So biggest news first, I’M GOING TO BRAZIL!! I’ve been able to go to Brazil since like a month ago, but they still sent me to the Provo MTC. Thing is, everyone here is a visa waiter, so finally I got sick of wondering and went to the travel office to ask about it. They made my ticket for a few days later, and boom, I’m flying to the Sao Paolo MTC TOMORROW!! So yeah, so much for Tuesday P-days, right? I’ll let you all know what my new P day is once I’m there.
I can’t describe how exciting, nervous, happy, and sad it all is. I really really enjoyed the Provo MTC. The food was good, gym time was great, but the people were even better! I seriously loved the friends I was able to make and the things they were able to teach me. It’s sad to leave this place, but that’s the mission life! Better get used to it I guess.
Happy belated fourth of July, too! Independence day here at the MTC was actually real fun. My district and I all decided to pretty much sing patriotic hymns all day long, sport the red, white, and blue, and speak in a southern accent when appropriate. It was pretty great. We also had a nice long devotional in the evening, and then they let us go watch the fireworks, so curfew pretty much was completely ignored. It was a nice break from the usual routine, but waking up on 6:30 on fast Sunday the next morning was definitely rough! Still, it was so great to be here, the devotional at the MTC on the 4th of July was about blessed America, yes, but we also had a flag ceremony with a whole bunch of nations from around the world, which I thought was cool. We definitely emphasized how the gospel is for ALL nations. We also read about Captain Moroni, and I’ve gotten such a better appreciation for this country that we live in and the values and liberties we are privileged to have. Woo, go America!
The devotionals here too, are just awesome. We got to hear from Elder Sitati and his wife on Tuesday (very very cool) and then yesterday we got to hear from Jenny Oaks Baker, Elder Oaks daughter, and she gave a great talk and some amazing violin performances. Soo cool to be in a place where general authorities are walking to and fro.
I’ve also really come to appreciate my MTC teachers here. Irmao Machado is the best. He always asks these really intense personal questions, because he’s Brazilian and doesn’t care about being too open, but he really knows how to invite the Spirit and I’ve learned so much already. Our district has become really close because of it, and I’m so happy that at least Sister Packard and Sister Dickerson are both going back to BYU the same semester as I will be. Yay!
A very important lesson I’ve learned lately is the importance of teaching by the Spirit. The gift of tongues is so real– this past week has been INSANE with the amount of progress me, my companion, and the other sisters in our district have been making with Portuguese. But because Sister Packard and I will be traveling tomorrow, we’ve had a half P day of sorts today, doing laundry and getting ready, and we didn’t focus too much on our lesson we had with an “investigator” this morning. The result? We stumbled, we stuttered, and it was probably hands down the roughest lesson we’ve had yet. Even though it’s roleplay, that all goes out the window once you say that prayer and you enter that room. The Spirit was not with us, and it was obvious. It was the first time it was just so obvious to me, and I’m coming to understand how sacred this calling is, and how much power this is in being set apart as a missionary. When you keep the Spirit consistently there, it’s amazing how much it can help!
So, obviously I still have lots more to learn, but it’s simply SO cool how much you can just absorb as a missionary. I love how much you learn about the gospel and yourself, and this is truly a unique opportunity.
So yeah, biggest lesson of the week? The Spirit is real, it works, and you have its constant companionship so long as you are obedient. It’s simple, but it’s powerful, and it requires faith with works from our part.