Monday, September 2, 2013

Heading to Brazil

Bom Dia!!!

I am so stoked that I got my Visa!! I’m also excited that I will have Elder Kessler with me the whole way since he is such an awesome guy. It’s going to be so different but awesome being in Brazil! I am so ready and excited for the adventures to come!!

At our Devotional on Tuesday we got to hear from Elder Neil L. Andersen of the quorum of the twelve apostles! It was such a great experience getting to hear from him and his wife! He brought such a powerful spirit into the room and had one of his former missionaries come up from when he was a mission president a long time ago. He had him tell his story about how on his first week in Paris, he got robbed and they took $500 that was from his family that would last the rest of the month. He got in a bike wreck, and tore up his brand new suit and broke his brand new bike!  He called then President Andersen saying he wanted to quit and that he couldn’t do it. President Andersen told him that after trials comes blessings (and he had a feeling that since this missionary had such great trials in his first couple days in the mission, he would have a phenomenal mission)  Well the missionary ended up being one of the most successful to ever go through that mission. It just shows that there will be hard times, but blessings will come from it! Endure til the end!!

I ran into a guy named Dallin Bishop who just got here Wednesday. We actually met at a scout camp when I was like 13 years old. We always played football together during free time and we became great friends and kept in touch afterwards but eventually lost contact. He is from Austin, TX.  Sure enough, I ended up running into him here!! I was walking through a different building than I usually would be and some guy asked me for help with Portuguese.  I walked away and later as I was walking back he asked me where I was from. I told him Houston and he said he was from Austin. I was like dude did you ever go to scout camp cause you look like someone I met there. He was like, Lofton!!!??????? It’s Dallin!!!!! haha it was awesome.  So crazy I would run into him here.

This last week has been great! I’ve learned a lot more and been developing my soccer skills during gym time (scored 3 goals the other day Ha). Is going to be awesome to get down there and start teaching people and bringing true happiness to these families! I am so stoked.

At one of our Sunday devotionals we heard from Vai Sikahuma (I think I spelled it right)
He was a former BYU football player from the 80s when they won the National Championship and played in the NFL for the Packers, Cardinals, and Eagles. I recognized him before he started speaking from that book I have about Chad Lewis.  He was awesome and spoke a lot about his mission to South Dakota. He had one of the people he converted with him. Both of their families have done a family reunion together every 5 years since his baptism. It was pretty cool seeing him and hearing his stories.

There is a new teacher here named Mike McKinley. He was observing my teacher teach our class, and I found out he was from Pleasanton. He knows Uncle Tim and Aunt Kathy, and then Meghan, Haley, and Jared. He even knows Grandma!  It was pretty cool. We got a picture together and he even texted Meghan saying I got my visa and stuff. Small world.

It is so crazy thinking that this time next week I will have been a couple days into Brazil. The time has flown by here. I have been blessed so much with learning the language and bettering myself as a person. I figured I would have such a hard time, since it was impossible for me to learn any Spanish when I had to take two years of Spanish. But Heavenly Father truly has blessed me with the ability to focus, and remember things so much better! It is such a great feeling when I am teaching and the investigator asks a question and I can answer without even thinking about it. That the Spirit can help guide the words that comes out of my mouth. I have noticed the difference big time when I teach with the spirit and without it. Without it I am fumbling up my words some times and it takes longer to answer and get my point across. With it, I don’t feel nervous and feel like I am just speaking English. When we spoke to natives from Brazil, when they speak fast, it is such a great feeling actually understanding them! I figured I would have no idea what they would be saying when we skyped with someone from Brazil, but I understood most of it and understood at least the concept of what they were saying. It helped me feel like I am more ready than I thought I would be. I know it will be hard and I will have a tough time understanding them at times, but I am excited to get out there and start!! There is a big chance that my first companion will be a native of Brazil and know little to no English. It will be hard but also a good thing cause it will force me to only speak Portuguese.  I am ready for the hard times to come and also the good times. I’m ready to take it head on!! I’m excited to get yelled at in Portuguese by people and then bring them unto Christ after they stop yelling. Ha. I am glad I have such a strong testimony and foundation so when those times come, it won’t be shaken. Helaman 5:12 - I don’t know it by heart but it is one of my favorite scriptures. Talks about how Jesus Christ is our rock and foundation. He is a perfect foundation, and if we build upon him we will not fall!

I am so blessed to have received my visa!! 3 of us got ours!!  4 guys in my district have to stay here another week and the other 6 got reassigned to Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, and Oregon until their visas come in.

I am also so blessed with such great support from back home in Texas. It makes me feel so much stronger and better knowing I have people back in Texas praying for me and supporting me! I am so lucky to have such awesome friends and family who have been supporting me since I decided to go! I love you all!!

Take care!! I know Heavenly Father is watching over yall.  Have fun tonight at the game against Navasota!!! Go Kats


Elder Bean

We had a great time talking on the phone with Lofton before he left the country.  He sounds great and his Portuguese is AWESOME!!  He has been truly blessed to learn the language so quickly and he can't wait to land in Brazil and get to work!!! 

Excited to get Brazilian VISA 
Elder Kesler and Robb were the other two in his district to get their VISAs

After running back from a devotional in the Marriot Center in the rain.

Dallin Bishop, friend from long ago from Austin. 

Childhood friend Mason Benson, who will be serving a mission in Lubbock TX!

Kyle Nunez his good friend from the Woodlands, who will be serving in Argentina.

Lofton's district with Brother Hudson one of their teachers.

Lofton and Brother Hudson, one of his favs.

Lofton and Elder Kesler in the Salt Lake airport, Brazil bound!!

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