Tuesday, July 30, 2013

5th P-day Email to Family and Friends

Family and Friends
P-Day Email July 30, 2013

Miningi Nice!
How is everyone in the beautiful Metrocity (say with a Mega-Mind accent!) of Mesa? I truly miss it back there! Sunday I will be flying to Africa! Crazy yeah!

We must wake up at 3:30 or 4am Sunday morning to go to the travel office by 4:30am. Our flight leaves SLC at 8:30! We jog down to Atlanta Georgia then to Johannesburg, South Africa! From what I gather, we will get the (kinda) pleasure of a 12 hour bus ride to Mozambique! I’m not gon’na lie it is gon’na pretty awesome!

So in my MTC (CTM - pronounced: Ce-Te-Eme) Branch (Branch 70!) we have over 100 missionaries! How cool is that!

I really like a line from a hymn we sang this week. I don’t remember the name or the number but a line that hit me good was "Service ever was their watch-cry" How cool is that? Fight off bad guys and stuff with service!

So in Mozambique guess how they say breakfast? They say it like this "Mata Bicho" (mata bishoo) it literally translates to “Kill the Beast". It is referring to killing the beast in yourself or when you stomach grumbles haha! I love funny things like that!

Another cool (more spiritual) translation that I like is the translation for investigator. It is “Pesquizador” which literally translates to “Researcher”.

Now that makes sense but I saw something cool in that. It is not searcher or finder or anything, but it is RE-searcher. Every single person that is on this earth today knows of truth, or knew it. Now we are re-teaching, and they are re-searching. I know I am a dork but hey I though it was cool!

This week I had my one month day! It was really weird to think I have been out for one entire full month.

In our district meeting on Sunday we had a discussion on “Enduring to the End”. Some cool stories and thoughts were shared. One thing that we did was replace the word “Endure”. Here are some ideas from my district; Progress to the end, smile to the end, improve to the end!

Some ingenious missionaries developed this awesome game. We call it missionario pingo-pongo (missionary ping pong). It is a lot of fun. You get you tag and hold it in one hand with your pointer and ring finger on the front and your middle finger on back. You flick the back with your middle finger to make it sound like a ping pong hit, and you play another missionary. It is really quite entertaining in my opinion!

There is a really cool story about the man that translated the pearl of great price into an African dialect. At the time he was the only man who could speak English, reformed Egyptian, and the correct dialect. He was not LDS but agreed to it. I cannot type the whole story but you should look it up! it is quite awesome!

This week has been crazy and has flown by like a ninja! Haha oh goodness this mission is going to go by too fast.

I love you all!
Elder Kanaga

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Knowledge Wisdom Learning Light Truth

Parts of a letter home
Written on P-day July 23, 2013

Familia Kanaga,

Wow! Uncle, what an odd concept. I’m glad both mother and baby are good and healthy! Devy is such a good example!

I did watch the three part light message (Watch Elder Bednar's message on light: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). I just love it. I think “ray” is such a good analogy because there is only one way, a sole path to track the ray back to the light source! Christ lets our eyes capture that ray. Now we need to follow it to the source.

So Irmão Belchior lived in Gilbert Arizona for a while before his mission. He has only has been back four weeks from his mission. He is a spiritual giant and a strength to me! He says “Stay true to what you are saying”, “Believe in what you teach”, “Give it your all”, “It is not you anymore, it is Christ” and “If God sent you to Mozambique to learn Portuguese, you will learn Portuguese”. He speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Sena (an African dialect). He rocks!

Earlier this week I went on a split with Elder Christianson to the dentist. There were video games, and an Ipad with a Facebook log-on up and ready. Awesomely enough, I just laughed. I had 0% desire to do either!

One sad thing, hymns do not translate directly from English to Portuguese, for example; “Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel”  or “Nossa Lei é Trabalhar” translate to: Our law is to work. A funny thing is that Irmão Walker’s mission President had him replace “Trabalhar” with “Batizer” so: “Our law is to baptize”! How funny. We sang it in class like that and it was hilarious.

One cool thing, Alma (the word) means “Soul” in Portuguese. Think on that. I thought it was no coincidence.

Eu sei que esta igreja é a Igreja verdadeira. 
(I know that this church is the true church.)

É a igreja de Jesus Christo e Deus.
(Is the church of Jesus Christ and God.)

Sei que Deus é nosso amando Pai Celestial e Ele quere nos ser feliz.
(I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father and He wants us to be happy.)

Eu sei que meu missão é uma chama de Deus e que meu missão é um benção muito bom em minha vida.
(I know that my mission is a calling from God and that my mission is a great blessing in my life.)

