This week has been a long one for me. To start things off, its so stinking HOT!!! I cant believe it! and its only going to get hotter here as the days go by, so I cant wait for that... haha thanks for all of your emails. I love hearing about your week, its great! This week has been pretty crazy. A lot of things have happened. At the beginning of the week we got an e-mail from the mission president saying that he needs baptisms from our area. So no pressure now lol. So this week we really focused on finding new investigators. This area is really slow lately and there hasn't ever really been a lot of baptisms come out of here but I really think we can get some. So we worked hard talking to tons of people and trying to find new investigators. The week started off really well and we found a family last week. This week was our first lesson with them and it went super well and we put one of them on date!! The mom is a member but she is not active at all. She was baptized 12 years ago and doesn't remember anything. So we were super pumped to have a person on date for baptism! Later in the week we went back over and had another great lesson about Joseph Smith. The spirit was strong and everything so we invited them to church and they accepted! On Sunday we went to their house in the morning to pick them up for church. and they weren't home which really sucked because well, first, they didn't come to church and seconnd, it was a really long walk to there house haha. We went by later on Sunday and we were going to teach a lesson but mom came out and said: I am sorry guys I cant let you in. The kids dad does not want you coming to our house anymore. I am really sorry but we cant have you teach us anymore. I felt bad because they where so good and really accepting of the gospel. So this week we are going to try and go talk to the dad and see if we cant figure something out. I hope everything works out so keep us in your prayers for sure!!
This week we really focused on finding new investigators so we knocked, well clapped, at a lot of doors. We found what seems to be some really good people. We found a young family. They have one kid. We found them just knocking doors and we came in to teach and while we where teaching he was asking all the best questions lol like ´if there were prophets in the past, shouldn't we have a prophet today? lol YES!!!! my companions and my eyes got huge and just looked at each other lol and we got really excited and we are going to teach him again this week I hope it all goes well and I hope we can put him on date with his wife. We will see!!
This week pretty much consisted of a ton of walking!! and knocking doors and talking to everyone we pass on the road. so to say the least, my body is pretty dead and I really started to feel it towards the end of the week. On Sunday I got pretty sick and I felt horrible. It wasn't very good and I still don't feel good today, but yesterday was a lot worse so after church we went to a members home for lunch. We eat lunch with members everyday. After that I had to just go home and lay down for a little. I had a fever and it just happened to be the hottest most humid day of my life!! I mean it was so hot I have never sweat that much in my life and I had a fever and felt horrible to begin with so it wasn't very fun at all! And Sunday we had to walk a ton more than the usual day so that just made it so much better haha. As we where walking my back was soaked! When we finally got to the house we where going to, we couldn't even drink the water because it was really bad and just didn't want to risk it. I felt like I was gong to die for real lol after the lesson we went to the bishops house to get water. It was so good!!!!!!! lol Then we had another long long walk home and when I got home I seriously drank 2 liters of water in about 10 mins no joke I was so thirsty and needed water so bad!
Now for the language... it stinks so bad and I am so frustrated with it. I am trying to be positive but it is so hard because I cant talk to anyone! I haven't had a conversations with someone since I got to brazil. Its really hard not being able to communicate with people and to make things worse, I am so sick of being made fun of. Its crazy how much I am getting made fun of! It was all funny the first week and a half and now its just really getting annoying! Its so frustrating to have a group of people just sit there and say things about you and I cant even defend myself because I don't know how to lol so the language really killed me this week I had a hard time with it. But its getting better but its still horrible I cant teach a lot more now than I ever could and I understand more and I can talk more with my companion but its still hard. I have been learning patience for sure out here.
Teaching wise, it's been a good week and we have about 4 or 5 good investigators right now that we are hoping on putting on date very soon. So keep us in your prayers and pray for new investigators! please we could really use the help!
So as far as the week in general, I have learned a lot about being a missionary. The biggest one is that I know now that missionaries are watched over and protected. I know that. We have had some sketchy situations that went a lot better than they should have out here. I am so thankful for the protection out here! And also, I am getting a lot more familiar with the culture but there is just one thing I think I will never get used to out here. the whole toilet paper thing. here you have to put the used toilet paper in the trash next to the toilet.. you don't flush it... its so strange and pretty gross! lol That's my thought of the week lol the week was long just because of frustration and sickness but nothing to bad.
Thanksgiving was kinda sad not having family around. Elder Gillett called me and wished me a happy thanksgiving lol it was funny. no one knows thanksgiving around here. They have never even heard of it so that was sad. In pictures of my thanksgiving dinner I made a sandwich and a chicken patty since it was thanksgiving lol usually I have to choose between the two since we don't get a lot of food around here. The other thing I have learned this week is that I can put the rice and beans down like no ones business! lol I can eat so much rice and beans! I don't know if its because I am starving or because I can just eat a lot of them haha but I find them pretty good now and I eat a ton when I can haha This week has also been exciting as far as almost being hit by things... one bus, two cars, three horse buggy and four motorcycles! I have almost been hit by everyone of those things lol the streets here are like a circus act! I came really close to a motorcycle. I mean super close. I felt the tire on my pant leg! lol kinda scarred me to say the least but don't worry, there were no accidents in my pants lol The dogs here are crazy!!! There are so many of them everywhere!!! They all just run wild and just are crazy. oh and there is a barn right across the street from us and on Saturday night they had a party there... all night long!!!!!! they played music so loud!! all night long, so to say the least, sleep was hard to come by. The party finally ended around 5 in the morning... so that didn't help my sleep issue lol I am still very much tired!!
Well thanks again for all of your emails and love. I am so thankful for all of you and all of your support out here! I think of you all the time and miss you guys a ton but the work is going pretty well and we have a lot to do here so things are good! keep us in your prayers. We can always use the help! I was pretty sick but I am getting better now so no worries. Its super super hot but that's to be expected! haha I am doing good and I am safe for another week lol oh you can send pictures for sure that's totally ok!! that would be awesome and in a package I need face cleanser and deodorant because they don't have that here... and I just ran out so... lol that's the only things I really need right now thanks! I love you all and I think that is about it for the week! have a great one be safe and have a ton of fun!! parabems on the license Darbi that's awesome!! thanks again for all of the love! have a good week!!
First things first. I am so tired!!!!!!!! I cant even believe how tired I am! I haven't caught up from the no sleep for almost two days during the travel. I have never been this tired in my life! lol and I love reading your e-mails because one, well I just love hearing from you guys, and two they are in English and I can understand them!!
Right after leaving from the e-mail place we went and got hair cuts, my first one in brazil! it was well ok lol I couldn't really talk to the lady and tell her what I wanted so my companions just told her to do whatever and it ended up ok . Its not the worst thing I have ever seen. But the rest of the day was good. We went into town and shopped at some stores. Once that was over, we had to go back to work. The rest of the week was pretty much the same. I will do an overview so I don't repeat myself. We wake up everyday a little before 6:30, shower, and then its study time till around 12. After this we head out for the day and start working. Our area is pretty big. It takes a little over an hour to walk from one side to the other, so we got a lot of room to work with. Houses are crammed together and its pretty crazy. Everyday we have some people we try and talk to. We plan every night for the next day so we have a game plan of what we are going to do. Most of the time our appointments don't answer their door or are just not home. So we spend almost all our day knocking doors. Well, we don't knock here, we stand outside their gate and we clap and they come out to talk or they just act like they didn't hear us knock. We do that all day pretty much everyday. We talk to a lot of people but they just say they have another religion. That's been interesting to get to know all of those down here. I've met Mormons, lol Catholics, (lots of those) and even some devil worshipers... that's been fun. We walked by their so called church and its just an eerie feeling but there are just a lot of religions and no one wants to hear about ours so its hard to teach people. we just tell them our message will help them have more faith in God and Jesus Christ. We really don't get to teach that much here and that is hard. We teach 3 lessons a day if we are lucky and the rest of the time we are walking around street contacting and knocking doors. On Tuesday there was a church activity and we went to that. The whole ward comes because there is not enough youth, so everyone comes and they do a spiritual message at the beginning and then they do an activity. Its all combined, no one breaks off into groups like our ward, so its different but pretty cool. The ward is pretty close since there are less than 40 in it lol so everyone knows each other. So we have an activity, then they feed everyone! I love this part because I don't have to understand anyone to be able to eat! lol I know what to do with food. No one has to tell me that. lol Wednesday was district meeting. I got to meet everyone else in my district. They are all pretty cool. The sad news is the zone leaders taught what I think was a great lesson but I understood maybe 10% of it lol.
The language has been killing me... my head at the end of the day feels like it is going to explode!!!! it is so mentally draining to try and understand people all day long. I really haven't heard any English since being here. its pretty hard. I really don't even get to study in English. Its all Portuguese, everything! I guess I will learn faster haha but I just get so frustrated at the end of the day. About the last hour of working I just get so frustrated I cant even think straight. I have no patience with anything at the end of the day. All I do is put a big smile on my face and say sim, sim, sim, and nod my head or if when I say sim they give me a weird look I quickly change to nao nao lol then they realize I have no idea what they are saying and they say something to my companion and he talks lol but anyway the language is coming just really slowly. and I am trying my best. when we teach I say what I can, when I can, but its not much because usually I have no idea where the lesson is. I usually just bear my testimony at the end and that seems to be the best thing and helps the person.
