Monday, March 25, 2013

The Date Is Set! Plans Are Made!

(Elder Fox ... leaving for his mission April 27th, 2011 ... hugging his family for the last time for two years.)
("Soooo ... tell everyone, April 18th I'm hugging my Mom again!!!  And then the rest of my family!"  - Elder Fox)
Dear family

Hey guys what’s up?  How’s life?  I’m doing good but I’m so hungry.  Let me explain why.  Basically … I’m broke!  haha  Where I'm living right now, it’s not in the area we serve.  Actually, we live rather far from our area.  The house that was lived in before was infested with cockroaches and rats!  Thank goodness we got moved!!!  What that means though is that every morning and night we have to take about an hour bus ride to our area and home.  A passage on the bus is 3 reais so we spend 6 reais a day.  The money we receive, we get on the 15th and the 1st … so every 15 days.  In 15 days we spend 90 reais just on the bus!  They are giving us more money now so we can take the bus and still live.  However, there was a bit of confusion and I only received 130 reais, so that leaves me with 40 reais for food, deodorant, soap … basically everything.  Well … my money and food ran out.  So this morning it took awhile to get to our area, we’re writing now, and then I’m going to grab a bite to eat.  That will be my meal for the day.  Basically, until the 31st, I’ll be living off of my own personal money or money that the members give us for lunch.  We usually get money so I’ve been trying to be thrifty with my money to get me through.  Oh the joys of the mission.  haha

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Last Transfer Ever!

(Goodbye Sorocaba ...)
(... Hello Cequeira Cesar.)
Dear family

Sooo.....I was transferred  :(  Man I was really bummed.  And the worst part of it all was where I went.  During my last transfer, I was chit chatting with Elder Irlan about where I would want to go if I got transferred.  I said I would go anywhere, I just didn’t want to go to Cequeira Cesar.  Well … it‘s exactly what happened!  Of course that’s what happened.  haha  For you to have an idea of where I’m working now, just think of down town New York.  That’s where I am.  Just huge apartment buildings and lots of people on the streets who don’t live in my area.  It’s kind of tough but we’ll make the best of it.  With every challenge comes new opportunities.  I'm sure this is where the Lord wants me so I'll give it my best.  Look up on Google images “Avenida Paulista”.  (It’s the name of an avenue here in my area that’s pretty famous.  It gives you an idea of where I’m at.)  My companion is pretty good.  That makes the transfer easier.

Monday, March 4, 2013

"What Am I Willing To Give ..."

(Elder Fox FINALLY got his package letting him know if he was getting a niece or nephew!!!)
(IT'S A BOY!!!  A new little nephew coming just after Elder Fox gets back home!)
Dear Family!!

Congrats for the son Kassie!!!!!!  I’m going to have a nephew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yes … I FINALLY got the package!!  That’s awesome!!!!  I’ve already decided that I’m only going to talk to him in Portuguêse and he'll be fluent in no time.  And Peter can speak to him only in Spanish and he'll speak 3 languages as a little kid.  Or … it’ll totally mess up his speaking abilities!  haha  Who knows.  In the letter Kass, you said that he was sleeping when you went to get the ultrasound and wouldn’t wake up.  He must take after Peter!  haha  But that’s awesome!  It’s also kind of weird.  It’s like you said Kassie, it didn’t really hit me before, that you’re going to be a mom.  Now that I know what its going to be, it‘s really hit.  That’s so weird that you’re going to be a mom Kass.  : )  Like … moms always seem so much older.  But you’re my "lil’ sis"!  I grew up with you and now you’re going to have a child!  That’s really weird.  And really cool at the same time.  On the plus side, it’s not my kid so I can spoil and play with him … and once he starts crying … I can just pass him off to you guys.  haha

Monday, February 25, 2013

Are We Listening?

(These birds are all over where Elder Fox is serving.)

Dear Family,

No … I still haven’t gotten the package.  :(  I’m hoping I’ll get it on Thursday because we have a Zone Conference.  Elder Mazagardi, a member of the Quorum of the 70 and 2nd Counselor in the Brazilian Area Presidency will come and give a training to us.  When we have Zone Conference, President brings all the letters and packages with him.  So let’s see.  If it doesn’t come by Thursday, then at least next week is transfers and I’ll get it then.  If I don’t go to the office, someone from my zone will, and will get it for me.  Hopefully it comes soon.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Beating The Heat!

