Hoy minha familia!!!
Thank you soooo much for all the letters this week. I love dear elder!! As you probably noticed, I can't email you back or write letters except on Friday. But just know that those letters mean the most to me and I love hearing from you even if I can't get back to you right away!! It sounds like it's been quite the eventful week over there on the island!! I will keep others in our ward in my prayers. I can't believe how fast this p day (Preparation Day)  goes by. Doing laundry today was so funny because these elders who looked about 12 were like "how do you do this?!" they were so confused on how to do laundry so we were like well did you put soap in there? and they said "no...where do I get soap?" The poor kids have never done laundry before...it was very entertaining for my companion and I to watch, so we taught them how to do laundry haha! Elders are so fun.
This has been another incredible week. Every day is so full of new experiences and new learning! I can never remember when something happened. I'll think something happened last week but it just happened that morning. It's a confusing time warp!
I am so glad to hear my nephew still remembers who I am!! I love that he said I make his heart happy, such a little cutie! So I already kind of described to you how our schedule works here but basically every day is the same except Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday. Tuesday we do service in the morning. Which is usually cleaning our residence. my companion and I are dreading the day that we have to clean the shower and toilets. Tuesday we did the stairs and got to use the ghostbuster vacuum!! That was fun! After service we have personal workout time so we do our pinterest workouts and then we get ready for lunch. After lunch we either have language study or class. Then it's dinner and then choir practice! Choir is so much fun. It's so cool because there are thousands of missionaries singing and it's so powerful! The choir instructor is super cool too. he's so funny! This week he said something really cool. He told us if we filled up the whole Marriott Center and then filled every seat in the BYU football stadium, we would have to be picked out of that amount of people to come and live at this time. He told us if we ever don't feel speical or good enough to think about that. It's so cool to think that the person I was before this life was strong enought to be sent forth at this time! I feel so blessed to be a part of this incredible army of Helaman. We are such a big group and I know there are good things to come because of this age change (for missionaries). A few days after we got here, the Branch President challenged us to read the BOM (Book of Mormon) while we're here from start to finish. I'm in Helaman now and I was reading earlier this week about the troops Moroni sent to help the army of Helaman when the fight was really getting hard. I feel like us new, younger missinoaries have been sent to help our missionaries because the fight is getting harder!!
Devotionals are one of the best parts of the MTC. On Sunday we had a lady speak to us. She does a lot of family history work and knows a ton about pioneers. She shared so many amazing stories. I wish I could just record everything and send it to you!! But it's truly humbling to hear the incredible sacrifices those saints made so that they could have their rights of worship. I honestly can't imagine going through anything like what they went through and it's sad how often we take advantage of what we have! The devotional speaker on tuesday an ameritus general authority. he spoke about contend vs. contention. It was really cool because we talked about bible bashing and how that's so unproductive, that the person we're contending against is Satan, not the person that is wanting to compare our beliefs. He also read this really cool letter from a missionary to his companion years after his mission about the affect he had on him. It's been great to see how inspired the companionships are here!
On Sunday we talked about the Spirit in church and one of the brothers in the Branch Presidency challenged us to sit and listen after we pray rather than just going to bed. I've been trying it and it is so cool to see how Heavenly Father will answer our prayers and give us inspiration and all we have to do is ask and then listen!
On Sunday nights we get to watch movies. these movies are either talks given by general authorities in the MTC, or the Testament. everyone has been telling us to watch this talk called the Character of Christ by David A. Bednar. it was basically exactly what I needed to hear. I learned how this work really is about forgetting about myself. He said this "The work is more about who you are and what you are than what you say." Obviously, i still need to put all my effort into learning portuguese, but a big part of the mission is working on myself and making myself into a living example of what i will be teaching. he talked about how the savior turns out in the midst of his afflictions when the natural man turns in. charity is something that I haven't been good at so I'm going to work more on that and I set some personal goals for myself. Its amazing how some people just forget themselves. I want to be like that. One scripture i found this week that i really love is D&C 12:3. It saysto "reap while the day lasts." I am already seeing how fast time flies here at the MTC and I don't want to have any regrets about my time here or in the field. we must work our hardest while we can, because what else would we be doing?! So the 24th was pioneer day and it was not happy beacuse no one in utah works on pioneer day so no mail!! It was a good learning day cause my companion and i had our first awful lesson. we're teaching this girl (name withheld), she's just super hard to reach. she texts during our lessons and just doesn't seem into it. so for whatever reason i tried explaining how Joseph Smith found the gold plates...lets just say I was humbled and realized how limited my vocabulary still is! but it's a good experience teaching her beacuse we really have to figure out what it is she needs. teaching is my favorite part of being here!! I'm able to teach a few lessons, pray, and testify. it's amazing how much I've already learned in this short time. The first day I thought I'd never speak anything!!
I was feeling really bummed on Friday cause of our bad lesson, and Satan was just totally working on me and putting so many negative thoughts into my head. I just prayed that I wouldn't feel that way anymore and I went into our next lesson and it went really good. It just goes to show how if we put our faith in Heavenly Father, he will pick up our slack! Also, satan works twice as hard on us missionaries, so we can't let any negativity into our lives!
Being here is so much fun. I meet new friends every day and am so happy here. we get personal study every morning where we read the book of mormon. that's been so great for me and i feel like i get so much more out of it than I did before! I love you all so much and appreciate your support. without you, so much of this wouldn't be possible! please keep the dear elders and letters coming. I will keep you all in my prayers and iIhope your day is wonderful.
Hhere is my testimony in portguese, see if you get any of it ;)
eu sei que jesus cristo e nosso salvador. eu sei que atraves a expiacao de Jesus Cristo, nossos podemos voltar e viver com nossos familias e pai celestial para eternos. eu sei que eu sou uma filha de deus. eu sei que o evangelho fortaleces familias. em nome de jesus cristo, amem.
Love you all so much!!! have a wonderful week! I know I will!!