Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Danny's First Week!

Here are a couple of pictures at the airport of our cute missionary departing on his great adventure and his first email!!!

Family!!! I am going to do one letter for all of you because we don't get very much time here for emails. I have so deeply appreciated the emails and letters from all of you (literally all of you) and so many of my friends. It is hard to understand the ability a letter can have on lifting you up in the mission, they are basically the best things ever. Haha I also see that you all figured out dearelder.com. That's good, because it is way easy.
I absolutely love it here!!! It is so incredbily hard, but even better than it is hard. I have experienced so much growth this first week and I am so grateful for this experience. The first couple days were some of the most difficult, trying, and long days of my life. They were super hard, I was feeling very inadequate (and still do most of the time), and Portuguese is VERY different from English. My teacher only speaks to us in Portuguese and from the beginning it has been an adventure trying to learn what he is saying. My teacher is Irmao (Brother) McGill, and he served right above my mission. My district is awesome, we have a lot of trouble focusing, which has been kind of hard on me beacuse I need all the help I can get, but I am learning patience and love for these elders and sisters. My companion is Elder Thomas, the missionary who was saying bye to his family in the Airport when we were! It was a crazy coincedence but I am loving having him as my companion. He has an incredible excitement and passion for the work and it has been great to have him with me at all times. That took some adjusting at first but now it feel unnaturall (also, spelling and grammar are thrown out in these emails because I don't have time and portuguese is already messing with me) to not be with him when I am in meetings or things like that. I got called as District Leader the first night by the Branch President, and so that was surprising and really overwhelming this last week. I didn't really receive any instruction until Sunday so those first couple days were realyl hard as I was trying my best to love my district while also staying focused on our tasks as missionaries. But I am getting the hang of it now. My schedule now (first couple days were different) is we wake up a little before 6 and eat at 6:30. The rest of the MTC eats later, but because there are so many missionaries here now (more than there have ever been) and the Brazilian missionaries are technically guests here since we were suppossed to go to Brazil first, we kind of get the not so good schedule and times. We eat at 6:30, 11:00 AM, and 4:00 PM. Haha so I am usually hungry by bed time but that is ok, usually I am so tired it doesn't even matter. We get gym time 4 times a week, and personal excersize time once a week where we can't go to the gym but we are supposed to do fitness excersizes. My first two gym times I ran, once around campus with my companheiro, and then around the indoor track (10 laps to a mile), both of which were boring but it felt so nice to just run!! Yesterday our gym time was at 7:20 am so we went and played soccer with the elders in our district, and we played another distric and totally dominated them. We are allowed to keep score but we destroyed them so it was really obvious. Haha that sounds arrogant but it was just so much fun to play real soccer and I got a Hattrick that was fun! The studying is constant here. I am trying to speak as much as I can in Portuguese and would speak it more in this email but there isn't a lot of time to think about it! Haha I love the language, I think it sounds way cooler than spanish, but now I am biased. We study probably upwards of 10 hours a day, no joke, it is seriously hard, but so rewarding. We study all day every day of the week, including Sunday. Sundays are a little differnt because I have meetings I have to go to with my Branch Presidency and the other District leaders all morning and then we have lessons, devotionals, and Sacrament for the rest of the day, but every minute we are not eating, at the gym, or at a devotional, we are etierh planning or studying. We taught our first lesson all in portuguese on Friday morning, so less than 36 hours since getting here. Our investigator is fake but he only speaks in Portuguese and is super nice, his name is Fernando, and he is a teacher here who we haven't met yet and is acting as one of his investigators he taught on his misison. We only know him as fernando and he keeps completely in character the entire time. We have taught him three times so far, and he is progressing really well, It hs been overwhelming trying to teach him, but it is really good for us and pushes us harder than otherwise we would. I know a lot more Portuguese since my first day and now I can understand most everything of what my teacher says by piecing together words and phrases, but I still have a LONG way to go. Like a VERY LONG way. Haha i love it though,. My first couple days were overwhelming like I said, but I also was able to be lifted up many times. I