Thursday, June 28, 2012

Another fast week in the MTC

Dear fambam,
Another fast week (I measure weeks from Wednesday to Wednesday) has gone by. All those who told me a day is a week and a week is a day were spot on. The actual events that take place every day do not change often, but the things I learn day by day make very dynamic changes in me. We have excellent devotionals twice a week. I learn something to work on or a new insight every single time.
Since Sunday I've thought a lot about 2 Timothy 3. Paul describes the apostasy and lists characteristics of the last days. Many of the things he lists are already around us everwhere we look. Verse 7 is interesting. We live in a time of an increasing wealth of knowledge and capability, but the simple knowledge, or truth, that is most important to seek is drowned out and forgotten about. The knowledge we should seek as our highest priority is in the scriptures. "continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; That the man of God may be perfect, That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furninshed unto all good works." (2 Tim 3: 14-17)
the Anti-Nephi Lehis were applying Paul's counsel when they buried their weapons knowing they would be killed by the Lamanites. They "were brought to believe and to know the truth, they were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin" (Alma 24:19) They didn't doubt the eternatl truth of the word of God--which is "quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb 4:12) In the same way the Anti-Nephi Lehis buried their weapons (focusing on eternal rather than temporal life, so can we bury our earthly prizes and earthly concerns for more eternal concerns.
Being here has given me a much stronger eternal perspective, and I can already see how it will change my life.
Talks I read this week and loved:
The Profile of a Prophet - Hugh B Brown
Flooding the Earth With the Book of Mormon - Ezra Taft Benson
Funny scripture of the week:
1 Timothy 3:4 "having his children in subjection with all gravity" (I picture our family floating up to the ceiling like in Mary Poppins--Dad, make sure you keep them in subjection with all gravity)
Thank you for all the news and the prayers! I wish I could respond to all the emails I get from people, but alas, I cannot. I do read them, and thank you.
Much love,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Elder Young's 4th week in the Sao Paulo Mission Training Center

Hello family!
The past two weeks have gone by very quickly. I'm counting weeks instead of days now. I spend a lot of time in the same room, so I lose track of what day it is sometimes. I'm glad I have time to read. It's great. I plan on finishing the Old Testament and D&C before I leave for Brasilia. It's great to have a continual stream of biblical, book of mormonical narrative to accompany specific doctrinal study. Language study is immersed with doctrinal study because of the way I have been preparing lessons for "investigators." I'm able to understand more and more what Brazilians are saying, but I still have to rely quite a bit on body language. (That's all that really matters anyway, right?) I came across 1 Cor. 14:2 and when I read until the semicolon, I stopped and laughed to myself because that's pretty much how I feel at this point. That's the funny scripture for the week. I can't help but pull out funny verses that really apply to my situation and my quirky humor.
This week I studied the Light of Christ for my personal study. As I read many scriptures concerning the topic, I developed a new interpretation for it.
DC 88:6-13 - Light is in all things. Things that we can see, as we all know, are things that reflect light.
Alma 30:44 - All things denote there is a God. Just look around you.
DC 88:6-7 - If you have an eye single to the glory of God, you can be consumed or filled with the light of Christ. When the light comes into you, you reflect the Light of Christ, and then you can be an instrument for the Lord in denoting that there is a God because you are filled with His light.
This almost literal interpretation of the Light of Christ has convinced me of the great importance of having an eye single to the glory of God. I'm so glad I have the opportunity to only think about one thing, sharing the Light of Christ.
In 2 Ne 31:20 I subsituted the word "light" for "light." We can not only have eternal life, but also eternal light.
This week we sang the EFY Medley in Portuguese! I know all my brothers like this song. They would have loved to hear it. It was a great experience. I remember meeting the composer of that song and hearing the story of how the medley was created. The songs that consitute the medley were in the same time signature and just fit together perfectly. I don't think it's a coincidence how powerful it is.
Thank you for the news and letters from home! I love you all very much.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Elder Young's 3rd week in the Sao Paulo MTC

I forgot to tell you guys how the plane ride went! Or did I? I don't know. Anyway, I sat by a Brazilian and had a good discussion with him. I also got to read all the family history stories. They're so great! I love reading them. They're really good examples of faith, and simple examples I could potentially use with investigators.
We got to watch the dedication of the Manaus temple via video. We got to watch the celebration as well. It was really really cool. Pres. Uch. spoke about the long journeys people made in Manauas to go to the Sau Paulo temple. They would take 3 or 4 day journeys by car, boat, and bus to get to the temple. Now they finally have a temple where they live.
I love the letters you have been sending, especially the word puzzles (thanks braxton!). My missionary friends are all jealous. I can take pictures of emails and then reply in letters now, so if I have time, I'll be sending a letter back next week when I can.
Dad, my instructor has a skype username and offered to skype our families if we want him too. He's extremely nice. His user name is justin.alexander.leo and you can add him and send him a message. Or you can give me your skype name and I'll relay it to him. I don't know what he'll say, but he was eager to do it. He's italian and knows italian portuguese and he's pretty good at english.
Every night for the past week our hall/district has had prayers before bed. All the Brazilians are very warm and inviting. I don't even know most of them but they all give hugs to everyone after the prayers. It's pretty cool. I was told by my Brazilian roommate that I had no accent when I talked to him in Portuguese. I was surprised and excited. It sounds cooler than english, by the way.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

2nd Week in the Sao Paulo Mission Training Center!

This week was wonderful, of course. I'm getting better at the language and I'm getting the hang of things. We say all our prayers and sing all hymns in Portuguese. It's a lot of fun. Anytime I am tired and need encouragement I just read/remember Isaiah 14:3. 2 years is a small time to give for the amount of time we've been given for ourselves. We will all eventually have a time to rest from this busy mortal life, or from a busy mission. Working with 100% effort is the best thing I can do, so I'm going to do it.
Yesterday we all got to listen to Elder Holland (via dvd). I had never heard this talk before. He gave it in the Provo MTC. It's the best talk I've ever heard. Some of the things I wrote down:
He is a great speaker. He said something to the effect of "Youshould never be less than what little children think you are as a missionary" (that really motivated me)
"You're going to medical school, spiritually speaking."
"If the gospel doesn't matter to you, it won't matter to those who you teach."
He also said (paraphrased) in his testimony "I am not living my life for a fairy tale....this is not a cunningly devised fable" (this gospel)
I loved his talk and wish I could hear it again, but I heard what I needed to hear and enjoyed every moment of it.
For those of my brothers who like funny scriptures you can use in mundane or daily conversation: look at 2 Nephi 26:25 and use that the next time you go to a grocery store, haha.
I've started the Book of Mormon again and am reading it very quickly to get an overview. I've decided King Benjamin's talk in Mosiah 2-5 is still my favorite part of the BoM, so far. I love the peace and direction reading the word of God brings. I read it every spare moment I have.
I have such a strong testimony of what I'm doing is right and that the gospel of Jesus Christ is in no way a fairytale. 
I love you all and hope things are going well at home.
Also, send me your skype name, dad. My teacher wants to skype his students' parents for us if possible.
Love, Bryce

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My 1st Companion, Elder Bell

He is from Washington and we attended BYU at the same time but didn't know it until now!  He stayed in the dorm next to mine.  He is also going to Brasilia!
Bryce's email address is

He checks email every Wednesday morning.  He would love to hear from you!!!