Hello all! I hope you're doing well and loving life. It's a beautiful winter's day in Sao Paulo right now with a balmy 70 degrees on the thermostat. :)
Just so you all know, I'm still the same old me. Before I went to the lab to write this email, I checked my laundry and found to my chagrin that I had left some scripture flashcards in the pocket of my exercise pants and they had disintegrated in the wash and graced all of my clothes with a soggy flecks of paper. Not to worry, it wasn't detrimental but not exactly convenient for me. The mission is changing me but I've still got a lot of my old, clumsy tendencies!
It was an amazing week here at the CTM. The Fourth was really great and Monday was Argentina's independence day as well so we got to celebrate this week too. I've been really trying to work hard. My Portuguese is progressing, slowly, but surely and it really is a beautiful language. We got a new teacher this week and he's incredible. He served some time in the Brazilian army and is very intense and spiritual. He'll really help us learn to be better missionaries.
It's really amazing how much I've been blessed by Heavenly Father this week. I taught our District Meeting on Sunday about how to make prayer more effective and meaningful and I learned a ton. I'm almost through one of my notebooks with notes, thoughts and quotes! Seriously, I have so much to learn and grow but everyday I get a little closer to understanding this beautiful gospel and life we get to live. I've been really blessed as I've tried to work hard. There have been many really cool spiritual experiences this week and tender mercies. I know that God lives and loves us.
That being said, I'm getting very excited for the field (campo). I know I'm going to be overwhelmed but I really want to cut my teeth and get my Portuguese and gospel-teaching rolling! Next Friday we get to go proselyting for 3 hours! I'm trusting in the Lord's promise in the Doctrine and Covenants that if I open my mouth, the Spirit will be there! I'll really need the Spirit!
We sing in the choir here every Sunday and Tuesday night. Most of the elders don't like it but I really enjoy the chance to sing the hymns. There are some really beautiful hymns and I always learn something cool when I read them. The last verse of How Gentle God's Commands is really cool I think. But you can tell Sis. Allen that I'm still singing for her!
Elder Reese is a great companion. He is a really hard worker and has a great attitude about the gospel and missionary work. He's very driven and I'm lucky to have him. We've had a lot of really good talks about the mission and how to be successful and I think we'll be good friends even after the mission. I'm very grateful to have him as my first companion.
I am sincerely happy to be here and to feel the Spirit of this great place. The CTM is a really neat building and I've learned so much here. I'm so grateful and happy to be a missionary. It honestly is changing my life and everyday I hope and pray that I can be a little stronger and a little bolder and a little better so I can be a missionary the Lord can trust. I know that God lives and loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and he can help us. I've felt his promise in 3 Nephi 9:13 in my life this week and I know that He loves us and is mighty to save. I pray for my family and friends often and think of you. I hope that you all are happy, healthy and seeking the Spirit everyday! I know that if anyone honestly seeks the Spirit of Peace, you can find great strength and hope in your trials.
Thank you all for your prayers and support! Have a wonderful week and I love you!
(Eye wuld lik tui buye ze hamberger!)