2nd Letter–MTC–April 5, 2013

Familia!               April 5, 2013
Oi! oh my goodness I don’t even know where to begin.
First thank you so much for your letters, they have brightened up my day and I’ve really enjoyed hearing about what everyone has been up to… Savior of the World sounded like it ended on a good note-nice. That production was wonderful. There was a story told the other day I can’t remember if it was in a devotional or class but they talked about doubting Thomas and His faith in the Savior. Such an inspiring story. I know that each of us have stepped in his shoes in our lives but we can learn to have a trial of our faith first. Then comes the miracle. The Lord works that way, otherwise it’d be too easy. We have to learn to TRUST Him.
Also please write me letters (hand written) or on dear elder because I can get those every day here. I had so many emails to respond to and I didn’t have time to get to them all 😦 sorry! So until I get to the field letters work best thank you. Ps. No visa yet but I’ll keep you all posted on that:) So for now I’m still here at the MTC in provo for another 5 weeks.
Okay Geoffrey is going to Brazil?? Which Mission? When does he report? I found out from Aunt Ruth in a dear elder so if it was supposed to be a suprise…sorry haha. That’s so exciting. I haven’t heard from him yet with any details…eh hem. So tell him to write me please! I bet that was so crazy. I would’ve never guessed Brazil. YOU’LL LOVE PORTUGUESE! It’s da best 🙂 Parabens Smurf!
Okay so wednesday-my arrival day! It was nuts. I mean you really can’t prep yourself for what happens on wednesday because you just get thrown into it and have to take it all in. Emotionas running around saying goodbye to brothers was hard but I’m so grateful for their encouraging words and examples of being dilligent missionaries. Them and so many others motivate me to be a better missionary. As soon as I was dropped off at the curb and surrounded by “host Missionaries” grabbing my suitcases and saying welcome in dozens of languages I was off! I found myself going through line after line, checking immunizations, forms, personal information and then finally my name tag. That was coolest part. It was like my cute little friend that had been waiting for me to come wear him! Okay that sounds so silly/childish but I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to be a set-apart missionary and to put on your name tag for the very first time. Powerful. And that is because of the name that is on that tag. Jesus Christ. Nos somos representantes de a Igreja De Jesus Cristo Dos Santos Dos Ultimos Dias. This is my calling for the next 18 months and I’m so glad it is:)
Continuing on…I got dropped off into my classroom among the numerous buildings here (I felt like a little kid at Disney Land I was so overwhelmed). And there I met my district. I had been waiting for this moment for quite some time and it had come! I love them so much. Little did I know how much The Lord would bless me with my companions (I’m in a trio now) and others in the district. There are 11 of us. Used to be 12 but one of them Elder Woodland got his visa after a couple days here haha. So he’s off in the Brazil MTC now. All of us are still waiting on our viasa’s and we’re all going to the EXACT same mission in Recife! A lot of districts are jumbled with missionaries going to different missions so this is such a treat for us! We’ll get to be in the same field wooooo 🙂 My trio companionship is with Sister Remy and Sister Orr. I love them both so much. We are all very different. Definitely BUT it’s added to our companionship. We balance eachother out which is so helpful and therefore we learn A TON from each other. I think that’s how the Lord would want it anyway 🙂 They’re both such wonderful examples to me. Sister Remy is very punctual, loving, sensitive and kind to everyone (she’ll be a great grandma someday-seriously the sweetest girl). Sister Orr on the other hand is hyper, gregarious (she seriously knows about 1/2 of the missionaries here at the MTC), and gets distracted quite easily. Needless to say, opposites and I think I’m kind of in the middle. Still bossy, and I feel like their mother literally because I’m the oldest (also in my district, everyone is 18-20 besides me). But this isn’t at all being said in a negative way, I’m just expressing how different us sisters are but we really do mesh together and balance eachother out. They both have sucha  strong conviction to this gospel and know why they are here. So glad. I know my prayers were answered having these 2 as my companions for these next 5 weeks. So anyways although I’m the oldest everyone in our district seems pretty mature and definitely are here to work hard and to grow in the l of Jesus Christ. We all get along really well, again another blessing from God. 🙂
Class that day consisted of our teacher Brother Perkes speaking in portuguese straight for a solid 2 hours. Most of us just sat and listened with eyes wide or jaws dropped (take your pick). You’re just so overwhelmed with the reality that you’re finally a missionary and ON A MISSION that everything seems so trippy. Surreal? Dream-like? honestly I kep thinking I’d wake up and be back home haha. Strange. But I can assure you it’s finally starting to sink in. Going to bed wednesday night I was rather happy, excited and overwhlemed but generally happy. I think I spoke to soon when I wrote you guys that first letter home haha.
