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