Friday, September 13, 2013

Last Few Days in the MTC!


Well, for everyone who doesn't know, my visa hasn't come in, so I have been reassigned to the Georgia Atlanta North Mission until my visa arrives! I know the Lord was preparing me for Georgia after a few cool experiences. 

1. My new teacher, Brother McGill, went to Brazil on his mission, but his visa didn't come so he got temporarily reassigned to Georgia (a different mission than me, though)
2. My old teacher, Sister Pettita, is from Georgia, where I am serving
3.  My companion, Elder Bohn, is from Marietta, Georgia, the heart of Georgia Atlanta North
4. I've been preparing by playing that Georgia Baseball

Pretty crazy! Another cool thing about my mission is that there are some Portuguese-speaking branches! So I may get to use my almost-Portuguese sometimes! I am so excited! Although, I have found that my Portuguese is not very good. There is a sister here from Brazil going to London Central (Look out for her! Sister Carvalho!) and I tried to speak in Portuguese with her. I understood a lot but I was so confused when she kept saying "Londrinas". It totally threw me off. But that means London so I eventually figured it out. I then told her: "Eu nao fala bom em Portuguese com outros, mas eu posso dar um magnifico licao em o Palavra de Sabadoria"
(I do not speak good Portuguese with others, but I can give one magnificent lesson on the Word of Wisdom)

We're so cool, chillin' in the refrigerator!

So no worries. For lessons, I am good. For conversation...not so much. But I do understand a heck of a lot more Spanish. Elder Snow got his degree in Spanish and then lived in Spain for 5 months on study abroad, so he is definitely fluent. So there are two elders here, Elder Jimenez (from Peru) and Elder Fuentes (from Ecuador), going to the Provo Utah Mission, and they just love us so much. They come and hang out with us all the time. We've all become pretty good friends. They normally follow us to our residence and hang out after class. When they're in our room, we speak to each other in Porto-Spanglish. A mix of Portuguese, Spanish, and English. It gets pretty funny, but it's totally awesome. I'm gonna miss those guys. Another thing that Elder Jimenez started was, when something is awesome, saying: "Ohhhh siiiiiiiiiiiii" which means "Ohhhh yeaaahhh" 

So here are all the reassignments of my district:
Me: Georgia Atlanta North
Elder Snow: Georgia Atlanta North
Elder Bohn: Tuscon Arizona
Elder Nash: Fort Worth Texas
Elder Knowles: Georgia Atlanta North (I had a feeling him and I would go to the same place)
Elder Farnsworth: Georgia Atlanta North
Elder Johnson: Fort Worth Texas
Sister Williams: Bllings Montana (where her sister served her mission; pretty cool)
Sister Shumway: New York New York South
Everyone else got their visas. 

Getting ready to go into the field!

I am so happy to be going to Georgia! You have no clue how excited I am! Mostly because I may be getting Chik-Fil-A (ohhhh siiiiiiiii). Elder Bohn says the North side of Georgia is better, so I am pumped about that.
 I had such a busy week with preparing to leave and In-Field Orientation that I haven't been able to really write anyone letters. I am really sorry, but whenever I even had a fragment of time, it was out in like 2 seconds. I have been really busy this week, but there are letters on their way today!

I leave Monday, early, so today is the last day for anyone to send me DearElders. Thanks everyone for the many birthday packages which I received! My birthday was incredible! I threw myself 2 parties. 

Elder Fuentes with my Birthday Balloons!

During church on Sunday, one of the members of our branch presidency gave an incredible talk on faith and he made on of my very favorite analogies. He quoted the scripture: "Faith without works is dead, being alone" and then he said this. Faith and works is like a row boat. One paddle is faith. And one paddle is works. Without the other, you're just going to be paddling in circles. And without either, you're going to sit and nothing will happen. It's important to have faith. But it is more important to exercise that faith through your actions. Faith without works is dead. And what is the first principle of the Gospel? Faith?...Nope. The first principle of the Gospel is Faith in Jesus Christ. So we need to have our faith in him, and our actions reflect that faith in him. I know this church is true, and I know that as we have faith in Christ, and trust in him, all will work out, according to the will of the Lord. This church is true and the Book of Mormon is true. I testify of its power, and I will never deny it. If you haven't read it, read it. Open up a copy and get to work. Have faith that you will find the answers that your soul yearns for, and let your faith be reflected through your diligent reading and studying of it. I know it is true, and through the Book of Mormon and the Bible, we have the fullness of the Gospel restore on the earth today. I know it. I love you guys so much and I am so grateful to be out here serving the Lord. He needs me in Georgia right now. So I will go serve him there until he needs me in Brazil. 

I love you guys a ton, and good luck in London! The Lord has some mighty plans for you guys! Go rock that UK. 

Temporary Reassignment

When Missionaries have completed their time at the Missionary Training Center, but they do not yet have their Visa to go to the country of their calling, they get a temporary reassignment.  Well, I got mine this week and I leave on Monday.  Here are the details!

