Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A letter we received in the mail

Dear familia, Holy cow what a day!  I am officially at the mission home in Texas.  I honestly never thought I could be this excited and nervous; tired and confused....yet PUMPED!!
     This morning was a bit crazy.  I really, really wanted to talk to you longer.  It breaks my heart that we only had a couple seconds:(  On my second flight I had a great experience.  I sat next to Barry, a 47 year old concert host from London, England.  he was very talkative and very interested in what I had to say about the church.  He asked all sorts of questions and really listened.  I ended up giving him a Mormon.org card and telling him all about our church.  It was a more than wonderful experience.  After the flight was when things got a little crazy.  I found out my small blue bag had ripped all the way down the side...Hahah.  I put all my books in it and it was just too heavy to handle.  No matter, all I did was patch it up and keep going.  Getting off the plane and going outside was like running into a brick wall..hahah.  It was hot and windy so my skirt of course would not stay down.  We promptly met the mission president and his wife.  They are both super awesome and very nice.
     It was awesome because the first thing we did was eat lunchables and go contacting:)    I was assigned a temp. companion and out we went!  We talked to a bunch of people and gave out some Mormon.org cards/ Book of Mormon cards.  Sometimes I really had to get some faith as we approached certain people but it ended up being not nearly anything nerve racking at all....Just fun!!
     We soon found out that Visa waiters know nothing...hahahh  Supposedly we were supposed to come with an over night bag all made up so that all the other bags do not have to be with you the first night.  So, I made one:)
     I found out that the mission Presidents wife is an Earl.  She is related to Henry Sylvester Earl.  Related all over the place I swear!!  Well now we have interviews and dinner so I better get going.  This work is starting and I couldn't be happier      Love Sister Earl
So I am here. In Texas. Houston. haha
I can honestly say that I had no idea what to expect.. and whatever I had in my head was completely off. 
The plane landed in Houston and first off suddenly I couldn't breathe. Literally, they opened the back hatch thing and then this thick rolling wave washed over all the people innocently sitting in the plane. Haha. I have been to Florida.. but that was the winter months and believe me its completely different. 

From that point the rest of the time in the airport is a big blur. I know that we met the Mission President at the baggage claim and then we were escorted off to do other things. 

We were given temporary companions for a little while and went out contacting. I got to talk to a bunch of people and it actually was really fun. Later on we had a meal at the mission home and just got to relax a little. 

Night time is when it got interesting. Almost all the sisters got taken to members homes to sleep, but Sister Peterson, Sister Thompson, and I were given to some Spanish speaking sisters. 

They took us to their humble little apartment and told us to get comfortable. We had a pillow and a couple blankets. So we made our pathetic little beds on the floor and tried to think about actually going to sleep. I was completely exhausted in everyway possible, but.. IT WAS SO HOT! I was still sweating and it was 11! I will forever remember that sad night... on the floor trying to sleep with the yelling outside and police. haha It was a little depressing, but the next day was better. 

First of all I got to shower! Woooo! Great day. 

Fast Forward to now and I have my companion Sister Howard. She is a wonderful trainer and an even better missionary. 

Funny Story:
We have had MULTIPLE people come up to me and Sister Howard just terrified that Howard and Earl were our first names! haha They come up and say "Don't tell me those are your firs names?" It has given us some chances to talk to people though so we are good with it.

We are in the Alief Ward. The people are from all over the place. We have a bunch of people from Africa, Mexico, England.. Seriously every place you can think of! I am still getting use to seeing so much diversity everywhere I go. Also everyone believes in God. Every single person has some sort of religious beliefs. It is wonderful to have that basis when we talk to people. The only strange thing is that at least a couple of the people we talk to everyday are Muslim. I can honestly say I have never met this many Muslims in my life. It is so cool to see all different kinds of people though. I even got to use a little of my Portuguese!! :D

Texas is great. I have learned some lessons already.
1.NEVER stand or sit in the grass. Just don't do it ever. Fire Ants are angry little buggers.
2. Never forget your water bottle. The heat just wipes you out.
3. Forever be grateful that you are a Visa waiter and you do not have to ride bikes... haha
4. Talk to everyone! Even the person who seems like they don't want to listen
5. People who slam doors in your face are still Children of God. 
6. Blue Bell ice cream is absolutely delicious.
7. Kolaches are SO GOOD. I could eat them at every meal. (rolls filled with all sorts of delectible goodies

Those are just a couple for y'all. I will have some more later I am sure of it. 

