I have one request for Christmas, I ask that you watch the Bethlehem episode of Top Gear. I was thinking of all the good times we have had together during the past holidays. I sure do love my family!! I am glad that we are all such good friends. Anyways, here is how my week went.
We had our ward party on Friday. It was a blast and so so funny! Our ward hired a magician to perform for an hour. He was more of a clever prankster than a magician, but he was super funny. He even had me and my companion participate in the show. He called me up first and took my companions ring and put it in my hand and then had me close my hands. He then grabbed my wrists and told me that the ring would switch to my other hand. He then started to dance with me... IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE WARD. You dont even know the thoughts going through my mind! Hahaha. After he stopped dancing he asked me what time I thought it was. I answered and he asked me how I knew for sure, I looked at my watch only to find out that it was gone! He stole my watch while dancing. HAHA, I didnt even notice because I was thinking about the ring in my hand. He called Sister Rocha up at the end of the show. (Boy was it funny) He walks up to her chair and starts saying that they have been looking at each other all night... he then touches her face and says that there exist feelings between them. I busted out laughing. You should have seen her face. Hahaha :) It was so funny!
So these last two weeks, we have not had running water in our house because of the tests they are doing at the stadium for the world cup. That was fun, dirty dishes every where, not being able to make food... We took very few showers those two weeks too. We have two shower heads in our bathroom, one is the water from the street and the other is the reserve tank on top of our house. So we showered with our reserve water. You wont guess what happend next! By the time we got our water back, we were so thankful we decided to wash our clothes, because ALL of them were dirty. We started a load on saturday and ran to the store to grab something. When we came back we heard this loud racket coming from inside. Our first thought is that someone is robbing us! We start to look for the door keys and concluded that the noise was our washing machiene. When we finally found the keys we run inside and see the washing machiene jumping around the room. It unpluged itself from the wall it was jumping around so hard. So now we dont have a washing machiene. We plugged it in and recorded it on my companions camera to see what was going on. It was pretty crazy. Thankfully we have a member who is letting me use her washing machine. :D
I am learning so much! I am really beginning to understand the love our Heavenly Father has for all of His children and how I can have that same love too. It was tough at first, but my Father in Heaven has been helping me immensely this week. :) Going to the temple this week really helped too!
For our Christmas conference we all went to CIGS. It is an army training base here in Manaus. The have a lot of jungle that they do special forces training in. I read about it in the New York Times before coming here, but I never thought I would actually get to visit it. The U.S. Army sometimes sends people to take the training here. They gave us a little class on how to catch snakes. It was cool, after they let some of the missionaries try and catch a snake. I wanted to but there were so many other people that wanted to also, I just thought to myself.. I can do this all the time at home. lol.
So my friend Raisa was talking with us the other day. I told her that I had bough shark tooth earrings and she questioned me if they were really shark teeth. I told her they were, because I know what shark teeth look like. She just laughed and proceeded to tell me,"You know Chatwin? Your attributes are turn-offs, but they are endearing to me." Haha. We are great friends. She will be serving in the Joao Pessoa mission. After her mission she is going to try and come study in the states at one of the church colleges.
We got to watch the Christmas Devotional yesterday. We sat by our DL's and they had a member come sit by them. They told me that when he walked over I should say freaking flamers. Apparently that is the only thing he remembers how to say in english that he learned on his mission. Anyways he was talking to the Elders and then started to walk away, so I looked down and said in a serious tone Freaking Flamers! He was so shocked and them we all just laughed for a few minutes. It was great.
During the Christmas Devotional I was thinking of the reason so many people are willingly happy and willingly serve others this time of the year.. I conluded that it is because they embrace the light of Christ within them. We choose to williningly put off the natural man, and be like children. Helping where we see help is needed and many other types of things. But after Christmas, this worldwide unity seems to go away and we choose to embrace the natural man again. These thought reminded me of a talk by President Ucthdorf where he said that one of the biggest regrets that people have is that they wish they let themselves be happier.
It is our choice to be happy in this life. We are most truly happy when we are following the will of our Father in Heaven. Our lifes are not easy and we will always have so many trials, so people will have more than others, but we are blessed when we have the knowlede that trials are what help us learn. When we choose to be happy and embrace the light of Christ in us and accept the divine help and guidance we can recieve from the Holy Ghost we will feel a great burden lifted from our shoulders and once again feel that great peace and love from our Father in Heaven.
It is hard to believe that Christmas is this week! It is so hot here! My chacos tan is pretty sweet!
As for skyping, we are having lunch at Bishop's house around 1:30 or 2:00, so we will probably get to skype between [I'm guessing] 2-4. It is hard because I dont have a set time, so I guess just have skype open and be looking for me to get on! My name is srchatwin, if you don't remember.
I love you all so much and I really am excited to talk with you all again!
Hugs and Kisses,
*sorry I missed your email today, we got on earlier than we have been. Or maybe you all are busy and forgot, but either way it is okay because we get to skype this week too!
So I will start off by telling you all about my week and answering mom and dads email.
