Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Daily schedule, boiled peanuts & laughter :)

Email from MTC - Week 3

Alo meu familia!!

I hope everyone is going well!! It has a great week at the MTC. Congrads on your call as a ward missionary Ma thats so awesome. You will get to know what it is really like being a missionary. I'm sure you will have some amazing experiences. Im super excited for ya. This week has been very eventful. Elder Evens and I have really got along well. I felt like I have known him for forever. You get to know each other quick being together literally 24/7. We crack up all the time as you probably imagine. But we also feel the Spirit often together which is awesome. In companionship study we have had some really cool experiences. Finding the perfect scripture for our investigator and things like that. You guys wanted a basic schedule of what my day is like so here it is. Wake up at 6, breakfest at 6:30, class at 7:00 to 10:00, personal study 10:00 to 11:00, lunch at 11:00, Language study at 12:00 to 2:00, gym 2:00 to 3:00, prepare for lesson 3:00 to 4:00, dinner at 4:00, language study at 5:00 to 6:00, class 6:00 to 9:30, in bed at 10:30. We teach during our class times. It is really a packed day. It is amazing how much you can learn in 24 hours. Sundays are so awesome but sooo busy. I love the sunday and tuesday night devo at night. They are always so powerful The lessons with the investigators have been going awesome, and is probably my favorite part of the MTC (followed closely by volleyball haha). The Spirit is so strong in the lessons and I finally can now say what I want to in the language. It still is very broken and im learning the correct grammar but I have enough vocab now to express what I am feeling. I am seeing alot of improvement, especially this last week. This week I have been studying the book of Alma alot. I have have found some great scriptures in the first few chapters of Alma for the investigators. I love how plainly it speaks of baptism and repentance. It makes everything that is new and foreign to them simple and clear. So apparently no one here at the MTC except for me and another southern boy from mississippi in the zone know what boiled peanuts are. I couldnt believe that. I didn't know they were only in the south. They are really missing out. They do know of other delicious foods like grits and cornbread and crawdads but no boiled peanuts. Thats awesome Jordan Butler got her visa. How long exactly has she been out so I know what to expect for mine? like 3 months? I found Blaise the other day. He seems to be doing really well. He seems to really like it here. Im still looking for the two boys from Joseph City tho. The lazer show sounds like alot of fun. Solo is so funny with fireworks and those headphones. Wish I was there. And take the poor boy fishing for me haha. He will fish all day if you let him. So you dont like closing Dee? It is late but I liked it b/c you dont go home early ever. How many hours are you working now a week? Hope you and cody bear are well and happy haha. Thanks so much for the pictures Ali. The garden looks amazing. Keep sending me more I like seeing whats going on. Rae how do you like the room? Gonna paint it pink? haha hope you enjoy it. Pa I miss our 'male bonding time' haha. I wish I could work on the Merc or my truck with ya. We will have some fun painting and putting that 302 in when i get back. Tell thanks to aunt cindee and danny for me. I love hearing from them too. I cant help but laugh when reading aunt cindee's letters, she is so funny. Im glad I have the love of laughing like she does. I love the dear elders you guys send. They are the best thing everyday to look forward to. 

I got to go change my laundry. Ill be on the computer in 15 minutes or so. Ill send a bunch of pictures. 

Eu ama meu familia. Esta e importante nos amamos Dues como todo nosso corasao.

Elder Mountain

Friday, July 26, 2013

Bed bugs, a blessing & writing in Portuguese!!

