As I started reading his email, it was obvious he was discouraged. I think he expected to be able to go out and just understand and speak (I remember thinking I would be able to at least understand a little when I got out but it was a reality check for sure) so it was really eye opening for him. As we chatted with him, and Carl and I were able to share stories about when we first got to our missions, we all ended up having a good laugh. I think when we signed off he was feeling a little better about things. This is such a growing time, but he will get the hang of it. It's good for Nathanael to realize that these things take time and that he needs to rely on his Heavenly Father. If you haven't had a chance to write him, now might be a good time. I think he could use some extra encouragement. Enjoy his letter!
It was good to get your emails. It's been a long break in-between P-Days for me too but now I think it'll only be one week in between from now on. Can I just say this last week has been crazy?? We got here Tuesday morning and met our new companions in the afternoon. President and Sister Bangerter are really nice, and slightly scary haha, but very cool. President Bangerter seems to have a lot of confidence in me which is nice. My new companion is Elder Oliveira. He's from central Brazil, I forget where exactly, and has been out for 8 months. He is a great missionary and speaks quite a lot of English, which is helpful. The food here is pretty good, and yes, better than the MTC haha.
I don't want to worry you guys but I'm really, really struggling out here. I know it's only my first week but dang. I can hardly understand what anyone is saying, my speaking is poor, and my teaching is terrible. I feel bad for Elder Oliveira because I can tell he really wants to just get out there and teach people effectively and I feel like I'm ruining that! I can tell he's really frustrated a lot of the time, and I don't know what to do. I can only do my best, right? But I'm having a lot of good experiences here. We taught our first lesson on Thursday (we didn't get to our new apartment until Thursday, because we got stuck near the mission home for two days -- still not really sure why, but oh well). The Spirit was really strong and I was able to share the first vision story with this really nice lady. We are continuing to teach her and she's interested in our message, so that's great! Our zone is São João de Boa Vista (Saint John of Good View, or something), area Centro (center). Apparently this area is infamous for being really tough; there hasn't been a baptism here since March. It feels tough to me but I have a lot to adjust to anyway, haha.
Glad to hear Disneyland was fun! And Tuacahn too. Sorry the play wasn't that great but at least you guys had fun. I'm jealous about all the Christmas decorations and stuff. That's definitely my favorite part of the year. I can't wait to hear about all the holiday fun.
Sorry to hear about your wrist, Mom. I hope you feel better quick. That's no fun. :( I'm glad Tanner is so excited. I feel bad because I haven't had the chance to write him back yet, but I will today. We have a lot more time to write here in the field. Also, the weather here is nice. It's pretty hot and always humid but I'm pretty used to it. It's not too bad.
The way to send packages and stuff is just to the address for the mission (I forget what that is). Then our zone leaders pick them up every month. I never got your guys' letters but I'm hoping they show up soon!
Do you guys have any advice? I didn't want to be able to say this but I think this is the hardest thing I've ever done, and it's only my first week in the field!! Man!! It's good of course and the Lord is with me, but this is so, so hard. What helped you guys to adjust when you served missions? Was the language difficult? Did you guys find teaching hard? What helped you? I know I'll be ok, and I've talked to a couple of Americans who have been here for a couple months and they said it gets easier with time, but this is incredibly difficult to the point where I almost don't know what to do. I felt in church yesterday that if I go out there and do my best, love the people, that the Lord will accept and augment my humble offering, and I'm grateful for that, but man. Anyway, don't let me complain too much -- I'll give you all the wrong idea. I'm very happy to be here and I know I'm going to have a great experience. It's just very overwhelming right now.
Love you guys and miss you tons.