Monday, November 30, 2015

My first Week...Crazy and crazy!

Ok, lets start from Day on, it was super busy for me, and pretty stresful as well. I woke up really early form the ctm, and we flew down to porto algegre, the mission president was outside, and we went to the temple, then ate a nice deliscious dinner. The isona president is such a loving man, you can just feel it around him. after a day at the mission presidents house, we went to our areas my comapnion is Elder Ferreira. hes a brazilian, and speaks broken up english. we get along just fine. 

Im serving in an area called Serrano, and its beautifull, its so green, and rains a lot, and it nice and  cool sometimes.

The people here poor, but probably some of the happiest people Ive ever met. They love everyone, and seem to be alwasy smiling. Ive drank a lot chemarrao, and they have amazing food here. better than the mtc. its awesome!!!!. Ive had lamb, and abunch of other food Im not sure what it was, and ots of fruit here. and the be]uffets here are incredibly good.

More importantly, the people. We teach these people that I just love so much. I know this church is true, and it made me happy. The doctrine makes sense, its sound to me, and because I know the church changed me for the bnetter, I know it can change others. 

Theres a lot of Criu and french people in my area. My companion speaks both, which is cool. Im still waiting to serve in a german area. I hope it happens, because Ive seen the little towns while driing out to my area.

The missions great, and theres a lot to learn. Im learn how to become more self sufficient now, because I am so dependent on my senior companion.

Love you all

Elder Shurts

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Farewell from this CTM

his Tuesday. Ive spent six weeks in the mtc, two in Provo, and four in the CTM here in Brazil. It's been quite the adventure. In Provo, I made such close friends with those in my district. We grew close together in the Lord, and will definately hang out after the mission. The food in the Provo mtc was horrible. the CTM had amazing food, and I also made great friends here as well. I learned a lot of portuguese, and studied a flippin ton, as well as had many good laughs. I recieved amazing ties, and bought some pretty legit ties as well. And most importantly, I've grown in my knowledge and testimony in the gospel and have I've come closer to the Lord. This last week has been like all the rest, except for the fact that I know I'm leaving at the end of it. its a weird feeling. Anticipating the inevitable mystery I've always wondered about when i was younger. What is it really like to be a missionary, and to preach the the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those willing to receive it? What's it like to see miracles in the lives of others, and in my own life. Antiicipating the life of a real missionary, doing things on my own, being obedient, and feeling the Holy Spirit lead me to those whom the lord has prepared. And mostly anticipating how difficult it will be for the first few months learning the language, and adjusting the the culture and everything that the words of those who have been through cant prep me for. In all, I'm nervous, yet excited.

OH! and the Scariest thing happened yesterday, A teacher asked me to bear my testimony the other day in German, and talk in German, but I just couldn't, I could t form the words. Its like my mind was veiled!!! I would start, then switch right over to portuguese!! It was super weird, it was like the lord was keeping me from practicing a language which I had no use for, at least now, and that he really wanted me to learn Portuguese at the moment!!! Gift of Tongues is so weird, it will even keep you from speaking a language which you don't need in order to have you speak the language you need.

Elder Shurts

Friday, November 13, 2015

My Week

Dear Friends and Family

hey y'alll!! Hope you are all having a good time in Murica!!!! Life is pretty good in Brazil!! Its hot, humid, and always randomly rains, which is pretty cool!! And the weirdest thing ever is the amount of birds there are in the city. Like, The CTM is in the ghetto part of Rio, and yet, there are birds chirping outside all the time. Its pretty fantastic. Ive bought some pretty sweet ties here during my p-day. Pretty much, Ive just been studying language and scriptures, and eating delicious food!! like, it is freaking fantastic!!! The food here is HEAVENLY!!!! I'm speaking more Portuguese and stuff, which is pretty awesome. Also, our physical activity is pretty much just volleyball! Which was pretty sweet, that's all they really have here, so everyone plays it! and its just a blast. but the Brazilians here are so awesome!! They are so friendly, and love to be there. Some of them have the coolest conversion stories, which is pretty sweet!!! Some have only been members for a year, and haven't even gone through the temple!! Coolest people ever.

Remember always who you are and who you stand for. When you start having thoughts like: it's my choice, it only effects me...then you're wrong. That thought does not originate from you, it comes from the adversary. Absolutely not!! Every choice you make ripples around you and effects all those closest to you. Never does a choice you make only effect you.