Email from MTC - week 2
I hope everyone at home is doing well! Man it was an eventful week i hope i can remember it all and answer all of your questions. Thanks so much for the dear elder letters. They are so so nice to get every evening. It is great to hear what is going on at home and to hear from you guys. This week has been very eventful. Elder Evens got eaten up by some bed bugs a few nights ago so it was quite the ordeal to get rid of those. That was something I expected in Brazil not the MTC haha. It turned out he got them when we did our weekly cleaning of the building not from his bed. I really enjoy elder evens. He is a really great guy, and always has the Spirit with him, and we are always cracking up about something. I had the opportunity to give a sister in the district a bless yesterday night. That was a very very spiritual experience. It was amazing. I was pretty nervous being my first blessing but it went really well. Those BLTs sure sound good! The food here isn't that bad but nothing like a homegrown BLT. Keep up the good work in the garden Rae! Send me some pics of it whenever you can.  Tomorrow Elder Evens and I welcome in 27 new missionaries into our zone, all going to Brazil. Its a huge group, two big districts. I'm really excited to welcome them in and get them started. Camping sure sounds fun Pa! That's crazy about the frogs and the snake. I would absolutely love to get outdoors. The language is progressing. I had a really good day yesterday with it. A couple of things that were confusing me started to click and make sense. The teachers here are amazing. They way they teach is they basically teach you lessons on being a missionary and how to teach in portuguese. Not really any portuguese language lessons. It is amazing how fast you learn when you feel the Spirit. It just sticks so much better. Our whole district has been going to choir to sing at the Tuesday night devo at the Marriot center. The choir director is a super cool guy. He gives the back ground to all of the songs and about what all the songs are really about. It gives them so much more meaning. The lessons are going well. We are teaching two investigators now. I feel comfortable enough with the language I can go in there and have a conversation which feels so great. Not just reading a script. Elder Evens is so good at the language. He is fluent in spanish and he took italian in college. So he has been like a tutor to me haha. He has taught me a lot. I really like how we feel the Spirit so often here. It is something very special. I hope to continue that on my mission and after. If you guys have the chance watch or read "The character of Christ" by Elder Bednar. That talk really changed my perspective on being a missionary. It is not enough to have a testimony of the gospel, but we need to be converted fully unto the Lord. We need to turn out when the natural man turns in and focuses on selfish thoughts. Anyways check it out if you can. The ZLs before us are leaving today to Ohio I believe to wait for their visas. They are both super guys, some big shoes to fill. I hope I can show the love that showed me as a new missionary. I am getting used to the schedule already. I wake up at 6 on my own and an really really tired by 10 haha. living the schedule 24/7 makes it natural pretty quick. Everyday we have gym time it is the highlight of the day haha. We have been playing volleyball inside and in the sand when it is cool out. It is a ton of fun. I great way to clear the mind. Recently I have been reading the book of Ether a lot, especially chapter 12. It is so powerful. It teaches of faith and how important it is and what our potential is if we rely on the Lord instead of ourselves. Thanks again so much for the letters. I really wish I could go swimming with Solo. I miss him a lot. Im glad your ipod turned back on Ali, I'm can't imagine you without that thing haha. Dee I'm glad Cody is coming to church, that is awesome. Have him talk to the missionaries some if he feels comfortable. He is a great guy. And those hot wings sound delicious haha. That's a ton of them. Tell Albert hey for me. I forgot their email, can you forward these to Chuck and Lori? Thanks. I really miss their family. To answer some of your questions ma you can send any snacks you would like, jerky/drinks/candy/chips they all sound good haha. You can send the garments now, I have room for them. I bought some stamps/envelopes.
I really do miss you guys. I love it here. I love feeling the Spirit so often and learning so much about the Gospel and the Savior. I have learned so much.
Elder Mountain
Vi um pilar de luz acima de minha cabeca, mais brilliate que o sol, que desca gradualmente sobre mem. Quando a luz pousou sobre mem, vi dois Personages coju espeldor e gloria defiam qualquer descisao, appendo no ar, acima de mim. Um deles falou me, chamdo me pelo nome, e desse, appendo para o outro: esta e mue filho amando, ouvo-o
Practicing the first vision from memory haha. I think I got must of it.

Zone Leader on day 3!!!

