Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Care Package Fun

This crazy care package was a high point this week!

Elders Colvin and W - mustachioed companeros
 This week, our district received a care package from Sister T's Mom.  It was amazing!  I hope that she knows how much it lifted our spirits and was just generally awesome.  She included fake mustaches to lighten the mood. It was fun. Thanks Sister T, if you ever read this, you made my day!

Elder S
Elder H and Elder S
Sister C
Elder N
Elder P

Elder S
Sisters T and T
Sister H

Provo Temple

I finally got my new new camera, after my other new camera was broken on its first use.  It is hard to find interesting subject matter to take pictures of.  I can't imagine anyone being interested in pictures of 19 year old people they don't know and who all dress alike.  But on my walk around the temple the other day, I found some beautiful things to take pictures of.

I find myself always looking up
towards heaven when I am at the temple. .....

...unless I am looking down at the flowers and landscaping! 
Our district is enjoying the outdoors!

This picture is for Mom!

Keep Calm

Hi everyone!

It's once again P-day, so I can finally take a break! Haha We usually spend about 10 hours of the day in a classroom, so being able to get out and about is really nice (even if we still have to stay on campus). With only 50 minutes of gym time a day, I find myself loving every minute I can get to stretch my legs. 
I've gained about 7 lbs since I got here (I think), but I'm not sure, because every time I've weighed myself it's been with a full stomach and my dictionary and all my other missionary stuff too. I'll weigh myself in my gym clothes pretty soon, but I'm hoping that it's mostly muscle that I've been gaining since I'm working out every day. I can always hope! Buuuut, I'm probably just getting fat. Tanto faz! 

It has been a challenging week for me in some ways.  I just think that I'm glad that I'm serving this mission for the Lord and not for myself, or for anyone else.  My motivation for being here, helps me to keep going when it gets tough.  In the past three weeks, I have realized that I don't really dislike anyone in my district, but the reverse is not true.  There are missionaries in my district who do not like me and it is well... frustrating and discouraging.   I try not to react to what they say, but they really make me feel bad about myself for some reason.  I generally internalize everything.  I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing.  It means that I'm not judgmental about others, but I have really low self-confidence as a result.  My personal study is really helping, because I'm starting to read all of the Church books and I'm almost done with "Our Search for Happiness".  It's a great book.  We recently watched the mormon message called 'The Will of God'. It's a really great video and inspires me to keep on keeping on, and do my best to be the best missionary I can be! 

On a more positive note, the language is coming along for me.  I am really feeling good about the progress that I have made, knowing of course that my abilities are God-given for which I am so grateful.  Teaching our investigators is actually coming along pretty nicely.  I found out that I will be serving in the Fortaleza mission and not the Fortaleza East mission, which is the new mission created July 1st.  I think that this is good news because I will be in the city more than in the mud hut towns. I will also be in the city where there is a new temple being built!

I got the camera and the shoes and I love them both!!! The shoes are great, but I'm not taking a ton of pictures because there really isn't much to see here other than the temple. However, I had my first temple walk with my camera this morning and I took a ton of pictures! So I'll be trying to send those over probably around 12 or so when I'm doing laundry.  I love P-day.

Elder Colvin

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Week 2...I think?

(Awesome) Devotionals at the Marriot Center on BYU campus. This was taken by my sister, obviously, cause I wouldn't be over on the "sister side" ; )
The long walk to devotionals is appreciated when you sit at a desk all day.
        Life is long here at the MTC, and everything just seems to meld together. It's really hard to remember which days are which because we basically do the same thing each day. It's such a strict schedule that I've begun to really appreciate any gym time I can get, because that's the only time that we have to unwind! Thing's are going well, but we just started teaching two new investigators and we taught our first one yesterday. It went alright I guess, but we totally didn't teach our lesson plan. We just started with our lesson by sharing ' we know that God is our Heavenly Father and that He loves us,' and that's about as far as we got because he asked 'He doesn't love everyone always, right? What about when he kills people? (meaning when God smites the wicked) Does he love him then?' Sooooo, we spent the rest of our lesson time trying to stumble our way through explaining that one. We've got another appointment with him on Thursday, so any advice you could give me would really help! I can't think of anything to say! I know that I know what I know, but I just don't know! Haha it's just difficult to put my feelings into words (especially Portuguese words) so I would love to know what anyone thinks!

Elder Colvin

Elders: Colvin and M. with Sisters: Colvin and T.

