let our fears, insecurities, or doubts get in our way. I've definitely learned that here at the MTC. I just have to be positive, speak whenever I can in whatever Portuguese I do know, and just keep moving forward :)
Sorry that was like the longest email ever
Eu amo vocês!
Sister Alia Earls
Moroni 10:32
Sister Richards and me aka the best companionship ever

This picture looks really pathetic but I promise our whole classroom is decorated. I was just too lazy and forgot to take more pictures. Sister Esplin got a bunch of decorations and Halloween toys in a package so we went a little crazy.

Saturday was such and awesome and beautiful day so of course, we had to have a photo shoot in the leaves!

Sister Richards and I got to host last Wednesday! This was how we felt after...Haha carrying heavy luggage around for two hours is just a little tiring, but it was so so fun!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Feijão Legal!

Cool Beans! Haha Irmão Adams taught us how to translate that into Portugués even though it doesn't really work...Still legal though.

Oi minha família e meus amigos! Bom dia!

Ah I left myself so little time to write again! Oh well...

Another great week! Portuguese is improving for sure. Yesterday was kind of a difficult day but overall, things are still awesome.

Sister Richards and I are still the best companionship ever. I love her so much and we really do work together well. 

Hmm what are some good highlights of the week...

Oh we found out that our pesquisador that we had been teaching was actually going to be our teacher. So "Mauricio" is now Irmão Adams. We were able to commit him to baptism in our last lesson which was awesome! I had memorized the invitation to be baptized so I was able to actually maintain eye contact and ask him in portugués which was so legal!! Sis R and I are pretty good at giving lessons now (yesterday was a pretty weird lesson for us though). We don't just read from our papers and we can like actually form coherent sentences. And I finished learning o primeiro visão and the baptism invitation and some of the 7 habits for missionaries. I found out that I was pretty good at memorizing things, but I had a moment where I realized that it wasn't just about checking things off the list of things to memorize. It was about understanding what each thing was in English also and really internalizing what I was saying rather than just memorizing words that I could barely pronounce or comprehend. 

So my favorite thing to do is go on walks to the temple which we do every Sunday and we got to go a lot during general conference. The provo temple is awesome. And I love getting to go inside on P days! Seriously, temples are the best. It's so great to go inside and to let my worries go away for a bit (especially since we're constantly worrying and studying every minute of every day and trying to learn portuguese and how to teach people). 

Oh and I guess my second favorite thing is devotionals!! It's so cool to hear from so many different speakers! This past devotional we heard from D. Greg Droubay who is the director of media for the missionary department and he showed us a sneak peek of a new mormon ad that they'll be releasing this December on YouTube for Christmas that is kinda like the Easter and Mother's Day videos (not sure if any of you saw those, but you should look them up if you haven't) so that was really cool!

Oh and on Sundays, we usually watch a video after devotional and this past Sunday, Sis R and I watched one about teaching from Elder Holland. I like something he said: Never let your faith be difficult to detect! So great. 

Oh I almost forgot! For sacrament meetings, the branch president randomly picks two or three elders or sisters to give talks that we prepare during the week (in portuguese of course) and I was so sure that Sis R or I would get picked. And guess who got picked?! Haha not me, but Sis Richards gave her talk about O Livro de Mórmon and it was so good! 

Ahh I'm running out of time! But I just want to say that I know that Heavenly Father loves all of us. So so much. All He wants is for us to return to Him someday. The atonement is so real and repentance is such a blessing that we can't take for granted. We need to use it all the time and constantly strive to change ourselves and align our will with that of the Lord.

I love you all so much!!!
Sister Alia Earls
On Wednesdays we wear pink.

I was realllllyyyyy reallllyyyyy cansada during our last 3 hour block one day and Sister Richards let me take a secret power nap on the floor in our study room haha

Sisters in our district on the most beautiful Sunday ever.

Sis R and I are the cutest!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


SLAP DESTINY IN THE FACE! Haha I don't know why but that has suddenly become our district's motto. One day during study time, we lost our focus and we were talking about Hot Rod and other silly movies and that quote came up so we tried to translate it and wrote it on the board. Haha Irma Nielson saw it and corrected it and she could not stop laughing.

 Anyways, oi familia e amigos!!!!! Tudo bem? Tudo bem!! 

Aaahhh I love and miss all of you so so much! I was doing so well and I hadn't even had that much time to miss anyone yet but today I've had too much free time and I was so excited to read and write emails so I've finally started to realize how long it'll be until I see you all again! (But at least I have my weekly email time, and some of you have been wonderful and have already written me dear elders! Dear Elder is the best and you should all use it to write me letters!)

So this has already been the best experience ever!! The MTC is amazing! It is a holy place! I have never been so happy in my entire life! I love the schedule, I love the food, I love the people, I love missionaries, I love my district, I love my teachers and investigators! I love everything about this place! Even going to bed early and waking up early! Even though I'm usually a night owl and I have never been a morning person at all, every morning I have woken up a minute or two before my alarm and just waited for it to go off so I can start the day! It's crazy!

Oh and Portuguese is awesome! It gets a little confusing, especially with pronunciation. But I can understand like everything my teacher and our investigator are saying thanks to all my knowledge of Spanish (which even though I like to think I'm fluent, I'm seriously so not haha). It's just when it comes time for me to speak, I kinda just freeze. I'm just held back because I'm afraid of pronouncing things wrong or saying the wrong word or saying it in Spanish accidentally....So I've gotta really learn to let the Spirit guide and just trust that my tongue will be loosed! Oh, but I already memorized nosso proposito, James 1:5, part of the first vision, and some of my testimony! And we have to say all of our prayers in Portuguese now so at least I'm improving on that every time!

Minha companheira and I have definitely figured out that it's always the little things that make us the happiest! Like when they have snickerdoodles in the cafeteria (oh and when they had strawberry sundae crunch ice cream! my fave!) or we successfully memorize or understand or learn something new in Portuguese. I love it here and I love depending so much on the Savior and the Holy Ghost. This has been the best week of my life!

Sorry I'm running out of time because I tried to send so many pictures but I took at least one every day so that should give you a good idea of what's going down here at the MTC! 

Eu sei que A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Ultimos Dias e a igreja verdadeira! 

Oh and Irma Nielson (our teacher) said something yesterday in class that I loved! She said that our missions are not just a time to pass the time, but that they are an investment of time. I know that that is true and I am so glad that I made the decision to invest my time and to preach this gospel!

I love you all!!


Sister Alia Earls


Oh p.s. sorry if my English is horrible because Sister Richards and I realized the other day that we can't speak in English anymore even though we've barely started learning Portugues. Oh and sorry if anything is spelled wrong in Portuguese because it's only my first week and I don't know how to type any accents haha