Friday, August 26, 2016

Goodbye CTM (Centro de Treinamento Missionário) AKA MTC (Missionary Training Center)

Hello everybody!
So this is my last time writing from the MTC!! How crazy is that? 6 weeks FLEW by. Next time I write you I will probably feel a lot different then I do now because I will be the newbie again, and I will be much more hot. Literally every time I tell a Brazilian where my mission is they say "Muito quente!!" which means very hot. So I say goodbye to cold weather for 2 years this week.
This week has been busy. Saturday we went proselyting again! It was crazy. On the way to where we proselyte it started to POUR rain. We were all kind of freaking out and I am pretty sure that every missionary said a prayer that the rain would stop. The thing is, the rain didn't stop when we got off the bus. But it did stop LITERALLY the second the instructor told us to start. And then the minute we finished the rain started again. It is amazing to me that our Heavenly Father would stop the rain for some inexperienced missionaries to hand out copies of the Book of Mormon for an hour. It was such a cool experience.
One of my favorite parts of this whole MTC experience happened Sunday night. There is a tradition that the leaving American district picks another district and they all sing a few songs together. So the district right above us, who we had all become really close to, invited us in and we sang. We sang a hymn then we sang the Star-Spangled Banner!! It was amazing. It made me miss home and be grateful for the USA. 
So we have been the oldest district now for a week. My Portuguese has never felt better. I feel like I am just starting to get it for real, and by this time next week I will be utterly lost again. Just got to put my faith in the Lord.
Thanks for the letter this week Mom. I loved hearing about everyone and about Brother Barton's talk! It sounded super awesome and spiritual! Also I am soooo jealous that Dad took the kids to the Rams game. Haha! On that note I would like to request Broncos updates as I realize that the season is starting very soon. J
We did hear about the Brazil men’s soccer team winning the Gold at the Olympics. That night the streets sounded like gun fights and bombs but it was just fireworks in celebration of the win. It was crazy!
So I don't have my flight info yet but I know I leave Tuesday way early. I probably won't be able to call from the airport but I assume I can write you when I get to the mission home.
I love this mission. I love seeing the change in my life to live more like Jesus Christ. I can't wait for it to all be real this Tuesday when I get to my area!

Love you all!
Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

Friday, August 19, 2016

Nothin' Like A Mission!

Irmao Santos (Brother Santos, Spencer's CTM Instructor)

Hello Everybody!!

I have been on my mission now for about a month... That is just crazy. It does not even feel close to that long for me so I wonder how fast it is going all for you back home?

I know I write this every week but I love the people here at the CTM. Americans and Brazilians. I am seriously going to miss all of my district and the one group that leaves Tuesday. I have become close with all of them. I love how Heavenly Father puts people in our path who change us. We have all already talked about reunions after the mish at BYU and stuff. I am really excited.

So today we went to the Campinas temple again!! I hope you got the pics and all that stuff was all good because I knew you would like the pics from last week. Going to the temple this week was so awesome! The missionaries in my district decided to do some of the session in Portuguese. It was super hard but really cool. I love going to the temple every week. I am seriously going to miss it for the next 2 years since there isn’t a temple in my mission boundaries.

This week has been pretty normal. We taught a lot of practice lessons, continue learning more Portuguese everyday, and are meeting new missionaries when they get here! My district is the second oldest ones here now which is also really weird. I do not feel like that at all! But you can tell by our Portuguese compared to the newbies! It really is crazy to see how far we have come. And to see how much more we will improve!

Some cool stuff that happened this week:

We found out that our instructor Irmão Santos got cancer while he was on his mission and had to come home. His testimony and desire to serve the Lord was so strong and he wanted to get back out so badly that he fought back and got over his lymphoma in 8 months! And he got to go back out on his mission! My respect and love for him shot through the roof when I heard the story. I hope and pray everyday to have that kind of desire and faith in God like Santos. 

Another sweet thing that happened this week was we got new Brazilian companions for splits! I got Elder Silva. He is a tall, really buff, scary looking Brazilian guy but is the nicest, most service oriented person I have ever met. He is amazing. In our lessons we go back and forth in Portuguese very well and it is so enlightening to hear a new view on ways to teach. It makes me so excited for the field and to have Brazilian companions!

On Wednesday this week me and Elder Brown, one of my companions, got to be the missionaries that the new Americans watch as an example on their first day. But the catch is that we got to teach in English!! That was very exciting but weird! I messed up and said some Portuguese words because I am so used to saying it in Portuguese, haha! 

I love this gospel. I love studying the scriptures and everything about the gospel. It’s weird because before the mission I could never just sit and study for hours but now I love it. Everyday I look forward to studying and immersing myself into the teachings of Jesus Christ. I love already seeing a change in my life and my testimony has never been stronger! Nothin like a mission!

Love you all!!

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

Elder Squires, Elder Brown, and Elder Christofferson at Campinas Temple

Spencer and Elder Cottrell (not sure who the last Elder is :-)
Just thinking about life! (Mom LOVES this one)
Campinas Temple 

Saturday, August 13, 2016


His Companions Elder Brown and Elder Squires at Sao Paulo Temple

Outside the Sao Paulo Temple

His Brazilian Roommates

OH! MY! GOSH! Soooooo much to learn! 

Sao Paulo Temple

Campinas Temple 

Pictures coming soon.... (we hope)

Hi everyone!! 

I feel like I have been in the MTC forever. But at the same time not really. People say "the days feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days." it is so true. This week flew by. 

