We hope the first few weeks of your study and training at the MTC have gone well. We want you to know we are eagerly awaiting your arrival here in the Arizona Tempe Mission while you await your Visa. We are praying for you and your preparation. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to set aside the world and absorb all the information and inspiration you can. Enjoy every minute of it!
By the time you arrive in the Mission, I anticipate that you will have made good progress on your study of the fundamentals of “Preach My Gospel.” This is an important first step in being able to teach with the Spirit. Your first companion, your Trainer, will be prepared to help you continue this process.
Attached, please find important information that will help you be prepared for your first few days in the Mission. Please be certain that you bring at least $30.00 cash with you for initial spending money. Your missionary support funds may not be immediately available to you when you arrive, and you will need some carryover cash.
We pray for the Lord's blessings to be with you as you complete your training at the MTC. In just a short time, Sister Toone and I will be greeting you at the airport and welcoming you to the "Best Mission in the World." Look for us at the bottom of the escalator that takes you to the Baggage Claim area.
We send our love, and know the Lord will bless you as you continue to do your best to prepare.
Well, these last couple days it's been like waiting for another mission call. Usually people get their assignments on Thursday, but.........I got an email right when I was getting on today, and I will be going to the Tempe Arizona Mission!!!!! I have to say, I am really excited to go serve!!
I'll be leaving here early, early Tuesday morning. Still a little in shock, to be honest, hopefully this letter will still make sense.
Having one on one teaching 30 hours this past week has helped my Portuguese tremendously. I taught skype TRC this last Friday and it went really well. I understood everything, but there was a little bit of a struggle trying to conjugate my verbs right, but the person in Brazil told my teacher that I was speaking really well for only having a couple weeks, and that boosted my confidence. One of my teachers is trying to set up extra Skype sessions for this week, as he we've gone through all the language lessons, and then some, and he feels I'm ready as well. I've noticed that I can understand the people in the north of Brazil really well, but it gets harder the farther south they are.
(MTC Branch Presidency)
Elder Oviatt's mother sent me a package in preparation for General Conference this week, which I am so excited for. It was very nice of her. If three new apostles are named, it will be the first time in over 100 years that three have been named in one conference. Monday we watched the funeral service for Richard G. Scott. It definitely touched me how everyone respected him and how there was an overwhelming feeling of dignity and honor present. He was a great man. I've been reading a lot of his old talks this week. I've been inspired to be more like him.
There's been quite a bit of sickness going around. Elder Leon has been sick. Hopefully he gets better. Last night was rough. I'm praying I don't get anything, but feel a little something coming on unfortunately.
Last Tuesday Craig Cardon of the Seventy spoke to us. And Sunday Stephen B. Allen, of the Seventy, and Managing Director of the Missionary Department. He was really funny, and gave a great talk. Sunday night, I watched a talk Elder Holland gave on earlier this year. Rest assured, it was Holland-worthy.
This is from a relatively recent BYU talk given by an English Professor there, titled, "Beethoven's Kiss:"
"I might exaggerate if I were to say that if you cannot write it you do not know it, but I am painfully accurate in saying that the weakening of written language through displacement by the image is a fundamental threat to virtually everything that is distinctively human, especially knowledge and intellect. Reliance on the image is a threat to the extension and development of the human capacity for precision of thought and for the ability to creatively manipulate connotative structures. Sophistication in languages is the fundamental fruit of the true intellect."
It doesn't really have anything to do with what I've been studying, but I really liked the quote, and believe that our language is declining and it's not good. One thing they ask, as missionaries, is to not use any slang.
I'll be able to write on Monday evening I believe before leaving here.
My time here has absolutely flown by. We cram so much into every day. As happy as I am to be leaving and going out, I have loved the MTC, and will always remember it. It really is sacred ground. Every building has been dedicated to have the Holy Ghost there. And congrats to Kaleb for his mission call!! Anchorage sounds awesome! I'm sad that I'll just miss him here. In a recent talk here, by Sister Cardon, she talked about how some people are prepared to serve missions in various ways and mentioned those who have siblings with disabilities. I immediately thought of Kaleb and how he'll be a fantastic companion in part because of that.
I seriously am struggling to convey my thoughts today. Arizona here I come!!! Enjoy conference, and pray for the new apostles whoever they are. That's got to be an insanely overwhelming calling to receive.
P.S. I don't need anything right now. The glasses would be great, just make sure that it will be here by Monday!! And, if you know where my camera cord is, feel free to send that. I'll just by a card reader here if not. It's only a couple dollars anyway.