December 11, 2007

First and foremost..did you guys end up getting snow in the valley? Oh man I hope so. And I hope it's in Mesa. Last year it was so epic. Even though it was a trace, it was beautiful. If there were to be snow anywhere in the valley other than Carefree it would be in Mesa because of the elevation, right? As for the boxes, I haven't got them yet. Blow up Christmas tree or illegal drugs. They should be waiting for me at zone conference which will be next week, and I'll be sure to put up the tree right away. It is true that nobody has real Christmas trees here, or big fake ones for that matter. At least not in Aguas Lindas. Most people here are poor. I'm looking forward to getting the Celebrex. I'm sorry it's taken so long, these packages have probably arrived already but the mission is very lazy about disseminating mail. The zone leaders pick up our letters for us every once in a while and drop them off with us at our district meetings when they are in town, but it's worse with packages. They just sit in a closet in the mission office until zone conference. But I'm happy to know I'll have a lot waiting for me there. Reading letters on the way home from conference every transfer is probably when I'm happiest. I'm really looking forward to Dad's next letter "with a story from 600 years ago". So Tight. I can't wait. I love reading about these things, it makes me happy and helps me feel close to you, Papa. Which reminds me, when I get back, since we couldn't go before I left, I want to go to Europe with you as soon as possible to see some World War II historical sites. Is that possible? I think we should all go as a family that summer when I get back.
Today is transfer day and Elder Redd is leaving but I'm not. I'll probably stay for another two transfers Three more months. Redd is going to a place called Estancia to be a district leader, which means he gets to have a cell phone. My new district leader is Elder Guimares, who was my companion when we did a trade with him and the AP Elder Galbes in October. I'm glad he'll be my district leader. So I'm staying here for this transfer, and probably another because apparently every missionary that comes to Aguas Lindas stays for four transfers, or six months. I should leave in March. And then I'll be off to who knows where. Maybe I'll go to the state of Tocantins which is 13 hours away and in the jungle and very hot. My friend from the CTM is there in a city called Palmas. He was fat in the CTM and I'm curious to see if he's gotten skinnier in the last 4 months up there. Apparently everyone loses weight in Tocantins. I kind of want to go. We just ate lunch and I'm feeling fat. I'm hoping to see him and the other guys from my CTM group today at the Rodoferrodoviaria, which is a big bus/train station in Cruzeiro (which was my first area, where they have McDonalds and Dominoes and Outback Steakhouse and Subway and I miss it very much) where all the missionaries meet on transfer day. I love transfer day if I am staying where I am. Leaving sucks. I'm sad for Redd, he doesn't want to leave Aguas Lindas. There at the Rodoferrodoviaria I'll meet my new companion, Elder Leite. A Brazilian. My first Brazilian companion. I'm a little nervous but I think I'm ready. My Portuguese is good enough. Now my only opportunities to use my native language will be in my journal, my e-mails home and letters, and with this crazy woman who walks up and down the street I live on selling juice. She speaks English with a British accent because she lived there a few years ago. I see her a few times a week and always get a nice hello dear!! from her. I don't know if this Elder Leite will be too much of a needy companion as far as Christmas presents are concerned, but let me tell you something about Brazilian missionaries, they are some of the most presumptuous and imposing people you will ever meet. If you take a candy bar out of your pocket, before you even get the chance to open it, if a Brazilian missionary is around, he'll be in your face saying ohhhh, for me? Thank you and he'll take it and eat it, as if it's some hilarious joke I should be cracking up at. I wish it wasn't this way but it is. They are all like this. So I'm sure he will appreciate his package very, very much. It should also be understood that I still love all my Brazilian missionary friends very much despite this.
We stayed very concentrated this last transfer and baptized every week. This transfer the mission baptized 502 people. Enough for an entire stake. That is the best the mission has ever done and is a miracle! We are so close to having a temple in Brasilia, it's amazing. Presidente's vision may be realized before he leaves in six months. I'll be sad when he goes. This week I'll figure out what time and what number you guys can call me at on Christmas. I'll be sure to let you know in my e-mail next week. I think you guys will probably call my friend Erisvaldoa's house. What time will be best for you? Is Dad working? I don't want anyone to be sad and crying on Christmas.
Anyways, it's time to start heading out to Brasilia. Redd wants to go early so we can eat there. I'm looking forward to getting some reading done on the bus ride there. Have you guys been reading Matthew, Mark and Luke before Christmas like the First Presidency invited us to? I've nearly finished Luke, and I can't wait to start John. I'd like to finish Acts before Christmas. I'm loving it, and it's helping my testimony of the Savior grow. If you haven't started, START!!! If you have, let me know where you are. I love love love you. Have a good week and don't get arrested.
Jordan ps: Dad, if you can, copy a list of the standing in the NBA to me. I'm curious to see all the numbers. This business with Boston is amazing. I knew the big ticket would clean up wherever he went. Is Dallas ahead of us? Let me know how all these east coast games turn out.

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