Monday, September 26, 2011

Great Devotionals

Hello my long lost 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!!!!

Love Elder Novakovich

Monday, September 19, 2011

Giving a blessing

Oi! Everybody

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

Love Elder Novakovich

Monday, September 12, 2011

Week 3 in the MTC

Oi famíilia

I can't believe another week has gone by already! The days are so long here but the weeks just fly by like they never even happened! This is a good thing though because as great as the MTC is, I still can't wait to get into the field! I do have to say I am kinda sad right now but only because all my international friends from Brazil and France are leaving today and Wednesday! :( I am a little jealous that they only had to stay three weeks here because there speaking English, lucky dogs! Tcox will be here for the perfect amount of time, three weeks. 3 weeks would be perfect but no I have.. get to, stay here for 9 weeks!! Its going to be a journey for sure. I do have to say that I have really fallen in love with the MTC though the only reason I want to leave is because I want to actually teach people! I am so excited to get out there and share this amazing message that we have for them. Sorry if I don't answer questions that you may have written in DearElders because they are moving the post office place so I won't get any DearElders till Wednesday or Thursday I think, which is going to suck. This week has been really crazy as usual, but so enjoyable as well. P-days are always a nice break from the intense schedule that we have to follow everyday. Laundry is always exciting because you have hundreds of Elders and Sisters trying to do all their laundry at the same time and there are never enough washers to go around. So everyone is waiting for someone's load to be done so they can use it. Its crazy. It's funny to watch some people get really upset and frustrated with it. I like to just sit and laugh. The problem I have is I don't know how much soap to put in. So I just put as much as my little heart wants. It seems to have worked out so far. My clothes always come out clean and smell good and that's all that matters to me!
Our Tuesday devotional was pretty good. Jay E. Jenson spoke. It was helpful he talked about how lots of missionaries get discouraged because their investigators don't except their commitment invitations. He taught that we all have to look for what he called the "gorilla walking across the room" which means the hidden things that the investigators will say or do that a lot of missionaries don't catch. It was a very good talk as usual. Sunday fireside was good last night. We watched a small video about 9/11 and then the motab choir did a concert kinda thing for 9/11 that we watched. It was pretty intense. There where a lot of tears in the crowd. It even got me a little, which it really never has before. I think this is because the whole big message was families. It really touched my heart about how many people lost there loved ones. It gave me an even greater love for you guys and how truly much I love you.
I cant even describe the ways my mission has already changed my life! Its truly amazing how much love the Lord has for all of us. The experiences I have had here are incredible. I already know that this is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. The things I have learned the things I've felt are impossible to describe. The Spirit is so strong here at the MTC. Anywhere I go, I know its right with me. A lot of speakers tell us that we have angels lifting us up here and as missionaries and I know its true. I have changed so much in how I act and how I look at things. I know it's the Spirit teaching me what I am truly supposed to be. One of the biggest lessons I have learned here is to rely upon the Lord. I have been humbled so much these past weeks. With trying to learn a new language, leaving everything I've ever known, and not being able to talk to those I love. It really has been a humbling experience and I've learned that I can not do this by myself. I know that the Lord is helping me in ways I don't even know. But he has really helped me in ways I could never forget. I have really learned how to depend on the Lord. Prayer has helped me so much here. My prayers have really become one of the most important things to me here. They help me so much through out the day.
On another note, Portuguese lol what a smack in the face that has been. But the really cool thing is these past couple of days I have been doing pretty well with it. I can actually understand some that my teachers say while standing there and talking for six hours a day! lol which has turned out to be very helpful, considering in the past I sat there and looked at them with a confused look on my face and just asked my companion what they where saying. But I have been doing good just the last few days which I am really excited about! Whenever I say a sentence in Portuguese in class everyone claps because I actually know something. lol The Lord is the only reason I have learned what I have in Portuguese because, well, I cant do it myself lol.
My district is so cool! Everyone gets a long really well which is a huge thing here at the MTC. A lot of districts have some problems. One just had a kid go home because he was sick of everyone around him. But mine gets along so well. Its really cool to see how we have bonded and come together. My companion, Elder Rawlings, and I are still doing good. We tease each other a lot so that's always fun. He makes fun of my Portuguese... everyone does. lol but its all in good fun. We are still getting a long well and haven't had any big arguments yet. We have this window we always go look out when we are sad. lol We call it the Window of Life. haha We even wrote a poem about it that is three pages long. lol I have to admit we are pretty good poem writers! But the window just looks over all of Provo and we can see pretty much all of BYU which is cool. It always makes us happier to to look out and know there is still a real world out there. Our district always has someone tell their life story when we finally get back to our rooms. So wee all know each other pretty well. lol There are a lot of different backgrounds; some pretty amazing, others usual, and others pretty bad, but we all get along so well its amazing really.
We get in 50 mins of gym time and we always go play soccer which is awesome!! There are so many kids that are so good its pretty crazy haha but 50 of us play at the same time of day. It is not even close to enough to what we need so there is always some goofing around in the residence halls at night lol There just so happens to be some wrestlers by us and one in my district so there is always a wrestling match going on in a room with everyone watching. lol Its funny to see everyone wrestle. It makes me laugh! I hadn't really gotten into the whole wrestling in the rooms because the floors are literally crappy carpet on cement lol so its super hard. But the other night Elder Fish who wrestled in Washington but on the other side of the state he wrestled 135 and his companion who is a huge black guy lol he is like 6'3 easy 200+ pounds and nothing but muscle like seriously one of the most cut guys I have ever seen!! lol we where just messing with each other poking fun and then Elder McIntyre who is the huge guy and I were just playing and pushing around then we started wrestling lol pretty crazy lol after a little big of crashing into things I finally took him down lol but in the process got some pretty bad rug burns and a bump on the head lol I have rug burns across my forehead and next to my eye lol it looks like I was in a bar fight or something haha he got a pretty good cut on his back from the bunk bed lol I got some pretty good pictures of my head I'll have to send you but in the end I won so don't worry lol everyone was surprised I won haha but it was all in the name of good fun. Plus I'm not someone to back down from a challenge lol but I'm all good and we are still friends haha
The food is still the same lol it tastes pretty good most of the time but your belly never likes it lol
I hope Zoe starts to like the school. I was sad to hear she had to sit on the floor for lunch because the cafeteria was to small. They should make one like the MTCs. Its so biiiiig! haha Oh dad for the host thing you only get to do it your 8th week in the MTC and they just ask you to do it so we will have to see. It would be fun to do that. When does T-Cox come here?? Not a lot of Visa stuff going on here yet about 5 Elders got theirs this week and are leaving to the Brazil MTC so that's lucky, but still no word on my stuff which kinda sucks. A lot of people are getting reassigned to the US the last group had a lot of people get assigned to Provo lol how lucky! I'll let you now whenever I hear about my stuff for sure. I haven't heard from Madi in over a week how is she dong? Must be staying busy with school. I guess you guys stopped paying her to be my friend. lol jk jk I got a letter from Tcox which was awesome and Marissa!! that was really cool and I did get the letters from the primary kids haha that was nice of them to remember me lol they only wrote me to get points for class, they made sure to tell me that haha Well I am doing good here nothing bad has happened oh wait lol a guy in our district tore his ACL and is getting surgery tomorrow and one of the sisters in our district a has a nasty infection from here foot. But I'm great, just some scabs on my head lol and still working hard with everything. I love you all hope you have a great week. Can't wait to here from you! I miss you tons and love you more!!

