Monday, October 31, 2011

"Since This Is The Time For Goblins & Bats ..."

 Happy Halloween!!!!

Today definitely doesn’t feel like Halloween.  The only decorations are at some of the English schools they have.  Other than that … nothing.  No one does anything here for Halloween really.  Some people have parties over the weekends and stuff but I guess, especially when Halloween is on a weekday, there’s nothing that anyone does for it.  It’s basically just another day here.  But those spider rings were a huge hit!  Everyone loved them!  They were so much fun to give out.  Also … I got the other package.  I just hadn’t opened it the last email I sent.  Thank you so much!!  It was so much fun.  The kids were amazed at my magic powers.  haha  I guess I’m going to have to ask Santa for something else.  I’m thinking I’ll ask him for a rugby ball and air pump.  Why are you guys having the Trunk-or-Treat on Halloween??  Please send me pictures.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Santa Worry

(Belle was very concerned her brother would be missed by Santa this year.)
Dear Belle

Brazil is great!  Today I went to the temple and that was awesome!!

You have to send me a picture of your Halloween costume!!  That’s so sweet about dance.  I like the thriller dance too!

About Christmas for a Santa present … I was thinking about asking for that Magic Trick thing I got once in Disneyland.  It’s a flying card trick thing.  I think that would be way fun here to do magic for the kids.  The only problem is, I don’t know if Santa would know what I’m talking about or if he'd be able to make it.  You should ask Mom and see what she thinks.  I think I’m going to write him too and let him know I’m down here.  Thanks for worrying about me.  I wouldn’t want Santa to not know where I was.

I love you Belle!

Love,
Tavin

(Belle’s Email to Tavin …)

Fasting With A Purpose

Dear Family,

So today was awesome!!  I woke up and went to the temple.  The buses were a little crazy, and the bus we needed wasn’t coming, so we hopped on another one that takes a bit longer.  I was ensured that it would be the same amount of time, yet, I knew that it wasn’t.  Needless to say, we were late for the session.  I was kind of bummed because we were going to go with President Martins and I had some questions to ask, but oh well, that’s no big deal.  We got there and just waited for the next session.

Ohhhh … here’s some quick background info regarding the temple trip … my zone, well some Elders in my zone, were fasting today.  I was as well.  We were fasting and praying that the visas will come through easier.  Our mission is going to start suffering on numbers if not.  I was also fasting to say "thanks" for all the help and blessings I’ve been receiving.  I like going to the temple after fasting because I feel the spirit so much more.  This session today … I felt it stronger than ever.  Right when we opened the doors and I walked through, it was like a wall at the door.  Not so much a wall but a filter that caught all the frustrations and tiredness, and I instantly felt light.  It was great.  The session was amazing!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Being Carried and Other Moments

(I love you Big T!)
Dear Mom,

So how are you?  Hopefully things are going good for you.  Things here are … going.  Someone was saying to me that the mail system is almost back to normal so who knows … maybe I’ll start getting stuff again. 

One of your letters made it through to me this last week.  It was the one where you talked about your “Get Away” with Dad.  That sounds like it was awesome!  I bet you two had a great time.  Also, in that letter you mentioned that it was exactly what you needed to re-energize you and that sometimes the things you do, you don’t know if people notice.  Well Mom … we do.  Like the church teaches, and we teach too when we’re talking about families, kids notice a lot of what their parents do.  At times I don’t think we give you and Dad the praise (not credit, but praise) you guys deserve.  At least, I didn’t when I was still at home.  Just know

Listening & "Singing In The Rain"

Dear Family!

How are you guys?  What’s the news with you all?
 
So we had a pretty neat experience  the other day.  Saturday to be exact.  We were going to lunch, but it was WAY far away in an area we never go to because we don’t have members, investigators, or referrals out there.  However, now we had someone to teach.  I had been to this area for lunch a couple of times prior, but I only followed Elder Henrique so I didn’t remember exactly how to get there.  I knew the major roads but the side streets … I was at a loss.  So we were wandering around forever and it was hot, sunny, and humid.  Just horrible.  We were also out of credits on our cell phone (kind of like minutes) so we couldn’t call her.  We can call another missionary with credits, and do a conference call, but when we tried the other missionaries didn’t answer.  They were probably eating already!  While walking around lost, I was praying in my head.  (Come to find out later that my companion was too.)  So, there we were, walking and walking and walking.  I was about ready to turn around when I had the thought to keep going down this road.  So I did.  To my dismay, we came to the end of the road.  We stopped under the shade of a wall to figure out what we were going to do.  I asked my companion to try calling the other Elders again.  While he was calling I was thinking, “Why did I feel strongly to follow this road when we ended up at a dead end?”  That’s when I looked up at the house we were resting in front of.  All of a sudden I said, “Elder!  I think we’re here!”  I clapped my hands and sure enough … it was the house!  Haha  We were so tired, hungry, hot, and sweaty, but we made it.  And the only reason we made it was because we listened to the promptings on which way to go.  What a great life lesson.  If we listen to the “still small voice” … we will never be lead in the wrong direction.  It was a pretty neat experience.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Bieber Fever Epidemic!

Dear family

So Brasil is infected with a bad case of Bieber Fever!  haha.  Justin Bieber is here in Brasil … in São Paulo as a matter of fact … and yes, in my mission!  The hotel he’s staying at is in the center, right by that Brazilian Barbecue / Pizzeria that I sent a picture of.  The soccer stadium where he performed is right by the Mission Office and the Temple too.  People are going crazy about him.  We'd go into a member’s or investigator’s house, and the news would be on and it was all about him.  All about the crowds … it’s crazy!  There were tons of people that were camping out in front of the stadium for like over a week.  lol  So, ya … it’s a Bieber Fever epidemic going on here!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hammocks and Cool Breezes ... PLEASE!

(For as long as his family can remember, Elder Fox, has begged to have a hammock in his room instead of a bed.  Could Brazil be more perfect for him?)
Dear Family!

Hey guys!  How are you all doing?  Today, when we were going to Pirituba (our Stake Center) to play soccer, we rode past the Post Office (on the bus) which was closed.  I really hope this strike ends soon.  Whenever it’s open and we mail off our letters, they give us a heads up about the strike and that there’s a chance the mail won’t make it to it’s destination.  So once again … fingers crossed!

Today, soccer was a bust.  Nobody came.  It was us and a companionship from another zone that came out to play.  Even with so little people, it was still fun.  We went and bought these French Bread rolls (super good!  It’s like a mini version of Albertson’s French Bread), some lunch meat, and cheese and made sandwiches.  Then we all just chit-chatted.  We also bought some Doritos and … well … they’re A LOT better in the U.S.  Now I’m just in my hammock writing the best family in the world.

Monday, October 3, 2011

General Conference ... A Connection To Home

Dear family!!

So … yesterday was Conference and it was awesome!!!  I never really had the same appreciation for Conference before my mission.  Now … oh man … I left there so excited and so happy.

We watch the different sessions at the Stake Center and it was way cool because there were tons of members there.  Mostly everyone that watches Conference, watches it at the building.  I’m not sure if they get it on TV or not.  Someone said they do, but someone else said they don’t, so I have no idea.  We watched both the Saturday and Sunday sessions there, and during the interval, just hung out at the church.  Lots of people stayed there in between the sessions.  We stayed because if we were to walk back to our area … by the time we got there, we'd have about 10 minutes to teach, and then have to leave again.  We figured we could do more good at the Stake Center.