Things are going great here at the MTC. Elder Ballard came and gave a devotional last Tuesday, and we're going to have another one tonight. Hopefully it will be another General Authority. Elder Young and I have been doing really well together. We just went to get him a haircut, and let's just say, i hope I can avoid getting one while I am here. He looks a little bit like a jarhead, and I don't want to end up in Brazil looking like that. But things are great.
My Portuguese is going well. Eu posso falar muito bem, e um dos meus professores foi pleased. Irmao Pinho is really cool. Did I tell you about how I was teaching a practice investigator last week? That was Amadeo, and when we finished teaching him we found out that he was going to be our second teacher. Irma Ricks is really cool as well, but completely different from Irmao Pinho. We had our first practice lesson with her, and it was probably one of the scariest things I've ever done. She was Evangelical, and was telling us about how she only believes in the Bible and that she doesn't think anything can be added to it. I tried to reference the scripture in Ezekiel 16-17, but my scriptures were in Portuguese, and I forgot the verse number. I ended up just guessing that it was 11-12, which is about bones coming together and forming a body again. And since I didn't understand her when she read it, I just went on with my explanation. She looked so confused. Elder Young and I came out scared out of our minds, but I think that it was really helpful, and when I get to my mission, I hope that I'll be able to speak with power to every Evangelical that I meet. My friend, Elder Gannaway, shared this quote with me: "If you want to baptize a few people, talk to a few people. If you want to baptize a lot, talk to a lot. If you want to baptize everybody, talk to everybody.
I've been taking a lot of notes in my study journal, and making a good effort to write in my daily journal. I had to go get a new study journal because the one that i bought is already full. Getting my share of the Spirit.
Once again, I have to tell you that basquete (basketball) is one of the best times of day. I play every day, and so far I haven't gotten hurt. One kid tore his ACL playing yesterday, and an elder in my district dislocated his shoulder when he fell playing four square. The elder that tore his ACL is Elder Wells, the ox of a missionary that I told you about before. He is awesome, and I hope he gets better, He's going to Cabo Verde, off the coast of Africa, and he told me this saying that his friend wrote to him: Roses are red, violets are blue, there are lots of whites in Africa, and now one white dude. Seriously though, he is going to stand out like a sore thumb: 6' 3" and 260 plbs of white man.
They have this thing at the MTC in the residence halls where departing missionaries will leave behind treasures in their rooms. They leave them in places called Narnia holes, such as air vents or behind outlets; it's pretty gnarly. So Elder Young and i started a new one. We found this notebook in a drawer in our room that was empty with a sparkly gold cover, so we titled it the Lost 116 pages of Nephi, and we each wrote a short little note in it. We're going to leave it behind and hope that it continues on and many more people write in it. But only on P Day, of course.
At this point, Elder Young and I have the room to ourselves, but that will probably change tomorrow. They put more mattresses in our room on the bunkbeds, so we could get up to four new elders into our room. Which would be both good and bad. It's kind of nice that Elder Young can talk late into the night, which we might not feel so comfortable doing with new elders. But who knows, maybe they will be awesome.
Oh, I found out some stuff about Brazil. Brother Pinho is Brazilian, so he told us about it. Apparently Riberao Preto is the best mission when it comes to buying things inexpensively and just being able to find products in general. He says that no where else than the state of Sao Paulo do they have things like cottage or cream cheese, but they have it there. I was pleased. In Brazil, you don't knock on doors. Instead you stand outside someone's gate until clap until they acknowledge you and welcome you in. If you want to get a drink of water or get out of the rain, you can go to just about anyone's house and ask to come in, and then they'll invite you in and offer you food and a seat. We were telling some yo mama jokes during class, and Brother Pinho told us to never tell them in Brazil. People will instantly dislike you. According to him, the priority of respect is first mothers and then God. It sounds like such a fun place.
It's looking like our visas won't come by the time the 6 weeks is up, so we will probably be reassigned for a while. Which is fine. It'll be nice to practice teaching in English first. Practice bringing the Spirit to those Evangelicals, so when I get back to USC I can go convert those fools that railled on me for being a Mormon.
Hey, I guessed on Addie and Ellie's emails, so if they're not correct, please send them to me.
I am learning a ton, and a ton of my questions have been answered throught the Spirit. I love being on a misssion.
Hope to here from you guys some more!