This is the last time that I will be writing in this August, which really is an indicator of how quickly time has been going. As to some previous questions; I was not able to throw a coin in the Trevi fountain, but I'm sure I'll be back in Rome yet. In the meanwhile, I'm certainly happy to be able to use my experience here to learn a lot. I've learned this last week that I can really be a support to the other missionaries in my district by helping them in their concerns and trials. I really am praying to know how to bring out the best in each of them; ultimately. I'm trying to bring out to light some of the talents that have been hidden away in other people up until now. I'm learning a lot.
Last week my instructor told me directly that the purpose of being here in the MTC is basically to learn the foundations of the lessons, not necessarily the language, and that it will come in the field. Thus having taken my learning experience into my own hands, I find that I'm able to make progress step by step as I apply what I learn by myself in talking to the natives. Yesterday, my district had an all-day English fast, which was incredibly frustrating at times but certainly worth the experience. I believe I've never gone that long speaking so little English.
I've finally received some letters, and I'm glad to hear that my letters have started coming through as well, at the very least. I really am trying to focus entirely on the work, which means having memorized hymns and scriptures ready to drive any errant or wayward thought away. This really works, and I'm exceedingly grateful for Dad's list of scriptures, which I've been marking up as I try to memorize three different scriptures a day. Between Portuguese and Religion, I fall asleep quite exhausted (esgotado) at night. Great experience.
This last week was great. We watched President Monson's Birthday celebration last Tuesday for devotional, which was a touching experience. On Sunday, we had President Martins speak to us. President of the Sao Paulo North Mission. He was the first black man to be sent on a mission after the 1978 proclamation. A very humble, friendly and spiritual man; I got to meet him, which was nice. He said that I'll love St. Catarina.
The newspaper article was nicely written. It's a little different to see yourself in the paper, though. I hope that I can live up to the expectations that have been placed on me.
Anyhow, here's a thought from my journal: "Tomorrow is TRC, and I need to show my brightest spirit, which I hope never to tarnish through inattention to personal and spiritual matters."
Scripture of the day. Luke 24:36-39 which was great in the temple.
I had the brief prompting the other day that I'm really in the same work as Grossvati, Immo Luschin (who was a translator) and every other Luschin.