Hey! Well my time here at the Provo Missionary Training Center is quickly coming to an end. This is my last week and although I have loved my time here, I am very excited to go! I had another great week and everything is going well. Let me first start by thanking everyone who sent me packages, letters, or DearElders on my birthday last week. It was so fun to hear from all of you and I had a great 20th birthday. Every Tuesday we all walk over to the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University (just right across the street) to attend a Missionary Devotional where someone comes and speaks to us. I walk over early with the initial surge of Elders and Sisters to sing in the choir. Last Tuesday, on my birthday, while waiting at the back gates to walk over I ran into Elder Wolfgramm which was a surprise because he is not even on this campus but it worked out that he and his District decided to sing in the choir as well. So Elder Wolfgramm and I walked over together and sat next to each other to sing in the choir and throughout the Devotional so that was fun. Who would have thought he and I would ever be singing in a choir together? We both thought it was quite funny. My best birthday surprise was when I was walking over to the Marriott Center and I recognized a familiar face sitting on the steps on the way. It was my brother, Michael! He totally surprised me and it was way fun to see him. He walked with us for a little bit and then we took a picture together and we both went our separate ways. It was quite a shock to see him there and it was so good to just spend a few moments with him. Thanks, Michael!
My companion and I had another opportunity to Skype a person down in Brazil this week. We were lucky because we called a member who lives in Fortaleza, Brazil (my mission!). Her name is Leje and she is the sweetest lady. We talked with her for about 30 minutes and it was such an awesome experience! It was difficult to understand her initially but as the call went on it became easier and although I didn't know every word she said I was able to piece together what she was saying. She was able to understand us as well. We read scriptures with her and we discussed how to draw closer to God through prayer. It was such a cool experience to talk with someone from Fortaleza and truly a miracle that in just 5 weeks I am able to communicate in Portuguese. The language is progressing smoothly and this week I have really focused on conjugations. All the different conjugations is something I had kind of been avoiding these last few weeks because there are a lot of them and whenever I tried to learn them I would just get overwhelmed. But this week I decided to just learn them! So I studied and practiced the verb tenses and endings for all the different forms and it actually wasn't too hard at all. I mean I'm no expert yet but I have memorized all of the them and now I just need to continue to practice them in conversation and use them in the correct way. It has been a great week for Portuguese also because Elder Shelton and I had a companionship goal of only speaking Portuguese for one whole day and that went moderately well, and then as a District we have had 3 days where we are only allowed to speak Portuguese. Sunday was the best for that because we were fasting from food (for the health of the missionaries in our District, we have had a ton sick!), and we also decided to fast from English. So there was a lot of Portuguese spoken within our District this week, and also a lot more silence haha.
Oh! Also, exciting news. Two Elders in our district received their Brazilian Visas this week. Both went through the Brazilian Consulate in Houston, Texas. Although there is an Elder in our Zone who received his and he went through Los Angeles (which is where I went through). I have not received mine yet, so this Friday (in 3 days), on August 16, I will receive a re-assignment to go somewhere in the United States while I wait for my Brazil Visa. I am very excited to find out where I'll go! This past week the missionaries in our zone got re-assigned to California Fresno, Montana Billings, Utah Salt Lake City South, and Tennessee Nashville. During my stay here at the MTC I have heard of missionaries being reassigned to every part of the United States so it really could be anywhere in the country. So I am excited for that and will keep you all updated.
This week two Elders in our District became the Zone Leaders so they are the missionaries in charge of about 90 missionaries here at the MTC. One of them was really sick the entire week and actually had to go to the Emergency Room one night, but he is feeling better now. But the other Zone Leader asked me if I would go with him to be his companion throughout the week whenever he had to go take care of things as a Zone Leader. So each night we would visit each of the Elders in our Zone and ask them how they are doing and see if they need anything. It was really fun to interact with so many of the Elders throughout the week each night as we would go and check on them. I always enjoyed going into each room and hearing stories from them and just how excited they all are to be here. It was great! On Thursday, I had the opportunity to go with Elder Phillips (the Zone Leader) and do an orientation for 30 new Brazilian speaking missionaries that just got to the MTC the day before. It was so cool to be with them for several hours as we met with them and got to know them and made them feel more comfortable here at the MTC. We ended the orientation by giving them a tour of the campus. It was a really cool experience.
On Friday, Elder Wolfgramm came over to the Main MTC Campus to spend some time together and to say goodbye. He left yesterday morning for Phoenix, Arizona. It was fun to see him one last time and I am so excited for him. I know he will do a great job!
Well that's it for this week. It's crazy to me that this is my last week. I have been here for quite awhile and have become quite used to it. But I am excited to receive my temporary re-assignment and to leave. I hope everything is going well for everyone and thank you for the continued support and love.
Until next week.
With Elder Wolfgramm
So fun to be surprised by Michael on my walk to the Marriott Center on my Birthday!
Saying Goodbye to Elder Wolfgramm for 2 years!
Elder Shelton and I on our P-day in front of the Missionaries on Bikes Statue
Here's the picture you all wanted of me in my Crocs and Dress Socks!