Oi! How is everyone? As you can tell I made it here safely. Plane ride was super hot and a baby was crying the whole time but I made it. Arrived at the MTC around 9:30pm and got settled in. I was surprised how many missionaries come early for whatever reason. My roommate is the first Elder I met at the airport. Him and his friend came from Fiji. He is serving in the Phillipines and she is serving in Canada.
The next day was the whole registration process. Watched the District for like the fifth time, had a "orientation" of how to wash my hands, handle stress, and what to drink.
I also met my companions Elder Yciano (ee-see-on-o) and Elder Olsen. Yciano is from California and Olsen is from Nevada. They are both great companions. We were also roommates with Elders Corrington and Ashton. Elder Ashton just left this morning to Brazil (he was the first VISA waiter in our district to get his). So now Elder Olsen and Corrington are companions and Elder Yciano and I are working together.
So basically life at the MTC is pretty cool. Lots and lots of VISA waiters... like lots! I could've sent in my VISA application a long long time ago and it probably still wouldn't be here. The food is the best! I'm going to gain like 50,000 lbs the way I'm going. Ice cream days are Sunday and Wednesday so the Untch Family knows my pain. Gym time is great to have also. Every time I say I'll go run or workout I end up playing basketball.
I'm in Branch 54 and in District K. We have five Elders (four now) and eight sisters. We had a meeting with our Branch President Hodges. (he reminds me A LOT of President Cato... awesome and gets his point across if you know what I mean) But anyway our district had a meeting last Thursday night and we shared testimonies and such. Afterwards we had interviews and President Hodges and his counselors called me as District Leader! So now I'm in a ton of meetings all the time and get to have another opportunity to serve. I love it! I'm so grateful for the opportunities the Lord has already given me.
So some of you may be asking about how my Portugese is. Um lets just say its pretty rough. I've learned I knew a little more Spanish than I think I did and the little differences between the two languages makes it really tough. When we started orientation on Wednesday we were told we would be teaching a investigator in Portugese Friday. Talk about scary!!! But yeah I'm falling behind but I'm relying on the Lord and I'm keeping my head up. My teacher Herma Ricks is amazing though. She went on her mission a couple years ago in Sao Paulo.
Happy late Easter to everybody! Our Easter Morning Devotional speaker was Bishop Causse who is the General Bishop of the Church. He was so amazing. One thing I'm learning here on my mission is the importance of the Atonement. Its something that takes a whole lifetime to understand but its the most vital principle. That evening we heard from Sheri Dew who is the Deseret Book General Manager and former General Relief Society 2nd Counselor. She spoke to us on the influences that we take in and what influences we are on a mission and as a member of this church. My favorite quote from her was, "The Savior is not just a way to come back, He is the ONLY WAY!" The Atonement is something that will be the centerpiece of my mission.
Today I went to the temple for the first time since being here. I went in with a mindset of a missionary and I was so surprised at what the Spirit taught me. I was almost in tears the whole time. I came in soooooo refreshed and ready to take on the world. There is a special host of angels that protects the MTC because you forget about the world. But you got to remember there are evil hosts of angels that want to get to you and wear you down. When I'm in the temple I am reminded that they can't do anything to me as long as I'm obedient and doing whats right. As a servant of the Lord I wear that badge proudly because I know I'm a HUGE enemy to those evil forces.
Anyway, I got to go. I love you all and miss you! I'm doing great and am focused on the work. Thank you for the letters and support! I love you all! Please spread the word on my address here at the MTC. I love receiving mail.