Well I cant say that I had a great flight experience. Long, uncomfortable, and the food.... SUCKS. Other then that, most of the missionaries are nice and chill. There is even a sister missionary that we found on the way!! We met up with some elders and the sister in salt lake and then the rest in Detroit. Fun stuff! Still hasn't set in that I am gonna be in a different country for 2 years. Will probably set in when my head hits the pillow. But stuff is good. My companion is Elder Smith from Florida! he's nice from what I've seen so far. Lunch is next, and then a meeting with the president. Crazy! P-day is Wednesday from what it looks like. I will have pictures up probably next week. So don't pester about it ma! Miss you guys a bunch and hope you guys have great week. Hopefully I do too.
October 10, 2014:
Life is freaking crazy!!!! Weeks are short but days are long! I'll explain more about that later. So everything that's been going on. Portuguese is coming along fine. Meals are very exotic! Not. Rice and beans every meal! My districts classroom is always not terribly nice smelling. Oh well. Meat is fantastic here! I know Cammy will appreciate that. My companion is nice, tall and good with gospel topics. you can't upload pictures in the MTC sadly. But I will have sooo many my first P-Day in the field.
I taught my first lesson in Portuguese last Friday. Crazy! It was sketch and just reading off a page the whole time but I said the words! Other stuff with language, our district went to the temple today in Sao Paulo and it was awesome! We got there a bit late so we had to wait a few hours... But that lead to something so much greater. I performed my first baptism in Portuguese at the Sau Paulo Temple! Like I dunked people!!!!! First baptism and I did it in Portuguese! Como um chefe! Hit the translate. Hopefully it means what I want it to. We got back from the temple and we had Cheeseburgers and fries and stuff!!! Best meal ever after rice and beans for almost 2 weeks! Its getting hot here. Not too bad but not great. Lessons are confusing sometimes and teaching is still a bit rough. But that will come.
Conference was AMAZING!! They showed it in English which was awesome. After like 20 straight hours of being lectured in Portuguese I had 10 hours of uplifting messages in English. Good stuff. I won't say what my favorite was because I don't have one at this point. But that should come soon. I've gotten more letters then anyone in my district. Thanks MOM! <3 People love those Mormon Memes. I had like 15 emails too!
Sleeping and getting up is a bit easier then the first week. At first I thought I was gonna die. I did the math and getting up at 630 every morning here is like getting up at 330 every morning there!
As for home stuff. I miss everyone. Not been easy trying to put that aside. But the price to pay for blessings! Other then that just the same old thing. Get up, eat breakfast, study til lunch, eat, study til dinner, eat, study til physical activity, change, study more, then bed! Really so exciting. Not much else! Just trying to get through day to day!
October 17, 2014:
This week was good! Well some of the time... Things are still pretty good though. Getting along just fine. some nights are harder then others, but overall I feel okay. Anything new to report.... not much really. Staying in the same room, all day, 30 minutes of physical activity, and more study is starting to melt everyone's brain... Not too good... But It happens I guess. The only thing I can think to describe at this point is how fast time moves, and how slow it moves... Days are long, weeks are short. That's the only way to describe it! Its really good and really bad. So PDAY comes quick, but when I look at each day its like eternity. Nights were a bit harder this week. That photo album is killer. So are Mom's letters...
Well I have to say that my favorite talk from conference has to be a talk from President Uchtdorf. "Is It I" I don't even have to say why! If you want to know go listen to it. Its fantastic!
That's really it this week. Not much interesting happened. Pictures will start coming Mid Novemberish. Apparently you cant upload pictures in the CTM.
To this email I add my personal witness that God lives. He knows each one of us. He knows our struggles and our shortcomings. He knows us. He answers prayers. I've had prayer after prayer answered these past weeks. Every time I think I cant do it anymore, I'm reminded of a scripture. I don't know where it is because I haven't had the time to find it, but its about the 2000 valiant sons of Heleman. They were not afraid to go against their enemy to battle for they KNEW their God would protect them, because of what they're mothers taught them. I share that witness. I get scared everyday. But I remember their strength and it gives me strength. I love everyone. I miss everyone. I'm praying for you. And I leave you this week in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
October 24, 2014:
OLÂ!!! Tudo bem?! I hope so. Anyway, activities for this week were all over the place! Some good stuff and some bad stuff. But we'll start with the good shall we!
