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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Week 6 Arriving in Mozambique

Elder Rebollo arriving in Maputo, Mozambique
Week 6

Maputo, Mozambique 6/24/13---6/27/13

Dear Family and friends,

Elder Rebollo left the MTC June 24 and arrived in Mozambique on June 26. He and his group had a grueling trip that took them through Dallas, TX, London, Johannesburg and finally to Maputo, Mozambique. With flight times and layovers it was just under a 50-hrs trip.

We talked to him while he was waiting in London. He sounded great and we were very happy to finally hear his voice saying how much he loves his family and that he is grateful for his time at the MTC, his district, his companion and teachers. He told us that it was the perfect time to leave the MTC and get to the field. He recalled some of his experiences and some of the highlights while he was there. He talked about all the things he learned and his desire to get to the mission field. He was traveling in a big group of eight elders and three sisters, all assigned to labor in Mozambique.

We were told that he and his group arrived there safely and that they looked great and are eager to start working.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Great News! Devotional Performance, Travel Plans.

Week 5 - 6/14/2013 MTC Provo

Queridos familia e amigos

I hope you all had a wonderful week. Mine was really good. So I told you Friday (June 7th) that Sister Nally said that I would play at a devotional.  Well, right after I sent that letter I got the official invitation from the MTC to play at the Sunday devotional on June 9th, at 7 pm,( that was just less than 2 days away from that day) —at the same time I picked up the mail containing some more great news, my  travel plans! I’ll tell you about that in a moment—

The Devotional
A devotional at the MTC
That Sunday June 9th, I went a couple hours before the devotional to do a sound check.  Then the devotional was at 7 pm   The devotional was for the whole MTC, so that’s a lot more than 3000 missionaries and all the MTC presidency and branch presidencies.  It was by far the biggest audience I would have to play for.  The devotional started with an opening hymn, then a prayer and after that a member of the MTC presidency introduced the speaker and then I did my musical number.  I was definitely nervous!- but I didn't make any mistakes.  Elder Arnesen, at the piano, did a great job also.

My companion 
MTC companions Elder Thomas and Elder Rebollo
and everyone in my district 
My MTC District
said that the whole thing sounded great and that I looked good in those big screens.

The devotional hall is really big, it holds about 2000 people.  Then it is broadcast to an overflow room in another MTC building that has another 500; then there is an extension of the MTC at Wyview, which has about 200 seats.  The speaker was Brother Richard Heaton of the MTC administration.  He gave a great talk on teaching by the Spirit is the most important element in teaching the Gospel. 

Famous...for a week :) 
After the devotional, I got a lot of compliments from the people around me, including MTC President and Sister Nally, and Bro. Richard Heaton, the speaker they all shook my hand and told me I did pretty good and that they enjoyed the musical number.   Throughout this week I've continued to get compliments from missionaries as I walk around campus: “Are you the elder who played cello on Sunday?” and “Good job on that cello on Sunday” Seriously! I have been complimented by I don’t even know how many people.  And I can tell others look at me as I walk by because they notice me from playing at the devotional.  I am not used to dealing with all that attention, but, It’s pretty cool; it was such a great experience.  I know the Lord has blessed me with the opportunity to share my testimony through music
Travel Plans
At the end of the day we looked tired but really, we were like celebrating all day long!
We are going to Mozambique, here are our Itineraries!!

In my email I said I would be getting my travel plans next week.  Well, I just checked the mail that same Friday and guess what?  THEY ARE HERE!!!!!!!!!!  I can’t believe it! That means I got my visa!  And I have my complete itinerary. Here it is:
We are leaving SLC on Monday, June 24th, 1:45 pm to Dallas, TX- to England- to South Africa and to Mozambique, arriving there on June 26 around 11 am
So, Yeah, I’ll have a 7-hr layover in London, I have heard that for layovers that long they allow you to leave the airport. So I might get to see London a bit!
You have no idea how excited everyone was when I walked in with the itineraries.  It was crazy!
So I will definitely have plenty of time to call home.  I will need a neck pillow; these are going to be LOOONG flights, especially to London and London to South Africa.

With love, 
Elder Rebollo                                                                                       


Monday, June 10, 2013

Week 4 - 6/8/2013,

On Friday 6/7/2013,

“Thank you so much for all your letters and emails and pictures this week! They really make my day! And thanks for the package!  The Ensign with all the conference talks is great. I read them during personal study time, in addition to the scriptures.
To my family, I'm writing you guys a hand written letter, since I don't have time to write you everything in an email. This week has been really great! It's gone by so fast though! I'll be out of here in just a little over two weeks! I'm excited! Sorry, this email will be short, but you'll be getting a nice long letter in the mail. Some exciting things happened this week, so look out for it.

