Wednesday, March 25, 2015

3-24-15 P-Day is my favorite day of the week!

L-R: Sister Magleby, Sister Denton, Sister Taylor
Back: Random Elders doing laundry
Click on photo to zoom
P-Day is my favorite day of the week! I get to do so many things that I never get to do on an everyday basis like laundry, and emailing, and writing letters, so it's basically the highlight of my week! I just love when I open up my email and see emails from my friends and family! Sometimes I forget that I used to have a regular life outside the MTC and that I could do stuff like this every day! 

Well, this week has been pretty much the same as any other week. The days consist of pretty much the same basic schedule here: Wake up, pray, get ready, pray, go to class, pray, study, eat, go to class, pray, learn, eat, pray, go to class, pray, learn more, pray, gym time, eat, more class time, pray, study, pray, language study, pray, go back to residence, get ready for bed, pray, pray, pray, go to sleep. Phew! So much prayer in one day! There's no way to not feel the Holy Spirit here when you pray so often! It's such a blessing to be able to be here for so long and to be able to do this kind of stuff all day long, but I also am looking forward to being able to leave and go to serve in the field! It will be a welcome change from the rigors of MTC life (ha, it's so rigorous, sitting and eating all day long).

So funny experience for this week. We were doing an activity called TRC (Teaching Resource Center) where we are able to speak with people who also know Portuguese. Usually this happens in practice rooms, but this week we were able to do it over Skype and speak with native Brazilians! It was so exciting and fun! So the way that TRC usually works is that we talk with LDS members about their lives and how they can continue to come unto Christ and we just try to have a little spiritual thought for the night. So Sister Magleby and Sister Taylor and I had just a really quick lesson prepared about how service can bring us closer to others and to Christ. So we get to the computer lab and start our Skype session with a young man named Vinicius. We start talking a bit about Brazil and Sao Paulo (where he lives) and different stuff about Brazil. Then out of nowhere, he asks "Voces sao casado?" And we replied with "Sim! Nos estamos muito casado!" Thinking that he was asking us if we were tired. Weird question, but that's besides the point. After we replied, I looked over to our teacher who is mouthing "Casado is the word for married! He's asking if you're married!" Nobody knew it, but it turns out that Vinicius was not a member of the LDS church, and that we were all very mistaken. Quickly our lesson turned from service to a lesson about Eternal families! We, being very confused, told Vinicius that he can be with his family (which consisted of his mother, his four cats, and his dog) for eternity, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were all laughing so hard after the call was finished, and we had no idea about half the things we said to him or that he said to us! I guess I better start studying harder before I get to Brazil!

This is my last week here at the MTC (YAY) and I should be getting a reassignment soon. My visa to live in Sao Paulo still hasn't come through, but that's okay, because I basically have another mission call! I'm really excited to find out where I get to go until my visa comes in! It's so fun to think that I can go somewhere here in the US and teach em Ingles! I'm never teaching any lessons in English here, so that'll be a welcome change!

So here's some food for thought: Have I Done Any Good in the World Today? Listen to the words of this song by one of my favorite singers and consider what you can do to improve the world today!

"Tis noble of man to work and to give, love's labor has merit alone. Only he who does something has help on the way, to God each good work will be known. So wake up! And do something more than dream of your mansion above. Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure, a blessing of duty and love!"

-Sister Holly Denton

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." D&C 64:33

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

3-17-15 Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Hey friends!!

Happy St Patrick's Day! How are all of y'all celebrating? I've started the day with my shamrock socks/chacos combination, a shamrock necklace, and a nice bowl of Lucky Charms! It's been a great day so far! Quite a difference from last week when I was sick all day long! Prayer is a very powerful thing and can help with even the sickest of stomachs! That and ginger ale! Haha!
I'm allowed to wear Chacos in my mission once I reach Brazil. 
For fun, I likes to wear them with colorful socks on P-day and during physical activity time.

This week has been a great one! On Tuesday we had a visit for Elder Cook of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles! He gave a really great devotional about missionary work and how the Holy Ghost guides us through lessons! He was really inspiring and gave a great talk!

