Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas~Week 7

FELIZ NATAL! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! A lot has happened the last couple days. The CTM presidency and the couple missionaries have really done a lot to make the holiday a good one for the missionaries here at the CTM. We have definitely been doing an excessive amount of eating (candy mostly) and singing (Christmas sons for days). Today has been HOT HOT HOT. Definitely not the typical Christmas weather that I am used to. Because today is Christmas EVERYBODY needs to email so I am going to have to type real quick! I am just going to recap a couple significant events and I will write more of the specifics of today and the interesting events next week.

1. Our district had our first "baptism"--- Our instructor who we have been practicing teaching was the one who converted. I have some pretty solid photos of our event. I will be sending some home in the near future.

2. An elder in my district and I tried to teach a coupld Brazillians how to play 21 (a basketball game). Fail. Then, we tried to teach them how to play elimination or speed.... fail again. I don't think our Portuguese was that bad... so I am going to have to just assume that they just weren't very good at basketball.

3. A Brazillian elder played a musical number for one of our Christmas devotionals. It was a recorder he played. Like the plastic music device that we all learned to play in 3rd grade. It was awesome and unexpected at the same time.

4. We put on a Christmas caroling production in front of the CTM. IT WAS AWESOME. A lot of people showed up to hear us sing. I think one of the songs is on youtube. Maybe look up erguie-vos cansado coral do CTM Brasil   ... I think I heard that was the title anyway.

5. I got a package from one of Sariah's mission companions on Sunday at church. It was totally unexpected and made me so happy! It was full of candy. Literally and a christmas mug and ornament. Literally awesome. My district is still working on eating said candy. Sariah do you think you could send me her address? I definitely want to thank her! It made pretty much my week.

6. My final note- I finished the Book of Mormon for the first complete time of my mission. Definitely an awesome experience.


I know without a doubt in my heart that the Book of Mormon is literally words of God. It is the most perfect book on the earth. I know that Joseph Smith was a profet of God. I have heard many people doubt the BOM because of how unlikely it seemed to them that the BOM was translated by such a young unlearned man. I feel that such facts only make it more obvious that no man could have done that. Only through God could such a translation occur. The Lord is our redeemer, He is my Savior. I know that I am in the right place, at the right time. I know that I have been called of God through a holy profet, Thomas S. Monson to do His work on the earth today. I know the Savior. I know my purpose in life. I desire to be like Christ. Opeining my mouth and sharing the gospel is going to be really challenging for me (especially in Portuguese) but I know that the Lord would never require me to do more than that which I am capable of. I love my family and friends. You guys are awesome. I am thankful everyday for all of you. The gospel is true. Jesus lives. He is our Savior. And He will always have a hand in our lives. I love you all and Merry Christmas!,



Sis. Hoopes

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Week 6

Bom Dia!

So the world is supposed to be ending in a couple days? Yes? The end of the Atzec calender or whatever? ... Well if we are all going to die, I am glad that it's happening to me here. I hope you all are having great end of the world parties. Also, I hope great Christmas parties after! we have some lights and a nativity up here, but the warm weather makes it not seem very much like Christmas here. Which is a good thing in many ways I think. I am not as homesick as I think I could be if there was snow on the ground. So with Christmastime here at the CTM comes excessively choir time as well. I don't know if I mentioned getting roped intio singing in a special musical number last week... but it happened. And if any of you know me well at all you know I can't sing... so that's awkward. Well, Sister Steadman the choir director signed all the north american sisters up for two special musical numbers for Christmas. I love Christmas music and I love singing it to myself in my room... but special musical numbers are very uncomfortable for me! But, alas all is well. So today about 80 missionaries left the CTM which is a huge number, especially because we aren't receiving more than just a couple Brazillians until after the holidays. So it is very empty here compared to how it is normally and especially to how it will be in a couple months. Now that that huge group left, I am amongst the group of sisters that have been here the longest. That is really weird to think. Only a couple more weeks and it's off to Brasilia for me. For Christmas I got myself a leather scripture case which is really cool. I like it a lot. I will take a picture of it and send it once I am out of the CTM.

