My name is Diana Martin and I am a not so secret agent for the Lord in beautiful Maceio, Brazil. I am serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 18 months.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Two weeks worth

April 23, 2013

Bom Dia!
So they were not kidding when they said change is a big part of the mission. Just a week ago (feels like a long time ago) my companion Sister Smith left for Brazil. Life as a trio has been hard and an adjustment but I like both of my companions a lot so we made it work. The second lesson we taught as a trio was amazing! All three of us got the impression to invite our investigator to be baptized and even though he said no it was so cool because we were all in sync with the Spirit and each other. It was a definite high point of happiness this week.  Another awesome thing was Elder Richard G. Scott coming and talking to us. He just lifted our spirits (almas) and let us know that it will be all right. We can do this even if it is hard. Then on Sunday BYU men's chorus came and sang to us. They touched my heart.
But more change is imminent. I might be back down to just a regular companionship tomorrow. It is unsure but we will see how it goes.
I loved Alyssa's and Emma's letters! I got a good laugh from them. Well I am just glad that my picture in the kitchen was replaced by a picture of Jesus and not something else. I am ok with being replaced by Jesus. He is my biggest support right now. I also laughed because both Alyssa and Andrea mentioned how their days are repetitive and I do the same thing literaly every day. It is kinda crazy. You also go kinda crazy sitting in a desk for 10 hours. Thank goodness for the Spirit, a fun district, and good teachers. I am learning so much and I feel like I have grown and I am so happy but I do get a little stir crazy.
This week during TRC (teaching resource center) we got to talk to these sisters that are actually from Brazil. They talked SO fast and it was hard to understand them because of it but they were also incredibly nice. They even took pictures with us and said they would add us on facebook. It was funny. But I know that when I actually get to Brazil it will be very easy to love the people. I will get my reassignment in two weeks! (I get to call home for five minutes when I get my reassignment!)
Unfortunately, we are losing both of our teachers this week. I love them both. They are truly amazing people. One got an internship and the other got reassigned to a new district. We are getting two new teachers and I am sure they are amazing people but it isn't the same. I'm just glad that we are Brother Paulich's last district and Sister Peterson's first so that we will be memorable =). We are a pretty interesting group of people if I do say so myself.
Portuguese is coming along pretty nicely. I can talk and say almost what I want to say as long as it pertains to the gospel. I don't know much besides that. Haha, teaching the law of chastity was interesting in limited Portuguese. I love being able to speak Portuguese even if it is broken. Deus...te...ama. Ele quere que voce ser limpo....
I was stunned when I heard about what happened with  the attack on the Boston Marathon. I am so grateful that Jenna and family were safe and able to stay in their apartment. I am glad that the Garlands too were kept safe and unharmed. I am praying for you and hope it is all well.
I love you
Sister Martin

April 16, 2013

Querido loved ones,
It was wonderful to hear from you! The Dear Elders throughout the week are a wonderful thing (I only get letters at night right before bed so as to not be a distraction but they are marvelous.) Yay Mary Claire! Oh I am so happy for Jenna and Chris and baby girl! Those pictures are so beautiful and so is she!
My visa stuff is all taken care of but it will still be quite a while before mine will come through but it will come eventually.
Y'all asked about my favorite General Conference talk. Well my favorite is Elder Holland (when he was announced as the next speaker a cheer went up from the missionaries). I loved what he said about first thinking about what you have and the faith you have before your limits. That is so important and something I needed to hear as I struggle through Portuguese. I also loved both of Sister Dalton's talks (we also watched the YW general conference) it was all about the impact we as daughters of God (and missionaries) can have on the lives we touch. It reminded me why I am here.
This week was harder than the first. Almost my entire district was sick, as was I. So it has been tough but we are getting through it and coming out the better for it. I now have two teachers and get to learn even more. I feel like my brain is expanding to accommodate all this new information about the gospel and the language.
This past week my companion got her visa. She is leaving today for the Brazil MTC actually. It is crazy because another person from my district got his visa as well. That is only two people. This past Wednesday 700 people entered the MTC and 120 of them were Portuguese speaking. It is insane how few have gotten visas. But anyway, I am so excited for her but this does mean I will be in a trio with the other sister companionship in my district and we have to change rooms and what not. It will be interesting to see how the dynamics change in our district. Despite only being here for two weeks we have gotten really close.
The best parts of my week are the big meetings because they have the most incredible speakers come. Last Tuesday, Elder Lund spoke (aka the guy that wrote all the books). He was a very powerful speaker and talked a lot about the mission and revelation. As missionaries, it is essential for us to have inspiration and revelation (inspirisao e revelasao) when teaching investigators but we cannot command God nor demand that He give us answers to our prayers. We have to obey His will and His time. This is something that is hard for me to do because it takes patience and trust.
On Sunday, Sister Edmunds talked to us. She has gone on four missions and was so inspiring while being so funny. This mission is not about me. This is not my time. I am here on the Lord's time. The speakers are always amazing and carry such a Spirit!
I love you all and hope all is. Boa Sorta com suas vidas!
Sister Martin

