Monday, December 10, 2012

Good News or Bad News ... You Decide!

(Elder Fox in Sorocaba.)
Dear Family!

Hey guys!!  So I’m not sure how the temperature is back home … but I’m stinking dying!!!  It’s so dang hot out!  It’s hot AND really humid too!  The worst part is that in this city, wind doesn’t exist.  Sometimes I don’t want to stop walking because at least while I’m walking, there’s a little bit of wind generated from me moving about.  haha  I guess you can consider this heat a blessing at times though.  It’s a good reason for people to let you in their houses.  Just the other day, we contacted someone that was way cool and he gave us his address.  It was a way hot day and where he lived was very far.  We set off to teach him undaunted by the heat wave we were in the midst of.  We got to his street and … the address he gave us … didn’t exist.  We decided to knock on a door with a number close to the one he gave us.  We did that and an older lady came out.  We asked if the guy lived there she said, “No.”  Then we asked her if there was someone with that name on the street.  She informed us that there wasn’t.  She was kind of abrupt with us and didn’t seem to open to us either.  I really felt strongly about leaving her a message but her defenses were up.  Should I talk to her about the Plan of Salvation?  Restoration?  Nothing seemed to fit.  So I just thought, “Tell her what happened today.“  And that’s what I did.  I said, “Serious … he doesn’t live here or on this street?!  We talked to him the other day and he told us to come here, but he gave us a false address.  We prepared a message for him and came really far … underneath this sun and in this heat … to share this message with him.  Now I don’t want to make a waste of this trip so do you think you could give us some water and let us share the message with you?”  She looked at us, her demeanor softened, and she said, “Wow!  I can’t believe he lied to you two.  You’re two respectable, kind, young men.  Of course I’ll give you some water and listen for a bit.”  It was really cool.  She was super nice.  I guess it pays off to just tell it like it is.  haha  So while we drank our water … we were able to share a message with her about being blessed by “living water”.  It went over very well.
So … I have some news for you guys.  I’m not sure if you guys got the news too, but I don’t think so.  Anyways … I don’t know if it’s good news or bad news.  The church, for whatever reason, is moving the days of our transfers.  Transfers are decided by the Missionary Department because that’s also the day that missionaries go home.  So they are moving the transfers one week before they normally are.  That means, instead of the 24th, I’ll get home a week earlier on the 17th!   I’m kind of bummed because I’ll have one less week on the mission, but happy because I’ll get to see you guys a week earlier!!!  Also … some other news that I’m not sure if you guys would think good or bad is about extensions.  They aren’t letting missionaries extend their missions any more.  I won’t be allowed to extend my mission.  I was thinking about my new release date and I think it will work out perfectly.  It will give me just that much more time to work after our trip to Brasil.

About the Christmas call … I’m still trying to find a place to call from.  What time do you guys think would be good for me to call?  It’s kind of tough because I don’t know who my companion is going to be.  Transfers are not this Wednesday but next Wednesday.  I don’t know who I’ll have and what time he’s planning on calling home.  Let me know what time you guys think would be good.  Would the morning time work best there?  Remember that we’re 6 hours ahead of you.  You guys let me know what works best.  I‘ll figure out where we’ll call from.

This last week was a good one.  The only bad part … the weather!  On Friday, it started pouring rain.  Rain is different here than home.  Back home, it cools off before it rains and stays cool after the rain passes.  Here it gets really hot before the rain comes and only cools slightly during the rain.  Once the rain passes, the sun comes out and it gets ridiculously hot again!  And add to that extra humidity because of all the rain!  Friday it got up to be around 85-90% humidity!  Now that is fun weather to hit the streets and do missionary work in.  But you do it because that is why we’re here … to serve the Lord and be his servants in bringing truth and happiness to all those looking for it.  Other than the heat and humidity, it was a good day.  We contacted a father and daughter that are way cool.  As we were walking along, we saw them sitting on the side of the road.  We thought it looked like a pretty good place to take a rest so we sat beside them and started teaching.  It was amazing how even in that dusty, dirty path … the spirit was so strong.  I knew they felt it too.  And the most amazing part of it all is that we marked a date with the daughter.  She’s 19 and embraced what we taught her right away.  She shared with us that she had been praying for a church and thinking a lot about baptism and what it means.  It was awesome that they were put in our path that day.  I am constantly reminded that Heavenly Father listens and answers prayers.  I know that he loves each one of us.  Even a 19 year old girl who desired direction and religion in her life.  You never know how those prayers will be answered.  It could be on the side of the road by total strangers … but the Lord is aware of our needs … always!

Another family we have that are really cool, are going on vacation for a couple weeks, coming back for a week, and then they are going to move.  : (  They are moving to another mission.  So, it’s not like we can call them and keep track of their progress.  That was a hard one.  They are so cool and I want so desperately to know that they will be ok and find the truth that will bring them true happiness.  On the plus side … we were visiting them with a member, and his dad is a counselor in the mission that they’ll move to.  He’s going to pass the reference to his dad and his dad will pass it all to the Elders that are there.  They are going to be really lucky to get this reference.  It’s an entire family, they believe in the church, and their kids are above the age of baptism.  I‘d be overjoyed to get a reference like this!

I got the package!!  Thanks so much!!!  I loved it!  The food is so good.  I miss food from back home a lot!  These little treats are delicious!  Chips and treats here in brazil are so expensive!  Thanks a ton for the package!

Well - I gotta get going.  I love you guys tons!!  I miss you all and hope everyone is doing good.  Until next week!!

Love,
Tavin

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