The plane ride went very smoothly, and I had a great last few hours with Bryan Nelson (Thank you Bryan for your help with Zachary on this important day). We ate at Tucano’s, which was absolutely delicious and even better; it was free! We then spent some time at BYU and went to the Sacred Gifts exhibit and some amazing original paintings of Christ. This provided a great spirit to enter the MTC (Missionary Training Center) with.
The first day was busy, but nothing too shocking. But going to a class entirely spoken in Portuguese sure was intimidating. We spend a lot of time in that classroom, like at least 6 hours a day, but the teacher is only there for maybe 90 to 120 minutes. This immersion has helped me see some impressive progress. Admittedly, I did have a good head start with Duolingo, but with the immersion I am already speaking more fluently than I ever did with 13 years of French. It is truly an inspired work. My “componerio” Elder Braeden Dustin and I have already taught three lessons to an “investigator” in Portuguese. The past two I have done with minimal notes, and straight from “The Head and the Heart”.
It is amazing as I have been able to tune in closer with the Spirit, and see the progress of “Pedro”, even in Portuguese. The rest of the time spent in the classroom is used for personal study, language study (with books and on computers), companion study, and Speak Your Language (SYL), where we only speak in Portuguese.
The food has been decent, and there is a lot. I usually get two or three dishes a meal, and for some reason eat far more than the rest of my district, so they give me a lot of grief!
We’ve had a couple of great devotionals. On the first day, the Czech Ambassador spoke to us for a surprise visit during the MTC Pres. Opening devotional. On Sunday, we got to walk to the temple and had a devotional from Elder Stephens, head of the Mission Dept. It was pretty good, he had us sing a lot since he didn’t really prepare anything and was relying on the Spirit.
That was followed by a recorded talk from Elder Bednar, “The Character of Christ.” That was fantastic. When most of us would turn in, Christ turns out, and it is that character we need for a complete conversion. It was similar to what he spoke to us in Stake Conference (Cookie Monster and all). If you can look it up, I highly recommend it. (See link above).
Well today (Tuesday) is P-Day, and we get to go to the temple later!
I send my love!
Elder Zachary Reinstein