Monday, August 26, 2013

Called to Brazil, Rio de Janeiro Mission to speak Portuguese, reassigned to Gilbert, AZ and speaking WHAT?!?!?!?

Hey everyone!!!
Man this week has been one of the most action packed of my entire life. There is some huge news that happened but you gotta keep reading, haha. So my very first day in the field was spent at an orientation type thing at a Stake Center (a larger church building) with all of the newbie to the mission that arrived that week. All of the members of the mission presidency spoke to us about of a lot of stuff. I really like the mission president, he is very easy to talk to, reminds me of Bishop Haycock a lot. So we spent the day at the building, getting trained, and members fed us. They feed us very, very well here, haha, its nice. This is for sure a weight gaining mission, if you dont watch yourself, haha. That night we spent the night at a members home with a companion we had for a day. I was at a bishops house, really nice family. I crashed at 7 oclock though, haha. I was dead tired. The next day was transfer day, which was super exciting because we would get our new companions and find out what areas we had ( more like what 2 neighborhoods we would cover, haha) (there are LOTS of church members in Gilbert). It was cool how they announced it. Everyone was in the chapel with the trainers on one side and us greenies on the other. Then the mission president announced one at a time the trainer, then the newbie who would be companions. It was super exciting. So my companion's name is Elder Macfarlane, a really great guy. Kind of quiet like myself, but we laugh a lot together already. In my first few moments with him I learned some news that would rock my world, haha. He told me that one, we had a car, and that there is only one reason we would have a car in such a small mission....we were the spanish elders!!!! holyyy cowwwww!!!! spanish????? I dont speak spanish!!! I hardly speak Portuguese!!! Well that just blew my mind. For the whole mission there are only 3 companionships that speak spanish, and I was one of them haha. So...after that we go to our home. We live in a home, not an appartment with another companionship. Its really nice actually. So I unpacked a little, got to know Elder Macfarlane some more, and then we headed out. We headed to one of the investigators he had an appointment with, really nice guy. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and about praying about its truthfulness (keep in mind this is in Spanish, haha). My companion did the teaching for the most part, then I bore my testimony in Portuguese. He understood most of it, which was really neat. The past week I have found out that I can sorta kinda understand Spanish. I can get the basic point of what they are trying to say and it's the same when I speak Portuguese to them, its really neat. I have also learned some basic Spanish, of course like how to greet people and stuff like that. My portuguese has really accelerated though. I thought I would loose a lot of it in the field here but turns out I have been using it non stop. The past few days have been filled with amazinggggg experiences. We went out with a recent convert of 2 weeks who is about 16. He bore his testimony and it was so powerful. We also taught a potential investigator who understood my Portuguese perfectly about the Book of Mormon and how to pray. That was so powerful too, especially when she prayed for the first time. The spirit was intense. Elder Macfarlane and I have had some amazing personal and companion studies, which are such a great way to start the day. I have learned so much with him, he is a great trainer. The scriptures have also never meant so much to me before, I can't read enough of them. We have had some great lessons. There is an area here called little Mexico, I have never met such humble poor people, they will listen to anything you have to say. It is amazing to experience the love I have for the people, like you hear others talk about. Its just a glimpse of how the Savior feels. One the other Elders in the house, Elder Duval actually knows the people that made Nacho Libre and Napoleon, he is my hero, hahaha. So we crack up nonstop about those movies, he is a hilarious guy. Elder Papworth (an Elder from his zone in the MTC) is in my zone here which is cool, I see him 2 times a week about. I really love the members here. There have been a couple I especially have connected with, that 16 year old covert, and a less active who we visited and me and him really hit it off talking about fishing and hiking and other stuff. Then we talked about the gospel, you've got to be people's friends, if you want what you say to stick. It has been an amazing week, I cant believe I'm actually in the field. I love you guys I hope all is going well back in Georgia. Wish me luck with Spanish, haha, I'm going to need it.
Elder Mountain

 A picture of Elder Mountains and Elder Macfarlanes study guides, 1 in Spanish and 1 in Portuguese!

                                                     A view of the living room.

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