I am so excited to be serving in Texas. This last Sunday we had a baptism and it was so cool. There was an entire family from Africa getting baptized. Pacifique and her family. And also a son of a less active member. :) It was the coolest thing to see. This church is true. I know that God really is there and he loves us so much. The church is true in Utah, in Washington, AND the church is true in Texas. It is the same whereever you go. I am so grateful for that knowledge. :) I love all of you so much. Never forget it. 

Sister Earl

                                                           EARL AND HOWARD


Sunday, May 26, 2013

We received a nice letter from McKayla's Mission Presidents wife.  So nice of her to let us know she arrived safely to the Houston Texas South Mission.
We are pleased to let you know that your missionary has arrived safely in the Texas Houston South Mission, the best mission in the world!!  They are happy and absolutely wonderful. President Ashton and I are thrilled to welcome them. This is the largest group of new missionaries we have welcomed—43 in all.  The Lord is certainly hastening his work and it is a very exciting time to be involved in missionary work.  We had a terrific afternoon and evening together on Tuesday. They received some training and practiced contacting.  We also had dinner together and then we enjoyed a beautiful testimony meeting. Wednesday they received more training, met their trainers as well as many other missionaries, and then left to their areas to meet and teach the wonderful people of Houston.  They come with such courage and strength.   You should be very proud of them.  We enjoyed getting to know them.

Friday, May 17, 2013

                                                           OUR REASSIGNMENTS!!

                                                                   THE DISTRICT
I have officially been given my reassignment. Before I tell everyone where I will be headed I just wanna saw how overly excited I am for this. I know that God is fully aware of my situation and He knew this would happen for a long time. I know He would have not called me to Brazil at this time if
He didn't want me to get a reassignment as well. I believe there are people in both places that I can help. People that need the knowledge of the gospel. People who want to know who their Savior is and how they can get back to live with Him. How they can live with their families forever. They want answers to the big questions of life. Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? I just feel overwhelmingly blessed to be that person. I love being a missionary. Where ever he wants me to be.
On that note I have been called to the

I will be leaving on Tuesday Morning at 4 AM! Two other missionaries from my district are going to come with me. Sister Peterson (the one with the looonnng blonde hair) and Elder Crapo (the one with the short blonde hair) I am so happy that I will have travel buddies. Leaving the district is going to be so hard. Leaving my family was sorta hard... but I know I will see ya'll again. My district is sorta a toss up. I could see them again.. but I don't know for sure! So I am a little sad. Elder Wyatt (the elder from Ellensburg) is leaving TOMORROW! He is going to Montana. Then some more missionaries leave on Monday.. I just have to watch everyone leave me! haah I know this is how it is meant to be, but it will be sorta sad.
This is my flight schedule
Tuesday May 21st
1st flight leaving from Salt Lake at 7:15AM and landing in Phoenix at 7:53AM
THen I have an hour where I will be talking to you, family!! So be ready for me! I think I will actually call moms cell this time. haah :P Let me know if you would rather me call a different one. I will have quarters to call and make sure some one answers but then I will hang up and use my calling card.
I leave the Phoenix airport at 8 55AM and then touch down in Houston at 1:38PM. THen the adventure continues... :D (I am so excited)

Anyway, if anyone has time I would love to know more about that mission! If you could look it up and then dearelder it to me I would be overly grateful! All I know is it is by the border and it is 90% humidity! wooo! (getting me pumped for Brazil ya?) Just anything you can find out about it. Thanks!

This week has when a little crazy. We had the reassignment craziness and then we had in field orientation. They taught us all about how to talk to the bishop and ward cousil members. They gave us a warning that the ward we are serving in will most likely want us to introduce ourselves to the ward in sacrament meeting. We got all sorts of good information.
On Tuesday we had Russel M. Nelson come and speak to us! I feel so blessed to have 2 of the members of the quarm of the 12 come and speak to me while I have been at the MTC! It is wonderful. He talked about the fact that people are praying for us on both sides of the veil. There are ancestors and decendants of our investigators who want us to be able to share the gospel with their family. He spoke about us being the link from where they are and where God is. Pretty much the entire talk just got me suuuper pumped to go out in the field.

