Friday, Jun 14, 2013
Ola, Mae! Tudo bem?
Hello Family & Friends,
Thank you so much for the package and I received your letter last night. Yes that should be everything I need for right now. Thank you for sending that to me.
|Elder Cervantes & Elder Weaver - MTC Companions|
My companion's name is Elder Cervantes, he is from Mederra, California. He actually used to live in Salem for a bit. He is honestly one of the most Christ-like people I have ever met. He speaks Spanish fluently and helps me with the Portuguese a lot. I'll send a picture later today of us as the day wears on.
I have been to the Temple. We go every P-Day, which is Friday (today). So, I have gone twice and I love the Temple. Every time I go, I learn something new and become better. My companion forgot his recommend on accident one time and so we thought we were going to be late, but we made it in the nick of time. When we finished, everyone was surprised to see we had made it. So anyways, my companion is very great. Everyone in our district looks up to him for his meekness. We are currently teaching two investigators, one named Anita, and the other, Audriano. Anita is a little timid, but she is very curious about the church. Audriano has a wife who is a member and he wants to make some changes in his life. I remember bearing my testimony in broken Portuguese during my first lesson with another investigator, Solange. We all cried, and the Spirit was so strong. Even though the investigators are "fake", I pray for them every night and they are very much real to us. My companion always makes me feel good. He never puts me down or makes me feel bad for not knowing the language very well.
|Our MTC District|
Let me tell you about a few more people:
Elder McMaster: He and his companion Elder Wilson share a room with Elder Cervantes and I. They are in a different district but in the same Zone (or Branch) as us. Elder McMaster is the district leader for his district and he is one of the kindest people I have ever met. Him and Elder Wilson are about 6 feet tall and Elder Cervantes and I are about the same height. The four of us always sing in the shower and in our residence. We are thinking about auditioning for a special musical number. We sang "How Great Thou Art" one morning and split up into parts. Elder Cervantes thinks he has a bad voice, but I think I can convince him to do it with us. Elder McMaster and Elder Wilson both play a lot of basketball, and they're always throwing their trash "baller" style. It's pretty great. Both of these Elders are very obedient and they observe golden hour to a tee.
Elder Reinhardt: This Elder is my district leader, the one who sent you the email and picture. It doesn't matter, but I received the least amount of mail during our first three weeks. Elder Reinhardt wrote me a letter, and he said, he knew it wasn't as good as one from my family, but he felt bad for me and thought I should have at least one letter. I'm going to keep that one forever, if I can. Everyone looks up to Elder Reinhardt and sustain him as our leader. When he saw we had made it to the temple that one day, he cried and gave us a big hug.
Elder Capawana: This Elder is the companion of Elder Reinhardt. He is honestly one of the funniest people here at the MTC, probably the world. He's the kind of person who can tell a joke and keep a completely straight face. Whenever we're having a tough day, Elder Capawana is the one who makes us smile again. He reminds me of my mother, because he is the kind of kid who you can tell was probably very popular in high school, but he somehow manages to be nice to everyone. I received a blessing early in the week, and I asked him to give it. The Lord gave me a very beautiful blessing through him that night. His friendship and love are something I shall always be grateful for.
Elder Knudson: He is probably the most patient person in our district; he is the super tall one in the picture. He always bends down super far to give me a hug. There were two missionaries in our zone who got their visas, and Elder Knudson's first companion; Elder Pinargotte was one of them. He had been having some struggles with his testimony, and I remember as Elder Knudson shared his beautiful and hard-earned testimony with Elder Pinargotte. He was very patient with him and always made sure he obeyed the rules. It was shortly after this testimony meeting when Elder Pinargotte received his visa. Elder Knudson is now in a trio with Elders Willett and McKnight.
Elder McKnight: This Elder is a little bit confrontational, but other than that he's harmless. He always makes sure we get places on time and he has a strong testimony. I pray every night to be nice to him.
Elder Willett: He is also very funny, and he makes sure to use his study time effectively. Everyone loves this about Elder Willett.
Sister McElderry: This Sister is from Arkansas and she always jokes about the south. She's going to be the new Sister Training Leader, and she's super strong in the Gospel. Her and her companion are the only Sisters in our district, which is pretty rare because there are about half Elders and Sisters at the MTC. My first day here they told us it was the first time they had more Sisters arrive than Elders.
Sister Sirmans: She is the second Sister in our district and she is very funny. Her and her companion get outnumbered a lot with all the Elders, but they always have nice insights that we miss.
Elder Hamrick: He and Elder Whittaker are our Zone Leaders. They are sooo COOOL! My first day here he was super nice, and one night he came into our room just to tell us how much he loved us and he shared his testimony and thanked us for being good men so I Love Elder Hamrick.
Another note, there will be a massive choir of missionaries (basically the whole MTC), on the 23rd of June for the new Worldwide Leadership Training. You may have heard of this. IT'S GOING TO BE A BIG DEAL! Apparently there's going to be a monumental announcement. The choir will be performing in the BYU Marriott Center before the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. You may get to see me sing. Our room and I were speculating over the announcement saying China would open and we'd all have to learn Mandarin now. We'll see! But seriously you HAVE to watch it.
Another thing, if you can get your hands on a copy, you NEED to watch a talk Elder Bednar that he gave to the MTC a while back called "The Character of Christ" it changed my life.
Another thing I like about the MTC, there are pictures EVERYWHERE. From Church paintings, maps, and my favorite, real photos of missionaries and investigators from around the world. It's beautiful.
When I got the email from Stan, I seriously shouted "WHAT?!" in the computer lab. Everyone heard me, ha ha. But seriously that was a beautiful message he shared.
Sorry, we're not allowed using the V-Word around here so, no; I know nothing about my status on entering Brazil.
Yes! Everyone in our district, except for the Sisters, is going to Vitoria! So, I'll see them often. I also met a Hermana Hadley who has family from Espirito Santo who we promised to visit, and hopefully teach the gospel to.
I'm glad to hear everything is going smooth with Nani and Cathy! Please send my Love to them. I can think of a few things in my life that were more precious to me than going to the Temple with Cathy and spending time with Nani.
That quote from C.S. Lewis (I almost called him Elder) is killer! I'm going to use it a bunch!
I'm going to write a letter to Elder Cervantes family to say thank you and Elder Reinhardts as well.
Yes! If you could, I would love some thank you notes. If not don't worry about it.
Please forgive me for how rude I was to all of you last week. I know all of you are busy people. I let doubts enter my mind and I began to worry something terrible was happening like you and Dad were divorcing, or got killed, or sick. Elder McMaster and Elder Wilson consoled me and told me y’all love me. I remember crying when Elder Wilson gave me a hug. I know you all would tell me if something was wrong. I Love You ALL So Much! I shall send some pictures later!
God Be With You!
There Are No Coincidences!!!
|Elder McKay Noll from home|
|Elder Andrew Cunningham from home|