Saturday, July 27, 2013

Abacaxi and Eternal Life

Hello Everyone!

Como vao? It's been another busy week here at the MTC, and I'll try my best to let y'all know all of the exciting adventures I've had! Katie sent me a letter about what happened to Jansen yesterday. I didn't know him super well, but I've talked to him before and we have a lot of mutual friends. It's really sad to hear about such tragic events happening to wonderful people like him. During times like these is when I feel closer with my friends and Family and it allows me to recognize all of the blessings I have in my own life. Don't take your mortal life for granted. Make the most of your time here and love as much as you can. Our life doesn't end here on Earth and we have so much to look forward to thanks to the knowledge we have of our Heavely Father's plan of Salvation! Especially now that I have a knowledge of it in two different languages :)
Soooo, Sister Nowels told me that her mother said that mom is the new Girls Camp Director? Is this true, Mom? Does it mean you're not Young Women's 2nd Counselor anymore? Just wondering. Oh, if you're wondering why the title of this email is "Abacaxi and Eternal Life", it's because I like food, and both of those things are related to food in the cafeteria. The cereal dispenser for Life cereal says "Eternal Life", which I found to be way more funny than it probably really is. Also, Pineapple in Portuguese is abacaxi, and as a district, we think it's really fun to say. So yeah. No worries, everybody, I'm still a weirdo and find ridiculous things to be funny. Good luck with remodeling the cabinets at home! In a way, I wish I could be there to help out, but I'm happy here too. When I get back, I'm expecting that tons of remodeling will have taken place. Fingers crossed for an indoor swimming pool and perhaps an underground basketball court would be cool, just to write down some ideas. I played four-square for the first time in gym time yesterday. It's a thing here, and it's really fun. I'll also keep Grandpa in my prayers. It was really tough saying goodbye to him at the Family Reunion and I hope he can get better soon.
Want to hear some BIG news? After serving as District Leader, My branch president descided to call me as the new Zone Leader (along with my companion) since the current ones will receive their reassignment today and leave next week! I'm so nervous, but so Excited!! There's a lot more responsibility associated with it, and it will push me even further than I already have been, but I know that my Father in Heaven wants me there for a reason. As Zone Leader, instead of just making sure everyone in my district is progressing and doing well, I'll be looking over the entire branch. 8 DISTRICTS. Thats almost 100 missionaries total. Elder Deiffenbach and I will be working alongside the Branch president a lot more, there will be more meetings, and I'll need to work on learning the names of eveyone in our branch. The task seems really daunting, but I'm eager to do all that I can at welcoming to missionaries each week and letting them know how great the MTC is! I'm so glad I ended up in Provo instead of the MTC in Sao Paulo. I've had far too many good experiences here and I don't think there's anyway I'd be able to be as happy there as I am here, even if that MTC is in Brazil.
Along with that, one sister in our district recieved her visa last Saturday and left our District to the Brazil MTC on Tuesday. Sister Twitchell had a wonderful knowledge of the Restored Gospel and was a wondeful member of our District, and she'll be greatly missed. Portuguese is... well, it's coming along :) A little over two weeks ago, I knew barely anything and right now, Elder Deiffenbach and I have already taught at least 10 lessons! We try to speak it whenever possible, including outside of class. I'm starting to learn about more complicated rules with Portuguese grammer, like how to conjugate all of their types of subjunctive forms. It's quite ridiculous, but I'm being patient and getting better. Elder Deiffenbach is a great teacher. He has already read the entire Book of Mormon in English and The Doctrine and Covenants in Portuguese since we got here! Like I said last week, I have an awesome companion. I just wish he'd talk more. He's pretty quiet and doesn't speak his mind much. The opposite of me, I guess :)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHAEL (in 2 days) Would the family please sing him this song for me? (In the tune of "Happy Birthday to You"):
Parabens para voce
Esta data querida
Muitas Felicidades
Muitos anos da vida!
Our investigator Suzie ended up becoming our new Portuguese Teacher! It was so weird abd surprising walking into our class and seeing the person we've been trying to teach the gospel start teaching us how to teach! Her name is Irma Pike and she has been able to give us feedback about how to teach with the spirit more, more effective Portuguese, and so much more. Elder Deiffenbach and I are teaching two new investigators now. One is a girl named Carla who drinks, smokes, and parties and we've been emphasizing the need to keep God's Commandiments andthe blessings we receive from doing so. Also, we are teaching a man named Samuel who has never been very religious and is accepting our lessons really well. Everytime we've taught him, the Spirit has been so strong. I love it!
Some other fun things this week: I found a hole in the wall of our residence which had a special gift from a missionary in there.... A tie!!! We call it a narnia hole haha. I took a picture of it for you to see. Also, If anyone wants to send me stuff, I love ties. Like, A LOT. It's pretty much the only thing that elders can wear differently each day and I wish I had brought more with me. Our district sang in the MTC Choir again for the devotional on Tuesday. Again, it was an awesome experience. We sang a really cool arrangment of Praise To The Man. The devotionals here are so awesome and teach us so much about how obedience can help us as missionaries and that by encouraging ourselves to work as much as we can, we'll be so blessed with the spirit throughout our mission and our entire lives.
I miss you all and am grateful for your prayers. I love being a missionary and am loving being an ambassador of our Lord. There's a reason the biggest words on our name tag (other than "Elder Braun") is Jesus Christ. It's because our message is centered around him and we can know the fulness of his gospel when we have faith in him and his ministry. I wish everyone the best!
Elder Braun
This is the Narnia Hole with the tie I found in it.

This was the last picture we got with Sister Twitchell before she left to Brazil. 
It also has our new teacher, Irma Pike.
I finally was able to get a picture with Elder Ensign. 
He was cleaning my building for service today while I was having P-Day. 
It was funny having him clean up the messes us Portuguese missionaries make.

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