August 8, 2011
Well, it seems like I just wrote to all of you. The weekdays really do fly bye, and honestly I can only remember the last couple of days. This week has been a little bit of a challenge finding people home. Lucas is a small, although well-organized city. It is actually one of the best organized cities in the state of Matto Grosso. This week, there was a party/fair/rodeo/concerts going on called expo Lucas. It has been going on every night starting at six pm, but you can enter before six to walk around and all of that. The deal is that you pay 60 R$ once and you can go in all that you want. It is a huge attraction. Basically, the whole city shut down and went. Everybody is there. So, it has been hard finding people home. We have been busy though. We pulled out the area book and started re-contacting people that have been contacted last year. It has been working out for us. A lot of them are not living in Lucas anymore, but we have been teaching the people that are now living in those houses. Yesterday was a busy day. We had two less active members to church but not investigators. That is the other bummer about expo Lucas. The city dies every morning because everybody was at the party until the next morning. It is really different than anything that I have seen in the United States. It is like a movie. The city really dies. But yesterday was also good because we taught four new families that we have never met before. 3 of them do not have any problems with marriage which is a miracle. It is always fun to teach. Really, that is the best part of the mission. Teaching. Also, when I am teaching, I feel like I am fluent in Portuguese. They can always understand what I am saying and I understand them perfectly. I forget that I am not Brazilian sometimes. The gift of tongues is real. I have been studying the missions of the sons of Mosiah and Alma recently in the Book of Mormon again, which is always fun. They were awesome missionaries, and I am trying to become that kind of missionary. A missionary that will do anything that is required, that has a perfect faith in Christ and his promises to missionaries and to the investigators, and a missionary that capitalizes every opportunity to share the gospel. I love the Book of Mormon, and my love is increasing as I am reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese without the aid of my English version. There seems to be so many more insights and ideas. The Book of Mormon is alive, quick and powerful, and I know that it is true in English and in Portuguese. Wow, I thought that I would never know a different language.
So, how all of you doing. Dad, how is your arm healing? Mom, how has the summer been with all of the kids home? I am praying for you all every day. Shauna, are you married yet? Tony, what is going on with Pizza Hut? Are they going to keep giving you good hours when school starts? Cameron, I hear that you are working a lot as well. What are you up to? Alison, are you getting geared up for the high school experience? What are you most excited for and most fearful of? Josh, what is going on man? What have you invented this week? Becca, are you excited for the upcoming school year? Who do you want your teacher to be? Katie, my woodwind buddy, what is new and exciting the life of the Katie-Liz? What has been the most fun thing that you did this summer? Koli Poki (the boy who stole my bed), what have you been up to? What is the most fun things that you did with tony this summer? Ryan, what is up my man?! So, what is it like in a room alone with Levi? What do you like to do in the summer? Levi, hey buddy, how are you? Do you like having everybody home? What is the funniest thing that you did? Any new Penguins of Madagascar that I have not seen yet? Well, I love all of you and I am sure that you all doing wonderful as always.
Well, about that time to finish up the letter, but I will leave you with the news that I am doing well and loving the mission. I can´t wait to hear from you all, and I love all of you!!!
p.s. I wore the blue tie yesterday. Was that right? It was the second time in a row, but Aug is a knuckle month. Next month will be silver, right?
Eu amo vocês! Tchau para todo mundo e atê mais!
I am reading the blog right now. Wow, everybody seems to be growing up already! (Especially Shiloh hahaha).
The last line of the email means: I love you all, and good bye to everyone and until later. Dad, I cannot even describe what is going on here. I am sure that you understand, having served a mission. My puny and relatively weak emails cannot capture what is going on. I love the people here, and I love the language. I cannot believe that I am speaking. Every morning it strikes me funny that I was dreaming in a different language and it is normal to me already. The people are amazing, and even though everything here is so different, it is home to me. I know that I was foreordained to serve in the Brasil Cuiaba mission. Every day I am thinking about the gospel and what I can do to better myself and help my investigators. On the 16th of this month I will hit the 6 month mark. I am excited to be at this point where I can teach the people in their language, and have learned more about the work as a missionary, but I am also scared that time will continue to fly by at this pace. I know that I have sooo much more to do. What are your thoughts?
Right now I am leaving in a house. It is pretty small, but from what I hear one of the nicest houses in the mission. As for the laundry, every house has a machine because there are not any laundry mats in Brazil (that I have seen). No worries, all of my garments are white still. Also, as far as the haircuts go, in Sinop there was a member with a hair clipper so I cut my own hair. This was nice because it is about 10 R$ for a haircut. Elder Melo is in Sinop and he is going to buy a hair clipper for me because there is cheaper than Lucas (Lucas is organized but super expensive) and bring it to me at the zone conference next week.
When I said leaving, I meant living. Just caught that. My English is going down the drain...
So, every first and 15th days of the month I get money in my account for food, bus, and anything that I need. I have not used any money from my checking, I do not think that I will ever need to (or if I can use my card here in Brasil). We have a cell phone to call members, missionaries, and investigators. For Christmas, I do not know, although you could do me a favor. I need to solve this problem with pics and I think that I have a plan. One of my SD cards has a virus, so I am going to go to a place today and have all of the pics moved to the other SD card and I will try to clean out the original card of all viruses. I also will try to send pics home via CDs because they are easier to send and I will guard all of the pics here as will. If you could do me a huge favor and get on eBay and type 16 GB flash drive. Then, choose the options buy now only and price+shipping lowest first. Scroll down the page and you will see a thumb drive that looks like a bullet. Click on it and then choose the option of buying a 32G for $29.99 in the color of gold. Buy that with my credit card and send it to me and I will use it to store all of my pics during my mission. Understand all of that?
I do not know. I am hoping that it is just the SD card and not the camera. Anyways, I think that everything will work out. Here is the address to the eBay site: http://cgi.ebay.com/Metal-Bullet-Shape-16GB-USB-Memory-Stick-Flash-Drive-/290593497510?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item896015025d
Send it to the same place that you were sending the letters. I got those, and when I am in Cuiaba I will get it or when the zone leaders are there they will get it for me and give it to me.
The zone leaders are in Sorriso so I see them every week at district meetings or when they come in to the interviews of or investigators. I am in Cuiaba every 3 months or so for zone conferences with the President of the mission and sometimes more, but the zone leaders are there more often.
Bye-bye and until next time. Love you all and good luck at the funeral. Falou (how cool people say goodbye)