Dear Family (and possibly friends),
I am able to write every Tuesday between about 13:00 and 16:00 or so, for the time period of 30 minutes. I currently suppose that Mom is able to take care of forwarding my emails to anybody who might be interested. I am trying to worry about anything extra-Mission as little as possible, and I would like to think, have been succeeding quite well at that goal. I have to admit that being at the MTC is a little different than I expected. We still do not really have any proper language immersion, so I've been trying to get help from Brazilians that I've been meeting during the meal hours. Needless to say, the language is making improvements but it is my teaching skills that are seeing the most progress. It strikes me every single time that I'm able to give a lesson how quickly the Holy Spirit testifies that what one is teaching is true. We have two progressing investigators in our teachers and their respective characters, Carlos and Iemanuel. They act quite realistically and so I have been able to get into the idea that these are real people that I need to share a message with, as I can bring great joy to their lives. However, feeling like I'm not measuring up to the ideal lesson is somewhat frustrating, but not considerably so. I must say that I feel incredibly blessed at having been prepared by much living-abroad to be able to face living here without any degree of homesickness. Of course I miss my family, but realizing that my time is not my own is a great incentive to get to work and forget myself.
On Sunday I was able to hold a district meeting with my district, which was nice as I was able to use a talk that I had prepared (we need to prepare a talk every Sunday as we might get asked to speak during sacrament meeting) about the Book of Mormon. It really is a powerful witness, and I'm finding out more and more how I can apply it to the lives of investigators. All I can do now is hard work to prove that I'm willing to expend myself in the service of the Lord. Anyhow, I saw the occasion as a blessing as I felt prompted to say certain things that I hadn't even prepared.
On a different note of being blessed, I had lost my temple recommend last week and hadn't been able to find it till Sunday evening, when I felt I should unscrew the safe from the closet and check between the safe and the wall. I took out my safe and found my temple recommend! That really made me happy. I didn't want to seem like I was being trivial about something as important as that.
I'm sorry I can't send pictures, but the thing is that I'm not even allowed to take pictures except for on P-days, and that only at the CTM. We have a good group of missionaries here. The missionaries here go to all over SA, it seems. I haven't met many others who are going to Florianopolis, but I meet Brazilians who all love Florianopolis. Apparently, it is a happening place. It made me really happy that I found a friend in a Brazilian who was impressed by my knowledge of the country, as apparently very few people would know what I do about its history. That made me grateful for the all the history books I read before coming here. Go reading!
I've starting reading Jesus the Christ and I really enjoy it. Additionally, I find myself gaining more insight into the scriptures as I ponder them Galatians 5:25 is pretty great.. We had a very positive experience in having an English language fast. I need to share a bit about the food. Papaya is not what I expected, but I've had cashew juice and a fruit called goiaba. I've actually lost some weight here, unlike many others.
I'm surprise at how fast time is going, but that is because I know that the time I have here will pass by like a dream. In reality, the only answer, and a time-proven one at that, is to use every single moment we have well.
In love and faith,
Your dear Elder Luschin