Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Made it to Praia!

Hey Mom and Dad! Just was given the chance to tell you that I made it safely to Praia. It´s so different here and the keyboard I am typing on is really weird... Point is I´m good and you should hear from me on Monday... I think...

-Elder Dorff

Friday, June 21, 2013

Letter dated June 21, 2013--Cousin Elder Luymes and some good news!

Oi minha familia e meus amigos!
Well hasn´t it been an eventful week! Last week in the MTC and it seems like there are way too many things to do and to prepare for. Well let me give you the low down.
First of all, everyone is super excited to ship out next Monday. And although it seems like it should have hit me sooner... I´m on my mission! How long has that been since I've been here? 6 weeks? Well they are over and I am going to CAPE VERDE in 3 Days!!! We went to the Temple today and I was like, "This is my last time going to the temple for 2 years... wait.. this is my last time being in North America for 2 years." It's pretty crazy here.
The MTC is crazy busy right now with the whole big Church Broadcast this weekend. There are many new mission presidents on campus and I am trying to find some General Authorities but not seeing any yet. On Wednesday we got to Host which means that we got to welcome this weeks missionaries. I got to show 2 missionaries around and it was a lot of fun. They seemed nervous which made me wonder, was I that nervous my first day? Thursday was interesting because we left campus, walked all the way past Lavell Edwards Stadium and had In-Field Orientation which was a 9 hour lesson. It was so long but definitely rewarding for 2 reasons. One, we learned helpful mission skills and 2, I FOUND ELDER LUYMES!!! I totally spaced that the missionaries that are going to be leaving next week from the West Campus were going to be there. We found each other at the very beginning and talked for a good long time. It was great to see my favorite "to-be-cheesehead" missionary before we left for our fields. I've also been able to see a whole bunch of people from BYU which has been a lot of fun.
Okay shout out time!!! Maggie thanks for your letter. There is a chance that I will be able to send you a letter before I go but I don't know. It sounds like you got a busy but really fun Summer ahead of you. I hope you have fun and are safe! :) Grandpa, thank you for everything. I loved your letter and all the cartoons. They put a smile on my face. David Bowen. Richmond is AWESOME!!! Congrats! I am so happy for you. You'll have to look up Sister Montgomery and Elder Dayton when you get there. They were from my BYU ward and they are both loving it! Aunt Sandi and Aunt Joanell thank you so much for what you sent me. I've enjoyed having some sweets around the residence every night. Yes I'm sharing and the other missionaries are happy about that. Dad and Mom thanks for sending the package. I got it yesterday and it looks like I am well prepared for the field. I'm trying to decide though if I will be sending a box back full of stuff that I don't need but want. We shall see. Cami, I can't wait to hear about that little boy of yours!
Okay so I feel like I need to share an experience that I had this week. So I went in to the MTC medical office to get a red dot on my head checked out. After a couple of seconds of looking at it, the doctor told me that I needed to have a biopsy. So they got what they needed, sewed my head closed (2 stiches) and sent my sample to the lab. The doctor said that either the result would be that it is a harmless mole or something that must be taken off. I was told that I would know the results of the test next Wednesday, a couple of days after I arrived in Praia. Well to my surprise, I received the lab results today and I am happy to announce that it is harmless and that I am going to be okay. :) Yay! Needless to say, I feel really comforted and am just so happy that it wasn't something bad. Now all I have to do is wait till Wednesday  to get the stiches taken out. All I can really say is thank you Heavenly Father for calling me to do Thy work and allowing me to continue.
Well it's been a great week and I wish I had more too say. I hope that I answered everyone's questions for the week. I love you all and I pray for all of your safety. Talk to you soon!
Tchou, Tchou
Elder Dorff

