October 29, 2010
Ola!Wow! Can you believe how long I've been here!? It's gone so fast. So...I don't really know what to say. Basically, we do the same thing every day: study.
Well, I guess I'll just start with the obvious: Tuesday Devotional! Yes, there will be general authorities coming. Apparently a general authority comes almost every Tuesday. And apparently, for some reason there are supposed to be APOSTLES the next couple of weeks. The week before I arrived Elder Nelson spoke and on Tuesday...Elder Scott! I love Elder Scott. I should have known it was going to be him because they hinted an apostle would be there and I noticed there were no teleprompters/cues -- whatever you call them. It was amazing. Basically, he gave us advice, learned throughout his life, on how to hear, record and heed the promptings of the Spirit -- and what better advice for missionaries is there? He also gave us THREE apostolic blessings (I know: AMAZING). First, he blessed the Sisters with a 'protective shield' and told us to be very careful about our health and to know that sometimes we won't be able to put in as many hours as the Elders. Second, he blessed us with the gift of tongues!! Um...I don't even have anything to add to that. Third, that we would retain the things we learn here; not just the lessons and the language, but our testimonies. He closed his talk with a powerful testimony about the Savior; everything he believes and knows about Jesus Christ stems from the fact "THAT HE KNOWS HIM." Wow. How incredibly blessed we are to have direct revelation from our Heavenly Father through these wonderful apostles and prophets.
Also this week, we went to our first TRC -- Teaching Resource Center or something. We had to 'contact' an investigator for 10-15 minutes in Portuguese and then teach them the first lesson (in English). I had a scary surprise last minute because, since there weren't enough volunteers, Sister Laimana and I had to split up and go with a pair of Elders. I was lucky to teach with Elders Cuestas and Gunter, who are wonderful, but I hadn't learned enough vocab about the things they brought up in the contact so I wasn't very vocal. The lesson was really good, however, I thought. It was excellent practice at least and I know my testimony was strengthened. Funnily enough, our 'investigator' is in Lisa and Stasia's FHE group and I met him the weekend before I entered the MTC. Kind of funny.
Unsurprisingly, we've heard a lot about obedience. I don't really think I've had a problem with it at all, but it's so true that it's not the rules themselves that you have to agree with, but the authority they come from. I know that every rule was established for a reason by someone who was inspired. So even though I hate that we can no longer take Sunday Temple walks, I'll obey.
Speaking of the Temple, we went today. It was wonderful. And SO cool to hear some of the things that are said while I'm called as a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ. Keep up your temple attendance.
I was surprised to receive a heavy, full package from the 17th ward with cookies and candy and a sweet note signed by several of them. (I noticed Paul did not sign it. I'll try not to be offended. Joke.) We have, like, six packages in our room and SO much junk food. So, yes, I'm going to be fat.
During my first interview with my teacher Irmão Owen, he told me my Portuguese was good. Hopefully that's true and he didn't just say that to be nice, but he probably did.
I've noticed several times in my studies the reference to "isles of the sea" in the Book of Mormon and it makes me think of Cape Verde. It's so awesome to know that even in a teeny, tiny country the work is going forth because Heavenly Father cares about His children in Cape Verde.
Vacuums: We had our first service hour, which is sweet! We clean the senior missionary building and it's really easy and in the morning. The greatest part is that the vacuums are named. I worked with Frank and Dewey. Then we cleaned our dorm with Chantell. So...yeah. I found it amusing.
Well, I think that's about it. I plan on breaking the "wall-sit" record in the gym (though I wish I was in shape enough to beat a 6:30 mile). I only have to do it for eight minutes...
Keep me in your prayers and the also the people in Cape Verde. I love you all!