I can't believe I have been here for a month! Time for sure flies by! Like I might have said before, the days are incredibly long but the weeks fly by!
It's funny that I am one of the veterans here at the MTC now. The English speaking missionaries only have to be here for 12 days as opposed to my 6 weeks....I knew learning a language would take some extra effort....
I have two more weeks until I am either in Brazil or possibly reassigned until I get my visa! I am so stoked for whatever may come!
Now it is such a trial and a blessing to be a zone leader. I mean it is so fun. This new district that came into our zone had 8 elders! 4 are going to capo verde, 3 to Mozambique, and 1 to Toronto Canada. haha they are so funny! Being a leader requires that you love those you lead...and these Elders are not hard to love. Three of them joined the church in the past 16 months and have such interesting testimonies of the restored gospel! When we were going to the gym, I had my shirt tucked in...and one of them said something and I looked back and all of them had their gym shirts tucked in....it was so funny. They crack me up.
I bruised my calf when playing basketball yesterday with some elders that were leaving...I will miss them! I actually bought an ankle brace too. I use up that 45 minutes a day that we get to exercise. I come out of that gym bruised and muito cansado and incredibly sweaty.
As far as the Portuguese goes...I have no idea how to gauge my progress but an elder came from brazil and is on our floor and he doesn't speak any english. I talked to him for like half an hour and it was great. Still a language barrier for sure but we find a way to communicate when we see eachother. I mostly can get by. If you know like 45 different verbs and somewhat how to conjugate them...you can get by. I try to study really hard and ask tons of annoying questions in class. There seriously is no better way to learn a language...because the way I am learning so fast is by finding words to say to teach people the Gospel!
I feel like the Lord makes the language hard enough to be a trial, but helps us enough to accomplish the plan He has for us.
Another thing that slapped my hiney this week:
Listening to President Holland...it was a recorded talk....but it doesn't matter. His words sunk deep and I won't ever forget them:
When Joseph Smith went in the woods to pray....what happened to him before his prayer was answered and he saw God the Father? His tongue was bound. The adversary "bound [his] tongue so that [he] could not speak." At that moment...the adversary, Satan, would have wanted more then anything at the time to end the life of Joseph Smith...for so he may have thought it would prevent the gospel from coming forth...But in Genesis it talks about Satan having power "to bruise thy heel" but we have power "to crush [his] head". So because Satan had no power to end a life, he did the second worst thing that one could do....bind the tongue.
If I refuse a prompting from the holy spirit to talk to someone and proclaim the Everlasting Gospel...then I have let the adversary win. I know that my job is to submit my all to God and He will lead me to those to teach. Nothing is worse then missed opportunities...and nothing is worse then your tongue being bound
Elder Madrigal, one of the new elders told me of a dark day he had (and he calls me All-american...not sure why but yeah). Anyways...he was on the streetside ready to commit suicide when two missionaries felt the prompting to go and talk to him. Long story short, he is here on a mission proclaiming the gospel....but think what would have happened if those missionaries refused the prompting of the Holy Spirit? Elder Madrigal wouldn't be here on a mission and probably wouldn't be alive.
Don't let your tongue be bound. Learn the truth. Proclaim the truth. Bless the lives of others
I have learned how important it is to lift others...Keep others in my prayers....actually pray every morning after I wake up, and every night before I go to bed. Gosh as a missionary that hasn't left the training center yet, I have probably used up my amount of prayers allowed....(Just kidding you can't do that, silly)
Prayer is so important...It is crazy to see how people don't take advantage of the blessings always!
Anyways I love yalls emails and I am glad I get some time to share about whats happenin here.