How is everyone doing? What are your plans for the 4th of July? Also, you said Belle had a rough time with her first fast? When did she get baptized and why did nobody tell me? Did she feel like a "maniac" like Brittin? haha Belle … I had a hard time with the fast too last Sunday. I wasn’t very hungry but I was sooo thirsty!!!! Not drinking and walking everywhere is rough, but hey, the blessings are better than food or water.
So things are going good over here in Brazil. It's really weird for me not being in the U.S. today. It's actually kind of sad. I love our country so much and to not be there for a holiday solely about our country is hard. When I woke up this morning someone was playing our national anthem so that made me way happy. It was so strange knowing what day it is today and not seeing flags everywhere or going swimming and having barbeques and having a ton of fireworks to light off. But even though today was rough as far as missing my family and country, it was still a way fun day.
Mauricio took me and Elder Henrique downtown. We got permission to leave our area and we went to this place that has this huge building. You can go up to the top and see all of São Paulo. First of all, São Paulo is HUGE!!! Holy cow! There are so many tall buildings. I knew that before, but you never get the whole perspective until you can see it all. Second, it was so cool!! Mauricio showed me which areas are my mission and, ya, it was sweet.
Afterwards we went to a Brazilian barbeque / pizzeria. The food was amazing!!! If you and dad come to pick me up, I’ll have to take you guys there. It’s a tradition of the missionaries to go to this tower and then to eat at this place. There were a bunch of missionaries there. Some from other missions too … which I don’t get because the big tower is in my mission ... who knows. But this food place has a wall by the cash register with soccer stuff and guess what else … O Livro De Mórmon! haha I thought that was pretty cool. Afterwards we went and played tennis with an investigator and that was way fun. So all in all … it was a fun day and a good way to spend the 4th of July seeing I can’t do the typical things since I'm in another country.
Oh by the way, just in case I didn't tell you who Mauricio is ... he's a good friend of mine here. He’s a really awesome guy and he’s helped me a lot. Like the first bit here was brutal! I’m not going to lie. Not being able to talk with people was so hard. I really wanted to get to know the members and also, to understand the investigators and help them in anyway I could, but it’s hard when you don’t know what they’re saying. Mauricio can speak English so he was talking to me and said some things I really needed to hear and then cheered me up too. Definitely an answer to my prayers.
Well what’s new for the week? Hmmmmm … I got bit by a dog again and chased by a pack of other ones! I've come to the conclusion that either Brazilian dogs hate me, or I taste delicious. Not really sure which. But the one that bit me was bigger and it hurt pretty bad but it didn’t break skin. It only left some marks so that’s good. Elder Henrique and I showed this family “Black Magic”. (You know … the innocent game version … not real black magic. lol) The mother knew “it” but her son was blown away.
We’re teaching tons! I’m learning lots and walking a TON! haha One day we walked from one house to another that was about like walking from our house to The Fiesta. We were up on this hill and Elder Henrique pointed out this Catholic Church that was waaaaay in the distance and was like, “Remember that church?” I said, “Ya.” And he said, “That’s where we’re going.” At first I was hoping I misunderstood him, as I often do since he can’t speak English and I can barely speak Portuguêse, but no. I understood him perfectly. The house was just past the church. Fun stuff!
We taught a lesson the other day that was awesome! She was a referral that we had received from a member. She was asking about family history and all that jazz. We went and taught her and, ya, awesome lesson! Very strong spirit. It helped my testimony knowing that the spirit can manifest the truth of all things because at the end we challenged her to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if these things are true. Her response was, "Well, I already know it’s true. I can feel it. But I will anyways." How awesome is that!!!! I’m having so many great experiences out here (even though I can’t understand a lot haha) and I’m loving it! If anyone is reading this blog that is on the fence about going or not going on a mission … my only advice to you is to not hesitate but go! It's amazing.
Well, I got to get going and teaching because salvation is on the line here. haha I love you guys so much and I miss you all!!
Elder Tavin Fox