 Eu amo võces, minha Familia.
(I love you, my Family.)

 Se não por meu pais, Eu não sou onde sou agora.
(If not for my parents, I would not be where I am.)

Eu sei que se seguo os Mandamentos de meu missão, Eu estou protecão e meu familia são benção.
(I know that if I follow the Commandments of my mission, I will be protected and my family will be blest.)

 I love you guys so much!

He sent along some little notes most likely from his scripture study:


Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. - D&C 130:18-19

Knowledge goes with us, whatever we have learned here is what we will know there; never ever stop learning. Ever. Strive to learn at least one new thing every day. 

O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.
But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God - 2 Nephi 9:28-29
Never ever let our “worldly” knowledge get in the way of our Faith. Every single true fact is of God. Ever fact TESTIFIES OF CHRIST AND OF GOD.

Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; - D&C 88:119 

“Organize yourselves… house of learning”. When we are organized we allow the spirit to come. When we are organized not only is it easier to learn the things of the “world” but also to learn the things of God.

Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be. – D&C 93:29

“Intelligence… light of truth, was not…made neither… can be”. Facts are facts are facts. One cannot make truth nor destroy it. It just is. However, you can discover it.
The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.
Light and truth forsake that evil one. - D&C 93:36-37

 “The glory of God is intelligence…or…light and truth” God loves knowledge and light and truth. He wants us to have it. Not only is it good but it drives away bad. If there is 1 lumen of light then there is less darkness. Darkness has no power when light is present.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. – Genesis 1:3

“Let there be light”. Though God was speaking of bringing physical brightness; He also wanted us to have light and knowledge and truth in our lives. I know that He says to us always “Let there be light [in your lives and in your hearts].”

O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord - Isaiah 2:5

“let us walk in the light [rays(straight and narrow)] of the Lord” - - - Interesting thought I just had from a short entry in the Topical guide. 

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. - Isaiah 9:2

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light”. Your eyes dilate to adjust to more or less light. Your pupils get bigger or smaller to allow or restrict the entrance of light. This applies in two separate almost opposite ways.

#1 When we have dwelt in darkness and our eyes have adapted to not having light, when a light is turned on, even if it is not an overly bright one, it hurts your eyes. So when you have been living a worldy life and you are told of truth, sometimes it can be very bright and harsh to your spiritual eyes. Once you have been in it (the light) for a time you will adjust and be comfortable in the light. 

#2 (Opposite way) Our pupils enlarge and more light is allowed in. The more light we give the eyes of our spirit, the more we want to let in. However, when light is taken away we don’t seek more and sometimes restrict it (light, knowledge).

Let us dilate our spiritual eyes to always receive additional light from the Lord.



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

4th P-Day Email to Family and Friends

P-Day Email July 23, 2013

Family and Friends,

Wow this week has been packed! It really flew by so fast though! I said goodbye to Hermana Biggs as she is now in the field! This next week and a half will fly by, I know it!

 Cool happenings from this week:

We got re-assignments!! No not really I am just kidding. Sorry for the heart attack mom. That is what our district leader told us when he got the mail yesterday (7-22-2013).

 Actually the papers we got (all the Mozambique elders) are International Drivers License Applications! Cool huh? We filled them out, then my companion and I went to get our required photos in the travel office. We will give our applications to President Kretly when we get to the field.

Also while in the mode of finding out cool things. My companion and I asked the travel office people about our visas. I am having a tiny bit of visa anxiety due to all the missionaries that were called to Brazil but cannot get a visa. Almost every Brazil bound missionary here was supposed to report to the Brazil MTC. They told us a couple things, if we do not hear from them about visas it is a good thing. They said that there are too many missionaries to contact when each visa come in, considering the 3,500 missionaries here. So, they only tell the ones who don’t get visas (sad day for them).

We will receive our travel plans 10 days before our scheduled departure date. I will be getting my travel information this Thursday! How crazy is that? I only have 12 oh so short days left here on this little island of the MTC.

It is quite hilarious to talk to English speaking missionaries who are here for a total of 12 days. They say it feels like forever. Multiply forever by three. Really though, I do love it here.

I mentioned how we are so blessed to have a native from Mozambique as a Teacher. We are even more blessed than that, he is only 4 weeks off his mission! He has the most astounding spirit with him, you can truly feel his absolutely sincere love for you when he walks into the room. He is definitely a pipeline for Gods love to us.

He knows how to motivate us. It is hilarious! He says "Vamos jogar um joga. Chamamos esta joga FSL” (Let's play a game, we call this game FSL) or “Fala sua lingua!" (Speak your language). He has made speaking our mission language a game. Sometimes we forget and start speaking in English. Whenever this happens he very playfully says "Oh! Qual joga somos jogando?" (What game are we playing?) It is great!!!

