Monday, December 30, 2013

Elder Boyd and Elder Boyd
I did have a good Christmas, there were a lot of activities, so it was an extremely long day. Elder Bednar was the apostle that came to speak to us! He answered a lot of questions that have been on my mind and he even answered some questions that I didn't know I had till he answered them. The way he did the meeting was really interesting. He had his iPad with him and got some volunteers to pass out two hundred cell phones among the two thousand missionaries. Then he told us all to write a phone number down, and who ever had a cell phone to text any questions they had to that number and they would pop up on his iPad. He would then look through all the messages on his iPad and decide which one's he thought he would like to answer. He said it was his first time doing this, I would say it went pretty well. I thought it was kind of dumb at first but it ended up being an outstanding meeting. It was pretty cool because the meeting was broadcasted worldwide and he answered a question from an elder in the England MTC. I'm kind of going to list off a few things he said that I wrote down that really stood out to me. First of all he told all of us after the cell phones got handed out that if we tried to call home or keep the cell phones he said "I will hunt you down and do bad things to you." it was suuuuuper funny to hear that from an apostle. One of the first questions he answered was "why do I feel so inadequate?" He said that if you, as a missionary called by God doesn't feel inadequate then something is wrong with you. That came as a comfort to all of us. He described the Atonement as being for people who feel inadequate and it enriches people's natural capacities. He straight up told us that he didn't have what it takes to be an apostle. He said that it is only through Christ and the changing power of the Atonement that allows him and others to do things beyond their natural capacities. He said that knowing who you are will help you be able to resist temptation. The thing that stood out to me the most that he talked about was about repentance. I guess I have always thought of the repentance process as being able to remove all of the burdens as soon as you've gone through the steps of repentance. But Elder Bednar said that when you repent, all of the consequences of that sin are not removed. He said only through diligence in the gospel, and over usually a long period of time can you lessen or possible remove all of the consequences of the sin(s). The last thing that he said that really stood out to me was that the power of the Holy Ghost is more powerful than any of the five senses that we have. So those are the main things that I got out of the meeting, I wished he could of stayed longer because it was a reeeeaallly good meeting. There was a famous jazz band that came and played for about an hour, they were super super good. I couldn't of asked for a better Christmas at the MTC.
So I didn't get my reassignment.....turns out I'm staying seven weeks, not six. I'm pretty bummed about it because a lot of Elders and Sisters who got here the same day as I did have already gotten their reassignments. My whole branch is confused about it. Supposedly we are a special group because we were here over thanksgiving and Christmas, and that's why we have to stay another week. It doesn't make sense, but it is what it is. The MTC isn't bad by any stretch but it gets tiring doing the same routine on a small campus for over a month. I'm just really, really ready to get out into the field!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Welp another week has passed. I cannot believe I have been here over a month, it's flown by soooooo quick. I should get my reassignment next Thursday, or possibly earlier since it's the day after Christmas. Im super excited to find out where I'm going. It should be interesting. I got to host the new missionaries that came in last wednesday. As the parents drop their missionaries at the curb I got to welcome them to the MTC and escort them to get all of their materials and show them where their rooms are and stuff like that. It took over two hours and  I escorted four elders. It was a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be! i had a great time. Elder Wolfgramms companion left either at the begining of this past week or the week before that. He got his visa. So now Elder Fossati, Elder Wolfgramm, and I are a tripanionship. Im really happy to have Elder Wolfgramm as my companion.  He has a great testimony and is now our district leader. I just got called to be the online coordinator for our branch. Annnnnd i gave my first talk in Portugues this past Sunday, it went pretty good. Its only had to be three to five minutes long. I spoke super fast (it was all written down except for my intro and testimony) Ive been reading the bom a lot in Potuguese and I can read super fast. But understanding it is another story haha. Im getting there. Pronunciation isnt a problem for me when it come to the language its just a matter of remembering what to say. I teach my last lesson this Tuesday. Which is so crazy. Elder Fossati is hilarious, this past week he has slept in a different spot each night. On like three different beds, the floor, under the desk. I love him, Hes sucha goofball. I wont be able to call you on Christmas, for whatever reason. I've been playing vollyball just about every day and Im getting pretty good at it.

Im going to send you some pictures of my teachers next p day so brace yourselves!
I know it stinks that I don't get to call you on Christmas, but I get to hear from an apostle on Christmas eve and on Christmas day. So I will be in good hands! I will have heard from four apostles, in person, in six weeks. Isn't that insane? I heard from Elder Nelson, Elder Cook, Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the presidency of the seventy, and for Christmas all we know is that for sure we are going to get to hear from two apostles.
Have a wonderful merryful Christmas!

Friday, November 29, 2013

I seriously don't even know where to start. The food is pretty good, I cant complain. Me and my room mates are a little frustrated because the Sisters here are just flat out gorgeous,and that is my only complaint! Modest really is the hottest! I can't complain about my companion because he is just awesome, I have truly been blessed. He is from New Orleans and is of Bolivian herritage. He speaks Spanish so that is a ginormous help. We have taught 5 lessons in Portuguese, a lot of small phrases and small words have become a part of my daily vocabulary. But I would say its still a tad difficult. the language barrier and limited vocabulary when teaching is extremely frustrating. But when I bear my testimony in the little portuguese I know, I can most definitely feel the spirit. There is a teacher that acts as an investigator, and thats who we teach our lessons to. It seems like most of the teachers are men in their earl to mid 20s. My only teacher, bother barlow is 21 and just returned from a mission in Africa that borders Justin's mission.  He's a really good teacher, and strictly speaks Portuguese to us besides one or two English words occasionally. The food is pretty good and the cafeteria is super super nice. The district goes to lift weights just about every day. My residence is on the top 4th floor, and my classroom is on the top 5th florr of another building. So I get to climb escatas (stairs) aaaaaalllll the time. I'm enjoying the MTC quite a bit but I'm ready to leave already and get out into the field.  My room has six beds and we only have four people so thats nice. The showers are NOT open, thank goodness! Our room mates Elder Hough and Elder Wolfgramm are pretty cool. Wolfgramm is from Orlando and is tongan. He's my favorite. Our district joined the missionary choir which has been one of the most musically and spiritually rewarding experiences of my life. Elder Fossati and myself have similar voices so we have fun harmonizing on hinos together haha. We had a Thanksgiving devotional yesterday morning and we got to sing Hope of Israel in front of Elder Russel M. Nelson of the twelve which was amazing. There were over 3,000 people in the room and as soon as he entered everyone stood up so fast for him and a wave of the spirit just entered the room. We are going to have another general authority that we will get to sing to at a devotional next tuesday as well. I'm really stoked. The choir director said that out of the 11 years he has been the choir director at the mtc these next several weeks are going to be the most exciting he's ever experienced here.  My room mates always tell me my mom loves me too much because of all the food you sent me, thanks for that by the way mom! (ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE ME FAT?!) That's about all I can think of at the moment. We'll be back together sooner than you think. Especially when you "invite others to come unto Christ and to receive the restored gospel" I can tell its going to be a great experience in the field. My testimony has already grown immensely and I cannot wait to go and help others receive the knowledge and happiness that I have. Missionaries are what brought the gospel into my family years ago, and owe it to my Heavenly Father to plant seeds of the gospel in other families and lives. FYI I am actually not homesick, I'm just simply to busy to be.  I'm doing the best possible thing I could do right now at this point in my life. It so beautiful out here, I have a wonderful view out of any window I look out of. But nothing compares to the South.
Much Loves,
Elder Boyd