Well, I can´t believe it, but
the end has finally come. I´m not sure exactly what to write you guys,
because I’ll be able to tell everything in a few days.
Yesterday, we picked up Elder
Funk from Portão. He´s going to be my replacement. We´re going to
be in a trio until I leave. Elder Funk is a great guy, super
excited. He´s going to do great in the area. This will make things
a bit easier for Elder Morales, They´re not going to have to close our area
because of me.
I actually ate lunch with
Amanda and family this last Tuesday, during exchanges in Bairro Novo, but
Juvencio invited me again. I´m going more to take pictures and say
good-bye. They´ve been so great to me. I think besides Amanda´s
family, and other missionaries, no one here knows that I’m going home this Friday.
It´s going to be a crazy week. I know that on Wednesday, I’m going to the
temple, so that´ll be good. I´m going with everyone from my group, so I’ll
see Elder Barkdull and Elder Reeves again.
I´m about to leave to go
visit Juvencio, so I’m already going to wrap things up. I just want to
say three things that I learned on my mission, of greatest importance to me.
1) I learned, without a
doubt, that the Book of Mormon is true. If anyone wants to get closer to
God, they should read this book. The Book of Mormon has given me the
answers to questions, time and time again on the mission, and has been a great
source of power in teaching others. I know that my investigators lives
have been touched, as they read the Book of Mormon.
2) I learned to
trust in the Spirit. I learned to invite, recognize, and follow the
Spirit. This was one of the hardest things to learn on the mission, but
when I learned to recognize the Spirit and follow it with consistency in my
mission, my mission transformed. It really is worthless to work without
3) I learned to
love others, even those who treat me poorly. I think that before the
mission, I really didn´t have a capacity to love anyone besides myself.
But on the mission, the Lord has helped me developed a great love for others.
Well, I love you all
lots! I´ll see you in just a bit!
Wow, I guess I’ll have to go
shopping after this e-mail. I have a lot of things to get you! It´s
hard to believe, I only have this p-day and then one more after it.
That’s neat that you talked
to Amanda. I´m planning on buying a present for Danilo and Amanda today,
so that I can give it to them on Sunday. I´m also going to buy a present
for Wallison and Emanuelle. I´m going to develop photos from their
baptisms, and then buy a picture frame, and give it to them as a present.
Well, things on this end are
accelerating, each and every day. I´m trying to bear my testimony to as
many people as I possibly can. We´re still in search for new
investigators to baptize, but the Lord´s chosen are out there, and we´re going
to find them. Elder Morales and I are doing great as a companionship, I
feel kind of bad that I’ll have so little time with him. The time truly
is short, but during the week, I act as if I still have a lot of time left on
the mission. I´m going to continue learning, continue getting better, and
continue being a leader until the moment they take my Missionary Placket away
Ben and Andrew both sent me
e-mails. Haha, I could tell just by Ben´s letter that he´s a little lost.
Andrew´s letter was great, too, it´s amazing to see the difference in him
just by the letter. However, I will say that his letter left me trunky
Wish Autumn a Happy Birthday
for me!! She´s 18 already, I can´t believe. Her letter should be
getting there soon, I sent it a couple of weeks ago. I´m super excited to
see everyone, Alicia, Bentley, Mom, Dad, family! It´s going to be great.
I got my hair cut today, for
the last time in Brasil. :( But the barber was one of the most
interesting barber´s I’ve ever met, he´s an old man of 63 years. He moved
to the US and lived there for 11 years. At one point, he decided to move
to Mexico, and lived there for 4 years. He then decided that he wanted to
try to cross the US-Mexican border, so he swam across the river. He was
telling me that a lot of Mexicans drown in the river, or die while they´re
crossing the desert. Hahaha, I thought it was the craziest story I’ve
ever heard. But then, his Mom called him, and told him to come back to
Brasil, so he did. What a life!
Well, I love you all lots!
Tell everyone I said hi, but I’ll see you soon anyway.
This past week was pretty
fun, we had Leadership council with all of the Zone Leaders and District
Leaders. I got to see a lot of old friends--Elder Rex, Woodruff, Little,
Vighetto, Edgar, Rodriguez, etc. It´s great to see everyone, and see how
they´re doing. I don´t feel that much older as a missionary, but I feel
like everyone i know is getting a lot older. It was fun to get to know
President and Sister Fernandes better. They take our calling really
seriously, and gave us a lot of guidelines in maintaining the dignity of our
calling, but at the same time, they joke a lot. Sister Fernandes told us
all that we have to clean our houses more (Mom, I think you´ll be glad to know
that I have, in fact, learned how to clean on the mission) and keep ourselves
clean. President Fernandes spoke a lot about obedience and Faith.