Whenever one, or all of us, gets discouraged on the language he gets real quite, walks to the front of the room and looks at us very lovingly. He then says "Do you know God knows you? Do you know that God knew and knows where you are serving your mission?" He waits then continues "Well Elders and Sisters never forget it! Know that he has called you here and he knows you will speak Portuguese. Believe in him, if God has sent you to learn Portuguese, you will learn Portuguese! I promise you." It is such a good way to strengthen us. We all know our call is directly from God, and we cannot deny that knowledge. If God wants me to know how to speak Portuguese, and I try my very hardest, He will make up the difference and strengthen my so prevalent weaknesses.

A great bit of advice from my Loving Grandpa is that the spirit will give us the words we need when we need them. They may not be eloquent or perfect, but they WILL BE sufficient. They will be a means for the spirit to bear witness to the investigator and it will be EXACTLY what they need to hear.

 In some other news for our devotional last week, we heard from brother Hinckley (Emeritus General Authority, and son of our beloved prior prophet Gordon B. Hinckley). It was great!!

I cannot wait to find out who we will hear from this week! We are singing a beautiful assortment or arrangement or whatever (I have no musical knowledge) of “Praise to the Man”, which just happens to be one of my favorite hymns! It sounds good, which is a blessing from on high in and of itself as we practiced only once before broadcasting. I love our choir director Brother Agate. He shares stories and he is so inspiring and fun!

This week I got to make a trip to the dentist while on some required splits with Elder Christianson. It was quite fun to be "Outside" but weird to hear normal music and stuff!

 Some fun bit of advice from Irmão Belchior, “We do not worry too much about the Hippo's, but stay away from the rivers. You are not supposed to go in water anyways, but do not even go by the rivers. The crocodiles are ferocious. One about this big (holding up his arms to about 4 or 5 feet) and will take down a whole cow, no problem."  So lots of fun to look forward to!

 This week has been rather uneventful but good. It is weird how time works here. Days feel like weeks but weeks feel like minutes. At the same time I feel like I have been here for years I am so used to it but I have only been here 4 weeks!

 Well, if you have any questions or anything feel free to write!

 I love all you guys!
-Elder Kanaga


Friday, July 19, 2013

Amo vos! Você são muito boa força a mim.

Parts of a letter home
Written on P-day July 16, 2013

Amo vos! Você são muito boa força a mim.

If I entered what he wrote correctly into freetranslation.com, He wrote: I love you! You are very good strength to me. 

Thank you for all that you guys constantly do. I love every single letter I get. By the way, I found out Saturday is not a good day for DearElder. (We had, had some previous discussion on P-day email days about if DearElder delivered letters and/or packages on Saturdays).

I will try not to be hard on myself with the language. It can be very frustrating at times though. I loved your quote on enduring. Your words are wonderful.

I am so pround of Kaylynn and her perserverance! (He is responding to the news that his sister-n-law just graduated from ASU. YEA! Kaylynn!

I am so happy to hear all of the news on Devy. I hope she is doing well! Eisley is going to be a stubborn girl. (Elder Kanaga didn't know it but his niece, Eisley, was born on the very night he wrote this letter). Dev is crazy but such a trooper for not having pain meds. (The doctors had to turn the baby the week before). She is already sacrificing so much for her baby and she will be an exemplary mother. Now that the baby has been turned is Dev in much less pain?

I remember the trust issues with opening Dallin's letters. That is hilarious. (He is responding to how his Dad wouldn't leave me alone in the car with his letter for fear I would open it and read it without him. When his brother was on his mission, there would be some weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth if anyone read Dallin's letters without all family member's present).

He writes about the Mesa, Arizona Temple being closed for maintenance:
I remember temple rushes. I would ask you to go often when it reopens. I miss it so much! I wish I could go again, but it will be something to look forward to when I get home.

I love the picture of the friends you sent. I miss Avel and all my friends!

Cookie Night picture I sent him from his Farewell Party the
Saturday night before he was set-apart and left to the MTC.
Sunday's in the MTC are crazy. We have study time then Priesthood. Next is study time then Sacrament Meeting. Then we have study time then choir practice. After that we go to a devotional and then movies then home. It is so funny, in our district, we say "I can't wait to go home." We are of course referring to our home of three weeks or room 6M-425. MTC  Sacrament meetings are the quietest I have ever been in.

I have been so blessed! I love my new teacher. I had my prayers answered for sure.

So I assume you have read and are worried about my head. I am okay. I have also been sick but I am getting better. My leave date is now August 4th. I hope you aren't worried, I am 100% good.

