Monday, December 24, 2012

"Merry 'Sweaty' Christmas Eve!"

(Elder Fox with Daiane and his painting.)

(Elder Fox at Daiane's baptism.)

Tomorrows the day!!!!  Man … it doesn’t feel like Christmas Eve at all!!  That’s a good thing because I’m not getting home sick!  I’m sure if it was "Christmassy" here, I’d probably catch a bad case of homesickness.  Anyway, I’ll probably call around 10ish … your time.  I’ve got everything set up already.  We’re going to call from an investigator’s/member’s house.  I’ll use her laptop and she tested the Skype out yesterday.  Everything’s all set up.

Monday, December 17, 2012

"Ob-la-di Ob-la-da Life Goes On" ... & So Does Missionary Work

"Merry Christmas everyone back home!"

Dear Family

So it’s not so hot anymore here!! The temperature is actually pretty nice. Why? Because it’s been raining non-stop for the past couple of days. haha I got lucky, because it’s been a while since there was a good rain storm. We were just having summer rains, where it would be sunny, then out of no where coming pouring down and then clear out. So we were always able to duck under cover or would just stay a little longer in someone’s house and wait for the rain to pass. The lucky part was that I had left my umbrella in my last area and hadn’t gotten it back yet. I asked the Elders in Trujillo to bring the umbrella to a Zone Conference that we had. They brought it to me and then a little after was when the rains came in. The first day it came out of no where! It was a clear day and then some clouds came in really fast and it started pouring!! Like you guys have seriously never seen a rain storm, cause what we get back home is nothing compared to this. Thankfully we were under cover when it started. A little while later I got a call from an Elder in Trujillo and the first thing he said is, “Hey ... Elder fox?” I said, “Yes.”  He responded, “I HATE YOU!!!!!!! You just had to get the umbrella back now.”  haha  They were using my umbrella before, and neither of them had one, and so they were getting plastered by the rain.  So lucky me for getting it back right before the storms came in and this non-stop rain for the last couple of days.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Good News or Bad News ... You Decide!

(Elder Fox in Sorocaba.)
Dear Family!

Hey guys!!  So I’m not sure how the temperature is back home … but I’m stinking dying!!!  It’s so dang hot out!  It’s hot AND really humid too!  The worst part is that in this city, wind doesn’t exist.  Sometimes I don’t want to stop walking because at least while I’m walking, there’s a little bit of wind generated from me moving about.  haha  I guess you can consider this heat a blessing at times though.  It’s a good reason for people to let you in their houses.  Just the other day, we contacted someone that was way cool and he gave us his address.  It was a way hot day and where he lived was very far.  We set off to teach him undaunted by the heat wave we were in the midst of.  We got to his street and … the address he gave us … didn’t exist.  We decided to knock on a door with a number close to the one he gave us.  We did that and an older lady came out.  We asked if the guy lived there she said, “No.”  Then we asked her if there was someone with that name on the street.  She informed us that there wasn’t.  She was kind of abrupt with us and didn’t seem to open to us either.  I really felt strongly about leaving her a message but her defenses were up.  Should I talk to her about the Plan of Salvation?  Restoration?  Nothing seemed to fit.  So I just thought, “Tell her what happened today.“  And that’s what I did.  I said, “Serious … he doesn’t live here or on this street?!  We talked to him the other day and he told us to come here, but he gave us a false address.  We prepared a message for him and came really far … underneath this sun and in this heat … to share this message with him.  Now I don’t want to make a waste of this trip so do you think you could give us some water and let us share the message with you?”  She looked at us, her demeanor softened, and she said, “Wow!  I can’t believe he lied to you two.  You’re two respectable, kind, young men.  Of course I’ll give you some water and listen for a bit.”  It was really cool.  She was super nice.  I guess it pays off to just tell it like it is.  haha  So while we drank our water … we were able to share a message with her about being blessed by “living water”.  It went over very well.

Monday, December 3, 2012


(Elder Fox ... 21 years ago.)

Dear Family!!

