Familia! Como vai??
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Hey, remember me? No you don't cuz I'm about to mess you up (missionary style...)
Our family got to talk to Tyler this morning before he left for Atlanta! It was great to hear his voice and feel how happy and excited he is to get started. He did ask if all of you friends and family back home could please include your address so that he can mail a letter back to you. He would love to write all of you back, but doesn't have mailing addresses so he hasn't been able to. Thank you to everyone that has been writing and supporting him - it really means a lot to him! This is the last letter he sent to us from the MTC.
Familia! Como vai??
Familia! Como vai??
So, I hear football is starting up this week. I was under the impression Week 1 for High School started last week and college started two weeks after that... Guess not. Matt, I know its only been two weeks since you've written me but I wanna hear from ya! I didn't realize how much I loved football. Even though I'm in Utah right now, the weather is starting to change a little bit, indicating one thing... Football season. Holy smokes I'm so pumped up and I'm not even going to see or play in one game. Oh well, I live vicariously through Matt's year and Joe's updates. Adam... Onde esta voce?
All right, enough calling people out. Haha I actually don't realize who did and who didn't write me during the week because I literally do everything I can to keep my mind working so I won't get homesick. I successfully made it through the MTC without missing any of you! YEAH! Haha actually that's not true. And sounds mean... To be honest, I miss all of you. A lot. Especially the first day I played bball here. For some reason I associate bball with family and friends and couldn't help but think about home. Other than that tho, I really haven't struggled getting use to missionary life. It will be a whole 'nother story come though when I'm in the ATL. Haha I keep singing Justin Beiber and throwing up that "A" symbol and then laughing at myself. Seriously, I laugh at myself way too much... It's kind of a problem. Haha but I keep thinking about Matt getting made fun of for our music video last Christmas for doing that. Hahah okay enough at laughing at that. I'm pumped to go to Georgia. More on that later in the email though.
Wrap-up of MTC (I'll get more spiritual as the letter goes on. Don't worry...)
-I've earned some serious "street-cred" here. When people know your name, you feel special. When people know your name because of something specific, you feel even more special. But when missionaries from Mexico and other countries call out your name in the hallways and ask if you're playing futbol/futebol/soccer/whatever language they're learning during gym, you feel big time. Yep, I had some Hispanics asking me a few times if I was going to be joining them on the field. That sounds like either a super lame comment to be proud of, or just an arrogant comment, but I'll say it nonetheless because Dustin's always bragging to me in his letters. Plus, I didn't realize how fun soccer is. Who knows? Maybe Brazil will ask my mission president if I can help them out in the World Cup next year... Okay but seriously, I'm really bad. I'm one of those kids in gym class who goes way hard when he has the ball but when he doesn't have the ball, he just makes jokes that no one laughs at. I've had my moments though. I've "5-holed" some missionaries here, rainbowed the ball and even tried a bicycle kick on a cross. (I missed the goal by about 20 feet and jacked my back up. When I stood up I admitted that I surprised myself that I even made contact with the ball and if it went in, I would've just walked inside.) Haha but the Hispanics like me on their team though so just be proud of me.
-I balled it up a couple times here but I wasn't a huge fan of playing with some of the missionaries. I think Lucifer has his hands on church basketball because it literally brings out the worst in everyone. Haha I told the sisters in my district that before they marry their future husbands, to watch them play a church basketball game. I actually left a game one time to play four-square. I know. FOUR SQUARE! (I did get to the King spot one time though... No biggie.)
-I said goodbye to one teacher already and I have one more class tonight with my other teacher. They both have had such a big impact on me and I'm so grateful for them. They both gave me their emails so I can email them if I have any language questions/ just keep in contact. I suspect that it will be a challenge to study an hour a day in Portuguese when I have only had six weeks of learning it. Their emails will come in handy along with a lot of language books and prayer. At first I was worried I would forget a lot but that fear has kind of left me. Not because I have an Apostolic blessing from Elder Richard G. Scott but also because of yesterday.
