Arrived via e-mail on Tuesday, her preparation day.
How is everyone?! I love you all so so much! Thank you so much for the letters. It means so much to me to hear from you! It's been a crazy week! Probably the longest of my life! But I've learned so much already. It's really an amazing experience. The day I entered the MTC, over 600 other missionaries from around the world also entered this MTC alone! It's amazing, and the Spirit is so strong. We jumped right into learning Portuguese the first day, but it was very chaotic with people arriving at different times. Our district has 10 elders and 4 sisters. The elders are all super young, haha. But we have so much fun together, and we've already become like a family. All of the sisters are going to Curitiba Sul together! We're so excited. The four of us all live together, too. So orientation was just a lot of information. I felt so empowered though, being in that room with hundreds of other young people with the same purpose. It was amazing. We learned a lot that day, participated in 3 group teachings where like 50 of us took turns asking investigators questions and teaching them the gospel. By the end of the day, we were all exhausted! The MTC is HUGE. My companion and I walked the perimeter one day, and it took us over 20 minutes. Oh yeah, my companion is Sister Lacie Wilson, just like you said Mom! We get along really well. We've already had three lessons with our investigator, Antonio, in Portuguese. He's in his mid 20s and his wife was a member of the church, but she passed away 2 years ago in a car accident. He really wants to know why she believed what she did, and he wants to feel peace in his life. So we taught him about the plan of salvation in the second lesson, and the Spirit was so strong. We told him he would see his wife again, and he could be with her eternally as a family if he was baptized. The room was quiet, and when he looked up, he had this emotional look on his face, and he said, "I want that." I almost cried when he said that! It was amazing. It's amazing how much the Lord helps us in learning the language so that we can communicate the message that we prepare on our own for every lesson we teach.
On Thursday, we met the Branch President, President Radebaugh, and his counselors and their wives. They're very friendly and encouraging, but also funny to keep us feeling light. Church on Sunday was good. We had a ton of meetings. Choir was fun! We watched a talk by Elder Bednar called the Character of Christ. It was so inspiring and really helped us understand the importance of seeking others who need help and trying to meet their needs. That will really bring us closer to Christ and make us more like him.
The temple is closed until August 10th, but we've been on the grounds twice already, and the Spirit is still there. I love our classes. Our teacher, Brother Cannon, is super enthusiastic and patient in helping us learn Portuguese as well as how to preach the gospel. He also served in Curitiba, so he's been giving us sisters lots of advice. It was really cool, cuz one day Sis Wilson and I stayed back to talk with him, and he told us how he appreciates our focus and how hard we study, and he asked us to be an example to our other classmates. That was really nice. I've gotten to see Sister Seagraves and Conley a lot because we're in the same zone, but I've only seen Sister Larson a couple times in passing. Its so awesome to be here with all of them!! Exercise time is such a nice release from all the info we receive every day. Sis Wilson and I usually run and use the arm/leg machines, haha. One day we did yoga. And they have a dance class for the sisters at 6am, so we're gonna try and do that soon! The food is alright. I mean, it tastes pretty good, but it isn't super healthy. But there is a wrap bar during most meals. So I eat that sometimes. Sorry my thoughts are so scattered, I'm running out of time. Sorry I couldn't figure out how to upload pictures in time. I'll try to figure that out for next Tuesday.
I love you all so so much!!! I love hearing from you! Skyler, Im so proud of you. You're becoming such an incredible young man who will be an awesome missionary some day. Good job, Dad, for being his faithful companion! I'm praying for you. And let me know if there is anything at all that I can do for you all! I know I can't do much from here, but if you are struggling, please tell me and I will be on my knees. Momma and Summer, stay strong my beautiful ladies!! Tell Sara I love her. I don't have her email address. Thank you for the prayers, I absolutely feel their effect while I'm out here. They give me the strength that I need to make it through these big changes. Send my love to all the family, too.
"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" I know that our Heavenly Father loves us so much, and He is just waiting to bless us if we are obedient to Him and ask Him in Faith.
Love you forever,