Hey guys!!!!!! How’s everyone? I’m doing good. 21 years old! To be honest … I feel the same. It didn’t even seem like my birthday yesterday. I didn’t really go around telling everyone that my birthday was coming up.  Then again, I’ve never really done that.  Not even before the mission.  So I didn’t really make a big deal about it.  My companion told some people, but not too many people remembered.  There were a couple people who remembered, from when I first got here, that December 2 was my birthday.  They remembered this without anyone reminding them.  They just came up and said, “happy birthday” to me.  That was cool that they remembered.  Also … two of my ex-companions called me up. The two Elder Costas … Elder Costa and Elder O. L. Costa.  When Elder Costa called me he said something that made me realize how fast the time goes by on the mission.  I didn’t even think about it, but it was with him that I spent my birthday last year.  When he called he said, “Man! I can’t believe that a year has already gone by. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were in Cidade Nova for your birthday!”  And seriously … it doesn’t seem like it’s already been a year since my last one.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Happy Birthday Wish From Home

I spent some time looking at pictures on my computer today and decided to throw this together. Happy Birthday Tav! I know you won't see this but I hope you know how proud I am of you. I love you!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pavlov's Dog and ... Christmas?

(Elder Fox with his Zone ... letting loose and having some fun!)

Dear Family!!!

Man! I had totally forgotten this last week was the week of Thanksgiving. It didn’t feel like it at all. I think that’s the plus side of being on the other hemisphere. When it comes time for the holiday season, it doesn’t seem like it at all. Why? Because it’s stinking hot out!!! haha What I’m used to is … once it’s coming up on the holiday season … there’s fires in the fire place, hot chocolate, and wearing jackets. Here you don’t want any of that! It’s all those little things that make it feel “Christmassy” or “Holiday Seasony” (if that’s a word. haha) It’s kind of like Pavlov’s test with the dogs. Every time he rang the bell, he gave the dog a treat. So every time the dog hears a bell now … his mouth waters. It’s kind of the same thing with the holiday season. Once all those little things start happening … cold, lights, fires, hot chocolate, Christmas music … you can’t help but feel happy and know/feel that it’s Christmas time. And because of that, you can’t help but not think of the family. However, when you’re living somewhere that’s the opposite of that, you don’t have too many cases of homesickness.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Changes and Faith ... They Go Hand In Hand

Elder Fox and Elder Jubette with some local artists.

Alright - so I don’t have tons of time because sending those pictures really ate up my time! I had to send them one by one because any more didn’t work. It took me forever. I’m not too sure what kind of pictures you wanted for the Christmas card, and if these fit the specification … but we took them … and I didn’t have tons of time to go out taking pictures. I took and sent some other ones as well, that I had taken just normally. I hope they work. I wore a red tie like you had mentioned but no one else wore red. Hopefully it’ll work.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Moment Of ... "Family Fame"

(Elder Fox ... many years ago.  This quote says it all.)

Dear family,

Yes.  I heard the devastating news.  I asked a young man here, that’s been keeping me updated with politics, to let me know what happens.  He sent us a message so when I woke up Wednesday morning, I saw the horrible news.  Here in Brazil, they don’t know what it’s like back home, so everyone loves him.  They are just getting lies down here.  All the media spin and not the real truth about the economy and jobs.  Everyone is so excited that he won again.  Before the election I tried not to talk politics with people.  I especially didn’t talk about it with people who aren’t members, because we’re representing the church and it’s not our job to talk politics.  The fact that Mitt Romney is a member would make it seem even worse because then they could think that the church is promoting him which they are not.  I avoided that topic as much as possible.  On occasions when someone wanted to know who I was supporting, and kept asking, I told them it was my opinion and then said “Mitt Romney“.  However, now that the damage is done, I don’t hide the fact that I’m ticked.  I’m trying to not mix politics and my mission, but it’s so hard when someone comes and says, “Isn’t it wonderful that Obama won again!”  I try not to make a face of frustration and disappointment.  Seriously though … there was 135% voter turn out?!!  What are they going to do about that?  Is there going to be some kind of investigation?  Can they count the results because of voter fraud?  There’s a new Elder that just got here and he’s from Florida.  He said, “Ya, I hope my Floridians come through and call a recount again.”  haha  Oh … side note … this Elder is from Orlando and apparently knew Mitch on his mission.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Missing Pumpkin and Prayers Answered

(These are the pumpkins Elder Fox was talking about.)
Dear family,

Hey guys!!!!  How’s it going!!!

