Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas in the MTC and Portuguese

Hello Everyone!

Christmas in the MTC was an experience ótimo (which means great).  The crowning part was Elder Bednar coming to talk to us.  It was a very interesting talk because he handed out 200 cell phones to the crowd of missionaries and let us text questions that came up on an I-pad he had.  Missionaries in other MTC’s around the world could email in questions.  It was a really cool use of technology.  I could have listened to him speak all day but it was only an hour and a half, sadly.  The rest of Christmas was nice but pales in comparison to hearing an apostle of the Lord.  

The rest of the week has proceeded as normal.  We continue to learn and practice teaching.  We are now the "oldest" district in our zone and it is strange to think that in less than two weeks we will receive our reassignments. Reassignments are a big part of a Brazilian missionary MTC experience. Since none of us have gotten visas, it is basically like a second mission call.  I am not particularly worried about the whole thing.  I was called to be a missionary and I can be assigned anywhere the Lord wants me to go.  

Coolest things about Portuguese so far:  the words digno (worthy), jejum (a fast, like not eating), and diligentemente (diligently). Have Google Translate say them to you for the full effect of their awesomeness, or a Portuguese speaker.

Worst thing about Portuguese so far:  where the accent is in the word changes what the word means and the accents are not always written in.  For example sente means you/he/she feel/s and senti means I felt. But since ti and te essentially both make the sound "chee," the only difference is the accent in sente falls on the first "e" and the accent in senti falls on the "i" (for reasons that are kind of difficult to explain in the limited time I have).  One funny story about this whole accent thing that multiple teachers have told us is that coco means coconut and the accent falls on the first "o."  Cocó on the other hand, in which the accent is the second "o," means poop.  Or maybe it’s the other way around, but either way they are very close together.  I think many Portuguese speakers have received compliments on their poop cake if the number of our teachers who did it on their mission is any kind of indication.

I hope you are all having a wonderful life!   I wish I had more to share with you but while the MTC is a great place to learn, it’s a bit monotonous so there isn't much difference week to week.

The Church is true.  Jesus Christ is my Savior and I love you all.

Elder Russell

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