My p-day will be on Fridays from now on, so you can expect two e-mails from the MTC on Friday! It was good to hear from all of you this week, sounds like you’re doing well. I’m really excited for Erika and Tommy! That’s so great that he’s getting baptized. that was really neat to hear as I’m here in the MTC focusing so much on the importance of bringing people to Christ and helping them understand the importance of being baptized.
The printer for pictures in the bookstore is down so I guess I’ll try back next week to send some… I love the one of me and Travis though! Thanks for the BYU update ;) I’m glad we got another win under our belt. I’ve been wearing my BYU sweats to bed in support of the cougars every night, hope it continues to help!
This week Sister Owens and I participated in the MTC choir for the Tuesday night devotional. It was a really neat experience to sing with other missionaries, including Hermana West! I’ve loved seeing her around campus, it’s always great to get a hug from her when almost everyone else are elders and hugging is a no no.
My district is so amazing! We’ve had an amazing week of learning both the gospel and Portuguese. Wednesday we went to the TRC to teach a lesson to an ‘investigator’, the first 5 min of contacting was in portuguese and then we taught in English. I must say that the Portuguese conversation was really hard seeing as it involved more than talking about the gospel, beyond prayer and testimony I’m still just smiling and nodding along. It was really fun to teach a full lesson though to someone who was acting the part and asking realistic questions. When we teach each other we tend to be very agreeable and always want to hear more and be marked for baptism in three weeks. We’re all very successful at teaching each other :)
Brother Halverson is such a good teacher! One thing he said that has really stuck with me is you’ve got two years to serve (or a year and a half for Sister Owens and me) and an eternity to think about it! Everytime I start to get tired or want to take a break from studying for a bit I remember that and it motivates me to studying harder and learn more because this is such a short time that we have here and it’ll really pay off in the mission field to get all the studying in that we can here.
Random: our district’s favorite song is Secret Prayer in Portuguese. I never really noticed this song in English before but we love singing it in Portuguese! We sing it like a really fast march and it pumps us up for the day. It’s always stuck in someone’s head, I love it :) another thing we’re all working on this week in addition to learning the language and lessons is learning how to do that snap thingie they do in Brazil all the time. It’s the running joke that they won’t let you in the country if you can’t do it. If that’s the case I’m going to be stuck stateside because i’m really struggling with it. I’ve got 8 more weeks to master it though! Today we all went to the temple as a district. It was such a neat experience to go with these elders and Sister Owens. We’ve spent so much time together the last week and have gotten really close that it really did feel like being in the temple with family. One more thing about my district before I move on… we refer to any comment or conversation about the outside world as “Babylon” pretty much trying to keep people focused but that too has become a big joke. Any time the conversation drifts someone will yell out “BABYLON!” In a really whinny and screechy voice which makes us all laugh and get back to work :)
Travis and I still [see] each other at almost every meal. I love getting to talk with him and share this experience with him. It’s a highlight of my day when he comes over to say hi :) I told him that now that I’ve seen him I can sincerely pray that his visa comes through. Sounds like a lot of Brazil missionaries are getting reassigned stateside, we’re really just going with the flow! We’ll end up where we need to be when we need to be there for sure.
There are two other sisters in our branch from the district next to us that I absolutely love! Sister Calder will be serving in Sam’s mission and they are going to have a blast together! She’s just such a happy person and always makes my day. I told her that she’ll have to look out for Sister Reising about 9 weeks after Feb 2nd :) Sister Denson is Sister Calder’s companion and she’s such a sweetheart. All of us sisters greet each other with an enthusiastic “SEEEESTER!” The elders just roll their eyes :)
Yesterday I had a learning experience with personal study. Sister Owens and I went outside to study and we were super distracted with people practicing contacts. I was really struggling to focus and then I realized that I had forgotten to pray first! Let me tell you, it was much more productive and praying for focus and understanding, always start your gospel studying with a pray! It’ll make a world of difference. Something I learned this week from study: the importance of applying what you learn. I made this connection as an EFY counselor but it hit me really strongly this week again. The first vision, and ultimately the Restoration came about because Joseph Smith applied what he learned from studying the scriptures. It wouldn’t have done him much good to simply have read that God will give wisdom to those that ask, the answers and inspiration came as he acted on this knowledge. As I’ve been learning so much this week I’ve kept that in mind that in order for it to be of worth to me I need to put it into action and apply everything.
I love the gospel! I love being a missionary! I love you all!
Have a fantastic week!