So Belle … you got lots of candies on Halloween??  That’s good.  At least one of us was received on Halloween.  haha  We literally were walking the WHOLE ENTIRE DAY!  Nobody let us in!  Not just Wednesday but Tuesday too.  Both days were spent just walking and being rejected.  What a lovely Halloween.  And the worst part, even though they didn’t let us in (which is normal for Halloween), they didn’t even give us candy!  Can you believe it???  haha  But it was really cool because in the condominium we live in there was a Halloween party for the kids.  It was kind of like the ward Trick or Treat when Halloween was on Sunday and the houses were already designated.  It was neat when we got home because there were a bunch of kids walking around which isn’t normal because no one here celebrates Halloween.  It wasn’t to the extent that it is back in the States but it was cool.  We made a pumpkin too.  We bought one and carved it.  We made the “vomiting face” like I did that one year.  They don’t have orange pumpkins like back home here, so I bought one of those black ones.  We put it out in front of our apartment building.  We were the only ones with pumpkins, and when we were putting it out the little kids that were in the stairway of our apartment thought it was the coolest thing ever.  I imagine it was also them that took my pumpkin because the next day it was gone.  But congrats for your pumpkins girls!  At first I didn’t understand what Brittin’s was.  I thought it meant “first dimension“, like how there’s 3D movies and stuff.  Thanks for explaining it to me Mom.  It makes a bit more sense now.  I still have no idea who this One Direction is.  In a bit less than 6 months I guess I’ll find out.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Feeding Missionaries and Blessings Received

Dear Family!!

Oh my goodness! It’s soooo HOT!!!!!!! I’m dying. This is way worse than last year! It’s been in the upper 90's. Today is about 98 and humid humid humid!  And the worst part … NO WIND!!!  Oh man!  It’s rough walking around all day in this kind of weather.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Attack Of The Killer ... Mosquitoes!


How’s everyone doing???

I’m doing great!  I'm just a little hot!!!  Things are heating up and the city I’m in gets really steamin'!  Oh how I miss air-conditioning!!  I also miss how in Vegas there aren’t ANY mosquitoes.  I’m getting eaten alive!!!  haha  Our house has soooo many of them.  The only relief I have is when a fan is blowing on me … it gets a bit cooler and the mosquitoes don’t attack because they can't fly in the wind of the fan.  My plan of attack ... have a fan on my bed side blowing right on me when I sleep!  If I don't ... I'm covered in the morning!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Carta Trunky ... Trunky Letter

(One of Elder Fox's Bishops and his wife from Brazil, came to Las Vegas to visit.)
Dear Family,

Hello!!  How’s life back home?  Sounds like you guys had a good time.  Tell them, "Elder Fox está mandando um abraço"  haha  Ya, they are really cool.  I miss them a bunch.  That ward was fun … hard … but fun.  And their family is way cool!  I remember one day when I was there, we got dragged into a bit of a family fight that was nuts.  It was crazy and I had absolutely no idea what to do to help.  Then I thought, “Well, they’re members, so they’re outside of my authority and I’m not supposed to give advice to members.”  Either way, I was still stuck in that situation and we didn’t want to just take off and wish them good luck.  I could only think of one thing … call the bishop.  So, I gave Bishop Rafael a jingle and felt kind of bad because the guy is really busy and he finally had some time with his family.  Now we were calling up to pull him away from his family and drag another problem into the life of an already busy bishop.  But he was really helpful and really cool about it.  He brought his wife over too and she helped out tons.  They calmed everyone down and worked out the situation really quick.  They are really great people!  I love their family.  If you guys have some photos, send them to me.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Revelations and Lessons Learned During General Conference

(As Elder Fox explains in his letter ...)

