Friday, August 29, 2014

First WEEK

Well this week at the MTC or CTM as it is called down here is fabulous.  The first day was absolutely terrible; after a day of 14hrs of flying and 6hrs of airplane sleep we were thrown into our first day.  There is a nice couple that greeted us...Elder Hale. The first day we had orientation, and most of it was in English which was a blessing, the Portuguese is something else.  We met our teacher Irmao Barros, he has an inspiring story.
Barros and Mellos (Instructors)

When he was a kid he grew up in the Favala, so to survive he joined a gang.  His brother was the head of the gang and they did all sorts of crazy stuff.  He told us of how they built Uzis out of a box of spare parts, and how much fun they were to shoot.  (He never told us how crazy things got, just that they were) One day he told his brother that he was out.  His brother didn't take that too lightly and so Barros thought that he was going to die that night.  And when he got home his bishop had come over.  The bishop said he prayed and that he needed to get Irmao Barros on a mission.  At first he was shocked because obviously he wasn't too worthy, but the Bishop insisted and told him it would be for the best, because God wanted him out there.  So Barros worked on his papers and got sent to the North of Brazil where he said it is 114 Degrees, so 80 and humid isn't that bad.  But his mission call literally and figuratively saved his life.  He told us if we would serve with our hearts, our lives would also be changed.

Another welcome surprise that made the first few days not total misery was that we had a little visit from Elder Holland.  Yes Elder Holland came and spoke to the Brazilian MTC on day two. Not a bad day if I say so myself.  His talk was inspiring and a little frightening.  He spoke about how Brazilian Missionaries are the best. He literally said that, so sorry guys, I have an Apolistic Stamp of approval on my mission ;) obviously he was joking, but it made us all smile.  He talked about our purpose as missionaries and how we were apart of the best work in the universe.  He also said that it would get hard, yes he knew, but we are messengers of Jesus Christ, and was it easy for him? NO, so why would we assume missionary work is easy.  WOW, that hit me hard.  I just sat and was completely humbled at that statement.  Also, that the work will go forth whether you are apart of it or not, so jump on the train and enjoy the ride, it will be good.  oh, PS I did get to shake his hand.  :)

The next few days were pretty brutal as far as "What the heck am I doing factor?" The language was hard, and the classes were long, a 16 hour day is far from easy.  The language at first was super discouraging, I honestly wanted to quit, but obviously I knew that is not what the Lord wants of me, so sorry guys, Ill see you August 2016 :)

Sunday was my favorite day by far, the Branch I am in had 4 missionaries leaving and one shared a story that made me tear up. 

It was of a son in a race, and his dad was in the crowd.  As the son started he took the early lead, and was well ahead of the pack, then he fell.  Shocked more than hurt the son laid there, his dad yelling "Come on son, get up, get running" the son hopped on his feet and ran faster and harder this time.  He had just caught up to the pack when he fell again.  Again shocked he laid there, until his dad again said, "Come on son, get up, get running" the son got up again and ran harder than ever determined to catch up again.  And he did. He caught the pack and the finish line was approaching, he ran as hard as he ever could he could see the end. Then he fell on his face yet again. With tears in his eyes he laid there, thinking what could have been, then as he looked up he saw his father at the end saying "Come to Me".  I loved this story because I wont lie, I felt as though I had spiritually fallen on my face, i was super shocked.  But this story told me that both my fathers, Father in Heaven and incredible father in Plain City are always there for me. It made me stop and yes even tear up a little.  Thanks Dad. Love you

Also on Sunday me and my companion, E Hurd studied for the entire free time period on Portuguese.  So, E Hurd is a nice fellow from Boise, and he had been just a little sheltered.   We were destined to be companions for some reason, and I think that reason is to help me learn the language. He took 4 years of spanish and Portuguese is very similar to spanish so he is way ahead of the class.  So I am trying my best and the language is starting to come.  He also has a freaky good memory.  

Oh the food here, incredible, I put on 5 lbs in like the first day haha:) the food is just way too good, always beans and rice, and for some reason, sandwiches for breakfast everyday. they also have chocolate covered frosted flakes that are to die for.  The building is just in the middle of the city, I wish I could send you pictures, but the computers don't let me.  I will show you in 5 weeks.  

Overall, I am super excited to be a missionary, the good times we have and the laughs are so much fun.  There is really only three things I will miss about the MTC: the food, seeing the 12 guys in my district every day(although 6 of us are going to Sao Paulo West), and throwing toilet paper in the toilet. Yes Brazilians throw their used paper in a garbage can. That will take some getting used to. 

As far as the gospel goes we had to teach in Portuguese on day 2. and every day since I am getting better and better. I am finally starting to be able to just talk to people without notes. It is going to be good in like 3 months when I can actually speak it. 

I love you all so much and thanks for all the support and letters.

PS i mean not that I am asking, but handwritten letters are so so so nice to get ;)
And also, letters are on their way out

Nos Amo Mutio

Elder Iverson

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