Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission

Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 Dear John


That's exciting that you guys celebrated Isaac's and Jana's birthdays! I miss them :( I can't believe he's starting preschool either! It seems like just yesterday I was in preschool and having a 3 year old crush on another girl. That's cool also that he's potty trained...mostly haha I enjoyed that quick story with the presents.

I put it in my planner to look out for the Kellers on that Saturday.

That's awesome about Shelem's and Jonathan's experiences at the Spanish Branch! That's also cool that she's gettin these jobs, I'm happy for her :)

I'm happy to hear about Andrew's job at the Hampton. I'm happy he likes it. He needs a good job that he likes. That's cool with AnnMarie as well. Cool story. I hope you'll tell me the crazy/funny stories in her classroom. How's their van been? Is there any scent of stench left?

You and Dad better enjoy your vacation and time off! Make sure you treat yourselves and have as much fun as possible. You guys deserve a way good vacation. I mean heck, you got 2 sons who served full, honorable missions, 1 who is serving, 3 kids married in the temple, 2 grandkids, 1 kid who Will be married in the temple. You guys have done a great job as parents. Just leave the to-do list at home and go enjoy each other and the places you go, you both deserve it. Don't forget to start your trips with a prayer :)

I got both the packages thanks again for those. I believe I already responded about the khakis and sandals in another email but again just don't worry about it. Thank you though.

Now for answering questions:
Did he know he would be your teacher when he was the “investigator”?
Yes he knew he would be but we had no idea whatsoever. After about 4 lessons with him we'd grown to love him and we all thought he was a way cool guy and we were all gonna miss him so when he opened the door to our classroom with a white shirt and tie on and a nametag that set him apart as a teacher we all screamed for joy pretty much. Very awesome guy with the absolute best stories and spirit.

How was your week?
My week was good! Nothinggggggg toooo crazy or out of the ordinary. I saw Sister Lucas! I saw her on Sunday for the first time at Dinner. I've seen her like 2 or so times since, our schedules don't overlap at all so that's why it took so long to see her. She seems to be doing well though!

Has the weather been good?
The weather has been amazing! Even when it's raining (like it's been doing lately) it's still amazing! Going to the temple this morning was beautiful and walking back as well. There's still those 1 or 2 guys who are trying to convert us to...who knows what but I like to listen to what they say and see how many faults I can find in what they say. Today one was saying that we stole millions of bibles from people and that we couldn't take his bible. The Elders behind me were like "yeah I'm pretty sure I've never stolen a bible before. Have you elder?" "No, I don't think I have either..." "Come to think of it I think we actually give Free bibles to people! The King James Version in fact!" Yeah they're interesting guys. I feel bad for them. I'm surprised they still try after all this time. I was joking with another elder "I'm surprised they're still out here doing this! I mean, I'd be very very very surprised if Any missionary Ever heard them and was like 'yeah you know I think he's right, I'm just going to give up after preparing my whole life and feeling God's testimony to me that this is His work.' " Yeahhhhh noooo that wouldnt' happen.

What have you learned about yourself since being in the MTC?
I can do a lot by myself. But ultimately I need God's help and we all need God's help in life to make it through. I'd say that might be one of the most prominent things I've learned about myself. I'm still learning that I need to rely more on God. as in I know I can do a lot by myself and maybe do a pretty dang good job of it too but with God, not only can I do all things, I can do them perfectly...So I'm trying to rely more on God's power and less on the power of man, myself.

What is your favorite food at the MTC?
hmmm...well it's all pretty good. I mean it's not home but I enjoy it. Most times I'll get 2 of the meals they have and eat the best part(s) and maybe go back for what was my favorite or maybe go and get the third and final meal they offer. I eat a lot. It's pretty bad haha but I haven't visibly gained weight I'm pretty sure.

Have you seen any more people you know in the MTC?
Yeah I saw another guy from my dance180 class and another guy from my 3rd year of EFY.

I heard of someone this week who actually made it to the Brazil MTC on schedule – amazing!
Yeah! My companion's brother came into the MTC at the same time both going to Brazil and he, my companion's brother, got his visa yesterday and is already gone today! It's crazy! It was a lot for him to handle because he wasn't ready for it.