So funny ish story of the week. One of my instructors rearranged our classroom this week and now my desk is squished between Elder Saravia and my companion Sister Timiario. Basically if there is a fire I am the last one getting out unless I decide to jump the desk. Well, we were all studying when sister Timario exclaimed... "Look, a green spider!" I turned toward her and the said green spider was dangling from a web right between us. I quickly yet calmly slid back into elder saravia's area. Sister Timario then hit the net of the spider in my direction... I don't think this was a premeditated thought... and the spider was flung in my direction. I immediatedly jumped completely into elder saravia's space and before I could even filter myself I exclaimed... "What the heck?! Why would you do that?!" Everyone else thought that was pretty funny. But, I got the last laugh. Sis. T. handed me her dictionary to kill the spider (she is against the slaughter of spiders- I don't understand it) and I smashed it and got green spider guts all over her book. Payback? I think yes.

Aside from just trying to learn Portuguese and how to teach the gospel and eating and sleeping not much is going on here. There have been lots of fireworks the past couple days especially on Sunday so I assume one of the Brazillian soccer teams beat an opponet. I guess the fans here are literally crazy. I love you all and keep sending letters because I really love them, Merry Christmas,


                                         Tchau, Eu te amo,

                                                          Sister Hoopes

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Week 5

Bom Dia Familia!

2 Nephi 9:51 "Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy..."

Really good scripture that I think applies to many different things in life. Luckily I am certain that serving a mission is well worth my labor. This week has been really excellent for me. I think I spent way to much effort complaining about my companions in my letter last week... but, I think you guys must have really prayed for me because the next day we found out another solo sister was coming from Provo to join our district and break us up into two companionships. She is awesome. I think had I known her prior to mission life we would have been friends still. Her name is sis. Rasmussin. Going back to a duo with Sis. Timario was so easy. Planning and teaching lessons are so much easier. Now we have 4 sisters in our district and we balance each other out a little better. That means almost half our district is girls. Preview to the near future? I think so. Fun fact is that Sis. R is from Tennessee. Looks like Tennesses is playing a role in my mission after all!

In terms of Portuguese my progress speaking wise is slow still, but I understand a lot more. We got a new  instructor this week which was really exciting. She is a sister who literally just got done serving in Temple Square 2 months ago. Since I don't have a bunch of cool mission teaching experience to share yet, I thought I would share some things I have learned just at the CTM:

1. It is possible to love a person even if you don't like them. I know that might not make complete sense, but I think that to some it may.

2. Sign language is very valuable in communication. 

3. Mullet hunting is possible in Brazil. This week I have spotted two. One a female. That makes 50 points for me.

4. Salt water is the CTM doctor remedy here. When I was sick the doctor told me to snort salt water. I didn't do it... mainly because the directions said it could give the sensation of drowning which I didn't not desire at all. But, he also told a sick elder to gargle salt water, and this week he told sis. R to soak her foot in salt water. Super strange in my opinion. The whole situation.

5. I have survived over a month in skirts. I did not know that was possible.

Well life is really good. I am so grateful to be on a mission and I am especially thankful that the lord makes up for all of my shortcomings. I love you all and thanks for writing me! I sent off letters today!

Love, Sis. Hoopes

PS I forgot to tell jamie happy birthday on the email last week. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

PSS I sent a group christmas letter to julia dallas monica morgan and shively to julias home.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Week 4

Hello everyone! 

This week has been mostly uneventful for me in terms of weird things happening to me. No cockroaches dogs or vomit. So that is kind of boring. One of the elders did get robbed on Pday last week. And by robbed I mean seriously robbed at gunpoint. So mostly we are not taking much out of the CTM money wise and being extra cautious. I realized this week that my group letters aren't very spiritual like the letters that I always read on mission blogs, so I am sorry for that. But, I have had lots of spiritual experiences and things here. I will share all of them upon my return! This week I met Susan B. Tanner at the temple. She used to be in the primary generaly presidency. Now her and her husband are in charge of the Sao Paulo Sul mission whhich is super cool. She is basically a celebrity, right? Also, there is a youtube video, I think it is called : The Atonement: How it Applies to Missionary Work. by Elder Holland. That can be my spiritual thought if you all can find it. This week was the inauguration of the Christmas lights and nativity at the CTM. It was a big event for all the missionaries. It is pretty cool. They definitely got pretty festive here! Finally, my last bit of news before I have to peace out... I got my second new companion this week. I don't know if I said I hope she is not weird in my email. But, I definitely thought it. Guess what? She is totally weird. I can only imagine what she thinks of me. The combination of my two mission companions currently is probably my biggest trial right now which is weird because I don't know very much Portuguese yet. I am trying really really hard to love them, but one of them talks about how awesome provo mtc is allllllll the time. Literally every conversation has led to that this past week. It makes me crazy. And my other companion talks and talks and talks.... and if i say something that bothers her she gets quiet until I apologize. It is really quite frustrating. I need better people skills clearly. Well I love you all and I will update you more next week!


