"Okay, forgive me, because this email is definitely going to scatter brained....I literally just have a list of things I wanted to remember to tell you guys...
Life here continues to be going well, with the occasional rough patch, of course :) We're still on the exact same schedule as always, so there is a lot of class time and a lot of Portuguese! The one new thing we've started is something called TRC's, which is kind of like teaching a home evening lesson to someone who's already a member and speaks fluent Portuguese. Volunteers come in and talk to each companionship for about 20 minutes. The volunteers are almost always students from BYU who served their missions in Brazil or Portugal (Portugal-Portuguese accents are SO hard to understand!!). It's a lot of fun and we love asking them for advice!
Our district is as good as ever. They are definitely like my family away from home. Elder Bush is doing much better; thank you to everyone who has been praying for him and his family. I think I forgot to tell you guys, but we adopted two Elders about two and a half weeks ago, Elders Payne and Nunes. They were already done with their six weeks at the MTC and even had their travel plans to Mozambique, but they had visa troubles at the last minute. We were a little bit nervous about having new people, but both of them fit in perfectly and we love them so much. Sister Moss and I got very close to them, and so when they left yesterday morning, it was super hard. We're going to miss them a lot. I can't imagine what it's going to be like in two weeks when the six of us have to say goodbye to each other! :(
I bore my testimony in Portuguese on Sunday and I was so nervous!! But it went really well and a few people who have been here forever told me that my Portuguese is sounding really good. We also performed our special musical number this past Sunday. Elder Payne, Elder Christensen, Sister Moss, and I performed a four-part a capella version of "Nearer My God to Thee." It went really well and the Spirit was definitely present in the room. Then, Sunday night, we had devotional with Sheri Dew! She is definitely a powerful woman. Her main point was that we are going to encounter really hard questions in life, and if we're not willing to wrestle for answers, we won't get any. It was cool to hear her speak :) Mom, I know you wish you could've been there haha After that, we watched The Joseph Smith movie, which is way powerful, and then had a circle of trust, which is where we go around and compliment our district members. It was a very emotional day haha
In other news, I tried out 4-square this week! It is sooooo competitive here; it's like the Olympics or something. But I'm proud to say that after getting immediately eliminated multiple times, I'm starting to improve and actually get people out other than myself! Woohoo!
I'm loving Portuguese, even though it's very difficult. Any time you want to say a verb, there are at least 24 different ways to conjugate it!! I'm sure there's something similar in English, but I never have to think about that! So yeah, it's hard. But it's such a beautiful language, and I'm starting to get it more and more. On Sunday, I realized that I understood almost everything anyone said at the pulpit, so that was a cool moment. I still have so many weaknesses, and it's way hard to stay confident and positive some days, but you just have to rejoice in the little successes and remember that God is super good at (everything, but also) making weak things (me) become strong (me eventually). :)
I've also been loving to doodle and write. I doodle and write out Portuguese phrases during class (so I can stay awake for 9 hours of instruction!!) and it's been something that brings me a lot of joy :)
You know what else brought me a lot of joy?? Getting a package of cookies from my family!! Seriously, you guys are the best. When I got a package slip, I was literally jumping up and down :) Mail is the best thing ever. Scratch that. The Gospel is the best thing ever. And then family. And then Portuguese. And then mail. Or sleep. That might be a tie.
Next, I received a priesthood blessing from Elder McKee and Elder Bush this week for comfort about the mission, and let me just say, thank you to every worthy priesthood holder out there right now. Seriously, thank you. The priesthood has blessed me in so many ways, from my mission call to my setting apart to my father's blessing to the sacrament to any other priesthood function. You guys rock. We need more men in the world who are worthy and confident and who can change the lives of those around them through the power of God. How exciting that the power and authority of God has again been restored to the Earth?! Seriously, we are so lucky to have such an amazing gift from God. Keep it up, men. You guys are my heroes."