So its just Elder Blanco and myself now. interesting story about that. we did have Elder Gillett with us but he is now a zone leader! lol he goes home in two weeks so that's cool for him! Elder Blanco and I get along pretty well. I mean we have our problems but the big thing is not being able to understand each other so sometimes we get pretty frustrated with each other. but its all good, we work well together and that's all that really matters. a funny story about us is last night he was snoring so loud I could not sleep. so I started clapping my hands till he woke up and I was able to chew him out and tell him to stop snoring, all in Portuguese, lol I thought it was pretty funny.
Everyone in our district calls our area the nova area lol They all say when my 12 week training is over, I will be district leader but I don't think so. I just really like to work hard our here. I don't want any regrets. I am working really hard and my companion likes it, he just gets tired sometimes and asks to sit down for a little rest. We walk a lot and fast, haha but we are doing as much as we can here. I think this areas is going to see some big changes with new missionaries working hard here. It will be fun to see! Our goal this week is to really find some good investigators so we are hoping to find the people the lord has prepared for us!
Another funny story for the week is one day we where working as usual and then we ended up back at the house and I asked why. Elder Gillett then said in English so I could understand, "We are dropping off our stuff. You need to take off your watch and leave your backpack and stuff because we are going to a part of town that isn't very safe"... that got my attention. It was very true and kinda sketchy where we were...but it ended all ok We only had an encounter with a drug guy who was up to no good but we handled it ok. haha we were all safe.
This week has been good though over all. I even had my very fist chicken heart burger!! lol pretty good actually until you see what you are eating then its kinda hard to get down. So I just don't look at the food, but it wasn't horrible, pretty tasty. Then I had my very first "chirrasco" its a Brazilian bbq with tons and tons of meat.
It was nice to be full haha, we really don't get to eat that much here. We eat one meal a day and that's lunch so I am super hungry all the time. It seems like it kinda stinks but we are going to the grocery store after this and I will get some goodies! haha
Its so HOT here!!! everyday it touches 100 degrees! And its humid, so I sweat so much you can see the sweat marks on my socks,
but I mean its so hot its going to take some getting used to for sure! And there is no AC here. No one even knows what that is lol so there is no way to get out of it! the best thing ever though is my camelbak!!! Another fun part are the bugs!! they are eating me alive and the scary part is I don't get bitten during the day... its only at night! I have bites on my face all over my arms everywhere! they love me! its pretty gross when you think about it... lol they only get me when I am sleeping. I try not to think about what goes on haha
Well that's about it for the week! its so crazy wrestling started! I miss it actually. It still haunts me how last season ended... it seriously keeps me up at night when I think about it. I can replay every match at state in my head. it just kills me. it really kills me when I think about it. but oh well tell everyone good luck for the season for me! I will miss being with them! I am doing good so no need to worry about me. I am really loving it in brazil even though I really have no idea what most people are saying to me! lol the people are pretty cool though! I have to say thanks to Madi for the hymn book because we sing hymns for this old lady when go over so, thanks Madi! haha I am just loving it! I am so thankful to be here. I love the area I am in, its perfect, and just what I have ever imagined! I am working hard and learning pretty quick about things here. Things are good even though I am so tired!! I mean so tired its crazy! but I am happy and love being here with the people and I love serving here its really cool! I am frustrated with the language but no need to worry, its coming, and I will get it eventually, just need the patience. thanks for all of you support I love you all. Have a great week in the snow. I will try and send some heat your way! lol have a good thanksgiving I don't get one :( thanks for the e-mails again I love you all so much thanks for all of your support have a great week!!!!!!!
Holy cow this is the craziest thing ever!!!! I cant believe it! I don't have too much time so I will start from when I started to brazil from Atlanta. It took me awhile to figure out how to use this dang computer because everything is in Portuguese, lol, but we're all good now.
It was so great to talk to you guys. I loved it so much! It was amazing to hear everyone's voices again! I talked to dad last in Atlanta and while I was talking to him an elder ran over and said they were boarding the plane right away, so I had to go pretty quick. Sorry about that, but I walked over and got on the plane right away. It was a huge plane but unfortunately I was in the very back of the dang thing so my seat didn't recline at all. And lets just say that planes are not very comfy. So we got on and I was sitting next to the elder who was serving in Salt Lake as well, so we got to be good friends through out all this traveling. As we started to move, and the plane made its way to the runway, it really started to hit me that I was going to Brazil. It was the weirdest feeing I have ever had. I was so excited but really scarred at the same time and I had no idea what to think. The plane took off and I was on my way to Brazil. I watched all the lights of America pass away as we went out over the ocean. The first hour of the flight was great, then as time went on, I started to get super tired and I couldn't get comfortable to save my life. So I just looked out the window and watched Jamaica, Cuba and all those cool places pass by but I don't think I saw a little elder Romney running around in Jamaica haha, it was to dark, but anyway the flight went on and on and on and on and on for forever!! I am not lying, it was the longest flight ever. First, because it was just a long flight to begin with, and second, I could not fall asleep, it was horrible. I really only slept good for like 15 mins. I couldn't get in a good spot to sleep so I was pretty frustrated and the last two or so hours of the flight I just wanted to be there already. But the time finally came and we landed in Sao Paulo! Flying over the city was so crazy. It was morning and we could see everything. It is an impressive city for sure. It is so huge, like mind blowing huge! So that was really cool to see brazil and all the houses and buildings as we landed. I got off the plane and bam! HEAT and HUMIDITY! It smacked me in the face pretty hard lol I was sweating pretty good just walking through the tunnel to the airport. Once we got in, we had to go straight to customs. That was interesting. We walked into a big room and this lady was yelling, "Foreigners in this line!" I started walking the other way not realizing that I am now a foreigner lol. The lady nicely grabbed my shirt and put me in the right line. It was pretty funny. The other elders where laughing at me. It was weird realizing that I was now a foreigner. So I got to the front of the line hoping I had filled out all the paper work correctly. I went to the window and the lady said something that I didn't understand so I just gave her my passport and the paperwork and she did some stuff said some stuff and I just smiled at her because I had no idea what she was saying. She handed me my stuff and everything was all good. The next step was getting my bags. That went great and it was really fast. Then we went out of that room and there where two people waiting to help us with everything. They helped us exchange our money and then we headed over to get our plane ticket to Porta Alegre. I got my ticket and everything was going smoothly. We had a couple hours to sit and wait for our flight, so we went through security. I was expecting the same kind of thing as in salt lake, but no lol the security was pretty much nothing, so I made it through with no problems there. I found my gate and then tried to find a place where I could call you guys but there was nothing. Sorry about that. We had a long time to wait till the flight so a couple elders and I just sat and people watched the whole time. OH! I forgot we met up with some more elders in Sao Paulo and one of them was elder law from my district in the MTC. It was great to see him. We stayed together the whole time. We boarded our plane and headed out. The flight was good and took little more than 2 hours. I did get about hmm 20 mins of sleep so that was awesome! Well it was good until we started our decent to land and that was a nightmare. I don't know what was going on but the plane kept going up and down, up and down, and this is when I started to feel a little sick. lol not good. Just before I got to the point of throwing up on the plane, we landed. We headed out and met two elders who had been sent to pick us up. One was the assistant. We talked to him for a minute and then went out to get a shuttle. There were 6 elders and one sister, all new, going to Santa Maria, so that was cool. Outside was so stinking HOT and so humid. I was sweating big time haha. We were standing waiting for a shuttle and someone asked the elders how far to Santa Maria? They then informed us, .... 5 hours..... All I could think was NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol I wasn't to excited about the ride but I was excited to drive through town and see everything in the city. We started driving and I have to say the shuttle was pretty nice. I mean nice for brazil. haha We started and the city was awesome and I saw some super cool things, then we left the city and it is just grass and rice farms from there to santa maria lol with some houses and tiny towns mixed in. So the drive was pretty cool. The best part was I got like an hour of sleep!!!!!!!!! oh yeah!!! I was really excited as we got closer to Santa Maria, even though I was super tired. The first thing we did was went to what they call the big house. Its a... well.... big house that has 8 beds in one room. hah They use it for transfers and stuff. We dropped our bags off there and headed to the mission presidents house. He lives on top of like an 8 story building. We got there, said hello, or Oi, to the family and they took us to the roof to look at the city from there! It was so crazy. I will try and send pictures, but it was so cool. We could see a ton and it was surreal just to sit there and look and know that I was in brazil and this was my mission. It was a very special moment for me. After looking for awhile they got some pizza for use to eat and I was starving. We didn't eat a lot the whole trip. The last time I ate was in Atlanta and had Panda Express!!! yummy! After dinner, they told us we could call our parents and let them know we had arrived safely. I got so excited! We only got like 1 min though, so I called mom and that was great! I was so excited to call her from brazil! way cool! After everyone called their parents, we headed back to the big house to sleep!!! yay!!! The president wasn't at his house because he was traveling for zone conferences. When we got to the house, it took awhile for everyone to get settled down and ready for bed. When I first laid in bed, it felt wet, it was weird and I thought to myself, "What the heck is this?" Then I realized it was wet just because it was so humid! It was hard to fall asleep but I was so tired nothing could stop me, not even the bugs crawling on me. I woke up to a huge clap of thunder and a lightning storm, just my luck! The houses here don't have glass in the windows. They just have open bars or slats. It was pretty loud and it was raining so hard. It was actually pretty nice to just sit there and listen to the storm. I love storms haha I don't think the girls would have liked it very much. lol but it was raining really hard and it was lightning so often it was really cool. After enjoying that for a little while, I fell back to sleep and woke up in the morning getting about 4 hours of sleep. I was soaked. lol I had been sweating pretty bad. Getting ready was fun. there were 8 of us and only one shower. Ok. so the shower was the crazy! Let me just say this.. you could shower and sit on the toilet at the same time! It was still raining in the morning and we had to be at the church for zone conference. The good news was that mom got me an umbrella. It came in handy as we started walking in the poring rain. I was thinking that it would be just a short walk and we would be there. I was wrong. It was about a 30 min walk to the church in the rain on my first day in Brazil, but I have to say it was so awesome walking through the middle of the city. There were lots of people and it was like nothing I have ever seen before! The city is so awesome! I love it! When we got to the church, I met the mission president. He is really cool but he only knows a tiny bit of English so it was kind of hard to talk with him, but I had and interview with him and understood almost everything he was saying. He helped a lot by talking super slow. After the interviews, it was time for zone conference. There were a lot of Elders there and I even saw someone I knew from the MTC. Zone conference was all in Portuguese of course and I don't know Portuguese, so the president had the American elders translate for us.
