The MTC (CTM)

4/13/2016

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Mamacita!!

I have arrived safely in Brazil! We have about 15 minutes to shoot a quick email home!

The flight from PHX to Atlanta was good. I gave away the pass along cards they gave me in my passport haha but then on the flight from Atlanta to Sao Paulo I sat next to this teeny tiny Brazilian man and he kept giving me death looks so I was like, Umm….I don’t know if I should talk to you. Its ok it was fun! 🙂

We are here at the CTM! My companion is Sister Dobson and she is from Washington state! She is literally the cutest. Her mom packed her a TON of vitamins and a schedule for when to take them and eeevverrryythhhannngg its cracking me up she’s so cute.

So yeah I met up with two Elders on the way here. One from Gilbert and one from Ohio and then when we got to Sao Paulo, me and Sister Dobson realized we were on the same flight and didn’t even see each other. But thats ok, because we are companions now 🙂

Also flying here I was really excited then when we landed in Sao Paulo I was like, WHAT AM I DOING IM A CRAZY PERSON HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE IN BRAZIL FOR A YEAR AND A HALF WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?! But then I got off the plane and got to the CTM (the freeway was 1st world but the driving was like…Iron-Pedal Louis was multiplied by a million and one! Motorcycles were driving between the lanes on the white lines and it was kind of hilarious) and the Spirit is SO here and I feel A LOT more safe now. I know it will get hard, but for now its just good to know I’m in a safe place and everyone is here for the same reasons and when it DOES get hard, I won’t be the only one having a hard time.

Me and my companion are in a room with two bunks, and the second companionship will be two Brazilian sisters and so that will help us a lot! Im really excited to start learning but also Im kind of bracing myself. But mostly excited!

I love you mom! You are the best! Tell Joyce and Blake and Adam and Mitchell and everyone I love them so so much! You are all amazing!

Brazil is absolutely beautiful and absolutely humid but the temp. is nice 🙂 The humidity is very much friends with my hair and I’m like the annoyed aunt trying to keep one or the other under control hahaha but maaannnn it feelllsss soooooo niiiiccceee loooovvveee iiittt (I’m actually serious. My companion doesn’t really like it as much. She doesn’t like that its hot. But it’s not THAT hot…at least, not yet :))

I LOVE YOU!!

Love,

Sister Cox

(My nametag doesn’t say Irma. What even?? haha)

 

