Thursday, June 6, 2013

Good Morning Family, this is the 3rd of June, 2013, at like 6:00 in the morning.  Yeah, I got transferred.  I told you in my last email.  I got transferred to Bauru, which is one of the only two cities I haven’t worked in yet.  So, I am here in Bauru.  And, you should look it up on google-earth, its still in the state of Sao Paulo, its about three hours away.  Its really like the end, the end of our mission.  Falls de Iguacu, with all the waterfalls and everything, is on the other end. 

So, transfers happened.  I had a really, really, really, really, really great experience with transfers.  So, I am not sure why it happened, but I am grateful for it.  So, every transfer that I have seen on my mission, they always plan it so that you go from your city to Londrina, then from Londrina to your new city.  Even if it seems relatively inefficient, you always pass through Londrina.  I think its just for, like, safety, and so they can monitor all the missionaries and stuff.  Anyways, like I said, Bauru is still in Sao Paulo.  Its above Marilla.  So, what I thought was going to happen, is that I would go to Londrina, then go to Bauru.  But, I am not really sure why, they sent me straight to Marilla.  Then, I stayed in Marilla for six or seven hours.  Then, I went to Bauru.  So, on Tuesday, I left at, like, 7:40 in the morning… on a bus.   I am not going to lie to you, it was one of those buses that’s like, in the inner city, that’s like an every day bus.  Which are not very comfortable buses.  I got on the bus at 7:40, then I got to Marilla at, how do you say it, noon, a little bit after noon.  You know that my favorite area has always been Pamital, in Marilla.  The family with Casia, the lady who has been my mom here in Brazil, all that stuff.  So, I got there at noon, and my bus was going to leave to come to Bauru at, like, 6:10.  So, I had six hours.  So, I got there, and the first thing I did was call someone in the ward of Pamital.  And, I got a car ride, and I got a ride back to my area, and then, I went straight to Casia’s house, who is, like, my favorite member ever.  And, it was exactly one year since I had left Pamital, it was the 28th of May.  So, I went back, I showed up at their house, I knocked on their door and stuff, and they had no clue that I was going to come.  So, she opened the door, and as soon as she saw me she started freaking out, it was awesome!  It was such a great reunion.  And, they knew that I was going to come back in three months to see them with you guys, but, I got to see them.  So, she made us lunch, and them we just kind of stayed and visited with her the entire day, because its transfer day, and I am in a city that I don’t work in, so I didn’t have anything to do.  So, we spent the entire day in her house with her family.  It was one of the most satisfying days on the mission, just ‘cause I got to see them again.  We got to catch up on everything.  And, it was just really, really, really nice.  I was actually really grateful for that blessing.  It was totally a blessing from the Lord, ‘cause I have never seen anything like that happen before.  So that happened, and that made me really, really happy.  I was happy about that for the entire week.  I would wake up in the morning, and still feel happy from that. 

So, then I got to Bauru, its really nice.  I think it’s the second biggest city on the mission, just behind Londrina.  We literally live in front of a huge mall.  A huge, huge, huge mall.  Like Robinson-size mall, or bigger.  And, the thing is, that missionaries in our mission are not allowed to go into the  mall.  Ha ha, But, we live in a really cool house, my companion is really awesome.  His name is Elder Homos.  So, my companion, he served in the Sao Paulo North mission.  But, something happened there, so he had to leave that mission.  So they gave him the option to fill out his papers again, or to stay in this mission.  ‘Cause he lives in Presidente Prudenche.  He lives in the branch I was serving at, up until Bauru.  So, he’s like, ‘yeah, just keep me in this mission.’  So, he’s a missionary in our mission, but he will never to go Presidente Prudenche ‘cause that’s where he lives.  But, what’s interesting is that, literally, I just got done serving three months in his branch.  So, I told him, I was companions with Elder Homos, and he was like, Ha Fao!  (I think he slipped into a little Portuguese here.)  Ever since I got here we have been talking about his branch, the members, and how they are doing, blah blah blah.  I just never had that experience before, of course, cause it never happens.  So he’s a member of the branch that I was just serving in, in Prudenche.  So, he’s actually really, really awesome.  I like him a lot.  He’s actually going to end his mission this transfer, and I will end my mission next transfer, so he will end right now, then I will get another companion.  That’s crazy, right?  I only have two more transfers left.  I try not to think about it.  People try to give me grief, and tell me this would be my last transfer,… (Portuguese again???)  Yeah, but I really like all the people here.   I like the ward a lot.  There is like a hundred people in it.  It’s a good, healthy ward.  One thing I have noticed here is that the members are a lot more active in the work than I have ever seen before.  We get references every time we go to church.  They are excited to leave with us, they are like, ‘yeah, lets go on visits!’ blah blah blah…  There is, like, even among the young men here, there is a competition, to see how many people they can help the missionaries baptize.  So, its kind of like the dream-ward.  I thank the Lord that he has saved the best ward, and the best missionary work for last, for me.  My last area seems like to me, it will be THE best area I have had on my mission.   Yeah, this area is really, really receptive.  I think we are going to find and teach a lot of people.  

