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!!

As for this week … it was an interesting one.  Monday was a normal P-Day, nothing too crazy.  I just got in a bunch of studying.  Now that I’m training I use all of my personal study time to study the lessons, teaching techniques and stuff in Preach My Gospel.  Normally I would study that stuff sometimes in personal study, but usually in companion study.  However, now that I’m training there’s a companion study schedule so I have to study Preach My Gospel and the stuff that’s outside of schedule, during my personal time.  Things like Jesus The Christ (GREAT book) and D&C (which I started studying), have to wait until I have free time … basically P-Day.  I also prepared my training for Tuesday morning.  Tuesday morning we had our District Meeting and President didn’t come again!!  We know he’s going to come to one of our District Meetings this month with this Stake’s Stake President (who is an ex-Mission President and ex 70) and so every week I’m really nervous that they'll come.  To me, it’s kind of intimidating to have to give a training with those guys there.  haha  We'll see if he comes tomorrow.  After that it was a normal days work.  We were able to find some new people to teach.

Wednesday started off normal … personal study, companion study, and then we left to go pick up our money.  (That day lunch was money.)  We went and bought some stuff to eat and then went home.  The Elders we live with had money that day too so we were all eating together.  The other three Elders often get in “discussions” about such things as which city in Brazil has the best beaches and none of them are ever wrong.  So once again on Wednesday, was another "discussion" over something similar.  I was getting really frustrated from all the arguing so I just got up and went into my room.  I turned on some good old church music to bring the spirit back.  That’s when the phone rang.  It was President Martins.  The cell signal in our house is horrible and I wasn’t understanding what he was saying.  I finally, on the 4th or 5th time, understood him ask me how things were going.  haha  I hope he doesn’t think I’m horrible at Portuguêse since I couldn’t understand him on something so simple.  I told him we were good and then he said, "Ok … Elder Fox you’re authorized to go to the LAN house today.  You have an email from your family.  So go there and read it.  If you need anything at all, just call me."  My heart dropped and I started feeling sick.  I knew there was no way he would know there’s an email from you guys if you didn’t say anything to him.  And … you guys wouldn’t get in touch with him, especially about an email, if it wasn’t something important.  We got ready and left.  Unfortunately the LAN house is 30 minutes away so the whole walk there so many things were passing through my mind.  I convinced myself it was just going to be advising me that something happened to someone in the family and you guys were giving me a heads up just in case things were to get worse.  Most likely everything would be ok.  I opened up my email, and saw the subject “Families are Forever“ and my heart sank.  Once I started reading, and read that Uncle Homer passed away, the tears started flowing.  I finished the email and we went back home to grab our stuff.  I just walked home in half silence trying to keep it together.  When I got home the other Elders in our house asked what happened.  I started telling them and the tears came back very quickly.  They suggested that I stay home a bit and get my thoughts together.  I knew that wouldn’t help.  I figured what would be best would be to get my mind off it and work.  That’s what Heavenly Father would want and Uncle Homer as well.  I figured that’s the best example I could give the Elders in my District and especially my new companion.  We quickly threw together our bags and off we went.  Once on the road, I tried to do some contacts.  I picked the worst people possible who just walked right by, said some ... ummmm ... not-to-be-repeated words to me, and weren't very nice.  That didn’t help too much.  I stuck to it though and soon things started working out and I got my mind off things.

That same night, we had an appointment set up with some people in a journalism class that were writing a report about the church.  They asked us some questions, we taught them a little bit, and one of the two stayed for our activity that night.  She really liked it.  They ended up asking if some Elders could go and visit them at their homes and teach them a bit more.  That was a really cool experience.  We were teaching them in the chapel, and the lesson / interview was taking a little bit longer than we had thought.  All of the members there for the activity were just waiting for us.  Once the interview was done people started complaining to me that the activity hadn’t started yet.  I started running around to get everyone to the room so we could start.  Most of the people were already there, but a bunch of the youth were spread out over the church.  While rounding everyone up, more people came asking why we hadn’t started.  Then I find out the people who were going to do the message and game, didn’t plan anything so it was all thrown on me last minute.  Now I’m getting stressed because I have to get started, I have to throw together the whole activity in a couple of second, my companion didn’t want to help too much, I still have the news of Uncle Homer on my mind, and then someone came and started chewing me out for not being responsible and not starting yet.  That was it for me.  I excused myself, went into the bathroom and broke down crying.  It was rough.

Once I was calmed back down, I went into the room with everyone else.  The problem was that apparently I smile a lot and when I came in and wasn’t smiling like normal, people started asking if I’m ok.  I responded “yes” but they knew I wasn’t being honest.  During the game, everyone got up and sat in a line but I kind of hung out in the back.  This one member who is really nice (she asked me what your name on facebook is Mom so she might add you) came and asked me if I was ok.  I said, “More or less.”  She said, “Elder, don’t lie to me.  I know you and you’re normally so happy and excited and friendly.  Now you’re bummed out.  What’s wrong?”  Again I told her I was fine and she said, “Ya, like I haven’t heard that before from my kids.  I have a son on a mission and so I’ll do what I hope someone would do for him since neither of you two have Moms with you right now.  What’s wrong?”  So I told her and we chit chatted a while.  Then another lady in my ward came over to ask what was wrong.  She’s one of my favorite members.  (The one who sent you an email on your birthday and hopefully one yesterday for Father’s Day.)  I also told her and so us three talked for a while.  Leonor (the second one) lost her husband a little while ago and they helped me out a bunch.  So, ya … Wednesday was a tough one.  However, there was something kind of interesting that happened on Wednesday morning.  I don’t know if it was just coincidence or not, but during my personal study, out of no where, I felt like I needed to read my Patriarchal Blessing.  After I read it I thought about Uncle Homer and some of the things we would talk about at family get-togethers and various other times.  It was later that same day I found out that yesterday, he had passed away.  My Patriarchal Blessing has always been a source of strength, guidance, and comfort to me ... but now ... it is even more of a treasure.  I am so thankful to be born into a family where people like Uncle Homer have had an incredible impact on my life.  He will greatly be missed!

The rest of the week we spent trying to find new people to teach.  We found a couple of really good ones.  At least they seem really good.  In our house we found a couple of baptismal records of a family who had an interview done but were never baptized.  We went there this last week and they seem really cool.  Hopefully we can make something become of this.  The area is slowly changing so let’s see where we can go with this.

I’m doing great now, and we’re working hard as normal, hoping that we'll be able to find people to teach.  The funny part is how much we’re helping other areas.  All of our contacts we make in the road, live in other areas.  Haha  We pass so many references to other Elders.  Hopefully soon we'll start receiving some too!

Anyways, I have to get going.  I love you guys tons!!!  Hope you’re all doing great.  I hope Father’s Day was, and is, awesome!!


PS -  Did you sign Belle up for anything this summer?  If it’s not too late, I’ll give my suggestion.  Sign her up for dive!!!  That would be sweet!  I forgot to give the suggestion last week.  Love ya!

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