Saturday, August 17, 2013

progressing in the portuguese

Alrighty so much to tell. This week Sisters Reeve, Francis, and I 'tracted' into two people. One on Monday named Stepherson and another on Tuesday named Mateus. Mateus is great, his brother is a member and he wants to strengthen his faith and relationship with God. Stepherson is kinda of hard to read. We aren't 100% sure what he needs, he seems a little disinterested which hurts because we know how important this gospel is. He does however really like the idea that he can live with his family for all eternity:). So that's who we are teaching right now. 
The language is coming haha. My district is very dedicated to learning portuguese! We try to start our days (till lunch or so) only in portuguese. This has resulted in remarks from teachers and other districts asking if we've gotten our reassignments yet. (because we talk like we've been here for 5-6 weeks) Nope this is still just week 3. So while I still feel like I cant speak portuguese I have to give myself a little credit i can successfully make it through a lesson without encouraging my investigator to ‘defecate’. Dad asked what we do to learn the language here. Basically you have no other option. Everyone speaks portuguese all the time and if you speak english back they look at you like you have a third eye. Fun Fact: Rosetta Stone is based off of the language learning practices taught at the MTC.
Anyway I am feeling very positive this week. On Sunday we had a devotional from Richard I Heaton (administrative director of the MTC) then we listened to old conference talks from Thomas S Monson and Richard G Scott.  Some things learned:
~My purpose is to help others be reconciled to God and help them feel the love God has for them
~New generations crucify Christ a new by modifying miracles or defying His divinity.
-- On Tuesday Richard G Scott came to give a devotional...WOW! it was similar to the talk given on Sunday but way better because it was live and I was just sitting there at the feet of an apostle 
~Heavenly Father wants to hear from you. He wants to help you. Just talk, there isn't ANYTHING he doesn't want to know.
~ Learn to ask the right questions, SEEK HIS WILL, don't ask for what you want but what He wants for you. He will do what is expedient for you. he knows what we can become and will help us achieve our potential.
~when it seems like he hasn't answered your prayers its because he wants us to grow, but he will answer when the time is right (on His time not yours)
~"To reach a goal never before obtained you must do things you have never done"
~"refuse to be discouraged" -- yes it is a choice.
Then Elder Scott invoked his apostolic blessing not once but twice on us. He said that we will be given the gift of tongues, receive guidance from the lord and be able to build relationships of trust, according to our faith.
So that's really amazing! I definitely need that. Today is Friday so i get to go to the temple for the first time since being here. I'm super stoked! 
Other than living the gospel 24/7 I also enjoy reigning as queen of foursquare. The elders have started a "dark covenant" against me haha it's all fun :) 

remember is a great way to send letters:) 

te amo
Sister Leonard
my entire district

because the top of the closet is a good place for a photo op

the ladies of the tripod Sisters Reeve, Francis and Leonard

The homegirls from HV Texas! Sisters Riding and Leonard

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

test one two

Checking out the new feed burner deliver for email....

2nd lesson mishap

Mom & Dad

So basically there is no time to I have an hour but that's not enough time to squeeze 10 days worth of stuff into.  I figured I'd write my email to let those beyond the MTC fence know I am okay. I am surprised how okay I am.

Wednesday was pretty tough/hard to hold it together, but I received  a blessing of comfort and I talked to Elder Cole who gave me a little more insight into why our friend might have made the decision that he did.  My district is amazing and have helped a lot.

