Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Greetings all!
Mom- you should have just received a FW with 5 photos of the whole CTM. Hope you appreciate them, it took like 25 minutes for the CTM to coordinate the group shot. That was taken after the Manaus Temple Celebration which we were able to attend and will talk about.
Just a little housekeeping: I hope my emails make sense, if they don't I apologize. We have 30 minutes to use computers. So if you email me, I take a picture of the email and will write you a letter later. And I LOVE getting the pictures of my nieces that I've received. But if you get a chance you might try to resize them, cause they're gigantic when I receive them and I get a really close up shot. Bot complaining, because I love them, but I can't resize them. And I just hope my emails make sense, I can feel my English slip away as we pound more and more Portuguese into our Brains.
This was another amazing week here in the Brazil CTM. Saturday and Sunday we were able to participate in the Temple Dedication of the Manaus Temple. Which as I hear, is located in the middle of the Amazon. It is the 138th Temple in the World. And the 6th in Brazil. Fortaleza, when it is completed will be the 7th. We were able to watch the Temple Celebration via Broadcast Saturday evening and were able to watch the Temple Dedication via Broadcast Sunday evening. It was a very Spiritual and exciting event. President Dieter F. Uchdorf and Elder Quentin L Cook were both in Manuas for the dedication and gave talks (Not in Portuguese in case you were wondering). One of my favorite things that I heard from the Dedication was how the Manaus area has grown.

In 1979 people from Manaus wrote to the Mission President in Rio asking if missionaries could be sent to the area. The mission President asked the Area President. However, they considered Manaus too remote, too isolated, and too hard to get to. So they did not send missionaries. However the people of Manaus tried again. Finally, they agreed on sending Missionaries from Rio to Manaus on 3 conditions. 1 That the People of Manaus have people ready to hear the gospel. 2 that air fare would be covered, it was very expensive to travel into the Amazon. and 3 the missionaries could only stay there for 4 months. Well the members of Manaus paid for missionaries to fly up there and they had people ready and waiting to hear about the gospel. The church grew and the missionaries never left. We were told people spent weeks trying to get to the Sao Paulo Temple. It normally was over a 3 week trip just to get here from the Temple. It was at least 3 days by boat and then another 4 days or more by road one-way from Manaus. There are people who live even farther then that who will now have the opportunity to receive blessings from the Temple. It was very neat to be a part of the Celebration for the Temple. I'll have to write more about it in my letter, cause Im running out of time.
A couple of highlights from this week:
*We celebrated our 1 month calendar anniversary on the 9th of June
*We had noodles/pasta for the second time this week
*We had corn for the first time last night for dinner
*We had rain for a solid 5 days. And I mean rain. It was normally downpooring when it was raining at all. And we had lightning and thunder like I've never seen before. Elders said it was so loud it was shaking the building one night. But suprise suprise I slept right through it. But, we did see lightning literally outside our classroom window one day with Thunder a split second later. It sounded like a big truck ran into our building.
*This has also resulted in the first feeling of "winter" for most people. There are no heaters inside any buildings here, so while Im sure I will get cold eventually, it hasn't happened yet.
*One of my companions, S Matiaco was called as the Coordinating Sister. Which means several things, but most importantly she really helps in building unity amongst the Sisters. We had a sisters meeting one night, and fit all 34 sisters into our room along with Sister Degn. It was fun to hear all the new sisters introduce themselves and the sisters who were departying say goodbye. It was an amazing feeling to sing "As sisters in Zion" and "God be with you till we meet again" together. We had sisters cramped onto every bed and all the floor space.

Anyways, i've got to go, but love you all!
Sister Bullen

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