Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

Oi! Tudo Bem! How is every one doing? I miss you all and hope you all had a good New Year. Can you post all of these emails to the blog? and only post the link to my blog on facebook like once a month? This week was pretty normal haha, but apparently some elders snuck out of their residence hall on New Years Eve and started screaming "HAPPY NEW YEARS!!" I guess I'm a deep sleeper because I didn't hear a thing. So we are officially the oldest District in our zone now, along with our twin district ( they came in on the same day as us) Elder Hodges and Elder Pennington are the new zone leaders, they're doing a really good job. You can check them out in the pictures I sent. You got them right? The only difference is Elder Hodges is on crutches now since he sprained his ankle a few weeks ago. The Temple is supposed to be opening on the 6th, so I should be able to go next Friday. This next week is our last full week in the MTC. It's so crazy how fast everything is going by. I'm already a month into my mission!! I'll be in the field in 10 days!! And even so, I've learned a lot in the past month, It's probably been one of the most productive months of my life in terms of how much I've learned. I've learned tons of Portuguese, to the point that I can understand 90% of what my teachers say, and 2 of them are native speakers from Brasil (They are brothers, and they are hilarious. they pull little pranks on each other by asking us to call the other one names in Portuguese: like Bicudo, and Gordinho. maybe Jackie will get it haha) . I can even watch a video in Spanish, and understand most of what they say. But, I've also learned so much about doctrine and how to explain things in simple terms. I'm a better teacher now than I ever have been before in my life.

I'm not sure what else to talk about. Life is pretty simple right now. A lot of studying with 3 hour blocks of classroom instruction about 10 times a week. 3 all you can eat meals a day. An hour of Gym time 4 days a week, I usually just play basketball. Church meetings every Sunday in Portuguese. A devotional talk from either an apostle or member of the quorum of the 70 every Sunday and Tuesday ( which is always my favorite part of the week). The days seem to fly by, I having a hard time believing it's already Friday again, It feels like I just got here last week.

On Tuesday, one of the sisters in our district asked for a blessing, because she was having a hard time with adjusting to the mission, and her grandfather was having some health problems. It was pretty incredible, because normally when I speak in conversation, I'm thinking of what to say next, so that it just flows right out. When I gave the blessing, I had to stop and ponder what needed to be said, and then the phrase would pop into my mind. Then I had to do this again for the next phrase, and so on. The spirit was really strong and it felt like there was a fire in my chest. I hope I am explaining this in a way that makes sense, because it was so different then how normal conversations happen, and It was so different compared to how I normally form thoughts. It was a really good experience for me, and I wasn't even the one receiving the blessing.

This week I've been spending a little bit of time thinking about the immensity of God's love for us. In the just the visible part of the universe, There are about 10 suns to every grain of sand on Earth. They were all created by God. In Mosiah chapters 1-5, King Benjamin does a good job of reminding us to be humble. Everything we are is from God. Because of the atonement, we are permanently in debt to God. This is why King Benjamin says we are unprofitable servants. We are very insignificant when you begin to understand the innumerable amount of God's creations. But despite all of this, " the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." I feel like God has a love for us that I could never understand, because it is too deep, too massive and too complex. This is just something I have discovered for myself with the help of others in the past week and wanted to share, so maybe everyone else could catch a glimpse of understanding about God's love for all his Children. Here is a video that helps explain it as well, I hope the link works:

I don't think I need anything right now. Mom mentioned a letter and food she sent. I haven't gotten anything except and the package from Jackie on Christmas. was also shut down for most of the holidays. I didn't receive letters that were from Dec.23 until about Dec 27th.  Also My branch presidency is still wondering if Mom knew The Ventura family or the Lara family from church in Barcelona. Anyways, I hope you all have a great week. Happy 2014. Happy Birthday Jackie, my big little sister! I love you!

Eu amo voces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Hodgson

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