October 30, 2007

Yes yes, Momma dear, I got the Halloween package and all the e-mails. Don't worry. I loved everything in the package. I keep Dead Ed in the cupboard so whenever someone opens it he crawls out onto the floor. Pretty annoying ha. I'm sorry I couldn't e-mail last week. I actually was in the middle of writing you guys when the connection went out and they told everyone in the internet cafe to leave. So that was that. Chances are if you don't hear from me one week it's not because I'm dead on the side of the road somewhere. Probably not at least. Guess why the connection went out? Because it was RAINING. That's right. That's Brazil for you.
I baptized a pregnant girl last Sunday. An 18 year-old girl named Sheyla whose husband wears big camo pants and didn't come to the baptism. Her mom and brothers are members though, and they were there. I'd never baptized anyone in my life before. I was a little nervous, but more worried that her 6-months pregnant belly wasn't going to go all the way under the water. We didn't have much in the font. It did, thank goodness, and I managed not to mess up any of the words in the ordinance. Then I baptized a guy named Ronaldo, who is 22. One 22 year-old Ronaldo baptizing another 22 year-old named Ronaldo. I wasn't as successful at pulling it off legit this time. I forgot to tell him to cover his nose so the whole motion was really awkward.
I had to walk this week because we didn't have helmets to ride the bikes (which is apparently a world-wide missionary rule that we were never aware of and isn't in the missionary handbook). Helmets are really expensive here because nobody wears them, only professional bike riders who live in Sao Paulo. There's none of that in Aguas Lindas, but everybody rides bikes. I didn't mind getting a helmet but our Zone Leaders, Galbes and Guimares who spent the week with us said they didn't have the money, and Redd didn't want to wear one, so the pain I developed in Cruzeiro is now back with a vengeance. I was with Elder Guimares who likes 2pac and Kanye West. He's a good guy. Redd was with the AP (Assistant to the Presidente), Elder Galbes, who is fat and ate most of my peanut butter after I showed him what peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are. Galbes and Guimares have left and Redd and I are still walking because he likes it. I don't open my mouth and complain about anything. I have to say that despite how much I genuinely do not like this, I do have a sweet and simple testimony that I can tell is growing. I can say that I feel more akin with the Lord, who suffered more than anyone, when I suffer here. And that, if nothing else is good. I'm also so happy to hear about the blessings at home for you guys, and for my friends. I heard about Zach getting baptized. I want to fly home and give him a hug and tell him I love him.
Lex, I'm proud of you for registering to vote. You're proBama, huh? That's great. He's a tight guy. You should read his books (I didn't get the chance to before I left) and talk to Chelsea about him. She's the expert. Stay up to date on politics, it's such a fun thing. Inspiring too. And it may spark your interest in history, as it did for me. The two often go hand in hand. I think I will maybe even want to be a history major when I get back. Follow in spench leg's footsteps. I miss you and the pictures of Socks in his costume made me miss him so much. I hope school is going well for you. Sign up for some interesting classes next semester. One class I always wanted to take was world religions, but never did. I wish I could be there to help look up fun classes with you.
Dad, thanks for your letter with the story of the man named Hazard. I want to read more about that. We should definitely go there and see that monument. I want so badly to learn more about history, it's killing me. I hope they never stop building that Burj Dubai. I think you should buy a condo there. Seriously.
By the way, Michelle... did you hear that Jonny Greenwood is doing the score for There Will Be Blood?!?!?!?!
I love you guys. Have a wonderful week, and Happy Halloween!
p.s. - talking to Fagan'a mom is definitely cool. I love him. I want to read some stories she has from his mission if you get any.