Elders Colvin and M.: we studied Seminary together in our senior year with Sister McKinlay. Now we are both studying Portuguese & headed to Brazil .......eventually.
My Companion, Elder W, is a giant!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Week 1/104

Elder Colvin and his first companion, Elder W
                    Hi everyone,
This is insane. I just can't believe the experience I'm having in the MTC! It is aboslutely amazing and it's incredible how much I have learned in only one week. I am building my testimony every day of the truthfulness of the church and I am proud to be a missionary! The Lord really does work miracles when we are faithful in His work, and I can see evidence of that by how well I am learning Portuguese and by how much I am able to feel His spirit every day! There aren't words to describe exactly how I'm feeling right now.... I think that the only way to descirbe it would be 'Eu estou cheio de alegria'. I'm not sure if that's right (becuase I've only known the language for a week), but this is what I am trying to say, 'I am full of joy'. I don't think that I have ever been so happy in my life. The feeling I have here is amazing and if this is how I'm going to feel for the next two years.... I don't want to come home! Haha, well I definitely want to come home, but I just don't know if I would be able to feel this way at home. We are super super busy here, as in we taught a pesquisadora, investigator, on our third day here... IN PORTUGUESE!!! That was extremely intimidating and we just had our second lesson yesterday and our nerves were completely gone for that lesson. I'm really surprised at how much I can grow in just a few short days. Well... They're actually pretty long days, but you get the point. I am really proud of my companion because he is currently struggling with the language, but he did really really well. My companion here is Elder W, and I would post a picture, buuuuuut I kind of broke my camera... In the first week.... After the first picture.... Yeah, it was a little frustrating. Haha my companion took a picture of my teacher (Irmão W, Irmão means brother) and I, and the strap hooked on one of Elder W's fingers and sooooo we dropped it. Since it was on, it landed on it's focusing mechanism and after nthat it wouldn't focus, close, or even perform basically any of it's basic functions. I hope that my parents can send me a replacement soon. Knowing my dad, he'll probably just send me a disposable camera so I can't break it. Just kidding (I hope), but I am super excited for the next 5 weeks here, and I will keep you up to date next week.

Elder Colvin
This was our last "hug" as missionaries, forbidden even between actual brothers and sisters. We are just both so happy that we get to see each other for at least part of every day while at the MTC. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My First Missionary Experiences

Dear family and friends,

 Last day before the MTC! I am super excited! we had a great flight down here, and Taylor and I were both able to give away our first Book of Mormon as missionaries! (Link to her story here) I had a great flight to Utah, and, for the most part, I didn't feel any impressions to share the Book of Mormon with either of the two ladies I sat next to. They had both lived in Spokane for a long time, so we were able to talk about a lot of things. Our topics were extremely varied: snow, dogs, horses, roadtrips, family, getting old, etc. Finally, as we were landing in Salt Lake City, I shared the fact that I was actually planning on going to school there when I got home (at the University of Utah) and of course they asked, 'What are you studying?' When I said bioengineering, one of the ladies started asking me what I was going to do with that, and I told her that I don't want to mess too much with what God has given us, I just want to make life easier for people who don't have a limb or a defective organ. One of the things that she told me was 'if only people would be organ donors, we wouldn't have to worry about that.' So I told her, 'that's right, but people are selfish. Most people tend to think of only themselves, and if we would only think of others, it would make life a lot easier. There's a scripture that I love, and I try to live by, Matthew 25:40: And the King answered and saith unto them; verily, verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my bretheren, ye have done it unto me. I believe that if it is within my capability to help someone that I should, and if I don't, I am disrespecting God by not helping someone in need.' I didn't share my testimony of the Book of Mormon, and I didn't give one out, but I was still able to share my testimony about serving others, and if that is all we can do, I think that that is what we should do. Even if we don't get an opportunity of our gospel, at least share your favorite aspect of it.

Now, that's not my Book of Mormon story! Taylor and I are staying at my grandparents house, and so is our cousin, who will be going to the U of U in the fall. Our cousin, DC, has been raised Catholic, so I told him that if he was going to be going to the U of U, he had better have a Book of Mormon! It was very casual, but then I felt impressed to write a note for him before I gave it to him. So I quickly wrote him a note and what I expected to be a short entry ended up filling the whole page. I told him that it's ok if he didn't read it, but that if he had any time to spare, he should try to give it some thought. I really hope that he does, and I am looking forward to where he'll be in 2 years, but I know that he will find a lot of people to help him along the way.

   Elder Colvin and D.C. Blanchard.  D.C. will be a freshman at the U of U this Fall....go UTEs!  Taylor and I hope to join him in two years!
Well, I am about to head off to the MTC!!! I'm going to finally get my nametag and start my training. This is an all-new experience for me and I hope that I am ready for it!

-Elder Colvin
Saying goodbye to our "big" sister, Maddison
Grandma and Grandpa Oldroyd took great care of us the night before reporting to the MTC, and they treated us to our "last lunch" at the Olive Garden.  We are both so excited to get working as missionaries!