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4/22/2016

Whoa guys. Just, whoa. First week and a half on a mission in the CTM.Let me describe day 1: AWFUL. Totally awful. It was long and crazy and full and it seemed like it would just. never. end. But hey! It did!And I´m still alive and its ok. The secretary to the mission president and other American missionaries and everyone has said Day 1 is always the WORST. (I don´t know how to handle these keyboards so I apologize)So, I´m in Brazil and so naturally everything is written in Portugues.Aannnddd everyone speaks Portugues. There are only three pairs ofSister companionships who are American here at the CTM (and one of those companionships is leaving next week so the grand total ofAmerican sisters will be 4/250 missionaries) and our district consists of me and my companion + one other elder companionship (the elder that was at the airport in AZ is in my district). So when all the otherBrazilian elders or sisters come up to me or Sister Dobson (my companion) and start asking us questions in Portugues we´ve gotten reeeaaalllll good at a couple of phrases “Eu nao entente. Eu nao fala Portuguese…Desculpa!“ Translation: “I don´t understand. I don´t speak Portugues. Sorry! “ Yeah…so that´s been my life lately. But guess what!? ITS OK. We eat lots of food that looks good but sometimes doesn`t end up tasting good. For example: Me- SWEET! Pickles! I like pickles! Me(as I eat `pickles`)- Ohhhh….THOSE ARE NOT NORMAL PICKLES. Gag. hahaha its been pretty fun 🙂 Its ok guys! The gross looking beans and rice are supa delish! Also I feel like Im eating mystery meat every day. CAMI. You would not like it. You guys the CTM sounds super not fun, but really, its Tudo bem (all good)! My instructors are sooooo funny and we love them! Actually, the other day I had one of my laughing fits (Brother Eaves and Joyce Cox know about these…They´re terrible.) and it was sooo bad but just sooo funny. Irmao Valente was just telling us about how he remembers a formula and it had something to do with ice cream and a bigger ice cream and for some reason, it was just hilarious and I don’t even know. But anyways. I digress. I don’t even know what to say. It’s just so weird being the missionary writing home. So my mom’s (yes, its plural) told me there’s always that wall that missionaries hit after being super excited for a couple weeks but to be completely honest, I feel like I got hit in the shins with a baseball bat when I got here. I have to keep reminding myself it’s only the first week. But I love the Spirit here. I feel like they´ve really emphasized this week is that we´re not here to learn Portugues. We´re here to convert ourselves and become more Christ like and I feel like Portugues and companions and the Gospel and being obedient are tools Heavenly Father and Christ give us to make that happen. And Irmao Valente has also said no matter what `Sempre sorria.´ Always smile. It helps. The culture/language shock has been kinda rough BUT I think it will get better after some time. Its only week one. I dont have time to tell you all the miracles and tender mercies Ive seen here but I love you aaaalllll and pray for you every day! ALSO ITS BUHLAWKAYS BIRTHDAY TOMORROW SO MAKE SURE AND TELL HIM HAPPY 16TH BIRTHDAY FOR ME AND EMBARRASS THE HECK OUT OF HIM I LOVE YA BLAKE!!!love ya mom! you the best! and I loved your hospital story! it did make me smile!  Love, Sister Cox (not Irma. apparently people would associate us with nuns if we were called that.) SEMPRE SORRIA 🙂 🙂 🙂 (also no pictures cause we´re not allowed to send them from the CTM) 😦 mom can you forward this? it’s not letting me do it:(

🙂

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4/29/2016

Ok. So I learned something new this week: My name in Portuguese is the word they use to describe a small ostrich. An Ema. Neato 🙂

I feel like my days are so full but I don’t know what to write about…hmm…

We get to go to the Sao Paulo temple every P-day so this week was my second week! Its super duper tiny but its sooo beautiful and I love it. A LOT. And so on our way to the temple from the CTM we drive through the city for about 30-45 minutes. Sau Paulo is a really cool combination of the Amazon, New York city and the ghetto. I enjoy it 🙂 The weather for the first couple weeks was warm and HUMID. Not burning hot but warm and our dorm didnt have the greatest circulation at night and so we would just sweat in our sleep. Yummy. 😛 But this week its cooled off A LOT and the last couple days have been SO nice.

So trying to communicate with Brazilians is getting more fun than painful haha 😛 And so whenever they find out my mission is in Curitiba, they have all kinds of lovely things so say about it so me and Elder Carson are really excited. They say its cold (but its not Utah cold so I assume its pretty nice..? We´ll see 🙂 )

I don’t know what else to say…I love love love our instructors. One of them is like a young Brazilian version of Bishop Schlerf and the other one is an older Brazilian version of Quinton MacDonald (if you guys know who that is?) It cracks me up. They´re the best. Also they´re white. hahaha like that even matters ok 😛

We go on splits with Brazilian/Portuguese speaking sisters about three times a week and my companion is from Cabo Verde! She´s seriously SO sweet and I love learning from her–even though I cant understand a whole bunch…Its still awesome.

So we have these ´fake´ investigators that we teach every day and we have to teach them in Portuguese (they´re actually just our instructors) but THEYRE REAL. Oh my goodness seriously they´re real. Its ridiculous. Maybe I just take it way too seriously…? Jefferson and Edivaldo. And this week, Edivaldo was totally killing me. AHHH KILLING ME. But its ok! Long story short: Im learning line upon line and I´m not frustrated with him anymore so thats good 🙂