October 15, 2007

In my opinion, the person to ask about Halloween costumes is Michelle. She'll give you a good idea. When you asked, I was tempted to tell you "be a missionary"! Then I immediately thought "wow, I'm a fag". I'm so proud of you for getting 100% on your sociology paper. Those papers are fun to write I think. Was it the nine page one about your wants and needs in a spouse? That might be next. That ones a good time. In mine I put a cute nose under the needs section. I figure it's a need because if I don't end up with a girl with a cute nose to cancel out my ugly nose, our kids will all have weird noses. I can't allow that. Tell Mike Green I love him and miss him. I'm glad s-cakes has my address now. I'm curious to see if anyone will use it. Maybe that girl who works at the salon nearby who comes in all the time will see it and write me. You know, the married one who I thought was saying hi to me that one time but she was just waving at someone behind me? What a babe. I'm sad I'm missing Halloween. I miss you.
I miss you, momma. I ate something this week that somewhat resembled your sugar cookies with the really good icing. Made me miss you. That would be something to send me if it's possible! It really isn't necessary to send me too much of anything though. Of course I appreciate it all, but I don't know that I need all these drugs. My feet are doing better on the outside. The problem with taking medicine right now is that it's dengue season here so the mosquitos are out in full force and we're told not to take any anti-inflammatories that thicken the blood. They attack us in the night, it's awful. You should set out TONS of Halloween decorations. I think Halloween might be my favorite holiday. I just love this time of year in general. I know you do too. Seriously, take Lex to Target and buy as much as you can. I can't wait to see the animals in their costumes. I miss you more than ever, Momma.
I'm so jealous of you going up to the top of that tower where Paul Revere hung the lanterns. That sounds like fun. I wish I could have been there. I want to study Early American history soooooo bad. I plan on making Church history, Early American history and World War 2 history my primary studies when I get home, while continuing to be educated on politics. Is Hillary still pulling ahead? I'm so bummed I'm missing such a good football season. Redd and I talk about football every once in a while and it always makes me miss home. I'm also bummed I'm missing good baseball playoffs too. I was just kind of getting into baseball before I left. Figures the Dbacks would be doing well. Maybe it's the new colors. Goodness gracious basketball season starts in two weeks!!!!!!!! How is pre-season looking? How are the bigtime rookies? How is Nash looking? Go to as many games as possible!
I heard about Owen Wilson trying to kill himself a while ago. About a Halloween costume for that? I don't know how you could recreate it. I don't even know how he did it. Just get yourself a weird nose and walk around telling everyone how sad you are that you made movies like Shanghai Knights. Is the new Wes Anderson good? I bet it is. Be sure to go see the new P.T. Anderson movie too. I don't know if it's out yet. Hajax tells me the new Radiohead is all he could have hoped for. Do you feel the same way or is it no big deal? I don't know if I already said this before but tell Casey I said hi. If you already did, tell her hi again. Maybe just give her a hi once a week from me. I got the same theme from conference. Every talk seemed to reference the message of the restoration in one way or another. Which may be nothing, but I recognized it nonetheless. Maybe they always do that. I don't know. My favorite talk was Eyring's on Sunday morning session. I love him. This internet cafe is extremely hot, and I'm hungry, so I have to go. I wish I could sit and talk and talk and talk to you. I miss you. Impress many with your costume.
I love you guys. Have a good week. Tell the Gparents I love them. Jordan

October 8, 2007

First and foremost,I FULLY concur with this idea of Socks being a pumpkin for Halloween. I can already imagine him a fat orange blob; his little face with a blank stare and a passive MEOW escaping his cat mouth as he rolls around the house, baffling Josie. Ohhhh how I miss home.
Did everyone enjoy Conference??? I absolutely loved it. The anticipation was like Christmas and it lived up to it and then some. Every talk was good. There was only one talk I didn't take notes on. I'm so happy that Henry B. Eyring was called to the First Presidency. His counsel has alway seemed to fit so perfectly into my life at the time I hear it. He'll serve wonderfully in that calling. I've been praying for him. Of course the Prophet would call the tightest guy as his counselor. Before conference, there were some things I'd been praying to know "in a sweet and simple way" and the answers to those prayers came hearing the words of the people who spoke. Just simple things I felt I needed clarity on in regard to my own testimony. I don't know whose talk was my favorite, I CAN'T DECIDE!!! All I knew for sure was that I didn't want to leave, I could have kept watching late into the night. Proof that there simply is no substitute for the sweet edification that comes only from the Spirit. That I am grateful for!
To watch conference we went to our Stake Center, which is in a city called Taguatinga not far from here. There was a classroom set up with a few chairs and a TV for the American Elders and whoever wanted to watch in English. No one I knew was sure we would have the chance to watch it in English. We had to wait until we got there to know, and Praise The Lord! Not only were the talks all wonderful but I am happy to report that Boyd K. Packer and I have the same tie. That's right. I think this is as close a kinship as I'll ever have with a Prophet of God.
Thanks to our Brasilheiro Zone Leader Elder Freitas, we almost missed out on our opportunity to see this conference. He told us last week if we didn't have any investigators to bring with us to conference, we wouldn't go. Well, Elder Redd took this to heart and nearly exercised it. Both Saturday and Sunday we had no one to come with us. We tried, even going out early to wake people up and ask if they'll come with us. Elder Redd even started asking people on the street on the way to the bus stop to the stake center in Taguatinga, making us a little late. No one. Redd was sooo bummed, he said he felt so embarrassed that we were walking into the building by ourselves. Only today, in our bulletin from the Presidente, have we found out that we in fact should NEVER miss a conference session for any reason, nor should we ever let our families miss one. Presidente is wise.
Anyways, have a wonderful week. Watch conference on the DVR over and over again like I probably would be. Do they have it in HD yet? Ohhhhh man that would be too legit. I'm guessing no. Maybe someday. I love you guys. Jordan

