Well as I was taking a little preparation day nap earlier today, I heard someone saying "don't wake him up, he's sleeping" followed by "oh he won't be sleepy after this." I assumed they were talking about me and I turned my head to see a little purple slip that said "Elder House - Travel Plans: Come to the travel office as soon as possible." Thank you for the prayers on my behalf to help my Visa come quickly.
On Tuesday morning I'll bee flying out to Atlanta, then Sao Paulo with another missionary in my zone who also got his visa.
Whew! Its probably good that they didn't tell me until four days before, because now it'll be harder to focus on my studies :)
In other news this week...
Teaching our practice investigators has been wonderful this week. As a companionship, we have begun to learn how to teach together and things are going very well. Although my companions might struggle a bit more with the language and with the doctrine, it is so critical that they open their mouths. As soon as we open our mouths to share the things we know, the spirit can help the words to flow. Last night Elder Parke decided to just go for it and his mouth was filled. Although he gets nervous and scared, the language came more easily for him in those few minutes than it has for any of us at any point thus far, and he sounded nearly fluent. As soon as we left, he was back to stumbling over his own tongue, and it was incredible to watch.
We have loved getting treats from the family and I have really appreciated all the letters. This is a great place, but sometimes the days get a little bit long as we spend all our time studying and learning. It's almost like cramming for finals 24/7 and we are left mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually tuckered out every night. But at the same time, I can feel the support of the spirit equal to the burden. The weeks are starting to fly. We start our missions by counting hours, then days, now weeks. Pretty soon it'll be months.
Last Friday evening for TRC we had two members, who were both relatively young ladies who were probably returned missionaries. They both talked extremely quickly, but I was able to understand nearly 100% of what they said. That makes me hopeful for when I begin to start doing street contacts and just talking with people in streets of Sao Paulo starting next week!! Thinking about going back into the world is an interesting idea. I can't think of a more sheltered place... The MTC, on BYU campus, in Provo, in Utah, in the United States. But there have been some reminders that the world still exists... Elder Parke had to go to the doctor yesterday because he tore his ACL a few weeks ago. They said that he would be able to stay on his mission without surgery unless it gets any worse. We are praying that he won't have to go home for surgery and try to come back out afterwards, because the homesickness that he has been struggling with certainly won't be helped at all by actually being home. On Sunday I was standing outside waiting to go to dinner and I saw Karoline drive by which was kind of an odd experience for me. Also we have been getting all the important football scores from our Branch Presidency, and I was very disappointed to hear that the Beavers put a smack down on my Cougars in the fourth quarter. I also heard that the score probably isn't the greatest reflection of the entire game because the cougs crumbled at the end, but had played well up until then. I heard the homecoming parade last week which was also odd, but I've been pretty blessed that nothing has really gotten to me too bad. I was also a little bummed that I couldn't do much for Christian's birthday today, but I hope the card gets there today or tomorrow. Happy 17th Birthday Christian!!
I am pretty excited for what this next week has in store, and hope that the next letter will contain some cool travel story.
Elder Conner House