Ughh I am running out of time so I need to cram a ton of stuff in really quick with not a lot of details sorry!
The conference was good. The next day we had training and we got our new companions! My companions names are Elder Blanco, who is from sao paulo, and speaks no English. The other is Elder Gillett. He is from Utah but he goes home in three weeks so its just for a short time. They don't speak any English with me, so most of the time it is hard to communicate. They are both super cool! We get along very well and they help with the language a ton. Portuguese is coming along pretty well actually. I am surprised I can understand Elder Blanco a lot because he talks slow for me. But when it comes to the locals... no chance.... I don't get anything!!!! When training was done, we headed to our areas. This is when I found out I had yet another 5 hour bus ride... ugh and our bus left at 9 pm so we traveled through the night. I didn't sleep at all on the bus, it was horrible. We got home a little after 2:30 am and went to bed around 3. I slept great for 3 1/2 hours.. till we had to wake up at 6:30. My first area is Alegrete! It is so awesome!! It is everything I ever wanted it to be!!! Its the coolest little town ever! I love everything about it! All the roads are cobblestone and most of the houses are brick shack things. The people are pretty poor around here. We actually live in a pretty nice place for the area, its not bad at all. It is pretty hot around these parts. haha, but its not horrible. I sweat a lot and when I get in bed at night my skin feels so weird; like salt. As for water... I have a little filter thing at the house that I use when I am there, but we aren't here a lot and I need water so we are forced to drink the regular water. Its probably not great but its either drink the water or turn into a raisin and die of heat exhaustion. I choose water. I probably wont die from it I hope lol sorry mom you probably don't like me drinking the water.... I love you!! but I have to. Anyway, my areas is so cool and my trainers are great, they help a ton. Church was ... interesting. There are only about 38 members who come so it's super tiny. It's weird going from salt lake to here. The singing in church was awesome lol there is no piano and everyone well is pretty bad at singing haha it was so funny to hear everyone sing. Everyone sings their own thing, its great! I contacted 8 people yesterday! The language isn't horrible. I am doing alright. I really like Alegrete. I love being in Brazil; its the craziest place I have ever been! I cant believe I am really here! I am doing great. Have a great week. I love you all!!
p.s. All I eat is rice and beans with some kind of meat lol and I got bit by a bug the other night and now I have a rash looking thing on my arm where it bit me. lol Fun stuff being in brazil but I am so excited to be here!!
Crazy week and I don't have a lot of time to write but trust me I will make up for it in the next sentence....... I AM GOING TO BRAZIL!!!!!!!! Tomorrow!!!! Tuesday I am leaving on a jet plane to another country!! lol that is so crazy I cant believe I even am telling you this right know. I thought it would never come!!!!! ah!! I am so excited and so nervous at the same time!! I don't really know much about my travel because I get all that info tonight! I do know I leave at 11:25 tomorrow! That's all I know right now so I will call you from the airport probably earlier than that but I am not sure I have no idea what's going on! lol so I am going to try and call you before I leave I will probably go from here to Atlanta then to Sao Paulo then to somewhere close to Santa Maria! Then I have a 3 hours bus ride to Santa Maria. I will tell you guys everything tomorrow when I call! but that's the crazy news of the week!! lol pretty good news if you ask me!!
I found out in a pretty crazy way really lol this was Thursday. so it was just a normal day and we where out tracking a little and going to appointments and so forth, then we had a Portuguese referral to go to. so we headed over to that and right in the middle of the lesson we were having on their front porch the phone rang in my pocket and so I pulled it out to see who it was and it said "mission office" my heart started racing so fast but I got super scared and nervous so I just clicked decline because I couldn't open it in the middle of the lesson so we continued and just talked in Portuguese of course. lol oh by the way mine is pretty bad lol Brazilians talk so fast and I am not even in brazil yet!! haha so I can catch some things and can usually tell what's going on in the conversation but not all the time so they all have a good time laughing at me lol but its all good. I do get pretty frustrated sometimes though I just want to speak it well but I don't and now I am going to brazil so that will be interesting. haha so after the whole lesson we were walking to the car and I pulled the phone out and said hey Elders I we got a call from the mission office and they both went crazy lol they left a message so I listened to it. I was so nervous, my heart was racing pretty fast lol so it started "we have a message for Elder Novakovich... HIS VISA HAS COME!" lol he said a lot more stuff after that but I blacked out lol and didn't hear anything after that. until he said "he is leaving on Tuesday" I heard that haha I was so excited and in shock I didn't know what to do I was just like "my visa came!!" Elder Ramos and Elder Rogers where very excited for me! haha it was pretty cool. I will record the message onto my camera and try and send it to you guys later. So that's how I found out I got my visa! pretty funny that I was talking to a Portuguese family when it happened. so my day today will consist of trying to get everything ready to go for tomorrow! I have no idea how I am going to be ready in time! I haven't even started to do anything to be ready. And our night is pretty full of lessons and stuff so I will have to pack when I get home so not much time really. but I am sure it will work out some how. so that's that I will explain better tomorrow I hope!!
Anyway I will tell a little about how my week went. We had some really good expectations for this week and we where really excited to work hard and meet some pretty high goals we set for ourselves. So we had a lesson with this lady who is in here 20s and they have taught her like twice before and we went in planning on committing her to baptism. So the lesson was going great and the time came and we gave her the invitation and she said yes to being baptized which was awesome so we asked her to prepare herself for November 19. she said yes so we started making some plans and telling her about the stuff we still had to teach her in order for her to be baptized. In the middle of it all she kinda stopped and looked at us and said. "Is there anyway I can be baptized sooner than the 19th?" It kinda took all of us off guard lol we were like yeah!! haha it was really cool to have her ask that to us. It just amazed me how she was prepared to move forward. Its so cool how the Lord has prepared people even before the missionaries find them. It testified to me that there are people out there who are just waiting for the gospel. They are waiting for something but they don't know what it is and as soon as they talk with a member or a missionary they recognize that and accept it so willingly. that's the really cool story for the week and there are more but no time to write. I am sorry this letter seems short but I will talk to you all tomorrow and share everything with you!!!! but the other thing is this week that I have really realized is how real Satan is and how he tries his best to keep people from the church. We have a recent covert who is really struggling right know for some crazy things and its just crazy how Satan knows how to keep people from dong what's right. we have about 3 investigators right now who are really fighting Satan head on. they are so close to baptism but Satan is giving them everything he has to keep them from doing it. its really sad but we are doing our best to help them through it and get them to baptism. I will explain more tomorrow! haha
That's awesome that state was good! I am so proud of you Darbi!!!!!! I want to talk to you so bad about it!! lets talk tomorrow! haha but congratulations!!!! that's awesome! hope you enjoyed the letter this week haha sorry for the e-mail subject lol I thought it would be fun to put something sad so you guys didn't expect anything lol but it was a great week!!!! I promise!!!
I cant wait to talk to you guys tomorrow!! I hope I can talk to everyone!! have a good day I love you all so much and so excited to leave for Brazil in the morning!!!
Love Elder Novakovich
I cant believe the next e-mail will come from Brazil!!!!!
P.S. I gave a blessing in Portuguese this week super crazy story!! I will tell you tomorrow :) love you!!!
