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