Thursday, 22 January 2015

What Even is Time Anymore?

                                                   Elder Brownlee from Calgary!  Small world!

                                 Elder Bannerman from Michigan who is also going to Cape Verde

It's been week five in the MTC, and MAN, time just feels like its all molding into one! It's hard sometimes to remember what happened last week different from the week before. It gets harder and harder to believe sometimes that there is a world outside the MTC, and even though people write me and SAY there's a world out there, I'm not too sure if I believe all of you :P
This week has been a good one, though. Last Tuesday, we had the awesome opportunity to hear from Elder Nelson again, he and his wife came and spoke to us again, as it was the MTC Presidency's last Devotional. For being 90 years old, it's incredible how fast and energetic he is, holy! It's super cool to see though, and to see how much love an Apostle of the Lord can have for us.
On Friday, we got to speak with a person from Brazil on Skype, which was pretty darn cool. Our first guy we called lost his connection, so we had to call a friend of one of our teachers to talk to briefly, but it calmed SOME of my fears about not being able to understand native-speaking Portuguese people. I got just about everything they said!! It's seriously so cool how the Lord helps us learn and grow, both within the language, and as missionaries. I'm really learning to love this language, Portuguese is the tongue of the chosen people. I'm so excited I've got the opportunity to learn it and grow through it. Heavenly Father helps me every single day with it!
On Sunday, we had our new MTC Presidency come in. It was a cool devotional, getting to hear from them and their wives. They happen to be EXTRA cool, because they all, at some point or another, served a mission in Brazil, or Portugal, as missionaries, or mission presidents. They're basically our homies, even though we've never talked to them. 
A couple other things that have happened this week:
Elder Penner and I, during our gym time, have decided to get big, and real strong, by running a mile every day, and doing 75 push-ups, and 60 sit-ups. It's always a good push, and a good way to get moving and let everything out. 
We've begun to refer to the MTC as the 'Telestial Kingdom', as dubbed by Elder Kroll. As awesome as an experience as it is, I think we're all ready to get going. We've started a 'Final Countdown' on the board in our classroom. 14 days!!
I've also memorized Doctrine and Covenants 4 in Portuguese, I'm pretty pumped about that. It feels pretty boss to go off in a different language. Portuguese rocks!
Being a missionary is truly the best job on Earth. 
Thanks for all your love and support! You all rock!
Eu amo vĂ´ces!  (I love you!)

Elder Massey

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

A month in the Lord's army

Hello all!
It's been a month on the inside. It's hard to believe sometimes there's a whole world going on outside these walls. The walls are the only things I know any more. These walls are comfort. These walls are life.
It's been another good week! First week as a district leader has gone pretty well. We've been able to set goals and grow as a district, it's really cool to see. One of the amazing things to see is how the Lord works through us as we learn the language. Portuguese is honestly an incredible language, I love it so much. I see every day how I'm able to improve and grown in my ability through help from the Lord. Some days, he gives me the Gift of Tongues freely, and other days he seeks to humble me by pulling it away. I never understood how that could work before a mission, but man do I see it now. 
I had the opportunity to host new missionaries as they were dropped of last Wednesday, and got the opportunity (by total chance) to host Curtis Davidsen! IT was so cool!! I walked up to the car and I was like 'HEY! I know you guys!!'. It was so cool :)
We had our second TRC this week, and we got to meet with 2 different people. We meet with Mia, from Hawaii, who served in Brazil, and we were able to share a simple message, and I understood everything she said! It was so cool! After, we taught a really cool guy named Devin, who also served in Brazil, but had WAY more of an accent, and I was able to catch about 40% of what he said. Like I said, the Lord feels the need to take away the Gift of Tongues sometimes, and that's when we REALLY learn. 
I'm still enjoying the MTC a lot. It's a super cool opportunity to be here right now. The MTC Presidency had their last devotional on Sunday, and we closed with singing 'God Be With You Til We Meet Again' and the Spirit was so incredibly strong. It was amazing. We should have a new Presidency in tonight though, which should be interesting. 
The last main thing to happen this week was saying goodbye to Elder Jensen last night. He shipped out to the field this morning. I'm so excited for him, and I know he'll be an incredible missionary. 
Have an incredible week everyone!!
Elder Massey

