week 1 . #brazil #iloveit but i struggle as much here as i do in the USA with...
ya know, life. ha.

links in red (click for more info)

Oi familia! (And everyone else!)

It's FINALLY Pday [mom note: preparation day or Pday for short. A day set aside once a week for missionaries to shop, do laundry, write home, play sports and take a break from regular proselytizing activities] This has been the longest wait of my life haha. And then I opened up my email to twenty eight emails. You guys are all rock stars. It made me feel so loved (and also slightly panicked because I don't have much time to email) Luckily some American sisters who have been here for awhile gave us a great tip about taking pictures of emails so we could read them later. So I have mostly just skimmed all the emails you lovely people sent me but I promise to read them very thoroughly when email time is over.

So wow...I'm in the CTM in Brazil. I've only been here for a week and a few days even though it feels like I've been here foreverrrr. Every day is so long and busy that by the time we eat lunch (almoco) it feels like it's time for dinner. We have tons of classes throughout the day so we can learn portuguese which is sometimes really fun and sometimes the most frustrating thing in the world. Lemme tell you though, I am so grateful for the four years of spanish that I have under my belt. They are making this so much easier to learn than it would be starting straight from english.

On our second day here we started teaching investigators (pesquisadors) in PORTUGUESE. Wait, what? Did she say in portuguese? Yep. Fresh from America and we're trying to teach a lesson in a new language. It was actually painful it was so bad. But the good thing is our lessons have only gotten better, because they really can't get any worse.

Well actually, we had a lesson with a new pesquisador yesterday named Selete. It was definitely one of my hardest days here. Lots and lots and lots of tears were shed for probably 3 hours straight and then some more later. Rough. But my district [mom note: group of missionaries] is honestly a dream and made it so much better. The elders gave each of the sisters in my district a blessing and that was such an amazing experience to see them use their priesthood to comfort us. I just love them and I love the priesthood and I love this gospel!

But back to Selete. So our whole district (all the sisters actually) had this crying breakdown in the middle of class so Irma (Sister) Mendes (our teacher, she's a riot...we love her) decided to change class around and talk to each of us individually about why we are here and we read scriptures. I was feeling better until I realized that Sister Clinger and I had to teach a lesson in like 10 minutes to our brand new pesquisador and we had nothing prepared because of the cry time. Sweet sweet Sister Clinger basically took the whole lesson on by herself and all I had to do was bear my testimony (we've done that before but usually I am the person who talks to the pedquisador about if they have questions or whatever because I usually sort of understand what they're saying, but this time I was just down for the count because I could. not. stop. crying.)

We walk downstairs to the little room, me sobbing the whole way and we knock on the little door. And Irma Mendes was inside! She was role playing Selete! Thank goodness because anyone else would've thought I was straight crazy. So Sister Clinger starts teaching the lesson, she knocks it out of the park. Then it's time for my testimony. I go to wipe my nose since it's all nasty from crying and when I pull the tissue away there's blood all over (like my fourth nosebleed this week, whats wrong with me?) hahaha So my nose just starts leaking blood like crazy. I've got tears streaming down my face, makeup everywhere, my eyes are swollen to the size of Texas, and I've got a bloody tissue stuffed up my nose while I try to bear my testimony in broken cavewoman style portuguese. Oh AND there's a video camera in there so I guarantee the people watching it just really had their day made.

Okay so I'm going to try and give you as many details as I can about life in the CTM and this last week, but times getting shorter (ahhhhh email is stressful haha. I'll send home some letters with Mr. Cheney's/MissionTies next week. [mom note: a quicker easier way to send letters. See more info after her letter] Best idea ever to do that mom)


The CTM is really nice. It had started to feel slightly like a prison after this last Wednesday, but getting out and going to the temple in Campinas this morning was an absolute dream. All the people here are so so nice, even if I can only understand a few words of what most people are saying.


