I got my visa on Friday, and that changed my plans with and perspective of a lot of things.
I am so glad for the opportunity to go to the Brazil MTC! It will be an incredible experience, as this experience has been. I am very excited to see how things turn out over the next few weeks.
My brain is going in tons of different directions right now, and it's hard to focus on what I should write about. I have things that I need to get done, and not much time (read "NO TIME!") to do them, but I will be fine. I think that I will be getting up early so that I can ensure that I can get everything done:)
I have talked to Elder Fieldstead (a cousin's son, who is also in the Provo MTC) a few times, and say "hi" whenever I see him. I think that his classroom is in my building, but I'm not quite sure. I don't have much time to wander the halls of the MTC, do I?
If and when you send pictures, (not just Mom, ANYONE who would like to send them:) ) I think that the regular mail would be fine if it's the size and weight of a regular letter. Apparently the mail system in Brazil is great with letters, and it takes about a week to get down there. Still, I don't know much about the pouch system, and it may be better to send pictures that way. (Addition from Mom E., pouch mail is letters ONLY, NO pictures from my understanding. Unless you print them on regular paper and fold them up with your letter.) By the way, I love the pictures that my family has already sent. (Although, it would be nice to have a more recent picture of our family...) Please send me pictures and letters, they make my day, and help me to continue pushing forward.
I am so glad to be here, and for this wonderful priviledge to learn, and to grow. I have learned so much about relying on the Lord, and being patience, and pushing forward amidst the presence and pressure of challenges, trials, and opposition. I have felt the Spirit bear witness to me of the importance of this work, and specifically my part in it. I am so excited to see what being out in the field is going to be like, and I hope that my Portuguese is sufficient enough that people can understand me, and won't mock me too bad for it. (I was talking to a woman who works with missionary immunizations today while I was getting my second hepititus A shot, and she said that we didn't have American accents. Actually, she said that we have Portugal accents, and that the people in Brazil will make fun of us for them Oh, well. I think I can handle it. I think I'd rather be mocked for speaking with a Portugal accent than for not being able to speak the language at all...)
I love you all so very, very much. I know that the little amount I write and send in an email is not much, but I hope that you know how much I love you, and appreciate you and your desire to push forward, and do what the Lord wants you to do. I don't think it's easy, in any circumstance, to yield our will to the Lord's, and I think that it is supposed to be that way. I know that as we strive to give up our will, and give ourselves, our hearts, our mights, our minds, and our strengths to the Lord, He will tell us what we need to do. We will be enabled to accomplish the things which He requires of us (if you doubt that, read 1 Nephi 3:7, and try to remember how many times Nephi tried to get the plates before he actually could). We can do it with His help. We can. It will not be easy, but it will be possible, and I think that as we seek to live with His Spirit as our constant companion, and are better able to recognize and understand and have the courage to follow the promptings that come, it will become easier and more manageable; but not because our load is getting lighter. Instead, we are becoming more strong, and better able to bear the load that we already have placed upon our backs. I think that the Lord often works in this way: rather than taking our trials from us, and the weight and burden that they are in our lives, He strengthens us to be able to bear them up, and He molds the back to carry the burden placed upon it, until we can hardly feel them upon us. (Mosiah 24 is great for this one)
Anyway, I love you all! use Dear Elder, I think that they send letters to the Brazil MTC as well:)
Elder Reid Empey