These weeks are starting to go by faster and faster. It's weird to think that I'll be out in the field in a couple of weeks.
Getting enough sleep each night is rough. I'm grateful I've got good Brasilian roommates who want to go to bed on time, but sometimes they're not so great when they wakeup. The Brasilians have their P-day on Thursday and the bus for the temple leaves early in the morning, so they wake up before us. They are SOOO LOUD! It's funny because it's as if Elder A, Elder H and I don't exist. This past Thursday they even turned on the light and started messing around. Luckily I was already up by then, but the other two were still trying to sleep. Other than this, my Brasilian roommates are awesome. I don't think I've had one night here where I've slept through the entire night. It's either too cold (surprisingly), too hot, someone wakes up to go to the bathroom, or someone starts talking in their sleep. I always wake up in the middle of the night. I'm also waking up with little tiny red bumps on me and we're pretty sure they're bug bites. I've only got a couple so I'm not really worried. Although, I do have one on my right butt cheek. How this happened . . . I have no idea.
This past week, we've been giving an elder a taste of his own medicine. It's seriously been the highlight of my week. This is about the one elder that I was struggling with at the beginning of my time here at the CTM. For some reason he loves to steal and hide everyone's stuff. Multiple times he's taken my pen, scriptures, and books when I haven't been looking. And it's not just me, he's done this to everyone in my district. A couple of elders in the next district thought it'd be funny if they hid his bag. So they took it and placed it on the ledge just outside of our window so it couldn't be seen unless you leaned out of the window. Once this elder realized his bag was gone, he snapped and it was probably one of the funniest things I've seen. He started to go off on elders in our district and blaming it on them, even though we had no idea who did it. He threatened us multiple times, with things if he didn't get his bag. Elder R and I were busting a gut because of the way he reacted. To top it off, he said, "It's one of my biggest pet peeves when people touch my things and especially when they hide it from me." After crying about the whole thing, he went and got a teacher to talk to us about it, but we had no idea who did it. We didn't know who did it until after the bag was given to him. You really had to be there! :)
Thank you SOOOO much for that candy loot you gave me :). It definitely made my day! Even though we didn't do anything different for Halloween here in Brasil, I still felt like a little kid while digging through all the candy to see what I got. Too bad I don't have Parker here to pawn off all my gross candy on for better stuff :). No worries though, I went through all that candy to make sure I didn't get any of those orange prescription bottles with animal crackers in it. (Background info - Several years ago a woman took her old prescription bottles and filled them with animal crackers and gave them to the children at the church trunk-or-treat. Thankfully the parents discarded them before the kids ate the contaminated crackers.) Oh the weird stuff you get at Trunk-or-Treats. I guess the lady at Chenney's is using my picture to advertise for that special package thing, so you should try to look for that.
FHE idea of the week: There are three videos on the lds.org website that are about three minutes each. It's with Elder Bednar and they're about the light of Christ and the Holy Ghost. I'm pretty sure they're one of the newer videos on there, so they shouldn't be too hard to find. I was very impressed at how well the church made these videos. I hope you haven't already seen them!
Here are the videos Connor referred to:
We just found the most horrible thing in the scriptures. The word "burnt offerings" in the Portuguese scriptures is "holocaustos". That translates to holocaust. Terrible :(.
So this past week (only Monday and Tuesday so far) I've been waking up at 5:15 am so that I can get more personal study time. I wake up, roll out of bed, grab the chair from my room, and go out in the hall to read my scriptures for a good 45 minutes before I have to start getting ready. I've actually started to notice a difference by doing this. First off, I hit a huge wall, get super tired, and eventually fall asleep at around 2ish. But it's only about a 5 minute power nap and then I'm good to go again. Second, I really do think waking up earlier has helped me throughout the day. For some reason I'm more willing to open my books when everyone else is messing around. I've also found that I've had better/more effective study sessions. Coincidentally my morning study sessions match up with what I'm taught in the afternoon by my teachers, so I get a super helpful review, along with help if I didn't understand something I studied that morning. I thought it was super awesome! Awhile ago when I was up at school, I wrote a quote in my scriptures. "Put your trust on the altar of God and quietly walk away." I'm honestly trying my hardest to do my part to study the language and to gain a stronger testimony. I'm trusting in God that by taking that blind step and waking up earlier, I'll be blessed with help in the language.
For any potential missionaries who are going to Brasil, please read this. I guarantee it will help. I wish I would've known this before I got into the CTM, but for studying . . . Make a goal each week to memorize a column of irregular verbs on the yellow verb conjugation card they give you when you get here. Also, during your language study time, start in the green book with the world on it. Even if the topic doesn't make sense, study it anyways and do the questions that come along with that topic. If something doesn't make sense or is really confusing, ask your teacher in the next class that you have with them. Good Luck!
We had devotional last night and they played a video of Elder Bednar when he spoke at the Provo MTC a couple of weeks back. It was an amazing talk. He spoke on the pattern of teaching effectively. Sounds kinda weird, but it was super good. He asked us to go through the General Conference Ensign and highlight the doctrine taught, the invitations sent, and the promised blessings if we do those invitations. I really want to do that, but they only have Portuguese Liahonas at the Distribution Center. I don't know how this would work, but if you could figure out a way for me to get one , that'd be really awesome!
So about washing my clothes - I do it like any normal washer and dryer. They have a machine here that automatically pumps the detergent. They have four washers and four dryers for each floor. The dryers are a little too powerful so I think I'm going to start hang drying my pants. Everything else is fine, but they chewed up Elder A's pants a little bit a couple of weeks ago.
Love You!!Elder Steed