December 3, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving! Well, I'm sure you're all dying to know how my Thanksgiving was, so I'll just start with that! It was AWESOME! It was really such a good day. Here's sort of how our schedule went: Breakfast, MDT, Morning Devotional, Lunch (Thanksgiving Dinner), Humanitarian Program, Dinner, Humanitarian Project and then a Fireside.
Are you excited? Because guess who spoke at the Morning Devotional! Elder Holland! It was so amazing. I love Elder Holland. And we had great seats. :) He started out by saying the Hollands are our family today. And it was really sweet. He had all his grandchildren and children there and their grandkids all got up and sang "I Know Heavenly Father Loves Me." It was SO cute! One little Holland got right up to the microphone so you could only hear his voice. Unfortunately, he started with the wrong words. It was so cute. Elder Holland also had four missionaries come up and bear their testimonies. I wish I could just have you all feel the spirit that was there. And then Elder Holland and Sister Holland spoke and it was incredible. Elder Holland spoke, of course, about gratitude and about the Savior and about missionary work. There were some strong words about being our very best because so many people are looking to us. He said if the Church had a 'symbol,' it would probably be a pair of missionaries knocking on a door or walking down the street. Anyway, I obviously don't have time to write everything he said, but you should definitely be jealous. :)
The humanitarian project was a lot of fun and I could tell they wanted to keep all the missionaries busy to avoid a bout of homesickness. It worked for me! We spent several hours putting together parts for schoolbags that will go to children around the world. Sis. Laimana and I won't be surprised if we see some of these same bags in Cape Verde.
Oh, and the food: pretty gross, but I guess nothing would compare to what I usually eat on Thanksgiving. I did have my annual slice of pumpkin pie, which was good (or as good as pumpkin pie gets -- haha).
All right, moving on:
Our district sang “E Tarde a Noite Logo Vem” in Sacrament meeting (“Abide with Me, Tis Eventide”) and we didn't sound half bad. And I'm glad that's over with.
On Friday night our companionship taught our progressive investigator, which was a little nerve-racking, but since that's what I'll be doing for the next 17 months, it was good to practice. We teach him in front of the whole class, which is probably why I got nervous. And it's just Irmão Matheson pretending to be someone he knows. Anyway.
I met my twin! Sister Brooks going to Brazil. Our tags are identical, so I stuck a sticker on the back of mine so we won't get them mixed up in gym. She's much more fashionable than me. Elder Gunter met another Elder Gunter and ran up to him, hugged him and said, "Brother! Mother told me I'd find you here!" I wasn't quite so outgoing when I finally met Sister Brooks. :)
We had a great MTC Fireside on Sunday and I'll just share one thing: A miracle is when, after you've done all that you can, God steps in a makes up the difference. I really liked that.
Per G. Malm of the Seventy was our speaker at the Tuesday Devotional and it was so good! He was really funny and he and his wife are both from Sweden. He started out by saying, "We come from Sveden, the land of Ikea!" It was awesome. And we sang an arrangement of “Come Thou Fount” in choir.
Cousins! Thank you so much for the letter! It was the best letter I've ever gotten!
Andy: I can't wait to hear about your call to Australia. :)
Matt: Dingo Babies!
Lisa & Stasia: Oh hesh! And: Voces ja estao casadas?
The other day in class, a couple Elders were late so they had to do a 'door contact.' Irmão Owen looked at me and said, "Sister Brooks. Do you want to take care of this one for me?" Basically, that meant I had to answer the door and be contacted -- in Portuguese. Yup. I'm practically a native Portuguese speaker now -- not!
We had a super cold, snowy temple walk last week. I'll send some sweet pictures some day.
There are at least three Elders here who I knew from Aspen Grove! It's a lot of fun seeing them around, though I've had to learn some of their last names and I hear my first name every once in awhile, which is bizarre after going, like, five weeks without hearing it.
Okay. Here's your assignment for the weekend: Go to LDS.org and watch the Mormon Message called “Lessons I Learned as a Boy” from President Hinckley. Maybe you've already seen it, but watch it. It's SO cute and it will make you cry. I feel like I've been crying a lot this week. :)
Oh, and a couple of my new favorite scriptures are Alma 29: 9-10.
We're teaching the first lesson in Portuguese tonight! Tenho medo. E estou animada.
Oh yeah. I broke my first glass in the cafeteria. Que vergonha!
Well, I think that's about it. I just wanted to take the last few minutes I have left on the computer to say how grateful I am for all of you! I'm grateful to have been raised in a good family with good friends. I'm so grateful for the restored gospel and that Joseph Smith asked Heavenly Father which Church was true and that his prayer was answered. I'm indescribably grateful for my Savior and His atoning sacrifice. I'm grateful that I know Heavenly Father loves me and ALL HIS CHILDREN! I'm grateful that I have this opportunity to serve a mission and that God knows where I'm most needed (and I'm grateful it's on a nice, warm group of islands). Ah! I'm so grateful for this life and this world! I hope all of us with the knowledge of the truth will do all that we know we should. This life is WAY too short not to act on the things we believe. I love you all!
Sister Brooks/Sister Squeam