It IS my last week and pday in the MTC! I don't have any word on my visa yet which I am totally fine with. I plan on receiving my reassignment this Thursday and then leaving as soon as the next day, Friday, or as late as next Tuesday. Either way I'll have a semi-pday before I leave to do laundry and what not. I'm super excited to get out into the field and start serving! When I know where I'm going and what my itinerary is I'll try and get on and shoot you a quick email with the info for 2 reasons: 1) because I know you'd want to know and 2) because I'll be able to use a phone in the airport to call home! So I'll let you know when I'll probably be doing that. I plan on initially calling with quarters just to make sure everyone's there because the card that I'll actually be using has like 500 minutes but just to make the call costs like 150 of them I think so quarters are a cheap replacement. I actually got the $5 dollar card for free because another missionary had bought one but then his dad just sent him like a trac phone with the instructions "just throw it away when you're done" which I thought was kinda funny. Saves me 5 bucks at least.Do you think you could add me to the emailing list so I can see like what all you send out to everyone else? I've just been curious what all everyone else has been reading. I'm sure you're doing a great job :) I'm just curious.
I'll be getting a haircut here at the MTC so that way I'll be good for a while while I'm in the field.Mom's questions with my answers:
How has your week been?My week has been really good! I feel the spirit and it's promptings more and more every day which is awesome. It's super helpful whenever I'm preparing for lessons or personally studying or teaching lessons. This past Sunday we had an awesome devotional on Prayer and then watched a film on "teaching" by Elder Holland that looked to be about 10 years old but was still super powerful and amazing. I took a full 2 pages of notes in my notebook. I look forward to looking back on those notes later when I have more free time.
Did you get my DearElder package last week?I did!! It was very very nice! I also didn't request anything additional homemade because I didn't feel it necessary. I don't have any super strong cravings. And also I'm still working on the food that I've stocked up myself! You and dad would be impressed with the amount of food I've managed to store up for free :D and ration of daily. I'm planning on just running out when I leave which is perfect. I also got a very nice package from Katie my cousin! She'd made me some very nice cookies that I supremely enjoyed! Some of them even had oreos baked in the middle!
Have you seen any new people that you know??? The Kellers are there now, I think.I see new people I know multiple times a week. I saw a girl that I ran into a couple times at the BYU creamery, her name is Margaret but she goes by and her nametag shows "Garet" So that was a good conversation starter. She just got here this last Wednesday and is serving stateside innnn...Montana I believe. I also saw another girl from my ward. And I met another girl here for the first time whose name I don't know but she was on BYU Dance Team! So we talked about dancing a bit. It was cool to remember the good old days. As for the Kellers, when you initially told me they would be coming here I wrote it in my planner. I looked for them to a degree but haven't seen them yet.
What is something new that you learned recently?There's so much I learn every day it's hard to say just one thing! Ummm..... I was watching a new Mormon Message that was awesome. It talked a bit about Moses and his people wandering in the wilderness for 40 years and God giving them mana every day but only for that day. That's like how we need the spirit and inspiration and the help of God. We can't just pray once a week and ask for sustenance for the whole week! We need to pray every day and worthily ask God for blessings that we need in our lives and to feel the spirit. I was doing that pretty well before hand but I'm doing better now. Also, same video, people don't just completely change overnight (usually) it's something that happens over long periods of time and it's only once you look back that you realize how much you've changed. Kind of like the sun setting every night. It only changes about a minute every day which is practically imperceptible but halfway through the year you look back and say "hey, that sun used to not set til 8:30!
Who is your new teacher – the one that replaced Irmao Belchior?Irmao James, or Tiago. James=Tiago in Portuguese. He's a way cool guy! As an investigator, he's a bit harder than Irmao Belchior, but not impossible like our other investigator. He's taught us some really good skills that we can use on our missions which has been really helpful. He served in Portugal as well so has that sotaque (accent) but it's more or less okay.
What was the best part of your week?
Feeling the Holy Ghost's inspiration and susurros (whisperings) more in my life has been pretty awesome. Also like I mentioned earlier, Sunday night devo and then talk by Elder Holland was way cool.
