Monday, April 16, 2012

Do I stay Or Do I Go ...

(Elder J. Almeida and Elder Fox ... best companionship ever!)
Dear family!

Hey! How’s everyone? I’m doing great out here!! So far, no news on transfers. This is one of those ones that anything can happen.  I’ve already been here for a long time, but only one transfer with Elder J. Almeida. Honestly, I really want to stay here. So fingers crossed that I’ll get to stay!!!

This last week was way good! One of our investigators, Marcos, finally stopped drinking coffee and wanted to get baptized ASAP. He was going out of town last weekend, so we marked it for this weekend. This Sunday after the church meeting ends, he'll get baptized!!!  Another one of our investigators … the amazing golden investigator that’s moving … is continuing to be amazing! We taught the Word of Wisdom and he had a problem with smoking, but he stopped. He told us that he doesn’t even feel the want to smoke again. He said it was a worry for him that everyone at his work smokes and he was worrying that that would make it harder.  However, he said whenever he's around someone smoking, he feels like vomiting and is having no urges to smoke. Just goes to show what can happen when you let the light of Christ into your life. He’s such a good investigator and I seriously believe that Heavenly Father has a plan for him. I think he's going to become a leader there and really help the church grow in that area. I told President Martins about him in my weekly report, and he told me to pass his address and stuff where he's moving to, over to him, and he'll call up the Mission President in that area and pass it all over to him!! That made me way happy!!

About those little drug wars going on between the cops and dealers … it's ended so no worries. We’re still alive. haha In the end, they packed the area with cops. About you guys coming here with Belle … I really don’t think it’ll be that big of a problem. There’s lots of little kids here and as long as she stays with someone, it’ll be fine, Obviously she wouldn’t go off by herself. Plus, Cameron served in Rio and it’s a lot more dangerous there than here. The only area that’s kind of risky is in the center of Sao Paulo, but we won’t be spending too much time there. More in the residential areas where I served. In Rio there were HUGE drug wars going on. Like the military versus the drug dealers. It was, no joke, a military operation! That’s Rio. It‘s a lot more chill here. I think it would be best to make the travel arrangements sooner rather than waiting until there are only 6 months.  Especially because six months before we go home is when we receive all of our travel arrangements for going home … flight plans and everything. So sooner is way better. That way, it gives time for visa arrangements.  You guys have to get visas and it took six months for mine to come through. It may be better to get everything all for sure ahead of time, so then all the arrangements can be planned out well in advance and it’ll be more chill for you guys.

About what that member wrote you … she said: “Dear sister, congratulations for the marvelous son that Heavenly Father gave you, he has been an amazing missionary here, we love him a lot, he eats lunch with us lots and it's a privilege to receive him in our house as a representative of Jesus Christ. Kisses" (To say kisses or hugs as your saying goodbye is normal here just so ya know.) She’s a member in my ward and their family is one of my favorites!!  They always mark lots of lunches for us and are always helping us out. Her son goes out and teaches with us lots.  His name is Alan.  He is way cool and the rest of their family too.

About what you asked on modesty … there’s definitely a different standard here in Brazil than in the States.  I‘m talking about people in general.  From what I see, the members are fine.  None of the members have tattoos or too many piercings, and wear modest clothing … at least around us.  I’m assuming in general. We have some investigators that are younger and have piercings and tattoos, but that change usually comes with time.  We don’t teach about piercings and tattoos … only if they ask.  Once people start, and keep going to church, lots start to change by themselves. The gospel is amazing like that.  People want to do what is right and as their testimony grows, so does their desire to be an example of Christ.  It is different from home with the people that aren’t members. That’s why it’s important to focus on the work.  It would be super easy to get distracted or get cocky too, for some guys, if they aren’t focusing.  Like, when we’re walking down the street there’s always girls shouting or whistling (something that lots of people do in Brazil).  I also hear comments when I walk by people saying, “Oh look how beautiful that blonde is!”  Stuff like that, but it’s nothing to be distracted by, or make your head get big.  It only does that if you let it.  I find it SUPER annoying.

Well, I have to get going now. I love you guys tons and I’ll try and let you guys know what happens with the money and transfers.  I love you guys tons!!!  Just know that I’m doing great and I’m happy!!


PS - I didn’t tell you what happened to my hand? Just mentioned it was hurting? I burned my hand cooking, so now one half of the back side of my right hand has a big scar on it. Just a little souvenir of the mission! haha

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