Dear Mommy and Family!
I cannot even begin to explain to you the experience I am having on my mission and in the MTC! But I know that won't cut it for you mom, so I will do my best.
I got to the MTC (or CTM in Portuguese) around 11:00. We had a meeting, lunch and then another meeting. I got my companion (or atleast he got to the MTC; he had been assigned my companion for a while) at around 2:00. His name is Elder Kennedy and he is from Pleasant Grove Utah. He is awesome. HIs looks remind me of Cam, tall, red hair, freckles, and his personality reminds me of Koli, quiet, methodical, e meito intelligent. He never says anything negative. He is so sensitive to everyone's feelings, very positive.
Our district is insane. I could not imagine a better district, honestly. We have 6 elsders and 4 sisters. It's me, Elder Kenendy, Elder Collier, Elder Bowden, Elder Zaccaria (Zack-uh-ree-uh), Elder Scott, Sister Hancock, Sister Dumas, Sister King, and Sister Stokes. Every Elder and Sister is so amazing. Each has a unique story but each is super solid.
Elder Kennedy for instance has 11 kids in his family. His dad and mom had 4 together but one day went a little nuts and left. His dad who must be an amazing guy, remarried a woman who's husband left her when she had her 7th kid. It's really sad, but turned out happy. And mom, don't worry, it's okay to remarry sometimes.
Thursday after a meeting with the district and branch presidency, I was called to be the district leader and senior companion assignments were made. My companion is the senior companion and we work so well together. Our whole district does. So much revelation must have gone into our district. our Branch President's counselor (Pres Redenbough is in India right now) says this district and the one before are the most awesome districts he's ever seen. Both districts are going to Portugal. He thinks there must be something amazing begginning to happen in Portugal. I agree!
We are always working so hard as a district to be obedient. It is awesome! It's my family away from home, but don't worry, they can't replace my brothers and sisters. I say brothers and sisters because I'm trying to break the habit of saying, "you guys, or man, or dude". Every time we say that, our branch president has a rule that we have to do 10 push ups per time. I keep track of mine and Elder Zaccaria's sets of 10 in my daily planner in the margin because we havethe hardest time. The push up rule isn't really serious but we are doing it anyways. I need to! I eat so much here, it is all so delicious when we are working hard and so hungry. I bet I've gained at least 5 pounds... I drink a lot of chocolate milk and some caffine free coke. I try to limit the soda, but hey, it's a blessing!
Today, Sunday, we had a speaker who was awesome! She was a little old lady who was so energetic and funny. She got up after a special musical number that was a piano solo that was an awesome, happy, energetic, inspiring song, and the first thing she said was, "I just want to say, Hubba Hubba!" I'll include a few more of her sayings. I'm sure it won't be as funny to read as hearing her and seeing her say it, but still...
So, P-day for us is Tuesday. Hopefully mom won't flip out when I don't email on Monday. (insert - Mom - I did flip out a little!) I don't have a lot of time to write. Only at meals, on the way to things, waiting for a devotional to start, you know. I can't capture anything, just give you a glimpse. We go to sleep exhausted and wake up excited. I should tell you te language is coming along. Shane - I can definitely tell you that Euro Portuguese is both prettier and harder than Brazillian Portuguese. Our teacher, Brother Taylor served in Brazil and has been teaching us Brazillian Portuguese. Another brother came into our classroom and who will be teaching soon. He served in Portugal. He taught us some Continental Portuguese. It is so hard! A total tongu twister. when you have an s between 2 vowels it makes a z sound. when it is between a vowel and a contanant, it is a shhh sound. If it is in front of another s it is a ssss sound. And it carries over word to word. Therefore, it would be "A Igreja de Jezush Crishto dos Santash doz Ultimash diash" It sounds amazing but is hard to do. Anyway, I am working hard and love you all! I hope you liked the movie. I never watched it. I didn't have time, so I don't know if it went together alright. Oh well! Love you all!
PS - Dad, Justin Anderson is my zone leader!
PPS - If you guys (ahh, not you guys! I don't think I'll put a talley for that) would combine dearelder letters into one, that would be awesome. It makes it more convenient and I don't want anyone in my district to be sad or discouraged because some of them don't get very much mail. And maybe if you had a few of the kids each write a letter to my companion, that would make his week. I've told him so much about you all and he's only gotten 1 letter.
I love you all so much! Give Jet a kiss for me.
PPPS - I blessed he sacrament in Portuguese yesterday and the counselor told us it was the best he's ever heard for an Edler's forst time! :)
PPPPS - Shane! Somehow I need to know the tune Will whistles in Iron Will. It's killing me! I don't know how you will get ot to me, but do something!
Sister's sayings -
On competativeness in the MTC -
"Some of you come in here and be OCD. I call it CDO... I like to have the letters in order."
On optimism -
"Some look at Goliath and say he's so big, I'll never be able to hit him. While others, optimists, say he's so big, I'll never miss him!"
On Satan and his followers -
"Don't let them overcome you. They're no-bodies. And tell what's-his-no-face to take a hike!"
Love you FamLee!
This letter came the next day -
I have some time today to write you another hand-written letter because for one, it's P-day and for two, we woke up really early to go to and earlier session of the Temple, so we were able to finish laundry early and our clean up early which left us some unscheduled free time. So all the Elders except for me and Elder Zaccaria are napping. A nap would be great, but I love you all so this is even better. Okay, so funny story...
Pause for effect....
So, Elder Zaccaria (remember Zack-uh-ree-uh like diareah) and I were in the bathroom (speaking of) and an Elder came in and asked me to do him a favor. He wanted me to keep watch so he could put a rubber bunny on another Elder's pillow or some nonsense about a mini war they were having. Apparently, the elder he was getting back at really hated this squishy bunny and threw it in a garbage can at one point. The elder coming to me for help found it in the garbage and wanted me to be a sentry. So I stepped right outside the bathroom and stood across the hall from the open bathroom door so I could keep Elder Zaccaria in plain sight and sound so as not to break the rules. The other elder was in the other elder's room trying to figure out which pillow to put it on. When Elder Zaccaria walked out of the bathroom not knowing what I was doing or that the other elder was in the room, I said watch this. I gave 2 loud bird whistles and there is a bang from the room like something was knocked over and the elder comes tearing out of the room running away from us not even looking back. He was scared, I mean hauling! It's 20 minutes later and Elder Zaccaria is still laughing... Oh my gosh... He said the best part was I was totally non-challant, straiht faced, arms folded and leaning against the wall, and then "watch this". And the kid didn't even look back.
Hahahaha... "that was such a good story, and so well told... ahhh, now you tell one;" I hope you liked the story and got the reference! I gotta go, everybody back on your heads! Love you!