We've been doing a lot of really good progress in Portuguese! It's so cool to go into a practice lesson and to teach things we prepared in English in Portuguese. I've been really enjoying the times we have with Irmã Cowan and Irmão Buttars! They're so inspiring and fun to learn from! I really love getting to learn this language and thinking about how great it will be to teach the people of Brazil about the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It's so exciting!

I'm so excited for the next couple of weeks! We all get reassignments soon (except for Sister Holdsworth, who got her visa to Brazil) so we basically get a second mission call! I can't wait to see what happens in the next few weeks to see what the Lord has in plan for us and for His children around the world!

Have a blessed week, and always remember our Lord, Jesus Christ! Because of Him, we can do all things!

-Sister Holly Denton

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." D&C 64:33

 I bought covers for my Portugese scriptures today.
click on photo to zoom

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

3-10-15 P-Dia

It's P-Day (or as we Portuguese speakers like to call it, P-Dia) again! Ha, I don't think we're going to get a whole lot done today because I spent about half the day sick in bed or sitting around being miserable. Thankfully I'm in a really good facility with plenty of help around, so I'll be okay! 

This week has been pretty fun! As always, I've spent another long week learning Portuguese,and I'm pretty sure I've moved past the phase of Bom Dia! Tudo Bem? (Good moring! Everything's well?) We all really love our teachers, Irmão Buttars and Irmã Cowan. They're really good teachers for learning a new language. I'm really thankful for them, and maybe one day I'll get a picture in here with them. 

There's not much more to write about this week! I hope everybody is doing well and being happy! 

Have a great week!

-- Sister Holly Denton

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." D&C 64:33

Provo, UT temple
click photo to zoom
This is the firehose right outside my residence! It says Hosé Smith (like Joseph Smith!) Haha:)
click photo to zoom

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

3-3-15 Week two done! "Eu sei que Deus nos ama!" I know that God loves us!

Hey Everyone!

One more week down at the Missionary Training Center!

This week has been the shortest week I've ever experienced! Work truly does go by so fast when you are wrapped up in it! Sister Magleby and I have been working hard and long to learn Portuguese and to be able to teach in it! This week we learned about possessives and how to say "to be" properly, because there are two different ways to do that! Anyways, I can now say that "Eu estou feliz porque é Dia de Preparação!" "Eu tenho minha primeiro embrulho hoje!" Y'all can translate that! 

We have two new "investigators" (aka our teachers) named Rafael and Sayonara. We've really been struggling to know what we should teach and we want to teach by the Holy Spirit because these "investigators" that our teachers are acting out are people  that they know, just with different names. They both have some problems that the Gospel can definitely help them with but we are just struggling to know what to teach them in order to let the Gospel help them. It's even harder with a language barrier and with us not knowing what they're saying 30% of the time and then not being able to eloquently explain concepts that we know. For instance, I'm trying to teach and the English equivalent to what I say is "I know that..... family..... to be........ a....... central part.......... of the......... God's plan." I know exactly what needs to be said, but I can't express it in the way I want to! Learning a language is hard, but I have faith that the Lord will help me in my struggle to learn it. I have already been able to feel God's power and His gift of tongues working through me as I listen to my teachers and try to interpret what they teach us (for they still use very little English in our district lessons!) 

My teachers are pretty great. They're Irmão Buttars and Irmã Cowan. They're super open to helping us understand what they're saying and sometimes repeat what they say for up to 4-5 times in order for us to understand! We all really like them and we love having them teach us each day. Irmã Cowan used to be our investigator, so it's kind of hard to call her that when we met her as Márcia. Every time she asks us do do something difficult we all go "Márcia, por que?!?!" and she always cracks up. We all have a fun time learning Portuguese and about the Gospel.

I love this Gospel. There's no doubt that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has to power to heal lives and bless families. It can help us in hard times and life us up from despair. 

-Sister Holly Denton

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." D&C 64:33

My first package came yesterday. I was so excited!
Click photo to zoom