Monday, December 3, 2012

"Parabems!"

(Elder Fox ... 21 years ago.)

Dear Family!!

Hey guys!!!!!! How’s everyone? I’m doing good. 21 years old! To be honest … I feel the same. It didn’t even seem like my birthday yesterday. I didn’t really go around telling everyone that my birthday was coming up.  Then again, I’ve never really done that.  Not even before the mission.  So I didn’t really make a big deal about it.  My companion told some people, but not too many people remembered.  There were a couple people who remembered, from when I first got here, that December 2 was my birthday.  They remembered this without anyone reminding them.  They just came up and said, “happy birthday” to me.  That was cool that they remembered.  Also … two of my ex-companions called me up. The two Elder Costas … Elder Costa and Elder O. L. Costa.  When Elder Costa called me he said something that made me realize how fast the time goes by on the mission.  I didn’t even think about it, but it was with him that I spent my birthday last year.  When he called he said, “Man! I can’t believe that a year has already gone by. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were in Cidade Nova for your birthday!”  And seriously … it doesn’t seem like it’s already been a year since my last one.



At church it was pretty cool being there on my birthday.  Everyone was wishing me a “happy birthday“.  Not too many people knew but a lady in our ward, Wania, announced it in Relief Society.  After the meeting, everyone came up and said “happy birthday” to me.  That was cool.  It was funny too because in Portuguêse, the way you say “happy birthday” is either “feliz aniversario” or “parabems“.  The most common is “parabems” which also means “congratulations“.  So there were a couple of times when someone came up to me and said “parabems” and then the father/husband that was there had a confused look and said, “Congratulations Elder Fox.  I’m not sure what you did but obviously it was good so congrats.”  haha  Then the person that said happy birthday laughed and said, “No. Today’s his birthday!”  I got a good laugh out of it.  After church ended, we went off to lunch.  It was good.  It was just a normal lunch, but I like the family we ate with, so it was cool.  They didn’t know it was my birthday until Elder Jubette told them and then they said, “Well, why didn’t you tell us?! We would have made you a cake or something.”

After lunch … “normal day” kicked into gear.  We went out walking and got rejected a bit until around 5 when we finally got into a house.  It was really really hot yesterday too, so I was sweating like crazy.  It’s funny how here you can tell it’s going to rain because it gets really really hot!!  At night time, it rained.  As we were walking home there was tons of lightning everywhere!  It was so cool!  All around us in every direction, there was lightning striking.  Right when we walked into our apartment it started pouring rain!!

Yesterday two of our investigators went to church.  That was the most awesome birthday surprise ever!  I got so happy when they came walking in!  I think that they liked the meetings.  It was Fast Sunday so I always get scared when investigators go the first time on this Sunday.  It’s different when there are speakers.  Plus, there are those testimonies that ... let’s just say ... don’t edify very much.  Kind of like stories that make your little sister want to leave because she’s feeling sick and so on. (haha - remember)  This Sunday had some testimonies that were kind of interesting, but nothing too bad.  The best part was that there were a lot of really good testimonies.

As for the heavy metal reindeer ornament … if I remember correctly, it was Brittin that picked it out.  I’m pretty sure it was her because I remember going and cleaning it for her with that cleaner thing that I used on my trumpet.

Thank you guys soooo much for getting the BYU applications in order.  You guys saved my life!!  I was pretty worried it wouldn’t work out but at the same time pretty positive that you guys would be able to do it.  What a relief that it all got put in.  Did I have a lot of grammatical mistakes?  Like bad ones or just not capitalizing everything or little things of that type?  My English has gotten so bad since being here.  I guess it has something to do with the fact that I never use it.  Even my thoughts are in Portuguêse now.

For the rest of the week … this week was way better than the last one.  We worked really hard and were able to teach tons and meet a lot of new people.  It was a really good week.  It was like the calm after the storm.  Last week - super hard.  And this week - way better.  That member I mentioned earlier, Wania (which you pronounce like Vania), that announced to everyone that it was my birthday … she was called to serve in the Presidency of the Relief Society.  It’s awesome because she’s in charge of organizing our lunches now!!!  If it were up to her, we would be treated like kings!  She was so frustrated when our lunch fell and now she said that we’re going to get taken care of the right way.  haha  I’m pretty excited about that because they treat us so well!!

Really quick … yes, I was able to pull out money.  I think two weeks ago I pulled out 70 reais so like 30-35 dollars to pay to get my shoes fixed.  They were tearing.  Also … the package hasn’t gotten here yet.

I have to go.  I love you guys a ton!  Thank you for everything you guys do for me.  Thank you for always writing an email to me every week which means so much to me.  It really means a lot because I’ve seen Elders that get on and have nothing and I’m always so happy to hear about everything that’s happening back home.  Thanks so much for always giving help to me whenever I need it and for everything.  I love you guys tons!!

Love,
Tavin

P.S. - How did Belle like the “Santa Run”?  I ’m jealous that she did it because when I was in High School, and after I graduated, I always wanted to run in it but never signed up.  When I’d hear about sign-ups … it was already too late.  Maybe next year!

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