Also, yesterday we had a devotional and a member of the seventy came! Elder Costa (I don’t know how to spell his name). He talked a lot about having the Spirit with you when you teach. I think Edivaldo taught me that too. Teaching with the Spirit isn’t about whether or not I feel the Spirit. Its not really about ME. Its about whether the investigator feels and is being taught by the Spirit… I dunno. Im pretty ignorant at this point but I love being a missionary. A lot of the time I feel like the things I have to do and the things I actually accomplish is like the way sand in an hour-glass falls through a tiny tiny bit at a time….accept someone keeps dumping sand in the top half of the hour glass and so the hour never comes to an end haha 😛

But anyways one of the american Elders asked me this week why I always look so mad all the time and I was like, WHAT THE SERIOUSLY?!? And I realized I guess I had not really been trying to look happy at all because my heart didn’t necessarily feel blissful because I was stressed out over everything I needed to do. BUT THEN I figured out, my circumstances aren´t changing. So my heart needs to change. I think in the FSOY it talks about gratitude bringing more happiness. And so instead of focusing on everything I need to accomplish, I have been trying to focus on all the help I have had accomplishing those things: my district, my instructors, other missionaries, etc. and trying to tell my heart about all those things because a merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance 😛

Sempre sorria! Love you ALL 🙂

Love, Sister Cox

ps Buhlawkay sorry I didnt have time to reply to your very in depth email I love ya and try to hang out with Garner more because Garner is rad 😛 love ya! hope your b-day was the best!! 16!!!

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5/6/2016

AH I love love love getting all your emails! They make me so happy!

This week was WAY better. Actually…I don’t even remember what happened this week…

OH wait no I remember some of it now! I’m in a trio now! Its me, Sister Dobson and now we have Sister Poulson! She´s from Twin Falls Idaho and she´s way sweet! They put her with me and Sister Dobson because she´s been at the Provo MTC waiting for a visa that finally came through. It was really exciting because we had to move dorm rooms the night before she came and we have 0 time during the day so we were up really late for our fake emergency transfer 😛 We were hard core Fubecas for a second there yikes! Fubeca is actually not a word…its three Portuguese words put together to mean Apostate Missionary. Do some research, let me know what you find about how the word Fubeca came to be 😛 Its bad.

Anyways. What to share about this week…? Our Brazilian roommates left for the field on Tuesday so we have a new set of Brazilian roommates who are also a trio 🙂

Also, the first night the new Elders show up, they are always really really crazy and they do crazy things late into the night shouting and throwing things out the windows of the CTM. So that’s a party.

OH here’s a good one: we tried to teach the law of chastity for the first time…in Portuguese… HA. That’s all you need to know.

But anyways. We´ve kind of gotten into a pretty consistent routine so I don’t really know what to share that´s new…? Portuguese is better but still hard. We still eat mystery meat every. day. ah. But hey, the pineapple here is SUPA good. (Have I already mentioned that before…? Its just too good)

I think that’s all I have for this week…sorry its so boring 😦 One of the Elders in our district accidentally mixed up the words for `sins´and ´fishes´ the first week. No, I have not noticed the water flushing the opposite direction that it does in America. And oh man EVMCO was probably the best thing ever! I saw a bird that reminded me of Cami because it was a really beautiful yellow ❤ And Sarah can you please just get your mission call already??? ALSO MOTHERS DAY EVERYONE LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHERS AND HEARKEN TO THEIR COUNCIL BECAUSE THEY’RE THE BOMB.COM.

 

Love you all!

