Friday, September 19, 2014

I'm official~name tag and all!

September 17, 2014
When we got home from the airport on Tuesday, on the magnet board that she's been counting down for the last 30 days we found this:

What a sweetheart!
Tuesday afternoon (9-16) Joci was able to call from Atlanta.  There was a complimentary 5 minute payphone, YAY!  She said she was traveling with 7 other missionaries plus a Senior couple.  She said the Senior missionary couple helped them through the Atlanta airport, and that she was being taken care of!  What good that did this mother's heart!  Kaiti was with me and was able to hear the conversation and squeeze in one more "I love you Joc" which helped Kaiti smile.  A little later that day I got a text from a random number with this picture and the caption "They look good!"  What tender mercies today!

Missionaries leaving with Joci from the SLC airport.

Tuesday at the end of the day I decided to send Joci an email in case she was able to email us when she got to Brazil.  I was so glad I did.  The jokester sent me this in response to my email:

ERROR CODE 246-980973-396
Email Address not found.

I was confused and rechecked her email address but the "ERROR" message was followed right after with this:     

Just kidding! I wanted to throw you for a loop! i did it huh!!!! yeah man! I am so funny!
    I am never coming back! You are going to have to come down here with me! Brasil is the most beautiful place. The flight was great and I met two sister missionaries on my flight who are now my companions. Sister Anderson and Sister Clement are wonderful. Sister Anderson and I clicked right away. She is a hoot and a half. Sister Clement has the funnest smile and a catchy laugh. We get along just great. There was supposed to be another sister that was going to be my companion but she had health problems and couldn't come so they moved me in with the other two sisters. I love them.
    It is not nearly as hot as I expected! At least not right now. It is the perfect weather! About 70 degrees! Amazing!
    When we got to the Terminal of the Airport we all got on this bus thing and headed out through traffic and let me tell you! Traffic here is the craziest thing. If someone wants to merge they just merge! It doesn't matter if there is a car already there or not they just merge!! Cars all over honking and honking and motorcylces that ride down the dotted white lines in the middle of the road. Right in between cars! They just lay on their horn all the way down the street so you don't merge into them. And they book it! They go so fast! Boys don't do that on your motorcycle!! BE CAREFUL! Wear a helmet! I am so jealous that you got that literally as soon as I left! I have always wanted a motorcycle!
    Yeah kindermusic! Mama you do such a good job with those kids! I don't even need to wish you luck! But good luck anyway!
    Kaiti, I hung up the picture you drew me in my room. I love it. And so do my comps. It brightens up the room.
I don't know when my p-day is but i'll let you know for sure! I haven't even eaten a meal yet but we were all so excited to write our families it didn't really matter.
   I sure love you guys. Don't you dare worry about me because I am having the best time hear serving the Lord. I'm 78% sure that the hard part is about to come but I am already so in love with being a missionary it doesn't matter! I got my name tag! It's on me!!!!! wahoo! I'm official!
   Thank you for your love and support. Thank you for your prayers. Tell everyone how much I appreciate it because it really does matter and I really can feel their love and support and prayers coming my way. I am so lucky to have you guys. Thank you Thank you!!!
I kinda need some people's emails... I only have yours so if you could give me Jake's and Dad's and the Kids. I have an hour to email I think so thats sweet! wahoo!
I'lll send pictures when I can. LOVE and KISSES!!!
Sister Baker

What a character!  It made us all laugh though!  It was evidence that she was doing great and being herself!  Happy day!

A little later in the day we recieved this email from the MTC Mission President in Sao Paolo Brazil:
Dear Parents,
Sister Swensen and I are very happy to let you know that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil Missionary Training Center.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they begin their missionary experiences with us. We will surely take good care of your missionary.                                                                                                     
The missionaries now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  Their branch presidents and wives, will meet them this Sunday.  These wonderful couples are richly blessed as they work with, motivate, and interview the missionaries assigned to their branch.
The MTC has a full-time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife who is a nurse. We are also happy to report that the cafeteria food is plentiful, healthy and very good.
Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Wednesday or Friday, depending on individual assignments.
Your missionary is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of many others. President Lorenzo Snow said: “There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children".  We love these missionaries as if they were our own.  We will watch over them carefully to ensure they are ready for a wonderful missionary experience after the rewarding time they will have in the MTC.
We thank you for preparing such a wonderful representative of the Lord.
President Robert Swensen and Sister Julie Swensen
PLEASE DO NOT SEND PACKAGES to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where your missionary will be serving not the MTC. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC, please understand that the package cannot be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you.
WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE SENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Please write your missionary´s first and last name. Your missionary will provide you with his district and box number. Also, pleaseDO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers.  The cost to process this type of correspondence is exorbitant.

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