Friday, August 1, 2014

MTC Week 3--Halfway Through???

Well hey there family and friends! This week marks the halfway point at the MTC and it is freaking me out. Like really. I'm going to be in Boston in 3 weeks. Sometimes I wish I could just go there now, but I still have way too much to learn haha.

Sorry this will be so crazy, but here we go: Thank you for the cookies, kiddos! My companions and I loved them. We still have some to eat, mostly because they're all crumbs. But they still taste delicious! And I really enjoyed Superman, Ryan, thank you. Also, my friend Betsy from ASL class sent me cupcakes! If you're reading this, Betsy, thank you thank you thank you. Next time I see you I'm gonna give you a big hug (since she works at the MTC, I've seen her a bunch haha).

So. I had a few hard days last week, just realizing how little I now in Portuguese, especially compared with what I want to know. My little slump lasted 2-3 days, where I just  was so frustrated, but during TRC (see below) I bore my testimony with as much sincerity and gusto as I could muster, and that helped a lot! I think it brought the Spirit, and everyone could feel it. After that, I got out of the slump. Even though I still have just a bucketload to learn, it's okay. I may not be able to converse with people right now, but if I can testify, it will work out. A igreja é verdadaira! And if I do my best, Heavenly Father will help me. And my best is enough. Sometimes I get frustrated because I feel like I don't have enough time to study, especially language--we have class for 6 hours every day, plus we're teaching 2 investigators now, so time is cramped--but as long as I do my best, all will be well.

TRC is basically when we sit and talk with members (in Portuguese.... most of them served missions in Brazil or wherever) about the gospel and their lives. We essentially can't "mess them up", because they are already members! That's nice, haha. We bear testimony and we're supposed to invite them to do something like pray or share their testimony with someone else, but we totally forgot. Whoops.

With our lessons, I have learned that I really love teaching about the Restoration! It brings the Spirit really strongly. The best was yesterday--we taught Jamieson, the one who wants to believe in God but doesn't, and Sister Wood recited it (our whole district now has the First Vision memorized in Portuguese, which I think is really cool.) and the Spirit was SO STRONG. I just know that it's all true. 

Honestly, lately I've been focusing on whether my testimony is strong enough. And it could be stronger, for sure, but I've really figured out that because I have tried to follow God and Christ and do as They would like me to do, I must be where the truth is. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers, and because He has answered mine, this church must be true. Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration, and the Book of Mormon is the word of God. If you haven't read it, DO! It is honestly the foundation of everything we believe, and if it's true, everything is. If it's not, Mormonism is the greatest fraud in all of history. I mean, 15 million people fooled by one book? No way. The Church of Jesus Christ of LAtter-day Saints is Christ's church on the earth. Without a doubt. 

For some fun facts from this week:
-Four square is the bomb dot com. Oh meu goodness. It's so fun. We play with the elders in our zone, and it becomes so intense. But let me tell ya, I was ON FOGO yesterday--I was in the king spot for like 6 times in a row, and that was only one time I was in that square! Four square, or quatro-quadros in português, is a serious thing round these here parts. It's a highlight of every day.
-Sister Larson and I have taken to singing Disney songs in the shower, and it is fantastic. (we take showers next to each other... not together. That would be awkward) Sister Wood was a little... blown away by my talents I think, especially for how low I can go when singing "Be Prepared" from Lion King. Wowza. It's another highlight. And I know wayyyyy too many words to, oh, every single Disney song. Be proud of your daughter for that.
-So Sunday we watched a bunch of Mormon Messages, including the Bullying video. FUN FACT, the brother in that video is going to the Marshall Islands and he's here! We've seen him like 4 times now, and we talked to him on Sunday to make sure it was him. It was! Hahaha the elders were pretending to be fangirling, and it was great. One of them asked for his signature. But anyways, he's here and going on his mission soon! Crazy.

Sunday was the best day I think I've had thus far. Lemme tell ya why.
First: Sheri Dew spoke (we have speakers, not lessons) in Relief Society. You read that right. She talked about the Priesthood, and the difference between authority, keys, and power. Anyone, but especially missionaries, has access to some of the power of the priesthood (aka the power of God) ALWAYS. Isn't that neat?? I may not hold the priesthood, but that does not mean I am powerless or anything less than men. That's just not true! Her 5 main points:
1. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are perfect
2. The Savior's Church is perfectly designed to help both men and women receive exhaltation
3. We believe in a living prophet
4. The Church is not a democracy
5. God wants a powerful people (and that's why we have access to His power!)
Oh it was so good. I'll have to let you read all of my notes when I come home.

Second: we watched Elder Bednar's "Character of Christ" devotional from a few years back at the MTC. And it is so good. He talked a lot about how we need to turn outward, as Christ did, instead of inward, like the natural man tends to do. Also, "conversion is consistently being true to what you know" AND "NOW begin a lifelong pursuit to learn not about Christ, but OF Him". Wow it was so good. You'll want to see those notes too.

Also, church is in Portuguese. Sister Larson was called on to speak (in Portuguese), and she did so well! I still play the piano and it's fantastic. The prayers are all in the language, so that's exciting. Relief Society is all the sisters in the MTC together, so that's English, and we don't have SUnday School. But I really enjoy it.

I am learning SO MUCH here at the MTC! I love it, even if it is more of a bubble than BYU ever was. Wowza. But I have a lot of new and old friends here, and I like Portuguese a lot, and A IGREJA é VERDADEIRA! Deus nos ama! Eu amo o evangelho! O Livro de Mórmon é a palavra de Deus, e se nós lemos o Livro, podemos saber Deus e Jesus Cristo.

I love you all, miss you all, but don't want to come home for another 75 weeks! Tchau!
Sister Rachel Knutti

 Elder Friebe touched Sister Wood.
 Elders Saunders and Chase (Rachel's friends from BYU)
 The Majestic Joseph picture as referenced in the last post
 Matching shirts...well, except for Boston.
MTC district at the map. 
Elders playing 3-way slide

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