-The Branch President released my companion and I yesterday as Zone Leaders and told us to take a seat in the congregation with our district as the new ones sat up on the stand. As we gathered our things together though he said, "Elder Welch, don't go to far though because you'll be our first speaker today." AGHHHHHH!!! Haha I actually wasn't too worried though because I had somewhat of a talk prepared and the second counselor gave me a little bit of a heads up that I should "be ready" (haha that's all he said. "Elder Welch, be ready. I would want to know if I were you.") So I kind of knew that the chances were high. Anyway, it was one of the coolest experiences since I've been here. After reading about two minutes of what I prepared, I looked up and everything just came out what I was trying to say. I wasn't thinking in Portuguese but there was definitely some sort of google translator in between my thoughts and mouth- it was incredible. I didn't really skip a beat and I bore my testimony on recognizing the Spirit in our lives. I closed em o nome de Jesus Cristo and sat down. The rest of the mtg went great. About two hours later I got a lot of compliments from different people, not that that's important at all, but how they were impressed with the talk. (Man, okay I feel flat out arrogant in this letter right now just by the things I've said so far... Sorry) I don't say that to say how well I speak Portuguese. Hopefully you know that by me admitting my stories about my "investigator" laughing at my pronunciation of words like "Tiago" (James) or not understanding a very basic, five-worded question. I just wanted to share that experience because of the Gift of Tongues. I had faith that that was real, but it wouldn't happen until the field and in a lesson, and only in the most crucial part of a discussion. Not true. If you prepare yourself, have faith, and are humble (which it doesn't seem like I am right now), the language will totally come. It was a cool testimony to me yesterday and assured me that I'll have a tough time in Brazil speaking Portuguese in the beginning whether I go there now or in 5 months. Don't worry though, I have a written our language study plan for daily, weekly and monthly goals for my language study that I'll be sure to follow in Atlanta.
*Quick side note. MATT! Get on my email and message Andrea Ruzzo. Ask him for his email and tell him that I'm on my mission right now and want to write him and his family. His name keeps popping up in my mind. He and his family were my host family in Italy.
All right, there's a wrap-up of the MTC. I'm absolutely thrilled to head out and FINALLY be a missionary. You enter the MTC all fired up and ready to go, but it's like I said a couple weeks ago. It's like sitting in the locker room for six weeks after Joey D slams his face in your facemask and tells you to Man-up or Coach Griff calls you out in front of the whole team during half-time... I actually don't think I ever told you about that experience but that was definitely I won't ever forget. Regardless, I'm ready. Pumped up and ready to mess some people up missionary style. I said it smells like football season earlier in this email, I change my mind... Smells like Missionary Season. All day, every day for the next two years of my life baby! Can't wait!
I've learned a lot since I've been here, especially through that sickness that literally brought me to my knees and had me pretty much crawling to the bathroom in the middle of the nights. (I lost about 7 pounds from just one week of being sick. I would say about 10 lbs but I weighed myself right after a meal. Haha that sounds so girly...) Anyway, I've learned a lot about faith. I read Ether 12 today and didn't realize how awesome it is. I spent forever on it. So in all of Ether you can recall that descendant after descendant (son/brother/brother in law) goes wicked, wages war, Heavenly Father sends prophets, they kill them or chase them out... You know the story. Finally, Ether comes along and Heavenly Father calls him to be a prophet. I love how in verse two it says that "He could not be restrained because of the spirit which was in him." That's like Clay Matthews style. Nobody's stopping him from getting to the Quarterback... Haha anyway, Moroni interjects his own thoughts in this chapter and says that Ether "prophesied great and marvelous things unto the people" but they couldn't understand him because they "saw them not" or because they couldn't understand them. I think it's similar to the Nephities in 3 Nephi where at first they couldn't understand the words or where the were coming from until they "turned their hearts, ears and sights" to the sound thereof. Anyway, there's so many things I wish I could tell you about this chapter but I want to send some last few pictures before I get on the plane to Atlanta. Moroni summarizes one of the things Ether testified of in verses 6-23. He uses the word "Faith" TWENTY-SEVEN STICKIN' TIMES! He then talks about his Ether's worries because of the awkwardness of his hands and weakness in writing and then Heavenly Father says that if we have faith, weak things will become strong. Scripture Mastery Matt! Yeee for BofM this year! Haha anyway, I love the examples Moroni uses of missionaries in the Book of Mormon who worked miracles only after faith. Read it and weep family.
Anyway, that's definitely comforting to because I don't speak my thoughts (and definitely don't write my thoughts) as clearly as I would like to but thankfully I have the Spirit. I love you all. I know there's a wise purpose in me going to Georgia for x amount of time. I'm not disappointed or discouraged. It's like tithing. If Heavenly Father needed money, He could send down a meteor to blow a hole in Utah where there's a bunch of gold. He has us pay tithing because of who it helps us become. The same is true with my reassignment. I'm anxious to see the type of person He changes me into because in just six weeks, I feel like a different person than before my mission.
The Church is true. Christ lives. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God.
I love you all.