What has been the best part of your MTC experience?Good question....it's hard to pin a certain part as the best part. It's getting better and better every day. I just love being out here preparing to serve the Lord e as pessoas dos Estados Unidos e entao as pessoas do Brasil. Eu estou muito animado a chegar ao campo da missao. (and the people of US and then the people of brazil. I'm very excited to arrive to the mission field) E tambem! Foi muito legal quando eu disse a experiencia de Joseph Smith com a primeira visao em uma licao. Eu senti o espirito santo muito na sala e em minha coracao (and also! it was way cool when I said the experience of Joseph Smith with the first vision in a lesson. I felt the Holy Ghost a lot in the room and in my heart.)
How is Elder Johnson?
Elder Johnson is doing great! He hasn't gotten sick once since being here at the MTC unlike everyone else. We did have our first semi-argument over a disagreement this past Sunday I believe. We resolved it soon after though and we're all good now.
How is BonBon doing?Sister Tantillo is doing amazing! Elder Johnson and I started doing this thing about the second week where we read the Livro de Mormon in Portuguese and then try and translate it without using the English Book of Mormon and that really helped us out a lot (mostly him..honestly I didn't need that much help but it still helped me out). It helped with pronunciation, recognizing tu and vos forms of conjugation which we don't speak and only read in the scriptures, and with recognizing cognates and deducing facts. So basically my whole distract has problems with pronunciation except for Elder Johnson and me and maybe one or 2 others and I didn't want Sister Tantillo to have that problem so I invited them to read with us O Livro de Mormon and I was super impressed with how fast she and her companion read and how well they were pronouncing what they read! Her companion, Sister Davis, took French and Sister Tantillo took Spanish so that helps to a degree. To make long story short, she's doing great. I'm not worried about her in the slightest. PS: To make long story short is something Irmao Belchior always says. But then he ends up talking for like another 10 minutes haha :D It's great.
Moises is our super hard investigator I mentioned earlier. I think I might've mentioned him in earlier emails but I don't remember. To preface this, I'll tell you that Irmao Walker, who is pretending to be Moises, never did actually baptize Moises. So we do indeed have a challenge. We've probably invited him to be baptized about 4 different times about 4 different ways. Every time, he says he was already baptized. He's Baptist and was baptized at 18 by full immersion. His church believes pretty much everything the same as ours which makes it difficult to get him excited about the atonement or living forever with families. Next time we teach him we're not going to mention baptism, we're just going to try and build his faith in the Book of Mormon in the whole 20 minutes we have. I think if anything will work, I think this will be it. It's been a struggle with Moises and it hasn't always been easy but I've tried to listen to the spirit directing me to do different things in preparation. It's definitely been a learning experience! And I know it's helped Elder Johnson and I grow more than if he just said always said "yes"
TRC with Helder. Training Resource Center. Usually we teach 2, 20 minute lessons every Friday to members of the church who are who they are and that usually goes great. This past week though was crazy! We skyped a guy named Helder which sounds like elder because the h is silent. He's in Portugal and it was crazy! It was way cool. Bad news: he had the Portuguese accent which I'm fine with when spoken slowly. But he didn't slow down at All for us. So I grabbed maybe liikkkke 5-10 percent of what he said so I got a general gist. Way cool guy! Irmao Tiago baptized him and he's super strong in the church now and has a super strong testimony.
So you know how my favorite scripture is 2 Nephi 4:17-end? Nephi's Psalm? Go to lds.org/youth/music and click the 3rd song down titled "I Love the Lord". I invite all of you to read 2 Nephi 4:17-end and then listen to that song. I absolutely love it :D
I'm happy you and dad had the opportunity to take that vacation! You guys needed that. Did helping AnnMarie help refresh your Alg 2?
Hey! I saw the porch photos! It looks way way good!! I'm super impressed that you guys were able to do that! Mental fist bump!
I also appreciate the photos of James and family, it's always nice to see them :)
That's crazy about Shelem's story with the job at the Y. that's ridiculous. I'm happy you guys called and talked to the manager. I hope Lindsay is a) removed or b) fixed. Tell Shelem I love her! Jonathan wrote me a bit about his job, that's awesome haha I can see how excited he is.
That's good Andrew is looking for improvement. That’s important. You should be happy with what you do :)
I gotta go for lunch but I'll get on later! Love you all!
Daddio,Do you guys remember which "Zac" Johnson song it was? ;) That does make a son feel loved when his mom cares and cries.
