Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Letter #2

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 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

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Letter #1

Hello Everyone!
    How is everyone doing back home? it was good thear from you guys and have some mail when i got here. Thanks so much for those letters. And sorry I don´t have time this week to write and regular mail, just this email. We got to go to the Campinas Temple today and because it is a little bit further away it took up a lot of our P-day time. To explain some of the rules, I can only send emails on my one P-day but i can receive as many you guys want to send. However, my email address should only be given to immediate family because I won´t have time on p-days to read/respond to letters from anyone beyond immediate family.
    So on with the stuff you guys really want to hear. This past week at the CTM (what they call the MTC here) has been fantastic. The CTM is so beautiful. We are in the middle of a´pretty rundown part of town, but the CTM pops up out of nowhere. It´s like an oasis here. There is such a contrast in appearance and feeling here from the rest of the city. When i send some pictures you will be able to see the view from my bedroom. I´s just a big conrete jungle outside, lots of skyscrapers. My district, the 8 of us that arrived the same day are so immensely blessed to be here. I had heard about the difficulties about getting visas, but I didn´t realize how bad it actually was. There were 30 missionaries scheduled to arrive at the CTM on August 11th but only the 8 of us were able to make it. And I heard that the new group coming tomorrow only has 2. Annd there are over 100 missionaries waiting at the Provo MTC to come here. We are so blessed to be able to learn here at the CTM instead of in Provo.
     The Brazilians are such wonderful people. I haven´t met a single one that is unhappy or doesn´t have a great joke to tell. The Brazilian Missionaries love to help teach us Português. And the instructors are amazing, we are learning Português so qucikly. It is amazing how after not even a week I can say so much. We have learned to say basic prayers and bear our simple testimonies in portuguese. My background in Spanish has also helped me immensely. Many of the verbs are exactly the same or just slightly different. Those of us that took Spanish are leaps ahead of others because of it. I had a great experience in one our district study sessions. We sang ´´O Criaturas do Senhor´´ or in English ``All Creatures of our God and King´´. We really had no idea what we were saying but the Spirit was so strong. The gospel is true no matter where you are, or what language you speak. The Gospel is true. O Evangelho è verdadeiro. I know without any doubt that this is Christ´s church and that we are called to serve Him.
     Every p-day we will get to go to the temple. These next few weeks however the São Paulo temple is close so we get to go the Campinas Temple. We were there this mornign and it was such a maginificent experience. The temple is so beautiful and it was wonderful to see so many missionaries together. Campinas rivals the beauty of the Sacramento temple.  I am so glad for temples and the sacred covenants we make there.
    The CTM presidenct is fantastic. President and Sister Clark are two of the happiest and nicest people ever. We have come to the conclusion that Sister Clark is incapable of any facial expression other than a smile. We were surprised when we got here that it is surprisingly chilly. We all wished we had brought the recommended V-neck sweater. This got broiught up in a meeting we had as a district with President and Sister Clark and they immediately went to action. They tracked down a place to buy some and got one for each of us at a discounted price. They love us so much, and we love them.
   I am about to run out of time I look forward to hearing more from you guys soon.  I think it takes a little over  a week for regular mail to get here based on the postage dates on some of my letters i have gotten. I Love you all so much. I love to be here serving the Lord. Alma 31:38 has given me great comfort. I love you all and know that I am safe and well.
Elder McLelland

*** No editing has occured. Wanted to be just the way we received it! ;-) ***

Thursday, August 12, 2010

He's Arrived!

He's in Brazil!

See You in 2 Years!

Mom, Elder McLelland, Dad
Big Sis Anna

Grandma Dawna

Grandma Beth and Grandpa Jack
Aunt Mere

See ya!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Map to his Mission

This is where Elder McLelland is!

He left Fresno, CA yesterday Aug. 10, afternoon and reported to the Brazil MTC this morning, Aug.11. Can't wait to get his first letter! We'll keep you posted!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Scotty's Goal: Temples

Ever since Elder McLelland received his mission call he's had a personal goal to attend the temple on a weekly basis. He has achieved this goal! He's not only attended the Fresno, CA but the Oakland, CA and Sacramento, CA temples as well. 
What a great example!

Oakland, CA

Sacramento, CA

Scotty's Farewell

Leah, Dad, Mom, Anna, Scotty, Grandma Dawna, Eric Feller, Natalie Feller, Matt McLelland, Megan Slade, Karyn McLelland, Tom McLelland, Tyler McLelland, Mckay McLelland