Como vai????? It's great to hear from the family again. That is really sad about the frankenstorm. We got a little bit of news about it but not much. We had a district fast for the sake of the country with the presidential election, and in my prayer I accidentally said President Romney...maybe a sign? or wishful thinking? I dont' know, but I'm excited to hear! Pardon my grammer. My English is going down the tubes right now. With all the Portuguese going into my head, I have a hard time speaking nowdays. I wish the amount that I'm able to say in Portuguese would go up as fast as my English is declining, but I'm sure it will catch up :D We just got back from the temple. We go every week, and it is just beautiful! I've never seen so much gold in the celestial room anywhere! The session is in english, but the end is in Portuguese. It's a bit daunting at first. We get to leave the CTM on 18 Dec 2012. We were going to have 9 weeks, but they didn't want us leaving on Christmas, so they are booting us out a week early! Hallelujah. I love it here, but I'm way to excited to get to Rio.
Well, a lot of stuff has happened this week. My companions and I taught our first TRC. They have some of the week 6 missionaries be investigators, and they set up a room like a home and they video tape us and give us feedback. Apparently, our Portuguese is good for a couple of second week missionaries. I've started to realize that when I crack open my scriptures, my heart actually starts to pound a little bit--like it knows it's going to be fed. I just get so excited any more to just read the scriptures for myself.
Speaking of which, we read the first part of 1 Nephi as a class yesterday in Portuguese. I understood the majority of it! We spent a sold half hour talking about the first verse--how we, like Nephi, are highly favored of the Lord. We have the privilege of wearing His name on our chest, speak in His name, and bring others closer to Him. I think that's pretty special. Each day I'm more and more grateful I can be a missionary.
One of the elders in the district told us that started to question whether he was adequate enough to serve. I have to confess, before I left I initially had the same questioning. I never doubted the church was true, but maybe there were others that could do a better job. Then, I went over D&C 4. "If ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work." Well, I have that desire, that hunger. I figure as long as you have a testimony, a desire to serve, and a willingness to work hard, that's what being a missionary is all about. Now that I'm out here, I know with a surety that there is no place the meu Pai Celestial would rather have me that serving the people out here in Brazil.
!!! Oh my goodness. It's a battle. You have those days you are on top of the world and others where you wish you were called state side. I'm glad to say the former happen more often. I can speak better Portuguese after two weeks than I could speak Spanish after two years in high school. The gift of tongues is real. I know that, but it is not without an insane amount of work. I guess that language getting ground deep inside of me because my companion told me that I started talking and praying in Portuguese in my sleep :P I love the language. It is beautiful, but I'm already dreading coming back to AZ because Spanish sounds very clunky to me now :/
Sorry I can't upload pics. I just found out it's against the rules, but I hope everything is well with the families and my buddies back home.
Eu te amo, a igreja e verdadeira, e Cristo e meu Salvador e Redentor!