Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Elder Holland Visits Brazil MTC

Well, I will be here at the CMT for a grand total of 7 more days. I am excited, and feel vastly unprepared (but considerably more prepared then when I got here). The food here is still good. It has been a really hot and dry winter here like the mid-seventies, and it has only rained about ten days while we have been here.
One of my instructors, Irmão de Oliveria got engaged this week so he was really happy the next time we had him. (they were reading Alma 7 and he poppped the question)
Life here in the ctm is just about the same every day--minus last Thursday. We had Elder Holland come speak, and we all got to shake his hand. He talked on obedience and our purpose as a missionary. He talked about our purpose and got to the first two words of our purpose, which are 1. "invite" or,  we ask them to come, and our duty is to bring the Spirit and they have to do the rest. "Others" 2. If we are to invite others, we already have to be there. We must be our first converts here in the mission field. He also said "unless you are a Brasilian missionary you don't rise to the summit"
Well I get to be a Brasilian missionary, and I have decided to reach the top, whatever the top might be (Elder Holland was joking about the Brasilian missionary thing).
I am really excited to get out into the field, for the field is white already to harvest, and here in the ctm I feel like the amount that I am learning each day is not as much as the day before. Thankfully this week we basically learned about being a missionary, instead of studying language (we all love gosple study a LOT more then we like language).
Life here in the CTM gets really boring (as we have at least ten hours each day stuck in a tiny little room). Oh I forgot to say, we got three new elders in our district (one is still in provo) so we now have 11 going to Juiz de Fora, and aparently we are the largest group of American Elders to all get our visas at the same time ( there were 15 who arived with me) which is really cool. Everything I hear about Juiz de Fora is good, the work is progressing, the people are nice, and that you will baptize people. It is going to be really hard, but nothing worth doing was ever easy.
The language is coming and our district is doing English fasts (no English whatsoever). It's hard to say what I want to say, but I learn so much more when I don't speak any English. Well time runs short, so see you in two.
Vocês me faultam, e penso de vocês .
I miss you all, and think of you.
With love.
Elder Lindsey,

P.S. future E-mails will probably be on Mondays (and I might not email next week)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Proselyting for the first time...and sketchy meatballs??

Proselyting was amazing!! We got to place 4 copies of "O Livro de Mormon"! The first was easy, as the guy spoke like five languages and wanted to talk to us in English. Then had two guys come up to us and ask for a copy, and the third three of them were members, and the fourth wanted a Book of Mormon. He is a man who has a strong testimony of Christ, but he has never heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and we talked with him about how the Book of Mormon is ment to be junto with the Bible. After that we still had about twenty minutes, so we managed to give out about 7 pass-along cards. It was a great experience, and I learned that very few people talk anywhere near as fast as my instructor Irmão Nasimento. 

Speaking of instructors, one of ours, Irmão Leal, is now going to college, so we just got a new one yesterday (Irmão Ceasar). This last week we also got to go to the federal police station to apply for residencey, and apparently another Elder and I had a problem with ours, so we go back again on Friday. The other day we had a rainstorm that dumped water like  crazy, and the power kept going out (the CTM has  a generator so it only goes out for a few seconds). We had some really sketchey meatballs this week that tasted more like mint than meat... Thanks for all the letters. I have to say I kinda miss home, but they dont give you enough time to miss home for more then a few seconds before you are off to some other activity. We didnt get devotional last night which made me really sad, because devotional is what carries me until p-day, but they changed it to tomorrow, so I'm pretty sure it is for an important speaker (rumor has it that it is Elder Holland). We are beginning to be tired of studing in the same room for 10+ hours a day so sometimes we try to study outside. We have a massive group of 16 american elders arriving in our zone today, and I think there is another district or two in other zones. The bus ride to and from the temple was a lot shorter then last time, so my legs didn't feel like falling off. 

They now occasionally serve panckes for breakfast (the best thing I have eaten here, with the exception of tortugitas (little chocolate turtles). I miss having american food, and random thing, just about every Brasilano that we talk to loves lasagna, it appears to be just about everyones favorite food. I am excited to get out of here, it gets kind of boring doing the same stuff each day. 

Other news, I am the new district leader (which basically means I pick who prays). I am kind of scared to get a haircut at the barber here. Most of the district got one this week, and they either had their head all but shaved, or had random bits of hair that weren't cut (Elder Grigg had racing stripes in his hair, and an alfalfa spike, which we trimmed) Just about all the friends we made in our first week here at the CTM have gone home (as in our district and the other american district that arrived the same day as us are still here) I am excited to get out in the field and only have 13 days left in the CTM. I am just about the only guy in my district who isn't gaining weight. I love going to the temple as missionaries, and we take up just about the whole session, and today i did the whole thing in portuguese, and understood a lot more then I thought. Well we only have like 45 min here to email home so I am running out of time, so I love you all, thank you for all the letters and prayers, signing off Elder Lindsey. I love you all. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Half Way Through the MTC!!!