Anyway on a lighter note, I am able to focus on the work, I find so much joy in the service of our Lord.  I mentioned briefly Dayane who is our investigator, or was.  So on the second day here they have you teach a lesson in portuguese. Sister Reeve took french in High School so half the time she can fake her way through.  So the first lesson we confused her with "restoration":-)  whoops!  On the next day, the 2nd lesson, the spirit truly filled my mouth with words, until I tried to have her read the last paragraph of the introduction to the Book of Mormon.  I pointed to the wrong paragraph, then corrected myself.  Dayane (in portuguese) "Well why can't I read those too?" Me (in my head) "Well you can if you want", but not knowing the portuguese word for "want" but having learned "desire" I attempted to say "you can if you desire" but what I actually said was "You can if you deficate".  We successfully caused our investigator to break character.  She laughed for a solid 5 minutes, and even shed a few tears and said in English (which never happens) "I'm sorry, I don't know where this is going!" so I turned to Sister Reeve, she and I were both laughing, not knowing what I had said and told her to testify... She invited us back which is a miracle!  Anyway we finished teaching her.  She didn't get baptized because she doesn't understand why her previous baptism wasn't valid.  We tried to explain it to her but our portuguese was inadequate and the Spirit told us it was time to go.  It was a very cool learning experience though!

We (Sister Francis, Reeve and I) have two new investigators starting Monday though so this should be great!

I hope all is well at home.

P.S. you can write me for free & daily using :-)

Love you both

Sister Aleah Leonard

Sunday, August 11, 2013

mom: remind everyone dear elder is free and it's same day delivery. mail is like gold... you can send me free gold! sister Aleah Leonard BRA-NAT sept 10 #285 2011N 900E Provo ut 84604. also can you send me my 4 generation pedigree chart and stories about my ancestors? they are the ones who will be protecting me out here on the mission and it'd be nice to get to know them.

Oi como vai????
There is a saying here " the MTC is like drinking out of a firehose" so true but its like a firehose full of's so great and i cant get enough! Umm each day changes so dramatically that i don't even know where to begin. Well i'll start at the day that caused me to actually cry and build my way up from there.

I was in utter shock to here about Nick's death, really surprising. He was a really sweet kid, with a brilliant mind, and a lot of potential. His family is in mine, and my districts prayers. I’m not quite sure how everyone is taking it back home but I can share a few thoughts that have brought me great comfort. On Sunday we watched a devotional entitled "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar, this literally changed my life! He talked about how the Savior always turns out to help others. When he is the garden taking upon Him all the sins in the world he came out to find that his apostles couldn't even stay awake with him, and another apostle betrayed him with a kiss. when the guards come to take him away and Peter slices off his ear the Savior does not say "hey give me a break I'm trying to save you right now..." instead He heals the guard. even when He is on the cross just moments away from his death, He is not worrying about his own life, but rather is making sure his mother will be taken care of, and forgiving those who are putting him on the cross, He even gives comforting words to the men who hang next to him saying, “soon we will be in the presence of God.” As I listened and learned I thought:  WAY later in life when things get rough I want to be able to turn out to help others and not be focused on myself, but I wasn't sure how I could develop these traits. It turns out that missionaries are not impervious to trials and hardships on the mission. It is hard to comprehend that Nick is no longer with us but I take comfort in knowing that he is with a Heavenly Father who loves him dearly. God's judgement is just, but more important it is merciful. He loves all his children and does everything He can to ease the suffering of them. I can only imagine the heart break and confusion Nick's mother and family must be feeling, but I know that Christ knows EXACTLY how they are feeling, He willingly suffered so that He could know how to succor His people perfectly (alma 7:11-12)
The mission is a wonderful place! I would not be able to recover and handle all the changes if not for the Spirit that is here aiding me in all my efforts and solidifying my testimony of the truthfulness of His Gospel.

Sister Reeve, Sister Francis and I are in a Tricompanieroship.... or a tripod:)  and they are AMAZING! We get along great. We’ve already taught our first pesquestador (investigator), Dayane, all in Portuguese. we have learned so much about the importance of the Spirit. I am truly amazed at how well the language is coming. We have been working diligently. 4 people from my district have already received their visas... and everyone expects I will be the next to go because I went through the Houston consulate. Oh! Elder Wood got his visa yesterday which is awesome! 

My last words of advice are "obedience brings blessing, exact obedience brings miracles"
I'd love to hear from all of you!

Sister Aleah Leonard

The sisters in my district

Brazil, Natal Mission 

More of my district