I ran into my cousin Ben Baker a few times and we got to talk.  It was great seeing him.  He is serving in Arizona.
As a district we have been doing Crossfit. It is a workout system that works so well, but it also hurts so bad! haah I did a bunch of squats and push-ups so I am super sore, but that will be good for me. :)
OH! I almost forgot. The other day Janice Kat Perry came to Relief Society. THat is the lady who wrote "As sisters in Zion" "A childs prayer" "Love is spoken here" "The armies of Helaman" and a bunch of other great ones. (Dylan she wrote "I belong to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well ;) ) Anyway, she came and she had written a new verse to "As sisters in Zion!" It is called "The sisters in Zion" and it is so awesome! Look for the new CD to come out! I don't know when it will come out but it is such a powerful song. The sisters at the MTC were the first ones to sing it!! I feel so blessed!
Funny story time
Ok so my companion Sister Lillian has been sick. No that is not funny, but it got the point were she needed to see a doctor. So we went to the doctor on MTC property and he said she needed to get some medicine. Getting this medicine involved us going off MTC PROPERTY! hah We got a shuttle pass and everything.
So we are getting ready to leave and decided to just walk because it was a beautiful day. We start walking to the exit and Sister Davis says "Do we need to check out or anything?" None of us knew and we didn't want to go see so we just kept walking until we got to the gate.
I said "Just look really confident and the guards won't say anything. So we confidently opened the gate and marched off to the clinic. Haha It is just so funny to me how excited we were to go off campus. We walked up the the clinic and talked to some people inside. Everyone was super happy to talk to us and for once I really felt like a missionary for a couple seconds.
That was a great day. :)
Speaking of great days this past Wednesday I go to help with hosting new missionaries. I stood outside and got to greet new sisters and help them find all their rooms and books. I totally remember being that new sister a couple weeks ago. It was so awesome to help them.
Fun Fact for Ya. This last Wednesday about 600 new missionaries were admitted into the MTC. That is so many! Out of that 600, about 236 were Sister missionaries!! So awesome right? I am so excited for all the sisters who are serving. I can already see how much of a blessing it is in my life and I can't even imagine how great it will be in the next couple months.
So life goes on. :) Don't forget to Dearelder me! I will have my new address for Texas as soon as I get over there so I will let you know what that is. I love you all :)
The church is true. God loves you and so does Jesus Christ. :)
Ate mais!
Sister Earl

Friday, May 10, 2013

Did you hear the one about the blonde, brunette and redhead that were trying to get to Brasil...?  Hahahahha

The 3 companions

What a schedule!

Some room decor

She has been gone a whole Month...only 17 more :)

