Monday, 2 February 2015

The Final Countdown

 This was last week's letter...sorry it has taken me so long!

Greetings again, from the last week in the Provo MTC!
We have reached single-digit-days here in the hole, and we couldn't be more excited! By this time next week, I'll be on one of four flights on my way over to the great nation of Cape Verde!
The days have been flying by here. We've started a 'conta final' in the top corner of our whiteboard, and we are now down to solid SEVEN days remaining, here on the inside. It's crazy to think how fast time has flown by in this institution, but also crazy to think how long it's been. It's really quite paradoxical, but THAT'S OKAY :D it was crazy the other day, when it was the 25th, that it had been a whole month since Christmas. Anyways, I'll stop rambling about that!
Something I forgot to mention in my email last week was the fact I got called on in the previous sacrament meeting to give a talk, in Portuguese, about the Holy Ghost. Now, usually on Saturday nights, everyone in the zone tends to forego our companion study and prepare a talk for the next day, but alas, I had forgotten (or neglected) to do so, and as Sunday morning approached, I felt a nagging feeling telling me that it would likely be I who would be called to speak, and such as I felt, I WAS called, having not prepared a talk for the first time since coming here. So that was fun! I was told it wasn't a bad talk, and I'm comfortable enough with my Portuguese that it wasn't allllll too hard. But I know that was some form of karma from Heavenly Father, telling me I gotta step up my game!
This past Tuesday, being the first Tuesday evening devotional with our new presidency, we got to hear from Elder M. Russell Ballard, and it too, just like with Elder Nelson, was an awesome experience. He talked about a variety of things, mostly just advice and guidance for us as missionaries, but a cool thing he spoke on was what to do when the hard days on a mission, or in life, come. He said that, as we have hard days, weeks, or months, we often tend to complain, and get in a rut as to what we are doing and how we are living, that we start to complain and feel sorry for ourselves and feel we need more attention than we receive. It's during these times, he said, that we should sit down, and, as random as it sounds, think about the Prophet Joseph Smith, while in Liberty Jail, in the late 1830s or whenever that was. The guy was in there for like 4 and a half MONTHS, in just about the crappiest conditions possible. He said that, as we do this, we should write a letter to him, to console him in his time there, to try to seek to help him, to be a friend for him, and that, as we do this, we won't feel so sorry for ourselves anymore. I thought that was such an incredible thought, I just wanted to share it with y'all. 
The rest of the week has been pretty good! We taught another Skype TRC lesson on Friday and HECK it was hard. The girl we got had a crappy camera and microphone, so we could hardly hear what she was saying, and she would give us one-word answers when we asked her questions. We got through the half an hour pretty well, and it was good, but it was TOUGH. 
We received our travel plans this week, much to everyone's excitement. We are meeting at the MTC Travel Office at like 6:00am next Tuesday moring, and we fly from here to Atlanta (where I'm DESPERATELY hoping I can find a McDonald's), then from Atlanta to Madrid, and then to Lisbon, and from there, to Praia. It should be a rather long day, but it'll be all good. We actually leave the MTC after the people going to Portugal, but we arrive in Lisbon before they do; we've been throwing that one in their faces a fair amount, so that's been fun for sure.
I should get another P-Day next Monday, so expect to hear from me once more before I depart for the real world.
Y'all rock! Amo todos os y'alls
Elder Massey, o melhor

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