Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Character of Christ

Oi Friends!

I have been in the MTC for almost a week, and I am loving it! Last Wednesday I was dropped off at the Training Center by my family. It was sad and there were definitely some tears but I was so ready to go! As I gave my last hugs and said my last goodbyes, I walked away from my family with my luggage. I was put through a maze of getting my books and different things. A woman helped put my badge on and then it was official. I was a missionary and a Representative of Jesus Christ. Still a little traumatized and feeling a little overwhelmed as I was walking towards the next building, I caught sight of a reflection of myself in a mirror. I was immediately comforted as I looked at myself and realized how proud I was to be wearing His name above my heart and that this is what I had always wanted to do. It was finally a reality and such a tender mercy. I was walked into my class where we immediately started practicing Portuguese. It has been crazy! The first couple days were filled with lessons where I was touched and inspired by what was being taught. We learned about loving the people first, and teaching second. I already feel love for the people of Teresina, Brazil; and pray for them every night. I can't wait to be able to serve them.

As many of you know I was supposed to go to the Sao Paulo Training Center, but my Visa didn't come in time. It has been such a blessing being able to be in a familiar place. We taught our first lesson to an investigator on Friday in Portuguese! We began the lesson unsure of ourselves and even a little giggly, because we would ask a question or he would say something and we would just nod and look at each other, dumbfounded. One time he said something and was looking at me and, in English, I said "um, can I just ask, was that a question or a statement?" It was actually really hilarious. We taught him about prayer and it was a little rocky, but my companion left me stranded and wasn't saying anything which was just funny, so I was left out to dry with only two days of Portuguese under my belt, and this poor man was just looking at me. But I looked down at my notes quickly, and then looked at him and bore such a simple testimony of God's love and how aware He is of us, and I was filled with the Spirit and was emotional even though I knew that what I was saying was not really right. The Spirit was so strong, and he became emotional as well. What started out as a giggly, poorly spoken lesson, turned out to be a spiritual experience for me! I am grateful for that experience and I know that if I trust in the Lord that He will help me learn the language.

Last night we watched Elder Bednar’s talk "The Character of Christ". If you haven't seen it or read it, I encourage you to watch or read it online. It was eye-opening to me, as he explained that whenever the Savior was going through something hard, he would turn outward and help those around Him, whereas the natural man or we all tend to turn inward and feel sorry for ourselves. I loved it when he said, "The greatest convert on your mission better be you, but it won't happen if that is your focus." That hit home for me. He also said "who you are and what you bring is always more important that what you say." I loved that because right now teaching the Brazilians about the gospel in Portuguese seems impossible to me, but I know that in time it will come as I am patient. I need to remember that even in the first couple months that I am in Brazil I won’t be able to say as much as I would like to, because I won’t know how. But the people will be able to feel my love, and God's love, for them through the Spirit.

I have started saying my prayers in Portuguese (broken Portuguese, with a little peeking at my notebook) and I have loved it. My branch president was closing some of his remarks and he said "In the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior and my Friend because I spoke to Him this morning and every day, Amen." I want to have a deep friendship with my Savior, and I am striving for that every day, through not just learning ABOUT Him but OF Him, and trying to be more and more like Him every day. I love you all and hope you are well. Let me know if I can do anything for you!


Sister Vance

No comments:

Post a Comment