Sis. Hoopes

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Week 3


Hi all, I am alive and definitely well! I am not sick anymore which is really awesome. I am really glad to be not coughing anymore! My days here at the CTM are starting to blur. This past week for Thanksgiving the cafeteria staff did a good job of decorating and trying to cook american food for the holiday. No rice and beans! There were rolls. However they were like bricks. The morning of Thanksgiving most of the American missionaries sat at the federal police to get their visas okayed. I was there for over 4 hours. It was really forever.

Okay- Quickly a couple funny stories: Last week after I emailed Sis. Timario and I went and walked around Sao Paulo and we walked down this sketch street (All streets are sketch to me here) Any way we are walking and then a dog sitting on the other side of the street started growling and it started edging toward me. Sis. Timario evidentally didn't notice. I started to back down the street and I had to yell to her to come back because the dog was coming at me growling. We ended up not walking up that street and just returned the way we came.

Second funny story- I got in the shower yesterday... As I was closing the doors a huge cockroach fell on me. I freaked. It skuttled really quickly all over the bathroom. I screamed and sister Timario thought I fell and got hurt. But, I wound up running out of the bathroom in my towel and shutting the door until the Brazillians got back to kill it for us. It was really huge. And disgusting.

Our Brazillian roommates Sister Lima and Sister Medrado left today. They were both super cool. Tomorrow we are getting a sister from the Provo MTC and we will become a trio which should be cool unless she is super weird. The CTM is really backed up on receiving missionaries from the US I think Provo has like 70 ish missionaries that should be here but don't have visas because of the storm on the east coast and because the LA consulate is or was closed. So we should be getting a ton of missionaries all of the sudden when things start opening back up.

Also, There is no more hostess? What? ha ha

Love you all,

Sister Hoopes

PS write me por favor!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Week 2

HAPPY ALMOST THANKSGIVING! I hope you guys eat a ton of food and especially rolls in my honor. So, I have just finished my second week here at the CTM. Time goes by slow, yet so fast at the same time. Speaking of fast the minutes are already ticking aways so this will be a real fast letter.


So last week I got sick. So weird for me right? I tried to tough it out because it was just a foggy head, runny nose and a cough. But eventually I caved and tried to see the CTM doctor but he had pday so he was not available. The night before was so bad for my sickness that I didn't get any sleep and working all day literally was beyond exhausting. So the night that I didn't get into the doctor, I took a little white pill from my Brazilian roomate. I don't really know what it was. Sorry Parents  I know you would strongly advise against this, but it put me right to sleep. Since then I feel like I have been getting better and I did see the actual doctor and he gave me the grossest medicine I have ever had in my life. I do have a confession though, I sleep on the top bunk, super hard to quickly get up and down from and the other night I woke up coughing and I realized it might be more than just coughins so as I was trying to get down from my bed I vomitted all over my blanket and shirt and my hands. Too much information probably... So moving on- Weather. I was expecting the weather here to be super hot and unbearable. But, it's not. It has actually rained pretty regularly and the weather is quite comfortable. I am quite a bit south of Brasilia though, I think. The AC in the CTM is also way too high most of the time, so I kind of wish I had brought more cardigans. But, it's all good. Life in general at the CTM is pretty solid, especially for sister missionaries. We are always first in line even if we show up late. We also always get to sit in front in class and at conferences and devotionals. Last week we heard from elder Costa the area 70. It was a really great talk on missionary work. My favorite quote was "Don't miss a day of your mission" though. Church on Sundays is cool except for the fact that they don't tell you if you are speaking until they announce it at the pulpit. I got the priviledge/honor of doing so this last Sunday. It went well though. Luckily, I got to speak in English. I was definitely not surprised being called either. My money was on either me or my companion sister Timario since we are the only girls in the branch. My Portuguese is still a work in progress. I am really struggly to say the words with correct pronunciation. I read them like English words. I just can't help it!


