Dear Family and Friends,
Week two in the books. The big news is four visas came for our district, so Sister Doge, Elder Broyles, Elder Jones and my companion Elder Oviatt left for the Brazilian MTC this morning. So it's me, Elder Johnson, and Elder Knudson in a trio. Four gone, six left. I really feel like I'm supposed to be here though for now. Elder Johnson had been having a tough time, but got Uncle Aaron's letter, (thank you so much Uncle Aaron) and as a district we tried to help out a lot, and he's doing so much better now.
On Sunday, we had a mission conference, and the President of the MTC, President Burgess was speaking, and asked that a couple missionaries come up and talk about how they know their Heavenly Father loves them, and Elder Johnson jumped up and bore powerful testimony in front of 2500 people, that was very spiritual to watch. I really do feel like I'm supposed to be here with him for a little longer.
On the flip side, I am definitely going to miss Elder Oviatt. We always had great study sessions, and liked a lot of the same things. Plu,s going to high school relatively close to each other. I'll also miss Elder Broyles. We've come really close this last week and were always laughing and smiling. Some people have big hearts, but Elder Broyles is all heart. He's awesome, and I'm definitely going to look him up after the mission. Just a great spirit. He's going to BYU-I.
For now, there's only three people in our room, and we have so much space. I technically have three closets, but can't fill them so I just spread out all my stuff over them super spaced out and organized. Not that everybody wants to know that. I also made my bed six out of seven days.
But the speech of the week, goes to Elder David Bednar, for two straight weeks now. After Sunday devotional, we watch Sunday appropriate movies around the MTC campus. Week one I and Elder Oviatt watched him give a talk titled Character of Christ. I really can't do it justice. You just have to watch it. One little tidbit, and there was plenty, when bad things happen, the natural man turns in, and it becomes all about them, but Christ, always turned out to serve others. I've been working on making sure I turn out, not in.
Then this week, we were going to watch an Elder Jefferey R. Holland talk, and went to the room it was in, but I really had to got to the bathroom so we left, and when we came back, the seats were all filled, and there wasn't even room for standing. So we went and watched Elder Bednar's Recognizing the Spirit, which was another absolutely fantastic talk. They were both given at the MTC a few years ago so they are more informal than General Conference, but are insanely great. They have become landmark noteworthy talks in my life for sure. When it was over, Elder Oviatt looked over and was just like, "I'm so glad we didn't get seats in the other one." And I felt the same way. It was something I needed to hear.
Funny story time. So all these missionaries have memento type things that they give away right before they leave. Most of them are lame and get thrown away pretty quickly. So the older it is, the more famous it becomes, and those who are in possession of one such momento are accorded some degree of status. So the four people in my room, Elders Oviatt, Jones Johnson and I have received lots of stuff most of which we don't care about and get rid of. But The Milk is different. The Milk is a 3/4 filled bottle of milk which expired December 2014. The bottle is in a cardboard box which is taped shut. The people who have had possession of the milk write down their emails and when/if it explodes, the person who currently has it is supposed to send a mass email to let everybody know. So its been roughly nine months in existence now. There's also papers the holders are given which explain how to take care of it. You are supposed/ have to go outside, open the box up, and the milk and let out the gasses just to make sure it doesn't smell too bad. We opened the box to see if there was milk a couple nights after we got it. And there was. But we couldn't open up the actual bottle just because it smelled so bad. Even though I and Elder Johnson are still here we didn't want it any more. The box keeps the smells in, but for how long/ Plus if no one lets the gasses out, will it explode/ Basically it's the coolest game of hot potato I've heard of, but I'm happy to watch from the sidelines now.
Our branch presidency is super awesome. President Dansie and first counselor Platt both were mission presidents in Brazil. The second counselor Williams was a Delta pilot, but is now a life coach/motivational speaker. His son made it through the first stage American Ninja warrior finals in Las Vegas, and will be on again this week for stage two. Williams picks one thing every year he doesn't think he can do, and then does it. He's accomplished some pretty cool things, whether it's spiritual, physical or a mental goal for the year. He told us how he trained for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro by climbing Mount Timpanogos three times a week, Kilimanjaro was a totally different beast being like 8000 feet higher, but he made it to the top.
I received Aunt Jenny's letter, the Bach's package, and a package from Laura Lewis, So thank you all!!!! It was all wonderful and very useful. In terms of anything I need, right now there is nothing. The socks were a lifesaver. The missionaries going to Mozambique get rid of all their personal supplies before leaving due toweight limits, so I have plenty of shampoo, etc. For instance, I have four unopened bottles of aftershave. Crazy here.
The language is coming along, and I really feel pretty confident in talking and understanding native speakers of Portuguese, but I know my verb conjugation needs some work.
Well, time's up, and I think that covers this week pretty well. Thank you for the prayers. I have never felt this before coming here, but I literally feel buoyed up by prayers. And I'll be praying for you all.