I told you in my last letter about my Mormon Messages moment. Another Mormon Message I watched was Elder Bednars 2012 one on light. It was awesome. (Watch Elder Bednar's message on light: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3,).

He continues:
My one word for light would be "RAY" because rays are straight and narrow.

I have found out I am a master stitcher. My pants had a small tear and I stitched it! It looks awesome!

I love that the Book of Mormon says "Another" testament. It shows that we still hold the Bible in the highest regards! My companion said, "It took the Bible to get the Book of Mormon." If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him (James 1:5).

A cool thing from my scripture study; the path of passing down the plates comparing Lehi to Joseph Smith.

This is a scan of the table he sent showing the similarities
between the ancient prophet Lehi and prophet Joseph Smith.

Tell me if you can read my cursive or not. I might write my letters in cursive if it isn't too bad. An extra fun fact about the district that just departed. They passed on a ceremonial 2lb candy cane! It has been signed and passed down week after week. So we will sign it and pass it down when we leave.

You know how you said I would need to not be an "early freak"? Well you are correct, my earliness has come back to bite me in the behind!

I love you guys and miss you so much! I know that I am growing and being blessed here. You raised me so well and taught me to work! For that I am infinitely grateful!

Tchauzinho! (A little goodbye. For two years is but a short time).

We had so many WONDERFUL things happen this week and this letter from our missionary was one of them for sure!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

3rd P-day Email to Family and Friends

Whoa! This email sounds like our boy had some ups and downs. Enjoy!

P-Day Email July 16, 2013

Minha familia e meu amigos,

Tudo Bem!!!!!!!

I hope all is well in Mesa!

I can not believe it. My MTC stay is more than half over! I have less than 21 days left! If all works expeditiously in the Realm of VISA's then I will be departing to fly to Africa on August fourth!! I am so excited!

This week has been quite the week.

We found out that our new instructor is Irmao Belchoir (French pronunciation like Bell-shore kinda-ish....) Anyways he is just about the coolest guy ever! And do you know what the best part is? He is Native from Mozambique!!!! What a tremendous blessing! Our Loving Heavenly Father has most definatly answered my prayers! It is a extremely rare occasion to get a native as your instructor! He is pretty much the nicest guy in the world too! He officially starts as our instructor on Thursday!

I was watching a Mormon Message this week (we get to do that here!). I watched a 2011 one titled "A Book Of Mormon Story". A quote that was in it is; "I want this book to fill the world." I immediately thought "I want the world to feel this book." I don't know, I thought it was cool, take what you want from it.

On Friday, we had TRC or Training Resource Center. Local members volunteer their time and come to the MTC. We talk (in Portuguese of course!) with them, as themselves and it's like a member home visit type of a thing. It is actually really super cool. One guy we talked to is from Mesa Arizona! He graduated from Mountain View 2008. Small World Right!!!!

Another small world moment: On Sunday, during movie night (We watched the Testaments), I was talking to a sister. She asked where I was from I of course told her the promised land - Mesa. She asked if I knew a missionary from Mesa serving in her home ward. I didn't recognize the name at first (dumb me). Then she said his first name, Connor. Connor Walz!!! How cool is that. He was in priest quorum with me! I love that small world thing!

So the MTC is like a island or an isolated village. It is like 100% self contained and you forget your in Utah because you are in the MTC.

I had a "FUN" experience on Friday, I visited the Med Shack at the field! So basically, in the first two minutes of playing soccer I got hurt. I was on Defense (as if I can say that. I am horrible at soccer) and we were right by the goal. The ball was equidistant between an enemy and I. We both ran for it. I got to it one second before he did. We both kicked it, me slightly first. I am sure Mr. Canaday could work a sweetly fun physics problem out of this. The ball ended up at a seventy degree angle from the ground to me. It contacted with my face, namely my glasses. The glasses flew twelve feet in the air and landed, unharmed might I add.
With my face hurting I picked my glasses up and was ready to play. Then someone said "Dude you're bleeding, you should get it looked at." I wiped my forehead and sure enough plenty of blood. I am not sure how because it was my brown smooth glasses. Anyway there was some skin left over in the glasses rim so it happened because of the glasses. The Med Shack ended up steri-stripping it (just like Dad has always done) and its all good. They took a picture, I tried to get them to text it to Mom but they wouldn't. I will have a nice Harry Potter-ish scar now. Haha! It extends from about half inch from my eye to about an inch from my hair line.

I am so luck it didn't get my eye. Plus I cannot imagine the damage done if it had been my other pair of glasses.
Mama the editor note: His other glasses have a titanium steel frame. I am so glad he was not wearing those that day. 
I love his eyes. The color of his eyes seem to change depending on what he is wearing
When he was little and he would ask what color his eyes were we would say tadpole. 