This week has been so crazy. I have no idea where to start! I have so many things to tell you I hope I can remember them and get them all typed in time!!! First off, I miss you all so much! Its been kinda weird not getting mail everyday, but at the same time I have no time to even think about that! lol Second Darbi!! ahhhh!!!!!!!!!! thata girl!!!! kickin butt, that is so awesome to hear you made it to state!!!!!!!!!!! I am so proud and excited for you!! You are so awesome! I was so excited to read the e-mails about it! I was thinking about you all day on Saturday wondering how it all went!! I bet you feel amazing! I remember when I crossed that finish line and I knew I had made it to state! It makes all the hard work and sweat all worth it. It's an amazing feeling and I am sure you felt that when you heard you had made it!! I am so excited for you! as well as the whole girls and boys teams!!! That's so awesome parabems!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that's great I wish I could be there to cheer you on all around that place but that's alright I will be cheering from right here in Salt Lake City!!!! lol GO kick butt out there sis! All my advice I have to give to you about that is just relax and have fun with it. I know last year when I made it, I was so nervous I puked and could barely walk. But now that I look back on it, there was no reason to be that nervous. You made it this far and no one can ever take that away from you! YOU are a state runner!! That is so awesome! Go out there and have fun with it; enjoy every second; enjoy the energy of all the other runners; take a lot of deep breaths and go out there and give it everything you can because it the last time you will run cross for East Valley. Have fun, you going to do so great I am so pumped for you!!!!
Alright I guess I better start talking a little about my week. Crazy!!! So Tuesday morning I woke up at 5 but fell back to sleep till 5:30... oops. so I was pretty rushed to get to the travel office at 6. So I throw all that I had laying around in the bags and left. I had stayed up pretty late packing the night before, so I had most of it done. Anyway, so Elder Dean and I made it to the office on time and there were about 15 people leaving that morning so we got split up which kinda sucked but oh well. I got a seat on the van that was going directly to the Mission home and he got on the bus to go to the airport first to drop Elders off there. So it wasn't that long of a drive to the mission Home; 40 mins or so. When I got there, I was with 7 other Elders. So we were there and no one was at the mission offices so all the doors were locked and the bus had to leave so he left all of us waiting outside the office lol It was pretty dang cold but that's ok. So finally, about a half hour later someone showed up and let us in the office. We waited and talked a little till the mission president got there. We met with him and all the Elders who had just arrived and all the trainers and assistants were there. So we met everyone and had to introduce ourselves in front of everyone. So then the mission president went through and announced everyone and everyone claps and cheers as people meet their new companions lol so I was one of the last ones to go and the craziest thing happened!!
Do you remember when Bro. C took me out to lunch with the kid who was gong to the same mission in brazil as me? Well I guess he got re-assigned to Salt Lake as well about a month before me. And lo and behold we got put into a companionship together!!! how crazy, we got called to the same mission twice and now we are companions!! crazy!!! But he has been with an Elder from guess! Brazil!!! so his trainer is from Brazil and they have been companions since he got here. Crazy stuff!!! His name is Elder Rogers who I knew back home. And the my trainer who is from Brazil is named Elder Ramos!! lol He is awesome!! He Helps Elder Rogers and myself with Portuguese! He is a way cool guy and he has only been here for 5 months!! so still pretty new and his English is so funny!!! lol He speaks it really well but some things he says in the wrong order and it's so funny!!! lol I am laughing just typing about it!! lol he has this funny little Portuguese accent lol. He is so funny!!! But he is such a good missionary!! He blows my mind! haha I make sure to tell him that every night before we go to bed. haha but anyway yeah we are in a threesome. A lot of Elders are too because there are so many Visa waiters they are putting a lot of threesomes together. It is pretty cool I like having three. Elders Rogers is way cool too. By the way we get along pretty well and share a lot of laughs about elder Ramos English mistakes. lol So that's my new companionship.
After all that stuff we left to drop my bags off at the apartment. Dropped them off then we where out the door to go to work!! that fast, we were out working by 11 am!! pretty crazy lol I was expecting a nice little welcome day but no, straight to work which was pretty cool, though I didn't mind at all. So we went out to some appointments that they already had lined up. some were not home so they both thought it would be fun to try some tracking on the first day. lol We went to some condos and we were knocking and not a lot of people answered but there were some but nothing great. haha so while we were knocking a lady from a couple doors down opened the door and yelled "Stop knocking and go away! Everyone here is a Jew!!!" lol it was so funny I tried not to laugh but I couldn't hold it all in. lol so after knocking for awhile and doing some other stuff it was dinner time. This was one of the most interesting experiences of my life hands down. We came in and the house was so humble. There are four people in the family and one who is 11 has a mental disorder.. The house was very humble and it made me thankful for what we have. But she made spaghetti for dinner and it was pretty hard to eat just with everything being so dirty... I was good and ate all I could. The 11 year old kid who is not all there sat next to me which was all cool until he started wiping his spaghetti sauce fingers all over my suit jacket. lol I didn't know what to do so I just kinda pushed his hand away and he kinda stopped. This happened about three times, but I was being nice haha so out of no where he got up and left and a couple moments latter he came back... only he forgot something... all of his clothes!!!!!!! He came walking into the kitchen butt naked and wow that was a shock. yeah. So the parents just asked him nicely to go put some clothes on, so he left for a little bit but again returned with no clothes. He left and put some clothes on eventually though so that was good. It was about time to leave and we kinda had a testimony meeting and telling stories about our baptisms and stuff, it was cool. So that was my very first dinner appointments in the field. Pretty crazy if you ask me. We got out and I was kinda in shock not knowing what to think about it all and Elder Ramos just said out of the silence "So who wants McDonalds?" lol no one had eaten till they where full just because yeah. so we went and got some dollar menu stuff lol it was very yummy I hadn't had that in two months!!! lol After we went to more appointments for the rest of the night. It was pretty cool but I still have a ton to learn about everything and how to teach better. It was still fun to teach real people! We came back to the apartment and planned for the next day. The first day I taught 5 lessons!!! lol Bed time was much needed by the time 10:30 came.
The rest of the days we just taught pretty much all day long, it was pretty spiritual. The coolest one is this lady named Rebecca who is a single mom with two little girls. We taught her and she was planning on getting baptized on Saturday! So the next day we taught her again and it was really spiritual and we asked if she could say the closing prayer and when she was saying it in the middle she just stopped and started crying. The spirit was so strong. She just cried in the middle of her prayer and she ended and kept crying. It is amazing how the Lord prepares people to be baptized. She was so ready to be baptized it was so cool to see that. So Saturday came around and I had my first baptism!!! lol I really didn't do much just helped teach twice. so I wont count that one but it was way cool to see her enter the waters of baptism. I even got to be the witness for her baptism!! That's about it for the week. Sorry I cant go into details about everyday. I don't have much time, but we are in the less wealthy part of town for sure. Its really cool and I have met some really cool young families that fed us this week, some really good food haha which I was so thankful for!!!!!!!! but with the three of us we cover 5 wards!!!! Plus we cover a Portuguese branch because Elder Ramos can speak with them lol so we went there for a little on Sunday which was cool. Everyone is so nice!! last night we went to a Portuguese referral we got and the family was so cool they just had a little baby 10 days ago and they are super nice!!! We talked to them for awhile and they helped Elder Rogers and myself with the language it was pretty funny Elder Rogers did really good but me on the other hand, knew pretty much nothing. The couple really liked talking to me because I had no idea what they were saying lol but they laughed and helped me. they were awesome even though I left a little frustrated with the language thing. I have no idea how to speak real Portuguese lol cant wait for Brazil.
So I haven't heard anything about the Visa, we did drop an Elder off this morning to go to Brazil. I will let you all know as soon as I hear anything. the mission office address is 3487 S. 13 E. if you want to send stuff in the mail. We only get mail on Thursdays. Will you let Madi and who ever else know that for me please. Thanks!!
well that's about all I can put in this week I hope you get the pictures I put in haha enjoy I will try and send more later!! I am doing great!! the field is awesome and I love teaching. I just need a lot of help and have a lot to learn about everything! I am really enjoying it, its been great and this week we taught 37 lessons, with one baptism! lol I love it out here and the area is pretty cool Salt Lake isn't that bad lol still looking for that reason I have been sent here haha but I am working hard and trying my best out here! have a great week I love you all and be safe thanks for the e-mails!!! I love you all happy Halloween!!