Okay my district is the literal best. All the sisters are already like best friends. Sister Clinger is an amazing companion (as you can tell from my previous story) and she shares her cookie butter with me so I love her. Sister Hatton is so sweet. She's quieter but sometimes she'll just say something seriously hilarious. Sister Johnson and Sister Hartvigsen feel like people I've know for years. We all get along so well and we entertain ourselves just telling stories or quoting dumb videos or just cracking jokes (they like puns...score!) all day long.

The Elders are the sweetest and think I'm funny haha. It's weird because my whole district thinks I'm this super outgoing personality and that I have like zero percent shyness at all. HA. Its just because being with people for like 16 hours a day really breaks down any barriers.

Some of the elders without any sisters in their family are kind of freaked out by the fact that the sisters will just burst into tears randomly. Their reactions are priceless. That's the thing about the CTM in general...this has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. There have been times when I've been really sad but I have also had SO much fun. And I have felt the spirit so powerfully it is amazing. I wish I had more time to focus on the scriptures and the gospel though. It sounds weird but we're spending so much time on portuguese I feel like I never have time to really get into my scriptures, and all I want to do is just curl up in my bed and read them. I think everything here is just a matter of giving myself time to adjust and trusting in the Lord.


Thank you sooooooo much for the letters through MissionTies. Mom you might get emails from some of the other missionary's moms about mission ties because my whole district wants their moms to sign up for it haha. You have no idea how much I needed those. Send a trillion more, I love mail!


Still can't believe I'm in Brazil, Partially because we've only been outside of the CTM to go to the temple, but we're hitting the streets of Sao Paulo after email so that will be exciting.

Kay, I know there's a million more things you guys want to know about but I'm running out of time. I love love love you all so much and miss you every second.

Mom and Pie [mom note: our family nickname for Emily] how's NEW YORK? You crazy kids running around the city...I love it.

Dad the scripture that you shared with me and the quote in the letter you sent was PERFECT. I read it to my whole district because it was exactly what we all needed. I'm so proud to be following in the footsteps of you and mom and serving a mission, and I know that you understand how hard this is, but you also have come out the other side of it, so I know that you understand how many great things will come from this too. [mom note: here's what Derek shared..."One of my favorite scriptures is found in Psalms 30:5 and it tells us that "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning". I love that concept. To take it a step further, it is good that challenges and struggles wont last forever, but even better to understand that they come with a purpose...they help us become who we are supposed to be. Neal A. Maxwell gave a General Conference talk during my mission that has one of my favorite quotes of all time. He said that, "we find that sorrow can enlarge the mind and heart to give place, expanded space for later joy." What an amazingly true concept...that as we become more and learn from our challenges, we are better equipped to comprehend the joy that comes our way. I love it!"]

Pie, Luke, Nate. I LOVED your emails and letters. Keep them coming. You are my favorite people and I'm sorry I can't write more to each of you, but I'll send some letters, promise.

Kay time for me to peace out and go get A MILKSHAKE in the city, you don't understand how excited I am for that. The food is pretty good here but there's definitely some stuff I'm mission (uh I mean missing haha) from America.

I love you guys so much and MISS YOU like crazy. Thank you for being the best in the world. Stay cool.

Lots and lots of love from Brazil.

Sister Baker

[mom note: MissionTies is a website that allows us to email the company with letters or pictures for Megan. They print the email and/or pictures and mail it to the CTM. MissionTies is associated with Mr Cheney's Cookies which is an American bakery right across the street from the CTM. Because of their close proximity to the CTM an email we send on a Monday is likely to show up in Megan's mailbox Tuesday. The advantage of this is Megan can receive and read letters any day during the week and not have to wait until Pday. It is a paid service but we can add sub users to our account with no cost to you so if you'd like to be added to the account so that you can send snail mail letters to Megan as opposed to or in addition to emailing her email me at dbakerfam[at]cox[dot]net. I know she enjoys getting emails but she really loves seeing letters in her mail box during the week.]

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