has been called to serve as a missionary in the Brazil Ribeirao Preto Mission.
Speaking the language of Portuguese
August 11, 2010- August 2012
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Hello Everyone, How are you all doing? From your emails it sounds like you are doing well. Well this past week has been very good. The first week was good but dragged on. The days seemed like weeks in themselves. But this past week went by so much quicker. We are learning so fast. It is amazing that only two weeks here and I can already say so much in Portuguese. To answer dad´s question CTM stands for Centro do Treinamento dos Missionários. This is such a wonderful place. There are maybe 200 of us here right now, not nearly as many as in Provo. Provo has over 2000 missionaries I think. It is a big hassle for missionaries to get there visas. Last week only two new Americans were able to come. Our group of 8 sounds like pure luck that we had that many come. My Companion is Elder Walker. He is from South Jordan Utah (near Salt Lake I think). He is a great guy and we get along well. We both have pretty similar personalities and a good work ethic. Our district leader is Elder Bashford, and our district is just the 8 of us that came on August 11th. I absolutely love Elder Bashford. He is so hilarious and he and I have the same geeky humor, no one else gets it though. He was an English major at BYU and his vast grammar knowledge is helping me to learn portuguese because he actually knows what imperfect, preterite, and subjunctive verb tenses mean. Our district has quite a few different personalities in it but it works out well and we work hard. We are progressing so fast. We all love the CTM but are anxious to leave and get out into the field. The food here is....um...diverse. They try to cook American food sometimes but it doesn´t always work out. They make hot dogs but they are actually quite horrible. they slice them in half and stick a piece of cheese in it and they are never hot. But the Brazilian food is fantastic. They eat so much meat here, I love it. Dad and Anna, remember the rice and beans at the Rio Grill? The rice and beans here are exactly like that and we have it for two meals a day. Breakfast is the most different to what we usually have. Every day it is rolls, ham/balogna, cheese to make a sandwich. Apparently here eggs are an afternoon meal and sandwiches are for breakfast. Who´d a thunk. It´s growing on me though and I don´t complain, Some of the others do, however. The Spirit here is amazing. If you are looking for it and trying to feel it, you always will. It´s so crucial to our work and the Lord has blessed us immesnely with it. (By the way I´m adding big spaces in this email to denote where I wanted to start a new paragraph but I can´t figure out the keyboard to start a new line). I am able to pray and bear my testimony pretty well in Portuguese now and it is such a wonderful spiritual experience every time I do it. The Gospel is true in every language and it´s wonderful to be at a point where my prayers are so simple it actually seems more powerful. Last tuesday for the weekly devotional I sang in a quartet for the prelude music. It actually didn´t go to well because we had virtually no time to prepare. We sand Be Still My Sould and Joseph Smith´s first prayer. Elder Bashford is amazingly good at violin and he accompanied us. Today I got to go to the Campinas Temple again. I love going to the temple so much. i cherish the oppurtunity I had to go so often this summer and I am so glad to be continuing that experience here at the MTC. The sessions are mostly in English which is nice but the officiators all speak portuguese so it is a bilingual experience. It´s amazing. Well I said earlier that I can somewhat bear my Testimony is Portuguese and I need all the practice I can get. By the way, before i do that, I can hear some missionaries singing Abide With me ´Tis eventide int he distance right now. Just a taste of how openly available the Spirit is. I never thought i would be tearing up while writing an e-mail. Anyways, on with my Testimony: Eu Sei Que Deus, o Pai Celestial, e Jesus Cristo, Seu Filho, vivem e nos amam. Jesus é nosso Salvador e Ele expiou por nossos pecados e por meio da fé em Jesus Cristo nos traz paz e alegria. Joseph Smith foi um profeta de Deus e ele restaurou o Evangelho de Jesus Cristo. Thomas S. Monson é nosso profeta hoje. Sei que o sacerdócio é o autoridade e o poder de Jesus Cristo. Sei que A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias é verdadeiro. Sei que nos temos a plenitude do evangelho. Digo estas coisas em nome de Jesus Cristo. Amém. Well I am almost out of time. I have some regular snail mail coming your way soon. I love you all so much, thank you for the letters and the support. I love my mission here is Brasil. The Brazilians are such wonderful, happy people. I can´t wait to teach them. Elder McLelland