So Saturday we went out proselyting. We for real went out into the streets of downtown Sao Paulo and handed out copies of the Book of Mormon. One thing I tried not to focus on was how terrified I actually was. We had personal study in the morning before we went out. I decided to study what Dad sent me in his first letter. I went to Matthew 28:20. It is a cool verse about missionary work and I really liked it. I saw the footnote for D&C 30:11 and decided to check it out. Boy was that a good idea. The part that got me was "yea, you shall ever open your mouth in my cause, not fearing what man can do, for I am with you. Amen." That scripture immediately calmed me. I thought why should I be scared if I have the Lord? I am out here to bring people to Christ so I should not fear anything. So I decided to have a no fear attitude and everything went fantastic! (Thanks Dad!) So we went out and as we started to talk and interact with people I felt so at peace. This truly is what I am supposed to be doing now with my life. Anyway, each Elder got 3 copies of the Book of Mormon to hand out. My companions and I started talking to people with no success. By about the 3rd person it was my turn to take the lead. I started talking to this middle aged guy and he was super nice and awesome and I could understand his Portuguese and he could understand mine! (I think). After about 6-8 mins of talking about religion and the Book of Mormon, I testified of the truthfulness of the book and he accepted and took it!! It felt sooo amazing. Over the entire hour and a half I gave out 5 Book of Mormons. So 5 down, hopefully hundreds to go. :) 

Mondays here are becoming sad because we have to say goodbye to our friends. This week our Brazilian roomates left. For Brazilians going to Brazil missions they are only here for 3 week and since they got here when we did it was time for them to head out to their assigned missions. Elder Freitas and Elder Barrozo are two studs and they will impact a lot of people. Also our zone leaders left and they were huge examples to me of obedient missionaries and nice guys so I was sad to see them go.

Sunday night for devotional we watched a MTC Broadcast from September. It was so fantastic to hear Elder Oaks, A called apostle of Jesus Christ speak! I loved every second.

So concerning my mission specifically. Remember how I said I was the only missionary at the MTC (called the CTM in Brazil) going to my specific mission? Turns out that this week some Brazilians got here that are going to my mission too. I haven't been able to talk to them yet or even find them but I have been told they are real and here! HAHA! Hopefully it is true. Also I have been asking as many people as possible what they know about the area my mission covers. They all say it is hot, a really cool area to be, and the people are crazy and different but super nice. I am getting more excited to get there every day. 

Anyways the rest of the week has been our normal schedule. Lots of learning, teaching, and improving in Portuguese! Talk to you all next week!

Love you all!

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

Q and A of some of the questions I sent Spencer this week:
1. How has the food been at the MTC? What kinds of things are you
eating and do you like it? I sent you a pizza and cookies thru Mr.
Cheney's. I guess you need to go over there to pick it up. They said
they would send a message to you so you know to go over and get it. If
you haven't had a chance to get there make sure you go today, or you
can pick it up next pday if its too late today!

The food here is hit or miss…I got your letters from Mr. Cheneys ( again on Thursday so it worked perfectly. I also sent pics from there (we haven’t received the pics so aren’t sure what happened there yet) and picked up my pizza! Haha! That was a nice surprise so thanks!! :)

2. How many missionaries are currently in the MTC? How many English
speaking learning to speak Portuguese, how many Spanish speaking
learning to speak Portuguese, and how many Portuguese speaking who
aren't learning a new language?

I dont know exactly how many missionaries are here. Aroudn 300 I think, but really no idea about the rest

3. Some of the moms on the facebook Brazil missionary mom page said
that there has been a lot of sickness going around at the MTC there. Have
you been sick? Hoping everyone is getting better now.

I just got a little cold but I’m doing fine.

4. How often will you get to go to the temple? Is it every Pday or
every few weeks?

We get to go every week! It’s awesome!

Friday, August 5, 2016

"...It is still the same spirit.."

Hello everyone!
So this week I am trying out a new method with writing home so I'll have more time when I get to the computers. Hopefully it works! 

When you first arrive at the MTC (CTM here) you get a blue dot on your badge which means you are a week one missionary. This week we got to take those off and now techincally we are in week 3 so me and my district are like "veterans" now!

All the days here just seem to blend together, it is crazy. Every day we wake up at 630 and go eat breakfast. Then we have studying, then a grammar lesson, then we teach our "investigators" then language study. Then lunch, then more teaching, then another lesson, then dinner and finally physical activity. So pretty busy, but I love it!!

Some cool experiences this week. My district is amazing and we had an awesome book of Mormon study about Abinadi. I love his example of faith and perserverance. Sunday is my favorite day here. In our Gospel Doctrine class, President Grohl teaches all of the English speakers in English which is a nice break. This last sunday we talked about The Savior and faith. One thing I took away is that faith is an action word. I thought that was way awesome. On Monday we had our first TRC, which is where we teach one of the instructors for 30 minutes like it would be teaching a lesson to a member in the field. Me and my companions talked about fasting. It was one of the most spiritual lessons we have had!! Also this week we started teaching on exchanges with Brazilians. They are so good with the language when teaching but my companion Elder Dos Santos from Cape Verde, said I did "very good for a guy who has only been here for 2 weeks."

The hymns in Portuguese are way cool but one thing that I love is that even though we are singing the same songs in a different language, it is still the same spirit that comes. My Portugues is improving a lot. I can talk with confidence and do not need notes for lessons anymore. The Gift of Tounges is real, I know that. 

Lastly, one thing that is sad about here is that all my friends I have made and gotten close to all leave at some point. I had to say bye to some friends this week, BUT I love it here. The Church is true!!
Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

P.S. I am the only missionary in this MTC who is going to Salvador South

P.P.S. Still am not able to send pictures. But don't worry, I'm taking a lot so I'll have lots to send when I am finally able to send them! :-)