This was such a good week! We had ANOTHER apostle! Elder Ballard spoke at devotional this week. 3 in 3 weeks, Provo is amazing! He spoke a lot about becoming master communicators. One thing that stood out to me was him saying that we need to have strong enough testimonies that we’re not afraid to ask people questions because we know that we will be able to respond to their answers clearly. He also started his talk by sharing a missionary experience he had only 4 hours before. He used this example to show that missionary work doesn’t end when you go home, it’s a lifelong responsibility. Another thing that I loved was that he told us to always smile :) We’re sharing the Plan of Happiness with the world and the spirit can’t testify to the plan of happiness through a grumpy face. The spirit is always so strong at these devotionals. I love being here!
I’m excited for Elder Travis Lund to be going to ALABAMA! He’s going to the mission that an Elder in my district is from. This Elder is somewhat timid and quiet but he really got excited that Elder Lund was going there. My district finished TRC this week right as Travis’ was going in so he told me as we passed each other and Elder Higley gave him a hug he was so excited for Travis to be going there. I told him that his friends are in good hands with my brother serving there :) It’ll be different not seeing Travis at every meal but I’m really excited to hear about his experiences out in the real mission field!
With his group leaving our Portuguese group of sisters gets even smaller. This week one sister left for California and 2 sisters are going to Alabama with Travis. Of our group of Brazil sisters that stick together for gym, relief society, and all that fun stuff there’s only one sister that’s been here longer than Sister Owens and I and she’s only got us beat by a week. We’ve been here as long as the sisters now leaving had been when we got here. That also means that I’m half way done here!! CRAZY!!! I can’t believe how fast the time is going. The days are really long but holy cow do the weeks go fast!
That’s awesome that we’ll have another Brazil missionary from the ward! Congrats to Justin, we’ve got north and south Sao Paulo covered :) Any other young men getting ready to go? There’s a few more missions in that city we need to represent! Fasting for visas is something you definitely won’t be alone in mom. I know our district is going to fast this Sunday for the process to move along. I’m excited to go wherever I end up but hearing about the desperate need for missionaries down there really gets me excited to eventually get my visa and get to work down there!
Speaking of fasting, in 16 minutes Sister Owens and I will end a 3 day fast from English! We went to a language tutor and he challenged us to go 72 hours only speaking portuguese (with very few exceptions, we could still do personal study in English and a few other things that like…) but I have been amazed at how much I actually know! And how much I don’t…. I have learned so much though. I’ve learned a lot of little words/fillers that I wouldn’t think to study but in talking you use them all the time. We’ve also gotten really good and hand signs for various things and acting out what we’re trying to say. A lot of times I’d start saying something and then say (in portuguese of course), never mind, I’ll tell you in three days :) I noticed a big difference with our TRC this week, the portuguese contacting went so much better! The guy we taught served with Jeffrey. His first name was Joe, and saying as Jeffrey probably only knew him by his last name that probably doesn’t help much… but he said you were his first Zone leader and you’re friends on facebook :)
Sister Owens and I started teaching a progressive investigator in the TE this week. Before now we’d go to teach lessons to teachers but only teach the one and then get feedback right away. Now we’ll be teaching the same teacher each lesson and only get feedback through comments she makes as the investigator to our teachers. It’s been a really good learning experience because it’s treated as a real situation. There’s no do-overs with this investigator like there are when we teach other lessons. And when we leave we don’t hear right away what she thought about it until class when our teachers report. While it’s a lot harder, it’s also a lot more rewarding. We can actually see her progress, thus a progressing investigator :)
Well the time is now flashing at me so time to wrap it up again. I know with all my heart that we have the truth here on the Earth again! The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel and can answer all of life’s questions. I’ve loved being able to teach this to people here and can’t wait to share it with people who aren’t pretending to not have the truth :) I love being a missionary!!!
I love you all, thanks so much for your love and support!
Have a great week!!