Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MTC Week 2: Majestic Joseph

Oi, família! Tuuuuudo bem?

The MTC is still pretty awesome. It's all pretty much the same thing.. every. single. day. Lots of class, for about 6 hours each day, plus blocks of study time and meals. That's about it.

But I like it! We had our last lesson with Jorge, our "investigator". And lo and behold, guess who he is? Irmão Lemperle, our new teacher! that was really strange. I've called him Pemberly before, so Pride and Prejudice gets thrown into the mix sometimes out hear. BUT the weirdest thing: Irmão Lemperle is like best friends with my friends Adam and Brandon from Spring Term! It was way funny when we figured it out, because he basically flipped out. But I really like him as a teacher, he's really neat. And very into the gospel. It's cool to have two teachers, or as he would say, é fiche, né?

On Tuesday I said goodbye to Sister Bastian, because she's out in the field now! She says she's in a little town in Missouri. It was hard to say goodbye, but I'm so excited for her. We took some pictures that hopefully I'll attach. (The USB thing is working PERFECTLY on this computer!!) I love her a lot.

Uhhhhh during gym time recently, my companions and I have "played" soccer with the other sisters in our zone, since we aren't allowed to play with the elders. And it is a hoot, let me tell you. We pretty much run after the ball just like 5 year olds do, and we end up falling in a heap laughing so hard. I love these sisters. I think I sent a picture of us last week. 

The food here at the MTC... is definitely a little rough on the system. It's good to eat, but boy I'm not quite sure how I'll make it another month. I eat way too many desserts--though Sister Wood has me beat when it comes to cookies, lemme tell ya--and it all is starting to taste kinda the same. But hey, we don't have to cook! That's super nice. I am excited to get into the field, if just to eat homemade meals.... (ps. Alyssa any kind of cookies will do. Seriously. The best kind you know how to make would be so greatly appreciated.)

Elder Freibe, one of the elders going to Boston, said that his family found out that we (plus Elder Rodrigues and a Spanish speaking Sister apparently) will get to Boston in the middle of a transfer, so that'll be interesting. I'll likely get put in a trio, I guess? Eh, we'll see. I'm just mostly glad I won't be going out alone. But it's neat to hear anything about Boston right now! It seems so far away.

I've been in the MTC for 2 weeks now, can you believe it? I have a whole other month to go, and a HUGE amount of Portuguese to learn, but it's coming! The gift of tongues has to be real. I don't know if I've really received it yet, but just the fact that I could carry out a decent conversation in Portuguese after only studying it for 2 weeks is amazing. Eu amo o evangelho! Grammar is hard though. I am getting more out of my French mindset, so that's helping a lot. We have 2 new investigators (our teachers... pretending to be investigators), Jamieson and Kaio. We're teaching both of them tomorrow, so that'll be interesting. Neither of them believe in God, so it's kind of stretching us to figure out where to start. That's where the Spirit comes in! You honestly can't expect to teach without the Spirit, it just won't happen. I can't remember who said this, but I literally must have just read it... anyways, someone said that we are more like Assistant teachers to the Holy Ghost. He's the real teacher, and we just help out. It's really an interesting way to think about it. And so true. I'm already learning a lot about how the Spirit IS the teacher, and I totally have to rely on promptings sometimes.

And I had just the best day ever on Wednesday. I mean, everything was going just our way. It was really nice. We had a really good last lesson with Jorge (Irmão Lemperle...), cleaned bathrooms (yayyyyyyyy as Elder Walter would say), and in class we focused on how we teach doctrine, not facts. It was such a good way to focus on what's most important. They had ice cream in the cafeteria, so you KNOW it was a good day. I also finally found a Massachusetts mission shirt, and it's pretty sweet. Elder Chase came in that day too, and I've seen him around a bunch! It's been really fun to talk to him again. Both of our districts like to make a ridiculous amount of jokes about it (Elder Freibe: I approve of a companion transfer. Elder Rodrigues: For time and all eternity.), but whatever hahaha. AND I was asked to play the piano for sacrament meetings on Sunday, since  for some strange reason I'm maybe the only one who plays? Anyways, I'm so glad, because I get to practice all week long! I love love love playing the piano, and I'm getting better at playing hymns so they sound fancy and not like death marches. Just kidding, I love the hymns. Church is in Portuguese, but the talks so far have been in English. That will change, though.... but otherwise it's really neat!

