January 28, 2008

As always, when I first got here on Tuesday night I was really uncomfortable and quiet and stupid. But, as always, I've slowly acclimatized and I'm doing well now. I've noticed in all my areas (and in the CTM) that things get better after the first Sunday. My companion is great. He is a very relaxed Brazilian. He is rich and not needy. He is from a really nice part of Rio de Janeiro. He always talks about how great it is. He is adamant about Rio being the best place in Brazil for anything. So I think I've decided that if I came back to Brazil to live (and I have a potential plan for that) I would live there. Elder C Nunes is a great missionary. I've learned a lot from him already. In teaching, he is very calm but also very powerful. Convincing, but not coersively. Full of love. I sort of envy him, but I've learned something very important about our companionship--the less I speak in the lessons, the better things turn out. I'm convinced of this. I've spent all this time in the mission talking and trying to teach people, but that doesn't really work. We baptized five people yesterday!! I'm good for making small talk with people here and there. Answering questions people have about the States or how you say this or that in English. It's great. I know my place here, I have no problem with it. And all the while I'm learning. So, it's a good thing. Our apartment is great. We live above a pizzaria so it always smells like pizza in our apartment. The guy who runs the pizzaria (and owns the building we live in) is named Tokinho. To-KEEN-yo. He's awesome. He picked us up from the bus station in Brasilia and brought us here. He's not a member of the Church yet, but whenever anyone asks him if he is, he says "not yet" so that's a good sign. We live with one other dupla. Elder Kiger and Elder Santos. Elder Kiger is a big jock from Palo Alto, California who played football at MCC in Mesa. He is always loud and happy. I love him. We've become fast friends. In part because I'm the first person he's been able to speak English with in months. It's great hearing a great big "HOOOOOOOOON!!" when I come home at the end of the day. Steve Young is in his ward. Elder Santos is a nice guy too. He's so Brazilian that if he doesn't eat rice and beans everyday he gets weak and has to lie down. That is amazing. The two of them both have five months left in the mission and won't stop talking about home. So you can rest easy (momma) knowing I'm comfortable and enjoying my time here in Planaltina. Elder Jardel Leite will be in Aguas Lindas at least until the end of this transfer. Probably longer. But, yeah, if you have a package for him, send it to the mission office. You shouldn't need his full name for that but I don't know maybe you do. The office can separate packages just from "Elder So and So". I heard about President Hinckley this morning at a meeting we had. I was sad at first. Hearing that definitely took the wind out of my sails. But I soon got happy because I know he probably wanted to go. I miss him already. I'll miss him a lot come conference time, but I'm also completely willing and ready to sustain President Monson. He will be a great leader for us. Who will be the new counselor in the First Presidency? I say Russell M. Nelson. What do you guys think? Dad, can we start a family pool on this one with a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card for the winner? $50 gift card for whoever can guess the new apostle! Have a wonderful week. I love you guys so much and miss you more all the time. ps: go Patriots? I guess? Jordan

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