Tuesday, April 30, 2013

We Will Leave Next Week!

So Hello Minha Familia!

Our schedule got switched, so our P-day is Tuesday! We are getting re-assigned Wednesday, and I get to call home! So, we will leave next week, but there's a possibility we could leave on Saturday! I'm so excited and glad we are reassigned, instead of just waiting in the MTC.

Oh, and by the way, don't call the Brazilian consulate. I don't think you guys have, but I guess some peoples’ parents have, and they got mad. So yeah, anyways! Reassigned! And it's amazing, because if we didn't get our schedule changed, and our P-day changed from Friday to Tuesday, they wouldn't allow us to call home and say where we got reassigned, because we could just email home the next day. So that was incredible that that got switched! So yes, expect a call from me this week! It's only for five minutes though, so expect that as well haha. And also I get to call at the airport when I leave, so that will be later on.

I will miss my District a lot, we have gotten so close. I have learned so much from all of them…they are all so amazing. They really are top-notch people! They are very strong in the Spirit, and we are knit together in love for the Lord. The best is when we have Devotional review on Tuesdays and share our testimonies of what we learned and everything.

I am going to host again tomorrow! So that will be fun! OH, I almost forgot, thank you for the package!! I LOVE the pictures!!!! They are sweet. They are all carefully selected, I can tell, and perfect. I'm so glad I have those. Oh, and the sewing kit was a crack up hahahaha, because they have this free box in front of the bathrooms on every floor, and for service once, we cleaned them out and we kept some stuff. We kept laundry detergent and a SEWING KIT hahahaha. Well, I kept it. But I laughed so hard. That was a good joke!

So, something I learned this week in personal study, which is one of my favorite activities of the day, I studied about listening to the Spirit in the Book of Mormon. I read about Nephi and when he built the ship. I realized how much faith Nephi had. He was commanded to go up into the mountain and pray, and then the Lord commanded him to build a ship. And I know I would be thinking, why a ship, or how would I do that, or there's no way I can do that. But it is evident in Nephi's life that he always knows the Lord provides a way for each of His commandments. And that is where his faith is so strong. The first thing Nephi replies, without hesitation is, "where do I find the ore to build the tools?" He doesn't even ask, what's the first thing I should do? He thinks through it himself first and thinks, I will definitely need tools to start this project, but this is where I need the Lord to help, I have no idea where to find ore. This is the process where we can receive revelation, we think through ourselves and do the best reasoning we can, until we don't know. The Lord has blessed us with reasoning power, and he has given us many resources. I know every time I have a question, I search the scriptures and Preach My Gospel! They answer my questions without fail, no matter what it is. I know it can answer everyone else’s questions as well! And that's what I want to tell people!

I love you all! Don't be afraid to email me a couple pictures every once in a while! Don't hold back with Lorenzo either. The picture in the photo album shows he has more hair! He's the best! I love you all so much! Thank you for teaching me by example. Talk to you this week on the phone! So, remember to answer the unknown number! I will try mom's cell phone first. I can talk for five minutes, but if I leave a message it counts as my call, so I won't leave a message. Talk to you then! If you want me to do anything different, send a Dearelder letter soon.

Elder Hoyt

Friday, April 26, 2013

I Will Get Re-Assigned Next Week!

Hello Family!!

Yes, I will get reassigned next week if no Visa comes. I will most likely get reassigned because there are so many people getting reassigned that are going to Brazil. People go to like New York, Boston, Texas, basically everywhere in the States, until their Visa comes. So, I’m hoping to get reassigned next week. I know the Lord will send me where He needs me, though, and I will go where He needs me.

Hosting on Wednesday was awesome! I only hosted one Elder. I halfway hosted a Sister because they were running out of Sisters to host. It was a ton of fun though! It brought back a ton of memories. I was assigned to host on number 21, where Lizz was dropped off. And it was sad to see all the families saying goodbye, like really sad. And I felt like we were the ones taking them away! The missionary I hosted was exactly how I was, though, just like not really there, like not fathoming what was going on, like everything was happening pretty fast haha. 

I’m not sure if Elder Frizzell left yet, I know he leaves soon. I have yet to get a picture with Elder Guinn, though. I see him pretty often, so I should be able to. I loved the letters from the Seminary class! Oh, and I got a big hymn book here, so probably just don’t worry about getting the mini one, but thank you! For some reason there is a shortage haha, I barely got the big one.

