Well, to answer my own question, no, it hasn't! But it two days, it will be. To be perfectly honest, I am really ready to leave the MTC. Don't get me wrong, the MTC is great and all, but the schedule does get old. Just two more weeks! I'm expecting to get my travel plans this week, and I think I'll be going straight to Brazil! You can check your visa progress online and mine is all processed! So, I'm super excited. It is so amazing to see the will of God working in my life. Hardly anyone has had their visa processed from the LA consulate; the Lord will put me where He needs me!
Let's see... as for teaching experiences, this week has given us all the ups and downs we could ask for! Both of our investigators have a lot of serious problems, especially concerning the law of chastity, so we teach that just about every day. However, we have grown in so much love for them, and we have seen the Spirit work on them in so many ways! It's honestly amazing. (Our teachers role play as investigators that they met on their mission. However, as we treat them as real investigators, we are actually able to get a feel for how to truly teach).
Last night was a sad night in that it was our last lesson with Irmao Machado and our last lesson with Jose. That was hard. We walked out feeling so much love, though, and I couldn't help but see our progress in the progress of our investigators. Irmao Machado has to teach the two incoming districts this week, so we're getting Irmao Sears instead; I'm sure he's great, but we really love Irmao Machado! Change is good for me though... Last night was also hard because about 3/4 of our zone shipped out. Nearly all of the missionaries going to Portugal, Mozambique, and Angola are gone! Also, nearly every missionary in the two districts that came in after us got their visas to Brazil, so they are now at the MTC in Sao Paulo! We're of course excited for them, but it was hard to say goodbye. Most of them left at incredibly early times in the morning. It was adorable--last night we were walking back to our residence with the zone leaders and one of them said, "Elder, do you know what I'm going to say to you at 3:35 AM? I'm going to say, 'What time is it?' and then you're going to say, 'It's 3:35 AM.' Do you know what that means?" They were so excited to get out in the mission field, and they are all going to be great!
On Sunday I was incredibly surprised by being called to give a talk... Considering that the majority of our zone was heading out, that I've already given a lesson and my testimony and prayers in meetings, I thought I was safe for another week. Nope! It went fine though, even though it was terrifying. Portuguese is becoming more natural every day. On Wednesday I got to host new missionaries for the first time! That was fun, meeting so many new people and helping them get a good first impression of the MTC. The only downside was hauling suitcases up flights and flights of stairs. We get to host again tomorrow, so that should be great!
My dear companion, Sister Dustin, has been rather ill all week. Poor girl. Please keep her in your prayers! She's been improving steadily though, and she is such a champ about the whole thing. Her positivity is contagious! We've had lots of glorious moments throughout the week because of it. And lots of embarrassing moments. I don't think they would be as funny if I typed them, though, so I won't bother for now. :) I also found out last P-day that Sister Dustin is utterly AMAZING at playing the flute! She is so talented. I'm making her audition for a musical number this week. She is seriously so great.
In other news, we have gotten very close to our district, which consists of Sis. Dustin and I and Elders Ploeger, Lewis, and Smart. The Elders might be getting a little too comfortable with us. We were studying outside one day and came in to grab our Portuguese dictionaries. We walked in to find the lights off, the elders sleeping (Elder Smart even had a eye mask on) and the whiteboard covered in pictures of animals! It was a pretty startling and hilarious moment. However, considering that they were just called to be the new zone leaders, I think they'll get a little more focused from now on.
Anyhow, I'm learning a lot! Every day! I love the people here, and I'm loving the people of Brazil more and more every minute! It's amazing how I am finding more of my weaknesses than I ever have in my life, but I feel so much more hope for change than ever before as well.
This is the scripture we're memorizing in Portuguese as a district this week, Joshua 1:9:
"Be strong and of a good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord thy God is with thee, whithersoever thou goest."
I hope you all have a marvelous week! Love you all!