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

First email!

We have been waiting anxiously to hear from Diana.  A week is a long time to wait!  We knew that she would be fine, and would be busy taking classes but it was so nice to get that email.

Here it is:

It has been one crazy week! And it started the moment I got out of the car at the MTC. There was an army of people waiting for me. One person took my bag and told me where to go and then someone else got me and took me to my class and all the while 3,000 other missionaries are all welcoming you in their mission language so you don't understand any of it. It´s great! We had a meeting with all the new missionaries and we sang Army of Helaman and changed the words to "we are the Lord´s missionaries". I was in the very front and there were hundreds of people behind me singing this song and the Spirit was so strong it blew me away.
I´m living in a room with five other sisters, all Portuguese speaking, but we only have four closets and four desks. We make it work but we had an interesting time trying to unpack.
My companion´s name is Sister Smith and we actually met on facebook before we got here! She is from Seattle and we get along pretty well which is good since we spend all of our time together. It is only hard because it is not just up to me to decide when I go where but we have to do it together.
My district is made up of four sisters and eight Elders. Half of us are headed to Maceio and the others are going to Port Alegre. We all were reassigned to come here to the Provo MTC. I had no idea that there were literally HUNDREDS of people waiting for visas. I know now that I most likely will spend all my MTC time here and will be reassigned temporarily to a stateside mission after the 6 weeks. That just means that the Lord needs me to serve in two different places.
So, learning how to speak in Portuguese. Not easy. If I could focus solely on the Spiritual side of things it would be great. I feel happy all the time...until I get stuck on Portuguese. But I am progressing. Even if it is slow going. I can pray and bear my testimony in Portuguese and that's about it. Sister Smith and I have taught our investigator Dora two twenty minute lessons already in Portuguese but we were allowed to use notes. The first lesson went all right but last night we gave our second and it was AMAZING. The spirit in that room was astounding. She asked questions and some how we were able to answer them without any notes. As a missionary, I have been able to feel the Spirit more than ever and stronger than ever. The Holy Ghost truly is my constant companion.
Conference was amazing! It is all about the missionary work!

Today it snowed. Oh goodness! Not good! It's ok though. My jacket aka cardigan kept me nice and warm. Sort of.

I love you all!!

Sister Martin

Sunday, April 7, 2013

And so it begins...

Diana left Massachusetts via Logan Airport early in the morning of April 2.  She was very excited and ready to go!  She had been set apart as a missionary at home the night before by her dad which isn't the normal way of doing things. Most missionaries have to call and make an appointment with a member of the Stake presidency and then travel to the church to be set apart by them. Diana is fortunate in that her dad is a member of the Stake Presidency so she was blessed to have the special opportunity to be set apart by him at home. I could see in her face immediately after she was set apart that she felt it-that feeling of being prepared and being able to focus on serving the Lord. We are so happy and proud of her and, despite missing her terribly, are excited for the opportunity she has to teach the gospel in Brazil for the next 18 months.

 She is still waiting for her visa to come through which is why she is in Utah right now. We had expected her to go straight to Brazil for her training but the lack of visa is just a temporary bump in the road. It also meant that she got to see her "2nd family" one more time: Lon and Amy Cook and their daughters Analisa and Christina. Amy picked her up at the airport in Salt Lake and she stayed with them overnight. They took her to a couple of her favorite restaurants, took some pictures with her, ran some errands with her, and then dropped her off at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) where some of the elders helped her with her bags.  As you can see by the pictures, she is very happy!