To be honest, it feels like so much as happened in the past week that I don't know where to start. I suppose first I'll say that I really like the CTM! (MTC) Minha companheira, Sister Packard is wonderful. She's from Washington, and she has been a saving grace. We get along really well and have had some really precious experiences together. I'm loving my district as well! There is a trio of elders and one other companionship of sisters. Our teacher, Irmao Machado, is fantastic! He really cares about our learning as missionaries and is always sure to have the Spirit with him.
Portuguese is... an adventure. It has been so amazing to see the gift of tongues throughout my district. We have an investigator, Nadia, and we have been able to teach her three lessons, completely in Portuguese, already, and we should be getting a second investigator this week! Nadia is wonderful. It has been really cool to pray with Sister Packard about Nadia's needs and to answer her questions as we teach. Even though she's not a "real investigator," we focus on her as if she is, and the Spirit is always there. I think, above all, the greatest lesson I have learned this week is that the Spirit is so essential to teach. The minute I start worrying about the language, rather than Nadia, in a lesson, the Spirit leaves. When I am completely focused on her, I find words coming out of my mouth that I did not know that I knew. That is the power of the Spirit. He is the teacher. God loves all of His children, so much, and if I am focused on them, then He helps me! Learning a new language is so humbling, and I am learning to rely more on my Savior.
I have studied more in the past week than I probably did during my whole year at BYU. We should be getting a second teacher this week, but until then we have had about six hours a day of study time. Yesterday was particularly difficult for my district. We were all struggling to stay motivated. Then the best thing happened last night. Irmao Machado came in to teach for the evening, and he took us back to the fundamentals--our purpose as missionaries, teaching with the Spirit, focusing on the investigator. It was a powerful spiritual experience. Afterwards, Sister Packard and I had companionship inventory and set goals for how to become a little better. It was wonderful. I am so ready to improve! I have such a long way to go as well...
Learning to pray in Portuguese is probably the favorite thing I have learned so far. Companionship prayer is so powerful. There is no better person to practice with than nosso Pai Celestial, who knows what we need even before we pray. Prayer has brought us closer to God, to each other, to Irmao Machado, and to Nadia. it is wonderful!
Let's see... just for funny things that have happened, our first day bats were found in our housing, so we had to move again. Our roommates are all hilarious, but they are also all going to Utah or New Mexico (we were the left over sisters of our district), so they'll be gone in a week. We're curious to see how many groups of sisters we get to live with! We have also embarrassed ourselves by trying to get into an elders' housing complex (accidentally of course!), calling a group of elders "sisters" (also an accident), and probably a million other things. I also got tackled by a Tongan elder last night. That was weird.
Oh! I almost forgot! Sunday was great! Sacrament meeting was great, the temple walk was great, the devotional was great, and above all, the film "Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar was REALLY GREAT. Life changing actually. Our district also got to watch some Mormon messages for a while and we all sobbed and used up all the tissues.
The gospel is so amazing. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. Even though this week has had it's challenges (and yes, I know that it will only get harder), I feel that I'm where the Lord wants me to be. I have felt the Spirit so strongly this past week; there is no way that this could not be His plan for me. Jesus Christ lives, and He loves every one of you!