Thanks so much for the package, being in Provo for the time being definitely has it’s advantages :) Speaking of Provo, you’d think after attending BYU for the last three years I would expect it to be getting colder but I still was not a fan of the SNOW this week! I’m so glad I have Grandma’s coat. Please thank Grandpa for me! I had Sister Owens take a picture of me wearing Grandma’s coat to send to Grandpa and with a joint effort of getting his address from Elder Lund, he should get that in the mail this week. I also included a couple pictures of me and Travis for Grandpa. We took more pictures in the laundry room of us writing letters together. Did you guys get the ones I sent this week? I’m planning on sending you a cd of all my pictures before I leave but I wanted to at least get you the ones of me and travis.
Yay for a BYU win! I could hear the game from our room when we went up there to grab something at lunch. It’s hard to be so close and not know what’s going on! I’m glad to hear it went well :)
Another Brazil district got reassigned stateside this week. The reassignments are getting more spread out, they used to tend to be southern states or east coast, now they’re seriously all over the states. I’m interested to hear where Travis ends up! He should be hearing next week. My guess is somewhere in Texas.
As I was thinking of what to write this week I’m kinda drawing a blank. Lots happened as far as studying but that’s kinda hard to express in an e-mail. Time is really starting to fly. I can’t believe it’s been another week already! Sister Angela Green reported this week! (Worked with her at heritage and she was in my freshman orientation group). She’s in the same boat as a lot of us, waiting for a visa to Brazil so it’ll be fun to be here together for the time being and learn Portuguese together! Our district introduced their district to Secreta Oracao last night. It’s starting to be a weekly tradition with every new portuguese district that comes in. Only problem is there are now more of us that know it and want to join in and those classrooms can only hold so many. It’s rather tight quarters for the 5 minutes or so we’re in there singing our hearts out!
This week’s devotional on Tuesday was definitely the highlight of the week. Elder Scott! Two apostles in a row, I love being at the Provo MTC! He talked about recognizing the spirit and he said up front that he had every quote he’d use during his talk on a handout so not to worry about writing those down but really just write down impressions we get throughout the devotional. My pen never stopped going, the spirit was strong as he spoke it was amazing! My favorite part by far was all the shout outs to Sister Missionaries which were A LOT. And since Sister Owens and I were in the choir we were in the largest group of sister missionaries so every time he addressed the sisters he would turn to us and it seriously felt like he was talking directly to me. He talked about how the Lord protects his missionaries and especially his sister missionaries. In addition to that Elder Scott blessed all of us sister missionaries as an apostle of the Lord that we would have an added measure of protection from the evils of the world, that would recognize dangerous situations and know how to get to safety. As he was saying this I physically felt this shield of protection he was blessing us with. It was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. So don’t worry Mommy and Daddy, your sister missionary will be safe and protected :) Another blessing that he gave to everyone was that of the gift of tongues, he blessed us that we will be able to retain information better, and that the efforts we put into studying will be magnified. This was such a comfort as I’m learning portuguese. I tend to forget that while it may feel like I’ve been at the MTC forever, it’s only been a few weeks and so I really am learning quickly all things considered. Last night I asked one of the Elders in my district who came into the MTC with a quite a bit of experience to go over some basic grammar and what not. It was really helpful to get some more explanation and practice with stuff that we use in class. I definitely have more sympathy for the students I worked with for my TESOL minor. Our teachers will give mini lessons throughout the day but for the most part they just speak to us in Portuguese and we kinda just figure it out so I really appreciate what I’ve learned in those TELL classes about the importance of teaching with context when teaching a language because you really can understand so much more when context is provided even if you don’t know the individual words.
Teaching the lessons is always one of my favorite parts of the day. Sister Owens and I have made a point to teach a complete lesson each day which means we’re been cycling through the companionships in our district, every night we’ll say “ok who wants to be taught tomorrow!” They’re all really willing to act as investigators and it helps the MDT go faster. We have one more week of TRC in English and then the next 4 weeks will be in Portuguese! I’ll definitely be needing another week and a half to learn how to speak that much at all once. I’ve got a lot of the key phrases down but as soon as they respond and what I’m supposed to say isn’t in that helpful little green book I’m lost and thus commence with the smiling and nodding :) The TRC situation this week was picking up an investigator and riding the bus to church and then teaching a lesson after. (Bus in Portuguese, lesson in English). I understood everything that he was saying but really struggled through my response to him. Sister Owens is great with the Portuguese part, she gets very animated with her actions to express what she wants to say.
As a district we’ve made it a goal to only speak Portuguese at meals. This usually turns into English with “o” “a” and “mente” endings, I’m not sure if that’s really going to be helpful but it’s sure funny sounding!
Well the time just started flashing at me so I should start to wrap this up.
I love being a missionary :) I love the MTC and the spirit that is felt here. I really love learning all day every day even though at times it is exhausting and a bit frustrating. It’s amazing to see how much I’ve learned of both the language and the gospel in the short time I’ve been here. I love teaching! Every time I do my testimony of those principles is strengthened so much. I know that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us. Jesus is the Christ. Joseph Smith truly did restore the true gospel under the direction of the Lord. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Every answer to life’s problems can be found by reading the Book of Mormon. We have a prophet on the earth today who speaks for the Lord and by following his counsel we will be safe and happy.
I love you all so much! Thanks for the prayers of support, I can definitely feel them. Know that you are in mine :)