Friday, August 30, 2013

Half Way There

Well, I've finally reached the point in my MTC experience where the amount of days spent exceed the amount of days remaining. I am on the beginning of my 4th week! HOW CRAZY IS THAT?? So the good news is that I did receive all those pictures over email. So I can receive pictures. Just not emails containing links. I think. 

Anywho, the MTC is sort of extra awesomely fabulous. I love it here, as always. Elder Edwards left Tuesday morning to the Brazil MTC, so we were released as Zone Leaders on Sunday. It's kind of relieving since now I have more time to do stuff at night since I'm not going around to 10 rooms to give spiritual thoughts. So I was put into a trio with Elder Snow and Elder Bohn. Elder Snow is from Springfield, VA and he's our new District Leader. He rocks. Elder Bohn is from Marietta, GA, and he also rocks. We are the ultimate tri-panionship. The only different thing is when we teach an investigator. (BTW the "investigators" are our teachers acting as an investigator they taught from their mission and we teach is a really cool experience...we treat them like real pesquisadors [investigators] we pray for them, we teach to their needs...etc. ) Now when we teach, there are 3 of us, and Elder Bohn and Elder Snow prepare and teach a little differently than Elder Edwards and I did, but it's is still so fun. So the investigator we are teaching now is named Patricia, which I thought was super cool. We committed her to baptism last lesson, but she has to ask her parents first. 

I feel like my Portuguese is progressing very well, I just need to continue to study as much as I can. Speaking of languages, I can now bear my testimony in French. Pretty dandy. Je sais que la Livre de Mormon est vrai, e je sais que L'eglise de Jesus-Christ est vrai. Je veux parler en Francais. I'm definitely going to learn French, Spanish, Italian, etc when I'm back.  

Anyways, this last Tuesday, we had the opportunity to hear from Elder Neil L Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It was such a fantastic experience. He talked about sacrifice and love. One phrase he kept repeating was "You sacrifice the things you love, and you love the things you sacrifice for." I know it sounds a little redundant, and that's exactly what I was thinking when he said it, but take time and think about it. Whether it be a couple minutes or a couple days, you'll understand it. That's why I'm out here on a mission, to sacrifice my time for someone I love, My Savior Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be out here and to serve the Lord! In the Book of Mormon, very last chapter, Moroni 10, it talks about some quality stuff, and I exhort all of you to read it and ponder on its words. It is one fantastic chapter. The entire Book of Mormon is amazing, so read that too. 

So I thought I'd run you through a day in the life of Elder Hintze. Welllllll....I get up at 6:15 or 6:30 (depending on how tired I am) and I go get in the shower. Breakfast is at 7:15 (I normally eat bagels with cream cheese). 7:45-9 is personal study time in the classroom. From 9-11:55 is classroom instruction. 12-12:45 is lunch. 12:45-1:45is TALL (Technology Assisted Language Learning) time. TALL is an LDS language learning computer program. We learn discussion/vocab/grammer etc. 2-4:55 is either instruction or study time then pre-gym then gym time. Then 5-5:45 is dinner and then from 6-9 is either instruction or study time then pre-gym then gym time. For gym time I either go running or play baseball. I've been playing a lot of baseball lately, and I'm getting pretty dandy. I think I have the farthest hits. I always hit it into the sisters soccer field. Its pretty fun. I enjoy it a lot. Speaking of sports, did anyone know that SVU has a football team? I did not. And they also let you transfer to BYU now. Pretty cool, huh? A sister in our zone was just there and then transferred to BYU, so I talked to her about it. 

Anyways, I thought that was cool. So on my way here to come email y'all, I ran into none other than Elder Simmons, so I got a picture with him...and then guess who followed right next to him? Elder Thomas. So I also got a picture with him that I'll be sending you guys. Pretty cool stuff. 

Also, I HAVE SO MANY SNACKS IN MY ROOM. SO MANY. I have a drawer full of cookies, a drawer full of various unhealthy snacks, and a drawer with a few healthy bars. Yeah, I love it. Also, the MTC book store sells chips and queso....So I've been in heaven. And I also have so many peanut butter cups, my goodness. 3.75 pounds of peanut butter cups. geeze louise, I am loved. 

Also, if anyone ever needs any spiritual uplifting, talk to Sam Goodnight. His letter made me so happy and inspired me so much. He's da man. 

Anyways, I love you guys a ton and I can't wait for whats ahead! It's crazy to think I could have my reassignment in 2 weeks! The days are weeks, the weeks are days. It seems like just yesterday I was emailing you last. Okay, anyways, keep the letters coming. I may not respond quickly, but know that I get all your dear Elders, and I love them. I also love handwrittens (thank you my beautiful sister Katie who I absolutely adore). I love you guys a ton. Je T'aime (French) O Fatoo (Tongan) Eu amo voces (Portuguese) I LOVE YOU!!!! (English). Do good things and spread the gospel like creamy peanut butter. Peace Out.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

P-DAY and Shenanigans

Oi familia!