Today marks my one month in the MTC. That means I only have another 17 months left! I honestly can not even believe that!!! I am so ready to be in the field and also terrified. This next week is when I will probably get my reassignment... I am sooooooo excited. I could go just about anywhere in the USA. I had a dream I was called to New York.. and then another dream I was called to Hawaii. At this point I am just suuuuper excited for it.
Also! I get to call home! This will probably be on Thursday around 5 pm my time so somebody be ready to get a call from me. I will probably try Moms cell first, but if her phone is dead like usual I will try the others. I only have 5 mins to let you know where I will be going and catch up a little, but I am totally good with that. I am so excited!! If not everyone can be there it is totally cool, but if at all possible I would love to hear ya on the phone. :)
This week has flllloooooowwwwn by. I honestly do the same things everyday so there is not much new to share. My portuguese is getting better and better. I can understand pretty much everything that is said to me, but I need to think pretty hard when it comes to responding. Our lessons are getting more organized and we are able to really address their concerns about the gospel.
One of our investigators is getting baptized!! He is our teacher, but he is playing one of the investigators he met on his mission. His name is Marco and he is a 17 year old boy. He is very excited about the Book of Mormon and we are soooo happy for him!! I can't even express the joy of letting others know about the love of Jesus Christ. I am soooo ready for this!
So being with our district every hour of everyday creates very good friendships. It gets to the point where we seriously know everything about how each other react and all that good stuff. We spend all of our time in this little white room which slowly makes you go crazy as you spend more time in it. Anyway the point of this introduction is to say that eventually there are not walls up between everyone. These people are honestly some of my best friends... and so we talk about everything.
In other news my companionship was called to be the ward greeters!! We get to talk to people and hand out hymn books at the beginning of church. :) I think it will be really fun! It is nice to have a calling.
I am all better from my sickness! Thank you so much for the yummy food, notes, graduation card, and meds. Getting mail will never be boring it makes me so happy. Especially when the mail is a package!! Thank you momma! And thank you Christine!!! That chocolate is getting to love it deserves I promise you. :)
A 70 apostle came to speak to us the other day. He is from Uraguay and is not super comfortable with English, but his talk was really awesome. All of the devotionals as so inspiring here at the MTC. I have no idea what I am going to do without those boosts 2 times a week! I bought a conference edition of the Ensign from the bookstore this week so hopefully that will help as I am our in the field.
Sorry this letter is really random today. :P
Lets see. Life is great. I think the best way to describe my days is that I die every night and wake up as a new person everyday. I honestly sometimes wonder where all the strength comes from. I go to sleep wondering how in the world I will be able to get up the next day... but it happens and I am always ready for the next day. When I was sick it was the most apparent. When I was in class I felt just fine, but the second I got out of class or was not teaching I was miserable. I know I am not alone in this. I know that God is sending his angels to bear me up and help me. Speaking of angels, my companions are awesome and I love them so much. I get so sad when I think that we will all be going to different places next week. :( I just have to trust that my Father in Heaven is in charge.
In closing I just want to share a thought that an Elder in my district shared earlier.
Our Father in Heaven is perfect. He is the most wonderful magnificent being in the entire universe. He has all power and all knowledge and yet He asks that we call Him "Father" Isn't that awesome!? That is just a testimony to me of the divine calling of families. We are given families for a divine purpose. They are perfect.
I testify that God love you. Yes, you. He is aware of you and he wants you to be aware of Him so that he can help you. Say a prayer. Sincerely ask if He is there and I promise He will let you know. :)
Eu Amo Voces!!
Also, Happy Mothers Day momma!! You are the best. Never forget that I love you and look up to you. You have made me the person I am today and I will forever be grateful to you. Remember you are beautiful. You are strong. And you are almost always right. :P Have a great weekend alright? :) Love ya.
Ate mais,
Sister Earl