Email from July 16, 2013 - MTC week 1
I hope everyone is doing well back home! It has been an amazing first week. My companion is Elder Evens, he really is a great guy. He is from Kansas. We get along great, he reminds me alot of Scottie. Man lets see where to start. There is no english when we are in class. All portuguese. It is tough but it forces you to learn. I was struggling at first but yesterday it really started to click. It will be amazing to see how well I can speak in 5 more weeks. Visas on the east coast are coming through quickly all of a sudden so there is hope that it will come before my time at the mtc is up. That would be so exciting. The Spirit here is so strong. Each companionship is assigned an "investigator" who only speaks the language you are learning. So far we have taught three lessons to him. The first two were a bit rough because we knew hardly any of the language and we couldnt understand what he was saying most of the time. But our last lesson which was yesterday went so amazing. We were able to speak and have conversation and testify with no notes just the scriptures. The first lesson we basically brought a script that we read word for word, the second we just brought an outline. But this one we just had scriptures and we taught for 25 minutes. It is amazing how fast we progress. When I bore my testimony about how the spirit feels to me in the language to the investigator during that last lesson I felt the spirit stronger than I have in a long time. It was an amazing experience. I love it here. Our district has 12 missionaries, all going to rio which is very unusual and awesome. 8 elders and 4 sisters. On the second day we were here elder evens was called to be the district leader. So as his companion we have alot of running around to do. But the very next day, He was released and we were both called at zone leaders. Now that is crazy. Zone leaders your third day here. It is a bit scary and my gosh it is humbling but I am really excited. Our zone is the same as our branch, who are all going to brazil. There are about 80 missionaries in our zone. I absoultely love the branch president. He reminds me of Brother Marcom alot. He is always asking how I am doing and he gives hugs and sits down and talks to you and your companion alot. I feel alot of compassion from him. We got the opportunity to go walk to the provo temple the other day. It was kind of funny, there was two protesters outside the temple with two big crosses yelling at us. They must pretty brave, two of them and a wave of 5000 missionaries walking towards them haha. The provo temple is very neat and different looking. I really enjoyed being there walking around. The food here is pretty decent. We got lucky and only have four elders in our room. Elder Arnold and Elder Papworth room with us. They are also great missionaries. Papworth is the new DL. But most missionaries have 6 elders in a room. So we have a little space to walk around. I really like our teacher his name is Brother Cope. He is really energetic and funny but at the same time is very spiritual in the way he teaches the language. We arent learning Portuguese, we are learning how to teach the gospel in portuguse as he explained. I really really enjoy our district. We get along all great and laugh all the time. We will probably all be companions as well at some time because we all are going to rio. The mission actually got cut in half recently. The map on the booklet I got in mail is actually two missions now. The rio mission is tiny, really only around the actual city now. We are very very busy here. It is one meeting after the next. As ZLs our sundays are busier than you can imagine. But thats good. We learn so much it just a few days it is awesome. P-day sure has been nice. Get some comfortable clothes on and take a nap haha. My address to mail me is --2011 n 900 e unit 220 provo ut 84602--. I did forget some things of you could mail me them. I need some more regular teeshirts please if you dont mind. We have gym time most days and i have only two t shirts and only can do laundry once a week. So like my red braves shirt and my in and out shirt and some others. The only other thing is my uga hoodie. The recommend a light jacket. Oh and the mormon doctrine book we have, I think that will be very useful.
I really love it here, and I do miss you guys. I love feeling the spirit nearly 24/7. It is almost addicting haha. When you feel that much you want more and more and more of it. It is so awesome. I know this church is true. I cant wait to spread what I know and love to the people of rio. I love you guys!!! Also check out something called "dear elder". You are able to write me every day and they print it out every evening for us. not sure how it works but google it and Im sure you can figure it out. Love ya!!! hows the garden rae? haha
Elder Nate Mountain

First Communication with Elder Mountain!!!

Written July 11 & 12, 2013, we received 2 letters in the mail :)

Day 2 in the MTC

Hey Family!!!
I thought you guys would like an old fashioned letter, haha. Things are so amazing at the MTC. we stay so busy it is crazy. Meeting, devotional, sacrament, fireside, companion study, language study, personal study. So much to do. Speaking of my companion, his name is Elder Evens. I really, really like him. He reminds me of Scott Higgins a lot. We get along great. The language is gonna be tough but I know I'll get it with some work. It really does sound beautiful though. In language class there is zero English. It is crazy but forces you to learn. The teacher is great. The spirit is so strong here. It is a spiritual high 24/7.The spirit is constantly with you. I love the feeling. Sorry I can't write more, I've gotta go to bed.
Love ya!
Elder Nate Mountain

Day 3 in the MTC

Hey Family!!!
Wow what a day! So my companion was called as the 'DL' yesterday. That kept us busy today doing things like checking the mail and such. But tonight we were called as the 'ZLs' (zone leaders) for our zone (80 Elders). That is crazy!!! We start next Sunday. I have to know the names and welcome and get to know all of them. It is going to be fun but a ton of meetings upon meetings upon the meetings we already have. Just like in my patriarchal blessing, I had no idea it would be the 3rd day! (his blessing mentioned leadership positions on his mission) We had our 1st lesson today. It went good but it could have been better. Keep in mind that it had to be in Portuguese. On only our 3rd day. Things move fast here. I'm really, really enjoying the MTC. The guys here are great. I love and miss all of you guys!!!

Deus nos abenloa quando nos guardamos seus mandamentos!
"You are blessed when you keep the commandments."

Elder Nate Mountain