This is my last day!!! so crazy!! I cant believe I am leaving the MTC already! I remember laying in bed the first night and just thinking I am never going to get out of here. But now its my last day and I leave tomorrow morning!! Time has flown by so fast! I almost feel like I should stay longer! But it will be so nice to get out and really start the Lords work. I am super excited to start to teach real people but I am also so nervous! Its going to be so weird being in the field. I am so thankful for this time I have had in the MTC though. I have learned so much, its amazing! I feel like a completely different person. My priorities have really been changed and I know what I have to be doing right now. This mission has already changed my life greatly. I can really see the important things in life now and realize how much this church has blessed my life. This place has been amazing and I am serious when I say it is going to be sad when I leave... I will really miss it if you can believe it. This feels like my new home and I am leaving a whole new family! well actually they all left me! lol We started with 12 district members and now we are down to three! Elder Dean and Elder Harston plus myself. Elder Dean and I are really the last ones because Elder Harston should be gone already since he has his Visa but his knee is still hurt so he cant leave yet. poor guy, still has two weeks left till he gets to go to Brazil. The cool thing is Elder Dean and I have really become good friends and get along really well so it is pretty cool we both get to go to Salt Lake lol He is a great Elder and we have a really good friendship. Its still amazes me how well I have gotten to know people in just 8 or so weeks. A lot of them will be life long friends I am sure. Any way the MTC has been amazing and I have grown so much in here and learned even more. I will truly miss this place and the Spirit that it has. But I am so ready to get into the field!! Its gong to be amazing!! It really hit me pretty hard that I am actually going to be teaching people and be a true missionary. It is so exciting but at the same time pretty darn scary! lol But I am way more excited to get out and teach people and fall in love with all of the people I come in contact with! I am really excited to interact with people and share with them this great message we have! I cant wait to teach!! Even though it is in Salt Lake, which to be honest, really killed me when I first found out... I told my district a couple days before we got our re assignments that the worst place I could go is Salt Lake! lol But sure enough That's were I am needed so here I go. It took me a couple hours of feeling sorry for myself to snap out of it lol Lets just say I was not very excited about my call, haha. Then once I started to think about it, I came to realize that this is where I need to be. For some reason I have been called to serve in Salt Lake. There is something I need to do there, or something I need to learn. I am now pretty excited to go. it will be a great time for me I am sure. I will get to teach in English which is good but quit hard now... lol I haven't taught anything in English this whole time and the other day we did a little lesson in English and it was pretty hard really. lol Portuguese is still about the same as before. haha Yesterday at the Temple we where talking to one of our Brazilian friends and his family came to see him and we talked with them for about 30 mins in Portuguese!! it was pretty hard to understand it all but really cool how I could get a general idea of what they where saying. They where super nice and really willing to help us out with words and such. It was definitely a cool experience to have a conversation with real briziliaros. haha They are such nice people and I cant wait to get to brazil and teach them!!!
Today I am just getting ready for tomorrow! I am dong laundry right now. My clothes are in the wash as I type lol I have to admit I have become pretty good at the laundry thing. lol My day consists of trying to remember everything that I need to bring and getting everything into my suitcases. Who knows how that will go, should be pretty interesting though. So pretty much just packing all day for me and getting stuff ready to leave. I do get to go to Physical therapy with my companions though today at 2 30 lol that is always fun.
This past week has gone by so fast! not a lot happened but time has just flown by for sure. On Tuesday Richard G. Scott spoke at the Devotional!! its was pretty dang awesome to get to hear another Apostle! I have been so lucky to have that experience here!! its pretty rare for anyone to get this many during there stay here. So that is awesome. He did a great job and he spoke 100% by the spirit it was pretty cool to see.
It was so great to talk to everyone on Thursday!! It was amazing how moms voice just made me so happy lol To hear a familiar voice was great!!! It was cool to talk to Darbi and Zoe they sound great and all grown up lol its funny Zoe and Darbi sounded way different than I remember. lol I held up pretty good. I told everyone I was probably going to cry like a little baby when I talked to you guys but I held up very well lol there was only one moment when I was talking to Darbi that I almost lost it. Then when I had to say goodbye to mom that was tough too. I just wanted to talk forever haha we'll talk when I am in the airport going to Brazil in a couple weeks though. I actually want to stay in Salt Lake for a month or so. that would be perfect I think but less wouldn't hurt either the sooner I get to brazil, the better for my language. lol its going to be really hard to stay up on Portuguese but I will do my best.
Well this is the last e-mail you guys will get from a son in the MTC pretty crazy huh? I am so thankful for all the DearElders you all took the time to write me I appreciate it so much you have no idea. it will be weird just getting mail like once a week in the field. Thanks for all of the support you have given me through this MTC experience I love you all so much and am so thankful for all of your love and support!! Have a good week and never forget I love you all tons!!! have a great week!!!!!! Eu te amo!!! Next time you hear from me I will be a real missionary teaching the people of Salt Lake City!! Wish me luck!! thanks again for all the support up to this point!!! ah!! I cant believe the MTC chapter of my mission is over!! Love you all!!
Love Elder Novakovich (soon to be a real missionary!)
This has been such a crazy week I have so much to tell you but I don't have a lot of time today sorry. But I am doing great this week, it has gone by so fast its crazy!! I am so thankful for you my family I love you all so much and think you are all the best!!
So on to the super exciting stuff!! On Thursday we were at gym playing soccer and when we got back our roommates said that they called Elder Rawlings to the Travel office!! So we got showered really fast and headed over to see what it was for. Sadly we got there and it was closed already. Really frustrating. So all night poor Elder Rawlings had to sit and wonder what they needed him for. The next morning we got ready and headed over. The lady asked his name and then asked mine. She then started shuffling through a big stack of papers she grabbed one and said "Elder Rawlings you got your VISA!!!!!!!!!!" its was crazy!! he had no idea what to do he just stood there and stared at the paper lol it was funny. She then double checked the papers but no VISA for me. dang it! So when we left she told us they had got a ton of visas and told us to have the rest of our district come check for theirs. So we got back and everyone was so excited to go check. So Elder Rawlngs and I just went to lunch. During lunch the rest of our district came and much to my surprise four other people got theirs!! Elder Staheli, Elder Hogg, Elder Collins, and Sister Gentri all got their VISAs!!! so crazy!! They all got to call their parents that night which was pretty cool. I guess 88 people got their VISAs and not me so a ton came in last week which is awesome but really sucks that I didn't get mine pretty sad really. I was so excited when he got his then I got told I didn't have mine but that's ok. So everyone is leaving tomorrow!! I can't believe that they will be in Brazil by Wednesday!! crazy they will be in the Brazil MTC for a week then go to the field so lucky!!! oh well, mine will come when it needs to. that's the best part of the week pretty exciting so keep my fingers crossed my stuff will be soon
I get my re-assignment on Wednesday!! I"m going to the states after all. lol But it will be good. I am pretty excited to see where I will be going. I really just wanna go East of Utah and I would be happy with that. lol Its crazy that I am already done with the MTC. Pretty sad really. I feel like this is my new home and I have a new family here. Its amazing how close our district has gotten. It will be hard to say goodbye to everyone. Its pretty cool elder Rawlings and myself kinda broke off and became really good friends with the two other elders who are going to Santa Maria. Its cool that we get along so well. It"s Elder Law, and Elder Dean who are also going to Santa Maria, pretty exciting. I really am super excited to see where I get to go in the USA! haha It will be hard trying to teach in English again haha I am already forgetting some words in English. So sometimes I just go blank and have no ideas what to say lol Portuguese is coming pretty well. I am doing a lot better which is really cool. its super fun to talk to other people in Portuguese and understand them. I am sure if I ever get to Brazil it will be a whole new language! I cant wait to get down there!!!!!! I want to go so bad!! I have a really good friend here who is from brazil and he is so awesome we get along really well and he is so funny he left this morning for his mission in Canada Toronto so that's cool its the soccer player guy.
Hosting was awesome!! I was totally going to host Elder Cox but right before he came in, I got asked to help with some foreign elders!! ahh I was so frustrated because I wanted to host him so bad!! But I got to help an elder From Manchester England. He had the coolest accent ever!! lol so for the rest of the day I went around talking to people in an accent lol But when I was helping my Elder, I saw elder Cox!!!! Right after he got his name tag on!! haha it was super cool to see him with it on! We had a good hug and he had to be one his way I wanted to just sit and talk to him for hours but we couldn't!!! I just thought dang this kid just saw my mom like yesterday!! haha but he did give me an extra hug from you mom so he did a good job! haha its was so awesome to see him that night. Me and elder Rawlings went over to talk to him for an hour or so it was great!! I don't get to see him a lot because we have different schedules and such but its all good. I get to host again this week so I am excited for that. Oh a story from hosting, so this family got out and I saw the elder and I helped him with his bags and stuff then he started to cry and the whole family started crying then I almost started crying it was really sad really. I was so close to crying to tell the truth... but I did fight it back and helped him get everything to his room. It is pretty cool and super exciting to help the new elders come in. When they ask how long you have been here and I say 8 weeks they look at you like you have been here my whole life! lol it definitely feels like it!! Its pretty cool though and I cant wait to do it again.
That's about it for this week sorry its so short I didn't get a lot of time to write this week. I have to go to the dentist with Elder Collins to get his crown on. So I get to leave the MTC for a couple hours!!!! so excited!!!!!!!!!!!! lol it will be so nice haha but I do have to say I will really miss this place a ton I really will. its pretty amazing here and I have learned so much I cant even start to explain. I am doing really well this week, it was good. Sleep is still pretty hard to come by which really sucks. lol I have a funny story about that. So in class our teacher was giving us a demonstration on how to teach the word of wisdom. I was trying so hard to stay awake and the next thing I know I was getting woken by elder rawlings hitting my arm. He told me I started to snore in the middle of class lol oops.... pretty funny though, everyone laughed. I am doing great and am so excited to get my re-assignment!!! cant wait to let you know where I am going!!!! I love you all and I am doing just fine. I love all the letters you write its awesome!! thanks for everything I love you all!! I hope the marathon went great for all!!! talk to ya latter have a great week
Love Elder Novakovich
P.S. I see sister Novakovich a bit but we didn't get to give her a blessing. Her district did. We didn't see her for a couple days after you had written me sorry but I am making sure she is doing good. I always check on her and offer to help with anything. We took some pictures which I will send. She is way cool and I am so thankful I got to meet her in here!!
