Sorry I didn’t get an e-mail out yesterday. We were having issues with internet connections, apparently all of BYU and the MTC was down yesterday afternoon so the nice people at the info desk gave us time today :)
Ok… on to this weeks happenings!
Friday night (a week ago) my district combined with another Portuguese district so our teachers could teach us the first lesson in Portuguese. I was pleasantly surprised when we walked into the classroom and it was Elder Lund’s class! I seriously love being in the MTC together. He moved his desk back and sat next to me, how tender :) I was also surprised how much of the lesson I was able to understand even if I couldn’t form a response of my own. I started taking notes in Portuguese and Elder Lund would lovingly correct some of my mistakes over my shoulder, what a good little bro!
Sister Owens and I went to a workshop this week on effective language study plans. I feel a lot better about how we use our hour of study. I’ve been focusing a lot more on learning commonly used verbs so that I can expand my conversation skills beyond learned phrases in our portuguese book that teaches basic missionary tasks. I still feel rather lost though as soon as the conversations branches off the lessons. Our TRC door contacting was quite comical, still lots of smiling and nodding and acting things out to get our point across. I’m sure that as soon as we leave the volunteers have a good laugh. I can’t blame them! The things we’re saying are pretty choppy: “Hi, I have a family. Do you have a family? Great! I want to tell you about families!” and so on :)
On Sunday they called me up to give a talk in sacrament meeting. All the missionaries prepare a 5 minute talk and then after the sacrament they call on two of use to actually give it. I was actually thrilled! I figured with there only being 5 sisters in the Branch we’d all have to speak at some point or another and last week was the last week we could speak in English and 5 minutes in English is NOTHING. So it’s a relief to have that done, now I can just prepare talks for the experience and actually enjoy the sacrament!
Tuesday’s devotional speaker was Elder Nelson. I love being in the Provo MTC and hearing from General Authorities every week. Also by singing in choir we have awesome seats! I love singing with Hermana Kristen West, it’s about the only time in the week that we see each other so it’s been fun to have that to catch up on each others’ weeks. She’s getting pretty close to leaving in the next few weeks!
Yesterday for our temple time Sister Owens and I did sealings. It was the first time both sister owens and I had done sealings. In between couples the temple worker would always expound on various things, I learned so much! I love the temple :) It was so neat to be a daughter sealed to her parents. It made me feel so close to you mom and dad. I’m so thankful that you are sealed in the temple and that we are promised all of those amazing blessings! You have been such wonderful examples to me.
One experience we had as a district this week was we starting teaching Irmao Halverson as a progressing investigator. Every day a different companionship will teach him a lesson built off of the previous day’s lesson. We started this experience with him leaving the room one day to “hide” somewhere around the MTC and as a district we went out to find him. When we found him on a bench he was in character so we did the small talk introductions “we’re missionaries for the church of Jesus Christ..” all the jazz. As we were looking for him I had the thought that we’re looking for someone we know and love to teach him lessons about the gospel that will bring him so much happiness in this life. We talked about that after and how we should treat every contact situation like that. While we may not know their character and we have to get to know them and their needs we do them, they’re our brothers and sisters and we are there to teach people we love and help them find the truth.
This past week we’ve done a lot more teaching situations and it never fails to amaze me how much love I have for these people even in practice lessons. My testimony is also strengthened so much every time we teach. I have loved focusing so much on the first lesson on the Restoration. There’s no doubt in my mind that through Joseph Smith, God restored the truth and authority to the earth. After our TRC lesson on Wednesday we started practicing the 2nd lesson which is the Plan of Salvation. Last night I actually had a really neat experience teaching that. We were teaching this punk kid who was giving us all sorts of attitude and was really disinterested in what we had to say. He eventually said that his dad had died and that there was nothing we could tell him that would lead him to believe that God loves him. I had him read Alma 7:11-12 about all the pains that the Atonement covers. I happen to have a picture of Riley placed in that page and as I gave him my scriptures to read he asked me about the picture. I was able to tell him a little about Riley, and how through the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation my family was able to find peace and comfort. From that point on he was much more receptive to what we had to say. The spirit was so strong as we taught from there on out. I know it was such a practice lesson but I got a glimpse of what I’m going to be able to do for the next year and a half. I am so excited to be able to testify from experience that I know with all of my heart that through the Plan of Salvation families can be together forever and that we can find purpose and happiness in this life.
Time’s about up now. I love you all! Thanks so much for you prayers of support and love!