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

New Year, New District Leader

Happy New Year all! I guess its 2015 now so that's pretty boss.
Our New Year's celebrations weren't much, because the MTC didn't make much of a spectacle of it (big surprise, I know) BUT we did have a fun time in the dorms on New Year's Eve. I received a beautiful gift of two small Martinelli's Sparkling Cider, which were popped and passed around. We did our final Barefoot 100, with celebration in the form of confetti poppers. There was lots of singing and shouting and yeah, it was a swell time. I spent most of my New Year's Eve night eating chips and queso in my room with Elder Buchanan and Elder Jones, which was basically it's own swag party all together.
Other than that, not much has been made of the New Year. Some exciting news from this week, Kenrick *cough* I mean Elder Jensen, came to the MTC, and just HAPPENS to be on my floor. We're hanging out just about every night, it's pretty darn cool. 
We had a change up in our zone on Sunday, they changed out our zone leaders with Elder Bullock and Elder Masubelele, which meant a district leader needed to be called. And who got called? Well, certainly only Elder Massey 2.0! What took the so-called 'Elder Massey the First' months to achieve, only took the new-and-improved version THREE WEEKS. Joking aside, I don't mean to be prideful in my calling by any means. I'm excited for the opportunity I have to serve the elders in my district, and learn how to be a leader. I have such and awesome district, and I'm so excited to be able to go through this glorious MTC with them. 
Portuguese continues to come along! On Sunday, we had our fast Sunday, in which we, as a district, decided to fast for the Gift of Tongues, and for the Gift of Teaching, and honestly, I've noticed an effect already. It is seriously so cool. Sunday night, I said our room prayer before we went to bed, and it was probably the best I've spoken so far. The Lord truly does help His servants. It's awesome :)
On Friday, we have the opportunity to do a thing called TRC, Teaching Resource Centre. Last Firday was our first TRC, and what we get to do, is we have the opportunity to meet with a Portuguese speaking member, for about 20 minutes, and share a message with them, just as missionaries do when they come over for dinner appointments. Elder Maake and I met a guy named Zach who served in Brazil, and it went really really well. Maake was so pumped after, and gave me the first genuine thank you since being here. It was really cool of him to do so. Things get sorta better every day, but it's no secret I'm not his favorite person in the world. We continue to work at it though, and I notice the Lord helping us in some way every day :)
On Sunday, we found out we'll be getting a new MTC presidency in about a week or so here. Guess that's kinda exciting, it might mean we get to see another general authority come through, which would be super neat. 
Anyways, I think that's all for now. Stay warm Canada!

Elder Massey, the Greater
              Elders Platt (California) Massey and Bullock (Sean's EFY friend going to the same mission!)

                                                           Almost halfway there....MTC that is!

                  Sean's MTC teacher who is the older brother of one of Mark's friends on his mission!
                                so this is Elder Massey Jr. with Brother (formerly Elder!) Lemperle Sr.

Elder Massey Sr. (on the right in black) with Elder Lemperle Jr. (on the right in red)

It truly is a small world!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Those Christmas Lights Keep Shining On

Hello all!!
It's been a whole week again in the MTC here (or so they tell me, it really feels like a day since I last wrote). 
Christmas in the MTC was a blast. We had a devotional from Russell M. Nelson in the morning, for which our district sat in the second row. It was really an awesome experience. He spoke of the different aspects of the gospel that make up the message of Christ, it truly was a fantastic message. As he closed, he bore his testimony saying "I know the God lives". How incredible a statement. He knows. I don't beleive he has faith, but that what he has, is a true knowledge of what he bears testimony of. He gave us, as missionaries, an apostolic blessing, of well being, of love and care, of the constant companionship of the Spirit, and of so many other amazing things. He opened his talk my making sure we told everyone at home that he wants to say 'Thank you', to all of our families. He told us, that he, the Quourum of the Twelve, and the First Presidency, all say thank you, to all of YOU. How does that make you feel? I'd say pretty darn special. The rest of Christmas was pretty nice too, we got to see different talents of missionaries at a Talent Show, we had an evening program that included musical numbers from actors playing in the local production of A Christmas Carol, and closed out the day by watch Ephraim's Rescue, a movie about the story of a man who helped give aid to the early pioneers crossing the plains in the hand cart companies. It was really an awesome movie. Christmas in the MTC sure was a treat.
The rest of this week has REALLY flown by. The language gets better every day. Some elders are really getting down on themselves for not learning the language as fast as they beleive they should, but it truly is a process. All I can say is that it gets better every day. It truly is SO different.
IT's been snowing a lot, which has caused for a few elders in my district (myslef included) doing a nightly run of what we call 'The Barefoot 100'. What we do, is we take off our shoes and socks, and run a lap of our residence building, in as much snow as we can. It's truly fantastic. 
This past Sunday, we had the opportunity to hear from David Archuleta and Richard Elliot, the organist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He played various arrangements for us, and David Archuleta sang versions of 'If the Savior Stood Beside Me', and 'Come Come Ye Saints', among many others. It was such a treat to hear from both of them. We closed the meeting by hearing Brother Elliot playing Hark All Ye Nations with Brother Archuleta singing, before we joined in on the last verse. I could only think of how jealous SOME freinds back home would be to know that I was sitting 5 rows back for David Archuleta, singing different church hymsn. It was so so cool. 
I think of all of you back home so much, and appreciate your kind words, support, and packages.
Thank you all!
Love, Elder Massey, 2.0
                                                        Elder Bullock and Elder Massey

