Friday, 2 January 2015

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

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