Friday, October 28, 2016

I freakin' love brasil

I freakin' love brasil. 

The food is weird but good here. Rice and beans for every meal. But it~s way good. Pão de queijo* for breakfast. Guaraná every day. Desserts are always gelatinous in some way. *Translation: Cheese bread

Cockroaches everywhere. It rains a lot. SB and I have our own bathroom and we~re the only ones in our room rn*.  *Right now

*I asked her about the difference in the keyboard:
As you can see, the key that is normally an apostrophe is now the thing that makes letters nasalized. Like in the word amanhã. The shift key is smaller to fit all of these other keys. Mostly accents and the ç button and stuff. It~s annoying. Also, the language is português so this is saying that every word I type is wrong. Lol. 

We do splits here. AKA, we trade our companion for a brasileira and then everyone teaches each other. My splits companion is from Rio Grande do Sul, the state in which I will be serving! É muito legal*. She is very excited for me. Don't remember her name, sorry. Amanhã**. (*Translation: She's very Cool.) (**Translation: Tomorrow.)

Sao Paulo Lds Temple
We went to the São Paulo temple today. Out of all the temples I~ve been to, it~s definitely one of my favorites. SO beautiful. We boarded vans as districts and drove the hour to the temple. I got to sit in front and chat with the drivers. It~s very fun. They're very considerate of my poor understanding. It~ll get better soon, I hope.

I really enjoy the brasileiros. Some of my favorites are Elders Zuza and Araujo. EA is super nice and has decent english so he can tell me how to say a lot of stuff. EZ and I joke around a lot. Brasileiros really like their jokes and their fun. I love it. I think I am a brasileira at heart. The first time I joked around, I got them so good because they didn~t expect me to joke with them because the only white people they~ve met didn~t take things the right way. Anyway, it was awesome. 

Soccer has been banned for all missionaries of brazilian missions. NO ONE can play it. I~~m pretty darn jealous of those other south american missions. Ugh. Guess I'm not coming home pro at futebol as planned. 

I'm not sure what the address is here. No one ever gets mail here (so sad!). I'll try and look later when I have time.
I got the pictures you sent! I love them!! Andy is such a goof. :}   Thanks for sending them! 

Our CTM prez is awesome. He~s the one that put in all the footnotes for the portuguese bible and finished it this year. my district was the first one to get the new bibles. We~re super special. ;) Also, he~s the recorded voice of HF in the temple. 

Some miracles this week: 
So, we teach "investigators" (our teachers) and their job is to make things pretty difficult but to also ask questions that are like investigators they taught on their missions. Well this week, we committed both to baptism. With my Provo teachers*, we never got there. It's one of the best feelings ever to have someone to commit to come closer to Christ. I can't even imagine what it's like to do it for real. I'm so excited for that day. Anyway, the miracle is that we are FINALLY teaching great lessons again. In provo, I was feeling like our lessons were getting worse and worse. When we got here, SB and I have been working so well with each other. I'm so glad she's my companion. Teaching is SO FUN. I love when our investigators ask questions because it shows that they're truly listening and wanting to change. Also, I'm still really impatient when it comes to my portuguese. I just want to be fluent now. Well we had a fantastic class about the gift of tongues this week and following the Spirit and it was exactly what I needed and had been praying for. I'm so glad that we have a loving Heavenly Father that gives us the answers if we ask for them. Whenever we teach, we always have to ask the investigator to pray to know for themselves because that's the only way we can be converted. I know the Lord hears and answers our prayers if we pray with sincere hearts and real intencão. (Moroni 10:4-5). *They were only there a week and a half though.

Other stuff happened this week but a) I can't remember and b) they're basically shoving us out of the computer lab.

Scriptures are awesome. Prayer is awesome. O dom de línguas* is real. This gospel is awesome. Tchau! (*Translation: The gift of tongues)

Miss you all so much!!!! Muitos beijos*! xoxoxoxxox (*Translation: Many kisses)

Até*! (*Translation: Later)

-Sister Hartman

Remembering fall at the Provo MTC

The picture I sent her of Andy, the insta-pirate

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A letter from the CTM President

Dear Parents,

Sister Grahl and I are very happy to let you know that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil Missionary Training Center. What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they begin their missionary experiences with us! We will surely take good care of your missionary.                                                                                                     
The missionaries now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  Their branch presidents and wives will meet them this Sunday.  These wonderful couples are richly blessed as they work with, motivate, and interview the missionaries assigned to their branch.
The MTC has a full-time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife who is a nurse. We are also happy to report that the MTC food is plentiful, healthy and very good.
Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Wednesday or Friday, depending on individual assignments.
Your missionary is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of many others. President Lorenzo Snow said: “There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children".  We love these missionaries as if they were our own.  We will watch over them carefully to ensure they are ready for a wonderful missionary experience after the rewarding time they will have in the MTC.

