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!!!

With the problems that were happening … the Elder that wanted to go home … we told him to go out and work and we’d call at the end of the day.  At first he didn’t want too but we convinced him.  Once he got out there, he had a really good day.  When we called at night to see how it went, he was excited again.  But he goes back and forth really easy.    His companion is really really good.  He’s helping him out a lot.  I think what Missionaries need to remember is something President Monson said:   "Brethren, may we learn what we should learn, do what we should do, and be what we should be.  By so doing, the blessings of heaven will attend.  We will know that we are not alone."  We just need to replace "Brethren" with "Elders".  As Elders ... when we learn what we should learn ... when we do what we should do ... when we be what we should be ... we will be blessed!  And ... we will not be alone!!!  It's a pretty amazing promise!  And that is exactly what that Elder did.  Even though he didn't feel like working, he got out there and did what he should be doing and he was blessed.  That has always been what I have tried to do while on my mission.  Every time I'm feeling homesick, frustrated, or any kind of "down" feeling ... I just work harder and harder until those feelings go away.  It's the best cure!

One of the biggest problems I've had to deal with and try to figure out are the Sisters.  The worst part with them is there’s nothing we can do to help them.  We can’t do divisions like we would with an Elder.  We can’t even give advice or counsel (rules in the missionary manual) so there’s nothing we can do other than pray and try to help at District Meetings.  The problem is, they don’t even want to come to the District Meetings.  One Wednesday we had interviews with the President.  After the Sisters finished their interviews they came in and said, “Elder we’re not coming to the meeting on Tuesday.”  We asked, “Why not?”  They then told us they didn’t have enough money.  (They have to take the bus and it’s 4.50 reais to come and another 4.50 to go back.)  I asked, “What about your reserve?”  (We‘re all supposed to keep 50 reais in the bank as a reserve.)  Well … they already used it.  We suggested they talk to President but they refused and just said they weren’t going to come.  Out of everyone, they needed the meeting the most.  So … I gave one of them 10 reais and the other Elders pitched in to give them another 10.  When we gave them the money, I emphasized how important the District Meeting are and how the money is for them to get to the meeting.  After that, I only had 5 reais left.  That same day, we bought detergent for our clothes and there went my money.  Saturday we got a call and they said they were giving me a heads up that they weren’t coming to the meeting because they didn’t have enough money.  I paused, and after my shock wore off, I asked the Sister, “What about the money we gave you?!!”  “Oh, Elder.  We got hungry so we bought pizza.”  I couldn’t believe it!  I was going hungry so that they could come to the meeting and they bought pizza!  President Martins must have received a little bit of revelation because that same Saturday, out of no where, he showed up in the Sisters area.  haha  He gave them some advice, since they were having tons of problems, and talked about how important the District Meeting are!!!!!  They told him they didn’t have enough money to go so Sister Martins gave them money.  Now they’re coming.  Hopefully they’ll be able to help the Sisters out because there isn’t much we can do.

Other than the little problems in the Zone, me and Elder Costa are doing great!!!  I love the guy so much!  He's from Maceio, Alagoas, Brazil.  Maceio is the city … Alagoas is the state.  I have such a good time with him and we both are here to work!!  We're having tons of success.  We’re finding lots of new people to teach and we teach really well together!  This last Sunday we had some investigators go to church and they were the first investigators at church in a long time!!!  We have a date set with them too!!  Hopefully it’ll work out!!  When we invited them to come to church the response was awesome!  The week before she said, “Maybe.”  This last time she said, "Last time I said maybe and it didn’t work out.  This time I’ll go!  The only thing that will stop me is if my house falls down!"  Thank goodness the house was still standing!!!  When we got there they were all ready, dressed, and waiting for us in front of the house!

As for my shoes … I found a place that swaps out the soles of them and sticks tires on the bottom for pretty cheap.  I pulled out a couple bucks today to pay for it.  I found someone who puts airplane tires on but it was really expensive.  They are really strong, but really expensive.  I still have my two pairs.  The fancier pair, I only use for church and some Conferences.  The other pair are the ones I did the work on.  There was a big hole in bottom and it was coming unattached on the bottom.  The only thing holding it on were a couple of nails.  haha  Don’t worry about sending me new shoes.  I‘ll try and make these shoes last another 9 months.  However, some new sole insert things would be really nice because the leather ones that came with the shoes are destroyed!!

When you send the next package, I would love some beef jerky and Jalapeno Cheetos too!!!  Basically … just food!!!  That’s the only thing I want!  And letters!!!  Please!!

Thanks so much for everything!!!  I love you guys so much!!!  Please keep me informed on the Olympics!!  I miss you all a ton!!!


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