First Week at the MTC
So I made it to the MTC safely! I was kinda worried because of all the things I had to get done before getting to the MTC and didn’t think I’d have enough time for it.
Obviously, the Lord knew my concerns, because my flight got into Salt Lake City 30 minutes early, giving me plenty of time to grab my bags before the 10 am shuttle to Provo. I got dropped off at the missionary mall so I could pick up my suit and a few other random items, and was lucky enough to get a ride from one of the employees there to the MTC (since he had just gotten off work). As soon as I arrived, I saw a whole bunch of my old BYU friends, including Elder Finlayson!
My companion, Elder Stewart, is amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better example for a companion. Our district is also a stellar group of missionaries. Our District Leader, Elder Tatafu, is probably the happiest person here and is a great leader. He does not lead by telling us what to do, but rather says nothing with words and just sets a fantastic example for us to follow.
This past week has been so crazy busy/awesome! Elder Stewart and I had to teach an “investigator” on Friday, which normally wouldn’t have been so bad, except we had to do it entirely in Portuguese! I was really really nervous, but we studied, prepared, and then let the Lord do the rest. It went surpisingly well! There were a lot of pauses obviously due to our small vocabulary, but it went well because we taught purely by the spirit and not by any script. I felt like there was more interaction than I had originally anticipated.
We also taught Valdery (the same investigator) again Saturday morning, but we had it more scripted so we didn’t look like cavemen Portuguese speakers. We had way fewer pauses, but also way less interaction on his part, so we’re trying to find a balance between script and teaching by the spirit.
Our Portuguese is already getting so much better! We can really feel the Spirit of the Lord helping us learn the language as we study and retain a lot of what we learn. Our district motto is “como um chefe” or “like a boss.” Yeah, our district is just that awesome!
We had a testimony meeting yesterday and I (along with almost everyone else) was able to bear my testimony entirely in Portuguese! Granted, it was very primitive Portuguese, but it was Portuguese nontheless! My companion and I have also been praying entirely in Portuguese and even taught each other for 20 minutes just speaking the language. It’s amazing how much the Spirit is helping us here.
We also had a devotional yesterday about the true purpose of teaching, and our mission president gave an amazing testimony about how we are protected as missionaries and servants of the Lord. I can honestly feel how much the Lord wants us to succeed while we are here and it motivates me to always be trying to improve my teaching and my language speaking. Also, it feels amazing to be able to wear the missionary name badge and have the name of the Savior on my person at all times. I’ve waited a long time to be able to have this experience!
I was going to write a paragraph or two in Portuguese, but I don’t want to butcher sucha beautiful language (at least not yet)! I should be able to do it next week though.
Please don’t forget to write! I’d love to hear from everyone! DearElder.com does free, same day letters that I can get any day of the week (as opposed to email which I can only check once a week). Also, my email is not supposed to receive emails from friends until I actually get to Brazil!
Eu voces amo!