Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Sneak Peek into a Typical Sunday at the MTC

Elder Santos shows off his amazing flexi-fingers!

From left to right: Elders Ellis, Ghormley, Yuma, Burt, Webb, Fujimoto, Parrott, Ingram, Castellanos, Jensen, Titus, Gibbons, Tomocene (from Mozambique). These are the guys that make up my "District"

It has been exceedingly boring this past week. Nothing exciting to tell you. Basically, it’s study, study, study. And since we will be headed to the outside world in less than two weeks, studying is a good thing!

So, let me tell you about Sundays. Our church starts at 9 AM and goes until noon. On most normal Sundays, we prepare a 10 minute talk on differing Christ-like attributes, such as faith, hope, charity, humility, etc. Then during Sacrament Meeting, one person is randomly selected from each district (there are 5 districts in my branch; and there are about 60 of us in the branch) to give their talk. Every new incoming district starts with the topic of faith, so every talk is on a different Christ-like attribute. Most talks are done in English. Maybe one in twelve is done in Portuguese.

I have yet to be selected. Whew! However, since you never know when you might be selected to speak, you don’t dare NOT to prepare! Several weeks ago, I prepared a really awesome talk on humility, and was actually hoping I would get called on to speak…no luck. I was actually bummed at not being able to stand up there and give my talk!

After Sacrament Meeting, we have Priesthood Meeting, where one of the members of the Branch Presidency talks. After this, we have a District Meeting in our classroom, where one companionship gives a lesson, usually only about 30 minutes long. Elder Burt and I had the opportunity to give a lesson on “The Role of the Book of Mormon” last week on the 11th. It went very well, although it’s rather intimidating to teach your peers.

At noon, we have some free time. We can watch a church video in Portuguese w/English sub-titles, go to choir practice, or sleep/write/study (guess which one I choose to do?). At 7 PM there is a Fireside, usually a Brazilian Area Seventy (to my cycling peeps: no, a “Fireside” isn’t done sitting around a campfire, it’s basically a spiffy name for another meeting. And an “Area Seventy” is a man who is pretty high up in church authority.) Afterwards we have companion study time; then planning; then snack time at 9:30 PM and then it’s off to bed.

Next week in Sacrament Meeting (10/18), my district will be singing “Come Thou Font,” 2 verses in English and two verses in Portuguese. It’s a tradition for the leaving districts to sing a hymn on their last Sunday at the MTC. And I’ll bet you thought I took a nap instead of going to choir practice! Shame on you.

This coming Friday, we get to go out proselytizing again! This time they’re dropping us off in the middle of downtown Sao Paulo. Stay tuned…

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