Thursday/friday/saturday hmm we had a branch presidency meeting-nice to meet them but we ended up having to write down a ton of goals and so I left the meeting that night even more stressed. I woke up feeling more sick (tuesday morning I had a sore throat) and well, my voice was shot so I basically sounded more like a man that I normally do. Joy. It even cracked as I tried to muster out some portuguese phrases-haha my companions enjoyed that. Time schedule adjustment and emotions still whirring around in my head.
We did however start teaching an investigator named Henrique (En-heek-ey) to practice teaching. I can tell you right now, although it was a “role play” teaching brings the spirit. Here I was only here for 2 days and I was baring my testimony in very very very broken/simple/grammatically incorrect portuguese and yet I knew that the spirit was there and it was so strong. And Henrique understood I learned soon in the MTC that the spirit is eager to be that witness of truth to everyone of the truthfulness of this gospel.
Easter Sunday was wonderful. Everyone kept telling me  “Oh just wait until Sunday, just wait until SUnday” and well it makes sense. Sunday was amazing. We had one big sacrament meeting with all 3000 missionaries and Elder Causse the presiding bishop was there with his family. Cool story about this: So we had been waiting in line to get seats for this sacrament meeting since we knew a general authority would be there. However as soon as we got in people were saving spots and randomly getting more people coming in etc. basically-everything filled up before we knew it and we were about to leave to go to one of the overflow rooms because everyone had to be in a seat not just standing in the back or on the floor somewhere in the gym. I was so sad and then all of a sudden my companion sister Orr who also had been running around looking for seats waved at us pointing to a lady who held up 6 fingers down below. We ran down the stairs (we were at the top of the bleachers) as the opening Hymn began and an usher came up to us and led us to….the very front row. Yes. I sat in the front row to hear Elder Causse of the presiding bishopric speak and I SAT NEXT TO HIS PARENTS! Miracle? I think so. One moment we thought we’d be sitting in some overflow room and the next we’re in the front row right in front of the speaker. Ah 🙂 Such a wonderful talk on easter. I love this time of year, it’s much more important than Christmas in my opinion since we celebrate the Savior Living. His ressurection was a crowning event after the atonement.  Afterwards we talked with His parents who are from Bordeaux (dad they were soooo french you would’ve had a field day talking to them). And even later on (just to make the story that much better) when we were in a branch testimony meeting Sister Orr had to go to the bathroom in the middle of it and my companion and I grudgingly agreed to go with her. Well as wer were waiting for Sister Orr, Sister Remy and I looked down the hall and walking towards us was the MTC president, his wife and Bishop Causse and his whole family including the parents we talked to earlier. We got to shake each of their hands and say hi to them as they passed us smiling. They complimented us on our service. AH SO COOL! I tried to speak french, but it didn’t work out that well, they seemed pleased that I tried though. Their accents were so heavy, ah loved it. French is awesome, apart from Portuguse.
So yes, sunday was a great day obviously haha. nSheri Dew spoke that night to us in a devotional that was phenomenal. She’s such a spiritual bombshell I love her. We also listened to Elder Bednar’s talk on The character of Christ-incredible. Changed my life.
The rest of this week has been better. Teaching, speaking portuguese and just seeing the Lord strengthening me has been so great. We’re all so excited for General Conference this weekend! Can’t wait to be taught and edified by modern day prophets and apostles 🙂
I love you all so much thank you for your prayers and love. It means so much to me.
Remember that this is the Lord’s work. And it will continue to go forward. I’m so grateful to be apart of it.
Sister McCleve
Ps. can I have the hoyts address? I never got it.

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