For starters, we are almost halfway done!!! That's freakin sick! Super pumped to actually get to Florianopolis. I'm super tired of looking at the same classroom everyday for 10 hours a day. We went proselyting on Wednesday and that was super great!! Our district gave out 53 Livro de Mormons!!!!!! 53!!!!!!! We could potentially have converted 53 people/families. Awesome stuff. I got some actual mail this week and that was good. I 've decided to do 25 ish pushups a night before bed now. Everyone will probably appreciate this but I think I've gained weight..... Like quite a bit. I think I've put on like 5 or 6 pounds since I've been here! AGHHHHH. Most of you will say no you haven't... But it's true! This food has been terrible to me! I can't wait to make my own. Anyway! Everything else is pretty good. The language is coming right along, but speaking Portuguese 24/7 practically will do that faster then 1 hour a day in school! We had a devotional by the president and his wife on Tuesday that was OUTSTANDING. The life of Joseph Smith. Couldn't have been done better. Sterling emailed me as well! That was cool. I'll probably shoot him a two liner real quick.
I guess I'll get to the improvement that was suggested this week. Presidente Swenson came in and grilled us for like an hour about crap some people were doing. That was fun. instructors have been at us once a day at least as well. We have got to get it together. But I can't fix anything on my own here. Our instructors are cool about it though, as well as one other instructor. One of them reminds me of Nathan Stoddard. And a member of our Branch presidency reminds me of brother Horrocks! So weird! Anywho, everything is mostly the same here. Same old thing different day.
As for a spiritual thought, I was reading Jacob 3 the other day and found something very cool. Read verse one and you'll see what I mean. Coooool stuff. Really helped me the past few days.
Well that's all for this week. Sorry there more interesting stuff! And Ma, I would LOVE a gift or two from Mr. Cheney's cookie shop ;). Just a hint!
What a week!!! It's been so crazy! And kinda bad at the same time. Anyway, Class is the same and learning the language is still hard. BUT, I have learned to give a 30 minute lesson practically off the cuff! Its soooo nice to be able to that again! Other then that my new custom leather scripture case will either be done today or next week. HOPEFULLY today!!! That would be awesome. Other stuff.... I've been thinking quite a lot about life here and I have quite a few mixed feelings. Especially now.
Announcement time. I am now the district leader for the MTC district 40B. Scary stuff. Its good so far. Been the district leader since Sunday. It's not all its cracked up to be. And also I know John will call me a climber ;) But I'm not I swear! Anyway, Its a good experience and it also is a bit frustrating when nobody obeys the rules because you are in charge of enforcing them. Ugh!
Other stuff, The temple was good today, but it was the REALLY old film. Not my favorite. At all. Oh well though. It was a very boring week this week. We got a HEAVY lecture from some administrators yesterday and that was not fun, and some individuals in the district took it hard. They weren't happy about it. I thought it was fine but they were less then pleased.
For a spiritual thought this week, I've been reading a lot about Joseph Smith and his trials compared to Christ. They are pretty similar. They both did the right thing despite CONSTANT trial and tribulation. They both KNEW what they were and what they had seen. They fought for it all their lives until the bitter end. Cool stuff.
Well that's it for this week. Really kinda boring.
November 7, 2014:
This 6 weeks has gone by really fast, and yet slow.... Its the weirdest thing. Anyway, Stuff is the same here. Our "Investigators", Instructors, are getting baptized tomorrow and We're "so excited" This being the final PDAY is worrisome for some. Not for me because I know that the Lord will not leave his faithful missionaries alone as long as we are faithful. BUT it will be nice to actually be in Brazil! I feel like I never left the US because of how sheltered the CTM is. Some missionaries are nervous as I said. 2 or 3 guys in my district are in for a rude awakening. That will be a trial by fire for them... Not me!!!
Anywho, This week was mostly bland. Me and Elder Smith's teaching is getting better and we have a lot of fun. too bad we leave in 4 days. But its time to get out there and really serve! Super excited! It'll be great to see the change in atmosphere and actually get to send pictures to people! And those ocean views man. Can't wait for those and the food that comes with them ;) I get my scripture case today and I'll send Pictures next week of how awesome it is :) Other then that, it's been a ride being here for six weeks. I'm ready to leave. It's bittersweet though. Like leaving home, only a lot more sweet and less bitter.
Nothing much spiritual this week. BUT on Sunday I'm performing with the rest of my district in front of the whole CTM in the Devotional that night! I'm gonna record the audio today and send it home next week for Mom. I know she's gonna want that. Monday is gonna be crazy. Meetings and training all day long! Literally all day! Not looking forward to that. I will be wearing a suit for 3 days straight... I need to get that thing dry-cleaned asap! Not that it's dirty but you guys get what I mean. Well that's really it for this week.