I am being blessed and helped. In sacrament meeting I could understand the Portuguese talks. And it wasn't like I had to "mind translate them", the words just made sense! I love the Lord!!!

If you have any questions write me or email my mom. I will answer if there is anything you want to hear about I love to tell.

I love all you!
Elder Kanaga



Friday, July 12, 2013

The Greatest Generation of Missionaries

Parts of letter home written on P-day July 9, 2013

Dear Family,

Wow do I have a lot to write about today. First of all, I apologize for my handwriting. I hope that you can decipher these hieroglyphs. Second, Mom, feel free to include any of my letters in the blog update. I have all day to write but only one short hour to email.

I will start with last Tuesday night's devotional. We heard from Brother Richardson. He is serving in the General Sunday School Presidency. His talk was fantastic.

He started of by  talking about how we have been told that we (missionaries) are Isaiah's "Swift Messengers". He then shared a quote from Elder Ballard's October 2002 conference address. Elder Ballard called for the Greatest Generation of Missionaries!

I remember and love that talk by Elder Ballard. The video and text of that talk can be found Here. The specific quote from Elder Ballard that Elder Kanaga is referring to is:

"What we need now is the greatest generation of missionaries in the history of the Church. We need worthy, qualified, spiritually energized missionaries who, like Helaman’s 2,000 stripling warriors, are “exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity” and who are “true at all times in whatsoever thing they [are] entrusted” (Alma 53:20)."

He continues:
Do you know what hit sitting rather uncomfortably in the Marriott Center? That call was made only a couple of weeks after I had been baptized. Wow! I was being prepared to be part of that "Greatest Generation"! I was being prepared then for this mission now.

Brother Richardson shared a story of a young girl asking her grandmother if that (pointing at a picture of him, at age 19 in the MTC lobby) was a "Real Missionary". She said it in such awe as if she were meeting a celebrity. He said it made him want to be a "Real Missionary".

I love this next quote from him, he said, "I cannot say that my mission was the best two years of my life, because I have had so many great experiences since. However, I can and do say it was the best two years for my life." He said the very best mission in the world is "Your Mission".

He showed and explained a stone from the MTC that David O. McKay found on his mission.
I will draw and explain it the best I can (see if Grandpa Young can get this).

It is a magic number square. No matter which line you choose the sum is eighteen. Brother Richardson talked about how sometimes when we are a 5 but want to be an 8, it can be hard. However, the Lord has called us as a 5 so we must be the best 5 there ever was!

If we do not do all of "our part" the "whole" won't work. Brother Richardson when to Denmark,  he got there fairly confident out of the MTC. He read from his Journal "The dogs speak better Danish than I do." We all got a good laugh. 

A scan of Elder Kanaga's drawing from the letter.
Something else cool about this, I thought of the magic number square adding up to eighteen, eighteen is the magic mission number!

On the left is  a picture of the original stone David O. McKay saw. On the right is a
replica stone at the MTC. (A picture a different missionary took that I found on the web.

Although the temple is closed, every Sunday we get "temple walks". Last Sunday was hot but this Sunday was cool and breezy.

Church is cool but it is weird with all the missionaries. Definitely the quietest Sacrament Meeting ever. Plus sacrament meeting is all in Portuguese.

So on Monday or Wednesday I met someone cool! You'll never guess who! I met the Osborns niece! Their niece, Sister Berkdull is going to Brazil.

On the 4th of July, we got so spoiled! We watched 17 Miracles and then watched the Stadium of Fire fireworks from the MTC. Plus the next day I found the world's coolest 4th of July Scripture. Look it up:  1 Nephi 13:15-19.

Thank you so much for the care package. I love the snacks and my district loved the 100% intact cookies. (I was worried the cookies would be crumbs before he received them).

We had a really cool opportunity to meet some people who have had to learn English. They spoke near flawlessly. It gives me hope for Portuguese.

One more quick thing I thought of from Tuesday nights devotional. We were all walking back to the MTC campus from the Marriot Center and I looked back and then forward. There was an endless mess of 1,000's of 18-20 year old young people who are devoting 1.5-2 years to this gospel. Now tell me how can it not be true when you have 1,000's of  young people giving their time and money to be here?

Remember, "There is NO minor thing in this gospel".

Yesterday Irmão Workman came in to talk to us. He is nine months back from his mission in Mozambique. He gave me such hope for the language and for my mission in the choice land of Mozambique! Moçambique which is now pronounced Mos-am-bee-key. He told us they same awesome and very nice and cool with one Phrase. Miningi Naisse, Miningi is from the African dialect for very. Nasisse is literally taken from  the English word nice).