ITS FINALLY P-DAY!!! The most exciting part about that for me is that I get to do laundry! Well, the MTC is amazing. I absolutely love it here! Elder Edwards (my companion) and I are just finishing up our first week as zone leaders. Every night, we go to the rooms of all the guys in our 4 districts and give a spiritual thought followed by abracaos (hugs). Its pretty fun. We have some great districts, but I absolutely love my district. As Elder Edwards would say, we're an inspired district. So Elder Edwards sort of looks like Gabe, and he acts a lot like Gabe in a good way. His first name is also Gabe. Which is quite funky. Anyways, so I saw Elder Kendall Blaylock and Sister Syndey Francis the first day. I always keep running into Sister Francis. I've also seen Elder Alec Larsen. Elder Tate Simmons is on the top floor of my building so I can go see him before I go to bed. I also ran into the one and only Elder Nate Benfell this Wednesday. I hope I can see him more before he heads out in two weeks. 

My roommates are the best, and the Elders in my district rock. Here is a brief introduction to all of them. 
Elder Edwards (my companion) - from Michigan, plays college soccer, speaks Spanish
Elder Bohn - from Georgia, he's always happy
Elder Snow - from Fairfax Virginia, graduated from UVA with a major in Spanish, so he speaks Spanish
Elder Knowles - from Key West Florida, looks like Dennis the Menace in non-cartoon form
Elder Nash - From Draper, Utah, looks like muscular Jack Black 
Elder Johnson - From Oregon, Plays football
Elder Farnsworth - from Utah, runs track, he's our district leader

So let me brief you on a couple things that have happened here. So here my first "missionary story". Our first night here, the alarm clock goes off in the morning. I lay there thinking that Elder Bohn will get up to turn it off but he didn't so I just laid there. Well, finally I got up and the alarm clock wasn't mine, and it wasn't Elder Bohn's either. I then looked at the clock and saw it was 3 AM. So we turned the lights on and searched everywhere for this mysterious alarm. Well. after a good 15 minutes, we discovered it was in the vents. Elder Snow pulled a superman and ripped the vent off the wall, reached into the vent and pulled out a prank alarm clock. He continued to put the vent back in place, so we finally got back to bed at 3:20ish. It was quite funny. 

So Elder Edwards and I have been teaching an "investigator" named Joao. We taught 5 lessons this past week (completely in Portuguese) and we got him to commit to be baptized out last lesson! It is so crazy how the Spirit can guide what you say and also be avenue for learning and understanding. After every lesson, I felt so amazing. It is just so awesome! I can't believe I can understand and speak that much Portuguese already! We will have 2 new investigators these coming weeks, so pray for me! I am having the time of my life and I am so grateful for this opportunity. And yes, the room checking people said I make my bed commendable. And our room is super organized. (feel free to be proud, mom). I am so grateful to be here and to be serving the Lord. It is so awesome. I also love the Dear Elder letters! Although, handwritten ones would be nice. Also, if anyone wants me to respond, just have them Dear Elder  me their address so I can write them back. Alright, I love you guys! The picture thing isn't' working but I'll see if I can email you some later today. Love you all, and remember, The Lord will never abandon you. He is ALWAYS there and he will ALWAYS love you. Seek him. I love you guys! Have a super duper rockin' week!

Happy Birthday Ashley!

Oi Familia!

Happy Birthday to my my beautiful, amazing sister, Ashley.  I hope it's fabulous and full of wonderfulness and stuff.

So I had some cool experiences.  I actually don't think P-Day is until next Friday, so expect e-mail responses then.  Well, I got 2 Dear Elder letters last night.  Let me tell you, those rock.  Get everyone to send me those.  Also, muito obrigado for the package and cookies.  Eu gusto de cookies.  Su meu companheiro, Elder Edwards and I taught a lesson in Portuguese to an investigator our 2nd full day.  It was cool.  I prayed in Portuguese and Elder Edwards was really fantastic with his responding.  I'll get more into it in the e-mail, but we have a follow up lesson this morning, and we spent a good 2 1/2 - 3 hours preparing our lesson.  Hopefully we can do it with the help of the spirit.  We were guided in our first lesson, and it was the coolest experience.  My testimony is only strengthened every second. Anyways, I'm off to cafe de manha (breakfast) but I love you all so much.  You guys rock socks.
Also, someone let Tate know that I had a dream she was called to Lisbon, Portugal.  Eu amo meu familia e meu salvador, Jesus Cristo.  Tchau!

       - Elder Hintze

P.S. The food is fabulous!

Testimony and Cool Tying of the Ties

Howdy Family,

Well, Sundays are the coolest thing here at the MTC.  Breakfast is cereal on Sundays (Woot Woot!)[Just Kidding] But all the food is musto delicioso.  I've been teaching a lot about oils (essential oils).  The Elders in my district think they're so awesome.  So I get with my district and ended up almost giving a physics lesson.  It was kinda funny.  Anyways, I talk a lot about the brain with Elder Edwards.  So today in class they all started talking about how smart I was and how my ACT score was probably the highest it could be.  I was laughing because I got a 23.  So when I told them, they started claiming the system was flawed.  It was a nice funny confidence booster.  I ran into Tate Simmons!  He lives in the same building as me so we'll be seeing other a lot.  So Elder Bednar gave a talk that we watched on video entitled "The Characteristics of Christ".