Nothing too exciting has happened this week. I got the package though! I love those watermelon things!! And there are so much Goldfish! haha thank you! I am going to be a Fisher of Men! Other than that, everything has been the same pretty much. I can’t wait to go, though, this has gone by really fast, so I’m trying really hard not to waste the last couple weeks. It is really easy to waste time because a lot of the preparation is up to you, a lot of it is on your own, except you always have the Spirit. I know the Spirit has helped me learn so much, mainly about the scriptures. I ask questions mainly during the lesson, and try to have the questions guide the lesson, I feel that is the best way to teach to the needs of the investigator. My teacher says he likes the questions I ask.

I figured out one of the type of questions I should ask is in, “How to Begin Teaching” in Preach My Gospel. It’s a question like, “what are you expecting these meetings to go like,” or “what do you want to learn from us?” At first, I was like that’s not really a super good question, but then I was reading Alma 18 and Ammon is talking to King Lamoni, and he walks in and says, “what desirest thou of me?” and he tells him he is his servant. And then he asks, “what do you want to know?” and the king wants to know where his power comes from. So, then he starts telling him about God, and how that is where his power is from. I just think that is so amazing, mainly because he had so much trust and faith in the Lord, that they were able to see the Lord's power through Ammon. I hope I can be like Ammon, and have the Lord work through me, as I do His work.

I know that is why I’m here. I am here to help. I know that no matter what happens, the most important thing is His work. It doesn’t matter how much success I have, as long as the Lord is working through me with His Spirit. I want to be the best missionary I can. I know the Lord is helping me, and will keep helping me. The Lord speaks to us through the scriptures, “ask ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened.” Questions are a great way to ask, and the scriptures are a great way to knock.

But it is from experience, that is another thing I know, the more we experience things, the more we can teach with conviction and with power and authority of God, with His Spirit. I CAN’T WAIT to get reassigned!! I think I will know by next week. 

Thanks for all the Dearelder letters, I will reply to those more in handwritten. Thanks for being there to support me always. In my interview with the Branch President, he said at the end that he knows that a mother’s prayer is one of the most powerful prayers, and that he knows my mom is praying for me. I said I know she is too, because I know you are, mom. I know you all are. I can feel it. How do you think I would have gotten where I am today without my mom's prayers? I love you all so much…Mom, Dad, Ryan, Carina, Lorenzo, Spencer, Lauren, Lizz, and the Savior, who loves us with perfect love. Love you all!!

Elder Hoyt

Friday, April 19, 2013

Everything Is Going So Fast!

HEY MOM and DAD!!!

Yep, everything is going so fast! It is crazy! I feel like I have been here so long, though haha. I have seen Elder Guinn! I was so excited! I saw him in the cafeteria his first day, and again on his second day. He has my same schedule and lives in my same building, one floor below me!

I don’t have a culture class, but this teacher came in and talked to us for a couple minutes. He served in Recife, and he was telling us about it. He said that the people are the best part! Everyone is so nice there. He said it rains pretty hard there sometimes, and the food is really good. I guess the more north you go in Brazil, the more third-world country type of thing, but I guess the north has a lot more baptisms. He said he knew a Sister in his mission who got to an area that had been closed because there was nothing going on, and after four weeks she baptized for 33 weeks straight. No typo, 33. Pretty crazy haha! He said you have to take people you're teaching to Church at least twice before they can get baptized. And he said you have to work for it. So I’m excited! I’m ready to work! Can’t wait to get there. But chances are I will get reassigned because everyone is, but honestly I am excited about that too! Just excited to teach real people!

Yes, I sing with the choir every time, we sing at every Devotional on Tuesday. Last time we sang, “Nearer My God to Thee,” all four verses. The choir director is so funny too, he’s like a comedian. It’s a lot of fun. Oh, and last devotional Elder Richard G. Scott came and spoke to us about prayer. And he told us our calls are from the Lord, and the Lord has qualified us. And he said that the Lord won't give us anything we can't accomplish. He said we can remind the Lord that He called us, and that we need help from Him. But the answer to my prayer was that he gave us an Apostolic Blessing, and said if you are learning a foreign language right now, he promised that we will master it, if we rely on the Lord and learn the language with the intent to better accomplish the Lord's will. And that’s exactly what my companion needed to hear. It was an answer to my prayers.

