I love you guys! Well this week has been interesting to say the least, mostly with my growth as a missionary, but i will respond to everyones messages first.
Joseph, thank you for the advice! i guess i will just have to deal with it, im not sure how else i can get music onto the ipod, but its not that big of a deal so thats ok. im glad to hear that you and alayna are doing ok. i never got your package :( there was a mail strike here in brazil towards the end of my time in the MTC, and i think that i just missed your package, and the MTC doesnt forward packages out to the field because of cost :( but thank you anyways brother!
mom, haha i like how you imagine me cramped in some internet cafe, because thats just exactly what its like, i am always the tallest person everywhere and its not usually that big of a deal, but ive hit my head off a couple of things, but all is ok. thank you for your words about how when you are down, you always think of other thimes that have been worse, and think ´that was worse´ im not going to lie to you, this time separated from michelle is going to be what i look back on in my life and say ´nothing is as hard as that was´ i dont even think that i comprehended what it really meant, when i knew that us waiting for eachother would be the hardest thing we will ever have to do in our entire lives.
how is dad´s surgery recovery? ive been concerned for him all this week, i hope that he is doing well. i am really happy to hear that you and abby are enjoying schooling, she will learn so much more! and not have to worry about other things that will be menial and not important in the future. thank you for the bit on integrity, i am grateful to be a son that you can be proud of, i hope that me being down and depressed doesnt dampen that, i am really trying my best out here. i think wade stinnet will be ok, i am having difficulties as well, everyone does who is american, but i hear that after the four or five month mark you get happier because you can not worry about the language, and can understand people. i had the worst lesson of my life yesterday, some guy was chain smoking and just asking us questions trying to destroy our religion while we were giving the message, and after 5 minutes i stopped talking because he couldnt understand me because he was drunk. after we left, i just sat on the curb with my head in my hands, and almost broke down. it was a low point, just nothing was going for me, people werent understanding me,
but we went to an investigators house with a member later who i like, his name is cleber i think i mentioned him before, and i went into the bathroom, kneeled down and just begged heavenly father to help me. especially since ive been separated from michelle i have had many, many prayers where i pour my soul out to him, but i dont think that i have ever in my life begged and pleaded with him for mercy in my life like i did last night, i just pleaded with him for everything to be ok, for me to improve as a missionary, for me to be happy, for me and michelle to always be in love and have us grow, and that i could get a letter from her today, that dad could be ok, that all my family could be moving along fine, i just poured it out. but i felt the spirit afterwards, the spirit of comfort, and it really helped me. i am still sort of bummed today, i dont quite know why, but i am better.
grandma and grandpa, thank you for the emails. people dont really celebrate halloween down here, they all know about it but no one is festive, or celebrating death like in mexico like you said. when it comes to a package, all i can really request is just candy, like starbursts or other goodies like that, anything that will make here feel more like home, or like america! thank you guys for keeping up with me, i love you
now onto my week, well this week started out great and ended medeoker (sp? ahh thats depressing that i forgot how to spell that word). i had a division wit another companionship on tuesday, with my favorite missionary and good friend now elder whelan. his companion, my district leader, came to my house and spent a day with elder espirito santo, and i with elder whelan in their area, quebec. well, let me just say honestly that i learned more in those 24 hours than in most of my time in the field so far, mostly because elder whelan speaks english, we literally help a 9 hour conversation because i havent been able to genuinenly talk with anyone here because of the language barrier, so it was great!
we started out going to a really fancy chuhaskeria, basically all you can eat bbq, waitors come by every minute with a different kind of meat and offer it to you. someone in the stake presidency took 6 of us missionaries. their area quebec is rich, as opposed to ouro branco which i have learned is a poor area, but still good, but anyways that meal was the best meal ive had in brazil! filet mingon wrapped in bacon, lots of fine meats, and im not usually a meat person. also, i ate wild ram, i thought that was pretty cool. then we went tracting in the rain, which i didnt even care about because i had an umbrella and someone to talk to and not feel so alone all the time.
i learned alot of things, that i will share most of them that i possibly can with you now. this is from elder whelan, and the 4 other missionaries who i spent 2 hours at lunch with, who have all been to different areas in the mission and had different companions and such. first of all, i learned that the house im living in is one of the worst quality in our mission, and the only 6 person! hahah i dont hate it, but i was in the house of quebec, which only has 2 missinaries in it, and it was awesome, just a tiny little apartment thats easy to keep tidy because theres only you and your companion.