We thank you for preparing such a wonderful representative of the Lord.

Pres. Paulo R. Grahl and Sister Zuleika M. Grahl

PLEASE DO NOT SEND PACKAGES to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where your missionary will be serving, not the MTC. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC, please understand that the package cannot be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you.
WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE SENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Please write your missionary´s first and last name. Your missionary will provide you with his district and box number. Also, pleaseDO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers.  The cost to process this type of correspondence is exorbitant.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Duct Tape is a blessing e Deus responde nossas oracoes!

THANK YOU for sending me letters! 

I never realized that dad's name is actually Larry... I guess you learn something new every day. (It's not, in case you're wondering. He was just sustained in church under the name of Larry. Hehe.)

It is definitely a blessing to have gotten my visa so quickly. Sister Bateh got her visa a few days after me, and the Lord's hand was DEFINITELY evident in when she got hers. But more on that later. Things have been pretty busy lately. Also, I lost my fourth companion, *Irma Webster (my dictionary. I feel lost without her. SOS). 
* For those who don't know, "Irma" is portuguese for sister, "Irmao"= brother.

A day feels like a week and every hour is a day and so in that one hour I go through So. Many. Emotions. I'm not allowed to judge anyone for being emotional because I cry when I am happy, when I am sad, and when I'm feeling the Spirit. (AKA, pretty much all the time. I have stopped wearing makeup;I've been here for a week and a half.) Don't worry, my journal is plenty full of my testimony. I took President Horton's words to heart and I write about all the important parts of my day in my journal, mostly just how the Lord has helped and/or taught me that day. So many miracles. I'm still working on recognizing all of them. I wish I could use humor. Unfortunately, I think it is against mission policy to be funny or something because no one is funny here, not even me. Don't get me wrong, we laugh plenty, but a missionary friend wasn't far off when he told me that missionaries laugh at really weird, dumb stuff. 

Hahaha, but it's a blast. It's like a really emotional semester of college. Except I can't watch House instead of do homework. Even though some moments are super not fun, there's always something that makes up for it, whether it be kind words or a blueberry cake doughnut. There have been a few hard days this week but they have all answered prayers in some way or another. Maybe I should be more careful when I pray..... Haha, just kidding. Kinda.

So I have been doing well with the language, as I said last Pday. A friend emailed me and told me that I could only understood Portuguese because of the gift of tongues. At first, I was way peeved by that. I thought that it was all because of me and my hard work. And then on Friday, God decided to set the record straight. I received my visa that day and I was SO excited. We got to class right after and I couldn't. understand. anything. It was so hard and I felt so low. I also felt so ashamed that I had prayed every day for the gift of tongues, that God has given it to me, and that I took it for granted. Needless to say that I've learned my lesson and I express gratitude every day for it now. After that, I see the Lord's hand in my life waaaayyyy more. There is so much to be grateful for. 

Another answer to prayer was in regards to feeling love for minhas companheiras. I was praying so hard to understand where they were coming from and to truly love them. Things seemed to be going really well though so I didn't think we needed it. Then I learned about what they're going through. I testify that God knows how each of us feels and what all of us are going through. Seriously, it's such a blessing to know that God loves us and can help us through any trial if we ask.

I shaved my legs after shaving on Thursday and they wouldn't stop bleeding and I didn't want to hunt down my band-aids so I duct taped paper towels to my heels. #theducttapewasworthit

We walked into our evening class and turns out our **first investigator was going to be our second teacher! His name is actually Irmao (Daniel) Zarkou and he's a great guy. (And my other teacher is Irma (Courtney) Gunnerson, in case I forgot to mention it). WE WERE SO SHOCKED!! SB says she knew it the whole time. All I could say was that I'm glad that we didn't ruin the church for an investigator (yeah, some of our lessons weren't so hot). Since he's become our teacher, we've done a lot of great things. Like today we practiced visiting less actives. We weren't totally sure what was going on when he kept closing the door in our faces. And then we got it and had a decent lesson with him. It was interesting. It was good experience. He really likes to run and be outside. Yesterday, we were memorizing the baptismal invitation and he told us we could go outside and practice it with each other. It was so great because the majority of our 16 hour days are spent indoors. And today, he suggested we run to the mail room and back. Haha he's different from the other teachers in the best way. We tease him about dating this girl he likes all the time but he's only taken her out twice. Lol
**She wondered for a moment, that first week, if he was a 'real' investigator. Turns out he's just a good actor.