So that was most of his letter home to Mom and Dad. We loved hearing from him and reading about how he is doing and what he is learning.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

2nd Email to Family and Friends

P-Day Email July 9, 2013

"Hey Family and friends!

So this has been quite a crazy long, eventful, and crazy week!

 MTC food still rocks if you are wondering, although it tends to gross me out when one elder in my district mixes just about everything on his plate! The Tuesday night devotional was a great address! I loved it so much! It gave me the hope that I am not the only one in the entire MTC having some language difficulties.
He asks me to fill in details from his letter. The difficulties he is talking about can be found in the third and fourth paragraphs of his letter home dated July 2, 2013.

It makes me laugh so much how days feel like weeks but weeks feel like minutes. I have almost been here two weeks but I feel like I have been here forever but then I feel that I just got here. It is also so funny how a single day can be the best day or worst and the next is the opposite.
I am still learning that the MTC is hard and we just have to take it as we can. Do not get to stressed, when you feel like the language is impossible, or that it is so hard, just know that every other person in the entire MTC has had, is having, or will have, the same problem. it is absolutely normal and is just the process and tools with which Heavenly Father is shaping us into the best-est missionaries ever!

So a tiny bit of slightly sad news for me. I have learned that Elder Brandon Clark got his Visa (Hoorah for him!) and is at the Spain MTC so I will not be seeing him here... But I am so glad for him. Visa's are a rare sight, at least in my zone. Especially since my zone is mostly all missionaries that will be serving in Brazil. I guess that because of difficulties of Brazilians getting visas here, they are returning the favor.
Many missionaries have gotten re-assignments to like Colorado, Ohio, and some other places. Just know that re-assignments go through the same exact revelation that the original call does, it is part of Gods plan for you to serve the people there and there is someone you are there to change their life for eternity.

So one of our teachers Irmao (Brother) Rosemore, is being reassigned to a different class so sadly we lose him. However, we have just learned of who our new teacher is. His name is Irmao Christianson, and guess what the best part is, He served in Mozambique!!!!!!!!!!

We had a visit from Irmao Workman, another teacher who served in Mozambique. He told us more about the Mozambican accent and stuff. It got me really extra super excited for going there! Only four-ish weeks! crazy right!
The word Otimo in Portuguese  means awesome or something. They don't use that in Mozambique. He told us what to say. He said that they say "Miningi Naisse"! How cool right? It's pronounced (Mih-neen-gee Nice) it means literally very nice. However, they use it for cool, awesome, and all those good things. Miningi is some African dialect word for "very", and Naisse is literally taken from English and means nice.

I wish I knew what else to say, I have so little time on email and my mind runs eight million ways. Hopefully Mama will fill in gaps using the letter I send home since I can say more in it.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Obedience with Exactness Brings Miracles

I know this first part isn’t very public but I can’t leave it out because I loved reading it so much!
Letter home July 2, 2013
“Dear Mom and Dad,

I love you guys so much! Thank you so much for the letters. I look forward to and love reading your words of encouragement!

The MTC experience is truly an amazing one. There is really no way to describe it perfectly. In some ways it is like school and EFY and church all bundled up. We are constantly learning and amazingly progressing.

The language of Portuguese is kinda funny. It seems almost slurred. But it is very pretty and ‘flowery’. It is coming so much faster than I would have thought and yet I still find myself getting upset and frustrated when I do not know things. Then I remember to tell myself ‘Elder, you have been here for less than 1 week, get a grip. Be thankful for the astounding amount you have already learned.’ Plus there is a section in Preach my Gospel about Christ like attributes. It was very helpful, especially the part about ‘patience’. Thee rest of the section really helped too. I also read the ‘learning your language’ section. It also helped me to realized how I have been blessed, and that with very hard work, I will continue to be blessed.

As I told Grandpa in his email, I have found that the Spanish I have already learned is both a great help and hindrance. Many words, phrases, and rules from Spanish directly correlate to Portuguese. However, supporting the ‘opposition in all things’ law, Spanish has been a crutch and a handicap to my learning. I will find myself saying Spanish words or pronouncing in the Spanish fashion, i.e. the word for me in Spanish is pronounced like ‘may’, but in Portuguese it is pronounced like ‘muh’ (kinda). Of cource I am grateful for the help that it has been.”

The last few days I have struggled with worrying about how he is doing with the language. Not that I can do anything but pray for him but that part of his training has been on my mind a lot.