Okay, I know this is short but this is all for now... I love you all,

                                                                                            Sister Hoopes =)


PS A kid who left a little bit before me from my Highland ward was in the same branch I am in here. He just left this last week for his area though.... so that was short lived. Heber may be particularly interested to know this- his name is Miles Jewell.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Week 1

Oi Folks! This computer is ticking the time away though so I will try to write as fast as possible. I made it to BRAZIl. The trip was pretty... LONG. Like longest trip of my life. I got to the airport in Boise early with dad and another missionary Kyle Smith was being dropped off by his family as well. We both traveled all the way to Brazil together along with a set of twins from Kuna (Elder Tippetts squared). The trip to Salt Lake was fast but the rest of the trip was soooooooo long. we had two long layover and we didn't catch up with any other Brazil missionaries until we got to Atlanta. There were a ton of us. 26 I think. Luckily the whole trip I got to sit in the aisle and I was always in the seat next to one of the Elder Tippetts. All the other missionaries on the other flights were super spread out. So, my plans to ensure that traveling would be fast and easy didn't really workout... like at all. I decided not to sleep Monday night so I would sleep on the plan. That did not happen and by the time we got to the CTM I was exhausted, but it was 8 am and they said we couldnt go to bed early. So we had to go to classes (mostly in Portuguese) all day long. 10 pm. That is when i got to bed. BEST sleep I have ever had. I am not fluent in Portuguese. However I can understand what my teacher says in class. That is probably because he talks really slow and uses hand gestures and has an expressive face. My companion sister Timario is pretty good with the language though. She took 7 years of spanish- so she might have a step up from me. I have two teachers here Irma Monique and Irmao Ricardo. They are both really good teachers and really funny. My life thus far is pretty much eat. class. eat. class. eat. devotional/fireside. sleep. Today was the first day I have gotten to leave the CTM, it was awesome we went to the temple. Also, the flight attendants did notify us that Obama won. Oh my goodness, I really can only imagine what facebook looked like. I have about 5 friends who openly admitted to liking Obama and the rest were pro Romney or just not talking about it. Okay So I am down to very little time so I have to end this. I will write the letter in advance next week so it doesn't sound so random like I am sure this one did. Love you all!


Love, Sister Hoopes

PS please write me real mail! No one in our district has received anything. I think it would make my life. Really. Also, snail mail takes like 1-3 weeks to arrive. Thats just what I hear. Oh and if you are sending packages send them to my mission home... and they will get it to me. if you send it to the CTM they will probably just return it. =)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Goodbye; I'm Fleeing the Country on Election Day

My vote is in. My bags are finally packed. My name tag is pinned to my shirt. I am an official full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint! I was set apart Sunday evening in La Grande by President Orton. My parents, Aunt Nancy, Uncle Heber and Brother Scrivner were all there for the momentous occasion.

Monday I spent my first day as a missionary and my last day at home up in the mountains getting wood with my dad and uncle Kenny. The weather was perfect, the mountains were beautiful, the smell of tree sap was quite desirable, and apparently the tree we got was perfect as well. All in all, it was a pretty great way to spend my last day in Oregon for a while.

It is 1 a.m. Tuesday morning as I write this. I have opted not to sleep tonight with the hope that I will be able to sleep during my travels. My dad and I are leaving in an hour (2 a.m.) to drive 2 hours to Boise so I can catch my early flight to Salt Lake City where I have a four hour layover. I will then fly to Atlanta, and following about a 3 hour layover there, I will catch my final 10 hour flight to Sao Paulo. Long and exciting. I should be arriving at 8:15 Wednesday morning. I am nervous, excited and a bit scared out of my mind!

I am sure I will have plenty of stories/exciting thoughts to share about my travels and about Brazil when I get to send my first pday letter! But for now I would just like to say sorry to everyone who I missed officially saying goodbye to. This last couple of weeks of my preparation has been a bit hectic. I love you all and I hope to get letters from you guys often! Alicia should be keeping up this blog with my current mailing address or letters can always be sent via dearelder.com!
Goodbye for now- Happy Election Day, GO VOTE, and stay awesome. See you all in18 months, but hopefully I hear from you sooner than that!

Sister Hoopes