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, September 8, 2010
Boa Tarde! Hopefully you all haven't been worrying that I didn't send any e-mail on the scheduled tuesday P-day yesterday. Yesterday was Independence Day so the Temple and all the shops in town were closed, so our P-day was changed to today. Happy Birthday Mom(tomorrow)! I hope it's a great day for you. Happy Anniversary Leah and Brian! It was the 3rd of September right? I hope you guys had a great anniversary. When do you guys go on your trip? How's everyone doing? Mom, glad to hear seminary has been going well. I really like the activities you have described, I bet the kids liked them more than you think. Dad, How is work going? Get anymore sweet gift cards? Thanks for the letters, I have been receiving them just fine. I have been kind of confused too on all that is necessary to include in the address. Just stick to what you have been doing and it will be fine. I mixed up numbers a couple of times I think on the District number, I am in district 4, box 6. I'm sending some mail today, and I'm going to try sending my memory card for the camera so you can see a little bit what it is like here. I don't have a lot on it yet though. I hope it gets there safe, other missionaries said it might be risky to try, but we'll give give it a whirl. Well, we have started speaking a lot more Portugues this week. our instructors speak solely in Portuguese now, and I actually understand pretty well. We are also teaching basic discussions in Portuguese now too. It's so tough but so awesome at the same time. We speak super slowly, but we eventually get the message delivered well, and with the spirit. Elder Bashford and I went on an ``English Fast" for a whole day to speak only Portuguese. It went surprisingly well, I made it for only ``two meals" though. I forgot while we were playing volleyball and spoke some English. But it was really cool to see that I actually could make it a whole day speaking just portuguese. Elder Bashford did amazingly well and only spoke 3 English words the whole day. We were also much quieter that day than usual haha. Last night I had one of the coolest experiences here. I was talking with one our new Brazilian roommates. By the way, the originial Brazilians that came the same week as us left already and now we have a new set of Brazilians in our room. I was talking with Elder Barreto from Rio de Janeiro and I asked how his day was. He said it was actually not very good at all, so I asked him why. He said he and his companion Elder Jacques Da Silva had been having some troubles and that thier personalities didn't match very well. I was able, to my surprise, help him out and I understood virtually everything he said to me. He mentioned a quote from a scripture and I recognized it and helped him find DC 121:7. We talked about it a little bit and then just had a very casual conversation after that for 30 minutes or so before bedtime. It was so amazing to see that I could have a real conversation with some one and be able to actually help him out and ecourage him.....all in Portuguese! It was such a cool experience, this was probably the coolest thing I have experienced yet, and it seems like such a simple thing too. We went to Sao Paulo temple today again and it was super amazing. I was the very last one in the session so I had a lot of time to just sit and wait in the ordinance room. While doing so, I started reciting the scriptures I have been memorizing and I recited in my mind the First Vision in Portuguese. During this I had one of the strongest witnesses from the Holy Ghost that Joseph Smith really did see God and Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith really did restore the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and I am here to share that message with everyone I can. I know without a doubt that this gospel is true. I can never deny it. I'm getting ever more excited to leave the CTM so I can truly start teaching this glorious message. By the way, we have five more weeks here, a total of 9. We leave on October 12. Well, I hope all is still well at home. Or as we would say it in Portuguese ``Tudo Bem". I can't wait to hear more from you guys and how everyone is doing. I love you all so much. Thanks for all the letters! I.U. Elder McLelland