What is the worst thing that has happened since you go to the MTC – or the thing you disliked the most?
Ummm the last lesson we had with Moises went pretty bad... (Moises like Moses in the bible) That's always not a good feeling but we learned from it and we're seeing him again with a different approach that we're hoping will work.

Is there anything you wish you had done differently to prepare for your mission?
Um...I wish I had known Preach My Gospel better. The lessons and also the whole thing really because my teachers keep pointing out to me nuggets of awesomeness in the Preach My Gospel.
Other than that...I think I'm fairly satisfied with my experience here.

Are you getting letters from many people??  Who?
More or less. I got a letter from Bishop Lucas, Bonnie, Michael, Aunt Carol, Lindsay Cork (college/childhood friend), Mina Edwards (college friend). Other than that though no one else has sent me anything which I'm mostly fine with but I would never complain about getting more emails or Dear Elders! :) So spread the word! 

Are they mostly emails, or DearElder??  I did get the word out about that.
uhhh I've only gotten DearElder's except for from you. No one has sent me a handwritten letter except for your 2 or 3 with the talks and stuff. 

Do you know your mother loves you very much?  So does your father!
yes I do know that indeed. And I love you guys very much as well 

So funny story, during Sunday night's devotional, the speaker was having everyone stand up if they met a qualification likeee foreign language or last sunday or significant other writing/waiting and then he asked "If you have received a Dear John since being here at the MTC. About 6 guys stood up. One of them was Elder Tolman from my district and I didn't know that so I felt bad for him and I was mouthing I'm sorry because he was sitting about 10 seats down, he looked kind of confused. Later I found out that he thought a Dear John was just a letter from family or a significant other, he had No idea what a Dear John was! That was kinda funny.

Awesome Mormon Messages and some of Elder Horton's spiritual notes (really notes, bad sentence structure):
"God Will Lift Us Up"
"Looking Through Windows"
Reaching out to others, you really forget your own problems. "God Will Lift Us Up"
More time focusing on self, more likely to fall into rut. "God Will Lift Us Up"
If you have faith you can handle difficulties knowing with an eternal perspective all will be okay. "Men's hearts have failed them"
Satan is trying to get you to quit something great
Be worthy of God's words "Well done thou good and faithful servant"
"You will be freed" About addiction recovery
"My New Life" A sweet story that helps you put things in perspective.

Knowing mom, she'll probably make the family watch those this sunday or monday for family night. I say make because pre mission I would've felt like I was made to but now I just feel blessed. They're good messages and I know they can help us in our lives. If you don't watch them and if mom doesn't make you, that's totally fine too :p We're on the computer almost every day because of something called TALL which is just like Language study and I watch mormon messages while doing TALL and it helps me stay awake and it only redcues my efficiency by about 10% while enjoying all those messages! and more.

Hey I'm on email right now. working on responding to everything
Awesome!  How are you doing?

Great! I'm not sick any more! I got over that maybe Wednesday or Thursday last week
That makes me happy!!  Are you working on the long letter for this week?

Yeahhhh almost, I'm shooting off one last email to a college friend then that one
I can’t wait!!  Dad says sorry for not writing a letter this week, his vacation is busier than he hoped it would be.  Almost done with the porch.  He fell off the ladder this morning, but fortunately, the ladder broke his fall and he’ll only have some bruises to show for it.  No broken bones.  Thankfully!

Dad shouldn't feel bad about that at all! I'm fine with that. That's kinda scary he fell off the ladder! Tell him to be more careful.
He just laughed.  The sad thing is that I was driving Shelem to an interview when he fell and I wasn’t even home.  When I left to drive her again, I told him to not get on the ladder till I got back and he actually did what I asked!!

oao! (wow!) I'm kinda surprised he did what you said too! Maybe he could just pay Jon like 50 bucks to do it or whatever is reasonable. I mean he's an able bodied young man with free time I'm sure. And also a love of money.
Now I’m laughing!!  True, true!!  However Jonathan’s time is limited and weather has been so rainy, he wants to finish it by tonight if possible.  Wish you were here to help!!  I’m sure we’ll have other projects that need help when you get home!!

My companions waitin for me so I'm gonna go now. I think I've run out of things to say... I love all of you! Have a great week!

Love you too!  TTYL!


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