Elder Rebollo

NOTE: Today Saturday (6/8) we were anxiously waiting for that “nice long letter” to arrive.  But it did not! We were very disappointed. That evening, at about 9:00 PM a couple in a car drove up in front of our house, they said that they were looking for the Rebollos and that they got a letter from the MTC that was delivered to them by mistake “…so we thought you must really be expecting this letter from your missionary, and had to find you” - Thank you again!
Dear Family and Friends
            Its Friday 7:30 AM and I’m waiting for my laundry.  I hope everyone had a good week! Every day for me is almost exactly the same, so that’s probably why time goes by so fast.  But something different did happen this week.  I found a friend from High School here, elder Arnesen, who plays piano, I gave him some music so we could audition for a musical number.  The audition was yesterday (6/6). The MTC President’s wife, Sister Nally, is the music coordinator for the MTC, so that’s who we auditioned in front of.  Sister Nally said she loved it and we were a “definite yes” to play a musical number at a devotional sometime in the next two weeks!  Elder Arnessen and I were in Orchestra together so it was nice that I was able to find him.  He is a piano performance major at BYU, so he had absolutely no problem playing the music.  We only run through it twice right before the audition.  So I’m really glad it turned out so well.  My companion was so impressed that he was bragging to everyone in the district how well I did in the audition.  I don’t like to brag about myself, so at least I had him there to do it for me.  He was with me in the audition; afterwards he said he was nervous for me.  Luckily, I wasn't nervous. If we get the assignment to play, I’ll let you know how it goes.
I’ve been seeing a lot of people here I know from both PG High and the U.  The missionaries in my district are great!  This past Sunday (6/2) I was made District Leader.  My district has six elders and five sisters.  As district leader I’m in charge of picking up mail every day and conducting district meetings on Sundays.  I do have to go to a lot of meetings on Sundays, sort of like Ward Council.  I also authorize temporary companion exchanges if requested.  I like it. It’s more responsibility, but it’s not hard.  The biggest thing is picking up and distributing mail every day.  We’re only allowed to read letters at night after class, so reading them is a nice way to end the day.
Let’s see what else… Sometimes during class we watch part of conference talks and if we have extra time on the computers we can watch videos on Mormon.org.  Sometimes I pull up a map of Mozambique and you can see satellite images.  We’ve been doing that, exploring Mozambique.  We’re all really excited to go.  It’s nice that a group of us will be flying together to Mozambique.
We had a really great Tuesday devotional this week from Elder Tad T Callister of the Presidency of the Seventy.  He talked about how the New Testament is the blueprint for Christ’s Church and how every teaching, ordinances and calling laid out by Christ can be found in our church today.  For example when Christ was on the earth, he called Prophets, apostles, seventies, bishops, priests, deacons.  What other church on earth has all these?  Christ and his apostles taught that baptism for the dead is necessary.  What other church today has baptisms for the dead?  His message was really well organized and it was a powerful talk. There is so much evidence that this Church is the true Church of Christ and the earth today. But regardless of the evidence, people come to learn that the Church is true through the witness of the Holy Ghost (Moroni 10:5).  I’m so glad that I’m a member of his church, and that I have the opportunity to share the Gospel with others and invite them to come unto Christ.  Eu sei que por meio da expiação de Jesus Cristo, podemos ser limpos de nossos pecados. Eu sei que o Monson é um profeta de Deus.
Have a fantastic week!
Elder Rebollo

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Week 3 - 5/31/2013 MTC Provo Utah

Oi Familia! 

The time is really flying by!... We have gym time 5 times a week. Since the weather has been nice lately, we've been going outside and playing volleyball on the sand courts by the temple. It's pretty fun. We're continuing to teach our "investigators". It's still hard to do it all in Portuguese, but it gets easier each time. At least when I get out in the field, I'll have a companion who's fluent in Portuguese. One of the teachers here from another zone came to talk to our district during class yesterday. He got back from his mission to Mozambique 4 months ago. He gave us a lot of good information and answered our questions about Mozambique. It's nice that we have a good resource here to answer our questions.

I've been learning how to teach and be led by the Spirit, and to determine the needs of investigators. This saying often gets repeated a lot around here: "We teach people, not lessons." And it's true. The Gospel of Jesus Christ can bless the lives of all people, but they have to recognize how it can help them with their needs. The only way to do that is for us as missionaries to build trust and ask the right questions to people. Also, our personal study in the scriptures is very important in seeking personal revelation that can help us to help our investigators. I started reading the Book of Mormon when I got here two weeks ago, and I'm less than a hundred pages from the end. It's amazing how much can be gained from each verse. There's nothing in the Book of Mormon that isn't in there for a reason. I'm so excited to go to Mozambique! 

Jacob, congratulations on finishing 3rd grade, and doing so well this year, I'm SO proud of you!! I hope you have a ton of fun this summer! Thank you so much mom and dad for continuing to work hard every day for me and Jacob. I love you!!. 

Have a fantastic week!!!--Tchau!

Elder Rebollo