Another week has passed. Life is really crazy here. So much is going on and at the same time I feel like I never do anything. I am constantly studying, reading, speaking, and teaching in Portuguese. In my journal I have to scratch out every 8th word or so because it is accidentally in Portuguese. It's frustrating but absolutely thrilling at the same time.
I love my companion. Elder Steele is very patient with me. We still are getting used to each other, but every day is getting easier. He's from Pasco, Washington so we talk about farm life often. He reminds me a lot of Keith Bushman... He's a great guy. Today we are going on a shopping trip to find shorts... They almost exclusively have soccer shorts (which are too short for missionaries) so this should be an adventure.
We are currently teaching 3 "investigators" which are just our teachers pretending to be investigating the church. It's really hard because of the language barrier. I find myself writing out 3 pages of text for a lesson but then when we get there our investigator has a completely different thing they want to know about. It's very hard, but as we learn from the scriptures and the apostles, we must do our best to prepare, and then after all we can do the Grace of the Lord will make up the difference. I feel His help and His guidance in all of my studies and lessons. We heard a quote last week that said "Obedience brings blessings, but strict obedience brings miracles." My companion and I committed to live that and we have seen the change in our growth spiritually, as a companionship, and in the language. It truly is a miracle.
I don't know how many of you knew that I thought I was going to the CTM for 3 weeks, but there was a misunderstanding and I'm here for 6. I thought it was a 6 week program being shortened to 3 weeks, but it is actually a 9 week program being shortened to 6 weeks. It is still going to be a real test to see if I will be ready for the field by then, but I have faith and when the time comes, whether I think I'm ready or not, the Lord knows I will be.
I've been feeling really discouraged lately because my sleeping has been bad. I was having doubts about whether or not I was cut out for this life. On Sunday there was a fireside and a mission president from a mission here in Sao Paulo came to speak. He talked about our purpose as missionaries. I know that he was sent to me because I needed every word he said and I wrote down almost 4 pages of notes. In his talk he gave a quote from Elder Holland that went roughly like this "You have 2 years to be a missionary, and regardless of the work done, if you are changed by the end, then every moment was worth it." I have no doubt that this will change my life, and now that I know that is enough, I feel much less pressure on myself. I look forward to letters from you. Letters are like the currency in here. I hope that you know I love you. All of you.
Elder Tyler Andrew Bushman