Friday, June 14, 2013

Letter dated June 14, 2013---district changes, terrific Tuesdays and flights

Olá Familia e Amigos!
Can you believe that I have already been gone a whole month? It's kind of shocking for me to think that is the case. I've only got 1.5ish more weeks and then I should be shipped out to Cape Verde. Exciting news is that we should be receiving our flight info and visas next Tuesday. Eu estou muito animado! (I am really excited!)
So I got some news for all you people. At the 4 week mark everything changes within the district. Juinor Companions become Senior Companions and a new district leader is chosen. Well, 3minutes before sacrament meeting I was called to be the next district leader. That means that I now have morning meeting with the Branch Presidency and have to conduct 2 district meeting during the week. Needless to say it has been a stressful change. But thusfar has been an uplifting experience.
So lets see what else happened this week. Oh yeah. So the first day as district leader, one of the Elders bent back his front tooth to where it broke the bloodvessel to his tooth. I occamanied him to the dentist where they pushed it back into place. Lots of blood.... (Never want to be a dentist...) They then told us that he would have to come back in a week to check on the tooth. Either they will do nothing to it or will have to preform a root canal on it. Yeah. It was a an interesting first day. 2 other people in my district got hurt that same day too. But since then no problems.
So yesterday we had our first experience street contacting. It was a lot of fun and our teacher said that he might get us permission to go onto BYU campus and we could street contact there.
So I have to say that one of the best days of the week is Tuesday. First of all it is service day and after we clean bathrooms we get to raid the free bins and get a whole bunch of awesome stuff like bath robes, towels, baseballs, and everything else you could possiblely imagine. We then have the opportunity to just enjoy a nice couple of hours for personal exercise. On Tuesday nights, we sing at the devotional as part of the choir and then get to hear an amazing talk. This week was by Elder Arnold and his wife. They talked about not having regrets in our missions and in our lives by remembering who we are (children of God) and what we have been called to do. Afterward, we have a District Review where we all talk about what we thought about the devotional and man the Spirit was incredibly strong. I loved it! Oh and did I forget to mention that devotionals are now in the Marriott center so I get to go on campus once a week now :)
No marathon was scheduled for that day, but on June 11 the march of thousands of missionaries from the Provo Missionary Training Center to the Marriott Center resembled a race.
The stream of missionaries curled around the Marriott Center parking lot, the path marked with orange construction cones. A smiling senior couple wearing orange vests brought up the rear, hand-in-hand.
 A historic 2,788 missionaries, 140 coming from an overflow campus at Wyview Park, filed into the Marriott Center with one purpose and spirit.
This unprecedented wave has pushed the number of full-time missionaries serving from 58,000 to roughly 69,000 currently, and the number is expected to reach 85,000 during fall 2013. The MTC held roughly 2,000 missionaries this time last summer, but on July 10, 2013, the number should be 3,611.
So here at the MTC, starting week 3 you do something called TRC. It's were people come in, members and nonmembers, and the missionaries share a spiritual thought with them. It's kind of like home teaching except I am doing it in Portuguese. So tomorrow we have it and we are doing something really crazy. We are going to be skyping members in Brazil! We are going to be talking to real masters of the the language and I am excited yet terrified for it. Also, our teacher Irmão Pinho's dad is a mission president in Brazil. He is going to try to get us to be able to talk to him. It should be interesting. I'll have to tell you how it goes next week.
Can you believe that I only have like 1.5 weeks left? I repeat myself because I hardly believe it.
Well it has a been an incrediablely fun week. I have been bummed out on the fact that Lance got his visa to Spain (cause I really wanted to see him here) but I am glad that he gets to spend that extra time in Spain! Adrienne I have been looking for your brother with real intent and I can't find him anywhere! It makes me frustrated. Is he on the West Campus because if so you'll have to Dear Elder him and tell him to look for me at the devotional on Tuesday. We can meet outside Portal F or something. You can Dear Elder me his response if you get one in time. Caitlin L. it was great to hear from you. It's hard to forget the person who made me realize how much fun West Coast Swing actually was. I can't believe that you are taking both 184 and 185. That is a lot of dancing. Hey Terri! I hope that David got his call by now and I hope that you are doing good and are mighty happy with life. If not, it will get better. That's something you learn quickly here in the MTC. You've got a letter coming your way from me!
Well I hope that everyone is doing good overwherever you are. Cami remember to send me photos of little Beckam (spelling?) or Max when he comes. Mark how is the family doing? Is Arizona still there? Evaly how's everyone doing? Ready for school to end if it hasn't already? What are the summer plans? Hope all your families are doing good! Mom, I hope your doing good. Dad, thanks for sending the files and pictures I wanted. Those were somethings that were said that I should have as serve.
Well I love you all and I pray for your safety and health. Talk to you soon (remember if you write me, I will write you back!)
-Elder Dorff
P.S. So newest problem for missionaries. The people who are waiting for visas are now having to wait for reassignments which means that some missionaries have to stay in the MTC longer. Thank goodness that Cape Verde just loves letting us Americans into their country :) Those going to Peru, Brazil, and Argentina beware and be prepared :/
P.S.S. Hey guess what! The plans came today! Okay so here it is. On Monday June 24th I fly from Salt Lake (9:45 am) to Boston (4:25 pm) then we chill in Boston for a while then leave (11 pm) and arrive in Praia (9 AM the next day)! Super excited!

