Craziness has been ensuing for the last few days. I am officially part of the history of this work moving forward. On Sunday, we had a visit in our sacrament meeting from one of the Mission Presidency, who informed us that our branch had grown to big, and that they had to split it. That has never happened before. More additional branches have been added to prepare for new incoming missionaries, but the MTC has never had to split a branch before. Crazy stuff. And when they split our branch in half, we lost our Zone Leaders over to the other branch, so Elder Young and I have been given the opportunity to serve as Zone Leaders for our last week here. Super exciting, but super busy. It is going to be a great experience and I love being able to welcome all of the new missionaries in.
So many new missionaries are coming, especially sisters, which is so great. I think right now the MTC is about 40% sisters, but eventually it is supposed to even out at 50 50. The work is moving forward so quick.
So far there hasn't been any news about my visa, so we will get our reassignments hopefully tomorrow. I will let you know where I will be going as soon as I get them, but I am definitely crossing my fingers for some California sunshine. But it would be pretty delightful to go to New York as well, because I know that they have some Portuguese-speaking missions there. But wherever, I am just so excited to go teach people. Teacher our teachers as investigators here is fun, but I am ready to share some gospel with the world.
The language is coming really well. Eu posso falar Portugues muito bem, mas quando eu chegar em Brasil, sera muito mais dificil. Forgive the grammar, because I can't do accents on this keyboard. I am soopsocks excited to be teaching in that language. Elder Young is doing really well with the language as well, so I hope that at some point I might be able to be his companion in the mission field, after we are both a little more seasoned. But I am beginning to think, because of the progression of the work, that that may never happen. Three months into my mission, I might be training brand new missionaries simply because the new missionaries will outnumber the older.
I am almost finished with the Book of Mormon again. Our branch presidency made the challenge for us to finish while in the MTC, and I am currently in mid 3rd Nephi, so I am on track to finish it up before I leave. It has been an amazing experience, and I am developing a stronger love for the Book of Mormon.
I am running out of things to say... Every day here seems a lot like the other. Not in a boring way, though. You feel the Spirit strongly every day, so it is a rare occasion when one spiritual experience asserts itself more powerfully than another. I have had a few like that though. One in particular was in the first couple of weeks since I have been here. I had been praying about some specific questions for the first couple of weeks and looking for answers. It was during one of the devotionals that are given, and every single speaker touched on my concerns, and I was able to feel at great peace. The Spirit was tangible, and I know that I was literally being touched by a power of righteousness that testifies of truth and gives answers. Perhaps I will tell you some more later, or maybe you can just read them in my journals when I am dead. One of those.
I am very much excited for all of the flowers to finally come out. There are some tulips and daffodils that are just about to bloom all over campus, so once they do, I might just have to go sit outside amongst the flowers every once in a while. Mom, I have to say that I am definitely going to miss your beautiful arrangements of flowers in the front yard, and am really sad that I won't be able to smell the fragrant blossoms on that tree next to the driveway. Our house always looked the very best in the spring. When I come home, that will be a welcome sight: coming home to the house as it is just getting ready to bloom in full splendor. That will be phenomenal.
I love all of you, and love to hear from you. I know that being out here is the best thing that I could be doing right now, and love the spiritual atmosphere. Let's hope that I will carry that with me when I leave to go out into the field. I want to be able to bring at least a little piece of that into every home that I visit. Even as Samuel the Lamanite said (paraphrasing) "I experienced such glad tidings by these things, so I have come to share these glad tidings with you." (Helaman Something : something)
Elder Jon Hendrik Vawdrey