Well I did it! I made it to P-day at the MTC! Okay honestly this is an extremely stressful hour they give us on the computer so I’m just going to say as much as I can as fast as I can. Sorry if it dones’t make much sense and for all the typos.. haha. Okday so the MTC is an incredible place! Seriously it’s amazing. The system they have set up here is VERY impressive. So here is all the stuff I wrote down that I wanted to say in this email:
We pray constantly. Before and after everything. I am getting pretty good at praying in Portuguese!
I don’t really miss technology at all. They keep you so busy and I actually love not having to worry about checking my phone. It has been the nicest thing ever.
The MTC is extremely structured. You constantly have somewhere to be and something important to be doing. They help you to see that literally everything you do here is so important. The thing is though, we don’t really have any supervision. The only adults I ever see are the branch president and the MTC president. It’s pretty incredible that this place is basically run by a bunch of young adults between the ages of 18-26. Even our teachers are just return missionaries that can’t be more than a few years older than us. Our teacher Sister Benion is a saint. Seriously one if the nicest people. She makes you feel so good about sucking at the language and never makes fun of us. Portuguese is HARD. It’s honestly a pretty difficult language but I am shocked at how qwuickly I pick it up. I took a lot of spanish but I am undecided if it helped me or not. THis is the way it is: I looks the same but everything is pronouced differently. And then there are a few words that are pronouced basically the same and you have remember if it’s fablar or falar… things like that. It’s so close and half of what I say is spanish I am pretty sure haha. I never knew I knew so much spanish until I got here!
I was called to be the Sister Training Leader for my district (the District leader only for girls). I think it will be good for me and I hope I will do well… but pray for me!
The people in my district: Sister Phipps (my companion) Sister Long and Sister Rowely, Sister Taylor and Sister Redford, Sister German and Sister Spencer, and Elder Lalliss and Elder Darmars) It;s weird that we have a district of basically all grisl! Honestly I’m shocked at how amyn girls are here. I am pretty sure there are more sister missionaries than there are elders. We are talking LOTS of sister msisionaries! haha.
So the way they teach us portuguese is they sit us down in a classroom (the exact same classroom every single day) and that’s where you spend 70% of your day. Then they start teaching you about being a missionary…. in Portuguese. So it’s like a spiritual lesson, but in a diffierent language. And you just kind of learn as you go. Sister B will write words on the board and act stuff out and it’s increduble how quickly you pick up on it. But basically what she is teaching us over and over and over and over again is that the reason we are learning portuguese is not to learn a language but to be a vessel for God to work through so that you can help the people of Brazil. We learn that that is o0ur absolute purpose. And if we focuse too much on learning the language and forget why we are learning it (For others), then we will not be able to learn it. It is so true!! Seriously. I can tell all of you that you pick up on it SO much faster when you focus on your purpose for being here.
It’s indiminating though. You realize that a language is a huge thing to learn and you get stressed out that you are asked to do it in such a short amount of time. It’s also scary when you see others in your district excelling so much faster than youare. But there again, my purpose here isn’t to be the best at portuguese or beat others, it’s to serve the people of Natal. So I can’t compare myself. I just have to do my very best and focus on the poepe.
We have already learned how to pray and bear our testimonies. They give us there green translation books that are LIFE SAVERS. seriously. I use them all the time. But it’s pretty crazy that by day 2 they are asking you to pray in a different language and by day 3 they are asking you to bear your testimony.
I can’t believe how fast I’ve picked up on it though. I can already carry an extremely rough converstion in Portuguese.
The other thing that they teally push is SYL: Speak your Language. They don’t ever want us speaking english to eacher other… always portuguese. Just use the words that you know, even if you know that you are using them incorrectly. That helps a lot as well.
The branch presidency is awesome. Seriously some of the best leadershop I have ever had. All of them (includes the wives) lived in Brazil and can speak Portuguese. They are some increduble people with a great love for all of us.
I wanted to tell you guys that we have an “investigator” named Alexandre. Even though he isn’t a real investiagtor (we wno’t get those until we have been here a little longer) he is a convert and all the stories and things he told us he felt and struggled with are true. He acts just like he would if he was investigating the church. We have already taught him two lessions IN PORTUGUESE. They don’t tell us what to teach him… they just give us the handbook, tell us all about him, and then tell us to pray to know what we should say to him. What we feel will meet his specific needs. It’s really just quite incredoble how much love you have for him so quickly.
I never rest here. I am always doing smoehting. Any time spent not studying or focusing on my investigator is a moment wasted. At least that’s how it feels. Although it’s like the msot stress ever, it’s also the happiest thing ever.
Major nerd moment: So for you harry potter fans out there, do you remember in the 3rd book when harry and ron are reading the tea leaves and harry tells ron that he is going to suffer, but he is going to be happy about it? And ron is all like: Well I think you need your inner eye tested! haha
It doesn;t seem possible that you can suffer and feel happy at the same time but this week has taught me that it is! You can suffer (feeling inadequate, stressed, ect), but you can be so happy about it (you know that you are giong to bless othres, you feel the Spirit so strongly, you love others so much). That’s just kind of how it is.
The best part about the MTC is that you will never feel closer to God. I mean every moment of every day I can take a second and think “wow, I feel the Spirit right now”. It’s literally this constant feeling of know that God is with you always. It’s so strong. You know that God is right there with you helping you every step of the way. And that even though I feel what I have been asked to do is kind of impossible, I know it will be possible through Him and I focus on my investigators.
The mission is just smoething you can’t understand until you experience it. There are so many things I knew about missionaries that I just didn’t feel all peiced to gether and now that I am on a mission I can kind of see how they feel all the time.
Okay this is the big thing I really wanted to say:
The Character of Christ. We watched this yesterday (Sunday) and wow, I mean if that wasn’t scripture then i don’t know what is. It’s a talk given by Elder Bednar to missionaries. It was one of the most powerful talks I have ever heard in my life. He speaks so directly and explains what being a missionary (and human) really is all about. PLEASE WATCH OR READ IT IF YOU HAVENT ALREADY. Seriously. It changed my entire perspective on my mission, and my life. I couldn’t find it on LDS.org but we are assuming it is somewhere out there. Even if you have already heard it, watch it again. It was so powerful. I decided I want to read or watch it at least once a week on my msision to help me stay focused.
This is how the mission is: you feel completely inadequate because they make you realize just how little you actually are and how you are nothing without God. But they also make you feel like you can do anything through God. Like I am His vessel and He can create miracles through me. So I’m nothing without Him but can do anything with Him. It’s beautiful I think.
Okay that’s about everything. I have five minutes left. I am sending a lot of pictures including some of my journal entries. I hope you all enjoy those.
OH The food. I am going to get fat. there is literally no way around it. There is so much food all the time at every meal. I am trying SO SO hard to be healthy. I try to each a salad for lunch and a salad for dinner but man it is difficult. I mean we never really get to exercise much. I sure that will change once I get out to the mission. By the sound of it, we will be walking all day every day in the hottest weather ever.
our typical day is like this: wake up at 6:30 (I acutally love the sleeping scedule. My body naturally wakes up about five mnutes before the alarm goes off every day)
study, eat, study more, eat more, exercise for a little bit maybe, study, eat, study, sleep. That’s about it!
Okay. Time to get off.
Love all of you and will talk to you next week! Even thgouh the time went slow as first, it is really speeding up now.