We are hosting next Wednesday, so that will be fun…I missed hosting on Davin’s day by one week! And I consistently play volleyball in gym, the field isn’t open yet, or else I would like to play soccer. By the way, those shoes I have for athletics and service and stuff are perfect, thanks mom for the awesome choice! And yeah, in volleyball, I am actually getting a lot better haha, I mean I literally play everyday. We are good friends with the Samoans. I am sad because they are leaving next week, and it’s not going to be as much fun. I also did yoga last P-day haha. 

Something I have learned these past couple weeks, I don’t know if I have already mentioned this, but I really think it’s important to ask questions in the lesson. So, I am definitely working on that. I learn everything from Preach My Gospel, it has instructions for anything I have questions about in my life right now. I think to myself, I am not really sure what questions I should ask, though. I turn to Preach My Gospel and there is a section called "asking questions" haha. So, I like questions because it makes the person ponder, and the Spirit can teach them. And they also remember a lot more of what you’ve taught. If you ask them, for example, how can we receive answers to prayer? And then we teach them from the scriptures, and ask more questions! It’s kind of perfect, too, because we can’t speak much Portuguese, but I understand like a lot. So when our investigator speaks more, we can better figure out his needs, and we aren’t the ones speaking all the time. I know that Preach My Gospel is so inspired by Heavenly Father to help us. Everything about it is awesome and perfect. It has everything I need.

I know that I am here at the right time in my life, and I know the Lord has qualified me for everything I need to do. This helps me never to feel scared or discouraged. I seriously think that Water Polo was a big influence in my life. I was thinking back about how I think the Lord qualified me, and I thought of Water Polo. It made me so much stronger mentally. I was constantly pushing myself further than I ever thought I was able to go, and I was always doing it for the team. I didn’t want to let them down in the close games, even when I was so tired. And that’s exactly what it is like here. I get so tired here, and I know I’m going to be way more tired in the field, and the language is a challenge, and sometimes you miss the things you left home, but then I am able to think, there’s no way I can let the Lord down. He is counting on me to do this for Him! It gives me so much faith. I know I will be able to push myself and stretch myself as far as the Lord needs me to go. And I know He is helping me, and will continue to help me, as long as I am relying on Him!

I love being here, and I love learning all these things! I have learned more Portuguese in three weeks, than I did Spanish in three years. I know the Lord is helping me do everything I do. I love Him, and I wish I were able to comprehend all the blessings He gives me! I love you all! Thanks for your Dearelder Letters! They are sweet after a long day haha. I get all ready for bed, and then I read them! They’re the best. Love you guys :)

Elder Hoyt

Friday, April 12, 2013

Everything Is Still Awesome!

Hey! Tudo bem!

So everything is still awesome. Vocal Point came and sang for a Devotional. They sang a bunch of hymns, and they had us sing with them. They were super good.

Oh, and yeah, I am writing this at 5:32am. We do our laundry at 5:00am on P-day. It’s really competitive to get computers, so we do it early in the morning. I did get a picture of Elder W and myself pointing to the map, but my companion now is Elder D, so I’ll probably get another with him. Yeah, Elder D, the one I met at BYU Idaho. It’s kind of hard for him right now because he isn’t sleeping good at night, so he is really tired all day. I don’t get a lot of sleep either haha. I see Elder Frizzell like all the time. He is leaving pretty soon! He said he’s been here nine weeks. I’m glad I’m only here for six haha. 

Oh, and the only thing I need is the contacts. Thank you for the cinnamon rolls!! I haven’t eaten them yet. I was saving them for today for P-day. I only got them last night, so they will be good.

Anyways, so we have a lot of funny times here. I realized that I love laughing, and that it is so easy to laugh here haha. I’m not sure why. I think it is because the only entertainment we have is each other…yes that’s it! It’s pretty entertaining, and I love it! It’s like amazing. I literally laugh till I cry, pretty much, like two times a day at least. And I also know that it relieves a lot of stress. Like on this lesson we taught, Elder D hardly said anything because he couldn’t remember any Portuguese. And so, I was struggling, just like talking the whole time, and we felt like we did horrible. And so, we both felt pretty bad, and when we walked back into class everyone was already in a joking mood, so I just went with it haha. I told them everything that happened, and how funny it was because we were expecting our investigator to have questions about the Church, because that’s what his referral sheet said, but when we asked him he said uhhh…no? So then, I was thinking, well the paper said you did hahaha.

