As far as we know, Nathanael is transferring to his mission today! I'm so excited to hear about his first area and trainer. I'm really hoping the food is better than the MTC food because he can't afford to lose too much more weight. Because of the transfer, we won't hear from him until next Monday, October 31st. He sounds great, and from the experiences he is sharing it seems like he is being taught powerful lessons. I'm so hungry for pictures of him I can't stand it! Hopefully I'll have some to post next week. Enjoy the letter!
Hey!!! Thanks for emailing as always!
I loved reading your guys' emails so much. Thanks. It sounds like life is good but crazy for you guys! I hope Disneyland/everything else was/is great. I loved your guys' pictures. Especially the duck haha. Not all of them are coming through but I think that's just the computers here, so I'll be sure to look again when I get to the field. (Tuesday!!)
Miss you guys so much. Every week here is better though. I'm learning to work harder and focus better. I'm getting a little stir crazy for the field, too. I'm happy to be here but can't imagine having 12 weeks instead of 6. That would be nuts. The language is more or less a little better every day. Honestly it's really, really hard, a lot harder than I thought it would be for certain reasons, but I feel like I have enough to survive out there and I'm sure I'll pick it up even faster in the field, especially if my trainer is a Brazilian. (Oh dear.)
I'm pretty nervous for the field. I know it's why I'm here, and I'm excited about that, but I'm starting to feel a lot of pressure. I'm wondering if I'll be able to meet the needs of the people I teach, reach the people I'm supposed to reach, be as diligent and hard-working as I want to be, and so on. I've had a couple of really nervous moments. I'm stressed but if my experience in the field is anything like my experience in the MTC, it'll be hard but I'll be ok. I've been reflecting a lot on my 5 1/2 weeks here and I feel that if I've learned anything, it's that the Lord's grace is sufficient. I have a feeling that my testimony of that truth is really going to be tried out in the field, but during my MTC stay I've had to rely on the Lord in some ways more than ever before and He has been a constant presence in my life according to my needs. It's been really incredible. He's increased my capacities and also just carried me countless times. I haven't been perfect here (to my great chagrin, haha) but I've grown closer to the Lord, and I count that as a win. I really have the feeling that that will be the story of my mission, which makes me a little nervous for the challenges that lie ahead, but also makes me feel really grateful. This is something I really need in my life.
We've seen a MTC devotional twice now that Jeffery R. Holland gave about his mission. The first time we watched it was my first day here and I was not in the mood to hear it -- he basically talks about how his mission meant everything to him because he had the experience of walking where Christ walked, just a little bit, in that he was thinking and worrying about his investigators all the time. The second time we heard this devotional was about a week ago, and it hit me a lot harder that time. I've been thinking about it a lot, mostly because I'm starting, in my own small way (and I'm not even in the field yet, so bear with me), to see what he means. I mentioned I'm feeling a lot of pressure and nervousness about how I'll do in the field, and I was thinking that the Savior probably felt some worry about the people He taught and that He probably really wanted to do everything that had been asked of Him. Obviously for Him it was a completely different scale, and in most ways it's not comparable to what my experience will be, but I feel like in my own little way I'm learning a lot more about the Savior by experiencing a shred of what He experienced. It's very, very humbling to me. I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to follow Him in a way that very few people have the chance to do. Being a missionary is unique and I'm scared to get to the field, but really excited, for this reason and others.
I hope all is good with you guys! I miss you guys all the time and think about you all the time, but don't worry, not too much, most of the time haha. :) By the way, I got to go proselyting last Saturday again and it was absolutely the most incredible experience! Maybe one of the best 1.5 hours of my life. Elder Work and I managed to place 9 Books of Mormon and we got 2 referrals. It was a time literally full of miracles. I was terrified right before, because who wouldn't be (not me!), and I was just praying a lot that the Lord would help us. He certainly did. We were able to understand people, talk to people, explain stuff, and answer questions. I think we were lead to certain people, and when it came time to do referrals because we ran out of books, the Lord literally basically did the work for us. We approached a group of people and I just knew what to say -- I asked them if they believed in Jesus Christ (it's a good approach- I only had one person say no the whole time we were proselyting, because this is Brazil I guess), and if they went to church. One of them said no, I asked if they wanted to learn more about ours and explained that we were missionaries, and they said yes! It was so amazing! So they filled out the form and there you go. Afterwards, someone asked how we got the referral and I just knew it wasn't us. I don't know how to explain it, but even though it was us saying the words and doing the stuff, it wasn't us. I don't really know how to explain it -- I think you just have to experience it, or take my word for it. It was incredible. I know the Lord helps His missionaries (and everyone too).
Something happened during proselyting that reminded me of Dad so much that I can't not share it. Dad, we were walking down the street and saw two guys wearing Epica shirts. I wanted to stop and talk to them but they were pushing carts of merch or something so we passed them. It was pretty cool for me though. Later, we were walking back down that same street and we saw them and another guys hanging out and smoking outside. I wanted to try talking to them really, really bad so we went up to them. I said, "Hey, you guys like Epica? My dad totally interviewed Simone Simons!" It was so cool! We talked for a minute. They asked me if I was there for the show (I guess there was an Epica show in São Paulo last week!) and I explained we were missionaries. I talked about the church and offered them a Book of Mormon. They didn't take it but they were really nice and I felt like I made a positive connection. I thought that was a pretty neat experience.
We went to the temple again today and that was good. Every time we go, I feel some peace, and I really need that. I'll have to adjust to not going every week in the field.
Well that's really all I have time for. I think the next chance I'll have to email you will be Halloween, so that will probably be the next time you'll hear from me. I'll send all my pictures, and probably have quite a few stories already haha, so look forward to that. :) Love you guys tons. Hope you guys are doing well. I pray for you. I'm glad to hear Heavenly Father is blessing you, because I need to know you guys are doing good.
Love you guys!!