Sunday, August 18, 2013


Well, this week Elder Darke has been busy!  He did manage to send us a couple of emails, though.  We hope you enjoy them!
From his 8/16 emails:
You will never believe this, guess what?!!  Richard G Scott came to my MTC devotional!  It was amazing.  I had such a good time seeing an apostle of the Lord.  It was so inspiring.  I also am making progress with Portuguese.  I know the Lord is blessing my life as I live righteously, because there is no possible way I could learn what I have learned on my own.  Well anyway, this week has been pretty normal, but I am super excited for Sunday because I get to help with the sacrament! I never really realized how much I liked to help with the sacrament until I was no longer able to do so (they do the sacrament prayer in Portuguese so I can't do that yet, and we have like 60 elders that are all there to help with sacrament, so we don't get to do it much, but I am excited to help pass! I'm so excited to help the Elders and Sisters renew their baptismal covenants!  Also, I am slowly getting my district to play soccer with me.  Usually you need your companion to go with you to play soccer, and mine doesn't like to.  So, I had to convince him to come with me, and now I have a few other elders agreeing to come as well.  It is going to be super fun!  I can't wait.  What I am most excited for is I get to go to the temple today!  The Provo temple has been closed for renovation for the last few weeks, but it is open today so my district is going!  I am so excited.  Well I have to go :D  Eu Amor Voces e Eu Nao posso esperar e Ouvir de Voce.  (I Love You guys and I can not wait and I Listen to You.)
P.S. Hopefully I will be able to send entire emails in Portuguese
P.S.S. (but don't expect it for awhile)
P.S.S.S. I like doughnuts :D
P.S.S.S.S. I had three the other morning :D
P.S.S.S.S.S. I also loved the Texas shaped letter I got from the youth :D (Thank YOU!!!)

We also received a little more serious email later that day:
I just got back from the temple :D The MTC is literally down the street from the Provo Temple, so my district and I went down to the temple and did a session :D It was amazing!  It was also the first time any of us had been in that temple so we kind of got lost a little bit, but we figured out where we were going in the end and it all worked out :D.  I also saw that they had  GIANT washing machines!  It was huge!  Like you could fit a normal sized washing machine in there with enough room for a few batches of laundry.  :D  It was cool :D.  That isn't the best thing that happened, but its the only thing that I know how to do justice when I am explaining it :P.  Today I am going to do TRC, it is when volunteers (members or non members) come and we talk to them about the gospel, or about whatever else the spirit directs us to talk about:D.  It is an amazing experience.  I really enjoy it:D.  The only problem is it is still in Portuguese and I can't really have full conversations yet in Portuguese.  So I am having a hard time with that, but I am getting better:D.  Oh, and you will never guess what I did:D, The branch presidency challenged us to read the entire Book of Mormon in the time that we were here.  He gave us a reading assignment of 14 pages a day.  I finished yesterday:D, and then I read the Pearl of Great Price:D.  It was amazing!  One of the weird parts is, in the book of Ether that talked about the people of the brother of Jared.  I didn't remember anything at all about that book when I started it, but I will never forget the things it talks about. :D.  Why you may ask?  Because it taught me a lesson that I will hopefully never forget:D.  Eu Seu que Livro de Mormon Falar O verdade.                               --Elder Darke
Elder Darke should be leaving for Brazil on Sept  2nd.  We pray that his Visa gets finalized and things go smoothly.  Thank you for your prayers and love.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Four square and Doughnuts

We have received several emails from Elder Darke and a couple letters.  He is very much enjoying his experiences and seems to be settling in great.

From his 8/1 letter:
Well I survived until Sunday (it was close at times), but I am starting to get confindant in my portuguese.  It will be awhile before I can write it though.  Will you send me pictures of everyone?  It is comforting to see them as I go to bed.
The days here at the MTC are exciting and full of activities.  The time is flying by.  I will be able to email on Thursday, but until then I will try to send as many letters as possible.  It won't be many, though.  I don't have much free time.
My relationship with our Father is growing everyday.  Most days I call him "Pai Celestial" now, though.  The elders here are great.  Everyone is friendly and my district is quickly becoming some of my best friends.  New elders arrived today.  I had a blast welcoming everyone!  
Tell Missy that  our four square practices are helping!  I am now dominating the court!  We had a district meeting and I was in the choir to sing a song!  Ok, so I don't usually like choir, but my district convinced me to go.  So, I went and I enjoyed it soooo much!  The spirit was so strong! (I failed at the singing, but I enjoyed it so much!) 
I finally got over my discouragement that I have been feeling before I left.  It was hard and at times I felt as though I couldn't go on.  But, I know I can!  I can do it!  Nothing in the world will stop me!  I will work with all my soul for this purpose! 
In emails since he has left, Elder Darke has mentioned how wonderful the food is there.  He also mentioned that the doughnuts are very wonderful and that he has to consciously stop eating them, so there are enough for other Elders to eat!  

We sent Elder Darke his first package.  We filled it with Skittles, gum, pictures and all the stuff he forgot!  Hopefully he enjoyed it.  If you want to send him anything, we would suggest doing it now before he goes to Brazil (the shipping is pricey!). 

Thanks to everyone for the continued support and concern for Elder Darke.  He is growing into a wonderful man thanks in part to all of the wonderful examples that he has around him.
--Melanie (Mom)