Dear Family,

General Conference was kind of crazy at the beginning this year.  We show up for the first part of the Saturday Session and … no power in the church.  We're waiting and waiting and a bunch of members are now starting to show up.  The announcement is finally made that conference won’t come on at that building for awhile.  If we wanted to watch it, we were supposed to go to another building.  Oh man!  The craziness got started!  For the members, it’s all good.  They just get in their cars and go to another chapel.  However, we can’t just leave without permission from the President.  The Sisters in our Zone had already called up President and asked if they could go.  For the rest of our Zone to be able to go, either everyone would have to call President, or me and my companion because we’re the only ones with authority to give the whole Zone permission to leave the area since we’re the Zone Leaders.  We called up President, and after talking a little while, he gave us all permission.  That’s when the race started.  We had to get rides for everyone to the other chapel.  We helped some other areas get rides and once everyone was all set up with a car, we realized that we had a problem.  We helped everyone else out, but didn’t have a ride for ourselves.  Now it was time for us to race around but … all the cars were full.  Finally, a member saw us and asked if we had a ride.  We responded in the negative and he offered to give us one.  So off we went to the closest chapel.  And which one is the closest?  Trujillo!  My last area!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Long Trip ... To A New Area

(Some of your missionary companions will be your life’s dearest friends. Be the kind of companion you would like to be with.  -  James E. Faust)

Dear family,

Sooooo … yes I was transferred!  : (  And so was Elder Meireles!!  We were both needed in other locations so we both left and two Elders went there without knowing ANYTHING of the area.  Not even knowing where they were going to live.  Haha  Oh, man … Tuesday was crazy!  We found out Monday night.  I already started packing a little on Monday.  It‘s funny how easy packing is after a while on the mission.  I remember at first it was so stressful trying to round everything up and make it all fit.  This time it was really fast.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Stories and Letters ... Staying Connected

(These are the pictures we send to Elder Fox that he was writing about.)

Hey guys!!!

So first off about those pictures, Mom and Dad … Looking good!  Belle … Wow!  You’ve grown!  I’ve never realized in any of the other photos but in this one you could tell that you’ve grown a ton!!!  You’re so much taller.  And Belle, Kassie and Britt … you’re all just as beautiful as ever.  Did you guys get a book from her in Portuguêse?  That would be cool for after the mission.  It could be a way for me to keep a bit of my Portuguêse.

Thanks for what you wrote Mom.  It really did help.  I really like those little stories you send me.  I’ve used them to teach people a bunch too.  All the stories you’ve sent me in letters, I still have saved.  And I’ve printed some out from the emails, but to print something is really expensive.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tossing, Turning, and Wishing For ... Air Conditioning!!!

Dear Family!!

Hey guys!  How’s everyone doing??  I’m doing good!  I’m so grateful that the place we’re writing our emails at has air conditioning!!!  It’s so hot here.  In São Paulo it’s still winter time, but here it’s blazing hot!  Last year I spent all winter in São Paulo so it was nice there.  It got pretty cold in July and August, but here in Sorocaba, it doesn’t get cold ever.  Just sometimes at night it would a little but that wasn’t even anything.  Last year around this time it was nice.  Some days were kind of hot, but for the most part it was nice.  But here … it’s already getting hot!  Be thankful for air conditioning!!!  It’s so hard to sleep at night.  I keep tossing and turning all night long.  I sleep, then wake up, then sleep, and wake up all night long!  I’m going to be in trouble if I’m still here come summer time.  I remember last summer well and here it will be just like last summer … only a little bit hotter!!!  It’s funny because it has gone a really long time without rain and so the people here are complaining that it’s dry.  I still think it’s humid!  haha  I guess that’s what happens when you grow up in the desert.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Manning The Lifeboats

"In a very real sense, those persons stranded on the vessel which had run aground in the storm-tossed sea are — those who await rescue by those of us who have the responsibility to man the lifeboats.”  President Thomas S. Monson
Dear Family!!!

Hey!  How was the weekend up at the cabin? Man … I still haven’t seen the Evans’ new cabin!  I’m really jealous of you guys.  I love it up there!  It’s so pretty!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Missionary Life Is On Fire ... Literally!

Dear Family,

Hey!!! How’s everyone? How was the first day of school?? Was it exciting? I always liked the first day of school … getting to see everyone again … getting to see who's in your classes … it was always pretty fun. The first day and the last day are the best days of school! Haha Oh man! My first day of school is going to be way different when I get home. I’ll be off to college. But I still have a year until that’ll come and a whole summer after my mission to worry about that, so no need to even think about it now.