He continues:

“I found an Elder going to the Argentina, Resistencia Mission. His name is Elder Naumann. He is very nice, but I had like 5 minutes to talk to him. I also ran into Hermana Biggs! I am still looking for Elder Clark though.

So, Sunday has probably been the highlight of my MTC so far. The Sunday night devotional was given by Brother (soon to be president) Swenson. He has been called to serve as Brazil’s MTC President! I can’t wait for Bryson to meet him! He is a funny and a very interesting speaker. You can really feel his love too! Immediately following his address, we had Sunday Night Videos. My district was challenged to go to ‘Character of Christ.’ It is an MTC devotional that was given by Elder Bednar. I love his message. I have no idea if you are able to see it, but is so please try!”

“Elder Bednar spoke on ‘turn outward… This is not your mission, it is the Lords… Forget what you want”

“I don’t know if Dallin had this when he was here, but they have “progressive investigators’ which are people that come in and we teach them as if we were in the field! Yes, that does mean in our mission language. Our first lesson with Manuel was on Friday. I was blown away by how much I spoke, I am sure some of it was wrong, but he understood. It has been a really cool experience to be able to teach him.

A saying that is used over and over here at the C.T.M. (Portuguese) that I love is ‘Obedience brings blessings, Obedience with exactness brings miracles.’ It is a great standard and has really shaped some of the choices I have made.’”

This next part might be my favorite part of the letter. A little background; He was ordained an Elder January 1st of this year and so attended Elder's Quorum on Sunday. Because he was still in high school he continued attending Wednesday night mutual. Mid February, he received his mission call. He graduated in late May but with only a month left until he reported, he still went to Wednesday night mutual. He really has felt the love and support of the current Priest age boys in our ward.

“Please tell the Priest Quorum, and all the Young Men, that they are amazing! Our ward rocks!!! They are already so prepared but tell them to continue that. Also tell them this; ‘Obedience brings blessings, Obedience with exactness brings miracles.D&C 125:2   

I read it kinda by accident and it really hit me good. If we follow what the Lord has told us and consecrate our time and the things we do, to Him, he will bless us.
I just love this verse.

Preach my Gospel is soooo much deeper than I ever could imagine. I know (by experience) I am beating a very dead horse, but READ IT!

But please do not just read it, earnestly study it, ponder it, and love it. Everything in it will boost you on your mission and four your entire life! Also the Mission Hand Book of Standards -  Whible (White Bible).

I know some of the standards and rules are not quite applicable to you now, but please read it! We carry it with us every day. And yes, do not be surprised or discouraged at the MTC [if] there are people who think rules do not apply to them or that some rules do not matter. Just remember D&C 125:2 and ‘…Obedience with exactness brings Miracles!” I love you guys and miss you all!”

Oh how sweet that was for a Mama to read. I know that as he keeps this attitude and desires to spread the attitude to others, he will be blessed with many experiences that will help him, his companions, his investigators and his family and friends here at home to grow!

He continues, but I will give you just a brief background the next part; On his 10th birthday we, along with his sister gave him a two-ish year old female pound dog. She ended up being a miniature pinscher/chihuahua mix. Her name is Harley and she is getting old and slow. He has been worried about her and a few months ago stated that he wants her to “pass” while he was on his mission so he wouldn’t have to be here to witness the end.

“Tell Harley I love and miss her. She is such a sweet doggie. I lied, I hope she lives so I can see her again! Can you send me our Utah pics and a couple of her?”

I hope not having me around isn’t too hard! Dad promise me you will not be dumb! I say this because I love you and do not want you hurt. If you need help do not, DO NOT try to do it yourself! Call Dallin or Randy or (he names the young men in our ward's priest quorum and some young men in our neighborhood), ANYONE! But especially your son and son-in-law. They would be glad and willing to help you! Just as you are happy always to help Papa, even though it takes time. Just know I do miss helping you.

I love you guys and miss you very much
Love, Elder Kanaga.”

We are already feeling the blessings of his service and we are excited to see his progress in the MTC.


First Email to Family and Friends

It is P-Day for Elder Kanaga today! He included this letter to family and friends in his email and asked me to post it on the blog. (It's public so the entire letter is posted and I didn't bother with quotes).

He also asked me to collect snail mail addresses because that will be his main form of communication with his friends and most of the family. His phone will still be functioning for a few days so you can text your mailing address to his phone or email it to our family email or the email address he was using prior to the mission.

P-Day Email July 2, 2013

Family and Friends,

The MTC is such an extraordinary place! Every second is filled with the Spirit and hard work. There is hardly ever a moment of unscheduled time! Our language studies are amazing and blessed from on high! I can honestly say that I believe I have learned more in 5 days of studying the language and SYL (speak your language) or FSL (Falar sua lingua) in Portuguese than I did in 2 years of high school Spanish!

