Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Letter 4

Dear Mother, Family and Friends,
PDay (Preparation Day) has come again. I am trying to write more letters that I can send to you every week. I miss you guys a lot and I am having a great time. First for the questions
My companion is a fireball in the way that we are both frontrunners and in a way it is our way or the highway.  It has been a humbling experience that I have been trying to focus on listening to the Spirit.  We do get to watch conference here and Priesthood Session is on Sunday morning because of the time delay here. About the weight thing, I will still be able to run. There are a few elders on my floor that every other night we do what we call “Ab Ripper X” which is kind of funny but I am so sore right now.  
The guy from Missionary Ties is a way that I can send pictures to you guys so I will talk to him again.  About the Missionary Purpose, we were asked and I was the only one out of 10 people in my district that knew it by heart.  Now I know it in Portuguese too.  Also tell Coach Selby that a letter is coming his way for him and the Cross Country team.

Now to this week. The people here are great.   I have found so many people that remind me of you guys back home. I have found an elder that looks like Mitchel but is from Colombia. Also Elder Castelli is from Chile and he is a runner to and could run a 5k in under 15 min.
This week was our first fast Sunday and I will let you explain that mother to those who don’t know what it is. This Fast Sunday was probably the easiest Fast Sunday I have probably ever had.  (FYI:  Fast Sunday is held the first Sunday of the month.  Members of the church are asked to fast from food and water for 24 hours and then give the proceeds of the missed meals to the Fast Offering fund.  This money is used to help others who are in need.  During this fast we are thoughtful and have a purpose to fast so that we can come closer to the Savior and to find answers to concerns we have.)

Portuguese:  It has been a tough week as there is a lot to remember and to retain and respeak. I have headaches pretty often because there is so much to comprehend. Every Sunday and Tuesday we have choir practice and we are singing Christmas songs in Portuguese!! It is so amazing!!! Also our schedule has changed and for my district it is still the same but we have PE at 9:25am. Sleeping is tough because throughout the day I become exhausted and we have to stay awake so last Prepday I bought a box of 30 Milk Way bars so that when I am tired I just eat one or I have a apple that I got from the cafeteria. I only have like19 candy bars left. hahaha. Any questions from friends... I leave the CTM on October 21st.

Time/People:  It is wierd to think that I only have 3 weeks left here in the CTM and 100 weeks left in my mission.  It seems so short.  It has rained here a couple of times and it is beautiful outside, I love it but they won’t let us run on the track when it rains though.  Bummer!   I remember all those workouts with Selby that were in the rain. I miss that alotttt!!!!! The cool thing here is that I have met 2 elders with family members that are part of the Quorum of the 70. One is elder Zabellos and the other is Elder Echohawk.  That is not a joke about his last name. He is pretty chill. I have already bought 3 soccer jerseys and a handmade leather burned designed scripture case down here. This week my district tried speaking Portuguese all day for 3 days and my head was about to explode it is so tough and there is not much I can say when we are eating or working out so I am carrying my little dictionary around with me everywhere. 

Exercise:  For Coach Selby and for anyone that wants to try this: Here in the CTM there is a workout called the missionary push up which is where you go and do one push up and then go and touch a wall 6 feet in front of you, then you go back and do 2 push ups and then touch the wall. You do this all the way to 20 and your arms will be so tired and when you add all the push ups together, 1 and 2 and 3... it comes to a total of 210 in total and everyone tries to see if they can go past 20. My record so far is 15 and my arms are killing me!! But it is so much fun!! 

Letters:  Also Sister Swenson gave a talk last Sunday and she said this line, “a mai sempre sabe”, which means a mother always knows. I have described it more in the letters I am sending you today!!  I love you all and please send me letters with pictures of you guys in them so that I can always remember your faces. 
To end my letter here is a quote that I think a lot of people mess up when talking about a missionary returning.
A mission doesn’t change who I am but how I am.

Love you all and I miss you guys so much!! 

Elder Hoopes

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