Yeah I heard about both those games. I don't hear much in the MTC but my teachers made a point to tell us because they're BYU fans of course. That's awesome we beat Texas :D
I'm happy you guys got to unwind and enjoy some well-deserved vacation time! that's always nice :) Especially with your eternal partner.
"My car had a condensate leak from the air conditioning."-you. Yeah I think I'd sometimes feel that leak with my feet in your car...always thought it was just condensation though or something. That's good Jon got his fixed! That adds a couple hundred bucks of value to the car
I'm excited to get out in the field and start serving like the missionaries back home!
Thanks for your letter,Elder Horton
I just got the text from Sis Keller with your photo and the news that u got your visa! Yea! Does that mean u know when you'll be traveling to Brazil? … I think I missed u... Let me know if u r still on. Loved, loved your letter!You missed me because I went to the travel office :D I ran into the Kellers right as I was about to go in the office so that was cool! I DO know when I'll be traveling to Brazil. I leave the MTC at 4:30 next Monday morning the 16th. I'm on Flight DL1912 that departs as 11:00AM for Atlanta Georgia and arrives at 4:40PM. Thennnn a 5 hour layover til my next flight red-eye DL105 that leaves at 9:05PM and arrives at the SAU PAULO AIRPORT AT 8:25AM YEAHHHHHH!!!! haha I'm excited. They'll be feeding me dinner on flight.
Is it legal for parents to visit during long layover? If not a phone call will be most excellent! I'm so excited for you! Dad is with me and he is too! WAY EXCITED!Haha I knew you that would be a temptation for you. I'd probably guess the answer is no. I can ask though if you want.
No, that's ok, I didn't think of TSA and security. I couldn't get through without a ticket and you shouldn't go out and possibly mess up your situation, so it wouldn't be good, BUT I WILL live your phone call! For sure!Yeahhh that wouldn't work very well. Awesome though. Sooo I'll probably have a fair amount of time before my flight leaves for Atlanta and then I'll have about 4 hours in that layover so I'll just call sometime in that time.
Did E Johnson get his visa too?Noooo I'm the only Brazilian to get his Visa in my district
I'm going to send you some pictures sometime today that I've taken and others have taken of me. One of them will be hard to believe but it's true!
Sorry I sometimes send my emails in chunks, it's just kinda the way I gotta do it. Here's random thoughts by Elder Horton #2:
Last Tuesday devo was awesome. Lots of inspiring notes taken. Most prominent of which. Phil 4:13, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
If you couldn't finish what you say "...in the name of Jesus Christ" You probably shouldn't say it. I've been trying to abide by this more lately and it's been helping me.
So you know how when you're listening to someone sing or play an instrument and they're doing amazing and you're really enjoying and then they just mess up one note and then it's hard to get back to enjoying the song again? The spirit is the same kind of way with us. With one bad action that the spirit doesn't approve of, the Holy Ghost loses interest and it'll take a bit of time to come back. I've been trying to live worthy of always having the spirit with me and not doing anything that would push the spirit away.
"I want to be strong so give me mountains to climb, rivers cross. Something thats gonna make me better than I was" Same site. lds.org/youth/music. It's called mountains to climb and it's a way nice song too. A great message. A lot of times it's really hard to see how trials can make us stronger but I know that we can grow from our trials if we want to. God doesn't give us trials just so we hurt and feel pain. He gives us trials and adversity so we can grow in faith and strength. I've been through my own trials here at the MTC and at first I was just like "Whhyyyyy?? Ughhhhh" but now I'm honestly thinking about it and I am Thankful for my trials! For my adversity! I don't want just a free ticket. I want to work for my eternal salvation and grow more and more all the way! God knows what's best for each and every one of us and if we just trust in Him and try our best to do His will and make the best of our situations I Know that we will grow to be happier in this life than we ever thought possible. Not to mention the next life. Jesus says when chastising Peter basically saying, the only thing that matters in this life is that we make it back to our Father in Heaven in the Celestial Kingdom....I'm trying to remember the scripture reference but I can't right now. Anyways, moral of the story is, God doesn't give any commandment unto the children of men unless he prepares a way for them to do that thing which he asks and if the very jaws of hell gape open after us, it shall be for our benefit.
I love you all and I'd love to share my testimony again in Portuguese mas nao tenho tempo. meu companheiro quer ir. I'll send more pictures later
Make sure you send this email out to everyone :)