Do not listen to what anyone says. MTC food rocks! I am totally going to miss these awesome meals and epic amounts of Chocolate milk, Orange Strawberry Mango Juice, and pretty much the best food ever! Randy, the Orange juice in awesome!

Every day is awesome! We have like 3 hours of language study, a bunch of "class" time and "additional study time". So surprisingly enough almost all of our time is left up to us to utilize! It really follows Bishop Biggs message, "You get out of it only what you put into it!" it is a blast and for anyone that is coming to the MTC just work hard and make it to your "First Sunday" everyone says it gets better after that, I think it just gets more normal and stuff but Sundays are amazing!

We got to listen to Brother Swenson! Bryson, you are going to love him! He has been called as the Brazil MTC president! He is so funny and kind! I cannot wait for you to meet him! He gave us advice and asked if he could speak to us as our "Grandpa"! He is loving and funny!

Also for "Movie Night" my district went into "Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar! It was so amazing! I don’t know if you all have access to it but if there is any way you can see it I would challenge all of you to! We almost didn’t get to see it because the room was so packed! Everyone was standing in the back because all the chairs were taken. I sat on the floor! They had to ask some missionaries to leave for fire hazard reasons! It is that good!!!!

Also on Sunday we all went to choir practice! We will be singing tonight in the Marriott center for Tuesday Night devotionals! It is an amazing song about the pilgrims and the revolution. It tells of the vast faith and trials our ancestors endured to give us what we have. I believe it is called Faith of our Fathers! It rocks!

I miss you all and love you all! The days fly by in a blur! It feels like I have known my district forever, but I have only known of each of their existence for a total of 6 days!

Elder Brent Hakes reported with me and he has the same meal schedule so I see him all the time! The other day i ran into Hermana Biggs! So cool to see some people from home! I hope to run into Elder Brandon Clark if he isn’t already transferred to the Spain MTC!

This work is blessed and called of God! I love it and know it is a blessing in my life! I hope to here form you all and hope that your lives all rock!

Elder Kanaga


Monday, July 1, 2013

First Letter from the MTC (the night he arrived)

It was so exciting to get our first letter from Elder Kanaga. I guess the MTC allows them to write home on the night they arrive even though it isn't their P-day. YEA!

From letter dated June 26, 2013:

"Wow today has been a really full day. It honestly feels like it has been a week already. But I can see that I am going to love it. Especially if I will lose myself and any childish wants or stuff in  my life!"

"After asking around, I have found out that pretty much all the new missionaries going to 
Moçambique have 1 bag approximately equal to 45lbs. and 1 bag approximately equal to 35lbs. so I am not worried."

"Today we had some language lessons. They are really stressing 'Speak Your Language' (SYL) or 'Falar Sua Lingua' (FSL) for Portuguese. FSL basically means speak in the language of your mission as much as you possibly can. Always try Portuguese before reverting back to Ingles. I am hoping I can catch on to it fast."


"We had our orientation and some other classes. Interesting enough President (whoops! I forgot his name) talked about how they are trying to phase out the backpacks for the field?! But I am sure it is a mission to mission thing, just as the ipad/facebook thing will be. I am sure we in the Moçambique mission will not get to partake of the ipad/facebook change (at least for a very long time!) I am also sure that for my missão we will keep backpacks, but we will see when I get there."

"Tell Randy thank you so much for the letter! It was amazing! I loved the air soft story. What a fun thing. I love that he says we can be perfectly obedient and still have fun! It doesn't have to be 'rigid fun'!" 

"So in some 'classes' today there were some mock investigator lessons. But it was in a big group."
"My companion and I, and the other elders in my room have decided on perfect obedience. Even though some elders say 'we are at the MTC so it's not a big deal to leave your companion'. But our companionship and room decided on exactness"
"I can tell Portuguese will be hard to learn, but with the Lords help, I believe it will be easy, or at least bearable. I learned today that our district P-Days are on Tuesday. So we will not get to attend the Provo Temple, which is sad. However, we may be getting a better opportunidad. We may get to clean the temple!!!"
We found before he reported to the MTC that the Provo temple would be closed July 1st through August 10th for maintenance. We hoped his P-Day would be Thursday, Friday or Saturday so that he would at least get to go back to it at least once before going to Mozambique.
He closes his letter with love but then adds:
"I was instructed by President Nelly to write this even though it isn't P-Day."
Funny boy, I wonder if he thought he needed to tell me that so I would know he wasn't breaking the rules.
Before he entered the MTC he wanted to do a session in the Provo temple. It made the day for all of us.