Today I have been out exactly 1 year and 4 months!! Man the time flies!! It’s crazy to think how long it’s been when it seems like I’ve only been here for a little bit. Does it seem that long to you guys? It’s been going by so quick!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Honesty Is Everything

Hey Guys!!

Ya … Elder Costa was transferred.  :(  I was pretty bummed.  He went to Sao Paulo again.  Now I’m with Elder Meireles who's from a little city (I forgot the name) in a state called Para.  I like him.  I just decided not to go into the transfer with any pre-conceived notions.  That’s what I would want someone to do with me.  I miss Elder Costa a ton and I doubt I’ll get another companion like him again.  But Elder Meireles is a good missionary and I like him too.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Family Here ... And Family There

(The water off of the coast of Maceio, Alagoas, Brazil.)
(The beaches where Elder Fox's companion is from.)
Hey guys!!!!

Man!  Right now the LAN house we’re at has some movie on the TV, and every other word is a swear word!!  The worst part … it’s in English so I’m the only one in here understanding everything!!  It’s horrible!!  Thankfully these computers have headphones so I put them on and got on the church website and have music going on in my ears.  Now I can’t hear anything.

Monday, August 6, 2012

"Everything Just Makes Sense!"

Hey guys!!!

How’s everyone doing??  Sorry my emails have been getting shorter.  Things have been a little crazier now on P-Days because we have to accompany the Assistants on Mondays.  We end up waiting around all morning.  That makes it hard when we have stuff to do.  Sometimes when it takes awhile to finally get out, and then once we get out and do everything we need to, there goes the P-Day.  And that only leaves me with a little bit of time to write emails.  Also, the key board here is really weird and it takes me forever to type.  You know me … I already type slow, add on a tricky keyboard, and then I mess up a lot.  So that’s why they are getting shorter.  By the time I get on … I often don’t have any time.

Monday, July 30, 2012

"A Cure For What Ails Us"

(Elder Fox's shoes don't look this nice!)

Dear Family,

Man I’m so sad that I’m missing the Olympics!!!  Just about every missionary either misses the Olympics or the World Cup.  I would prefer the world cup, but oh well.  I’ll just watch them in 4 years.  :(  I’m not going to lie … it's a pretty big temptation right now because the Olympics are on at the place we’re writing at and I really want to watch!  haha  But … I prefer to write you guys (and also keep the rules).  Thanks for the update on the Olympics and medal count!!  I really appreciate it.  You know how much of an Olympics junky I am.  When I was back home I was always recording the events and watching them all.  It’s ok if you guys cheer for the USA against Brazil … I do the same thing!!  When someone says, “Hey!  America and Brazil are playing!”  I always say, “Go America!!!”  haha  I heard the Opening Ceremonies were really pretty!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ultimate Frisbee ... To Play Or Not To Play?

Hey guys!!!

How’s everyone?!?  I’m doing great here!!  Today was a blast.  Our zone got together and we played soccer and then had a barbecue in our house.  Our apartment building has a barbecue in the bottom and a big room for parties and stuff.  I’ve decided that I will never ever get good at soccer.  This sport just isn’t for me.  After playing a bit I brought out my Frisbee and we decided to play a little game of Ultimate.  As always here on the mission, if you want to play anything other than soccer, none of the Brazilians want to play.  The only one that did was my companion, who suggested we play, and one other Elder.  The rest didn’t want to.  We started playing anyways and it was pretty fun playing Ultimate with such a small group of people and in such a tiny area.  When everyone saw how much fun we were having, they decided they wanted to play too.  Haha  Now I’m pretty tired and to top off the exhaustion, today was hot and humid.  These last couple of days have been pretty cold or just right … today was hot!  The weather is always a roller coaster ride in Brazil ... it makes life interesting.

Monday, July 16, 2012

"These Shoes Were Made For Walking" ... But Not Rain!

(We searched for the best missionary shoes we could find but I guess walking 100% of the time + Brazil rain storms = destroyer of shoes!)

