Dear Family and Friends,
I am sorry that my letters are not getting home fast enough. I don’t know why because it only takes 6 days to get here from the US. The elder that went to Mountain View is Elder Farnsworth. He is not going to Brasilia but will be finishing around the same time as I will because he is going to BYU like I am.
Second, I am thankful for all the love you guys have given me in supporting me to go on a mission. Without all you guys I would probably not be here and now that I am, I am grateful!! Being in Brazil has given me a new perspective on a lot of things about what the big world is like. It is definitely different than just living at home.
I forgot to tell all you guys but when you receive your mission calls you are seeing one of the people I know. The person on the front of the packet baptizing the investigator is the son of the CTM (MTC in Brazil) president here. He is President Swenson’s son!! That was something I couldn't believe I forgot to tell you guys. Also for those that know Logan Skinner or his sister Karli, I have seen Logan (Karli's brother), now Elder Skinner here in the CTM. He got here last Wednesday with 109 other Americans, which was about a half/half split of fresh Elders and Visa Waiters. He was having a tough time and I was glad that I was here because I was able to give him some comfort and a better motive to drive on. He is a good kid and he got a companion from Africa that speaks English. Also there is another elder here that is from London, England and he is the second elder ever from Europe to come here to Brazil or that is at least what the Swensons have told us and he is so cool. I got him to sign my tie.
For all those going on a mission soon or in a few months I would suggest taking something that you can use to remember everyone you meet. I have met so many cool elders here and so I have gotten them all to sign a tie that I picked out of all the ones I have had and would take a picture with them also. You don’t have to use a tie, you can use a book, a flag or whatever but there will be a lot of cool people that you will meet out on your mission.
Conference, oooooohhhhh don’t get me started, oh wait I am about to get started. hahaha. Conference down here was amazing. Conference was in English and those that needed translating headphones would use those but wow! My companion and I were stunned by all the talks, they were amazing and yet in the same way chastising. My favorite was Elder Tad R. Callister and Elder David A Bednar. There talks hit me because it is amazing to use for teaching investigators about why we preach the gospel. There were also so many quotes that reminded me of you mother. In Priesthood session, dad can show you where, but one of the speakers talked about typed notes and so many other things that just wanted to make me cry because I thought of you and everyone else and how they have helped me get here!!!!
It is crazy to think but I only have two weeks left here in the CTM and then I will be out in the field!! I also only have 100 weeks left in my mission which seems so short but that just gives me more reason to try harder and be more motivated in preaching this gospel. I love being here in Brazil but I also miss you guys a lot!! Please send me pictures because your mail gets here quicker than mine gets up there.
I am going to try and send a package when I get up in Brasilia where my companion can help me and it is for Jadon Allen, Kyle Gallagher, and Coach Selby. There will probably be a few more things in this package for you guys back home.
Now for the big hitter this week!! My distrito (district in Portuguese) got to go proselyting in the STREETS of São Paulo!! Our instructors gave each companionship two Book of Mormons and then they set of loose in a big area right by the Drama house where plays are done and there were so many people. I was so scared at first and didn’t want to do it. I kept thinking that I would freeze, my Portuguese is not as big of a vocab as others and I worried that would not even be able to understand the people.... My companion was great, he got his first one on the bus ride there, yes we got to ride on the public bus which was pretty crowded, and then he got his other one in the next 10 minutes. We had an hour and a half total to give away our Books of Mormon and we would go home early if everybody passed them out quicker. When we got there the people were extremely nice and understood that our Portuguese was not as good as others and that we were Americans trying to practice our Portuguese. I got both of mine in the last 15 minutes. I was so scared and once I broke the ICE I met a guy that was trying to learn English and he said he wanted to know what time church was so he could go. My companion and I also met a guy that immediately tried to Bible bash us and so we spent 45 minutes with him as he was describing how the Biblia Sagrada (the only bible allowed in Brazil) is the only true book. We just stood and talked and we tried to share our testimonies but he wouldn’t hear us and so we moved on.
I love you all and please send me mail even if mine are taking forever to get back up there. I will try to find a faster way to send it to you guys.