I am doing well! I'm surviving! Who knew I was capable of studying for 9 hours a day? I certainly have never worked this hard in school... haha!
I have learned so much this week it is unreal. I can teach lessons in Portuguese with no notes. I can have natural conversations. I can understand native speakers. Like, WHAT! The Lord has blessed me with so much capacity to learn.
Before I left for the mission, I was told that when I was in the MTC I would have to surrender my identity as Alex to be Sister Burch. This week I've realized how true this was. I feel like I've sort of been holding on to a little bit it and not completely letting go. And what I learned is that what you are willing to give up here, and how much of yourself you are willing to let go of to give to God, is exactly how much you will get back. If I hold nothing back and work my hardest every single day, then every day God will bless me that much. Does that even make sense? Basically, this work isn't about me. I'm trying to forget myself.
On my name tag, right under my name, it says "JESUS CRISTO." And that is who I am representing. It is an honor and an overwhelming responsibility, but I am so happy and blessed to be serving God. I am so impatient and God is perfectly patient. I am imperfect, but God still uses me as an instrument in His hands. Imagine working with imperfect tools. I would be so frustrated, yet regardless he uses me as a tool in His kingdom.
This week was nuts! Me and Sister Tait were often informed that we would be teaching and only have minutes to prepare. We have 2 new investigators, Diane, and Forrest. It is hard. Yesterday we taught Forrest and it was rough. Like, laughably so. We asked him to pray and he was just like, Nao. Nao Quero. Uhhhhh.... Okay, Forrest, Eu Posso.
Todo, we're not in Kansas anymore. Our lessons are getting harder, which is making me realize exactly how important it is to teach by the spirit. Without it, we are ineffective, and our Portuguese really struggles.
Next time, Forrest, you're praying. I'll see to it >:)
NEWS! My companion and I have been assigned to be training leaders for our zone. WHAT. I just got here? We are responsible for teaching new missionaries and giving tours, teaching them the rules, and visiting all of the sisters every night. Which means I have even less time than I already had, but serving the sisters is already bringing me so much happiness. I love this assignment and hope we never get released.
So I do this Minnesota accent every once and a while and my district gets such a kick out of it. You betcha.
Last Tuesday we went to a devotional at the Marriott center and we got to hear Elder Neil L. Anderson speak! It was the most powerful experience. It was broadcast to every MTC in the world, which is the largest audience of missionaries in history! We sang in the choir and apparently I was shown on the big screen a lot! Sou famosa! Elder Anderson's talk was entitled "First Love, then Sacrifice."
We sacrifice for the things we love, and love the things we sacrifice for. Think carefully about what you want to love. Amazing.
The biggest sacrifice ever made in the world was the atonement of Jesus Christ. He sure loves us a lot.
After the devotional, we were informed that there was lightning outside and had to wait. Elder Anderson went around shaking missionary's hands! I didn't get to shake his hand, but I could feel his love. After a while they let us leave and so me and sister Tait BOOKED IT back to the MTC in the pouring rain, running through puddles.
Our soaking wet district sat in the classroom discussing what we learned and bearing our testimonies. It was incredible.
I pray for you all day every day. Sending meu amor!