Saturday, August 15, 2015

Last P-day in the MTC!

Hey everyone!

It's crazy to think that this will be my last P-day in the MTC! (Although I will get half a p-day on Saturday in order to pack and get things ready for Monday/Tuesday)...

How is everyone?? I hope you are all doing well, especially since you have one of the greatest gifts known to man! (Hint: a knowledge of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, including modern-day revelation, eternal families, and repentance....can you imagine going through life without knowing about those amazing things!?)

So anyways, wanna hear about my week? As always, I have a bunch of random bullet points to share...

Last Tuesday, Elder Russell M. Nelson came and spoke to us!! It was way cool! He didn't necessarily have a specific topic, just all-things-missionary, but it was a fantastic devotional, probably my favorite so far! He talked a lot about repentance and about not beating ourselves up too much if we're not perfect missionaries all the time...I definitely needed to hear that. He said that God is never disappointed in anyone who is trying to repent. That was pretty cool to think about; that even when we're disappointed in ourselves and we mess up, as long as we're trying and repenting daily of our shortcomings, God is not disappointed in us. Jesus is so happy when we utilize the great gift of His Atonement.

In other news, my whole district got their Visas! I'm very happy for all of them, because they deserve it and they're going to kill it in Brazil :) Due to a change in the rules for my consulate, my Visa has been put on hold for a little while, and that's super disappointing. It's hard for me to be saying goodbye to my whole district; they have become my family here on the mission. However, I know that God has a plan for all of His children, and I guess He needs me somewhere other than Brazil for a little while. I have fasted and prayed about that, and I know that God has a very specific purpose for my reassignment. I should know where I am going within the next few days!! I will email you right away when I find out (that's allowed, I promise).

This week had a lot of great moments! We got to host incoming missionaries this past Wednesday, which was very exhausting but very rewarding. We meet them at the parking lot and speed along the process of saying goodbye to their family, constantly reassuring their parents that their child won't die from the food and that we've survived the MTC for 5 weeks, so we know their child will be okay. We then carry all of their luggage for them (yeah, it's crazyyy) while they go in and get their tag and information. We help them get their books and find their residence halls and then take them to their classroom, where we hug them goodbye, reassure them one last time, and then hurry over to the parking lot to help another newbie. It's a lot of fun :) We get to do it again tomorrow, so yipee! Pray for cold weather!

Sister Moss and I have been expanding our Portuguese horizons this week...On Thursday, we did an English fast where we tried to only speak in Portuguese all day. It was definitely difficult, but I think we were both surprised by how much we already know! We also taught the law of chastity for the first time this week...lots of interesting vocab in that lesson #awkward, and it went super well! One of our investigators is "married" to his wife, but not married to his wife. So we had to explain that and try to start the marriage process. We were both super nervous, but he was very accepting of the idea and we're working with the bishop to raise the funds for the wedding. (We're not actually doing this, since our investigator is actually our teacher, but we're supposed to be treating every investigator as if they are an actual person with real problems and real faith; it's pretty awesome). Marriage licenses are expensive in Brazil, so lots of people settle down with their "wife" or "husband" and have kids and everything without being legally married. They consider themselves to be married, but they don't have the necessary paperwork... That's one the hardest steps toward baptism. I'm excited to be planning lots of weddings though!!

I taught Relief Society on Sunday and my topic was repentance. I focused mostly on the hope and trust that we need to have in Jesus Christ and in ourselves during the repentance process, and that repentance should be a daily, happy thing. It's a gift that we have, not a punishment. I showed the Mormon Message "The Hope of God's Light," and used quotes from the talks "His Grace is Sufficient," by Brad Wilcox, and "Forget Me Not" by President Uchtdorf. All three of those resources are AMAZING! I highly recommend them!! Seriously, check them out. They're game-changers :)

Hmmm...what else? I'm getting my hair chopped off today!! Ahhh! So nervous! I've been talking about doing this forever, and I'm finally going to go through with it! I'll be sure to send you guys before and after photos!

In choir this week, we got to meet in this old chapel behind the MTC because the gym is being redone. We sang some awesome Gospel music, and it was a super cool experience! There were proabably at least 700 people singing in this chapel and it was amazing!