So, we are starting on our 6th week here at the CTM.. which means next Tuesday, Ill be on an early morning flight to my mission in Teresina!! Ahh!! Its scary to think about, but I also know that this is what all this preparation has been for.
For starters, Sister Packard is the best MTC companion I could have ever asked for, hands down. For us being our lonely little district of 2 sisters and basically being on our own, we just love being companions. We have lots of fun… like lots of fun, shes one of the coolest people ever. But also know when to get serious! And Im grateful for her being so receptive to the Spirit, because she has honestly read my mind and my feelings so many times, its crazy. But its not because, the Spirit is real! Im so sad that we are going to different missions, but I know she is going to be absolutely fantastic. Her, and the other sisters in my old Provo MTC district, are all going to the Brazil Belén mission, and then theres me, going to Teresina (Ive only met one sister here, the entire time Ive been here, going to my mission! Its a big mission, but no one ever hears about it! Haha).
We were also able to go to the São Paulo temple today!! We had asked one of the brothers in charge herem, because we had gone to Campinas all the times before, and we really wanted to visit the São Paulo one. Its a special temple, being the first one in South America and all, and its super pretty and unique. My cameras battery died though, so if I eventually get some pictures from Sister Packard once we are out of the CTM, I will definitely send those!
I still get so shocked by the fact that I am actually here in Brazil! But its such a huge blessing and privelege. There is no other place in the WORLD who is baptizing as many members are there are here in Brazil. The people here are just open and ready to receive this gospel, and it is incredible to see the work accelerating and moving so fast and growing so strong. It is definitely exciting to be able to be a missionary here at this time.
On Tuesday night devotional we got to here from a General Authority, Elder Costa. Whoa, spiritual overload. I dont even know where to start with all the spiritual insights Ive gotten this week, but I can write a few tips.
One thing that I really loved that he said, was “Dont distort the spiritual with the social.” Because in Brazil, and anywhere, its very easy for people to get attached to the church for the wrong reasons. You need to teach and preach with the intention of those ending up in the temple, and receiving the fullness of the blessings that come with embracing this gospel. This gospel is meant to be ENDURED, and to the end at that. Elder Costa said lots of things that simply motivated me to get out in the field, and be a more committed and attentive missionary, completely in tune with the impressions of the Spirit.
Reading assignment for the week? Ether 12. Because this chapter, every day, all day, has helped me so much these past several days. I had been studying it on my own, I read it in the temple, and then my instructor brought it up again last night because I was having a particularly hard time. Learning a language is hard. Ive been seriously blessed with progress, but some days, you can really back track, and its discouraging. But faith requires that first step, it requires that trial. And the Lord does promise us He will make our weak things become strong. Its a promise, and its by our faith in that promise, blessings really Do come to pass.
Its sad to think this is my last week here at the CTM. Dont quite know when the next time will be that I will get to write, but Ill soon be in Teresina!! Ahh!
Love you all and have a great week!