What a long long week. It has gone by so so so slooooooow! I have been having some pretty down days. Monday night was really bad I couldn't sleep or anything. Tuesday wasn't much better I was in some kind of slump and it really was tough to say the least. The Tuesday night devotional helped me get out of it a little. It was a good talk that helped me realize once again why I was out here. The Devotionals here are life savers they are always so good and inspirational, it really helps me keep going and stay strong even when it is the hardest. By the time Wednesday came around I was feeling better and had some energy. In one of our classes on Wednesday our teacher did the lesson/discussion on why we are here and then we talked to someone in our district on a really personal level for about 10 mins then we had 20 mins to search the scriptures for things that could help the other person. We than had 30 mins to teach and help the other person with his problems or concerns. It was a really cool experience I was with Elder Amdal and he found some really cool amazing scriptures to help me out. It was really good to be able to help him also. I really liked helping him out it allowed me to forget about myself and help someone else. I really gained a testimony this week of giving service to others. Doing so has helped me forget about myself and serve others around me. Whenever I was really down I tried to look for something I could do for someone else. It really helped me out more than anything else I think. Its amazing what you can find in the scriptures. You could find the answer to any question you want in them. They have really been helping me this week because it has been so long. Whenever I get the chance to read my scriptures I always feel so much better and the rest of the day goes by so much better. I am very thankful for them.
My district is awesome! Sometimes it just amazes me how different we all are but how well we get along. I am pretty sure we have one of the strongest districts in our branch. We are all so close and only getting closer. They have helped me a ton whenever I needed something they are always more than willing to help me out. It is sad now that we are all realizing that in two weeks we will all go our separate ways to different missions. Last night we were all in the same room just laying on the beds and talking about how big of a bummer it is that we are all not going to the same mission lol Elder Collins and I where talking and he said Elder Novakovich and I are like the same people I just have a bigger body lol then something about souls and spirits came up and he said we came here with one spirit and he just took more of it so he needed a bigger body and I just got a little bit of it so I got a little body lol it was funny maybe you had to be there. Elder Collins and I get along really well we have the same kinda humor so we are always making jokes it a good time lol As of last week our district is now the oldest one in our Branch! Pretty crazy I remember when it was our first week and seeing the older districts and remembering just thinking they had been here forever! haha now that's me and my district pretty weird. I cant believe we only have like two weeks left here!!! I will get my re-assignment in a week and a half next Wednesday!!! Crazy!! Some really cool news/ really sad bummer news is Elder Harston from my district got his Visa! That's the great part but he is also the one with the torn ACL... so they may not let him go right away. He is supposed to leave tomorrow with two other Elders who got their Visas. So that is a huge bummer for him. I will keep you posted on when or if he gets to head out to Brazil. More good news is he is from right by Spokane so maybe I'll be next! haha I could only hope. I really wish I did get to go to the Brazil MTC it would have been awesome to have that experience but the Lord knows just what he wants me to do so I'll go where he wants me to go (oh look at me quoting a hymn lol) But it will be pretty fun to get a new call haha this time I know its in the states so it wont be that big of a bummer haha It will be exciting to see where I end up going.
I did see Sister Novakovich!! lol I was walking through her building to get to mine and we ran into each other pretty crazy but awesome! She is super cool I wish we could just sit and talk but we always have somewhere to be or places to go. But its all good she is way cool. Pretty crazy that we are here the same time. Everyone that sees us talking is like wow you two have the same last name lol Oh yeah representing the Novakovich name here at the good old MTC!
I got my first hair cut on my mission this week that was a treat lol they definitely go as fast as they can lol I sat down laughed at Elder Rawlings hair cut and bam I was done too lol It was crazy fast and it looks ok lol I will have to send a picture for you to enjoy. I have to admit I did get one of the better ones. Some Elders in our district got butchered lol its so funny! I got some sweet packages this week!! I got two from Sister Barnes one had pumpkin/cream cheese muffins in it which where amazing!!! then the very next day I got a Halloween package from the Barnes!! with some sweet stuff in it with lots of candy! I got a package from Madi also!! Guess what she got me!?! Hawaii chips!!! ahh she is awesome! lol I was so excited when I saw them! She also got me lots of other goodies that will be put to good use lol I have lots of food to eat in two weeks. Some funny news is that I have gained 6 pounds since being here so I am filling out quit nicely lol If this place can make me gain weight it can make anyone gain weight!! I am definitely getting and well out of shape. I went for a run the other day starting out at my usual pace from back home and about 30 seconds later I felt like I was gong to die. lol That made me really sad actually because I really miss going on runs by myself back home. It was a good time to just relax and enjoy being alone which I really miss. I have to be with my companion every second of the day. Good thing we get along pretty well.
Portuguese is well... its Portuguese. I am actually doing pretty well, like second worst in the district so that's good. Sometimes when we are teaching I really want to say something so I try and then I am pretty sure it comes out way wrong like one time I was teaching about the Atonement and I said "Jesus Christ killed for our sins". lol instead of he died for our sins lol pretty funny to my defense the words are very similar lol the thing that gets me most is the pronunciation of things because there are different from English so its hard to forget the English stuff but I am getting better. It is frustrating sometimes but its coming. I realized the other day that in not to long I will have to teach real people... super scary to think about lol but super exciting at the same time. Sometimes I feel so inadequate for this work. I have so much to learn I feel. I am really relying on the Lords help and he is blessing me greatly. Some more exciting news is I get to Host this week!!!!! I am so excited!!! And Tcox comes in I could totally Host him!!! That would be so sweet I am so excited to see him! I cant wait to host but I am afraid I actually might cry lol So it should be very interesting if I am trying to bring this Elder into the MTC and I am crying more than him lol I think I could give the moms a run for their money! haha So I will definitely keep you posted on how that whole thing goes for sure! Nothing on Visa Stuff. 4 elders got theirs this week so things are starting to move a lot better it seems. It is pretty cold here now which kinda sucks! It even snowed this week!!! I am better ready for the cold than a lot of Elders I have my sweatshirt and coat so I am good a lot of people just have there suit coat nothing else. Oh and now since the weather is colder everyone has to wear their suits all the time now which really sucks for us one suit elders we have to wear the same thing everyday should be fun haha and my style choices have gone down even more. Now I don't even get to choose what pants I want to wear. I only get to choose my tie now, pretty sad... lol I am doing well though the beginning of the week wasn't very good but I am a lot better now and happy. I am so tired though I cant believe it!! I haven't felt like I've have had a good nights sleep in forever! I could really use a catch up day but I wont get one of those for hmm lets see.... another 22 and a half months!! lol But its all part of the mission experience living two years with next to no sleep haha I am good though so no worries I am still living the MTC up lol doing the same thing everyday I love it!! lol I did get to go to the BYU health clinic last week because Elder Harston needed someone to go with him to his Physical therapy. It was so nice to get out of here!! lol Well that's about it for this week thanks for all of the DearElders again I love them!! Thanks for all of the love and support you give me!! I love and miss you all tons have a great week!!
Love Elder Novakovich
P.S. Hey dad for your question with helping members staying active once they get baptized, we had someone come and talk to us about that. The number one thing is they have to keep reading the Book of Mormon! If they continue to read it they will stay strong in the church! Second Tithing which really shocked me but is really cool. If members pay their tithing they will more likely stay a strong member of church. If they really understand the importance of it, it will bless their lives greatly! That's about all the advice I have haha love you
P.S.S. How did Lexi's wedding go??? it would be cool to get some pictures of that!
