March 17, 2017: ST. Patrick's Day

Hey guys!! So my time at the mtc is finally coming to a close, I´m not going to lie it feels like I have been here for FOREVER! On Tuesday morning I´m going to get on a bus with 6 other missionaries and head to Santos, It´s about an hour bus ride from here so it shouldn't be too bad. I am a little nervous to try out my Portuguese full time. Proselytizing last week was so great, we we able to hand out 6 Book of Mormons and get 3 referral cards. But when we got back on the bus to head to the CTM I was exhausted, sadly I´m not fluent yet ;)But I have learned so much being here that I kind of wanted to tell you guys a story.On our first day here in Brazil after our orientation they showed us our rooms and gave us two hours to shower and take a nap. And when I got in the shower there were little bugs and black hairs everywhere, all over the walls. The water was ice cold and dripped out of the shower on full blast and there was a little lizard crawling on the ceiling above me. And as I stood there for a second I just thought "I can’t do this, I can´t live like this for 18 months" and I started to think of all the things that I left at home. A clean shower, my own bed, a car, air conditioning, college, dating, and I was pretty upset for a minute and thought about going home. But then I just heard so strongly in my head "This isn’t about you, this is about doing my work" and after that I was able to forget about myself and realize the real importance of what I was doing. Also I learned to be careful when rinsing your hair because if you splash the bugs, they fly all over the place and its kind of frightening!But now let me tell you about the Brazilian missionaries here. Many of them have been members of the church for 2 or 3 years. Many of them have tattoos. Many of them were disowned by their families for their decision to join the church. Many of them come to the CTM with the shirt on their back and a duffel bag containing an extra change of clothes. The second counselor in our branch presidency and his wife spoke in our branch on Sunday. Sister Wilkinson and her husband are here as missionaries, she spends her week translating missionary applications into English so they can be sent to Salt Lake and she told us of the application she was translating this week. It was a young man who had grown up in the church but his father had died when he was 8 and at that point he had to being helping to provide for the family. He and his family had struggled for years and one day his mother looked at him and said that he needed to serve a mission. The boy said there was no way that would happen, they would starve if he went. And his mother replied by saying "we can´t not afford the blessings of having a missionary in the family!" This story hit me so hard. Being here on a mission has been so humbling. Serving side by side with these amazing missionaries has been so great. And now I can´t wait to get into the real world on Tuesday and start working, struggling and being an instrument in the hands of the Lord!Sorry I really don't have any time to respond to any emails this week. But I love you all and pray that you are doing well! 
ALSO!! HAPPY SAINT PATRICKS DAY!!! That is totally not a thing here, abut I’ve been trying to make it a thing, I´ve gotten a a ton of people to wear green but... the kitchen staff wouldn’t make us green pancakes today, so mom, make an extra pancake for me okay? ;)
Love you all!
Sister Garside


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