Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cafeteria Food is REAL FOOD?

Well, I have been in the mtc for one month. 1/24 of my mission. Thats 200 hours of scheduled study. Time has FLOWN! I cant even believe how fast it's gone by. The days feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days. Tomorrow marks my exact 4 week point, and my district is helping to host. Which means I'm one of the missionaries standing on the curb to get the newbies away from their families and then take them to all their rooms. Should be fun. 

We have a system down now for p-days. We go to the temple in the morning, and then go to the temple cafeteria. You would not believe how much I look forward to the cafeteria. REAL FOOD!!! I spend like 10 bucks each time, which is like 3 different breakfasts. Oh I love it. I've found that the over all temple experience is so much more meaningful to me now because I try and go with a specific question in mind. Something that I want help with. I haven't not got my answer yet. We did an activity in class where we each wrote down a question we have in our hearts, and then we started reading the book of mormon together. From the beginning. In 40 minutes we got through 7 verses, and we each had our answers. My question was 'how can I fully put my trust in God and his plan for me and let go of my own desires for myself?" you would never guess the first 7 verses of first Nephi could answer that, but they did. After we read each verse, we would take some time to ponder. I learned that ANY thought that comes to mind when you prayerfully read the scriptures is inspiration. Every verse of scripture was written by inspiration through one of God's Prophets, and then put in the Book of Mormon for a reason. There is meaning in every verse if we look for it and let the spirit guide us. Part of my answer to my question was to not check my visa anymore. Just something I decided to do personally. I'll be honest, I really really really want my visa. I want to go to Brazil SOOO bad in 2 weeks. But even more so, I want to go where the Lord needs me. So I went from checking my visa status 4 times a day to not at all. I'm just going to wait for the next week and a half when my flight plans come, or my reassignment. -side note on the reassignment, did you know that a reassignment is treated just like a mission call? It goes through the same process, being called by a general authority! Kinda cool. It's not just a random assignment to use up time while waiting. It's inspired.- Anyways, Ii'm not going to check my visa anymore, and just trust that the Lord knows what He is doing. Feel free to still check, I just ask that you dont tell me if it comes. :) This answer was super cool because on Saturday I decided that I was going to pick a christlike attribute to work on, and I chose hope. Which is having a trust in God. They go pretty much hand in hand if you ask me. :) 

So, I cant remember if I told you, but tie drafts were destroyed. A member of our branch presidency came up in the middle of one a week and a half ago and busted us all. Which, I'm tie king and the mc of all tie drafts. So that was a bummer. The main reason was no large group gatherings getting really loud. So we still do them, just in the bedroom with 5-7 people instead of 20-30 and we keep it quiet. Totally chill. Anyways, we had one last night, and then for the other 6 people that were in I put out 30 of my ties and we drew names and they each walked away with 5 ties. Haha, ties that I would never wear in my life!! :) But they loved them. It was way fun.

A bunch of the older guys left yesterday and today, most of which were in my room. So we were up until 1 cause they were packing, then up at 5 to say goodbye, then up till 12 last night, then up at 3, and up at 6:15 to get to the temple. All I'm saying, is I could sleep on a rose bush right now. Haha, but all is good!  I'm actually super happy, and I want to read my grammar books while they all sleep. I love my grammar books!
So, I've been meaning to tell you guys this for a while, but I sleep talk. A LOT. And really loud. and every night. My roommates love it. Elder Bradshaw, who is going on week 9 because he got his tonsils out, and is always awake taking pain stuff and eating, compares it to the Jaredite language after the tower of babel fell. :) Haha, he said you can't understand anything. But last night I guess I was talking in Portuguese, but it was just random words! I swear, if my subconcious knows Portuguese and will only let me speak it in my sleep, i'm going to be upset. ;) 

So, funny thing!!!  With all these guys that had to stay longer than 6 weeks, I felt a little left out. So I convinced ALL the new guys, meaning everyone that has got here within the last 2 weeks (about 40 people) that I've been here for 10 weeks. I said I hit week 5 and had a hernia and they put me out for 7 weeks. I was adopted into the district I'm in because they leave the same day I'm cleared to leave. Super funny!!! Haha, it's been going for about 3 days now. The only problem is when they start asking me questions about Portuguese, thinking I've been studying for 10 weeks. Haha, that will be my down fall. It's just funny. 

Something interesting about the MTC I wasn't ready for was I thought that it would be a lot of language study AND gospel study. But really, it's 2 out of our 9 hours a day are language, one of which is personal. The rest is gospel study IN the language. They are teaching us the language by teaching us IN the language. And it works!!! I'll go to start talking to a teacher or TRC person and find myself speaking without hesitating, and my sentences just come quickly and confidently. It's AMAZING!!! Sometimes I know exactly what I said, but I have to think for a second before I repeat it in English to my companion to catch him up. The trick is to not associate the english word 'book' to the Portuguese word 'livro', it's to associate the Portuguese word 'livro' with an actual book. Take English out of it, and then you aren't translating everything you say. If that makes sense. 

FUNNY STORY: TRC, which i think I've explained before, is when volunteers come in. So me and Elder Bush are talking to this girl, and she says she served  in Santa Maria! I got so excited I just sat and stuttered a little bit trying to keep up with all the things my mind wanted to say. She just laughed and was like "I hope you like meat because you're going to eat a lot of it!" and I was like oh heck yea i do!! Then she said "I sure did, thats why i'm so fat." Now remember, this is all in Portuguese, which is worth noting that I'm not fluent in. I THOUGHT she said "I sure did, you're probably going to get fat" or something along those lines. So I reply with a huge smile "yes, very fat." She was probably 5 foot 1 or 2, and maybe weighs 100 pounds wet. She was TINY and I called her very fat. hahahahah, then I realized what she had said, and what I had said, and was like "wait!!!" But she just started laughing and was like "I get what you were trying to say" (she said that part in english. I don't think she was too confident in me anymore) and then we had a great lesson, and afterward I talked to her for about 15 minutes in Portuguese about the mission, asking questions and listening to stories. SO COOL!!!  Haha but it was hilarious!!! 

That is so cool about Spencer!!! He's such a great guy and an amazing example to me and all the other priests in our ward. He's an awesome missionary!! Yea, the oreos came!!! All of the district loves you so much!! thanks!! I can't believe I've lost 5 pounds with all the food I eat. It's definitely a tender mercy. I can't believe Malena is driving! That's so crazy!! Make sure now she knows it's her turn to take everyone out for movies and ice cream. I'll even pay for it! ;) 

Everybody sounds awesome!!! I love hearing about everything that is going on!! I love you all so much. To help with time, and with printing, could all the kids put their emails in one unless they want to send something personal that they don't want the others to read? Then it's fine, but it would just help. Then i'll reply to them all on one. They could even put it on your email mom. :) That would help. I love the idea about joci's letters. i love getting them. I'm glad you guys are going to sunday school!! :) I'll count you two as my first two reactivations. ;) You;re all the best!!! I love you all. :) One thing I want everyone to think about is the difference between knowing Jesus and knowing about Jesus. In Portuguese they have two words for the verb 'to know' saber, and conhecer. Saber=to know facts. I know Jesus died for us. I know Jesus lives. Conhecer=to know someone, or be familiar with. I know my redeemer. It's important that we are able to recognize Jesus in our lives and then reflect the love He has for us to others.

I love you guys!!! I know my redeemer lives, and that He loves us and wants to help us.
Love, Elder McKee

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