One thing I really like about my companion right now, my companion I had before… I don’t know we just were not able to achieve this, but my companion right now, we are doing it with other companions, which is where you know what you are going to teach, we are going to teach about faith.  And, you go in, you talk to them, you, like, find their needs, let the spirit guide you to know which scriptures you need to read, and what you’re going to say.  Because there are some companions who you are not able to do that with.  But when you are in good harmony with your companion, then its possible.  And, my companion is totally awesome.  I figure just because of the experience that this has happened.  So the most experience duplah (?) on the mission, I think.  Cause we both, should be ending our missions right now.   But, he’s really awesome. 

What else is there… I am going to Londrina today.  That’s not really that great of news.  Oh Yeah!  I got grandma and grandpa’s package!  I just want to say thank you very much for that package.  I still haven’t eaten everything yet, I really appreciate it.  I think it’s the last package I am going to get in the mission, so I am grateful.   One thing I thought was interesting is that on the package it said, ‘candy and missionary materials’ .  But I don’t know why they put that, cause the only thing inside was just, candy.  So, I just hope that the Brazilians didn’t steal anything from the package.   But, I am really happy with what I got.  Cause, I love Laffy Taffy. 

What else…. Oh yeah, so it was fast Sunday this last week.  My studies, the last week or two, I have been reading a lot about the enabling power of the atonement, you know.  There’s the redeeming power, the enabling power…  There’s a really good talk by Elder Bednar that  you have probably read before, that’s called, “Strength in the Lord”,  oh, “In the Strength of the Lord”.  It’s a BYU speeches talk, but I am pretty sure it was in the Ensign too, once.  That talk is so good!  So, there are two parts of the atonement, right?  There’s the redeeming power and the enabling power.  Says that David O Mckay, of Spencer W. Kimball, one of the two, says that the gospel is made to turn bad men to good men, and good men to better men.  If you are a bad person, it helps you become a good person, where you follow the commandments.  Then, the atonement also helps you come from a good person to a better person, where you become stronger and you perfect yourself.  And, so he talked about that a lot.  And, I really enjoyed that.  So, with the fast, it was going to be really hard, cause its really hot and all that stuff.  Whenever I started my fast, I asked for the enabling power.  I didn’t ask him to change my situation, the Lord, but I asked Him to give me strength to handle my situation -  which is what the enabling power entails.  And, so, I didn’t even have problems with the fast.  It was awesome.   But, whenever I was breaking my fast, yesterday at lunch.  We ate Fazewada, which is the heaviest  Brazilian plate (?) they have in Brazil.  Its basically like beans and rice, but the beans, they throw in all the parts of the pig.  Meat, ears, nose… So, I have been kind of sick after eating that, ‘cause it’s the first thing I ate after 24 hours.   It kind of wrecked me.  But, I’m okay, I’m alright. 

So I hope everything is going well with Desmond.  I think its interesting how Grandma is going to call him Eli.  Desmond, maybe I’ll call him Eli too.

Yeah, we are going into the month of June.  So, we are getting relatively close.   Oh yeah, I don’t know if Dad has booked the hotels yet, but I’d like to know dad’s plan right now, on where we are going to go when he comes here.  Because, my ideas have sort of changed.  But, I want to know what you think.  Because, for example,  there are some areas I haven’t been to in a long time, and I have lost contact with the people there, so it might be relatively hard to stay there the whole day.  I don’t know.  I was thinking, this is what I was thinking, staying two days in Falls,  one day when we can just travel from Falls to Marilla, but stop in Maringa, and see Maringa and all that stuff.  And, then we stay in marilla for two days, because I love the people there, and it would be totally awesome to stay there for two days.  And, we stay in Prudenche for two days.  Let me know what your plan is right now, then we can talk about it.  But, I am not sure either if we are going to come to Bauru.  The people here are really, really nice, and I have made good friendships with them already.  Already talking about my going away.  My thing here, which I guess they always do for missionaries.  So, I am not sure if we are going to go here either.  Just let me know what the plan is right now.  But, I love you guys and we will talk next week, bye!

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