Tuesday, July 16, 2013


To my dearest familia and amigos,

Tudo bem everyone?! I really can't even really explain my life here. Imagine a place where all you do is learn and improve all day everyday and you never go to bed thinking "Wow, what a bad day, glad it's over." EVERYDAY IS SO GOOD. Nao perfeito but good :)

So I want to tell you more about Ricardo, our beloved atheist investigator. Our second lesson with him went MUCH better but he still hadn't prayed by the third one. Our teacher told us that if need be, as in if he's really not interested and willing, we can choose to not continue teaching him. When he said that Sister Larsen and I were both like, ummm WHAT? Nao obridaga. We seriously love that man even though I don't understand 56.8% of what he says and he's not exactly super fond of us either. Here's the good news! Our third lesson was about the plan of salvation. We were really trying to get him to want to know more and we thought that since he loves his family he may be interested in the idea of eternal families. HE WAS. Como se diz hallelujah? He actually opened up to us and told us how he doesn't know if he'll see his dad ever again but he thinks it's a really nice idea. I think we're finally getting somewhere with him and really developing a relationship. He still wouldn't pray with him but Sister Larsen got fo' real and made him PROMISE to pray in private where he feels more comfortable. It was really cool and I can't wait to teach him again tomorrow
Danielle & Elder Vaclaw (Phillipines)
This past week we had 3 different substitutes since Irmao Chamberlin was gone. Irma Ricks was really cool! It was neat to have a female missionary perspective. All the teachers teach a little differently too so it's cool that we got to hear from 3 new ones. Irmao Read was really nice and fun and I think he said "otimo" about 50 times haha. It just means awesome but he has a strong Brazilian accent too so it was pretty much "oh-chi-moh!" over and over. Too funny. Elder Limperle, however, was by FAR my favorite because he just got back from his mission a couple months ago, and he served in PORTUGAL!!! He was super enthusiastic and he told us a lot about the country. Favorite facts include that Portugal is like where all the Portuguese speaking immigrants go to look for jobs (even though there aren't any, can you say "humbling economic crisis?"). So basically I'll get to teach people from Cape Verde, Mozambique, Angola, and Brazil! Not to mention other random European immigrants from Ukraine and stuff. How cool is that? Sometimes our elders going to Cape Verde complain because they really speak more Creole there but Irmao Limperle was just like, "Hey, learn BOTH." and he taught them some Creole and talked about the foods he tried. So basically, I'm out to embrace ALL of it. I want to learn some Creole!!!! I'll probably try to figure out Portuguese more first though ;) He was just so enthusiastic though and was just like hey, there are no "hard" areas, they are what you make them. God is going to lead you to the people that are ready because they are out there! They're everywhere! I'm so pumped I can't even explain it.
Temple Pals
 In on of our exercises we switched companions and I taught with Sister Call. She's AWESOME and I love her but I never expected it to be as weird as it was. Sister Larsen and I are so comfortable teaching together now and I really feel a power with her which is really cool. It's not like the easiest thing to be with someone 24/7 but Sister Larsen makes it pretty dang otimo. We've been really trying to work on the questions we ask during lessons. It's hard to ask them in Portuguese but when I really think about it it's pretty hard in English too. You want to ask questions that make them think or help you understand their needs and that's pretty hard sometimes! I know it's really important though to build a relationship of trust and really figure out what they need and what they have concerns about so I can teach them better and better follow the Spirit. It's definitely a work in progress but I'll keep you updated.
Laundry Buddies
Gym time continues to be one of my favorite times of the day. It's a nice break from thinking so much all day everyday. This week we played four square with the elders and it was HILARIOUS. They are so spiritually mature and yet such BOYS too. It's really fun to hang out with them all the time. They were, of course, weirdly competitive. Four square trash talk is also really funny. They're really great elders though and I'm so glad we all get along like a big, happy, insane, enthusiastic family.

 I've continued to work on my Portuguese hour of the day. It's hard especially when we all know different words but it's been really good practice! It's good for me to use the words I've studied in real sentences and it forces me to speak more. Yesterday I attempted an English fast. I made it past dinner before breaking, so I thought that was pretty solid! I'd like to continue to try giving up English one day a week or something like that. At the very least I'm increasing my Portuguese hora to two hours a day this week. I'm excited about it! There's nothing better than being able to carry on a conversation, or really even just say one full sentence in Portuguese. The Spirit is obviously SUPER important and I work really hard to have it with me always, especially when teaching. I do however feel that language is pretty important. It helps you explain to investigators what they're feeling or what they can feel from the Holy Ghost and I think it will mean a lot to the people there that I'm working so hard to learn their language. I love D&C 90:11 in regards to this idea so you all should check that out.

OH! We also learned some pretty fun slang from Irmao Limperle. In Portugal cool is "fiche" pronounced pretty much like fish, "feesh!" and to say darn they say, "fogo!" which literally means fire. Missionary teachers, and all the people that work at the MTC are really the best of the best. So basically shout out to Dad and Grandpa Eubank for being part of all this. They really do get the BEST people to help, guide, and teach us.
The MTC is just a cool place. We're the only Portuguese district on our floor so everyday we pass by people learning Russian and the Italians like to stop by and say hi to us. Fun fact: italian is CRAZY similar to Portuguese. I pretty much understand everything they say to us which is neat. It's just FICHE. Everybody is working SO hard. I've never worked harder in my life. I've been memorizing a lot of scriptures in Portuguese and really trying to master the grammar and actually be able to use it when I talk. It's just FUN. I can't explain why reading for hours and hours on end everyday is fun but it is. It's so purposeful!
 It's just really neat to think about it all. I'm part of the GREATEST generation this world has ever seen. Uh...what? How cool is that! And we're all just here trying our best to really live up to that. Devotionals in the Marriott are SO cool because I sit on the end for choir so I can see ALL the missionaries and there are SOOOO MANY. This work is saving souls and I just keep thinking, HELLO key to happiness right here. D&C 18 everyone, it's the best and it's the truth. It makes me wish I was a better missionary before this because it is SO SO SOOOO important. I know that now more than ever. It brings so much happiness to everyone involved. I just want to give everything I have over to this work, the Lord's work, and just let the Spirit take me where I need to go. I'll do what He wants me to do, I'll say what He wants me to say and I'm going where He wants me to go. There is nothing cooler than this, nothing more important, and nothing that will bring more happiness that bringing souls unto Christ. I love it, I really do.
Sister Larsen, Danielle and our Favorite, Elder Han
 Anyway, thanks to those that have written me, getting mail and emails is the BEST. I love you all and I pray for you often- in the best Portuguese I can manage. Personal prayers in Portuguese is really hard but I've been having some really sincere prayers with Heavenly Father because of it, even though He speaks much better than I do :) Anyway, write me and I'll write back! I even tried sending some letters to my missionary friends this week. Not really sure if it's going to get all the way to Madagascar but we'll see haha :) (by the way Sister Ward if you're reading this will you send me Jake's address?) Love you all!

Com amor,

Sister Danielle Swasey

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