have felt the sustaining power of teh Atonement of Christ while I have been here. THere have been many times when a quote, a song, or something that another person said is EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I am not a cryer as you all know, but I have had tears brought to my eyes many times since I have gotten here as I have felt the love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for me and as I have felt lifted up by them. My prayers have become more sincere, and we pray before everything we do here. I have loved the Spirit, and there are times when I am so tired and it is hard to continue sutdying and going on like this, but I am lifted up and realize that I have God to strengthen me. The Spirit in this place is incredible, and it has made all the difference in me being able to stick through it. On my first day I was walking out of the first building where I got my name tag, but then I got tackled by none other than ELDER CHIPMAN!!! (Stephen Chipman)! I was so excited to see him and I have only seen him like three times since then but at dinner on Sunday we were able to talk for a little while and that was so nice. I have seen Elder (Russell) Fitzpatrick a couple times, Elder Peery (Aaron) right before he left for Fiji, and I see Sister Christensen (Karyn) literally like 20 times a day because we are in the same hall for classes and in the same Zone so we have the exact same schedule. I also got to see Sister Harper (Brooke!!) a couple times and got to take pictures with her and Sister Hill (Karina) at the temple on Sunday. It is so wonderful seeing people who I know while I am here and they are all going to be great missionaries. I heard Booboo is going to EFY this week, haha well we are seriously like less than half a mile from each other, I hope he has a wonderful time, I am keeping him in my prayers. I have been praying to hard for all of my family, as well as so many of my friends. I know that power of prayer is real and I have felt it so much while I have been here. Today is my first P-Day, and it is pretty nice to get a tiny break (although I still need to study today)
and it is nice being able to email. The food here is nice, just like the Cannon Center. On Sunday we had a devotional with George Durrant and Susan Easton Black. It was so nice, they are both some of teh most amazing speakers I have ever heard. The Spirit was so powerful and I felt my heart touched many times by different thoughts. One such time was when Sister Black talked about the song " I am a Child of God" and how powerufl that song can be. At the end she changed the word from Teach me all that I must do, to live with Him someday, to Teach me all that I must BE, to live with Him someday. I loved that and wwe closed by singing that song. It is one of the first times in my life that song has had such a profound efffect on me, adn I am so grateful for the reminder that I am a son of God, and that he loves me more than I can imagine. If I could teach some of my friends and others right now, it would be to tell them that God loves them and wants them to be happy. He wants to know us through prayer and wants us to follow Him so that we can experience real happiness.
I was so happy to hear from so many of you, I would love to continue to hear from everyone!! Also, would you be able to send me a pair of flipflops (like my dark brown ones or the ones with the plaid on the top), I am debating whether I want my nikes because I only have my running shoes and they aren't very comfortable to walk in for everything but running, I'll let you know about that! Also, would you look into a towel that is microfiber? I guess regular towels never dry down there and they suggested microfiber but I didn't see that! I love you so much!!! Luckily, they give us zero time to think about home here, and I am truly enjoying it! I am so tired all the time, but that is all right, and for the first time since I was like a 7th grader, 10 PM comes around and I am ready to crawl into bed, although we don't have lights out until 10:30. I am trying to think if there is anything else, haha this first email is a little crazy because there is so much to describe, but in the future I will be able to talk about more specifics. Oh, I took a bunch of pictures, but it is SUPER difficult to send pictures here so I will try to either later today, but most likely not until next week. Sorry, but I am taking them and I am writing in my journal!!! It has been such a great experience here and I love all of you! I’m keeping all of you in my pryaers. Also, say hello to my niece and nephew, Ijust love them so much!!!!! Also give my sister and Marty big hugs from me since I dind't get to see them right before I left. Dad, I loved your email, and it was so wonderful getting picked up by Kyloe and Taylor, I hope they are doing great and I am glad to hear they loved AZ! Well I hope bradley is loving EFY and I love yuou all!!! Thanks for your love and support and I will talk to you next tuesday!!!
Love, Elder Carney
Also, sorry no portuguese, like I said,  no time today!

1 comment:

  1. I love this boy! So glad that he's feeling better and that he's having a good experience!