Sister Cox

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5/13/2016

This week. This week the shift key doesn’t work on the keyboard so hey! One paragraph! Anyways. This week one of our instructors hurt his knee so he was gone for 3 days. Actually, his knee has been bad since we got here because he served his mission in Japan and had to kneel for all of his lessons and stuff and so now his knee is messed up. Its sad. Sooo….Hmm… Well. I don’t know what to report on. I got a new companion for divisions and so now Im with a Sister from Curitiba! Shes really really really reeeaaallllyyyyy crazyyyyyy. But she’s so sweet and its been an adventure for sure. Also we got some new Americans this week so now there are about 20-25 of us..?? OH MY GOODNESS I JUST REMEMBERED ELDER HOLLAND IS COMING TO THE CTM THIS COMING SUNDAY OR MONDAY AND WE´RE ALL DDYYYIINNNGG BECAUSE HE WANTS TO SHAKE HANDS WITH ALL OF US WHHAATTTT??!!!! SO PUMPED GUYS WHAT EVEN IS THIS?!?! Oh yeah…a mission. Duh. OK. So anyways. I don’t really know what to talk about but I guess here’s a day in the life at the CTM: We wake up at 6:30 and get ready then we study then we eat breakfast (bread and cheese) and then study more and then have class on grammar or how to teach or something and then we teach our investigator Jefferson and then we have more class and then we eat more food (mystery meat for dayyysss guys) and then we have more class or divisions and then we teach our other investigator Edivaldo (but while our Irmão was gone, we called him Morte-valdo because Morte is the word for death in Portuguese but is ok Morte-valdo came back to life on the third day haha) and then we have more class and we have Actividade Fisica/Physical Activities in the evening and its kind of funny because we´re not allowed to jump (Não pode polar! …or something in Portugues like that? You can´t jump!) and its a real trial for a lot of the Elders here and then we go shower and then do a planning session or district study and then we go to bed. So yeah… The highlight of this week was that one of our Instructors was gone and so it messed up our routine a little bit but its ok. It was a good time 🙂 Also a few other things I learned more about this week: The scriptures and the Spirit are the greatest. And prayer. So when we´re told to get in the habit to pray and study our scriptures every day, We need to DO. IT. We need to practice (shout out to Brother Eaves and scripture mastery D&C 46:33 right?) because when we study and pray every day we are setting ourselves up for spiritual experiences that will help us recoginize and get to know the Spirit better and it is absolutely essential. The Spirit is sometimes the only resource we have for guidance, counsel, etc. We need to USE the gift we´ve been given. We have the gift of the Holy Ghost, which means we´ve got a member of the GODHEAD with us 24-7 and thats uh, AMAZING. USE IT. POR FAVOR. Also, here´s a last minute laugh for ya that I just remebered: some of the elders a few weeks ago were talking about how they missed america and one of them had a pair of american flag patterned pants and so they tied them to a pole and then they plegded allegiance to the pants…Pfftt. Elders. I love you all so so much and hope you had a wonderful and fantastic week! Happy late mother´s day to all my moms!

❤ Love, Sister Cox

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5/20/2016

Good news! The shift key works this week!