                                                        The district on Christmas Day

Belated first letter

 Greetings from the Provo MTC

Hello all!! 
Week one has nearly passed in this great Provo MTC. It may be a bit of a prison, but it's not terrible by any means.
I have been a missionary for just a week and I am already feeling so much love from my Heavenly Father, He truly loves each and every one of us. This week has been a learning curve for sure, and I know he's been helping me all along the way with it. As awesome as this week has been, it has come with it's share of struggles.
I guess the most difficult trial for me, so far at least, has been learning to work and live with a companion. My companion is Elder Maake, from Johannesburg, South Africa. Elder Maake truly has a fantastic testimony, but sometimes I struggle to communicate with him.  We get better and better every day, but we still have our struggles. He really is a good guy, and he does have a big heart and a strong love for this gospel. 
The other tough thing this week has been the learning curve coming with the language. As cool as it is to learn a new language, I envy all the Elders whose name-tags read "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" rather than "A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Ultimos Dias". I'm learning to love the language, but it certainly isn't easy. However, I am so very thankful for the opportunity I have to learn Portuguese! We have had the opportunity to teach 'Jose', an 'investigator' (really a return missionary just speaking in Portuguese), and the lessons we teach are entirely in Portuguese. Each companionship had to teach him on like our 2nd day here. It's been more than a little intimidating! We've had 3 opportunities to teach him, and each time it gets better and better. So far, I can say half my prayers in Portuguese, bear a simple testimony, and communicate very little. It's getting better each day though. 
It's so much fun to see all the elders and sisters, united in purpose to serve the Lord. The first day we were here, they had all the new missionaries in a short meeting, and they had us sing "We'll Bring the World His Truth", and it was so cool. I was reminded of the time I stood with Lincoln at Moroni's Quest and we sang the EFY medley side by side, and how we both now serve as members in his army. It's so so neat.
As for our district, there are 4 companionships of elders. We had one companionship of sisters, but one of them went home due to anxiety, so our lone sister joined a companionship in another district in our zone. Our district leader is Elder Masubelele, from the same ward as Elder Maake, and is companions with Elder Bullock, from Magrath. We're all in the same room together, as we're all going to the same mission. The other companionships are Elder Buchanan (from Portland, Oregon) and Elder Gee (Utah), Elder Jones (Oregon as well) and Elder Simpson (Boise, Idaho). They're all going to the Portugal Lisbon mission.  We all get along well as a district. Elder Gee reminds me a heck-of-a-lot of Zach Wheler, he's 6'5, and disappears when he turns sideways. He has a similar sense of humor too, so even though I couldn't see Zach before I left, I'm living with his doppelganger-in-body-and-in-spirit for the next 5 or so weeks. Elder Buchanan and I get along very well as well, he's just as avid a Coldplay fan as I am, so we go off each other well. In all, there's 8 elders here going to Cape Verde on February 3rd. Elder Wakeham and Elder Penner, and Elder McMullin and Elder Bannerman. They're all in different districts in our zone.
Man, it sure is hard to talk about the whole week, there's so much that's gone on. I believe we'll be hearing from Elder Nelson on Thursday, so I'm very excited for it. 
I miss all of you back home, and love you all so much!!
Thank you so much for your letters, both on email, and Dear Elder. Dear Elder is BOSS.
Merry Christmas everyone!!

Elder Massey, 2.0