Thanks again for the wonderful emails, packages, and pictures. It is so good to hear from you. Thanks also to the Vincents last week for sending those cookies! They were really good and I shared them with the whole district. I also got the brownies today! It made me so happy. The MTC bookstore also gets shipments in on Tuesday, so it was a good day. We have an early dinner so Elder Engle and I always clear their ramen noodle shelf. :) (Elder Engle used to compete in state eating contests, so we always try to see who can eat the most during mealtimes.
It's great to hear how everyone is doing. & that's so awesome, Blake, about you in debate!! I would reference the Standing Alone President Monson mormon message but I know you have already seen it lots of times. & I'll be looking for your message in a bottle when I get to Brazil. :D
& way to go Ben!! I hope you're enjoying the new schedule with games every week. It makes Friday feel like a holiday when the team (and especially you) do well on Thursday night.
Good luck Brooks and Braxton in football! & I hope your elbow and shoulder get better Braxton.
I have so much to say, but little time to say it all, so apologies if my email is a little bit random.
No news yet on the Visa, but I would be completely fine with staying here in Provo until the six week mark. It is SO AWESOME here. There really is no place like the MTC. If I get time, I'll attach a couple more pictures. & I would love to hear that story Dad from President Durrant!
One miracle that I meant to mention last week is that ever since the Tuesday I entered the MTC, my ear has been totally fine. I can hear perfectly! It makes a huge difference and I am so grateful for the blessing Dad gave me before leaving for Provo.
The sleep schedule change (10:30 to 5:30 Utah time) has also worked out a lot better than expected. I've made sure to be in bed by 10:30, even if our light doesn't go off, and haven't been tired at all during the day. It's weird though, because it hits me right at 10:30 which works out well. Even though there are a lot of rules here that some would view as strict and constricting, I'm grateful to have learned already that rules are really to help you have the best experience possible, and I have seen that blessing in different ways every day.
This morning we went to the temple! It was amazing. Elder Kamilos is here and it was so cool to just be able to talk with him & all the other friends from home in the Celestial Room. I am constantly amazed by the little miracles that happen every day. Even though we do similar things every day, as far as our schedule and classes, every day is super different because of the things I learn.
Portuguese is still coming along well. We now have two people we are teaching and have taught several lessons in Portuguese. My companion, Elder Richards, and I both made our own Portuguese language books. On the front of mine, there is the scripture:
"Go forth and do as I have commanded Thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good. Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you."
Every time Elder Richards and I teach a lesson or say a prayer in Portuguese, I have felt "filled" and able to speak the words (in Portuguese) that I need to say to bless the person I'm teaching the most.
I am going to finish up my laundry and then finish up the rest of my email. :)
Tonight we'll be singing in the BYU devotional, which I think will be broadcast on BYUTV, or at least recorded onto the BYU speeches website, so keep an eye out, just in case! I can't say enough about how awesome choir is. I am thinking about doing a solo or duet singing or playing piano for a Sunday or Tuesday night devotional (they have one every Tuesday and Sunday) so I may try out this week or next. Could you send the Jon Schmidt hymns book or at least a copy of the songs, "Our Savior's Love" and "Hymn of Nature"? I looked through the MTC music library but wasn't able to find it. It would be fun to play a musical number for when Elder Fawcett enters the Provo MTC in a couple weeks.
On Sunday we heard a talk from the director of "17 Miracles" and "Ephraim's Rescue" and it was really neat. Tonight I think we will get to hear from an apostle, since we are going to the Marriot Center, so I am super excited for that. I sat next to Elder Hinckley, as well, on Sunday during choir! He is the Elder that went to high school with Elder Vincent, Haight, and Kleinhenz. It was fun to talk with him. Elder Kamilos also is singing in the choir. He's sitting next to me as I type. :) It is also neat to get to visit each of the districts in our zone (includes all those going to nearby areas in Brazil) each week as online coordinators because I get to see a lot of people I know from EFYs and home that are going to Brazil.