Some days recently have been really hard, but it's okay. I guess some emotions are finally getting to me? But tudo bem! I still would not trade being here for anything. I love our zone and district, and I am learning so much. Sundaynight, we had a devotional from TC Christensen (you'll know him.. look him up) about pioneers and stuff. It was way amazing! He really emphasized keeping journals, because that's how we all really know about history. And when preparation meets opportunity, miracles happen. It was awesome. I left my notes in our room... OH but last Tuesday we had another devotional, where they talked about having confidence in ourselves and in God. Because with Him we can do all things. Also, think about how you say Jesus Christ's name. We use it to end prayers and talks, but don't say it flippantly. We all should be much more aware how we use it, even if we aren't swearing or anything like that.

Well family, I'm about out of time. I love you! The gospel is true, and the work will move forward!

Sister Knutti

P.S. Majestic Joseph--there are tons of copies of this one picture of Joseph Smith around the MTC. He looks EXACTLY like the prince in Beauty and the Beast... once we had the sisters in our zone over to eat food (Mom, your friend Alisa sent me a jar of Nutella and some other food, it was awesome! I'm gonna try to thank her really fast....) and Sister Lewis, who is just the cutest thing ever, was like "Oh! Your room is right next to Majestic Joseph!" And hence, the title for this week. I love these sisters.

 Elder Friebe gets in a lot of shenanigans.  Thought I'd share

MTC Companions at Provo Temple
MTC District at Provo Temple
MTC district trying to show their gang signs
Sister Kelsey Bastian (a close friend) and Rachel
Sister Larson needs a new journal

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Missionary Training Center (MTC) Week 1

Oi familia!
I love the MTC. It's been so great to be here. My companions are Sister Wood and Sister Larson--we're a trio! It's been so fun. We get along really well and have been pretty darn united, especially as we plan lessons. We have a room for just the three of us in our residence, so it's been a blast with them so far.

Os elderes in my district are Elders Hansen, Roberts, Rodrigues, and Freibe (free-buh.... that took me a while to get). Elders Rodrigues and Freibe are also going to Boston speaking portuguese! I had no idea there were still elders with my same mission, but I'm really glad that I have them to go with me. The rest of our zone is almost entirely going to Portugal (including my two companions), except for one of the zone leaders (actually the other one just left for Brazil sooooo) and a visa-waiter who are both going to Brazil. So basically Elders R & F and I have to speak with an entirely different accent than the rest of our zone, but we hold our own. I didn't realize quite how different it was... but it's okay! It's been super good. We've learned a lot, including how to pray, how to bear testimony, and lots of other verbs and words. Our teacher is Irmao Nothum (this computer doesn't let me do accents. It really must be dumb.), and he's really awesome. Even since Wednesday, the first day, he's spoken pretty much just Portuguese to us. But I understand almost all of it now! The gift of tongues must be real.

Sisters Wood and Larson and I have taught 3 lessons now. We have an investigator who's name we THOUGHT was Jose, but I think it's actually Jorge. Irmao Nothum's fault. Anyways, we taught him an okay lesson on Friday about how Christ is our foundation, then Saturday we had a really great lesson on the Book of Mormon. He was really excited to read it! Obviously, this is a teacher and not a real investigator, but I usually just ignore that fact. It makes it easier to pretend he's a real pesquisador. Also, he only speaks Portuguese. Yeah. We've taught three lessons IN PORTUGUESE. Our third lesson was actually a giant flop. We were teaching him about prayer, but once we were in there and talking to him, we all completely forgot portuguese. And we couldn't answer any of his questions... so I ended up saying "Eu sou que Deus te ama." (I know that God loves you) three or 4 times. It was not super happy. BUT we took some time for ourselves--talking a lot about it and running some basic errands, things like that--and we felt a lot better by our study time after dinner. We definitely needed to learn something from all of this, and we may not know what it is or why, but tudo bem.

