Aconteceu, havia um. And it came to pass, there was but one. Yes, Elder Knudson and Sister Gage boarded the plane this morning for Brazil. Out of the starting ten, it’s just me left.
The upside is, the teachers are hired, and are getting paid, so I’ll be having one on one tutoring for the next two weeks, and they are amazing. For companions, I’ll be with the Zone Leaders based out of Cape Verde, and they will be moving into my room. Elder Goodwin and Elder Leon are totally awesome. Elder Goodwin is from Layton, Utah, and Elder Leon is from Las Vegas.
Elder Knudson and I have been keeping our room insanely fresh this past week. It’s been clean, but since we both enjoy cleanliness, it’s been really great, especially since there has been only two people in the room. People come up sometimes just to see and smell it. Everything is clean, and we put dryer sheets in the vents, and the clean smell goes all over. So Elders Leon and Goodwin were actually pretty happy to move in. Our zone is down to nine people. It’s me, and then the eight elders in zone c. Four are going to Cape Verde, and four are going to Mozambique. We’re supposed to be getting new missionaries for our zone this week going to Mozambique, so that will be exciting. And two apparently are from Zambia. They have to fly here because the South African MTC doesn’t teach Portuguese, and then fly back. So I’ll never complain about flight lengths again. Also, there is two types of Portuguese. There is Continental, and Brazilian. Brazil speaks Brazilian, and everywhere else speaks Continental. I think Brazilian is easier and sounds better.
So whenever I do get married, I’m having live music at the reception, and Elder Oviatt, Johnson, Pyne, and Knudson said they’d provide it. They all sing super good, and Elder Johnson and Oviatt play the piano really well. And now that they are all in Brazil, unless some of the new missionaries play the piano really good, I’ll be playing sacrament meeting Sunday. About 1/2 of the missionaries here play the piano, but everyone in our zone who does has now left.
Rosemary Wixom and her husband Jackson spoke to us last Tuesday. Both talks were great, and for the closing song we sang the Primary song, “We’ll Bring the World the Truth” which was wonderful.
Sunday, Lloyd Newell came and spoke. He is the host of Music and The Spoken Word. Apparently that is a calling which I didn’t know. He said Pres. Hinckley set him apart in 1990, and told him it was ‘until further notice.’ Which apparently hasn’t happened yet. We imitated Music and the Spoken Word. The MTC choir (roughly half the missionaries here, over 1000) sang a couple songs, and everybody sang a couple songs, in between parts of his talk. It actually turned out really good.
After that, we watched “Meet the Mormons.” It was really good! And it’s on Netflix and Amazon and everywhere else, so y’all should watch it for a movie night. I don’t want to give everything away, but one of the people highlighted was saying goodbye to her son who was leaving to serve a mission. And the missionaries watching it, probably a couple hundred, were all thinking or saying, “too soon.” And then at the end, people started breaking out into a spontaneous sing-a-long of David Archuleta’s “Glorious.” I really enjoyed it.
We had TRC this Friday again. From now on, it will be with people in Brazil via Skype. It was really cool. We read 3rd Nephi 17:5-10. It talks of Christ blessing the sick. We preface it by saying, the Lord isn’t here tonight, but if he was, what would you ask of him? What do you need help with? What could be better in your life? The idea with TRC, is to have a spiritual experience with the volunteers, and find something in their lives to help them with. That’s why we decided to use those verses, as it usually draws out their needs. This first person said he wanted to know how to better serve others, to serve them like Christ did. We anticipated that, but as we kept talking, he blew us away. He was doing home teaching, and had connected with the people he visited, he attended the temple regularly, etc. Honestly, I was stumped. So I gestured for my companions to take the lead, so I could think of some scripture or something to share. And after a minute or two, an idea hit me, which I shared with him. We kept talking, and it turns out he had been off his mission for only one month. I bore testimony, that a mission is fantastic, but he still has a responsibility to share the gospel. He committed to pray to think of one of his friends he could share it with. I really felt the Holy Ghost guiding my thoughts and speech that entire lesson. It was the best Portuguese I’ve ever spoken. And then, I saw him at the temple today so that was pretty cool.
I received a package from the Lozada’s, which was much appreciated! The only other thing I need right now is a hug. So give a couple out for me, and I’d appreciate it!
For my mission scripture, I’ll go with Isaiah 61:1. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me: because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”
I took some pictures this week, but Elder Goodwin’s card reader isn’t letting me send them, so I’ll send them next week. I’ll just buy one here. I know Elder Knudson sent home a couple of us, if you want to try and get those.
I bring my journal to write my email, but I always forget my study journal!!!!! So, this will have to suffice. In Alma 4:19, it talks about Alma going and preaching “that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people seeing no way save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them.” And then Alma 5 is his preaching. I won’t give everything away, but read Alma 5 for yourself and learn what pure testimony consists of. It was an eye opener for me.