It was Thanksgiving this past week!! I almost forgot about it ;) Well, a LOT happened this week. Thanksgiving was awesome! They gave us an American Thanksgiving dinner for lunch (the biggest meal of the day here) and it was delicious. We also got some ice cream! It was so good! (Remember the desserts here are suuuuuper gross--one day we had a “dessert” that looked like pickle relish and tasted like gloop). We were all kinda surprised at how good it was.
And we got to hear from David A. Bednar!! That was awesome! It was a live broadcast from Provo, which isn't as cool as actually being there. It’s totally fine that he was in Provo just the week after we left... I'm not bitter about it. J But really it was a fantastic devotional. He did a question and answer session and it was really cool to hear from an Apostle of the Lord on any subject you could think of.
A couple things he said that I loved was to "relish this time away from home." He said that we are helping our families more by being away than we ever could by being there. And he said that a mission was "boot camp" for life. This is just the preparation for how I want to live the rest of my life. I want to rely on the Lord, read my scriptures, and just be a good person the rest of my life. I just loved that.
I also totally sang "Alice's Restaurant" to myself all day on thanksgiving. If you don’t know, my family listens to that song every year on Thanksgiving and it’s awesome. Look it up next Thanksgiving.
The next day we went out in the “real world” to hand out Books of Mormon (or is it Book of Mormons? lol;) and it was a crazy experience. The driving alone is super sketchy. We took a bus to a big plaza and stayed there for an hour. Seriously, the streets are crazy here. Motorcycles are just zipping by and people actually walk thru the streets and the freeways selling things because the traffic is so bad. It is really interesting. We talked to some really nice people but it was really hard to understand them. It was a cool experience though and I can't wait until I can actually speak Portuguese.
That night we had a mini Christmas party which was fun. All the missionaries met up in the courtyard at 9pm and we had a Christmas lighting ceremony. We sang some Christmas songs and counted down from ten (try doing that in Portuguese on the spot). We took a lot of pictures with people and I wish you could see them. Two weeks and I’ll send a bunch of pictures.
We still talk to the Elders from our old district from the Provo MTC and they're doing great. And we have gotten to know our new district way better so we like them a lot more now. They are super hilarious but kinda crazy. Boys. Oh, we were all sharing our pictures of our families and all the Elders were jealous of Dad's mustache! I have one picture of when I was 8 and they said "whoa, that’s a sick mustache, does he still have that?" One Elder said "Sweet facial hair." I love it :) So, Parabéns,dad! (Congratulations).
Oh, besides barely missing Elder Bednar at Provo we missed Dallin H. Oaks too. He came to Provo the week after we left as well, and we just watched a recording of it here in Brazil. I guess I’m in the Brazil CTM, so that is its own reward.
Things are going really well here I'm learning Portuguese. I can kind of understand Brazilians and I get to study the gospel all day long. I love the Book of Mormon so much! This week the hymn, How Firm a foundation, was stuck in my head. I love that song. Another song that was stuck in my head was Glorious sung by David Archeleta from Meet the Mormons. Great song. Watch the movie! Anyway, I love the verse "in every condition--in sickness in health, in poverty's vale or abounding in wealth, at home or abroad, on the land or the sea, as thy days may demand so they succor shall be" (I love at home or ABROAD). Then verse 3, "Fear not, I am with thee, oh be not dismayed. For I am thy God and will still give thee aid. I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand." That verse is based on Isaiah 41:10 and I love it.
I testify that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will help you carry your burdens. If you pray and ask for help, He will help you. He loves you. I have totally felt the Lord's hand in my life and especially here on my mission I have been strengthened. You can do hard things in the strength of the Lord.
Alright, nice talking with you. Oh wait, no one ever emails me besides my family and the AMAZING Mikayla Fleming. It would be amazing to hear from all of you!! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org