Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Who Can Understand?

I've had such a fantastic week. Last Tuesday for devotional choir we sang "Where Can I Turn for Peace". As we practiced, the conductor had us really think about the words, and told us that we will have investigators in the not so distance future who are asking themselves these same questions. "Where is the quiet hand, to calm my anguish, who, who can understand?" When we finally sang in devotional the Spirit was so strong, and it was so beautiful. Grandmas were crying, hearts were breaking, you know the shtuff, the Conductor told us it was the best performance in his 13 years of conducting the MTC choir. Then, on Wednesday I was able to give Sis. Davis in my district a blessing. She had been sick and was having migraines, and so I gave her a blessing, and again the Spirit was so strong I could feel God's love for her as I was blessing her, and I knew exactly what she needed to know. She has been feeling much better since, and was so grateful:)! My District is so close, they are some really neat people. Our branch presidency always comments on how close we are. 

Oh! So I finally found a scale this week and I weigh 161, so like the same as when I left. I try and do push ups/sit ups every night, and run during gym time. I also have been playing volleyball during gym. Everyone ... well to be honest they suck, so they think I'm a volleyball god haha it's fun.. sometimes. Sis. Sargent played volleyball too so it was really fun when she played with me one day cuz I got some decent sets, some kid on the other team was going real hard and tried to block me once, and I drilled him in the face with the ball hahha I felt really bad, the ball went all the way to the next court over and passed the endline. oops. I really miss listening to music, Elder Spangler and I  were remembering all the songs we like the other day and it was so fun but so sad too because we're already starting to forget them all. Oh by the btw, by some obscure powerful force of evil, I got sick last week, which is sooooo insane because i have like suuuuuuch a good immune system. "My body is fine tuned like a microchip, one grain of sand could LITerally shut down the entire system." However, I prayed for strength that I would still be able to function and go to all my classes, and I did! I wasn't a pathetic little newborn baby in solitary confinement like I was out at school, right byuh boys? right. they made fun of me all the time. 

This past Sunday Elder Barrus and I devised this evil plan to go to bed early (10 instead of 1030), and then since we get to sleep in on Sundays (6:30 instead of 6) we would get an extra hour of sleep!!! We were so stoked. So much is wrong with that statement I won't even explain it. So each week in branch sacrament meeting, the Pres. selects one random Elder and Sister to give a talk.. in Portuguese.  I had thought about the topic, but not written much down, so I wrote a few notes at the beginning of the meeting so my mind wouldn't go blank if I got called, which is probably the reason they called me haha. Anyway, at the start of the meeting Pres. looked at me and I just knew. So when it was time he announced that I would be speaking and I went up there, and it actually went really well. I talked for about 5 minutes in Portuguese about Baptism, then bore my testimony and sat down. Spangler asked me how the heck I speak Portuguese so well after I finished, which made me feel really good, and Elder Jackson (he lives a few streets away from gma and gpa, he knows them and Cathy) told me I spoke really well, and conjugated properly, and I just mixed up a few gender rules. That night I watched a talk by Pres. Bednar about becoming a missionary. The idea was to not just "go on a mission" but to "become a missionary" it was so profound! He is probably my favorite speaker now, he's so enlightening! Yesterday Sis Tantillo brought in a bunch of sour candy her mom sent her that she doesn't like. It was awesome. I ate 3 warheads at the same time and then immediately after like 15 shockers. Nothing could have been more satisfying but chickenfila. I then proceeded to map out all of Hogwarts during the 3rd movie on our whiteboard. Good times. Anyways, everything's going great. I hope you all had a fantastic week. I can't wait to hear about Caden's mission call, you better send me a dearelder so I can hear about it right away! 

Portuguese word: tenro (tender)
tenrooooooooooo (tj detweiler style)

Monday, September 16, 2013

This Magical Place

The MTC just gets better and better, in one day our investigator got baptized, served a mission, and then became our teacher at the MTC! It was insane, he just walked into class and we were like Ellison?!?! and he was like nao, Irmao Hickman. THen, we got to hear about the embarrassing things we accidentally said because we couldnt speak Portuguese. hahah It is awesome having him as our teacher though, it really helps since he's been in lessons with us and knows what we each need to work on. (By the BTW he was supposed to be our teacher the whole time, he didn't really get baptized in one day, sorry, i know this missionary humor is hard to keep up with but just hold on.) The MTC works in mysterious ways. My Portuguese is far beyond what I thought it could ever be in 2 weeks, it's so cool! The MTC is this magical place where I get to feel the Spirit all the time, and just study a new language and the Gospel?!? THis is soooo sick, it's seriously like a dream I love it! I love learning languages I just want to learn them all now, when I get back I am for sure taking some french classes to solidify my French, and then I want to learn Spanish, and Italian, and Dutch and seriously every language, learning a new language is the best, and I can't wait to get home and travel after as well, I love learning about new cultures.

