I am officially leaving the MTC on Monday, July 29th at 5:30 AM to go to NEW YORK ROCHESTER MISSION!!! This morning I went with Elder C to pick up a package and we went to check mail. Our District Leader has to pick up mail, and he had already checked this morning, with no luck. At 9:00 or so we decided to check it again, and a big stack of papers was sitting there, waiting to be opened. We ran back to gather our district and after 20-30 minutes of hunting everyone down, we ran back to the mail room and everyone ripped open their reassignments, disregarding our original plan of all going in a circle and announcing where we are going haha. Brazil is really delaying all our visas, which means that if you don't have it by the time you are supposed to leave the MTC, you receive another location to serve until you get your visa. I was assigned to New York.Everyone is super excited about it, and I know that when everyone gets to their new missions they will understand why they're where they are even more. I'm going to New York with 5 other missionaries from another district, who are going to Ribeirao Preto also. I am beginning to see different reasons why my permanent mission got changed, although I know I'm not going to understand everything just yet!
In New York I'll still have about an hour each morning as language study, so hopefully I keep up on my Portuguese!
This week we also had an 8-hour conference/orientation about actually being in the field. It really hit me that I'm going to be in the field (actually teaching people outside the MTC is called "the field") in less than a week. It may be intimidating at first, but I know that it's what I'm supposed to be doing right now, and 1 Nefi 3:7 diz: the Lord will not give His children commandments without providing a way for them to accomplish His commandments.
Also before I forget, there was another group of missionaries whose visas did not come in time, and they were assigned to the WICHITA KANSAS mission haha I tried to pump them up for it so if you see any sisters going to Brazil, ask them if they were in the 54th Branch at the MTC!
My next email will be all about Rochester, New York, and I can't wait to send it!
Elder Jake Hirschi
Friday, July 19, 2013
Today makes one full month at the MTC! Time flies here but in a weird warped kind of way. I feel like I've lived here for way more than a month, but at the same time I can't believe that I'm leaving in a week and a half! It makes you apreciate every moment on the mission, because I feel like every transfer is going to fly by like this one. It's going to be hard to say goodbye to everyone here because friendships formed after only a day or two and have only strenthened since. I've heard of some people in other districts getting visas who went through the Houston Consulate, which is who I went through, so my chances of getting a visa have gone from none to slim! It doesn't matter where I go or really when I get to Brazil, as long as I get there eventually.
Also every week we have a couple devotionals, and this week they were really good. There's too many people at the MTC so we started doing devos in the Marriot Center on Tuesday nights. This week was Gordon B. Hinckley's son and he was great. We've also had some interesting speakers including the lady who wrote a bunch of the primary songs, Janice Capp Perry. We got to watch a movie called The Testaments on Sunday as well. It really made us ready to be in the field and help other people come to the knowledge of the fulness of the gospel. Just having people learn about another testament of Jesus Christ can unfold so many blessings and spiritual experiences in others' lives.
Our district is now the oldest one at the MTC! It's awesome seeing new excited missionaries come in, knowing what they have ahead of them. Regardless of how much they look like deer in the headlights when they first step into the MTC, you always come out looking like a missionary, so much more prepared than when you came in. We get to escort the senior couples missionaries again this week...I talked to a man at lunch who had served two missions already with his wife, and he expressed his gratitude in us serving the mission of the Lord. It's comforting to know how many prayers are supporting the missionaries here at the MTC and in the field. I thank everyone for their prayers!
Next week I'll probably know whether I have a reassignment somewhere in the states, or if I've gotten my visa! Ate mais-
Friday, July 12, 2013
This week marked the halfway point of my stay at the MTC. It's crazy how fast time flies by, but it's also crazy how much we have learned in 3 weeks, and not just Portuguese. The MTC is a great place, regardless of what people say haha because it puts you in an environment where everyone has the same purpose and work. You can learn from anyone, whether it be a teacher, another missionary, or on your own. That's what I probably love most about the MTC. But dont't think that all missionaries are perfect...our district (a group of about 12 missionaries all going to Brazil) loves to play soccer, and we may or may not have gotten a little too competitive with another district the other day...oops, :). I'm proud to say that as a district we are still undefeated! Anyway, soccer aside, I'm a little worried about getting to the field because the food schedule here is so structured and more importantly, unlimited. I haven't weighed myself in a couple weeks, and I'm curious to see if eating until I can't anymore every single meal is making any impact on me. My roommates going to Manaus have been guessing how many pounds they're going to lose while there. One Elder is currently about 250 and he expects to lose about 55 or so pounds haha. It seems unrealistic but we heard from someone that it's currently 124 degrees there now....
The Portuguese is really coming along well. The people we teach lessons to actually understand us! Seems crazy right? Not really, because the first time we had to teach someone we literally just read off a piece of paper, without really knowing what we were saying. Now we rarely prepare many notes, and basically have a conversation in complete Portuguese. I love coming out of a lesson knowing that I said what I wanted to say, and making an impact on the investigators lives, even if they're acting haha.
Also I would totally post pictures but the computer says it's restricted so I can't use the Card Reader to import pictures onto the computer! When I figure it out I have some of my comp, district, and some other random stuff. Also something funny that happened this week: For some reason missionaries always want to be the "hosts" of newcomer missionaries, which means we get to take their bags and show them around on their first day. Our district leader got a note and told us that we get to host new missionaries! Everyone started cheering and getting really excited, and then the Distirict Leader told us that the new missionaries were Senior Couples, which means they're married couples and usually at least 60-70 years old haha . So next Wednesday, I'll be giving a tour to a bunch of Senior Couples! Can't wait!!! I'll let you know how it goes...
Sunday, July 7, 2013
July 5, 2013
What up fam?
How was 4th of July? First of all, MEGAN- I didn't get a fun cookie yesterday;( But they held a devotional, let us watch 17 Miracles, and then we got to go outside and hug the fence to watch the Stadium of Fire from BYU football stadium. It was awesome but there's so many people there that we had to look between two trees to see the Fireworks. At least we got to go outside and stay out past our bedtime!!! It was a rare occasion, believe me. We got into bed at 1130 or so (usually it's 10:30).
In the Missionary Training Center you're organized into districts of 10-12 people, and multiple districts make up a zone. Usually because there are so many girls going on missions, your district is going to have at least 4-5 sisters. We have none, which means we can act like guys. All. the. time. I do love though how quickly everybody forgets their differences here at the MTC, and becomes friends. All difference backgrounds and personalities combine to form great friendships. We've already started talking about potential roommates and continuation of friendships after the mission.
Portuguese is going well. The Lord's hand is definitely involved in our ability to survive learning so much in so little time here. Even the fact that I'm eager to learn all the time is a blessing, and I think it's an essential blessing if we're truly to master the language as soon as possible.
I hope you all watched enough Twilight Zone to account for me at 4th of July. I totally forgot (like I do every year) that the TZone marathon is on 4th of July, but it's ok because I get to watch just as many episodes of The District haha!
Also big news! Only a few hours after I sent my last email I was called in to receive my reassignment. Of course the man who notified me of the new area, President Seamons, didn't know all the information behind it, but he told me I was going to the Ribeirao Preto Mission! It's a little Northeast of Sao Paulo. Of course I was a little dissapointed that they think my asthma can't handle the Jungle (haha what do they know:)) but the Lord is humbling me and teaching me to truly believe that it doesn't matter where you serve, but how. I've told people that before, but I don't think it's something I would've fully believed unless it happened to me.
Thank you so much for the last package it was marvilhoso (?) and thanks for all the letters and for mark thomas' email. Love Elder Hirschi