But the lessons are getting better. I realized they were very easy on us the first time. We hardly did anything haha. But I realized for the lessons that it is important to just teach the people according to their needs, and I always knew that, and that was like the first thing I learned. So we thought it was good to just try and figure out what they need with prayer, and teach them that lesson. But it is more than that as well. I realized that when you are just talking to someone, and telling them doctrine and truths, they kind of get bored because they feel like it has nothing to do with them. So, it made me realize how important it is to ask good questions. When you ask a good question, then they have to ponder about it, and the Spirit can teach them. Also, you have to figure out how the lesson can help them in their life, and then they can really feel like you care about them, because you do.

I’m so excited to go to Brazil! There are Brazilians here and we talk to them all the time. This Elder from Brazil told us that Recife is super hot, and we don’t know what we are getting into haha. He said it is the best mission though, because it’s in the north, and I guess the work is good up there. He also said that they speak a lot faster there than what they teach us here hahaha. He said it’s going to be really different, but he knows we can do it.

I also talk to the Samoans. The Elders I play volleyball with are Samoan, and one is Tongan, but they taught me the word for brother haha…ooso…is how it is pronounced. So we just say that to each other whenever we see each other.

We also had Sheri Dew come and speak to us! I thought of Sheri Sheri Dew, where are you? hahahahaha But she gave us a really good talk about the Atonement, and how it helped her overcome her heartache. It was a great talk. And she told us that if we aren’t sure what it is like to get a prompting from the Spirit, we can just ask the Lord to tutor us, and ask to know what it is like for us.

We also heard a talk from Gerald Lund. It was all about receiving revelation. He said rarely is revelation revealed in a dream, it is most often a feeling or a thought in the mind or in the heart. I learned some very interesting things that I had never known before. I expound more in the handwritten letter haha. 

The language is going well still, challenging like it should be, but we are coming along. I love and miss all of you! Thank you for your prayers and the Dearelder Letters! I love getting them!

I love you all!

Monday, April 8, 2013

First Email from the MTC

April 5, 2013

Thanks for looking up the Visa site, that is exactly what I needed. I guess once it goes to the next step, it moves pretty fast. I hope I get it when it’s time to leave. We only have a half hour to write, so I think I will do a handwritten letter, too. Anyway, thank you for all the Dearelder letters! Those are great.

The MTC is going so well. So I have already taught like four lessons to an "investigator" named Henrique. It is so awesome. My companion Elder W was only my companion for like four days, and then he got his Visa and went to the Brazil MTC. So, now I am in a trio with the Elders I was living with, Elder H and Elder B...Elder B is our District Leader also. That reminds me, our District is so great. Everyone bears their testimony all the time, and have such great faith. We are all very close too. We can all laugh together, which is great, and we can all be spiritual together, which is even greater.

Oh, and thanks for the Easter basket package! Easter was an AWESOME day!!! We had a Sacrament Meeting with the entire MTC. Yes, a Sacrament Meeting haha. So that is like 3000. It was symbolic of the New Testament story when Jesus fed 5000. So that was really nice, and we got to hear from the Presiding Bishop.

I have just been doing so many things, I can’t think of it all, and I have a clock counting down the time in the upper right hand corner. It is stressing me out...but I’m trying to say everything I can! I sang in the choir for Devotional too. We sang, “I Feel My Savior’s Love.” There are so many people in choir though, so it’s not a huge deal haha.

One of my favorite parts of being here was during the Devotional on Easter Sunday, we sang “Called to Serve” with all the missionaries here. We sang the first verse very softly, and then the next verse medium, and then got louder, and when we sang “Called to Serve Our KING!” we all stood up! So many missionaries standing up at once, the bleachers were shaking, and then we sang the last verse so loud and standing up. It felt so great. We were like an army! 

Another one of my favorite things is the Character of Christ talk by Elder Bednar that he gave to the MTC a couple years ago. We are able to watch the videos on Sunday nights. My favorite thing is that when the adversary was tempting Jesus with food, he wasn’t tempting Him with the temptation of hunger, he was tempting Him for who He was. He said, "if thou be the Son of God," and it made me think, yeah, He can easily withstand a temptation for food. But he was tempting Him to act out of His character, to forget who He was. That’s why we need to remember who we are.

Anyways, I’m out of time, sorry! I’ll write a hand letter. I love all you with all my heart…I know the Savior lives.