There is a lot of hype here because we are expecting to have a member of the 12 or presidency here tonight for the devotional because it is getting broadcasted to all the other MTCs. So I hope that comes through because we haven't gotten to hear from one of them yet. All the other speakers have been good and we have had some cool speakers like Joseph Sitati last week. But still it is always the hope that it will be one of the brothern. Especially because that could be the last time that I get to hear from them in English and their actual voices for a couple years.
We have been really trying as a district to cut back on our communication in English. We did a little English fast for a day and a half, the goal was 2 and a half but we didn't make it. It is fun but really tough. When I spend all day trying to think in Portuguese i usually end up with a pretty killer headache. But I wouldn't expect anything else. Our lessons are progressively getting better and we are understanding more and more. And we will be continuing to cut back on English. I think my next step is to spend more time in the Portuguese scriptures which as of right now is really tough because it is really tough to read something when only about 1 out of every 5 to 10 words means anything to you.
Hosting last week was a blast, I liked getting to hear all of the stories of the missionaries that I had they were very interesting. They also were all on the top floors on all the buildings so I did a lot of stairs with luggage. The best part of the hosting was definitely being outside moving for a couple hours. That was really nice and I have missed having that I felt free again. It was also fun to direct the curbside with the families. I loved giving the mothers a big smile and telling them that I would take good care of their sons. They all seemed to like that and it looked like it helped them a little bit. I hosted a big Samoan guy that is way cool and a really good guy to be friends with. We will be hosting again tomorrow so that will be exciting again. Hopefully I will get to see some more really emotional drop offs because those are super entertaining when you are on this side of the deal. We as a zone compete to see who can host the most missionaries.
Being a zone leader has been fun. We got to really do a lot with the newbies and they all seem to be doing well. It was interesting because there really isn't that much as formal training but just because you have been assigned as the zone leader all the Elders and Sisters that have been here just as long or longer then us in the zone are asking some off the wall questions that we are apparently supposed to know the answers too. So we have been making it up as we go and it has been fine so far. We have one of our districts leaving next week so we will have some stuff to do to help them out of here. That will be fun but reminds us that we are about done here and really need to be able to speak portuguese. I am sure it will be good but it has come really fast.
This week I had the opportunity to bless the sacrament for the first time in Portuguese. It was way cool even though a couple of the words are pretty tough to pronounce I got it done. I have not had to give a talk in sacrament meeting yet which is fine even though I would have wanted to get it out of the way while I was still allowed to give it in english. It makes writing a talk take a lot longer when you write it and then have to translate it and it messes up all the order of the words. But it is good grammar practice so it is all good.
The focus of my spiritual growth this week has been around keeping my focus on the basics and the fundamentals of the gospel so that I can be more familiar with that which I will be teaching and that which investigators will need to know. I was reading in D&C 88:67 and Matthew 6:22-23 about the eyes and the importance of keeping your eyes or focus on the path, and I really liked that. Even if the things that might be distracting you may be good things we as missionaries especially need to stay focused on the basics that we need to be able to teach. Deeper doctrine is not really all that important right now even though it may be interesting and good it is not worth the distractions. We have been working on being able to recognize the promptings of the spirit more effectively and how to tell and how to act when the investigator is feeling the spirit. That is pretty tough because my knowledge of the scriptures is not good enough to be able to just know which one I want to share and then find it and have the investigator read it when I can't read what it says. And also I am getting better at rearranging my sentences so that I can a lot of things with very few words. It is awesome to get to learn from the teachers here that are amazing and from the other missionaries as well. It is cool to learn how it is effective for them to teach something and then attempt to apply it to my teaching.
I am grateful for all the mail that I get from all of you it is awesome to hear from you all the time. I am constantly reminded of the people that I love and appreciate all that you have done for me to get me here and prepare me for this challenge. I keep you all in my prayers and am very grateful for the prayers that you are sending my way. I hope that you all have amazing weeks. Until then.