So I got to shake hands with Elder Holland. AH! That was THE coolest. I don’t even know how to describe the experience well enough. It’s Elder Holland, so naturally it was an Elder Holland talk that we got. And all of the Americans were really excited to hear him but, no joke, we thought maybe we would still have to use headphones to hear a translation from Portuguese to English because we thought maybe he would receive a huge outpour of the Gift of Tongues and say everything in Portuguese. And he had us going for a second when he started his talk ´Bon dia…´ then he continued ´Bem vinda. Parabens. Guarana…´and a few other words I cant remember and then he stopped and said ´thats about all I know in Portuguese so I think I should just stick to English. We were relieved! And it was amazing. He talked about how we need to be ´champion´missionaries. He related it to swimming a race– when we all start out, we start together and excited and fresh and everyone looks like a champion. But God hasn’t called us to BEGIN His work. He´s called us to finish it. And so we only really know who the real champions are at the END. If at the end you´re still working hard and going strong. He said this is the key to be a champion ´Kick when you dont want to kick. And stroke when you dont want to stroke.´ Doesn’t that sound just like Elder Holland?? There was a whole bunch of other amazing stuff and it was a wonderful and enriching experience. Now just to apply it…
Also. We went proselyting this week! It was our second round! The first time was during our second week or something like that and it was way rough but still a good experience. So THIS time was so much different. The purpose is to place Book of Mormons and get contacts for other missionaries in the area. So we were walking around and, trying to follow the Spírit, I initiated a conversation with this sweet old lady in a park in downtown Sao Paulo and she said her name was Beatriz. AH. First of all I had to tell her how much I loved her name because Im a fan of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit and allllll those homies. So yeah. Then we started getting to know her and teaching her a little about the gospel and she just started pouring out her heart and there were tears. From what I understood she had been having heart problems for a couple of months and she just felt so sad and so confused at everyone preaching goodwill (she had some catholic background and at first didnt want to take the Book of Mormon we were trying to give her) and yet she felt so alone and confused. And so I got to tell her about how there was a boy named Joseph Smith who felt the same way. And I’m not entirely sure I was understanding her correctly or if I even said the right words cause at this point I can’t really remember how we got the the end result which was SMILES, Beatriz saying over and over “Obrigada, obrigada, obrigada”, hugs, she said she was going to read the Book of Mormon and wanted to meet with our missionaries and gave us her contact information. I loved her. She was the sweetest. I hope the missionaries find her.
Also, our instructor Irmao Valente told us we were going to be here for an additional 6 weeks because there were too many missionaries arriving in the field at a time and so we were going to just go through the same material and same schedule we´ve had for the 6 weeks we´ve been here.
And I totally believed him.
And I was the ONLY ONE.
DUMMBBB.
It was totally a joke and he had other instructors in on it so I totally fell for it and I was just like ”HOW AM I GOING TO DO ANOTHER 6 WEEKS OF CTM??” OH man it was so embarrassing they totally had me going there.
AND THEN one of the Elders had to do this really really freaky GOLLUM impersonation TO ME that was so scary I thought I was going to die. It was so scary just believe me please.
Also I used a ”Yur mom” joke for the first time in 5 weeks. Someone was doing a lesson plan and said ”No way I have I way better scripture” and then it just came out I couldn’t hold it back ”Your mom is a better scripture.”
It was hilarious just trust me. I’ve been trying so so so hard not to use those jokes. It’s ok I repented for that one I won’t do it anymore. I love you mom!
Next email you get I will probably get to send pictures finally and I´ll be in CURITIBA!!
I love you all!! Have a wonderful week!
Love, Sister Cox
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5/24/2016

I´m here at the mission home in Curitiba! And they gave me the package you sent! Tell Sister Dye that I love love love love love love love the little book and tell little Carson that I haven´t gotten the chance to read all his notes but I will for sure! Thank you so much for my scriptures! It was like meeting a friend here! Thank you so so so much!

So on the way here one of the Elders said the field is so much better than the CTM. I sincerely hope thats true because the CTM was not my favorite thing. But I did learn a lot. But now the real deal is about to start. I don’t know how to feel about it. I’m kind of bracing myself for the really hard work everyone talks about.
Also, IT’S COLD. The mission president´s wife says it snows here! Soooo…I might be doing some winter clothes shopping just a little bit! Haha! No worries! Really! I’m just happy to be out of the CTM right now. My companion was so hard. But it’s ok. WE GOOD 😉
Also I miss Buhlawkay a lot a lot a lot so tell him he´s the bomb.com. Also, a lot of the Elders at the CTM were just so immature and not gentlemen at all so Blake had better be a million times better than them when he gets to the CTM – no pressure. I actually met a brazilian version of Mason Welch my first couple weeks or something while I was there and it was kind of scary. But hey! Blake can be awesome like that too! IT HAS TO HAPPEN BUHLAWKAY IM NOT KIDDING YOU´D BETTER BE TOP-NOTCH OR ELSE.
Yeah so my third companion that came 3 weeks in with another Sister from AZ were like, my favorite people at the CTM. They LITERALLY brought sunshine and fresh air with them. NO JOKE. So grateful for them. Also Irmão Louza was my favorite instructor. I’m serious he’s like the young Brasil-hero version of Bishop but also not? I don´t even know. He was just great.
Anyways I gotta go! I´ll let you know when I hit that wall of affliction here in Curitiba! So far it’s good and I can actually understand what people are saying to me most of the time. But keep praying for that gift of tongues for me and I love you mamacita and Taylor (and girlfriend I havent met youre super duper cuuuuttteeee) and Joyce and Buhlawkay and Adam and Mitchell and moms and everyyyooonnneeee!!
Love, Sister Cox
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