So mom, my ears are healing just fine. I am cleaning them like the lady told me to every day. I am not taking any chances on letting them get infected.
Sister Rocha and I went into the center again. I bought some neat shark tooth earrings that a hippie made. I cant wait to show them to you. The hippies here are pretty cool and fun to talk to.
Anyways, on our way back from the center we were talking with a few people about The Book of Mormon. We saw a bus that we knew we had taken before and got on it, we got on this one because we missed the last one. Well that turned into a two hour bus ride because it did not pass by our house like we thought. We ended up in the garage and got on another bus that was just leaving that would go close to our house. That is the very funny reason why I am just now getting to email you all!
I caught a medium sized green iguana with my hands the other day! It was about the same size as the one we had that was warrens pet. We didnt have our cameras with us so we let it go. Only to have the great idea that we should have kept it and given it to our goofy zone leader for christmas.
I havent gotten your package yet, only because we only get our letters and stuff when we have zone training. Tomorrow is our Christmas conference, so I could have a possibility of getting it then. Christmas conference should be fun. President takes us to go do fun things, we are going to the zoo! The bus for all the missionaries leave at 6 in the morning, so while we will wake up early, other missionaries will be waking up even earlier. We are lucky to live so close to the chapel.
I wrote in my planner that this was the week of bare. Bare is a type of soda derived from guarana that is only made here in Manaus. I think that by wednesday, Sister Rocha and I had drinken at least 5 liters of Bare in the houses of various members. I have never drinken so much soda in my life.
Sister Rocha and I have wrapped a whole bunch of Books of Mormon along with the Joy to the World dvd. We are going around with some members each night and carroling to their neighboors. We sing a christmas hymn and the give them a christmas present that has an invite to our Mega Reuniao de Integracao de Natal which is Friday. We are having a lot of sucess. It was hard to get things started, but, the members are helping us a lot more. Something which is hard to do in this ward. It is a really good thing and we are very happy that things are starting to change. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year.
Speaking of which, we had our cantata at the temple this last week. A whole bunch of people were there to listen to different choirs from different stakes sing christmas songs at the temple. All the missionaries in Manaus got to go and sing a song. It was a lot of fun! Our zone gets to go to the temple on Wednesday, as always I will be putting names on the prayer roll.
I love you all so much and I hope that all goes well with Remmington. I want a picture of him in his cool new brace, if mom decides to go with it.
A Nissan Leaf! That is pretty cool, an ELECTRIC car. You should send photos! I am glad that things are going so well for you all! I am so happy that Ryan only has a fat head.
As for talking on Christmas, we can only use skype and the mission presidency here in Brasil said that we can only talk for 40 minutes. So, Sister Rocha and I will be going to the Bishops house after lunch to skype with our families. So in the evening works better, let me know next week ... I will try and get a better idea too....
Anyways I love you all!!! SO SO VERY MUCH! Feliz Natal!
Here is a translation of a quote I liked from General Conference
Perserverance is an important principle that we find in the Doctrine of Christ. It is important because the quality of our eternal future is proportional to our capacity to perservere in righteousness.
Keep doing good in the world and share the Christmas Spirit!!
Short letter from Sister Chatwin this week, so I'm throwing in the one from her mom to help hers make more sense. Hi Nana!
We love you. Matt and Ashley are taking the discussions with the Claremore sisters! They are coming for dinner Friday. They will need lots of prayers. She believes in something- but is not sure what God has ever done for her. They both have had lots of struggles in life. She is due in Feb. sometime.
Snow day on Friday and Monday. Ugh we we are using the up fast and it is not even christmas. Low is 19 high was 34. Ice on the roads.
Ryan has a big week. Cat scan for his ear, monday. Tuesday temple recommend. Wed. eye doc. Thurs. cyst removal operation. Fri.foot doc for inserts. Prayers are welcome.
How is your new companion? Where is she from. What did you do for fun this week? who did you teach? Do you have a time for skyping? we may try to do the following...
"I was giving a great suggestion about Google Hangout that's like Skype but free from another mother from this group last year. The only thing you both need is a gmail account and you can add up to 10 people for the video chat. "
This way we can talk to everyone and practice with Ryan for mothers day etc.
You do have a gmail right??
School is busy. I have a lazy bunch of APES students. They just don't want to do anything. Bums. But I do have several gems in there. It is fun to watch them grow up.
Ryan is starting to really look the missionary part. We have been getting his clothes in, suits, in. So I was able to play dress up with him today. What a hottie!
Remmi's wrist had a buckle fracture. But he is healing fast. I wish I could be a gecko on your wall and watch what was happening in your life. Tell me stories.
We have been teasing Tiger about a girl... that he likes. And he throws the biggest fits. But... Grandma Simmons said.... did you ever tease Savy?? He said no... we called him on it... So G-ma says you are getting what you deserve!! HAHAHA. Every bit the Stratty strutt... and still not as bad as he teased you.
It is expensive to send off you kiddos. Ugh... so much to buy. And do.
