We didn't hear from you today so that must mean we'll hear from you tomorrow! I hope all is well! Maybe you had a mission Christmas meeting or something going on like that! Love you! Mom
Yep, you guessed right mom! Sorry I didn't have the chance to get on yesterday but today I'm on.
I laughed a lot that Rie used 12 sticks of butter. I feel like that's bigger than the pan she used
Mom I was curious about something recently. How was it for you to raise me? What was your greatest difficulty or challenge? What was your greatest joy or triumph?
So tell me all about transfers!!! Where are you?
My new house I'm in Penha which is a part of São Paulo, the actual City São Paulo and not the state of São Paulo.
For you to have an idea of where I've been and where I am now. My Past Areas Cool huh?
Who is your new companion?
Elder Y. Gomez that was actually my zone leader back in Guará, in Pinda, for 1 transfer
He and I are zone leaders together of the zone of Penha. I saw Elder Campbell before the transfers meeting and I tried to get some information from him about my future companion or area and he told me that I would receive an awesome companion and I was going to an awesome area. I asked if he like did that for me as like a favor or something and he said no, that it was the Lord. He said that they were talking about my name as Zone Leader in this area and that they felt really good about that decision. Goes to show me how much trust the Lord and the president have in me or are putting in me. I hope I can live up to their expectations. I've liked being zone leader up to know, it's been cool and a good opportunity for me to grow as well.
Where is he from?
He's from Belém do Pará
What was your week like?
My week was good, the area has a lot of hills but we take a lot of buses so at least we don't walk everywhere. The people here are different than the people I've already met. Either, they're super friendly and open and willing to change or they're already determined and they don't want anything. Then of course there are always some lazy ones but I feel like there are a lot less lazy ones in this area. Our teaching group is a bit small for now because before I got here, they had to basically close the area to help some other areas in the zone so we're working to get some good investigators this week.
What is your new ward/branch like?
It's like This. I've gotten to know and memorize the name of about half the ward already and they're all a fun bunch of people, I'm excited to be able to work with them :) There are some that have already accepted me as family because I remind them of an elder that was really special and friendly and the ward that passed here about 4 years ago and they say I remind them of him. That's a good thing right? The funny thing is that coincidentally, I met him this last Sunday! He was at a devotional which I'll talk more about later.
Did you say sufficient good-byes in your old area to feel closure?
I feel like I did yeah. I would've liked to have said goodbye to everyone but that's not possible. It's kinda funny, I was looking at pictures on my phone and I got more trunky looking at pictures of the members in Pinda than at pictures of my family. Not that I love them more or anything but it's interesting. I think it's because I Just left them and I'm used to being away from you guys.
Christmas is on Thursday – did you buy something for yourself yet? Or do you have something in mind to get before your mission is finished?
No I haven't bought anything yet, I have some things in mind though, we're gonna go to 25 de março which is like a super cheap shopping place and I'm gonna buy a bunch of awesome ties and who knows what else I can find there. I think I'll buy some more scripture cases too.
Do you have a dinner appointment for that day?
Dinner? No, Lunch? Yes. We'll be eating lunch with the family that will help us do Skype
What will be the timing for SKYPING with you?
I believe it will be after lunch so like 2 or so. I don't know what time that is there...And it's really easy to do a 3 or 4 or even 5 way skype with video and sound and everything normal, you just gotta do the conference thingie.
One of the translators for women for General conference lives in my ward! Cool huh?
I've had some moments of great trunkiness lately. Moments because it's just a couple of seconds or only a minute of trunkiness, not a permanent attitude of trunkiness. There's a couple reasons for that, the first and funniest is that my area is very close to the city and airport of Guarulhos and so every day I see airplanes landing and taking off haha For some missionaries this would cause a lot of trunkiness but for me, I joke around and pretend but it doesn't actually affect me. I've always gotten to know 5 people here that remind me of people from home like Dad, Rie, James, Uncle Tom, and brother Belchior, my MTC teacher. And of course, Christmas. We had our Christmas conference yesterday and the man that was there to give a talk asked us where was the best place to be during Christmas and I said family haha that wasn't the answer he wanted but it's the obvious answer. And in the elders quorum lesson they and other lessons, they were inviting everyone to have a closer relationship with their family and stuff like that I was just like "familyyyyyyy" inside of me. So that all has caused moments of trunkiness but it's all good, I'm not trunky
I think that only this Christmas am I really understanding the true meaning and purpose of Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ. I really love that video by the church "He is the Present" it really helped me a lot to understand this. It helped me to understand that Jesus was born and with his birth brought peace and hope. It's something that I've always know and said before but that I really understand now. And I'm very very happy that I can have peace and hope in my life.
There was a super special devotional as well that the theme was about having peace and hope in our lives. There was an elder, Elder Schenk, that passed in this mission about 3 or 4 years ago and he got hit by a bus here. The side mirror of the bus hit him on the left side of his head. The medics got there and took him to the hospital but had little hopes of his survival but continued doing everything they could. His parents were flown to Brasil to be with their son and they talked with the medic and he said that they'd done everything that they could and that there was nothing else to do and that he was going to die. He then asked if they could donate his organs. In the apartment, his dad and mom were alone and the mom said, "Didn't you hear what the doctor said? There's nothing else they can do" and the husband said something that I really liked, he said "I can accept God's will, but I will not stop praying for a miracle" the whole left side of their son's skull was shattered and the brain was damaged. His mom made a small poster with some pictures of his family and what not with a picture of him that he sent with something that he'd sent him also in the weeks before the accident, he'd written home "Your future is as bright as your faith" which is another quote that I really loved.
He didn't die, despite the expectations of the medics. He was in a coma for a month. When he woke from the coma, he didn't know how to speak Portuguese, or English, he didn't know how to walk, and he lost all his vision in one eye and only had a fourth of the vision in the other eye, he didn't know the most basic things and had to relearn everything. Elder Schenk, Britten is his name, and his parents were at the devotional telling this story. Britten told us that he had ADD when he was younger and saw this as a blessing as well because he had to learn to work really hard to get good grades and this helped him have the self-discipline to relearn everything that was needed after the accident. He even relearned Portuguese. Today, he seem like 100 percent normal. If you just looked at him, he would seem like any other young man, he's even dating someone back at home. I really wish you guys could have been there to hear the story for yourselves, it was really special.
But the message that I understood through all of their story is that in spite of your circumstances, it doesn't matter how difficult your situation is, you can have HOPE and PEACE. I love that message. Hope and Peace. And also that everything we pass in this life, all the difficulties, can be for our benefit and for us to be better people depending on the way we react to this problems and difficulties. I went up to talk with Britten afterwards and thanked him a lot and before leaving I asked him if we could trade ties :) HE ACCEPTED!!! So I got an awesome tie with a signature from an awesome guy and he got an awesome tie from Brasil as well. Like from Brasil in the sense that it has the colors of brasil. The bad news is that it was a traded tie. I got it from Elder Gilliat and when I told him I traded his tie he got a bit upset but not too much haha he understood.
Get on facebook and accept my friend requests please :) The family of Britten should have sent a friend request and also that other missionary that passed in this area 4 years ago. If they tag me in any pictures, save the pictures and send them to me please. And also, post the 2 paragraphs before this one on Facebook. About Christmas and the devotional
Because God so loved the world, that He sent his Only Begotten Son. So that all that believe in him, shall not perish in sadness and anger, but shall have peace and hope and happiness even unto eternal life and forever.
I love my Father, I love my Savior and I'm thankful that we can all change and that we change every day. We are the authors of our own books of life.
Lots of love
Merry Christmas to all!