(Elder Fox and Elder Riggins.  They both knew each other in High School and now they're in Brazil together.)

Dear Family,

So why didn’t you guys tell me what Kassie’s having?  Everyone in the whole world is allowed to know except me??  haha  The package still hasn’t come yet.  The next opportunity that I’ll have to receive a package will be next week on Friday, if it comes before then.  That’s the next time someone is coming from Sao Paulo out here.  I’m still waiting for the shirt telling me I’ll be an Uncle.  So who knows when the package will arrive.  I hope it comes soon.

Monday, February 11, 2013

"After the Rain Comes the Sunshine"

Hey guys!!!

I was worried that there wouldn’t be anywhere open to send emails today.  We lucked out and found a place that was open.  This weekend (Saturday until Tuesday) is Carnival!!!!!!  Oh joy.  Everyone drunk and partying all night.  Haha  The area that I’m at is pretty chill.  There’s not too much craziness going on.  It’s funny because last year I was in a tiny city and it was way worse there.  At least here, being a slightly bigger city, there are certain parts of the city where the parties are.  Thankfully none of them are in my area.  At least as far as I know.  I feel bad for a companionship in my Zone.  Every night there’s a huge party right by their house with about a thousand people all drunk and blasting their music.  Sucks for them!  haha

Monday, February 4, 2013

Happy For Home ... But Wanting To Stay

("I love the life I'm living right now.  It's a hard one, but worth it."  - Elder Fox) 
Dear Family

Hey … sorry guys, but I’m going to say now that I don’t have lots of time.  I’m going to write this fast and try to include as much as I can.  On the plus side, there wasn’t very much at all that happened this last week.  No one was transferred.  Almost the whole mission stayed the same.  There were very few changes.  So not too much news from last week.  Actually, it was a pretty tough one.  We ended up walking a ton and not having hardly anyone let us in.  I have never received so many false addresses as I have in this area.  It‘s starting to get a little tiring.  The other day someone passed his address but I could tell it wasn’t his real address.  I asked him if he was being honest and he said, “Yes” but it was so obvious that it wasn’t the truth.  I said to him, “Please be honest with us.  Our time is precious and we only have 2 years to teach as many people as possible.  We don’t have a minute to lose.  We are representatives of Jesus Christ and our time is sacred.  Do you want us to go to your house or not?”  He looked a little embarrassed, apologized for not telling the truth, and said that he wasn’t interested. I wish everyone would just be honest with us. I thank people for their sincerity when they tell us they aren’t interested.  Our job out here is to find those people searching for the truth.  Those people who want to make a difference in their lives and find true happiness.  This man we met was very kind and didn’t want to disappoint us but I was thankful for his honesty in the end.  And I made sure I told him that.  Anyway, we spent a couple of days just walking and walking and walking.  haha

Monday, January 28, 2013

T x 2 = Transfers and Training

(This was sent near the beginning of Elder Fox's mission ... a little "personal" training from home.)

Dear Family!!!

Hey guys!!  How's life going?  Dad … how are you feeling?  I can’t believe you tried to go to work when you had pneumonia.  Even though you weren’t born into it, you’re definitely a member of the LeBaron family!  At least you didn’t ask for a “sign” to go to the hospital … or to not go to work.  That could have been bad.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Gold Flecks and Small Experiences

(The story Elder Fox was referring to can be found in the May 2011 Ensign.  It was a talk given by Elder M. Russell Ballard titled "Finding Joy Through Loving Service.) 