Dear Family,

Hello from rainy Sorocaba, Brasil.  Man, this rain is madness!  I’m starting to miss the dry, rainless desert.  haha  The biggest problem with the rain are my shoes.  They aren’t rainproof anymore.  I’ve gotten MANY hours of work put in on them.  I’m hoping that they’ll make it to the end of my mission, but we'll see.  I may need to pull some money out of the bank to take my shoes to a shoe fixer so he can fix them up for me.  If you guys could stick a couple bucks in there, that would be nice.  I’m not sure how much it’ll be but I’m going to look into it this week and if you guys want to only put in how much I need, you can wait until my next email.  I may just have them take off the soles of my shoes and put new ones on them.  We’ll see what these shoe guys say I should do.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Training Is Over ... New Opportunities Await!

(An area close to where Elder fox is now serving.)
(I love how green it is.)
(Trujillo in a city called Sorocaba.)

Dear family!!!

Hey guys!!!!!!!  Oh man, yesterday was madness!  It was a holiday here.  (No one knows which one.  Just that there was no work or school.)  Every single public computer place was shut so we had to use the internet today.  Sounds like you guys had a good time!!  Yes Elder Knoblauch has some stuff … my photos and another present for Belle because all that I had when it came time to send off the package was the flag and a kite which is more of a cultural thing here.  Everyone flies these kites.  You’ll see when you guys come here.  They are everywhere.  Little kids get in fights over kites.  They’re popular, but I wanted to send one more thing to Belle so he has it.   Also, did the flip flops fit Kass and Britt?  I had no idea what size they are, and the sizes here are different too so I kind of guessed.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sleeping On The Mission ... The Best Of Times ... The Worst Of Times

Hey guys!

Man crazy week and a crazy day today too.  I was so dead and exhausted after last week that today I had no energy to do anything.  Thank goodness for P-Day!!!  We stayed home today and after my studying and eating lunch and cleaning a bit, I went and sacked out.  When I woke up, it was a race for everyone to get ready and out the door to do our emails.  It was worth it though.  It was really nice to get a bit of sleep.  I was soooo tired.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pizza Hut ... A Little Slice From Home!

Dear Family!!

Hey guys!!!  Man today was fun but kind of crazy.  Today we woke up and cleaned a little bit.  I prepared for my training tomorrow too … let’s see if President will finally go.  haha  Then we took off for the park.  We met up with the Elders from Hortal Florestal.  They are Elder Bowman and Elder Espiritu.  Elder Bowman is awesome and one of my better friends here on the mission.  We were in the same zone in Itú and then both got transferred out here together and I’m his District Leader so we get to talk a lot and have a good time.  Today we went and played volleyball at the park, and then a bit of basketball with some people there.  Generally the basketball courts are empty or they play soccer on them, but there were some guys playing ball and we went and played with them.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Our Family Is Forever

(Elder Fox and his sister right after receiving their Patriarchal Blessings
from their Uncle ... Homer  McKay LeBaron.)
Dear Family!

Happy Father’s Day Dad!!!!!!  It works out since you’re celebrating it today, I personally can write you!!!  How was it?  What did you get?  Did you get that email yesterday??  I love you tons Dad!!  You’re the best Dad in the world!!!!  Have a great day!!  I miss ya tons!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Blessings In Brazil

Manaus Brazil Temple

(A few photos of the "Cultural Celebration".)
Dear family!!!

Hey guys!!  Glad to hear from you all!!

My week was good, but I want to start talking about the temple dedication.  It was sooo cool!!!!!  First off … the cultural celebration.  It was pretty awesome.  I just felt bad for the translator.  At first I thought he just didn’t know how to translate very well, because he was butchering the talk by President Uchtdorf.  I found out afterwards that he’s one of the guys that does the translating for conference, and translating like that is hard!!!  I try every now and then for fun and for practice.  During the conference translations, the people don’t stop, they keep going so you have to keep up with them.  Once you start falling behind you start missing stuff and then you get lost.  So these guys are good.  In President Uchtdorf’s talk he would say a bit and then stop and the translator would translate what he said and then keep going and that way is easier.  I was hearing both English and Portuguêse and the translation was so wrong!!!  I think he was just having problems hearing President Uchtdorf.  After a bit, President Uchtdorf said, “Alright.  We'll fix this.”  He had him grab his microphone in his hand (it was in a stand before), he put his arm around him so they were really close, and then started talking and then it was a bit easier for the translator.  I bet Elder Costa and Elder Lago were really trunky during the cultural part.  Elder Costa’s girlfriend was dancing in it and I bet he saw her.  Elder Lago’s mom was the director of the choir so he saw her a bunch cause I saw her lots.  I also saw one of his brothers a couple of times that was dancing in it.