i also learned that while im getting discouraged about not baptizing right now, that right now is the time for me to grow. i have a quote that i´d like to share that means a ton to me right now, and will throughout my whole mission ´there is a time to harvest, and there is a time to grow´ right now i am growing, and i am not worrying about getting a baptism, only helping the people im teaching as much as possible, and if that leads to their baptism then great
this week i have been really hungry. 3 of our lunch appointments with members didnt work out, and so we had to eat in the house, but i ran out of money on tuesday because i bought groceries on monday, so it was a struggle. i had to use the PNC card once or twice, both under ten dollars, what is my balance on that? also, with the division and interviews for baptisms that i also went on divisions for, the whole bus thing is really started to take a toll on my money, i dont think i have it bad but it still makes it hard! but now i have money again, and food, and our calendar for meals has been all square and settled with the ward
i learned that alot of these problems i didnt see before my division were literally being kept from me because i am a new missionary, and they dont want me to get too discouraged.. but my ward has alot of problems. only 45 people showed up for church yesterday, and during the final talk two 16 year olds started screaming at eachother and got into a fist fight! it was so intense. and the ward doesnt really like helping missionaries, which is extremely peculiar here because usually wards love missionaries, like when i was on my division, we were setting up a baptism and everyone tried to feed us, and do things for us, and said if theres anything we need, theyre just so nice! but i think that we can help our ward by trying to include people in missionary work more. we brought a member named junior, who is married and never went on a mission, and he has a great desire to help in the work because of that. well we taught 3 lessons with him yesterday (they were all after that experience i had previously said) and they went well, and he was a great help, and i was glad to have him there! i think that using members will be a good thing for the ward, and also a good thing for our investigators. but church was semi bad yesterday, our investigators actually stayed but the other missionaries had 5 people just get up and walk out during sacrament meeting because they didnt like it! i dont know whats going on here, but all the people in our house like the zone leaders and assistants are concerned for our ward.
i heard the song ´its just another manic monday´ in a store the other day, it made me so happy because it was in enlgish, and i remember that song from childhood, i just stood there with my eyes closed and just listened to home, that may sound pitiful but i needed it very much.
this past week was my quarter of a year mark out here! im extremely sure the next 1/4 of a year and so on are going to go by much more quickly than the first, its all about getting into a routine, and not being in the MTC. also, i am going to make the absolute most of these 7 weeks i have left with here in this area with my trainer, but i am very excited to also see what the lord has in store for me next.
theres a food here called pao e quejo, or bread and cheese, its basically a really simple brazilian recipe for cheesey bread, that is made in little morsels about as big as your palm, and i love it! theyre only 50 cents at bakerys, so i dont spend much money, and they are delicious, i even got a recipe from elder whelan for them. it has begun. i have started to collect brazilian recipes to bring home and cook for my family, and then for michelle, as a married couple! right now i have dessert pizza, pao e quejo, and these things called paçocas (pessocas) which are basically the closest thing here to peanut butter, its like a little dessert bar of peanuty goodness, and is real simple to make, so i will continue to collect! and begin to ask members for recipes, because apparently members like giving recipes because they feel like their recipe is the best then, and that it will be in america someday hahaha.
two days ago it rained so hard, and we were stuck in it without umbrellas again! i am literally never trusting my companion when he says we wont need them. but anyways, i was sick of being wet, so i pulled out my instincts from childhood. i spotted a big cardboard box that had been broken down and on the sidewalk for trash people, and the most dense tree i could find, and we literally held the box over our heads for an impromptu shelter for 20 to 25 minutes when it calmed down significantly. i was so lucky to have that box, because we still had 4 hours left in our day and i did not want to be soaked the whole day. but now, i keep everything in my backpack in plastic bags as well, to waterproof it because you never really know when its going to rain here.
i got the families package last week! thank you so much, i thought it was going to take longer to get here but it got here in 10 days! everything everyone said here about 3 months to get one is a lie, maybe when im out of londrina in an area and have to wait a few weeks to someone to bring the package to me, since right now im here as soon as they get them. but thank you! i am spreading the jam so thin to prolong it as long as possible, and i am saving the socks and deoderant for when all mine are trashed. thank you for the candy! that is how i will be celebrating halloween today, thank you once again for it, adn im excited to get michelles soon! and this next one that your sending, and everything!
Happy halloween!! i hope everyone is having a good one. they dont do anything for it here, which makes me sad, but im going to make it a good day for myself. eat some candy, buy some candy, and write michelle for p day, thats the plan on how to celebrate! and that will be just about how i celebrate every special day from now on, just write michelle and indulge in some sweets.
so this week has been hard for me because im understanding more, and with that i am capable of doing more. but i am having some problems with my companion, to speak in plainness he is treating me like a child, always, yes im a new missionary but i am also the same age as him, and know plenty. also, he tells me how he wants to train me well enough so that i can be a trainer as soon as he is done with me, and i can tell that he doesnt actually want to help me, he just wants to seem like a sweet missionary by me turning out good. but i dont want to complain too much, im trying my best to love him. like michelle told me to do, i am serving him, and i think its going to be ok.
i will continue to keep all of you in my prayers, please keep me because i need you guys. i love you!