Love Elder Novakovich

Monday, September 5, 2011

No longer a Newbie

Hello Family!

This week has been so much better than last! Now that I have the hang of things, it so much better! Tuesday was awesome! Jeffrey R. Holland spoke at the devotional and it was absolutely incredible. He gave the best talk I have ever heard! He spoke on missionary work. Haha no surprise. The way he was able to deliver his message was mind blowing! He spoke with the power of the Spirit like I had never heard before. His talk has truly changed my life and the way I will look at missionary work forever! It was just what I needed to keep me going. He spoke for little over an hour and I was sad when it was done I would have sat there all night just listening to what he had to say! That experience really testified to me that he is truly an Apostle of God. It was crazy! When he ended his talk everyone was kind of in shock. I think everyone's mind was blown all over the place lol It was one of the most spiritual experience I have ever had.
Wednesday was great mostly because I was no longer the newest in the MTC! haha But it was also a good day for Portuguese I actually learned some stuff and whenever that happens its a good day. To tell you the truth, Portuguese is still killing me! Its been so hard for me to learn a new language! I have really just put all the faith I have into God and I hope he can help me lol jk but I do need all the help I can possibly get from him. But I'm sure I will get it eventually... Class is just great lol I love sitting in a tiny room with just enough space for 12 really small uncummfy desks and a teacher and sitting there for 6 hours a day! Its my favorite!! lol But its also the most useful thing to learn the language since the teacher sits in front and rants about who knows what while everyone in the class does but me. The whole time and starting tomorrow our teachers wont understand English so now I cant even ask questions lol its going to force me into learning I guess.
Thursday was just the same old day; wake up, shower, breakfast, class, teach class meeting, bed haha. One of the hardest parts of being here is there is literally no time to just sit and take a breath and relax. Every second is planned our for us and always have to be doing something somewhere.
Friday was a bad day. We where so busy we had a lot of class and the language was worst as ever for me. I was getting so frustrated! My brain was about to pop and I had a horrible head ache and a stomach ache; just wasn't a good day. it was one of those days where you feel like you cant do anything right no matter how hard you try. Toward the end of the day I was just so done and I needed help so I just said I quick prayer and when we went back to class the teacher put on a video clip. In it was an answer to my prayer. it gave me so much comfort. Before I was so done, and had no ideas what I was doing here, and this video was about a missionaries story of baptizing someone and it comforted me so much it helped me keep going. It was really cool!
Saturday was the usual class, nothing really exciting happened besides we did get the day off and we didn't have to teach an investigator so that was really nice but we had more class instead lol
Sundays are amazing here! Its my favorite day of the week... never thought I would say that but its so true I love them. Its so nice just to get to read my scriptures and go to really good firesides that are always so amazing and spiritual. The MTC is an amazing place. its the best/ worst place ever haha it can be so amazing one second then horrible the next I guess that's part of being a missionary though huh? lol but the good outweighs the bad by a lot so that's good.
P-day today we didn't get to go to the temple because its closed due to the holiday idk what it is. lol because days don't exist here, everyday is the same. The DearElders are awesome mom and dad! I love getting to read what you have to say at the end of the day it helps so much. thank you so much I love you tons. I miss the family a lot. I found it better to try and not think about it and that helps just trying to get lost in learning here. NO word on the Visa stuff only a few people have gone to brazil everyone is getting reassignments to the states I hope I don't but we'll have to see what happens.
I am holding up good, no need to worry haha I have grown so much spiritually its really cool how the lord watches over us missionaries he has a deep love that is really awesome its been good so far. keep up the good work with the DearElders, its great!! I miss you guys a lot and love you all so much have a good week I love you

Love Elder Novakovich