Monday, October 28, 2013

Two P-day Catch Up - Re-assignments and Devotionals!

Monday October 21, 2013 Elder Kamilos wrote:

Bom dia!

They actually gave us time today to do our weekly e-mails today, so I sort of have a preparation morning! I'm doing laundry right now to get ready to pack later today.

I'm glad I have e-mail time today because so much has happened this past week and I want to make sure I get it all in! On Friday I was only concerned about working out reassignment info, so I never got to tell you about the devotional we had last Tuesday. We had Elder Dallin H. Oaks come and give the devotional! The first thing I noticed was how the atmosphere of the room LITERALLY changed when he walked in. When someone who is such a strong influence and vessel for the Spirit, it's hard not to feel the difference. He then gave a great devotional on the Atonement, and the way he gave was really quite enlightening. It was SO simple, and it made me think: this is how I'm supposed to teach as a missionary. Simplify the message, testify of the truthfulness, and not let any of my own thoughts bar me from the direction of the Spirit. A few weeks ago I came up with a saying for this: Simplify, Testify, and Sanctify! This thought that I had had weeks before was just reinforced by Elder Oaks' message.

Last night (Sunday), we had our departure devotional, and another Elder from my district (Elder Green) and I had the privilege to sing for the special musical number for the hundreds of missionaries leaving this week! It was so awesome! And I think Sister Davis (Elizabeth) snapped a picture of us, haha. She'll probably send it home, so you can ask Sister Davis (Carmen) at home if you want to see it. We sang How Great is the Miracle by Sally DeFord. I had never heard it until we practiced it, but it's a very reverent and beautiful song (and we knocked it out of the park, haha).

Those were the two big highlights of this last week (besides the reassignment).

I hope everything is still going great back home!! I'm excited to get to Ogden, Utah tomorrow morning and start my in-field missionary service!



District 70-D at departure

Our district with all of the Branch Presidency members and their wives. I had the BEST branch presidency.
Elder Kamilos and Sister Davis! :)

District 70-D at departure

Elder Kamilos and Elder Green (via Sister Elizabeth Davis)

October 18, 2013 Elder Kamilos wrote:

UPDATE: I got my reassignment yesterday!


I've been re-called to serve in Ogden, Utah until my visa comes through!! I leave on Tuesday, October 22 at 5 am.

I'll be on the computer tonight at 6:45, so if you see this e-mail before then, then we can do a 2-way chat at that time if you're available. We can talk about what I'll need and how we plan on taking care of certain things (like a coat and other cold-weather stuff).

Love you all!

Elder Kamilos

October 15, 2013 Elder Kamilos wrote:

Dear Mom and Dad,

Everything is still great at the MTC! I'm learning more and more Português everyday, and I understand more and more of the Gospel and the doctrines as well. My teachers Irmão Dodge e Irmão Laws are both incredible! Irmão Dodge is more calm and quiet, and I can really tell that he cares a lot for us. I learn a lot from him everyday. Irmão Laws on the other hand is very energetic and excited when it comes to teaching. He has a way of explaining things so clearly that he consistently blows my mind away everyday!

I should be getting my reassignment on Thursday, and as far as I know, I'll be able to e-mail you when I find out where I'm going. Also, in my next e-mail I'll leave some details about my travel itinerary so we can set up a quick phone call for when I arrive at the airport that I'll be flying to. I think Elder Young leaves tomorrow morning, I made sure to give him a big hug last night in case I don't see him today, haha.

I saw Elizabeth once on the day that she came in, but I haven't seen her since. I got a picture with her and Brandyn though, so I can send that while I'm doing laundry later (I forgot to bring my camera to this building).

Let's see... a typical day in the MTC. Well first, a little bit about my companion. His name is Elder Beavers, and he's from Gresham (I'm not sure how to spell it...) Oregon. He's 20 years old, and he's very intelligent. He really likes to read, and he's always talking about some of his favorite stories. For the most part, it's not too distracting, we just have to make sure that we stay focused on the Gospel, haha. A typical day involves a LOT of study time. Personal/companionship/language study takes up probably 7 of the 17 hours a day. I have two 3-hour blocks of class every day, and then the rest of the day is spent with meals, exercise, and other stuff. All of my meals are early: Breakfast at 6:30, Lunch at 11, and Dinner at 4. Also, we have gym time 4 days a week, which I always spend playing volleyball! I've gotten pretty good at it; I might keep playing in intramurals or something when I get off my mission.

On top of all the fun I have here, I really do learn a TON about the Gospel every single day. My testimony of the Savior and His atonement grows every minute as I strive to stay worthy and do all I can to be the best missionary I can be. I've read about half of the Book of Mormon while I've been here, and I have to say that my eyes and my heart have been so opened and enlightened since I've been set apart as a missionary. I know this work is true! I can't wait to see where I'll be serving for the first portion of my mission! I know there's somebody in my home country that needs to hear the Gospel from me, and I'll make sure I do everything I can to find them!

I hope everyone at home is well! I'll let you know where I'm going when I get my reassignment! I love you!

Elder Michael Kamilos

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

"Conference was SO good!"

Dear Mom,

It's so hard to believe that I've already been gone for a whole month!! There's so much that goes on here and life is so busy that everyday feels like an eternity, but when I look back on the week it's just a blink of an eye!

Life is going absolutely great! I think this past week has been my best week so far, and I think a big part of that was General Conference! It was SO good!! I wish I brought my notes to the computer so I could share all of the revelations and insights I had, but I remember the biggest ones so I can share a few thoughts on those. I think one of my favorite talks was Edward Dube's. He was very straight forward, and expressed the importance of looking forward with faith and not dwelling on the past. It felt like a lot of talks were centered on missionary work this conference, but maybe I just noticed it more because I'm on a mission, haha. Another talk I really enjoyed was L. Tom Perry's, because he expounded a lot on what my MTC teacher Irmão Laws has been teaching us about, which is to learn and understand the doctrines and principles of the Gospel before applying and teaching them. And of course I'm sure Pres. Uchtdorf's line "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith" has gone viral by now, haha. What a motivating talk! Everyone has something to give, whether it be time, talents, gifts, or service.

Those were just a few of the many things that stood out to me this conference. Maybe I'll have to send another letter to share more of the details. Also, a scripture that really stood out to me in some of my personal reading last week is 2 Nephi 10:23. It's so simple: cheer up! I can choose to be happy! It's really helpful whenever I'm feeling kinda droopy (which 2 Nephi 4:28-35 helps with a lot too. Lehi's last testimony)

As for the snow, we haven't had any hit the ground, but it is definitely getting colder and the mountains are capped with snow, so it's coming! Also, I'm hoping I see (Sister) Elizabeth Davis tomorrow! I'm looking forward to that! Seems like I just came in yesterday for my first day, haha.
I believe Elder Young and the rest of his district get their reassignments this Thursday, and--if I don't get my visa in the next week--I'll be reassigned next Thursday along with the rest of district. If anyone wants to guess where I'm going, send it in the next e-mail and I'll let you know when I get it! It's sort of like getting another call letter! Haha, but hopefully I'm not delayed for too long. I want to get to Brazil ASAP! I don't want to lose any of the Portuguese I've learned, haha.

Anyway, I hope everything continues to go well back home! Give the family my love :) Have a good stake conference too!


Elder Kamilos and Samuel Smith, the first Latter-day missionary!