October 1, 2007

So we taught a naked guy this week. That was interesting. He was literally completely naked when we walked in the house. He put a towel on when we said we'd like to begin with a prayer.
The "ciclista" by our apartment sells cruiser parts. Only parts, not whole bikes. I'm thinking about piecing one together throughout my stay in Aguas Lindas. There's a store down the street called "the buying and selling of parts for bikes" that I imagine must have something I could use. The bike I have now is starting to completely fall apart so I need to get to work on this beach cruiser.
We made friends with the greatest person a few days ago! We were lost looking for a house late at night, and it was nearly time to go home, so we asked this man walking down the street where we could find "Raquel's house" and he said "yeah, right here" and he took us into his house. He wasn't Raquel, he was just drunk. He had a store in front of his house he took us into first. It had caskets all over it because he sells caskets. We thought it would be a good place to leave "Plan of Salvation" pamphlets for people!!!! He showed us that, and then took us in the back where there was a room with a table for cutting up bodies. Turns out he's a mortician too. It was the creepiest room I've ever been in. Steel everywhere, blue-ish lighting, little spots of blood here and there another room that had more caskets, one that had blood all over it. They're all vampire style too with the long, hexagonal shape. He asked us if we wanted to see an autopsy/embalming video. Apparently he tapes all of them. I promptly said no but he insisted and ran his drunk self back to his little house and put a burned cd into the dvd player that turned out to be his very own hip-hop. He played it really loud and told us all about the "meaning behind it". He samples a song from the Lion King. He had choreographed dance moves to it. He showed us and then we told him we had to go. Amazing.
I'm afraid my legs aren't doing any better yet. My feet are getting worse, and are actually starting to look a little weird. I have sores all over them and my skin is all rough and leathery and discolored and there is more pain than before in both feet. It was my right foot that gave me the most trouble before, now my left is getting bad. My knees feel raw and destroyed and the tendinitis gets bad a few times a day. I told Presidente Aidukaitis at Zone Conference last week. He says he'll pray for me and hope for the best. I love Presidente. He's a wonderful, inspired man. He always has a lot to tell me and likes talking to me. He says he loves me like a son. Between he and Sister Aidukaitis I'm being well taken care of so there's no need to worry.
I have an interesting story from Zone Conference I want to tell you about but we need to go to lunch right now at a member's house so you'll get another e-mail from me in a couple of hours. Peeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaace Familia
I just wrote you guys my nice long part 2 e-mail and myldsmail.com timed out. So, I'm sorry. I'll have to write you next week. I'll tell you that fun story later. I love you all, I miss you all the time. Have a good week. Parents, have fun in New England. Socks isn't looking much bigger yet. I probably won't get a chance to e-mail Gma, Gpa Hoon this but I got their package this week. I love it!! Tell them thank you and that I love them. I wish I had more time to write them. Michelle, write me about stuff, and things. Do it, do it right now. The new Radiohead is coming out soon??????? Tell me about this business. Laterlatlatlatlatlater!!!