It was incredible and talked about how just because we have a testimony doesn't mean we're converted.  We need to show it our actions.  My take from it was that we can know of Christ in the same way we can know about Biology.  But we don't know anything about Biology until we study it.  We need to do the same thing with Jesus Christ.  Study him out in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Words of the Prophets, etc... then we can understand Him.  Anyway's, Elder Edwards and I have been called as Zone Leaders over 2 districts right now and 2 more coming in this Wednesday.  SO we will be Zone Leaders over 4 districts.  WOW!  It;s such a humbling experience.  Especially since we're so new.  The assignment lasts 3 weeks so that the new districts have opportunities for leadership.  Anyways, tomorrow is our 3rd lesson with João and we're teaching him the Plan of Salvation.  My plan is to learn enough of the vocabulary so I can teach the lesson without my notes.  Eh, I'll let you know how I do.  Another fun fact-our district is all going to Brazil except for Ender Nash, who's going to Angola in Africa, Portuguese speaking.

So he ties his tie in this awesome way, so I figured it out and we're trying to make it viral.  Our goal is to have the MTC Presidency doing it by next week.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Anyways, I love you all so much and I miss you.  Send me Dear Elders!  ( Those rock because I get them the same day.  I aslo can say the stupidest sentences here that make absolutely no sense and everyone laughs because they assume there's a pun....It's kinda silly.  Okay, love ya guys.

               Elder Hintze

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Day 2

Hey there family!

Well, it's day 2.  I just got back from dinner so I have just a few minutes, but here's an overview.  My companion is Elder Edwards.  He's a soccer player from Michigan.  He's pretty cool!  His mom is from Argentina so he already speaks Spanish.  We've both been super motivated to learn the language so he's a huge strength.
I can already start to introduce myself and bear my testimony in Portuguese.  It is so cool how The Lord helps us learn through the Holy Ghost.  I already have my first "mission story" but I'll save it for the newsletter.  I am safe, I am happy and I am a missionary!  I love you all so much and here is my testimony in Portuguese.

Eu sei que o Livro de Mormon e verdadeiro.  Eu se que os profitos Sao verdadeiro, tambem.  Eu se que o Salvador e Jesus Cristo amos vaco.  Sou representante de Jesus Cristo e Eu sei gua.  El vivis.

Well, I love you guys and I love the gospel. My P-day is Wednesday so expect an email then.

Tchau Familia!

Elder Hintze

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Child Serves to Find Himself!

Today was a special day as we dropped Nick off at the Missionary Training Center in Provo Utah.  It was a bitter sweet day as parents and for those of you who have done this, our respect for you has grown.  If you have not done this, consider that we will talk to Nick 4 times in the next two years as he serves the good people of Brazil.  He will be able to call home on Mother's Day and Christmas, the rest of the time he will seek to teach those who are searching for more in life.  He will teach the Plan of Happiness, wherein families can be together forever.  Here is a short timelapse video of us driving to the MTC and dropping him off.

As we arrived to the drop off point, we were greeted by a young man, Quinn Baumgartner going to the Ukraine speaking Russian, who was happy and full of joy in greeting us.  We were able to say goodbye, take a few pictures and Elder Baungartner escorted into the building for orientation.

Nick was and is so ready to serve his Heavenly Father.  He has the qualities of great men and women who truly make a difference in the world.  Nick will not only serve the people of Brazil, he will have experiences that will help him grow and become an even greater man.  Great men are humble servants and I am always reminded of this scripture in Matthew (25:31-40)

31 ¶When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

 33 And he shall set the sheep on his aright hand, but the goats on the left.

 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his aright hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Have fun Nick, be humble and follow the guidance of our Heavenly Father who loves everyone.  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Dear Elder Hintze: 
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the BRAZIL SANTA MARIA MISSION. You should report to the Brazil Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, August 7, 2013. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Portuguese language. 

This is the place.

As Nick writes home, sends pictures and tells us of his experiences in Brazil, we will share them here.  You can subscribe to this blog and be notified as his incredible stories come in.
He leaves for the Missionary Training Center on Tuesday, August 6th and and enters the following day.  We will be able to escort him and drop him off, where he will leave us for two years to serve the Lord.  As a representative of Jesus Christ, Nick will teach and serve the people in Brazil, searching for those humble souls who seek Christ.

President Thomas S. Monson said: “We affirm that missionary work is a priesthood duty—and we encourage all young men who are worthy and who are physically able and mentally capable to respond to the call to serve. Many young women also serve, but they are not under the same mandate to serve as are the young men. We assure the young sisters of the Church, however, that they make a valuable contribution as missionaries, and we welcome their service.”

As a father, it is my honor and privilege to support my son in this worthy effort.