HEY everybody!!!! Its been another great week here at the CTM. I am enjoying learning poruguêse, and am doing well. I have to say my Spanish has definitely helped me. Our investigators are progressing, one doesn't always read the Book of Mormon, but he knows a lot, and loves to ask questions, and the other one is almost impossible to understand. We get to go proselyting this week!!! It's a little scary, but I think I can do it. There is a sister here from Juis de Fora, that my district loves to sit with, because she speaks slowly, and clearly, so we have no trouble understanding what she says, whereas, anyone from São Paulo might as well be speaking French. I love being here, even if the schedule quickly becomes repetitive. Glad to hear so many of you are doing so well on your own missions. Missionaries love to get emails. so if you are reading this, feel free to send a quick email. I am excited to get out of the CTM, I'm half way through, and even though I learn a lot, every day (minus Wednesdays, and Sundays) are the exact same as every other day. I enjoy the work of learning, and am progressing quickly, and the language is coming, but I am excited to do some real missionary work. We went to the temple today, and got some pass along cards to give out today and during proslitismo.  Then we spent about two and a half hours on the way back due to bad traffic. I love the devotionals here, even if they are hard to understand, I learn a lot. eu gosto de falar portuguêse, and am starting to think in it. I don't think I told you, but a while ago we had a GIANT moth fly into our dorm hall. It was seriously bigger then my hand. I am getting pretty good at playing volleyball, and enjoy physical activity. We spend at least 10 hours a day in our classroom, and have come to both love and hate that room. Oh have I mentioned feel free to write... you know who you are. I officially love guava, it is one of the best fruits they serve here, and the papaya can be a little sketchy. It is raining here again, and the rain is weird, its not even really droplets, but more of a heavy mist. It is kind of scary knowing that I will be out on the streets proselyting, Feel free to pray for me, I will need it. Our Brasilian roommates left for the field this week, and we are excited for them, (and hoping its just the four of us in the room for a while) The six flights of stairs are starting to become easier, seeing how we climb them a lot. One of the elders in our district twisted his foot playing basketball the other day, and has to hobble up to the seventh floor every day. I have decided that P-Days are the best, we get to go to the temple (and sleep on the bus) send emails home.... (hey if you dont send emails...) and get to go out in the city (a very limited area) and we are only in our classroom for 3.5 hours!! I hope to be able to hear from you all next P-Day. (again feel free to write) I love getting news from home, it can be spiritual expierences, day to day stuff, or just what ever. even though the food is good, and I eat all I can every day I haven't been gaining weight like some of the elders here. Today at the temple I was proxy for David Lindsay, so close!Well time is running short and it is time for me to get off. I hope you are all having a good time, learning alot, and constantly improving yourselves. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!                                    - Elder Lindsey                                                                                                                                                                        P.S. write me, I love getting letters from home


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Stuffin' Our Brains With Portuguese: Week 2 in the MTC

Well, I made it through the 2nd week at the CMT. (by the way this is a weird keyboard so excuse any typos, and i don’t think that the enter key works) I am starting to love speaking Portuguese. I am doing well, even if I occasionally slip into the primitive language of Spanish. I can hold conversations with the natives, and i am usually able to understand what they are saying. I’ve decided that the things I miss most are my family, and English.
I love going to the temple, we take up about 90 percent of the session, so they do it in English (I think the Spanish missionaries do the same thing). We spend about 10 hours a day in a classroom, stuffing our brains full of Portuguese, and top it off with some missionary stuff. The food is still good, even if most of the American elders are having problems with it. I love the devotionals, even if i don’t always understand everything that is being said. I love the people of Brazil, you can go up and talk to anyone, and they don’t look at you like you are weird. The city is huge and it takes about an hour just to get to the Sao Paulo temple on the other side of the city, and looking out of our window, it is impossible to tell where downtown is simply because the entire city has tons of skyscrapers.
 I am starting to get tired of doing just about the same thing every day, but p-days are a great boost, as are Sundays. I miss being at home with my family and friends, but here i am constantly surrounded by 7 of my best friends, all of whom are in the exact same boat (or district) as I am. I am excited to get out and start teaching on the streets (we get to at 4 weeks) one of our pesquiadores committed to baptism last week. I love Tuesday mornings, because we get to do service (not sit in the classroom and try to teach ourselves Portuguese) and we clean the building. The CTM has a beautiful courtyard and some picnic tables outside that we love to have our lessons at (if only because that makes it so we are in the classroom for 9 hours instead of 10) Our district is becoming very close, and during meals we rarely sit with less than another companionship.
The Brazilians that arrived at the same time as us just left, so we lost a few of our friends, the room I am in now has two Brazilians staying in it along with the four of us. We are starting to get used to the CMT and the language. Our instructors now don’t respond to us if we ask questions in English, except to help us say it in Portuguese. The spirit is very strong here in the CMT and you learn a lot in your studies. I have been learning a lot about myself, about others, as well as about the gospel and how to teach it. It’s kind of strange how the instructors don’t ever give us feedback on the lessons we teach, but i feel like i am still learning a lot.
There is a guy who has a shop just outside of the CTM that sells really nice leather scripture cases to missionaries, and i am getting one with a picture of Christ coming out of the tomb on it. I learn a lot, and we are often told to keep our head up even though it is hard, and it is hard, but i try to keep my head up. Thanks for your letters, and Heather I laughed when I read that blaze slept on your stomach. Please keep sending them, I look forward to them, and enjoy them greatly. (And if you didn’t send me one, try to this week.) I heard that spencer made it to Mexico this week, so congrats to Elder Hunt. Well my time is short and I love you all.                                                                                                 

                    -Elder Lindsey