OH! Something that Sister Atkin said this week "I just realized that my literal hardest trial right now is to postpone certain blessings in order to get the blessings of the mission and look forward to the postponed blessings after the mission. I am not allowed to complain any more." 
(The mission is hard, but so so so so so worth it.)

The Lord lives and loves us. Romans 8:38-39. Also, I recommend studying Helaman 5. It's gold. There's so much to learn in the scriptures and sometimes I feel stressed out because there's so much I want to learn and not enough time in the day. The way to be happy is to have faith in the Lord! I love this gospel. I love being a missionary. I love and miss you all! Thanks for being such a supportive, unified family! Some people don't have the support I do so I'm just so grateful. Next time you hear from me, it will be on the phone, right before I go to Brasil!!!!!! I will be calling cell phones. Sorry I don't know more details. I love you all!

-Sister Hartman
Sisters storm the temple. Or attend. Either way they're awesome!
Their versions of Eve in the garden?

Grateful for letters. Please write me!

Comin' at ya, Brazil!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

It's Your Daughter, the Missionary

Dear Mom, and Dad (since I'm sure you'll let him peek),

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!! I feel like I have so much to say. I am in a TRIPANIONSHIP with Sisters Jensen and Bateh (fun fact: the pronunciation of sister B's name sounds like the portuguese word for beat so her name is "i beat sister"). I love them muito (a lot). Our schedule is finally on track now. It was kinda wacky on the first few days. Sister B is from Seattle and went to BYUH. She's great! Sister Jensen is from St. George. She has a boy back home that she's going to marry when she gets home and he's going to be here at the MTC for HIS mission in a few weeks. Probably in our classroom building since he's spanish speaking and our building is primarily spanish speaking missionaries.

As for the language, our first lesson, and all of our lessons, are completely in portuguese.  I'm so glad I studied before coming here. Our teachers and other portuguese missionaries have asked if I studied before because I can speak well. My prayers are coherent and I could possibly go all day without English. However, I cannot understand Brother Pimental, a native brasilheiro in our branch presidency, so he's my personal goal. If I can understand him, I know that I've improved. 

Our "investigator" is named Michael. We teach him in portuguese. We have our third lesson with him tonight. Our first lesson went SUPER well. I bore my testimony about the power of prayer and the Spirit was so strong. The next lesson wasn't nearly as good. We got waaaayyyyyy off topic so we're gonna try and bring it back together tonight. Hopefully it goes well and we teach with the spirit again. 

This week, I have realized that I really need to work on charity and patience. Sister Jensen got really sick so we had to take turns watching her. She got better Sunday morning (we kinda dragged her out of bed for Sacrament meeting) so luckily we didn't miss anything important. BUT they are super happy and very diligent, if distracted a lot, haha. We have companionship inventory tonight. I'm kind of dreading it. Also, I might not be able to send pictures every day. If I send pictures on non-Pdays, it'll be at night when we get to go back to the residence halls. 

Our class motto is "Nos conseguimos com e em Cristo". We can do it with and in Christ. I love being in class. We have learned how to pray, testify, and extend invitations so far. I love it. I love love love love it.

We watched the Character of Christ. Reading it was powerful enough but watching it was so much more. Elder Bednar is such an inspired man! I hope I can be as converted as he is someday. Yet another reason to work on charity.

I have had a lot of fun too. On Friday, we went searching for buckets in our classroom building so we could organize all of our study materials (remember when they said they'd give 8-10 lbs of study material? Yeah, that was in no way an exaggeration) and we were walking into a classroom so I stepped to the side, behind the door, and jumped out at sister jensen and she jumped so badly. It was SO funny. When you are a missionary, things are way more funny than usual. Probably because we are all SOOOO busy and stressed all the time. 

Today has actually been probably the hardest day for me; I've been in a bad mood. We're going to study after this so hopefully I'll get happy again before we teach Michael. 

I love being a missionary. This gospel is so true. The Spirit is here always and it's so wonderful. I'll try and send more pictures, if I can figure these computers out.

I love you so much and I miss being home with you guys!

Thanks for everything!!!!!!!!!!!

-Sister Hartman

Just me-n-my peeps

Cafeteria's not too shabby (Bring on the Rice Krispy treats!)
Eating my greens, haha

Mosias 2:41
E ainda mais, quisera que considerásseis o estado abençoado e feliz daqueles que guardam os mandamentos de Deus. Pois eis que sãabençoados em todas as coisas, tanto materiais como espirituais; e se eles se conservarem fiéis até o fim, serão recebidos no céu, para que assim possam habitar com Deus em um estado de felicidade sem fim. Oh! Lembrai-vos, lembrai-vos de que estas coisas são verdadeiras, porque o Senhor Deus as disse.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

First email- all is well

Hi, Parentals! 

