Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Walking With Family Through Eternity ... One Step At A Time!

(We love our son!)

(Enjoying Family Home Evening with a family in Sao Paulo Brazil.)
Mom!!

How are you doing Mom?  How’s the picking up from school going?  Haha  Do you pick up everyday or do you have a car pool going with some people?  I remember my Freshman year.  I always just bummed a ride off of someone.  I think the only time someone would pick me up was during basketball season because practice ended at the same time every day.

So how was Disneyland?  I’m sure you’ve already written me about it.  (Don’t you love getting mail two weeks later!)  Right now as I’m writing this, you guys are there having fun, and I’m down here at my desk in Brazil ... the exact perfect place for me to be right now!

We just got back from the Nike store.  There’s this store here that only sells Nike stuff but it’s all pretty cheap.  Elder Henrique wanted a backpack, but they didn’t have any he liked, so he bought a soccer uniform.  The soccer jerseys are sweet because they are official jerseys made for the pros but they have some kind of defect so they go to this store and they sell them for way cheap.  Some have a stain or a mark, or some had a mess-up on the printing.  Some … the stitching is just a little off.  Those are the best because you can’t even tell.  However, because it’s “defective”, the pros don’t wear them and they get sold here.  I’ve bought two jerseys from this store.

Anyways, we went there with Pedro and Fernando.  They wanted to come along when we told them what we were doing, so we let them.  They are cool guys.  Pedro is really impressive.  He was the first baptized in his family.  His Dad is the only one that still hasn‘t been.  For awhile, it was just him going to church.  Every Sunday he would walk about 3 -4 miles to attend.  Every night he went to seminary too.  Another thing that totally impresses me about Pedro is how he treats his Mom.  He doesn’t try and be all cool when we’re around or when his other friends are too.  He always hugs her or gives her a kiss on the cheek “goodbye”, and is really nice to her.  Once when we had Family Home Evening at their house, we were getting ready to leave when Jandira (the Mom) said she had to go to the supermarket … so we went with her.  Her leg was hurting or something, so Pedro had her put her arm around him to help her out of the store and … ya … it was very nice.  It made me get choked up a bit because it reminded me of right before I left on my mission.  We were walking up to the temple in Provo to take pictures.  That‘s exactly how we were walking … arms around each other.  That’s the worst.  When something gets me all choked up and homesick … especially when I’m just walking because I look stupid.  Like, to other people it probably looks like I am crazy.  Some American just walking … nothing happens … and then he starts to get teary eyed.  Haha  I’d think I was nuts if I saw me and didn’t know what was going on in my head.  Haha

So you guys always ask how my Portuguese is and well, it’s getting pretty good.  Yesterday we were at a less active’s house and her oldest daughter was there and it was our first time meeting her.  We were visiting a bit and then the Mom called her youngest daughter out to say “Hi”.  She’s been studying English so Elder Henrique said to practice what she learned on me.  She was too shy but I started talking to her in English for fun.  Then her older sister said, “Wow!  You’re good at English!”  There was a bit of silence and her Mom looked at her with a “no duh” look and then she asked, “Wait.  Where are you from?”  haha  Up to that point she had no idea I was an American.  I was pretty proud of myself.  Basically, when I know all the words to what I’m saying I can speak good.  Especially when it’s in present tense because those conjugations are easy.  That’s by far the hardest part … stupid conjugations!!  Oh I hate them so much.  But, ya, now I’m getting to a point where I don’t need to translate in my head or think too hard.  I can just talk, up until I get to a word I don’t know, and then I have to think of a way around that word or some other word I know.  It’s kind of neat how it works too because I’ll be speaking just like I do in English where I don’t have to think and then I’ll hit a word that I don’t know yet and the only word that comes to mind is the English word.  So it will be … Portuguese, Portuguese, Port., Port., Port., Port., English, Port., Port., Port.  It’s kind of funny.  Does that explanation even make sense?  It’s hard to explain.

Oh, another thing … thanks for the talks and quotes and stuff.  I love them!  It’s fun to get them and read them.  I have two hung on the wall by my desk.  During a division my District Leader took a picture of one and printed it out and put it on his planner.  It’s a tradition here to decorate your planner.  We cut out pictures from the Liahona magazines, pamphlets, Preach My Gospel (when some Elders leave for home, they leave their PMG here), or whatever else … then glue it onto the covers.  Then we have this big roll of stuff that is kind of like laminating sheets, that we cut rectangles from, to cover our covers.  It gives it a glossy and protective finish.  Then we use a fork that we heat up on our stove to melt / burn a hole through the covers where there already was one so we can put the spiral binding back on.  Right now mine has a picture of the First Vision on the front and the back is a painting of Jesus Christ visiting Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb.  I’ll send a picture home … well pictures … and I’ll make sure to include one of my planner.

Well, I have to get going now.  I love you so much Mom!!  Thank you for everything!!  I miss you more than you know!!!

Love,
Tavin

PS - You’re the best Mom in the world and I couldn’t have asked for a better one.



Dear Dad,

I don’t have a ton of time to write, but I just quickly wanted to see how you’re doing?  Sorry this is going to be so short.

In your letter you sent me … talking about the Young Women’s Retreat … why didn’t you want to go shopping with a bunch of teenage girls?  Haha  I saved your’s, Mom’s, Brittin’s, and Kassie’s letters for the day after I got them.  I knew it was Fast Sunday the next day, so I figured the letters would help give me strength, and give me something to keep my mind on … instead of thinking of food and the fact that I couldn’t eat.  As I was reading yours, while you were talking about the YW’s Retreat, you just HAD to talk about “All-You-Can-Eat Wingers!!!  That did not help me with my fast.  My mouth started salivating and I got even more hungry.  Haha

Alright … I have to get running now.  Love you Dad and thanks for everything!  Thanks for being so awesome!!!

Love,
Tavin

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