During the week, we continued
searching for new investigators. We visited a lot of them from last
week. We´re starting to develop a good teaching group here. It´s
funny because Parigot de Souza is really similar to Bairro Novo. Every
time I get transferred, it takes a bit to adjust, because each area is pretty
different one from another. But here, I’m not so much LEARNING how the
area is, but I’m REMEMBERING how it is.
This week we were helping a
less-active family come back to Church. They were baptized recently, but
stopped coming to church because they got offended. We planned well our
lesson, and brought a member with us to help us out. It was neat, because
we taught Obedience, which is a really simple principle. However, even
with such a simple principle, it turned out to be exactly what they needed to
hear. We used John 14:15 (if you love me, keep my commandments) and we
invited them to come back to church. Whereas before they didn´t want to
come back, this simple scripture helped them reflect about obedience, and have
the desire to keep the commandments. It was pretty neat.
So yeah, the area is doing
well. Elder Morales is great, he´s the best Chilean I know. We
share a lot of interests in common, such as eating rice and beans, teaching the
gospel, and helping others to be baptized. Elder Morales is a calm,
thoughtful missionary who likes to teach the gospel in a loving way. He´s
helping me a lot, because I, as a missionary, am a bit more spazzy and
frantic. I´m trying to think of a pop culture reference to describe our
companionship, but I am not remembering any movie that has a wise Chilean and a
spazzy American together...
The ward is doing well,
they´re helping us out. They have a lot of activities, which is great for
us, because we can invited investigators. A lot of them I kind of knew
already, which is fun, Parigot de Souza is a good ward. We had lunch with
our bishop yesterday, he´s a character! He´s way funny, I like him a lot.
I can´t believe they changed
the film in the Temple!!! I´ll have to go check it out! I don´t
know, I kind of like the old ones, they have a special place in my heart.
But, I can´t judge, I haven´t seen the new ones yet.
I´m planning of buying some
things here in brazil so I can remember better. I´m planning on buying a
Soccer Jersey, and a Brazillian flag. Other than that, I’m trying to
think of things I can bring. Do you guys have any ideas? I´m
planning on returning with pretty much nothing in terms of clothing (yes, all
of my white shirts are going to be left behind), so I think I’ll have
Well, I’ve gotta go, but I
love you lots!!! Keep praying for me!
Well, I guess I lost three
more days of my mission. I can´t even believe it. I really am excited to
get back, and see the whole family again and get back to studying, but I’m sad
to have to leave Brasil. It´s funny, because I took for granted brazil and the people since I’ve been here, but lately I’m starting to value it
all more. It´s like what everyone says, you don´t know what you´ve got
til it´s gone! Oh well, what can you do.
About seeing Alicia at
Atlanta, I’d be fine with it, but it seems like a great Hassle on Alicia’s
part. I´m sure I’ll see Alicia soon enough. I´d love to see her,
but I think it´d be easier not to. She´d have to get up like 3 in the
morning! haha, I love you Alicia!
About who to invite, you can
invite whoever to the homecoming. I don´t know, I think it´d be cool to
have just family at the airport. At the home, you can invite whoever you
feel comfortable inviting. The day of the homecoming can be whichever.
You can leave my homecoming day the same day, if you´d like. Or you
can mark it on the 25th. Maybe I’ll be tired from the flight and the
mission, but it´ll be good to see everyone again, and have my mission fresh in
One thing I DO want to leave
marked is a visit to the Temple, soon after I get back. I´m probably not
going to be able to go to the Temple here in Curitiba, but I need to go at some
point. I need to account to the Lord. Preferably the week after I
get back (because I imagine that on that Saturday, I’m going to be way tired)
Ok, lets leave this topic for
Parigot de Souza is a
blessing! It´s been a crazy week. So the Elders that were here
before baptized everyone that they were teaching, so now we´re kind of starting
from scratch again. We found a LOT of new investigators, like 7 different
families. The Lord blessed us a lot this week.
It´s weird beyond belief,
returning to this place. I´ve seen a LOT of familiar faces this week.
I saw several recent converts that I taught more than a year ago,
including Amanda, Thiago, Felipe, and Vera. Everyone that was pregnant
when I left all of a sudden have a baby. Everyone that had a baby while I
was in Bairro novo all of a sudden have a toddler. It´s been so strange.