I'm alive! I have had a great day. The MTC is awesome. My companions (I am in a tripanionship!) are Sister Jensen and Sister Bateh. I love them! They're both called to the Santos mission.

I saw lots of people I know. Kathy Gerke, Brec Jorgensen, Kate Mayes and a lot of other people! They started talking portuguese the second we walked in. I could follow along pretty well so that was exciting. 

I gotta go now. Love you!!

-Sister Hartman

My address at the Provo MTC:

Sister Morgan Hartman
2005 N 900 E Unit 21
Provo, UT 84064

Mosias 2:41
E ainda mais, quisera que considerásseis o estado abençoado e feliz daqueles que guardam os mandamentos de Deus. Pois eis que sãabençoados em todas as coisas, tanto materiais como espirituais; e se eles se conservarem fiéis até o fim, serão recebidos no céu, para que assim possam habitar com Deus em um estado de felicidade sem fim. Oh! Lembrai-vos, lembrai-vos de que estas coisas são verdadeiras, porque o Senhor Deus as disse.

And yes, this is their whole district- for the moment. 

Hard at work or just posing??

The MTC Laundromat, for those who want to know

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Callings and Growth: LDS Missions

This is a posting by Morgan Hartman's mom, mostly because she's not here to speak for herself.

There are few times in a mother-of-a-teenager's (did I say that right?) life where the mom gets to speak for the daughter sans eye rolling, irritated huffs of annoyance or outright correction. This is, therefore, an opportunity! And, because she'll be away to Porto Alegre, Brazil for 18 months with limited electronic exposure, it'll be my pleasure to update you on her whereabouts, adventures and perhaps even struggles (with help from Heavenly Father, she'll work them out, we're sure.)

However, rest assured, Morgan (or I should say, "Sister Hartman", her moniker for the duration of her Brazilian stay), I will limit myself to just a few a la carte comments, but only when absolutely necessary. The rest shall be in her words with her sentiments and her point of view.

Unless I can't help myself. Just kidding, I can do it.

Presently, (I did say this whole posting would be from me, right?) Sister Hartman is in the Provo, MTC (Missionary Training Center) where she is getting religious and language training: she will be teaching about Christ and serving the people of greater Porto Alegre. She is expected to remain in the Provo MTC either for the whole 6 weeks of training or until she receives her visa, whereupon she'll go to Sao Paulo to complete her training there.

When did she decided to serve a mission you ask?  She had made some friends at BYU who spoke Portuguese. And Gigs (one of our nicknames for her), being the goal-setting type, decided she wanted to learn it too. When she graduated Duolingo (a free language learning app she used to teach herself Portuguese), she received a Portuguese Book of Mormon (thanks Carla Santana!) and started trying to read it. Meanwhile she had decided to start asking HF (The Big Guy upstairs) if she should go on a mission. She said that mostly, she couldn't get thru the verses without serious work, but one night she came across a scripture that she just understood. When she read it, she received an undeniable answer: Yes, definitely a mission!

In case you don't know, missionaries are called to serve by God in areas away from their home for either 18 months (female) or 24 months (male). While serving, missionaries are asked to dedicate their lives to being His hands. They do this by teaching about Christ, performing regular humanitarian service, and living the Gospel in a joyful way (that's the goal, anyway). In order to be most effective, missionaries are asked to put romantic relationships on hold while avoiding new ones, relinquish most time-wasting frivolous fun, postpone  educational pursuits, and continuously study Christ's teachings. It's a tall order and means we as families participate in sacrificing as well since contact is limited to weekly emails and letters and bi-annual calls or skyping with our kids. Not gonna lie, it's painful.

But, also r e w a r d i n g! How many parents are in the war against entitlement? Has gratitude ever been a problem? Humility? Generosity? Hard work? Self sacrifice? Self control? Goal setting/achievement? Empathy? Missions can help humans develop these traits and more. This is very often the outcome for these young adults focused in such outwardly ways. Although these are not the reasons we support her in this endeavor, these are the results. And what parent doesn't want their child to become a better human being??

So, even tho we mourn the loss of those 18 months and miss her terribly (it's only been 6 days!) we anticipate welcoming home a healthier (mentally, spiritually, and emotionally if not physically), happier, and wiser daughter who has learned to love and serve people of many types, along with their cultures, and who has a more intimate knowledge of God.

In the end, the price is worth it.

Now, I'm going to cease watering my pillow and practice gratitude and serenity. If she's working on things, I should too (dang it). See you soon, my girl. We're so excited for this growth opportunity and cannot wait til your return (and before then, our next letter!)

Hugs from,

The Mama