Kyle's VISA has arrived!! After less than a week in the Provo MTC, his visa to go to Brazil has come. By the time we flies out, he will have been there for a day short of 2 weeks. He leaves this coming Tuesday, February 7, 2012. Below is a copy of his email with this exciting news along with some funny stories and most important, his words of excitement over hearing Elder Holland and Elder Nelson speak at the 50th anniversary of the MTC. He actually joined the choir so he could have good seats at this event...WOW!
I am emailing you today because they refuse to let me call home to tell you that I am leaving the country. Absolutely ridiculous I know. Elder Kamalu got to call home, but they refuse to let me. I am not happy! I don't understand why they will let one Elder and not another. So instead of taking 5 minutes to call, I'm going to take like 30 minutes and send a really long email instead!
But yeah so my visa came through last night (January 31st) and I picked it up this morning. I leave Tuesday at 8am for the MTC in Sao Paulo. I'm so excited to go there. On P-days they allow you to walk around the city and talk to people to work on your Portuguese. It's weird, like I'm excited to go but at the same time I've really gotten used to Provo and I really like my district. I got blessed with some amazing guys that are all around just quality guys. I mean I've learned so much already in such a short time it's ridiculous.
A few funny stories for your reading pleasure. So Elder Kamalu and I are teaching our investigator, Hugo, the other night. (he's fake, he's a member, I think an RM. But he's from Brazil and doesn't speak any English (so he says...)) but I had been holding in this fart all night and we had been teaching him for like 45 minutes. It felt like one of those that would just pass without a sound...definitely made a sound, and everybody heard. I was dying! I had no idea what to do. Hugo was laughing and Kamalu was mad because it was like mid lesson. We were teaching Hugo about repentance and the 5 steps of repentance. (you know like saying you messed up, praying to God for forgiveness...that whole thing) So for the rest of the time after every step, Hugo would ask me if I had done all that to repent of my fart. So embarrassing, but easily the funniest thing that has probably ever happened to me looking back on it. But another funny story, we taught Hugo again tonight and I have my new companion, Elder Rhodes, who doesn't know the language nearly as well as Kamalu and I. So basically, I'm going in there solo hoping for the best. I roll in there with my little lesson in hand and just get torn apart. We are trying to commit him to baptism and we've been leading up to it, so I was teaching him about taking Jesus' name upon us and the benefits from being baptized and I asked if he understood what I was saying and he was like "no!" So I asked which part confused him and he said todo...which roughly meant the entire thing. I died a little inside cuz everything I was teaching him came straight out of preach my gospel. So how much more straightforward can you be and I have nowhere near the vocabulary to explain what I was teaching cuz it was a pretty simple lesson and I didn't plan for him to not understand a thing. I did my best and after 20 minutes of stumbling step by step through my lesson we were kinda on the same page...I think. But he said he has a desire to be baptized but he isn't sure so I challenged him to pray about it to receive an answer and he accepted but easily the roughest time I've ever had talking to another person about anything. Pretty much if he doesn't answer the way I want to I'm toast cuz my entire lesson right now is scripted and written down on a paper. I can't really talk and I don't really understand what he says sometimes so mostly we just nod along and agree occasionally.
So we now have an hour of gym everyday which is awesome cuz I get to play four square (yeah haven't played that since 2nd grade and its still awesome) and me and Elder Barton slay! Pretty much all the Sisters are running on the track or just sitting around doing "yoga" (aka sitting on a mat and stretching occasionally). All the athletic Elders play basketball. I decided that since I stink at basketball to make myself feel better I would destroy all the unathletic Elders at four square. If Jesus played four square, I would be his Sensei! I'm like the Michael Phelps of four square! Today during four square there was this one Elder that was really making me mad cuz he took MTC four square way too seriously! Like this guy thinks every game is the Olympic four square, so everytime he got in I would take it upon myself to get him out. So he flipped out and yelled something about giving him a muffin basket and me spitting in his face? It was a ggrreeat analogy haha. Not my favorite kid...he best watch out tomorrow, I'm gunning for him.
On a serious note...devotional last night, AMAZING! Elder Fry and Rhodes and I were in the missionary choir (you were guaranteed a seat inside the gym if you were in the choir) unfortunately Elder Barton didn't get a seat :( There were rumors all week about who was going to come speak because it was the 50th anniversary of the MTC and it turned out Elder Holland AND Elder Nelson came. So cool! Like when they walked in the room it was like a punch in the face from the spirit, it was so strong! Those two men filled an entire gym of several thousand people with the spirit. Anyway...we sang our song which was so good (precious Savior, dear Redeemer) and then Elder Holland spoke. Seeing him on TV during conference and stuff doesn't do him justice! He is easily the most powerful speaker I've ever heard. Everything the man said was so awesome and pierced straight to my soul. He said so much good stuff! Hopefully they have a recording of it available because you guys should watch it, there is so much stuff I don't even know what to type. I think my favorite part was about the history of the MTC and missionary work. Elder Holland said "each of you stands tall on the shoulders of those giants that came before you" and stuff about how we would be doing them injustice if we didn't go out and give it our all. Yeah powerful stuff! Oh and he mentioned how we share the same title with him, kinda a big deal! Elder Nelson was sooooo good too. He was telling stories about the first missionaries that would go places and just baptize entire cities and thousands of people and served like 4 missions...I don't think I have it so rough anymore. But it's like they cast this enormous shadow and am I going to baptize thousands? Probably not. But they did, why can't I? Kinda cool to think about it. It was just so crazy hearing from not one, but two General Authorities in my first devotional. Oh yeah...kind of a funny side note, but Elder Nelson dedicated 5 buildings at the end and it was seriously like a 10 minute long prayer. How can anybody pray that long? Then there was a Sister missionary that had to give the closing prayer. How do you follow up a prayer like that from a General Authority! I don't know. There was so much awesome stuff said and it was great cuz me and my district have been feeling so down recently, just about the language and stuff and Elder Holland got up there and got us all pumped to go out and baptize people and it was so cool getting to listen to an apostle in person. But seriously see if there is a link to it on the church website or something and watch it cuz seriously I took like 2 pages of notes (it wasn't a long devotional) and I couldn't keep up with all the awesome stuff they said and so see if you can watch it. And as an added bonus, I was on the screen during the song apparently, so you will get to see me singing my heart out!
You need to read the story of the Strippling Warriors (Alma 53)...again...amazing...you're welcome!
Ruvvvv you! Elder Kyle