Monday, May 20, 2013

First Week in PORTUGAL!


    So I feel like the MTC was forever ago. Remember when I said I hope I don't have to speak in sacrament? Yeah I had to. I thought I was going to get away with it since it was the last Sunday. Dang it! But all is well. Oh on Mother's Day Janice Kapp Perry was our Relief Society speaker. She's awesome. She wrote more verses to the song "As Sisters in Zion" just for sister missionaries and we were the first people to ever sing it. She's making a new album for sister missionaries so buy it :) It was crazy trying to pack everything because it barely fit haha I think I'm going to send more stuff home because I don't want to have to do that every transfer. We left the MTC on Tuesday morning and arrived in Portugal on Wednesday night. It was sad saying goodbye to everyone at the MTC and leaving forever! Surprisingly I really liked it there. The airport was crazy. I tried calling home with no luck for like 8 hours. But I'm glad I got to talk to everybody. Sorry it was short. On the way from Texas to England I sat by an Englishman. Dad I asked him if he was from England, but don't worry I didn't use your weird accent. Haha he was a cool guy.

    We FINALLY got to Portugal and we had Pres and Sister Fluckiger waiting for us along with a few other missionaries and the Mission Historian. Don't post any of the pictures they sent you. Haha I looked HORRIBLE. But since there were so many of us we couldn't fit in the Mission Home so they took us all to a hotel. It's actually the place where the first meeting of the church ever took place in Portugal. Pretty cool! The view from our room was NUTS! This place is so pretty. On one side there was a soccer field. Just in the middle of the city. On the other side we had the coolest old buildings. I will send you a picture. But yeah we had dinner and they spoke to us for a while. I was trying so hard to stay awake. OH the guy in the Mission Presidency that Shauna Murphy served with recognized my name and pulled me aside to  take a picture together. I think he sent it to Shauna? 

    President Fluckiger (By the way it's pronounced flew-key-grrr) took some of us aside and told us what city we would live in and who our companion was. I was assigned in a city called Vila Real. It's like North Central of Portugal. He said, "Sister Carroll you will be trained by Sister Silva. She's from Cape Verde and doesn't speak any English." Hahaha be careful what you joke about huh? The next day we had training and I met my companion. We left and had to say goodbye to everybody in our district. Tons of people cried hahaha man they are such cool people. But yeah my new companion is awesome though. I'm actually really happy that she only speaks Portuguese because it will help me learn a lot faster. I can understand almost all of what she says to me as long as I have a dictionary with me for some of the words. The tricky part is trying to respond. But I think I'm already improving. Thank goodness! Anyway she's super nice. She knows a few words in English because she listens to a lot of American music haha. Some of the American missionaries taught her like instead of dang it or something in America we say, "Bob Saggot!" (Not sure how you spell that) Haha it is hilarious though! Every day she says that or "Freak show!" She also says the n word a lot but I don't think she knows what any of that stuff means haha. She's super awesome!

    We live in a ghetto apartment which I actually think is awesome. I wanted to get the full mission experience. We live with Sister Miles (Dancing/Singing girl) and Sister Jackson. We use an old refrigerator for a closet hahaha. It's perfect for us all though! I like it. The food in Portugal so far has been disgusting. Haha not sure why but I'm like never hungry anymore. I'll probably get used to it soon. The people are super nice. I've adjusted to the kissing on both cheeks thing already. Shocker huh? They're all so pretty too. Except their teeth. They don't care about their teeth I guess. EVERYONE and their dog smokes. I honestly don't think you could go outside anywhere and look around without seeing a cigarette on the ground. It's so crazy! 

    Oh good news. We don't ever ride a bus. We walk everywhere we go! I'm very excited about that. Hopefully I won't gain 1,000 pounds. The weather here so far has been really cold. I have to wear 2 coats and gloves and tights and a long skirt to stay somewhat warm. Our first night here I don't think I slept even 5 minutes but we brought in a heater and since then I've slept better than I ever have my entire life haha. I guess I just get worn out. Oh man so we've taught quite a few lessons already and contacted in the streets! We taught this one lady and her son and she really wanted to get baptized. They were awesome and then the next day she called us and told us her husband won't let us come over anymore. First real mission experience! Tons of people will look out their peep hole when we knock and not open the door hahaha we can hear them and see them but it's pretty funny. We taught one girl in the street and she gave us her number but when we called it she had given us a fake number. So we were walking talking to other people and she's walking down the street with her boyfriend! We were in a completely different part of the city. Not a coincidence. I don't think she's interested, but we're planting seeds. :)

    We went to a member's house last night for dinner. She had cats running all over the tables and our food had cat hair in it. We ate pork and rice. Oh gosh I had to gag it down. Somehow I got away with eating just a tiny bit. She brought out some cake for dessert and it was literally black. Hahaha she burnt it so bad. But it was nice of her to feed us. Whenever something is burnt Sister Silva says, "Obama!" Haha. Lots of people here know a few words in English because they watch American movies and listen to American music. So when people meet me they try to speak in English. Haha. I understand their Portuguese more than their English. Most of the members are pretty new in the church I think. We're in a branch but our goal is to make it into a ward. Most people here are Catholic. They all believe in God but I don't think they're very willing to change because the word of wisdom is tough for them. But that can change!

    So mom you will be happy to know that they don't have a pianist in our branch so I have taken that job. They just have a tiny keyboard and the used to sing with no accompanist so it's better than nothing. I didn't know the songs they picked so I was sight reading. I played horribly but the funny part is they all sing so loud and so out of tune that you can't even tell when I mess up. Seriously. So out of tune. Haha. Sister Miles and I had to bear our testimonies in Sacrament as well. Everyone was helping me when I conjugated things wrong hahah oh man. These people are awesome. Well that's about everything. Sorry this email is so long. I didn't even get to everything but just know that I love this place already. It gets really frustrating sometimes that I can't communicate very well but I will learn eventually. Tonight we're driving to Porto for a Zone Conference and staying overnight. I will get to see some of my friends again! I know it hasn't been very long but I'm excited to see them. We're also getting our first interviews with President Fluckiger. 

    Oh by the way mom why were you with Ammon when I called to let you know I was safe? I MISS HIM SO MUCH! Tell him Happy 2nd Birthday next week from me.  I only get letters in the mail like every couple of weeks because it's mailed to Lisbon and the Elders have to bring it to us so if you write a hand written letter and I take a long time to reply that's why. Hope everyone is doing well! Ryan and Aimee travel safely to DC this week! (Can someone send me their email?) Kristan, Raymond, and Kelsey hope your last week of school goes well. Mom and Dad I don't know what you're doing... but hope it's fun haha. Talk to you next week.  Miss you all. 

Love Sister Carroll

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