Monday, June 4, 2012

"Half Way There" ... Better Late Than Never!

(Elder Fox finally received his "Half Way There" package!)

(Here's some of the things we put in it.)
(All four sides of the box had this label on the outside of the package.)
(A poem we included with the package)
(We found a camel that had a shirt on it with the scripture from 2 Nephi 31:20 printed on it about "enduring to the end".  With the camel, we included this poem.)
Hey guys!!!

Alright … so I don’t have tons of time to write.  My computer was having problems and the guy was fiddling around with it and wasting the time I paid.  Then he had me switch.  When I asked if I could have the time back that I lost, he said “No.”  So basically, I only have a little bit of time now after writing President, reading all the announcements, and reading the email.  This may be pretty short.  I’m going to type as fast as I can so if there are spelling mistakes or grammar stuff, that’s why.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Companions ... A Life-Line On The Mission

Hey guys!

Sounds like you all had a fun week!!!  My week was kind of crazy.  Elder Lago was transferred and I’m training now.  I got a Brazilian (I was hoping for an American so I could have the "American Dream", but oh well.)  His name is Elder F. Cardoso.  He's from Fortaleza, so where Jarin’s serving right now.  I thought he was going to die because of my walking pace.  Apparently I walk very fast and I hear him behind me breathing really heavily, but every time I ask if he wants me to slow down he says no and to keep going at the same pace.  I hope I don’t kill him on accident.  When we get to people’s houses he's usually pretty sweaty and out of breathe.  I keep on checking if he wants me to slow down and at night I ask too, but he assures me it’s no problem.  He just needs to adapt and apparently he's an ex marathon runner and for fun would run 50 kilometers when he had nothing to do.  But I really like him.  He’s really excited to work.  I just have to get him over his fears to teach.  To chit chat he's not too scared of, but to teach he’s terrified.  That’ll come with time.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sick From Eating ... Pizza Style!

Dear family!!

So another rough week here but we were able to make it fun.  I had a division with Elder Bowman, who is a really good friend of mine and he's really fun.  So that was a good time.  Elder Knoblauch did one with Elder Davis on another day and since we live in the same house, I got to hang out with him.  He’s also way cool.  Since Elder Knoblauch is taking off on Wednesday, we went to a pizza place.  It’s an all you can eat pizza restaurant and an investigator told me and him about it on a division we did in his area.  We planned it out to go there … us four and the investigator and his family.  We decided to have a “Pizza Eat Off” so Thursday night at 7 o’clock the fun began.  Oh man!  It was crazy!!  We started off even.  Every time they came by with pizza, we both grabbed one.  Then I got a call from a member of the bishopric so I had to talk to him for a bit.  When I got back, I was behind by one pizza slice.  Then we got another call so I got behind by 2.  Later, a guy came by with pizza and only had 2 slices.  Elder Knoblauch grabbed one.  Me and a kid there wanted the other, so I let the kid have it and was left behind by 3 slices!  I had a lot of ground to make up.  I managed to narrow the gap to just 1, but in the end I lost.  The final count … Elder Knoblauch 14 and Elder Fox 13.  :(  When it was all done, we started feeling way sick.  I went outside for some air and he came with me.  After we hobbled outside I was feeling horrible and ended up going back inside, to the bathroom, and threw up in the toilet.  Now I felt much better.  On the other hand … Elder Knoblauch was feeling like crap the entire night.  Elder Lago went into the bathroom and was there for an hour.  I went and knocked on the door (it was one of those little rooms so it didn’t have a bunch of stalls; just the main door that you lock) and he wasn’t responding.  The manager came over and said, "Hey man, is your friend ok?"  I just shrugged and said, “I hope so.”  Finally he came out and made up some kind of dumb excuse about why he was in there so long.  haha  He only ate eight pieces too!  That was nothing!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Call and Messages Home

(One of the baptisms after Elder Fox was transferred.)
Hey guys!!