Our zone is so fun. The elders in our district are especially funny. I've told Elder Freibe that we sisters know everything, but I don't think he quite believes me. He'll learn. And Elder Roberts can make smoke come out of his mouth. It's crazy. I guess it's just condensed stomach acid? But it's way cool to see! Elder Hansen has a lot of GUSTO, as we like to say. Elder Freibe once said that word, but emphasized the GUSto, so we make fun of him. And Elder Rodrigues is pretty cool too. Haha all the elders are way funny and we treat them like brothers. We all have a lot of fun in class.

Sorry this letter is so crazy! I'm not organized, but oh well hahaha. THIS COMPUTER IS DUMB. Okay, I can send maybe one picture at a time. Ugh. But I'll try to send as many as I can today. I don't have many, but they're fun. I'll try my best.

Jared--my zone leader, Elder (Mark) Brown, from Philadelphia, said he went to EFY with you last year. I think he said he sang for the talent show and you played your beat-box thing? Anyways, small world. He's going to Brazil in 3 weeks or so.

Also. Saturday night, we were all getting ready for bed in the bathrooms down the hall. All of us go back to the room, and the door is locked. All of us left our keys in the room. So we locked ourselves out of our room while in our pjs, without bras, and I didn't have shoes. We had to walk across MTC campus like that--I borrowed our STL's flip flops and card to get into the buildings--to get a spare key from the front desk. We laughed about it a lot, but it was also crazy embarrassing. Good thing it was 10pm so no one was really out and about. Ah, good times at the ole MTC so far.

I saw Elder Wilhelm at the devotional on Sunday night! I've also seen Sister Bastian and a LOT of my other missionary friends multiple times. It's super fun. It made the first day a lot better when I saw a bunch of them.

I got a bunch of Dear Elders from you, Dad! I forgot to tell you all that Dear Elder is AWESOME to send me letters in the MTC, so tell everyone that. If you send it before 12pm MDT, I think I get it that day. And it's super duper fun to get real letters, so please send me some! And send me some emails. Now that you know my PDay is Tuesday, I should be receiving more emails, right? :) Actually though, I would love to get more emails. I also got my jelly beans! Thanks dad :) Mail is so fun for us. I didn't quite understand why until now.
We have to each write a talk for every Sunday (soon they will need to be in Portuguese), because we never know who they will call to speak until it's sacrament meeting! Wow! And my farewell talk should really help with a lot of it, since it is on the Doctrine of Christ. As far as snacks go, Dad, we would love anything and everything. Nothing perishable, because we don't have a fridge or anything, but we all get super hungry throughout the day. The food here is good and we end up eating a lot of it, but Sister Larson and I get hungry in between meals a lot.

I would also love to get emails or letters from all the kids! It'd be fun.

Um. I think this is the last thing--I was studying yesterday in the scriptures, 1 Nephi 15:22 and 36, and I discovered that the tree of life in Lehi's dream is the SAME TREE as in the garden of Eden! Woah! Look up those scriptures and the footnotes and everything, especially where it talks about the fruit. There are a lot of parallels and it's really interesting. Maybe you already knew all of that, but I didn't!

We get to go to the temple today and I'm super excited! Today is just gonna be a great day. Love you all, hope to hear from you soon, and I'll try to send as many pictures as possible!
Sister Knutti

Sister Wood is the blond, and Sister Larson is the brunette.  I have the braid.  Obviously.

 Sister Wood, Sister Knutti, Sister Larson

 Obligatory MTC Map pic

 MTC Zone sisters in front of Provo Temple

Rodrigues is easy to pick out.  Freibe is blond with glasses, Hansen has dark hair, and Roberts is the other blond.  Funny elders.  And then me and my companions.