Hey my loving family! What a crazy week it has been. Lots of good stuff happened. First Tuesday devotional was amazing! But I am having the hardest time remembering who it was! lol A week is like a year in here. But I do know he was of the Seventy, so that's cool. He gave such good advice to everyone. He was so funny and so spiritually uplifting. The talks that are given here are one of the biggest things that help me keep going. It always seems like whenever I am really down we have a great speaker that totally changes my attitude and helps me realize why I am here and what I need to be doing. The MTC has once again played some crazy mind tricks on me. lol Once again the whole time thing in here is all messed up. Second I have totally forgotten things I thought I could never forget like what the heck my cell phone looks like! lol I was just sitting there and I saw one of the teachers using his and I remembered Hey! I used to have one of those things! I then tried to remember what the thing looked like and no luck. lol I just laughed at myself. The longer I am in here the more and more the real world is unreal and fades out of my head. When I got set apart to be an Elder I was literally set apart from the world. They really stress that here. That we are no longer part of the world and our setting apart is to be taken literally. The most exciting news of the week was Wednesday!! The travel office called me down to fill out my Online Visa Stuff!!! So that's awesome because now I could get my Visa at any time! But the bad news is it could still be awhile. One kid here filled his online stuff out and two hours later her had his Visa! Crazy! But some people have filled their stuff out and they have been waiting a couple months still. So I am hoping I will get my Visa very soon so I can head to Brazil ASAP!!! So that's the really good news of the week so I will let you know if I hear anything about anything this week. The Language is coming along good. Tuesday was a horrible day for Portuguese and I was so frustrated because I couldn't say anything in my lessons or even talking to people! Lets just say it was a long, long day for me. And that next day our district was planning on having a day where we only speak Portuguese... I was not very excited lol So that night I had a very long conversation with the Lord begging for help with the language. I haven't really prayed that hard for something. So after the prayer I tried to change my attitude and be happy and went to bed. The happiness shortly left when my alarm then went off at 6:30! lol I hate that time!! It feels like I get absolutely no sleep. But I get up and go to the shower which always cheers me right up! lol So after I got all clean The time came that we all had to speak nothing but Portuguese I tried to start the day with a good attitude towards it because I knew if I didn't, it would be bad. So needless to say the Portuguese was great! I remembered almost everything and I really did good with the language! I was so excited and the more I spoke that more I wanted to speak to people in Portuguese! It ended up being a great day because we had lessons and I did pretty well in them and I was able to talk to everyone in Portuguese! I was so excited and knew that God had truly heard my prayer and helped me greatly. I have been so humbled by this whole experience of learning a new language it really has helped me gain a better relationship with my father in heaven. He has helped me so much more than I could ever think and more than I could ever repay. This helps me a lot when I feel like being lazy or get distracted. I remember all that he has done for me and I really have no good reason to be lazy so I kick myself back into gear. I am very thankful for everything I learned before this. I am so thankful for you mom and dad who have shown me how to work hard and never give up. That is one of the greatest blessings you have given me. I thank you so much for dong that. And for never giving up on me when I did want to give up. Thank you for this great blessing mom and dad it has really changed my life and will continue to make me the missionary I need to be as I work hard and put myself in the Lords hands. Thanks for the great examples you have been to me and making me realize the importance of hard work. I love you!! General Conference was awesome!! and such a nice break from the everyday routine. It was the first time I have actually watched all the sessions of conference. It was a very good experience though and I will forever try and watch every session of it from now on. All the talks where so good! I have a ton of notes to go over now lol But all the talks helped me in some form, which was really cool. I had a lot of questions going in because our teacher said to write questions down that you want to have answered during conference and low and behold, all my questions got answered. Pretty cool I thought. It really helped me realize that all the words and speakers of conference are inspired. I loved hearing from the prophet it was really amazing how he can speak. It really touched me; everything he said. And he is a very funny guy haha I loved his stories. During Priesthood session Jeffrey R. Holland spoke. I'm sure dad saw it but wow! that man blows my mind. He speaks with such strength and power of the Holy Ghost. It reminded me of when he spoke here my first week. It was amazing it was like his talk at Priesthood but directly to missionaries and he really got passionate haha he speaks with amazing power. I love him! After Conference was all over we had a Sunday Fireside. Not really looking forward to sitting in the same chairs for two more hours haha I was kinda reluctant to go. And to tell the truth Conference really made me think of home a lot and eating all the food and watching with family. I was pretty home sick during the whole thing which wasn't good but my spirits where getting lifted by the spirit of the talks. I was missing home and seeing and being with everyone. So another meeting didn't sound very good to me. Then just like I said earlier, whenever I was down we always have a great talk. Then bam! Chad Lewis was our speaker!! And Holy Cow he did amazing!! my second favorite talk since being here, he snuck right in behind Jeffrey R. Holland. haha he did so good. He is a great motivational speaker and was really able to connect to me personally. He spoke of his mission and how it has blessed him and his family and how his mission opened so many doors for him in life. It was crazy and I wish you could have all been here to hear it!! He gave me so many good ideas and thoughts and inspiration and now I cant wait even more to get out into the field and teach. He is pretty much living the perfect dream life but he was so humble and thankful for everything he has. Its crazy the things he has gotten to do and be apart of. But once again he was so humble and a great guy. After the talk I was filled once again with the fire to do missionary work like never before and I cant wait to get into the field and fall in love with all the people I come into contact with. I really cant wait to meet the people of brazil! A little fun story of the week was after the Saturday morning conference session Elder Rawlings and I went on a Temple walk ( which are like the best things ever in the MTC!!!!) lol But we where just walking and we started talking to this family who was visiting from California. It was so great to talk to "real people" as we call them here in the MTC. So anyone not in the MTC is a "real person" and we don't get to see them a lot so being able to actually talk to "real people" was a dream come true! I only talked for like 5 minutes and I felt a love for all of them! It was really cool! They where so cool and had really cool accents! It was great we found out one of them had gotten baptized three weeks earlier which was cool. Then the parents said they had gotten baptized 30 years ago because of two missionaries like us. He shared how thankful he was for what we where doing and the time we are putting forth to serve a mission. I felt the Spirit so strongly as he thanked us for being who we were. It was such a cool experience and I will never forget. This experience made me want even more to get into the field and bring this truth that we have to people. Well that's my story for the week its pretty cool. Our last roommates moved out so Elder Rawlings and I were alone for a couple of nights and we were very excited to get knew Elders so we could raise them! lol Wednesday passed and no new Elders. We were very sad about this. Then on Friday two Elders moved in to our room and we were very excited till we found out they had already been here for two weeks! We then got very sad about not getting to raise new Elders. But some good news is they might be moving out this week so we could get real new Elders. So that's what I am hoping for!!! Oh and they are gong to Tahiti. All I want is some real new Elders this week lol Or my Visa would be nice!! That's about it for this week it was a good one with some homesickness but everything is great and I am doing great. The Language is coming good, that makes me happy. And I am even learning some Japanese lol the room right next to us are going to Japan so we talk to them a lot lol. And oh some sister missionaries contacted us and they said they would be speaking Italian so I was like oh great more languages I don't understand lol then they started speaking and for some strange reason I knew what they were saying and could understand them! My companion then made fun of me for being able to understand more Italian than Portuguese because the two are very similar. I haven't seen Sister Novakovich at all but the sisters in my district said they say her so I will keep looking, it would be really cool to meet her so hopefully soon. Thanks for all of your letters love and support I love you all!!! have a great week family!!!
My luck continues! Last Tuesdays devotional was given by Elder Nelson! Another Apostle! That makes like 3 out of 4 devotionals that have been by Apostles! I guess I really came into the MTC at the right time. He gave a super good talk about some mission stuff! He was so funny but so spiritual at the same time, it was crazy good! The devotionals have really been one of the best parts of being here. They always give me the help I need to keep working hard day to day. We always get really good seats for the devos so that's always good haha Sundays are great too!! last Sunday brother Allen gave a talk. He is a missionary adviser guy idk lol but he gave such good talk it was so funny and he has so many great points during it. It was like he knew everything I had ever thought about here he addressed I swear he had a wire on me and heard everything I have ever said lol it was so good and I got some really good ideas and advice from it. This week hasn't been to exciting really. lol One really exciting news is I have passed the half way point in the MTC!!! The days are so long but the weeks are so fast! Time in here really is strange I think I might be in the twighlight zone or something! lol We have a little white board in our room and we have a count down till we get out of here. haha Elder Oxborrow our roommate keeps it updated, but he leaves on Thursday so I guess either Elder Rawlings or myself will have to step up and take care of it. Our beloved roommate Elder Mclaws left on Friday... it was a sad day. lol He was a really cool guy and he always had fun stuff to talk about. He was always reciting some poetry from a guy he listened to before he came out. lol We had tons of fun with him. When he left it was quit and sad so we just talked about him and all the funny things he did. I can't believe how you can only know someone for a month and feel like you have known him your entire life. The other day I was talking to Elder Harston and he was talking about his family and for some reason I found myself trying to remember his mom like I should know her. lol Like we were best friends and we hung out at eachotheres houses. lol it was so pretty funny because I then realized I have no ideas who the heck his family was! This place is playing some weird tricks on my head! My cabeça is going CRAZY!! lol Elder Rawlings and myself have been convinced that this is a brain washing facility haha its truly its own little world within a world. ah!! I don't even know how to describe the crazy things it makes you think. I am convinced there is no real world out there now! lol Oh I forgot to tell you Elder Mclaws who left no Friday went to Anaheim California! which is cool and then our other roommate got re-assigned to South Dakota! lol he was very happy about that one. We have had some fun teasing him about it. He is upset because he has no cold weather stuff and he is the only one in his district who is going somewhere cold lol Everyone else went to Texas, California and Florida! so he felt like he got the short end of the stick but he will do great he is a really hard working Elder. I have been doing great. I am actually starting to get this Portuguese thing. lol I mean I am not good but I am decent. There has been a lot of improvement this past week! Elder nelson said "obedience brings blessings, Exact obedience brings miracles" I really liked that and so I have been really trying my best to do that. I have been getting some grief for trying to do everything right on time from my district but I just keep going. My district is hard working but sometimes they just get off track and distracted and are usually late to things. So Elder Rawling and I always leave so we can get to places on time and such. Hopefully we can get everyone else to try a little harder. But the blessings for doing it has already helped especially with the language! Which is the one thing I really need help on so that's good. Elder Rawlings and I are getting along good. I think we are one of the strongest companionships. Most of everyone else is starting to get a little frustrated with their companions. Its kinda funny how people are starting to find little things in each other that bug us. Elder Rawlings and I just tease each other about everything's so its pretty fun. we are really getting along well and that helps a ton when we are teaching. We are starting to get the routine down for lessons we are starting to work off each other which is really fun and the spirit is felt even stronger when we do. I have to be an investigator for one of the companionships in our district so that will be pretty fun haha it will be need to be on the other side of the discussion. One thing I have really learned about this week is how awesome the Book of Mormon is!! Its sweet!! haha I read it as much as I can. I have really started to fall in love with it! Its the coolest book ever! Ever since I have been here its been opened up to me greatly! the stories seem even more real than ever! I love reading it and sharing what I have read with people. I know its scary but I think I might actually be kinda sad when I have to leave this place. Well I wont miss this food!! I am so sick of cafeteria food!!!! I would kill to get a home made dinner from mom! The world is coming great and I am getting so many blessings that I am sure I don't deserve. My testimony is growing so much everyday. I love at the end of the day when I am about to climb into bed I just think of how crazy this is but how fun and hard and rewarding it has been. I love it here and I am really starting to realize that there is nothing I would rather do than be on a mission right now. I hope all is going well at home. I think about you guys all the time. The worst was knowing that the Mountain West Classic was this weekend! I love that race and the whole thing. I was pretty jealous you guys got to be there and watch. I miss running a lot I think my legs are getting a little soft.... lol I haven't been running a lot I have been playing to much soccer! lol I gotta get all the help I can get before I get my butt kicked by the Brazilian toddlers. Oh something fun do you remember that professional soccer player I was telling you about awhile ago from brazil? well he is going to Toronto Canada on his mission!! pretty cool I thought. well I better go. I am doing great and really starting to fall in love with the work. I miss you guys a ton and think about you all the time. Thanks for all of the DearElders! I love them! Have a great week cant wait to hear from you soon. I love you all!!!!
