November 23, 2012
I got all of your letters on Wednesday and I loved them. I'm in the laundry room right now waiting for my laundry. Its not as bad as you described it in your letters. I assume they've improved since then. So I really started warming up to the MTC on like Wednesday. Leading up to that point was pretty discouraging. I think I expected it to be easier than it is. Portuguese is coming slowly but surely. That was really the main reason for all of my complaining and stuff. We've taught our mock investigator 4 times now. The first 3 times were basically just reading off our prepared lesson in Portuguese. But our last time I actually got out of my notes more and started talking to him very slowly. But at least now I can somewhat communicate. They have this program on the computers here which is kind of like Rosetta stone but the lds version. It has helped me to develop my vocabulary pretty fast. I was surprised how well i did in the mock lesson. I talked about the restoration and the BOM. We asked him to be baptized at the end and he said he had already been baptized in his other church. I hadn't studied vocabulary on how to talk about how we have the right priesthood authority but somehow the spirit led me through it. My companion and my vocabularies combined were good enough to answer all his questions. I know how to pray and testify in Portuguese too. I'm surprised at how fast it's coming. But I know I still have tons to learn. My shoes are breaking in I think. Thanks for the Clarks. I haven't received them yet but I'm pretty sure anything will be better than these.
On Thanksgiving Elder Holland came to speak to us! It was very powerful.. He had his grandchildren come to participate in the program. They sang and bore testimonies and played piano solos. It was a nice break from studying and stuff. Elder Holland is awesome. He talked about how we are as apostles because we share the same title and some of the same authority. He told us our missions are the realest experiences in our lives and that we should not look back. Also he bore strong testimony of Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ, and how we are so lucky to be in todays dispensation. I feel so lucky to be a missionary. Just in this last week my testimony has grown so much. It makes me want to be in Brazil already and share what I know to be true. The dinner was basically thanksgiving cafeteria food. But then again, when is thanksgiving food any better than that? Minus mom's cranberry sauce of course. We also did one of those humanitarian service projects making health and education kits for kids in Africa. Very Christ-like. We closed the day with a surprise. They played 17 miracles on the projector and gave us each individual bags of popcorn. That was nice. It was nice to just relax for a little bit.
Its really hard to eat healthy here. Everywhere you turn you see ice cream or pie. It's not fair. But I do push ups, pull ups, and sit ups almost every day to combat the horrible diet plan. They say we need us to be healthy but they also serve us huge desserts for every meal? I don't understand the rational behind it but, whatever. We play basketball in gym. Those indoor soccer shoes are basically low bball shoes. I started off rusty but now I'm getting better and pernoning noobs. It took me a bit to get used to the elevation but now it's fine. Lets see what else..... Oh yeah. I've been praying to have more tolerance for my companion. I love my district. We're all like brothers. We joke around and stuff but we always work hard when we need to. I'm still a little homesick but not even half as much as I was a week ago. I'm mad that first few days were rough. One of my roommates who is also going to Brazil got his Visa this week, as well as 3 others from my district, 2 twins from Utah and another Elder from Arkansas. That means there's hope for the rest of us. I've heard that the Sao Paulo MTC is much more chill. It sounds nice. But I'm fine with whatever happens. I went to the temple today, It was cool. Its always nice to get out of the compound, even if it's just across the street. Tell Ashton to write me a letter. I'm assuming you already put my address on facebook. It would be nice to get some letters from friends. I'm about to go lift weights for the first time in 2 weeks. It should be fun. Well, I love you all and was really glad to hear from ya'll this week. I'll send out some letters later cause I have to get off the computer. We have a time limit and people are basically breathing down your neck waiting for the computer as you type. Ok bye!
Elder Dallin Carroll.