Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Last night there

Monday July 27, 2015
Provo MTC – Last Night there

Hey All You Fabulous Personages,

This past week has been great! Taught more lessons, ate more food (which is getting better by the way.  I think I've become immune to the cafeterianess of it all and have started eating double what I used to....a little frightening but glad the food is better!) Now it's off to rice and beans haha which I hear are delicious. Anyway, there's so much to talk about but I'm limiting myself from writing a novel because last week was just embarrassing. I'm going to try a new format of writing emails by splitting it into categories.

First, when did I laugh?

Great question Sister Oldroyd! A vivid moment I can remember is when I entered the restroom with my Comp right before our Sunday devotional. While there a sister starts singing the Dragon Tales theme song in the weirdest voice ever....it was odd. And I know odd. So once we come out and see her, she’s like "Oh my goodness, I thought you were the sisters from my district! Oh my I'm so embarrassed...but I'm never embarrassed so whatever." We just said oh it's fine and just laughed with her. Right as soon as we left the bathroom we died! We both couldn't believe what just happened. This explanation isn't doing justice but I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.....

Another story time! One evening during our three hour study time, haha,  Sister Habel, the Elders (Bartling and Johnson) and I got off topic....which we're really trying not to but they're so much fun! Anyway, we start making faces with our upper lip and pulled out the cameras...needless to say, we took selfies for a good 15 minutes.....Looking at them after we took them was the best! I'll send some hopefully so you can enjoy :)

Another quick one. We watched Legacy during our Sunday evening film time and it sounded promising. It’s about pioneers and they warned us there was a romantic scene so I was mentally preparing myself! Unfortunately it was some of the worst acting I've ever witnessed soooooo I felt really bad when I laughed cause it's about the pioneers for goodness sake! They also lied about the kissing thing, there were 4 kissing parts! So awkward....

Second, how is the language coming?

Obviously slow, but I've learned it's pretty much up to me how quickly I want to learn it. I could be having English fasts every day or studying words in the cafeteria lines (which no one does cause who can balance a tray, fill up drinks, grab food and flip through note cards while trying to remember what "trazer" means?) I can't, but what I can do is try to only talk in Portuguese during class, speak as much as I can with my companions and say my prayers in Portuguese, which has been coming along nicely! I'm totally coming back with no recollection on how to say prayers in English...so please do that traditional thing where you make me pray in my mission language! I can understand my teacher pretty well, but that's mostly ‘cause she repeats everything and talks really slow. Love her to death! Can't believe I won't see her again......

Third, what did I learn?

I learned a lot! I am constantly learning more about myself, about others, and about how this mission should be. I'm learning things right and left and I hope to retain it all. I'm learning to love the scriptures more and more. I'm learning to have faith in my Savior and His plan for me. I'm noticing what's really important in life, especially now when most of the worldly things have been removed from my presence. The only downside of that is that I have completely lost track of the date. I usually have no idea what day of the week it is or what day of the month so sorry if I forget any important days of the year! Anyway, I could explain a lot of things that I've learned but you'll just have to wait and guess for yourself.

Lastly, where is my testimony now?

I guess you could say it's closer to God! Even with all of my mistakes in the language, the long schedule, and the different lifestyle, I've read my scriptures, born my testimony and felt the spirit more than I have ever in my life! The people around me have such amazing aspects of the gospel and I learn from them daily, I also get to learn from revelation which is such a gift. I could've read over a scripture years ago and never had the same confirmation as I did yesterday about it. You get the idea.  The opportunity to teach not only investigators but Relief Society etc has truly given me the opportunity to sit back and think, "What would I say about The Book of Mormon?" or "How have I had faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement?" Having the opportunity to share my testimony has really made me think. Am I just rereading a written testimony I created back when I was twelve? Or has it actually grown and have I let it continue to do so? Have I written down the times I felt the spirit and when things became a truth besides just a belief? I want my testimony to be real and feel real. I want to become converted because once you are truly converted, you can never fall away. You are so rooted in the Savior and His principles that you can't even fathom a reason why it's not true. I want that truth. I want that strength. I want His constant companionship. I want to know that I am on my way home and that they are waiting for me with smiles on their faces. Don't we all? I challenge you to take a step back and look at where your testimony lies. Is it hidden?  Strong? Deep? Whatever it is, I hope you at least know where it is and if you can, embrace it. Love it. Because it's something. It's a little piece of heaven and our Savior. Please try to feed that flame with whatever you can! Obviously you can't feed it as much as I am but you can at least find some kindling because that's all it takes. Isn't it such a joy when you're out camping and you successfully start a fire? Isn't it also interesting how you have to start with the little pieces before you can put on the big ones? (Woah, think about it :)