I can't believe another week is gone! Time really goes so fast here but they are the longest days of my life! It seems like I have only been at the MTC a short time but at the same time it feels like I have never known anything else. it's like I was born here. lol But as long as time keeps flying by, I will be happy. Even though I do love it here, it will be so so nice to get back into the real world where there are people who aren't wearing a name tag! haha I just want to get out and start to teach people! This morning we got to go to the Temple which is really nice. It's pretty cool. We walk over at around 6:30 in the morning when its dark. Then we come out and the sun is just coming over the mountains and its so pretty! There is a really cool view from the Provo Temple. It over looks pretty much all of Provo as I'm sure you already know but its looks really cool in the morning. I can even see BYU football field haha where the beating took place... Missionaries where going crazy around here trying to find the score from someone! lol Elder Rawlings and I where walking around outside and we could hear the music from the stadium! It was pretty sad lol but then we heard the crowed go wild for something. We are guessing it was when the team ran onto the field then we got really sad. haha but it was all good we where able to find out the score from some teachers lol We had to go to bed knowing it was 14-10 Utah so we didn't know the real damage till the next morning lol sounds like BYU is well, still BYU. It sucks that they got killed. I kept thinking of that old guy who gave us our tour and was so excited that the team was going to be so good this year... guess he didn't see that one coming! lol But its all good. I think Madi was at the game I knew she was planning on going, but don't know if she made it. Leta had her marathon this weekend I hope she did good and had fun with that, you probably know more than I do at this point. Life at the MTC is still the same haha same thing everyday. We teach one or two investigators a day in Portuguese. That's always fun. Its been hard to really feel the Spirit during the lessons because of the struggle with the language. Elder Rawlings and I decided to not use notes anymore and just try the best we can with what we know. The first lesson we taught was really cool. It was the best one we have had yet! Plus the Spirit was really strong! It was a really cool lesson, I cant wait to really teach real investigators!! Once I know the Language a little better though that would be nice. Portuguese is still tuff. I have been making some improvements with it though. I think I am only like the second to worse person in our district now!! lol I really cant do this by myself. I still am getting on my knees several times a day just asking for help with the language, well now its become more of a beg. lol but I am slowly getting better. That's all that matters I guess. On Thursday mornings we do a thing called TRC. Its where we go teach a member about something. Once again in Portuguese. The members are usually people who just got off their mission so they know it really well. Last week we taught a sister who just got home a few months ago. HOLY COW!! we asked her one question and she took off! She was talking so stinking fast my mind stopped. I think I might even have blacked out! lol She just kept going and I couldn't help but just start laughing! She then started laughing too and she tried to slow it down for us. She did good till about the next question we asked then boom! She was going again lol In the end it all worked out I had no idea what she was saying but at the end I just shared a scripture and bore my testimony of it. It really brought the Spirit when we went to the scriptures and started bearing our testimonies. It was pretty cool. So that's how the language is going. My roommates are getting their re-assignments this Wednesday! So that will be exciting to hear where they will be off to. They are really cool Elders. We get along with them really well so that makes things just that much more fun. haha Elder Rawlings filled out his online Visa application on Wednesday! loser haha he was pretty excited so that's cool. Still no word on my stuff. Who knows when it will come. But I guess whatever happens is happening for a reason, so I try not to get to upset about it. There are only 4 of us who haven't done their online stuff now. I could very well be the last one haha One kid got his Visa this week so he is leaving but he is from another district. He has only been here 2 weeks lucky kid! I will let you know as soon as I know anything about that stuff. The Tuesday devotional was really good once again! Elder Ballard came!! I have been so lucky to get two Apostles! The last group that left the week I got here were here for 9 weeks and not one came. They left the day before Elder Holland came. Which would suck big time. But he gave a great talk. Its amazing how they just get up there with nothing and totally go by the Spirit and they are always so good! I tried to take notes as fast as possible but he kept saying great stuff while I was trying to write down the other great thing he said! lol It was again on stuff about missionary work. It was really motivating. I love the talks we get to hear here the speakers are amazing. I am actually excited for Conference now! haha which is a good thing! Lets hope I can stay awake thought. Sleep is a hard thing to come by here, even at night. I feel tired all the time! even in the mornings haha its a never ending tired. I got sad when I realized I don't get to sleep in for TWO years!! not one day! lol I will do a lot of sleeping if I ever get home. Two years seems so long when you think about it, so I like to think of it in months lol it just seems better to me! The MTC is a great place like I have said before, but when I just take a second to really think about it its awesome. The opportunities it is giving me are incredible. It really makes you grow when you are in here. I feel like I have already changed so much. I look at things in different ways than I used to. I really rely on the Lord to help me get through every second of the day. Everyday is a test here, but at the end of the day, its a great feeling to know that I have worked as hard as I could today. It is easy to get distracted sometimes, but I am doing a good job in staying focused. Some elders in my district like to goof around which is silly. I really enjoy personal study time when I get to study the things I want and read the scriptures. I have learned to love the Book of Mormon. Its a great book and I find myself reading it every chance I get. It has helped my every time I open it. My testimony of it is growing a ton which is awesome! A really cool story for the week is about the guy who blew out his ACL playing soccer. He had surgery on Tuesday and the night before, he asked if I would give him a blessing. It caught me totally off guard because I had never given one before. I was pretty nervous so I checked on what I was supposed to do and when the time came to give the blessing. Just my luck the Branch President walked in and asked if he could watch. This made me even more nervous knowing he was there. When I started all the nervousness left me. It was amazing, I felt calm. As I started the blessing not knowing what to say my mind just seemed to shut off. But words just came out of my mouth. The Spirit was really strong. I had really no idea what I was going to say next and things just kept coming out. It was truly the Spirit talking and not me. It was one of the coolest things I have been able to do here. It was awesome how the Spirit was able to flow through me and help me say the things that needed to be said. Elder Harston just got up and game me a big hug after. That's his name Elder Harston who tore his ACL. He is 25 years old and a really cool guy. His story of how he came out here is pretty cool. We have been getting along really well and have become good friends. The blessing only bonded us more. I was so thankful for the opportunity that I had to do that for him. It strengthened me greatly. His surgery went great. He has been on some pretty good drugs lol so its funny because he looks like a drug addict haha His leg is really bruised its all purple almost up the whole leg to his toes! pretty intense I thought. He is doing well though starting to get out and about so that's good to see. I am doing great! I am really starting to hit the work with some stride! Thank you so much for the packages!!!! they were great! Thanks for all the food that you got, its perfect and everything that I wanted haha Thanks for the clothes as well they are good. How is the cross team doing?? I wish I could race with them again! I miss it so much I miss competing!! How did Darbi like the goat hill?? haha that thing sucks but its awesome!! How is mom liking to work? that sounds pretty cool that she gets to see Zoe sometimes Thanks again for the Packages I should be set for a long long time to come for food haha I love you guys so much, thanks for all of your support and love that you give me! I miss you tons and think and pray for you all the time!! have a great week