Elder Shurts

Dear Mom
CTM is Great!!! it's been the same pretty much this past week. Study, Language study, trying to speak Portuguese all the time, and ending up speaking English, Scripture study, lessons in Portuguese, and stuff. Its crazy!! busy busy busy, not having a lot of sleep and somehow having plenty of energy to get through the day. It's like the lord is giving me energy to get through the day with concentration and stuff! And our Trio is pretty cool! He knows a lot more than I do, which has been a huge help, his Portuguese is better, and he has a lot of scriptures memorized and stuff. Our teacher Irmao Santos is Awesome. Our district is pretty cool here, I still really miss my district in Provo, but this one's really good!! This is my daily report to you
And to answer your questions:
  •  I cant send photos :(,
  • I leave the CTM on the 24th, I'm pretty excited!!
  • The native missionaries here are so awesome!! I met so many cool people. Some of the native elders have only been members for a year!!! But they have such strong faith!! 
  • Yes, sometimes I get discouraged, but I tend to pick myself back up pretty easily.

Love you mom
Elder Shurts

Friday, November 6, 2015

Learning Lots

Hey Hey everyone, Things have been pretty busy for me lately. Mostly due to me getting my Visa, and going to Brazil!! So these past two weeks have gone something like this. Last Monday, I have class, and in the morning, I got a message to go to the travel office immediately. So me and my companion go, and we both find out that we got our visas. So that was exciting. But then I asked them when were leaving, they told me tomorrow morning. I kinda freaked out a little bit! Because it was just kinda a shock to leave on such a short notice. Nonetheless, I was super excited. So I packed for the rest of the day until that night. Said goodbye to all the people in my district, then left early Tuesday morning. We flew to the New York Airport, missed our flight to Brazil, so we had to wait an additional two hours. We finally got to Brazil, and that was crazy. So now I'm here in Brazil!!! and it is very green in Brazil. And the mission field doesn't give you a break even if your tired. The day we got there, all of us were still tired from jet lag, but whatever, because we spent the rest of the day going through orientation, then studying more Portuguese.Now what is the Brazil MTC
like: (or as they say, the CTM ) Its one big 7 story building. That's the whole mtc. People here are very nice, and most people here don't speak English. All our teachers don't speak English, making it sorta challenging here and there. but the food is fantastic. Half the time I don't even know what I'm eating.  Which Is kinda scary I guess, but the food is still super good. Mostly because its all homemade!! Unlike Provo food was all pretty much processed and came out of a can. Sao Paulo is HUGE!! 20 million people in the city.So this is something pretty unique to Brazil MTC compared to the Provo, but for our P day, we are able to walk around the city around the mtc. that was totally cool. A drunk man followed us, and eventually said hi, then walked away smiling, haha. and people are way nice there. The drivers are crazy, and it is SO GREEN in Brazil!! Also, everything is so cheap in Brazil. Ive learned so much Portuguese though, well, more than I would have had I stayed in Provo. I still have so much work to do, I feel inadequate in every way to speak the language, because I just have so much to learn, but the miracle of it all is that I know more than i ever would have learned without the help of the lord. The Gospel is something where if you don't try it out, and act on you faith then you will never truly know. God will NEVER give you unearned belief!
Everyone has to work to come to a knowledge of this gospel. If that were not the case, then We would have no choice than to just believe in God. And that in itself would be a violation of Gods character.
There is so much I'd love to share, because it makes so much sense to me, and brings me joy.I'm grateful to have made it to Brazil. Its great
here, and I know its were I need to be.

Elder Shurts   

This past week has been pretty crazy though, We were able to out and proselyte with our district, and that was super fun! We gave away six books of Mormon and stuff, and got to taste free ice cream that was there. Don't worry, I'm not sick or anything. I have so much less time here in this MTC than I ever did in Provo. Its crazy, Such a busy schedule we have here. So we've been teaching a lot of lessons to mock investigators, and we've done a lot of TRC too. Ive learned so much Portuguese. Ive made such good friends with a lot of the natives here too!! Its so fun. A lot of them call me "little Boy" or Bikani which means little...a silly joke that Ive heard my entire life, but nonetheless funny when it comes to them saying it. And then I told them that I also speak German, and they all freaked out and were like ^teach me some German phrases^ and so I taught Brazilians German phrases translating them into Portuguese so that they could understand what it meant. It was really funny!! but, they've also taught me a lot of Portuguese, and help me out a lot, and Ive gotten much better at understanding them and responding. Pretty funny! Gym time is good. We play volleyball, and I spike it like crazy!! haha, its so fun. We also went to the Police station this week and are now allowed to stay in this country!!

Yay!! I'm now Legal!! haha. Anyway, that~s my update, Chao! Elder Shurts