I love you all! I can feel of the constant flow of positive love and energy. Thanks for all the letters and emails :) I'm the luckiest missionary ever. Feed that flame, light up your life :)

Muito Amo,
Sister Oldroyd

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My Visa!

Hey! I just am emailing today cause I got my VISA! Me and Sister Smith did....which I'm kinda bummed about cause Sister Habel doesn't have it yet......pray for her! Anyway, I leave July 28th (happy bday kirst!) at 11:05 and arrive in Atlanta at 4:50 pm and then will depart from there at 7:16 pm to get to Sao Paulo at 6 am! Anyway, it's exciting but sad to know I'm leaving so soon! Wish me luck! Enjoy the family reunion. Love you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sydster Oldroyd

Hey Everyone!!! That little switcheroo of the name (Sydster Oldroyd) came from Sister Habel (my companion!) haha The companionship thing is a little confusing but I'll explain later after I tell you all about my first 6 days in the Provo CTM! Well I arrived at the curb feeling so excited yet very confused as to how this time for me to serve actually came!! My host was very kind and peppy which helped a ton. However, I felt very rushed, man do they know how to file new missionaries in. I was directed in every direction and was sweating and feeling like I had just ran a marathon or something! 

But I eventually made it to my building where my classroom is and where I met my teacher! Oh man is she amazing! She's short, just got married, and served in Brazil :) Her name is Irma Carr. Just learned that we as missionaries go by Sister (not Irma) whoops! Oh well, I'll be Irma after the mission. She just started rapping in Portuguese when I walked up and I kinda understood haha but only a few words! I watched some orientation stuff and then we met as a district. There are three sisters :) my companions Sister Smith (middle) from Draper and Sister Habel from Portland (far left). 

There are also two elders, Elder Johnson and Bartling. We get along soooo well! Sometimes a little too well and have to separate ourselves so we can study instead of talk or quote movies. We literally created a goal to not quote movies during our language study....my bad! I kinda started that whole thing! haha anyway. 

The first day just felt too long because we were nonstop doing stuff and I felt so disoriented. However, at night as we prayed together in our companionship, I realized that I can't waste any time! I'm on the Lord's time! So I snapped out of the possible despair and woe cycle that most missionaries go through :) 

The next day was another sort of orientation day filled with meetings etc but also a lot of class time. Class time is great! She just talks and talks in Portuguese and patiently repeats every phrase or so in order for us to understand. We all do pretty well at understanding Portuguese except for Sister Smith who's struggling but I'm gonna try to help her out! Spanish has really helped but sometimes hindered when I just wanna say Gracias instead of Obrigada! haha 

Oh yeah! before class one time, it was I think only the second day, I was asked to pray before our lesson and our teacher only let us pray in English the day before so I was kinda nervous to say it in Portuguese but hey! It all came back to me as I remembered the bits and pieces that I learned before coming here! It was truly a blessing that continues to bring me thoughts of the gift of tongues. My teacher was very impressed! We were then told that we were going to teach our first lesson in Portuguese the next day! Day 3! Gah! I had heard about this but didn't understand the severity of the situation! haha silly me. We watched a video to see what he was like and then planned a lesson. Crazy! 

I've been surprised how many people I know here! I've been a huge slacker in taking pictures but be proud of the ones I have taken :) Elder Bartling didn't take any pictures until about day 3, so be happy I took some from day 1! haha I've seen people from high school, from junior high, and college, from the ward etc. Just awesome! I love seeing people out serving missions and just people from home! and it's crazy to think how different the missionaries experience is compared to mine! 