Man its been soooo long since I’ve talked to you guys.  haha  Oh, phone calls are great!!  I think it’s a good thing we don’t get to call all the time because then we'd never focus.  But it was really nice talking to you guys!!  Everyone looks the same except Brittin and Belle.  You two have grown up quite a bit.  Also, the only remembrances of you guys are the pictures I have in the photo album so, ya, you two look different.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Cuia ... A Bomba ... And Some Chimarrão ... What?!!

(Elder Fox sent us this from Brazil.  We had all kinds of guesses as to what it was.  This week we finally found out what it is.)

Hey Guys!!!

So how’s everyone doing??  Just a couple more days until I get to call home!!!  I’m so excited for that!!  This weekend is going to be awesome!!!  We have a baptism this Saturday (it wasn’t last Saturday, but this one) and then the call on Sunday!!!  You guys got the package??  Sweet!!!  That jersey I sent is a team from São Paulo.  The four big teams from here are Palmeiras, Corithians, Santos, and São Paulo.  My favorite is Palmeiras.  Everyone has their team here.  That’s a big topic of conversation.  If you’re chit chatting with someone and need something to say, you always have that fallback … “What’s your team?” and then lots of times come the arguments.  haha  When I first started my mission it was a big fight with people trying to convince me to choose their teams.  I finally went with Palmeiras.  As for the family gift, it’s called a cuia (pronounced quee (as in queen without the n) ah, so quee-ah or cuia).  The first time I saw a cuia and a bomba (the straw), I thought it was something for drugs.  haha  Did anyone think that??  It’s for a drink … either chimarrão or terêrê.  The stuff you use to make the drink kind of looks like a drug too, but it’s an herbal thing.  You use this stuff that’s ground up herb thingies and mix it with water and sometimes lemon.  It’s kind of like a tea, but not bad for you.  I might have Elder Knoblauch bring some to you guys when he comes to see you all.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Treat From Your "Peeps" Back Home!

(We decorated Elder Fox's box with these labels in different colors on every side.)

(The girls went to work making "Missionary Peeps" to add to the box of baskets, candies, plastic eggs, favorite party foods from home, etc.)
Dear Family!!!

Alright … so today was such a crazy race.  Today was our p-day (I thought I mentioned it being moved in my last email) and we got to go to the temple.  We woke up 6:30 as always, but then it was quite the scramble.  Four guys in a little apartment is a bit difficult to get ready.  Mainly because two of them just sit around and then try and rush last minute, but both still have to take showers and their showers are always super long.  Unfortunately, one was my companion and the other was the companion of the other companionship, so we couldn’t just take off without them.  However, once they were ready, we took off running out the door and raced to the metro station and got on the metro.  These stations are sooooooo crowded and crazy here in São Paulo.  Imagine the subway stations in New York when everyone is going to

Monday, April 23, 2012

Quick "Goodbyes" To Eternal Friends

"Você vai deixar saudades, aprendemos muito contigo."
"Nossos amigos para a eternidade !"
"Despedida do Élder Fox :/, vai fazer falta!"
Dear Family,

So yes … I was transferred.  : (  I was so bummed out when I got the call.  I really loved that area and all the people there.  The members … investigators … everyone.  We got the call on Monday night.  Normally we get it during our P-Day, so before 6 pm, but the second last transfer was at 7.  We had dinner marked at one of our investigator’s houses (the one who I told you about that was my adopted mom and I her adopted son since her daughter took off on a mission).  She wanted us to go over there that night so when I found out about transfers … she would know also.  With the time we set up dinner, there was a chance that I’d be there when I got the call.  So we got there, and nothing.  Me and her were both really anxious to get the call.  I seriously thought that I would stay.  We ate, talked a bunch, and still nothing.  We waited and waited and nothing.  On our way home we decided to take the bus.  At the bus stop, I called our Zone Leaders to check on a few things, and they had just gotten the transfer call a second before I called.  They then told me what happened.  I was so bummed out.  I didn’t really feel like doing anything that night, just sleep.  Not a good idea.