Wow. This was honestly the most amazing week, and I have been stoked to tell you all about it, so let's get started!
Tuesday was our first P-day at the MTC, and it went by soooo fast! We went to the temple and did a session in the afternoon that took us 3 hours, and it was a nice peaceful vacation from the chaos that the MTC is! I'll be completely honest though, it was a struggle to stay awake.....Hopefully it won't be so hard today! Later that night we had an awesome devotional all about utilizing the Book of Mormon and not being afraid to teach from the Book of Mormon with our investigators because it truly is the most powerful tool we have-especially when we pair it with the power of the spirit.
Wednesday was definitely the hardest day for me so far at the MTC. Sis. Parkinson and I had planned a really good lesson for Joao, but shortly after we got in the room to teach him, he started talking about death-that's about all I picked up from what he was saying, and I was getting pretty frustrated that I couldn't understand what he was saying. I just prayed during the lesson that I would know what he was saying, or that I would know what to say, but nothing came and Sis. Parkinson took control of the rest of the lesson. When we got out of the lesson Sis. Parkinson said, "I can't believe Joao just told us he has cancer!" It was at that moment that I felt absolutely helpless and like I had failed as a missionary. I cannot even start to explain how it feels to just sit there not knowing how to comfort someone as they express their difficulties with you. It crushed me. I was frustrated that I couldn't understand what he was saying, I was frustrated that I didn't know what to say, and honestly I was feeling quite down that I didn't receive the help I needed at that time. We were walking back to the classroom after that meeting and I couldn't help but cry because Joao was in so much pain and I couldn't help him at all. Needless to say, it was a pretty rough night, but after lots of prayer and comfort from those around me, I was able to realize one thing:
I may not be able to speak Portuguese (yet), and I may not be able to perfectly answer our investigators questions, or understand them as much as I would like, but if there is one thing I can do-I can love my investigators.
Joao was only our first investigator, yet I have felt so much love for him. I wish I could explain it. We only taught him 5 times, yet the love I feel for him is unreal.
Now, with that being said........Thursday we saw miracles happen. Miracles. After being a little depressed at our teaching job the night before, me and Sister Parkinson were determined to nail our next lesson with Joao. The first miracle occured when the Elders in our district gave Sis. PArkinson a blessing before our lesson with Joao because she was feeling really sick, but as soon as we got into the lesson she felt fine. For our lesson, we decided to keep it really simple-we explained more about the spirit world and answered some of his questions, we sang families can be together forever for him in Portuguese.....Let's just take a moment and talk about this for a moment:
First of all, I know what you are thinking-"Michaela.....Singing in front of people? No way." If you know me, you know that is probably my least favorite thing in the whole world, and I was very nervous about it at first, but as my and sister Parkinson were practicing it brought the most amazing spirit and I know that is exactly what we needed to do in that lesson. Also, Portuguese hymns are probably my favorite things in this world, so I would highly recommend it to all of you.
So after we gave our short lesson and sang with Joao, we gave him a card to let him know we were thinking about him and then testified simply and boldly. He read the card and got emotional as he was reading it. The spirit in there was unlike anything I have ever felt before. It wasn't the typical feeling of the spirit that I have felt, but it radiated out of the room and felt so warm. We sat there for a minute in silence just soaking in that feeling, and then I asked him if he would be baptized in 2 weeks. Before he even responded I knew what his answer would be. He said YES!!!!!!!!! He was super emotional and said he felt the spirit. Sister Parkinson and I didn't even know what to do! We were so happy, and as we were saying I couldn't hold the joy that I felt inside of my and I just started to cry. We said goodbye and as soon and we got out the door I just gave Sister P. the biggest hug. We couldn't believe what we just experienced. It was incredible. As the other Elders and Sisters went in to teach Joao after us, they came back and told us that they could still feel the spirit in there as they walked in the room.
The church is true family. I know it. It is incredible.
On Friday we found out that Joao is actually our new Language teacher...aka Irmao Belchior. Now we had heard rumors that our first investigator really isn't an investigator, but is actually your teacher, but I didn't think about it like that because I wanted to see this person as a real investigator. Let me tell you a little bit about Irmao Belchoir. He is the most solid individual ever! He is from Africa, but I am pretty sure he will be an apostle one day, because when he speaks to us it just honestly blows me away how powerful he is. When he first came into our class on Friday the first thing he did was call us all to repentance! He asked us a few questions:
"Are you worried about you missions?"
"Are you worried about the language?"
"Do you believe your call was inspired by God?"
And then he asked us to all open our eyes and he told us:
"What are you worried about? Are you doubting God? If so, I would advise you to repent."
Now obviously it was a little bit more detailed than that, but it definitely hit me like a ton of bricks!
I am running out of time, so I will summarize the rest of the week really quick!
-Saturday was Valentines day..... #tear
-Sunday was great until I got food poisoning.....Literally felt like someone was stabbing me in the gut......but I'm better now and that has been the only bad experience I have had with the food here so I consider myself lucky compared to most.
-Monday we had class again with Irmao Belchior and my new name is "DJ Selk" so I am pretty much the bom digity of the class room.
I am loving my experience as a Missionary! It definitely has its ups and downs, but the downs are so so so small compared the the highs I feel here! It is incredible! Thanks for everything you guys are doing for me! I really appreciate everything. Amo Voces!
|Elder Reni and Elder Papa T and another moose....|
|Elder Hinkey and Elder Papa T. (Elder Hinkey is the biggest crack up of my life!!) And yet another moose!|