Everyone was really excited to see me this week. It´s fun to see
everyone, but then again, I feel bad for Elder Morales, because we end up
losing time at activities and at Church! haha, I’m trying to avoid
catching up with all of these friends for TOO long, but it´s fun to see them.
Elder Morales is great!
he´s a funny Chilean, and is a great teacher. He´s being an amazing
companion, I’m sad that I’m not going to stay with him for that long.
Well, I gotta go (it´s hard
getting used to the 45 minutes again).
LOVE YOU LOTS!
PS Autumn should be expecting
a letter, and I’ll send one more letter to the family.
That’s neat that you got to
go to their homecoming!!! President and Sister Cordon were so great to
me. And yes, I recognize everyone that you took pictures with. I
can´t believe how long I’ve been out on the mission, it feels like it hasn´t
been that much time.
So today, I’m kind of short
on time, I think I’ll send a bunch of pictures so that you can see what I’ve
been up to. Today, I got TRANSFERRED. I got transferred to Parigot
de Souza, as a Zone Leader. It´s the area next to Bairro Novo, so I
pretty much know everything here already. And I’ll be seeing Amanda and
Danilo, along with everyone from Bairro Novo, every Sunday. So that´s
neat! I´m with Elder Morales here. He’s a Chilean, and great,
although he´s kind of hard to understand, with his Chilean accent. But I’m
really excited here! I´m not sure exactly when I’m coming home, they
haven´t told me yet, but I THOUGHT that it was on the 26th. Oh well,
we´ll see. For me, I hope it´s on the 26th, and not the 22.
Emanuele and Wallison got
baptized yesterday!!!! Wow, it was one of the best Baptismal
meetings I’ve had on the mission, the ward helped out a ton! There was a
special singing number, sung by the ward, there was cake, there was food, there
was drinks. Emanuele and Wallison liked it a lot. Also, at the
Baptismal, the ward already had chosen their Home Teachers and Visiting
teachers, so they got to meet them already. It was soooo neat. I
was pretty sad to have to leave Tatuquara, but I’m sure that Elder Rex will
take care of everyone there. Also, Elder Woodruff got called to
Tatuquara. So they´re in good hands.
Congrats on the new
callings! I´m sure you´ll love it. I want to do something with
scouting when I get back, I think it´ll be fun.
Ok, I’m going to send you
pictures, sorry for being in a rush today!!!
So we didn´t end up having
the baptism yesterday. Wallison´s work called him Saturday and asked him
to work on Sunday. This was the first time they called him to work on
Sunday, so we weren´t even expecting it. Emanuele didn´t want to get
baptized without her husband. So, we remarked the baptism for this next
Sunday. I´m just hoping that they don´t call him to work again.
We´re feeling pretty good about it, they both want to get baptized.
This week we had a ward
activity for missionary work. We got a long rope, and put it throughout
the chapel. At the end of the rope was the ´´Celestial Kingdom´´, and
along the way were several temptations. There was a room with a lot of
food, a room with video games, one with a movie playing, etc.. We blindfolded
them, and they had to hold on to the Rope. When they got to one of these
temptations, we let them take a peek at the temptation, and see what was there.
If they wanted, they could go, leaving the rope, but once they left, they
couldn´t come back. It was pretty funny, and a lot of ward members, and
investigators ended up coming. It actually turned out great. I
didn´t take any pictures (which is too bad!) but it was fun.
So I thought you knew, but
Elder Little is going to the same Chapel as I do! There are two wards in
our chapel, Tatuquara and Rio Bonito. Elder Little and Elder Ritchie are
assigned to Rio Bonito.
Our week this week was fun,
we found a lot of new investigators, so we´re excited. Also, today, we´re
going to go have an activity with Elder Little´s district, so that should be
It´s been a while since I’ve
spoken at church, but Bishop Nascimento told me yesterday that in a couple of
weeks we´d probably give a talk at church. I love giving talks on the
mission, it´s something different, and I always have something to talk about
with the ward.
Here in Curitiba, it isn´t
REALLY cold, I just use the sweater for morning and at night. I don´t
know, I’m starting to think that everyone has been lying to me this whole time.
Curitiba doesn´t get all that cold.
We had interviews with
President Fernandes this week. It was neat to talk to him. My interview lasted like 10-15 minutes. He
asked me a bit about my family, my weak and strong points, accomplishments that
I reached before the mission. Then he wrote down the things I said.
He´s really intelligent. He studies the scriptures like two
hours per day. Que crazy.
I did get an E-mail from
Halie, so that was nice!
Ok, I’ve gotta run already.
I´m taking more pictures!!!