Monday, July 16, 2012

"These Shoes Were Made For Walking" ... But Not Rain!

(We searched for the best missionary shoes we could find but I guess walking 100% of the time + Brazil rain storms = destroyer of shoes!)

Dear Family,

Hello from rainy Sorocaba, Brasil.  Man, this rain is madness!  I’m starting to miss the dry, rainless desert.  haha  The biggest problem with the rain are my shoes.  They aren’t rainproof anymore.  I’ve gotten MANY hours of work put in on them.  I’m hoping that they’ll make it to the end of my mission, but we'll see.  I may need to pull some money out of the bank to take my shoes to a shoe fixer so he can fix them up for me.  If you guys could stick a couple bucks in there, that would be nice.  I’m not sure how much it’ll be but I’m going to look into it this week and if you guys want to only put in how much I need, you can wait until my next email.  I may just have them take off the soles of my shoes and put new ones on them.  We’ll see what these shoe guys say I should do.

Apart from the rain, this week was good.  We’re working really hard and doing tons of contacts.  We found a lot of really cool new people this week.  As of yet, we don’t have any baptisms lined up but we’re working on it.  This last week we had Mission Counsel and it was way cool.  I was pretty tired because the meeting was to start at 9:30.  In the city I’m in, we’re pretty far from there.  We had to get up bright and early to head over to the meeting.  The Zone Leaders from Itú came and slept at our house the night before so I got to see my mission Dad, Elder Henrique.  Once we finally got there, the meeting was really cool.  It was really spiritual and lots of fun.  President Martins was really relaxed too.  Generally, he’s not so relaxed and doesn’t joke around with us as much, but at the Mission Counsels he jokes around a lot more.  My companion said that’s how he is in all of them.  After the meeting, we went to the temple store.  It’s kind of like the church bookstore back home but a lot less stuff.

The rest of the week was spent working like normal.  We started a little game for our contacts.  Each of us takes a turn making the contact and when it’s my turn Elder Costa gives me a word.  During my contact I have to use that word.  It was pretty fun incentive to do more contacts because I have to complete my contact before I can give a new word to my companion.  I got words like brick, kite, motor, tree … stuff like that.

Friday, a little bit of craziness happened.  We got a call from an Elder in our zone who's fairly new, telling us that he wants to go home because he's sick of doing contacts and nothing happening.  He was tired of having people reject him and say no or have his appointments fall.  The truth is … that is all part of the mission.  haha  We talked to him for a while, and convinced him to go out and work and that we’d call him that night and see how it went.  In the evening when we called him up, he was all excited and said the day went great!  It was awesome.

One of our days of working tons and nothing happening, ended really good.  It was a bad day and our last appointment fell so we had nothing to do.  We decided on going to a more or less recent convert’s house to talk to them about a reference.  A little before we got there, we saw someone and decided to contact them.  We introduced ourselves and she said, “Oh … well … I’m just getting home from work and I’m almost there.”  (That’s the excuse everyone uses to say “no“.)  So I said, “Alright.  Well is there some other time we can stop by there and talk with you and your family a bit more because you’re probably tired?”  (Which is then usually followed by, "Well, it’s hard to find me at home.  I’m always leaving and going places or working so I can’t set a time with you guys to come by.  Sorry."  Which translated, means “no way“.)  However, she said, “How about right now?”  That took us by surprise and I asked just to make sure I heard right … “Right now?"  She didn’t have to ask me again!  We went over there and taught them and will go back over there tomorrow.  Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Sunday was another cool day.  I met someone at church that came up and spoke to me in English.  She said, “Where are you from Elder?”  I replied, “Las Vegas”.  She looked surprised and then said, “No way!  I’m from there too!”  haha  It was kind of a shocker!  She’s from Brazil and moved to Las Vegas and is living there.  She came back to visit.  We’re going there tonight to teach her Mom a lesson.  It was way cool to talk to someone from home.  She said she’ll add me on facebook so if I get a request by some lady from Las Vegas yesterday or today … go ahead and accept it.

In your email, talking about the rock and you, Teena and Missy there … you said one of them is pregnant.  Who's pregnant?  Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun.  haha  As for your question on what things we have to do as Zone Leaders … there’s quite a bit.  We have meetings with the High Counselor in charge of the missionary work every week. Whenever there’s a problem we’re usually the first ones called to resolve it.  For example, my companion got a call once to run to an Elder’s house because one of the Elders grabbed a machete and was threatening to kill his companion.  (Not the usual problem we have to resolve.  haha)  We have a lot more contact with the President and the Assistants and basically have to know what’s going on in every area of our zone.  In this zone there are 7.  We keep pretty busy with extra responsibilities but the biggest and most important thing we need to do is to be an example.  That may sound trivial but I can‘t tell you how important setting a good example for others is.  That’s not just my feelings about what I personally need to do … our area is supposed to be an example area too.  We’re supposed to be examples of keeping the  rules, being positive, doing everything that President asks, and working really hard.  There are other things like getting numbers and stuff but basically I feel a huge responsibility to set the proper tone for all the other missionaries in my zone.  A positive, hard working attitude trickles down to others.  It’s just another great way to serve!

Just a quick couple of questions … did my voters registration thing arrive?  And when does Theo get home from his mission?  It’s coming up right?

I gotta get running so until next week.  I love you guys so much!!!  I hope everyone is doing good!!!


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