Dear Family,

Hey everyone!! Man, this was a crazy week! Not too many crazy experiences, but lots of hard work and some experiences involving the spirit. First of all … on Monday, I got a bit of rest because I was totally dead! I wrote a letter to make up for the bad email.  So I was able to share the stuff I wanted to say, but didn’t have time for are in the email. 6 o’clock came around and it was pouring rain. We had an appointment at 6:30 kind of far from home … so off we went to teach him. It was a guy we had contacted one day at a park and he seemed way cool. We were going down his street, getting closer and closer to his address, and then we realized the address he gave us didn’t exist. We went to another road on the side of the one we were on to see if that road had the number.  It didn’t.  A little bummed and wet, we started going to another house.  Then came an impression, like words in my head … “Go back to the street and knock on a door close to the address he had given.”  So we returned and knocked on a door with the address closest to the one he gave us.  Someone came and answered the door and I wasn’t sure what I should say.  I just asked, "By any chance does (his name) live here?"  She responded, "Yes.  Yes he does."  She caught me by total surprise.  I was already thinking of what we would say when she said “no” and then came a positive response.  I paused a moment a little caught off guard, and shocked by the fact that he actually lived there.  Then I came back to my senses and asked if he was home.  She said he wasn’t.  There had been a family problem and he had to go out of town.  We explained who we were, how we had already talked to him, and that he told us to go there.  She said she wanted to hear the lessons too when we teach the other guy.  It was such a neat experience!  The spirit lead us to the right house after writing down the wrong address.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Storms and Eternity

Dear family!!

Hey guys!  So how’s life?? I’m so exhausted right now. This last week killed me! I’m so beat and I just want to curl up in my bed and sleep. haha The weather has been really nice and kind of funny too. This last week it’s been really cloudy, which is wonderful because it’s cooled off a lot!! It’s a lot nicer to walk around in cloudy days. The funny part however, is what’s been happening with the rain. The whole entire week I’ve been walking around with an umbrella, and none of those days had rain. Then Saturday came around and I looked outside and it was cloudy.  It looked like there was less chance of rain so I left my umbrella at home. We left, and once we were on the other side of our area, it started pouring rain. We got soaked! And we were in an area with a lot of factories and work buildings so we had nowhere to hide. After a while of walking, we finally got to where some houses were, and from one of the houses some guy called to us and told us to come in and get out of the rain. It was really nice of him and we waited there for the rain to pass by. Then on Sunday, I looked out the window and there were no clouds and it was sunny and blue skies.  I thought, “Alright! I definitely won’t bring my umbrella.” After our church meeting ended, we looked outside and it was pouring rain. We waited a bit for the rain to pass but it didn’t so we set off in the rain. After lunch, it was still raining non-stop so we went walking in the rain to get to an appointment. After the appointment, we went home to change clothes and grab our umbrellas. When we walked outside … the rain stopped!!! And didn’t rain again the rest of the day. Then today was the same thing. It didn’t look like it would rain so I left my umbrella at home.  Then came the rain. So basically … when I have an umbrella it doesn’t rain … and the few times this week that I didn’t have one, it rained.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monster Burgers and an Incredible Baptism!

(Elder Fox and Elder Cachiotti attempting the Monster Burger.)
(They put everything in this burger!)

Dear Family

Hey everyone!!  How’s life??  How is school going? It’s only been a few days since my last email, but a bunch has happened in these 4 days. Thursday I did a division with Elder Cachiotti. I love that guy to death. He’s a really good friend. He’s from Washington. He’s trying to transfer over to BYU so if we both get in we talked about rooming together. He came to my area to do the baptismal interview for Edimilson. The interview went great, and we had a really good and successful day of work. That night, we bought a monster burger. There’s this place that makes a burger that has two kilos of meat! It is huge! And really hard to make. The owner of the place has a competition that you have 2 hours to eat two of them. If you do it, you get 500 reais and eat for free for a year. Nobody has ever managed to do it. There was only one guy that got close. He only had 200 grams left, but the owner of the restaurant had to take him to the hospital.  I’ll send some pictures of it home next week.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

"Awesome Brothers Get Promoted To Uncle" ... and Awesome Elders Too!

(Christmas 2012 ... we were able to skype with Elder Fox and surprise him with the news that he was going to be an Uncle!)
(Everyone else celebrating the news!)

Hey Family,

Adeus 2012!! Oi 2013!!!!

Hey guys sorry I’m writing today.  On Monday and Tuesday everything was closed down, including all the public computer places.  President told us to use the internet on Wednesday, but Wednesday we had a meeting in Sao Paulo.  We left our house at 6 am and didn’t get back until a little after 6 pm and all the places that we use computers at were already shut down.  Because of that, we had to use them today.  But don’t worry … I’m still alive and fine.  ; )

I don’t have tons of time because we have to do a bunch of stuff today, and in a bit we’re going to start a division so I’m short on time.  But first of all … I have something I’ve been waiting years to be able to say …

(hahaha! I couldn’t resist!)