So, I’ll start off this post by explaining what i mean by “companion”. As a missionary, i have been called to serve the lord and preach his gospel for two years. During this time i will ALWAYS have a companion with me; another missionary (in my case another Elder, if you’re a young woman serving a mission you’re called “Sister” and have another sister with you) that has also been called to serve in the same country, mission, and area as me. A little explanation of how missions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints work: When a young man, or young women, is old enough to serve a mission and has a desire to serve one, they fill out a kind of application. This application is than sent to the “Quorum of the Twelve Apostles”, specifically to the president of the church; the prophet. Today the prophet’s name is Thomas S. Monson. So, when a youth is old enough and has the desire to serve a mission they fill out and send this application to the prophet who then, after a lot of prayer and thinking about where the prospective missionary should be called, sends a designation, a call, to the applicant. In this call you find out the country and the mission within that country that you will be serving in, you also have a date that you have report by to a place called The MTC.
“What’s the MTC” you ask? The MTC is an abbreviation for “Missionary Training Center”, it’s a place where new missionaries go to learn how to be missionaries! For example, I have been called to serve in the “Brazil Cuiabá Mission”. When i got my call i was told to report to the MTC in Brazil by a certain date. When i got there i learned a lot of things about how to teach the gospel, how to talk with people, and how to speak a little portuguese (because i didn’t know anything before). If you need to learn a language for the mission that you are called to you stay six(6) weeks in the MTC, if you’re a native speaker you only stay twelve (12) days. So, I spent six weeks in the MTC trying to learn portuguese, i was partially successful; but that’s how everyone is, because you learn the best out in the field. Now, my mission is the Brazil Cuiabá Mission. So, after six(6) weeks i left the MTC in São Paulo and flew out to the state of Mato Grosso, the capital of which is Cuiabá. I was then called to serve in a specific area within the mission Brazil Cuiabá; my first area was in the city of Sorriso (so-he-zo). The mission is split up into many different areas though because it’s really big. My mission has a large portion of both Mato Grosso, and Mato Grosso do Sul as parts of it.
Now that we know a little bit about hor a mission is organised let’s talk about what happens. Every six(6) weeks is called a “transfer”. It’s called a transfer because after six(6) weeks you can be transferred to another area in the mission to work there. The reason i’m attempting to explain all of this is because my current companion, an elder named “Elder Laws” recently had appendicitis, so he had to have surgery; this was about four(4) weeks ago. He’s still recovering from it and some days he hurts so bad that we can’t go out and do the work that we’ve been called to do because walking makes it worse. I don’t say this to complain; in fact Elder Laws is the best companion i’ve had so far, i say this to help explain why he’s going home early. That’s right, this elder that, in my opinion, is the best elder in the entire mission could be going home as soon as tomorrow because of the surgery that he had. If he does go home tomorrow he’ll have an honorable release from being a missionary on medical grounds. However, that also means that i’ll be getting a new companion in the middle of a transfer. Plus, Elder Laws has become like a brother i never knew i had; so it will be hard to say good-bye early.
That’s pretty much all that i have for this week, hopefully next week i’ll be able to start putting up pictures of the beauty of Brazil and some of the work of a missionary. If anyone who sees and reads this blog has questions about missionaries, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in general, or how to find out more go ahead and post a comment and i’ll try to answer it in my next post. Which reminds me, as a missionary i’m only allowed a certain amount of time each week to use the computer. This is on a day called “P-Day” or “preparation Day”. During this day we are able to send letters or e-mails to our family. It’s also the day we try to g oto to the grocery store and get some food for the coming week for breakfast and/or dinner. So, I will only be posting on Mondays,i don’t have an exact time, it depends on when we get to the place that we go to to use the computers.
So, yeah. Post questions in the comments and i’ll try to answer them. You can also go to lds.org or Mormon.org to find out more about the church and talk with other missionaries. If you go to lds.org you can also search for a chapel that’s close to where you live so you can visit and see what we actually do. Our meetings are only on Sundays, and generally they start at 9AM. That’s really it for now, until next week. Cião!