Do you have your package?? let me know when it arrives. Aunt Heather is also sending you one.
The Zachary Baird is no longer going to serve in Brazil. They have officially called him to the Ohio area. You are one blessed Sister to have made it to the CTM before you left!! The Lord really had need of you immediately down there. Just keep your head up... look for beautiful things (and bugs). And love Heavenly Fathers children.
Are you the senior companion? are you teaching a greenie? How is the language this week? We are so excited for you. What was tough this week?? I cannot help you if you don't tell me.
We really love you and know that your serving the Lord with all your might!
Sounds like you are having a busy life. Its good!
This week was fun. I have the COOOLEST companion in the world... well in the mission anyways. Want to know why she is the coolest? Today for p-day she convinced me to get my ears piereced. I bought some cool earrings that the injus made. And I bought some cool fox ones... :D
CHRISTMAS. So we will be skypeing you from the bishops house on the 25, probably in the afternoon. We will try and get a set time this week. I do have gmail, but my missionary account doesnt allow me to use the video etc. So I dont know if the gmail thing will work... I will talk about it with some people. I am excited to talk with you all so soon! We ( the missionaries in Manaus) are going to be singing in front of the temple on saturday. I am excited. As for packages, I havent gotten it yet. I will let you know as soon as I get it. :)
TIGGY DESERVES THE TEASING. GO GRANDMA! lol :) It sounds like you all had a wonderful time with the family. I am glad you got to spend a lot of time with your mommy!
Sister Rocha.... been out for nine months. Totes not a greenie. Bem legal.... yup, shes cool. :) Nah, she lived in the states for some time, speaks english.. like a BOSS. We get along great. We eat alot, and our room is a creative mess right now.. but life is good. :) :) SO SO HAPPY. We bought a small christmas tree, decorated our house, bought a little baby doll and took some grass..weeds that we found on the side of the road to make a manger. :)
What time do you think will work best for talking on christmas?? Let me know so we can plan this better.
I love you alll so much!!
We dont have internet today, so we are borrowing Terezas computor.
Sorry that I am late writing to you! Today has been a busy day!
Transfers, I am staying here in Flores for my third transfer... although I have a new companion! Her name is Sister Rocha. She was born in Brazil, but lives in the USA. It looks as though we will have a lot of fun together.
This last week was tough. Sister Freitas was deffinitely a learning experience. We sure had our rough spots, but my faith, love and paitence sure have grown a lot. :)
I met Sister Lomonte today, she was a roomate of Stacy Kneibs. It sure is a small world.
hmmm...ah ha. What is the portuguese name for pirhanna? Pacu? If so I have eaten it various times here without realizing it.
I sure do love you all alot. Like really a lot! I sure do miss you all. It sounds like you had a wonderful time in Colorado with the Family! I wish I could have been there but... I am here in Brazil. :) I spent the day watching the Elders that are leaving prepare to go home. Time sure does pass fast here, and I pondered on the thought of the day when I will return home. It is a strange thought.
I am excited to stay in Flores. The area is difficult with baptisms and stuff for this mission, but I am fine with it. I get to spend Christmas here with people I know. Also, all of the missionaries here in Manaus will get to sing in the missionary choir in front of the temple for Christmas. I think this is one of the reasons I am excited to stay here. We will get to eat Christmas lunch in the house of Irma Tareza. :) She is like a mom to us.
This week Tareza´s grandson went with his grandpa to buy an ice cream cone. We ran into him on our way out and he proudly asked if I wanted to try it. I said no, he then practically shoved the ice cream cone in my face and said that I did want to try it. It was very funny!
We were having a short lesson with our Recent Convert and he asked that I say the closing prayer in English. For your information he speaks Spanish and is currently learning Portuguese, so it is a mixture of languages right now. I am proud to say that my English (in my opinion) is horrible. I recognized that I am thinking mostly in Portuguese now. Good luck when I skype you all for Christmas.
Also, I gave my camera to the husband of Tareza. They should both be your friends on facebook... Anyways he is slowly sending my pictures to you! Sister Freitas was using the computers here in the internet cafe to send pictures and her camera got 6 viruses.
Anyways I love you all so so so much and am so very anxious to talk with you again! I am excited to. We live right by the office here, so there shouldn´t be a delay with recieveing packages. :) Speaking of which, a quick shout-out to the mother of Sister Morales! HELLO <3
I am loving my mission and learning lots! It sure is a different way of life, but I love it oh so very much. Sometimes I forget and let the adversary into my mind and think about if this is what I really want to do, but then I remember in my mind that my life will be in the service of the Lord. This is the work I want to do, this is the work I love. Forget yourself and go to work!
Its so speacial that Ryan was able to recieve the Melchezideck preisthood in Grand Junction. Parabens!
FEEL BETTER REMMINGTON!
Ahh the memories that are coming to my mind right now. These are all things that we will have to do when I return next January. :) Hicking, spending time with family, seeing the sights around Colorado. :) I love you all so much! Sorry I didn´t have much time today, but next week I will have a full two hours to email you all. :D :D