July 4, 2007

What up family,

Did Michelle inform you of my request to have you fly the New Mexico flag on the house instead of the Brazil flag? A Brasilheiro asked me a few days ago what mission I was going to, I told him, and he laughed and said "you will die hungry there". I don't know how or why that would be, but it sounds exciting. My district has four of us going to Brasilia, four of us going to Belo Horizonte, and two are going to Belem. This is a shame because our district is wonderful, we all get along and we have so much fun together. It's hard to describe the kind of fun we have because we're imprisoned 6 days a week and we've all gone a little mad. There is one Elder who loves World War II history and making fun of people as much as I do. His name is Elder Fagan. We'll talk for a while about how the M1 was a great gun and how all the German weapons were so cheap and other knowledge we've gathered from books and video games, and then we'll make fun of his companion for asking if they celebrate Christmas in Brazil. Fagan and his companion, Elder Greene, and me and my companion, Elder Valentine, the one and only, are all roommates along with two Brazilheiros who showed up last week. It's great. Fagan and I constantly aggravate Greene, Valentine just gets more famous all the time, and the Brazilians teach us how to say a few off the wall things in Portuguese. I don't know what Brazil's obsession with skyscrapers is. It's as if they saw one and liked it so much they decided to put them everywhere. Sao Paulo feels very thrown together. I don't know why but the architecture and construction is so slapshod and aesthetically unpleasing. I've learned something very important while I've been here. I've read my Patriarchal blessing a few times and survived through several weeks of almost absolute congruency of days in every way, lost and found my testimony more than once and retained only the least bit of Portuguese despite constant study, and somehow this has manifest to me that the most important work I'll do in this life will be simply as the Patriarch over my own family, and I'm happy about that. I used to be disappointed with my blessing, now I like it. I must make an end of my writings now because it is lunch time. Since it's the 4th of July today we're apparently in for a big surprise. I don't see how. I'm guessing American food is the surprise. American food Brazilianized. The food genuinely sucks here. I'm not expecting much. A live buffalo in the cafeteria would be a surprise. Maybe a western stunt show from the Brazilians. I don't know. Paz, Elder Hoon

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