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Oi beautiful people!
Today is such a wonderful day!! The sun is actually out and I am not freezing!! wooooo!
This week has been so much fun and packed with excitement!! First of all we have a new schedule which I absolutely love for multiple reasons. First of all I never have to get up before 6:30. Second of all we never have gym time right after a meal time. Third we have 45 mins to get ready in the morning instead of 30. Plus switching things up is always good, because it keeps it interesting.
Speaking of keeping it interesting I have a story de voces! So after breakfast and then taking a short nap we strolled on down to the laundry room to do our laundry (go figure) We put our clothes in and then proceeded to write letters and wait for the cycle to be over. As we are sitting there half asleep and still in our sweats some of our Elders run into the laundry room yelling "Elder Perez!!! Elder Perez!!" We stopped them a little confused and also a little irritated and asked what was going on.
They proceeded to tell us that an announcement had been made in the residence hall that Elder Perez needed to pack and be ready to go by 11:30 that day!!!!! AT this time is was already 10!!! I started to freak out He GOT HIS VISA. ELDER PEREZ IS LEAVING US!!! I was super excited that he got his Visa, but also sad he was leaving. I was thinking how he had to get everything packed in an hour!! That alone would stress me out beyond belief!! Anyway, so we ran our clothes up to our rooms and sat outside the elders building so that we could say goodbye before he left.
I have known this Elder for 3 weeks! Just 3 weeks, but we are all so close! I still feel very conflicted about the entire thing even though he is already on a plane headed to Brazil..... :O Its just crazy.
Sister Jones' entire district was called to the Spokane Washington mission except for her. She gets to wait another week at the MTC with me!! haah :) I just have two weeks til I get my reassignment and Sister Moberg gets hers next week. MUITO LEGAL, SIM?!
Funny story time
Ok so one of the Elders in our District is Elder Park. He is a short blonde elder with a huge personality and Texas pride. :P He is also our district leader and he does a very good job. Anyway, this week we have been working on "SYL" which stands for "speak your language" We are expected to always speak in portuguese so that it will become easier and easier to speak all the time in portuguese. Anyway sometimes it is really hard to remember expecially at meal times and back at the residence hall. He decided that he would give himself a reminder by writing it in big letters on his hand.
This would have been a pretty good plan except instead of writing "SYL" in english he decided to write Falo Minha Lingua (speak my language) in Portuguese. So as you probably already guessed our District Leader had a big "FML" on his right hand. I think everyone was laughing for a good 10 mins when we all found out. haha It was unbelievably funny.
Other than all that life is going on here at the MTC. People leave and come all the time and it is weird to think that there is actually a life outside of the MTC. Tonight we have TRC which is my favorite. We get to talk to a member of the church in Portuguese and basically share our testimony and thoughts. It is just so wonderful to feel the spirit so strong. Eu amo Portugues. Eu amo voces!
Eu sei que Jesus Cristo e meu Salvador. Eu sei que esta igreja e verdadeira. Eu muito grata por meu Salvador. ( some of that should have accents and such but the computer is difficult to understand sometimes. Hopefully the message somewhat translates on googletranslate) haha
Thanks for all the support and love!! Thank you shout out to Samantha Calder, Kendall Earl, Alyssa Tucker, Alison Siggard, Christine Padilla, Karina Hansen, JeriAnn Ward, Lori Baker, Grandma Kathy, Roger, Grandma Baker, Shani Law, Michael Reidhead, Kristy Earl, Mogene Bodily, my entire family (Momma, Daddio, Jordan, Cassidy, Riley and Dylan) You all make my world a little brighter. :) If you feel at all inclined please send me a letter!! I would loooove to hear from you! Yes you!! :)
Oh and momma as for the package thing I was thinking I might need some more cold medicine... I contracted the MTC virus. This place in just an incubater of sickness I swear!! I have Day Quil and Night Quil but I might need more... not sure yet. I don't know you you think some other meds would work better... Anyway, that is my main thing. I could always get more at the Bookstore too.
Hmmmm other than that I don't really know what I need. Surprise me! I always love surprises. :) I love you momma, you are the best :)
Have a great week everyone! Your Father in Heaven loves you so much. :)
Sister Earl

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A new letter!!!

So my P-day has been changed!! Instead of Tuesdays (today) it has been changed to Fridays! Actually our entire schedule has been changed dramatically. But now our schedule is soooo much better so I am very very happy about it. The people in charge have us some time today to do a little laundry and send a sort message home so nobody freaks out about not getting an email. So here ya go. :P
This week is the halfway mark in my MTC experience. How weird right? I still feel like I should be the sister with the little orange dork dot on my name tag.. (Although my companions keep reminding me that I dont need to dot to be a dork) haha :P In the next couple weeks I will get my reassignment and I can honestly say that I am super excited about it. I decided I would give up a year and half of thinking about me to the Lord and he can do whatever he wants with that time. If that means I will be in Idaho or something for a little while then I hope I can find those people who are ready to hear the good news that I have.
Think about it. Who wouldn't want to hear that they have a divine and perfect Father in heaven who loves them so much he gave us all so much. Each time we mess up he gives us another chance. We see that again and again in our history. When people reject the prophets God will eventually call another prophet to build up his people. After Christ and His apostles were killed there was no authority from God on the earth people were confused and were searching for God. Most people had pieces of the truth and tried their best to do everything they could with that knowledge, but we are imperfect and need help from God. That is why Joseph Smith was called as a prophet in the latter days and that is why He gave us the Book of Mormon. It is simply because He loves us more than we can know!!! In fact He loves us so much that we can ask Him our questions. I testify that if you want to know something that sincere prayer works. I testify that God is real and that His Son Jesus Christ really died for us. He knows us and He wants us to know Him.
Thank you to everyone who has given me a letter so far. If I have not written you back I am very very sorry! I am doing my best to write back everyone, but it is hard! Just know that I looooovvvvve the letters. Seriously they make my day so much brighter so if you have a minute get on DearElder.com and send me a letter!!
Anyway I will have more time on Friday to write more about the activities of the week.
Ate logo.
Eu amo voces!!