Monday, November 26, 2012

Pavlov's Dog and ... Christmas?

(Elder Fox with his Zone ... letting loose and having some fun!)

Dear Family!!!

Man! I had totally forgotten this last week was the week of Thanksgiving. It didn’t feel like it at all. I think that’s the plus side of being on the other hemisphere. When it comes time for the holiday season, it doesn’t seem like it at all. Why? Because it’s stinking hot out!!! haha What I’m used to is … once it’s coming up on the holiday season … there’s fires in the fire place, hot chocolate, and wearing jackets. Here you don’t want any of that! It’s all those little things that make it feel “Christmassy” or “Holiday Seasony” (if that’s a word. haha) It’s kind of like Pavlov’s test with the dogs. Every time he rang the bell, he gave the dog a treat. So every time the dog hears a bell now … his mouth waters. It’s kind of the same thing with the holiday season. Once all those little things start happening … cold, lights, fires, hot chocolate, Christmas music … you can’t help but feel happy and know/feel that it’s Christmas time. And because of that, you can’t help but not think of the family. However, when you’re living somewhere that’s the opposite of that, you don’t have too many cases of homesickness.

This week was purely exhausting! You have no idea! We worked so hard and yet there were hardly any results. Monday we went and taught an older lady because some guy that we contacted gave us a false address. We taught her in front of her house. We asked for some water and she came back with two cups and a can of coca-cola. I thanked her for it and then said, “Ummm, not to be annoying or anything, but I don’t drink Coke so can I have some water?” She was way nice and said, “Oh I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” I told her it’s no problem at all and my companion said that’s it’s no problem because he loves Coke so more for him and she laughed. Then said, “Well I would go in and get some water, but last time the dog was trying to get out and I had to hold him back and I’m worried if I go back he'll get out and attack you two.” I was REALLY thirsty but I told her not to worry about it. She then said, “Oh … but I don’t want you to go thirsty!” She looked around and said, “Do you accept some water from the hose?” I thought, well I drink from the sink … it’ll be the same type of water. And I drink from the hose back home so it’ll be no problem. Yup. That water didn’t settle too super well and it had a funny smell and taste to it. I’m still alive so what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right? Haha

Tuesday, we gave a training to our Zone and it was … interesting. The missionaries in our Zone are so dead and unexcited and complain about everything! One of the Elders was complaining about how tired he was because of how much time he had on the mission and a Sister said, “Ya, well, wait until you get to as much time as I have and talk to me about being tired.” I jumped in and said, “Guys! You shouldn’t be getting that tired if you’re actually working and being positive. Of course, if you’re complaining, then it’ll be tiring. But Elder, I have way more time than you do and I’m still going strong. And Sister, you will never have as much time as I do because you’ll go home before you get to the time I have.” That bugs me so much when people say that they are tired and can’t work. That’s something Elder de Oliveira said all the time to me. He said, “When you get to have the time that I have on the mission, you’ll see how tiring it is and you won’t be able to work like you’re working now.” Well … I’ve passed the time he had and I’m still going strong. I’m not saying that to be like, “Oh! Look at me!” I’m just saying that if you’re here to work, then just go to work happily and things will happen. My companion is going home in two months and he’s still working hard. Anyways … during the training, the missionaries weren’t participating or paying much attention. There were just a couple of Elders that were, and one Sister. They said they got a lot out of it so I think it was good. On Tuesday we had a division with one of our District Leaders. I stayed in my area with him and tried to train him a bit more. It was a good day and he’s a good friend so all in all … awesome!

Wednesday we had interviews with our President.  After the interviews, he went with us to teach an investigator.  It was a good lesson and I was amazed at how incredible of a teacher President Martins is.  I was left a little envious and found myself wondering how it is that he does it so perfectly. Hopefully it helped our investigator because she’s pretty tough.

Thursday was a day of lots of contacts and hardly anyone to teach

Friday I went to an area called Eden to work there for the day with an Elder, and to do an interview. It’s a branch that on Sunday became a ward. The day was pretty good there, except here they weren’t able to enter a single house. They spent the whole day walking. They did get a chance to visit with one of our investigators.  It’s the one that left her job because she had to work every Sunday morning. Well … she said she’d start working again on Sunday because she wasn’t able to find another job and needed the money. Now she can‘t go to church any more. When I found this out, I was extremely sad! She had such a strong testimony and had made such great progress. Now … she just let it all go. I can understand and feel for her situation. It was a tough one that she was in. She felt like she had to go the “sure thing” route, but we know the blessings she’s losing out on that are so much more than a job. It was way sad news.

Saturday, I came back to my area and we had a day of walking. No one wanted to listen to us and no one let us in. Oh joy!! We managed to make it a little fun. At night we were tired and hungry and a little bummed out, so I bought some food for us on my personal credit card. I hope that’s o.k.

Sunday was Stake Conference. It was cool but not too much happened that day. We went out teaching with a member from our ward. I really like him a lot. He’s the Bishop’s son, and really cool. He sent a facebook request to you too. By the way … he told me what he wrote. if you’re wondering what he meant by ‘He’s my father‘, here’s the story.  He was joking around with us the other day because he’s going on summer break and so we were like, “Well, looks like we can get some missionary training in.” So he said, “Ya, you guys have to teach me everything you know. I‘ll be your son for this next little while and you’ll have to teach me.” So that’s why I’m his “father”. haha He’s cool. You should add him and talk to him a bit on facebook. He just turned 17 a couple months ago.

As far as Christmas goes … seriously don’t worry about me. Just send me some junk food and save some money for when I get home so we can do some cool stuff. I probably still have one more area that I’ll pass through, so I’ll have one more transfer. My bag is already not shutting from all my stuff and anything more won’t work out. Christmas will be exactly 4 months before I get home so I’ll have the stuff for just a bit and then I’ll come home. What I really prefer would be just to not get anything for Christmas so when I get home we can have some fun and go and do some stuff as a family. I think I’ll write Santa too and see if he could hold off on my present for four months. Do you think he’d do me that favor?

Seriously, I don’t need anything. One thing, other than junk food, that I would like would be if someone could make me a CD of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. There’s a new rule. We can only listen to Mo Tab and only on P-Day. I’m going nuts without music because I only have two songs from the choir.

I have to run. I love you guys a ton and I miss you all so much. On the plus side … Christmas is coming up and that means I get to call home!! Yay!! I love you guys!


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