I think this entire summer I have made it very clear that I did not want to stay in the United States longer than I had to. I have felt ready and excited to go to Brazil since I received my call in April. Well, no more. There is no place I would rather be going to tomorrow than Tempe, Arizona. It has been a cool experience as my testimony that Jesus Christ knows and cares about each of us has grown exponentially. Frankly, there is not much of a reason for my not getting my visa. Except that Christ has a reason. I know that there is a reason I am heading down there.
One of my questions was who gave me my call to Tempe, and I received an email saying that it came from one of the 12 apostles. Also, I found out that I will stay at least 6 weeks, as they keep you there for a full transfer. I can’t wait to get there tomorrow and go to work. I feel prepared and am ready to go! Also, I know I mentioned this a little last week, but I have loved every single day in the MTC. I have grown so much, and have really been able to help others as well. Someone told me yesterday that they were so thankful I didn’t get my visa, and that I had been the answer to their prayers. And they haven’t been the first, so it’s been a truly unforgettable experience.
Last Tuesday, Elder Claudio R.M. Costa came to speak at the Devotional. He is the head of the Brazil area. It was my favorite devotional by far. Absolutely fantastic. He talked about his conversion at age 28, and some wonderful experiences as a mission president in Brazil. Also, fun fact, I haven’t confirmed this, but my teacher said that Elder Costa and Elder Soares a.k.a. The Dynamic Duo of Brazil married two sisters.
After the devotional, the branch president President Dansie held my exit interview. He is a great man. One of the first things he told me, was that he knew I must have a great mother. You know it.
I loved Conference!! My favorite talk was Elder Russell M. Nelsons. If you don’t remember it, go back and watch it again. Besides the heart wrenching story about the failed heart surgeries on the 3 siblings, I think his talk will be the benchmark for future decisions in my life if you know what I’m talking about. But, no worries or thoughts about that now. I do wish that someone would give a talk like that about men. They probably have, so if anybody knows any similarly incredible ones, let me know. There is always room for improvement. That was also my favorite session.
It was so sad to see President Monson struggle, and I wish I could have been there like Aaron, who held up Moses’ arms. And of course, hearing the testimonies of the three new apostles. I had hoped that someone from Brazil would be named, but during the press conference after they were named, I received an undeniable witness that they have been called of God, not man, They are His apostles. I am so grateful to have a prophet and apostles to help us today.
After the last session on Sunday, I went immediately to another devotional for the missionaries leaving this week. I’ll just say I’m ready to go!!! And then dinner, and then our Sunday night devotional. The a Capella group Vocal Point, came and sang lots of songs, and in between shared their testimonies. That was the first time I’d heard any of their songs, and I love live music so it was good.
Well, I think that’s about it. I am looking forward to calling tomorrow!!! Unfortunately, after holding out for 5.5 weeks, I succumbed yesterday. I had a bit of a fever, chills, aches, and I am feeling better today, just have a bit of a cough. I do hate traveling sick. Hopefully I can kick it pretty quick.
And now I have to go pack, shouldn’t take long at all, but I do need to do it. We (there are four other elders and four other sisters going) leave tomorrow at 3:35 am from the MTC, so it’s going to be a short sleep and a long day. Side note, Tempe missionaries get Ipads and cars so I’m excited for that. The Ipad has enough material, such as everything you could think of in Portuguese in the gospel library app so it will help me keep up my language. Which is superb. I can’t take credit. Both my teachers have been fantastic and two weeks of one on one personalized teaching does do amazing things. Tchau!!!!
And have fun in Vegas!!! That’s super exciting!!