I had the opportunity to give elder Hamilton (redhead from Basicallymexico, Texas) a blessing this week, he sprained his ankle pretty bad playing volleyball. It was my first time giving a blessing which made me pretty nervous, but it went well, and he has been healing so fast! Sundays are the greatest around here, we have a lot of time for personal study and to relax a bit (no naps though haha) and then at night we have devotional, then watch a church movie. This weeks devo was given by Richard Heaton who was previously the mission president for Spokane Washington, do you know him Brian? Anyway it was a pretty cool talk on prayer, and then after we got to watch a church movie like always, we watched "The Testaments" it was supes cheesy, but through all the cheese the Spirit was pretty strong, we had a good laugh after about some of the cheesier parts afterwards. I understand why missionary humor exists now, they feed us this cheesy stuff and expect us to still be funny? Lame jokes for days #loveit, "the Messiah has come, monkey, you stay here!" We had a great time dissecting the purpose of that scene, primarily why it was so integral to the movie that the little girl ran back to tell the monkey he couldn't come. Poor Chio (i think that was his name.. his being the monkey..) So apparently, on Sunday I was falling asleep and I started leaning on Sis. Whitney. HA HA HA. I guess I have some repenting to do. Girls are toxic around here, and not the Brittney Spears kind. haha The Zone leaders saw me and were laughing at me. She said I didn't actually touch her, I woke up before I fell all the way over thank goodness. It is crazy how many hours a day we are supposed to highly functioning off of 6 or 7 hours of sleep. Normally missionaries wake up at 630, but that's when our breakfast starts, so we barely get any sleep.

Elder Pearce from the District right next to mine got his VISA and left this morning, lucky guy. I, however, am really content here, I would be sad to leave my District, and my beloved America, If I got my VISA before my 6 weeks at the MTC were over. About 70 % of visa Waiters aren't getting them before they're done at the MTC, so they get reassigned for a while. I've decided if that happens to me I hope I get sent somewhere where I can have a white Christmas, also somewhere where one of my fifty friends serving stateside are serving haha. Anyway, everything is going great, eat some Rakkyo and watch some P+R for me, I love you all so much and I think something special is happening this week? I can't remember ... oh wait HAAAAaaAAAAaaAaaAPPPppYyyyYyy BBbBIIrrtthhHDddAAYYY MMMOooOOoOOooooM?!?!?!
Mischief Managed

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Best First Day

I don't think anyone has ever had a better first day at the MTC! Going in I was praying for 3 things. 1) To feel peace and be comforted 2) that my companion would like The Office haha and 3) that I would get to see Mike! Well, being dropped off I felt so much peace, I said bye to pops, tori, and bri and was ready to go! Fifteen minutes after I had been there I ran into Spicey Mike and he took me through the rest of orientation! He also came to my room that night, and took me over to see his floor. They are insane. There were nerf bullets flying everywhere and candy all over the place, I loved it haha they were some way awesome dudes. I enjoyed it. OH! Also my companion, Elder Barrus (he just graduated and is from Chicago, he's quiet and a really nice guy, we get a long great) LOVES The Office. We talked about it all during lunch. I kept on thinking of "Prison Mike" since everyone says the MTC is like Prison. "The worst part about the MTC is... is.. the DEMENTORS! They're all over da place." hahaha. So I now refer to the MTC as Hogwarts, we have "Gnarnia holes" all over the place, and instead of district f I decided we are district three so we can make the three sign like Catnip does in the Hunger Games. I guess you could say my experience so far is a little Hollywood. 

But seriously, I looOOOve the MTC haha. I have had soo many miracles occur the last few weeks as I've been preparing to serve the Lord it's been incredible! Unfortunately, I don't have time to type them all right now, but just know that the Heavenly Father knows each and every one of us individually and is watching over us, and blesses us when we are doing what's right. I had the opportunity to listen to Elder Bednar's talk "the Character of Christ" Sunday Night. It was incredible. Life changing- to say the least. The main idea was that we all need to stop looking inward towards ourselves, and look outwards to see how we could help others. What stayed with me most was when he said "GET OVER YOURSELF" haha so blunt, yet so powerful. My French helps me a lot with the language, I'm finally starting to be able to put together some sentences on my own in Portuguese. Anyway, I have to go but I love you all and have a great week! Send me Dear Elders ok? sweet.