Elder Dorff and Elder ?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Letter dated June 7, 2013--got mail or a visa?

Oi Familia e Amigos!
How's everyone's lives? I hope you just said good to yourself because I am doing great. I feel like a lot has happened in this past week but at the same time nothing much that is new has happened. Still teaching 2 "investigators" and work on my Portuguese. Eu gosto de comer gelado. Yep that's right. I am now profiecient enough to say that I like ice cream. :) I am also improving in my teaching abilities and talking to others in Portuguese. \
So shout outs to those who wrote me this week. Mom, that picture of all you on the golf cart was great. It looks like your having fun and your making me a little jealous about being able to go to the beach but of course I am going to have plenty of time near a beach in a couple of weeks. Can you believe that? 3 more weeks and I am out to Africa! Lance I hope you get my letter before you leave for the MTC! If not you will have to have your mom forward it to you. Lauren thanks for your letter and welcome back to Provo! You've got a letter coming your way too. Now to everyone else. I want to hear how your doing! Even if you just sent a Dear Elder that says "Hi." I would be so happy! It would be awesome. Either way I can't force you but honestly it really isn't fun to be the one person that doesn't have mail to open at the end of the day :'(
So this past week we got new zone leaders. Our old ones and their whole district left early this past week and we have all been missing them. Because none, but one, got their visas they all got reassigned to different areas. For all of you in the Anaheim mission look out for an Elder Peterson, Elder Ross, and one more Elder I can't remember the name of. They were in my MTC branch and they are awesome people! I told them to look for some of you from Placentia 1st.  Because they all left, the free bins have been full of stuff. From those bins anyone can go and grab whatever they want. I got a pair of shorts (washed them before I wore them), a German Bible, a German Language Manual (i feel like i need to keep it up), a waterbottle, a christmas tree (oh yeah, be jealous), and whole bunch of candy/food. Elder Welch inherited a pair of drinking glasses and tested them out at dinner. It was awesome.
Speaking of meals, President Nally, the MTC President, and his wife had lunch with us the other day. It was really cool to talk to them and get their insights on missions. They had a lot to say about missions and everything it was awesome and they got to know "Fiddy Fouh Bee" (which is what an elder in my branch calls "the gangster version of us being district 54B") and a couple of us got photos. I would have got one but they were late for a meeting so I decided to let them go.
Okay, so one of the highlights of being at the MTC is that we have devotionals every Sunday and Tuesday night. It is so awesome. They are so uplifting and encouraging and I always walk away feeling like I am glad to be here and that I can always improve so that I can be the servant to the Lord's work. I just want to share with you a simple concept that I learned at one of these devotionals. Brother Stephen B. Allen, who helped author the missionary handbook, "Preach My Gospel" (and also had lunch with us. Yep, everyone likes having their lunch with us.) and also is like the head of the missionary board, came and spoke to us. One of the things that he said to us is that "the more struggles you have, the more you know you're on the right path." Don't despair when life gets difficult and it seems like the whole world is caving in. Keep yourself positive, strong, and with a prayer in your heart and you can get through anything life puts in your path. I have a testimony this is true. For all those who are struggling about the idea of serving a mission, do it. It will be one of the best decisions that you will ever make. Those who have their calls, don't get distracted. Some things that distracted missionaries before their missions are still distracting them in the MTC and I am sure it follows throughout the mission. For those who enter the MTC next week (Andrew and Lance are the only 2 I know of but tell me if you are coming too!) can't wait to see you and expect to be photographed. :)
Eu tenho muito amor para voces! (I have much love for you all!)
Tchau Tchau!
-Elder Dorff :)
Elder Welch and I at the Provo Temple

Me, the Provo Temple and the Cape Verde flag