I sleep on the top bunk, and I share a desk with sister Habel. The beds are kinda sketchy, but they're just like the BYU dorm ones from soccer camp so I'm ok with it! The one thing I wasn't ok with especially on the first night was this high pitched beeping noise that totally kept me up on the first night! I think the AC just makes this super weird noise like someone is constantly vacuuming and beeping something a lot. Oh well! I solved that problem by listening to Sister Smith's loud ticking clock and listening to the beat as I think of songs haha Weird. However, it keeps my mind off the other noises. I hope she keeps that clock even though she doesn't know how to set the alarm! 

I had no idea I got gym time every day. I am totally not prepared clothes wise! Oh well, I ran a bit with sister Habel but not a ton cause she's a serious runner from Dixie State. I played a little soccer with two sisters who are the sweetest. They are from our zone but just left yesterday cause they got their visas! I also have played four square and basketball! I'm surprised how well everyone reacts around each other in sports, I'm so proud of them! I'm glad they all understand that it's not worth getting angry about sport, especially when we don't even keep score! Oh and we also went to the early morning stepping exercise thing and that rocked! I kinda felt a little weird cause I used to make fun of these "wimpy" ways of exercising and then I tried it and I was sweating and kinda panting! Especially when we held out our arms......boy am I going to respect every sport, and type of exercise from now on. 

Lemme just tell you about Sunday!!! boy was that a crying day. Not because I was sad but because we had the most amazing speaker come instead of going to the usual dress/grooming thing. Sister Mary Ellen Edmunds came and was basically the coolest, funniest, most spiritual people I've seen. She served four missions, and shared some things about that, especially about learning Cantonese and Indonesian haha but she just had such a sweet spirit. Well, the tears started to come during the second opening hymn (every devotional meeting thing starts with at least two to three songs, I love it!) It was As Sisters In Zion to some different words that someone wrote and they were sooooo sweet. The spirit just continued to confirm my purpose here on the mission and made me just bawl. I was able to take great notes again during her talk but then the tears flowed again during the closing song as I realized how much I love these sisters even though I've only been around them for a couple of days! My companions have been great! We're learning a lot from each other and I just love the sisters next door from our district. They have been amazing. The rest of the Sunday just felt right. I knew without a doubt that I am supposed to be a missionary! I'm supposed to be going to Brazil etc. I loved the rest of the meetings and classes. It's been great. I also watched a great talk Sunday about the character of Christ and how we all need to turn ourselves out, instead of in. Stop being selfish basically and think about how Christ would always turn out towards others. He would give his time, attention, his love etc. I'm really going to work on that. 

So basically just to quickly explain the companion situation, Sister Habel and I are now a companionship outside of class and Sister Smith and a sister whose whole district got their visas but her are together. She is hilarious and very spunky. It's kinda confusing but it's going to work out :)

I think I’ve talked enough, haha. Just know that I am very involved in this work. I love it to death and can't believe I have this opportunity to share the best message in the world! I get to invite people into a lifestyle filled with happiness and peace. But most importantly a life with the Savior. Who wouldn't want someone constantly there by your side through the good and bad? Someone who understands you, and has made it possible for you to live a happy life forever??? I don't know who would not want to share that kind of a message but I most certainly do!!!! I hope you all understand what a blessing it is to live in this day and age with the gospel and the Savior. 

Keep moving forward with a steadfastness in Christ and you will undoubtedly walk through walls, climb mountains and run miles without ever wondering if you should turn back. I can't wait to continue on the course Christ has planned for me. Know that I've cinched up my shoes, put on my nametag and am going to run. I don't care how far or how difficult it may be, I want to never think I had regrets or decided to let up. I want Christ to say, you did your best and I thank you for using my time wisely. This is His time and I should never take that for granted. I love you all and have definitely written more than I ever thought I would. Please stay strong and be converted to Christ. I am so happy! Tchau


Sister Oldroyd

parental PS, Sydney saw Michael Mace (her new brother) at the MTC (he teaches there)