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.

It was really sad saying goodbye to Elder Knoblauch last week.  He was a really good missionary and so much fun to talk to.  He saved my sanity too because when our companions would fight, me and him would just laugh and have a good time.  Now he’s gone and all three of the other missionaries fight a lot, and now I don’t have him to pass the time with.  There was one day where I had a little bit of a break down.  I was super frustrated one day because for a couple days in a row NOTHING happened.  NO ONE would listen to us, and we literally spent the whole days walking.  So this night I got home really bummed.  I had so much stuff going on inside of my head and I really didn’t know what else I could do.  I had unwillingly and without control, in a sense, given up.  It’s really impossible to explain.  Like I didn’t give up but it was so bad that seriously in my mind I didn’t know what else could be done.  I was mentally exhausted and bummed out and just had a momentary shut down.  So while I was laying on my bed he came walking in playing the guitar and telling a story while playing.  haha  It was really funny, and even though it was so simple, it helped me out so much because I was literally broken that night.  Physically and mentally.  I’ve never experienced anything like that before in my life.  And he helped me out a ton.  Also another Elder … Elder De Andrade went home this last week too.  I’m going to miss him a ton too!!  He was my Zone Leader when I was in Itú and he is so much fun.  I got some pictures with him and there’s one that I really like that the guy with my camera just snapped a shot when we weren’t ready for it.  We had our arms around each other just laughing.  I’ll try and email it to you guys.

Anyways, this Sunday we’re going to have Stake Conference that'll be a transmission from Salt Lake.  That'll be sweet and then afterwards we are going to have a baptism!!!!  And the following week will be the dedication of the temple in Manaus!!  I’m really excited for that one because we'll all get to watch it!!!!  And I guess in other countries they do a cultural part the day before, so there will be a cultural celebration too!!  So, ya … these next couple weekends are going to be awesome!!!

As far as being a District Leader … it’s just another way to serve!  : )  I think it's cool that they don't make a big deal about "leadership".  When you get called, it’s during the transfers.  They call you up and tell you the transfer information.  They just say, “Ok.  You’re going to be with this companion you’ll be senior and District Leader.”  That’s pretty much it.  Then they do a training for us too.  And, ya Dad, every Tuesday we have a District Meeting and I have to give the training.  I found a way that really works for me and the missionaries in my District.  Lots of times the trainings are all theory, like teaching what to do to help with a certain problem.  For instance … if you need help with finding new people to teach … you do a training on what you can do to find new people.  What usually happens is the District Leader talks for an hour and a half or two hours and teaches.  I like to do practices more, because I think it’s better to practice a situation with missionaries then on the roads with real people.  We learn from messing up so it’s best to mess up with another missionary than a real person.  Plus, that’s actually what President is wanting us to start doing now so it's a little bit easier to do the District Meetings this way.  I like a more hands on approach.

So Britt … about track … seeing how I have no clue how your season went, how was it?  What were your favorite events?  And which ones were your best?  Who was your favorite coach?

Belle … good luck this weekend with your recital!!!!

Anyways, gotta go!  I love you guys!!!

Love,
Tavin

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