I leave Monday at 3. Here are my travel plans (I'm flying American Airlines):
Salt Lake City (Depart 6:25 AM) to Dallas TX (Arrive 10:05 AM)
Dallas TX (Depart 12:00 Noon) to Atlanta Georgia (Arrive 3:10 PM)

Elder Knowles and Elder Snow are both coming to Georgia with me and they'll be my companions during the traveling! I am so excited! This was my permitted email to let you know my travel plans. I'll email you more tomorrow.

I love you guys a ton!

A Very Interesting Week

Well hello there family!!! 

This has been one very interesting week! But first let me say that I am perfectly fine and okay! So I woke up Monday morning around 5 to some extremely excruciating pain in my back, enough so that I couldn't move without it hurting. So I just lay there until my alarm clock went off, and I thought maybe if I stood up, it would help. So I went to turn my alarm clock off, but I could barely stand, let alone walk. But you see, the pain was in the muscles in my back and not my spine itself, so it really wasn't that big of a deal. But it killed, and I thought I might as well tell my companions. 

Well, after trying to figure out what to do, Elder Bohn just used the hall phone to call the front desk. And the front desk decided to send me to the emergency room. A little dramatic. But wait, it gets better. So they wheeled me out to a car in a wheelchair, during some heavy rain. Elder Bohn and I got in the car and they drove us to the ER. I was in one of those funky hospital dresses and everything. It was really funny because it was wayyyyy too much. Elder Bohn and I were like "whaaatt...the ER?". But it was either lay in my bed or figure out whats wrong. And the MTC decided the Emergency Room could figure out whats wrong. So basically the diagnosis was my back was having muscle spasms that were pinching nerves. Kind of lame. But it hurt like crazy. Anyways, they gave me morphine and then prescribed me a muscle relaxant to loose the tension in my back. So basically, I was high for pretty much all Monday and Tuesday. The muscle relaxant makes me really dizzy and loopy, plus the morphine...It was quite an adventure. But I am okay so no need to worry! All Monday, Elder Nash stayed with me since he was super sick. But everyone here is good now! haha it was quite a week! Nobody worry about my back because I am 100% fine. I got a bunch of worried letters, but I am perfectly fine!

So Monday and Tuesday are just a blur, but Tuesday night, I was able to make it to the devotional, where we heard from one of the members of the Quorum of the Seventy. I forget his name, but it was really great. He said that when he was a teenager, he asked his mom, "Why is the Gospel so selfish? We are obedient so we can receive blessings from the Lord for ourselves. Isn't that a little bit selfish?" and his mom replied, "The Lord blesses us for our obedience so we can learn to trust him. Then there comes a point when we trust him so much that we do his will, regardless of the blessings or not." That hit me really hard. It's so true. I want you all to think on what that means to you, but let me tell you this. I know that this Gospel is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it with all my heart. There is no other way to find true happiness than through faith and obedience to our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know it. 

Anyways, this week has also been pretty great. Our district moved classrooms to a different building this week. It has a great view, but I'm not sure whether or not I like the desks. Our district have also been the ones to have way too many teachers. Normally, you have 2 for the entire MTC experience, but we've had like 7 so far. The first week, our teacher wasn't here so we had 2 subs. Then, along side Sister Pettita, we got Brother Messias, but he moved to Texas, so we got Brother McGlaughlin. But then the MTC switched Sister Pettita to a different district, so now we have Brother McGill. Its been pretty crazy, but I'm really grateful. Having so many different teachers with different Portuguese accents has really helped me to understand Portuguese a lot better. Sometimes the Lord gives us these trials, but they are actually blessings in disguise.

So we had a cool experience teaching a lesson this week. Elder Snow, Elder Bohn and I were teaching one of our "investigators" about the Restoration. After Elder Snow gave an incredible discussion on the Apostasy, Elder Bohn started talking about the Prophet Joseph Smith. While he was talking, he started to recite the first vision (now keep in mind, these lessons are completely in Portuguese). The Spirit filled the room so much, and I have never heard Elder Bohn say the first vision so perfectly. It was truly amazing. Then I had the opportunity to teach about the Book of Mormon and its importance, and then I bore my testimony. The Spirit filled the room again and it was such a marvelous experience. We challenged him to continue to read the Book of Mormon, but especially with his family, and to pray to know whether or not it's true. Of course, the investigator is just an actor, but it was an incredible experience that was enhanced by the amazing feeling of the Spirit. Wow. It was marvelous.

Anyways, I love you guys so much and it is crazy to think that mom starts school on the 14th! WOW. When are you guys moving? Thats incredible. Mike, date a bunch of pretty English girls. Katie, don't talk to one boy at all. And someone go give Sam a huge hug for me and let him know how happy and proud I am of him. Can someone also get a copy of his book and put it in my keepsakes in the basement? Obrigado! I love you guys so much! I have been missing the east coast a ton. All my companions are from the east coast, so we can sympathize. But I get my reassignment in 1 week!!! CRAZY! I am so excited! I hope I get sent to the east coast. That would be sooooo cool. Or Long Beach California, of course. But anywhere the Lord needs me, I will serve with all my might, mind, and strength.

I love you guys a ton and thanks for the letters! Choose the right and do good stuff and all that jazz. Peace out. 
-Elder Hintze