Man the MTC is so sweet!! It is the coolest thing to be in an environment where you are being edified from the time you wake up all the way till you come back to your room. I have learned so much about teaching, about applying the gospel to our lives and about Portuguese that I can hardly believe my eyes when I look at the calendar and realize it hasn't even been 14 days yet!!
So I mentioned my two companions last week and how they are pretty hilarious dudes (except I'm not allowed to call them dudes or guys because in the words of the MTC President's wife "the guys are the ones back home dating your girlfriend" hahaha she told us that on the first day). Well to be honest I was a little nervous about our companionship working together because they are very alike and at first I had trouble handling their energy and crazy goofy humor but the beginning of last week we hit our stride and were having a BALL! We got along, we were studying well, we were working well together during our lessons, laughing a ton in all of our free time and everything was just cruising. Then on Thursday they both got called down to the front office and we found out that BOTH of their visas had come in at the same time. We had been joking that we were in a "tripanionship" because one of us would get our visas but none of us expected this to happen. So this morning was their departure date and they are already missed. They had kind of become our District Clowns and just had everybody laughing all the time so they have already been missed.
This turn of events means that I will now be joining Elder Moore and Elder Johnson in another companionship of three which will be very fun, they're great guys. One of the other elders that got a visa in our zone this week was one of our Zone Leaders which meant that there would be some mixing up in Zone Leadership. On Sunday our Branch President, President Laney, came to our classroom while we were studying before Sacrament Meeting and asked us three to be the new Zone Leaders. This meant that I am no longer District Leader and so Elder Neeley was asked to be the District Leader puting 4 out of the 5 elders in our district in leadership positions with Elder Fry being the only one left out. It's been a little wild adjusting to all this change, switching rooms, new responsibilities, new companionships, etc. but change leads to growth so I'm excited for the challenge.
I've already felt a lot of growth at the MTC. The other day I was feeling pretty stressed. I was being pretty hard on myself as District Leader and also about the language. My district hadn't been studying very well during our study times and I was worried that I wasn't doing enough to encourage us to focus on our purpose as missionaries. I also felt stress about the language because with my Spanish background and having listened to many hours of the Book of Mormon audio in Portuguese I actually have a pretty good ear for the language and understand most of what is said but I get frustrated because I was struggling to say anything or it would come out in Spanish. While I was sitting there kind of staring off Elder Johnson came over and just checked up on me to see how I was doing. I was so thankful to be able to just talk it out a bit and realize that I'm doing fine, I'm way ahead of where I'm supposed to be and it's not worth worrying about those things, especially the ones that were out of my control. It was a growing experience because I came out of that and was able to just focus on controlling what I could and not letting other things get to me and it has helped so much the past couple days.
So there have been some pretty funny things that have happened at the MTC as well the last week, many of them are moments where you had to be there but here are a couple that maybe you can appreciate a little.
So one of the pranks that was happening between the rooms was that Elder Moore would come into my room and turn up our heat all the way so overnight it would get way hot and actually we didn't notice for about two days the first time because we were so dead tired. So this went on mostly very one way for a couple days and then I finally decided to get him back and turn up his heat as we left one morning. The funny part is that they had been unscrewing their vent and putting their soda and milk in the vent to keep it cool. So when we got back that afternoon they had spoiled milk and hot soda :) I got them good. It was even better when one of them decided to toss one of the sodas and it blew up all over Elder Johnson who was the only one who had the guts to catch it because they had shaken it up.
Then the other funny thing was when Irmão Gabriel (our teacher) was practicing possessive pronouns with us and he pointed to one of the Sisters and asked Elder Burton "Ela e sua mai" meaning "Is she your mom" trying to have him practice responding in the negative. Nope. Elder Burton responded "Nao, eu sou SUA mai" which meant "I am YOUR mom." It was pretty funny.
Well I love you all. Always seek after truth and light. Remember that "the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray" so you must "pray always that ye may come of conquerer." (2 Nephi 32:8) I've seen it at the MTC that as I pray I am given added strength to do what I couldn't have done on my own. I want you all to know that the power of prayer is real, God wants to hear from us and he wants to bless us.
You all rock!